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Notes on Beckwith Family Tree 11 

Joseph Beckwith (b1776) & His Two Wives 

(From / back to para 7.42 in Tree 1 Notes )



Those with Beckwith surname at birth are shown in Bold type

Surnames underlined are those which apply following marriage & carry through to following generation(s)


Generation 7


Joseph Beckwith was born on 11 Nov 1776 in Lillypot Lane, Bap 22nd Dec 1776 "St Mary Staining" (PR) aka 'Huggin Alley Church' (PH). It is interesting that the baptism record originally said that he was the son of Joseph & Mary but - at some stage - the Joseph has been crossed out and Jonah written in above.

Like many City churches, St Mary Staining was destroyed in the 1666 Fire of London and never rebuilt so the parish was merged with an adjacent one - in this case St Michael, Wood Street, after that had been rebuilt (by Wren) in 1671. It seems to have had its entrance on Huggin Lane (aka Huggin Alley) before the Wood Street frontage was completed so 'Huggin Alley Church' was probably the popular local name for St Michael's. (MGS). "An Origins note I have found makes it clear that the parish name of St Mary Staining was still in use in the 1830s but it was cross-referenced to St Michael, Wood Street, aka 'Huggin Alley Church'" (PH)  

He obtained his Goldsmith's Freedom by Patrimony in 1802 at which time he was living in Clerkenwell Green - the Patrimony bit being interesting because he did serve an apprenticeship. In Grimshaw's "London Goldsmith's 1697-1837: Their Marks and Lives" he appears (as ref number 1777) -

"Son of Jonah Beckwith of St Luke's in the County of Middlesex, silver turner (and brother of George and Robert) apprenticed to Edward Edwards of Goswell Street as engraver and printer, 1st Dec 1790 on payment of 7.14s.0d of the charity of the Goldsmiths Company. Freedom unrecorded. Only mark entered as a smallworker 7th Feb 1807. Address 25, Wilderness Row, St John St (? Clerkenwell)."  

Yes, Wilderness Row was indeed in Clerkenwell. It ran almost west to east along the northern boundary of Charterhouse School from St John Street (close to Clerkenwell Green) to the Goswell Street (Goswell Road) & Old Street junction (aka 'the Hat & Feathers'). It disappeared in all but name as a result of the Metropolitan Board of Works 1870's 1.6 million redevelopment scheme which saw a new road - Clerkenwell Road - pushed through the from the Grays Inn Road through much sub-standard housing to meet Old St end-on. The very eastern end of the new much wider road was achieved by demolishing the properties on the south side of Wilderness Row and appropriating the northern extremities of the grounds of Charterhouse. On an 1878 map (the year the new road was opened) this part was still shown as Wilderness Row but this soon seems to have been dropped. Incidentally, Goswell Street seems to have become Goswell Road in the mid 1800's whereas the parallel St John Street has stayed as a 'street'. 

Going back to Joseph, at least from the early 1820's when his 4th & 5th children were born up to about 1850 he lived at 3, Wilderness Row, appearing there in the 1832 Electoral Register and 1848 Post Office directory as an Engraver (MGS). He became a silversmith and Bonham's recently sold a silver prize medallion by him hallmarked 1805 (PH). See also Appendix 1 re Old Bailey proceedings which involved him

1 - Jane PITTARD

On 30th June 1800 at St Mary's Islington, he married Jane PITTARD and they had five children between 1801 & 1816 - Joseph, Jane Elizabeth, Henry Samuel, Mary Ann and George, plus possibly also a Robert William  - see Tree 11a & Tree11a-Notes for details.

Jane was born on 8th June 1775 in the parish of St Botolph, Aldersgate and her Christening entry on 2nd July 1775 shows her as the daughter of Samuel & Jane Pittard. Note that the surname is written in some records as PETTARD. One family bible flysheet says she died on 10th Dec 1840 but that may have been a mis-transcription of 1st Dec. She was buried on 9th Dec 1840 at St James, Clerkenwell, address quoted as Wilderness Row (PR - see  below)

Death of Jane Beckwith

An obit kindly supplied by Dawn Sorensen quotes "Mrs Jane Beckwith, after a short painful illness, expired on Dec 1st 1840 in the 64th year of her age ..... she was a practical economist, her domestic arrangements were a perfect specimen or order, neatness, frugality and attention to the interest entrusted to her care. She was a fond mother, an invaluable wife, a woman of surpassing excellence."

2 - Ann(e) Bartholomew

In the 1841 census (just after Jane's death), Joseph is shown in Wilderness Row with a 7yr old son Joseph ... but the son Joseph that he had with Jane had died 14 years earlier in 1827 so who was this Joseph? The clue is that one of the others listed in the household is a female servant Ann Bartholomew. Joseph jnr  was in fact - or at least currently believed to be - the eldest of ten children by Joseph snr with Ann Bartholomew, 5 of them whilst his wife Jane was still alive and all born in the Atkins establishment at Old Dragon Lane, Winchmore Hill in the Edmonton registration district - for more details see Tree11b and Tree11b Notes.  

Ann Bartholomew was born on 20th Nov 1813 to William and Anne Bartholomew of Long Lane, Aldersgate (south side of Smithfield Market) and baptised on 5th Dec at the adjacent church of St Bartholomew the Great (with  a name like Bartholomew, where else would you expect?! GD). Her age in censuses does seem to fluctuate somewhat - mainly downwards - but this is of course a lady's prerogative. In the baptism record (below), her Christian name is written with an 'e' but just about everywhere else it is without. (MGS)

 Birth of Ann Bartholomew in 1813

In 1851, Joseph Beckwith snr is shown (aged 74 & born "Middx St Mary") living at 77 Shoe Lane in St Brides with 'wife' Ann (aged 38, born 'Bishopsgate') and children Joseph Beckwith (17) and Ann Bartholomew Beckwith (15), both born Edmonton. Joseph's occupation (wrongly shown against a youngster in another household on the line above) is 'Engraver & Coffee House Keeper'. Interestingly, the self same 1848 Post Office Directory which had listed him in Wilderness Row (above) also lists him as Proprietor of the "Clarendon Coffee Rooms" at 77 Shoe Lane but the explanation is probably that it was really Ann who ran the coffee shop while Joseph still had his workshop in Wilderness Row. 

Aside - also listed in the midst of the family in 1851 is a Vincent Beckwith, 24 years old, a bookbinder & born in Clerkenwell. Although he is shown as a "half brother" to head of the family Joseph, no trace of either a Vincent Beckwith or a Vincent Bartholomew has yet been found. Thanks to clarification from Philip Green, equally he is not a mis-transcription or mis-reporting of the Vincent John GREEN later listed in Islington as a bookbinder of the right age and birthplace (for more info on that Vincent, see Philip Green's excellent webpage.)  So who as this Vincent 'Beckwith' then ?? Answers on a postcard please.

Joseph & Ann finally tied the knot in 1854 in a Registry Office in St Mary's, Newington, SE London at which time they are both listed as living at 8, Beresford Street, Walworth. Although Joseph's occupation on the floridly-written copy certificate could be read as 'Engineer', it is probably a mis-transcription of the very similar-looking 'Engraver' whilst the age shown (60 when he was 78) is somewhat wrong, the elements which help to prove that this is 'the right Joseph' are (a) father = Jonah, 'a silver turner, deceased' and (b) one of the witnesses was Robert William Beckwith, a Christian name combination that has only been found once in other Beckwith families (it may have been either RW(1) who was Joseph's brother or RW(2), Joseph's nephew, who was an optician in the Elephant / Walworth area. Joseph is described as a Widower (which proves a previous marriage) whilst Ann Bartholomew is described as a Spinster aged 40, father = William Bartholomew (deceased) occupation "Paper Stainer". (PB/MGS).  

Marriage of Joseph & Ann in 1854

The couple are listed in a trade directory of c1860 still at  8, Beresford Street, Walworth, running it as a Coffee Shop. (Beresford Street is now known as John Ruskin Street and links Camberwell New Road with the Walworth Road) (GD). However in the Probate Register for Joseph's death on 3rd Dec 1860 at age 84, he is shown as being a "Coffee House Keeper" at 77 Shoe Lane (and probate was granted to wife Ann at the same address). He was "buried in Highgate Cemetery in the same grave with my aunt Susanna Pittard. He was one of the earliest members of the London Correspondence Society and was through life a consistent and honest Radical. J.M." (family bible entry courtesy of Dawn Sorensen; JM = Jane Mollett, daughter). Not perhaps the sort of tribute one might expect from a daughter whose father had had several children by another woman while her mother was still alive.

No trace can be found of Ann nee Bartholomew in the 1861 census (some four months after Joseph's death) but the balance of probability is that she was still at 77 Shoe Lane because the census page for that part of the street is missing in the National Archives. Ten years later in 1871 she is back south of the river, now "age 55", running a coffee shop at 166 Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey, London SE1 with youngest daughter Louisa (18) as her 'assistant' and 21yr old Jane Brown as her servant. In the 1850's, 166 was owned by one Benjamin Phillips, an undertaker, and it is now an antiques shop while in 1871, 167 next door was the Queens Head pub. 

By 1881 there has been a switch around as Ann presumably retired at around 60 and Louisa has married   so it is now who Ann is living with Louisa & family in Rotherhithe, SE London, but she is not with them in 1891 and no well-fitting death index record has been found for her. Given the fallibility of ages on death records, the most likely is that in 1890 for an Ann Beckwith in Lambeth age "67" when she would actually have been 77 as this is the only one found close to where she & Louisa were living in 1881 (and to where Louisa herself is recorded as having died in 1894). For more details of her children, see Tree11b.    


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