Thursday, 15 January 2009

An Early London Fitzhenry group- and a possible Patrick connection revealed?

Whilst trying to uncover information illuminating to the personal history of Patrick Fitzhenry of St Giles in The Field, I viewed the will of one James FitzHenry, victualler, (an old word for tavern keeper) of St Giles in The Field. His will was written 16 May 1758 and proved 26 May 1758 - so his death may have been expected. My initial interest lay in both the time period and residence. Could this man be connected to our mysterious Patrick ?? Although Patrick married at St George Chapel in Chelsea, the marriage entry states that both bride and groom were from the parish of St Giles in the Field. We all know how uncommon this surname is -could James and Patrick be brothers? Certainly at this early stage, such a relationship can only be speculated on, but it is certainly an avenue worth exploring!!

From his will we know that James was married to Ann and had two children living at the time of his death - a son James and a daughter Margaret. Ann was listed as executrix and Charles Doyle of 29 Bloomsbury Square was listed with her as administrator - so (not surprisingly) another Irish name connected to a FH group! James (senior) appears most concerned that provision be made to enable his son to be apprenticed. Unfortunately no ages are mentioned. However, according to the brief outline found on the National Archives site, apprenticeships for this period usually commenced at the age of 14, suggesting James (junior) was aged 14 or younger in 1758, suggesting a birth year between 1744 & 1758.

Interestingly, James FitzHenry is also mentioned in the reports of the Old Bailey, in 1754 and a second time in 1756 as the victim of theft. In the 1756 trial, James stated he was a public house keeper, who was the victim of a theft for which Robert Sparrow was tried - and ultimately transported, for 7 years- in January 1756.

If you are familiar with James, Ann or their children, James and Margaret, why don't you drop us a line and let us know more about them ! (I for one would like to know if James junior did ever get an apprenticeship! and what occupation did he take up? did daughter Margaret marry? What happened to Ann? ) These, and other rivetting questions are waiting to be answered!!

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