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Anne-Marie Ford    -    1 June 2018

The union between Hercules Stanley, whose alternative name appears to have been Edward, and Parthenia, resulted in six known children, and there were probably several more. Hercules and his wife were probably born in the late 1600s, as their first child, also a Hercules, was baptised in 1717, and their last known child, a daughter, Artula, in 1741.

Trying to discover something of Parthenia, and her antecedents, is a problem, given how early this is. Parthenia is a name popular amongst the Boswells, with whom the Stanleys sometimes travelled, and a Pathany (sic) Tucker was baptised in Hampshire, the daughter of a vagrant, in 1699, but the presence of a family who appeared in Dorset in a settlement hearing in 1708 offers another possibility.

In the Poor Law Settlements and Removals of Sherborne, Dorset on 2nd August 1708, there is a reference to a Philip Collins and his family, from Marston Magna, Somerset; having travelled just over five miles down the road into the Dorsetshire village, they were to be removed.  Recorded as Philip Collins, his wife, and five children, three daughters and two sons, they were listed as: Penelope Collins; Martha Collins; John Collins; Cornelius Collins; Pathenia (sic) Collins.

Of the children mentioned in the removal order, it is likely, surely, that the baptism of a Penella, daughter of Philip and Mary Collins, at Marston Magna, Somerset on 25th December 1692, is the Penelope in question.  She may also be the Penella Collins buried there on 17th November 1711. There is a Cornelius, son of Philip and Mary Collins, baptised at Cameley, Somerset on 8th July 1694, and another baptism, on 15th June 1690 at Merriott, Somerset, of a Thomas, son of Philip and Mary, may also be theirs.  Perhaps he died, or, at 18 years of age, was travelling separately from the family - or perhaps he is named as John Collins in the removal record.

Is the child Pathenia referred to here the same woman who would later partner Hercules Stanley?  Certainly Parthenia and Hercules’ descendants favoured Somerset, as well as Dorset and Hampshire, and Philip Collins’ children do appear to all have been born in the late 1690s or early 1700s.  Since Parthenia and Hercules Stanley’s first child was baptised in 1717, this would indicate that Pathenia Collins would be the right age to be his potential partner.

Copyright © 2018 Anne-Marie Ford