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William Finnis WATKINS, Sr.

Male Bef 1808 - 1889  (> 81 years)


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  • Name William Finnis WATKINS 
    Suffix Sr. 
    Born Bef 5 Jun 1808  Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Christened 5 Jun 1808  Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 29 Oct 1889  Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Probate 27 Dec 1889  Principal Probate Registry Find all individuals with events at this location 
    London, England 
    Buried St. Mary's Church Burial Ground, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • (1) England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 [database online], Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014:

      Name: William Fennis Watkins
      Gender: Male
      Baptism Date: 5 Jun 1808
      Baptism Place: Westerham, Kent, England
      Father: William Watkins
      Mother: Elizabeth
      FHL Film Number: 1469268
      Reference ID: Item 8

      (2) "The Swan Brewery," in "Westerham's War Factory" <http://www.visitwesterham.org.uk/images/documents/thesterlingworks-1.pdf>:

      The earliest reference to the Swan was on the 11th of October 1720 when John Wickham got a lease from the Reverend George Lewis for a building 'in use as a malt house'. It would seem that it continued as a malt house until 1795 when Edward Finniss converted it to a brewery. Edward Finniss's nephew William Edward Watkins actually ran the brewery and when he died in 1822 his eldest son William Finniss Watkins took control. 50 years later William Finniss Watkin's son John was the active partner in W Watkins and Son. The firm was clearly in financial difficulties by the 1870's but they carried on in a quiet way and when in 1889 William Finniss Watkins died at the age of 80 he bequeathed to his son John 'all the fixed plant used in the carrying on of our business of brewers, maltsters and mineral water manufacturers'.

      On the13th of June 1891 John and his wife Ruth laid the foundation stone for a 78 foot high chimney adjacent to the Swan premises on land that was to eventually become the Sterling factory. It must be assumed that they were expanding their premises to meet the growing threat from the Black Eagle Brewery at the other end of the town, however in spite of this they were not able to resist the pressure and in 1897 sold out to the Black Eagle. The Swan Brewery was immediately closed but the malt house continued in use 'for some time'. Some accounts for 1901 show 'repairs to Swan Malt house'.

      For some years the brewery continued in use as a vinegar brewery but whether this was in the old Swan or the new part constructed by John Watkins we do not know. We do know that a company called the Kent Vinegar Brewery Company Ltd operated the vinegar works.

      (3) A household headed by William WATKINS is listed in the 1841 census of Westerham, Kent, England.

      William is listed in the 1841 census as a maltster who was then 30 years of age; therefore, according to the 1841 census, he was born in about 1811. However, because of the way ages were rounded in the 1841 census, he could have then been as old as 34 years of age. According to the 1841 census, he was born in Kent, England.

      Listed with William is his wife, Ann, who was then 25 years of age; therefore, according to the 1841 census, she was born in about 1816. However, because of the way ages were rounded in the 1841 census, she could have then been as old as 29 years of age. According to the 1841 census, she was not born in Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is his son, William, who was then 7 years of age; therefore, according to the 1841 census, he was born in about 1834. According to the 1841 census, he was born in Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is his son, Charles, who was then 5 years of age; therefore, according to the 1841 census, he was born in about 1836. According to the 1841 census, he was born in Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is his son, John, who was then 3 years of age; therefore, according to the 1841 census, he was born in about 1838. According to the 1841 census, he was born in Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is his son, Edward, who was then 1 year of age; therefore, according to the 1841 census, he was born in about 1840. According to the 1841 census, he was born in Kent, England.

      * * *

      The 1841 Census for England was taken on the night of 6 June 1841. The following information was requested:

      • Name of street, avenue, road, etc.
      • House name or number
      • Surname of head of household
      • Name of persons who had spent the night in the household
      • Age*
      • Sex
      • Person's occupation
      • Where born**

      *The ages of people over 15 years old were usually rounded down to the nearest 5 years. For example, someone who was actually 24 years would have their age listed as 20, and someone who was actually 27 years old would have their age listed as 25.

      **The "Where Born" column only asked two questions - 1) whether born in same county, and 2) whether born in Scotland, Ireland, or Foreign Parts. Possible answers and abbreviations to question #1 include: Yes (Y), No, (N), or Not Known (NK). For question #2, the following abbreviations were used: Scotland (S), Ireland (I), and Foreign Parts (F).

      Enumeration forms were distributed to all households a couple of days before census night and the household members were required to complete the forms themselves. The next day, the enumerators collected the completed forms. All responses were to reflect the individual's status as of 6 June 1841 for all individuals who had spent the night in the house. People who were traveling or living abroad were enumerated at the location where they spent the night on census night. All of the details from the individual forms were later sorted and copied into enumerators' books, which are the records we can view images of today. The original householders schedules from 1841 to 1901 were destroyed.

      The clerks who compiled and reviewed the census data made a variety of marks on the returns. Unfortunately, many of these tally marks were written over personal information and some fields, such as ages, can be difficult to read as a result. More useful marks include a single slash between households within a building and a double slash separating households in separate buildings.

      A major problem with the 1841 census is that it was written in pencil rather than pen. This has resulted in many faded pages which have proved unreadable on microfilm.

      (3) A household headed by William Finnis WATKINS is listed in the 1851 census of Westerham, Kent, England. [His name is listed as William Furing WOLK in the index to the 1851 census.] [Note by compiler: The census enumerator's handwriting is hard to read, and the compiler is not certain that he has read it correctly.]

      William is listed in the 1851 census as a brewer and maltster who was then 42 years of age; therefore, according to the 1851 census, he was born in about 1809. According to the 1851 census, he was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Listed with William is his wife, Anne, who was then 36 years of age; therefore, according to the 1851 census, she was born in about 1815. According to the 1851 census, she was born in Redcar, Yorkshire, England.

      Also listed with William is his son, Charles Henry, a brewer who was then 15 years of age; therefore, according to the 1851 census, he was born in about 1836. According to the 1851 census, he was born in Westerham, Kent, England. [His first name is listed as Charse in the index to the 1851 census.]

      Also listed with William is his son, John, a nurseryman who was then 13 years of age; therefore, according to the 1851 census, he was born in about 1838. According to the 1851 census, he was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is his son, Edward, who was then 11 years of age; therefore, according to the 1851 census, he was born in about 1840. According to the 1851 census, he was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is his son, George, who was then 9 years of age; therefore, according to the 1851 census, he was born in about 1842. According to the 1851 census, he was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is his daughter, Ann, who was then 7 years of age; therefore, according to the 1851 census, she was born in about 1844. According to the 1851 census, she was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is his son, Frank, who was then 3 years of age; therefore, according to the 1851 census, he was born in about 1848. According to the 1851 census, he was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is Catherine STAMP, who was then 28 years of age; therefore, according to the 1851 census, she was born in about 1823. According to the 1851 census, she was born in Redcar, Yorkshire, England.

      [Note by compiler: Catharine STAMP was probably related to William's wife, whose maiden name was STAMP. A Catharine STAMP is listed In "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," as having been christened on 31 Mar 1825 in Marske, Yorkshire, which is located near Redcar.]

      Also listed with William are 3 apparently unrelated agricultural laborers.

      * * *

      The 1851 Census for England was taken on the night of 30 March 1851. The following information was requested:

      • Name of street, place, road, etc.
      • House number or name
      • Name of each person that had spent the night in that household
      • Relationship of person enumerated to the head of the family
      • Person's marital status
      • Age at last birthday (sex is indicated by column in which age is recorded)
      • Person's rank, profession, or occupation
      • Person's place of birth (if outside of England or Wales, only the country may be given)
      • Whether blind, deaf, or idiot

      Enumeration forms were distributed to all households a couple of days before census night and the household members were required to complete the forms themselves. The next day, the enumerators collected the completed forms. All responses were to reflect the individual's status as of 30 March 1851 for all individuals who had spent the night in the house. People who were traveling or living abroad were enumerated at the location where they spent the night on census night. All of the details from the individual forms were later sorted and copied into enumerators' books, which are the records we can view images of today. The original householders schedules from 1841 to 1901 were destroyed.

      The clerks who compiled and reviewed the census data made a variety of marks on the returns. Unfortunately, many of these tally marks were written over personal information and some fields, such as ages, can be difficult to read as a result. More useful marks include a single slash between households within a building and a double slash separating households in separate buildings.

      (4) A household headed by William F. WATKINS is listed in the 1861 census of Westerham, Kent, England.

      William is listed in the 1861 census as a malster and brewer who was then 52 years of age; therefore, according to the 1861 census, he was born in about 1809. According to the 1861 census, he was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Listed with William is his wife, Ann, who was then 50 years of age; therefore, according to the 1861 census, she was born in about 1811. According to the 1861 census, she was born in Redcar, Yorkshire, England.

      Also listed with William is his son, John, a brewer who was then 23 years of age; therefore, according to the 1861 census, he was born in about 1838. According to the 1861 census, he was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is his daughter, Ann Elizabeth, who was then 17 years of age; therefore, according to the 1861 census, she was born in about 1844. According to the 1861 census, she was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is his son, Frank, who was then 14 years of age; therefore, according to the 1861 census, he was born in about 1847. According to the 1861 census, he was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is his daughter, Rebecca, who was then 6 years of age; therefore, according to the 1861 census, she was born in about 1844. According to the 1861 census, she was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is an apparently unrelated household servant.

      * * *

      The 1861 Census for England was taken on the night of 7 April 1861. The following information was requested:

      • Name of street, avenue, road, etc.
      • House name or number
      • Whether property vacant or inhabited
      • Surname of head of household
      • Name of persons who had spent the night in the household
      • Relationship of enumerated person to head of house
      • Person's marital status
      • Age at last birthday (gender indicated by column in which age is recorded)
      • Person's occupation
      • Person's place of birth
      • Whether blind, deaf, or idiot

      Enumeration forms were distributed to all households a couple of days before census night and the household members were required to complete the forms themselves. The next day, the enumerators collected the completed forms. All responses were to reflect the individual's status as of 7 April 1861 for all individuals who had spent the night in the house. People who were traveling or living abroad were enumerated at the location where they spent the night on census night. All of the details from the individual forms were later sorted and copied into enumerators' books, which are the records we can view images of today. The original householders schedules from 1841 to 1901 were destroyed.

      (5) A household headed by William F. WATKINS is listed in the 1871 census of Westerham, Kent, England.

      William is listed in the 1871 census as a malster and brewer who was then 62 years of age; therefore, according to the 1871 census, he was born in about 1809. According to the 1871 census, he was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Listed with William is his daughter, Rebecca, who was then 16 years of age; therefore, according to the 1871 census, she was born in about 1855. According to the 1871 census, she was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is his daughter, Ann Elizabth BATES, who was then 27 years of age; therefore, according to the 1871 census, she was born in about 1844. According to the 1871 census, she was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is Sarah Watkins LOCKYER, a servant who was then 18 years of age; therefore, according to the 1871 census, she was born in about 1853. According to the 1871 census, she was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is Elizabeth ECKENDEN, a servant who was then 38 years of age; therefore, according to the 1871 census, she was born in about 1833. According to the 1871 census, she was born in Sundridge, Kent, England.

      Also listed with William is his grandson, Fredk. Willm. BATES, who was then 1 year of age; therefore, according to the 1871 census, he was born in about 1870. According to the 1871 census, he was born in Redcar, Yorkshire, England.

      * * *

      The 1871 census for England was taken on the night of 2 April 1871. The following information was requested:

      • Address (name of the street, avenue, or road; house number)
      • Occupant (name of each person who spent the night in the house; their birthplace and relationship to head of family)
      • Residence (whether home was inhabited; number of rooms occupied)
      • Personal (sex, age, marital status)
      • Occupation (whether employer, employee, or neither)
      • Health (whether blind, deaf, dumb, imbecile, idiot, or lunatic)

      Enumeration forms were distributed to all households a few days before the census night and the household members were required to complete the forms themselves. The next day, the enumerators collected the completed forms. All of the details from the individual forms were later sorted and copied into enumerators' books, which are the records we can view images of today. The original householders schedules from 1841 to 1901 were destroyed.

      (6) A household headed by Wm. Finnes WATKINS is listed in the 1881 census of Westerham, Kent, England.

      Wm. is listed in the 1881 census as a brewer and malster who was then 72 years of age; therefore, according to the 1881 census, he was born in about 1809. According to the 1881 census, he was born in Westerham, Kent, England.

      Also listed with Wm. is an apparently unrelated housekeeper.

      * * *

      The 1881 British Isles Census was taken on the night of 3 April 1881. The following information was requested:

      • Name of street, avenue road, etc.
      • House number or name
      • Whether or not the house was inhabited
      • Number of rooms occupied if less than five
      • Name of each person that had spent the night in that household
      • Relationship of person enumerated to the head of the family
      • Each person's marital status
      • Age at last birthday (sex is indicated by which column the age is recorded in)
      • Each person's occupation
      • Person's place of birth
      • Whether deaf and dumb, blind, imbecile or idiot, or lunatic.

      Enumeration forms were distributed to all households a couple of days before census night and the complete forms were collected the next day. All responses were to reflect the individual's status as of 3 April 1881 for all individuals who had spent the night in the house. People who were traveling or living abroad were enumerated at the location where they spent the night on census night. All of the details from the individual forms were later sorted and copied into enumerators' books, which are the records we can view images of today. The original householders schedules from 1841 to 1901 were destroyed.

      (7) England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1837-1915 [database online], Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006:

      Name: William Finnias Watkins
      Estimated birth year: abt 1808
      Registration Year: 1889
      Registration Quarter: Oct-Nov-Dec
      Age at Death: 81
      Registration district: Sevenoaks . . .
      Inferred County: Kent
      Volume: 2a
      Page: 356

      (8) England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 [database online], Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010:

      Name: William Finniss Watkins
      Death Date: 29 Oct 1889
      Death Place: Kent, England
      Probate Date: 27 Dec 1889
      Probate Registry: Principal Registry

      WATKINS William Finniss.
      Personal Estate £10,304 7s. 8d.

      27 December. The Will of William Finniss Watkins late of Westerham in the County of Kent Brewer Maltster and Mineral Water Manufacturer who died 29 October 1889 at Westerham was proved at the Principal Registry by John Watkins of Westerham Brewer Maltster and Mineral Water Manufacturer the Son and Joseph Couldery of 5 Sloane-terrace Ferry-road Rye in the County of Sussex Bank Clerk the Executors.

      (9) Gravestone Photographic Resource <http://www.gravestonephotos.com/public/cemeterynamelist.php?cemetery=2467&limit=601>:

      St Mary's Church burial ground, Westerham, Kent, England:

      No.: 610
      Family Surname: Watkins
      Full Name: William Finniss Watkins
      Birth Year: 1808
      Burial Year: 1898
      Age: 81
      Image Name: id: 4029
      GPR ref.: 339666
      View No: 1094
      Request No.:
    Person ID I46685  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 16 Sep 2020 

    Father William Edward WATKINS,   b. 26 Jun 1779, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Oct 1821, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 42 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Elizabeth INGRAMS,   b. 1781, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 May 1847, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 20 Nov 1804  Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F27131  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Ann STAMP,   b. Abt 1811, Redcar, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Oct 1868, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 57 years) 
    Married 26 Dec 1832  St. George the Martyr, Southwark, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Children 
     1. William Finnis WATKINS, Jr.,   b. Bef 1 Dec 1833, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 1 Jul and 30 Sep 1850, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     2. Charles Henry WATKINS,   b. Bef 12 Jul 1835, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 1 Jan and 31 Mar 1858, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     3. John WATKINS,   b. Bef 20 Aug 1837, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Jun 1920, Sevenoaks, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 82 years)  [natural]
     4. Edward WATKINS,   b. Bef 29 Mar 1840, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1869, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 28 years)  [natural]
     5. George WATKINS,   b. Bef 1 May 1842, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 1 Jul and 30 Sep 1866, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     6. Ann Elizabeth WATKINS,   b. Bef 6 Aug 1843, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     7. Mary Rosaline WATKINS,   b. Bef 28 Sep 1845, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 1 Apr and 30 Jun 1850, Westerham. Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     8. Frank WATKINS,   b. Bef 25 Dec 1847, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 1 Apr and 30 Jun 1866, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     9. Arthur WATKINS,   b. Bef 17 Aug 1851, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 1 Jan and 31 Mar 1871, Westerham. Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     10. Rebecca WATKINS,   b. Bef 9 Mar 1855, Westerham. Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
    Last Modified 16 Sep 2020 
    Family ID F27130  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Swan Brewery
    Swan Brewery

  • Sources 
    1. Citation Text: (1) England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973 [database online], Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014: Name: William Finniss Watkins Gender: Male Marriage Date: 26 Dec 1832 Marriage Place: Saint George The Martyr, Southwark, Surrey,England Spouse: Ann Stamp FHL Film Number: 307694.