John Boddy (1796-1866)

John Boddy

George Boddy

Alfred Boddy

Alfred Charles Boddy

Geoffrey Alfred Boddy


Marriage :


1796, Crediton, Devon (see map at right)

to Charlotte Pearse, St Leonard's Shoreditch, 16 March 1821

14 May 1866 1 Sampson's Terrace,  4 Victoria Park Rd, South Hackney (London)




John Body/Boddy

Mary Badcock

Henry Boddy (1821-1890 )
George Boddy (1824-1901)
Joses Boddy (1829-1879)


Crediton n the early part of the21st century, is surrounded by green fields, forests and villages


John Boddy, who was born in 1796, is the first of the Boddy ancestors for whom we have some detailed records - before that, we are reliant on Parish Registers of Crediton, which give very little detail, often only parents' names, and so, we're not always sure we have linked up with the right people, "John" being a very common Christian name of the time.. 

 In the early years of the 19th century, young John finished school, left home, and headed for London. Train services hadn’t yet reached Devon, so transport to the capital would have been by horse and coach.


By 1821, aged 25 he was established enough to marry. His bride, Charlotte Pearse, was three years older than him, and also from Devon.  Charlotte’s home town was the village of Sidbury, a considerable 50km away from Crediton, so it’s likely the couple met in London, rather than Devon.  The wedding ceremony may have been carried out in haste - the couple were married in March of 1821, and their first son, Henry, was baptised less than a month later in Charlotte's home village of Sidbury.

A point of historical interest - The church, where John and Charlotte married St Leonard's in Shoreditch, is, according to Wikipedia, the church is mentioned in the line "When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch" from the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons.

The church is at the intersection of Shoreditch High Street with Hackney Road, within the London Borough of Hackney.

 Back in Sidbury, John found work as a servant as a servant. By 1830, the couple had three sons Henry, George (1824) and finally Joseph (1829).


     Sometime in the 1830s, the family moved again, to return to London.
It appears that John’s earlier schooling, while probably not extensive, was enough for him to get work there this time as a servant/messenger/clerk in the UK Treasury

The position may well have included basic accommodation - in the first official census of Britain, in 1841, John, Charlotte and the youngest son, 12 year old Joseph are listed as living, along with a dozen other people, at "6 Manchester Buildings" in Westminster, a  combined commercial and residential building adjacent to the offices of Whitehall.

right, a 1828 engraving of the Treasury Buildings at Whitehall, where John was a messenger

By the time of that census, both of the older boys had almost certainly left home.  Neither Henry, then aged 20, or George 17 years, appear in that document.

    England conducted another census in 1851, in which John and Charlotte are registered still in the Westminsgter precinct, with John's occupation listed as "messenger".  The 1861 census seems to have passed the couple by, and the next official record for John is his will, which he made in 1857.   This document gives his address at that time at Bloomfield Terrace, Pimlico, while a later codicil (1860)  gives  Pulford Street, still in Pimlico.  It seems once John left Government service, the couple moved a few times, probably always in rented accommodation around London's inner suburbs.
John's health deteriorated after this time, and his death certificate gives 'diabetes' as the cause of his death in May 1866. .He died at 1 Sampson Terrace, Hackney with his son George at his side.
    His willl is difficult to read through its legalese andelaborate  legal script. Basically, John appears to have left everything, except the actual shares and cash, to his wife - but Charlottee was to be the benefiiary of any income or dividends from the shares, which were originally to be managed by his younger sons George and Joseph as executors (with Henry added almost as an afterthought in a later codicil).  On Charlotte's death, the estate was to be cashed in and divided between his three sons.
This doesn't mean that there was any significant estate to be shared -after all,  it's unlikely that a simple messenger would have been able to accrue any degree of savings.

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