Joseph Bennett 1801-1893.



Born 17/01/1801, baptised 8/05/1801, to Samuel & Elizabeth [ nee Wilsmore] Bennett in Braintree. ERO. D/P 264/1/4. Image 72. Braintree Church Clerks Fees Book, D/P 264/1/19, also gives this baptism of 8/5/1801, with a charge of 0.6d. This Fees register is NOT online. Seemingly just 2 siblings, James Bennett 1803 & Charlotte Bennett 1805. All the baptisms, marriages & burials I have found on Bocking registers 1680-1837 I have recorded Bocking. The same for Braintree.

Earlier Bennetts.

1818. Aug 6. Braintree.  Joseph Bennett, bachelor, of this parish, & Mary Frost, spinster, of this parish, were married by banns, with consent of the parents. Both gave their mark. Witnesses were Seth Scott & John Collier - D/P 264/1/34 image 27. This indicates that Mary was already resident in Braintree, maybe employed in the silk industry or as a servant. Also that both of them were under 21, Joseph only 17, Mary almost 18. .Mary Frost was born late 1800 in Sudbury, which is 15 miles from Braintree.


A marriage at such a young age would suggest that Mary was pregnant, but have not found a birth to them until 1822.

1821.Census for Braintree [includes Bocking End]. D/DU 65/83

In New Street Jr Bennett, 20, silkweaver, with wife 20 and a 2 yr old girl - reckon this is Joseph 1801.. Have never found an 1818-1820 baptism of such a daughter- could she have been born to single mother Mary Frost before August 1818? . In Upper Coggeshall Lane, John Bennett, 26, with wife, 27, son 1 and daughter 3. .Seemingly, his father, Samuel Bennett, 1775, is not in this census, but then he likely still in Bocking or dead..

Taken from T/P 146/12 Analysis of Braintree Census. In 1810 Wilson & Courtauld had taken the corn mill by Chapel Hill for winding, throwing and a little weaving. Assessed at £74 in 1816 whereas the Mill owned by Courtauld & Taylor in 1828 was only assessed at £17. Other silk manufacturers at this time were Beauzeville& Co, High Street & Daniel Walters, Pound End . In 1821 49 women & girls , mainly 35-50, 12, 13 and early 20s were working at a silk mill.

Quite a long time elapses before their first [surviving, because could be others who die or leave home < 1841] children are born, 1822..

1822. 24/4/1822, twins, almost certainly, Martha & Joseph Samuel Bennett are baptised to Jos., silkweaver, & Mary Bennett, Braintree. D/P 264/1/23, image 38

1825. A James Bennett died 1/3/1825 aged 11 mths, Braintree, but no indication of his parents and no baptism found.. James was the name of Joseph's brother.

1826. Feb 8. Mary Ann Bennett baptised to Mary & Joseph. Bennett, silk weaver, Braintree. D/P 264/1/23. Image 55. In D/P 2641/19? /22?, found that Mary Bennett [ mother] was churched on the same day 8/2/1826

1827. Jun 20. Elizabeth Bennett baptised to Mary & Joseph Bennett, silkweaver, Braintree. D/P 264/1/23. Image 60.

18/5/1829. A Lazareth Bennett died, aged 5, Braintree, image 62, but no indication of his parents

1830. Nov 5. Samuel Bennett baptised to Mary & Joseph Bennett, silkweaver, Braintree. D/P 264/1/23 .Image 75.

c1832 Charlotte Bennett born Braintree probably between May & December 1832 [consensus from censuses, m.c. & d.c.] but no baptism found in Braintree images 81 onwards up to late 1835, or in Bocking or Black Notley or Stisted or Cressing or Bradwell [very messy records here].

c1836. Charles Barker /Barber born but no baptism record found in Braintree or Bocking or Black Notley. Margaret Merril & Angela Jolly/Lewis are descendants.

1838. July 15, Eliza Bennett born at Coggleshall Lane, Braintree, mother's maiden name is Mary Frost, & father, Joseph, is given as a crape weaver. Have b.c BB1. which gave me Mary's maiden name. Definition of crape: crimped black silk gauze . No baptism found in Braintree or Bocking or Black Notley for Eliza. 1837 - onward Braintree baptisms now digitised . Searched up to 1840 -image 20 of D/P 264/1/24

Thus 8 children as far as I know.


I have found Coggeshall Road, Rayne Road & a Manor Street, not Manor Road, on present day map, but not Roach Pond Field . I think Manor Road was probably renamed Manor Street

1841 Census. Living in Coggeshall Lane, Braintree. Twins 1822 & Mary Ann b.1826 missing. Suspect 1822 twins died before this - Martha could just have married 1837, rather young. But no burials in Braintree 1822-1837 for either of them. .

Joseph  Bennett 40  Labourer  b.Essex
Mary   40    
Betsey  [Elizabeth] 15 Silk factor   b. Essex
Samuel 12  b. Essex
Charlotte   b.Essex
Barber  [could be Barkus]     4        b.Essex
Eliza   b.Essex


Ages maybe rounded down to the nearest 5 in the adults here, So Mary born 1796-1801, actually 1800..

Joseph Bennett has given up being a weaver between 1838 and 1841. Has he become less dextrous or is there more money in heavier work or has silkweaving just become too precarious in Braintree?. He goes on to become a bricklayer & is still doing this aged 80!

Eldest child, Mary Ann Bennett ~16 away from home, maybe as a servant? Not found on Findmypast.

1851 Census.  Living at Roach Pond Field, Braintree. Bennet spelt incorrectly. To locate Roach Pond Field:

A stone coffin was found in 1899 c90yds south of Stane Street (Coggeshall Road) and c20yds east of the centre of Albert Road, at the rear of a house being built in Roach Pond Field at a depth of 3 feet.

I found Stane Street and Albert Road on 1875 OS map, but Roach Pond Field not shown!

Joseph  Bennet  51 Bricklayer   b.Braintree
Mary     51  b. Sudbury, Suffolk
Charlotte   18   Silkwinder    b.Bocking
Barber[could be Barkus 16   Bricklayer    b.Braintree
Eliza  14  Silkwinder   b.Braintree
Esther    granddaughter     10mths.   b. Braintree

Birthplaces of Joseph and his wife the wrong way round!

Esther Bennett is a daughter of Mary Ann Bennett. Born 19/06/1850 at New Road, Braintree, no father given. Have b.c. BB2. And she is baptised, Braintree, 12/3/1852, D/P 264/1/24, image 72  There is a Mary Ann Bennett, b Braintree 1825, working as a servant in Toppesfield in 1851 (Toppesfield is 10 miles from Braintree) . New Road Braintree seems not to appear in 1841C or 1851C!!

1852. Daughter Charlotte Bennett marries William Parchment.  He, Joseph Bennett, is given as a labourer.   .

1861 Census.  Still living at Roach Pond Field, Braintree, a bricklayer journeyman. Bennett again spelt incorrectly.

Joseph  Bennitt 60  Bricklayer journeyman   b.Braintree
Mary  60  b.Sudbury
Ester  10  granddaughter.  Scholar  b.Braintree

1871 Census.  Living at 233, Manor Road, Braintree. [ in 1871C, Roach Pond Field seems to run into Manor Road]

Joseph  Bennett 70   Bricklayer   b. Bocking
Mary 70   b. Sudbury
Esther grandaughter 20  Employed at factory   b. Braintree

1881 Census. Still living at 233, Manor Road, Braintree.

Joseph   Bennett  80  Bricklayer    b. Bocking
Mary    80  b. Sudbury

 1886. Mary Ann Bennett [Frost], wife of Joseph Bennett, bricklayer, dies, aged 86, 25/9/1886, Manor Road Braintree. Cause of death: Senile Decay. Informant. W.R. Clarke, grandson, present at the death. He must be the son of a daughter of Joseph & Mary - but which one? No Clarke -Bennett marriages 1843-1864 in Braintree. Braintree Burial records?- seem not to exist in ERO post 1875: register still in Church??. This is the first time she has been called Mary Ann!! . . . . . .For speculation/research on this grandchild see Children of Joseph Bennett.


 1891 Census. Still living at 233, Manor Road, Braintree. Census states that he is occupying 4 rooms!!, but is on Parish Allowance. Mistranscribed as aged 40!

Joseph  Bennett 90  Parish allowance.


1893.  Joseph Bennett dies, aged 93, Bricklayer, 17/12/1893, of Senile Decay, at, ~233, Manor Road Braintree. Informant : the mark of Sarah King [ not a daughter, nor an immediate neighbour in 1891C], present at the death, Braintree. Seemingly no Burial register after ~1865 for Braintree in ERO. No probate!



Manor Road 1905, school wall on the left

Children of Joseph Bennett

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