John Davis and Sarah Biddle

John Davis was born around 1750, probably in the London or Middlesex area.

St Botolph Aldgate, London Eng 1750

He married Sarah Biddle on 13 November 1768 at St Botolph Aldgate, London. Banns were called on 30 October, 6th and 13th of November.

Both parties state they were from this parish, and were a bachelor and spinster.

John didn’t sign, but made his mark on the marriage register entry, while Sarah signed her name. Elizabeth Charlton, Sarah Charlton, John Biddle and Henry Baldwin were the witnesses.

St Martin in the Fields

Sarah Biddle was born on 30 December 1736 in Westminster, London to parents William Biddle (1708-1779) and Mary Fellows (1708-1789). She was baptised on 27 Jan 1737 at St Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London.

Straddling the eastern boundary between the City of London and Middlesex, St Botolph Aldgate was a large and heavily populated parish. The parish suffered considerable poverty, disease and poor housing, but there was also a large minority of wealthier inhabitants, considerable poor relief and a high level of charitable giving.

John and Sarah had six children (match colors to see links) –

  1. Dinah born 1768 Westminster, died 1838 Bethnal Green, London. (can’t find baptism) Dinah married Samuel Renshaw in 1788 at St Mary Whitechapel. 6 children.
    1. Dinah’s parents (John and Sarah Davis) are confirmed by the mention of them on her children’s non conformists births which list their grandparents as John & Sarah Davis.
    2. Dinah’s daughter Eliza Renshaw b 1793 was a witness to the marriage of Samuel’s sister Ann Davis who married James Keech in 1823 in St Dunstans Stepney.
  2. Harriet born 16 Nov 1777, baptised 14 Dec 1777 St Botolph Aldgate. Possible daughter?
  3. John born 1776 bap 8 May 1776 Black Lyon Yard Whitechapel, died Nov 1792 New Sun Ct, Nightingale Lane, a child. Buried St Botolph Aldgate.
  4. Edward born 1777 Vine Court, Red Cross Street, Lower East Smithfield,, baptised 24 Jan 1777 St Botolph Aldgate, died 1816 Windmill St,Westminster. Buried St James Piccadilly, Middlesex (3 miles from East Smithfield). Married Ann Chappin 1791 St Anne Soho, Westminister. 3 children born in Upper East Smithfield.
  5. Samuel Samson born 1778, baptised 17 May 1778 St Leonards, Shoreditch, died 1832 4 Upper East Smithfield in the Cholera epidemic. Buried St Botolph Aldgate. (St Leonards is only 1 mile from Aldgate). Married Betty Holbrook St James, Paddington, Westminster 1803. 9 children.
  6. Sarah born 1779 Vine Court, Red Cross St, Lower East Smithfield, baptised Nov 1779 St Botolph Aldgate, died 1796 of Nightingale Lane, a child (aged 16).
  7. Ann born 1783, baptised 1783 St Botolph Without Aldergate, died 1840. (not sure if this is the correct baptism). Ann married James Keech (chemist of Deptford, Kent) on24 July 1823 at St Dunstans Stepney. The witness to their marriage is Eliza Renshaw mentioned above). Ann died May 1840 at 4 New King St, Deptford, Kent, aged 57. She was made guardian to her brother Samuel’s children in his 1832 will.

Two years after their marriage in 1770, John and Sarah were residing in Vine Court, St Boltolph Aldgate according to the London Tax records.

From 1777 to 1779 John and family were living at Vine Court Lower and Red Cross Street, according to their children’s baptisms.

Red Cross Street East Smithfield near St Catherine’s Docks

Other records that may relate to this John Davis –

  • East Smithfield directories
    1795 grocer in East Smithfield (directory)
    1796 blacksmith in East Smithfield (livery list)
  • London Tax Records – manor of East Smithfield
    1794-1796 – near Cartwright Street
    1799 – 1807 – Darby Street / later known as Cartright St
    1810 – 1811 – Burr Street 1826 – Upper East Smithfield Tea dealer and Grocer
    1824-1827 Upper East Smithfield

Sarah Davis died in July 1816 in Butlers Buildings, Upper East Smithfield, Aldgate, London aged 80 years. This is the residence of her son Samuel Samson Davis. (Several of his children were baptised with the address Butlers Buildings between 1807- 1814). She was buried on 7 July 1816 at St Botolph Aldgate (where her son Samuel and wife Betty would be buried in 1832).

Butlers Buildings Upper East Smithfield on Charles Booth London Poverty Map 1880

John Davis died just around the corner from Butlers Buildings, in Dock Street, Whitechapel in April 1828 aged 71. (Dock St runs off Upper East Smithfield). He was buried on 20 April 1828 at St Mary Whitechapel.

I’ve been unable to find a will or probate papers for John or Sarah.