I received a whole bundle of Henry Willis's papers from the Gloucester Records Office earlier this week and have updated my note, new version attached. It seems that Henry, father of the two girls Temperance Jane and Ann Packer, may have had an exciting career - he served on HMS Richmond in 1762, and that vessel was at the siege and capture of Havana in that year. But he would have been 22 or less at the time, so he was probably too junior to be mentioned in the records. At any rate, he isn't in The siege and capture of Havana 1762, David Syrett (ed), Navy Records Society, London 1970. I'm getting a researcher to see if there is anything about him in the Public Records Office.
The point about this research is to see if he had connections with Augusta or Beaufort in his lifetime (he died in 1794), that would have persuaded his daughters to emigrate there after his death. I'm also keen to establish the relationship between Henry's wife Jane Lubbock, and Richard Lubbock who emigrated to Augusta in or around 1790.
Please contact Eric Avebury with information on these records in North America.
The Rev Henry Willis, b 1740 , Rector of Little Sodbury 1788 and Vicar of Wapley, 1792, married Jane Lubbock (b February 17, 1743) September 1, 1765 at Redlingfield, Suffolk. His father John Willis lived at Redlingfield Hall near Eye, Suffolk and married Temperance Hannes, a ward in Chancery. Her parents were Sir Edward Hannes of Shilligford, Queen Anne's doctor, who died in 1710, and Ann Packer. Ann's parents were John Packer of Shelingford Manor and Anne Stephens his cousin, and Anne's parents were Sir Edward Stephens Kt, born c 1583, of Lypiatt Park and Little Sodbury (which is likely to be more than this is pure coincidence), died 1670. He was knighted by Charles II July 11, 1660.
There is a court case to be looked up, 1 Eyre v Countess of Shaftesbury 2 Peere Williams 103, 24 ER 659, which deals with the abduction of Temperance Hannes from her guardian Dr Waugh.
Jane is described as 'Jane, daughter of Richard Lubbock of North Walsham" on the website 'Descendants of Airard FitzStephen', but also as 'daughter of Richard and Jane Lubbock' at her baptism in North Walsham on February 17, 1743/44. Her mother could have been visiting North Walsham at the time of her birth, as we haven't found a Richard Lubbock with an appropriate birth date to be her father in the North Walsham parish records. There is a Richard Lubbock of Coltishall born 1683, died in Coltishall April 14, 1744, but he would have been 61 at the time of her birth, and his wife Ann would have been 44. Another possible candidate who might be Jane's father is Richard Lubbock the wine merchant of Bishopsgate Street, Norwich, who married Jane Attlesey, so that the mother's first name would correspond with the baptismal parish record. However, the date of this marriage in East Anglian Pedigrees is given as 1752, nine years after Jane's birth. This needs to be checked. Also, if Jane's father was from Norwich, why was she born in North Walsham and why were all her children born there?
The wine merchant is assumed (for what reason I am not sure, except that it makes him roughly the right age to have married Jane Attlesey) to be the Richard Lubbock born 1706 and baptised December 11, 1706 at St George's, Colegate, Norwich. Jane Attlesey's parents Peter Attlesey and Jane Vertue were married in 1715 at Norwich Cathedral (again from East Anglian Pedigrees), which means that she was born no earlier than 1715. Taking her birth date as 1716, this would mean that she was 27 when Jane was born, while if Richard is the one born in 1706, he would have been 32
Richard Lubbock (b ca 1766), who emigrated to Augusta Georgia from Norfolk in or about 1790, called his eldest son Henry Thomas Willis. His wife Diana Sophia Sandwich born April 1776 was appointed executor of the will of Ann Packer Willis, formerly of Grovesend, Alverton, Gloucestershire, sister of Temperance Jane Willis. A working hypothesis is that the emigré was a nephew of Jane the wife of Henry Willis. The difference in age between them is too great for them to have been siblings.
Diana Sophia's parents Thomas S Sandwich and Leah Langton Barrett also emigrated to Augusta, some time before the birth of their third child Thomas Kirby, born January 15, 1785 in Augusta but after January 19, 1783 when their second child Leah Ann Sandwich was baptised at St Giles Cripplegate. They were married at St Giles' Cripplegate on April 22, 1776 and Diana Sophia was baptised there on April 11, 1777. If Diana's birth date is correct, perhaps it was a shotgun marriage. Leah Ann was taken to Augusta with her parents and married John E Hartridge at the First Presbyterian Church, Augusta, December 27, 1807. He died November 4, 1817 and was buried in Willesden. (Its curious that he returned to England less than ten years after the marriage). She died in Jacksonville, Florida, on December 13, 1860.
Thomas Kirby is said to have married in Augusta in 1810, but there are no further details. He died July 8, 1831.
Temperance Jane Willis is almost certainly the daughter of the Rev Henry Willis and his wife Jane Lubbock. The children of this couple, all born in North Walsham, after Temperance Jane, were Amelia b 1768; Richard Lubbock b 1770; Harriot b 1771; Sophia b September 29, 1772 and Henry Hannes b January 4, 1775. The gap between 1771 and 1775 could just have contained the birth of Ann Packer Willis somewhere other than North Walsham., andAnn Packer would have been a suitable name for the child, after Henry's grandmother Anne Packer (with an 'e'). A more likely hypothesis is that the family moved away from North Walsham after Henry Hannes was born, perhaps as a result of Henry's decision to take the cloth. This would place Ann Packer's birth at May or June 1776, if the spacing was similar to that of Jane's previous confinements.
My theory is that the sisters Temperance Jane Willis and Ann Packer Willis emigrated either with Richard Lubbock to Augusta Georgia in 1790, when Temperance Jane would have been 23 and Ann Packer about 14, or by themselves in 1794, after the Rev Henry died, leaving them as orphans - and probably homeless, because the church would have needed the rectory for Henry's replacement. Although Henry owned estates, his assets seem to have been depleted by the extravagance of his son Richard Lubbock Willis, who was supposed to emigrate in June 1794 (to Augusta?) but missed the boat. A letter from John Bulman of Brunswick Street, Blackfriars Bridge, of June 16, 1794, addressed to the Rev and Mrs Willis says:
I am informed by Mr Howard of Southampton Street to whom I have made application that you have given hom Orders not to discharge at present my small Bill delivered some tim ago amounting to £(illegible) for Cloths made up for your Son before his departure from England - and the reason he assigns for this unexpected delay of Payment is you think too high a Charge has been made - in this particular I am confident no Man in London would have been more reasonable considering the very expensive manner and the number of Buttons &c - they were made up with and at the request of your Son every thing is stated at the very lowest price for present money, which he informed me would be the Case, and that Mr Howard had full directions to discharge those small matters.
I should esteem it a particular favour if you would now give that Gentleman leave to settle -with me as I have several very pressing decisions which require all the money I can possibly raise and a Line for that purpose will much oblige.
The 'small Bill', for uniforms, came to £11-8-6.
There are indications that Henry was not well off. His will, dated Mayshill October 3, 1783
Having by some Indiscretions (but much more by disappointments) only a small matter to leave behind me My Will is that all my property whether real or personal be as soon as well can be converted into money by public sale or auction - out of which my Will is that all my Lawful Debts & funeral expences be first discharged and least from what may be thought affeectionate Reagrd to my memory too much may be expended where I think too little within the bounds of decency cannot - I order my remains to be interred wherever ot please God I die in the Parish Churchyard . Six poor Industrious Men carrying me to my grave for which I wish them to have five shillings each The Balance of my . I give unto my Wife for her natural life to maintain & educate all the children I may leave by her to the best of her power untill they are married or engaged .
The wife referred to here is his second wife Mary, who is not recorded as having any children.
In a codicil dated August 30, 1791 Henry writes:
My eldest Son Richard Lubbock Willis having by his infamous Conduct forfeited my favour & affection I here cut him of from any Share of my Effects except one shilling to be paid Him a month after my decease by my Executors
Henry Hannes Willis, Jane's youngest recorded child, was born in January 1775, and if Ann Packer was born in 1776, his mother was 33 at the time, and thus capable of bearing more children. Perhaps she died in childbirth, and this might have turned her husband Henry towards religion, and led to his ordination as Deacon the following year.
Henry matriculated at Merton College December 12, 1778, aged 39; BA 1787, MA 1788. The archivist at Merton College, Julian Read (01865 276310), writes:
"it is clear that in the eighteenth century undergraduates were not officially permitted to be married, following the example of senior members of the university. Upon marriage, Fellows were supposed to resign their fellowships. However, there are documented cases in the eighteenth century of Fellows, and in at least one case a head of a college, marrying and not resigning their fellowships; their wives and any resulting children being kept a respectable distance from Oxford. I suppose it is possible that there were cases of undergraduates acting in a similar fashion but I have no evidence of it".
This tends to confirm that Henry was a widower during his time as an undergraduate at Oxford. We do know that he remarried before 1784, that his second wife Mary was a cousin , and that she died in 1792 after a short illness which was treated with 'Liniment', 'Draught' 'Tulip' and 'Camphor', and was buried at Sodbury July 16, 1792. The undertaker was Joseph Wallis and the Rev Nichols officiated. Wallis's bill dated August 18, 1792 came to £19-18-6 (Gloucester Record Office, D547a/F36). A conjecture is that although Henry matriculated in 1778, his academic ambitions were temporarily on hold during his second marriage, and it was not until Mary died in June 1782 that he took up residence at Merton.
Henry was ordained Deacon by the Bishop of Lincoln on February 24, 1777, and on the same day was appointed curate in the Parish of Springthorpe, Lincs. He was ordained priest by the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry on December 21, 1777. He was appointed Rector of Newton in the Archdeaconry of Lincoln January 13, 1778. He was appointed Curate in the Parish of Rangeworthy on May 31, 1781, and vicar of Wapley on the same date, by the patron of the living, Henry Stephens, probably a relation through his great-grandmother Elizabeth Stephens. There is also a nomination by Jane, Dowager Lady Bampfylde of Bruton Street, Berkeley Square, who claims to be the 'true and undoubted Patron of the Vicarage of Wapley', dated March 11, 1788, and it seems that there was a change of Patron at the time of that appointment. The Bishop had agreed to Henry's request that he be allowed to resign the Wapley living and be reappointed to it after Little Sodbury. The undated letter making this request was written at Oxford, where Henry was keeping his last term before his MA degree, and he expects to finish by March 10 (1788). On February 23, 1788, Henry also wrote to Lady Bampfylde repeating his request to be allowed to resign Wapley and take it up again after Little Sodbury, 'my Motive that Sodbury may stand me first & Wapley my last Living, which will be of service to Me hereafter if by getting another Living I am obliged to take a Dispensation'. At present, he says, he is 'Chaplain to my Friend Ld Suffield'' and is ready to 'take a Dispensation whenever wanted, but at present I mean to avoid the Expence..'. It seems curious that his ordination preceded his university career. On March 28, 1788 he was appointed Rector of Little Sodbury on the presentation of another relative, Winchcomb Henry Hartley, and he continued to hold the living of Wapley at the same time, after the Bishop wrote to him on March 5, giving permission for these arrangements without a Dispensation . A curate was appointed for Little Sodbury on November 30, 1788, at a salary of £25 a year.
On November 8, 1792, on the presentation of Winchcombe Henry Hartley, Henry was appointed Rector of East Shefford, Berks.
Henry remarried for the third time, because on December 4, 1792 Charles Murray wrote to him from Norwich:
"I shall be extremely glad when I have it in my power to introduce Mrs C Murray to yourself and Mrs W as two of my best Friends".
A letter from W H Hartley from Chesterfield Street dated August 4, 1792 may provide a clue to the third wife, as well as throwing light on Henry's acquisition of the living at Shefford:
I have just received yours of yesterday from Chavenage. A letter I have written to Mr Stephens, if it arrived before you left Chavenage, will prevent your having the trouble of coming again and you will find by that, it would be to no purpose. I write however now in answer to yours by today's post, that it may find you at Acton. You have I am certain every reason to be satisfied with what I have expressed upon the subject of the Shefford living, and I shall sign the presentation, when I am satisfied, and think proper.
A letter from Mr Ludlow tells me I have sufficiently empowered yourself and Mrs Basset to conduct the late Mrs Mary Willis's affairs, which will I am sure be settled by you both perfectly according to her desire, and I am exceedingly happy that you are both together to put her will into execution.
Mrs Hartley and myself rejoice exceedingly at the good account of Mr and Mrs Stephens (.) Present ourselves to them when you write to or see them. Accept also the same for yourself and family and present them to Mrs Basset. We hope she was not fatigued with her long journey.
I am Dear Sir,
W H Hartley.
Henry's naval service could have been relevant to Richard's emigration. Suppose that Henry had been to Augusta Georgia, and told his nephew that it was a good place for a settler. Otherwise, it seems a rather out of the way place for somebody from Norfolk to choose as a destination. Or was there a Sandwich connection with the Lubbock and Willis families?
In 1763 Henry was Master's Mate of His Majesty's Ship Danae. In a note from Port Royal of January 8, 1763, John Smith writes to Messrs Papley & Rogers, Joint Agents for the Richmond:
Please pay to Mr Henry Willis Masters Mate of His Majesty's Ship Danae on his order one half of the Prize Money due to me for the Bon Intention a Dutch sloop with Negroes &c and also the same part that will arrive from the Sally Schooner both taken by His Majesty's Ship Richmond
& you will oblige
Your humble servant
Henry Thomas Willis Lubbock, the eldest son of Richard Lubbock the emigré, was born July 24, 1792 in Augusta. He studied literature at a school in Oxford, England in 1806 and graduated from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1810. He practised as a doctor in Beaufort, South Carolina until 1819, then took a sea-captain's licence and in 1822 became the captain and part owner with Henry Schulz, a German immigrant who founded Hamburg on July 2, 1821, of the Commerce, plying between Charleston, Savannah and Augusta. In 1824 he was captain and part owner of the Henry Schultz, also part owner of the Macon. In 1825 the Henry Schultz caught fire and exploded in Augusta dock, and three years later the Commerce was holed and had to be sold as scrap on December 11, 1828. Lubbock took a lease of the City Hotel in Savannah in an attempt to rebuild his assets, but died there on February 15, 1830.
Henry married Susan Ann Saltus, born May 16, 1793 in Beaufort, South Carolina, to Captain Francis Saltus, who was also said to have emigrated in the early 1790s, and Sarah Grayson. They had seven children, all of whom survived to adulthood and married.
Please contact Eric Avebury with information on these records in North America.
Copyright ©2003, Eric Avebury, London. These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy. However, this document is copyrighted and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same.
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