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The Shakespeare Family History Site

George Shakespeare 1811 - 1843

Ribbon Weaver, of Coventry

No obvious baptism has been found for George, but circumstantial evidence points to him being a son of Charles Shakespeare & Mary (nee Millership) of Bulkington.

George lived, and died, in Hertford Place - a small street in Coventry. Also living in the street were a Thomas Shakespeare with his wife Elizabeth (nee Rollins) and their family, and a Charles Shakespeare with his wife Mary (nee Childs) and their family. Thomas and Charles were brothers, children of Charles Shakespeare and Mary (nee Millership) of Bulkington. All three were Ribbon Weavers. The suspicion is that George was also a brother - what makes this difficult to determine is that Charles Shakespeare and Mary Millership seem to have been fairly casual in baptising their children - in fact no baptism has been found for Thomas, and it is from other records that his parentage has been determined.

Further clues come from apprenticeship records. George Shakespeare was a Freeman of Coventry, which means he must have carried out an apprenticeship in Coventry. This seems to be the George Shakespeare who was apprenticed as a pauper from the Parish of Bulkington in 1827 to a William Hayward. A very similar record shows a Thomas Shakespeare being apprenticed as a pauper, again from the Parish of Bulkington, in 1825 to a Charles Shakespeare. In both cases no trade is given for the Master but parish apprentices were usually apprenticed as weavers - so it might refer to the three weavers in the 1841 census. One theory is that the three were brothers and that by the 1820's their father was dead hence the reason for the parish apprenticeships for Thomas and George - the middle brother, Thomas, being taken on by his brother Charles who was ten years his senior. One further apprenticeship record shows the probable apprenticeship of the older brother. In 1816 a Charles Shakespeare, whose father's name was given as Charles, a Weaver, and the place of abode as Sow (ie the parish of Walsgrave-on-Sowe near Bulkington), was apprenticed as a weaver to Edward Watson. Another connection with Walsgrave-on-Sowe is that a Charles Shakespeare  was witness at the 1825 wedding of William Shakespeare and Jane Stafford - perhaps this William is another unrecorded sibling.

Curiously, in later life, Thomas used the middle name George although this is never mentioned in earlier documents referring to him ie the apprenticeship record, his marriage, the census, and the baptism entries for his children - did he adopt the name in memory of his deceased brother?

Returning to George, his young widow was still living in Coventry in 1851, but has moved to Gosford Street:

Head: SHAKESPEAR, Matilda

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name

Relationship

Mar

Age

Sex

Occupation

Birthplace

 

 

Matilda  SHAKESPEAR

Head

W

40

F

Hand Loom Weaver Silk

Coventry-WAR

 

 

Eliza  SHAKESPEAR

Daur

-

14

F

Picker Up (Silk Manu:)

Coventry-WAR

 

 

Charles  SHAKESPEAR

Son

-

13

M

Errand Boy Goes To Sunday School

Coventry-WAR

 

 

Mary  SHAKESPEAR

Daur

-

11

F

Winder Silk

Coventry-WAR

 

 

Sarah  SHAKESPEAR

Daur

-

9

F

---

Coventry-WAR

 

 

George  SHAKESPEAR

Son

-

7

M

---

Coventry-WAR

 

 

 

Address:

Gosford Street, Coventry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Census Place:

Coventry St Michael Coventry, Warwickshire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRO Reference:

HO/107/2067

Folio:

115

Page:

19

FHL Film:

0087329

The Shakespeare connection with Hertford Place continued at least as late as 1901, for we find that George Shakespeare, who had been living in Wales together with his brother Reuben, had returned to Hertford Place:

1901                COVENTRY HERTFORD PLACE 15 COURT 5

NAME

AGE

REL

OCCUPATION

PLACE OF BIRTH

George Shakespear

40

H

Printer Compositor

Coventry

Mary L Shakespear

41

W

 

Uttoxeter

George F Shakespear

13

S

 

Llandudno

GwendolineShakespear

11

D

 

Llandudno

Mary  Shakespear

9

D

 

Llandudno

Dorothy  Shakespear

7

D

 

Llandudno

James Shakespear

4

S

 

Coventry

Kathleen Shakespear

1

D

 

Coventry

George, and his brother Reuben, were grandchildren of Thomas Shakespeare and Elizabeth (nee Rollins) mentioned above.

Charles, born 1837, the son of George and Matilda, married Ann Maria Waterfall in London in 1860. In 1881 we find them living in Coventry with their family:

Dwelling: 6 Canterbury St
Census Place: Coventry Holy Trinity, Warwick, England
Source: FHL Film 1341733 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 3073 Folio 51 Page 8
Marr Age Sex Birthplace
Charles SHAKESPEARE M 43 M Coventry, Warwick, England
Rel: Head
Occ: Metal Worker
Ann M. SHAKESPEARE M 41 F Coventry, Warwick, England
Rel: Wife
Arthur C. SHAKESPEARE U 19 M Coventry, Warwick, England
Rel: Son
Occ: Metal Worker
Charles SHAKESPEARE 16 M Coventry, Warwick, England
Rel: Son
Occ: Printers Compositor
William H. SHAKESPEARE 13 M Coventry, Warwick, England
Rel: Son
Occ: Scholar
Mary A. SHAKESPEARE 11 F Coventry, Warwick, England
Rel: Daur
Occ: Scholar
Albert SHAKESPEARE 7 M Coventry, Warwick, England
Rel: Son
Occ: Scholar
Ernest SHAKESPEARE 4 M Coventry, Warwick, England
Rel: Son
Occ: Scholar

One son, Herbert Charles Shakespeare, had already left home and enlisted in the Royal Navy. The 1881 Census records him as serving on board HMS Implacable:

Vessel: "Implacable"
Census Place: Devonport, Devon, England
Source: FHL Film 1341532 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 2210 Folio 11 Page 21
Marr Age Sex Birthplace
Richard Henry RATCLIFFE U 15 M Blackburn, Lancashire, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Edward WATKINS U 15 M Wolverhampton, Stafford, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Theodoastis Algernon BOUGHTON U 16 M Ireland
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Patrick BARTNETT U 16 M Ireland
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Edmond DELANEY U 15 M Ireland
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Samuel BRENTON U 15 M Merthyr Tydvill, Glamorgan, Wales
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Frederick PALMER U 15 M Stoke Damerel, Devon, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Thomas CHANCY U 16 M Bristol, Gloucester, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
John James SPRIGGS U 15 M All Saints, Northampton, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Edward George HULBERT U 15 M St Johns, Gloucester, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Herbert Charles SHAKSPEARE U 15 M Coventry, Warwick, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class

George FINDON U 16 M Birmingham, Warwick, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
William SUTTON U 15 M Stonehouse, Devon, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
William Steven Sawyer BOWDEN U 15 M Babbicombe, Devon, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Thomas DONOVAN U 15 M Lambeth, Surrey, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Frank TRANTER U 15 M Cirencester, Gloucester, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Henry CARVER U 15 M Westbury On Trim, Gloucester, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Charles Richard CALLAGHAN U 15 M Stonehouse, Devon, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Joseph PORTER U 16 M Bromley, Surrey, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class
Alfred WOOD U 15 M Boreham, Essex, England
Occ: Boy 2 Class

However, the same census seems to have a duplicate record for Herbert in addition to being recorded among the crew of his ship, he seems to have been in the Royal Naval Hospital on the night of the census:

Institution: "Royal Naval Hospital" East Stonehouse (Plymouth
Census Place: East Stonehouse, Devon, England
Source: FHL Film 1341531 PRO Ref RG11 Piece 2205 Folio 72 Page 13
Marr Age Sex Birthplace
Wm. LANGAN U 21 M Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Able Seaman R Navy
Ed. CLARKE U 22 M Gloucester, Gloucester, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Able Seaman R Navy
Wm. ABBOTT U 25 M Norwich, Norfolk, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Private R Marines
Henry G. HILL U 26 M Sheffield, York, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Leading Seaman R Navy
Chas. DILLON U 25 M Manchester, Lancashire, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Able Seaman R Navy
Henry J. BALDWIN U 21 M Hanley Castle, Worcester, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Private R Navy
Wm. MINER U 22 M Plymouth, Devon, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Able Seaman R Navy
Samuel PERRIS M 52 M Beercrombe, Somerset, England
Rel: Nurse
Occ: Nurse Pensioner
Samuel BAYLISS U 24 M Birmingham, Warwick, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Private Royal Marines
James ALDOUS U 22 M Offton, Suffolk, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Private Royal Marines
John CAMPBELL U 26 M Dingwell, Scotland
Rel: Patient
Occ: Private Royal Marines
H. Her. HARRIS U 23 M Tunbridge, Kent, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Private Royal Marines
Wm. HAND U 24 M Maxwell, Scotland
Rel: Patient
Occ: Private Royal Marines
Herbert SHAKESPEARE U 15 M Coventry, Warwick, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Boy Royal Navy

Wm. NICHOLLS M 24 M Looe, Cornwall, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Stoker Royal Navy
Josh. NIXON U 26 M Bovey Tracey, Devon, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Private Royal Marines
Geo. SHEPPERD U 17 M London, Middlesex, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Boy Royal Navy
Jno. Thos. BEABLE U 16 M Brighton, Sussex, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Boy Royal Navy
Joseph SMART U 15 M Brighton, Sussex, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Bandboy Royal Navy
Wm. H. PEARCE M 56 M Plymouth, Devon, England
Rel: Nurse
Occ: Nurse Pensioner
Arthur VIGERS U 24 M Newton Abbott, Devon, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Blacksmith R Navy
Jno. Wm. WHITING U 26 M Blackawton, Devon, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Stoker R Navy
Geo. LOVELL U 23 M Acton, Middlesex, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Able Seaman R Navy
Jno. BRYAN U 22 M Cardiff, Wales
Rel: Patient
Occ: Private Royal Marines
Chas. Jno. THOMAS U 23 M Coddington, Hereford, England
Rel: Patient
Occ: Private Royal Marines

Herbert almost certainly gave a false age when he enlisted because he was actually born on the 7th April 1863. This is supported by his birth certificate and later entries in the census (eg 1901). His naval records have the April birthdate, but the year given in these would make him over two years younger. Herbert Charles Shakespeare married Harriet Ellen Bird and their daughter Mabel was born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire in 1895.

Information supplied by Sallie Richardson

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