Tuesday, January 17, 2017

{99} Edward III Descent for Danny Dyer (b. 1977) on WDYTYA

Danny Dyer at Otely Hall, Suffolk
The first episode of the thirteenth season of the genealogy TV series Who Do You Think You Are aired this past November in the UK, and focused on actor Danny Dyer, who is best known for his current role as the landlord of the Old Vic pub on the long-running series EastEnders, which I've never seen. I know of Danny from one of his earliest roles, in the 2002 indie film Borstal Boy, an adaptation of the 1958 autobiographical novel by Irish writer/poet Brendan Behan. Danny is the teenaged sailor/best mate to the Behan character while they both are serving time in a reformatory institution during World War II. It's an obscure film, but well worth seeking out.

The episode is (as are all the WDYTYA episodes) very engaging and well-produced. Danny was born and raised in London's East End, and the twist is his discovery that he is descended from Thomas, Lord Cromwell, Henry VIII's notorious right-hand-man, and also from Edward III of England. In blue jeans and leather jacket, a Cockney version of historian Dan Jones, Dyer travels to the oldest pub in Oxford, to the grand Suffolk manor house of Otley Hall (“I think it’s the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen”), to the even grander manor house of Helmingham Hall, family seat of the current Baron Tollemache, who makes an appearance ("This geezer's got a drawbridge"), to Hampton Court Palace, where he meets with delightful Cromwell historian Tracy Borman (“You could have a right rave in ’ere couldn’t you babe, eh?”), to, finally, Westminster Abbey, where Peter O'Donoghue, York Herald from the College of Arms, shows him the tomb of Edward III (“My blood is his blood, I can’t compute it in my brain”). It's a hit on social media, where many are saying it's the best-ever WDYTYA episode.

Edward III (1312-1377)
Since the previous royal descent-themed WDYTYA episode which I had watched, the Frank Gardner one, had contained an error in the presented line of descent, I took careful notes during this episode, and I'm pleased to say that Danny Dyer's line from Edward III holds up well under the microscope. Only one of the twenty-three generations which lie between king and Cockney lacks primary evidence to link father to son, but there's enough circumstantial evidence that I'm willing to take a leap of faith. Danny actually has three separate lines from Edward III, but I'm only focusing on the line which the show presented.

Edward III had a 2nd surv son,
1) Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence (1338-1368) m. 1) Lady Elizabeth de Burgh (1332-1363, descended from Edward I), and had
2) Lady Philippa Plantagenet of Clarence (1355-1377) m. Edmund Mortmer, 3rd Earl of March (1352-1381), and had
Elizabeth (née Seymour), Lady
- see Generation 8
3) Lady Elizabeth Mortimer (1371-1417) m. 1) Sir Henry 'Hotspur' Percy (1364-1403), and had
4) Lady Elizabeth Percy (c.1395-1437) m. 1) John, 7th Lord Clifford (1388-1422, descended from Edward I), and had
5) Mary Clifford (c.1420-by1458) m. Sir Philip Wentworth of Nettlestead (1424-1464), and had
6) Sir Henry Wentworth of Nettlestead (1448-1499) m. 1) Anne Say (c.1448-aft.1489), and had
7) Margery Wentworth (c.1478-1550) m. Sir John Seymour of Wolf Hall (c.1474-1536), and had
8) Elizabeth Seymour (c.1514-by 1563) m. 2) Gregory, 1st Baron Cromwell (c.1514-1551, son of Thomas, Lord Cromwell), and had
9) Henry, 2nd Baron Cromwell (1538-1592) m. Lady Mary Paulet (c.1540-1592, descended from Edward III), and had
Lady Katherine (née Cromwell)
- see Generation 10
10) KATHERINE CROMWELL, b. c.1565; d. 24 Mar. 1620 Ipswich, Suffolk, bur. St Mary Church, Helmingham, Suffolk; m. 10 Feb. 1581 St Mary Church, North Elmham, Norfolk, Sir LIONEL TOLLEMACHE, 1st Baronet of Helmingham, bap. 14 Dec. 1562 St Mary Church, Helmingham; d. 6 Sept. 1612, bur. there, son of Lionel Tollemache of Helmingham Hall (1536-1575, descended from Edward III) and Susan Jermyn (d. 1597), and had
[Notes: These first ten generations are well-covered in the peerage works. Sir Lionel Tollemache and Katherine Cromwell were third cousins, both descended from Sir Henry Wentworth - Generation 6 above.]
11) ANNE TOLLEMACHE, bap. 9 Nov. 1589 St Mary Church, Helmingham; d. unknown; m. 1st 20 Feb. 1609 St Mary Church, Helmingham, ROBERT GOSNOLD of Otley Hall, b. c.1587; d. by 1635, son of Robert Gosnold, Heir of Otley Hall (d. 1596, descended from Edward I) and Amy Forth (1568-aft.1631, descended from Edward I), and had
[Notes: Anne was the youngest of five daughters, and basically married the boy next door: Otley Hall is only two miles from Helmingham Hall. After his death, she m. 2nd 20 Aug. 1635 St Peter & St Paul Church, Pettistree, Suffolk, Samuel Blennerhassett of Loudham Hall, Pettistree (1602-1640, descended from Edward I). She was mentioned as living in the codicil (dated 18 Nov. 1656) to the will of her eldest son Robert Gosnold. I haven't located a burial entry, or a will, for her. With Robert Gosnold she apparently had five sons and two daughters: Robert, Gregory, Lionel, Sackford, Henry, Anne (wife of Thomas Hovell) and Susan (wife of Wheeler).]
Gosnold of Otley coat of arms
[Per pale crenelle or and azure]
12) Col. ROBERT GOSNOLD of Otley Hall, Royalist in English Civil War, b. Helmingham Hall, bap. 2 May 1611 St Mary Church, Helmingham; d. by 25 May 1658 (when his will was proved); m. 12 Feb. 1633 St Martin in the Fields, London, DOROTHY JEGON, b. c.1615; d. aft. 24 Aug. 1671 (when her will was written), er dau. of Rt Rev. John Jegon, Bishop of Norwich (1550-1618) and Dorothy Vaughan, and had
[Notes: The WDYTYA episode goes into much detail about Col. Gosnold. His wife Dorothy had a bishop for a father, and another for a grandfather: her mother was the daughter of Rt Rev. Richard Vaughan, bishop of London. The date of Dorothy's 1671 will is mentioned in some online sources, but it doesn't appear that her will has ever been transcribed or abstracted. Col. Gosnold and his wife had eight verifiable children: Robert (d. by 1668), Lionel (living 1673), Charles (living 1663), Edward (d. 1673), Sackford (living 1673), Dorothy (d. 1678, wife of Michael Griggs of Little Bealings, Suffolk), Elizabeth (living 1651), and Rachel (living 1692, wife of John Girling).]
13) Rev. LIONEL GOSNOLD, Rector of Boyton 1664-74, of Otley 1674-1703, of Barham 1693-1703, Vicar of Framsden 1669-82, b. c.1640; d. 11 Feb. 1703; m. 1675 St Peter Church, Palgrave, Suffolk, REBECCA HARDY, b. c.1655; bur. 23 May 1742 All Saints Church, Stuston, Suffolk, and had
Distant cousins Danny Dyer and Lord Tollemache meet up
at Helmingham Hall
[Notes: It is with this generation that a little uncertainty creeps in. There is no direct evidence to make the Lionel Gosnold who was the son of Robert and Dorothy Gosnold, the same as the clergyman Lionel Gosnold. In the 1673 will of Edward Gosnold of Great Yarmouth, he refers "To my brother Lionel Gosnold, gent., £20," and also names him sole executor. In An Alphabetical Account of the Nobility and Gentry in England and Wales (1673), "Lionel Gosnold of Otley-hall Gent." and "Seckford Gosnold of Wickham-market G[ent]." are listed. But shouldn't Lionel have been referred to as a clerk, not a gentleman, in 1673, for the Clergy database has Lionel Gosnold ordained as a priest in 1664? Alumni Cantabrigienses doesn't state any parentage for the Rev. Lionel Gosnold, who was "of Swaffham Market" when admitted to Corpus Christi in 1657. Boyd's Marriage Index 1538-1850, has a marriage entry for Lionel Gosnold and Rebecca Hardy at Palgrave in 1675. But their first child Lionel was baptized at Framsden on 1 Aug. 1675. Since at least as far back as 1764, county histories of Suffolk stated that the Gosnolds "suffered much in the time of the great Rebellion, insomuch that the Reverend Lionel Gosnold, the last of the family, and rector of that parish [of Otley], was obliged to sell that estate." In 1909, Walter Copinger, in The Manors of Suffolk, provided an entirely different account of the descent of the manor of Otley, stating it passed from Col. Gosnold (d. by 1658) to his eldest son Robert (d. by 1668), then to Robert's eldest son, another Robert, then to the second Robert's son and heir William, then to William's son and heir Thomas Gosnold, then to Isaac Martin Rebow, M.P. (d. 1781). The Otley Parish Council states that Otley Hall "remained the property of the Gosnold family until about 1668, when financial difficulties arising from the Civil War (the Gosnolds were Royalists) forced its sale. It was owned for a short while by Sir Anthony Deane, Commissioner for the Navy and member of parliament for Harwich, before passing to the Rebow family of Wivenhoe, Essex, around 1686. They held it, not as a mansion, but as a tenanted farmhouse, until 1900...after Otley Hall had been sold by Robert VII [Gosnold], who died shortly afterwards, his brother and heir Lionel, the Rector of Otley, lived here [at Church House in Otley] until his death in 1702/3. His son also named Lionel, was barrister in London, and it is thought that he sold the house around 1710, thus marking the end of the association of the Gosnold line in Otley." Which authority is correct? I have no idea. Clearly more research is needed.
St Mary Church, Framsden, Suffolk
Though we lack a primary document to confirm that Rev. Lionel Gosnold and Lionel son of Col. Robert and Dorothy Gosnold, were one and the same, nevertheless it seems extremely likely to be the case, given the rarity of the name Lionel, and the history of clergymen in Dorothy's family. Of Rev. Gosnold's wife Rebecca, I can nothing beyond her name in the marriage entry. The couple had at least nine children: 1) Lionel Gosnold of Barnard's Inn, barrister (b. 1675 Framsden; living 1710-most likely the Lionel Gosnold m. 1696 Bedingfield, Suffolk, Dorothy Howell, per Boyd's Marriage Index); 2) Walter Gosnold (b. 1676 Framsden-see below); 3) Rebecca Gosnold (b. 1678 Framsden; d. unm. 1707 Stuston); 4) Dorothy Gosnold (b. 1679 Framsden; living 1713); 5) Mary Gosnold (b. 1680 Framsden; living 1713); 6) Charles Gosnold (b. unknown; living 1713-probably the "Mr. Charles Gosnold" bur. 4 July 1723 Stuston); 7) Abigail Gosnold (b. unknown; living 1713); 8) Elizabeth Gosnold (b. unknown; living 1713); 9) Nicholas Gosnold (bap. 9 May 1695 St Mary Church, Barham; bur. 27 Apr. 1710 St Margaret Church, Ipswich).]
14) WALTER GOSNOLD of Ipswich, surgeon, bap. 10 Aug. 1676 St Mary Church, Framsden; bur. 24 May 1713 St Matthew Church, Ipswich; m. ELIZABETH -----, bur. 14 July 1700 St Runwald Church, Colchester, Essex, and had
[Notes: Walter is of the first generation of Gosnolds to have been born without landed gentry status. However, the name of Gosnold would have carried weight and respectability in the county, and as the second son of a clergyman, he could have his choice of profession. A career in the church seems a natural path to have taken, but his elder brother Lionel chose law instead, while Walter chose medicine. Fortunately, Walter's P.C.C. will (written 20 Feb. 1712/3, codicil 13 May 1713, proved 2 Aug. 1718) survives, and is the proof that the Ipswich surgeon was the same Walter, son of Rev. Lionel and Rebecca Gosnold. For in the codicil to his will, Walter gives his lands (in Witnesham and Tuddenham, Suffolk, and in Great Leighs and Little Leighs, Essex) "after the death of Tendring my son, in case he shall die without issue and within the age of one and twenty years, unto and amongst my brother Charles and sisters Dorothy, Mary, Abigail and Elizabeth equally as tenants in common and to their heirs forever." Several online pedigrees which pre-date the WDYTYA episode, show Walter's wife as Elizabeth, who died 1700, and she is included in the charts presented to Danny. Whatever evidence exists to assign Walter Gosnold such a wife, it's not available online: I can't find a marriage entry for Walter, nor a burial entry for an Elizabeth Gosnold near to the date of 1700. It's clear from Walter's will that his son Tendring was his only child - it's not clear from that document whether or not Tendring was legitimate. Update 9/12/17: Tendring was legitimate. Many thanks to genealogist Christine Brunsden, who shared with me the baptism entry for Tendring Gosnold, and the burial entry for his mother Elizabeth, which she uncovered in Colchester, Essex]
St Peter Parmentergate, Norwich
15) TENDRING GOSNOLD of Norwich, Norfolk, wool weaver[?], bap. 9 June 1700 St Runwald Church, Colchester; living 1728; [?]d. 1733 Fort St George, Madras, India; m. 13 May 1723 St Mary Church, East Carleton, Norfolk, ANN REYNOLDS, b. 3 June 1700, bap. 9 June 1700 St Michael Church, Broome, Norfolk; bur. 9 Feb. 1756 St Peter Parmentergate, Norwich, dau. of Henry Reynolds and Sarah (----), and had
[This is the generation that is the weakest link in the line of descent - there is no direct evidence that Tendring Gosnold had a son named Charles. 'Tendring' is an interesting and unique first name: it's possible it points to a birth in Essex, where his father Walter held lands, or that it was the maiden name of his mother, of whom we know nothing. In Walter Gosnold's will he assigns profits from the rents on his lands to be applied "toward the maintenance, better education and binding[?-the word is difficult to make out] out of the said Tendring Gosnold an apprentice." Walter had also bequeathed to his only son "all the books and instruments of my profession," perhaps with the hope he would follow in his footsteps and become a surgeon. If so, his hope didn't materialize, for in 1716, three years after his father's death, Tendring, son of Walter Gosnold of Ipswich, was formally apprenticed to Thomas Barett, wool weaver, of Norwich. Other than his 1723 marriage entry and the baptism entries for his following five children in the parish registers -- 1) Tendring Gosnold (bap. 12 Sept. 1725 St Giles Church, Norwich; bur. 8 Oct. 1726 St Peter Parmentergate); 2) Anne Gosnold (bap. 21 July 1726 St Simon & St Jude Church, Norwich; bur. 29 July 1726 St Peter Parmentergate); 3) & 4) twins Tendring and Anne Gosnold (bap. 20 June 1727 St Simon & St Jude Church, Norwich; both bur. three days later 23 June 1727 St Peter Parmentergate); 5) Anne Gosnold (b. 12 May 1728, bap. 5 June 1728 St Michael at Plea Church, Norwich) -- Tendring Gosnold cannot be found in online genealogy indexes.
Portion of the scroll given to Danny Dyer by York Herald
No baptism entry for a son Charles, nor a burial entry for Tendring Gosnold, in Norwich, or anywhere else in England. Ironically, given that her name is a far more common one than his, baptism and burial entries for Tendring's wife Ann (Reynolds) Gosnold are easily located in online parish register indexes. What happened to Tendring after 1728? Did he father a son Charles Gosnold? Per the charts given to Danny Dyer in the WDYTYA episode, Tendring's son Charles was born in 1729. If so, where? Or is it an estimate? Several online pedigrees have Tendring dying in 1733 in Fort St George, Madras, without providing any sources to back that up. That would explain why he disappears from Norwich, and indeed, English, records entirely, but...why would a weaver from Norfolk have gone to India? Did his wife and baby daughter Anne go with him, and Charles was born there? Perhaps significantly, the charts given to Danny don't include a date of death for Tendring. More research here is called for, as a baptism entry for Charles, son of Tendring Gosnold is the last element needed to solidify this entire line of descent. Whatever happened to Tendring, his widow Ann Gosnold returned to (or never left) Norwich, where her daughter Anne was apprenticed in 1741 to Hannah Ros, mantuamaker [ie., dressmaker], and married in 1755 to George Vere. The widowed Ann Gosnold died just seven months after her daughter's wedding.]
16) CHARLES GOSNOLD of Norwich, dance instructor, b. 1730/1 (aged 57, per burial entry); bur. 9 Apr. 1788 St Peter Parmentergate, Norwich; m. 13 May 1753 St John the Baptist Church, Maddermarket, Norwich, SARAH FRENCH, b. c.1732 (age 75 at death, per her M.I.); d. 31 Mar. 1807 Norwich, bur. 5 Apr. 1807 St Peter Parmentergate, and had
[I'm willing to take the leap of faith that this Charles was a son of Tendring Gosnold. Lack of a baptism entry is frustrating, but in 1752 in Norwich, Charles son of Ann Gosnold, was apprenticed to Nicholas Norgate, weaver. Given that there seem to be very few Gosnolds in Norwich in this period, and that Tendring Gosnold was himself a weaver, it's very likely that Charles was his son. The weaver apprenticeship doesn't seem to have lasted long, because apparently what Charles really wanted to do was dance.
Charles Gosnold's Advertisement in Norfolk Chronicle
July 25, 1778
"As a dancing master Gosnold advertised evening classes ‘near Charing Cross’ on 9 April 1756. On 18 December 1756 he published a Collection of Country Dances, printed in Norwich, and gave a ball at his Rooms. In 1757 he danced at the White Swan theatre, and advertised that he would teach within a 20-mile radius of ‘his new-built house in St Andrews.' In common with many of his profession he went to London to take lessons from a superior master and returned to advertise: ‘he has received instruction from Miles’ in London.' The refurbishment of his practice and himself was to no avail; he closed his evening class on 13 March 1758 and disappeared from the local competition, or was frozen out, until 1 January 1780 when he advertised in the Mercury: ‘DANCING: Mr Gosnold, late of Hampshire, Dancing Master, having taken a genteel and convenient house in Willow Lane, intends opening a School ..for Young Ladies and Gentlemen. His Days for teaching will be Tuesdays and Thursdays. [He] is determined that nothing shall be wanting on his Part to expedite the Improvement of those who shall be entrusted to his Care. He flatters himself that having taught dancing for more than 20 years in Principal Schools and Genteel Families will sufficiently recommend him...dances comprehended viz: the French Dances, Cotillon, Allemande, Minuet, Louvre, Country Dances...He teaches the Young Gentlemen at Palgrave School.’ Louvre and ‘the French Dances’ suggest an old-fashioned syllabus, and he may have had to revise it, re-advertising on 9 September 1780 ‘the most fashionable dances taught’. In July 1781 a similar notice appeared, in which he advertised a 22-room to let: the genteel address may have been over-ambitious. In 1782 he taught at Sir Benjamin Wrench’s Court; he hired a teaching room and lived or lodged elsewhere, after which he disappeared from the local newspapers and was not listed in Chase’s 1783 Directory. Gosnold seems to do all the right things yet still fails. Either he was not as good as his advertising or the local competition took against him” [Maggie Marsh, Norfolk Dancing Masters 1690-1815, pp. 22-23]. I'm unable to discover anything about the family of his wife Sarah née French, save for the fact that the Sarah French buried in 1741 in Maddermarket was most likely her mother.]
17) ANNE GOSNOLD, b. c.1768 (age 75 at death, per her burial entry); d. 31 May 1843 Bracondale, Norwich, bur. 8 June 1843 St Peter Parmentergate; m. 6 Mar. 1788 St Lawrence Church, Norwich, JAMES BUTTIVANT of Kennington, Surrey, merchant trader at East India House, London, b. c.1761 (aged 63 at death) Norwich; d. 11 May 1824 Kennington, bur. 19 May 1824 St Mary Church, Lambeth, Surrey, son of James Buttivant of St George's, Tombland, Norwich, master weaver (c.1740-1793) and Mary Walker (1739-1787), and had
Norwich Market Place in 1806
[Notes: Anne was "a minor with the consent of her father Charles Gosnold” at her 1788 marriage. She and James Buttivant were already on familiar terms: her elder brother Thomas Gosnold (1760-1800), a tailor, had married James's younger sister Mary Buttivant (1763-1851) four years previous in 1784. Actually, Anne and James were already on -very- familiar terms: their first child was born seven months after the wedding. Danny Dyer's 90-year-old great-aunt, when the Buttivants are first brought up in the episode, thought the family may have been French and had come from money. The French part turned out to be incorrect, but the money portion was not. This is the generation where the Buttivants did have some money. Whatever social status the Gosnolds may have lost in the century since the sale of Otley Hall, the Buttivants managed to regain. Norwich was in the golden age of its cloth industry in the 18th-century, and was the wealthiest town in England, with a population of almost 30,000 and a rich cultural life: the winter theatre season, the festivities accompanying the summer assizes, and other popular entertainments.
John Henry Buttivant tomb, Old Protestant Cemetery, Macau
[Image from Find a Grave]
Anne's husband James Buttivant, the son of a master weaver (and Freemason), went into business with partner William White as a manufacturer, and though that venture went bankrupt in 1799, Buttivant rebounded from it. In 1806, he was appointed inspector of Norwich camblets for the East India Company, and in 1809 moved with his family to the London suburb of Kennington, with his office in the East India House. The Buttivants had a large family of ten children, and in April 1824, when the news came to them of the death, the previous summer in Macau, of eldest son John Henry Buttivant (1793-1823), a chief officer on the HEIC ship Royal George, it was a fatal blow to his father. James Buttivant died a month later in May 1824. His death was recorded in Gentlemen's Magazine, an affirmation of the social status James had achieved, but it also proved to be the peak of that status, for the double deaths left the family in mourning, and in a precarious financial situation. The widowed Anne Buttivant returned to Norwich, settling in the suburb of Bracondale with her eldest daughter Sarah, a spinster, whom she made her sole beneficiary and executrix of her will (written 1 Aug. 1840, proved 4 July 1843 P.C.C.)]
18) CHARLES BUTTIVANT of London, coal merchant/clerk, b. 15 Sept. 1804 Norwich, bap. 16 Sept. 1804 St Michael at Plea Church, Norwich; d. (suicide) 10 July 1865 No. 4 Dean Street, St George in the East; = (common law marriage) c.1850, HANNAH SARAH WING, laundress, b. c.1826 Stepney, London; d. 1909 Islington, London, and had
One of the pedigree charts used in the episode
[Notes: This is the generation that starts from a mercantile middle-class family in a London suburb, and ends in the slums of Victorian London's East End - Charles Buttivant is a tragic figure. The third of five sons, Charles was only 19 years old when his father died. Though the responsibility for the 1827 bankruptcy of his father's trading business in East India House falls on the shoulders of Charles's elder brother James Buttivant (1799-1835) and his brother-in-law Henry Alexander Illingworth (1796-1832, husband of Catherine Buttivant), it nevertheless had a negative impact on Charles and his brothers, forcing them into their own careers rather than an established family business. Charles started out promisingly enough, forming a partnership with W. Goddard as coal merchants on Milbank Street in Westminster. He married in 1830 at age 26, Mary Ann Frampton (1809-1867), and starting in 1836, they had five surviving children. But about ten years later, things started to go sour for Charles: his business partnership dissolved in 1846, and Charles went from being a coal merchant to being a secretary to coal merchants. About this time, he started up an affair with Hannah Wing (c.1824-1909), twenty years his junior, who bore him the first of six children the following year. Though Charles and his wife Mary Ann are living together as a married couple in the 1851 Census, Hannah bore him a second child that same year. "I hereby give notice, for the third time, that I will not hold myself responsible for any debts my wife, Mary Ann, may incur, having been separated upwards of 12 years," Charles stated in a notice in the Morning Post on 29 Jan. 1861, complete with his eldest son by said wife, 24-year-old stableman Charles John Buttivant (1836-1897), as witness. The Census of the same year finds Charles and Hannah living as a married couple in Whitechapel, with their growing family.
High Street, Whitechapel, mid-19th-century
Charles was the second older married man Hannah had gotten involved with: in 1843 at age 19, she bore a son to James George King, and banns for their marriage were posted a couple months later, but his mother and brother came forward and prevented it, informing the church that not only was James King already married with six children, he was also of unsound mind. It was about three years after this, that the young laundress met coal merchant Charles Buttivant. In the 19th-century, divorce was prohibitively expensive for any but the upper class, and though common law second wives could assume the surname of the man they were living with, in truth they had no legal rights or recourse. At this point, Charles's downward spiral was far more concerning than his bigamy. At the inquest held at the Wellington Tavern, Cannon Street Road, two nights after Charles's death, Mr. C. Emerson George testified, "I was an intimate friend of the deceased. He had fallen into great difficulties in consequence of not being able to get cargoes for ships. He was a man of good ability and education, and he was always trying to get something to do, but the worst of it was that whenever a ship went in, somebody else, younger men than himself, always got hold of it. His furniture was going to be removed under a bill of sale...and the landlord had threatened to distrain for the rent. He had been summoned to the county court for one debt, and for another he had been served with a writ. He had been requested by the guardians of the poor to appear before them to show cause why he did not pay the arrears of the poor-rate...He failed through sheer misfortune" ['Suicide Through Misfortune', Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, Sunday, July 16, 1865]. The physician at the inquest testified that Charles had "expired in consequence of taking a very large dose of oil of bitter almonds. He had drunk about one ounce."
Albert & Ann (née Howcutt) Buttivant
- see Generation 19

The most heartbreaking testimony came from Charles and Hannah's 18-year-old eldest daughter, Hannah Martha Buttivant (1847-1939): "The deceased was my father. He was a shipping clerk. He had latterly been very desponding in consequence of the reduced circumstances of his family. On Monday last I found him lying upon the bed in his room, groaning. There was a smell of bitter almonds in the room, and I said, 'Father, you have taken the bitter almonds!' He said to his youngest child, who was seated on the bed near him, 'Don't cry, dear.' I again spoke to him, and said, 'I cannot remain and see you suffering thus. I will go and call ma.' He gave a groan and exclaimed, 'Oh, my God!' He died in half an hour in the presence of three doctors. He had been given the bottle of bitter almonds at the docks by a person who brought it with him to this country from a chemist in Port Adelaide" [Ibid]. The jury at the inquest returned a verdict that the deceased took his own life in a state of temporary mental derangement. Hannah Wing kept the Buttivant surname and the public status as Charles's widow for the rest of her long life. She married off all three of her daughters, and continued to hold her family together as a single mother in the East End working as a laundress. She died in the London suburb of Islington in 1909 at age 83.]
19) ALBERT BUTTIVANT of Poplar, London, cigar maker, labourer, b. 4 Nov. 1851 Whitechapel, London, bap. 28 Dec. 1856 St Botolph Without Aldgate; d. 19 Mar. 1935 Poplar; m. 1871 Bethnal Green, Stepney, ANNE HOWCUTT, washerwoman, b. 23 Feb. 1849 Stepney, bap. 12 Feb. 1862 St Dunstan Church, Stepney; d. 1933 Poplar, dau. of William James Howcutt of Mile End, blacksmith (c.1819-1883) and Emma Brown (1817-1898), and had
Mile End Old Town Workhouse, London
[Notes: Charles Buttivant's suicide in 1865 would have haunted all of his children, but it seemed to take a particularly hard toll on 14-year-old Albert, his eldest son from his second wife Hannah. Though one of Charles's sons from his first marriage -- George Edward Buttivant (1839-aft.1910) -- spent time in and out of the workhouse in his senior years, Albert was the only one of Charles's eleven surviving children to suffer the workhouse during his 30s. He married Ann Howcutt, daughter of a Mile End blacksmith in early 1871, and they had a son who died in infancy and three daughters. Records from Mile End Old Town Workhouse on Bancroft Road show that Ann Buttivant and her youngest daughter, baby Mary Ann, were admitted as paupers in 1878. In in the 1881 census, both Albert and his wife are inmates at the workhouse. There are many further workhouse admission and discharge records for Albert Buttivant's family, including Mary Ann's elder sisters Eliza and Emma, with Albert and his wife in and out of the workhouse early into the 20th century, as late as 1920. It's not clear why poverty overcame Albert to a more devastating degree than it did his siblings. Steady work eluded him: he started off in a cigar factory, and by his forties was a general labourer. From a social status viewpoint, Albert is basically the rock bottom of this entire line of descent. But, boy, were he and his wife made of stern stuff - together they survived their living conditions, both in and outside of the workhouse, and made it to a ripe old age, each dying at 83.]
Mary Ann (née Butinant) Wallace, with her
youngest child Sylvia, and Sylvia's daughter, Iris
20) MARY ANN BUTTIVANT, domestic, paper sorter, b. 21 Nov. 1877 Limehouse, London; d. 1 Jan. 1960 Poplar; = (common law) c.1900, JOHN WALLACE of Bromley, London, street hawker, b. 1871 Bromley; d. unknown, after 1923[?], son of Obadiah Wallace of Bromley, bricklayer (c.1845-1891) and Rebecca Waight (1847-1927), and had
[Notes: The WDYTYA episode spends a significant amount of time on Mary Ann Buttivant, with good reason, for she was an inspiring woman. From a childhood spent in and out of the workhouse, she went into domestic service. In February 1895, the 17-year-old Mary Ann gave birth all on her own to a female child that bled to death two minutes afterwards from the umbilical cord not being tied off due to lack of medical attention. Mary Ann tried to conceal the newborn's body, but was found out and charged in police court, where she pled guilty. She was given the equivalent of a suspended sentence. Two months later, she married an East End gas stoker, Walter Charles Marlton (1866-1945), and bore him two sons before the marriage went sour. Unable to afford a divorce, the couple separated, and Mary Ann took up with street hawker John Wallace, with whom she lived as a wife and had eight more children. She never spoke of it to her family, but Mary Ann didn't let her horrifying first experience of childbirth traumatize her: in later life, she delivered many babies for local women, as a sort of midwife, always leaving the cutting of the cord for the nurse to do. Mary Ann stopped the downward spiral of the previous two generations, and, though she struggled financially throughout her life, provided the stable home for her children that she herself had lacked. She lived to age 82, raising her children and helping to raise her grandchildren: a true family matriarch.]
21) MARY ANN WALLACE, b. 1914 Poplar; d. (of kidney failure) 1941 Essex; m. 1931 Poplar, as his 1st wife, ARTHUR EDWARD RUDD of Parham, Suffolk, b. 17 Nov. 1909 Poplar; d. 23 July 1994 Parham, bur. St Mary Churchyard, Parham, son of Charles Rudd of Poplar, carman (b. 1880) and Ellen Louisa Milton, domestic servant (1880-1944), and had
22) JOYCE M. L. RUDD, b. 1931 Poplar; m. there 1954, JOHN DENIS DYER, b. 1931 West Ham, Essex; d. 28 Apr. 2015 Rainham, Essex, yst son of George Dyer of London, dock worker (1898-1977) and Ethel May Aldridge (1899-1989), and had
London dockyards
[Notes: Joyce Rudd was only nine years old when her mother died, and she was raised by her grandmother Mary Ann and aunt Sylvia. Her husband was from a family that had a long association working in the tough manual industries that are connected to the docks on the River Thames. Joyce's father-in-law, dock worker George Dyer, went into the Royal Navy, serving for three years between 1916 and 1919 as a stoker based in Chatham, Kent. On leaving the Navy, George returned to working in the London docks as a labourer, probably earning a basic living throughout the 1920s and 1930s. George is found in the 1911 census living under the same roof as his father Edward Dyer, a boilermaker's labourer aged 60, and mother Jacoba, from Holland. In their thirty-five year marriage, Edward and Jacoba had brought 16 children into the world, nine of whom had died by 1911 ['Danny Dyer's Cockney and Royal Roots-Who Do You Think You Are?', The Genealogist, 21 Nov. 2016]. For a thoroughly researched account of Danny's paternal Dyer ancestors, see the four-part series on this genealogy blog.]
23) ANTONY DYER, painter, b. 1955 West Ham, Essex; m. 1975 London (divorce), CHRISTINA J. MEAKIN, b. 1955 East Ham, Essex, dau. of John L. Meakin and Pauline Israel, and had
Danny Dyer in a promo shot for the episode
24) DANIEL JOHN 'Danny' DYER of Debden, Epping Forest, Essex, actor, b. 24 July 1977 Canning Town, Newham, London; m. 3 Sept. 2016 Chewton Glen Hotel, New Milton, Hampshire, JOANE MAS, and has issue, one son and two daughters.

It's not very common that a line of descent from Edward III, which branched off from the landed gentry level of society over three hundred years ago in the seventeenth century, can be traced to the present. As frustrated as I can get by the lack of sources in most of the personal pedigrees posted online in genealogy databases, they nevertheless are often the only footprints available to trace back ancestral lines that fall outside of the peerage and gentry. Danny Dyer's descent from Edward III couldn't have been researched if there hadn't already been Gosnold and Buttivant pedigrees posted by genealogists (many pre-computer age) on Ancestry. It's a fascinating line, genealogically and socially, and Danny Dyer has every right to be proud of each generation of it.


In preparation for the 100th blogpost, I've gone back into all of the posts to date. In some cases, I've re-written portions, in many cases I've added further genealogical information, portraits, and pictures. Thanks to John Higgins for pointing out two additional Edward III lines of descent for Lady Ellen (née Thresher) Wrey - post {86} has been updated to include them.

I'm honoured to have Desmond Clarke as a guest blogger for Post {100}, sharing the story of his ancestor Henry William Petre and Napoleon's horse Marengo. It should be up in a couple days.

Cheers,                                    -----Brad


  1. I'm also a descendent of Edward III (22nd great grandfather) but from the Edmund of Langley line. Never thought I'd be a cousin of Danny Dyer!!?