Thomas Mewburn (1717) of the Croft line married Dorothy Dennison at York on the 12th May 1752 then settled immediately at Chesterton, well south in Huntingdonshire, where all their five children were born. What prompted the move and how the property was acquired is unknown.
Later generations lived at Whittlesea, Stanground and Peterborough on the borders of Cambridgeshire/ Huntingdonshire/ Northamptonshire. Whittlesea (todays Whittlesey) is six miles east of Peterborough in the Fenlands. Stanground spanned Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire but today is part of Peterborough so is now in Northamptonshire.
Dorothea Mewburn Watson commented that Stanground (a “small estate”) was a convenient stopping off point for Mewburns travelling south and for those of the Acomb line going to and from the University at Cambridge. There are apparently references to this in the lost diary of the Rev. James Mewburn when he and his brother Simon stayed over.
Thomas died in 1792 and was buried at Croft on the 27th February. His will had been made much earlier on the 26th May 1778. Wife Dorothy was to get the plate plus the post-chaise and a pair of horses! Son Thomas got the tenanted Sowerby Grange under Cotcliffe and property at both South Cowton and Darlington and pasture at Yelling. There were bequests to daughter Dorothy, son John and daughter Elizabeth. John also got property at Tyd St Mary in Lincolnshire and Tyd St Giles in Cambridgeshire. A codicil in 1791 indicated that John and Ann were now dead so a trust (administered by ‘cousin’ Simon of Acomb) was created to benefit five Willan grandchildren and four children of his brother-in-law Dr. Henry Mewburn.
Dorothy died in 1796 and was also buried at Croft. Her birth and ancestry is unknown.
Thomas’s children were:
Dorothy Mewburn 1753-1824
Dorothy was baptised at Chesterton on the 10th April 1753. She married her second cousin Dr. Henry Mewburn of the Acomb branch, perhaps in early 1780 though we have no record, and they went off to live in Newcastle.
Thomas Mewburn 1754-1823
Thomas was baptised at Chesterton in February 1754. His life and line are dealt with later.
John Mewburn 1756-1789
John was baptised at Chesterton on the 24th June 1756. He seems not to have married and was buried at Stanground on the 27th May 1789. Admon was granted to his brother Thomas in 1792, having been renounced by sister Dorothy of Newcastle and sister Mary Elizabeth of Norton. His goods and chattels were £300 – a modest sum for this family.
Anne Mewburn 1758-1788
Anne was baptised at Chesterton on the 19th January 1758. She remained unmarried and was buried at Stanground on the 1st April 1788 aged just 30.
Mary Elizabeth Mewburn 1763-aft 1790
Mary Elizabeth was baptised at Chesterton on the 29th June 1763. She is the spinster of Norton mentioned in John’s will. Her death and burial have not been established.
WHITTLESEA and STANGROUND
The third Thomas in this line established his presence at Whittlesea and Willow Hall, Stanground.
Thomas Mewburn (1754-1823) tree
Thomas married Jane Willan on the 10th August 1784 at Southwick in County Durham. Southwick or Suddick is where Jane Armstrong, wife of James Mewburn and mother of the Acomb line, lived in the 1730s after her husband’s death. Was there still some Mewburn link to the place?
There is a monument in the chancel of St John the Baptist Church at Stanground with the partial inscription:
— Mewburn, d. 1789, and — his daughter, d. 1788; Thomas William Mewburn, d. 1795, and Mary Ann his daughter, d. 1794
The last two deaths in 1795 and 1794 match other records for Thomas’s children but the deaths in 1789 and 1788 remain a mystery.
Thomas Willan Mewburn 1785-1795
Thomas was baptised at Whittlesey St Mary on the 13th September 1785. Then there is a burial on the 1st September 1795 at Stanground. A brief life.
John Willan Mewburn 1786-1851
John may have been born on the 2nd July 1786 at Whittlesey (this date has been given by a descendant, Richard Mewburn) but no documentary evidence has been found. However he was baptised at Whittlesey St Mary on the 7th July 1786.
He married Margaret Mardshall (or Marishall) of Peterborough at Whissendine in the county of Rutland on the 12th August 1811. They settled in Peterborough where John had a business as a wine and spirit merchant, and produced seven children.
John and Margaret were the first of this line to appear in censuses, living at 21 Westgate in Peterborough. John died in 1851 and was buried on the 18th December at St John the Baptist, Peterborough. His will mentions wife Margaret and names children Elizabeth, Thomas, Ann and Jane Isabella. Margaret died in 1859.
Their children were:
John Mewburn 1813-1822
John had a short life. He was baptised at Peterborough on the 16th June 1813 and buried there on the 4th March 1822.
Ann Mewburn 1816-aft1871
Ann was baptised, with Elizabeth, at Peterborough on the 25th September 1816. In the 1841 census she was staying at Castor with 65-year old banker William Simpson and described as independent. In 1851 she was again away from home visiting Alfred Hayward, Clerk of the County Court of Northamptonshire, at Brackley St James.
Ann married William Ives of Braddon House, Northamptonshire at Hexham in Northumberland early in 1859. The Hexham marriage was presumably because William was vicar of Haltwhistle and indeed that is where they were living at the census in 1861. Ann was 43 when they married and they had no children. By 1871 William had retired and they had moved to Witton le Wear in County Durham. He died there in 1875 and one of his executors was William Richmond Mewburn of the Acomb line – demonstrating a degree of family closeness. His effects were under £80,000 – a considerable sum.
Ann then moved south to live at Sherwood House, Willesden where she died on the 12th December 1880. Her estate was under £50,000. Again William Richmond Mewburn (who lived close by on Willesden Lane) was an executor along with her sister Jane Isabella.
Elizabeth Mewburn 1816-1879
Elizabeth was baptised, with Ann, at Peterborough on the 25th September 1816. She was at home professing no occupation in 1841 and 1851. In 1861 she was at a lodging house in Brighton, listed as a ‘fundholder’ and with another, much older, fundholder, Julia Spalding. The two of them were there again (or still) in 1871 and this time Elizabeth was listed as a house proprietor.
Elizabeth died, unmarried, on the 24th October 1879 at Peterborough with a personal estate of just £1,339. Again William Richmond Mewburn was executor.
Margaret Mewburn 1817-1817
There is only a burial record for Margaret – 27th March 1817 at St John the Baptist, Peterborough; age 18 days.
Jane Mewburn c1818-1820
Jane, too, is known only from a burial at Minster Close Precincts on the 19th April 1820. Neither her age nor birth is known.
Thomas Marishall Mewburn 1819-1857
Thomas was baptised at Peterborough on the 17th August 1819. On the 9th May 1837 he was articled to Thomas Atkinson of Peterborough a “Solicitor of the High Court of Chancery” for a term of five years.
He should have qualified therefore as a solicitor in 1842. In the 1841 census he was at home and still, as expected, a solicitor’s clerk. In fact Thomas switched masters during his clerkship to Evan Morris of Harcourt Buildings, Temple in London on the 20th September 1839. He completed his articles on the 25th October 1841.
Thomas then went off to practise in Darlington where he sired a line of cricket players.
Jane Isabella Mewburn 1820-1903
Jane Isabella was baptised at Peterborough on the 29th September 1820. She was at home for the 1841 and 1851 censuses but then in 1861 and 1871 lived on North Street, the home of her aunt Lucy Marshall, along with Dorothy Willan Mewburn, another aunt. In 1881 she was at Sherwood in Willesden where her sister Ann had died the previous year. In 1891 she was still living in Willesden (with two servants) but now in a place called Holyrood House.
Jane Isabella died, unmarried, on the 5th August 1903 at 1 Randolph Gardens, Carlton Vale with effects of £13,903. WR Mewburn was executor once more.
Going back to Thomas’s children:
Elizabeth Mewburn c1787-aft1811
There are only a few pieces of evidence for her existence. The Monthly Magazine, Vol 31, for 1811 notes that:
Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Mr Thomas Mewburn of Boroughbury was married to Daniel Webster.
Assuming it deals with the same Thomas Mewburn as the father then she must have been born before Jane for whom censuses suggest a 1791 birth.
Other important evidence comes from an insurance policy issued by the Royal Sun and Alliance company on the 12th January 1807 to Elizabeth and Jane. It is for house contents of £500 at 37 Warren Street, Fitzroy Square – a good London address. This suggests that both sisters were of an age to engage independently in such a transaction (over 18?) and that would make their births perhaps around 1787-88, following on for the two boys whose baptisms are known. As Elizabeth is named first she may be the elder.
A first assumption could be that the sisters were taking the house for the season – seeking husbands – a usual enough matter at the time though chaperoning would have been essential.
There is another policy taken out in 1819 by a Rev Edmund Staunton relating to 4 Grafton Street, Fitzroy Square in which his household goods are said to be “in the Dwelling house only of Mewburn private”. That seems to imply that someone in the family had then purchased in the area.
Jane Mewburn c1788-1854
Dorothea Mewburn-Watson believed that Thomas had three spinster daughters, and suggested that Jane was perhaps the eldest. Insurance and marriage evidence makes Elizabeth older. We cannot be sure about her actual year of birth, however. Censuses suggest she was born around 1791 but the evidence of the insurance implies it must have been a few years earlier.
The London Gazette provides another small insight to her life. On the 30th January 1827[ii] there is an entry under the Court for Relief of Insolvent Debtors calling a hearing for the 20th February with:
Mewburn, Jane, formerly of Warren-street, and late of No. 28, Grafton-street, Fitzroy Square, both in Middlesex, Boarding and Lodging-house-Keeper.
So in the end she was running a business in the area – but not successfully. Quite what happened next is not too clear but by the census of 1841 she was staying with a butcher, Thomas Shipley, and his wife at Bourn in Lincolnshire, then in 1851 with an elderly widow, Harriet Gurnhill, at Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.
A burial on the 24th August 1854, at Gainsborough of a 67-year old Jane Newburn seems most likely to be for her (though now placing the date of birth at around 1787, actually closer to what seems likely). There is no will.
Dorothy Willan Mewburn c1792-1879
There are no birth or baptismal records for Dorothy but her death record in the second quarter of 1879 gives her age as 88 – which would equate to a birth in 1791 or 1792. Censuses state that she was born at Willow Hall in Cambridgeshire (though in 1871 it was given as Standground). Dorothy did not marry. In 1841 she was staying with two unmarried Marishall sisters and was still with Lucy Marishall in 1851 and 1861 at 1 Westgate, then again with her at North Street in 1871.
Mary Ann Mewburn 1794-1794
There is only a burial on the 23rd April 1794 for Mary Ann so it is assumed hers was an infant death. Mary Ann is also named on the memorial at St John the Baptist Church, Stanground.
Isabella Mewburn c1796-1866
There are no birth or baptism details for Isabella, the third of the spinster daughters of Thomas, and censuses suggest a birth of 1794 or 1796. In the census records from 1841 to 1861, described as independent, she lived at the rectory in Polebrook, Northamptonshire with the Rev Charles Isham and his wife (though the wife had died by 1861).
Isabella died on the 17th December 1866 at Iffley Road, Headington, Oxford aged 72 (again suggesting a 1794 birth). At probate, with effects under £800, she was described as being formerly from Polebrook Rectory. The records give no hints as to how she came to live there.
Maria Mewburn 1798-1798
The only evidence there is for Maria is a burial at Stanground on the 1st December 1798 so we must assume she was born earlier that year.