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The Family of James Panton, Town Crier(1805-1849)

This is still a work in progress. I have nonetheless decided to experiment with making this research available in its draft form.

As is often the case with genealogical research, the task of researching John Panton born 1804 in Lincoln, has taken many twists and turns.My newspaper archive research, revealed early on that there was a James Panton, who was town crier(He was also a shoemaker by trade) in the Bail. Initially I had believed that John’s father James Panton(1786-1857) had been the town crier.

John Panton

John Panton was born to James Panton(1786-1857), grocer’s porter, in about 1804. He was christened at Saint Mary Magdalane’s Church in Lincoln on March 4th, 1804. John ‘s mother was called Rebecca and she was born in Kealby Lincolnshire in 1775.

According to the 1851 census. James Panton died August 16th, 1857 in Lincoln aged 73. (Lincolnshire Chronicle, Northampton, Rutland and Nottingham Advertiser, August 31st,1857). The notice actually describes him as a grocer’s porter, which matches census information

I have been unable to determine the date of John’s marriage which is undetermined at this time, as I feel I have insufficient evidence to confirm his wife, Mary’s surname.

Mary and John are described as having nine children at the time of John’s trial in 1846. I believe these children were Ann(1829-), John(1831-), Robert(1835-), Susan(1837-1894), Rebecca(1839-), William(1841-), Sarah(1842-), Charlotte(1842-) and Frederick(.1845-)

I was amazed to discover that candles had not always been made of wax but that some had been made of a somewhat cheaper substance called tallow. Having obtained his year of birth from the 1841 census, I had learned he had once lived at a rather interesting address in a building which is still standing today. I also ascertained the identity of his father. I became very intrigued and confused by his Bail Gate addresses as there had been other Pantons, also in Bail Gate.

However the most informative and unique fact I had about John Panton, was that he was employed as a tallow chandler. Having ascertained this was about candles, I set out to follow this line of research in The British Newspaper Archives. I had already discovered this little gem readily available online.

BROG/1/4/3/6/1 Depositions and recognizance
Prosecutor: Edward Scrivener of the High Street,
23 Mar 1846
grocer and tallow chandler.
Witness: William Tuxford, police constable.
Accused: John Panton, labourer, worked in
Scrivener’s candle house.
Crime: stealing ¾ lb of soap and ½ lb of candles in
the parish of St Benedict, Lincoln.

Mary faced court in March 1845. Mary had thrown stones at another tallow chandler, Griffits Osler, when she had been caught scavenging round the yard of Mr Turner, the grocer (which was something she had apparently done before, as she was considered to be the reason why it was kept locked). She was tried on March 19th 1845. Regardless it appears to have been a time of hardship for the family which had resulted in Mary being fined and John being jailed for three months for theft from his employer Edward Scrivener.

John Panton Theft from Edward Scrivener

I was amazed to discover that candles had not always been made of wax but that some had been made of a somewhat cheaper substance called tallow. Having obtained his year of birth from the 1841 census, I had learned he had once lived at a rather interesting address in a building which is still standing today. I also ascertained the identity of his father. I became very intrigued and confused by his Bail Gate addresses as there had been other Pantons, also in Bail Gate.

However the most informative and unique fact I had about John Panton, was that he was employed as a tallow chandler. Having ascertained this was about candles, I set out to follow this line of research in The British Newspaper Archives. I had already discovered this little gem readily available online.

BROG/1/4/3/6/1 Depositions and recognizance
Prosecutor: Edward Scrivener of the High Street,
23 Mar 1846
grocer and tallow chandler.
Witness: William Tuxford, police constable.
Accused: John Panton, labourer, worked in 1846
Scrivener’s candle house.
Crime: stealing ¾ lb of soap and ½ lb of candles in
the parish of St Benedict, Lincoln.

The Lincolnshire Chronicle & Northampton & Rutand & Nottingham Advertiser(March 26, 1846) gives a detailed account.

To Be Updated

However further research has proved to my satisfaction that John’s brother James Panton, was the town crier. James Panton the town crier, is described as having expired suddenly, having been cleaning out his pig sty. He had complained of feeling unwell and had died lying next to his wife in bed, aged only forty four. The death of James Panton, crier of the Bail would have made him born in 1805(from the Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury, 16th November, 1849.)

As he was born in 1805, this indicated that he was the brother of John Panton born 1804. Today I have been researching James Panton(1805-1849)from Lincoln, son of James Panton(1786-1857) and his family.

Rebecca Frances Panton (1843-1915) Lincoln, England

Investigating each of his children in turn has proven particularly fruitful and yielded yet another interesting court case. Rebecca Frances Panton(1843-1915), daughter of James Panton, the town crier had an eventful life.By 1881 Rebecca Frances Panton(referred to as Fanny) who is the second youngest daughter of James Panton, town crier, is living with her sister Sarah Panton and has clearly married somebody with the surname of Parks. Further research disclosed that Rebecca Frances(Fanny) Panton had married a young man, named Martin Luther Parks.

Marriage to Martin Luther Parks (1846-1908)

This unusual name aroused my curiosity. A quick search of the newspaper archives revealed that Martin Luther Parks had been put on trial in September 1867, accused of having abandoned his wife and two children.Documents were produced to prove the marriage, however Martin Luther Parks had claimed he did not believe the marriage was valid, as he had been underage and had not had the permission of his parents. Martin Luther Parks’ father was a Methodist Minister called Robert Parks. He (Martin Luther Parks) was remanded in custody, as bail had not been paid. Later it was reported in The Nottingham and Stamford Mercury (September 13th, 1862) that the case had been discharged as he (Martin Luther Parks) had paid all expenses due and had undertaken to, “take his family off the books of the union”.

Martin Luther Parks can be found in California in 1896, working as an engineer. for Risden Iron & Locomotive Works. Records note that he comes from England.

By 1881 Rebecca Frances Panton and her children are living with her sister, Sarah Panton. Ten years later in 1891 Rebecca Frances Panton is described as the head of the household – by this time she has four children Robert, Eleanor(sadly Eleanor died in 1893, aged only eleven), Florence and Lucy and her sister Sarah is now living with her. Interestingly all the children bear the surname Parks. I note that Rebecca has retained the surname Parks.

Rebecca made straw bonnets and is living at 33 Bailgate according to the 1892 Kelly’s Directory.

Rebecca lived until she was ninety years old, dying and being buried in Lincoln in 1915.

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