Champain and Hawkins: monuments in St Helen’s church, Abingdon

I’m grateful to my fellow researcher Christine Hoey for sending me the link to a document describing the monument to Ann Champain in St Helen’s church, Abingdon. Apparently the memorial, dated 1804, for which Ann left instructions in her will (see the previous post) was (according to this writer anyway) ‘a lamentable figure of Hope on a Greek stela; an early and poor work by Sir Richard Westmacott, who could do far better even in his youth.’

Richard Westmacott (via Creative Commons, npg.org.uk)

Richard Westmacott (via Creative Commons, npg.org.uk)

As Christine notes, the same document also mentions a memorial, dated 1780, in the same church, to an Elizabeth Hawkins. The writer is rather more appreciative of this monument, sculpted by John Hickey of London, which she describes as ‘the large and best work by a sculptor much admired by [Edmund] Burke of whom he did the only known busts’. She concludes that the memorial to Elizabeth Hawkins is ‘of its kind…one of the finest monuments in England’.

Monument to Elizabeth Hawkins in St Helen's church, Abingdon (via flickr.com)

Monument to Elizabeth Hawkins in St Helen’s church, Abingdon (via flickr.com)

Christine wonders whether Elizabeth Hawkins had any connection with either of the two wives of James Champain, both of whom had the maiden name Hawkins and both of whom were from Abingdon. I’ve found Elizabeth’s will, made in 1780, which gives instructions for her monument in St Helen’s church. In the course of a long will, she also leaves an annuity of five pounds to Ann Champain, daughter of Mr James Champain of Weymouth, Dorset, strongly suggesting a link with his family. Reference is also made in the will to William Hawkins Esquire and his ‘reputed’ and ‘natural’ children by his housekeeper, Elizabeth Blake. In an earlier post, I speculated that William Hawkins might also have been the father of James Champain’s first wife Hannah.

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The will of Ann Champain, widow of Abingdon (died 1804)

In the last post I discussed the last will and testament of London wine cooper James Champain, who died in 1785. At the time of his death James had been married to his second wife Ann (formerly Andrews, née Hawkins) for ten years. When he completed his will they were living in Exeter, Devon, having moved there from Weymouth, Dorset. There is evidence that Ann remained in Exeter for a number of years after James’ death, but by the time she began to write her own will in 1802, she had moved back to the town of her birth: Abingdon, then in Berkshire, a place I know well, having lived there for a while some thirty years ago.

Parish church of St Helen's, Abingdon (via rscm-oxford.org.uk)

Parish church of St Helen’s, Abingdon (via rscm-oxford.org.uk)

As with her husband’s will, I believe it’s worth studying Ann Champain’s last will and testament in detail, since it provides us with useful information about various members of the Champain family and can help with the process of exploring the context of their lives in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries.

In this post, I’m reproducing my transcription of Ann’s will and I’ll discuss what we can learn from it in the next post. I’ve used the same symbols for illegible and uncertain words as I did for James Champain’s will.

This is the last Will and Testament of me Ann Champain of Abingdon in the County of Berks Widow I give all the Silver plate that was left me by my late husband Mr James Champain unto his son Captain William Burgundy Champain which is as following Silver hand waiter (?) Soup Laddel four Silver Salts four Salt Spoons two Gravy Spoons six Desert Spoons twelve Tea Spoons a small Silver sauce pan a plated Tea pot After the payment of my just debts funeral charges and Legacies all the Rest Residue and Remainder of my Monies in the public funds and all other Monies that I have power to dispose of personal Estate and Effects whatsoever and wheresoever not herein disposed of I give and bequeath unto my dear daughter the wife of James Rose Clealand Esquire of the Kingdom of Ireland and at her disposal and I constitute and appoint my said daughter Sarah Clealand sole Executrix of this my last Will hereby revoking all former wills by me made To my Son in Law James Rose Clealand Esquire To my Brother George Hawkins Esquire to Mrs Mary Hawkins his Wife to William Walker Esquire and to Mrs Sally Walker his Wife To Joseph Fletcher Esquire and to Frances Fletcher his Wife to Richard Clark Esquire to Mrs Clark his Wife and to Mrs Rose to each of these my friends I beg their acceptance of a Mourning Ring the price of each Ring not to exceed twenty one Shillings To Mrs Fletcher I give my Snuff Box which was her Mothers to Mrs Walker I give my Garnett Bracelets with the pictures thereto one is her father my late husband the other that of my daughter Mrs Clealand I also give the Mourning Ring I had for her Mother Mrs Hannah Champain also my diamond pin set round with pearls To Miss ??? Mrs Hawkins sister I give my watch. I desire to be buried in the Church of Saint Helens Abingdon in or near the Grave of my dear Mother according to the directions written by me directions written by myself respecting my funeral but should my daughter Mrs Clealand be in England at the time of my decease she to give the orders my meaning us that Mr Joseph Tombs whose House I now live in ??? ??? the funeral by a separate direction given him To my Servant Ann Goodall should she be living with me at the time of my decease I give her a years wages over what may be owing then to her and ??? Mourning It is my desire that a small Monument be fixed up on the wall oppose my Grave to be like one I have seen at Henley upon Thames The Monument is on the left Hand Side as you enter the principal door of the Church at Henley upon Thames before you come to the pulpit against one of the pillars it is to the Memory of Mrs Ester May to be wrote on my Monument to the Memory of Mrs Ann Champain Widow and Relict of James Champain Esquire with the date of the year the month and age Ann Champain (S) Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of us August 27. 1802 Samuel Robins. Elizabeth Robins. 

Whereas since the executing (?) my within will I have lost my friend Mrs Sally Walter (lately deceased) to whom I had left a few articles as a Mark of my Regard and Mr Joseph Tombs whom I had appointed to serve as my funeral ??? since left off Business I hereby make this codicil to my said last will to explain and amend such parts of it as require alteration Item in the first place I revoke and annul every thing in my said will that relates to the late Mrs Sally Walker and Mr Joseph Tombs Item I direct that my funeral shall be served by the person whom my daughter Mrs. Sarah Clealand shall appoint and in the Manner she shall direct Item I give to Captain William Burgundy Champain my Garnet Bracelets with the pictures thereto the reason of my requesting him to accept an Article so little calculated for a Man is that one of them is the picture of his father which I am sure he will value also for the same (?) reason I leave him the Mourning Ring I had for his Mother Item I give to Mrs Fletcher wife of Joseph Fletcher Esquire my Diamond Pin set round with pearls I do hereby direct that this Codicil shall be considered as part of my within last will In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal this fourth day of July 1803 at Abingdon in Berkshire Ann Champain (S) Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of Margarett Cleobury. Peggy Napper.

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Reflections on the will of James Champain

The last will and testament of James Champain, the London wine cooper who died in 1785, a transcription of which I reproduced in the last post, contains some useful information about James and his family.

Firstly, we learn that at some stage James and his second wife Ann must have moved to Weymouth in Dorset, where he made the main part of his will in 1781. We know that both James and Ann were living in Surrey at the time of their marriage in 1785, and that James maintained a business address in London until at least the mid 1770s. His will also confirms that, between the writing of his will and the addition of a codicil three years later, James and his family made another move, this time to Exeter in Devon. This explains why both James’ daughter Ann and his stepdaughter Sarah Eaton Andrews were married in that city, the former in 1782 to William Horabin, the latter in 1790 to James Dowsett Rose Clealand.

Georgian Exeter

Georgian Exeter (via demolition-exeter.blogspot.com)

Secondly, we learn from the will that all of James’ children from his first marriage to Hannah Hawkins appear to have survived, except one. Thomas Champain, who was born in Weybridge in 1766, is not mentioned in his father’s will: perhaps he died in infancy, and his mother died giving birth to him?

James’ eldest daughter Elizabeth had married William Edwards, a London merchant, in 1772. I haven’t been able to find out if there were any children from this marriage, but obviously both Elizabeth and her husband remained close to her father, since he makes William one of the executors of his will and bequeaths a significant amount of property to him and his co-executor, at least partly in trust for James’ younger children. This property includes land in Essex, perhaps inherited from James’ father John Champain who had died there in 1756, or his sister Ann who married Epping landowner Richard Collins.

The significant role given to James’ son-in-law William in managing his property can perhaps be explained by the absence overseas of James’ two eldest sons. We learn from the will that both James Champain junior and his younger brother John, who would have been aged forty and thirty-five respectively when their father died, were ‘in the East Indies’ at the time that he wrote his will. I assume that they were merchants involved in trade with the expanding Indian colonies, perhaps as part of the East India Company, like my Gibson and Boulton ancestors whose contemporaries they were. James senior gives his two sons his ‘sincerest blessing’ and, reading between the lines, we gather that both men had become wealthy enough not to be in need of any inheritance from their father.

James’ third son William Burgundy Champain would have been considerably younger – not quite twenty-one, in fact – when his father made his will. We learn that he was already ‘a Lieutenant in his Majesty’s Navy’, so he may have been overseas as well. There was also a fourth son, George Hawkins Champain, who was only nineteen when his father died.

A ship of the East India Company at Blackwall

A ship of the East India Company at Blackwall

Finally, James makes provision for his three younger daughters, Ann, Sally, and Frances, all of them still unmarried when the will was written though, as we have seen, Ann at least had married by the time of her father’s death.

As for Thomas Hill Esquire, the other person appointed as co-executor of James’ will, together with his son-in-law William Edwards, I haven’t been able to discover any familial tie with him. He was said to be of Lincoln’s Inn, so it’s possible he was James’ lawyer. From his will of 1790 we can deduce that, like James Champain, Thomas Hill owned property in Dorset, and that Charles Cookney, one of the witnesses to James’ will, who also seems to have been a lawyer, was an ‘old acquaintance’ of his.

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The last will and testament of James Champain (died 1785)

In the last post I wrote about James Champain, the London wine merchant whose sister Ann married Richard Collins of Epping, brother of John Collins, the first husband of my 5 x great grandmother Elizabeth Gibson (1733 – 1809). I’m exploring James Champain’s family, with the aim of understanding something of the context of my ancestor’s life. In this post, I’m sharing my transcription of James Champain’s will of 1781, since it throws useful light on the history of his family. In the next post, I’ll discuss what we can learn from the will.

Via gutenberg.org

Via gutenberg.org

I’ve managed to transcribe most of the will, but inevitably there are odd words that remain difficult to decipher. ‘ ???’ indicates an illegible word and ‘(?)’ an uncertainty about a word.

This is the Last Will and Testament of me James Champain of the Borough of Weymouth in the County of Dorset Merchant as follows that is to say I desire to be decently and privately buried at the discretion of my Executors hereinafter named and first I order all my just debts which I shall owe at the time of my decease and my funeral charges and legacies shall be duly paid in order to provide for such payment. I do hereby Give devise and bequeath unto my son in law William Edwards of London Merchant and Thomas Hill of Lincolns Inn in the County of Middlesex Esquire all my Freehold and Copyhold Messuages Farms Lands Tenements and Hereditaments situate and being in the County of Essex or ??? in that part of Great Britain called England and also all and singular my Leasehold Estates for all my ??? and Interest therein and all other my personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever and of what nature or kind the same be to hold to them the said William Edwards and Thomas Hill their heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns upon Trust that they my said Trustees and the Survivor of them or the Heirs Executors Administrators or Assigns of such Survivor shall and do as soon as conveniently may be after my decease sell and dispose of my said Freehold Copyhold and Leasehold premises either together or in parcels for the most Money and best price that can be had or gotten for the same and with the Money arising thereby and by the Rents and profits of the same ??? sold and other my personal Estate hereby bequeathed to them pay all my just debts and funeral charges and all Legacies given by this my Will or by any Codicil I may make thereto And I Give to my said Wife Ann Champain the Annuity or yearly sum of twenty pounds for and during the time of her natural life which I charge to be issuing and payable half yearly out of and from the rents and profits of my ??? Estates Freehold and Copyhold and likewise my Leasehold till sold and on sale thereof I direct my said Trustees to place out at Interest or Government or ??? Securities A principal sum the Interest whereof shall be applied to pay the said Annuity for my said Wife’s life and upon her decease the fund or principal to be deemed and go as I have hereby given the Residue of my Estates. And I also Give to my said Wife so much of my Household Goods and furniture as shall amount to the value of One hundred pounds and also fifty Ounces of my plate which is to be chosen by her To and for her own use and I also Give to my said Wife whatsoever Household Goods plate silver and china she brought into my house on our Marriage and it is with concern I regret considering my family that it is not in my power with a greater Bounty to show my Affection to my dear Wife who has every merit to my esteem And I give my Sincerest Blessing to my Son James Champain now in the East Indies And I forgive him all Bonds Notes or other debts he may owe me And I give my Sincerest Blessing to my Son John Champain now also in the East Indies wishing it were in my power to show him further Kindness and I hope from his situation he will be enabled to assist his Brothers as I truly believe he would not wish to partake of my Estate to their prejudice And I give to my daughter Elizabeth Edwards, Wife of the said William Edwards ten Guineas for Mourning And I Give to my son William Burgundy Champain now a Lieutenant in his Majesty’s Navy the sum of One hundred pounds as a token of my affection to be paid to him at his Age of twenty one years or to be applied sooner for his benefit if my said Trustees think proper hoping his merit and good character will promote his Advancement and make his situation in life beyond what I can for his younger Brother and Sisters. And I Give to the said William Edwards and Thomas Hill the sum of twenty pounds apiece for their Trouble in and about the execution of this my Will of which I make and appoint them Executors And all the Rest and Residue of the Money arising by Sale of my Real and Leasehold Estates and other my personal Estate I Give and bequeath unto my Son George Hawkins Champain and to my three daughters Ann Sally and Frances Champain equally amongst them share and share alike and to the survivors and survivor of them and to be paid and payable to my said son George Hawkins Champain at his age of twenty one years and to my said three daughters at their age or ages of twenty one years or day or days of their respective Marriages and my daughter Ann having attained the Age of twenty one years I direct that my said Trustees shall allow and pay her for her maintenance forty pounds a year by half yearly payments till the share and fortune can be raised and paid to her And I direct that my said Truestees shall allow and pay or apply to the support of my other children George Sally and Frances such yearly sums for their maintenance as they shall think proper and I so hereby also empower my said Trustees if they think proper for the advancement or benefit of my said son George or my daughters Sally and Frances to advance and pay such sums as they think proper out of their respectives shares for such benefit and Advancement before their portions or shares become payable which sums so advanced shall be allowed out of the shares the same shall be so paid and on sale of my said Estates the share or proportion of such of any children as shall not then be of Age I desire and direct my executors and Trustees to place at Interest or Government funds of Real Annuities for their benefit and support and hereby appoint my said Trustees Guardians of the person as well as the fortunes of my said children under the Age of twenty one years at my decease or till their fortunes become payable provided always and my Will is and I do hereby direct that my said Trustees shall be only charged or chargeable with or accountable for such and so much Money only as they respectively shall actually receive by Virtue of the Trusts of this my Will and with no more nor the one for the other nor the Acts Receipts Rights Faults of Payments of the other And shall and may deduct and retain and be saved harmless (?) by and out of my Estates hereby devised to them for all such charges costs and expenses as they respectively shall sustain expend or be put unto by reason of their undertaking the execution of this my Will and my Will and meaning is and I do hereby declare that all and every person and persons to whom my said Trustees or the Survivor of them or the heirs Executors Adminstrators or Assigns of such Survivor shall sell my said real and leasehold Estates or any part thereof hereby devised to them for that purpose shall upon payment of their respective purchase Monies to my said Trustes or out of them and upon their or his signing Receipts for the same be effectually discharged from such purchase Money and that after such receipts the said Purchases shall not nor shall any of them be answerable or accountable for any loss misapplication or nonapplication of the said purchase Money or any part thereof and I do hereby revoke all former Wills by me at any time heretofore made In Witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand and Seal this twenty fourth day of April in the twenty first year of the reign of his Majesty King George the third of Great Britain and so forth and in the year of our Lord Christ One thousand seven hundred and eighty one Jas. Champain (S) Signed Sealed Published and declared by the above names James Champain as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who as Witnesses to the same have at his request and in his presence subscribed our names Thos. Combe. Jona. Langley. Chas. Cookney.

A Codicil to be taken as part of the last Will and Testament of me James Champain late of the Borough of Weymouth in the County of Dorset but now of the City of Exeter Merchant as follows

Whereas I have by my last Will and Testament bearing date the twenty fourth day of April One thousand seven hundred and eighty one forgiven to my son James Champain now in the East Indies all such sums of Money which I have advanced for him on any Bonds Notes and other Securities he hath given me for securing the said sums But considering that he is in a situation to accommodate a considerable fortune by his attention and Industry far Superior to what I can give his Brothers and Sisters in England and what he owes me will be an addition considerable to their fortunes therefore I do hereby revoke the said forgiveness to him and declare that my said son James Champain shall stand charged and liable to the payment of all such sum or sums of Money as he may owe me on any Security or of ??? Howsoever and the same shall be demanded received and recovered by my Executors and Trustees named in my said Will and that the said sums when received shall be deemed part of the residue of my Estates and be paid and applied as I have by my said Will given and directed such residue In Witness whereof I have to this Codicil to my Will set my hand and Seal this ninth day of October in the Year of our Lord Christ One thousand seven hundred and eighty four. Jas. Champain (S). Signed Sealed published and declared by the above named James Champain the elder as and for a Codicil to his Will in the presence of us who as Witnesses to the same have in his presence subscribed our names Thos. Combe. Chas. Cookney. ??? ??? ???

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James Champain, wine merchant (died 1785)

I’m continuing to explore the Champain family, who were were connected by marriage to the Collins family of Epping, as were my Gibson ancestors, as a result of my 5 x great grandmother Elizabeth Gibson‘s marriage to John Collins. I’m hoping that understanding more about Elizabeth’s wider family will enable me to throw light on some of the mysteries that still surround her life.

In the previous post, I wrote about John Champain, the London wine cooper with property in Epping, whose daughter Ann married John Collins’ older brother Richard. In this post I want to set out what I’ve been able to discover about Ann’s brother, and John Champain’s only son, James Champain.

First marriage to Hannah Hawkins

Abingdon today (via picturesofengland.com)

Abingdon today (via picturesofengland.com)

On 22nd May 1744 James Champain of the parish of St Dunstan in the East, London, alleged that he intended to marry Hannah Hawkins of Abbington (sic) in the county of Berkshire. The wedding was to take place in the parish church of St Mary At Hill, or St Anne Aldersgate, in London, or at St Mary Savoy in Middlesex. James was said to be above the age of twenty-one, but Hannah was only nineteen and thus a minor who needed the consent of her father, William Hawkins. It’s interesting that William is referred to as Hannah’s ‘natural and lawful father’. There’s a will made in 1780 by a William Hawkins Esquire of Abingdon, in which he leaves property to his ‘natural and reputed’ children William, James and Maria, all of whom he claims to have had ‘by my housekeeper’. There is no mention of Hannah, perhaps because she was no longer alive at this date, so we can’t be absolutely sure it’s the same man: but it raises the possibility that she, too, was a product of this ‘natural’ liaison.

James Champain and Hannah Hawkins were married on 29th May 1744, exactly a week after the allegation was signed, at the church of St Anne and St Agnes, which appears to be another name for St Anne Aldersgate. London trade directories list James Champain variously as a merchant and wine cooper of Tower Street (1749,1752 and 1753) and Seething Lane (1758), and as someone engaged in ‘iron hoop warehouse metal works’ at 143 Upper Thames Street (1768 – 1772). In other words, James was in the same business as his father John (see the previous post).

On 25th April 1745, James and Hannah Champain’s first child, James junior, was born; he was baptised on 14th May at the church of St Dunstan in the East. Three years later, in September 1748, their daughter Elizabeth was christened at the same church. She was followed by a second son, John, baptised there in August 1750. A second daughter, Ann, was baptised in February 1755.

By the time their next child was born, some four years later, James and Hannah seemed to have moved out of London, or at least to have acquired a country house, since their curiously but appropriately named son William Burgundy Champain was christened at the church of All Saints in Edmonton, then a village outside the city.

Another move must have occurred before the birth of James’ and Hannah’s daughter Sally, who was christened at the church of St Alfege in Greenwich on 16th March 1761. Three years later and yet another move found the family in Weybridge, Surrey, where George Hawkins Champain was christened in July 1764. This was also the location for the baptism of a daughter, Frances, in the following year, and for that of their last child, Thomas, on 10th August 1766.

Second marriage to Ann Andrews

James Champain’s wife Hannah seems to have died either at this time, or some time in the next few years, since on 1st June 1775 James married Ann Andrews at the church of St Giles without Cripplegate. James was said to be a widower ‘of this parish’, while Ann was a widow from the parish of Stoke d’Abernon, just a few miles from Weybridge. It turns out that Ann’s maiden name was Hawkins and that she too was originally from Abingdon, so she was almost certainly a close relation of James’ first wife Hannah. From her will of 1804, we can deduce that Ann had a brother named George, whose wife’s name was Mary, and a daughter named Sarah Eaton Andrews whose married name was Clealand. Neither Ann nor George are mentioned in the will of the William Hawkins mentioned earlier, so it’s possible either that (i) they were his legitimate children, as opposed to his natural or illegitimate offspring (but if so, why were they not mentioned in his will?) or (ii) that they were related to Hannah in some other way, perhaps as cousins. I’ve discovered that Ann and George were, in fact, the children of a William Hawkins of Abingdon and his wife Henrietta Baker, but I’m still unsure whether this is the same William who was the father of Hannah Hawkins, James Champain’s first wife.

Ann’s first husband was William Eaton Andrews of London, and Sarah seems to have been their only surviving child. William’s brief will of 1768 (he died in 1773) describes him as a gentleman of Bedford Street near Bedford Row (off Theobalds Road, near Holborn). Ann’s Surrey address might have been a country residence, but it’s possible that she moved there to be close to her relation Hannah Champain née Hawkins, and that when the latter died, a marriage between the widowed Ann and the widower James Champain seemed the most natural option for both of them.

Sarah Eaton Andrews

Sarah Eaton Andrews

James Dowsett Rose Clealand

James Dowsett Rose Clealand

Ann Andrews’ daughter Sarah married James Dowsett Rose Clealand of Ireland at Exeter in August 1790. James had been born James Dowsett Rose at Fort St David’s, Cuddalore, India, in 1767, the only child of Lieutenant Richard Rose of Abingdon and his wife Agnes née Clealand. Richard was mortally wounded at the siege of Atoor in 1768 and his widow took the infant James to England, where he was brought up, taking the additional name of Clealand in 1784 upon inheriting the family estates in County Down, which included Rath Gael House in Bangor. James Clealand served as a Justice of the Peace and as deputy-lieutenant and sheriff for the county. He was also apparently a deeply religious man and a pioneering naturalist. (I’m grateful to ‘hilbourne516′ at Ancestry, for allowing me to share the images featured above and below.)

Lieutenant Richard Rose

Lieutenant Richard Rose

Agnes Clealand

Agnes Clealand

James and Sarah Clealand had a son, William Nicholson, who died in infancy, and a daughter, Elizabeth Hawkins Rose Cleland, who in 1829 married Fortescue Clegg, a magistrate for the counties of Down and Antrim. They had three children.

In 1832, and unusually for women of the time, Sarah Clealand made her own will, even though her husband was still alive. By now Sarah was living in Milford, Pembrokeshire, though James Cleland was still resident in Bangor, and their daughter Elizabeth and her husband were living near Belfast. These facts, and references in the National Archives to legal disputes over the will between her widower and her daughter and son-in-law, suggests that the couple may have been living apart at the time of Sarah’s death. In December 1832 James Cleland married for a second time, to Elizabeth, described by one source as ‘the beautiful eldest daughter’ of William Nicholson-Steele-Nicholson of Balloo House, Bangor, and the couple had four sons and three daughters.

The death of James Champain

On 4th April 1772, three years before her father James’ second marriage to Ann Andrews, Elizabeth Champain married William Edwards at the church of St Stephen, Coleman Street, in the City of London. He was ‘of this parish’, while she was said to be of Weybridge, Surrey. William Edwards may be the ‘Russia merchant’ of that name who, together with Isaac Buxton, took on an apprentice named George Beauchamp in 1775. William is certainly described as a merchant in his father-in-law’s will.

William Edwards is one of the main beneficiaries of James Champain’s will, made in 1781, by which time James was living in Weymouth, Dorset. He died in 1785. Since James’ will is a useful source of information about his children’s lives, I’ll devote a separate post to discussing it.

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Collins, Champain and Stumphousen

Continuing my exploration of the life and times of John Collins of Epping (1733 – c.1763), the first husband of my 5 x great grandmother Elizabeth Gibson (1733 – 1809), I’m taking another look at what we know about John’s older brother Richard, and more broadly at the links between the Collins and Champain families. I have a suspicion that learning more about Richard and his immediate family might help me to understand some of the mysteries that still surround the lives of Elizabeth and John.

As I noted in the previous post, Richard Collins married Ann or Anna Champain in September 1747. I’ve written before about the Champain family, but I thought it might be useful to rehearse the information about them, particularly as new details have recently come to light. In this post, I’ll explore the family’s background, focusing mainly on Ann’s father John Champain, and in the next post I’ll write about the lives of his children.

An 18th century wedding (via britlitwiki.wikispaces.com)

An 18th century wedding (via britlitwiki.wikispaces.com)

The first point worth noting about the marriage of Richard Collins and Ann Champain is the date. We know that Richard was baptised in Epping on 16th December 1731, and yet his marriage to Ann took place on 15th September 1747, when he was not quite sixteen. Was Richard christened some years after his birth, or was there a reason for marrying so young? His father, Richard Collins senior, would die five month later, in February 1748: was it important to marry before his death?

A document in the Essex County Archives describes a marriage settlement of £1200 made on 14th September 1747, the day before Richard and Ann were married. The description reads as follows:

(i) Richard Collins of Epping, gent.; (ii) John Champain of Tower Street, London, citizen and wine cooper and Philip Martin of Theydon Garnon, gent.; (iii) Ann Champain, daughter of John Champain

On marriage of Richard Collins and Ann Champain

In trust for purchase of estate

Although the document is said to be ‘damaged by damp and rodents’, it would be fascinating to read it. ‘Richard Collins of Epping, gent’ must be Richard senior, and we know that Philip Martin of Theydon Garnon was one of the executors of his will and, according to that will, one of the guardians of his seven children, including Richard junior. The document is useful in confirming the identity of Ann Champain’s father: he was John Champain, a London wine cooper. However, we know from other sources that John also owned property in Epping.

There are land tax records for John Champain in the Tower ward of the City of London from 1726 onwards: so far, these are the earliest records that we have for him. I’ve also found an apprenticeship indenture from February 1730, when a certain Will Fisher was apprenticed to John Champain of London, wine cooper.

On 20th December 1735, a marriage was recorded in the Fleet Registers between John Champain of Epping, a widow, and Sarah Stumphousen of the same, a spinster. This John Champain was described as a farmer, but I have reason to believe it’s the same man. John was said to be a widower and Sarah a spinster. I’m certain this information is correct as far as John is concerned. We know from his will of 1756 that two children, James and Ann or Anna, survived him. Since the former was married in 1744 and the latter in 1746, they must have been born before 1735 and therefore be the product of their father John’s first marriage.

St Paul's, Deptford  (via www.stpaulsdeptford.co.uk)

St Paul’s, Deptford
(via http://www.stpaulsdeptford.co.uk)

However, I believe that the marriage record is incorrect in stating that John’s bride Sarah was a spinster: I’m fairly sure that she was a widow, since we know that she had three children from an earlier marriage. Our main source for this information is the 1749 will of Adam Stumphousen of St Paul’s, Deptford, who was, like John Champain, a wine cooper, suggesting that his father might have followed the same profession and that this is how John Champain met Sarah. In other words, it would seem that in 1735 the widowed John Champain probably married the widow of one of his business associates.

In his will Adam Stumphousen refers to James Champain as ‘my brother’ and also mentions the latter’s sister, Anna Collins – i.e. the Anna or Ann Champain who married Richard Collins. Adam also refers to a sister of his own named Sarah Stumphousen, who presumably was unmarried, and to another sister named Mary, the wife of Robert Mills. Mary Stumphousen had married Robert Mills of Stepney at the church of St Peter Upon Cornhill, London, in 1739. Adam’s will also describes John Champain as ‘my father in law’, but I’ve come across other examples of this term being used for ‘stepfather’.

From parish records, we know that Adam Stumphousen was married twice. On 22nd October 1733 he married Elizabeth West of Deptford (perhaps explaining how he came to be living there) at the church of St Mary Magdalen in Bermondsey. Adam was said to be from the parish of All Hallows, Barking, in the City of London. Since, as I’ve noted before, the records of this parish are still in the process of being digitised, it might explain why I’ve been unable to find baptismal records for Adam or his siblings.

Adam Stumphousen’s first wife Elizabeth appears to have died in 1738, and on 21st January 1740 he married Margaret Walker at the church of St Mary At Hill , London. On 3rd July 1748 their son Adam was baptised at St Nicholas Deptford: the father was said to be a wine cooper in Kings Street. If Adam senior’s will is to believe, the younger Adam was the couple’s only surviving child. I have reason to believe that he grew up to be an important Dissenting minister who studied at the Countess of Huntingdon’s college at Trevecca, Wales, and later served at various nonconformist churches in Wiltshire, dying in 1819.

18th century wine coopers

18th century wine coopers

It’s likely that the three Stumphousen siblings – Adam senior, Mary and Sarah – were born some time in the 1720s, and that their father died some time around 1730. The Christian name ‘Adam’, and the profession of wine cooper, seems to have been in the family for at least a century before that, making it difficult to distinguish between individuals and generations. An Adam Stompenhowson (sic) married Anne Johnson in 1633 at St Augustine Watling Street, London. Two children with the name Adam Stumphousen, presumably the offspring of this marriage, were baptised in the same parish in 1645 and 1650. I’m not sure of the identity of the Adam Stumphousen who was buried at St Botolph Aldgate in February 1694.

The family seems to have crossed the Thames to the Surrey side at some point, since on 16th July 1678 another Adam, son of Adam Stumphousen, a cooper, and his wife Sarah, was christened at the church of St Olave Bermondsey. Despite the coincidence of names, I believe this birth is too early to be the Adam who died in 1749: his father would seem to be the Adam Stumphousen who was buried at the same church in 1682 and whose probate inventory can be found in the National Archives. If this were the right Adam, we would need to believe that his mother Sarah married John Champain half a century after the death of her first husband, and that her son Adam was in his fifties when he married for the first time. It’s much more likely that the Adam Stumphousen born in 1678 was in fact the father of the Adam who died in 1749, and therefore the first wife of Sarah who later married John Champain. I would hazard a guess that their marriage took place in the first decade of the 18th century, and that it’s either hidden in the All Hallows records, or waiting to be found in the Essex archives.

Since Stumphousen is such an unusual name, deriving perhaps from German or Dutch immigrants to London in the early 17th century, it follows that those who shared this surname probably belonged to the same family. For example, on 6th July 1657 a Katharine Stumphousen married someone with the surname Wobes (?) at St Olave, Southwark, and in 1661 an Anne Stumphousen married Richard Niblett by licence. In 1699 Roger Stumphousen married Elizabeth Carter at St James Dukes Place: he was said to be a cooper of St Olave Southwark and there are land tax records for him in the Tower ward in the City of London in 1703, 1706 and 1707: perhaps he was a brother of the Adam Stumphousen who was Sarah’s first husband? Interestingly, an Anna Stumphousen paid land tax in the same ward, in Petty Wales Precinct to be precise, in 1738. Her neighbour, just four doors away, was John Champain. Petty Wales, though not marked on Rocque’s 1746 map (see below) was next to Gloucester Court, which connected with Beer Lane. (Interestingly, this is also the district associated with the Boulton family, connected by marriage with my Alice Byne née Forrest, my 8 x great grandmother and Elizabeth Gibson’s great grandmother.)

As I noted in an earlier post, the first edition of Osborn’s ‘Compleat Guide to All Persons Who Have Any Trade or Concerns Within the City of London, and Parts Adjacent’, published in 1740, lists John Champain as a wine cooper with premises ‘at the corner of Beer Lane, Thames Street’. The third edition of 1744 describes him as a merchant of Tower Street. The 1741 edition of the Universal Pocket Companion also lists John Champain as a wine cooper at ‘the corner of Beer Lane, Thames Street’. The 1745 edition has an identical listing.

Part of Rocque's 1746 map of London, showing Tower Street and Beer Lane

Part of Rocque’s 1746 map of London, showing Tower Street and Beer Lane

Beer Lane ran north to south between Tower Street and Thames Street. Trinity House and the church of St Dunstan in the East were to the west, the Custom House to the south, by the river. To the east was the church of All Hallows, Barking, and beyond that Tower Hill, the London home of my 5 x great grandmother Elizabeth Gibson, who in 1753 would marry John Collins and thus become the sister-in-law of John Champain’s daughter Ann or Anna. Given that they lived so close together in London, and that they both possessed properties in or near Epping, it seems almost certain that the two families were known to each other, even without the connection by marriage via the Collins family.

In the next few posts, I’ll write about John Champain’s children, their families, and their connections with the Collins family.

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The brothers and sisters of John Collins

The last post looked at the lives of the uncle and aunts of John Collins of Epping, the first husband of my 5 x great grandmother Elizabeth Gibson. In this post I’m continuing my exploration of John Collins’ family by reviewing what we know about his brothers and sisters.

Born in 1733, John Collins was the second of the seven children of Richard Collins (1693 – 1748) and Jane Stoker (died 1741). According to his father’s will of 1742, John had an older brother Richard and younger siblings William, Sarah, Jane, Elizabeth and David. I’ve been unable to find any further information about David and it’s possible he didn’t survive into adulthood. William and Elizabeth are mentioned in the 1759 will of their aunt Elizabeth Collins, but no details are given of William’s spouse and children, while Elizabeth still bore her maiden name. I’ve failed to find our anything more about William. There are a number of possible marriages for an Elizabeth Collins in the records, but to date I haven’t been able to confirm that any of them is the correct one.

It seems likely that ‘my niece the late Mrs Jane Reynolds’ mentioned in the will of Elizabeth Collins refers to John’s sister Jane, who was almost certainly the wife of Epping innkeeper Matthew Reynolds. They had a daughter Jane, born in 1752. Matthew died in 1755 and his wife Jane must have died shortly afterwards, since she was deceased by the time of her aunt’s will of 1759. I’m not sure what became of the younger Jane.

Church of All Hallows Barking, London

Church of All Hallows Barking, London

According to the same will, John Collins’ sister Sarah married a ‘Mr Dillworth’. On 19th July 1758 George Thomas Dilworth, a bachelor from Ealing, declared his intention to marry Sarah Collins, a spinster resident in the parish of All Hallows Barking in the City of London. We learn from the allegation that Sarah had been resident in this parish for four weeks past, and that the marriage was due to take place there, so it’s possible this was an address of convenience rather than an indication of her permanent home. A George Thomas Dilworth had been born in the parish of St Mary, Stratford le Bow, in 1732: he was the son of Thomas and Sarah Dilworth. There’s no proof that this is the right Mr Dilworth, nor have I been able to find any children from this marriage.

St Peter upon Cornhill (via www.londontown.com)

St Peter upon Cornhill (via http://www.londontown.com)

The Collins sibling about whom we know most is John’s elder brother Richard. On 15th September 1747 Richard Collins, a bachelor from Epping, married Anna Champain, a spinster of the same parish, at the church of St Peter upon Cornhill in the City of London. I’ll write about Richard, Anna and the links between the Collins and the Champain families in another post.

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