Samuel Beddome

Son of Rev. Benhamin Beddome
Father of Elizabeth Beddome
Father of Richard Beddome

Wife and children
Wilkins family
See also:
Will of Samuel Beddome
Will of Benjamin Beddome
Extracts from Baptist Annual Register (c.1795)
Memoir about Benjamin Beddome (1835)
Samuel Favell Samuel Beddome's brother-in-law
Boswell Brandon Beddome Samuel Beddome's brother


1756Samuel Beddome born
1781Marries Jane Wilkinswife
1782May Ann borndaughter
1783Elizabeth Beddome borndaughter
1784Benjamin bornson
1784Elizabeth Beddome diesmother
1786Jane borndaughter
1788Jane diesdaughter
1791Samuel Archdale bornson
1793Jane Reynolds borndaughter
1795Rev. Benjamin Beddome diesfather
1795Britannia borndaughter
1796Richard Beddome bornson
1814Samuel Archdale Beddome dies at Southwarkson
1815Samuel Beddome dies at Clapham


Samuel Beddome is described by my parents at one point as a "shadowy person" although they made some guesses about his life. I suspect that they muddled him with his brother Boswell Brandon Beddome.

We know that Samuel Beddome lived in in London because various accounts of the life of Rev. Benjamin Beddome mention that he visited his children and friends in London in 1792. Also his marriage and the baptisms of his children took place there.

Kent's Directory for Southward 1794 gives the following:

Beddome, Fish & Co. Woollen drapers, 170, Fenchurch st.
Beddome Samuel. Mercht. 3, Long lane, Southwark
Favell & Bousfield, Slop sellers, 247, Tooley street
Gutteridge & Beddome, Tanner, 3, Long lane, Southwark

Later on, the business at 170 Fenchurch Street became Favell, Beddome & David, warehousemen. The senior partner had become Samuel Favell. My parents assumed that "Beddome" was Samuel Beddome. However, his brother Boswell Brandon Beddome is often given a Fenchurch Street address, and so is his son, William. The business continued after the deaths of both brothers, so presumably William took it over from his father. I think his brother Boswell Brandon Beddome is the Fenchurch Street woollen draper, and so all references to this address are on his page (there's some other fun stuff there!)

There are close marriage connections involved with these businesses. Samuel's wife, Boswell's wife, and indeed the original partner at Fenchurch Street, Fish (or Fysh) all married women surnamed Wilkins, and the co-pastor of the brothers' father, Rev. Benjamin Beddome was Rev. Wilkins. This is explored below. Also Samuel Favell married Elizabeth Beddome, the only daughter of Rev. Benjamin Beddome, which makes him the brother-in-law of Samuel and Boswell.

My parent's research include a copy of an inscription on the back of a family picture of Samuel Favell. It includes the line "the third of dear grandpapa's property came from him" It is signed by S.C., who is Rev. Samuel Charlesworth, the grandson of Samuel Beddome. This inscription is the reason why my parents thought that Samuel Beddome was the partner of Samuel Favell, but I think Samuel Charlesworth just got muddled! For example, Samuel Favell died after Samuel Beddome, and the inscription gets the timing of Favell's move to Camberwell Grove wrong. The full inscription is given here.

Assuming that the Beddome of Fenchurch street is not Samuel Beddome, then perhaps he is the merchant at 3, Long lane, Southwark. After all, how many Samuel Beddomes of London can there be? (Too many, unfortunately! See Samuel Beddome son of Boswell for a start. But he's later.) Samuel Beddome, son of Rev. Benjamin Beddome, seems to be a tanner, and his partner is Gutteridge. Southwark directories 1785-1791 give Gutteridge & Hepburn (also Gutteridge & Beddome) tanners, Long Lane.

A "1798 Petition to use Elm bark rather than Oak bark for tanning" has "Mr. Samuel Beddome then confirmed the above evidence of Mr. Gutheridge". Mr. Gutheridge is the senior partner of Samuel Beddome. However, later, Samuel Beddome was prepared to speak out on his own account (possibly Gutheridge had died, or moved on). Report from the Select Committee of the petitions relating to the Duty on Leather (June 1813) includes the following:

Mr. Samuel Beddome of Long-lane, Bermondsey, tanner
The excise say that we shall not impair, that is, diminish, the hide during the process of tanning, because there shall be the whole weight come out to pay the duty; now after it goes from us to the currier, the upper leather, both of the shoe and the whole top of the boot, has a great deal shaved off by the currier; every pound that he shaves off costs us a shilling a pound in manufacturing as nearly as we can calculate, a great deal of that we manufacture at a shilling expence in order that the government may have three pence duty; this we should take off in the process of manufacturing, and save the expense of manufacturing if we could do it. Another reason is this, we are obliged to dry that leather in order to bring it to the scale to pay the duty, because it pays its duty in its dry state; if it could go out of our premises, by our being curriers, or it could be conveyed to the curriers premises, without druing to ascertain the suty, I have no doubt whatever that leather would be better in wear, and in every respect far more than the duty is, because the dryuing of the leather, even if it is done ever so carefully, does in my opinion injure the staple; and as a great deal is died it injures it very materially indeed, for if you take and bend it with your thumb and finger (some leather) it will snap and crack the same as you may have seen harness that flies when it has been worn; if it went into the currier without being dried, there would be the proof in every way. Though this injury done, when the duty in Queen Anne's reign was first laid on, might not, when leather was much lower than it is now, signify; yet now the smallest injury done, at the present price of leather, makes a very considerable difference. Therefore my opinion decideedly is, that if the whole duty was taken off, it would be a great national advantage:- or if the hide could be stamped in its wet state, instead of its dry one, there would be no necessity for that drying, which now takes place, and there would be more strength in the leather.
All tanners must be regulated sooner or later by the Leadenhall market, for if a tanner in Nothampton, or anywhere else, attempts to raise his price, the shoemaker or currier will send to Leadenall market; and as our rpices throughout the kingdom are regulated by Leadenhall market, though a person on account of locality, or some other circumstance, having his connections round about him in a circumscribed sphere, may charge more, but if leather had risen a penny in a pound more than it has, I should not think we were recompensed for the tax.

This means that Samuel Beddome of Love Lane, tanner was reputable, since he is giving evidence before a Select Committe of Parliament. The evidence is clear and well-reasoned. If he is my ancestor, then his brother-in-law, Samuel Favell, was a councillor of Aldgate, and a reformist politician. This evidence is just about a tax on leather, but Samuel Beddome is not afraid to talk to politicians. Perhaps his brother-in-law helped him!

There is a final reference to Samuel Beddome, tanner, dated July 20 1839: Letter to the Mechanics Magazine - "Sir - In the year 1812, the late Mr. Alaxander Moody, an extensive paper maker at Hawley Mills, near Dartford, in Kent, entered a caveat for a new mode of preparing hides for soliers' accoutrements, ... Having inspected the hides in comapny with the late Mr. Beddome, tanner, I feel no hesitation in saying, supported as I am by that gentleman's superior testimony, that Mr. Moody's new method of manufacturing buff leather was an evident improvement up on the old one..." 1839 is very late, long after Samuel Beddome had died, but it refers to 1812, which is shortly before Samuel Beddome died. He is obviously being deferrred to as an known expert on leather - "that gentleman's superior testimony".

Holy Trinity, Clapham Holy Trinity, Clapham

I find this Samuel Beddome an attractive character and would like him as an ancestor. I admire anyone who learns his craft well and uses his expertise to advise others. However, perhaps the job of tanner was considered by the family not genteel enough, which is why they suppressed all references to his work!

At the time of his marriage, Samuel Beddome was living the parish of St Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, Surrey. The parish boundary runs just north of Snowsfields, which is the south edge of the Maze Pond Complex, where the Beddome family worshipped. He must have remained in the area until some time after 1793, as his daughter Jane Reynolds was baptised at Maze Pond, but the next child, Richard Boswell was baptised elsewhere, probably in Clapham. The will of Samuel's father, Rev. Benjamin Beddome says "I give to my son Samuel and his Heirs for ever All my lands Tenements Barns etc. by whatever Tenure I hold them in Bourton Coldaston Clapton or any other place whatsoever." Samuel Beddome must have moved to the house in Clapham soon afterwards. He attended Holy Trinity Church, where the following children were married: 1804, Mary Ann; 1809, Elizabeth; 1815 Jane Reynolds; 1824 Richard Boswell. This is notable, as Holy Trinity is Church of England, if 'low church'. Samuel's brother, Boswell Brandon Beddome stayed a Baptist and Samuel Favell did as well, which is another reason to suppose that Favell's partner was Boswell rather than Samuel. It's tempting to wonder if a coolness developed between the brothers.

From the Times, Saturday, Dec 30, 1815:
DIED. Suddenly, at his house at Clapham, Surrey, on Thursday, the 28th inst: Samuel Beddome, Esq, aged 60.

Wife and Children

Wife: On 6 Sep 1781, he married Jane Wilkins, in Cirencester. See the Wilkins family.

Mary Ann21 Jun 17821804 William Billingsafter 1815
Elizabeth24 Jun 17831809 Rev. John Charlesworth (1782-1864)1869
Benjamin04 Oct 17841813 Elizabeth Lancaster1860
Samuel Archdale19 Aug 17911814 in Southwark
Jane Reynolds 16 Mar 17931815 George Stephensonafter 1872
Britannia1795after 1815
Richard Boswell17961824 Maria Brown (1792-1871)1881

Elizabeth, Jane Reynolds, Benjamin, Samuel Archdale and Mary Ann have birth records saying that they were born at Maze Pond Baptist, Southwark. The book about Maria Charlesworth (Richard's daughter) says that Richard was born in Clapham.

A son of Benjamin Beddome emigrated to Australia.

The Will of Samuel Beddome written in 1815 talks of his six childrem, with three married. These would be Mary Ann, Elizabeth and Benjamin. The three unmarried are named as son Richard and daughters Jane and Britannia. Jane in fact gets married in 1815, but presumably later. Britannia is not as well documented as the other children, but the will is good enough documentation!

Elizabeth's son, Rev. Samuel Charlesworth, and Richard's daughter, Maria Beddome, married each other, so both are my ancestors.

The will of Richard Boswell Beddome says "I have not forgotten my blessed and beloved and only surviving sister Jane Stevenson, one of God's choice ones on this Earth. She having ample means of her own, I only leave her one hundred pounds sterling as a token of love and affection, but, had she needed it I would have left her thousands."

The Wilkins Family

There are some interesting dates connected with Samuel Beddome and his wife. The quotes (in italics) are taken from "Pictures of the Past: The history of the Baptist Church, Bourton-on-the-water", by Thomas Brooks, publishd 1861 (there are some extracts here).

1739His father, Benjamin Beddome, moves to London (from Britol) to study, and then moves to become Baptist minister in Bourton-on-the-water for the rest of his life.
1743Benjamin Beddome becomes Baptist minister in Bourton-on-the-water for the rest of his life.
1777In the year 1777, when Mr. Benjamin Beddome had attained his sixtieth year, it became necessary to procure for him some assistance in his ministerial labours; and the church, at his suggestion, obtained an assistant, or co-pastor, in the Rev. William Wilkins, of Cirencester. This gentleman had studied sometime in the Bristol Academy, and afterward completed his education in Scotland. He entered upon his stated services at Bourton, August 3, 1777, and from that time to Midsummer, 1792, the labours and emoluments of the pastorate were equally divided between him and Mr. Beddome. A plurality of ministers is not always the most conducive to the comfort of the parties most deeply interested. It is, therefore, pleasing to find that for the most part, the pastors in this case laboured together with cordiality and comfort.
1781Samuel Beddome (son of Benjamin) married Jane Wilkins, in Cirencester. He was living in Bermondsey (London) at the time. Their first children were baptised in the Baptist chapel of Maze Pond in Southwark.
1786Boswell Brandon Beddome (son of Benjamin) married Anne Wilkins.
1792Mr. Wilkins's connection with the church terminated at Midsummer, 1792. This was his own act, of which he gave the church notice in December, 1791. "My reasons," said he, "no one needs to ask who reflects, nor shall I give them any farther; 'tis not without reluctance I have come to this decision." We will not, therefore, enquire into the causes of uneasiness, for if we did, we should get no answer.
1792In 1792 he [Benjamin Beddome] visited his children and friends in London, where he preached with undiminished acceptance.
1793Hewitt Fysh (junior partner in Beddome, Fysh & Co.) married Mary Wilkins, in Cirencester. When she died, "letters of administration granted March 1818, to Jane Beddome, widow, the natural and lawful sister".
1795Benjamin Beddome dies. His will says: I give to my son Samuel and his Heirs for ever All my lands Tenements Barns etc. by whatever Tenure I hold them in Bourton Coldaston Clapton or any other place whatsoever.
1795Richard Beddome (son of Samuel) born in Clapham. Samuel attends Holy Trinity church, Clapham (presumably C of E), and his children are later married there.
1812On the 1st of October, 1812, the Rev. William Wilkins was suddenly removed by death. He died at Bourton in the sixtieth year of his age, having been a minister of the gospel nearly 40 years. After the close of his ministry at Bourton, he preached for some years at Cirencester, and during the last few years of his life, had regularly supplied Stowe and Naunton.

Of course we mustn't jump to conclusions. But how tempting to wonder about the following!