My article in Bronte Studies

My article in Bronte Studies
My article

Saturday 29 December 2018

William’s Family

William Smith Williams was born in 1800 and was baptised the following year. His brother, Richard, had been born in the final year of the eighteenth century. Their parents, Richard and Mary, had married at St Dunstan, Stepney in 1791. Richard was in business as a wax and tallow chandler at 408 The Strand. The family had come from Wheatley near Oxford where they were fellmongers, quite possibly providing skins for Oxford Colleges.

Tragedy struck, with the brothers losing their parents in their teenage years. They emerge back onto the record in 1817 for William as be becomes apprenticed to publishers, Taylor & Hessey. Richard appears on the baptism register of his daughter, Mary Eliza, in 1819 when he is described as a surgeon's instrument maker. He went on to manage Weiss & Co, Surgical Instrument Makers, at 62 The Strand until retirement. Richard had married also a Mary and they had two further children, William and my grandfather Alfred Hamlyn Williams.

William Smith Williams married Margaret Hill in 1826 and they went on to have four sons: Frank, Robert, Richard and Thornton and four daughters: Ellen, Fanny, Louisa and Anna. They were each talented in their own way. I have written what is known of them in my biography of William Smith Williams.
Richard Williams

There was a family 'myth' that we were related to Oliver Cromwell, whose great-grandfather, Richard, had been born Williams but later changed his name to that of his maternal uncle, Thomas Cromwell.

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