My main purpose in writing the family history bits of this blog was to make the treasure trove of letters and other documents I inherited more widely available. These included
- Letters written before and during World War One, by my Grandfather, George Edward Lines
- Letters and diaries written by my Great Aunt, Margaret Box from when she was nursing with the Elsie Inglis unit of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in Serbia and Salonica at the tail end of the First World War
- Articles about some artefacts, such as the ship’s bell of the Kishon, or the fruit knife which belonged to Robert Bryson.
I research the background to these documents, which also include inherited family history research, using Internet searches, libraries and family history web sites.
Sometimes, as happens with a Soap Opera, where peripheral characters in one programme can become the central character in their own series, a family stands out and deserves an article of their own. Such is the case with the Peardons.
Richard Peardon (~1791-1851) married Mary Braund (1796-1876) on 18th June 1818 in Lawhitton, where they lived with him working as a farm labourer until his death in the first quarter of 1851, as she is a widow by the 1851 Census.
Richard and Mary had 7 children, William (1819-1894), Richard (1825-1861), John(1826-?), George (1829-1888) , Thomas(1831-1881), Anne (1835-1912) and Henry (1837-?).
In the 1841 Census, when John Box, Clock and Watch maker is living at New Exeter Road,.Launceston, his neighbour on one side is Samuel Smith who was a Mason (as in a stone worker), and then Richard and Mary Peardon (nee Braund), and their children, apart from John, who is with John Box as his apprentice.
John Box’s wife was Elizabeth Braund, sister of Mary Braund, Also living in the Box household was John Joseph Braund (1833-1900), her nephew, son of her brother John Braund.
Watch and clock makers
John Peardon (1826-)
In the 1841 Census John Box, Watch and Clockmaker of Launceston has John Peardon aged 15, so born about 1826, as his apprentice.
By the 1851 Census, John Peardon was living in Hackney, in the household of Watch Manufacturer called Edward Sanders, and John was a Watchmaker Examiner.
He married Harriet Walker on 12th Febrary 1870 in the church of St John of Jerusalem, Hackey.
In 1871 John is living with his wife Harriet, at 39, Albert Road, St John at Hackney.
In 1881 John is a Widower, and Watch Manufacturer, living with his sister Annie at 39, Albert Road.
He is still living at 39, Albert Road in 1888, as he is on the Electoral Roll, but I can not find definitive records after that.
Richard Peardon (1825-1861)
In the 1861 Census (on 7th April) he was a Chronometer Maker, living at 27, Duncan Terrace, Islington, London, along with his younger brother Thomas. He died less than a week later, on 13th April, leaving his estate to his brother, William, at the same address (but who had not been in the Census), a Watch Manufacturer.
William Peardon (1819-1894)
Born in Lawhitton in Cornwall around 1819.
In the 1841 Census William Peardon is living with William Braund (Watch Maker aged 40), William Braun’s Wife and children and Rosina Williams. William Peardon (20) is presumably an apprentice and they are in Dartford, Kent.
By 1851 he is still in Dartford (aged 30) with the new widowed William Braund, is now a Watchmaker in his own right. Also in
In 1861, although he does not show up in the Census, he was presumably living at 27 Duncan Terrace with his brothers Richard and Thomas.
By 1871 he is a 52 year old Watchmaker, lodging at 3, Vincent Terrace, Islington.
By 1881, he is a 60 year old Watchmaker, lodging at 49, Noel Street, Islington.
In 1891 he is a 72 year old Retired Watchmaker, visiting George Waller (1833-1913), a mechanical engineer, who married Elizabeth Sim Braund, daughter of the WIlliam Braund that he (William Peardon) had been apprenticed to.
He died on 8th October 1894, leaving his effects of £15,126 to Henry Peardon, Gentleman.
Drapers and hosiers
George Peardon (1829-1888)
In the 1841 Census George Braund had George Peardon, as his apprentice, in Dartford, Kent
In 1861 he was living in Winchester, as a Hosier on High Street aged 32, single with a Housekeeper.
By 1871 George Peardon was a Hosier and Shirt maker at 59, High Street, Winchester.
He died, in Winchester, in 1888, leaving, in his original probate record of 1888, £22,553 7s 9d to his brother, William, of 50, Noel Street, Duncan Terrace, Islington. There is a second probate record of March 1913 leaving £1,105 15s 8d to Arthur Williams Box, Gentleman. It is tempting to think this is a Jarndyce & Jarndyce situation in which the legacy is swallowed by legal fees, but I think it more likely that there was something, such as a property with a sitting tenant, which could not be disposed of with the man assets, and if theses assets took until after 1894 to be available then William had died, and by 1913, so had all the other Peardon children.
Thomas Peardon (1831-?)
Thomas, was a Drapers Assistant to William R. Derry, Merchant and Alderman, of Broad Street, Launceston in the 1851 Census. By 1861 he had moved to London, to 27, Duncan Terrace, Islington, with his brother Richard, where he is a Hosier and Glover.
In 1871 he is living and working as a Hosier at 136, High Street, Marylebone, with is widowed mother, and sister Anne.
In 1881 he is a Retired Glover, sharing lodgings with Henry.
Henry Peardon (1837-?)
In 1841, he is living with rest of the family, and in 1851, aged 14 he is with his widowed mother and sister living in Tower Street, Launceston.
By the 1861 Census he has moved to Islington, where he is working, aged 24, as a Grocers’s Assistant to William G Vowles
From 1865 to at least 1880 he had a hosiery business at 25, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, as shown in business directories, and he is living there in the 1871 Census.
In 1881 he is living in lodgings at 21, Dorset Street, Marylebone along with Thomas.
He must have still been alive in 1894 as he inherited from his brother William, but I can’t find any references to him after that, so it is likely that he died before his sister, Anne, who died in 1912.
One Peardon child was neither a Watchmaker nor Draper, (though she was a Milliner) but still had, in the end, a connection with both the Box and Braund families
Anne Peardon (1835-1912)
The life Anne left on record was spent living with various relations.
In 1851 she is living with her widowed mother, Mary, and younger brother Henry (14 and a scholar), in Tower Street, Launceston. She is a Milliner.
In 1861 she is still living with her mother, and still a Milliner, but they have moved to 11, Chiswick Road, Acton Green, Brentford.
In 1871 she and her mother have moved to 136, High Street, Marylebone, with her brother Thomas, where he was in business as a Hosier.
In 1881 she is living with her widower brother John, the Watch Manufacturer in Albert Road Hackney.
I don’t know what happened to her between, presumably, the death of John, some time after 1888 and 1911, as I can’t find her in the 1891 or 1901 Census’s
In the 1911 Census she is living with her cousin, Arthur WIlliams Box, and his wife, Elwina, in Brondesbury. As well as Charlotte, a general domestic servant, Julia Tearle – a ‘Sick Nurse’ is living there. That is because Anne is shown on the Census as ‘feeble minded’.
She died on 27th August 1912. A letter from my Great Aunt Rose to my mother tells us that my Grandfather, Leonard Box, went to Cornwall to trace her next of kin, and her probate record shows that she left £13,898 to George Percival Braund, Hosiery Manufacturer.
End of the line
Anne was the last surviving child of Richard Peardon and Mary Braund. Although her brother John had married his wife died before they had any children.
All of the children had, however left a rural life of agricultural labour, and learned trades as watchmakers or hosiers, run their own businesses and gone out into the world.