Author Topic: Bohemia Estate Eastwood  (Read 32478 times)

Offline jeremytrewindixon

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Re: Bohemia Estate Eastwood
« Reply #9 on: Tuesday 12 May 09 06:06 BST (UK) »
Hi aa1webb , thanks for the welcome.

The exact question I am asking is "For how long has there been a significant gypsy population at Eastwood, Essex ?"

The background to this question is the mystery (in some circles the controversy!) concerning the "cunning folk" of the area, notably George Pickingill (or Pettingale, Pickengale etc), ?1816 -1909, of Hockley, Eastwood, Canewdon and elsewhere.

The man doing most of the genealogical research into this area at the moment calls himself "Bill the Exile" and the relevant part of his site is at:
http://www.deadfamilies.com/Z3-Others/Pickingill-Index-Page.htm
You may find some material that more generally deals with your interests, and more is I believe projected.

The controversy about Pickingill largely concerns whether he was on the one hand a run-of-the-mill village cunning man or whether he had a sphere of influence very much greater than that. The evidence for the latter opinion largely rests on the testimony of one Bill Liddell, so the credibility of Bill Liddell's information is an important issue. He has always insisted that Pickingill was of Romany kin. This was not mentioned by the folklorist who first publicized Pickingill (that was Eric Maple in a series of articles in the journal Folklore, it is available on JSTOR) so it is I think a bit of a test issue as to Liddell's broader credibility.

Maple traces the gypsy connection to Eastwood back to he 1870s. But (for example) you will see from Bill the Exile's page that George Pickingill was apparently living in Tinkers Lane Eastwood before then. The question is, does this add to the circumstantial evidence that Pickingill was of gyspy kin or not?

The Pickingill/Pettingale name appears to derive from "Portingale", meaning Portugal or Portugese, (although that is disputed like everything else on this subject); and there is a record of a George Portingale, "Captain of Egyptians" in Essex in 1611. (George was not then such a common forename as it became..) That is breaking news, so to speak, so I don't quite know how significant it is.....

Fanny Bird and Nelly Button were among the many reputed witches of southern Essex, they're mentioned in Maples' articles and turn up on census records...The "Silly Bill" Spearman Maple mentions ("of the well known gypsy family" or words to that effect) was supposed to live in Latchingdon but I haven't so far found any record of him.

An important article on Cunning Murrell, published in 1900, is at:
http://www.witchgrotto.com 

I personally first became interested in this subject writing an article on Pickingill for wikipedia; the article is out-of-date now but has some still useful links, it is at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Pickingill

I could go on but this will be more than enough!

Best, Jeremy

Offline social-butterflies

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Re: Bohemia Estate Eastwood
« Reply #10 on: Tuesday 12 May 09 08:17 BST (UK) »
hello jeremy,  :)

firstly i can only answer this by what my gran would say which is that gypsy people did not like to mess with magic, ever.

secondly, the names of these people are not known to be obvious gypsy surnames, but you never know for sure.

thirdly, the professions of these people, including servants etc, is definatly not what any of my gypsy ancestors would do.
travelling people worked for themselves or their own families, i.e; flower making/selling, peg making/selling, basket making/selling, reading palms, selling horses, etc.

i live in essex and have to say that canewdon has always been associated with witches and stuff and people will drive for miles to see canewdon church at a certain time/day?

tinkers lane is now officially under rochfrod district  but i dont know that it is associated with gypsy's more like tinkers ??? (again tales from my old gran) but i think its quite possible that this lane might have lead through to canewdon way, a bit like a shortcross through the fields!!! thats just a theory ::)

sorry not to be much help.
buckley
webb
boswell (shadrack line)
pearse
lee
smith (inc epping forest)
heron
bibby

Offline jeremytrewindixon

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Re: Bohemia Estate Eastwood
« Reply #11 on: Tuesday 12 May 09 09:16 BST (UK) »
Hi again,  aa1webb .

Thanks for your help.......I don't know that the Pickingills were claimed to be Romany proper, but of Romany kin, so that some of them were servants and that they dabbled in magic  etc is not fatal I think....

Pickingill himself is repeatedly listed as an "agricultural labourer"....Liddell describes him as a horse dealer.  Maple's article "Witchcraft in the Dengie Hundred" describes Spearman of Latchingdon also as an agricultural labourer without much in the way of detail, but he allegedly used his power over machinery in defence of labour conditions  ...so it seems that people at least of gyspy origins were capable of being employees. Pickingill also according to the stories Maple collected interested himslef in a wage dispute on at least one (but apparently typical) occasion.

I'm on the other side of the world and am just piecing this together and am aware of my ignorance, please don't mistake my willingness to make theories based on what I do know for arrogance......but my theory is that these people have to be understood in the light of groups like the Horseman's Word and Toadmen.

However all that may be, my specific question is about how long there has been a significant gypsy colony at Eastwood? Does it really only date back to the 1870s as implied by Maple? If it is true that Epping Forest gypsies relocated to Eastwood in the 1870s, why did they choose Eastwood?


Offline social-butterflies

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Re: Bohemia Estate Eastwood
« Reply #12 on: Tuesday 12 May 09 09:49 BST (UK) »
hello again,

i have been going through some old notes of my own and found that a family of "spearman" in 1881 in brays cottage canewdon road. no "bill/william" though.

in 1861 in ashingdon there is a golden spearman 20yr.

wakering, foulness, canewdon etc, were all farming areas's, still are actually. rochfrod was small village, more pubs than homes, lol. ;D

one of the first marriages i have relates to eastwood,  name of  david print, used name of webb also. so there were gypsy's in eastwood before 1870 as this marriage was 1857, in the church that this thread about, eastwood (st laurence & all saints ) church.
hope this helps towards answering your question.
amanda
buckley
webb
boswell (shadrack line)
pearse
lee
smith (inc epping forest)
heron
bibby

Offline jeremytrewindixon

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Re: Bohemia Estate Eastwood
« Reply #13 on: Wednesday 13 May 09 02:47 BST (UK) »
Thanks, this is in fact all helpful. Its like putting one of those great big jigsaws together, eh? A jigsaw that was bought from an op shop (a "charity shop" I think you say in UK) so you don't know how many pieces are missing....

I have many other questions (such as the implications of the forename "Golden") but don't want to sidetrack this thread too much....

An e-mail list where I sometimes post stuff related to my specific interest is at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pickingill/ Since south eastern Essex is the core relevant area you might from time to time find some information of use to you there.

Best, j



Offline CitizenSmith

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Re: Bohemia Estate Eastwood
« Reply #14 on: Wednesday 13 May 09 08:20 BST (UK) »
Hi J

I have a number of Gypsies called Golden in the Hope family I'm researching - but if you take a look at any records for Essex, you'll find it's surprisingly widely used as a forename in that county.   

That fact has also been confirmed to me by Fred Feather of the Essex FHS.

Always interested in any sightings of Golden Hopes - who started out in Essex but also went into Kent, Hampshire and Dorset.

Sharon


Smith - East Anglia & Lancashire
Taylor - East Anglia
Draper
Hope
Shaw
Gray
Boswell
Lovell
Robinson
Chilcott
All Blackpool Gypsies
"Royal Epping Forest Gypsies": ball-giving group
"Borrow's Gypsies": the people that the novelist George Borrow (1803-1881) knew and wrote about

Offline CitizenSmith

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Re: Bohemia Estate Eastwood
« Reply #15 on: Wednesday 27 May 09 11:40 BST (UK) »
Hi

I've just tried a search for 'Bohemia' on the Essex Record Office site - http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk - and some interesting refs come up to owners of wooden bungalows in Bohemia Chase in the 1920s and 30s. Webb, Buckley, Gray and Smith are among the names mentioned.

Has anyone ever seen these records? They seem to be building plans.

Sharon 
Smith - East Anglia & Lancashire
Taylor - East Anglia
Draper
Hope
Shaw
Gray
Boswell
Lovell
Robinson
Chilcott
All Blackpool Gypsies
"Royal Epping Forest Gypsies": ball-giving group
"Borrow's Gypsies": the people that the novelist George Borrow (1803-1881) knew and wrote about

Offline social-butterflies

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Re: Bohemia Estate Eastwood
« Reply #16 on: Wednesday 27 May 09 18:46 BST (UK) »
hello citizensmith,

thanks for that info, my grandfathers were william & thomas webb and also have buckley's and devonshires in my tree so for me very interesting.  ;D
i never knew this site existed, is it new?
buckley
webb
boswell (shadrack line)
pearse
lee
smith (inc epping forest)
heron
bibby

Offline lavina

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Re: Bohemia Estate Eastwood
« Reply #17 on: Wednesday 27 May 09 20:05 BST (UK) »
Hi aa1Webb,
On the same page as my m in law's baptism record 15th July 1906 is Olive daughter of Thomas & Helen Webb. This is taken from West Walton records, on the borders of Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.
Any connections?
Lavina
Taylor Wilson Horn Gaskin Lamb. East Anglia.
Bowman Wilsdon Alexander McDonald Lancs Yorks Cumberland