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Jasper Duckett

Eric Trudgill    -    1 November 2015

Jasper Duckett, husband of Mary, had three interesting children, Jasper junior baptised in Bicester, N Oxf in 1784 (traveller), and a little earlier, I believe, Richard and Rosamond.

Jasper Duckett junior, husband of Dinah, seems to have beenby nature a short traveller. He christened six children in Banbury, N Oxf, not far from Bicester: Charles in 1805 (son of Charles and Dinah), his own Jasper junior in 1809, buried in Banbury four days later, Jesse in 1813, Eliza in 1818, and Henry and Isaac jointly, and perhaps belatedly, in 1829; to these we can add Cornelius, who claimed to have been born in Banbury, probably about 1817. But Jasper was also in part a long traveller: he christened a Thomas in 1811 in Bristol, Glos and his son, William, claimed he’d been born about 1803 in Honiton, Devon. The explanation for this mixed travel pattern surely lay in Jasper’s profession: in 1813 and 1829 he was recorded as a basketmaker, but in 1805, 1809 and 1818 he was described as a soldier (this was the period of the Napoleonic War and its aftermath). In the 1820s and 1830s, his soldiering days now over, he and his family seem to have been pretty much settled in Banbury. Banbury church records show William christening ten children there, Cornelius christening three children there, and Eliza marrying a local gorjer and christening five children there (three of them jointly with three of William’s). And Banbury prison records show Jasper, Dinah and Jesse all doing time there, and William doing enough, mostly for assaulting his wife, it was said there was no point putting him in gaol since he always came out with more money than when he went in. In 1839 Jasper died in the Banbury Registration District, shortly after being imprisoned for larceny in Northampton (so he did travel a bit), and it was perhaps his death that encouraged Cornelius, the most interesting of his children, to become a real long traveller.

Cornelius married Sarah Castle (who’d been christened in Banbury in 1820) in Warwick, Wks in 1837, aged 19 potman son of Jesse hawker (Jasper presumably being muddled with his son). Cornelius and Sarah christened Sarah Ann, Cornelius junior, and Edward in Banbury in 1839, 1842 and 1844. Perhaps feeling they’d spent enough time with William and his unruly family, they then took off for the N West: their daughters, Emma and Jane, were respectively born in Newton Heath near Manchester, Lancs about 1846, and baptised in Astbury, Cheshire in 1849. They then moved to the W Midlands: George was christened in Walsall, Staffs in 1851, and Rachel in 1853, dying there a year later; Agnes, Frederick and Edwin were christened in Wolverhampton, Staffs in 1858, 1859 and 1861. Cornelius seems to have stayed in Wolverhampton until at least 1881, when he married Mary Ann Price there, although in the 1891 census we find him again in Lancs. Cornelius junior similarly was in Wolverhampton when he married Hannah Flanagan in 1864, fathered three children, and married Sarah Jane Otway in 1877, and he was still there in 1901. And Agnes and Frederick were both married there in 1876, to George Edward Smith and Emma Rolison, though they, like their brother George, who married Sarah Ann Jones, visited Wolverhampton and Walsall but also travelled in Lancs, Cheshire and Wales. Cornelius’ family looks more like travelling gypsies than their cousins back in Banbury. And this is true too of the Richard and Rosamond Duckett I believe to be older siblings of the Jasper christened in Bicester in 1784.

Richard, born perhaps about 1778, married an Eleanor and christened a Peggy in Shipton under Wychwood, N Oxf in 1797 (daughter of Richard, no further information), followed by a short-lived Mary christened in Stanford in the Vale, Berks in 1800, and another Mary christened in Headington, Oxf in 1806. These places are not especially close to Bicester and Banbury, the places we associate with Jasper, but in 1804 and 1809 Richard and Eleanor christened a Maria and a Charles in Banbury, and in 1806 a Richard junior (travellers) and in 1818 a Priscilla (travelling pedlar) in Tackley, Oxf and Sandford St Martin, Oxf, which areboth close to Bicester; Richard junior moreover was “of Banbury” when christening children in 1831 and 1839.

Rosamond, born perhaps about 1780, married Thomas Loveridge in 1797 in Winslow, Bucks, not far from Bicester, and claimed to be 70 in the 1851 census in Bicester (where she was also buried in1868). She and Thomas christened four Loveridge children in Stoke Lyne, Oxf, very close to Bicester: William in 1799, James in 1808, Thomas in 1812, and Mary Ann in 1818, plus Cornelius in Steeple Barton, Oxf in 1805 (parents unnamed) and John in Beckley, Oxf in 1824, both of which are close to Bicester. Witney, Oxf and Charlbury, Oxf, where Thomas and Rosamond christened Henry in1814 and Elizabeth in 1820, and Ashbury, Berks, where they christened Rosamond junior in 1810, are a little distant from Bicester, but it’s striking that the first two are near Shipton under Wychwood and the third near Stanford in the Vale, where Richard Duckett christened his first two children. Nor is this the only link between Richard and Rosamond: Richard’s second Mary married Joseph Coffee in Shipton under Wychwood in 1819 with James and Elizabeth Loveridge as witnesses, the couple who in the same church five months later witnessed the wedding of William Loveridge, son of Rosamond Duckett, to Trainet Davis; and Richard’s granddaughter, Amelia Duckett, married Rosamond’s grandson, Cornelius Loveridge (son of Cornelius).

Of Richard’s children the most interesting is Richard junior, christened in 1806 and married to a Caroline born seemingly in Hailey, Oxf (perhaps the Caroline Harris christened there in 1806 daughter of Thomas and Mary). I’ve found only four of their children: the fore-mentioned Amelia christened in Witney, Oxf in 1829 (gypsy); James christened in Dursley, Glos in 1831 (travelling basketmaker, native place Banbury, Oxf); a third Richard christened in Fairford, Glos in 1834; and Charles christened in Minety, Wilts in 1839 (hawker of Banbury, Oxf). Of these James married an Elizabeth and a Rose/Anna, without issue, and Charles married Valentine Davis daughter of William and Sarah, christened in Shipton under Wychwood in 1842 (travelling brazier), also without issue; their brother, the third Richard Duckett, married a Jane probably a Smith, and christened Charles and Henry in Fulbrook, Oxf in 1857 and 1860, Cornelius in Bristol, Glos in 1865, and Elizabeth in Binsted, Hants in 1868; and their sister Amelia, wife of Cornelius Loveridge, christened four Loveridge children in Oxf (Mary Ann in Swinbrook in 1852, Betsey in Burford in 1852, Louisa in Fifield in 1856, Emma in Fulbrook in 1858), christened Susan in Bishopstone, Wilts in 1860, birth-registered Mary Jane in Glos in 1864, and christened Sarah and Cornelius in Binsted in 1866 and 1868(of these Louisa married Levi Scarrott, Emma married William Ayres, and Sarah married Nelson Black).

Of Rosamond’s children I’m intrigued most by William, Cornelius (Amelia Duckett’s father-in-law) and James Loveridge. I’m intrigued by Cornelius and James because I think they married sisters: Cornelius married Delathy Smith, who was christened in Oddington, Oxf in 1809 (Delitha natural daughter of Delitha gypsy); James married in 1847 Charlotte Father daughter of Robert, who had been Charlotte Smith at the baptism of their first child and was clearly christened herself as Charlotte Fathers Smith in Weston on the Green, Oxf in 1815 daughter of Lethe gypsy; and in each case the baptismal mother was surely Delephis Smith, christened in Finmere, Oxf in 1791 daughter of James and Anne. I’m intrigued by William Loveridge because his first son, Joseph, married Elizabeth Coffee (daughter of Joseph and Rosina) and sired the Rosanna Loveridge (baptised in Burford, Oxf in 1854) who by her union with Siterus Smith, son of Charlotte Smith (daughter of Neptune) by Solomon Boswell (son of Solomon), married into two separate sides of my wife’s family.

Copyright © 2015 Eric Trudgill