JuliaSP has been a Family Tree Circles member since Apr 2020.
This was sent to me in August 2013
By Linet52 on 2013-08-25 22:14:55
I am a descendant of William Dring and have just recently had great success in finding out much about him and the family he left behind. He was born in South Sheilds Yorkshire on the 28th December 1767, his parents being William Dring and Elizabeth Harris. His father William was a Clerk of Customs as was his Uncle Thomas who was also a Mariner. His Grandfather Thomas Dring was the owner of New Sun Inn in Hedon near Hull. This Inn was also the House of Customs and Excise in the mid to late 18th century. It was also from 1774 in the time of William's father a Coach Inn with stabling for 20 horses is described as being double fronted with an arch in the middle for carriage and horses access. The source of this information is an article called Britain's Lost Pubs.
From the National Archives UK I have established that Thomas Dring Snr was a Baliff in Hedon from 1750 to 1755 to 1758 and in his Sacrament Certificates he is described as an Ale House Keeper. I also have a copy of the Will of William Snr dated 1775 which states that he left the New Sun Inn and all the out houses etc. to his mother Susanna. The Executrix of the will is his wife Elizabeth. Susanna's will leaves the same to her son Thomas in 1780. When all this was happening William jun was only a child. His father died of consumption in 1779.
From the Hull History Centre I recently received a packet of documents which confirm all of this research. These documents include a certificate from the Holy Trinity Church in Hull stating the William Jnr took the sacrament in the church in December 1783 which is one year before his arrest. He was 16 years of age and is described on this document as being a Tidesman. What is a Tidesman you may ask? Well it is a Clerk of Customs who boards the ships to collect the excess payments. So he has joined the family business.
It has been well known for some time that a letter of clemency was written by the Member of Parliament (MP) William Chaytor for William Dring. This letter was in the packet of documents mentioned above. It states that the letter is being written on 'behalf of his constituents in Hendon near Hull" It also lists some of the things William stole and that he had claimed that he had 'done so on the persuasion of two other sailors who had escaped'. These sailors we know, were James Walker and Thomas Topping. It is because of the statements in this letter that I now know that I have found William's family.
Other documents in the bundle included the summons to court of three witnesses with 20 pound surety of their appearing. These documents were for Joseph Mitchinson, Morris Wall, James Walker (the latter did not appear as he had escaped). Other documents list of the things stolen which include the clothes and brandy that we know about but also list other things such as 3 empty glass bottles and 4 books. It is the books that have intrigued me, they were entitled 'The Daily Assistance for a Sailor' by John Hamilton Moor; 'A Complete Treatise of Practical Navigation by Archibald Patoun; 'A Pocket Companion for Oxford a Guide through the University' and a Common Prayer Book. These were all the property of Joseph Mitchinson.
Whilst these documents have fully answered my compelling desire to confirm William's family they have also opened up a new can of worms. Just who was Joseph Mitchinson? What made William steal when he had a job with a career path, a family with comfortable wealth and position? Was he framed or as he stated persuaded by the sailors who had escaped? So why did he plead guilty? Perhaps he had met with bad company. These are all questions I am now on a road to discover the answers.
We know now where he came from. We know what happened to him in New South Wales and Norfolk Island. What we don' know is where his went. This is another task I have set for myself. My hypothesis is that he escaped the colony in about 1795/6. Maybe the men of the NSW Corps who had caused him grief on Norfolk Island continued their threats on his life. They may have also been successful in killing him but if not then he found work on one of the many ships coming and going from Sydney Cove. He may have returned to England as I have found marriages of a William Dring in Yorkshire in 1799 ad 1806. However, William Dring is a very common name at this time in Yorkshire.
There are also many court appearances and acquittals of a William Dring during the 1820's. Of course for the reason mentioned above these may not be him. There is also the death of a William Dring off the Will Watch in 1845. I also have the probate packet of this William Dring. There is no proof that his is our William as there is nothing in the probate packet that confirms it one way or the other. One thing I do not believe is that William died in the colony. Why, you may ask? Well if the NSW Corp soldiers killed him then there would I believe be mention of it in the Colony documents unless of course they got away with it unnoticed. Also Ann named her son Charles, not William. The NSW Corp soldier who had enticed Ann away whilst on Norfolk Island was Charles Windsor. Yes there is a possibility that he may have been Charles's father but Charles Windsor married in 1802 and then left the Colony in 1810 when the NSW Corp was returned to England. If Charles was his son would he have not married Ann when she became available when William was out of the way but this did not happen. Therefore Ann was perhaps a mere dalliance for Charles but she obviously loved him or she would not have named her son after him. I believe that it is possible that William was either jealous and left when the child was named or he was already gone.
And from my notes in 2009:
[Finally he assaulted a marine and was charged. Governor King interceded on his behalf and Dring was only fined 20 shillings. This judgement was another source of trouble on Norfolk Island. The family returned to Port Jackson in 1794 by the "Daedelus". They stayed together at least until the 20 August, 1796, when the last child was baptised. After this the partnership broke up. Little is known about Dring except 'he died in the Colony'.
Since I made the popular statement 'he died in the colony' I have spoken to a Dring researcher who disagreed. Which caused me to look further into the life of William Dring.
I suggested to her that since he was Phillip Gidley King's golden haired boy, he may have returned with King to England in October 1796 when King had the gout.]
since the above I have not looked further.
No! I am not related to DRING, BANNISTER or FORBES
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