Jane Pittard A life
Samuel Pittard After marriage
Farringdon and Clerkenwell Green
And so Samuel embarked, upon married life, although I'm not quite sure where. Most probably somewhere in Farringdon/Aldersgate , for it is here that he served his apprenticeship and it is here that his first two daughters, Jane and Elizabeth were christened in the church of St. Botolph Without Aldersgate. Jane was born in June 1775 after her parents' September 1774 marriage - so a pretty quick result in terms of starting a family. Her sister Elizabeth was born in September 1776, so again not much breathing space for Jane.
Then there is a slight pause and their third daughter and last child Susannah was born in April 1778. Susannah, however was christened in the church of St. Sepulchre in Holborn, so one can only assume that the family had moved there sometime between the birds of Elizabeth and Susannah.
But there were no more children. Why?
Did something go horribly wrong with the marriage at this point, or was Jane no longer able to have children for some reason. We shall never know of course. But it left Samuel and Jane with a small family of three little girls which would have had its advantages in economic and stress terms. But no sons to continue the family name or carry on the family business.
Workwise Samuel must have been doing reasonably well because in 1775 - the year that Jane was born we find that Samuel Pitterd, carver, insured his house at 63 Aldersgate St. for £100. The drawing above is from the next century, but I am guessing that little would have changed in the years between 1775 and the 1840s when the drawing was made. It is a narrow house but three storeys high. Modest, but if he had insured it one assumes that he owned it. Aldersgate St. is now one of the main roads in and out of London, but even then it would have been a busy thoroughfare and therefore a good place to have a shop.
Obviously I cannot be sure that this Samuel is 'my' Samuel, other than that he matches the place of christening for his first two daughters and that it also matches the apprenticeship record. Right profession, right district of London. The reference to the house, by the way, comes from the Dictionary of British and Irish Furniture Makers.
Then there is a gap. I have no further information about Samuel. No directory entries or any other such information, until 1793 when we find him listed as living in Clerkenwell Green in the land tax records. The two houses shown here are apparently in Clerkenwell Green but I have no idea what number. Indeed I do not know at which number the Pittards lived. The lack of directory entries is marginally intriguing. Maybe he did not have his own business after all but then why would be listed in that Dictionary? Whatever the reason here he is in Clerkenwell Green - with his wife, and probably his three girls. We know his wife was there because she was there after his death. The girls were now in their late teens - young women. With no idea as to the prosperity of the family one cannot know whether they were working or were just at home. I'm going to guess that they were relatively prosperous - based on that early insurance record, and therefore were just biding their time before the right man came along.
Samuel is again listed in the Land Tax records the following year, but then at the early age of 45 - younger than my older son is now. He dies. Why?
Of course I have no idea why he died. Disease or accident I guess are the obvious possibilities. As far as I know there were no major epidemics in the country at the time, although, of course there was always the risk of dying from one disease or another. The Beckwith family records that I have have nothing to say on the subject, as those records were made by descendants of another line and also he is of a generation before that which is recorded there. I have found no newspaper notices, and of course the church records aar not very informative.
He was buried in the graveyard of the church of St. James Clerkenwell on May 30th 1794. In spring. He left a wife and three young girls. But no will as far as I can see, although his wife did when she eventually died many years later. So maybe this is the indication that he died suddenly - either a heart attack or some awful accident, with no time to make a will.
He lived through tumultuous times - time of revolution from the Scots under Bonnie Prince Charlie, through the American and French revolutions. Non-conformists were on the rise and the earliest intimations of the Industrial Revolution manifested themselves in daily life. People - including Samuel - were moving from the country to the big cities.
But such a short life. I wish I knew more about him. Maybe somewhere out there somebody still has a piece of furniture made by him all those hundreds of years ago.