Author Topic: Thomas Lovatt and the English Civil War  (Read 844 times)

Offline M_ONeill

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Thomas Lovatt and the English Civil War
« on: Monday 22 June 20 18:43 BST (UK) »
I've been very lucky to recently hit on a seam of good records that has taken one of my branches back to the 17th century.

I'm currently focused on a Thomas Lovatt who (potential margin for error this far back in a tree notwithstanding) I believe to be my 10x great grandfather.

As Thomas was alive during the civil war, I'm looking to see if there are any clues as to his experiences during that time, whether or not he may have fought, which side he might have supported, etc. I'm hoping some of the military historians on this site may have some insights about life and times during the civil war.

I believe Thomas Lovatt was baptised in 1625 in the parish church at Lapley, Staffordshire, though he probably lived in the adjoining hamlet of Wheaton Aston.

It seems likely that Thomas was the son of Richard Lovatt and Rose Wildie and had three siblings, Mary, Anne and John. Richard looks to have died in 1629/30 when Thomas was only 4 or 5 years old, his mother remarrying in 1631.

Thomas would have been around 17 years old when the king raised his standard in Nottingham in 1642. Lapley itself seems to have been on something of a borderline between the warring factions, at least initially.

Lapley church and the nearby Lapley House (later Lapley Hall) were initially held by a garrison of 70 parliamentarian soldiers captained by a Robert Smith, before falling to a Royalist force in 1643. There seems to have been at least some skirmishing fought in and/or around the village.

The royalist garrison was for a time commanded by William Careless of Broom Hall in nearby Brewood - famous several years later for his night spent hiding in the Royal Oak with Charles II.

As far as Thomas goes, there is definitely a gap in the records around the time of the civil war. I can find no record of his marriage to his wife Margery (surname unknown), nor to the birth of his eldest son Richard. His second child, Ann, appears as normal in the Lapley parish registers, baptised in June 1651, about 9 months after the war was ended at the battle of Worcester. After that, his subsequent children appear in perfect series.

In fact, there seem to be no Lovatt records in Lapley of any kind during the war, including for Thomas' brother and sisters. Given that there do seem to be *some* marriages and baptisms being conducted at the church right through the war, I don't know whether this is simply disturbances to record keeping or whether it actually denotes the family were absent from the area.

So that's the picture so far. I'd be hugely grateful for any thoughts or ideas on avenues of enquiry, or even if anyone could give me a more detailed picture of what was happening in the area during the war.

Thanks in advance!  :)

Offline M_ONeill

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Re: Thomas Lovatt and the English Civil War
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 23 June 20 22:39 BST (UK) »
Found out some extra information:

The man Rose married in 1631 was a John Fennihouse (written 'Pheneas' in the marriage entry). This seems name seems to be very, old, very local and very variant in spelling. The name is mostly found around Lapley and Blymhill. They had at least four children together with Rose dying in 1641.

This online genealogy page says that brothers John and Richard Fennihouse later had their estates confiscated for supporting the royalist cause. I have not yet determined what, if any relation they hold to the John who married Rose.


Offline lzzl25

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Re: Thomas Lovatt and the English Civil War
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 24 August 21 19:46 BST (UK) »
I was really interested to read this as I had traced my family back to Thomas Lovatt, son of Richard and Rose, but now I am not so sure. I have a 4x great grandfather, Draper Lovatt married to Mary Marrian in Bobbington 1775 who is living in Wheaton Aston by 1777 and buried in Lapley June 1830. As it's quite an unusual name the only possible baptism I have is St Andrew, Holborn, Mar 1743, son of Thomas and Bridget (nee Draper). Bridget seems to have been born in London and married Thomas Lovatt in 1739 at St Bride, Fleet Street. What I can not determine is whether Thomas Lovatt is from London or if he is the son of Joseph Lovatt of Lapley, born 1711. Joseph being I believe the grandson of your Thomas Lovatt born 1625, son of Richard and Rose (nee Wildie).
Interestingly Draper and Mary had four daughters, two of whom, although baptised in Lapley, married in London, so there must still have been a connection with the two places.
Have you come across Draper Lovatt in your research?
 Lizzie


Offline M_ONeill

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Re: Thomas Lovatt and the English Civil War
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 23 September 21 23:40 BST (UK) »
Hi Lizzie, great to hear from you - I hadn't found many leads on this part of my tree since I last posted to the thread, so it's nice to hear it helped spark some possibilities in your own research.  :)

So I did a little digging on the Draper Lovatt you mentioned in your post. You likely have all of this info, but I'm typing it out to help get it straight in my own head:

Draper Lovatt (the elder) leaves a will executed in 1830. It lists him as being of Lapley, Staffordshire, husband to a Mary.

Six children are listed in the will: Daughters Susannah Herbridge (possibly Hambridge), Elizabeth Garratt (widow) and Letty (Elsewhere Lettice) Blakemore. Also named are sons Jeremiah, Draper and John Lovatt.

Looking through the Lapley baptismal records gives a more complete record of Draper and Mary's children as follows:

Mary Lovatt bap. Lapley, 28 Dec 1777 (not mentioned in will, possibly deceased by 1830)
Susannah Lovatt bap. Lapley, 26 Dec 1779
Elizabeth Lovatt bap. Lapley, (unknown) 1781
Jeremiah Lovatt bap. Lapley, 28 Jul 1786
Draper Lovatt bap. Blymhill, 8 Feb 1789
Lettice Lovatt bap. Blymhill, 3 Jan 1792

I can find no baptismal record for John, so unsure where he fits in the sequence.

Now the first thing I notice with these children is a number of shared names with Lovatts in my tree. Draper isn't among them, but Jeremiah stands out, as does Ann and Elizabeth, all three being names that go back in the family to at least the early-to-mid 17th century.

Looking at Thomas Lovatt and Bridget Draper, I can see the 1739 marriage you found in St Bride's , Fleet. The local records are a bit confused, but I can see a number of children likely born to this couple; Mary (The FindMyPast record transcript has her born on 02 Jan 1739, baptised St-Mary-in-the-Fields, Westminster, 20 Jan 1740 - a child born out of wedlock?), Jeremiah (b. 1740, bap. Clerkenwell, 1741), Draper (bap. Holborn, 1743) and Francis (bap. Holborn, 1744). We see the repetition of names again here.

Now this seems to be a very long-shot given the distance, but there is a set of Lovatt children born to a Thomas and Bridget Lovatt in the village of Scotton, Lincolnshire between the years 1752 and 1766; Ann (bap. 1752, d. same), William (bap. 1759), Thomas (bap. 1761), and Luke (bap. 1766).
I can't find many references to Lovatts in the village before 1752, but there are a number in the decades afterwards (mainly in the nearby village of Scotter). It's perhaps possible that the Thomas and Bridget who appear in Scotton left some children who settled in the area. If they *were* the same couple who were in London, (again, perhaps a long-shot), then what would cause them to move to the north? Even if they had in fact stayed in London, what would cause their son Draper to move to Wheaton Aston? There were a number of Drapers in that part of Staffordshire, as well as Lovatts. Was Draper returning to the ancestral stamping ground?

A thought occurs that Draper (the elder) may have obtained his first name from his mother's surname. It's a tradition that I've seen in the Irish part of my tree, though not in the Irish. If so, that would potentially explain why the name appears in your branch of Lovatts but not mine.

I'll keep digging at this, it's a very interesting line!  ;D

Offline lzzl25

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Re: Thomas Lovatt and the English Civil War
« Reply #4 on: Friday 24 September 21 18:13 BST (UK) »
Thanks for your response. I think I can add a little more detail

I believe the daughters in the will are:-
Susanna Herbage ( married John Herbage 16 Jun 1801 Westminster St George, died in Shoreditch in 1835)

Elizabeth Garratt ( married Edward Garrett 12 Sep 1807 St Mary, Marylebone Road, possibly in Wolverhampton by 1841)

Letty/Letticia Blakemore ( my 3x GGM married Benjamin Blakemore 2 Jan 1815 in Lapley, living in Wolverhampton by 1851, died 1869 in Wolverhampton, buried in Lapley)

Of the other children
Mary bap 1777 probably died 1805 ( buried 29 May in Lapley)

John seems to have been baptised 2 Nov 1794 at St Peter Wolverhampton

I agree Lincolnshire is a long shot, I hadnít come across Luke but had noted the others however I wonder if Bridget is too old to be the mother of the Lincolnshire Lovatts

Could Bridget Draper be the daughter of  Thomas and Martha born around 1716, baptised St Giles Without Cripplegate 3 Jan 1717 

Draper (the elder) was 32 when he married Mary Marrian age 17 with the permission of guardians, it makes me wonder if this was some sort of arranged marriage?  The Marrian family has a very well documented history and seem to have been established in Bobbington/Tong for several generations.. not found a London connection yet which does point to Draper moving and settling in Wheaton Aston, but then 2 of his daughters married in London

Going back to the Thomas Lovatt that married Bridget Draper I have two possible baptisms for him, a London one  16 Jan 1716 St Andrew Holborn, son of William and Sarah or a Lapley one 6 Dec 1711 son of Joseph and Francis ( this would link him to your Lovatts)

Will keep looking and interested to hear if you discover anything further too.
Regards
Lizzie

Offline M_ONeill

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Re: Thomas Lovatt and the English Civil War
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 25 September 21 00:07 BST (UK) »
Ah, that explains why I couldn't find the marriages of Susannah and Elizabeth in the Lapley records, they were married in London!

In terms of potential baptisms for Thomas in Lapley, I've done some digging through the records and if your Thomas was indeed the son of Joseph and Francesca, we may have some trouble with the dates when it comes to matching up with my tree. I checked my records and I have my Joseph (son of John Lovatt and Mary Blakemore) as being baptised in Lapley on the 15th Oct 1699. That would make him only around 12 years old in 1711 when Joseph and Francisca were wed and Thomas born.

Now there is a Joseph Lovatt baptised in Lapley in 1681 who would have been nearer the right age to marry Francisca, he was the son of a Joseph and a Mary. I can find five children born to this couple in Lapley:

Mary (bap. 1678)
Thomas (bap. 1680)
Joseph (bap. 1681)
Richard (bap. 1684)
Margaret (bap. 1686)

Strangely, I've yet to find a marriage record for the parents Joseph and Mary. It's possible that this elder Joseph is the son of Thomas and Margery. The latter was baptised in 1653 so he'd be around the right age to marry and start having children in the 1670s - but I need to do a bit more work on that to confirm it.

My current (unconfirmed) hunch is that we very possibly do share descent from Richard and Rose, but your line may not descend through the particular people you thought it did. The repetition of names makes it particularly difficult!  ;D


Offline M_ONeill

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Re: Thomas Lovatt and the English Civil War
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 25 September 21 00:09 BST (UK) »
Another possibility (though perhaps slightly too old for your Thomas, as he'd have been around 45 in 1739) is the following Thomas:

Thomas Lovatt - bap. Lapley, 09 Oct 1694 { Parents: Richard Lovatt & Hana Sayer (possibly  a variant on 'Sawyer'). The couple were married in Lapley on the 24th December 1693.

Now based on the ages involved, as well as other documentary evidence, this Richard is almost certainly the same Richard that was the son of Thomas Lovatt and Margery (maiden name unknown). He is the only one of their children who I have not yet found a baptismal record for. Given the birth years of his siblings (1651 - 1666) I believe he is most likely the eldest child, probably born during the later years of the civil war. Since his parents were possibly wed somewhere outside of Lapley, it is also possible that he was born elsewhere.

He is referred to in his father's 1685 will (in which he received a table board from the house, a 'neading tubb' and twenty pounds in money). Notably though, he doesn't seem to have been present  at his father's death. The deceased Thomas' will was apparently an oral one given on his death bed and three of his sons had to go and swear on oath before an official to have it made legal. The document bears the signatures of Joseph, John and Jeremiah Lovatt, but not Richard. It makes me wonder where he might have been.

Richard is at least present in Lapley when he marries Hannah Sayer in Dec 1693. The couple had two children: Thomas (bap. 1694) and Margery (bap. 1696) - named after Richard's parents, perhaps?

Richard died in 1700 and left a will, with executors John Lovatt, and Sam Sayer (his brother and brother-in-law, respectively). The will left an obligation on the two men to jointly take on Richard's two children to foster and educate:

Quote
To whom the tuition & education of Margery Lovatt & Thomas Lovatt natural and lawful children of the said deceased, being in their minority, is by the above namd Wm Walmesley committed & granted doe & shall well and sufficiently educate, foster and bring up the said children - with sufficient & convenient meate, drink, washing, lodgeing & apparell meet & decent for their estate & calling during their minority...

I think Margery may have married a William Jones in Lapley, 1716 (yet to confirm that one), but I can find no parish marriage record for any Thomas Lovatt in Lapley after he would have come of age around 1715. The next earliest is all the way in the 1770s.

Now this suggests that, if he lived, he may have married somewhere else. Though of course, the same goes for Thomas Lovatt, son of Joseph and Francisca Goldsmith. The latter would have also been of a more 'usual' age to be married in 1739 (although as you point out, Draper was also relatively 'late' marrying).

Offline M_ONeill

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Re: Thomas Lovatt and the English Civil War
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 26 September 21 20:07 BST (UK) »
I've been doing a bit more research, casting a bit of a wider net over the Lapley Lovatts. A few things stand out:

There appears to be no obvious record I can find of any Lovatt presence in Lapley or Wheaton Aston prior to Richard's 1622 marriage to Rose Wildie (The Wildie family by comparison seem to have been settled there since at least the early 16th century). This makes me think that Richard may have moved into the area from elsewhere. There seem to be large numbers of well-established Lovatts found further north in Staffordshire, especially in areas around Stoke-on-Trent.

Wherever Richard came from, the possibility that the Lapley Lovatts were (relatively) new arrivals in Wheaton Ashton makes me think it more likely that Draper's family had a direct link to Richard and Rose. It seems highly likely to me that *all* the Lapley Lovatts share that descent, and I think it strengthens the likelihood of a familial motive for Draper et al. moving there from London.

Second thing is that I found the will of Samuel Sayer. Turns out that he was married to Ann Lovatt, daughter of Thomas and Margery, and sister to the Richard Lovatt that married Hannah Sayer (I suspect also the sister of Samuel).

The important thing is that the will was witnessed by three men: John Sayer, Thomas Lovatt and Thomas Rathbone (see attached image)

Now given that Thomas the husband of Margery was long dead by 1706, this leaves two main candidates for this signature, based on baptismal records in the village:

  • Thomas (bap. 1680 - son of Joseph and Mary, aged ~26 in 1706)
  • Thomas (bap. 1685 - son of John and Mary Blakemore, aged ~21 in 1706)

While probably too young to sign the document, the third Thomas found in the baptismal records is worth mentioning as he was Samuel Sayer's ward and possible nephew:

  • Thomas (bap. 1694 - son of Richard and Hannah Sayer, aged ~12 in 1706)

All three of these Thomas Lovatts seem to be great grandchildren of Richard and Rose via their shared grandparents, Thomas and Margery.

Lizzie, I don't know if you have any documents bearing the signature of the Thomas Lovatt that married Bridget Draper, but if you do you could compare the signature with that on Samuel Sayer's will and see if there's a match.

Offline lzzl25

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Re: Thomas Lovatt and the English Civil War
« Reply #8 on: Monday 27 September 21 22:49 BST (UK) »
Thank you so much for the additional information, it is certainly all getting very interesting and complicated.

In the Lapley parish records I have found baptisms for five Thomas Lovatts
1. Thomas 1680
2. Thomas 1685
3. Thomas 1694
All these are almost certainly grandsons of Thomas 1625 and Margerie
4. Thomas 1711 son of Joseph and Francis
5. Thomas 1724 son of Thomas and Anna
These almost certainly being great grandsons and Thomas 5 possibly son of either 1, 2 or 3 ( but not found a marriage record in Lapley).

Date wise if my Thomas married Bridget Draper in 1739 and is from Lapley, he is most likely Thomas 4, or possibly Thomas 3.

Thomas and Anna appear to have had the following children, although there is a large gap in dates:
Thomas 1724
Rosa 1726
Maria 1732
Jeremiah 1743
If this last son is correct then it points to likely being Thomas 3 as Thomas 1 and 2 would be quite old by then at 63 and 58 respectively.

Looking at Burial records it certainly points to two of the Thomas's having left Lapley as there is:
Thomas 1759, Pater Familias
Thomas 1777, Senex
Thomas 1798.

There is also the possibility my Thomas, father of Draper, is the son of William and Sarah (Ewer) of Shoe Lane married Clerkenwell 1710. William being the possible son of William and Mary (Page) married Clerkenwell 1679. But this doesn't account for the Lapley connection. Although I do feel he may have inherited family land or property. Interestingly there doesn't seem to be many records for Lovatt births and marriages in Lapley around this time so he may have been a slightly more distant relative inheriting.
Maybe when Richard moved to Lapley a sibling went to London, I can find Lovatts in the register for St Martin in the Field from around 1582.

Definitely need to keep researching and looking at siblings etc.
Kind regards
Lizzie