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William & Ann Chapman Burials

        As the address at death in the burial register for the Ann Chapman buried on 6 Apr 1826 at St. Saviour's, Southwark was "Church Yard", there can be no doubt she has been correctly identified as the wife of William Chapman and mother of the five children baptised at Olave's between 1780 and 1790 1. It is known John and Elizabeth Raymond moved from Hatfield Street in Christ Church parish to the St. Saviour's church precinct in 1819 or 1820 and were living in Green Dragon Court very near the church when son Thomas Terry died in Nov. 1820. A year before Ann's death the 1825 Pigot's directory had their residence as in a street named Church Yard that adjoined the church where they remained until their respective deaths. After the Oct 1816 death of her husband it would be expected Ann would have moved in with one of her two surviving children. Clearly that was with John & Elizabeth at number 15 in that street. Ann's age of 78 as given in the register may have been a little on the high side as it calculates to a birth year of ca. 1748 and means her children were born when she was aged 32 to 42 years.
        Strongly suggesting the William Chapman buried at St. Saviour's on 5 Oct 1816 was her husband is that the date of the burial sits well with his the two months later will probate date of 3 Dec 1816 (the wills of son-in-laws John & Mead Raymond were both probated 2 months after their deaths). In the case of William, with property, leases and rent collections etc., there is no reason to expect the probate would not have proceeded with similar dispatch. That a decade later Ann was also buried at St. Saviours suggests her husband would have been buried there. However to exclude the slight possibility he may have been buried at St. George the Martyr church that was slighter closer than St. Saviour's church to King Street where he resided when his will was made in March 1815, and where he seemingly had resided from at least 1808, the St. George's burial register was checked but there was no person with the Chapman surname was buried there during the period July to Dec. 1816 2.
        William's age in the St. Saviour's burial register was 68 and address at death was Newington 1. Despite a four years age variance between the death and baptism records he may have been the William Chapman (a son of Thomas & Mary Chapman) baptised at nearby St. Olave on 21 Oct 1744 who by 5 Oct 1816 would have been aged 72 years. The age difference is not a problem with him being that William as his precise age may not have been known to the person who informed the minister at the time of the burial (who likely was one of his two son-in-laws who may have based it on events William had talked about when alive that had occurred when he said he was about a certain age - so was just an approximation). Many were not sure about their age unless they had done apprenticeships that commenced at a certain age so could calculate it.
       However that he resided at Newington at the time of decease is harder to reconcile and remains a mystery. When his will was made eighteen months before he died he was living in King Street in St. Saviour's parish. It indicated he held property interests in both St. Saviour's and St. George the Martyr parishes. Newington parish adjoined both. If after making his will he acquired a property interst in Newington parish and moved there in the 18 months before he died it would be unlikely he would have been buried there as a funeral would not normally be held at a church near where a person had lived for only a very short period. The most logical place for burial would have been St. George the Martyr where he had lived previously enabling old neighbours, business customers, friends etc. to easily attend the funeral service. However as its register for the second half of 1816 has no William Chapman burial, and as Ann was later buried at St. Saviour's, it is reasonable to conclude despite the Newington residence at death that the William Chapman buried at St. Saviour's in Oct 1816 was Ann's husband William. A possibility, that has been excluded by a check of its patient admission records, was when he died he was a patient at new Bethlehem Hospital a.k.a. Bethlem now home to the Imperial War Museum. A hospital for lunatics, it first received patients in 1815, and was located vitually at the southern boundary of St. George the Martyr parish and Newington parish. It was thought possible the informant for the St. Saviour's burial register entry may have thought it was in Newington parish however the hospital archivist has advised the admission records have no William Chapman admission in the 1815-16 period 3.
       In respect of possible other family presences in the St. George the Martyr and Newington localities the Ancestry : Chapman web page, detailing some of the genealogy of a Chapman family that was perhaps also William's family, has it the parents of Thomas George Chapman who came to Australia in 1835 lived at George Row, Locks Fields, NEWINGTON when he was christened in 1825, after having been in Bermondsey St. when his only sibling Joseph was baptised in 1819. It is said Joseph was listed as a boarder in the household of a family named Bishop at Crosby Row in the 1841 census. There is also the thought the Thomas Chapman listed in a 1808 London directory as a skinner and furrier at Crosby Row, Long Lane, Southwark may have been 1744 born William's 1749 born brother. Crosby Row linked King Street (now Newcomen Street) to Long Lane so Crosby Row was vitually just around the corner from where William and Ann lived in King Street. As given on the Ancestry : Chapman web page the line of another brother 1751 born Joseph Chapman had a long association with St. Saviours. He was married at St. Saviours and his three children were baptised there. The eldest son Thomas also had his first born baptised at St. Saviours (no baptism place given for his 1825 born other child Thomas George so it could have also been St. Saviour's). As the parents of Thomas were living in Bermondsey Street when he was baptised one would have expected a baptism at St. Mary's Bermondsey. That they came back to St. Saviours suggests a strong interest in family events taking place there. It is possible the Thomas & Mary parents of 1751 Joseph, 1744 William and 1749 Thomas were buried there.

1   City of London Burials index at - details provided courtesy of Judy Lester of London.
2   St. George the Martyr burial register for July to Dec. 1816 checked for Chapman burials by Judy Lester.
3  Advised by Sarah Smithers - Assistant Archivist/Registrar Bethlem Royal Hospital.

Compiled by John Raymond, Brisbane, OLD., Australia - March 2008