The Bowerbank Family

Ann Bowerbank

Baptism: 26 December 1797, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England

Father: William Bowerbank

Mother: Rebecca (Carpendale) Bowerbank

Burial: 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

Birth: 1795, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England

Father: William Bowerbank

Mother: Rebecca (Carpendale) Bowerbank

Married: 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
Married] 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.

Children: Burial: 5 December 1829, in Pleasley, Derbyshire, England, aged 33
Catherine Mary Bartram is recorded as resident in Alfreton.


Eliza Bowerbank

Birth: 1809, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England

Father: William Bowerbank

Mother: Rebecca (Carpendale) Bowerbank

Death: 1886, in Newton Abbot district, Devon, England, aged 76

1841: College, Bromley, Kent
1851: Eliza Bowerbank is aged 41, born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
1871: Walcot, Bath, Somerset
1881: Alton Villa, Iverson Road, Hampstead, Middlesex


Hannah (Bowerbank) Edmondson

Birth: 1806/7, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England

Father: William Bowerbank

Mother: Rebecca (Carpendale) Bowerbank

Married: 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
Sept. 24.
At Bromley, Kent, Jas. Edmondson, esq. of Tetbury, Gloucestersh. to Hannah, dau. of the Rev. Wm. Bowerbank, late Rector of Salmonby, Lincolnsh.

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 Families)
1871: Clapham, Surrey
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 1874 p285)

Children: Death: 1886, in Lambeth district, Surrey, England, aged 79

1841: College, Bromley, Kent
1851: Hannah Edmondson, wife, is aged 44, born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
1871: Clapham, Surrey
1881: 116 Hartington Road, Lambeth, Surrey: Hannah Edmondson is noted as a widow, and blind


Maria Bowerbank

Baptism: 6 February 1805, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England

Father: William Bowerbank

Mother: Rebecca (Carpendale) Bowerbank

Death: 1845, in Bromley district, Kent, England

Will: The will of Maria Bowerbank, spinster of Bromley, Kent was dated 20 March 1845.


Sarah Bowerbank

Baptism: 6 November 1801, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England

Father: William Bowerbank

Mother: Rebecca (Carpendale) Bowerbank

Notes: 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.

Death: 1887, in Bath district, Somerset, England, aged 86

1841: Partis College, Weston, Somerset
1851: Weston, Somerset: Sarah Bowerbank, head, is aged 50, born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
1861: 12 Partis College, Weston, Somerset
1871: Weston, Somerset
1881: 12 Partis College, Weston, Somerset


Thomas Bowerbank

Baptism: 1803, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England

Father: William Bowerbank

Mother: Rebecca (Carpendale) Bowerbank

Education: St John's College, Cambridge
Alumni Cantabrigienses
BOWERBANK, 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]

Occupation: Clergyman.
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).


William Bowerbank

Baptism: 3 January 1770, in Greystoke, Cumberland, England

Father: John Bowerbank

Mother: Mary (Richardson) Bowerbank

Married (1st): Rebecca Carpendale on 8 December 1794, in All Saints, Winthorpe, Nottinghamshire
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.

Children: Married (2nd): Sarah Carpendale on 29 April 1811, in St Peter Cathedral, Sheffield, Yorkshire West Riding, England

The Literary Panorama July 1811 p178
The Rev. 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.

Occupation: 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 1828-9 p629
Mansfield, &c.
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 (1841)
Report and Date.—25th Rep., p. 378, MS. 322, date 1826.
Letters patent 3rd Eliz.
Governors.—Vicar and 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.
Instruction prescribed.—Good authors most commonly used in grammar-schools with the Scriptures.
Income.—£172 12s. 3d. paid out of general funds of the Church and School Corporation, and charity called the Eight Men's Intake.
State, &c.—School 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)
The Rev. 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 taking boarders.
  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 place.
  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)
Mr. Goodacre 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 were:—
 "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 Salmonby.

Death: 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.


William Bowerbank

Baptism: 6 November 1799, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England

Father: William Bowerbank

Mother: Rebecca (Carpendale) Bowerbank

Burial: 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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