Thomas Moxon Sr


Moxon Family History

Collateral Lines of the Becks

by David Hume

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The Moxon Name - Modern Moxons - Thomas Edward Moxon - Thomas Moxon Sr

The Moxon Name

A brief history from the Moxon family web site.

The family name of Moxon is an old-established name, possibly one of the oldest of the ‘-son’ form of patronymic surnames. Our story begins with an England at the mercy of marauding bands of an invading army. A Danish army gained a foothold on the English shore at the battle of Maldon in 991, and after killing the English commander, proceeded to ravage through the country, pillaging and slaughtering as they went. These were the days of King Ethelred (the Unready), long notorious as the king who by his vacillation both paid out blackmail and lost his kingdom. Those who defended their villages did so by their own efforts alone. One man, Meoc by name (probably of Saxon origin, perhaps meaning – not very accurately - ‘meek’), emerged as the leader of his community in South Yorkshire, urged the townsfolk to trust to their own hands for their defence, and led the defenders. Perhaps his fame meant that his descendants called themselves ‘Meocs-sons’. The town is now Mexborough in Yorkshire, an industrial and mining area. As English continued to change, from the 12th century, the name became ‘Mokesson’. The ‘e’ formed a separate syllable, but this dropped out. In the recorded spellings from the 15th C there are a number of variant forms, among them Moakson and Mockson, for instance. From the end of the 16th century the modern spelling with the short ‘o’ and the ‘x’ has been standard.

Modern Moxons

In the 1881 census, the Moxon family lived at 44 George Street, London, Middlesex [near Marylebone Station]. The head of the household was Ellen Jane Moxon, widow, then aged 52, whose profession was listed as dressmaker. Her daughter, Mary (aged 25) and our Susan Grace (aged 17) were also there working as dressmakers. Kate Gertrude was 11 years old. They also had in the household two boarders who were milliners, and a housemaid and general servant, so they cannot have been too badly off despite the earlier demise of father Thomas. There is a suggestion from Jo that they may have provided dresses to the Royal Household. Sisters Ellen and Lucy were already married. Lucy was also a dressmaker, and lived around the corner in Upper George St, married to John Vercoe who was actually born in Tonga. They also had a servant and maid.

Kate Gertrude would marry the Reverend Robert Moffat Gautrey. Moffat Gautrey became a renowned Methodist preacher, and my grandmother, Jo, greatly admired him, and corresponded with him for many years. Their children Basil Moxon (a solicitor) and Muriel Kate (a social worker) also kept in contact and were visited in their house in Muswell Hill in north London by successive generations of Jo’s descendants (especially Paddy’s family) including me in the late 1970s and again in the early 1980s. Muriel’s ‘creative writing’ will provide a good account of her family in due time.

Also living with Ellen in 1881 were her aged parents, Gabriel Baker (aged 84 and born in 1797 in Somerset; Jo recalled that he was also a chemist, and was somehow related to the Duke of Wellington, perhaps a bit of historical revision to hide his servant background, see below) and Jane, also from Somerset, born in Bath. The origins and history of the Bakers also became evident from a combination of the census, and a communication from a descendent of Ellen’s younger brother, Charles. Gabriel Baker was born in Croscombe in Somerset in 1797, and married Jane Colley Viner, b 1804 in Bath. Jane’s father, John Viner was a builder whose second marriage was to Ann Colley in Bath in 1799. Gabriel Baker in turn was the son of another Gabriel Baker, b 1761 in Croscombe in Somerset, who married Elizabeth Sweet in 1786 and they had ten baptised children - Augustine b.1787, Edmund Dymond b.1789, Rose b.1790, William b.1792, Maria b. 1795 and died 1796, our Gabriel b. 1797, Sarah b.1799 and Thomas b.1804. (The dates are those of their baptism records). This Gabriel Baker was the Parish Sexton of Croscombe for 37 years and both he and his wife died in 1841. Croscombe is a village in the Mendip Valley near Wells that is still thriving; the Church of which Gabriel was sexton was built in the 16th and 17th centuries, and unusually for Somerset has a large spire, and Jacobean interior woodwork of national renown. Much of the village as the Bakers knew it survives, including an ancient pub; The George Inn, and many stone cottages. There is no direct connection, but the name Gabriel Baker seems to have been carried through a family in Somerset around Ilton, Ilminster and Donyatt dating back to the early 17th century. Like many in the time, Gabriel and Jane moved to London, and Gabriel became the butler to a wealthy family, Henry Oddie (solicitor) and Lady Georgiana Oddie. In the 1841 census, Gabriel was a servant at 65 Portland Pl, London, and Jane lived out at 30 Queens St, Marylebone with children Ellen and Charles and worked as a dressmaker. Both these houses are still standing amongst the Georgian Terraces near Regent's Park. She would pass on this trade to her daughter and granddaughters. By 1851, they had moved to Colney House in Broad Colney (no longer standing, destroyed by fire in the early 20th century, this is now outer London, near Watford, in Hertfordshire), where Gabriel was now the butler. There were 13 staff including maids and a cook, so our Gabriel would have lived a real "upstairs-downstairs" existence. Jane lived in the village with son Charles, aged 15, and worked as a dressmaker. In 1861, Gabriel was still the butler, Lady Georgiana was now head of the household (her husband having died) and a well known socialite and philanthropist; granddaughter Lucy Moxon was living with Jane in the village of London-Colney nearby.

Ellen's younger brother, Charles Gabriel BAKER, had a sad but interesting history, which I learned from correspondence with the wife of a descendent, a Wendy Percival. He was b. 1836 in London. He became a pupil-teacher and subsequently a 'professor of music'. He married Susan SAWYER (b. 1843, Romford, Essex) in Danbury, Essex in 1856. At that time he was teaching in St Mary's School, Lambeth where we assume they went to live but the 1861 census section for Lambeth is missing. By 1863 they were living in Stevenage. They had four surviving children; all boys - Alfred, b.1859, Ernest b.1862, Harry Morris (my husband's Great grandfather) b.1863 and Frank b.1865.

In August 1867 Charles & Susan sailed to Australia on The Parramatta (to Sydney) arriving in November of that year. The children are not recorded on the ship, and the possible reason for their travel became evident soon after. Poor Charles died of consumption on 15th May 1868 at Vernon St, Woollahara, NSW. After Charles' death Susan returned to England later in 1868 and clearly fell upon hard times. By 1869 the three older boys - Alfred, then 10; Ernest, 6 and Harry Morris 5, were in orphanages, though unfortunately for them not in the same one. Frank at only 3 years old, stayed with his mother. In the admission record for Harry Morris Baker's entry to The Infant Orphanage Asylum, Snaresbrook, it is noted that the family were being supported by "the father's sister" - i.e. Ellen MOXON. On the 1871 census Ellen was recorded as a visitor to widowed, Susan BAKER and son Frank at 2 Swiss Cottages, Church Lane, Teddington.

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Thomas Edward Moxon

Thomas Edward Moxon was born in Colwich, Derbyshire in 1814, and was 15 years older than his wife Ellen Baker. They married at St Mary, Paddington Green on the 25th of October, 1851; both were recorded as resident at 14 Bridges Terrace. In the 1851 census, Ellen Baker was recorded as a Milliner’s Assistant in St Audley St, Hanover Square, Mayfair. Most interestingly, Thomas was recorded as a widower, and his profession was a "railway guard". He had previously married Martha Amelia Clapham in Bristol in 1843, but she died in childbirth only 4 years later in 1847. Thomas Edward's father was recorded as present at the wedding, a Thomas Moxon who was recorded as a Hotel Keeper (presumably having moved on from his earlier employment at Shugborough). Thomas Edward Moxon died between the 1871 and 1881 census, on 7 December, 1878; in the former census the family was already in Thayer Street, Marylebone, with younger children Mary Louise (18), Lucy (16), Susan (our great grandmother, 7) and Kate (1) as well as Gabriel Baker (father-in-law) and his wife Jane. Ellen is not listed, as she was visiting her sister-in-law. Thomas, aged 56, was by that time a clerk and they had a boarder as well as a servant girl (one Mary Cook, aged 21). In his later life Thomas was invalided and Ellen supported him as well as her young family. Later in life, Ellen herself was looked after by her eldest daughter, Ellen Amy (known as Amy, married name Richardson) and living with her in the 1901 census in Deptford.

Thomas Moxon Sr

Thomas Moxon SrSt. Phillips BirminghamLucy Kent

Thomas Moxon Sr was christened at St Phillip’s Cathedral (pictured above) in Birmingham in 1794, the son of John Moxon (Maxon) and Ann. He married Lucy Kent (pictured above; the original pictures of her and Thomas, below, were in possession of Jo, and later Auntie Paddy) in the same church in Birmingham, in 1813. Lucy Kent’s family goes back at least 3-4 generations to the early 1700s in the villages around Breaston and Risley in Derbyshire and there were still many Kents being born in the area in the 1850s-1880s. Her father, William Kent, was the gamekeeper at Shugborough for 46 years, from 1815 to 1861, and her mother was a maid. Aside from our Thomas Edward Moxon, Thomas Moxon and Lucy Kent had three other children recorded, William Kent Moxon, Mary Moxon and Charles Moxon, all of them born in Colwich in Staffordshire, which is on the Northern border of Cannock Chase. Lucy (Kent) Moxon died in Colwich in 1855. In the 1881 census several Moxons still lived in the area.

Thomas Moxon, the older was the cook to Viscount Anson, The First Sea Lord, at Shugborough House from 1817-1831, and lived in the lodge, and may have been introduced into the position through his marriage to the daughter of the gamekeeper, William Kent. Shugborough is the home of Patrick Litchfield, cousin to the Queen. It is a National Trust House. Cooks were highly prized in that time, and our Thomas would have been one of the most senior of the staff. He lived in the lodge for at least 15 years. The kitchens at Shugborough were extensively renovated in Thomas’s time. They have been completely restored to provide a display of the “Downstairs” of that era in which Thomas's name is recorded on a table of staff. He is recorded later on his son's marriage in 1851 as a Hotel Keeper, and there is a recorded death of a Thomas Moxon in London in 1869.

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