John Tompkins “of Ambrosden”
Until we find the marriage of John and Mary, the following is conjecture, but 90% likely! His age as given at burial would fit the John Tompkins who was born in Arncott (in Bucks) or Blackthorne (across the River Ray in Oxfordshire) in 1763 and was baptised on 9th January 1763 at Ambrosden Church.
John was the only son of Joseph Tomkins (age unknown) of Arncott and the then 21 year old Anne Hopcraft, also of Arncott.
When Joseph married Anne on 11th October 1760 at Ambrosden she was still a minor. Joseph and Anne signed the register with crosses The witnesses at the wedding were John Ellitt and Edwin Winslow.
Joseph’s parents (John’s paternal grandparents) and any siblings and their children (possible aunts and uncles and cousins for John) are not recorded. Anne’s parents (John’s maternal grandparents) were John and Catherine Hopcraft. Anne had two sisters: John’s Aunt Catherine would have been 22 when he was born and his Aunt Sarah would have been 14. Catherine and Sarah’s possible marriages, dates of death or children (further possible cousins for John) are not recorded on the tree
John had an older sister Mary, born 20 September 1761 who died 14 October 1761 and a younger sister, Elizabeth, born in 5 October 1766 (both at Arncott). The dates of Elizabeth’s possible marriage and children and death are not recorded.
John’s mother Anne died at Arncott when she was 38. She was buried at Ambrosden on 25 August 1770. John would have been 7 and his sister Elizabeth 4 (if still alive).
His father remarried the following year on 29 January 1771 to Elizabeth King at Ambrosden Church. The witnesses were Jono King and Henry King (the latter witnessed other marriages so possibly not a relative).
John’s grandfather John Hopcraft died in 1771 and was buried on 25th April at Ambrosden.
In 1772 Joseph and Elizabeth had the first of John’s four half-brothers and sisters (recorded as Tomkins). Sarah was baptised at Ambrosden on 29 March 1772.
John’s grandmother Catherine Hopcraft died in 1773 when John Junior was 10.
In 1774 Joseph and Elizabeth had John’s first half-brother Thomas. However, having been baptised on 22 October at Ambrosden, he died, and was buried 9 days later. In 1776 another half-brother, also Thomas, was born and baptised on 21st January at Ambrosden. This second Thomas Tomkins survived only until 1782 (when John would have been 19) and was buried on 30 October. A second half-sister, Mary, was baptised on 21 September 1778 at Ambrosden.
In 1799, when John was 36, his half-sister Mary (then aged 21) married William Newton Purcell Beaill (!) at Ambrosden Church on 5 August. The witnesses were James Cross and John Shouller (the latter was a regular witness).
Later that year John’s father died at Arncott and was buried on 11 November 1799 at Ambrosden.
In the Hearth Tax 1662 Official Returns for Blackthorn, there are two entries for Tompkins: William Tompkins, John Tompkins 2.
In the Hearth Tax 1662 Petty Constables Returns for Noke: Widow Tomkins
Marrying the sister of a deceased wife was illegal in Victorian England. " ...under the Marriage Act of 1835, which had the support of the established Anglican church, it was prohibited for a widower to marry his wife’s sister on the grounds of a passage in Leviticus,...
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