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Saturday, December 6, 2014

38.7 Elias and Martha Durnford - their son Clark Durnford

Clark Durnford was the youngest son of Elias and Martha

He was born in London in 1748 and married 24th November 1769 Mary Baskerville, at Saint Michael Paternoster Church in London.

The original church was destroyed in the Great Fire in London, and the new one, rebuilt to the design of Christopher Wren.

Mary was born 1746 and was baptised at St Dunstan's in the West London.*
St Dunstan's in the West

Her father was Thomas Baskerville, a London clockmaker of renown, and her mother was Sarah.

Thomas was born about 1710 in London, and was firstly apprenticed to his father William.

He was admitted to the Merchants Association in 1747, and had, over time, trained 7 apprentices.

Chick Lane

He owned property in Chick Lane in the Parish of Farringdon Without in 1779.

He died in 1780 and is buried in the Church of St Sepulchire, Holborn, London.

Holborn London

He and Mary had four children

Thomas Elias Durnford         1771   -     1836   Bt  St Thomas Apostle London
Joseph Clark Durnford          1774  -     1853  B. St Thomas Apostle   m  Susanna Denham 1809
Henry Durnford                     1777   -    1777  B. St Mary Magdalene Old Fish St
George Augustus Durnford   1781  -     1854  B. St Mary Magdalene Old Fish St


*By an amazing coincidence, our paternal grandfather, Thomas Mudge, himself a very well known clockmaker is buried at St Dunstan's in the West, in London, on Fleet Street.  Thomas had his shop in Fleet Street, which would indicate that this was the area in which  clockmakers worked.  Thomas had his business at the same time as Thomas Baskerville.

By the year 1774, Elias has died, and according to his will, his properties are to be held in a trust to be divided equally among his three sons.

From his will, he indicates that he is from the Treasury Office in the Tower of London.  He mentions in his will his friend Mr William Allison of Crutched Fryers in the city of London, a wine merchant,  his servant Mary Fell, and the balance of his estate to his three sons, Thomas, Joseph Clark and George Augustus.

Mary must have predeceased him, and he indicates he is working in the Treasury Office.

From Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Review he worked at the Treasury Office for 45 years as Chief Clerk in the service of the Board of Ordinance.

From the archives, another record pertaining to himself and his brother Elias.

Entry books containing a great variety of items : indentures, bonds,
proclamations, of provost-marshals, sales by sheriffs, etc. 

603 and 604 are a ledger (fair copy and original) of the surveyor
general, Elias Durnford, 1765-1768. Durnford held the office 
certainly until 1780 (608, p. 540), though he seems to have acted by 
deputy, Clark Durnford and David Taitt, afterward " Secretary 
of Indian Affairs for the Creeks ", 1782, both being named in this 
capacity. Durnford's ledger, which was presented to the Public 
Record Office in April, 1900, contains governor's warrants 
directing the surveyor to measure and lay out certain lands granted 
between July 2, 1765 and May 16, 1768. There are 114 entries, 
with the warrants appended. In 63 cases loose plats of the land 
surveyed are inserted in the volume, showing water-courses, 
elevations, swamps, woods, roads, lagoons, ledges, etc. The original 
drawings are superior to the copies. 

He must have commenced working in the Ordinance Department in 1763, and there-in lies some puzzling facts.

He owned a great deal of property in London as the Land Tax records show.

The Archives in Kew hold details of his will, and a number of files regarding Succession Duty etc, which confirms that he had an extensive property portfolio.

IR 26/382/337
Description: Abstract of Will of Clark Durnford, belonging to the Treasury Office in the Tower of London of Brompton, Middlesex
Date: February 04 1808
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record
Context of this record  Browse by Reference
    All departments
  • IR - Records of the Boards of Stamps, Taxes, Excise, Stamps and Taxes, and Inland Revenue
  • Legacy Duty: Succession Duty and Estate Duty records
  • IR 26 - Board of Inland Revenue and predecessors: Estate Duty Office and predecessors: Registers of Legacy Duty, Succession Duty and Estate Duty
  • Country Courts
  • Abstracts of Administrations and Probates of Wills
  • IR 26/382 - LONDON Consistory (1800): Entry Nos Wills 1-40, Entry Nos Administrations 1-47. ...
  • IR 26/382/337 - Abstract of Will of Clark Durnford, belonging to the Treasury Office in the Tower of...

Their children:

The eldest son was christened Elias Durnford, but seems to be known from then on, as
Thomas Durnford.

From the records of the St Paul's School in London a Thomas Durnford left in 1782- 83.  The age would be correct for Thomas.  His cousin Elias Walker Durnford was also at the same school.

Records show he was apprenticed to John Willoughby in 1787 who was a potter.

First name(s)Clark
Last nameDurnford
Apprentice year1787
Livery companyTallow chandler
DetailsDurnford Thomas, son of Clark, Whitefriars Wharf, London, potter, to John Willoughby, 2 Jan 1787, Tallow Chandlers' Company
Birth countyLondon/Middlesex
Birth countryEngland
Record setLondon Apprenticeship Abstracts, 1442-1850
CategoryEducation & work
Record collectionApprentices
Collections fromGreat Britain

Records indicate that a Thomas was in the Royal Navy and received a medal for Capturing the French privateer "Ville de Caen, which attached to the Ship Sealark.  He also received the Guadeloupe Clasp.  The Medal is in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

Coming from a military family there is a strong possibility that this is Clark's son.

On 21st July 1812 the schooner Sealark, Lt Warrand, discovered a large lugger chasing and firing at two merchant ships off the Start.  Lt Warrand immediately ran the schooner on board and after a close and furious engagement, carried her.

It turned out to be a French privateer called the Ville de Caen from St Malo, commanded by M. Cochet, who together with 14 men was killed.  The battle lasted 90 minutes, before the British crew could board.

The Ville de Caen had sixteen guns and was chasing two merchant ships.  Out of 60 men and boys on the Sealark, 7 were killed, and the commander, a midshipman, and twenty men wounded.  For the battle Lt Warrend was promoted to the rank of Commander.

Records also show that a Thomas Durnford is buried at St Mary Magdalene, Woolwich, 1836, along with his wife Sarah, who notes that her husband was the Clerk of Works in the Royal Engineers.  He died at the age of 66 on 26th December 1836, indicating he was born around the same time.

(Did he resign from the Navy? and take a post back in the Royal Engineers, which has such an influence with the family members.)

Joseph Durnford  

Born 1774, and in 1788 was apprenticed to Joseph Baskerville Stafford, a vinter.  He must be a relation on the Baskerville side.

First name(s)Joseph Clarke
Last nameDurnford
Apprentice year1788
Livery companyVintner
DetailsDurnford Joseph Clarke son of Clarke, New Wharf Whitefriars, London, chinaman to Joseph Baskerville Stafford, 1 Oct 1788, Vintners' Company
Father's occupationchinaman
Birth countyLondon
Birth countryEngland
Record setLondon Apprenticeship Abstracts, 1442-1850
CategoryEducation & work
Record collectionApprentices
Collections fromGreat Britain

Perhaps Joseph was involved in this trade for quite some time, as in his will, Charles mentions his good friend Mr William Allison also a vinter

The Working Life of Clark Durnford.    

Records indicate some perplexing information in regard to Clark's working life.

He did work for 46 years in Treasury, but at the same time he must have also had a warehouse and shop selling fine china.  Even his sons, in completing the apprentice papers indicate his position is a Chinaman and with the business at Whitychurch.

From an advertisement in the London Newspapers of 17th March 1770, he ran a business, and was selling fine china from Lowetoff  China Works as their agent.  Among their pieces was Bow china.

 In fact the china made was so satisfactory that, in 1770, the year before the elder Browne died, they put their china on sale in London, as the following advertisement duly sets forth : " Clark Durnford,
Lowestoft China Warehouse. No. 4 Great St. Thomas the Apostle, Queen St., Cheapside, London, Where merchants and shopkeepers may be supplied with any quantity of said ware at the usual prices. N. B. Allowance of twenty per cent for ready money.

*Clark Durnford,
Lowestoft China Warehouse, No. 4, Great St. Thomas
Apostle,Cheapside,London, Where Merchants and Shopkeepers may be supplied
with any quantity of the said ware sat the usual prices. N.B.—Allowance of Twenty
per cent. for ready money.
Advertisement London Newspaper,
17, 1770.

In 1773 he was a juror in a trial at the Old Bailey
Old Bailey Proceedings: Accounts of Criminal Trials, 21st April 1773  Juror

In 1774 he was recorded as an important member of London

Unique Project ID1103
Date of Publication1774
Street NameLITTLE ST.THOMAS APOSTLES                                                      
Occupational SectorDealing
Occupational GroupingDE011
Occupation CodeDE0110009
Male OR FemaleM

Then in 1786 he is bankrupt.  Not knowing the laws at that time, it might be the business not personally that was party to the bankrupt.

18 November 1786 - Notice of Bankrupt Clark Durnford Chinaman Little Knight Rider St London.

The middle section of Knightrider Street was known as Old Fish Street, not to be conflated with the Old Fish Street in Bread Street Ward off Cheapside

And in 1795, he had to pay Watch Rates, and how interesting is that!

First name(s) C
Last name Durnford
Occupier's first name(s) C
Occupier's last name Durnford
Date 1795
Year 1795
Parish St Clement Danes
Notes Watch Rates 1795-1800
Record set Westminster Rate Books 1634-1900
Category Census, land & surveys
Record collection Rate Books
Collections from Great Britain

St Clement Danes
A rate is an assessment of the notional annual rental value of a property. So, for instance, a three story town house in St Clement Danes might be rated at £20 per year (the supposed income derived from renting it as a single dwelling for twelve months). Every house in a parish was assigned a rental value in this way.

 Commercial property could also be valued according to the stock held in a workshop or retail shop. A rate was then levied at a specific number of pence or shillings in the pound.

 A dwelling rated at £20 might, for instance, be subject to a seven pence levy, which would mean that the householder was obliged to pay 140 pence, or 11 shillings and 8 pence; seven pence for every pound in rateable value.

The Strand


 James Gilray, "The Friend of the people", & his petty-new-                                                         tax-gatherer,  paying John Bull a visit, 1806. British Museum                                                                                                             Satires 1057.A. © The Trustees of the British Museum.


Church Lane 1800's

Thomas Rowlandson, The hustings outside St Paul's 
Covent Garden at an election,
 from The Microcosm of London (1808). © London Lives

Hard to imagine London once looked like this

Their son George Augustus Durnford became a Major in the 39th Foot.
He married Emily Jane Darby in 1822.     He was in Australia as Pay Officer and left in 1832.

Emily's family also had their beginnings in Australia.  After the death of her father in India, the family travelled to Australia.     Her father was Major George Eld Darby and her mother Emily Langford.

The records from the Bath Cemetery.

There are two George Augustus Durnfords, one born in 1781 and the other in 1791.  The other one may not have been in the Military, and many researchers have the two people recorded incorrectly.

Bow Porcelain China has a significance with our family, as further stories will tell.

We spent hours in London, searching for one particular piece.

This article from the Norfolk Museum      Lowestoft Porcelain

This is by far the greatest public collection in existence, consisting of over four hundred objects. Many of these pieces have provenances that firmly link them with local collections from their time of production. All types of form are represented as well as many rarities and diagnostic pieces and the collection spans the factory’s entire period of production from c.1757-1801.

The first English porcelain manufactories were established in the 1740s and 50s and the Lowestoft factory is of particular importance as it was the only one to be set up in East Anglia. Lowestoft also holds an important position in the story of British ceramics as no other factory produced so many dated and inscribed pieces.

This means that we have an exceptionally clear picture of who was commissioning which individual items at what date, providing an unparalleled profile of the customer base of a factory of this kind. In addition Lowestoft is also the only factory known to have made birth tablets, painted discs made to commemorate the birth of a child.

The porcelain has further significance as a valuable record of Lowestoft in the late eighteenth century when it was becoming established as a popular holiday resort: many of the factory produced objects were intended as souvenirs. Pieces feature local scenes such as the church, beach, lighthouses and there is one of the earliest depictions of a bathing machine. Bernard Watney has observed: 'no other English china evokes quite the same sense of belonging to a particular place'. Equally we also know that much of the factory’s output was exported to Europe, a significant example of East Anglia’s close links with the Continent.

The first English porcelain factories were set up in the 1740s and '50s. Lowestoft was the only one in East Anglia. The factories of this first generation were trying to rival the true or 'hard-paste' porcelain made in China and Japan and at Meissen in Germany.

Since they did not know the secret of its manufacture, they made instead what is known as 'soft-paste' porcelain, fired at a lower temperature and less strong. The recipe used by Lowestoft followed that of the Bow factory in East London, including the ash of bones to give strength. 

It takes an effort of imagination now to grasp the technical excitement and commercial rivalry of those early days, when porcelain was the 'new technology' which could make or break men's fortunes. 

A story was current in the last century that the first manager of the Lowestoft factory, Robert Browne, had used industrial espionage to learn how to make porcelain. He got a job at a London factory, so the story goes, by pretending to be stupid, and then hid in a barrel one night to spy on his employers while they made up the secret mixture!

The Bow porcelain factory (active ca 1747-1764, closed 1776) was an emulative rival of the Chelsea porcelain factory in the manufacture of early soft-paste porcelain in Great Britain. The factory was located near Bow in what is now the London Borough of Newham and the local council owns a significant collection, which is held in the care of the borough's Heritage and Arts Service.

For further confusion there is a George Durnford who worked at the Field Train Department of the Board of Ordinance and who is buried at St Mary Magdalene Woolwich.  George was born 1785

There must have been a lot of Durnfords at the Board of Ordinance.

Mr. George DURNFORD, Clerk of Stores in the Field Train Department died 2 February 1830 aged 48.

Other corps

Supply, storage and provision of small arms, ammunition and other armaments to front-line troops was also within the remit of the Board of Ordnance. A Field Train department was established in 1792 to oversee this work; after the Board's demise, its responsibilities were eventually consolidated into what became the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. It remained headquartered at the Tower of London, even after the Board's departure, preserving the (by then) centuries-old link between the Tower and ordnance storage & supply - a link which was only broken when the Corps' successor (the Royal Logistic Corps) left the Tower for good in 1993.

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