Hercules Jameson and Sarah Jay

Hercules “Henry” William Jameson was born between 1788-1792 in Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. In some records (British Merchant Seaman register) his birthdate is given as 1 December 1792.

Lerwick, Scotland

His mother’s name was Jane according to Hercules British Royal Navy Allotment Declaration papers.

There is a Jane Jameson who died in Lerwick in 1843 aged 90 that could possibly be his mother.

By 5 July 1806 Hercules was serving aboard the British Royal Navy frigate ‘Spartan’.

Naval Service Entry Book of Certificates

HMS Spartan was a Royal Navy 38-gun fifth-rate frigate, launched at Rochester in 1806. During the Napoleonic Wars she was active in the Adriatic and in the Ionian Islands.

Hercules served aboard this ship until 20 September 1810.

British Merchant Seaman’s Register

In 1810, Spartan was operating off Naples and there fought and inconclusive engagement against a much larger Neapolitan squadron on 3 May, for which Captain Brenton was highly rewarded.

‘Spartan’ engaging the French in 1810

Hercules lost a leg in action (10 killed, 20 wounded) with the French in this battle per account of battle in this Naval Intelligence newspaper 1810. (The Scots Magazine Vol 72, 1810).

He appears in a list of Killed and Wounded aboard the “Spartan” in the Bay of Naples 3 May 1810 (London Gazette Issue 16392 page 1134 online).

On 11 August 1815 Hercules married 19 year old Sarah Jay at St Michael, Crooked Lane, London after the banns were read on the previous three Sundays.

Chelmsford Chronicle Newspaper 1 Oct 1784

Sarah was born in 1796 in Great Wakering, Essex to parents Thomas Jay (1776-1834), butcher and Sarah Ward (1779-1839). She was one of eight children born to the couple. She was baptised on 4 July 1796 at St Nicholas, Great Wakering.

Sarah’s grandfather also Thomas Jay (1751-1808), a butcher, and wife Susanna, lived in Southminster, Essex and in 1784 placed an ad in the Chelmsford Chronicle newspaper selling his furniture, house and butchers shop before they moved to the village of Great Wakering.

Sarah’s brother or cousin (no baptism found) Henry Jay, butcher of Great Wakering (son of Henry Jay, butcher) was convicted of sheep stealing in 1820 in Southend at the Essex Assizes with two other men.  The other two men (Thomas Fairhead and Henry Gilliott) were hanged, but Henry was sentenced to death, but had his sentence commuted to transportation.

Sheep Rustlers Hanged – In 1820 in Southend. Thomas Fairhead (23) a Southend butcher, Henry Gilliott (23) a shepherd from Temple Farm and Henry Jay (21) a butcher from Great Wakering, were convicted of stealing a sheep from Temple Farm, Prittlewell.  (England & Wales Criminal Registers 1791-1892).

Mary Isabella Stow (nee Jameson)

Hercules and Sarah had four living children –

  1. Mary Isabella born 1817 St Marylebone, London died 1899 Spotswood, Vic, Australia. Married Alexander Stow 1837 Greenwich, Kent. Immigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1857 “SS Kent”. 9 children.
  2. Hercules b 1827 North Marden, Sussex, died ‘lost at sea’. Hercules was baptised at North Marden on 18 Feb 1827. He was admitted to Greenwich Hospital School in Kent, on 26 Oct 1838, after his father lost a leg in the Bay of Naples.In 1841 he is attending the Royal Hospital School for Seamen, in Greenwich, aged 14.At the age of 15 he is indentured into the Merchant Navy for 6 years on the merchant vessel  “Judith Allan”. Seaman’s Ticket 26.359. In 1848 naval records record him as “DD” (discharged dead), lost at sea.
  3. Eliza born 1830 Beacon Hill, Sussex, baptised 31 oct 1830 North Marden. Married Giles Hutson, a saddler, 1850 Uxbridge, Middlesex. 11 children. Died Apr 1911 Eastbourne, Sussex.
  4. Hugh William born 1833, baptised 26 Sept 1833 Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland.

    Shetland Times 25 Sept 1886

    Educated Greenwich School Hospital, Kent with brother Hercules. 1851 manufacturing chemist in Bermondsey, Surrey. Married Elizabeth Smith 1858 St James, Bermondsey.

    1861 Insurance Clerk, Lambeth. 1871 bankers clerk Lambeth, 1881 commercial bankers clerk Romford, Essex. 1886 visited Lerwick (see newspaper excerpt).

    1891 Accountant Romford. Died 2 Aug 1895 Romford aged 61, buried Havering, Essex. Will 1895 leaving estate to wife Elizabeth.

So it appears after Hercules and Sarah married in 1815 in London, they stayed there for a few years before Mary moved to Sussex where their second child Hercules was born. By 1833 they had moved back to Lerwick, Scotland and their son Hugh was born there in September 1833.

Soon after in December 1833 the family was living in Greenwich, where Hercules was living as an out pensioner at the Greenwich Hospital after service in the Royal Navy.

British Royal Navy Pension Record 1833

Hercules, a seaman, had been discharged from the Royal Navy on 4 September 1834 aged 46 when he lost his left leg above the knee while serving aboard the ship ‘Spartan’ while engaging the French Squadron. His children were then aged Mary 17, Hercules 7, Eliza 4 and Hugh one year old baby. Click on the images below to read about the battle.

Unfortunately Hercules died on 31 March 1835 in the Greenwich Hospital aged 47 years. He was buried in the Greenwich Royal Navy Hospital Burial Ground in Romney Road, Devonport House.

Royal Navy Cemetery, Devonport House, Greenwich

The former burial ground of the Royal Hospital for Seamen is a railed area within the grounds of Devonport House, with a number of monuments outside the boundary railings.

The memorial reads – in memory of the gallant officers and men of the Royal Navy and Marines to the number of about twenty thousand, formerly inmates of the Royal Hospital Greenwich, whose remains were interred in this cemetery between the years 1749 and 1869.

The Devonport Mausoleum was built in 1750 and has a plaque recording the first burial in 1749; by the time the Hospital was closed in 1869 some 24,000 men and some women were buried here.

Sarah was left to look after her four children, with no income. Not surprisingly she remarried William Emmerton on 3 July 1837 at St Luke Old Street, Finsbury, London.

William was 30 years her senior having been born in 1776. He was stated to be living off independent means, probably a pension, as he made his will while residing as a pensioner at Greenwich Hospital.

19 Portland Street Walworth Surrey now Southwark

In the 1841 census William, Sarah and Sarah’s two youngest children Eliza aged 10 and  Hugh aged 7, were living together at 19 Portland Street, St Mary Newington, Surrey (now Southwark).

Unfortunately Sarah’s new husband, died a few years later aged 73 in April 1849 at Walworth in Surrey. He was buried at St Peters, Walworth on 11 April 1849.

In his will, he leaves two properties 10 East Lane and 19 Portland Street, Walworth, Surrey to his wife Sarah. Sarah’s son and my 3 x great grandfather Alexander Stow is appointed the executor and witness to the will.

In 1851, shortly after her husband’s death Sarah Emmerton, now aged 54, moves to live with her 17 year old son Hugh, and grandson Edward Stow, aged 3 at 16 Elizabeth Terrace, Bermondsey, Surrey. Strangely her son Hugh’s occupation is given as a manufacturing chemist although there is a chemist Mr William Samuel living next door) as he is a clerk and accountant in later census documents. Perhaps he served an apprenticeship and then changed professions, or perhaps the enumerator recorded his occupation incorrectly.

Blue Anchor Lane, Bermondsey South, East London

When Hugh married Elizabeth Smith in 1858, he gave his residence as Blue Anchor Road. His sister Eliza Hutson was a witness.

10 years later in 1861 Sarah is living in Hillingdon Heath, Middlesex now aged 61 and living on independent means.

Living with her is her granddaughter (by daughter Eliza) Kate Hutson aged 9, attending school.

Sarah died in July 1871 in Hillingdon aged 75 years. I’ve been unable to find her burial record.