On 14th January 1767, an illiterate 25 year old husbandman called Edward WadeI married the 26 year old Elizabeth Cardinal, at Layer-de-la-Haye in Essex. They went on to have six children – four sons and two daughters – and they appear in the family trees of many people who can trace their family to the villages that run alongside the River Colne – Wivenhoe, Fingringhoe and East Donyland – and in doing so, their story combines with those of the Sainty, Stone, Cranfield, Walford, Pullen and (two different) Barrell families.
Edward WadeI (1742-1808)
Layer-de-la-Haye’s earlier registers were destroyed by fireAccording to the Layer Churches website, so we can only go as far back as the start of the post-Hardwicke marriage register, commencing in 1755. Baptisms and burials for the parish only survive from 1767, so if either Edward or Sarah had been baptised in Layer-de-la-Haye, the record is now lost. Their dates of birth are estimated from their ages at death appearing in the register and on their gravestone at Fingringhoe.
Although we can only guess, it’s quite possible that Edward was born in Layer-de-la-Haye, or close by – he’s not the only Wade to appear in the register. One of the earlier entries that have survived is for Sary (or Sarah) Wade, a widow, who married Joseph Yell on 24th December 175524th Dec 1755. Joseph Yell, single man married Sary Wade, widow. Both marked. Witnesses: John Sandres? and John Petteley both signed., and it’s possible that she could be Edward’s widowed mother. Twenty years later, in 1775, Grace Wade married Robert Hows.10th Oct 1775. Robert Hows married Grace Wade. Witnesses: Susanna Yell and William Woodard. They all signed except the bride. Grace (based on her age at death in 1815Grace Howes was buried at Layer-de-la-Haye on 2nd April 1815, aged 62.), was born in about 1753, so may be Sary’s child by her first husband, and may also be Edward’s sister. Another male Wade, John, married at Layer-de-la-Haye in 1782 and for a second time, as a widower, in 1786.John Wade’s first marriage was to Mary Baker on 22nd Oct 1782 (witnesses: Susanna King and William Yell), and for the second time to Judith Mead, on 24th May 1786 (witnesses: James Burton and … Continue reading He is probably the same John Wade who was buried there in 1791 but as his age wasn’t given, we can’t estimate when he was born. However, if he was in his thirties when he first married, he could be another possible child of Sary and a potential brother for Edward.
I have looked to see if Edward’s family cross back into the Yell and Hows lines, but they don’t appear to, although the Yell family were living in East Donyland in the early 1800s, just before the Wades moved there. It might indicate a relationship, but it may just be a coincidence.
Elizabeth Cardinal (1741-1803)
Elizabeth is the only Cardinal to appear in the Layer-de-la-Haye registers, so although she was resident there on her marriage to Edward in 1767, it seems possible that she wasn’t born there. She may have moved there to work in service, or she may have been staying with relatives or friends. What is telling is that, while they both marked the register, Elizabeth’s mark is in fact the letter E – this suggests that, unlike her husband, Elizabeth wasn’t illiterate. It wasn’t unknown for a spouse to mark, even if they could write, out of courtesy to their partner who could not. If Elizabeth wasn’t a local, then where had she come from?
It has been suggested to me by two other descendants of EdwardI and Elizabeth, that she is the daughter of William & Elizabeth Cardinal, who was baptised in Alresford in 1743.Baptism at Alresford St. Peter, 10th April 1743. This certainly seems possible, given that her estimated year of birth is 1741, and also because the first son of EdwardI and Elizabeth was named William Cardinal Wade – if she is the Arlesford Elizabeth, then her first child was named after her father.
The Cardinal family in the Tendring Hundred were fairly well-heeled – in fact, the miser in Mary Ann Grant’s Sketches of Life & Manners, is likely to have been Clarkson Cardinall of Tendring, who in 1803 apparently had £60,000 in the bank. Clarkson owned property at Fingringhoe, and in the 1790s and 1800s, Thomas Lewis Stone (who married one of Edward and Elizabeth’s daughters) was his tenant, so there is a connection there, at least.ERO ref: D/DU 251/94A. Rough notes of payment of half-yearly rent for farm to Clarkson Cardinall by Thomas Lewis Stone of Fingringhoe, 1793-1807. At some point, a trawl through the papers concerning the Cardinall family, held at ERO, will be necessary, because it may prove a link between the Cardinal and Wade families. Certainly, the name was important to the Wade family for several generations, as it pops up frequently as a middle or sometimes first name (as do the names Whittaker and Pritchett). This link may explain why William Cardinal Wade, Edward and Elizabeth’s first son, lived in Tendring, working as a wheelwright – perhaps Elizabeth’s family found him employment in the village where they themselves now lived.
The four eldest Wade children were all baptised (and probably born) at Layer-de-la-Haye:
- William Cardinal, 20th June 1767 (baptised as William, but known as William Cardinal Wade from his marriage in 1785)
- EdwardII, 5th March 1769
- ElizabethII, 17th February 1771. She was still alive at the time of the 1851 census, and gave Layer-de-la-Haye as her place of birth.
- Sarah Whittaker, 19th December 1773
Then their youngest were baptised (and, one assumes, born) at Polstead in Suffolk:
- Thomas, 28th April 1776
- Samuel, 7th January 1779. He was still alive at the time of the 1851 census, and gave Polstead as his place of birth.
The family were presumably still living in Polstead when, in 1782, EdwardII (their second son) was apprenticed as a wheelwright to Joseph Chippington of Stoke (Stoke lying next to Polstead). The eldest son was living in Tendring by 1785, when he married there, and EdwardII, ElizabethII, Sarah Whittaker and Thomas, all married in Essex in the 1790s, so by that point the family had moved back from Suffolk. While William Cardinal Wade moved to Tendring, the rest of the Wades headed to Fingringhoe.
Whittaker, Tiffin, Cooper
I have long been fascinated by the Wade family’s repeating names – Cardinal, Pritchett, Whittaker. Cardinal is easily explained as the maiden name of EdwardI‘s wife, and Pritchett appears amongst the descendants of Edward WadeII and his wife Sarah Pritchett. But where does the name Whittaker come from? What significance did it have for the Wade family?
I will write in more depth on this subject – I haven’t yet found the connection, but the Wade family intersect again and again with members of the Tiffin and Cooper families. I can’t find a familial connection, but members of both families witness each other’s marriages with intriguing frequency.That said, however… there is quite a complicated link of marriages which connects the family, when Edward WadeII‘s sister-in-law, Charlotte Pritchett (1776-1829), married Thomas Jaggard … Continue reading
The link between the families seems to begin at some point with Edward WadeI and Elizabeth Cardinal, because their second daughter was named Sarah Whittaker Wade at her baptism in 1773. No-one with the surname Whittaker appears in the Layer-de-la-Haye registers, but there are two in the Fingringhoe registers: Susannah Whittaker, buried there in 1738, and Sarah Whittaker, who married John Tiffin of Layer-de-la-Haye in Fingringhoe in 1762. Going back to Edward WadeI and Elizabeth Cardinal’s marriage in 1767, one of the witnesses was Charles Tiffin. Whereas Charles was presumably a relative of John’s, it’s not clear how Edward was connected to him – relative, friend or perhaps Edward’s employer – but this may go a little way to explaining why the Wade’s second daughter was called Sarah Whittaker Wade: she was possibly named after John Tiffin’s wife. But exactly why they chose to do this remains obscure – and why, out of the three names, did they choose Whittaker to repeat through the generations, and not Cooper or Tiffin?
The witnesses of John Tiffin and Sarah Whittaker’s marriage were Thomas Cooper junior and Mary Cooper. This is quite possibly the Thomas who was born in Polstead in about 1723, and who married Mary Whittaker in Ramsey in 1755. Mary may of course be Sarah’s sister. It seems that Thomas junior moved to Fingringhoe quite soon after his marriage to Mary Whittaker, as their first child was baptised there in 1757. His father, Thomas, was living in Polstead until his death in 1771 (although he was living in Fingringhoe for a little while in the late 1720s and early 1730sBaptisms of his children and poll books show Thomas Cooper senr living in Suffolk, up to the 1720s, and then his daughter, Judith, was baptised in Fingringhoe in 1729. The 1734 poll book shows Thomas … Continue reading).
This sets up some interesting coincidences – the Whittaker name enters the Wade family lexicon by possibly naming their second daughter after John Tiffin’s wife, and the Wade family moves temporarily to Polstead in the 1770s, where some of the Cooper family were based: was Edward Wade working for the Coopers? Perhaps: Thomas Cooper senior’s daughter, Sarah, married John Rayner in Wivenhoe in 1738. Their son, William, who inherited £40 from Thomas Cooper senior in 1771, is likely to be the William Rayner, farmer of Polstead, who married Mary Archer in Fingringhoe in 1773 – the same year that Sarah Whittaker Wade was born.
(Since writing this, I have found the connection between the Wade/Cooper/Tiffin/Whittaker families. Elizabeth Cardinall’s mother was Sarah Whittaker, aunt of Mary Whittaker (who married Thomas Cooper) and Sarah Whittaker (who married John Tiffin) See Theobald in Great Clacton and Whittaker in St Osyth for the full explanation).
The end of the beginning
The Wades moved back to Essex in the 1790s, settling in Fingringhoe (perhaps, again, because of the links with the Cooper family), where Elizabeth died in 1803, and Edward in 1808. They were buried together in the churchyard at Fingringhoe, and the photograph below shows their resting place – the ivy-covered tomb.
Photo: Cindy Lilley
It seems a fairly grand-looking grave – did EdwardI pay for it himself, or did his children? While we know from his 1767 marriage licence that he was a husbandman, it is possible that he had moved up in the world a little and had perhaps become a bailiff or steward to the Coopers. And even in this photograph, another of the coincidences linking the Wade and Cooper families comes to light: because the brick tomb you can see just behind the Wade’s is that of Thomas Cooper and Mary his wife, née Whittaker. Even in death, the families are linked.
But of course, this isn’t the end of the story….
|↑1||According to the Layer Churches website|
|↑2||24th Dec 1755. Joseph Yell, single man married Sary Wade, widow. Both marked. Witnesses: John Sandres? and John Petteley both signed.|
|↑3||10th Oct 1775. Robert Hows married Grace Wade. Witnesses: Susanna Yell and William Woodard. They all signed except the bride.|
|↑4||Grace Howes was buried at Layer-de-la-Haye on 2nd April 1815, aged 62.|
|↑5||John Wade’s first marriage was to Mary Baker on 22nd Oct 1782 (witnesses: Susanna King and William Yell), and for the second time to Judith Mead, on 24th May 1786 (witnesses: James Burton and Green Hows).|
|↑6||Baptism at Alresford St. Peter, 10th April 1743.|
|↑7||ERO ref: D/DU 251/94A. Rough notes of payment of half-yearly rent for farm to Clarkson Cardinall by Thomas Lewis Stone of Fingringhoe, 1793-1807.|
|↑8||That said, however… there is quite a complicated link of marriages which connects the family, when Edward WadeII‘s sister-in-law, Charlotte Pritchett (1776-1829), married Thomas Jaggard (1758-1812) of Fingringhoe in 1808. Thomas’ mother, Rebecca Winch (died 1780), had a brother – William (born about 1739), whose wife was Anne Waynman (born about 1741 in Manningtree). After the death of her mother, Anne’s father married Sarah Cooper – sister of Thomas Cooper, who is buried beside the Wades. But for the Wades to have named their child Sarah Whittaker in 1773 means the link must predate Charlotte’s 1808 marriage. The Pritchett and/or Wade families certainly knew the Waynmans, as a Mary Waynman appears as a witness when Edward WadeII and Sarah Pritchett married in 1791. And it seems that the Sarah Wade who witnessed Mary’s second marriage is quite likely to be Edward WadeII‘s wife, Sarah Pritchett. Mary Waynman is almost certainly the wife of Thomas Waynman (1755-1796) – and this connects back to the start of this rather confusing footnote: Thomas Waynman was the son of Sarah Cooper, and half-brother of Anne Waynman, above, who married William Winch – uncle of Thomas Jaggard! (see, I told you it was complicated…!).|
|↑9||Baptisms of his children and poll books show Thomas Cooper senr living in Suffolk, up to the 1720s, and then his daughter, Judith, was baptised in Fingringhoe in 1729. The 1734 poll book shows Thomas living in Fingringhoe, with his qualifying freehold being in Colchester. Then in 1763, the poll book shows him living in Polstead, and his qualifying freehold is in Stanway. His 1771 will (National Archives, PROB 11/969/246) provides the names of his six children: he had one son, and five daughters.|