Analysing the will of Abraham Maunser, apothecary

What do we learn about Abraham Maunser and his family from his will of February 1690? We discover that he was a citizen and apothecary in London, just like the Abraham Manser of East Smithfield who was his contemporary and (near) namesake, and with whom he is easily confused. We also learn that this Abraham had a brother named Nicholas, and two sisters: Margaret, who married John Mason, Ann (now deceased) whose married name was Hampton and who had three daughters named Ann, Mary and Sarah.

As for his own immediate family, we discover that Abraham’s wife, who is still alive when he writes his will, is named Elizabeth and that she is the daughter of Mary Bullmer. Abraham and Elizabeth have two daughters, Martha and Sarah, both of whom are as yet unmarried and under twenty one.

St George the Martyr, Southwark

St George the Martyr, Southwark

Searching for records that match these details, I found a reference to a marriage licence issued in December 1682 to Abraham ‘Mauncer’ and Elizabeth ‘Bulmar’. I’m not sure where this wedding took place, but eleven months later, on 22nd November 1683, Abraham Maunser had a daughter named Mary baptised at the church of St George the Martyr, Southwark. Presumably this child died in infancy, as she is not mentioned in her father’s will. On 10th April 1687 another daughter, Martha, was christened at the same church. I’ve yet to find a baptismal record for Sarah Maunser.

As for Abraham’s sisters: I haven’t found any records for Ann Hampton née Maunser, but on 11th April 1686 a marriage licence was issued for Margaret Maunser and John Mason.

Is it purely coincidental that Magnus Byne, younger brother of my 8 x great grandfather John Byne, was also an apothecary in Southwark? In fact, he was a close contemporary of Abraham Manser’s, marrying his wife Jane Dakin at the church of St George the Martyr in November 1690, just a few months after Abraham’s death. Does the south London connection also help to explain why the other apothecary named Abraham Manser, son of John Manser of East Smithfield, chose to marry at St Mary’s church, Newington, in 1683?

London from Southwark, 17th century

London from Southwark, 17th century

Are the Southwark Maunsers or Mansers related to the ‘John Maunser of the borough of Southwark’ mentioned in the pedigree of the Maunser family? He was the second son of William Maunser of Hightown, Wadhurst, in Surrey – the first son, Nicholas, inherited that property. Apparently this John Maunser married Mary Cole, daughter of Benjamin Cole of Aston, Sussex. Since the pedigree was originally drawn up after the visitation of Sussex in 1633-4, John must have been alive and married at that stage. Were Abraham, Nicholas, Margaret and Ann his children – or his grandchildren, perhaps?

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