14 December 2012

Samuel Wickham, butcher of Linton

Samuel Wickham (born about 1749, died ?) was my 5x great grandfather. Samuel was baptised at St Peters Tunbridge (also known as Tonbridge), Kent, England on 17 May 1749. His parents were Samuel Wickham and Ann Humphery. My research shows that Samuel was the youngest of six children, though there may well be other children I haven't uncovered, but all the known children were baptised in Tunbridge.

Samuel married Ann Duddy, from Hunton, on 16 November 1776 by licence. Samuel, a bachelor, was noted as a butcher in the village of Linton, and Ann was a spinster.

Samuel and Ann had six children all presumably born and definitely baptised in Linton - Rebecca (born about 1777, baptised 10 Aug, 1777), Thomas (my 4x great grandfather, born about 1778, baptised 27 Dec 1778), Samuel (born about 1780, baptised 14 Aug 1780), Edward (born about 1782, baptised 10 Feb 1782, buried 24 Feb 1782), Ann (born about 1783, baptised 4 Apr 1783), and Mary (born about 1784, baptised 14 Jul 1784, buried 4 Sep 1784).

Samuel's wife Ann died in Dec 1784, and was buried in the St Marys Hunton churchyard on 17 December 1784.

What happened to Samuel then is a matter of guesswork. I have found a marriage (by licence) record for a Samuel Wickham and a Mary Duddy in Lambeth, London, on 25 May 1785. Both Samuel and Mary are noted as living in the parish of Lambeth St Mary, and tellingly, Samuel is a widower. If this is my Samuel, the fact that he married a woman with the same surname as his late wife suggests she may well be a relative, perhaps Ann's sister.

I have also found a record for a child named John Wickham, born to Mary Duddy and "Wickham" (no first name noted), who was baptised in Hunton, Kent in 1785.

So if this is my Samuel Wickham, marrying his sister-in-law, or at least his late wife's relative, I wonder what they were doing in Lambeth, London? Did baby John come before or after the wedding? That they married in London and later returned to the Linton-Hunton area suggests to me that perhaps John was conceived before they were married, they went to London to hide the pregnancy from the locals of Linton-Hunton, then returned, married, with a new baby. I'd be interested to know where Samuel's other children were while all this went on. Of course, this is all my guesses - I don't know for sure that it was my Samuel Wickham, but I suspect it was.

As for when he died, there are many family trees on Ancestry which suggest he died in 1802, but I can find no evidence for this.

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