William Cardinal Wade (1767-1796) and Anne Gilbert Bearman (1765-1825)


The eldest of Edward WadeI and Elizabeth Cardinal’s children, William Cardinal Wade was baptised on 20th June 1767 at Layer-de-la-Haye. The register gives his name solely as William, but he was later known as William Cardinal Wade.

The last Wade child to be baptised in Layer-de-la-Haye was William’s youngest sister, Sarah Whittaker Wade, in 1773, and from at least 1776 to at least 1782, the Wades were living in Polstead in Suffolk. We can’t know if William moved with them as the only record we have for him following his baptism is his 1785 marriage in Tendring. He was a wheelwright but I have been so far unable to find the record of his apprenticeship.

A Wade in Tendring

There were several people with the surname Cardinal living in Tendring in the 1700s, and it’s possible that the reason William ended up living there was a familial connection through his mother. It could be the case that, while William’s parents and younger siblings moved to Polstead (presumably because EdwardI was working for the Cooper family there), he may have gone to live with a relative of his mother. If this is the case, then it could even be that William was known initially just as William Wade, but the interest taken in him by the Cardinal family led him to adopt their surname as his middle name. Uncharitably, perhaps, one could even claim that it was coincidence that he lived in Tendring, and added Cardinal to his name to suggest a connection between himself and the Cardinal family residing there that didn’t exist. However, there is certainly a link between the Cardinalls and William’s wife, and if William’s mother was from the same Cardinall family, then it’s possible that William met his wife by virtue of them being related.

In 1793, William took on John Syrett as his apprentice. This appears to be the only apprentice he took on. Considering that William died three years into John’s apprenticeship, John would have continued it under a different master, but I have not yet found out what happened to him.

Anne Gilbert Bearman (1765-1825)

On 17th February 1785, aged about 18, William married Anne Gilbert Bearman, who was about 20. Anne was originally from Beaumont-cum-Moze, the only child of a farmer called Stephen Bearman and his wife, Judith (née Gilbert), to survive to adulthood.[1]Judith Gilbert was baptised in Beaumont-cum-Moze on 5th February 1721, the daughter of Thomas and Judith Gilbert. Stephen Bearman was her second husband – when they married in Beaumont-cum-Moze … Continue reading

A connection to the Cardinall family can be found on Anne’s mother’s side. Anne inherited £20 from her uncle John Gilbert of Tendring,[2]Will of John Gilbert, farmer of Tendring, written 2nd April 1790, proved 27th May 1790. ERO ref: D/ABW 111/1/32. John was buried at Beaumont-cum-Moze and two properties (one in Stow Maries and the other in Cold Norton) from her uncle Henry Gilbert of Chelmsford.[3]Will of Henry Gilbert, gentleman of Chelmsford, 5th March 1792. ERO ref: D/ABW 111/3/21 She was to have these properties for her natural life and on her death, they were to be sold and the proceeds divided between her children. Henry also left her all his silverware.

Henry’s will provides a vital clue for the Gilbert/Cardinall link: he mentions Charles “Carnell” deceased (Anne’s husband is William Carnell Wade in this will, so it’s safe to assume he means the children of Charles Cardinall), leaving £100 to each of Charles’ children. He says that Charles is the grandson of Henry’s late aunt, sister of Henry’s father, Thomas. This would be Elizabeth Gilbert, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Gilbert, who was baptised in Great Oakley in 1674. In 1701 she married James Cardinall (1672-1707)  in Tendring (her surname is spelt “Guilberd”); their only son to survive to adulthood was Charles Cardinall (1703-1746). On her husband’s death, Elizabeth moved to Beaumont-cum-Moze, presumably to return to her family, and her son Charles married Judith Barker there 1731. They had four children: Judith, Charles, Elizabeth and James. John Gilbert, named as “my cousin”, appears in the 1746 will of Charles senior, who is possibly John who died in 1790. The Charles “Carnell” in Henry Gilbert’s will must, therefore, be the son of Charles and Judith, who was born in Beaumont-cum-Moze in 1734. I think he must have moved away as I have not yet caught up with him (he lost both his parents when he was quite young), but at least now we know that he had children, and had died before Henry sat down to write his will in 1790.

How they might be related.

When Anne’s father died on 26th August 1795, his will left her three cottages in Wix, and the remainder of income from securities after 3 shillings a week was paid to his wife of less than a year, Mary.[4]Stephen Bearman and Mary Saunders were married at Wix in December 1795. I have been unable to trace Mary any further for the moment. On Mary’s death or remarriage, Anne was to inherit the cottage bequeathed to Mary by Stephen, as well as the 3 shillings a week. This is perhaps why William Cardinal Wade’s will does not explicitly provide for his widow, as she was adequately supported by the inheritance from her father and her maternal uncles.

An advert for the auction of Stephen’s goods, following his death, appeared in the Ipswich Journal on 26th September 1795, and gives us an idea of what a farmer of this period might own, and what was considered worthy of mention to attract possible bidders:

Part of his Household Furniture, Farming Stock &c. comprising a bay gelding, 4 years old, fit for the road or collar; road waggon, tumbrel, wheel plough, 2 rolls, 3 harrows, cart and plough trace, and a very strong new tumbrel, 3 shoats, and sundry implements in husbandry. The Household Furniture comprises bedsteads, featherbeds, tables, chairs &c. brewing copper and tubs, beer casks and dairy vessels, and all other general articles of furniture.

The children of William and Anne

William and Anne had at least five children. The first four were baptised at Tendring:

  • William Gilbert, 6th Jan 1787
  • Ann Elizabeth Cardinal, 20th Nov 1788
  • Harriot Judith Bearman, 25th Dec 1790
  • Stephen Bearman, 26th Oct 1792

Stephen died in childhood – there are two Stephen Wades in the Tendring burial register, one in December 1793 and one in August 1795. It may be that Stephen, born in 1792, died in 1793, and a second son named Stephen was born but his baptism isn’t in the register for some reason, and he died in 1795. By the time William wrote his will in March 1796, he mentions only three children by name: William, Ann and Harriot.

The naming of their children is interesting: the first son appears to be named after the father and takes his mother’s middle name (and her mother’s maiden name) as a middle name. The first daughter apparently takes “Ann” from her mother’s first name, and “Elizabeth Cardinal” from her paternal grandmother, and the second daughter’s two middle names, “Judith Bearman” are from her maternal grandmother. The youngest son was named after his paternal grandfather.

A third daughter, Susannah, was baptised in Fingringhoe in November 1796, having been born on 16th October that year – she was a posthumous child, for her father had died on 18th May 1796, aged only 29.

William’s will

William Cardinal Wade did not die poor, although certainly he died young. In his will, written in March 1796, “being in illhealth of Body but of a sound mind memory and understanding”, he left his plate to be divided between his three children “and any other my child or children to be hereafter born” (presumably knowing by then that his wife was pregnant), and then directed that all his real and personal estate was to be sold, the proceeds to be put out into securities that would provide an annuity for his wife to raise his children with. Once the youngest of the children was to reach the age of 21, the sum invested in securities was to be divided between his children. As mentioned above, he doesn’t explicitly provide for his widow, presumably because she had benefited from her father and uncles some years before.

William’s will states that he has premises at Haseley in Essex [I’m not quite sure where this is], and no less than five tenements in Parson’s Green in Tendring. He also owned the house in which he was living at the time, as well as the wheelwright’s workshop attached to it. William seems to have prospered as a wheelwright, so again, one wonders if he was related to the Cardinals at Tendring and if so, if they helped him along to some degree.

As with his father-in-law the year before, William’s possessions were auctioned, and an advert appeared in Ipswich Journal on 4th June 1796:

All his Household Goods, Linen, China, Brewing utensils, beer casks, stock of carriages &c.; comprising a road waggon, almost new, 3 genteel light carts, a young gelding fit for the saddle or collar, and gentle in harness. The household furniture comprises 7 bedsteads, with check, harateen, morine, and other hangings, 7 good beds and beding, pier and dressing glasses, kitchen ranges, Bath stoves, smoke jack, mahogany and wainscot dining, tea and card tables, sweet beer casks, mash and guile tubs, new brewing and washing coppers, and sundry other articles.

It’s worth noting a couple of things. Firstly, William’s name is given in the advert as Wm. Carnal Wade, and that he spells his name William Cardnall Wade on his will, which I think nicely illustrates the pronunciation of “Cardinal” in a north-east Essex accent. Secondly, as with the auction of Stephen Bearman’s possessions after his death, one wonders how the remaining members of his family managed once all the household goods were sold. Presumably their widows went to live with family (perhaps Mary, Stephen’s widow, briefly lived with the Wades in Tendring), or moved into furnished accommodation. Certainly Ann moved to Fingringhoe, perhaps living with her late husband’s parents or siblings. It’s also worth wondering why the Wades had seven bedsteads. Quite often, people shared beds at this period, so the two daughters, and perhaps their brother, all being under ten at the time, shared one bed. Why did they need seven? Perhaps to accommodate servants and apprentices, as well as, perhaps, family.

William’s will mentions several of the Wades, besides his wife and children. The first to be mentioned is his brother, Thomas (1776-1835). Thomas was only just 20 at the time, and William gives him “the refusal of my Stock in Trade at a fair valuation in case he shall think proper to purchase the same.” Considering that William’s stock in trade is not mentioned in the newspaper advert, it seems that Thomas took him up on the offer – certainly, by the time Thomas’ occupation appears with his children’s baptisms, he’s a carpenter. Whilst the roles of wheelwrights and carpenters are different, some of their stock in trade would have been the same. It could even be that Thomas started off as a wheelwright and later became a carpenter.

One of the executors is Thomas Lewis Stone of Fingringhoe, farmer, who was William’s brother-in-law – he married William’s sister, Elizabeth. In fact, Elizabeth Stone is one of the witnesses, along with William’s other sister, Sarah Whittaker Wade. One gets the impression on reading the will that the Wade family decided to rally round their ailing sibling, because his two sisters had to travel from Fingringhoe to Tendring to witness the will. It may be the case that Sarah was living with William’s family in Tendring at the time to help nurse him. We don’t know what he died of, but he clearly lingered in his illness for at least a couple of months.

After writing this will on 18th March 1796, William added a codicil on 27th March, leaving £10 to his mother, Elizabeth Wade. He gives no explanation for this addition to the will, and it makes one wonder what life was like at the time for Edward and Elizabeth. They were in their 50s at the time, so presumably Edward was still working. Was it a sum given to a woman in financial difficulties, or perhaps she was nursing him in his illness, or maybe she had promised to take in his widow and his children?

William’s headstone can still be seen today in the churchyard at Tendring. There is a large space on the stone below his name, as if the intention was for his children or his wife to be eventually buried with him. But apart from the two Stephen Wades, William was the only Wade buried at Tendring, and it’s only William Cardinall Wade on the memorial.

More Wades in Fingringhoe

William’s posthumous child, Susannah, was born a few months after her father’s death, and is the only one of his children to have been baptised in Fingringhoe – she may well have been born there. Anne did not remarry after her husband’s death, and she was buried in Fingringhoe on 1st February 1825, aged 59. The memorial inscription, if one existed for her, no longer survives. She didn’t leave a will, but the terms of her father’s will meant that the cottages and income she inherited from him was to be divided between her children, as well as the properties inherited from her uncle Henry Gilbert (and his silverware!).

I am related to the Wades through my grandfather’s family, and it’s a rather strange coincidence that, when I looked at a settlement examination concerning someone on my grandmother’s side, I saw the Wades being mentioned. On 8th February 1810, pregnant and single, Eleanor Quilter (sister of my 5 x great-grandmother) was examined at St. Osyth by Thomas Nunn and George Bridges. The settlement says:

That about three years ago last June she offered her service to Mrs Wade of Fingringhoe who asked her this Examinant how she let herself when the answered by the Month, that her Mistress said she always hired her Servants by the week that she accordingly let herself & entered upon her service at the wages of 1s/6d per week subject to a weeks wages or a weeks warning that she continued in the Service of her said Mistress for nearly a Year and an Half and previous to her quitting her Service her Mistress gave her a weeks warning that she received all her wages as she wanted them

So, in June 1806, Eleanor became a servant of Mrs. Wade of Fingringhoe, and left her service in early 1808. It can’t be Elizabeth Wade (née Cardinal), because she had died in 1803, so the employer referred to in the examination must be either Ann, William’s widow, or Sarah (née Pritchett), the wife of William’s brother, Edward WadeII. It does, however, give a voice to either of those women – the mistress who liked the convenience of hiring her servants by the week, rather than the month. One wonders why – perhaps she had previous bad experience of poorly-behaved servants she had wanted to sack quickly, or perhaps because she had an unreliable income and could not commit to a longer period.

William’s children

In 1803, William Everett of Peldon, a parish very near to Fingringhoe, apprenticed William Wade – this is quite possibly the eldest of William and Ann’s children, as he would have been sixteen at time time. Everett was a wheelwright, so evidently William decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. It does not appear that William married, and on 21st September 1827, two years after his mother’s death, William was buried at Fingringhoe, aged 40.

Ann Elizabeth Cardinal Wade, named after both her mother and her grandmother, married Frederick Hicks in Wivenhoe on 11th April 1815. She witnessed her sister Susannah’s marriage in January 1816. Ann’s husband apparently died in May 1816,[5]Frederick Hicks, buried at Wivenhoe St. Mary’s, 30th May 1816, aged 30. and only a couple of months later, their son, Frederick William Hicks was born, on 12th August 1816. His baptism, on 25th August, gives his father’s occupation as a publican. I have not yet traced Ann beyond her son’s baptism. On the 1861 census, Frederick William Hicks, aged 44, is a sailor or tailor, living in Bull Stoke Court in Whitechapel. He was apparently married – he may be the same man who, in 1851, married a widow called Caroline Turvill at the parish church in Stepney. He gave his own occupation as tailor, and his father’s name as Frederick Hicks, an Excise Officer.

I have been unable to trace Harriot Judith Bearman Wade beyond the mention in her father’s 1796 will, however, she was not married or buried in Fingringhoe, as far as I can tell.

Lastly, Susannah, the child William Cardinal Wade didn’t get to meet: on 8th January 1816, aged 19, she married her first cousin, Thomas Lewis Nathaniel Stone. Thomas was the son of William’s sister, Elizabeth, and Thomas Lewis Stone, who executed his will. But the story of the Stones will have to wait for another time.


1 Judith Gilbert was baptised in Beaumont-cum-Moze on 5th February 1721, the daughter of Thomas and Judith Gilbert. Stephen Bearman was her second husband – when they married in Beaumont-cum-Moze on 27th July 1762, Judith was Judith Heast, widow, and would have been about 41 years old. Her first husband was James Haste, whom she married in Thorpe-le-Soken on 29th September 1740. Presumably the baptism or marriage register is in error, as there are two baptisms in Thorpe-le-Soken for children of William and Judith Haste: Judith, baptised 10th January 1742, buried 3rd February 1745, and John, baptised 16th October 1743. Another child, a spurious daughter of Judith Heast, was baptised in Beaumont-cum-Moze on 8th March 1761. She was, somewhat incongruously, named Stephen, and was presumably a child of Stephen Bearman and Judith conceived before their marriage. As this child is not mentioned in Stephen’s will, it seems she predeceased her father. Judith was buried in Beaumont-cum-Moze on 3rd February 1788.
2 Will of John Gilbert, farmer of Tendring, written 2nd April 1790, proved 27th May 1790. ERO ref: D/ABW 111/1/32. John was buried at Beaumont-cum-Moze
3 Will of Henry Gilbert, gentleman of Chelmsford, 5th March 1792. ERO ref: D/ABW 111/3/21
4 Stephen Bearman and Mary Saunders were married at Wix in December 1795. I have been unable to trace Mary any further for the moment.
5 Frederick Hicks, buried at Wivenhoe St. Mary’s, 30th May 1816, aged 30.