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Anne-Marie Ford    -    4 August 2012

In 1841, when he was just 18 years of age, Jason Scarrott was charged with “having on the 9th day of January inst. at the Forest of Wychwood, feloniously stolen a piece of hawthorn wood, the property of Her Majesty the Queen.” As a consequence of this minor misdemeanourhe was sentenced to one calendar month with hard labour in the House of Correction.Jason was the son of Thomas Scarrott, himself the son of William Scarrott and Margaret Whitehouse, and Elizabeth, formerly Dore, the daughter of William and Mary. He was baptised in Charlbury on 16th May 1823, son of an earthenware man.

The occupation is interesting, since this tribe of Scarrotts appear to have moved from Staffordshire, famous for its Potteries, the centre of ceramic production, owing to the local availability of clay, salt, lead and coal,down to the southern counties. Perhaps this was an ideal spot for hawking their earthenware goods, and many settled here, more or less permanently, but often continued to claim Staffordshire as their home. Thomas, Jason’s father, is a case in point, having been baptised in Cannock, Staffordshire on 20th May 1798, he married in Charlbury, Oxfordshire on 5th July 1822, remaining in the area until his early death, at the age of 29, in Charlbury, on 19th April 1827.

Jason’s parents, Thomas and Elizabeth, had three other known children, all baptised at Charlbury: another son, Thomas, baptised on 24th June 1825;Thirzah, baptised on 3rd October, 1827, and Esther, baptised on 1st October the following year. Elizabeth’s subsequent marriage, to a second cousin of her first husband’s, EsauScarrott, at Shipton under Wychwood on 13th May 1833, where the witnesses were Mary and Maria Dore, resulted in six known children: William, born around 1834; Windsor, about two years later; Delilah, born around 1838; Alfred,born about 1840;Shadrack, born in about 1842; John, baptised at MoretonintheMarsh, Gloucestershire on 25th January 1846, the son of a “travelling brush seller.”

Perhaps the name Jason came from the Dore family originally; there was certainly a Jason Dore in Charlbury, born some five years before Thomas and Elizabeth’s son, and the name seems to have been popular in the area. (Jason Dore, 22, was a carpenter, born in Finstock, who, in the September of 1840, was charged with “having feloniously stolen a hat, of the value of 4/- and one cotton half-handkerchief of the value of 2d, the property of William Wright, at the Forest of Wychwood,” of which crime he was acquitted.)

Elizabeth was also to have grandsons and great-grandsonswho were named Jason. Her daughter, Thirzah, married John Panting at Shipton under Wychwood on 11th October 1847 and was to useher brother’s name for a son. Jason Panting was born in 1852, the son of John and Theresa (sic)Panting, at Ramsden, Oxfordshire. They are found in the 1881 census at Ramsden Heath, with their son Jason, and two daughters, Elizabeth, named after Thirzah’s mother, born about 1858 and Mary, born around 1866. By 1891, still in the village of Ramsden, they have only their son Jason with them, recorded as a widower, and Thirzah’s mother, Elizabeth Scarrott, a widow for the second time.

It is probable that Jason Panting’s first marriage was to Caroline Busby, registered in the September quarter of 1883 in the district of Chipping Norton. The death of a Caroline Panting is listed in the same registration district in the June of the following year, and there is also, in the same quarter, in Chipping Norton, the death of an infant, Sarah Panting. This suggests Jason’s first wife may have died in childbirth, a common fear for most women in the nineteenth century. His subsequent remarriage, to Clara Millin, in the September quarter of 1895, in the registration district of Witney, resulted in at least two children, Thirza Ann, born about 1896, clearly named for his mother, and Rosa May, born in 1901, and in both the 1901 census and the subsequent one, they are still residing in the village of Ramsden.

The name of Jason was also to be used by Elizabeth’s youngest son by Esau Scarrott, John, who married Sarah Pratley in Moreton in the Marsh, Gloucestershire on 25th May 1868. The Pratleys seem to have been dealers and hawkers in pottery, too. On the 9th October 1863, Richard Pratley, aged 42, of Ramsden in Oxfordshire, whose occupation was that of earthenware dealer, was to be found in the Gloucester Gaol, and he is almost certainly Sarah Pratley’s father. Richard’s wife was also a Scarrott; Keziah, daughter of John Scarrott and Sarah Dore, Elizabeth’s sister and Thomas’ brother, and baptised on New Year’s Eve 1823 in Charlbury, had married Richard Pratley on 8th November 1843 in Shipton under Wychwood, so, for John Scarrott and Sarah Pratley, it was a fairly typical cousin marriage.

The 1861 census shows them, still in Shipton under Wychwood, with children Emily, baptised 16th April 1844 inLeafield, Oxfordshire; Alfred, baptised inLeafield, Oxfordshire on 25th April 1845; Sarah, baptised inRamsden, Oxfordshire on 19th July 1846; Esther, baptised in Leafield on 10th September 1848; as was Richard, baptised on 29th September 1850; Mary Ann on 17th October 1852; Louisa, baptised on 5th September 1858; and inRamsden, Lucy, baptised on 6th January 1861 and Mina (Minnie), baptised on 5th November 1865. Richard is described as a hawker of pots, and Emily, Alfred and Sarah as hawkers. By the 1871 census, however, Richard is back in prison, this time Oxford County Gaol. The Jackson’s Oxford Journal may suggest the reason why, in its 14th January 1871 edition, in which it reported on the Petty Sessions, at which “Richard Pratley of Finstock” was charged with “night poaching.” Meanwhile,Keziah is living at Mary’s Cottage, Ramsden, with her four younger daughters, (Mary) Ann, Louisa, Lucy and Minnie.

JohnScarrott’s and Sarah Pratley’s first child, a daughter, born in 1868, was called SarahKeziah, named for her mother and grandmother; followed by Jason,named for John’s half-brother, who was baptised at Ramsden, Oxfordshire on 26th September 1869, and registered in the September quarter of that year, in the registration district of Witney; John, born about 1871; Elizabeth, named after her other grandmother, was baptised at Ramsden on 8th January 1874;Esau Shadrach, born in Moreton in the Marsh in1876, and registered in the June quarter of that year in the registration district of Shipston; Henry, born in Upton on Severn, Worcestershire, about 1878, and Lucy, named after Sarah’s sister, in the same place, in 1881. It is the1881 census which locates the family at Upton on Severn, where John is described as a hawker.

Their son, Jason, was to marry a Fanny Holloway, in the March quarter of 1908, in the registration district of Maidenhead, by which time he and Fanny had three daughters and a son: Sarah, born about 1894, and named after Jason’s mother and sister; Emily, born about 1897; Jason, born in 1898; little Lizzie, probably named for her great-grandmother, born in 1901.The 1901 census finds them in a poor area of Reading, Berkshire, at Linnet Court, and Jason is working as a plasterer’s labourer; his little son, the most recent bearer of the name, is just two years old.

Copyright © 2012 Anne-Marie Ford