This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back 30 generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from my own as (1)
MORRIS LANGLEY and MARY CLAYSON (6)
MORRIS LANGLEY . The 1851 census shows that Morris was born in 1768-9. He gave Deal as his birthplace but his baptism has not been found there. He first appears in the Deal registers at the baptisms of his daughters. There are occasional Langley families in Deal, going back to 1664, but no clear lines of succession. There is, however, a marriage in Deal in 1764 of John Langley of West Cliff and Mary Morris . These would be plausible parents for Morris Langley, especially with the use of Mary’s surname for his baptismal name.
He became a boat-builder. Boat-building was Deal’s principal industry.
MARY CLAYSON was the daughter of John and Ann Clayson. She was baptised on 4 April 1773 in the village of Eythorne, six miles inland from Deal, and north of Dover, though her family had connections with Deal before this.
She was the seventh of eight children. Her uncles and cousins were gentlemen, so it is likely that her father was, too. Her uncle Edward was a shipbuilder and her uncle William either a mariner or a linen draper. Both lived in Deal.
It is possible that Mary’s father started work in a maritime occupation; at least two of Mary’s siblings were born in Dover. But, if so, he did not pursue it. Around 1766 the family moved inland to the village of Eythorne. Mary was the third child to be born there, with another brother baptised in neighbouring Waldershare.
Not only Mary, but four of her siblings married in Deal. It looks as though the whole family moved there sometime before 1786. Among the traders of Deal, the Universal British Directory for 1791 lists two Claysons, Mark and William. Both were linen-drapers.They were almost certainly Mary’s relations.
It may have been her uncle Edward’s boatbuilding which brought Mary into contact with Morris Langley .
Morris and Mary married at Deal on 16 Nov 1793.
They had two daughters baptised in Deal.
1794 8 Oct Mary Ann Langley d. of Morris & Mary
1797 14 May Ann Langley d. of Morris & Mary
Four years later, in the 1801 census for Deal, Morris Langley was heading a household of seven, three males and four females. Thiscould mean there were two sons and another daughter not baptised in Deal. None of the seven was entered as employed in agriculture or ‘trade, etc.’ Morris may have been a boatman in his younger days and turned to boatbuilding later.
They lived through the heady days of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, when the Kent coast was on perpetual alert for invasion. Deal’s beaches were often thronged with men boarding ships or disembarking. Wounded soldiers and sailors found respite in the hospital or were quartered on local families.
In 1808, Mary’s uncle William Clayson, Gentleman of Deal, died. In his will he left:
In the 1811 Deal census, two families were living at the Langleys’ house, with Morris as head of household. There were two males and three females. This time, one of the men is listed as engaged in ‘Trade, etc.’ This could mean that Morris had turned to boatbuilding in this decade.
Ten years later, the household is down to two males and one female, living in Lower Street. They are listed among the ‘Families chiefly employed in Trade, Manufactures, and Handicraft.’.
Langley, Morris, North End. North End is the side of Deal bordering on the parish of Sholden.
But the prosperity Deal had enjoyed during the war was over.
It was not uncommon for the wife’s maiden name to be used as a middle name for one of her children. Morris and Mary’s daughter Ann showed an unusually strong respect for her parents. After she married Richard Cory, she used all four of her parents’ names as baptismal names for her children: John Langley, Morris Clayson (twice), Henry Morris, Mary Ann Langley. This may be, in part, because her family were of a higher social standing than Richard’s, and the couple stood to gain by keeping on good terms with the Langleys and the Claysons.
Morris was still at work in the 1841 census, at the age of 72. Ages were rounded down to the nearest 5. 1841 Census. Lower Street, Deal.
Morris Langley 70 Boat Builder Y
Mary Langley 65 Y
George Suddery 50 Hair Dresser Y
Thomas Wilson 65 Carpenter Y
Mary Suddery 11 Y
We learn from the next census that George Suddery was the Langleys’ son-in-law. He was a widower and we can presume that 11-year-old Mary was their grandchild. George may have been married to the Langley’s elder daughter, Mary Ann.
Mary was supplementing their income by taking in Thomas Wilson as a lodger.
By 1851 their fortunes had changed for the worse.
1851 Census. 112 Lower Street, Deal
Maurice Langley Head Mar 82 Pauper Boatbuilder Deal
Mary Langley Wife Mar 78 Eythorn
George Suddery Son-in-law Widr 62 General Dealer Sandwich
Mary A T Denne Daughter-in-law U 21 Milliner Deal
Morris had gone from running his own boatbuilding business to receiving poor relief.
Deal was in decline. As steam replaced sail, ships could forge up the Channel and into the Thames without needing to anchor off theDowns. The luggers which had provisioned them, and transferred passengers and mail, were less in demand. Boatbuilders’ order books must have suffered.
Henry Kingscote, writing to the Times in the 1850s pleads for donations to the Deal Boatmen’s Fund. “The consequences of this decline in the business of Deal is shown by the poor-rates, which for several years have exceeded 6d in the £, and in the increased and increasing number of families in the parish dependent upon different descriptions of charitable assistance.”
It was, in addition, quite common for men who had had profitable businesses in the prime of life to fall into poverty with old age.
George Suddery has changed his occupation to general dealer. It is not clear whether Mary Denne, recorded as their unmarried daughter-in-law, is the Mary Suddery of 1841.
Morris died later that year
1851 Morris Langley. Lower Street. Oct 8. 83.
Mary survived him by six years., dying in the third quarter of 1857. She was 84.
Will of William Clayson, www.claysontree.com
Next Generation: 5. CORY-LANGLEY
Previous Generations: 7. CLAYSON-HOLMAN