RAWilson on Family Tree Circles
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William Winstanley 1628-1698 was a second rate poet and a bit of a plagiariser, but collected a mass of country customs and ways, particularly relating to Christmas which had been banned by the Puritans, to the extent of the churches being locked so no-one could even have a celebratory service!
His nephew, Henry was a painter, poet, engineer and all round renaissance man who built the first Eddystone lighthouse, and died in it too, so confident of it's suitability to withstand the 'storm of the century'.
They had relatives in Essex (Saffron Walden area) and London which is where they moved to from Lancashire when their branch of the family based in Winstanley, Braunstone Hall, fell on hard times. There were definitely Winstanleys still in London related to William and Henry, and one of them (no connection proved yet) was Ann Winstanley c.1714 to 1760ish.
Ann Winstanley married a Richard Richardson in the Fleet Prison in 1733. He wasn't actually in prison for debt (at least I don't think so), the Fleet area was common for underage, clandestine and later a huge number of regular marriages before the rules were tightened up. For a fee, you could find a (hopefully genuine) priest to do the ceremony, a pub to have a meal in and then go home with the licence so Mum and Dad couldn't argue. Especially if there was baby on the way!
Anybody got any more on the London Winstanleys? Ann is listed as being from the parish of St. Gregorys. But I know there were a lot in the Westminster area.
I have been over the moon to find a whole bunch of Richardsons living and working in London.
1. Richard Richardson, wife Martha, a carman or deliverer of goods to the capital.
2. His son Richard,born in 1711, who married Ann Winstanley was apprenticed to a spectacle maker also involved in making scientific instruments like microscopes for the increasing band of investigative biologists of the Enlightenment period.
3.His son Winstanley Richardson born 1738, apprenticed to Thomas Lincoln who also trained his own sons in the business. some were scientific instrument makers, others brass founders. Brass used to set the lenses in for spectacles etc, and for sextants, slide rules etc.
4.His son Charles who obviously didn't make go of the business as he ended up as a Tallow Melter. All downhill after that I'm afraid. Too many carpenters, grocers assistants and one or two professional drunkards!
Still, at least some intelligent craftsmen in the genes. Knew I had to get my brains form somewhere.
I am looking for the Winstanley family, originally from Lancashire. I have information that one branch of them moved to Hartridge, Kent in the late 1500s and intermarried with the Wilford family. They then (or some of them anyway) moved on to London. In the early 1600s one branch with head of family Henry Winstanley moved to Quendon in Essex.
This branch of the family produced William Winstanley 1628-1698 a writer and 'poet' known as 'Poor Robin'. His nephew Henry, born in 1644 was an artist and engineer and the man who designed and built the first Eddystone Lighthouse. This edifice only stood for a few years, and was swept away in a huge 'storm of the century' in 1705. It's designer was in it at the time for maintenance work and because he wanted to see how it would stand up to hard weather. He certainly found that out! In his defence, it was the worst storm for decades.
If anyone has any information on the Winstanleys, please get in contact. I am trying to tie up the modern generations working backwards with the earlier genrations working forwards. I just hope we actually meet in the middle!
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