Lyndon in Rutland c.1682 – 1843

CHAPTER III

Lyndon – The Third Generation

We continue our story on a spring day eight months after the death of Anne Shelacres (née Hill). Of Anne’s four children, only her daughter Hannah had married at the time of her death in 1759 and had been Hannah Baker since January 1757. The next to wed, in the spring of 1760 was Richard & Anne’s third child, Francis Shelacres, who as he was my great-great-great-great grandfather, now becomes the main focus of this section of my narrative.

The wedding of Francis Shelacres to Sarah Scott
On the day of his wedding, which took place on Monday 26th May 1760 in the parish church in Lyndon, Francis was around 26 years old. His bride SARAH SCOTT, was born either in 1738 or 1739 making her around 21 years old at this time. (Incidentally I believe it would be relatively easy, using the transcribed copy of the Lyndon parish registers for 1580-1811 created by Reverend Thomas Nevinson, to locate details of Sarah’s baptism and the names of her parents and any siblings).

It is very probable those present at this wedding could have included Francis’s married sister, Hannah and her husband Joseph as they continued to live in Lyndon after their marriage. Other guests could have included Francis’s two unmarried brothers; elder brother Richard who was 29 years old at that time and younger brother Thomas, who would have celebrated his 23rd birthday just a few days before this wedding. Possibly the wedding was also attended by Francis’s three half-sisters; Eleanor, Mary and Elizabeth  who were the children of their father’s marriage to his first wife Elizabeth (née Walton). These three women would all have been around forty years old in the Spring of 1760. Another family member who was still living in Lyndon was Francis’s uncle – also named Francis. He had reached the age of 71 years on the day of his nephew’s wedding and was the only member of the ‘2nd Lyndon Generation’ of whom I have definite evidence of being alive at this time.

1760 - May 26 Marriage Francis Shellaker Sarah Scott 1760
‘The Banns of marriage between Francis Shellaker & Sarah Scott both of this
Parish were published on three Sundays, to wit, May ye 11th, 18th
and 25th, in the Parish Church of Lyndon, no one forbidding them.
by me C. Belgrave Rector.
Francis Shellaker & Sarah Scott both of this Parish were
married in this Church by Banns this twenty sixth day 
of May in the year 1760 by me. C. Belgrave. Rector

This marriage was solemnized between us  

Francis Shellaker 
Sarah Scott X her Mark

In the presence of
John Scott. John Woodward’

Reproduced by permission of Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland

Interestingly a close examination of the family surname shows that it was originally written as ‘Shelacres’ but then overwritten as ‘Shellaker’ – (top and fifth line). Possibly even his signature has been changed to Shellaker (to the right on the line second from the bottom).

FRANCIS’S TWO BROTHER WED – Firstly THOMAS
Within the next three and half years both of Francis’s unmarried brothers marry. The first being his younger brother Thomas, who, at the age of 25 years, married MARY GREEN in the parish church at nearby Rutland village of RIDLINGTON. The wedding took place on Sunday 14th November 1762 in the parish church of St Mary Magdalene & St Andrew (pictured below right and reproduced by permission of LeicesterPhoto).

Ridlington ChurchIn a local directory written around eighty years after this wedding Ridlington is described as a small straggling village just over 5 miles west of Lyndon, around 2 miles north-west from Uppingham and some six miles due south of the Oakham the County town of Rutland.

The village stands on picturesque high land running east and west rising to 588 ft and overlooking the valleys of Catmose, Gwash and Chater. To the South is Eye Brook on the south, where the land falls to about 300 ft. In the 1840’s had a population of just under 300 souls.

It was considered a pretty village with cottages mostly of honey coloured stone with thatched roofs and with the main residences stretching along a street running parallel to and on the north side of the by-road from Preston to Leighfield but with a maze of winding lanes meandering through the pleasant countryside. The area of Ridlington parish is 2,081 acres with the land being chiefly pasture but also with areas of rich woodland scenery. There was also a Baptist meeting-room in the village but probably it did not exist when Thomas Shellaker married Mary Green in 1762.

Occupations and trades within the village included shopkeeper, a blacksmith who was also the beerhouse owner, a corn miller, bakers, carpenters, farmers and graziers, butchers, shoemakers and stone masons.

1762 - Nov 14 Marriage Thomas Shellaker Mary Green1762
‘The Banns of marriage between Thomas Shellaker & Mary Green were published on the 17th, 24th and 31st Day of October by me J. Hunt. Cur.
The said Thomas Shellaker of this parish, Labourer and the said Mary Green of this parish spinster were married in this Church by Banns this fourteen day of November  in the year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-two. by me J. Hunt. Cur.
This marriage was solemnized between us  

Thomas Shellaker 
Mary Green

In the presence of [Both names unclear]

Reproduced by permission of Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland

Again, of interest, and as on the entry for the wedding of his brother Francis, it appears the family surnames has been amended on this document as it appears Thomas originally signed his name ‘Shelacres’ but it has been changed to ‘Shellaker’.

FRANCIS’S TWO BROTHER WED – secondly RICHARD
Eleven months after the marriage of Thomas Shellaker and Mary Green the wedding of the third and last unmarried sibling, RICHARD, took place in the parish church of the small village of Horninghold, a small village and parish in the county of Leicestershire lying seven miles north-east of Market Harborough and four miles south-west of Uppingham. It is around eleven miles south-west of Lyndon.

The wedding took place at  St Peter’s church on  Sunday 30th October 1763, a church incidentally which was was built in the 12th Century and is one of the few surviving example of a Parish Church without the (often destructive) ‘Victorian restoration’ which is common in many churches within England. (The church is pictured below right and reproduced by permission of LeicesterPhoto).On that day in October Richard Shellaker, who was one month away from his thirty-third birthday, married MARY MARSHAL, both of whom were living in the parish of Horninghold at that time.

30 Oct 1763 - Richard Shellaker and Mary Marshall marriage1763
Richard Shellaker of this Parish 
Mary Marshall of thsi Parish also were
Married in thus Church by Banns
thus 30th Day of October in the Year One Thousand seven Hundred 
and sixty three.       By me Thomas Place

This marriage was solemnized between us  

Richard Shellaker 
Mary  ‘x her Mark’  Marshall

In the presence of
John Toon. Sam Jones’

Reproduced by permission of Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland

Horninghold St Peters ChurchWith the exception of the church and a restored stone cottage, dating from the late 16th or early 17th century, which was formerly used as a Rectory, little visual evidence remains of the village of Horninghold from the time Richard Shellaker married Mary Marshal in October 1763.

This a due to a complete or partial rebuilding of all the house in the village in the early part of the 20th century (mostly between 1905 and 1911) by the Hardcastle family of nearby Blaston Hall with the aim of transforming the village to a model ‘garden’ village, complete with a wide variety of trees and ornamental shrubs. Consequently the current village of Horninghold is now very pretty, and is considered by some as actually being ‘too pretty’.

The population of Horninghold has never been large. The recorded population in the Domesday record in 1086 was only 13 souls. In 1381 25 taxpayers were recorded and in a mere 20 household are in the official records of 1563. This increased to 36 houses with hearths in 1670 and in 1603 the number of people recorded as being entitled to receive Communion was 96 rising to 102 folk in the year 1676.

After their marriage Richard Shellaker and Mary Marshal were one of the 20 – 30 families who lived in the village which possibly had a population of around 70 at that time. There are records of non-conformist activity in the village in the years 1672, 1718 and 1722 but there is no further information in regards to nonconformity in Horninghold.

1763 October - Francis Shellaker and his Siblings

Oct 1763 – “At the time of the marriage of Richard Shelacres to Mary Marshall in Horninghold”

 [My direct male ancestors are shown in Blue, the female ancestor in Pink.]

It is probable the half-sisters of Hannah, Richard, Francis and Thomas, the children of their father’s first marriage to Elizabeth Walton; Eleanor, Mary and Elizabeth, who were also ‘Third Generation’, were still living at this time as their ages would be between forty-six and forty-two. However I have not located any further records of these three girls other than their baptisms in Lyndon in 1761, 1718 and 1721 respectively. However one family member known to be still alive at this time was from the ‘Second Generation’ of the Shellaker family to live in Lyndon – Francis Shellaker. He was the uncle of Hannah, Richard, Francis and Thomas and as he was baptised in Lyndon on 16th January 1689 he was over 74 years of age when his nephew Richard married Mary Marshall in Horninghold.

Nevertheless I will now move this narrative onto the ‘Fourth Generation’ of the ‘Lyndon Shellaker’ as at the time of the wedding of Richard Shelacres to Mary Marshall, the marriage of his brother Francis to Sarah Scott had brought forth offspring.

Next Page: Lyndon – The Fourth Generation