Monday, 29 December 2014

The burial of Elizabeth Grisbrook 30 December 1804 at Bromley

The burial register of Bromley for 1804 (see Kent Online Parish Clerks transcript records that 37 year old Elizabeth was buried on the 30 December 1804 at Bromley. For many that would be sufficient information as part of family history research.
Bromley Archives holds many volumes of the funeral accounts of Dunn and Sons (Upholders) or Funeral Directors as we now refer to them. The forthcoming transcript series to be published by Kent Online Parish Clerks during 2015 adds information to this burial. The account books were kept from 1803 and Mister Grisbrook's account 37 in Folio 1 for £5-13s-6d requires an extra deep grave to be dug and a small deal coffin for still born to be buried on that of Elizabeth who we infer died in labour. The grave would also accommodate other family members in future. John and Elizabeth's other children may be found in the transcript series for Bromley.
In 1804 in other funeral accounts we discover a fee of 5 shillings for bell tolling at Bromley a winter deep grave excavation cost 7 shillings a sixpence whereas a summer one cost four shillings and sixpence or less and some wealthy deceased had a lead inner coffin with a wooden outer. This form of burial required 8 bearers and they required refreshments which were provided at approximately a shilling a head.
It is easy to overlook such records in our desire to record generations on a pedigree;often worthwhile to search the catalogue of local Archives and to look for "other records" transcriptions from Online Parish Clerks work in those records at Archives.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Red Cow Hayes Lane Hayes Kent

As I review the transcript of the medical records of Doctor Thomas Ilott my attention was drawn to the people contained in the prescription ledger resident at the Red Cow 1809-1812.
Most local public houses are well known but the Red Cow of 1809 has long disappeared and I was intrigued to look at both the name and location.
In 1751 when the noted Mrs Elizabeth Montague took the lease of a house at Hayes;Rachel Knowles blog about her may be read here. Visits to her home at Hayes enabled her friends to enjoy "wholesome fare of brown bread, sincerity, red cow's milk,which afford good nourishment to mind and body".
I find the reference to local red cows interesting and the lease of the house in Hayes is also of interest because when Mrs Montague ended William Pitt took over the lease and eventually had a house built in Hayes where his son William (the Younger) was born.
I find the hints that local cows were red in the eighteenth century significant in the choice of name for a local hostelry.
The references to the Red Cow and residents there contained in the Ilott prescription ledger are therefore valuable in our knowledge of a local hostelry in Hayes Lane now long forgotten.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

John Bowdler of Pickhurst Manor

One of the prominent families contained in the medical prescriptions ledger of Doctor Thomas Ilott Surgeon of Bromley is that of John Bowdler who resided at Pickhurst an ancient manor house which was within the parish of Hayes Kent.
The Ilott account is of interest due to Ilott's treatment of a number of members of the family.
John Bowdler (the elder) 1746-1823 had inherited a fortune when his eminent banker father died in 1785 and lived in Hayes for the years 1809-1811 covered by the Ilott Folio C ledger;the account is carried over in to Folio D which does not survive but covers 1812 onwards.
John's brother Thomas and sister Harriet or Henrietta Maria Bowdler were authors of the expurgated version of 24 Shakespeare plays in the 1807 The Family Shakspeare which was to give to the English language the phrase to bowdlerise. For more detail see Thomas Bowdler entry Wikipedia
 For further biography of John the elder derived from the Dictionary of National Biography see John Bowdler Wikipedia
Ilott treats with the prescription of Orange Peas or Citrus Aurantium John daughter Elizabeth Bowdler throughout 1809 and 1810. Elizabeth dies on 4 December 1810.My blog outlines the discovery of this unique prescription in the folio orange pea (citrus aurantium)
Also treated in the same period by Ilott are John's two sons who are eminent in their own lives.
John Bowdler the Younger 2 February 1783-2 February 1815 a lawyer and posthumous author and poet who in 1810 developed tuberculosis and spent two years in Southern Europe during his illness. It is possible that his uncle who had practiced medicine in the previous century before travelling widely in Southern Europe may have influenced his itinerary but as Ilott treats him in 1810 before he leaves for Europe and again in 1811 and the episodes of treatment presumably lead to the decision for him to leave London for Europe and subsequently to reside with an aunt near Portsmouth. His father published posthumously John the Younger's "selected Pieces in Prose and Verse". An 1818 review of this by William Roberts The British Review and Critical Journal 1818 contains some biographical detail of his childhood and legal career.
Thomas Bowdler the Younger 13 March 1782-12 November 1856 or Reverend Thomas Bowdler MA  was at the time of Ilott's treatment still a curate but was to become a Prebend at Saint Paul's Cathedral in the years prior to his death. It is likely that his wife Phoebe is also referred to in Ilott as "Mrs Thomas B".