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James MARCHANT, Sr.

Male Abt 1740 - Bef 1812  (~ 72 years)


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  • Name James MARCHANT 
    Suffix Sr. 
    Born Abt 1740 
    Gender Male 
    Will 12 Feb 1811  Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Codicil 23 Jan 1812  Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation Miller 
    Died Bef 3 Mar 1812  Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Probate 3 Mar 1812  Prerogative Court of Canterbury, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • (1) Sutton, Roger, "The Marchant Family, Millers of Cowden and Westerham," Journal of the North West Kent Family History Society, Vol. 12, No. 2 (June 2010), pp. 69-70:

      It was probably before . . . [1783] that Joseph MARCHANT's grandson, James MARCHANT (1740-1812) moved to Westerham, Kent. He married Ann BALCOMB on 17 October 1771 at St Peter & St Paul, Lingfield. He may have remained at Hedgecourt Mill for the early years of his marriage. Ann BALCOMB was to die prematurely, although the date of her death has not been established. What is known is that James MARCHANT married his second wife, Mary MARCHANT, by licence, on 20 January 1782 at St Mary the Virgin, Westerham. It is not known whether the bride and groom were related. MARCHANT is a French surname and it is particularly common in this part of Kent and nearby Surrey and Sussex. By 1782 James MARCHANT must have been living in Westerham between 1782 and 1804 as he served on the Grand Jury on seven occasions.

      It is clear that the move to Westerham proved to be very profitable for James MARCHANT. His Will was proved on 3 March 1812. His wife Mary MARCHANT inherited £4,000 and the Malt House, two Cottages, a Barn, a Stable and all other Buildings. Other members of the family inherited, in total, a sum in excess of £4,000.

      My ancestor, Ann MARCHANT (1773-1845), who was the daughter of Ann BALCOMB, inherited £1,000, Her husband Thomas TURNEY (1766-1843), Carpenter of The Green, Westerham, inherited £500. No record of the marriage of Thomas TURNEY and Ann MARCHANT has been found, it was only because both the TURNEY family and the MARCHANT family left Wills that the marriage between the two individuals was established. Wills are always an important source of information.

      It is highly probable that the death of James MARCHANT brought an immediate end to the MARCHANT family's involvement with Water Milling in Westerham as both of James MARCHANT's sons died before their father. James MARCHANT [Jr.], Miller of Westerham, married Elizabeth FRANCIS on 4 February 1802; some of the FRANCIS family were Gentry. His Will was proved on 24 April 1806. Both his children were daughters, Elizabeth MARCHANT and Mary Ann MARCHANT; and the latter was to die in January 1821 aged 16 years. The other son [of Joseph MARCHANT, Sr.] was Joseph MARCHANT who died on 13 June 1807 aged only 20 years. There was, therefore, nobody left to run the business.

      NOTE: I think it is fairly likely that the family originated in Withyham East Sussex. Then there is a sighting in Cowden, Kent. For several generations the family was at Hedgecourt Mill, Mill Lane, Felbridge. Their stay in Westerharn, Kent, was quite a short duration compared with the lengthy association with Felbridge, Surrey.

      (2) Hedgecourt Watermill & Cottages, Copyright © 2010 Felbridge & District History Group & JustHost.com <http://www.felbridge.org.uk>:

      In October 1739, James Marchant, the son of Joseph, took out a sixty-year lease with William Clayton of Marden, for six acres of Hedgecourt Heath in Horne on which to build a windmill. This piece of land was a small promontory at the southeast corner of Hedgecourt Millpond, visible to the south from Hedgecourt watermill. As a point of interest, the millpond bay is the dividing line between the parishes of Godstone, in which the watermill was located and Horne in which the windmill was located, the distance between the two buildings a matter of a few hundred yards! Thus in 1739, Joseph and James Marchant were operating both the wind and water mill, although by 1742 the general accounts for the manor of Hedgecourt record that James Marchant was paying £25 per annum for the watermill at Hedgecourt, implying that Joseph, his father, was no longer milling and that James was probably operating both the wind and water mills at Hedgecourt.

      In 1743, there is an unexecuted lease between William Gage and James Marchant for a 'Watermill and mill house newly erected and built [probably referring to the 1701 building work] called Hedgecourt Mill with stones and all the goods, implements and tools thereunto belonging and 1 iron crow, 1 toolchest and 2 jacks, and also that flow of water or pond known as Hedgecourt Mill Pond, and also 1 other pond lying and being between Myllwood and Cuttinglyes commonly called of the Myllwood Pond and all passage and current of water from Myllwood Pond unto the said Hodgecourt which equals ½ mile and all those 2 parcels of land called Upper Floodgate Platt and Little Floodgate Platt, 5 acres, 1 parcel called Long Shaws, 6 acres, in Godstone, Horne and Worth in tenure and occupation of James Marchant'. The lease states that James Marchant should maintain 'all roads, water, watercourses, bays, banks, floodgates, troughs and stews' and that he was entitled to 'all timber and timber-like trees, lops and tops other than the lops and tops of old pollards and all young tellowes, stores and standells of oak, ash, elm and beech and quarries of stone, iron mine and other metals now standing, growing or being'. He was not permitted to prevent Gage entry to remove any trees, mine or stone as required. James Marchant was also allowed to 'fell, cut down, grub up, hew, saw, workout, load, cole, dig, draw, convert and carry away as long as little hurt is done to the corn and mowing grass as may be'. '[Marchant] at his or their own proper costs and charges will and sufficiently repair and maintain, sustain, uphold, scoure, clense, fence and keep the said mill, mill house and buildings and all the tools, implements and materials thereunto belonging and all the bays, gates, ground gutts, pen stocks, floodgates, troughs, bridges, millstones, mill wheels and other wheel coggs, binns and sluices and every matter and thing pertaining to the said mill or mills. Excepting the Upper Pond Bay to be kept by the said Gage in good repair. And the said Iron Crow, Toll Chest and 2 Jacks are to be surrendered back to Gage at the end of the term'.

      A few changes have been made to this lease compared to previous leases taken out on the watermill and mill house at Hedgecourt. Firstly, Myllwood Pond (Furnace Lake) and the stream leading from it to Hedgecourt Millpond have been incorporated into the lease. James Marchant is now also made responsible for the maintenance of 'roads', which have not featured in previous leases for the watermill. He is also entitled to some of the timber with permission to turn it into charcoal, a once essential fuel for the local iron industry. The incorporation of Myllwood Pond and permission to make charcoal reflects the decline in the local iron industry, in particular Warren furnace, the blast furnace, which had required the water from Myllwood Pond for its sustained operation. Although the responsibility of Myllwood Pond had passed to James Marchant, William Gage still undertook to maintain the 'Upper Pond Bay', the bay holding Myllwood Pond. It is also interesting to note that 'buildings' appear amongst the list of property and items James Marchant was responsible to 'repair and maintain', possibly implying that outbuildings had been built since 1723, the date of the previous lease.

      In October 1745, Edward Evelyn acquired the manor of Hedgecourt after the death of William Gage in 1744, at the cost of £8,260, and in 1747, there is a lease between Sir Francis Pool and Sir John Evelyn that refers to the' mill and Mill Land in the occupation of James Marchant with eleven acres in Godstone and several ponds of water called Furnace Pond and Mill Pond in Horne, Godstone and Worth, and Forge Pond in Godstone'. This confirms that James Marchant was still the miller at Hedgecourt and that the manor of Hedgecourt had passed from the Gage family to the Evelyn family who were to hold the manor until 1855. . . .

      The mid to late 1700's was a busy period for millers in Britain with the increase of productivity in farming due to revolutionary ideas that had spread from the continent, namely crop rotation. The Evelyn estate was no different and with nearly half its total acreage turned over to farming James Marchant must have been kept very busy at his mills. . . .

      James Marchant was still the miller of Hedgecourt in 1773, as at this date he was bequeathed 'all goods and furniture' by his brother Benjamin Marchant, a cooper and innkeeper of Cheam in Surrey. However, it is difficult to determine when James Marchant ceased the occupation of the watermill and mill house at Hedgecourt as the land tax records from between 1780 and 1801 lists only the current lord of the manor as paying the land tax on the mill. What is apparent is that in 1783, John Simmons took over the 1739 indenture on the windmill on Hedgecourt Heath suggesting that James Marchant had at least ceased milling from the windmill and possibly the watermill as well. It is also known that James Marchant was unlikely to have been succeeded by his son James at the watermill and mill house at Hedgecourt because James Marchant junior is recorded as being the miller of Westerham in Surrey in 1771, being joined by his son James until his early death in 1805, and remaining in Westerham until his own death some time between 1811 and 1812.

      (3) http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk:

      Will of James Marchant, late Miller of Westerham, Kent

      Reference: PROB 11/1531/32
      Description: Will of James Marchant, late Miller of Westerham, Kent
      Date [proved]: 03 March 1812
      Held by: The National Archives, Kew
      Legal status: Public Record

      This is the last Will and Testament of James Marchant late Miller of the parish of Westerham in the County of Kent ffirst I resign my Soul unto God who gave it Item I give unto my loving Wife Mary Marchant four thousand pounds Navy five per Cent Stock for her own use for ever after my decease Also I give unto my Wife Mary Marchant all the household Goods ffurniture plate Stock on hand and Money which shall or may be in the house and on the premises in my occupation at my decease for her own use for ever to do whatsoever she likes with without the Control of any Body Also I give and devise unto my Wife Mary Marchant for and during her natural life the possession of the house I now live in with the Malt House the Garden two Cottages the Barn Stable and all other Buildings thereunto belonging and all the profits as are arising or may arise from the said Estate without the control of any Body and after her decease the said Estate is to be valued for the use and benefit of all my Grandchildren in the same form and manner as my other Estates and Effects are expressed to be done in my Will for them on the sixth page of this my last Will the above Legacies are to take place immediately after my decease Item I give unto my Son in Law Thomas Turney of the parish of Westerham in the County of Kent Carpenter the sum of ffive hundred pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain to be paid unto him or his heirs within six Months after my decease Also I give unto my Daughter Ann Turney Wife of the said Thomas Turney the Interest of one thousand pounds Irish five pr. Cent Stock to be received by her or her order duing her life and from and after her death it is to go equal alike amongst the lawful heirs of her Body without the control of any husband or any Body else whatsoever they are to have the Interest until the youngest is of the age of twenty one years and they they are to have the Principal equal alike for their own use for ever but if any of the above Children die before they are of the age of twenty one years the deceased part is to be equally divided amongst the surviving Brothers and Sisters this is to take place at six Months after my decease Item I give unto my Son in Law Robert Day of the parish of Westerham in the County of Kent Millwright the sum of four hundred pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain to be paid unto him or his heirs within six Months after my decease Also I give unto my Daughter Mary Day the Wife of the said Robert Day the Interest of one thousand pounds Irish five pr. Cent Stock to be received by her or her order during her life and from and after her decease it is to go equal alike amongst the lawful heirs of her Body without the Control of any husband or any Body else whatsoever they are to have the Interest until the youngest is twenty one years of age and then they are to have the Principal equal alike for their own use for ever but if any of the above Children die before they are of the age of twenty one years the deceased part is to be equally divided amongst the surviving Brothers and Sisters this is to take place at six Months after my decease Item I give unto my Grandaughter Mary Dartnall now living with me seven hundred pounds Irish five pr. Cent Stock the Interest of it after my death is to be applied for her maintenance and learning until she is twenty five years of age by the Executors of this my last Will and when she is of the age of twenty years she is to have it herself that is the Interest of the seven hundred pounds Irish five pr. Cent Stock during her life to take the Interest herself or her order but if the said Mary Dartnall should have any lawful heirs from her own Body they are to have the Interest alike after her decease for their own use for ever if Mary Dartnall should die without any lawful Issue from her own Body then the seven hundred pounds Stock is to come back to the heirs of my Body equal alike this to be paid the first half year after my decease for ever more by the Executors of this my last Will Item I give unto my two Granddaughters Elisabeth Marchant and Mary Ann Marchant five hundred pounds each in the four per Cent Consolidated Stock that is to have the Interest thereof the first half year after my decease by the Executors of this my last Will until the younger is twenty five years of age and when either is twenty five years of age they are to receive it themselves for their own use for ever without the Control of any husband or any Body else whatsoever but if either of them should die without lawful Issue from their own Body or before they are of the age of twenty five years then the deceased part is to go to the other but if they should both die before they are twenty five years of age or without a lawful heir from their own Body then the thousand pound Consolidated four pr. Cent Stock is to come back to the lawful heirs of my Body equally alike for ever Item I give to my Brother Joseph Marchant Yeoman one hundred pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain to be paid him within one year after my decease by the Executors of this my last Will Item I give unto my Son in Law John Dartnall ffifty pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain to be paid him by the Exors of this my last Will within one year after my decease Item I give unto James Winchester my Old Servant now living in the parish of Westerham in the County of Kent five Shillings per week to be paid him during his life weekly by the Executors of this my last Will but when the said James Winchester is dead the ffive Shillings pr. week is to cease being paid by them any longer it is to be paid within one Month after my decease to the said James Winchester if he is then living Item I give unto my Brother in Law William Marchant Cooper of the parish of Bramsted [Brasted?] the sum of one hundred pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain to be paid him within six Months after my decease by the Executors of this my last Will Item I give unto my Sister in Law Elisabeth Mumford of Carnaby Market London the Sum of one hundred pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain to be paid her within six Months after my decease by the Executors of this my last Will Item I give unto Mary Marchant my Niece now living with me the sum of one hundred pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain to be paid her within six Months after my decease by the Executors of this my last Will if she is then living Item I give unto Susannah Marchant my Niece Daughter of William Marchant of the parish of Brasted in the County of Kent Cooper the sum of one hundred pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain to be paid her within six Months after my decease by the Executors of this my last Will if she is then living Item I give to each and all of my Grandchildren that are living at my decease equal share and share alike that is to say all my Estates Effects and Property of every sort Lands Houses Money out at use and Money in the Bank of England all my Effects are to be valued after all the Legacies before given away are taken out and provided for with all the expences attending this Administration and every other expence whatsoever the valuation of my Effects is to take place within one year after my decease by the Administrators and heirs of this my last Will and each Grandchilds share is to be paid unto him or her to be put out to use for their ffriends or their Trust until each of them is twenty five years of age they are to receive it themselves for their own use for ever but if one or more of them should die before they are of the age of twenty five years or without a lawful heir from their own Body then his or her part is to be equally divided amongst all the others then living I now appoint my loving Wife Mary Marchant Thomas Turney my Son in Law Carpenter Robert Day my Son in Law Millwright and John Diplock Shopkeeper to be the joint Executors of this my last Will and Testament all of them now residing in the parish of Westerham in the County of Kent Lastly I do hereby revoke and make void all former Will and Wills by me at any time heretofore mad and published and declare this to be my last Will and Testament on seven pages of paper to each of which I have Signed my name and to this last page my hand and seal this twelfth day of ffebruary one thousand eight hundred and eleven.

      James Marchant L.S.

      Signed sealed published and declared as and for the last Will and Testament of the within named James Marchant in the presence of us who at his request in the Room where he then was and in the presence of each other did sign our names as Witnesses hereto.

      Tho. Whitmore
      Wm. Edwd. Watkins
      Andrew Wood

      [Codicil:]

      A Codicil to the Will of 2122 [?] James Marchant I give devise and bequeath unto my Son in Law Robert Day Millwright and his heirs for ever all that ffreehold Messuage Lands Malthouse and Premises together with all the Appurtenances thereunto belonging part of which is in my Occupation and part in the Occupation of the said Robert Day in the Parish of Westerham in the County of Kent commonly called or known by the name of Little Squiries [?] in Lieu of the four hundred pounds given to him in my Will Item all the rest and residue of my Real and Personal Estates ffreehold Copyhold and Leasehold Money in the ffunds Bills Bonds Book debts and all other my Estates and Effects whatsoever and wheresoever after my just debts ffuneral expences and Legacies heretofore are fully paid and discharged I give devise and bequeath unto all my Grandchildren share and share alike without a preference to any subject to the benefit of a survivor and it is my Will that an exact valuation of all my Estates and Effects shall be taken within six Months after my decease and shall be sold and disposed of at the best price that can be gotten for them and the Money arising therefrom to be placed out in the Public ffunds or other Government Security in the names of the Trustees hereinbefore named and to be paid to my said Grandchildren when they shall severally arrive at or attain the age of twenty and five years together with the accumulated Interest and benefit of survivor if any of my said Grandchildren should die before they arrive at the age of twenty and five years Dated the 23rd day of January 1812 Witness my hand and seal.

      Jas. Marchant L.S.

      Witness hereto Signed sealed published and declare as and for the Codicil to the last Will and Testament 2122 [?] James Marchant in the presence of us.

      John Smith
      Wm. Edwd. Watkins
      John Diplock
    Person ID I35903  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 3 Dec 2019 

    Family ID F15545  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Father Joseph MARCHANT, Sr. 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F15548  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Mary MARCHANT,   b. Abt 1760,   d. Bef 24 Dec 1815, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 55 years) 
    Married 20 Jan 1782  Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Joseph MARCHANT,   b. Abt 1787, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Jun 1807, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 20 years)  [natural]
     2. James MARCHANT, Jr.,   d. Bef 24 Apr 1806, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
    Last Modified 3 Dec 2019 14:47:11 
    Family ID F15541  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Ann BALCOMB 
    Married 17 Oct 1771  Lingfield, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Mary MARCHANT,   b. Abt 1778,   d. Bef 25 Sep 1832, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 54 years)  [natural]
     2. Elizabeth Exeter MARCHANT,   b. Abt 1774,   d. 18 Sep 1801  (Age ~ 27 years)  [natural]
     3. Ann MARCHANT,   b. Abt 1772,   d. Bef 23 Oct 1845, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 73 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 3 Dec 2019 14:47:11 
    Family ID F15550  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart