This week’s #52Ancestors theme is Out of Place and I decided to write about John Buxton, my Great x5 Grandfather and his mother Elizabeth. He like many other people in the 19th century, ended up in London, coming from all parts of the British Isles. His story is believed to have started in Norfolk 1761 when he was born illegitimately to Elizabeth Buxton, possibly in Diss. I have not managed to trace her roots yet and I will be returning to research her further at a later date. Unfortunately I find nearly 20 years after starting my research I don’t have any way of proving my John was the John born in Norfolk except that his mother was definitely Elizabeth for reasons I will share later. A search on Ancestry of a John Buxton born 1765 +/-10 years with a mother of Elizabeth Buxton brings the one born in Diss, Norfolk as the most likely.
The best bit of information we have about Elizabeth is her marriage as a spinster, ten years later to Peter Averillo on 17 October 1771 at St Leonards, Shoreditch. He was a widower, it was his third marriage, born in Tavistock, Devon and he was a Barrister.
There is a wonderful mention of him on the Old Bailey online website where he was in court as a victim. On the 4 December 1776 he was violently threatened by John Salter in a highway robbery. His statement reads as PETER AVERILLO sworn.
‘I was in the coach: we were stopped about eight o'clock by a single highwayman near Shepherd's-bush; a pistol was put into the coach; as soon as the blind was let down, I heard a voice say, 'Give me your money immediately, 'or I will blow your brains out;' I put my hand into my pocket, and found I had a shilling; I had between my legs a brass blunderbuss, and before the man had robbed Mr. Haywood, the other person in the coach, I discharged the blunderbuss as directed by the voice, for it was so dark I could not possibly see the person; then I bid the coachman drive on; a person on the coach bid him not drive on as the person was shot; we got lights at a house near; the candle blew out, then we saw two lights upon the road near the place where this happened; we went up to those two lights and lighted our candles at them; we found one was part of a stock and a metal buckle, the stock was bloody and on fire; we searched but could not find the person, then we went on.’
John Salter was found not guilty.
Elizabeth died in 1787 in St Leonards, Shoreditch and was buried in the churchyard there and the record stated she was 50 years old which puts her birth at about 1737.
Peter Averillo died in 1792 and was buried with Elizabeth at St Leonards, Shoreditch. He made a will and it stated that
‘I give unto John Buxton (my said late wifes Son) now living with John Dyer of Wormley in Hertfordshire Labourer the sum of ten Guineas And I also give to the said John Buxton’s wife two Good Gowns I also give unto the said John Buxton all my wearing Apparel of Woollen (not the suit of velvet and laced waistcoat and Black velvet Breaches) and also six plain Shirts the Ruffles to be taken off from those I shall have by me at my Death and also six pair of Worsted or other Stockings and some of Religious Books’
From this bit of information we can place John Buxton in Hertfordshire where he had married Hannah Ford in 1789 in Wormley and he was the son of Elizabeth Buxton who had married Peter Averillo. John and Hannah had three children, Maria born 1789 in Wormley, Thomas born 1791 in Wormley and James my Great x4 grandfather born 1793 in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. Hannah had two children illegitimately before the marriage, John born 1783, father George Harris and Sarah born 1785, father unknown.
James, my great x4 grandfather moved to Hackney and married Alice Timms in 1816 in St Dunstans, Stepney. He appeared on the 1841 census in Abbots Street, West Hackney with his family and a John Buxton aged 78 years who was presumably his father. John possibly died in the Workhouse in 1845 but the age stated on the death certificate is 77 which if he was born in 1761 is not accurate, but we can presume he was born sometime between 1761 and 1768. The 1841 census mentioned above puts him at 1764.
There is more research to be carried out on this family but what we know so far is that John was the illegitimate son of Elizabeth Buxton who married Peter Averillo in 1771 as a spinster, 10 years after John was born.
One of James’s daughters Emma married William Henry Baldwin in 1852 and their first son William James Baldwin born 1854 was my Great x2 Grandfather.