Spotlight on… Sir Francis Gosling, kt.

December 20, 2008 at 11:21 pm (spotlight on) ()

Many people seem descendants of Sir Francis and Lady Gosling – while no one I have yet heard from descend from my William Gosling, his nephew! So, while at UVM (see previous post), I found a few 1760 tidbits in Gentleman’s Magazine that may interest those interested in Sir Francis.

Page 591 [not 592, as the index states] is the following announcement: “Thursday 4 [December 1760] A Fishmonger was convicted before Aldm. Dickinson and Sir Francis Gosling for employing his apprentice to buy and sell fish by commission for him at Billingsgate, contrary to the provision made in the late act of parliament, by which he forfeited 50 l.”

Of more interest is this on page 488: It is Thursday, 28 October 1760; King George II has died (an exceptionally interesting bit on mourning attire is written up here!), and an address was given. Then:

They were all received graciously, and had the honour to kiss his majesty’s hand.
After which his majesty was pleased to the honour of knighthood on
Thomas Rawlinson, Esq; alderman
Francis Gosling, Esq; alderman

There is also the story of Sir Francis’ purchase of the statue of Queen Elizabeth:

“Monday 4 [August 1760] The workmen began pulling down that part of Ludgate called the master’s side; the common side which front Black friars is to remain till a convenient place can be provided for the prisoners. The Statue of Q Elizabeth on the west side, is purchased by Alderman Gosling, in order to be set up near St Dunstan’s church, after the removal of the shops under it.”

Further mention of Sir Francis can be found here, a webpage for St Andrew’s Church (Nether Wallop). And a really nice picture of the Queen’s statue Sir Francis rescued. Here, a memorial inscription notice for a Rivington relation. And at the Old Bailey, Sir Francis is mentioned as a victim of crime: his handkerchief is stolen!

One curious entry comes in early 1761 – now knighted, this MISTER Gosling is certainly not Sir Francis: who then?

In the section called “From Other Papers” : “Mr. Gosling, — cashier of the S.S. Company”.

[The South Sea Company – famous for its ‘bubble’ – continued to trade into the 1760s]. I can see Robert Gosling or his father (also Robert) – being involved in this venture as ‘cashier’; though, perhaps, it is no relation.

A footnote: there are some very useful tidbits in GM: like the King throwing himself of a runaway horse, or his attending the theatre; never mind the politics of the day as it unfolded, or those marriage announcements that all genealogists search for. Makes me wish there was a dedicated site for GM that had all its volumes online (and completely searchable).

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The Curious Case of Two Wives

December 20, 2008 at 11:03 pm (people) (, , )

As it happened, I did venture up to the University of Vermont’s library. I had a book to return (on the Shaw Lefevres, relatives to Emma Austen-Leigh) and one to pick up (on artist Mary Ellen Best). Surprisingly I remembered about the microfiche and Gentleman’s Magazine. UVM holds a fine collection of this and, with school our, there was no competition for a micro-reader. And here is what I found there:

On page 542 (vol. XXX): November 6 [1760] – “Sir Ellis Cunliffe, Bt. member for Liverpool, — to Miss Davis.” Right first name, right identification. Then, page 594: December 17 [1760] – “Sir Ellis Cunliffe, Bart, member for Liverpool, — to Miss Bennet.”

A bigamist? Doubtful… I looked in vain for a retraction. Despite the unmistakable name, I wonder – another Cunliffe and wrong first name inserted? Another member for Liverpool and the entire name incorrect? The mystery is still to be solved. This does, however, point up the very important fact of verifying EVERYTHING. Talk about ‘making a list and checking it twice’!

When I first began to research Mary Gosling’s diaries, it was a toss-up as to the day upon which she and Charles married. Various periodicals had both the 2nd of July and the 20th of July. It took the diary of Emma Smith to convince me (after all: she was a guest): 2o July 1826. But this Miss Davis-Miss Bennett mix-up is truly curious.

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