Mussetts in and from Bures St Mary 2: Henry and Mary

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Between 1691 and 1714, there are 12 baptisms in Bures St Mary for children of Henry and Mary Mussett. I assume the father is Henry, the eldest son of Henry Mussett and Margaret, born in about 1670. But there’s two marriages, quite close together in Bures’ register, for marriages of a Henry Mussett to a Mary:

  • 7 Aug 1690: Henry Musset and Mary Knowls?
  • 27 March 1692: Henry Musset and Mary Downs

The surname of the bride in the first marriage is quite hard to read, but there are a few people called Knowles in Bures at the time, so that seems to be a strong possibility. The baptisms are:

  • Henry, baptised 15 May 1691
  • Mary, baptised 22 Jan 1692/3, buried 4 March 1692/3
  • Susanna, baptised 22 Jan 1693/4, buried 29 Aug 1701
  • John, baptised 16 March 1695/6, buried 13 July 1696
  • Mary, baptised 13 July 1697
  • Henry, baptised 11 Nov 1699
  • John, baptised 20 Feb 1701/2
  • William, baptised 23 July 1704
  • Sarah, baptised 12 Dec 1706, buried 19 Aug 1709
  • Nathaniel, baptised 21 July 1709, buried 4 Jan 1729/30
  • Margaret, baptised 17 March 1711/2
  • Sarah, baptised 29 Aug 1714

All the baptisms from Henry’s in 1691 to Nathaniel’s in 1709, give the father’s name as “Henry Musset junior”. This suggests to me that we’re looking at the same father – Henry, son of Henry and Margaret. There’s no burial for his first wife, or for Henry baptised in 1691, but the first Mary must’ve died in order for him to marry Mary Downs in 1692, and the son called Henry presumably died before the baptism of another Henry in 1699. It’s not always a given that a family don’t give more than one child the same name, but this practice seems to fizzle out by about 1600. I have seen an example from the 1700s where a father remarried in much later life and a child from his second marriage was given the same forename as a child from the first – by which point the child from the first was already married and having children of his own. And yes, that was very confusing…!

The use of “junior” reflects that Henry was the son of another Henry who was still alive and living in Bures. It helps to confirm that the burial in Bures of Henry Musset on 3 Aug 1710 is that of the man who married Margaret – because all the children of Henry and Mary baptised after 1710 are the children of just “Henry Mussett”, not “Henry Mussett junior”.

Henry was buried in Bures St Mary on 30 Nov 1731. And another Henry Mussett – the third to stay in the village and have children – would take the reins, as well as a John Mussett. Both of these men would appear to be his sons.