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Merrick Lock

Eric Trudgill    -    6 January 2012

Merrick Lock, son of George and Elizabeth, was christened in 1782 in Biddulph Staffs, where three years later his cousin, Matthew Lock, was christened son of Henry and Sarah, his probable sister, Sophia, claimed to have been born, perhaps about 1788, and his probable brother, Solomon, was married in 1806. In 1806, or shortly after, Merrick’s family was accused of sheep stealing near Biddulph, and for the rest of his life he stayed well away from the place, basing himself pretty much in Gloucestershire. In 1861 he was buried in HillesleyGlos, where the Mary Lee he’d married in ChedworthGlos in 1821 had been buried in 1856.

The gypsiologists gave Merrick and Mary’s children as Rebecca, Eve, Sarah, Lucas, Adam, Temperance, Joanna and Maria, and all but the first (who was presumably with her husband at the time) and the last (who was as yet unborn) were present with their parents at a settlement hearing in HawlingGlos in 1821. To these we can add from Parish Registers: Patience, who was christened in CotgraveNotts in 1807 and perhaps died young; Merrick junior, who was christened in Hawling in February 1809 and certainly died young, being buried in Bobbington Staffs in November 1809; and Cinderia (Cinderella), who was as yet unborn. Of Merrick’s children only Rebeccaand Maria remain unidentified as his in the records, but both look totally plausible.

Rebecca Lock, born perhaps about 1803, looks very much Merrick’s child. She married, as the gypsiologists claimed, a William Davis; she christened an Obadiah Davis in 1827 in Berkeley Glos (where Merrick’s son, Lucas, was to baptize and bury children), an Obadiah who married Merrick’s youngest daughter; and she christened a Rebecca Davis in 1828 in BrimpsfieldGlos (where Merrick had christened Sarah). Obadiah and Cinderella between about 1843 and about 1866 had the following Davis children: Joseph, Mary, Obadiah junior (who as William Davis son of Obadiah married Naomi Butler in Bristol in 1870), Revidance, Rebecca junior (who married a William Lock so far unidentified), Reuben, Sabina, Rosina, Louisa (who married George Loveridge), John and George.

Eve Lock, born perhaps about 1805, and in Cold Ashton Glos according to Merrick at the settlement hearing in 1821 and Eve herself in the census, married Emmanuel Stephens, who was christened in 1807, and she died in Horsley Glos in 1885. She had by Emmanuel 1824-44 the following Stephens children: Anselo, who married an Annie; Leonard, who married a Charlotte and had the well-known Francis (future husband of Mizelli Smith daughter of Ned) and Leonard (future husband of Prudence Smith granddaughter of Eve’s sister, Temperance); Eliza; Thomas, who married Jane Loveridge after, according to the gypsiologists, a prior union with Leondra Bagley; Adam, who married Letitia Davis; Eve junior, who married Gilderoy Smith, allegedly son of Eve’s sister, Sarah; Robert; Sabina Ruth, who married George Loveridge in 1860; Sampson, who married Clementina Lock daughter of Eve’s brother, Lucas; and Georgina, who married James Allen in 1863 and James Pagenton (Bagington) in 1877.

Sarah Lock, christened in Brimpsfield in 1811, was said by the gypsiologists to have had by a first marriage a Josiah Smith whose daughter married Bob Loveridge, and by a second marriage the Gilderoy Smith who married Eve Stephens daughter of Sarah’s sister, Eve. In fact the only certain child by her first marriage to James Wood was Jemima Wood christened in 1830 with Eliza Stephens daughter of Emmanuel and Eve, and the only certain child by her second marriage to James Smith (christened in 1813 son of Aaron and Isabella) was Joanna Smith christened in 1840 and named after Sarah’s sister. Sarah’s son, the Joseph, not Josiah, Smith whose daughter, not sister, married Bob Loveridge may have been born a Wood and become a Smith in deference to his step-father (in the 1871 census he’s his son-in-law, which may be an error or may, as often, mean he’s his step-son). Sarah’s children by James Smith, if they didn’t include Joseph, may well have includedGilderoy Smith, and his brothers, Nathaniel Smith, five of whose children by Sarah Ann Davis married five of Gilderoy’s, and Reuben Smith, allegedly a preacher. The son of Nathaniel who named the three brothers didn’t, it seems, name Joseph, or for that matter James as his grandfather, so until we have clinching evidence of the brothers’ parents we’d best keep an open mind.

Lucas Lock, christened in StoultonWorcs in 1813, married Alice/Annis Draper daughter of Israel, and had the following children: Albert, baptized in 1842 with Mirach (Merrick) Lock son of Lucas’ brother, Adam; Clementina, baptized in 1845, who married Sampson Stephens son of Lucas’ sister, Eve; Lucas junior, baptized and buried in 1848; Jemima, baptized in 1850 and buried in 1851; and Sophia Lee Lock, baptized in 1852 daughter of Lucas and Alice Lee otherwise Lock, gypsy of Axbury (ie Hawkesbury).

Adam Lock, christened in ThornburyGlos in 1816, married Emily Dixon, allegedly daughter of Luke, and had the following children: Mirach baptized and buried as a Lock in 1842; Frederick birth registered as a Dixon in 1847 son of Emily, traveller (he married Freedom Loveridge); and George born about 1849 according to the 1901 census.

Temperance Lock, christened in Hawkesbury Glos in 1818, by an unknown early husband had a Mary Ann, born about 1838, who by her own unknown husband had the Prudence Lock who in 1872 married, father unnamed, Leonard Stephens son of Temperance’s nephew, Leonard Stephens, son of Eve. Temperance’s second husband, Arnold Smith, baptized in 1824, brother of the second husband of Temperance’s sister, Sarah, was unable to give her children.

Joanna Lock, christened in CranhamGlos in 1820, was said by the gypsiologists to have married a PerunLoveridge, but I’ve found no trace of the latter or any children.

Maria Lock, born in Hawkesbury about 1823, she claimed in 1845, when charged with theft in Gloucestershire, was said by the gypsiologists to have had an early marriage with a Burton. This seems to be right: Maria was almost certainly the mother of George (the name of Maria’s grandfather) and William Lock, Gypsy tinkers, who said in 1861, when charged with house-breaking in Gloucestershire, that they were 16 and 15 years old and had been born in Hawkesbury; given the Hawkesbury connection, the younger brother was surely the Gypsy William Lock alias Burton (married to a Julia Hicks) who committed suicide in March 1880 (aged 35 according to his death certificate) in aBristol police cell while awaiting trial for murder and robbery.

Maria was said by the gypsiologists to have had a second marriage with a Dufferty, who gave her a son called Tenant. Here they were clearly right: in the 1871 census Maria was travelling with two young Lock daughters, plus the older Tenant Dovety and his two brothers, plus Francis Stephens (son of Maria’s sister, Eve) and a Clementina Davis who looks like Maria’s youngest sister, Cinderia. Tennant Dufferty, son of James at his late wedding in Bristol in 1918 (he’d previously been married informally to a Mary Ann), gives us the forename of Maria’s second husband; and the 1871 census seems to give us the children of that second family, Tenant, James junior, Edward (future husband of a Sarah), Mary and Clementina,who were all born in the 1850s. The Angelina who the gypsiologists thought to be a child of Maria’s Burton marriage, and who they rightly claimed to have married Ambrose Buckland/Smith, son of Naomi Buckland and step-son of Arkles Smith, described herself at her wedding to Ambrose Smith in 1881 as the daughter of James Duffett, but, like Ambrose, she may of course have been honouring a step-father; she may have been a Burton.

Finally, Cinderia/Cinderella Lock, seemingly Merrick’s last child, christened in LeckhamptonGlos in 1827, married her nephew, as I pointed out earlier, Obadiah Davis, son of seemingly Merrick’s first child, Rebecca.

Copyright © 2012 Eric Trudgill