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George II was King of England when John and Hannah were born. He reigned from 1727-1760. He was succeeded by George III who reigned until 1820.
John and Hannah lived through the terms of office of the following Prime Ministers (taken from Wikipedia):
Robert Walpole 1721-1742 (John and Hannah born)
Earl of Wilmington 1742-1743
Henry Pelham 1743-1754 (John and Hannah married; John's mother died)
Duke of Newcastle 1754-1756 (Their daughter Mary born)
Duke of Devonshire 1756-1757 (John's father died; Their son John born)
Duke of Newcastle 1757-1762 (Their daughter Hannah born and died)
Earl of Bute 1762-1763
George Grenville 1763-1765 (Their daughter Ann born)
Marquess of Rockingham 1765-1766 (Their daughter Sarah born, my 4x Great Grandmother)
William Pitt the elder 1766-1768 (Their daughter Elizabeth born)
Duke of Grafton 1768-1770
Lord North 1770-1782 (Their daughter Catherine born; Hannah's parents died)
Marquess of Rockingham 1782-1783
Earl Shelburne 1782-1783
Duke of Portland 1783
William Pitt the younger 1783-1801
Henry Addington 1801-1804
William Pitt the younger 1803-1806
Lord Grenville 1806-1807
Duke of Portland 1807-1809
Spencer Perceval 1809-1812 (John died)
Lord Liverpool 1812-1827 (Hannah died)
John and Hannah were baptised, married and buried in Ardingly, as were all their children. I wonder if they ever spent a night away from Ardingly, or how far from Ardingly they travelled?
The parishes surrounding Ardingly are (clockwise from the the north): Worth, West Hoathly, Horsted Keynes (almost touches), Lindfield, Cuckfield and Balcombe. Lewes was (and is) the country town and is about 15 miles away, which was a bit too far to walk there and back in a day. I wonder if they were able to afford the stage coach fare or the cost of a horse ride to visit Lewes. I wonder if they ever visited the seaside. Brighton beach was a popular bathing beach from at least the 1750's. I wonder if John and Hannah had a honeymoon - their first child arrived just under 7 months after they married, and they were only 21 and 17 when they married, so they probably didn't have any spare money to spend frivilously.
I don't know whereabouts in Ardingly they were born or lived, although when Hannah died in 1815 she was of Hapstead, which was a small hamlet about half a mile east of Ardingly parish church, but is now the main centre of the parish. I don't know John's occupation, although I would guess he was a farm labourer. He doesn't seem to have left a will, so I guess they lived from day to day and had no savings or property of their own to pass on. John's father may have been a wheelwright, but I don't know if John followed his father's profession, or perhaps took up carpentry.
I wonder if they could afford to buy each other birthday and Christmas presents and whether they had family parties. I wonder if Hannah made her own clothes and those of her children and husband, and whether they could afford to buy new clothes or whether they had to make do with hand-me-downs. Did John wear a smock and might Hannah have made it/them. I wonder how often they had new shoes and whether someone in Ardingly made them. I wonder if John went out fishing or rabbitting, and whether he had a veg patch. Did they collect berries and mushrooms. I wonder what happened when they or their children were sick, could they afford a doctor or did they rely on home remedies. Could either of them or their children read and write. Did John frequent the local pub, and might he have taken part in any sports or games. Did they have any hobbies, or were they too busy or tired just trying to keep body and soul together. I assume they went to church every, or most, Sundays, but did they go in the morning or the afternoon (I've read that some parishes had 2 services on Sundays, so as to fit everyone in, morning for the gentry and afternoon for the labourers). Did Hannah make a big Sunday lunch/dinner and did other family members come around. I wonder what their diet consisted of and where they bought their groceries. Did Hannah make her own butter and cheese, and bake her own bread, and brew beer. Did they keep a pig and chickens, and did they have a pet cat or dog. Did they sing or play any muscial instruments. Did they dance. Did they tell stories about days gone buy. Might they have made toys for their children and did they take them out for family walks. Did John decorate their home - I don't know what sort of decorating materials were around then, but I assume there was at least whitewash. Did Hannah make the curtains and cushions. Did she sit and sew in the evenings and did she teach her daughters to sew. Perhaps they made embroidery samplers. How did they keep their home warm in winter and what fuel did they use for cooking, I assume wood. Did John go out collecting firewood or did they have to pay for some to be delivered. What did they do with their waste, was there a night soil collector in Ardingly, or did they bury it. Where did they get their fresh water from and who collected it. How often did they take a bath. Did they go swimming. Did Hannah do the washing on a Monday. Did she earn any pin money by clean, mending, washing, nursing.
So many questions that and names and dates just can not answer.
This page was reviewed on 9 April 2012