Monday, June 20, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Alderman William Pickett

Today  I am going to share the transcription and the Will of Alderman Pickett.  The past couple of weeks I have been analyzing it carefully trying to find clues to his family life.  It is turning out to be very hard because there are some parts that are very vague.

 I William Pickett, one of the Alderman of London do make this my last will and testament.  I appoint my friends Mr. Wm Bird of Broad Street and Mr. Caleb Talbot of Smithfield my executors and administrators to whom I leave One hundred pounds each.
I would leave my improved household estate in Essex with all the furniture, plate, live stock, carriages, pictures, books together with my furniture in the old Towry to be sold by auction on the premises, Ditchleys, at the proper season of the year.  I would leave my freehold estate in old Fish street as is let to Mr. Ballinger and Co at two hundred and sixty pounds per annum subject to a rent of ten pounds to the parish and some parliamentary and parochial rate.  Likewise my two freehold cottages at Pilgrims Hatch now let for a room to Mr. Crackland with two arable offices part of the Ditcheleys Estate at 19-18 per ann.  Likewise the ____ shares in the _____ office to go to the purposes of my will.  If there is any part of the plate, furniture which Miss Pickett _______ I would have her have full liberty to do as she thinks proper. I leave to Mrs. Shove a natural daughter forty pounds a year for her natural life to be paid half yearly.  I leave forty pounds a year to each of my sons natural children for their natural lives.  I leave forty pounds a year to Paul Wm Parkinson, a natural child for his natural life.  I leave six pounds to a proper saint to be placed out in the world.  I would leave a provision of one hundred pounds paid with living to some trade in the city of ______.  I leave one hundred guineas to ___ Miss E. Bird as executor of estate(?)  I leave ___ guineas to miss Sarah.  I leave twenty guineas to Mr. Parkinson. I leave two hundred pounds a year to my daughter Mary Pickett for her natural life.  All the annuities mentioned in this will I would have secured in the best manner so that persons mentioned viz Miss Pickett, Mrs. Shove, the two children of my sons and P. W. Parkinson so that they may want of ________ able to dispose of them but to remain a permanent security to them against the impositions which are so general in the world.  All the rest of my property I leave to my daughter subject to any _____ or ____ that I shall insert on this sheet of paper.  William Pickett, Nov. 25. 1796.

The freeholds I would have sold in London.  The office as mentioned at Ditchleys by ____ Mr. Smith, Spurrier, Willard, or Burton.

There are some parts that I can't make out.  If you can fill in some blanks, that would be awesome!

Notice how he says "each of my sons natural children for their natural lives" ? What exactly is that supposed to mean?  The only son that the rest of the world knew about predeceased him.  And he doesn't give a first name for his daughter Mrs. Shove.

Oh Alderman, could you be more vague?!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Genealogy Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Genealogy lesson number 1: NEVER assume anything! I know, you're probably thinking, "well, duh".  I guess I've just been spending too much time on trying to bust down this brick wall surrounding Alderman Pickett. I think my brain is getting scrambled, and I know my eyes are bulging from looking through several images on!

You know how when you just know you are on the verge of solving  something and you can't stop cause you are waiting for that 'Aha' moment?  Well, that's me. That's where I am at.  I bet I have virtually been to every church in London this week. I have even been dreaming about the Lord Mayor.  I woke myself up the other night when I heard my own voice say "Alderman!"

You're probably wondering, "what's the point to all of this?" So I will tell you. I ran so many searches for Alderman Pickett's children with no success.  So I decided to check Familysearch. Sweet success! I found his son William's baptism record which also listed his birthday.  When I noticed that the baptism date was 30 years after his birth, I assumed it was an error.  So naturally I wanted to find the original image.  For some reason I was not able to find any information about the original document through the batch no.  After a lot of googleing I discovered that the London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 were now available on Ancestry. So here I am looking through all the images for the ST MARTIN LUDGATE, LONDON, LONDON, ENGLAND baptisms. I couldn't find the entry that Familysearch indexed at all!

So I went to the Familysearch Forum and pleaded for help. Thank goodness there was a kind soul there who went to and found the entry right off the bat! My folly - I never imagined that he would have been baptized as an adult and therefor never checked under the date that I thought was an error (besides that, he was indexed wrong).

So now I have the proof of his baptism, but now I have to face the possibility that since he was not baptized as an infant, the Alderman's other children weren't either; or am I assuming again?

Genealogy Lesson number 2: Read the fine print on the bottom of your Visa gift card before you try to buy something online from The National Archives!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - A Silver Piece made by William Pickett, 1769

Description: GEORGE III SILVER CAKE BASKET, William Pickett, London, 1769. Oval, reticulated bowl, on pierced pedestal foot; gadrooned border, pierced swing handle - 23 oz., 2 dwt.; 3 1/2 in. x 12 1/2 in., without handle
William Pickett is my 5th great-grandfather.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Mysterious Alderman Pickett

William Pickett, Esq has been the biggest puzzle in our family history for, dare I say, centuries!

Family tradition tells us that my 4th great-grandfather George Piggot's father was the Lord Mayor of London, and was disowned by his father for marrying a quaker girl. This has been very hard to prove.

Just last week I discovered new information about him which only leads to more questions!

William, a Liveryman of "The Goldsmiths' Company" was proprietor of a shop located at No. 32 Ludgate Hill, London. The business which operated under the sign Golden salmon, was founded about 1745 by Henry Hurt, a goldsmith and toyman. In 1759 it was known as Theed and Pickett, goldsmiths and jewelers when William partnered with William Theed. After Theed's death in 1772 William Pickett took on "Phillip Rundell" as a partner and the firm became Pickett & Rundell. William eventually retired from business leaving his property under the management of Mr. Rundell.
He was elected to the office of Alderman for Cornhill Ward and served from 1782 until near his death in 1796. During this time he served as High Sheriff in 1784, and as Lord Mayor of the City in 1789. He also contested for a seat in Parliament in 1790 and 1796, but was unsuccessful.

I found several articles about his professional life, some mentioning what they thought they knew about his personal life, but boy were they clueless! He left some money to two illegitimate children in his will (We'll talk about that in the next post). Well, he was a politician.  Too bad there wasn't paparazzi back then; I could have found some good stuff!  
Most articles said that he had married into William Theed's family, some assuming that Mrs. Pickett was the daughter of Mr. Theed. I found his obituary in The Monthly Magazine, Volume 2 by Sir Richard Phillips and it said that he married "Miss Pratten, niece of Mr. Prentice, an opulent seedsman in Thames-Street".

The Monthly Magazine, Volume 2 by Sir Richard Phillips, pg 909

The Monthly Magazine, Volume 2 by Sir Richard Phillips, pg 910

So you know I had to go to Ancestry and do a search on Elizabeth Pratten. Low and behold I found their marriage certificate and none other than William Theed was a witness!

Guildhall, St Sepulchre Holborn, Register of marriages, 1754 - 1764, P69/SEP/A/01/Ms 7222/1

Stay tuned for the will and other discoveries.

Silver Society Journal, Winter 1991, pages 94-96
Nineteenth-century silver, by John Culme, pages 57-58
Gentlemen's Quarterly Vol 79, 1796, page 1062


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