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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2 Responses to James Champain, wine merchant (died 1785)

  1. Jim Linden says:

    Elizabeth Hawkins Rose Cleland married Fortescue Gregg (or Greg) on 3 Sep 1829 at Saint Peters Church, Dublin. Fortescue (1788-5 Sep 1846) was a Belfast merchant who owned a large salt works at Ballymacarett, near Belfast. In 1827 he partnered with James Stuart to produce the Guardian and Constitutional Advocate newspaper. He is buried in a family plot in Clifton Street Cemetery, Belfast; the gravestone reads “Sacred to the memory of John Gregg Esq of Belfast who departed this life on 26th Nov 1825 Aged 72 years “The memory of the just is blessed” Also of his beloved Wife Martha Gregg who died 6th December 1834 Aged 77 years
    “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord ” Fortesque Gregg Esq Son of above John Gregg who died 5th Sept 1846 Aged 58 years Here lie also the bodies of his three children Nathan who died 16th Feb 1837 Aged one month Catherine Jane who died 16th June 1843 Aged 3 years Henry Robert Felix who died 16th Oct 1843 Aged 3 days Here also lie the remains of
    Miss Jane Gregg who died 25th Nov 1852 Aged 57 years
    Note: Grave purchased by John Gregg on the 17th of November, 1802″
    From other records however I’ve found additional children – James Vernon Rose Greg, born 31 Jul 1832, John William Greg, born 14 Aug 1834, and Sarah Andrews Greg

  2. peter duckers says:

    I have the illustrated Journal of Richard Rose, written as Lieut. in 96th regt. en route from Gosport to Madras in 1761. Let me know if you want info from it.

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