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Thomas & Jane


Thomas the `Second', born in 1796 and the eldest of Thomas and Leah's 10 children, was never destined for great things and would have lived very much like his parents in their earlier years together. When he was 26, he married Jane of the Horsham Anscombe family at Ashington, Sussex, presumably when she was in service there or, alternatively, living with her brother of a somewhat notorious disposition.

Reproduced by kind permission of the West Sussex County and Diocesan Archivist.

Matthew and Mark never got round to the marriage game and remained bachelors all their lives, the eldest being buried in 1892 and the younger in 1896. Both remained very poor and ended their respective lives in the Horsham Workhouse and the Cuckfield Workhouse. The connection between Mark and Cuckfield has not been established.

Luke and John were probably more adventurous - although their career paths may have been necessary because of work difficulties - when both joined the Royal Marines in the late 1850's. Luke being signed on by his future father-in-law at Henfield. John received injuries within 9 years of joining and was invalided out of the service. He did, however, find a bride within his service time based at Gosport in Hampshire. This was Louisa Sheppard of Fareham, Hampshire, who was to bear him 5 children.

Luke remained in the Royal Marines for 22 years being at either Gosport or Portsmouth when `shore-based' but also serving overseas in India and later during the Boxer troubles in China. While at Portsmouth he first met Elizabeth Anscombe, daughter of Sgt Thomas Anscombe who had enlisted him. Thomas was a brother of Jane Anscombe, Luke's mother. It could be believed that mother Jane influenced her 2 sons, Luke and John, to join the Marines as she foresaw hardship in remaining to work in the poor agricultural conditions of the time. Where better to seek advice than from her brother! Luke left the Marines in 1880, the last 2 years of his time being plagued with stomach problems from which he eventually died in 1905, aged 74.

Eliza married James Knight on the 6th December 1851 in Slinfold parish church. She went on to bear thirteen children.

Ann Joyes was born in Itchingfield nearby to Billingshurst where her parents lived previously. This was in 1837. Barely eighteen years old, she married a bachelor of Shipley parish, one Thomas Goatcher, of a large Sussex family. The marriage took place on the last day of June 1855 in Shipley to where her parents had by then moved.

Thomas Goatcher, we have now established, was the second son of four born to parents, William and Ann (nee Anscombe) Goatcher, married on 8 May 1821. William was born in 1800. Ann Anscombe, however, born in 1799, was found to be the elder sister to Jane Anscombe who married Thomas Joyes, son of Thomas and Leah, an illustration perhaps of who first met whom and how! Ann married in 1821 while Thomas and Jane married the following year in 1822.

Between 1856 and 1874, Ann produced 9 children but not all in Shipley. The first 2 children, David and Caroline, were born in West Grinstead parish, just the other side of the London - Worthing road in 1856 and 1858 respectively. Jesse and Alfred, the next to be born, arrived in Shipley in 1860 and 1862 while Amy, born in 1865, arrived while the family was at Southwater, the next parish north from Shipley.

A return to West Grinstead is indicated by the next 2 births, those of Mary Ann and Esther, the first in 1867, the second in 1870. However, the call to Shipley seemed not long in coming as Thomas and Ann's last 2 children arrived `back home' in Shipley, these being Ellen in 1871 and Eli in 1874.

The sad fact at the latter end of this episode for Ann was the apparent sudden demise of Thomas in the first month of 1874. Whether he had a fatal accident while working or died suddenly of natural causes has not been established but Thomas never lived to see the birth of Eli in May of the same year. This was heartbreak time for Ann. Married only 18 years, that led to 9 children, she must have felt desolate. The continual movement of the family over those years suggests Thomas was desperate for work, giving him just sufficient income to support his family without falling upon the workhouse to do so gives much credit to him as a husband. As the children grew up and married themselves, they were spread around Sussex and eventually, some moved into the London area and some into the Midlands. Ann survived her husband by 31 years, being buried in Shipley towards the end of 1905 at the age of 68 years.

Jane, like Elizabeth vanished but we are hopeful of tracing her eventually. Mary, the youngest, married into the Garman family of Warnham near Horsham in 1865, the year before her mother, Jane passed away at the age of 60 years. Mary had 3 children, one in 1866 and another in 1867 but waited until 1882 to see the third.

Having spent a non-eventful life as an `Ag-Lab', Thomas eventually found a job as toll-keeper on the road between Warnham and Slinfold at a small village called Broadbridge Heath. This village was part of the parish of Sullington, near Storrington but detached by some 10 miles or so and it was here that his wife Jane took ill and died. Thomas outlived her by 16 years, being buried in 1882 at a good old age of 86 in Warnham churchyard. Jane was buried at Horsham but her grave is yet to be found.

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When their first child, Matthew was born in 1826, Thomas and Jane were living in the parish of Billingshurst and between this year and 1844, Jane bore 7 more children. Altogether, it was a balanced family of 4 boys and 4 girls. The naming of the males appears to have followed the strictly religious choice of Bible names; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John while the girls were named Eliza, Ann, Jane and Mary.