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John Pitcher

Eric Trudgill    -    29 April 2017

John Pitcher was baptised in Chislet, Kent in 1800 (all subsequent locations are also in Kent unless otherwise specified) son of Thomas, a gorjer, and Jane, the second of nine siblings baptised there. He married in Canterbury All Saints in 1818 Clarinda Scamp, daughter of the well-known Samson and Celia (baptised in Lee in 1798 as Clarinda Samson daughter of Samuel and Clarinda, travellers --- the priest seems to have been confused).

Iíve found baptisms for seven of John and Clarinda Pitcherís children: John junior in St Lawrence in Thanet in 1819, George in Chislet in 1821 (traveller of the parish of Ash), William in Graveney in 1822, Stephen in Woodnesborough in 1825, Charles in Woodnesborough in 1829 (kettle mender), Elizabeth in Petham in 1830 (stranger), and Thomas in Woodnesborough in 1834 (travelling grinder). To these we can add William born in Graveney about 1823 and Harriet born about 1836.

John Pitcher junior, baptised in 1819, married belatedly Eliza Yealding daughter of George in Womenswold in 1874. They had christened the following children: Charles in St Nicholas at Wade in 1838 (vagrants); Mythania in Dover St Mary in 1842, who married Frederick Heartfield in 1875; Clerandy in Dover St Mary in 1842, who as Clara married Edward Evans in Ramsgate in 1865; Eliza in Wilmington in 1844 (tinman), who as Eliza Ealden daughter of John Pitcher married George Henry Offen in Ramsgate in 1869; John in Dover St Mary in 1846; William in Elmstone in 1848 (vagrant); Martha in Dover St Mary in 1850; and Emily, Hannah, Damont, Harriet Jane, and Frederick all in Ramsgate St George every two years or so 1852-58.

George Pitcher, baptised in 1821, married belatedly Hannah Standerwick in Sandwich in 1861. They had christened Matilda Standerwick in Wingham in 1843 (illegitimate daughter of Hannah); then the following children as Pitchers, Eleanor in Wingham in 1845 (travelling chairmender), Henry in Nonington in 1847 (brazier), Rachel in Elmstone in 1852 (vagrant), Emily in Womenswold in 1855 (traveller) and John in Barfriston in 1859. Iíve not found baptisms for James born about 1850 and Eliza born about 1859. After their wedding George and Hannah then christened Thomas, Charles, Julia and Edward in Deal St Andrew 1861-69, with George usually described as a chairmender.

William Pitcher, baptised in 1822, married Sarah Crittenden in Canterbury in 1847. They had a Thomas, Sarah, Benjamin, Fanny and Sanspral (named after Clarinda Scampís sister, Sansperiel), all baptised in Canterbury St Mary Northgate in 1849-52 and 1860-64. They also had a George and William born in Canterbury about 1843-47, a Jane and Mary born there about 1854-57 and a Joseph and Ruth born there about 1866-68.

Stephen Pitcher, baptised in 1825, married Letitia Baker daughter of William in Woodnesborough in 1846. They baptised the following Pitcher children: Julia in Chartham in 1847 (travelling tinker), James in Coldred in 1849, Stephen junior in Ewell in 1857 (traveller), and Charlotte in Chilham in 1862. Iíve not found baptisms for Dangerfield or Emma born about 1851-53.

Elizabeth Pitcher, baptised in 1830, married first George Birch in 1847, and christened Emma Birch in Nonington in 1849 (sweep), Daniel Birch in Sandwich St Mary in 1851 (labourer), and Selina Birch in Womenswold in 1854 (labourer). Elizabeth married second informally the much younger Frederick Groombridge, and seems to have had no issue by him.

Thomas Pitcher, baptised in 1834, married Mary Ann Puckeridge in Ramsgate in 1868. They had by this time christened three Pitcher children: William in Deal St Andrew in 1862, Rosetta in Linstead in 1864 and Charles in Ramsgate in 1866. After their wedding they christened Elizabeth Clara, Julia, Thomas Andrew, Agnes and Ada in Ramsgate 1868-80, and had a Rose, born about 1874, whose baptism I havenít found.

Finally, Harriet Pitcher, born about 1836, married first a fisherman Alfred Moody, son of Saunders, in Ramsgate in 1859, and christened Alfred Henry Moody and Elizabeth Clara Moody jointly in Ramsgate in 1859, three months after the wedding. And Harriet Moody, a widow, married Charles Olsen son of Olaf in Ramsgate in 1862. They christened the following Olsen children: Olaf Thomas, four months after the wedding, in Ramsgate in 1862, followed by Eliza Jane, Lydia Annie and Charles Edward in Ramsgate 1867-71; there was also a Harriet Olsen, born about 1873, whose baptism I havenít found.

When a gorjer married a Romany Gypsy some family members felt less Gypsy than others. The John Pitcher who married Clarinda Scamp, still calling himself a brazier and grinder in his eighties, seems to have been proud to be a traveller. His children perhaps were a little less so: they seem by the 1860s to have embraced the non-travelling gorjer world. But there again so did the children of many old Romany families.

Copyright © 2017 Eric Trudgill