In my continuing search for more information about the Boulton family, I’ve come across two interesting and useful pieces of information, though unfortunately I can no longer trace the sources. The first was the revelation that Henry Crabb, who is described in the will of Richard Boulton Junior as his cousin, was in fact his second cousin. The second was that Henry was christened in Stepney, rather than in the City of London.
Returning to the parish records, I found the baptism on 12th September 1709, at the church of St Mary, Whitechapel, of Henry, son of Thomas and Hester Crab (sic) of Lemon Street. Lemon or Leman Street ran north to south between Ayliff Street and Rosemary Lane, close to Goodmans Fields. I haven’t yet found a christening record for Henry’s younger brother Richard. However, this new evidence is useful both in confirming their father’s name and in locating the Crabb family in time and place.
Armed with this new information, I then searched for the marriage of Thomas and Hester Crabb. I discovered that, on 12th October 1708, at the church of St Paul, Benet’s Wharf in the City of London, Thomas Crabb of Whitechapel married Hester Saunders of All Hallows Barking. The date fits perfectly with the birth of Henry just under a year later, and Hester’s address matches what we know about other members of the extended Boulton family – indeed we know that Hester (or Esther, the two names are interchangeable) would be living in the parish of All Hallows in 1737, when she authenticated the memorandum to the will of Richard Boulton the elder.
More significantly, Hester Saunders is yet another name that occurs in the will of William Forrest (brother of my 9 x great grandfather Thomas Forrest) which was written in 1700 – when, of course, Hester Saunders would still have been unmarried. William bequeaths ‘twenty shillings apiece’ to ‘William Grace and Hester children of Mr Thomas Saunders’.
In his will of 1737, Richard Boulton the elder mentions ‘my niece Hester Crab’ and ‘my nephews Henry Crabb and Richard Crabb’. I had assumed that his niece must be the sister of Henry and Richard. However, it now seems that his niece, Hester Crabb née Saunders, was Henry’s and Richard’s mother, and that these two men were therefore Richard Boulton senior’s great nephews. This means that it was probably Hester’s father Thomas Saunders who was married to a sister of Richard Boulton the elder. Perhaps her name was Grace, like their daughter?
William Forrest’s will describes Thomas Saunders as ‘of Moore’. I’ve had great difficulty identifying this place, as searches for a place of that name in Worcestershire didn’t at first produce any results, nor could I find a will for Thomas. Then I came across a will for a completely different person that located him in Moore, in Fladbury, Worcestershire. A search of the map revealed that Fladbury was very close to Evesham, where another Boulton relative, John Jemblin, lived, and not far from William Forrest’s home in Badsey, and that (Upper and Lower) Moor are small settlements close by.
I’ve found a reference at the National Archives to a Mr Thomas Sanders ‘gent’ of Moore in Fladbury, who seems to have been a non-juror after the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. Could this be the same man, and does this mean he was a Catholic? I’ve requested a copy of the relevant document, and in the meantime will continue to search for records of the Saunders, Crabb and Boulton families in London and Worcestershire.