Family History

Josiah of Enville

It is evident from the data accumulated in the previous sections that there is a link with the parish of St Mary, Enville (or Enfield) in Staffordshire. As mentioned previously, the Dunham Massey estate passed to the Earls of Stamford on the marriage in 1736 of Lady Mary Booth, only child of George Booth, 2nd Earl of Warrington to Harry Grey, 4th Earl of Stamford. It is this Mary, Countess of Stamford who left a legacy of six guineas to Joseph Phethean, farming steward in her will (see Appendix I; EGR1:1/8/12/4).

I was able to view microfilm copies of the parish records for St Mary’s, Enville and the following data is recorded from that parish:

Table 2: Parish records from St. Mary’s Church, Enville, Staffordshire.

1Josiah Phethean buried Dec 19th 1771
2Mary Phethean buried Apr 24th 1777
>3Joseph son of Joseph Phethean was buried June 9th 1742
1Josiah Phethean of the parish of Enville, bachelor and Mary Cotton of the same parish were married in this church by licence 15th day of July 1765 in the presence of ?? ??? and John Devoy?

1 Josiah brother of Joseph of Dunham as depicted in Figure 3 previously.
2 Mary, sister of Joseph of Dunham as depicted in Figure 3 previously.
3 Son of Joseph and Elizabeth – see Table 1

On application to Lichfield (Staffordshire) Record Office I was able to obtain a copy of the marriage bond and license granted to Josiah Phethean and Mary Cotton. Significant information is abstracted below:

Josiah Phethean of Enfield (Enville) in the County of Staffordshire is bound in the sum of £100 that there be no impediment, affinity, consanguinity… whatsoever but that the above bounden Josiah Phethean aged forty years and upwards and Mary Cotton of the parish of Enfield, spinster aged forty and upward may lawfully solemnize marriage together….

Signed by Josiah Phethean and Thomas Shaw in the presence of Frances Corne and Richard Corne. Dated eleventh day of July in the fifth year of the reign of our Sovereign George the Third.

The affidavit thus sworn:

On 11th day of July in the year of our Lord 1765 before Richard Corne, on which day appeared personally Josiah Phethean of the Parish of Enfield in the County of Stafford and Diocese of Lichfield and Coventy, Gentleman and being sworn upon the holy Evangelists alleged and made oath as follows…..

That he is of the age of forty years and upwards and a bachelor and intends to marry Mary Cotton of Enfield aforesaid aged forty years and upwards and a spinster.

Not knowing or believing any lawful let or impediment by reason of any precontract entered into before the 25th day of March 1756, Consanguinity, affinity or any other cause forever to hinder the said intended marriage……And he payed a license to solemnize the said marriage in the parish Church of Enfield aforesaid. In which said Parish of Enfield the said Josiah Phethean further made the oath that he hath had his usual abode for the space of four weeks last past.

The same day the said Josiah Phethean was sworn and a license granted by Richard Corne, Surrogate.

Note that the ages given in the affidavit are only approximate. In this instance the parties have been relatively honest (although erring on the younger side!) since it is quite common for such documents to have the ages of both parties stated as “twenty years and upwards” even if they were well into their fifties!

One other thing becomes clear with this evidence – the Mary Phethean of Enville referred to in Joseph of Dunham’s will is not in fact his sister but his sister-in-law – Mary Phethean (née Cotton)! The date of her death matches with the approximation that someone has noted on the copy of Joseph’s will at Chester record Office

Joseph Phethean and Elizabeth of Enville

The “unknown” family listed in Table 1 is intriguing. We have the following records from Enville and Bowdon parishes:

Joseph Phethean bapt. 29 Nov 1740 in house. Son of a Joseph Phethean and Elizabeth ? of Enville, Staffs

Elizabeth Phethean wife of Joseph Phethean, gent. of Dunham, bur. 15 May

1764 Bowdon

I have already suggested that Joseph of Dunham may have married twice due to the fact that his marriage to Esther Poole was by license. It is therefore quite possible that Elizabeth Phethean mentioned above could very well be Joseph of Dunham’s first wife – her death and his marriage to Esther Pool is very close. I was able to obtain a copy of the marriage bond and allegation from Cheshire Record Office for Joseph’s marriage to Esther Poole (the final “e” seems very arbitrary) of which the pertinent facts are detailed below:

Marriage Bond

Joseph Phethean of Dunham, Gentleman and William Taylor the younger of Altringham, Gentleman both in the parish of Bowdon in the county and diocese of Chester are holden and bound unto the Right Reverend Father of God Edmund by Devine Permission Lord Bishop of Chester in the sum of fifty pounds etc etc.

The condition of this Obligation is such that if the above bounden Joseph Phethean and Esther Poole now licenced to be married together be neither Consanguinity nor Affinity the one to the other within the Degrees prohibited by Marriage: If also there be no Let or Impediment by reason of any precontract entered into before the 25th day of March 1754 or any other lawful cause whatsoever but that they may be lawfully married together, both by the Laws of GOD and this Land: Moreover, If the persons, whose consent is required by Law in this behalf, be thereunto agreeing: And lastly If the said Marriage be done and solemnized in such Manner as in the Licence to them granted then this licence be void, or else to remain in full force and Virtue.

Signed by Joseph Phethean in the presence of Thos. Porter and William Taylor,

jnr. (Yet another reference to William Taylor!)

Allegation of Marriage

Dated The Third day of October in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Four. On which day appeared personally Joseph Phethean of Dunham in the parish of Bowdon in the County and Diocese of Chester, Gentleman and being sworn on the Holy Evangelists, alleged and made Oath as follows, That he is of the Age of forty years and upwards, and a widower and intends to marry Esther Poole of Altringham in the parish of Bowdon aforesaid, aged thirty years and upwards and a spinster:

not knowing any law, let or impediment by reason of any precontract entered into before the 25th day of March 1754, consanguinity, affinity or other cause whatsoever, to hinder said intended marriage: And he payed a licence to solomnize the said marriage in the parish Church of Bowdon aforesaid. In which said parish of Bowdon the said Joseph Phethean made further Oath, That the said parties have had their usual Abode for the space of four weeks last past.

Signed by Joseph Phethean before Thos. Porter, Surrogate.

There is now substantial evidence to support the hypothesis that Joseph of Dunham first married Elizabeth and had a son Joseph who was born in 1740 at Bowdon and died aged about 2 years and is buried at Enville parish church. Elizabeth died in May 1764 and in the same year Joseph married Esther Poole and had a second family.

The family details can now be summarized in Figure 4 below:

Figure 4: The family of Joseph of Dunham and Josiah of Enville after examination of marriage bonds and parish records at Enville and Bowdon.

The sons and daughters of Josiah and Martha Phethean of Dunham

In Table 1 it was noted that a whole family of closely spaced births attributed to a “Josiah Phethean of Dunham” was found on searching the parish records at Bowdon:

Joseph Phethean son of Josiah Phethean of Dunham bapt. 25 May 1713 Bowdon

Martha Phethean daughter of Josiah Phethean of Dunham bapt. 31 Jan 1716 Bowdon

Ann Phethean daughter of Josiah Phethean of Dunham bapt. 26 Jan 1717 Bowdon

Ann Phethean buried 28 Apr 1718 Bowdon

Josiah Phethean son of Josiah Phethean of Dunham bapt. 15 Oct 1719 Bowdon

It is unfortunate that at this time it was not normal to record the mothers name when a child was baptized unless the father was dead. Therefore we have no absolute means of confirming if Josiah and Martha were the parents. However, the occurrence of the names Martha and Josiah amongst the children of this family must be a significant indication of a family relationship, together with the fact that Dunham Massey was such a small hamlet at that time and the chance of two adults with the name Josiah Phethean living in the same place at the same time would be highly unlikely.

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