George Freeman (1808 – )

6d. Children of Thomas Freeman and Dennis Gare

In which we quickly consider the descendants of Thomas Freeman and Dennis Gare – excepting those of John Freeman and Ann Backler. We trace links between families, and back to Northamptonshire for those who were in London.

Of eldest child Thomas Freeman (bap 1738 Weedon Bec – ), we know little, other than, as noted in the previous post (6c), that he was a cordwainer in Bedford, with a son Thomas Freeman (approx 1764 – ), who was briefly apprenticed to John Freeman in London before being turned over to John Grant, Citizen and Glover, in 1779. A reference in Bedford Archives catalogue in ‘An Account of the indentures of apprentice bound out by the Bedford Charity’ (X109/1/70) cites ‘John Covington 8 May [1799] to Thomas Freeman of Kingsthorp – shoe maker’. But who knows? End of known story!

Of John Freeman and Ann Backler, we will turn to them in the next post. Their children are direct Backler descendants, while those further mentioned in this post are Backler cousins by marriage.

Of Anne Freeman (bap 23 July 1742 Weedon Bec – ), we know even less than about Thomas. Did she marry? Not sure. And we have no Wills of her parents to see if she is mentioned there. She is not mentioned in her siblings’ Wills so far identified.

Of William Freeman (1745 Weedon Bec -1795), we know more. We have seen in the previous post that he went to London sometime in the 1760s or 70s, and was made free of the Ironmongers in 1787 through his brother John’s recommendation. The record of William’s marriage to Judith T(h)ompson (1756-1785) is one of those felicitous finds that brings some strands together. Taking place at Northampton St Sepulchre on 4 July 1776, it helpfully stipulates that William Freeman is ‘of Cripplegate in the City of London’. The marriage was conducted by C[harles] Tompson, Rector of Mulsoe in the County of Buckinghamshire. who turns out to be Judith’s brother. Witnesses as shown on an ancestry parish record image signed as Geo:Tompson, in a rather large, shaky hand which could be

that of her father, and a very familiar signature for the blog – that of S[otherton] Backler [1746-1819], with its distinctive wavy flourishes seen in many documents of the Society of Apothecaries. This is Ann’s brother, who would eventually become Clerk to the Society. It is surely likely that John Freeman was at his brother’s wedding as well?

George T(h)ompson, Judith’s father, was a Grocer in Northampton, also designated as Alderman in Judith’s baptismal record and Mayor in the baptismal record of his daughter Mary in 1754. His lengthy Will probated in 1787, also the year of his son the Rev Charles Tompson’s death, is long and leaves much property and wealth to innumerable children, including £1,500 in stocks and securities to his son-in-law William Freeman. His daughter Judith also features many times in the Will, but I confess to lack of inclination to decipher it all. The Will was written in 1781, and Judith predeceased her father in 1785, so her legacy would be shared by her surviving children.

William Freeman and Judith Tompson had five children as far as is known. Judith died in 1785, and William in 1795, after which date the surviving youngsters were orphans:

  • Susannah (1777-1778)
  • William (1779 -), married first Mary Hawling, and second Ann Randall, with whom he had two sons, William (1803) and George (1808). We saw in the previous post that William was apprenticed first to his father and then to his uncle John of the Ironmongers. Mention in his brother George’s Will in 1849 would indicate that William was alive then, but I cannot find a suitable death record or Will.
  • George (1780-1854), was also apprenticed to his father, and then turned over to his uncle George Tompson, Judith’s brother, in 1796 after his father’s death. In the 1851 Census he is shown as a 70-year-old retired Grocer, lodging at Radcliffe Terrace, Finsbury, the address given in his brief Will written two years before and proved by his Executor and Nephew John Downes in August 1854, and to whom the rest and residue is bequeathed after £10 and his clothes and linen are left to George’s brother William (see bullet above).
  • Judith Freeman (1781-1854) married John Downes (1781-1849), a wholesale tea dealer. They had at least five children. Their final address was 6 Bedford Place, Russell Square. Judith’s Will written 8 October 1850 would be a delightful read if it were more legible. It specifies exactly what is to go to each child, such as which volumes and editions of books, which silver spoons, which articles of furniture. But life is too short

Of Thomas and Dennis’ last child we can note just John Freeman (bap Sep 1784 St Giles Cripplegate – buried Mar 1785 St Giles Cripplegate, cause of death convulsions).

And so endeth the account of Backler-cousins-by-Freeman-marriage. In the next post we will look at the very many descendants of John Freeman and Anne Backler.