John Beddome

The shop front at 3 Sheep Street has been rebuilt since the 17th century
but inside there is still a mediaeval house
My Beddome descendant friend, Mrs N, sent me quite a bit of material on Beddome's father John Beddome (1674-1757), also a pastor.
She notes that The Baptist Annual Register for 1794/1797 states that John Beddome was born in London, but she suggests that he is more likely to have been born in Stratford on Avon, the son of Benjamin Beddome and Mary Tibbits. These Beddomes lived at 3 Sheep Street, Stratford, above.
An extract from a conveyance regarding this property states
And also all that Messuage or Tenement situate and being in the Borough of Stratford on Avon aforesaid in a street there called the Sheep Street having a Messuage or Tenement formerly of Elizabeth Smith widow but now of Joseph Hill on the East part thereof
a Messuage or Tenement belonging to the Mayor Aldermen and Burgesses of the said Borough and formerly in the Tenure of Joseph Hornsby by now of Williams on the West part thereof
the said Street called the Sheep Street on the North part thereof
and the yard or Backside late of Thomas Taylor Baker but now of William Bolton on the South part thereof
which said last mentioned Messuage or Tenement was bought and purchased by the said Thomas Gray of and from Mary Smith Widow and Relict of Benjamin Beddome deceased and the Reverend John Beddome son and heir of the said Benjamin Beddome.

Mary Tibbit evidently later remarried, though there is no record of this marriage (to a Mr Smith) or where it took place. As to how John ended up in London, according to a letter in 1795 from Joshua Thomas to John Rippon, he "was not only designed for Trade in London but he actually set up in business there, and was in a promising way. Nevertheless being called to the ministry in Mr Keach's church, Horsley Down, in the Borough, he soon quitted the Trade". Mrs N suggests that he was probably apprenticed as a tailor because the Bristol Poll Book of 1754 describes him as "John Bedham, Taylor, Anabaptist Teacher".
It is possible that Beddome's great great grandfather (John's great grandfather) another John Beddome was baptised in the nearby parish of Exhall and Wixford in 1587, the son of William Beddam. Several other Beddome descendants (of which there are apparently many around the world) have taken this as fact but my friend is more cautious. One of the problems is that, so far they have been unable to locate any children or grandchildren of John Beddome who bear the name William, and it was very traditional in those days that later generations were named after their parents and grandparents. The family names seem to have been John and Benjamin. However, if this identification is correct, John Beddome would have been about 59 when he died in 1646.
This John Beddome was indeed a schoolmaster. In Shakespeare and the Bawdy Court of Stratford by E R C Brinkworth there is a description of early seventeeth century schoolmasters and how they needed to obtain a licence at the periodical Visitations to permit them to teach. John Bedom is mentioned there. He became Deputy Town Clerk in October 1624, a post he held until his death in 1646. He also became Church Warden at Stratford parish church in 1640 and Justice of the Peace in 1643. It is interesting to note that Stratford church had a strong Puritan tradition around this time. Towards the end of his life the Civil War was raging and Stratford changed hands several times. As Deputy Town Clerk, John Beddome was very much involved in the town's administration and, among various documents in his hand, there is a bill regarding damages he sustained by the Parliamentary forces. He is mentioned in Philip Tennant's The Civil War in Stratford Upon Avon, in which it is stated that he lived in the High Street.

No comments: