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William Edward WATKINS

Male 1779 - 1821  (42 years)


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  • Name William Edward WATKINS 
    Born 26 Jun 1779  Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Christened 18 Jul 1779  St. Leonards, Shoreditch, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Will 14 Dec 1820  Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 26 Oct 1821  Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Probate 18 Apr 1822  Prerogative Court of Canterbury, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • (1) England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

      Name: William Edward Watkins
      Gender: Male
      Christening Date: 18 Jul 1779
      Christening Date (Original): 18 Jul 1779
      Christening Place: Saint Leonards, Shoreditch, London, England
      Birth Date: 26 Jun 1779
      Father's Name: David Watkins
      Mother's Name: Susanna

      (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) Will of William Edward Watkins, Malster of Westerham, Kent <https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D150648>:

      Reference: PROB 11/1656/151
      Description: Will of William Edward Watkins, Malster of Westerham, Kent
      Date [of probate]: 18 April 1822
      Held by: The National Archives, Kew
      Legal status: Public Record(s)
      Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Person ID I46687  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 16 Sep 2020 

    Father David WATKINS 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Susanna FINNIS 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 21 Feb 1770  St. Leonards, Shoreditch, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID F27146  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 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) 
    Married 20 Nov 1804  Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. William Finnis WATKINS, Sr.,   b. Bef 5 Jun 1808, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Oct 1889, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 81 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 16 Sep 2020 
    Family ID F27131  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Swan Brewery
    Swan Brewery

  • Sources 
    1. Citation Text: (1) England Marriages, 1538–1973: Name: David Watkins Spouse's Name: Susanna Finness Event Date: 21 Feb 1770 Event Place: Saint Leonards, Shoreditch, London, England.