Castle Camps: Families



Bartholomew STAVERS married Anne/Annys THURGAR in Castle Camps on 15 June 1595 and there are five children baptised for them in the Castle Camps registers.

William STAVERS, bp 1598 married Mary MUMFORD in Castle Camps on 28 October 1628 and three children are mentioned in the parish registers.

William (1629) married Elizabeth BROWNE on 8 September 1651 and he died aged about 80, buried in All Saints Church yard on 11 November 1710. He left a will, available at the National Archives, which gives a lot of information about his family.

The parish registers record the following children:

In his will, dated 1705, he leaves the bulk of his estate to his grandson William, the son of John, when he reaches the age of 21 years. Until that time the interest and profits of his estate are for the use of his wife Elizabeth until her death, and then for his daughter Mary the wife of Thomas BARKER of Ashdon to bring up the grandson William. If William should die before reaching 21, then it shall be equally divided among his other eight grandchildren, Mary and Susanna Barker, Rose, Mary and Susanna Stavers, and David, Mary and Susanna Rivenall. He also leaves William the grandson his brass pewter, lunning and bedding, after the death of his wife. To his son John he leaves £40 and to his daughter Susanna Rivenall ten punds. John his son also gets his greatcoat and another peice of clothing (cannot decipher!) and his son Thomas has all his other wearing cloaths. William the grandson also gets an extra £50. Mary Barker is named as executrix and gets all his other goods, chattels, cattel and personal estate. However, there is a burial for a Will Stavers in 1719 in Bartlow parish records, and I believe that this may be grandson William who would have been about 11 years old. The will implies that the boy is being raised by his grandparents, and also perhaps his aunt Mary Barker, who was married in Bartlow in 1678.

John STAVERS had married Rose WEBB in Castle Camps in 1695 and had four children.

I think Rose may have died while the children were quite young and in 1712 in Hildersham John Stavers, widower of Castle Camps married Susan Milton, widow, also of Castle Camps. They had three children together...

John was the parish clerk and died aged about 63 and was buried on 6 October 1728. His wife Susan, a poor woman was buried 26 February 1753.

In the early 1750's John and Bartholomew emigrated to Portsmouth New Hampshire, New England USA and there settled. Together they began the first stage coach service from Portsmouth to Boston, leaving from John's tavern "The Earl of Halifax" (later renamed the "William Pitt Tavern") and with Bartholomew as the regular driver. There is a great deal of information about these men on various web sites including The Strawbery Banke site, and a site on the history of black slaves in the area, and also in "An Old Town by the Sea".

John and Bartholomew both married women who had been born in New England and their families have been documented by Dick Malkin. John's grave is in Portsmouth, NH and there are several intersting web sites concerning him and his family

For reasons unknown Bartholomew returned to Castle Camps in December 1774 without his pregnant wife, Martha MOSES, and died there in December 1784. He is commemorated in a memorial on the North Wall of the church. In his will he left £100 in 4% Consols. Ten shillings of the interest was for the upkeep of the tablet and his and his fathers shared tomb, which is just outside. The remaining £3.10.0 was for the poor of the parish. He wanted this to be distributed on 27th October each year, St John the Evangelists Day. Although not always done on this day, parishioners have had gifts all the years since.On 27th December 1984 on the bicentenary of the death of this worthy man, the Rector fulfilled his wishes. Earlier on December 16th greenery was placed on his tomb, and prayers were said to honour his memory.

His wife Martha gave birth to their son William in February 1775 and apparently Bartholomew had no contact with his American family after his return to England. His will however, sheds some new light on his family ties. If you are interested the transcript of his will may be read here. It clearly states that there were more children than were previously known.....

"my sons" Andrew Lang, "born before marriage" and William Stavers "born three or four months after I came away in one thousand seven hundred and seventy five". Then he goes on to say.....

"Item I give to my Eldest son Bartholomew Stavers my Copyhold Estate in Castle Camp in the Country of Cambridgeshire and all my household furniture and what every Government may give to his father for his Losses in America and all my Cloathes ? Buckles Money or any things Else belong to me after paying my lawful debts ...."

It may be that this is the Bartholmew Stavers baptised in Portsmouth in 1754 and previously thought to have been an adult baptism for the Bartholomew born in Castle Camps.

He also mentions that "if all three die then I give all my Estate to George Stavers Libbee my Illegitimate son in Portsmouth New Hampshire New England". Any other information or research on these two interesting men would be welcomed.Stavers Memorial

© Photo courtesy of Marlene Williamson 2010

John Staver's Tomb

Rebuilt to his Memory by order of his Youngest Son 1779
In this Tomb is deposited the remains of BARTHOLOMEW STAVERS Youngest Son of the said JOHN STAVERS who departed this life December 11th 1784 Aged 62 Years

© Photo courtesy of Alan Hardy July 2001