New information, kindly sent to me by fellow researcher Penny Gay, has turned my attention back to the Bushell family of Bath and Worcestershire. I’m interested in the Bushells because of their links with the Boulton family, who in turn were connected to my Forrest ancestors. My 9th great grandfather Thomas Forrest was a haberdasher in the parish of St Botolph Aldgate, London, in the middle of the seventeenth century, but he was almost certainly born in the village of Fladbury near Evesham. His sister Alice married gunmaker William Boulton, whose family also had its origins in Worcestershire, and they also migrated to London, living in the parish of All Hallows Barking.

Parish church of St John the Baptist, Fladbury, Worcestershire (via geograph.org)

Major Peter Boulton, one of the sons of William and Alice, became a gunsmith like his father. He was married twice, both of his wives being members of the extended Bushell family. In 1691 he married Elizabeth Bushell at St James’, Westminster. Elizabeth was described in the marriage licence as being ‘of Fladbury, Worcestershire’. She and Peter had two daughters, Alice and Elizabeth, both of whom were born by 1695.

Elizabeth Boulton née Bushell must have died soon her children were born, since in 1699 Peter Boulton married for a second time, to Posthuma Landick of Bath. She was the daughter of David and Elizabeth Landick, the latter having been born a Bushell, being one of the daughters of Edward Bushell the elder of Bath.

Besides Elizabeth, who was born in 1655, Edward Bushell and his wife Hester Chapman had at least five other children: John (1657); Tobias (1663-4); Edward; Frances; and Ann. The last-named married William Collibee, an apothecary who served as mayor of Bath. In 1735 their son, Edward Bushell Collibee, also an apothecary and mayor of the city, married Elizabeth Jemblin. She was the daughter of James Jemblin, a London salter, and his wife Grace Saunders or Sanders. Grace was the daughter of Peter Boulton’s sister Margaret, who married Thomas Sa(u)nders from the hamlet of Hill and Moore, Fladbury.

We know that Peter Boulton’s first wife Elizabeth Bushell had a brother named Samuel who lived in Bath, since the latter’s will of 1696 – when Peter was still married to Elizabeth – refers to Boulton as the testator’s brother-in-law. Samuel’s will also mentions a relative named Thomas Bushell. Thomas’ own will of 1721 bequeaths money to one of Peter Boulton’s daughters. And Thomas is described as a ‘cousin’ in the will of Edward Bushell the elder. However, the exact relationship between Samuel, Thomas and the family of Edward Bushell the elder remains unclear.

Bath Abbey (via wikipedia.org)

The new information provided by Penny Gay may help to clarify that connection. Penny has found the record of a marriage between a Tobias Bushell and a Sara Sanders in Worcester in 1661. I wonder if there is any link between Sara and the Sa(u)nders family of Fladbury? Tobias and Sara had a son named Thomas baptised in 1665, and a daughter Elizabeth in 1668, both at Claines, Worcestershire. Penny notes that Edward Bushell the elder of Bath named one of his sons Tobias, an unusual name that suggests a family connection.

Having received this information from Penny, I searched online for information about Tobias Bushell and found the apprentice indenture for Samuel Bushell, son of Tobias, dated 21st February 1676. Samuel is said to be from Worcestershire and indentured to a master draper by the name of William Lloyd. We also learn that Samuel’s father Tobias, a gentleman, who had died by this time, was from ‘Moore, Worcestershire’, a reference to the hamlet of Hill and Moor in the parish of Fladbury.

Putting this together with other extant records, we can conclude fairly confidently that Samuel, Thomas and Elizabeth Bushell (the latter being Peter Boulton’s first wife) were the children of Tobias and Sara Sanders. Although the family lived in Claines at some point, they also had ties to Fladbury. We can also conclude that Tobias died some time between 1668, when Elizabeth was born, and 1676, when Samuel was apprenticed.

The fact that Edward Bushell the elder gave the name Tobias to one of his children suggests that he was related in some way to Tobias Bushell of Fladbury. Perhaps the two men were brothers?

Penny has also sent me a copy of the inscription on the memorial stone of Edward Bushell the elder, from Bath Abbey, which she acquired from Dr Philip Bendall, the compiler of the Bath Burial Index. It reads as follows:

Edward Bushell of this City Gent. dyed January 16 1700 aged 75.

Here lieth the body of Elizabeth Landick Daughter of Alderman Edward Bushell Sen. who died the 13 Day Jan 1724/5 aged 69 years.

Here lieth the body of Peter Bolton Gent. who departed this life March 11 1742/3 aged 73.

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