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TRACING GYPSY FAMILIES BACK DESPITE THE LACK OF RECORDS FORTY THREE: Thomas and Judith Buckland

Eric Trudgill    -    4 December 2016

Iíve come across only two baptisms for children of Thomas and Judith: Edward in Gt Bedwyn, Wilts in 1757 and Garmenale (a daughter) in Dauntsey, Wilts in 1761. But I think Thomas and Judith also had a William, Henry and Penelope, born between about 1759 and 1771, and had possibly at some point a Thomas junior.

Their Edward baptised in 1757 was, Iím sure, the famous Ted Buckland, husband of Paradise and father of Winggi, hanged for murder in Wiltshire in 1821 ďaged 66Ē. Ted, clearly mentally ill, had rejected or been rejected by his family about 1819, and for several months wandered around Seagry, Wilts wrapped whatever the weather in little more than a dirty blanket, seemingly trying to connect with his past: Seagry was where heíd buried an infant son in 1805 and next door to Dauntsey, where his parents had baptised Garmenale, whilst the woman from whom he begged and whom he finally killed was, perhaps not coincidentally, a Judith like his mother.

If Thomas and Judithís Edward was the famous Ted Buckland, it follows, I believe, that they also had a William, the famous Ravishing Billy Buckland, husband of Sophia.

First, thereís the evidence of geography. Ted travelled between W Wilts (he christened Peter in Seend in 1800), E Wilts (he christened Sybarina in Stanton Fitzwarren in 1796 and Rosanna in nearby Swindon in 1804), N Oxon (he christened Winggi in Charlbury in 1790, and was tried for theft in nearby Spelsbury in 1812), and N Bucks (he christened Oshella in Hanslope in 1794). Billy similarly christened children in W Wilts (Calina in Chippenham in 1791), in E Wilts (Duenna in Stratton in 1789 and Ann in Swindon in 1796), in N Oxon (William junior in S Newington in 1787), and if he didnít christen a child in Bucks, he did christen Absolom in Abington, Northants in 1799, not far from Hanslope.

Second thereís the evidence of family connections. Ted in 1819 apparently had a row with Old Emmanuel Buckland (husband of Aquila), the head of the family at that time, over who should inherit the silver shoe-buckles of the recently deceased Sarah Boswell (Moses Boswellís wife and itís now clear Ted Bucklandís daughter), while Billy was father of the Sinfy Buckland who had married Old Emmanuelís grandson Manuel Buckland five years earlier.

If Thomas and Judithís Edward was the famous Ted Buckland, it follows, I believe, that they also had a Henry, the Henry Buckland (husband of Mary) who in 1801 gave a daughter the name Paradise, a name hard to find outside Tedís family. Henry christened children, on territory similar to Tedís and Billyís, in Wilts (Mercy in Potterne, close to Seend, in 1793), in Oxon (Frampton in Chinnor in 1794), in Bucks (Henry junior in Hughenden in 1792 and Paradise in Oakley in 1801), and in Northants (Miranna in Eye in 1804). And Henry was also connected to Ted, and thereby Billy, by the marriage of his daughter Delitha (baptised in Beds in 1789) to Lewis Boswell: their daughter Gravelina married Samuel Boswell, the son of Tedís daughter Sarah.

And if Thomas and Judithís Edward was the famous Ted Buckland, it follows, I believe, that they also had a Penelope and possibly a Thomas junior, the Penella Buckland who claimed to be 56 when tried for theft at the Gloucestershire Assizes in January 1825, along with Tedís widow Paradise (claiming to be 60) and her daughter Rosanna aged 16; and the Thomas Buckland tried for theft in Spelsbury in 1812, along with Edward, Paradise, Penelope and William Buckland (the last perhaps Ravishing Billy) and with Henry absent because heíd been transported to Australia.

Copyright © 2016 Eric Trudgill