At the weekend I discovered two new online sources that confirmed some of my speculations about the Boulton family and their connections with my Forrest ancestors. The first source was a list of London inhabitants ‘within the walls’, compiled in 1695. Helpfully, this has been organised alphabetically by surnames and entries include the parish of residence. Searching for the surname ‘Boulton’ I came across the following entry:

Peter; Eliz, w; Alice, d; Eliz, d, Allhallows, Barking

This is in keeping with the marriage record that I cited in an earlier post. In 1691 Peter Boulton, a gun maker and bachelor of All Hallows Barking, London, aged about 26, and Elizabeth Bushwell of Flatbury (a mis-spelling of Fladbury), Worcestershire, aged about 21, were married. If this is the same couple, then their daughters Alice and Elizabeth must have been born some time between 1692 and 1695.

Tower of London and Tower Hill in late 17th century (Johann Spilberg II) (via

Tower of London and Tower Hill in the late 17th century (Johann Spilberg II) (via

This makes it more likely than ever that the person described in the 1698 will of William Forrest of Badsey, Worcestershire (brother of my 9 x great grandfather Thomas Forrest, citizen and haberdasher of London) as ‘my Cozen Alice Bolton daughter of Peter Bolton’, is the child mentioned here. Since her sister Elizabeth is not mentioned in William’s will, it also seems likely that she died in infancy – some time between 1695 and 1698.

The same source also has another entry that caught my eye, this time under the alternative spelling ‘Bolton’:

Wm; Alice, w, Allhallows, Barking

Could it be that William and Alice Bolton or Boulton were the parents of Peter Boulton, and of his brother Richard? It would certainly be natural for Peter to name his first daughter after his mother. Furthermore, might the Alice who married William Boulton be the person of that name described as ‘my sister’ in the will of William Forrest?

I’ve also found a William Boulton of the parish of All Hallows, Barking, in the Hearth Tax Records for 1666. At that date William Boulton was said to be living in Chiterlin Alley, where his house had a total of eight hearths (not as many as his next-door neighbour William Allen who had fifteen, or his near-neighbour William Walrond who had fourteen, but more than most of his other neighbours who had between one and six each). Chiterlin or Chitterling Alley was just south of Tower Street, very close to Priest Alley where Peter Boulton would be living in the early 18th century.

Part of Rocque's 1746 map of London. Chitterlin Alley is at bottom right, off Tower Street

Part of Rocque’s 1746 map of London. Chitterling Alley is just below All Hallows church, off Beer Lane

On Monday I happened to be in London for a meeting and took the opportunity to make my first visit to the London Metropolitan Archives in Clerkenwell. Since the parish registers for All Hallows, Barking have yet to be digitised, they can only be viewed on microfilm. I didn’t have much time to spare, and the lack of a search facility made the task painstaking and onerous. However, in my quick glance through the births, marriages and burials for the second half of the seventeenth century, I did manage to find one or two useful references.

For example, I discovered that on 6th August 1663, William and Alice Boulton had a son named William christened at All Hallows. I also found out that, on 5th May 1703, Captain Peter Boulton and his wife Posthuma had a son named Edward baptised. I also saw a christening record (from 31st January 1697) for Peter, son of Martin Markland and his wife Elizabeth (see this post).

What do these new discoveries tell us, if anything? Firstly, that William and Alice Boulton were married before 1663, so a return visit to the LMA might include searching for a marriage record for the late 1650s/early 1660s, to check the accuracy of my theory that Alice’s maiden name was Forrest. Secondly, if the Peter Boulton who married Elizabeth Bushwell is the same person who moved to Bath and died there in 1743 (as other records lead us to believe), then his first wife Elizabeth must have died between 1695 and 1702, by which time Peter had married his second wife, Posthuma. Again, perhaps a second visit to the Archives will uncover evidence of this marriage.

It also seems likely that Edward Boulton, son of Peter and Posthuma, did not survive. Certainly, there is no further reference to him in the family records. The same must be true of the Peter Boulton who matriculated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, in 1723-4. He is described as the son of Peter Boulton of All Hallows, Barking, London, ‘gent’. Since he was said to be 15 years old when he matriculated, Peter Boulton the younger must have been born in about 1709.

Peter Boulton’s will of 1741 mentions his granddaughter Mary, the wife of apothecary Walter Gibbs. We know that Mary was the daughter of Captain Richard Gosfreight and an unnamed daughter of Peter Boulton. We also know that she married Walter Gibbs some time after 1737, since in Richard Boulton’s will of 1737 she was still ‘my Niece Mary Gosfreight.’ If we assume that Mary must have been fifteen years old at the very least when she married, then she would have been born by 1726 at the very latest, which means that her mother, the daughter of Peter Boulton, must have been born by 1701 at the very latest. This makes it likely, though not yet definite, that it was Peter’s daughter Alice Boulton who married Richard Gosfreight. Once again, a search in the All Hallows records for a marriage in the early 1720s would seem to be in order.