The Story of Jude Storer Part Two

Following on from Part One – this post takes us fully into the story of Jude Storer.

First a brief recap – Jude was born in 1681 in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, England and was the third child of Jude Storer and Elizabeth Weston who had married in London in 1677. His father had died in 1689 aged just 35 when Jude junior was just eight years old. At the moment I do not know what his father’s occupation was, but his grandfather Daniel was a Barber Surgeon and great grandfather – also a Daniel, was a “Gentleman”.

Jude first appears in the parish registers following his baptism when he started to have his own children. As yet I’ve not been able to locate a marriage for him, but he married an Elizabeth around 1705 and they had at least three children, beginning with John born 1707 in Hurstpierpoint. They then moved to Guildford, Surrey where they had a daughter Jane born 1712, sadly their son John was buried on the same day that Jane was baptised. They then had a son Jude born 1714. Elizabeth passed away in March 1721 however Jude did not waste time in marrying again as a month later he married Alice James in Westminster, London.

Wenceslas_Hollar_-_Surrey_(State_4)

Old Map of Surrey from Wikipedia

Jude and Alice had four children together, George born possibly in December 1723 or January 1724 who died several months later, followed by Thomas in December 1724, Ann in 1727 who died in 1728 and a son James born 1728 – he was baptised the day after his mother Alice was buried, so it is likely she died in childbirth. James died in 1730. In the space of 21 years Jude had been married and widowed twice and fathered seven children of which only three survived.

What else was going on with Jude at this time? Using Google I was able to find some old books which had been digitised where Jude was mentioned. The first mention of him was in a book published in 1725 called The Present State of Great Britain and Ireland. This book described many aspects of the country including positions held in the royal household. The reigning sovereign at that time was King George I, he reigned from 1st Aug 1714 until his death on 11th June 1727. Jude’s name was listed under the names of Messengers in Ordinary to the King. To be a messenger to the king you were likely to have to be a gentleman of high standing and may well have employed others to do some of the work of delivering messages and information. It was a role that had been utilised by royals since the 15th century and in the time of Charles II – four messengers were employed by him and he reputedly tore off four silver greyhounds from a platter to give to each of them as a symbol – which has been used as the symbol for Royal Messengers to this day. There is a good post about the Messenger Service here.

Jude appeared in the book The True State of England in 1726 – again listed as a Messenger in Ordinary. I then found him listed under the Royal Household Establishment Books records on Findmypast under the Establishment List for the Household of King George II in 1727 – showing that he continued in his role during the reigns of two kings – father and son.

King George I and King George II – from Wikipedia

Following on from the death of his second wife Alice in May 1728, Jude married for a third time in the September of that year to Mary Luff. He and Mary had 10 children:

Mary born 1729, Ann born 1730, Sarah buried 1731 – no baptism found only a burial, John born 1732, James buried 1736 and William buried 1738 – again for both of these there was no baptism record only a burial, Frances born around 1738 – no baptism found, Martha born 1740, Samuel buried 1741 – no baptism found and Cassandra born 1743.

During this period Jude was named in other records, with a mention in 1729 from the National Archives relating to “Miscellaneous Warrants”  – To George Gordon and Jude Storer, messengers from Kensington. For the arrest of Robert Halsey, late the master of the ship Good Providence, who having taken on board a very large sum of money belonging to his Sardinian Majesty which he was to carry to Villa Franca, has embezzled the same and converted it to his own use.

I found Jude’s son Jude in the Country Apprentices (Britain) record set at Findmypast as being an apprentice Tallow Chandler in 1730 – apprenticed to Dymnock Morrice of Westminster. Tallow Chandler’s made candles out of tallow – animal fat.

There was also a mention of Jude senior from the National Archives in 1733 relating to a copy lease for years between Sir More Molyneux and Jude Storer of Guildford, gent. relating to a messuage and lands in Artington. Consideration of £40 per annum. A messuage is a dwelling house with outbuildings and land assigned to it.

Findmypast also had a record relating to the Surrey Feet of Fines from 1734 – Feet of Fines were copies of agreements between parties around land related lawsuits. In this case it mentions Jude Storer v Sarah Fairman, widow, Benbrick Fairman, John Buntin, John Snashall & Benbrick Gates. I do not have any other information on this yet, but likely there was a disagreement over land – potentially related to the lease of the lands in Artington from the previous year.

In June 1738 Jude appeared at the Old Bailey in London giving evidence against a George Grinway alias Greenaway accusing him of stealing a brown gelding (horse), leather bridle and saddle from him the previous month and trying to sell it. He was also accused of assaulting a John Goodwin on the highway and stealing money from him – essentially Highway Robbery. Despite having been given a good character reference at the trail, George Greenaway was sentenced to death. He was executed in July 1738, his story seems very sad – details of his crime and his story in his own words can be found on the Old Bailey archives here. (Search the page for the name Greenaway). An extract states “After the Dead Warrant came down, he refused to eat, nor would he take any manner of food, by which he impair’d his health so very much, that some times it was imagined he would expire in his cell. But some hours before his execution, he came surprizingly to himself, talk’d rationally, and told one who came to see him, that his fellow prisoners would have more occasion for the assistance of the Minister than he should, for he could say all the prayers in the Common-Prayer-Book perfectly by heart.” I wonder how Jude felt about being party to a case where a man lost his life? Although back then many felonies were punishable by death, and by George’s own account of how his life had gone astray it seems he only had himself to blame, but these days he would have had a stint in prison and may well have taken the opportunity to sort his life out.

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The Old Bailey Sessions House from 1737 – from https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/static/The-old-bailey.jsp

In the same year Jude’s name came up again from the records at the National Archives this time a case in Chancery – where there was some sort of dispute regarding a will. The case was Russell v Smyth. The plaintiffs were Hannah Russell of Guildford, Surrey and Catherine Russell spinster of Guildford.  The defendants were William Smyth, William Bicknoll, Jude Storer, John Russell the son and William Smith. Around the same sort of time this case came about, Jude’s name comes up as the husband of Mary Luff – the administrator of her father John Luff’s will. John was a Tanner from Bramley in Surrey. There are no Russell’s or Smith/Smyth’s named so it may not be connected.  I may have to do some hunting for wills that might be connected to see whether Jude is named in order to understand what the problem might have been.

There were two mentions of Jude in the National Archives from records from December 1739 relating to information from a William Brunman of Petersfield, Hampshire who made a statement to Jude that he had overheard two gentlemen plotting to blow up Parliament. That he had spoken to Jude at Guildford and he had been to London and unsuccessfully tried to see the King or Robert Walpole [the Prime Minister] about the plot. He urged “swift action and great secrecy”. I don’t know much more about this plot, but of course nothing came of it!

In 1741 Jude was noted as a master to an apprentice in the Country Apprentices (Britain) record set on Findmypast. He was a Master Postmaster and his apprentice was called Thomas Flanning. Jude also appears in the 1742 Poll Book for Guildford, showing he was on the list of voters. Poll books were introduced following an act of parliament in 1696 to document the votes in order to curb election fraud. Sheriffs collected details of voters and who they voted for and the information then published in Poll Books. This practice continued until the use of secret ballots in 1872. Ancestry have Poll Books and Electoral Registers for various areas spanning 1538 to 1893.

From a book called The History and Description of Guildford, dated 1801, there is a list of Mayors of Guildford – Jude is listed as having been the mayor in 1743.

From George II’s state papers at the National Archives there were the following details dated December 1745:

“Warrant for delivery of David Morgan to Jude Storer and Parry, King’s messengers. Morgan and his papers to be brought before [Duke of] Newcastle.”

“[Duke of] Newcastle to Duke of Cumberland, or commander of King’s forces at Lichfield [Staffordshire] or Stone [Staffordshire]. Ordering guards for Jude Storer, King’s messenger, to safely conduct a prisoner to London. [Carried] ‘By Storer’ [messenger]”

Jude was linked up with events in royal and political history as this was the midst of the Jacobite Rebellion – which ran from 19th August 1745 to 20th April 1746. Charles Edward Stuart (the Young Pretender) was attempting to regain the British throne for his father James Francis Edward Stuart (the Old Pretender). James was the son of King James II & VII of England, Scotland & Ireland and his second wife Mary of Modena. King James, a Catholic, was deposed and exiled in the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688. His Protestant sister Mary II became queen along with her husband William III. A series of revolts occurred, the first in 1689 and other major outbreaks in 1708, 1715 and 1719. The Scots had captured Edinburgh in the Battle of Prestonpans in September 1745 and decided to invade England, taking advantage of the fact that much of the British Army were away fighting in Europe and with reassurance that there was enough support from Jacobite sympathisers from England along with a landing in Southern England from French supporters. They got as far as Derby in December 1745 before turning back. Eventually following the Battle of Culloden in April 1746 – the Rebellion was quashed with The Young Pretender escaping to France and he failed to seek enough support for another attempt.

The Old and Young Pretenders – from Wikipedia

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The Battle of Culloden – by David Morier 1746 – from Wikipedia

So who was this prisoner David Morgan Jude was escorting to London? David was a lawyer and a high churchman from Wales. The following comes from his entry in the Dictionary of Welsh Biography:

In November 1745 he went from Pen-y-Graig to Spetchley, near Worcester, where he met William Vaughan of Courtfield. Together they proceeded through Staffordshire to Leigh in Lancashire, and on to Preston where they joined the Young Pretender. Morgan was given a position of trust in the rebel force, and was known as the ‘Prince’s Counsellor.’ On reaching Manchester he aided in raising the Manchester Regiment, and was offered its command, but he declined on the ground that he was not a military man. (Nevertheless, at his trial he said that he had ‘served the crown of England in two campaigns with some reputation’). During the advance into England he was active in superintending the search for arms.

When the prince retreated from Derby, Morgan accompanied him for one day as far as Ashbourne, but then left the army and was soon arrested at Stone. On his capture he stated that it had been intended to march through Warwick to Oxford, where the students would have joined the prince, thereby attaching their families to him, and this may well have been Morgan’s advice in the heated discussions before the prince determined to retreat. Morgan remained in Newgate gaol till his trial and condemnation on 22 July 1746. Eight days later he was put to death on Kennington Common with all the barbarity of executions for treason.

So Jude escorted him to Newgate for his trial and ultimate execution. The “barbarity of executions for treason” would of course have been being hung, drawn and quartered.

There was also another entry from the National Archives dated Jan 1745/6 – “Jude Storer to [Unknown]. Enclosing letter from Lord Midleton (not enclosed), who wishes to subscribe 20 horses.”

Findmypast also have Jacobite Rebellion records and Jude’s name appears several times relating to having bills paid for his work by the Duke of Newcastle, spanning Jan 1745/6 to April 1749. Although the first entry relates to the the request from Lord Middleton for the horses – which actually went to the Duke of Newcastle. It is written in Jude’s own hand.

Letter re Lord Middleton 1746

Jacobite Rebellion record extract – from Findmypast

Jude was to suffer another loss with his third wife Mary being buried in September 1747 in Guildford. Not one to go long without a wife, Jude married again in the December to a widow – Elizabeth Quennell. He and Elizabeth didn’t have any children.

In 1751 Jude was listed in the Court & City Register – still as a Messenger in Ordinary to the King, being paid £45 a year along with a daily pay which is not disclosed. Also from the aforementioned list of Mayors of Guildford, he became mayor again the same year. He appeared again in the Court & City Register for 1757 – still in the same role with the same pay. He then thirdly and finally became Mayor of Guildford again in 1759.

Court & City Register 1757

Court & City Register extract 1757

Jude’s final records of course relate to his death, he died in 1761 and was buried in Guildford on 6th September. He left a lengthy will, naming his loving wife Elizabeth, his daughter Jane from his first wife – formerly Elstone but now married to Thomas Freeman, and two of her children from her first marriage Robert & Eleanor Elstone. It mentions his son Thomas from his second marriage – who was a Surgeon. It mentions his daughter Mary who had died before him, married to James Cooper who had children James and Mary. He also mentioned his daughter Ann wife of Thomas Neighbour with children Ann and James. Then finally his youngest children John, Frances, Martha & Cassandra. There is no mention of his son Jude – so presumably he died before his father. There is a note dated 23rd September 1820 to say that his estate did not get administered by his executors and that his son Thomas died intestate after outliving the other executors.

It is fascinating to think of what sort of a life Jude Storer lived. From being left fatherless in 1689 at the age of 8, to gaining employment from the king of his country George I – which then spanned the reign of the next king – George II. George II died on 25th Oct 1760 and was succeeded to the throne by his grandson George III – his eldest son having pre-deceased him. I don’t know if Jude was still employed as a Messenger in Ordinary during that time.

Not only was his working life interesting, this important role in the royal staff and being the Mayor of Guildford three times, but his personal life was a series of ups and downs. Four marriages, widowed three times, 17 children – of which it seems only seven survived into adulthood – not counting Jude as I do not know when he died, and losing his married daughter Mary in 1757. His last wife Elizabeth died in 1769 and had been living in London but was buried in Guildford – however at a different church to Jude – so perhaps she was buried with her first husband?

Jude Storer Tree

Jude Storer’s Family Tree

Jude had to have been an important – and popular man to have been elected mayor three times and to have been in a position of trust with his role of messenger. I wonder what he was like as a husband and father? I wonder if he was a kind man? Or was he hardened by life, touched by the events of the times? With at least two men executed who he had some dealings with – George Greenaway and David Morgan, he lived in a turbulent age, but managed to live to the ripe old age of 80 – quite a feat in those days.

Do you have any Royal Messengers in your tree? Let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

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