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Considering Clarinda

Anne-Marie Ford    -    2 February 2018

In 1744 Richard and Millicent Stanley, with their child Clarinda, are mentioned in a removal records, travelling with a family of Scamps. Presumably this Clarinda, a name which also appears in the next generation of the Stanleys, was born about one or two years earlier, since the couple’s previous recorded child, Mary, had been baptised in 1741.

Richard Stanley was a son of Hercules and Parthenia, and was baptised in Bosham, Sussex, in 1719. Hercules and Parthenia are also known to have baptised children in Kent and in Hampshire, so perhaps it is worth considering whether the Clarinda Stanley who married William Barber in Crayford, Kent, on 20th June 1758, might be the Clarinda Stanley referred to in the 1744 vagrancy record. Clarinda would have been about 16, a common enough age for young Gypsy women to form a union. Both made their mark on the marriage certificate, as did their witness, John Hawking (sic).

William and Clarinda Barber had four known children: Elizabeth, baptised in Crayford, Kent, was born on 30th June and baptised on 14th July 1771; Richard, baptised at West Dean, near Chichester, Sussex, on 31st January 1773; Martha, baptised in Bexley, Kent on 8th June 1777; John, baptised at Bosham, in Sussex (where Richard Stanley, the father of the Clarinda Stanley of the vagrancy hearing, had been baptised), on 24th August 1783, William and Clarinda being recorded as travellers.

It is possible, too, that William and Clarinda’s eldest daughter is the Elizabeth Barber who married a Thomas Stanley on 21st March 1793 at Hastings, in Sussex, when she would have been 21 years of age. Of course, this is all circumstantial evidence, and there is one more piece of the puzzle that may fit.

Might it be Clarinda’s death that is recorded at Chichester, Sussex on 7th September 1786, although the surname is written Barlow, rather than Barber? It was certainly an area Clarinda and William were known to have travelled; if she was the child of Richard and Millicent she would have been around 44 years of age. The burial record names the deceased as Clarinda Barlow (sic), but adds an interesting note, for she ‘was a traveller from the poor house.’

Copyright © 2018 Anne-Marie Ford