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John Broadway

Anne-Marie Ford    -    2 June 2017

In the 1851 English census John Broadway, horse dealer, is recorded as a widower, aged 47, having been born at West Tisted, Hampshire.  The age John Broadway offers is very unlikely, as his first known child, Talenta, was baptised at Cliffe-Pypard, Wiltshire on 19th September 1819, the daughter of John and Amy Broadway, Gypsies from Hampshire.  Other children for this couple are Martha, born in about 1821; Phoebe, baptised 1st February 1829 at Horningsham, Wiltshire; Trezia, baptised at St Andrew’s Cheddar, Somerset, on 26th February 1832; Elizabeth, baptised at St. Nicholas, West Pennard, Somerset on 18th May 1834.  

What seems more reliable than the date John offered for his birth is probably the location. A John Broadway, son of Jane, was baptised at West Tisted on 14th October 1798, and a sister, Martha, daughter of Jane, was also baptised there on 25th October 1800.  That this name is used for one of his daughters reinforces the idea that Martha is a sibling; John’s second daughter, Martha, married Matthew Stanley and emigrated to the United States.  Phoebe, Trezia and Elizabeth also married into the Stanley tribe, and also made their homes in America.

The connections with the Stanley tribe are unsurprising; a generation prior to this Teressia/Trezia Stanley, baptised in 1783, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth, had formed a union with Matthew Broadway, born in 1780, son of John and Eleanor Broadway. Their son, another Matthew, was to maintain these links in his marriage to a Henrietta Stanley. John and Eleanor Broadway had two other sons, John, born in 1778, and James, born in 1785, as well as a daughter, Jane, born in 1775. This daughter is almost certainly the mother of the John Broadway who was baptised at West Tisted in 1798.

John did not, like so many of his extended family, emigrate to the United States: his wife, Amy/Emma Broadway (formerly Cooper) had been buried at Chewton Mendip on 8th October 1848, “aged 49 years,” so born about 1799, and the year before, on 17th April 1847, their eldest daughter, Talenta, had also been buried there, as “Tally Broadway, aged 27 years.” Another burial, that of a John Broadway, “aged 17” is also to be found at Chewton Mendip, and was recorded the year after Amy’s death, it is tempting to suppose he may be a son of John and Amy’s.

John Broadway, however, remained in Somerset, and was to do so for the rest of his life. Whilst the 1851 census records John Broadway accompanied by daughters Trezia and Elizabeth, as well as a niece, Victoria Cooper, by the1861 census things have changed a good deal and he seems to have fathered a second family with a much younger partner, Elizabeth Frampton.

Found in the 1851 census at Walton, Somerset, Elizabeth is recorded as a single woman, 26, with a son, Edwin, aged 10 months.  By 1861 young Edwin is working on a farm owned by a Josiah Frampton, “a relative.” Josiah, in addition to his own family: wife Isabella, sons Francis, 6; Elias, 5; Arthur, 3; Newman, 10 months, also has an uncle, James Frampton, “a cripple,” living with him.  James is, in fact, Elizabeth’s father, and is therefore young Edwin’s grandfather.

James Frampton had married Anne Foster in Walton, Somerset on 20th April 1818, and their children, William Foster Frampton, Sarah, Elizabeth and Selina, were all baptised in the area, Elizabeth being baptised on 18th January 1824. Anne Frampton appears to have died early, hers is probably the burial recorded in Walton in December 1838, for by the time of the 1841 census James is alone, apart from his daughters Elizabeth and Selina.

By 1861, whilst Edwin has begun work as a shepherd, his mother has had another family. At Polden Hill, horse dealer John Broadway, 55, is living with Elizabeth Frampton, 36, and their children, Sarah Ann, James and Matthew, all listed under the name of their mother.  James John Frampton, son of Elizabeth, was baptised at Walton on 29th May 1853; Sarah Ann Frampton, daughter of Elizabeth, was baptised at the same place on 9th September 1855. Whilst in Ashcott, Somerset, on 5th July 1874 two sons were baptised, William, born 1861, and Matthew, born 1858, but here John was named and the children baptised with the surnames of both parents.  In addition, Matthew is disabled, and the cleric has written “idiot” in the margin.  

The language of the period doesn’t improve our understanding of Matthew’s disability, and subsequent census records describe him as a “lunatic.”  But he remained living with his mother and never married. In 1871, still at Polden Hill, Elizabeth Broadway, 47, widow, is found, living with sons William, 9, and Matthew, 12. By the following census only Matthew is with her, and she is recorded as an invalid. Her death, in 1883, was followed by her son, Matthew’s, in 1885.

Sarah Anne Broadway is working as a housemaid at Shalfleet, Hampshire in the 1871 census and, in 1881, still a housemaid, is at Whippingham, Hampshire, “aged 25.” She is identifiable because she continues, correctly, to identify birth at Walton in Somerset. Her brother, James, is equally fastidious, although he uses his mother’s surname and, perhaps surprisingly, joins the Royal Artillery. In the 1881 census he is in Woolwich and by 1891 is a gunner stationed at Newhaven, in Sussex, with his wife, Mary, and children James, 8; John, 6; Lillis, 4; Elizabeth, 2.

The baptisms of the two sons of Elizabeth Frampton and John Broadway, William and Matthew, given their father’s name as well as their mother’s, came after the death of John Broadway, but the reason for such acknowledgement is clear. John Broadway had died in 1867, “aged 70,” (it seems he was prepared to finally acknowledge something near to his true age at this point), but the year before this event he and Elizabeth had married.  On 10th March 1866 in the parish of Ashcott, John Broadway, who named his father as Colthorpe, an alias, it is said, that John himself sometimes used, and Elizabeth, daughter of James Frampton, a labourer, were united.

This second, late, marriage brought John Broadway another family about whom little has been recorded.

Copyright © 2017 Anne-Marie Ford