JAMES BENNETT’S MEMORANDUM
The text of this memorandum, written by James Bennett in 1843, has been supplied by Susan Nuttall, née Bennett, who writes: “This memorandum has been transcribed from the copy made by the American Bennetts in their Family History, and the copy made by my grandfather Charles Bennett in 1925, from information supplied by Frank Bennett of Delmar, USA, dated 20 October 1924. There are minor differences of spelling and punctuation between the two documents. Charles Bennett added a few notes from his own sources, in particular amending the dates of birth of George to 21 August 1792, and Hester to 12 September 1794. My own researches have found minor inaccuracies, which have not been amended, leaving the documents as they were passed to me. Susan M. Nuttall, 10 April 2000”
The following memorandum was hastily drawn up for the information of the descendants of my brother Daniel, residing in North America, and given by me to Rushmore Bennett, my nephew, on his visit to England. (signed) James Bennett, Tewkesbury, England; February 10 1843.
My great-grandfather was a farmer of Charfield, Gloucestershire. By his first wife, whose name is unknown, he had three sons, namely, Joseph, William and Daniel; and two daughters. He married secondly Rachel Roach who was a near relative to the ancient and respectable family of Matthews, then and now inhabitants of Cromhall; also to the family of Lapley (or Sapley) who reside at the manor house at Avening in the parish of Tortworth. Some of this family carried on the clothing business at Avening and there is a monument to their memory in Tortworth Church.
My great-grandfather had no children by Miss Roach. His eldest son Joseph was unlike the Bennetts, generally; he was idle, and brought his family to comparative poverty. He was the ancestor to the Bennetts at Stone Woodford in the parish of Berkeley.
William, the second son, was my grandfather, and Daniel, who lived at Eastwood Greenhouse, now the property of the Earl of Liverpool, was ancestor of the Bennetts of Kingswood near Wotton-under-Edge, whose father was named Joseph, and also of the present Bennetts of Aust, whose father was named Isaac.
One of my great-grandfather’s daughters married the ancestor of Thomas Luce, a butcher of Malmesbury, and the other married John Elk of Newport, whose descendants in the female line are now living in Bristol.
William Bennett, my grandfather, married Sarah Bailey of Cam near Dursley. He lived first on a farm at Eastwood near Thornbury, and then at the Oakleys in the parish of Berkeley, and from thence he went to the Norton farm, Henbury, near Bristol, where he and his wife died at an advanced age.
He had Isaac and John, my father;
William, a farmer in Redland near Bristol, who married one of my mother’s sisters and left a large family who now live in Bristol and its neighbourhood;
Sarah, married to John Jones of Newport in the parish of Berkeley, mother of the present John Jones of Newport, of William Jones of Hill, and several daughters;
Mary, who married Davis, a surgeon, and had three daughters, now living in and near Bristol;
Daniel who died at Henbury unmarried;
Leonard Bailey, who was a mathematical instrument maker of London; married and left a numerous family, many of whom are now dead. He has one son, Thomas, living in London and following his father’s trade.
James, who died unmarried in 1829 leaving a large estate of property at Norton farm, Henbury.
Charlotte who died in 1836, unmarried, and Keturah who married Jonathan Neal and left one daughter who is married to an innkeeper in Bristol.
John Bennett, my father, was born at Eastwood, christened at Tortworth and married at Thornbury. My mother’s name was Ann Collins. Her grandfather was William Collins who lived at Falfield in the parish of Thornbury and her father was John Collins who was born on the same farm, lived there his whole life, and died there.
My grandfather Collins married Harriet Burrows by whom he had Mabel, who married William Limbrick of Wickwar, and took with her a small family estate of about fifty acres situated in Sundays Hill, in the parish of Thornbury, and left a numerous family, two of whom, Isaac and Thomas, went to North America where some of Thomas’ descendants now are.
Ann, my mother, like her father, was born, lived the whole of her life, and died at Falfield Green.
William who died in his sixteenth year.
Elizabeth who married William Pierce and left a family;
Mary who married William Bennett, one of my father’s brothers, and is now living.
Hannah who married Thomas Taylor of Cribbs Causeway, Henbury, and left a large family.
Eunice who married William Parslow of Berkeley and left seven sons, of whom William, the oldest, went to New York a few years ago, but has since returned.
My worthy and respected father died almost suddenly on the 10th of April 1804, and my dear, good and affectionate mother died on the 23rd of May 1824. They had thirteen children, viz:
1st, Ashfield, born March 11 1771, married her second cousin, Joseph Bennett of the Grange, Kingswood. She died in 1835 shortly after the decease of her husband. Seven sons and one daughter survived them. The daughter has since died, and there are now the seven sons, Daniel, Isaac married, John, Robert married, James married, William and Charles.
2nd, Mary, born May 14 1773, unmarried, and now living at Falfield in the same village in which she and all her brothers were born.
3rd, William, born March 9 1775 and living also at Falfield. Owing to a flaw in the will of my Uncle James, all his freehold estate devolved to William, my brother, as heir at law, but he, like an honest English yeoman, sold the property and divided the proceeds equally between the nephews and nieces according to the import of the will.
4th, Daniel, born February 19 1777, and left home for America February 14 1802. “Abroad to see wonders the traveller goes, and neglects the fine things that lie under his nose”.
5th, Ann, born February 27 1779, unmarried, and living with William and Mary.
6th, Hannah, born (December) 17 1780 and married to Robert Hewitt of Stone in 1813. They have one daughter, Elizabeth, born about 1821.
7th, John, born February 24 1783, and died unmarried in 1813.
8th James, born May 10 1785, apprenticed to a printer and bookseller in Bath and began business in Tewkesbury in 1810 and resides there. Married Hannah Phillips of Berkeley in 1823 and has three children: Henry Phillips, born March 21 1827: Charles, born June 23 1829: James, born November 10 1830. Of each of these three dear boys would I say in the words of the bard of our own Avon (Shakespeare) – “May he live longer than I have time to tell his years, Ever beloved and loving may his reign be. And when old Time shall bend him to his end, Goodness and he fill up one monument.”
9th, Isaac, born March 5 1787, apprenticed to his uncle Leonard Bailey, London, and still lives there unmarried.
10th, Joseph, born January 25 1789. He died in infancy and “drooped like a star that in a summer’s eve slides in ethereal beauty to the sea”.
11th, Leonard, born February 6 1790, married to Ann Oldland, sister to the John Oldland who married Thomas Limbrick’s youngest sister. His wife died about three years since and has no children. He lives on the farm at Falfield on which his ancestors have resided for many generations.
12th, George, born August 21 1797, married to Elizabeth Betty, by whom he has four daughters and lives at Norton Farm, Henbury, where his grandfather and Uncle James lived.
13th, Hester, born September 12 1799, and married in 1828 to William James, a builder of Stone, and has two sons.
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