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Mollett - Norwich 1740s to 1780s

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

The line goes back a long way but there is a choice to be made in the 1740s.

Robert Mollett 1783-1866

I know for sure that this Robert Mollett was a pastry cook in London, but born in Norwich to a father named Robert who was a cow-keeper. I know a lot more about him as well, but it's not relevant here.

My problem is that I do not know which of two possible Roberts is the right father of my pastry cook. They are cousins and so it is only a 'temporary' problem because they both had the same grandfather. However it does, of course, affect the maternal line. Because I also do not know for sure which lady Robert senior married.

Robert Mollett married to Temperance Boast/Bast/Bost/Bass

Currently this is my favourite option as far as marriages go. The christening date fits with my pastry cook's burial. There are potential siblings, also living in London - most notably a sister Temperance. Temperance's father was a Samuel - their first born son's name and so the evidence is fairly clear that pastry cook Robert's mother was Temperance, although he did not name any of his children Temperance.

Robert Mollett married first to Phoebe Sparden and then to Mary Fuller.

Alas I think the parish records are missing for the period when and if pastry cook Robert would have been born. So apparently no son Robert and also pastry cook Robert did not name any of his children Phoebe either. Which would seem to eliminate this Robert - and therefore Phoebe, were it not for those missing parish records.

But in a way, never mind who Robert senior married - who are his parents? There are two contenders and this is where the waters are more muddied as it were.

Risen/Rising/Rizen Mollett married to Elizabeth Artis

Yes that's a very unusual name and others of his children passed it on to their children. My pastry cook did not. Though he does have an Elizabeth. But then his wife was called Elizabeth too. Risen also has children called Noah and Christian - also not passed down my line. He does have a son Robert though - christened in 1748. They also have some association with one Thomas Collins (a grandson is named for him), whom I suspect is Elizabeth's brother-in-law. This is only relevant because Thomas Collins is a witness at Robert and Temperance's wedding.

William Mollett married to Mary Rice - well I think it's Rice

Now this couple - William is Risen's brother - had a son Robert who was christened in 1746. They also had a son Francis who married a Martha and they pop up here and there as witnesses at weddings - most notably at one of Robert and Temperance's sons' wedding. And, of course, no Risen in the family.

The only other thing to note is that the Robert who was born in 1746 - to William and Mary, hung himself in hospital at the age of 83 - the coroner's verdict being he was non compos mentis. The other Robert however, died at the age of 68 long mourned by his wife and family. And currently we have no evidence that the Robert married to Phoebe and then Mary had much of a family.

So I am confused. And probably you are too. But if anyone can help I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment.

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