Mary Gowland of London, 1748-?

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Mary was the only daughter of Joshua Nunn and Mary Baker. She was born in Earl Stonham in 8 June 1748. At some point, the family moved south to Essex, and Mary moved even further south – like some of her brothers – to London.

This was where she married Edward Gowland, on 29 July 1777, at St Andrew’s, Holborn. The couple had two children in London, both baptised at St Vedast, Foster Lane: Mary, born on 5 Feb, and baptised on 28 Feb 1778, and Anne, born on 22 Nov, and baptised on 17 Dec 1780. Edward was a tobacconist, with a shop on Paternoster Row in the City of London.[1]This information is from the will of Mary’s brother Joshua Nunn.

The family then moved to Romford in Essex, where Mary’s brother William Nunn ran the White Hart Inn. On 21 Oct 1787, Esther, the couple’s third child that we know of, was baptised in Romford. Mary was mentioned in the will of her brother William in 1792.

Not long after the death of Mary’s brother, her husband, Edward Gowland, died. He was buried in Romford on 28 May 1797. He doesn’t appear to have left a will.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure – at the moment – what happened next in the family. Did Mary remarry? Did she and her daughters move? Did her daughters remarry? I don’t know. There’s a Gowland family in Harwich, and their daughter married a William Scott in Walton, Suffolk – as the bride is Mary Gowland of Harwich, single woman, which matches with a baptism in Harwich. So unfortunately there’s no sign of “our” Mary Gowland and her children.

There are some hints as to the identity of her husband’s family, however: two of her nieces (daughters of her brother James Nunn) married Gowland husbands. Mary Ann married John Gowland in 1831, and Elizabeth Ann married George Ralph Gowland in 1833. Their father, Thomas Gowland, was born in about 1742, and worked as a tobacconist in Holborn, London – he was married twice, and both weddings took place at St Andrew’s, Holborn, where Mary Nunn and Edward Gowland were married too. It seems very likely to me that Edward Gowland and Thomas Gowland were brothers, but I haven’t found their baptisms yet, or any wills, in order to demonstrate this.

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1 This information is from the will of Mary’s brother Joshua Nunn.