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Isaac Light

Eric Trudgill    -    5 November 2012

Isaac Light, husband of Mary, was “a traveller” at the baptism of one of their children and “of Romsey” in W Hants at the baptism of three of them. He christened a Mary in Havant, E Hantsin 1753, a Jacob and Sarah (presumably twins) in Pulborough, W Sussex in 1755, and a Rebecca in both W Grinstead and Shipley, W Sussex in 1759. To these children we can surely add the Abraham Light who married Mary Minns in Petworth, W Sussex in 1774, and the Isaac Light who married Ann Elliot in Storrington, W Sussex in 1765 (Petworth and Storrington are close to W Grinstead and Shipley, and very close to Pulborough). Abraham was buried just north of Havant in 1783 and doesn’t seem to have had issue, but the second Isaac echoed the first in having a Jacob (baptised in Havant), in having twins (an Abraham and an Isaac baptised in Romsey), and in having children and grandchildren who not only travelled between W Hants and W Sussex, but moved east into E Sussex and Kent, north into Surrey, and west into Dorset.

I haven’t been able to trace Isaac and Ann’s daughters, Sarah (baptised in Sidlesham, Sussex in 1774) and Elizabeth (baptised in Arundel, Sussex in 1785). But their five known sons have been relatively simple.William Light (baptised in 1772 in Funtington, Sussex, near Havant, Hants and husband of Ann) christened the following children: Louisa in Farlington, Hants in 1798; Henry inBosham, Sussex in 1800 (of Romsey, Hants); Joseph in Slindon, Sussex in 1803; Harriet, George, John, Olive, Amy and Sophia in Havant 1805-14; another Louisa in Merston, Sussex in 1817 (hawker of Havant); and Ann in Petersfield, Hants in 1822 (of Havant). The first Louisa presumably died young; and Henry, Olive, the second Louisa and Ann were all buried in Catherington, Hants, near Havant 1811-38. But Joseph married Rhoda Proudly in 1821, Harriet married Thomas Croutcher in 1826, George married Marian Green in 1827, John married an Esther or Etty, and a William Light, who I’m pretty sure was William and Ann’s first child, married Charlotte Ripley in 1819 and had two children baptised in Havant and three others where he was described as a traveller of Havant.

Jacob Light (baptised in 1776 in Havant, and husband of Charlotte) had the following children: Adam, born in Northchapel, Sussex about 1809, who married (46 son of Jacob hawker) Sarah Pidgley (43 daughter of John hawker) in Boldre, Hants in 1857; Charles, baptised in Lurgashall, Sussex in 1811 (Lurgashall is very close to Northchapel); Job, baptised in Iping, Sussex in 1814, who married first a Jane, and second in 1855 in the Guildford Registration District Sarah Mays; Sampson, baptised in Rudgwick, Sussex in 1817(cork dealer of Cranleigh, Surrey); possibly William, born about 1819, who married Mary Clark; Samuel, baptised in Rudgwick, Sussex in 1821 (hawker of Cranleigh, Surrey); and possibly James, born in Petworth, Sussex about 1823, who would thus have made a cousin marriage with Matilda Light, of whom more later.

Adam confirmed himself as Jacob and Charlotte’s son at his wedding and by christening a Charlotte in 1834 and a Jacob in 1837, plus a Job in 1840 and a Sampson in 1847. Job, husband of Jane, confirmed himself as Jacob and Charlotte’s son by christening a Sampson in 1844 and an Adam in 1848. William, husband of Mary, and James, husband of Matilda, look as if they were Jacob’s sons partly because neither would fit so well into the families of his four brothers, and partly because their travel profiles echoed his and some of his children’s. William all his life stayed faithful to the Lurgashall, Rudgwick, Cranleigh area. And James as a young man seems to have been close to Jacob’s Job: both at baptisms claimed to be a hawker of Petworth (close to Northchapel and Lurgashall, where two of Job’s brothers seem to have been born); both christened children in Surrey 1844-46; and two of James’s other children were born on the E Sussex/Kent border, off the family’s usual patch but very close to Iden, where Job once claimed to have been born, and incidentally to Udimore, where Jacob’s Adam christened his first child, who happened to be a James.

Abraham Light, baptised in Romsey, Hants in 1777, married Elizabeth Draper in Marden, Kent in 1806, and had the following children: James (baptised in Brighton, Sussex in 1803), who in 1830 married Harriet Light daughter of William and Ann; Mary, born about 1805; Isaac (baptised in Wisborough Green, Sussex in 1807), who in 1830 married Sarah Wicks; Ann, baptised in Kirdford, Sussex in 1810, who died young; Abraham, baptised in Steep, Hants in 1812; Edward, baptised in Linchmere, Sussex in 1816 (travelling tinker of Romsey, Hants) who was buried in Bosham, Sussex six weeks later (from Romsey); and Sarah, baptised in Northchapel, Sussex in 1815 (traveller). Soon after Sarah’s birth Abraham was found guilty of horse-stealing: he was transported to Australia the following year, and by 1819 his wife had taken a new husband, Michael Dean Saunders (in January 1821 the two of them, with their first child and all Abraham’s children except Anna and Edward, were charged with vagrancy in Petworth).

Isaac Light, baptised with his twin, Abraham, in 1777, married a Sarah (like Abraham’s Isaac), and had the following children: Emmanuel, baptised in Wisborough Green in 1814 and buried in Kingston, Surrey in 1839 “aged 25”; Mark, baptised in Oakley, Hants in 1816 (vagrant); Matilda, baptised in Bisley, Glos in 1819 (from Romsey, Hants), who married James Light; Sampson, baptised in Westbourne, Sussex in 1826; and Ann, baptised in Farnham, Surrey in 1832. Matilda by James Light had Isaac Light who married Ann(abel) Croutcher,Macey who married Joseph Colbert, Emmanuel (Job) who married Selina Barnes, Samson who married a Lucilla/Priscilla, and Amy. Sampson married an Elizabeth, and had a Louisa, Charles, Henry, Alfred, Samuel and Sarah Ann.

Finally, Adam Light, baptised in W Farleigh, Kent in 1782, seems to have had an unsettled early manhood. In 1807 he and his brother, Abraham, were convicted at Sussex Assizes of being rogues and vagabonds: Abraham, despite being charged additionally with desertion from the Sussex Militia (a serious offence then, in war-time), went on christening children regularly till he was convicted of horse-stealing; but Adam was sentenced to be put on board one of His Majesty’s ships of war, and this may explain why he is known to have had only two children, and these apparently by different wives. One child was the Adam junior he and an Ann christened in 1814 (private soldier of South Hants), who travelled for a few years with his cousin, Adam Light, husband of Sarah Pidgley, and who married (son of Adam) Sarah’s sister, Mary Ann Pidgley (daughter of John), in Southampton, Hants in 1852. The other child was the Kezia he and a Mary christened in 1823 (a pedlar) in the church used for a christening the year before by her cousin, Joseph Light son of Jacob. Adam Light junior and Mary Ann had yet another Adam, baptised jointly (and confusingly) in 1835 with Adam son of Adam and Sarah; a Martha baptised in 1837; a James baptised jointly in 1840 with Job son of Adam and Sarah; and a Robert, William and Mary Ann all born in Hants between about 1852 and 1855. Adam junior’s birthplace, incidentally, was given in the 1851 census incorrectly as Foxton, Cambs (which the Ancestry indexer helpfully interpreted as Foxton, Cambodia), and it was given in the 1861 census messily but correctly as Kent: his baptism was in 1814 in Folkestone, Kent!

I must thank Ian Orchard for starting me off on the Lights with his excellent article on Elizabeth Draper in Romany Routes, September 2009.

Copyright © 2012 Eric Trudgill