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William WEBB (1790-1850), tailor of Bermondsey
William Webb was Neil's great great great grandfather. He was born to Samuel Webb, a carpenter, and his wife Elizabeth on 4 April 1790 and baptised at St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey. At the time of William's birth, the family were living at 5 Foot Lane, Bermondsey. This information comes from baptismal records for William from Dockland Ancestors and the marriage certificate of William's second marriage.
From the baptismal records of William's children, we know that his first marriage was to a Sarah.
There is some doubt about Sarah's surname. According to one record is was McNeal and according to another it was Leonard.
- The McNeal name comes from the Australian marriage certificate of one of their sons. (British marriage certificates, unlike their Australian counterparts do not require a mother's maiden name.) McNeal can, apparently, be spelt in various ways.
- The Leonard surname comes from a marriage between William Webb and a Sarah Leonard on the 25 December 1810 at St. Bride Fleet Street. The name of William Webb is not uncommon, but support to this being 'our' William is that one of the witnesses was R. T. Wiseman who married our Williamís sister, Susannah Elizabeth. So was the name McNeal misremembered by his sons half way round the world, with no quick way of confirming it? Or did one of the Sarahs die such that William married another Sarah? We will probably never know.
William was a tailor for most of his working life, although in 1810 his occupation was given as a sailmaker, and, according to his 1848 will, he was by then also a coffee shop owner. His address in 1816 was Queen Street.
However the address on his daughter's baptismal record in 1825 was 'workhouse'. It is probabble that his drunkenness put the family there, as various pieces of evidence through various branches of the family showed that he was passionately for "the good of Total Abstinance" and regretted his "former errors" in that connection. He begged his family "to avoid the maddening drink as they would the deadlyist poison". (The quotations are from his will.)
He became the Registrar of the Bermondsey Total Abstinence Society.
By 1829 the family had moved to Stepney, a tailoring district where William again found work. The address of 2 Bedford Place, Rotherhithe was given on one of his son's marriage certificate in 1839, but this might have been where the son was setting up home, rather than where William and Sarah were living.
William was widowed sometime before 1841, with Sarah having given him the following children.
- Mary Eliza Webb, baptised 25 Feb 1810 at St John Horsleydown.
- Mary Ann Webb, born 6 Dec 1811 and baptised 5 Jan 1812 at St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, married John Story.
- Elizabeth Webb, born 6 April 1813 and baptised 16 May 1813 at St John Horsleydown.
- William Frederick Webb was born 20 October 1814 and baptised in St John Horsleydown on 27 November of the same year. He was a tailor. He married Elizabeth Chiswick (or Cheswick) born 1814 Bermondsey around 1835 on 8 June 1835 at St George Camberwell. He died in 1895 at Rotherhithe. Their children are listed separately.
- Alfred Webb (Neil's great great grandfather) - see his own page.
- Samuel Webb, born 5 July 1822 and baptised 14 January 1827 at St John Horsleydown. He married Margaret Morgan on 11 May 1847 at St Olaves, Surrey and then emigrated from Australia, arriving in Adelaide on the 'Trafalgar' in 1849. Samuel and his younger brother George (see below) then walked to Bendigo (formerly Sandhurst) to try and find gold. They were unsuccessful, but both brothers later became successful tailors, like their father. Samuel died age 94 in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. Their children are listed separately.
- Sarah Webb, born 29 March 1824 and baptised 14 January 1827 at St John Horsleydown. If the 1841 census entry (see below) is for the right family, Sarah died young, because a younger sister was given the same name.
- Jane Webb was born on 22 October 1825 in the workhouse and baptised 18 November 1825 at St John Horsleydown. She married William Bacon Seager, a pianoforte maker, in 1849, and the couple eventually settled in Milton next to Gravesend where Jane died in 1894. William died in Camberwell in 1903. Their children are listed separately.
- John Webb was born on 1929.
As was the custom of the time, the widowed William went on to marry again. His new wife was another Sarah, as indicated by the 1841 census for John Street, Bermondsey. It showed William, now age 51, a tailor, with wife, Sarah, age 26, a baby named yet another Sarah and son John, age 12. Thanks to Julia Brown, a descendant of William and this Sarah, we know that this she was born Sarah Attrige or Hatridge. (Both spellings occur in the various documents.) The marriage took place on 24 September 1837 at St George, Camberwell (the same church as William's son William Frederick married two years earlier). This Sarah gave William two more children:
- Sarah Webb, born about 1841.
- Albert Henry Webb was born on 26 April 1843. He married Elizabeth Maria Morgan in 1864. Julia Brown, whose research and memorabilia have added much to our early understanding of William, is descended from Albert Henry.
According to William's death certificate, he died on 6th December 1850 at 7 Margaret Place, Newington, aged 60 years. His occupation was given as a tailor, the cause of death asthma and heart disease and his address was the same as was to show for his widow in the 1951 census. The death was reported by neighbour Sarah Senton of 8 Margaret Place. We do not yet know when his second wife, Sarah, died. William's 1848 will was kept in Julia Brown's family and was never proven.