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Friday, September 26, 2014

Will of Charles Elliot of St. Giles in the Fields

Charles Elliot, the son of Charles Elliot and Lydia Bailey of Hayes, left a remarkably brief will.  Here it is, in its entirety:

Here are the interesting parts of the will:
  • it was written April 12, 1827 and proved May 14, 1833, fixing the time of Charles' death in between these two dates
  • he names a wife;   I believe the name is Leonora Elliot (in the administrative section she is called Leonora Herbert)
  • witnesses are his brother Josiah Elliot and a William Sims;  this means that Josiah Elliot was still in England in April 1827 (he is believed to have immigrated to Canada around this time) 
  • the will gives a location:  I can't read all of it but parts of it (Great Wild Street, the parish of St. Giles in the fields.  Lincoln's Inn Fields is part of that parish but I'm unsure about deciphering the writing -- Inn Fields is certainly part of the phrase.
  • It gives his profession (coach trimmer), which is a fit with his apprenticeship record (he apprenticed with a carriage maker) 
Charles didn't specify what should become of his estate after his wife died, and I can't find a will that she herself has written.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Elliot Family in "Ontario Marriage Notices" by Thomas B. Wilson

"Ontario Marriage Notices", Thomas B. Wilson, Hunterdon House, Lambertville, N.J., 1982.  p. 227.

"At St. Paul's Church, Rochester, on 24 June, Robert H. Street, of Indiana, Grand River, & Mary Emily, youngest daughter of the late Josiah Elliot, formerly of Hayes, MIddlesex, England. (Rev. A. Wood)"

Taken from the periodical "The Church", Toronto, July 8, 1852.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Family of William Elliot, son of Charles Elliot, of Uxbridge, Middlesex, England

In our previous post we found a number of birth records of the family of William Elliot (son of Charles and Lydia) and his wife Elizabeth Best, daughter of William and Joanna Best.  William Elliot's will, which was proved on May 20, 1841, can help us identify some marriages and deaths in the family between 1799, when the birth of their first child was registered, and 1841, when William died. 

"This is the last will and testament of me William Elliot late of Uxbridge in the county of Middlesex but now of Hillingdon End of the same county Gentleman....."

The upward mobility of some parts of  this family is quite fascinating to me.  Again, William seems to have been a working class man turned Gentleman by the end of his life.  He leaves an estate of "furniture...linen, china, books, wines and liquors" well as copyhold and leasehold land and possibly some kind of investment stocks or securities.  He names as his heirs "my dear wife Elizabeth"  and "my five children that is to say the said Eliza and Thomas Elliot Sarah the wife of the said Charles Woodbridge, William Elliot and Rebecca the wife of John Jackson".  Charles Woodbridge was an Uxbridge solicitor and one of the executors of this will;  he was a partner the family firm Woodbridge and Sons, the same firm that handled Charles Elliot's will.   I'm guessing Eliza was unmarried as William does not name a husband for her;  impossible to tell if any of the sons are married since the convention does not seem to require naming the spouses of male heirs.   However, having the names of William's five surviving children and and two of their spouses brings us a long way.

There are a few discrepancies among the children named in his will and the birth records I have found for this family.  We have birth records for Thomas, Eliza, Sarah, Rebecca,  two children named William (only one must have survived) and two children, Mary Ann and Joseph, who are not named in the will and have presumably died.   I did find a burial record for a Mary Ann Elliot who died in 1824;  I think it is probably William and Elizabeth's child, even though the parents are not named, since the birth date would fit and the burial was in Uxbridge (Uxbridge, Providence Chapel (Independent), 1812-1826).  

 Here is the marriage record for Charles Woodbridge and Sarah Elliot:

Hillingdon St. John the Baptist Church, Middlesex.  Charles Woodbridge and Sarah Elliot, June 1, 1825.  Witnessed by Eliza Elliot, probably Sarah's sister.

Was there already a family connection?  Nineteen years earlier there was another Woodbridge-Elliot marriage.

Westminster, St. George Hanover Square Church, 1806.  Henry Woodbridge and Jane Elliot. 

Ealing, Ealing St. Mary Church, July 8, 1831.  Wedding of John Jackson and Rebecca Elliot. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Religious Dissenters Among the Children of Charles Elliot and Lydia Bayley

Charles Elliot and his wife Lydia Bailey seem to have been lifelong Anglicans.  They married, baptized their children and were buried in Anglican churches (primarily St. Mary's church in Hayes).  However, many of their children became religious dissenters.  (A "religious dissenter" during this period in England can refer to a number of Christian groups with varied theologies, such as Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, or Quakers:  some of the following records refer to the Elliot family as dissenting Protestants).    I've written about Alexander Maxwell and his wife Mary Elliot's religious life in a previous post.  Here are some additional family records I have found on the database "All England and Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1970" for the families of Charles and Lydia's children.

The records of these dissenting churches are in some ways more informative than the records I have seen kept by Anglican churches during this time period.  Particularly, they include the name of the paternal grandfather (sometimes both of the paternal grandparents) so that you know the mother's maiden name. That is an absolute gift.  The records also seem to mark three occasions:  the child's birth (always) baptism (sometimes) and date recorded, which could be many years after the event.

I have found records for these families in the non-conformist database:  Henry Hilton and Martha Elliot (4 children baptized between 1787 and 1792), Thomas Burton and Lydia Elliot (1 child recorded 1787),  William Elliot and Elizabeth Best (6 children recorded between 1798-1805), John Elliot and his first and second wives, Susanna Jones and Ann Best (7 children recorded between 1798-1812) and Robert Elliot and Ann Bland (1 child recorded, 1815).  These dates do not necessarily tell us when each family became associated with a dissenting church, but they at least pin down times when the families were definitely involved.  I also found a birth record for a child of of Mary Bailey, Lydia Bailey's sister or cousin, and her husband William Pontifex, indicating that the William Pontifex family was also dissenting.  The children of Charles and Lydia that I did not find dissenting records for were Thomas, Josiah and Charles Elliot and their families--perhaps these three men and their respective families remained Anglicans.

Here are the baptismal records I have found for the family of Alexander Maxwell and Mary Elliot.  The baptismal address was Carey Street, New Court.  Robert Winter calls himself a Protestant Dissenting Minister. 

Mary Maxwell, born December 17, 1808, baptized February 12, 1811.  

Lydia Maxwell, born December 2, 1810, baptized February 12, 1811.

Alexander Maxwell, born January 19, 1813, baptized April 19, 1813.

 Right next to each other on the register of Roger Flexman are Mary Hilton, the daughter of Henry Hilton and "Martha the Daughter of Charles Elliott" (sic), born July 31 1787, and Lydia Burton, daughter of Thomas Burton and "Lydia the Daughter of Charles Elliott" (sic).  They were recorded together on September 5, 1787.  I believe the additional women's names on the record are the midwives (the record refers to them as witnesses to the birth).  

Martha Hilton, born in Southhampton Street in St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, November 1, 1788. 

Rebekah-Sarah Hilton, born September 3, 1790, registered December 10, 1790.  One of the witnesses to the birth is Lydia Burton.  We have two separate records of Rebekah-Sarah's birth. St. Paul, Covent Garden, Middlesex.

John Hilton, born February 20, 1792, Registered April 9 1791.  St. Paul, Covent Garden, Middlesex.  Lydia Burton is again a witness to the birth.  Minister Roger Flexman. 

Next comes the family of William Elliot and his wife Elizabeth Best:
Thomas Elliot, born October 23, 1798,  registered March 7, 1799, Uxbridge, Middlesex.

William Elliot, born September 1, 1795, and Eliza Elliot, born February 27, 1799, both registered March 7, 1799.  Parish of Uxbridge.

William Elliot Jr.:

Eliza Elliot:

Sarah Elliot, born October 1, 1801, another William Elliot, born October 10, 1803, Mary Ann Elliot, born January 1, 1805, all registered July 9, 1816.  Parish of Uxbridge.

Sarah Elliot:

William Elliot (the first William Elliot must have died):

 Mary Ann Elliot:

Joseph Elliot, born July 28, 1809, and Rebecca Elliot, born May 2, 1811.  Both in Uxbridge, Middlesex;  both registered April 30, 1816

Joseph Elliot:

Rebecca Elliot:

John Elliot, son of Charles and Lydia, and his two wives Susanna Mary Jones and  Ann Best also have a number of children listed in the nonconformist records database.  Mary, Ann, and Jemima Elliot were all registered on October 21, 1819, although they were born in 1793, 1800, and 1804 respectively.  When Mary was born John and Susanna were living in St. Giles, Middlesex.  When John's next two children, by his second wife Ann, were born, he was living in Hampton Wick.  Notice that again Lydia Burton is present for a birth.  I wonder if she was a midwife?

Mary Elliot, daughter of John Elliot and Susanna Mary Elliot, daughter of Richard Jones.

Sarah Elliot and Catherine Elliot were also registered on October 21, 1819.  Sarah was born January 26, 1806, and Catherine was born April 1, 1802.

Henry Elliot, born April 26, 1814, registered June 30, 1820.  Parish of Hampton Wick, Middlesex.

Lydia Elliot, born March 3, 1818, registered Nov. 1820.

And finally:  ta dah!  It seems that Robert Elliot and Ann Bland were also religious nonconformists.  Josiah Elliot, January 24, 1815, Angel Row, Hammersmith, Fulham.  There was a Sarah Jane Bailey present at the birth:  was she a relative? 

I have found the names of some connections to the Elliot family as well.  William Pontifex and his wife Mary Bailey, daughter of Edmund Bailey and sister or cousin of Lydia Bailey, had two children within a dissenting church:

This is all of particular interest to me because of the light it sheds on the religious life of the Elliot family in Canada.  We know for certain that William Elliot, at least, belonged to a Christian church called the Disciples of Christ when he was a young man, and became a Baptist later in life.  I have no record of Robert and Ann's religious affiliations in Canada, but this family history makes me believe that William, who, after all, spent the first fifteen years of his life in England with his extended family,  would have grown up surrounded by some degree of religious conversation and debate, and that his family were not strangers to religious non-conformity.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Obituary and Will of Alexander Maxwell, Husband of Mary Elliot, Bookseller and Publisher

Alexander Maxwell was married Mary Elliot, daughter of Charles Elliot and Lydia Bailey, and sister to our ancestor Robert Elliot, immigrant to Canada.  I found an obituary for Alexander in a religious publication called The Intellectual Repository, and New Jerusalem Magazine, Vol. XI, No. 123, March 1850.   New Series,  London:  Published by the General Conference of the New Church, Signified by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation.  (The New Church was and is still a branch of Christianity based on the writings of scientist and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, 1688-1772). What's interesting about this obituary is the light it throws not just on Alexander's business life but also his personal religious life.  


The September 1852 edition of the same publication (#153, Vol. XIII) has a somewhat shorter obituary for Mary (Elliot) Maxwell.

Alexander left behind a rather long and complicated will.  He clearly had the assistance of a lawyer when drafting it.  Here are the most interesting points:
  • he confirms his identity as a "Law bookseller and publisher", retired, and that his son William has taken over his business 
  • he locates himself geographically as being of "Bell Yard Lincoln's Inn" (his former place of business) and of Stoke Newington, Middlesex
  • he names his family as his wife Mary Maxwell, his two sons Alexander Maxwell (oldest son) and William Maxwell
  • along with his son William Maxwell, his two executors are friends and fellow London  merchants Thomas Venables, a cloth merchant, and Thomas Spalding, a stationer
  • he leaves a small sum of money to the Reverend Samuel Noble (mentioned in Alexander's obituary) as a mark of "respect and regard"
  • he also leaves money to Sarah Maxwell, Romford, Spinster;  Lydia Maxwell, Worcester, Spinster; Selina (last name hard to read--perhaps Waytork) Edinburgh, Widow;  and Josepa Maxwell, Baker--these all seem to be members of the Maxwell family, not the Elliot family 
  • his oldest son Alexander, age 36, has "for many years past been an Invalid" and is living in the home of a surgeon at Stoke Newington -- Alexander Jr's care and maintenance figure heavily in this will 
  • among his household goods he names an organ--possibly one made by his brother Thomas? 

"This is the last Will and Testament of me Alexander Maxwell of Bell Yard Lincoln's Inn and of ? Cottage Stoke Newington in the County of Middlesex Law Bookseller and publisher first I appoint my son William Maxwell and my friend Thomas Venables of  No:103 Whitechapel Linen Draper and Thomas Spalding of Drury Lane Wholesale Stationer Executors of this my Will.  I give to the said Thomas Venables and Thomas Spalding nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and also nineteen pounds nine shillings to the Reverend Samuel Noble in token of my respect and regard and I give one hundred pounds apiece to Sarah Maxwell of Romford Spinster Lydia Maxwell of Worcester Spinster Selina Waytork (?) of Edinburgh Widow and Josepa Maxwell of ?? Baker. And whereas my oldest son Alexander Maxwell now aged thirty six years has for many years last past been an Invalid and is now residing at my expense under the care and in the house of ____ ____ Atticus Esquire Surgeon of Stoke Newington Grove called Grove House Row I hereby appoint my said Executors and my dear wife Mary Maxwell Guardians of my said oldest son and request them to take the care and management of him and with that view I desire my said Executors immediately or within three months after my decease to transfer into their names by purchase or otherwise four thousand pounds Consols and I give and bequeath the same to them in trust to receive the dividends from time to time to ??? and to apply the same in any manner they and my said wife may think best for the maintenance and comfort of my said oldest son and from and immediately after the decease of my said oldest son I give the dividends and interest of the said four thousand pounds or of the stocks funds and securities in or upon which the same shall be from time to time invested unto my said dear wife Mary Maxwell during the term of her life and upon the decease of the survivor of them my said oldest son and wife I give and bequeath the same to my said son William Maxwell for and during the term of his natural life and upon the decease of the survivor of the three I desire that the said four thousand pounds ? shall fall into and become part of my fiduciary estate and I bequeath the same accordingly I give and devise all that my freehold house and buildings No. 32 in Bell Yard aforesaid now on lease to and in the occupation of my said son William Maxwell wherein he now carries on his trade of Law Bookseller and Publisher, under the firm of Alexander Maxwell and son in which trade I have no longer any interest having relinquished the same to my said son William unto my said Executors the  said William Maxwell Thomas Venables and Thomas Spalding, their heirs and assigns, to hold the same unto and to the use of my said trustees and their heirs and assigns in trust to waive the rents and profits thereof from time to time as the same shall arrive due and become payable and for and during the term of the natural life of my said oldest son to apply the same in manner aforesaid for his maintenance and comfort in addition to the dividends and interest arising from the said four thousand pounds Consols and from and immediately after the decease of my said oldest son in trust to pay the same unto my said wife Mary Maxwell or to allow her to receive the same for and during the term of her natural life and from and immediately after the decease of the survivor of my said oldest son and wife In trust to pay the same unto my said son William Maxwell or to allow him to receive the same for and during the term of his natural life and from and immediately after the decease of the survivor of my said two sons and wife or from and after the decease of my said oldest son at any time with the consent in writing of my said son William Maxwell or of the survivor in trust to sell and dispose of the same and every part thereof either by public sale or private route art and either together or in parcels for the best price that can be reasonably gotten for the same and to convey and transfer the same to the purchaser or purchasers thereof or as ? or they shall direct or appoint and I declare that the receipt or receipts of my said trustees their heirs or assigns or of the trustees or trustee of this my will for the time being shall be a good and sufficient discharge or good and sufficient discharges for the purchase money or monies respectively and that the purchaser or purchasers shall not be bound to see to the application thereof or be in any manner answerable for the application or applications thereof and in case of such sale or receipt of the purchase monies I desire that the same be immediately invested in Consols or some other government stock or a real security in the names of the trustees of this my will for the time being with power to alter vary and transpose the same and that the interest and dividends to arise threrefrom be applied in the same manner as the rents and profits of the said freehold house and premises would have been under this my will in case the same had not been sold and that the said securities shall ultimately be and become and form part of my residuary estate hereinafter disposed of And I desire that my said son William Maxwell during the lives of my said oldest son and my said wife and during the life of the survivor may from and after the expiration of his said lease and occupy and hold the said messuage or tenement and premises at the same rent and under the same covenants so long as he shall desire to do so but in case my said son William shall decline the occupation of the said house and premises in manner aforesaid after the expiration of the said lease It shall be lawful for my trustees during the life of my said oldest son at their own discretion and at his decease during the lives of my said wife and my said son William Maxwell and the life of the survivor with their consent or the consent of the survivor from time to time to let the said house upon lease not exceeding fourteen years at the most improved rent that they can get for the same without taking any fine or forfeit and so as the lessee shall execute a counterpart of sure lease I give to my said wife Mary Maxwell one hundred pounds for her immediate use and I also give to her for her own use all my furniture (including the organ, plate, linen, china, wine and liquors, goods chattels and other moveables in upon and about my said house called ? cottage at Stoke Newington aforesaid and as to all the rest residue and remainder of my property of whatever description I give and bequeath the same unto my said son William Maxwell and my said friends Thomas Venables and Thomas Spalding to get in and collect and invest the same or the proceeds thereof in their names in three per cent consolidated annuities or other the public funds or on real or government securities at interest with power to alter vary and transpose the same from time to time as they or the trustees or trustee for the time being shall think fit to pay upon trust to pay or to permit and authorize my said wife to waive the interest and dividends thereof during her life and from and after the decease of my said wife upon trust to pay and transfer the same and all other my said residuary estate or the securities in which the same may then be invested unto and among all and every the child and children of my said son William in equal shares and proportions and if but one than the whole to such one or only child as aforesaid the shares of sons to be vested at the age of twenty one years and the shares of daughters at that age or on their marriage and if any or either of the said children shall die before his or her share shall become so vested his her or their shares to go and belong to the survivor or survivors and to Go again subject to the life benefit of ? or survivorship and if no child shall attain a vested interest then upon trust to pay and transfer my said residuary estate to such person or persons as at the time of my decease shall be my next of kin Provided always and I ? declare that it shall be lawful for my trustee or trustees to pay the interest and dividends to the father or mother of the said children for their maintenance and education during minority and further to raise out of the principal of each child's share a competent sum not exceeding one moity for his or her advancement during minority and I further declare my will to be that in case any or either of the trustees hereby appointed or any new or other trustee or trustees to be appointed under this present power shall die or desire to be disengaged from or decline or become incapable to act in the trusts aforesaid before the same shall be fully performed I desire that the survivor or survivors of them or the trustee or trustees for the time being do and shall immediately or as soon after as they conveniently can nominate another person or persons to supply the place of the trustee or trustees respectively so ? desiring ??? or declining or becoming incapable to act and I further declare that it shall be lawful for the trustees or the trustee for the time being by and out of the trust promises respectively to retain and reimburse to himself and themselves or to allow to aid and their cotrustee and cotrustees all costs charges damages and expenses which they or any of them shall or may reasonably or necessarily expend or be put unto in or about the execution of the trusts aforesaid and that the trustees or trustee for the time being shall be chargeable only for such monies as they shall respectively actually waive by virtue of the trusts aforesaid notwithstanding his or their giving or signing or joining in giving or signing any receipt or receipts for the sake of conformity And that any one or more of them shall not be answerable or accountable for the other or others of them or for the acts receipts neglects or defaults of the other or others of them but each and every of them only for his own acts receipts or defaults nor for any Banker Broker or other person in whose hands any of the said trust (premises?) may be deposited for safe custody or otherwise in the ? of the said trusts nor for any other misfortune loss or damage which may happen unless by or through his or their own wilful default only And I revoke all former wills by me made and declare this present writing contained in four sheets of paper written on one side only and of them signed by me to be my last Will and Testament this first day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight--Alex. Maxwell--Signed and declared by the said Testator as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us was in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses--Frances Walker, Chas. Cowderoy--clerks to Messrs. Parnther and Fisher 50 Fenchurch St. 

The will was proved in London on September 20, 1849.        

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, consols were " British government security without a maturity date. The name is a contraction for Consolidated Annuities, a form of British government stock that originated in 1751. The first issue of consols carried an interest rate of 3 percent (reduced to 2.75 percent in 1888 and to 2.5 percent in 1902)."

The Elliot family has had its share of successful businessmen but what impresses me about Maxwell's business is that it is still flourishing, under the name of Sweet & Maxwell. (Sweet refers to Stephen Sweet, another law publisher--the two companies merged in 1889, well after Alexander's death).  It has a website and has established a legal trust scholarship in Alexander Maxwell's name.