The Wathen Family comes from the Frome River (Stroudwater) Valley in the Cotswolds---a range of low hills in Gloucestershire County that some call the "Heart of England". These hills became famous in the Middle Ages for a high-quality wool from the Cotswold Lion, a local breed of sheep, and Cotswold shepherds made England the largest exporter of raw wool in all of medieval Europe. However, as water-driven mills in the Frome Valley were slowly converted from grinding wheat to running spinning wheels and weaving looms, all of the wool was used locally to make cloth, as more money was to be made exporting the cloth than from selling the wool itself. As a consequence, Stroud became the center of the British cloth industry, Cotswold wool being all but forgotten, and the local broadcloth brought huge fortunes to the mill owners, allowing them to build stately houses and marry into the nobility.
The parishes of Kings Stanley, Stroud and Painswick all had waterwheel-powered mills that supplied the Gloucestershire woolens trade, which during the 1603-1625 reign of King James I came to rival that of Flanders. Although Painswick was the largest town of the three, having had a thriving outdoor market since the 13th century, Stroud was more conveniently located for the water mills, having a better availability of fullers earth with which to shrinken, thicken and dye the cloth. As such, Stroud at an early date became the center of the of the English clothing industry, and the Wathen family became wealthy by running woolen mills on the outskirts of town that employed legions of workers.
The early origins of the Wathen family in Gloucestershire are a bit of a mystery. First of all there is a Jonathan Wathen of Kings Stanley (d. 1630), who is listed in Burke's Landed Gentry as the patriarch of the Wathen family of Bolwick Hall (formerly Beckenham Lodge). However, Burkes may actually combine and confuse him with the Jonathan Wathen (d. c.1667) who follows, possibly his son. It is also possible that Burkes has incorrectly identified him, and that the true patriarch of the family, and the father of the aforementioned Jonathan Wathen (d. c.1667), is Phillipp Wathen of Rodborough (d. c.1632), who is discussed below. At this point either scenario is possible.
The Jonathan Wathen above is shown in some genealogies as being born about 1570 in Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, but they provide no evidence. Burkes lists his wife as a woman named Sarah (d. 1637), and gives 1630 as his death date. However, beyond what is shown in Burkes, which is probably based on records in the College of Heralds, nothing else is known. Although his trade is not known, it is likely that he played some sort of role in the Gloucestershire cloth trade, as it rose to prominence during his lifetime.
Phillipp Wathen of Rodborough (d. c.1632) is the other possibility for the father of the Jonathan Wathen (d. c.1667) who follows. Phillipp left a will that was written Aug. 28, 1631 and proven June 11, 1632, which indicates that he had died in the interim. This will identifies Phillipp as a clothier, who owned a manor house and associated property (messuage) known as the Achards (Archers), which he bequeaths to his son Edward. An early 18th-century British-listed house still stands on this site, which is located near Bath Road (A46) on the west side of the Rodborough Commons. Phillipp Wathen's will also mentions a wife named Alice, along with the five children and the grandson (and namesake), who is listed below. It is possible that the elder Phillipp is to be identified with the Phillip Wathen who married Alice Browninge on April 5, 1594 in Woodchester, Gloucestershire. Although, this is by no means certain, it is consistent with the relationships given in the will of the Jonathan who follows. (Also, see the Will of Phillipp Wathen of Rodborough, Gloucestershire)
children of Phillipp Wathen of Rodborough and wife Alice - WATHEN
Phillipp Wathen is described in his father's will as the oldest son. He may also be the kinsman named Phillip Wathen of Rodborowe (Rodborough), who is mentioned in the 1667 will of the Jonathan Wathen who follows.
Edward Wathen is named in his father's will of 1631, and in his brother's will of 1667, which identifies Rodborowe (Rodborough) as his village of origin. He inherited from his father a manor house and associated property (messuage) known as the Archards (Archers), which is described above. Edward Wathen appears to have had a daughter named Alice Wathen, who was baptized Nov. 16, 1623 in Rodbourgh, Gloucestershire. He also had a son named Phillipp, who is mentioned in the 1632 will of his father Phillipp Wathen of Rodborough.
Jonathan Wathen (d. 1667), who follows in this lineage.
Elizabeth Clayffields is mentioned in her father's will as the oldest daughter.
Margerie Bernarie is mentioned in her father's will as the youngest daughter.
Jonathan Wathen (d. 1667) is the earliest ancester of whom we are certain, as he is the only one for whom there is a written record that definitively links him to the family. However, there is much uncertainty surrounding the identity of his father. He may be the son of the Jonathan Wathen (d. 1630) of Kings Stanley shown above, in which case it is likely that Burke's Landed Gentry, which does not list him, combines him with the person of his father. It seems more likely that he is the son of Phillipp Wathen of Rodbourough, who left a 1632 will that names his sons Phillipp, Edward and Jonathan. However, this relationship would contradict what his shown is Burkes Landed Gentry. Some online genealogies show this Jonathan Wathen's birth date as c.1599, but this is probably pure speculation, as we know of no birth or baptism records for him. He is known both from a will in the Gloucester County archives, and from the baptism records of some of his children. His will, which is dated Aug. 20, 1667, most likely was drafted when he was on his death bed, but this is not known for certain. This will further identifies him as a clothier, and lists four surviving children, but makes no mention of his wife, which indicates that she probably predeceased him. (Also, see the Will of Jonathan Wathen of Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire)
children - WATHEN
Dorcas Wathen (b. c.1622) was probably born in Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, as she was baptized there on May 12, 1622 in the parish church. She is listed in her fathers will, which names her as the wife of William Ffrape? (?jape).
Sarah Wathen (b. c.1624) was probably born in Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, as she was baptized there on Feb. 4, 1624 in the parish church. She is listed in her fathers will, which names her as the wife of Thomas Holli[day]?
Thomas Wathen (1627-1685), who follows in this lineage.
Jonathan Wathen (b. c.1631) was probably born in Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on May 14, 1631 in the parish church. He is listed in his father's will as the youngest son.
Additional children are shown in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) on FamilySearch.org, and repeated in various online genealogies. Unfortunately, the IGI includes submissions from LDS members that are presented as is with no documentation. Because such records are not primary sources, in the absence of parish transcripts (i.e., baptism records), herald's records (e.g., Burke's Landed Gentry, etc.), a will, or other documentation, these other children must be considered unproven and speculative.
Thomas Wathen of Kings Stanley (1627-1685), first of the name and the son of Jonathan Wathen, was born June 6, 1627 in Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, and baptized there on June 29, 1627 in the parish church. Although Phillimore's (1896) transcriptions of the Kings Stanley parish register (v. 1, p. 8-9) shows a break with no marriages from March of 1642 until September of 1655, Thomas is said to have married Elizabeth (Mary) Jones there on Oct. 31, 1650. However, as this was a time of English Civil War during the rule of Oliver Cromwell, the lack of documentation in the register may simply represent a lapse in record keeping during the conflict. Elizabeth is also said to have been the daughter of one Robert Jones, but this as well needs to be confirmed. Thomas is mentioned as an heir in the 1667 will of his father. Burke's Landed Gentry gives 1685 as the year of his death, which makes it likely that he is the Thomas Wathen who was buried on June 7, 1685 at the Kings Stanley Parish Church.
children - WATHEN
Thomas Wathen (b. 1651), who follows in Branch IV - The Wathen Family of Picked Elm Farm
Phillip Wathen was born February 20, 1653, his birthdate being recorded with two of his siblings in the Kings Stanley parish register.
Margaret Wathen was baptized January 5 1655, her birthdate being recorded with two of her siblings in the Kings Stanley parish register.
Mary Wathen was baptized April 29, 1656 at Kings Stanley; and died May 23, 1661 at Kings Stanley.
Jonathan Wathen (b. 1657), who follows in this lineage.
Samuel Wathen was baptized in 1658 at Kings Stanley.
Edward Wathen was baptized August 9, 1662 at Kings Stanley.
Marie Wathen was baptized April 5, 1664 at Kings Stanley.
Jonathan Wathen of Minchinhampton (1657-1708), the son of Thomas Wathen of Kings Stanley, was born Sept. 6, 1657, as recorded in Burkes Landed Gentry. However, there is a transcription of the Kings Stanley church register that gives a birthdate (or baptism) of July 9, 1657 at Kings Stanley, and yet another that lists a Jonathan Wathen, son of Thomas Wathen, who was baptized on July 9, 1664 in Kings Stanley. Presumably these are the same person, but it is difficult to know for sure. Portions of the Kings Stanley parish register for the years 1657 to 1664 are quite difficult to read, and it appears that events happening in 1657 and 1664 sometimes appear on the same page, which may explain the confusion. Presumably, the Burkes Landed Gentry date is based on family records submitted to the College of Heralds by Jonathan's grandson Joseph Wathen (c.1723-1786), when the latter applied to the College for a Coat of Arms. The Jonathan Wathen we are interested in married Sarah Barnfield (d. 1768) on July 17, 1681 in the Woodchester, Gloucestershire parish church.
"inventory of the Goods and Chasso___? of Jonathan Wathen Sr clothworker lately living in the parish of Minchin Hampton in the County & Diocese of Gloucester and prized the 23rd day of August Anno Domini (in the year of our Lord) 1708"... This document cetainly implies that Jonathan died before the date of the inventory, which makes it likely that he is the Jonathan Wathen who was buried on July 15, 1708 at Holy Trinity Church in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire. Burkes Landed Gentry gives 1728 as the death date of Jonathan's wife Sarah, which almost certainly identifies her as the "Sarah Wathen widow" who was buried on Oct. 28, 1728 at the same Holy Trinity Church. Jonathan and Sarah had several children, but it is their sons Jonathan and Samuel of whom we need to make make special mention, as they are the sires of the two main branches of the Wathen family in the Frome Valley.
children - WATHEN
Elizabeth Wathen (b. c.1682) was probably born in Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, as she was baptized there on May 6, 1682 in the parish church.
Jonathan Wathen of New House (1684-1749), who follows in this lineage.
James Wathen (b. c.1687) was probably born in Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on Aug. 24, 1687 in the parish church. There is some confusion on the page of the church register as to the correct year, so some transcriptions incorrectly show 1689 as the christening year. A James Wathen shows up many years later as a witness on the 1761 marriage record of his nephew Jonathan Wathen, but this could also be a member of the next generation, as James Wathen of Kings Stanley, if still alive, would have been 75 or so years old by this time.
Thomas Wathen (b. c.1690) was probably born in Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, as he baptized there on Sept. 16, 1690 in the parish church.
Anselm Wathen (b. c.1694) was probably born in Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on June 28, 1694 in the parish church.
Jonathan Wathen (1684-1749) of Stroud, the son of Jonathan Wathen of Minchinhampton, was born in 1684, probably in Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on Oct. 23, 1684 in the parish church. He married Sarah Watkins on Oct. 25, 1708 in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, his surname appearing as "Wothen" in Phillimore's (1905) transcription of the Minchinhampton marriage records (v. 11, p. 33). Jonathan at some point leased the old Sewell's Mill, on the Frome River at the village of Far Thrupp, from Jeremiah Davis. This mill, which probably dates from the late 14th century, was originally known as the Huckvale mill, but in the late 1600s it became known as the Sewell Mill, and in the 1700s it came to be known as the Thrupp mill.
Jonathan Wathan must have been a religious man, as he personally knew George Whitefield, who with John Wesley was one of the founders of the Methodist faith. Whitefield writes in a Friday, July 6, 1738 entry of his journal, "I lay at the house of Mr. Wa__n, a clothier two miles from Chafford". No doubt Chafford actually refers to Chalford, which was about two miles from Thrupp where Wathen lived. Several months later, Jonathan's son Samuel, while practising as a surgeon in Bristol, was an ardent follower of John Wesley, and he was a member with Whitefield's widowed sister Elizabeth Grevil (Greville) of a small group of early Bristol believers that Wesley refers to in an April 16, 1739 letter to James Hutton as "their little Society." Then just three days later on April 19, 1739 Whitefield records in his journal, "Invited again to Chafford [Chalford]."
When Jonathan Wathen died in 1749 in Gloucestershire, the lease for the Thrupp Mill passed to his son Joseph Wathen, and when Jeremiah Davis, the mill owner, died in 1752, ownership then passed to Jeremiah's son Dennis. Joseph Wathen continued as leaseholder, and he appears to have eventually owned the mill outright. As already noted Jonathan died in 1749, and the register of St. Laurence Church of Stroud records July 7, 1749 as the date he was buried. When Ralph Bigland sometime between 1750 and 1784 visited the graveyard, one of the memorials he found is the tomb of Jonathan Wathen, which appears in Bigland's list with the tomb of Jonathan's brother Samuel. Unfortunately Bigland did not record the death date nor memorial transcription. It is not known if this tomb still survives, as many monuments were not saved when the old chuch in 1869 was torn down and the new one built. Jonathan did leave a will, which was proven on Aug. 4, 1749 and is available from the British National Archives. Jonathan's widow Sarah survivied him by almost 20 years, being buried on Feb. 20, 1768 at St. Laurence Church in Stroud, probably in the same tomb as her husband.
children - WATHEN
Mary Wathen (b. c.1709) was probably born in Stroud Gloucestershire, as she was baptized there on Nov. 2, 1709 in the parish church. She married Christopher Ellis on June 2, 1736 at Fleet Street in London.
John Wathen (b. c.1711) was probably born in Stroud Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on June 1, 1711 in the parish church.
Nathaniel Wathen (c.1712-1729/30) was probably born in Stroud Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on Jan. 28, 1712/13 in the parish church. He is probably the Nathaniel Wathen, son of Jonathan Wathen, who was buried on Feb. 13, 1729/30 at the Stroud parish church.
William Wathen (1714-1789) was born in 1714, probably in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on Feb. 20, 1714/15 in the parish church. He became a clothier, and married twice, his second wife being Anne Turner (d. 1810) on April 5, 1768 in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire. He died on May 2, 1789 at the age of 74 years in Gloucestershire County and is buried with his wife in a tomb that was originially in the North aisle of the old St. Laurence Church in Stroud before it was rebuilt. However, we do not believe that the tomb survives today. He also left a will that is in the collection of the British Society of Genealogists.
Joseph Wathen (c.1715-1717) was probably born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as he baptized there on Feb. 5, 1715/16 in the parish church. He is almost certainly the Joseph wathen, son of Jonathan who was buried on Sept. 8, 1717 at the Stroud parish church, as he would have had to have died before the 1726 birth of his younger brother and namesake, also named Joseph.
Anne Wathen (b. c.1717) was probably born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as she was baptized there on Nov. 2, 1717 in the parish church.
Christian Wathen (c.1719-1776) was probably born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as she baptized there on March 30, 1720 in the parish church, just five days after the Julian Calendar New Year. She married Joseph Ellis on April 25, 1748 at St. Andrew Undershaft Church in the Aldgate Ward of the City of London, the same church where her brother Samuel married Mary Scott a year later. She died in 1776 and was buried on March 21, 1776 in Stepney, London.
Samuel Wathen (c.1720-1787) was probably born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on June 21, 1720 in the parish church. He is discussed in more detail in Branch III - The Family of Samuel Wathen, M.D.
Sarah Wathen (b. c.1722) was probably born in Stroud Gloucestershire, as she was baptized there on May 25, 1722 in the parish church.
Joseph Wathen (c.1723-1786), who follows in this lineage.
Thomas Wathen (b. c.1724) was probably born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on Jan. 30, 1724/25 in the parish church.
Jonathan Wathen (c.1728-1808) was probably born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on May 24, 1728 in the parish church. He is discussed in much more detail in Branch III - The Family of Samuel Wathen, M.D.
Joseph Wathen (c.1723-1786), the son of Jonathan Wathen, was born about 1723, probably in Stroud, Gloucestershire, or in one of the surrounding villages. Even though the Wathen family were very religious, we have not been able to identify an entry for Joseph in the baptism register for the Stroud St. Laurence parish church. However, it is possible that his parents considered the 1715 baptism of Joseph's deceased older brother and namesake to have counted for the younger Joseph as well. Nonetheless, even though we do not have a christening record to link Jonathan and Joseph Wathen as father and son, Joseph is listed in Burke's Landed Gentry as the 6th son of Jonathan. Also, Jonathan in the 1740s or earlier leased the Thrupp mill on the Frome River, and when Jonathan died in 1749, Joseph took over the lease to the mill. Furthermore, the wills of some of Joseph's brothers, for whom we do have baptism records, mention Joseph's children as nieces and nephews, leaving no doubt that Jonathan and Joseph indeed are father and son.
Joseph married his first wife Elizabeth Ellis (1730-1758) on May 10, 1756 in Stroud. Elizabeth came from a family of Gloucestershire clothiers, two other members of which married into Joseph's immediate family - Joseph's sister Mary marrying Christopher Ellis, and another sister Christian marrying Joseph Ellis. Joseph and Elizabeth do not appear to have had any children, as she died after a short marriage, and was buried on Oct. 14, 1758 in the St. Mary Magdalene churchyard in Rodborough, Gloucestershire. She may have died in childbirth. Joseph then married his second wife Anne Iles (1739-1803) a short time late on April 17, 1760 in Winterbourne, Gloucestershire, which is located just outside of Bristol. Ann is almost certainly a niece of John Iles, who owned the Iles mill in Chalford, a few miles upstream on the Frome River from the Thrupp mill that Joseph Wathen owned. Her likely father is John's brother Joseph Iles (c.1704-1749), a wealthy merchant of Bristol whose firm of Joseph Iles & Co. sold slaves in South Carolina.
Joseph Wathen became one of the most successful clothiers in Gloucestershire, and his success allowed him to either purchase or build a mansion known as New House, which was located a short distance from his mill at Far Trupp on the south side of the village of Thrupp. The exterior of the house is remarkably similar to a house known as the Byne House built in 1755 by Joseph's brother-in-law John Wansey on Church Street in Warminster, Wiltshire. Joseph was living at New House by 1769, and when he died in 1786 he was clearly the owner, as his will specified that the house be left to his widow Ann. He also had acquired enough wealth by 1770 to buy out his lease for the Thrupp Mill from Dennis Davis. In addition, Joseph and three partners founded in 1779 Stroud's first financial institution, the Stroud Bank, which in 1838 became part of the Gloucestershire Banking Company. Joseph and his banking partners were also stockholders in the Stroudwater Canal project that opened a navigable waterway in 1779 from Stroud town to the Severn River at Framilode. Joseph probably also supported construction of the Thames-Severn Canal, which extended the Stroudwater past the Thrupp Mill and continued on to the Thames River, but he did not live to see its 1789 opening.
Joseph's father Jonathan had entertained at his house Rev. George Whitefield, one of the founders of the Methodist faith, and Joseph at times hosted Whitefield's partner Rev. John Wesley, the other founder of the faith. The family, and especially Joseph's wife Ann, were in fact devout followers of John Wesley, and when Wesley's ministers came to Stroud to preach, it was not unusual for them to spend time with the Wathen family. One of these ministers was Alexander McNab (1745-1797), who while soliciting funds to repair a Methodist chapel in Edinburgh, wrote in his journal, "Fri. 18, [Sept. 1778] - Had a pleasant walk to the Thorp [Thrupp], where I dined at Mr. Warthin, a rich clothier, who entertained very gentelley for his Wife's Sake, who belongs to the Society, tho he hardly ever comes to hear the preaching. After preaching to a house full of people, I walked back to Stroud."
One of the mark of success in Georgian England was "the right to bear armes" (i.e., to display a coat of arms), as in order to do so one needed enough wealth to pay the requisite fees to the College of Heralds. Ralph Bigland (1990, Part 3, p. 1207), an officer of the College whose work dates from 1757 to 1789, records that Joseph was entitled to bear arms described as a "Paly of ten Argent and Gules, over all a Lion rampant Argent within a bordure compony Argent and Azure." These arms are shown above.
Joseph's arms are the same as those shown on the right that were granted two centuries later to Joseph's direct descendant Gerard Anstruther Wathen (1878-1958). Gerard's arms are described in Burke's Peerage (1969) as, "Paly (vertical stripes of alternating colors) of ten argent (silver) and gules (red) a lion rampant of the first (i.e., a silver lion) all within a bordure compony (border of rectangles of alternating colors) also of the first Azure (silver and blue). Crest: On a bezant (round gold background) a lion's jamb erased (torn leg with a jagged edge) holding a spear in bend sinister point upwards proper (inclined from bottom left to top right and pointed up) Motto: Tenax Propositi (Steadfast in Purpose)."
Joseph died at the age of 63 on May 28, 1786 in Stroud, and was buried on June 3, 1786 in a family vault in the All Saints Churchyard in Bisley, Gloucestershire, which is just a short distance from Stroud. There is also a cenotaph in the form of a marble tablet for him and his wife preserved in the old St. Laurence Church. This tablet was originally in the north aisle of the church before it was rebuilt in 1869 and many of the burial monuments removed. However, the monument to Joseph and his wife survives and hangs today high on the interior wall of the church bell tower. When Joseph died, his widow Ann inherited both the Thrupp Mill and New House. She then gave the mill to her son Samuel on his 1792 marriage to Elizabeth Sheppard. Ann died at the age of 64 on March 10, 1803, most likely at Stroud, and she is buried with her husband in the family vault at Bisley All Souls.
Although Joseph and Ann's oldest surviving son Samuel ultimately became the owner of New House, it is not known whether Ann gave it to him in 1792 for a wedding present, or whether in 1803 he inherited it on her death. In any event, he rebuilt the house around 1800, possibly in 1803 after Ann died, and renamed it Brimscombe Court. This house, which is located at latitude 51.7250 and longitude -2.1967, is a British listed Grade II building (English Heritage ID: 133167). The 2010 Brimscombe and Thrupp Parish Appraisal prepared by Brimscombe and Thrupp Parish states that "Brimscombe Court at Far Thrupp on Thrupp Lane (once called Newhouse)" is an example of a "lavish house that the 18th century mill owners (known as clothiers) . . . built for themselves".
Although Joseph and his first wife Elizabeth were childless, Joseph and second wife Ann had several children, who are listed below.
children - WATHEN
Joseph Wathen (1761-1762) was born in 1761, probably in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as he was baptized on June 2, 1761 in the parish church. He died on April 16, 1762 at the age of 12 months, and is buried in Stroud with four of his siblings in the churchyard of St. Laurence Church, where at one time there was a shared headstone for him and four of his siblings.
Jonathan Wathen (c.1762-1768) was probably born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on April 15, 1762 in the parish church. He died at the age of six years on June 16, 1768 in Stroud, and is buried there with four of his siblings in the churchyard of St. Laurence Church, where at one time there was a shared headstone for him and four of his siblings.
Anne Wathen (1764-1764) was born in 1764, probably in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as she was baptized there on Jan. 5, 1764 in the parish church. She died at the age of four months on April 9, 1764 in Stroud, and was buried two days in the churchyard of St. Laurence Church, where at one time there was a shared headstone for her and four of her siblings.
Joseph Wathen (c.1765-1768), second child of the name, was probably born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on May 17, 1765 in the parish church. He died on June 10, 1768 at the age of three years, probably in Stroud, and is buried there with four of his siblings in the churchyard of St. Laurence Church, where at one time there was a shared headstone for him and four of his siblings.
Samuel Wathen (1767-1818) was born on April 13, 1767 in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and baptized on May 13, 1767 in the Stroud parish church. He became a clothier like his father and in the early days worked in partnership with his younger brother Nathaniel. He married Elizabeth Sheppard (c.1769-1841) on July 24, 1792, and acquired the family Thrupp Mill as a wedding present from his mother. He worked the mill until his death on Jan. 6, 1818 at New House, the mansion he had acquired from this mother and rebuilt and renamed it as Brimscombe Court. He is buried with at least one of his children in a vault next to his parents in the All Saints Churchyard in Bisley Gloucestershire. However, there is also a cenotaph in the form of a marble monument for him and his family in St. Laurence Church in Stroud. This monument once sat in the north aisle of the church, but today it hangs high on the wall of the church bell tower, where a monument for his parents hangs nearby. He was at the time of his death one of the magistrates for the county of Gloucester. His widow Elizabeth oversaw the Thrupp mill until 1828 when she leased it to iron founder John Ferrabee, who bought it outright in 1851 and converted it to the Phoenix Iron Works. Ferrabee had formed a partnership in the 1830s with Stroud inventor Edwin Budding and the two are famed today as the manufacturers of the first lawn mowers, at least some of which were probably produced at the old Wathen mill. Samuel's son Hulbert Wathen (1802-1880) married into the nobility, and became a wealthy tea merchant whose lineage is profiled in Burke's Landed Gentry.
Captain Samuel Wathen (later Major) of Newhouse in 1798 commanded a volunter militia of 180 men known as the Severn Rifle Corps. At the same time, his distant cousin Captain Nathaniel Peach Wathen of Stanley House commanded another unit called the Kings Stanley Riflemen. Both units were still active on April 19, 1804 when they competed against each other in a rifle match on Broad-barrow green near Haresfield. The Stanley riflemen won the contest, but when they boasted of their victory later during a toast given at the local inn, a duel ensued between two privates in the competing units. This ultimately resulted in a lawsuit brought against Captain Nathaniel Wathen and others of his unit. The offending toast was reported by the 'Glocester Herald edition of April 21, 1804 (which was published by a private in the Stanley Riflemen) to have been delivered at the King's Arms Inn (later the George Hotel) in Stroud by Captain Nathaniel Wathen in the following words, "May the Gallic [i.e., French] Cock never roost upon the British Oak; but should he succeed in his attempt to land, may the Severn Volunteer Riflemen do their duty, and the Stanley corps stand in the rear to look on".
Josiah Iles Wathen (1769-bef. 1805?) was born on Oct. 5, 1769 in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and baptized on Nov. 8, 1769 in the Stroud parish church. He became a type lawyer known as a barrister, and was granted admission on Oct 6, 1785 to the Lincoln's Inn Society, one of four professional societies called 'Inns of Court' that every barrister in England and Wales must belong to. He may be the same as one J.I. Wathen who served from 1831 to 1848 on the committee of the British Foreign Bible Society. However, it seems more likely that this individual is his nephew and namesake, the son of his brother Nathaniel Wathen. The elder Josiah Iles Wathen probably died before the 1805 birth of his namesake and nephew.
Elizabeth Wathen (b. c.1771) was probably born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as she was baptized on Aug. 22, 1771 in the Stroud parish church.
Nathaniel Wathen (1772-1856), who follows in this lineage.
Ann Wathen (b. c.1774) was probably born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as she was baptized on Sept. 12, 1774 in the Stroud parish church.
Maria Wathen (b. c.1777) was probably born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as she was baptized on May 25, 1777 in the Stroud parish church.
Shown on the left is an 1800 map of the Frome Valley by Isaac Taylor, where pink dots are added to show, from west to east, the locations of the Thrupp, Hope and Iles Mills on the Thames-Severn Canal (and on the Frome River). Note that Wathen, Esq. is shown as owner of the Thrupp Mill. The red dot at the town of Woodchester shows the location of the Woodchester Mill of Sir Samuel Wathen and Sir Paul Baghott. The Lypiatt Park manor, where Paul Baghott lived, is located in the NE corner of the map. The photo on the right shows Brimscombe Court, formerly New House, which originally was the home of Joseph and Ann Wathen, before their son Samuel rebuilt and renamed it. This large, three-story, slate-roofed home, made of limestone is a British-listed building that has now been converted to privately-owned apartments.
Nathaniel Wathen (1772-1856), the son of Joseph Wathen and Anne Iles, was born in Stroud, Gloucestershire on Sept. 22, 1772, and baptized there on Oct. 13, 1772 in the parish church. He was probably born at his father's house, New House at Far Thrupp, and he most likely lived out his childhood there. Rev. John Wesley mentions in a letter dated March 8, 1782 how on the Tuesday hence (March 19) he had promised to dine with the Wathens at New House. Most likely a young Nathaniel sat at that dinner table. Although New House still stands, it was rebuilt by Nathaniel's brother Samuel around 1800, and subsequently renamed to Brimscombe Court. The rebuilt house is shown above.
Nathaniel married Mary Beardmore, the daughter of a wealthy London hosier, on March 19, 1804 at St. Mary's Church in Islington, London. He became a clothier, like his father, and he and his older brother Samuel leased the Hope Mill, near the village of Brimscombe, from Catherine Gough. When she died, sometime around 1805, she left the mill to the Wathen brothers. Not long afterwards Nathaniel was working the mill alone, and about 1812 he built a new mill on the site. He became quite wealthy and was highly respected throughout England as a clothier. He sold the operation to Robert Bamford in 1829, and supposedly part of the old stone mill was still standing in 1973.
It would appear that Nathaniel profited nicely from his sale of the Hope Mill, as he appears to be more a gentleman of London from 1830 on, than a Stroud clothier. He became a member of the British Foreign Bible Society, and served on the governing committee of that organization from 1832 to 1848. Another committee member was Josiah Iles Wathen, either his brother or his son, who served from 1831 to 1848. A prominent member of the society was the well-known Thomas Thompson, a wealthy member of the London stock exchange whose younger brother Theophilus married Nathaniel's daughter Eliza Anna Maria Wathen.
Nathaniel's wife Mary died on Dec. 25, 1838, and she was buried on Jan. 1, 1839, with various members of her family, at Wesley's City Road Chapel in London. Nathaniel survived her by many years, and died aged 83 on April 15, 1856 in Camden Town, London, having lived a long life. Because interments at Wesley's Chapel, with the exception of one well-known Methodist minister, ended in 1853, Nathaniel was buried on April 23, 1856 in Norwood Cemetery in Lambeth, Surrey, where his daughter Eliza Anna Maria Thompson, and her husband Theophilus are buried in in Square #35. However, Nathaniel does not share their tomb, and his resting place is marked by a solitary tombstone at the base of a tree in nearby Square #34.
Nathaniel left a will that he wrote on Dec. 24, 1850 in the presence of his wife's 1st cousin Eliza Ford (1781-1856) in her home at No. 7 Litfield in Clfton, which is a suburb of the City of Bristol, Gloucestershire. Eliza had a much younger companion named Annie Margaret Geary (c.1821-1904), who also witnessed Nathaniel writing his will. This Annie subsequently married Nathaniel's son George Henry Wathen. Then a little more than a month after Nathniel died, Annie filed his will, and it was proven four days later on Mary 21, 1856 in London. This will is available from the British National Archives.
Nathaniel is often confused with his distant cousin Nathaniel Peach Wathen, who was born the same year, in the same part of the Frome Valley in Gloucestershire, and also married a woman named Mary. A miniature portrait of the correct Nathaniel that has passed down to his descendants is shown on the upper right. It is painted on ivory and unsigned, but it is thought to have been painted by Isaac Wane Slater, who is known to have been a close friend of the family. It is also possible that it may have been painted by one of Isaac's brothers, who were all competent miniaturists.
children - WATHEN
Josiah Iles Wathen (c.1805-1881) was probably born in either Stroud, Gloucestershire or London, and baptized on March 25, 1805 in at the Stroud parish church of St. Lawrence. He was obviously named after his uncle, and it seems likely that his uncle was no longer living at the time. The younger Josiah followed in his uncle's footsteps and became a lawyer. He also served from 1831-1848 on the governing committee of the British Foreign Bible Society, serving concurrently with his father. He married Caroline Thornton (1806-1877), the daughter of Edward Norton Thornton, on may 5, 1831 at Lambeth on the outskirts of London, with his father Nathaniel as witness to the wedding. Sometime before 1842 the younger Josiah became a full solicitor, and he appears to have been fairly well-known in that capacity in London. He died on April 6, 1881 at Croyden in Greater Surrey and is buried with his wife in the cemetery of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Beddington, Surrey.
Frances Mary Wathen (1806-1878) was born on Feb. 20, 1806, probably in either Stroud, Gloucestershire or in London, and baptized first on April 29, 1806 in her uncle John Owen's church at St. Benet Paul's Wharf in the City of London, and second on Jan. 3, 1808 at the Stroud parish church of St. Lawrence with her sister Eliza. Frances married a British army oficer named James Gardner (c.1797-1882) on April 4, 1850 at St. George Church in the Bloomsbury Parish of Camden, London. Her husband, who is identified in a family photo as Captain Gardner, ultimately retired from the army as a Lieutenant Colonel. Frances died on Aug. 26, 1878 in Bath, Somerset; where she is buried in Locksbrock Cemetery with her husband. They had at least one child.
Elizabeth Anna Maria Wathen (1807-1867), who follows in this lineage.
Julia Wathen (1809-1881) was born on July 22, 1809 in London, but not baptized until Nov. 12, 1818 at St, Lawrence Church in Stroud, Gloucestershire, with her younger brother George. Her late baptism is surprizing for a religious family, more so considering that all of her siblings were baptized as infants She married Rev. William Henry Howard (1811-1873), the Vicar of St. Thomas, Exeter, on Jan. 25, 1837 in the St. Pancras parish chapel in London, and they had two sons and one daughter. She died at the age of 71 on June 10, 1881 at Kelsey Park Farm, Beckenham, Kent; and she is buried with her husband at St Thomas the Apostle Churchyard in Exeter, Devon.
John Beardmore Wathen 1811-1862) was born May 22, 1811, probably in either Stroud, Gloucestershire, or in London, and baptized on Sept. 15, 1813 in the Stroud parish church of St. Lawrence with his sister Sophia, and their cousin Mary Owen Beardmore, the daughter of their uncle Joshua Beardmore. John's first wife Eliza Ashton (c.1814-1845) died on Christmas day in 1845 at Torrington Square in Bloomsbury, London, according to an entry by Joshua Beardmore in the Beardmore family album. John married his second wife Emma Gale (c.1831-1912), who was twenty years his junior, on Aug. 5, 1859 at St. Mary the Virgin Church in the Norwood Green Parish of Ealing, London. He died on Dec. 11, 1862 in Kensington, London, and he is buried with with first wife Eliza in the Highgate Cemetery of St James, London, which is also knwon as Highgate (East). His second wife Emma remarried, and her daughter Florence Unwin (c.1866-1930) married John's great nephew Claude Edmund Thompson (1860-1924).
Sophia "Sophie" Anne Wathen (c.1813-1866) was born sometime in 1813, probably in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as she was baptized there on Sept. 15, 1813 in the parish church of St. Lawrence. She was baptized with her slightly older brother John, and their cousin Mary Owen Beardmore, the daughter of their uncle Joshua Beardmore. She married William Henry Dickson (c.1809-1867) on April 28, 1836 at St. Pancras Church in Camden, London. She died at the age of 52 in the first quarter of 1866 in the Tonbridge registration district in Kent. She and her husband are known to have had at least two children.
Nathaniel Arthur Wathen (c.1815-1824) was born on Feb. 10, 1815, probably in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on June 7, 1815 in the parish church of St. Lawrence. He was then baptized a second time on March 5, 1817 in his uncle John Owen's church at St. Benet Paul's Wharf in the City of London. He died as a boy at the age of 9 in October 1824 at the home of Rev. Robert Watkin Lloyd, who ran a school in Tamworth, Staffordshire. He is buried at St. Editha Church in Tamworth.
George Henry Wathen (1816-1879) was born Nov. 21, 1816 in Surrey, England, and baptized first on March 5, 1817 in his uncle John Owen's church at St. Benet Paul's Wharf in the City of London, and second on Nov. 12, 1818 at the parish church of St. Lawrence in Stroud, Gloucestershire, with his sister Julia. Although trained as an architect, he never practiced as such, but wrote and illustrated two books, 'Arts, Antiquities, and Chronology of Ancient Egypt from observations in 1839', and 'The Golden Colony, or, Victoria in 1854'. The latter work, in which he described the gold fields of Australia, earned him the epithet of geologist, and he was elected a fellow in the Royal Geological Society, despite his lack of geologic training.
Starting in 1850 he also published a quarterly magazine titled the 'Australasian', which he printed out of Geelong, the second largest city of Victoria, Australia. This project reprinted the best articles from the leading English magazines of the day, many of which were not available to Australian readers. George Henry's brother-in-law Dr. Theophilus Thompson, who acted as his London agent, sent two copies of the Australasian to Charles Dickens, who politely wrote back to Dr. Thompson in a letter dated June 27, 1851 that though the journal was a "credible production", it would be more encouraging if the articles were "honestly purchased, rather than pirated". Nonetheless 8 volumes of 600 pages total were printed over the two years the magazine was in press.
George returned to England where he married Annie Margaret Geary (c.1821-1904) on Aug. 5, 1854 in Clifton, a parish near Bristol, Gloucestershire -- Annie having been the companion of his mother's 1st cousin Eliza Foley (1781-1856). He and Annie then immigrated about 1857 to the Natal Province of South Africa, where their three children were born. George also took up shepherding, and became a member in 1862 of the Natal Legislative Council. He was forced to return to England in 1867 after being injured in a fall from a house, but he spent his winters in southern France and Italy. He died on Nov. 10, 1879 in the parish of Viareggio, near Lucca in the Toscanna (Tuscany) province of Italy, where he is buried in the Protestant (English) Cemetery that is located about 15 miles from Viareggio at Bagni di Lucca. There is a Wikipedia article on him.
Elizabeth Anna Maria Wathen (1807-1867), the daughter of Nathaniel Wathen and Mary Beardmore, was born Nov. 4, 1807 in either Stroud, Gloucestershire or London, and baptized on Jan. 3, 1808 in the Stroud parish church with her sister Frances. Her early years were spent at Stroud and the nearby village of Brimscombe, where her father ran woolen mills to make cotton clothing, but when she was a little girl, her parents moved from this rural setting to central London, and there she grew up. When she was 23-years old, she married Theophilus Thompson (1807-1860), an eminent London physician, on Jan. 25, 1831 at St. Pancras Church in the Camden parish of central London. The marriage was probably arranged by her father and Theophilus' older brother Thomas Thompson. Both Nathaniel and Thomas were both prominent members of the British Foreign Bible Society, and both were famed for their piety, as well as their philanthropy. They no doubt shared similar views, and they were probably good friends.
There is no question that Elizabeth and her husband Theophilus both came from wealthy families, and as Theophilus was one of London's most respected doctors, they must have lived in great comfort. Elizabeth lived most of her adult life in London, and after raising a family of several children, died on Nov. 14, 1867, a few days after her 60th birthday. The photo on the right, though not formally identified as Elizabeth Wathen Thompson, came from a small brass locket that also contained a very well-known photo from the National Portrait Gallery (London) of her husband Theophilus Thompson, and it is believed that this locket was carried by their son Theophilus Wathen Thompson, which makes it likely that the photo is indeed of Elizabeth. It also resembles family photos of Elizabeth's sisters Frances and Sophie. Please see the Thompson Genealogy for the children of Elizabeth and Theophilus.
Branch II - The Family of Sir Samuel Wathen of Woodchester
Samuel Wathen (c.1699-1730), the son of Jonathan Wathen, was born in Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire, and baptized there on May 28, 1699 in the parish church . He married Sarah Burns on April 7, 1724 in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, and had several children, including the son who follows. He died on Oct. 2, 1730 and was buried with five of his children in a tomb in the churchyard of the old St. Laurence Church in Stroud. However, it is not known if his tomb survives, as many monuments were not saved when the old church in 1869 was torn down and the new one built.
Samuel Wathen (1723-1786), the son of Samuel Wathen and Sarah Burns, was born in 1723, and married Elizabeth Paul on Sept. 3, 1745 in Gloucestershire. A family bible owned by descendants in Australia shows that Elizabeth died on March 14, 1749 at the age of 43 years, and she is buried in St. George's churchyard in Kings Stanley. Samuel died on Jan 28, 1786 in Whaddon, Gloucestershire, where his tombstone is to be found in St. Margaret's churchyard.
Sir Samuel Wathen (1748-1835), the son of Samuel Wathen and Elizabeth Paul, was born in March 15, 1748 in Woodchester, Gloucestershire, and baptized there on March 24, 1748 in the parish church. He married Margaret Peach (c.1742-1826) on Oct. 23, 1769 in Woodchester. Many years later, he became the High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, for which he was knighted on March 13, 1803 by George III. He also served for "many years was in the commission of the Peace for that county." His wife Lady Margaret died on Sept. 17, 1826 in Kings Stanley, and Sir Samuel survived her for several years. When Sir Samuel's son Sir Paul Baghott came upon finacial difficulties, he signed as a guarantor, but when his son defaulted on his payments, Sir Samuel was forced to flee to France to escape his creditors. There he died died on May 19, 1835 in Pas de Calais in the Nord arrondisement, but his remains were returned to England for burial. He was buried in the family vault at the Kings Stanley, and there is a memorial inscription to him and his wife inside the Church of St. George in the Kings Stanley parish. Descendants in Australia of this branch of the family have loose pages from an old family bible that provides much information on the children of Samuel and Margaret. Sir Samuel also left a will, which was proven on March 22, 1836 and is available from the British National Archives.
The fortunes of Sir Samuel Wathen and his sons came in large part from wool and cloth-making operations at the Woodchester Mill, which is located on the Nailsworth Stream less than two miles south of Stroud. Grigshot House (shown to the left), which is part of the mill complex, is where the mill owners generally lived. The house and mill were owned by Samuel Paul in the mid-1700s, and both passed with his death in 1768 to his cousin Obadiah Paul (c.1720-1792), and then with Obadiah's death in 1792, the property passed to Obadiah's nephew, the aforementioned Samuel Wathen. The lease was then either renegotiated by Samuel at its 1794 expiration, or the property purchased outright, possibly the latter, as various of Samuel's sons in later years were owners of both the mill and the house. Grigshot House survives today as Grigshot Apartments, which is a British Grade II Listed Building on Bath Road in Woodchester.
Another old house that is closely associated with the family is the Old Priory (shown to the right), which is immediately west of Grigshot house at the site of the Woodchester Roman Villa. The Old Priory also occupies the site of the original manor-house, and is near the site of the old Woodchester parish church. This house was sold in 1602 by the lord of the manor to Robert Tayloe of Stroud, a clothier, and his son Robert. It was then acquired in the 18th century by Samuel Paul (d. 1768). His cousins and joint devisees, John Paul of Tetbury, and Obadiah Paul, owned it in 1781 with an estate of 159 acres, and Obadiah's nephew Sir Samuel Wathen lived here in the early 19th century. The house appears to date from the early 17th century, but there were substantial internal alterations in the 18th century, and further alterations in the early and late 19th century (see British History online, p. 296-297). Despite being known as the Old Priory, this house is not to be confused with the "Woodchester Priory", a nearby catholic church that dates from 1853 and has nothing to do with the Paul or Wathen families.
children - WATHEN
Paul Wathen (1770-1838) was born on Dec. 13, 1770 in Woodchester, Gloucestershire, and married his distant cousin Anne Wathen (1769-1826) on Dec. 15, 1791 at Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire. Anne was the daughter of Thomas Wathen (1740-1819) of Picked (Peaked) Elm Farm (on Selsey Hill in Kings Stanley), and the grandaughter of the Rev. Thomas Baghott (1693-1762), who had a distinguished ancestry. Like her husband she was a descendant of Thomas Wathen (1627-1685) of Kings Stanley. Paul and Anne from 1794 to 1806 had several children, who generally appear to have been baptized in Rodborough.
Paul bought by identure on Jan. 4, 1801 the manor house of Lypiatt Park from Thomas Baghott Delabere of Southam (c.1729-1821), a relative of his wife. He then proceeded at great expense to increase the estate holdings. These were likely financed in part by an inheritance acquired on April 5, 1805 by his wife Anne from her uncle Thomas Baghott of Prestbury (d. Nov. 1804). Although this inheritance was considerable, being one-half of what remained of the estate of her wealthy grandfather Rev. Thomas Baghott (1693-1762), her uncle's will contained a clause stipulating that Anne's inheritance was "independent of her husband, her receipt only being a sufficient discharge". A similar clause was included 15-years later in the will of Anne's father Thomas Wathen of Picked Elm Farm (d. 1819), when she received another inheritance upon his demise. Nonetheless, her husband no doubt found ways to circumvent the wills and use Anne's inheritances to fund his Lypiatt Park excesses.
Sir Samuel Wathen, the father of Paul, had been knighted in 1803 after having been appointed High Sheriif of Gloucestershire, and Paul Wathen followed in his father's footsteps on Jan. 31, 1810 to become High Sheriff as well. He was then knighted on May 22, 1812 as Sir Paul Baghott, so that he could stand in proxy for Viscount Lord Strangford, who was absent as an ambassador in Lisbon, Portugal. Wathen also elected to change his name by Royal Sign Manual (i.e., a Royal license) to Paul Baghott three days earlier on May 19, 1812, whereby he assumed the surname of his mother-in-law. Possibly this enabled him to acquire some assets from the Baghott estate upon his mother-in-law's decease. A more likely reason may be that his lifestyle had so tainted his family name that he found it advantageous to no longer be identified as a Wathen.
Sir Paul Baghott became notorious for unsuccessfull business ventures and extravagant spending. However, his debts caught up to him during the financial turmoil following the end of the Napoleonic Wars, when the market for woolen military goods collapsed. He was forced on July 19, 1819, and again on May 18, 1820 to attempt to auction off the Lypiatt estate, but the there was little interest from buyers due to the poor financial climate. This led on Jan. 19, 1821 to Sir Paul being declared bankrupt. He finally managed to sell Lypiatt Park at a greatly reduced price in 1824 to William Lewis of Brimscombe. This allowed Baghott to retire to Nash Park in the parish of Stonehouse to live a greatly subdued lifestyle, but his financial troubles were far from over. He was declared bankrupt on Aug. 1, 1826 for a second time, and then declared bankrupt on Aug. 4, 1837 a third time. Through it all though, he never went to debtor's prison, which would have been the fate for someone of lesser social rank.
Sir Paul had three wives. His first wife Anne died on Nov. 20, 1826, probably at Nash Park, and she is buried in the Wathen Family vault at St. George's Church in Kings Stanley. Paul then married a much younger second wife, Jane Maxwell (c.1797-1829), who was the daughter of William Maxwell of Renfrew on June 23, 1828 in Renfrew, Scotland. Jane died a short time later in 1829 at just 32 years of age. Sir Paul then married his third wife Alice Haines (1816-1908) on Aug. 24, 1838 at Trinity Church in Marylebone, London. Alice had been a maid in Sir Paul's household, and her marriage to Baghott, who was 46 years her senior, caused a sensation at first, but she is said to have "won all hearts" and became known as the "Gloucestershire Belle". Her marriage to Baghott was brief, but they did have one child together, a son named John Paul Baghott (1839-1867), who was born sometime in Feb. of 1839 in Woodchester, nearly three months after the death of his father.
Despite knighthood, and two large inheritances to his first wife Anne, Sir Paul Baghott, formerly Paul Wathen, died penniless on Nov. 30, 1838 at his Nash Park home in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire. He was buried in a simple grave in the King's Stanley Churchyard, where there is also a tablet to his first wife in the church interior, with a short mention at the end of the inscription noting the passing of her husband. Above and right is a portrait by an unknown artist of Sir Paul Baghott that hangs in the Museum in the Park in Stroud.
Lady Alice, the 22-year old widow of Sir Paul, was looked after by the community, who continued to refer to her as the "Gloucestershire Belle". She returned to life as a servant, and later became a school mistress, before marrying again in 1849 when she wed a carpenter and joiner named Elijah White (1820-1904). Her passing on May 2, 1908 at the age of 92 at the Stroud Union Workhouse, and subsequent burial at the Woodchester Church, was noticed with interest in the newspapers due to her former life as Lady Alice Baghott.
Nathaniel Peach Wathen (1772-1846), was born June 16, 1772 in Woodchester, Gloucestershire, and baptized July 23, 1772 in the nearby parish church of Rodborough. He married his first wife Mary Caruthers (1773-1817) on April 19, 1791, probably in Woodchester. Mary died on April 9, 1817 at the age of 44 in Woodchester, afterwhich Nathaniel married Anna Maria Mount on April 26, 1821 in London. Nathaniel died on Dec. 18, 1846 at Woodchester, and he is buried at St. James the Great Church in Dursley, Glouchestershire. However, there is also monumental inscription that mentions his name and death date on the monument for his first wife Mary Caruthers inside the Church of St. George in the Kings Stanley parish.
The Kings Stanley monument to Nathaniel Wathen and Mary Carruthers has at the base of it a Coat of Arms for Nathaniel impailed with a Coat of Arms for his wife, which means that the right half of the shield contains Nathaniel's arms, and the left half contains those of Mary. A drawing of Nathaniel's arms are shown on the right. Interestingly, they are similar in several ways to the arms displayed by his distant cousin Joseph Wathen (c.1723-1786), due to their descent from a common Wathen ancestor.
Nathaniel is frequently confused with his distant cousin, the Nathaniel Wathen (1772-1856), who appears with his wife Mary Beardmore in Branch I of this lineage, and is the son of the aforementioned Joseph Wathen. The facts that they were contemporaries born within a few miles of each other, both were clothiers, and each married a woman named Mary, adds to this confusion.
Charles Wathen (1774-?) was born on Oct. 14, 1774 in Woodchester, Gloucestershire (Ref: Wathen Family Bible), and baptised on Nov. 4, 1774 in the Rodborough parish church. His name is generally associated with the Rooksmoor mill, which he may have owned a part interest in at one time. Rooksmoor sat adjacent to the Woodchester mill, which was operated by several of Charles Wathen's brothers. He married at least three times.
He married his first wife Jane Shearer, the only daughter of Alex Shearer, on Jan. 8, 1800 at St. Mary's Cathedral in Limerick, Ireland. She was the only daughter of Dr. Alexander Shearer of Limerick, who was the British surgeon at the siege of Gibraltar. She died on June 25, 1812 in Woodchester, and was buried there on July 1, 1812 at St. Mary's Church. Her 1812 death was reported in the "Monthly Magazine (British Register)", where she is identified as "the wife of Charles Wathen, esq. of Rooksmoor". Charles and Jane had the two children listed below.
A son whose name is not given, but is said in the Wathen Family Bible to have died in 1828 at the age of 28 years.
Jane Wathen (c.1806-1903), the daughter of Charles Wathen and his first wife Jane Shearer, was born about 1806 in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and baptized on Oct. 15, 1806 in the Rodborough parish church. She married Charles James Hallewell (c.1799-1876) on April 9, 1844 in Stroud, and they had at least one surviving daughter - Mary Jane Hallewell (1845-1927), who died single. Jane died on Jan. 21, 1903 in Stroud at the age of 96 years, and she was buried there six days later at St. Laurence Church.
He married his second wife Phillipa Bridget Lee, the daughter of Rev. Charles Lee of Bristol, on May 15, 1815 in Stroud, Gloucestershire. She died on Jan. 18, 1818 in Langford, Somerset, and was buried on Jan. 22 at St. James Church in Bristol. No children were born to them that we know of.
He married his third wife Arabella Jane Mason (b. 1790) on June 7, 1828 at St. George Bloomsbury Church in London, but she lived only a short time. She was the daughter of Thomas Mason, Esq., the Attorney General of the Island of Tobago. No children were born to them that we know of
Much of the information above comes from a Wathen Family Bible that is in the possession of Peggy Beckett of Melbourne Australia (a descendant of Sir Samuel Wathen), and most of of the information in this bible is confirmed with independant sources.
Some family trees identify the above Charles Wathen (son of Sir Samuel) with a Charles Wathen who is the father of Sir Charles Wathen (1833-1893), the six times Mayor of Bristol. If so, then the Charles Wathen above died on May 1, 1852 in Bristol, and was buried on May 6, 1852 at the reported age of 75 in the former graveyard of the now destroyed St. John's Church in the Bedminster parish of Bristol. He is almost certainly not the Charles Wathen who was buried at the age of 69 on March 28, 1848 in the graveyard of St. Mary's Church in the Redcliffe parish of Bristol, as this man is identified on his March 23, 1848 death certificate as a type of boatman called a "lighterman". Nor is he likely to be the Charles Wathen who was buried at the age of 42 on April 25, 1847 at St. Mary Redcliffe, as this third candidate is too young to be the man we seek.
Onesiphorous Paul Wathen (1776-1776) was born on March 6, 1776 in Woodchester, Gloucestershire, and baptized there on June 12, 1776 in the parish church. He lived only a few months and died on Dec. 7, 1776, and was buried three days later on Dec. 10 in Woodchester.
Elizabeth Wathen (1777-1808) was born on Dec. 16, 1777 in Woodchester, Gloucestershire. She married Thomas Cooper (d. 1812) on June 10, 1796, and died July 20, 1808 in nearby Kings Stanley, leaving behind three sons and a daughter. She is buried at St. Mary's Church in Woodchester.
Joseph Wathen (1779-1849) was born on Dec. 29, 1779 in Woodchester, Gloucestershire, and baptized there on June 12, 1780 in the parish church. He married Catherine Caruthers on March 29, 1803, and had eight children with her. He was involved in operation of the Woodchester woolen mill with his brothers Sir Paul Baghott and Obadiah Paul Wathen, which resulted in his being declared bankrupt on April 3, 1832 in Rodborough, Gloucestershire. He died on June 24, 1849 in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and was buried on June 30, 1849 in nearby Woodchester in St. Mary's Churchyard, where his wife and several of his children are also buried.
Obadiah Paul Wathen (1783-1868) was born on May 17, 1783 in Woodchester, Gloucestershire, and baptized there on July 29, 1783 in the parish church. He married Margaret Bateman (c.1781-1854). on Oct. 7, 1806 at St. Ann's Manchester, and they had eight children. He was in business running the Woodchester woolen mill with his older brothers Sir Paul Wathen and Joseph Wathen, but as they pulled out of the business due to bankruptcy proceeddings Obadiah took over the operation as the senior partner of the firm Wathen & Cook, which manufactured a superfine Saxony broadcloth. However, he was declared bankrupt on Jan. 5, 1838 as well, when the financial misfortunes of his family finally caught up with him. His eldest daughter Margaret Peach Wathen (1807-1850), who was named after her maternal grandmother and aunt, married Thomas Plummer Dunn (1802-1867), whose pyramid-shaped tomb at the Woodchester parish graveyard is something of a local attraction. The elder Margaret died in 1854 in Prestbury near Cheltenham, Glouchestershire, and Obadiah died on Feb. 21, 1868 at Lynch House in the Clutton registation district of Somerset. Obadiah is buried at Downside Cemetery in the village of Chilcompton (Downside parish). His grandson Delabere Wathen (1849-1896) had a family bible, several pages of which are in possession of Peggy Beckett of Melbourne, Australia that list birth, marriage and death dates for Obadiah's immediate family, and his descendants along Delabere's line.
Anne Maria Wathen (1785-1813) was born on Oct. 27, 1785 in Woodchester, Gloucestershire, and baptized there on May 8, 1789 in the parish church. She married Isaac Dighton (c.1779-1859) of Bristol on July 15, 1806 in a double wedding in Stroud, Gloucestershire with her sister Margaret. She died on Oct. 3, 1813, and is buried at St. Marys Churchyard in Woodchester.
Margaret Peach Wathen (1789-1864), first of the name, was born Feb. 3, 1789 in Woodchester, Gloucestershire, and was baptized there on April 26, 1786 in the parish church. She married her first husband John Hilhouse Wilcox of Bristol on July 15, 1806 in a double wedding in Stroud, Gloucestershire with her sister Ann. Her first husband died in 1830, afterwhich in 1846 she married Edward Wilkins near Bristol, Gloucestershire. She appears as a widow during the 1861 U.K. Census at Stanton Drew in Somerset, with her brother Obadiah visiting her household. She died on Feb. 18, 1864 at Whitley House in Stanton Drew, and left a will.
(From L to R) Sir Samuel Wathen, Sir Paul Baghott (Wathen), Obadiah Paul Wathen, and Margaret Peach Wathen.
These images were kindly supplied by Mary Calwell, who owns the actual paintings.
Branch III - The Family of Samuel Wathen, M.D.
Though the relationship of Samuel Wathen, M.D. (c.1720-1787) of Dorking, Surrey to the Wathen families of Stroud and Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire used to be tentative, there is now no question that Samuel and Joseph Wathen are brothers, the sons of Jonathan Wathen (1684-1749), a clothier of Far Thrupp (Stroud) in Gloucestershire. The definitive proof is a baptism certificate for Samuel, and his 1745 admission document to the Freedom of the Company of Surgeon's in London, both of which identify him as the son of Nathaniel Wathen of Stroud. Prior to obtaining these documents, the evidence was as follows.
Elizabeth Watkins, the wife of Edmund-Symes Thompson, writes in her Memories of Edmund Symes-Thompson (1908, p.8) that among her husband's ancestors "was Dr. Samuel Wathen, M.D. of Aberdeen, 1752, who practised in London during the latter part the the eighteenth century." Edmund's mother was Elizabeth Anna Maria Wathen, whose grandfather was the aforementioned Joseph Wathen. Although we know that Samuel Wathen can not be an ancestor of Edmund Symes-Thompson, as his wife believed, he may still be a relative.
Samuel Wathen, M.D. as a young man apparently lived in Bristol, a city in Gloucestershire County that sits only a few miles from the homes of the Wathen families of Stroud and Kings Stanley. In particular, Bristol sits only a few miles from the birthplace and home of the aforementioned Joseph Wathen.
Some of Edmund Symes-Thompson's ancestors are associated with the town of Dorking in Surrey, as is Samuel Wathen M.D. In particular, Joseph Wathen's son Nathaniel married Mary Beadrmore, whose family owned the manor house of Juniper Hall in Dorking. Juniper Hall sits a very short distance north of Burford Hall where Samuel Wathen M.D. probably lived. However, to be honest the timing is not quite right, as Samuel Wathen M.D. lived in Dorking from about 1779-1786, whereas the Beardmore family did not move to Dorking until after 1800. Nonetheless, the Dorking connection is an unusual coincidence.
Some of Edmund Symes-Thompson's ancestors, in particular Joseph and Ann Wathen, as well as the Beardmore family, were close friends of the Rev. John Wesley, as was Samuel Wathen M.D.
Samuel Wathen, M.D. had a younger brother named Jonathan who died in his 80th year in East Acton, Middlesex on Jan. 17. 1808, which means 1728 is the latest year Jonathan could have been born. coincidently, Joseph Wathen had a younger brother who was also named Jonathan, and who was baptized in Stroud, Gloucestershire on May 24, 1728. The timing is such that the two Jonathans could in fact be the same man.
A will exists for Jonathan Wathen, the younger brother of Samuel Wathen, M.D. This will mentions "my nephew Nathaniel Wathen", and names Nathaniel's brother Samuel as a nephew also. Nathaniels's wife Mary, and Samuel's wife Elizabeth are also mentioned. Nathaniel of course is Nathaniel Wathen (1772-1856), the clothier of Stroud, and this makes Nathaniel's father Joseph Wathen (1726-1786) the brother of both Samuel Wathen, M.D. and the aforementioned Jonathan. (more on the will of Jonathan Wathen)
Samuel Wathen (c.1720-1787), the son of Jonathan Wathen and Sarah Watkins, was probably born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, as he was baptized there on June 21, 1720 in the parish church. The next mention we have of him is a letter dated April 9, 1737 in which the Rev. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, writes from Bristol, Gloucestershire that on April 4 a young Samuel Wathen was one of four men that the good Reverend led to Christ, in fact the first ever in Wesley's career as a preacher. There seems to be no doubt among Wesley scholars that this Samuel Wathen went on to become a surgeon. Wesley also informs us as that Samuel was a young man at the time, and we would in fact put his age at probably just 16 or 17 years old. Then in another letter dated April 26, 1739 we learn from Wesley that Samuel Wathen's mistress accepted Christ as well. Presumably, this woman, whose name is not revealed, was his girlfriend and never became his wife, as when Samuel Wathen married Martha Allanson 7 years later, he is listed as a bachelor.
Samuel next appears in 1745, when we find him practicing as a physician in London, where he is called upon to testify at a trial (#230 of 1745) at the 'Old Bailey' courthouse. Then on June 10, 1746 he was admitted to the Surgeon's Company in London, which would imply that he had first become a surgeon's apprentice about 1739, seven years learlier. Though it is speculation, it would seem likely that he served his apprenticeship under Dr. Nicholas Munckley (c.1721-1770), a prominent London physician who was originally from Gloucestershire. Samuel's admission papers also clearly state that he is the "son of Jonathan Wathen of Stroud Water in the County of Gloucestershire, Clothier."
Samuel also becomes Reverend John Wesley's personal physician, and he is mentioned several times in Wesley's journal and letters, as well as in the writings of Wesley's younger brother Charles. Samuel's brother Jonathan also testifies at a trial (#341 of 1749) at the 'Old Bailey' in 1749 that for the last 4 years he had been serving as Samuel's apprentice in the medical profession. Jonathan Wathen (1729-1808) went on to become a successful London surgeon in his own right, as well as an eye doctor who is sometimes referred to as one of the founding fathers of ophthalmalogy. Jonathan was also the step-grandfather of the celebrated Sir Jonathan Wathen-Waller (1769-1853), who was Royal Physician to Kings George III and William IV.
As noted already, we do not know what became of the early "mistress of Samuel Wathen" mentioned by John Wesley, but Samuel married Martha Allanson (c.1724-1747) on April 29, 1746 at St. Katherine Coleman Church in London. Martha was the posthumous daughter of Capt. Edward Allanson and his wife Susannah Gammon. She lived only a short time and died at the age of 23 on August 13, 1747 in London, and was buried on Aug. 19, 1747 in the parish of Stoke Newington, where there is a memorial tablet for her at St. Mary's Church.
Samuel less than two years later married again, this time to Mary Scott (1726/27-c.1750), the daughter of a salter named Thomas Scott, who is mentioned many years later in Samuel Wathen's will. The marriage took place on March 30, 1749 at St. Andrew Undershaft Church in the Aldgate ward of the City of London, where his sister Christian had married the year before. Mary gave birth to one daughter, Mary Scott Wathen (b. 1750), afterwhich she disappears, presumably becoming the second wife of Samuel Wathen to die prematurely. The timing is such that Mary Scott may have died in childbirth, but this is speculation. Her death left Samuel as the single parent of their daughter, who at most was no more than a few months old, if not a newborn.
Samuel remarried very quickly, choosing for his next wife Elizabeth Malthus (d. 1807) on March 19, 1750 at St. Mary's Hill, London, only six weeks after the baptism of his baby daughter Mary, and less than a year after his marriage to Mary Scott. This new wife Elizabeth was from a very prominent family, being the daughter of barrister (a type of lawyer) Sydenham Malthus (c.1678-1757), but she is perhaps best remembered as the aunt of the celebrated economist Rev. Thomas Robert "Population" Malthus (1766-1834), who was one of the first to write on the dangers of mankind overpopulating the earth.
Although he appears to have been a practicing physician for some time, Samuel Wathen was admitted to the King's College in Aberdeen, Scotland on the recommendation of Dr. Nicholas Munckley (c.1721-1770), a physician at Guy's Hospital in London and a member of the Royal Society. Samuel graduated a doctor of Medicine on Sept. 28, 1752, and he was subsequently admitted to the Royal College of Physicians on Sept. 30, 1756, going on to became one of London's best-known physicians. In addition to being a surgeon and personal physician, he also was one of the governors of the City of London Lying-in Hospital on City Road where he was a man-midwife extraordinary. He was in fact listed on the Royal Kalendar of 1766 as man-widwife to the Queen, which must have been Sophia, wife of George III. This makes it likely that he attended Queen Sophia when William IV, the heir to the throne was born.
For many years Dr. Wathen had a house on Great Cumberland Street in St. Marylebone, London, near the northeast corner of Hyde Park, but prior to 1779 he moved to Dorking, Surrey. There exists today a Wathen Road that some say is named after him. However, it seems more likely that this road is named after the Lady Elizabeth Jane Wathen, who married Samuel's grandson Augustus Wathen and lived at Shrub Hill, very close to where Wathen Road joins Rothe Road on the northest side of town. Wathen Road today is best known as the birthplace of the actor Sir Laurence Oliver. Charles Dickens also wrote most of the 'Pickwick Papers' while staying in a house at No. 35 Wathen Road. Samuel Wathen's Dorking residence was probably a short distance north of Wathen Road at Burford Hall, which had been built in 1774 by his son-in-law John Eckersall near the base of Box Hill, on the road between Dorking and Mickleham.
Samuel and Elizabeth Wathen after the 1786 marriage of their youngest daughter Anna moved to Wrington, Somersetshire, where they probably lived at the Old Rectory on Broad Street with Anna and her new husband the Rev. William Leeves (1748-1840). Samuel Wathen died shortly thereafter on July 26, 1787 at Wrington, and was buried on Aug. 3, 1787 in Wrington. Elizabeth died in 1807 at the Rectory, and she was buried on April 17, 1807 in Wrington. Both are almost certainly interred at All Saints Church, as there were monuments for members of the Leeves family that were removed from the church interior during an 1859 restoration, then in 1960 these monuments were moved a second time. Some sort of monument for the family is believed to exist today just outside the church near the southeast corner, but it is not known if any inscriptions on it survive. William Leeve is interred under the high altar of the church, and his wife's name is mentioned on his memorial plaque. There is also a window to the Leeves family on the south wall of the chancel. Samuel Wathen left a will, which was proven on Aug. 10, 1787 and is available from the British National Archive and from Ancestry.com.
Samuel Wathen had several children. The six we know about are listed below, but there may have been more. The eldest daughter is from his marriage with Mary Scott, and the other children are from his marriage with Elizabeth Malthus. There is a picture painted by George Knapton in 1755 of Samuel and Elizabeth Wathen with their daughters that hangs in Aston Hall, an auxiliary building of the Birmingham City Art Gallery, with prints available for purchase on the museum website.
Mary Scott Wathen (b. c.1750), the daughter of Samuel Wathen and Mary Scott, was baptized Feb. 2, 1750 at St. Botolph's Church in Bishopsgate, London, only six weeks before her widowed father married Elizabeth Malthus. The younger Mary married Henry Christopher Wise (1738-1805) of the Priory in 1766 in Warwick. Henry went on in 1780 to serve as the High Sheriff of Warwickshire. Henry and Mary had two sons, Matthew (d. 1810), who like his father became High Sheriff of Warwickshire (1807), and Henry (c.1772-1850), who became the Vicar of Offchurch and Rector of Charlwood, Surrey. A portrait of Mary Wathen painted by Thomas Hickey, signed and dated 1794, was sold in 1992 at Christies in London.
Katherine Wathen (c.1753-1837) was born in London, and baptized on Feb. 8, 1753 at St. Botolphs Church in Bishopsgate, London. She married her cousin John Eckersall (1748-1837) on Dec. 1, 1774 at St. Marylebone, London, and from 1774 on lived at Burford Lodge in Box Hill Surrey, which was built by her husband. She and John had eleven children, of whom the Eldest daughter Harriet Eckersall (1777-1864), married the economist Rev. Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) who has already been mentioned. Katherine died in 1837 and was buried on Jan. 24, 1837 in Claverton parish in Somerset, where her husband is also buried.
Anna Wathen was born in London and baptized on June 13, 1754 at St. Botolphs Church in Bishopsgate, London. She is said to have been a talented violinist. She married the Rev. William Leeves (1748-1840) on May 14, 1786 in Clifton, Gloucestershire, and resided with him for 48 years at the Old Rectory in Wrington, Somersetshire where they had five children. William is best known for composing the music for the ballad 'Auld Robin Gray'. Anna died suddenly on Feb. 14, 1826 at Wrington, and William died on May 25, 1828 at Wrington. He is buried beneath the High Altar of the All Saints Church in Wrington, where his memorial plaque mentions his wife, who presumably is with him beneath the altar.
Samuel Wathen (b. 1758) was born on March 1, 1758 in London, and baptized Aptil 2, 1758 at Saint Faith under Paul in the City of London. Nothing more is known about him.
Daniel Samuel Wathen (b. 1759.) was born on Oct. 22, 1759 in London, and baptized Nov. 22, 1759 at Saint Faith under Paul in the City of London. Nothing more is known about him.
George Wathen (1762-1849) was born on March 2, 1762 in London, and baptized March 27 of that year at Saint Faith under Paul Church in the City of London. He served with disinction as a junior army officer in the Siege of Gibraltar (1782), and then in Jamaica. He married, presumably in England, in 1787 Marianne Norford, the daughter of Dr. William Norford (1715-1793) of Bury in Suffolk, probably a physician friend of his father's. George and Marianne's daughter Marianne was born in 1788 while they were living in Jamaica in the West Indies. He left the military, probably around 1789, with the rank of brevet Major, which meant that he left before the promotion had been finalized. He went on to become a well-known actor, singer and theater manager, performing under the the stage name of 'Captain Wathen', apparently to the derision of his fellow actors. Among his early acting partners was the famous Lord Barrymore (1769-1793). George's military career, together with his fame as an actor and stage manager, enabled him to receive an appointment in 1841 as a Military Knight of Windsor, an honorary body guard of the king. Presumably, it is around this time that he became known as 'Major Wathen'. He died in 1849, and was buried as Major Wathen in Windsor Castle. He left a will, which was proven on May 3, 1849 and is available from the British National Archives. He had three children.
Marianne Wathen (1788-1831) married Alexander Baillie, and as Marianne Baillie she wrote four books, two being collections of verse, and the others being descriptions of her travels in Europe. When Marianne published her first book in 1817, Guy of Warwick, a Legende, and other Poems, she and her husband experienced some hard times, yet they found 'shelter' and a 'calm retreat' at the manor house of Twickenham in London, where they received kindness from Lady Howe, whose second husband, Sir Jonathan Wathen-Waller, was Mrs. Baillie's second cousin. Marianne and Alexander had children, with many descendants living today.
George Samuel Wathen (b. 1790), appears to have died young.
Augustus Wathen (1796-1844) was the only surviving son. He served at the Battle of Waterloo, and then in India, where he aroused the enmity of his commanding officer. His resulting court martial and subsequent acquittal as Captain Wathen in 1834, was a much chronicled military scandal. He was promoted to Major after the trial concluded, which results in confusion with his father as both appear in literature as Major Wathen. Prior to his service in India he married Elizabeth Jane Leslie, the daughter of the Earl of Rothe, and resided at Shrub Hill in Dorking, Surrey. He died while on his way from Norwich to visit his mother-in-law in Dorking on May 3, 1843, predeceasing his father. He was buried in his wife's family vault.
Jonathan Wathen - A few words are in order for Jonathan Wathen (b. c.1728-1808), the surgeon, who is the younger brother of Samuel Wathen, M.D., and also appears to be the younger brother of Joseph Wathen, clothier of Stroud. He was born in 1727 or 1728, not 1729 as is often reported, and apprenticed as a physician in London under his brother Samuel - the term of that apprenticeship beginning about 1745. Their association appears to have lasted 15 or more years, and it would seem likely that at some point Jonathan graduated from apprentice to partner. When Samuel was studying medicine at the King's College in Aberdeen from 1752-1756, Jonathan was located at Devonshire Square in London, and one might assume that he carried out most, if not all of the responsibilities of their practice, if the partnership still existed at that time. The two also practiced side by side at the City of London Lying-in Hospital, where Samuel for many years was a man midwife extraordinary.
(A miniature portrait of Jonathan Wathen created in 1798 by the artist Henri de Janvry (1768-1843) is shown on the right. It appeared in November 19, 2014 in an auction catalog by Bonham's of New York.)
Jonathan at some point, possibly around 1760, established his own practice at Bond-court, in Wallbrook, London, with his brother in a separate practice at Great Cumberland Street in St. Marylebone. About this same time, Jonathan on June 8, 1761 married Anne Waller, the widow of John Allen, in the parish of St. Botolph Bishopsgate in London. One James Wathen, possibly Jonathan's uncle James (b. c.1687) but more likely a younger relative, was one of the witnesses at the wedding. Jonathan became stepfather to Anne's daughter Mary Allen, who ultimately took the name Ann Wathen, and later married a man named Joshua Phipps. Mary and Joshua, in turn, had a son named Jonathan Phipps, who assumed the name and arms of Waller in 1814 as an adult to become Jonathan Wathen-Waller.
Although Jonathan Wathen never received any formal medical training, as did his brother Samuel, he published widely, and became very well known. He always referred to himself as a surgeon, but he actually specialized in diseases of the eye and throat, and he is at times referred to as one of the fathers of Ophthalmology in England. However, that term is bestowed more often on a physician named James Ware (1756-1815), who Jonathan took on as an assistant at Bond-court in Wallbrook, London in 1777. The next year the two entered into a formal partnership, with Ware holding a one-fourth interest, that lasted until 1791 when Ware started his own practice. Although Ware ultimately became the better known of the two, and was even admitted as a Fellow to the Royal Society, he always acknowledged in print his debt to his mentor and former partner Jonathan Wathen.
When Wathen and Ware dissolved their partnerhip in 1791, Jonathan took on his step grandson Jonathan Phipps as an apprentice. The younger Jonathan, who upon being knighted in 1814 took the name Sir Jonathan Wathen-Waller (1769-1853), utlimately became the Groom of the Bedchamber to King William IV, and was much celebrated as an eye doctor to both George III and George IV. The elder Jonathan, having achieved reknown equal to that of his brother Samuel Wathen, M.D., died on Jan. 17, 1808 at East Acton, Middlesex in his 80th year.
Jonathan Wathen left a will that is available in the Public records office of the British National Archives. This will, which was proved Feb. 1, 1808 in London, mentions Jonathan's nephew George Wathen (probably the son of Samuel Wathen, M.D.) and George's wife Marianne. It also mentions another nephew Samuel Wathen (probably the son of Joseph Wathen) and Samuels's wife Elizabeth. Most important to this lineage is the following mention at the bottom of the 11th page of the will and continuing onto the 12th page where Jonathan leaves a bequest "unto my nephew Nathaniel Wathen (if now living) ... [and] unto Mary Wathen his present wife". Because Nathaniel is also a son of Joseph Wathen, this links Jonathan Wathen, surgeon of London, Samuel Wathen, M.D. and doctor to Rev. John Wesley, and Joseph Wathen, clothier of Stroud as brothers.
Branch IV - The Wathen Family of Picked (Peaked) Elm Farm
Peaked Elm Farm, which was originally known as Picked Elm Farm (meaning "pointed" or "spiked"), is a 17th-century farm on Selsey Hill in the parish of Kings Stanley that sits just across the cemetery from All Saints Church. The history that follows is from British History Online. "An estate at Selsley, later called PICKED ELM FARM, was owned by John Wathen in 1737 when he settled it on the marriage of his son John. The younger John was apparently the one that died in 1744, and the elder the John Wathen that died in 1752. In 1765 the estate was settled on the marriage of Thomas Wathen, the son of the younger John. Thomas Wathen or another of the same name died in 1819, when his heirs were his daughter Anne, who married Sir Paul Baghott, and his grandson Samuel Edwards. By 1839 Picked Elm Farm with 52 acres had passed to David Powell Sands, and in 1890 Mrs. Mary Sands sold the estate to Charles Pool (d. 1903). Charles Pool was succeeded by his two sisters, Beata Prout and Elizabeth Pool, who devised their shares of the estate before 1907 to Beata's son, J.C.P. Prout, who sold it in 1918 to Sir William Henry Marling of Stanley Park. The house, dated 1632, is of stone with gables, stone-mullioned windows with dripmoulds, and a stone chimney with a decorated cap."
Thomas Wathen (b. 1651), second of the name, and the son of Thomas Wathen I (1627-1685) of Kings Stanley, was born Nov. 8, 1651, his birthdate being recorded with two of his siblings in the Kings Stanley parish register. He married Ann Wright on April 2, 1668 at Wooten under Edge, Gloucestershire. He was buried on March 17, 1717 in Saint George's Churchyard in King's Stanley, where his remains reside in a chest tomb that is grouped in a family plot with several similar tombs for other members of his immediate family.
Philip Wathen (c.1676-?) was baptized on March 18, 1676 in King's Stanley Gloucestershire. He married Lydia (Liddia) Driver (d. 1730) on Jan. 26, 1703/04 at St. Dionis Backchurch in the Langbourne Ward of the City of London, and he and Lydia are buried in a chest tomb in Saint George's Churchyard in King's Stanley.
Thomas Wathen (b. c.1681), third of the name, was baptized May 4, 1681 in Kings Stanley. He married Anne White (d. 1740) on Oct. 30, 1720 in Standish, Gloucestershire. His wife's name resembles, and in some genealogies is confused with, the name of his mother-in-law. Thomas was buried with his wife on Sept. 23, 1763 in St Michael and All Angels Churchyard in Eastington, Gloucestershire.
Alice Wathen (1733-1809) was baptized on Sept. 9, 1733 in Eastington and Alkerton, Gloucestershire, which is located a few miles to the northwest of Kings Stanley. She married Daniel Gough (c.1742-1800), whose half-sister Catherine Gough (c.1722-1805) left the Hope Mill in 1805 to Nathaniel Wathen and his brother Samuel, who are generation VII in the primary branch of this lineage. She was buried next to her husband on July 12, 1809 at Holy Trinity Church in Minchinhampton.
John Wathen, Sr. (c.1672-1752), the son of Thomas Wathen and Ann Wright, was probably born about 1672 in Kings Stanley, as he was baptized there on March 8, 1672 in the parish church. He married a woman named Rebecca (d. 1652), and acquired Picked (Peaked) Elm Farm on Selsey Hill in Kings Stanley. He was a maltster, which means that he grew barley for making malt, an ingredient used in beer. It is said that the farm "was owned by John Wathen in 1737 when he settled it on the marriage of his son John.". However, his son predeceased him. The elder John subsequently died on March 7, 1752, his wife having predeceased him by a few weeks on Jan. 17 of the same year. Both are buried in a family tomb in the graveyard of the Kings Stanley Church. John and Rebecca had at least three sons, including their eldest son John who follows.
John Wathen, Jr. (c.1705-1744) of Picked Elm Farm, the son of John Wathen, Sr. and Rebecca, was probably born about 1705 in Kings Stanley, as he was baptized there on Nov. 4, 1705 in the parish church. He received Picked Elm Farm from his father upon his marriage in 1737 to a woman named Susannah (c.1701-1797). He died on Oct. 19, 1744, predeceasing both his parents, and he is buried with them and his wife in the family tomb at the Kings Stanley parish church. Susaanh survived John by more than 50 years and died on Nov. 21, 1797, when she was 96 years old. She is buried in the same tomb with her husband. The eldest son of John and Susannah follows.
Thomas Wathen (c.1740-1819) of Picked Elm Farm, the fourth of the name and the son of John Wathen, Jr. and Susannah, was probably born about 1740 in Kings Stanley, as he was baptized there on April 17, 1740 in the parish church. He married Elizabeth Baghott (c.1736-1772) on Feb. 6, 1765 in Prestbury, Gloucestershire, and received Picked Elm Farm as a wedding gift from his mother. He died on 1819 and was buried on July 7 of that year in the graveyard of St. George's church in Kings Stanley, which is about a mile from his farm (and not to be confused with a more recent church immediately adjacent to the farm). His daughter and heir follows.
Anne Wathen (1769-1826), the daughter and heir of Thomas Wathen IV and Elizabeth Baghott, was born about 1769, probably at Picked Elm Farm in Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire. She married her distant cousin Paul Wathen (1770-1838) on Dec. 15, 1791 in Kings Stanley, Paul being the son of a wealthy clothier named Samuel Wathen. Anne and her husband lived extravagantly, and around 1801 or 1802 they bought the manor house of Lypiatt Park, which was located to the northeast of Stroud. Her husband became Sir Paul Wathen in 1810 when he was knighted, but he subsequently changed his surname in May 1812 to become Sir Paul Baghott. Anne and Sir Paul next inherited the Picked Elm Farm upon her father's 1819 decease, the farm by this time having probably been in the family for close to a hundred years. However, the couple fell on hard times in the financial collapse following the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and most of their properties had been sold by 1824 as a consequence of bankruptcy proceedings. Anne died on Nov. 20, 1826 and is buried with other members of Sir Paul's family in the Kings Stanley parish church. Her husband took on two more wives before his death on Nov. 30, 1838, and entombment with his first wife.
An interesting side story is that Anne was the youngest of three survivng children, all three of whom stood to inherit shares of the Picked Elm Farm estate of their father, and extensive land holdings in nearby Prestbury held by their wealthy grandfather Rev. Thomas Baghott, whose son and heir Thomas Baghott, Jr. (1741-1804) had no children. Anne's older brother, Thomas Wathen, Jr. (1766-1789), who should have been primary heir to these estates, obtained a degree in 1788 from Magdalen College at Oxford, but was expelled for some reason only months later, and died childless on Aug. 5, 1789 in King's Stanley. His sister Jane (1767-1802), who in 1788 had married Thomas Edwards of Bristol, then became next in line to the inheritances. However, she died on Dec. 26, 1802 in Bristol, leaving her son John Edwards (1800-1886), and her sister Anne as sole surving heirs to the aforementioned estates. Had Anne's brother and sister lived, there would have been no great inheritance for her, and as such no means for Anne and her husband Paul Baghott to support the extravagant lifestyle they became known for.
Branch V - Sir Charles Wathen, the Mayor of Bristol
The ancestry of Sir Charles Wathen (1833-1893), the six times Mayor of Bristol, is very uncertain. An obituary for Sir Charles that was published on page 5 in the Wednesday, Feb. 15, 1893 edition of the Western Daily Press, a well-known Bristol newspaper, states that "the deceased [Sir Charles Wathen], who was 61 years of age, was connected with the wholesale and export clothing trade, and had for an ancestor Sir Samuel Wathen, of Stroud, whose son was Sir Paul Bagot, he having assumed that name. A large mill near Stroud was called "Paul Wathen's mill", and the deceased's father, one of the firm who owned it, subsequently came to Bristol, as the firm was dissolved.". Sir Samuel Wathen (1748-1843) was the former High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, and he leased a well-known woolen mill in Gloucestershire known as the Woodchester Mill that in time was acquired by his sons, one of whom was indeed named Charles. The family is also associated with the nearby Rooksmoor Mill. This would seem to indicate that Sir Charles is the grandson of Sir Samuel Wathen. However, there are some issues with this interpretation that remain to be resolved. Below is what we have been able to find out about Sir Charles and his family.
Charles Wathen Senior (c.1777-1852), the father of Sir Charles Wathen, was born about 1777 in Stroud, Gloucestershire, according to the 1851 U.K. Census. He married a much younger woman from Stroud named Mary (c.1796-1869), and he is said in the obituary of his son to have owned a mill in the Stroud area that was being worked by Paul Wathen (a.k.a. the Paul Baghott we mentioned earlier). However, business at the Wathen mill ceased at some point, and Charles relocated with his family to Bristol. He then appears in the 1841 U.K. census in the parish of St. James in Bristol with wife Mary, who was 20 or so years his junior, and three children, including his 9-year old son Charles Junior.
The family next appears in the 1851 census at 16 Winsford Street in the nearby parish of St. Philip and St. Jacob. The occupation of Charles Senior is given in the census as victualler, which means that he probably ran a pub, and the younger Charles is shown working as a clerk in a linen warehouse. The elder Charles died on May 1, 1852 at his house on Winsford Street with his son Charles in attendance. Although his occupation is given on his death certificate as "clothier", we are pretty certain that this was a past occupation, and that at the time he actually ran a pub. He was subsequently buried on May 6, 1852 in the cemetery for St. John's Church in Bedminster, which is just a short distance from his residence on Winsford Street. His reported age at burial is 75 years, but he certainly could have been older, as 75 years of age was what he would have told his much younger wife. Unfortunately St. John's Church church was burned out in 1940 by incendiary bombs during the Battle of Britain, the tombstones have since been removed, and the grounds in 1967 converted to a grass-covered park in the middle of the city. His wife Mary died on March 17, 1869 at Windmill Mill (modern Victoria Park), which is also in the St. Philip and St. Jacob parish, and is less than 1.5 miles from the Winsford Street address where Charles died 17 years prior. No details of her burial are known.
There is a Wathen family listed in the 1861 U.K. Census at Windmill Hill in the Bedminster part of Bristol, which is just a little more than a mile from the aforementioned family that ten years prior lived at Winsford Street. The head of this household is a widow named Mary, said to be born c.1799 in Bristol, with daughter Elizabeth (b. c.1839), and grandchildren Caroline (b. c.1849) and James (b. 1851), all born in Bristol. There is also a note that Mary's husband had been the owner of a pub. This is probably the immediate family of Sir Charles Wathen. If so, one of Sir Charles' siblings, probably his bother James, had married by this time and had children Caroline and James, who are now being cared for by their grandmother Mary.
The parents of Charles Wathen Senior are never mentioned, except for the passage we quoted from his son's obituary, so all we know for certain about his origins is that he was born about 1777 in Stroud, Gloucestershire as recorded in the 1851 census. However, we are told in the Daily Mail obituary that Charles Wathen Senior owned a mill in or near Stroud that was being worked by Paul Wathen (a.k.a. Sir Paul Baghott) in the early part of the 19th century. Paul Wathen as it turns out had a younger brother named Charles Wathen. This brother was probably born in or near Stroud, and baptized in 1774 at Rodborough, which is adjacent to Stroud.
It is tempting to identify the Charles Wathen who is the brother of Paul Baghott, with the Charles Wathen Senior who is the father of Sir Charles Wathen. The problem with this is that there is a Wathen Family bible that has entries beginning with the 1769 marriage of Sir Samuel to Margaret Peach, and continues with dated events to the 1890s that chronicle the births, marriages and deaths of many of Sir Samuel's descendants. There are three entries for Sir Samuel's son Charles covering his three marriages and his children, and nowhere is there any mention or clue that he had a son who became Sir Charles Wathen, Mayor of Bristol. If Charles Wathen, son of Sir Samuel, is the father of the famous mayor of Bristol, then the elder Charles Wathen had to have taken a much younger fourth wife late in life, and fathered children over a 30-year period. This is admittedly possible, but it would be unusual, and given that several Charles Wathens lived in the Bristol and Stroud areas at about the same time, more documentation is needed to verify this and to sort out who is who.
chiidren - WATHEN
James Wathen (b. c.1825) was born about 1826, probably somewhere in Gloucestershire. The only evidence we have of him is from the 1841 and 1861 U.K. census. He is probably the father of Caroline Wathen (b. c.1849) and James Wathen (b. 1851), who are listed as grandchildren in the household of his mother Maria in the 1861 census.
Maria Wathen (c.1826-1897) was born about 1826 in Walworth (Southwark), London, but likely grew up in Bristol. She married a welshman from Pembrokeshire named John Thomas Lewis (c.1820-1868) in 1852 in Bristol, and they had several daughters, and one son. Maria's husband died on Dec. 7, 1868 in Bristol, and it would appear that she was then looked after by her brother Sir Charles Wathen. She appears again in the 1891 U.K. census with her son Frederick, and she is mentioned in the 1893 will of her brother. She died on Feb. 22, 1897 in Barton Regis, Gloucestershire, and she is buried with her husband in the Arnos Vale Cemetery
Elizabeth Lewis (c.1859-1936) was born about 1859 in Bristol, Gloucestershire. She generally resided with her sister Mary Selina Lewis, except for a period from 1914 to 1929 when Mary was married to the Rev. Robert Finlay. She died a spinster on April 15, 1936 in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, which is near Bristol, and she is buried with other members of her family in the Arnos Vale Cemetery.
Frederick William Lewis (1857-1908) was born in 1857 in Bristol, and baptized on Sept. 6, 1857 somewhere in the city. His father died in 1868 when Frederick was still a boy, which makes it likely that he was looked after by his wealthy uncle, the future Sir Charles Wathen. He became a partner in his uncle's firm of Wathen Gardiner and Co., and he was present at his uncle's 1893 death and at his funeral. He is also mentioned several times in Sir Charles' will. He is mentioned again in 1897 in the London Gazette as a junior partner in Wathen's firm with Robert McAulay Hill (1841-1919) and senior partner William Hill (1850-1943). He died on Feb. 27, 1908 in Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, his residence at the time being Crossley House in Winterbourne, which is near Chipping Sodbury. He may have also owned Frenchay House (near Winterbourne), which was the residence at one time of his spinster sisters Elizabeth Lewis (c.1859-1936) and Mary Selina Lewis (c.1865-1940). His estate was left in probate to the benefit of his sister Elizabeth, and to William Hill. So far as we know, Frederick never married, and he left no children. He is buried with his parents and two of his sisters at Arnos Vale Cemetery.
Mary Selina Lewis (1865-1940) was born in 1865 in Bristol, Gloucestershire. She resided with her sister Elizabeth Lewis, until she married the Rev. Alfred Robert William Finlay (1869-1929) on June 10, 1914 at St. Paul's Church in Kensington, London. It was his second marriage. Rev. Finlay died on Dec. 18, 1929 at Kings Lynn, Norfolk, which is near the vicarage of Snettisham where he was a clerk. He is buried with Mary's parents at Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol. Mary returned to living with her sister Elizabeth after his death, and she died on December 3, 1940 in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, which is where Elizabeth passed away a litle more than three years prior. Although we do not know for certain where Mary is buried, there is a possibilty that she lies in the same grave as her husband, but without an inscription for her on the tombstone.
Other Daughters - We know from census returns that Maria Wathen and John Thomas Lewis had at least three other daughters, but what became of them is unknown. They are Mary Lewis (b. c.1855), Isabella Annie? Lewis (b. c.1862), and Maria Lewis (b. c.1863).
Elizabeth Wathen (b. c.1838) was born about 1838 in Bristol, Gloucestershire. She is mentioned with her parents in both the 1841 and 1851 U.K. census. She may also be the Elizabeth in the 1861 Census that is mentioned in the second paragraph above on Charles Wathen Senior.
Sir Charles Wathen (1833-1893), the son of Charles and Mary Wathen, was born on May 19, 1833 in Waterford, Ireland. He was working by the age of 19 as a linen warehouse clerk, and rose to became a very successful wool merchant, who from 1865 to 1887 was one of the senior partners of the clothing firm of Wathen, Gardner & Co. in the City of Bristol. However, he is remembered mainly for serving six times as Mayor of Bristol (1884-1885 and 1887-1890), and for being knighted on Jan. 1, 1889 by Queen Victoria during his fourth term as mayor. He was also president in 1888 of a prominent Bristol charity group known as the Grateful Society. Sir Charles was married twice, first to Mary Selina Chase (c.1835-1881) in 1853 in Bristol, and second to Mary Ann Sexton (1857-1950) on February 6, 1883 in Ashburton, Devonshire. Sir Charles did not have any children of his own, but he and his first wife did adopt her three nieces after the untimely death in 1867 of their mother left their father with a brood of ten children to care for. He also had a very close relationship with his nephew and apparent heir Frederick William Lewis. Sir Charles died suddenly on Feb. 14, 1893 on the floor of the Bristol Council House from a heart attack or stroke that struck him down during an address he was giving to the City Council. An impressive memorial monument for him and his first wife stands in the Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol.
Children adopted by Sir Charles Wathen and his first wife
Mary Selina Wathen (1861-1941) was born Mary Selina Chase on June 12, 1861 in Bristol to parents George Chase (c.1824-1911) and his wife Mary Ann Hewlett Chase (c.1825-1867), whose maiden name and married name are the same. The surname of the younger Mary became Wathen when she and her sisters were adopted by Sir Charles Wathen and his wife Mary Selina Chase, who was also their maternal aunt. The younger Mary Selina married Kossuth Robinson (1851-1928) in 1887 in Barton Regis, Gloucestershire, and they had five children. She is buried with her husband in All Saints Churchyard in Compton Greenfield, Gloucestershire.
Edith Wathen (1863-1947) was born Edith Chase on August 20, 1863 in Bristol to parents George Chase (c.1824-1911) and his wife Mary Ann Hewlett Chase (c.1825-1867), whose maiden name and married name are the same. Her surname became Wathen when she and her sisters were adopted by Sir Charles Wathen and his wife Mary Selina Chase, who was also their maternal aunt. Edith married Henry Vipond Bate (1863-1939) on June 20, 1894 in Bristol, and they had four children. She died on May 14, 1947 in Coral Cables, Florida, she and her husband having emigrated in 1911 to the United States.
Mary Ann Wathen (1866-1955) was born Mary Ann Chase in 1866 in Bristol (Clifton) to parents George Chase (c.1824-1911) and his wife Mary Ann Hewlett Chase (c.1825-1867), whose maiden name and married name are the same. The younger Mary changed her surname to Wathen when she and her sisters were adopted by Sir Charles Wathen and his wife Mary Selina Chase, who was also their maternal aunt. The younger Mary Ann married Rev. Montague Blamire Williamson (1864-1939) on Jan. 3, 1894 at St. Mary Magdalen Church in the Bristol City district of Stoke Bishop, and they had four children. She died on July 30, 1955 in Bristol, and is buried with her husband in the Bodmin Cemetery in Cornwall.
The documentation for many of the dates and places listed in this history are found in the Ancestry.com online databases (subscription required).
Beckett, Peggy (2008) Wathen Family Ancestor Charts, personal communication, November 2014. A series of ancestor charts compiles by Peggy Becket of Victor Harbor, Australia (formerly Melbourne), who is the owner of the Wathen Family Bible.
Bigland, Ralph (1990), Historical, Monumental and Genealogical Collections, relative to the County of Gloucester (edited by Brian Firth), The Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaelogical Society, in four volumes. This epic work, which was originally published as two volumes in 1791 and 1792, is greatly expanded in the modern edition referenced here. The sections below are of interest.
Minchin Hampton, Part 2 (volume 3), p. 646-662, which lists several monuments to members of the Iles, Gough and Pierce families.
Stanley, Kings, Part 3 (volume 5), p. 1133-1140, which lists several monuments to members of the Wathen family.
Stroud, Part 3 (volume 5), p. 1203-1218, which lists several monuments to members of the Wathen family.
British History Online - The official (hardcopy) reference would be Herbert, N.M., Pugh, R.B. , Baggs, A.P., Jurica, A.R.J. and Sheils, W.J.,
eds., 1976, A History of the County of Gloucester - Bisley and Longtree Hundreds, V. 11.
Hayward, Ruth (2014), Phippy: A Biography of Jonathan Wathen Phipps/Waller Eye-Surgeon to King George III , Brewin Books, ISBN-13: 978-1858585215. There was also personal communication with the author Ruth Hayward. Many thanks to her for sharing her genealogical notes, as well as notes from her research on the Waller Collection at the Warwickshire County Record Office, which is made up of letters associated with Sir Wathen-Waller.
Wathen Family Bible, a document in possession of Peggy Beckett of Victor Harbor, Australia (formerly Melbourne) that is made up of seven pages torn from a family bible, which was probably once owned by her great-grandfather Delabere Wathen (1849-1896), a grandson of Sir Samuel Wathen. These pages are an important resource with entries beginning with the 1769 marriage of Sir Samuel to Margaret Peach, and continuing with dated events to the 1890s that chronicle the births, marriages and deaths of many of Sir Samuel's descendants.
Will of Jonathan Wathen, Surgeon of Upper Berkley Street Portman Square , Middlesex, proved Feb. 1, 1808 at London, and available from the British National Archives.
Will of Joseph Wathen, proved Aug. 3, 1786 at London, Prerogative Canterbury Court of Wills Collection of the British Society of Genealogists, and available at FindMyPast (an online British geenalogy site).