8. JEFFCOAT-EATON

5

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Alan March’s Family History

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 many generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Alan’s as (1)

Monk Tree
JOSEPH JEFFCOAT and MARY EATON (8)

 

JOSEPH JEFFCOAT. We know from his marriage certificate that Joseph was the son of John Jeffcoat of ‘Humton’ in Oxfordshire. ‘Humton’ is the hamlet of Hempton, in the parish of Deddington, 5 miles south of Banbury.

His age at death gives him a birth date of 1734-5.

Researchers have been unable to find the name of his mother, the births of Joseph and his siblings, or his mother’s burial.

His father John Jeffcoat was a farmer, from two of the earliest Quaker families in Oxfordshire. Joseph was the second of five known children, though others may have died in infancy.

When he was 20, his father married again to another Quaker, Rachel Adkins.

His son Joseph too became a farmer, moving to the village of Upper Winchendon, 5 m west of Aylesbury.

The village is built on high ground, with fine views. The principal crops were barley, turnips, beans and mangold, but nearly three times as much land was grass for grazing.

 

MARY EATON’s birth was recorded in the list of children born to Quakers belonging to the Society of Friends Meeting at Biddlesden. This is 3 m NW of the Eatens’ farm in Boycott.

Birth. Society of Friends, Biddlesden, Bucks.
1751 Jun 5  Mary Eaten Daughter of Thomas and Ann Eaten was Born the 5th of month Called June 1751. Midwife: Susanna Jolamain. Witnesses: Elize: Gray, Elize: Harboro.

It is not often that we are told the name of the midwife.

Unusually, this entry does not say where the Eatens lived, but the next entry is for her brother Thomas, and their home is entered as ‘Boycot in the parish of Stow’.

Her father was a yeoman farmer.

Boycott was a hamlet in the parish of Stowe, 2 miles NW of Buckingham. Neither of these appears on modern maps. Stowe is marked only by the parish church and the adjacent Stowe House. The village that once surrounded the church has gone. What remains of Boycott is Boycott Farm and Boycott Manor. The farm has been in the possession of the Hillsedons for over 300 years, so is not the Eatens’ farm. The manor is more recent, and not a medieval manor house.

Mary was the first child born to Thomas Eaten’s second wife Ann. There were already three children from his first marriage. Five siblings followed before Mary’s mother died in 1760, when Mary was only nine. Her father married for a third time, and there were four more children from that marriage.

We do not have records of these weddings, so we do not know Mary’s mother’s maiden name, or where she came from.

This was a time of prosperity in farming, with a considerable increase in the amount of food produced. This led to a rapid rise in population.

 

Joseph and Mary were married in a Quaker ceremony at Whittlebury, 6 m north of Buckingham. Their marriage certificate is a detailed handwritten document.

Marriage. Quaker Meeting House, Whittlebury, Northants.
1771 Apr 10  Joseph Jeffcutt and Mary Eaton
Whereas Joseph Jeffcutt of Winchinton in the County of Bucks Husbandman son of John Jeffcutt of Humton in ye County of Oxon and Mary Eaton of Boycut Spinster Daughter of Tos Eaton of ye same place and Ann his wife Decest Having Declared their Intentions of Taking each other in marriage before several meetings of the people Called Quakers in the County of Bucks aforesaid and the proceedings of the said Joseph Jeffcutt and Mary Eaton after due Enquiry and Deliberate Consideration Thereof, weare allowed by the said meetings they appearing Clear of all others and having Consent of Relations and partys concerned.
  Now these are to Certify all whom it may concern that for the accomplishing of their said marriage this tenth Day of ye forth month Called April in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy one they the said Joseph Jeffcutt and Mary Eaton appearing in a publick assembly of the aforesaid people and others in the meeting house, at Whittelbury in the County of Northamton and he the said Joseph Jeffcutt taking the said Mary Eaton by the hand did openly and solemnly Declare as followeth friends in the fear of the Lord and in the presence of this assembly I take this my friend Mary Eaton to be my wife promising throw the Lords assistance to be unto her a Loving and faithful Husband until it shall pleas ye Lord to separate us by Death or words to that Efect, and the said Mary Eaton Did then and there in the said assembly in like manor Declare as followeth friends in the fear of ye Lord and in presence of this assembly I take this my friend Joseph Jeffcutt to be my Husband promising thro Divine assistance to be to him a Loving and faithfull wife Untill it shall pleas the Lord by Death to separate us or words to afect.
  And the said Joseph Jeffcutt and Mary Eaton as a further Confirmation thereof and in Testimony thereunto Did then and thereunto theos presents set their hands

 We whose names are hereunto subscribed                    ____________________________
being present among others at the                                        John Jeffcoat                                                                                                                             solemnising of the above marriage
and subscription in manor aforesaid                                     Mary Eaton
as witnesses have here also to this
presents subscribed our Names the                                ____________________________
Day and year above Ritten,

After Joseph and Mary, there are 38 signatures, 24 men and 14 women. The list is headed by Danill Jeffcut, Tos Eaton and William Eaton, with Martha Jeffcutt being the fifth.

It gives the name of Mary’s deceased mother, but not that of Joseph’s mother.

‘Winchinton’ is Winchendon. ‘Humton’ is Hempton.

The following children were recorded in the Quaker register of births, for the Upperside Monthly Meeting. This covered 12 local meetings, probably in the higher part of Buckinghamshire in the Chilterns. These local gatherings were known as Particular Meetings. The Jeffcoats’ nearest Meeting was in Aylesbury.

Sarah 8 January 1772
Ann 26 December 1773
John 15 March 1776
Joseph 7th February 1778
William 13th September 1780
Mary 17th September 1782
Hannah 9th December 1784
Rebekah 21st February 1787
Daniel 1st March 1789
Martha 21st September 1791
James 19th February 1797

James died on 15 Sep 1797 aged 6 months and was buried on 20 Sep.

For all these births, their address is given as Upper Winchendon. In most of them, Joseph’s occupation is given as ‘husbandman’. His will describes him as a ‘farmer’.

The fact that only one of their eleven children died in infancy is a measure of the Jeffcoats’ prosperity.

 They sent six of their children to Ackworth School, near Pontefract in Yorkshire.[1] This had been opened in 1779 by Dr Joseph Farrill, a medical practitioner and botanist, to be a co-educational boarding school for children from Quaker families who “were not in affluence”. [2] The school catered for children between 7 and 13.

Joseph and William went first in 1789. Oddly, the boys’ address is given as Amersham, which is 13 miles SE of Aylesbury. Joseph left in 1792 and William in 1794.

The next pair were Hannah and Mary in 1793.They are said to be of Winchendon. Mary left in 1796 and Hannah in 1798.

The last pair to attend were Rebecca and Daniel in 1798-9. The address is given now as Upper Winchendon. Rebecca left in 1800 and Daniel in 1802.

Ackworth School[3]

Quakers could buy a “Bill of Admission” for 8 guineas, entitling a child to one year’s education, board and lodging. Just before Rebecca and Daniel went there this was raised to 10 guineas.

Pupils came from across the country. The average distance travelled was over 100 miles.  After two years at the school, they were entitled to travelling expenses of 2d per mile for every mile over 50

Classes began before breakfast. Boys were taught English language, writing, and arithmetic. The girls joined them for writing and arithmetic, but were taught separately for reading, sewing, knitting and spinning.

The girls of Ackworth School became known for their cross-stitch embroidery. Rebecca Jeffcoat’s sampler is still copied today.

Punishments were not administered in the heat of the moment, but at the end of the week,
with coolness and temper, and in proportion to the nature of the offence.’ There was no corporal punishment. The list of rules was summed up in the tenth: ‘That their whole conduct and conversation be dutiful to their Masters and kind and affectionate to their schoolfellows, and that in all cases they observe the command of Christ, “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you do ye even so to them.”

The boys wore a cocked hat, a long-tailed coat, leather breeches and buckled shoes. The girls had white caps, checked aprons with bibs and white neck handkerchiefs folded nearly over their stuff gowns in front. There was a long cloak and elbow-length mittens for a walking costume.

Breakfast was milk porridge poured on bread. Some of the dinner menus read oddly these days.

Sunday dinner was boiled sweet puddings with currants, sometimes apple pie, and in summer occasionally other fruit pies or cheese cakes. Monday: Beef or mutton, dressed by steam, (sometimes a little pork), with turnips, carrots, greens, or potatoes, and bread – no butter. Roast meat was substituted occasionally, but not often. Tuesday: Boiled suet puddings, with sweet sauce. Wednesday: Meat soup. In summer this was occasionally changed for bacon, with beans, pease, lettuces, roots or greens; no butter. Thursday: Baked batter puddings, with sweet sauce (sometimes baked rice puddings), if milk could be spared; if not, boiled rice puddings, with a few eggs. Friday: Beef or mutton, dressed by steam, with potatoes, greens, or other vegetables, and bread; no butter. Saturday: Meat soup.

Joseph and William were there in 1790 when the school was very full, and the masters unable to keep discipline. Letters of complaint were sent to the committee and two of the masters were dismissed.

Also in 1790 there was a case of leprosy in the school and five cases of smallpox. The boy with leprosy was removed and later sent home. 47 pupils who had not already had smallpox were inoculated.

Daniel had only been home for four years when his father died. Joseph was probably already in poor health in 1804 when he made his will.

On 21 Feb 1804, Joseph Jeffcoat of Upper Winchendon in the County of Buckinghamshire, farmer, made his will, drawn up by a long-winded lawyer. It covers five pages, with a two-page codicil added later.[4]

He appoints his son John Jeffcoat and his friends Richard Littleboy of Berkhamstead, Herts, mealman, and Joseph White of Chesham, Bucks, gentleman, to be trustees. They are to hold his messuage with two cottages and about twenty acres of land, etc, in Waddesdon, Bucks, bought from Richard Smith, John Walduck and his wife Sarah, for his loving wife Mary Jeffcoat for her lifetime.

After her decease to sell the property and divide the proceeds equally among his sons William Jeffcoat and Daniel Jeffcoat, and his daughters Mary the wife of Joseph Nailor, Hannah Jeffcoat, Rebecca Jeffcoat and Martha Jeffcoat at age 21.

If any of his children die unmarried or without lawful issue before inheriting, their shares are to be equally divided among the survivors.

He gives his wife all his linen, plate, china, household goods and implements of household (except brewing and dairy utensils) to be absolutely at her disposal.

He gives his son William Jeffcoat £100, to be paid within six months after his decease.

He gives his son Daniel Jeffcoat £150 to be paid at age 21.

If he dies unmarried or without lawful issue before inheriting, the legacy is to fall into the residue of his personal estate.

He gives his Trustees £200 upon Trust to invest it for the following purposes:

To pay the interest etc to his widowed daughter Sarah Hemmings towards supporting herself and maintaining and educating her three children.

When the children reach age 21 to pay £100 of the capital to them or the survivors of them equally, and pay the interest etc of the remaining £100 to his daughter Sarah for life.

After her decease to divide the remaining £100 capital among her children or the survivors of them.

If all her children die in her lifetime under 21, unmarried or without leaving lawful issue, his daughter Sarah is to receive the interest, etc, of the whole £200 for life, and after her decease the £200 is to fall into the residue of his personal estate.

He gives his daughter Ann the wife of Samuel Purser £50 if she has a child within twelve months after his decease but not otherwise, to be paid within six months after his decease or from the time the child is born.

He gives his Trustees his cottage, etc, in Waddesdon, bought from the widow Muddiman, In Trust as follows:

To sell it and include the proceeds as part of the residue of his personal estate.

But if any of his sons or daughters choose to take the cottage (at a fair appraisement) as part of their share of the residue of his personal estate, he revokes the gift to his Trustees and gives it to that child and his/her heirs etc forever.

He gives his wife Mary and his above Trustees all his estate and interest in the farm at Upper Winchendon which he rents from the Duke of Marlborough, all his stock of cattle, corn, grain and hay, his brewing, dairy and husbandry utensils and all the residue of his money, goods, chattels, rights credits and personal estate upon Trust as follows:

To have an inventory taken as soon as possible after his decease.

To pay his debts, legacies, funeral and testamentary expenses,

To divide the residue (or its value) between his seven children equally.

The shares of those who have reached 21 are to be paid within six months after his decease,

The shares of those who are then minors are to be paid at age 21, receiving half or all of their shares as his residuary Trustees think fit.

When the youngest of his children has reached 21, to pay the whole of their shares to those who received only part before.

Until all his children have reached 21, to permit his wife and son John (or either of them) to continue in the business, and he desires them to carry on and manage it in order to bring up his younger children.

After paying out all the shares and the expenses of bringing up his younger children, if anything remains which was gained by business he gives it to his wife and seven children equally divided.

If any of his residuary legatees die unmarried and without children before inheriting, he gives their share(s) to the survivors equally.

All sums of money which he has advanced or shall advance to any of his residuary legatees are to be considered as part of their shares of the residue of his personal estate.

He appoints his wife, his son John and his daughter Mary as Guardians for his minor children during their minorities.

He expressly directs his residuary Trustees to exercise their judgment in continuing his wife and younger children jointly in the farm with his son John during the minority of such children, or removing them, but he particularly desires they may be properly provided for and taken care of.

When the youngest reaches 21 his son John is to have the preference of occupying the farm for his own use.

He appoints his wife, his son John, his daughter Mary, Richard Littleboy and Joseph White as Executors.

Richard Littleboy and Joseph White are to retain £10 each out of the residue of his personal Estate before any distribution is made, for their trouble in acting as Trustees and Executors.

He gives permission for the Trustees to recover their expenses.

He revokes all former wills.

Witnesses: Charles Haddon, clerk to Messrs Bull; Francis Rogers, servant to Mr Bull; William Bull, Aylesbury, attorney at law.

 

On 18 Jun 1806 he added a codicil:

Whereas he had given his daughter Ann the wife of Samuel Purser £50 if she had a child within twelve months after his decease but not otherwise, he now removes that restriction The £50 is to be paid to her within six months after his decease, whether she has a child or not.

Whereas he had given his son William £100, he now gives him a further £100 to be paid within six months after his decease.

He gives his my son John £100 to be paid within six months after his decease.

He gives his copyhold close, etc, of meadow or pasture ground in Aylesbury, Bucks, which he had recently surrendered to the use of his will, to his daughter Martha and her heirs, etc, forever. Its value is to be added to the overall valuation, and deducted from her share of the residue of his personal estate.

Whereas he had directed his Trustees to permit his wife and his son John (or either of them) to continue the farm and business during the minority of his youngest child for the bringing up of his family, and then for his son John to have the preference of occupying it, his wife is now to have and enjoy the farm (with the consent of his Landlord) and the use of the stock for life for the above purpose.

His son John is to have no power over the farm during her life, and he is not to have the privilege of occupying it solely for his own use.

After his wife’s decease, or if in her lifetime she voluntarily gives up her right and discontinues the business, then his sons John and Daniel shall jointly be entitled to occupy it for the above purpose.

After the youngest of his children reaches 21, John and Daniel may occupy the farm for their own use and benefit.

He ratifies every other part of his will.

Witnesses: Joseph Crooke; James Nash; William Bull.

 The will and codicil were proved on 1 Sep 1806 in London.

On 21 Jul 1806, the Upper Side Monthly Meeting instructed the grave-maker John Hill to:

“Make a Grave on or before next fourth Day, in Friends Burying-Ground in Aylesbury and therein lay the Body of Joseph Jeffcoat of Upper Winchendon in the County of Bucks aged about Seventy-one Years who died the Nineteenth Day of the Seventh Month, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Six.”
“The Body above mentioned was buried the twenty-third Day of the Seventh Month, 1806.
Witness John Hill   Grave-maker”

At some point after Joseph’s death, Mary moved from the farm to the nearby town of Aylesbury. By 1821 she was living in Walton Street, the main road leading out of Aylesbury to the south-east.

She made her will on 6 Sep 1821, seven years before her death. She evidently used the same verbose lawyer as Joseph.

In a simplified form it reads:[5]

 

Mary Jeffcoat of Aylesbury in the County of Bucks Widow

I give my messuage etc where I now dwell in Walton St in Aylesbury and all my other real estate in Great Britain to my friends William Littleboy of Bone End Mill in the parish of Herts, mealman, and John Wheeler of Aylesbury, grocer, and their heirs In Trust nevertheless to sell [all of it], [with usual protection for purchasers], and the proceeds are to be considered as part of my personal estate.

I give my Trustees all my money and securities for money, rents, goods, chattels, rights, credits and personal estate In Trust to [liquidate] and with the proceeds first pay my debts, testamentary and funeral expenses, and add the residue to the proceeds of my real estate.

The total is to be divided into eight equal parts and distributed as follows:

One part each to my sons John and Daniel Jeffcoat and my daughters Ann, wife of Samuel Purser, and Mary, wife of Joseph Naylor.

To pay the interest etc of one eighth part to my daughter Hannah, wife of William Freeman, for life for her own use without any control by her husband, paid half yearly if possible, and her receipt alone is to be a sufficient discharge.

After her decease, to pay the interest etc to all her children during their minority, and as they reach 21 to pay the principal equally between them.

If all her children die leaving any lawful issue, the principal is to be paid for the maintenance and education of that issue, as my Trustees think fit.

If my daughter Martha Coolin leaves no children who reach 21, or any lawful issue thereof, the one eighth part is to fall into the residue of my personal estate.

To pay the interest etc of one eighth part to my granddaughters Mary and Rebecca Freeman (daughters of my late daughter Rebecca Freeman) or the survivor of them during their minority, and as they reach 21 to pay the principal equally between them.

If they die leaving lawful issue, the principal is to be paid for the maintenance and education of that issue as my Trustees think fit.

If they die as minors without lawful issue, the one eighth part is to fall into the residue of my personal estate.

To pay the interest etc of the residual one eighth part to my granddaughter Hannah Hemmings (daughter of my daughter Sarah Hemmings) during her minority, and when she reaches 21 to pay the principal to her.

If she dies leaving lawful issue, the principal is to be paid for the maintenance and education of that issue as my Trustees think fit.

If she dies as a minor without lawful issue, the one eighth part is to fall into the residue of my personal estate.

If (due to the decease of any of my legatees as above) any of the eighth parts fall into the residue of my personal estate, those parts are to be equally divided among the survivors of my legatees and paid as above.

If any of my legatees choose to take any of my household goods, linen or wearing apparel (at a fair appraisement), it is to be considered as part of their respective legacies.

I appoint William Littleboy and John Wheeler joint Executors … I revoke all former wills.

[Permission for Trustees to recover expenses]

[Usual protection for Trustees against all but wilful default]

Witnesses William Bull; William Bull Jr; B J Sailthorp

Probate was granted on 9 Apr 1829 in London.

Mary died on 23 Dec 1828. She was buried in the Quaker burying ground in Aylesbury.

The Upperside Monthly Meeting instructed the grave-maker John Hill to:
“Make a Grave on or before next fourth Day, in Friends Burial-Ground in Aylesbury and therein lay the Body of Mary Jeffcoat of Aylesbury (Widow) in the County of Buckingham aged about seventy-four Years who died the twenty-third Day of the twelfth Month, One Thousand Eight Hundred and twenty-eight.”
“The Body above mentioned was buried the thirty-first Day of the twelfth Month, 1828.
Witness John Hill   Grave-maker”

Daniel left the Society of Friends and was baptised into the Church of England on his wedding day.

He began as a farmer, but moved to Islington, where he traded in cattle, hay and guano.

 

[1] List of the boys and girls admitted to Ackworth School during the 100 years from 18th of 10th month 1779. The Centenary Committee, Ackworth School. 1879.
[2] Thompson, Henry, “A history of Ackworth school during its first hundred years; preceded by a brief account of the fortunes of the house whilst occupied as a foundling hospital“, 1879. This contains much colourful detail about life at the school.
https://archive.org/stream/cu31924030617512/cu31924030617512_djvu.txt
[3] Forgotten Victorians – Ackworth School
[4] http://wills.oxfordshirefhs.org.uk/az/wtext/jeffcoat_003.html
[5] http://wills.oxfordshirefhs.org.uk/az/wtext/jeffcoat_004.html

 

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 9. EATEN

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