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William Peplow of Wellington

Family Group 1001

William was baptized at St. Mary’s Shrewsbury 9th October 1768 . For reasons unknown he became a tailor,

his apprenticeship not yet discovered in either Shrewsbury or London. It is possible that Edwin Wild was a

tailor but later generations of Wilds were carpenters or bricklayers. William’s son (William) said that he sat


to sew, like the ‘Tailor of Gloucester’. Apparently young tailors had a board put across their

knees to force them down. The apprenticeship would have been for seven years and was very strictdepending

upon the age at which it was entered into. No cards, dicing, taverns or playhouses. No fornication or


By this time, the roads had been improved and Shrewsbury was the terminus for the London mail coach to

Holyhead. The journey to London by coach took two days. One of them must have carried William when he

travelled there, probably about 1790. In London he met and married a young lady named Hannah Granger.

From the IGI fiche Hannah does not seem to have come from Shropshire or London , although a lot of London

parish registers were lost in the blitz. William and Hannah were married at Chapel Royal, Savoy 21st March

1793 , where the original registers are still kept. In October 2006 I finally managed to inspect them. They

were both of this place, the witnesses being John Amor (clerk?) and Chas Dowdall. The Chapel Royal is a

lovely little church, tucked away between the Strand and the Embankment. It was originally part of a hospital

(almshouse) and has no parish, being outside the bishops’ jurisdiction. Unfortunately, it was gutted by fire in

the nineteenth century but has subsequently been restored as the Chapel of the Royal Victorian Order. It is,

therefore, full of heraldry and has interesting royal memorial windows. Apparently, it was restored as originally

at the behest of Queen Victoria so, apart from the windows, it must look much as it did that day in 1793.

William and Hannah’s first child, another William, was baptized at St. Clement Danes church a couple of

hundred yards away. St. Clement Danes, a Wren church, was blitzed during the war but has been restored as the

church of the Royal Air Force. William is described as ‘tailor of the Strand ’. It would be interesting to know

if he worked for himself. At this time, before the Law Courts and many more modern buildings were built,

there was an absolute warren of houses in that area. Part of the Strand must have been more exclusive as

Surtees describes Jorrocks riding along the Strand in the early morning, on his way to a meet, seeing the maids

scrubbing the steps.

In 1796 William returned to Shrewsbury with a pregnant Hannah and his son to be admitted and sworn a burgess

with his father. No doubt the sum offered made the journey worthwhile. Like his father, he voted for Sir

William Poultney and John Hill. While they were in Shrewsbury , their second child, Sarah was born 22nd June

and baptized at St. Mary’s 11th August. Since the admitting of burgesses began in April, William and Hannah

made quite a long visit. On the return journey, when there was snow on the ground, Hannah reportedly caught a

chill and died after they reached London . I checked for a burial at the Savoy chapel. William jnr. said an

uncle in Birmingham looked after him (which uncle?). Obviously at some point William returned to

Shrewsbury as, on 5th January 1804 , he married at St. Mary’s Hannah Harris then a woman in her thirties. The

witnesses were Edward Stanway and Margaret Humphries. By this time the great 14th century Jesse Window

from Old St. Chad ’s would have been installed at the east end and the church would have looked much as it

does today. At this point, apparently, the children were apprenticed. Sarah was apprenticed to a laundress,

possibly at Walsall . It was at Walsall that her brother said he visited her on his way home in 1818. In the

meantime, Sarah had married William Bayliss at St. Mary’s Handsworth ( Birmingham ) 30th April 1815 .

Both signed the register. Sarah bore William a number of children. In the 1841 census there were Hannah 25,

Mary 15, William 14, Ellen 12, Thomas 9, James 7, John 4 and Emma 5 months. Probably there were others

between Hannah and Mary. All were recorded as being born in the county. In 1851 Hannah and Mary had died

or left home and there was John Taylor aged 3 adopted son. Sarah is registered as born in London and as being

blind, deaf or dumb! If she was correct about being born in London , it would seem that her parents might have

made two trips to Shrewsbury ; one to vote and the other for the baptism. Her son William was twice Mayor of Walsall. In 1851 he was a saddler’s ironmonger and two of his brothers were currier’s apprentices. Sarah died

14th May 1860 (eldest daughter of William Peplow, tailor of Watling St. Wellington – Wellington Journal).

Owner/SourceSarah Riley
Linked toPeplow, William 1001
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