The Bowerbank Family
26 December 1797, in Mansfield,
30 March 1803, in Pleasley,
Derbyshire, England, aged 5
Ann Bowerbank is recorded as the daughter of W. Bowerbank, curate of
Pleasley, aged 5¼ years
Catherine Mary (Bowerbank) Bartram
1795, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire,
Joseph Bartram on 14 October 1816,
in St Peter and St Paul, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England
Joseph Bartram is recorded as resident in Grantham, Lincolnshire.
The New Monthly Magazine 1 November 1816 p371
At Mansfield, Mr. Jos. Bartram, of Grantham, to Catherine, eldest
daughter of the Rev. Wm. Bowerbank.
Joseph was born in 1791. He was a draper. He is resident in Grantham,
Lincolnshire, at his marriage and at the baptisms of his first three
children, Joseph, William and Robert in 1816, 1817, 1818 and 1820, and
described at those baptisms as a draper. The baptism of Sarah took place in
Mansfield in 1823 and at Frederick's baptism in 1825, in Gainsborough,
Lincolnshire, he is described as a traveller, living on Bridge Street. In
1828, he was declared bankrupt (London Gazette 9 December 1828 p2284, with
a name clarification in London Gazette 16 December 1828 p2338),
described as a "mercer, draper, dealer and chapman", now resident in
Alfreton. Joseph died in 1855.
5 December 1829, in Pleasley,
Derbyshire, England, aged 33
- Joseph Bartram (1817 - 1862)
- William Bartram (1818 - ? )
- Robert William Bartram (1820 - 1875)
- Sarah Bartram (1823 - ? )
- Frederick Bartram (1825 - 1825)
Catherine Mary Bartram is recorded as resident in Alfreton.
1809, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire,
1886, in Newton
Abbot district, Devon, England, aged 76
1851: Eliza Bowerbank is aged 41, born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
Villa, Iverson Road, Hampstead, Middlesex
- 1851, 1871 and 1881
census and age at death all indicate birth in 1809 or 1810, and birth
must have occurred before her mother's death in 1809.
- The New Monthly Magazine 1 November 1816
- England Death Index
(3Q1886 Newton A. vol 5b p89)
Hannah (Bowerbank) Edmondson
1806/7, in Mansfield,
James Edmondson on 24 September
1845, in St Peter & St Paul, Bromley, Kent, England
James Edmondson is recorded as a bachelor, of full age, the son of John
Edmondson, surgeon. James is a surgeon, resident in Tetbury,
Gloucestershire. Hannah Bowerbank is recorded as a spinster, of full age,
the daughter of William Bowerbank, clerk. She is resident on Bromley. The
marriage was witnessed by Sarah Bowerbank, Henry Robinson, R. M. Bartrane,
Wm Grain and Eliza Bowerban
The Gentleman's Magazine December 1845 p635
At Bromley, Kent, Jas. Edmondson, esq. of Tetbury, Gloucestersh. to
Hannah, dau. of the Rev. Wm. Bowerbank, late Rector of Salmonby,
James was born in 1804, in Keswick, Cumberland, the son of John Edmondson,
surgeon. Like his father, James was a surgeon, GP and MRCS London, 1828,
licentiate of Apothecaries Company London, 1827. He died in 1873, in Wandsworth
district, Surrey, aged 69.
Census and Addresses:
1845: Tetbury, Gloucestershire (marriage record)
1850: Long Street, Tetbury, Gloucestershire (Slater's Directory 1850)
1852: Long Street, Tetbury, Gloucestershire (Tetbury
1871: 2 New Portland Place, Wandsworth road, Surrey (The Medical Directory 1872 p73)
1873: Wandsworth road, Surrey (Calendar of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
1886, in Lambeth
district, Surrey, England, aged 79
- James Edmondson (1847 - 1910)
- Hannah Edmondson (1849 - 1896)
- Thomas Edmondson (1853 - 1857)
1851: Hannah Edmondson, wife, is aged 44, born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
Hartington Road, Lambeth, Surrey: Hannah Edmondson is noted as a
widow, and blind
6 February 1805, in Mansfield,
1845, in Bromley
district, Kent, England
The will of Maria Bowerbank, spinster
of Bromley, Kent was dated 20 March 1845.
6 November 1801, in Mansfield,
Sarah spent her later life at Partis
College, near Bath. Partis College was founded by Ann and Fletcher
Partis for women "who had been left in reduced circumstances". In Report of the Governors of the Charity for the Relief
of Poor Widows and Children of Clergymen p42, Sarah is listed
as one of the "inmates of [Mrs. Partis's] College at Bath, who have been
Widow or Maiden Daughter Pensioners of the Corporation", and was granted an
annuity from the charity of £10.
The British Imperial Calendar 1856 p367
Founded by the late Mrs. Anne Partis, of Bath, as a Charitable
Establishment for the support of 30 Ladies, who, to use the language of
the Foundress’ Rules must “be Gentlewomen by birth and education, and
have seen better days.” They must be either the Widows or Orphan
Unmarried Daughters of Clergymen, of Gentlemen of the other learned
Professions, of Officers in the Army or Navy, or of Merchants ; must be
all attached members of the Established Church. Each inmate is allowed
30l. a-year and a separate
house to live in. Ten houses out of the 30 have been customarily
tenented by Clerical inmates, nine of whom receive 10l.
a-year from the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy. There is a Chapel
attached to the Institution, and a Chaplain resides in the College.
Chaplain and Secretary, The
Rev. Edward Smith, MA., Chaplain's house.
N.В. Each Candidate must have attained her 50th year, and be
possessed of 30l. a-year
private income, which must be secured to the satisfaction of the
Solicitor to the trust. And it must be certified, as well as declared in
writing by herself, that she is in sufficiently good health to attend
Divine Service in the College Chapel regularly. She must also, before
admission, lodge the sum of 10l.
towards defraying her funeral expenses, in case she die in the College,
the interest of which will be paid to herself ; and should she leave the
Establishment during her lifetime, the above sum will be returned to
her. She must subscribe her name, and bind herself to observe the
printed Rules before admission : and the Chaplain is bound to take care
that these are strictly observed.
The presentation to the Chaplaincy, which was in the sole gift of
the Foundress during her life, is now vested, as well as the nomination
of the inmates, in thirteen Trustees.
1887, in Bath
district, Somerset, England, aged 86
College, Weston, Somerset
1851: Weston, Somerset: Sarah Bowerbank, head, is aged 50, born in
1861: 12 Partis College,
1881: 12 Partis
College, Weston, Somerset
1803, in Mansfield,
St John's College, Cambridge
THOMAS. Adm. sizar at ST JOHN'S, Nov. 18,
1823. S. of W., clerk of Mansfield, Notts. [perhaps William, R. of
Salmonby, Lincs, 1827-40; died c.
1840, aged 71]. Matric. Michs. 1824; B.A. 1828. C. of St
Thomas-in-the-East, Jamaica, 1828. [W. Cowper]
Thomas was curate of the parish of St
Thomas-in-the-East, Jamaica from 1828.
Thomas's father had intended Thomas to become the rector of
Langar-cum-Barnston, Nottinghamshire and he had contracted for part of the
advowson enabling him to present the next rector when a vacancy arose. The
vacancy occurred, however, while Thomas was still an undergraduate at
Cambridge, and William attempted to introduce a temporary candidate but some
illegalities involved in the scheme resulted in the forfeiture of the
advowson to the King, and Thomas never received the rectory. Perhaps all
this was part of the reason that Thomas decided to take a position in
Jamaica upon receiving his degree.
Thomas was granted £50 on the recommendation of the Secretary of State for
the Colonies "to defray the expense of his passage to Jamaica, as one of the
stipendiary clergy in that diocese (Estimates and Accounts 1829 p59).
A list of clergy on Jamaica in 1839 lists Stephen H. Cooke, Thomas Wharton,
A.M., M. Mitchell, A.M., William Stearns and W. Woodcock as the clergy in St
Thomas in the East, so Thomas Bowerbank must have left the parish, or died,
before then (Jamaica Almanac 1839).
3 January 1770, in Greystoke,
Mary (Richardson) Bowerbank
Carpendale on 8 December 1794, in All Saints, Winthorpe,
William Bowerbank is recorded as resident in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.
Rebecca Carpendale is recorded as a spinster, resident in Winthorpe. The
marriage was performed by W. Rastall, rector, and witnessed by Henry
Robinson and Sarah Carpendale.
Carpendale on 29 April 1811, in St Peter Cathedral, Sheffield,
Yorkshire West Riding, England
The Literary Panorama July 1811 p178
William Bowerbank, of Mansfield, to Miss S. Carpendale, of Sheffield.
Sarah was the sister of William's first wife, Rebecca Carpendale. This
marriage was not illegal at the time (it
became so in 1835, with a clause grandfathering existing marriages)
but was frowned upon by the church, which considered it a marriage within a
prohibited degree. Such marriages were not absolutely void but were voidable
at the suit of any interested party, and this may have been the reason that
the marriage took place in Sheffield. The marriage seems to have been an
impediment to William obtaining a position as a clergyman, and so may have
led to William's troublesome efforts to buy advowsons. In 1820, he wrote a
series of letters to William H. Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, 4th Duke of
Portland, regarding the marriage and a possible clerical position. These
letters are held in the University of Nottingham Manuscripts and Special
Collections ref Pw H 402, 403 and 404. In the first letter, dated 11 April
1820, William says that his feelings have been 'excessively hurt' by the
duke's communication; he was unaware that his marriage was a violation of
any law; he will wait on the duke the following Friday; hopes that the duke
will allow some gentleman to 'hold for me what it was your Grace's intention
to bestow'; says that if he will be obliged to 'relinquish the hopes of
preferment in the Church' he will have to become a farmer; says that he
would not be able to maintain a family on the income from the school. In the
second letter, three days later, William regrets that he was unable to wait
on the duke regarding the 'alligations' made against him for the trouble
which the duke took in writing to the Archbishop [of York, Edward V.
Harcourt] on his behalf; is reluctant to give up his ecclesiastical livings;
says that he will need to find another way to provide for his family if he
cannot find a living; enquires as to whether the duke has any vacant farms.
The third letter, dated 19 September 1820, William thinks that there may
have been some misunderstanding in his case; he has received a letter from
an unnamed friend offering his living to Bowerbank; says that he wrote to
the Archbishop [of York, Edward V. Harcourt] to invite enquiries into the
'circumstances of his case'; has received word from the Archbishop that
there is no impediment to him holding a living; asks whether there are any
livings which the duke can bestowe on him.
Schoolmaster - headmaster of the Mansfield Free Grammar School for many
years, and clergyman - curate of Pleasley, Derbyshire and then rector
of Salmonby, Lincolnshire
William was initially a classics master in Winthorpe, Nottinghamshire.
Another of the schoolmasters at Winthorpe was Henry Robinson who had married
Ann Carpendale, the sister of both of William's future wives, in 1786. In
1794, he was appointed as head master of the Mansfield Free Grammar School.
The history of Mansfield and it's environs p29
(W. Harrod, 1801)
Academies in Mansfield
The FREE GRAMMAR SCHOOL, conducted by the Reverend W.
Bowerbank, Head Master, and Mr.
John Cursham, Sub-Master, is pleasantly situated near the
church. The house belonging to the head-master is delightfully pleasant,
commanding an extensive south-east prospect into the fruitful fields
adjoining the town. The head-master likewise receives into his house a
limited number of Young Gentlemen, who are taught the learned Languages,
the French Tongue, &c. with every other polite accomplishment.
Pigot and Co.'s National Commercial Directory
Academies & Schools
FREE GRAMMAR SCHOOL, Church yard—Rev. William Bowerbank, head master ;
Rev. Wm. Goodacre, second master
Digest of the reports made by the commissioners of
inquiry into charities County of Nottingham p32
Report and Date.—25th Rep., p.
378, MS. 322, date 1826.
patent 3rd Eliz.
churchwardens, for time being, incorporated.
Visitors and Patron.—Governors,
with advice of 8 inhabitants of the town, to be chosen by the remainder
of the parishioners, empowered to make statutes, and to appoint and
remove the schoolmaster and usher.
authors most commonly used in grammar-schools with the Scriptures.
3d. paid out of general funds
of the Church and School Corporation, and charity called the Eight Men's
considered free to all boys of the parish of Mansfield for instruction
in classics. At time of inquiry 1 boy only under the head master. Under
the usher 18 free-scholars taught Latin, writing and accounts, paying £5
5s. per annum for the latter.
Also 1 free boy, learning Latin only. The usher, who employs an
assistant, has likewise 8 boarders. Inefficient state of the school
subject of complaint on part of inhabitants. Since inquiry head master
has resigned, and new one about to be appointed
The Victoria History of the County of Nottingham
vol 2 p248 (William Page, 1906)
William Bowerbank was appointed master in 1801, and John Cursham usher.
At the time of Bowerbank’s appointment there was only one boy in the
upper school. In 1801 it was stated that ‘the head master receives into
his house a limited number of young gentlemen, who are taught the
learned languages, the French tongue, &c., with every other polite
accomplishment.’ As the boarders increased the day boys did also, said
the Commissioners of Inquiry, thirty years later. In 1807 another
attempt was made by bill in Chancery to separate the school from the
church lands, and an answer was put in by the vicar ; the suit was not
actively prosecuted. Before 1818 the master seems to have given up
Carlisle says of the school in 1818 : ‘Its present state may be
attributed partly to the inattention of the governers in not drawing up
Rules for the management of the School applicable to present times and
circumstances, and more particularly because Mansfield is now more a manufacturing place than it
formerly was ; little classical learning being now unfortunately in
requisition. Still, however, the institution has been, and may again be,
productive of much utility. The neglect of classical lore has evidently
had a pernicious effect upon the manners and morals of the inhabitants.
The two masters of the Royal Free Grammar School are of a highly
respectable character; neither of them are graduates.... At present
there are no scholars with the Head master; and but few with the
sub-master, and these more for the purpose of receiving an English
education in an adjoining room, which is paid for; seldom proceeding in
the schoolroom further than the Latin Grammar.’
The usher in question was the Rev. William Goodacre. It is stated
of him, some fifteen years later, by Lord Brougham’s Commission of
Inquiry concerning Charities, that he had served two curacies and
resided about 2 miles from Mansfield. It is stated that he had at one
time 30 boys under his care ; but for some time previous to his
resignation he had no scholar, and during the fifteen years he was usher
only three boys passed through the lower to the upper school. He was
induced to resign in 1830 by the strong representation of the governors,
repeated complaints having been made of his neglect and inattention.
The next usher, Hodgson Brailsford, was appointed on probation,
and confirmed in August 1831. He had 27 boys, including eight boarders,
learning besides Latin the three R’s, for which latter they paid 5
guineas a year.
Mr. Bowerbank had only one boy in his school atthe time of our
examination in March 1832. A notion seems to have prevailed that the
head master was not obliged to take any boy under his care who had not
passed through the lower school. Mr. Bowerbank, however, stated that he
considered himself obliged to take scholars at once into his school if
sufficiently qualified ; and that he had three or four in Mr. Goodacre’s
time, who came to him without passing through the lower school. These
three or four boys, with the three above mentioned, who passed through
the lower school, seem to be all who have been under the headmaster for
the last 15 years, besides the one boy under his care, who was sent up
to him from the lower school a very short time before our inquiry took
The neglected state of the school has been the general subject of
complaint on the part of the inhabitants of Mansfield. In 1821 a meeting
was called, and the under master reprimanded, and more exact attendance
required. The parents were, however, unwilling to send their children to
the school, and the establishment was utterly useless to the town. We
are glad to be spared the necessity of making further observation on the
subject, having learnt that since our inquiry the head master has
resigned his situation, thereby affording an opportunity to the
governors, by a judicious appointment of a new head master, to restore
to the inhabitants of Mansfield the benefit of this institution of which
they have been so long deprived.
There is a library of books belonging to the school which
consists of about 130 volumes, but many of them are imperfect and in bad
condition. They were formerly kept in a chamber over the schoolhouse,
but they have been removed by Dr. Cursham into his own house for safe
custody ; and the room in which they were formerly placed has been used
for keeping fuel. The room should be restored to its former use, and the
books replaced there, proper care being taken for their preservation.
In 1812, William Goodacre was appointed as second master, or usher, of the
Grammar School, and a long feud between Bowerbank and Goodacre began,
resulting in the paralysis of the school, heavy criticism of both parties
and the eventual jailing of William Bowerbank for making threats. In 1821
the neglected condition of the school was the subject of complaint by the
local inhabitants, and a formal reprimand was given to Goodacre, who was
eventually persuaded to resign in 1830.
William Bowerbank was involved in a peculiar incident in 1831, in which he
was accused of sending "Captain
Swing" letters. These letters, related to the Swing
riots of 1830 in which agricultural workers, mostly in the south of
England, protested against the introduction of threshing machines and the
consequential threat to their jobs. Captain Swing letters were anonymous
threats (signed by a generic Captain Swing) usually directed to farmers to
destroy their threshing machines or face attack by mobs, but were also used
as an anonymous means to settle old scores. In William's case, he was
accused of sending letters to John Coke, the Nottingham high sheriff, and to
Mr. Goodacre, the former second master at the Free Grammar School of which
he was head, and with whom he had a long running feud over school duties.
The crude letter to Goodacre, transcribed below, seems more in the line of
base insult than political threat, although William had been vocal in his
support of the opposition. Suspicion fell on William Bowerbank and he was
committed to the Nottingham gaol to await trial at forthcoming assizes (the
circuit court used for more serious charges) on the charge. Because of his
social standing, William was given apartments in the house of the gaol
governor where he was attended by one of his daughters, who accompanied him
to prison. At the trial, John Greaves, a pupil at another school, admitted
sending the Goodacre letter and was reprimanded by the court. A fuller
account of the whole sorry tale can be found in Swing
Unmasked: The Agricultural Riots of 1830 to 1832 and Their Wider
Implications pp 231-9 (Michael Holland, 2005).
Old churches of the Mansfield Deanery (H.
Walkerdine and A. S. Buxton, 1907)
was at one time second master at the Grammar School, and was called as a
witness in a remarkable trial heard at the Notts. Assizes in 1831, in
which John Coke, Esq., late High Sheriff for the county charged the
headmaster of the Grammar School, the Rev. W. Bowerbank with sending him
a threatening letter. The epistle was signed "Swing," and singular to
observe Mr. Goodacre also received one bearing the same signature. We
quote it as an example of the kind of epistles these "Swing " letters
"Sur, I heres as ow u dose not use soap wen u washes ursen and if
u doant curage that trad u will here moar from Swing.
Mr. Godaker, Sutton
in Hashfield, Notts."
William was also involved in a complicated case of simony
- the selling of church offices. The lawsuits, some of which are described
in Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Court of
King's Bench vol 3 pp453-6 (1835), with further details added
in Report of cases argued and determined in the English
courts of common law vol 28 pp195-8 (1854), and History, gazetteer, and directory of Nottinghamshire
1832 pp502-3 are complex and difficult to understand, but my
interpretation is this. John Wright purchased the manor at Langar in 1818
from the grandson of the previous patron, Lord Viscount Howe, and this
included the advowson of rectory of Langar-cum-Barnston, Nottinghamshire,
which gave him the right to present a candidate for the rectory to the
archbishop if and when the position became vacant. Wright then granted a
part of the advowson - the right to present a candidate at the next vacancy
- to William Bowerbank. William intended to present the rectory to his son,
Thomas, but Thomas was still early in his university career at Cambridge
when the incumbant, Edward Gregory, died in October 1824. Instead William
presented his friend, Rev. Joseph Rollin Unwin to the rectory, and when he
did so he made two side contracts, neither of which seem to have been legal.
The first contract was that Unwin would resign his post when Thomas was
ready to take the rectory, and the second was one in which Unwin effectively
returned about £430 of the £600 rectory income to John Wright by leasing him
824 acres of rectory lands at below market rates. Unwin was instituted as
rector on 19 December 1824 but when Thomas was ready to graduate in 1828,
Unwin refused to give up the rectory. In the ensuing lawsuit over his
promise to resign, the give-back of the £430 came to light, and this was
found to be simony (it was actually found to be "corrupt, simoniacal, and
unlawful"!). At that time, simony was not a criminal offence, but a civil
one in which the penalty was the forfeiture of the patronage of the rectory,
which reverted to the King, so all parties lost by a ruling in May 1833.
Unwin resigned the benefice on 14 June 1834, and lived a few years in
poverty until on 13 May 1837 he walked to Nottingham, pawned his spoons for
£5 and was found the next morning, drowned in four feet of water in the
Nottingham canal. (Notes on the Churches of Nottinghamshire: Hundred of
Bingham 1832 p291)
William had been curate of Pleasley, a parish in Derbyshire but near to
Mansfield. He is recorded as the curate here in the burial records of his
daughter, Ann, in 1803, and of his first wife, Rebecca, in 1809. It is
perhaps this position that was the point of discussion in his letters to the
Duke of Portland in 1820. William also purchased the advowson of the rectory
of Salmonby, in Lincolnshire, and when this fell vacant in 1827, he
presented himself to the rectory (an uncommon, but perfectly legal move) and
became the rector on 22 February 1827 (Index Ecclesiasticus 1800-1840 p21). The
rectory had a value of £303 (The Christian Remembrancer: A Quarterly Review
1840 p756). After he had completely worn out his welcome at the Free
Grammar School, William resigned that position, and retired to his living in
1840, in Horncastle
district, Lincolnshire, England, aged 71
The Gentleman's Magazine March 1841 p324
At Salmonby rectory, near Horncastle, aged 71, the Rev. W.
Bowerbank, Rector of that church, to which he was instituted,
on his own presentation, in 1827.
The Episcopal magazine January 1841 p56
Rev. Wm. Bowerbank, Rector of Salmonby, Lincolnshire, aged 71.
6 November 1799, in Mansfield,
18 February 1806, in Pleasley,
Derbyshire, England, aged 6
William is recorded as the son of the Revd. Wm. Bowerbank, curate of
Pleasley, aged 6 years
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