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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

38.8 Elias and Martha Durnford - their early lives in London - their sons careers with Office or Ordinance

While living in London Elias and Martha would have had one important task in mind for their sons.

Finding the perfect wife for each of them.  One who came from a similar background, one who brought with her wealth or lands.  One who could encourage or add to their business dealings.

As was the custom of the times any lands or wealth inherited by a female, became automatically the wealth of her husband.  (That did change by law).  

After all living in the centre of London they must have enjoyed the company of many guests and in turn hosted many an affair in their home, to acquaint themselves with others of the same social standing as they were, having inherited estates from Elias Lane, as the eldest son.

At the time of the death of his parents, Elias was still quite young.  He was living in Rockbourne, and as was the custom often it was the Parish Vicar who then became the mentor of such children.

Rev Thomas Durnford - Vicar in Rockbourne at time of Thomas' death

 In this case the local vicar in Rockbourne as none other than one Rev. Thomas Durnford he died in 1747, and an insight into his life can be gleaned from the memorial in the Rockbourne Church:

Near this place lies the body of the Rev.Thomas Durnford AM who was Minister of this parish and of Whitsbury 42 years, during which time he rebuilt at his own expense both the parsonage houses, thoroughly repaired both the chancels and at his request the parishioners of each parish new sealed and repaired their church. 

Cranborn Lodge (West Park House)

He married Susanna, eldest daughter of Samuel Stillingfleet Esq of Cranborn in the County of Dorset by whom he had 7 sons and 7 daughters and in 1724 he built West Park House. In the discharge of his duty as a divine magistrate he manifested great goodness of heart, extensive knowledge and unblemished honour and integrity. And in private and domestic life possessed every quality that is amiable and praiseworthy. 

He died 18th July 1747 aged 65.   A generous man by all counts,

He married Susanna Stillingfleet in 1713, and the first of their children was born 1716.

Susannah came from a wealthy family.  Her father was Samuel Stillingfleet and he owned mills and lands in Cranborne.    Her mother was Mary Symonds

Perhaps he was not such a noble man as his son-in-law, as the letter from Richard Sherfield to the Earl of Salisbury mentions in 1635

All these activities and plots have redounded to his disgrace and to the discredit of his family and relations, who are hampered by them in their efforts to improve their position in the world. "I am a lawghinge stocke to the worlde. . . . Was there ever man that uppon promises of one noble man would offende suche and soe manye powerfull men and such multitudes besides of all ranckes?" 

All this is the direct consequence of his attempts to protect Salisbury's interests, and therefore it is with dismay that he hears that Salisbury is critical of him. He would welcome an opportunity to submit his case to him in person. Complains further of abuses at Burwood where cattle are kept in the coppices, trees of great value cut down and outhouses built by Hooper who, "maketh haye whiles the sunne shineth" at the expense of Salisbury. Again turf digging on the commons of Cranborne and Holwell has resulted in the spoliation of pasture which could cost Salisbury as much as £2000. Stillingfleet has made no effort to oppose the turf diggers.

One of the sons of Rev Thomas and Susannah,  was Stillingfleet Durnford.  He was born 2nd April 1718. The family then moved to Rockbourne when his father became the vicar of the church.

It would seem very reasonable that Stillingfleet and Elias would have known each other, might have been best mates.

Before marriage, they needed to ensure that their children became established in some sort of career

Their sons and their careers

Between 1759 and 1763, England was involved in The Seven Year War.  Initially it started between Great Britain and France, over the colony in North America.  Britain won the war and France lost most of its colonial holdings in America, including Canada. It also inherited the French islands in the West Indies and Florida, previously held by Spain.

The West Indies had been settled by merchants and there were huge sugar plantations.  In Canada, the English had been instrumental with the fishing industry around Newfoundland.  Huge profits had been made by the merchants, who sold their produce in Europe and Britain.  The West Indies became a huge trading partner, supplying foods to the fishing merchants.  Taxes were increased to try to curb smuggling, which was rife.

A new King came to the thrown and generally the need to increase the Military and defence of Britain was acknowledged.

King George III's  life and reign, were longer than any other British monarch before him, and were marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, and places farther afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia.

Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India. However, many of its American colonies were soon lost in the American Revolutionary War. Further wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France from 1793 concluded in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Perhaps a Military career would be in order.

Three of Elias and Martha's sons joined the Office of Ordinance which was based in the Tower of London, unfortunately nothing can be gleaned about their son Thomas, perhaps he also joined his brothers, as a cadet, and then had a change of plans, because like Andrew and Elias' his career followed the same path.

Perhaps a military career at the Office of Ordinance was the suggestion of Stillingfleet Durnford.

In 1750, aged 31 Stillingfleet Durnford  married  Mary Desmarez.

By 1758 they were living in London, and he began working as Ordinance as First Clerk to the Clerk of Deliveries, from 1758 to 1768.  He held a pretty senior appointment, under the Clerk as the following information advises.  (Fraud at the docklands was common back then, some workers stole equipment)

26 March 1751: John Staunton Charlton was appointed the Clerk of the Deliveries of the Ordinances, so Stillingfleet Durnford was in a pretty high position.

Letters to John Staunton Charlton (as DD/S/49/74) from Stillingfleet Durnford  regarding fraud at the dockyards.

Draft letters of John  Staunton Charlton (Clerk of the Deliveries to the Board of Ordnance) (13)
Date:30 July 1751 - 26 Jan. 1758    

He was still working there when he died in 1778, according to The London Magazine 1778.

Mary Desmarez, was the daughter of a very famous gentleman of the day, who worked in the Ordinance Offices.  Her father was John Peter Desmaretz.

Office of Ordinance

Elias's career commenced in 1759, when we was made an ensign
Clark joined in  1763  he worked as  Chief Clerk of Treasury Office until his death.
Andrew was commissioned in 1769.

Elias and Andrew trained as Engineers.

About the Office of Ordinance. 

Office was in Tower of London
From the start, the Board (and its predecessor the Office) of Ordnance had had a department of military engineers and surveyors to build and improve harbours, forts and other fortifications. In 1717 a Corps of Engineers was founded by the Board of Ordnance, again at their Woolwich base.

Initially an officer-only corps, the Engineers (called Royal Engineers from 1787) were engaged in the design, construction and ongoing maintenance of defences, fortifications and other military installations. They were also engaged for large-scale civilian projects from time to time.

A civilian corps of 'artificers' provided the non-commissioned workforce of carpenters, stonemasons, bricklayers and other labourers; this corps was militarised in 1787, and named the Royal Military Artificers (they were then renamed the Royal Sappers and Miners 25 years later).

The Board of Ordnance placed a high value on providing its future officers with a scientific and military education. In the eighteenth century there was no requirement for would-be Army officers to receive any formal military education; but the Board, in contrast, moved fast (after the establishment of its artillery and engineer corps) to provide for the education of its officers.

In 1720 there were moves to set up an 'academy' within the Warren at Woolwich where the corps were based; and on 30 April 1741 the Academy was formally established there by Royal Warrant. The fact that the Warren itself was a place of scientific experiment and innovation no doubt helped form the style of education that emerged.

Initially, it was a gathering of 'gentlemen cadets', brought together to learn 'gunnery, fortification, mathematics and a little French'.

By 1764, the institution had been renamed the Royal Military Academy, and in the words of the Survey of London, 'it became a uniquely enlightened establishment in which training comprehended writing, arithmetic, algebra, Latin, French, mathematics, fortification, together with the attack and defence of fortified places, gunnery, mining and laboratory-works [...] along with the gentlemanly skills of dancing and fencing’.

As part of its duty of maintaining and building harbours and fortifications, a department of the Board was in place to undertake surveys and to produce maps. This department developed into the Ordnance Survey, which remains in place today as Britain's national mapping agency.

The principal offices and drawing room of the Survey were in the Tower of London; this not only accommodated surveyors and draughtsmen, but also functioned as a place where cadets (some as young as eleven or twelve) were trained in mathematics and draughtsmanship by leading practitioners.

So it was a training facility for "gentlemen cadets".

Early Training

Both Andrew and Elias undertook training with John Peter Demartz.

John Peter Demartz, was the father of Mary, Stillingfleet's wife.

John Peter Demartz entered British service in 1709, and shortly afterwards joined the Board of Ordinance and surveyed the defence of Dunkirk, then was sent to map the coast of Flanders from Ostendr to the Gravelines, which took him until 1715.

He remained in the service was employed as a clerk to the Chief Engineer,  he became in 1746 Chief Draughtsman and from 1746 - 1762 held the post of Architect of the Ordinance with the rank of Captain.

 In 1755 was ordered to superintend the buildings of the Fortification to defend the Royal Dockyard at Chatham, he was put in charge and was the experienced Clerk of the Fortification.

Desmaretz was a military engineer whose career was spent in the Ordinance Office First
 He may also have been involved with the fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island in Nth America.

John Peter Desmaretz had a sixty year career, mapping and fortifying most of the south east coast of England. He was surveyor, engineer and architect all rolled into one and his output was prodigious.

He spent a large part of his career working in Portsmouth dockyard where he drew up numerous plans for the dockyard, town and defences.   An engineer named De Gomme's had spent considerable time working at Plymouth and when he died  Colonel John Peter Desmaretz was appointed, and it was he who between 1745 and 1756 redeveloped the defences and in so doing removed most of de Gomme's fortifications.

He was sent to fortify the Royal Dockyard at Chatham 1755 and a few days later in 1755 he was ordered to  attend the fortification and a few days later he was directed that *Durnford among others lately appointed Practitioner Engineers attend the works at Chatham and Dover.   

The roof level of Avranches Tower was "lowered" (removed) in 1755 by the military engineer, John Peter Desmaretz (J P Desmaretz, c. 1686-1768) as part of strengthening the northern defences of the castle.

Desmaretz remodelled the outer curtain wall from Avranches Tower to the Norfolk Towers which then gave two artillery positions, Four Gun Battery (near the Saxon church of St Mary-in-Castro and the Roman Pharos) and Bell Battery (between the Inner Bailey and Pencester Tower), clear fields of fire.

Mapmaking: the Ordinance Survey Section of Board of Ordinance

The Royal Engineers, or, as they were then, the Board of Ordnance's Corps of Engineers, were
very different from the Regular Army. At its beginning the Corps had about 50 men, all of whom
were the equivalent of officers, although their ranks were from other Regiments (for example, "Mr"
Durnford was a Lieutenant [Fireworker] in the Artillery in 1756, but in 1757 he was an Ensign in the
Corps of Engineers, while "Mr" Debbieg was a Lieutenant in the 37th Foot until 1757). These men
were promoted on merit and ability, not by purchase.

He was such a skilled person, that after his death in 1776, the Board had difficulty choosing from amongst the 70 or so in their employ, somebody who could not only draw plans of a proposed fortification, but could also organise the manpower to build, then supervise and oversee the building work, at the same time often under enemy fire.   Lieut Col Hugh Debbig was eventually chosen.

Their sons and marriage

Elias Durnford married Rebecca Walker in 1769, he was 30 she was 18. in St James Parish Westminster

Clark Durnford married Mary Baskerville in 1769 at St Michael Paternoster

Andrew Durnford married Jemima Isaacson in 1771 at St Andrew's Parish Holborn

Were these ladies of good breeding, from well heeled families?

Mary Baskerville

From the story of Clark Durnford, Mary's father was a renown clockmaker, as reference reveal.

Baskerville, Richard, London, von 1749 bis 1772 Mitglied der Clockmakers Company
Baskerville, Thomas, London, von 1738 bis 1752 Mitglied der Clockmakers Company

Baskerville. Thos., Bond St. Stables, 1730. Richard, London ; clock in the sacristy
of Bruges Cathedral, about 1750.

Rebecca Walker

Rebecca was the daughter of Philip Walker and his wife Rebecca Warton from Lowestoft in Norfolk

He was one of the founders of the Lowestoft porcelain factory, it was his porcelain that Clark Durnford was selling in his London store.   Obviously a family with good prospects and connections.

The Lowestoft porcelain factory was founded in 1757 by a group of local businessmen headed by Philip Walker. The factory followed many of Worcester’s patterns; (going as far as placing the famous crescent mark on the bases of the wares) however developed very unique characteristics that separate it from the rest of the 18th century producers. 

The Lowestoft porcelain body is Phosphatic (meaning that animal bone ash is used as a replacement to Kaolin) being similar to that of Bow porcelain with its soft chalky white appearance except that Lowestoft has a translucency generally glowing light straw colour when held up to strong light. Due to the highly absorbent nature of the unfired porcelain body Lowestoft wares with underglaze blue decoration needed to be painted and fired quickly or else the blue would run and in some extreme cases patterns become abstract.

The factory produced both polychrome wares and blue and white Worcester / Chinese inspired products. Unlike many of its competitors Lowestoft did not chase the London market and instead sold wares to the local area as well as enjoying keen trade with Holland. Souvenir wares titled ‘Trifle from Lowestoft’ were produced along with special commissions for local families often celebrating significant dates, which today are some of the most sought after pieces of 18th century porcelain

Peter Wilson Fine Art Auctioneers.

 Philip's many interests came to an end in with his death in 1803, one year after the factory closed down. Contrary to the assertion of some writers it appears that the firm was closed down because the owners had had enough - they were old and tired, and chose to close rather than have the stress of continuing, successful as it was.
© Richard Green 2008

Lowestoft Porcelain Entrepreneurs -

Lowestoft  is a town in the English county of Suffolk. The town is on the North Sea coast and is the most easterly point of the United Kingdom. It is 110 miles (177 km) north-east of London, 38 miles (61 km) north-east of Ipswich and 22 miles (35 km) south-east of Norwich. It is situated on the edge of the Broads system and is the major settlement within the district of Waveney with an estimated population of 58,560 in 2010.

Jemima Isaacson

Jemima Isaacson came from a family with a great deal of history, as has been revealed in this story.
Descended from King William, through three of his grandchildren, her family certainly came from a line of good standing people.

She lived in London at Hatton-Garden, where her parents lived.

Her family had made vast fortunes from coal in Northumberland, and through the will of John Rogers III.   The will was a bit complicated, as was told in the stories leading up to Jemima's parents, but her prospects were excellent.

Her father had been Customs Officers in Newcastle, and Mayors of the town.

Andrew married Jemima in 1771.

London in those days was quite a mix, Jemima's great aunt was Elizabeth Montagu, and her Blue Stocking parties were the talk of the town.

Her Montagu relations numbered many.

There were the Medow's relations, including Mary Whortley Montagu, Elizabeth Chudleigh, and the infamous Mary Davis.

Alan Ramsay

In fact the name Blue Stockings referred to Rev Durnford's brother in law, Benjamin Stillingfleet, a regular along with the notable painter Allan Ramsay.

Grounds of Montagu House now Museum

Jemima's father's family were long established in the clergy and legal profession, and her cousins were in the Military, they all lived in the same area, and no doubt enjoyed each other's company.

Around that time, Lloyd's coffee shop became the popular meeting place for the locals, to catch up with the latest developments.

Lloyd's Coffee House was a coffee shop in London opened by Edward Lloyd (c. 1648–15 February 1713) originally on Tower Street in around 1688.

 The establishment was a popular place for sailors, merchants and shipowners, and Lloyd catered to them with reliable shipping news. The shipping industry community frequented the place to discuss insurance deals among themselves. The dealing that took place led to the establishment of the insurance market Lloyd's of London, Lloyd's Register and several related shipping and insurance businesses.

Just after Christmas 1691, the coffee shop relocated to Lombard Street. Merchants continued to discuss insurance matters here until 1774, long after Lloyd's death in 1713, when the participating members of the insurance arrangement formed a committee and moved to the Royal Exchange on Cornhill as the Society of Lloyd's.

By the 1760s, the coffee house was reported to have acquired a bad reputation. One of the waiters secured new premises in Pope’s Head Alley and from there in 1769, the New Lloyd’s List began, according to Lloyd’s Register

Lloyd's Coffee House frontage. On loan from Lloyd's of London.  
© National Maritime Museum, London

Repro ID: H3710
Description: The frontage of Lloyd's Coffee House shown here dates from the 17th century. Although the exact date of its establishment is unknown, evidence exists that Lloyd's coffee house was well-known in London business circles by 1688. This section of the coffee house entrance is currently on display at the National Maritime Museum, having been loaned by Lloyd's of London.
Creator: Unknown
Date: 17th century
Credit line: National Maritime Museum, London

Around the 1780's the landscape changed.  The British citizens became worried that France had entered into an alliance with English Colonists in America, at the time of the American War of Independence.

Riots broke out across the city, the residents were deeply disturbed.

The Property Act 1698 had imposed a number of penalties and disabilities on Roman Catholics in England; the 1778 Act eliminated some of these. 

An initial peaceful protest led on to widespread rioting and looting and was the most destructive of the 18th century in London.

 Painted on the wall of Newgate prison was the proclamation that the inmates had been freed by the authority of "His Majesty, King Mob". The term "King Mob" ever after denoted an unruly and fearsome proletariat.

The Riots came at the height of the American War of Independence with Britain fighting American rebels, France, Spain and the Dutch Republic. They led to unfounded fears that they had been a deliberate attempt by France to destabilise Britain before an imminent French invasion.

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