Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Bayntons of Bloomsbury

Simon Auger contacted me for help in find out more about his maternal ancestors, Thomas (baptised 1718) and Mary (nee Tufton) Baynton (d. 1776) who lived in Field Court, Gray’s Inn between 1767 and 1776 (they also lived, for a very brief time, in Queen Square).

Thomas and Mary came from Wiltshire and were married in Dursley in 1745. Their five children were all baptised in Bloomsbury, at St Andrew Holborn – James Lewis, baptised 1753; Thomas in 1767; John in 1769; Samuel in 1771; Sarah in 1773. Samuel is Simon’s 4x great grandfather. Simon has no information about Thomas’s death or his occupation although Samuel (and possibly also John) became a greengrocer. If anyone reading this blog is a Baynton descendent, we’d very much like to hear from you.

Putting on my historian’s sleuth hat I’m interested in the 14-year gap between the birth of the Baynton’s first child, James Lewis (1753) and their second, Thomas (1767). There doesn’t seem to have been a problem with Mary’s fertility as she had three more children in quick succession so what might be going on here? It’s possible that Mary had a number of miscarriages or stillbirths between her first and second sons and these wouldn’t have been recorded. It’s also possible (and perhaps more likely) that Thomas was working away for much of this period. Perhaps he was in the navy or military. These might be useful lines of enquiry for Simon to pursue.

The lovely picture above (top) shows two 18th century houses in Field Court (thisisforever, Flickr), and the one below depicts a snowy Field Court looking towards Gray’s Inn Square (J D Mack, Flickr). This area is now populated with legal businesses.