I’m extremely grateful to Joy Thomas, archivist at the Worshipful Company of Barbers, for her speedy and helpful reply to my query about John Bodington, barber-surgeon of Stepney, who I believe was either the father or grandfather of the John Bodington, apothecary, who was an associate of my 7 x great grandfather Joseph Greene.

The Charter Book of the Company of Barbers and Surgeons, begun in 1605 (via barberscompany.org)

The Charter Book of the Company of Barbers and Surgeons (via barberscompany.org)

Apparently John Bodington was admitted to the Company on 26th March 1644. The Freedom Register notes that John was apprenticed to none other than William Greene, surgeon. This confirms my suspicion that Margaret Greene, whom John Bodington married in 1638, was William’s daughter. It wouldn’t be the first instance of an apprentice marrying his master’s daughter that I’ve discovered in my family history. I believe that my 4 x great grandfather James Blanch, a Gloucestershire-born patten maker, married the daughter of his London apprentice-master, William Barlow. It’s also possible that when my great-great-grandfather Daniel Roe, a Bedfordshire-born shoemaker, married Mary Blanch, daughter of James Blanch’s son John, he  too was marrying his master’s daughter (though in that case there was also a family connection: Daniel and Mary were second cousins).

There’s a slight problem with the dates in John Bodington’s case. He married Margaret Greene in 1638, but didn’t gain his freedom until 1644. However, this need not be an insurmountable problem: according to the records of the Goldsmiths’ Company, my 7 x great grandfather Joseph Greene wasn’t ‘made free’ until 1708, even though he had married Mary Byne seven years earlier.

If John Bodington, barber-surgeon, was definitely the son-in-law of William Greene, chirurgeon, and if (as seems likely) he was related in some way to the later John Bodington, apothecary – then this provides further confirmation of a connection between this William Greene and my ancestor Joseph Greene. Whether it will turn out that William Greene, chirurgeon, was the father of my 8 x great grandfather Captain William Greene, and therefore the grandfather of Joseph, remains to be seen.