Ancestors of William Edward Gillett LSA London,LRCP Edinburgh
William Edward Gillett LSA London,LRCP Edinburgh
Birth: at 6pm on 12 July 1799 - City of London, Lying in Hospital, City Road.
Death: 24 Feb 1866 - Paul's House, Bishops Hull.
Burial: in churchyard at Staplegrove, near Taunton.
Cause of Death:
Father: William Gillett
Mother: Elizabeth Hall
Spouses and Children
1. *Mary Barker
Marriage: 3 Feb 1825 - St Mary Magdalene, Taunton, Somerset
1. No children from the marriage
Notes from research done by Rosemary Mountjoy on William Edward Gillett;
William Edward Gillett (born 1799, London, from the census), whom we know to be George's brother (children of GG being shown as niece / nephew with WEG on 1861 census, local BMA meeting offered sympathy to GG on WEG's death).
HEC's information is that he was born 12 July 1799, City Road, London and that William (senior) was at that time 'Keeper at Brook House, Clapton'. Again HEC could not have known what the census said. I haven't been able to find anything on any index for a baptism, yet.
As an aside, I note that you have William Gillett listed as an apothecary, but I haven't found any information to support this. When he and Elizabeth arrived at Bowhill House he was called 'Keeper'. Stephen says that there is an anomaly with occupations, but I do not know what the options are.
I attach the two sheets of Gillett dates in case you don't have them to hand. Included in these is the typewritten text of a Certified Copy of William Edward Gillett's birth extracted on 19th May 1853 (unfortunately with a typo and blank on the year of birth!), and three extracts from the Hawkhurst Parish Register showing the marriage of William Gillet (sic) and Elizabeth Howe, and the births of Henry 1761 and William 1764.
These extracts were made on 19th May 1853 and 10 October 1854. The only family members of an age to have looked for the information were William Edward Gillett and George Gillett. Mary Gillett was only 15 or 16, so was extremely unlikely to have done so.
I don't know at what stage parish records were moved away from the individual churches, but I don't think there were centralised indexes even by the time of her death
He entered the profession as a pupil at Devon & Exeter Hospital, with 5 years hospital attendance, and was apprenticed to Mr Samuel Luscombe of Exeter, indenture 20 Aug 1811 (BMJ obit. 1866). Apparently c1818 he went to sea and served as naval surgeon during several voyages to India, then commenced general practice (BMJ obit. 1866) .
1821 took over as proprietor of the private lunatic asylum at Fivehead House, near Taunton from his father - Fivehead House, nr Taunton now solely run by Mrs Gillett and her son W E Gillett, junr Surgeon and Licentiate of Soc. of Apothecaries [Trewman's Exeter Flying Post 02.08.1821], but BMJ obit 1866 referred to it as Fifehead lunatic asylum(Fivehead House?), on Blackdown Hills, near Taunton (BMJ obit. 1866)
"after some years" moved to "more commodious residence, Fairwater House, one mile from Taunton, abandoned general practice and for 30 years carried on care and treatment of the insane, with great success (BMJ obit. 1866)
Qualified as an Apothecary on 10 May 1821.
Formerly proprietor of the private lunatic asylum at Fairwater.
In 1828 William Edward Gillett,moved the business from Fivehead House in Fivehead,near Taunton,to Fairwater House,in Staplegrove, near Taunton,Someset.This was a licenced house.
In 1830 Pigot's reports that William Edward Gillett ran a mental hospital at Fairwater House.
Mentioned in the 1841 census as being resident at Fairwater House,Staplegrove,near Taunton.Resident Surgeon and Superintendent,with wife Mary and visitors Eliza Catherine Gillett age 25 and Mary Elizabeth Gillett age 2,daughter of George Gillett,(later Mary Edwards who wrote the Short History of the Family) also Ann Hutchings age 70 born Somerset (possibly living with WEG and MG) and Elizabeth Oaten age 16,not born in Somerset,11 servants and 59 patients.Note that Elizabeth Oaten spent most of her life closely associated with WEG and MG.
1841 census shows living at Fairwater House, Staplegrove, Somerset, age 41, Resident Surgeon & Superintendent (mis-indexed as Gillott) (with wife, and visitors Eliza Catherine Gillett age 25 and Mary Elizabeth Gillett age 2 [nephew's wife and greatniece]), also Ann Hutchings age 70 born Somerset and Elizabeth Oaten age 16, not born in county, 11 servants and 59 patients.
Note that WEG's mother in law was Ann Oaten, the sister of John Oaten, mentioned in the Note below.
1844,it is reported in the Index of Lunatic Asylums, they had 52 patients and the proprietor,WE Gillett was referred to as a surgeon.
Member of West Somerset Branch of Provincial Medical & Surgical Assoc - Secretary ?1844 to 1862, also President 1845 and again in 1853.
Mentioned in the 1851 census as being resident at Fairwater House,Staplegrove,near Taunton.A LCP and General Practitioner with many patients and staff.
In 1852,BMJ-20th AG Meeting of Medical and Surgical Association 21/22 July 1852,list of attendees includes WEG of Fairwater,Taunton.
Somerset Record Office;129/13 Misc.Parishes 1678-1871;1853 Conveyance between John Mockridge of Taunton and others and W E Gillett of Staplegrove,a piece of land pt.of a close heretofore 3 closes.Tithe Nos.233,233a,233b and plan.
Supporter of the Taunton and Somerset Hospital.
For some years Chairman of the Board of Health.
Member of the West of England Agricultural Society.
Was invested with magisterial honours
In 1854 was the Plaintiff in a case heard in Chancery by Robert Munsey,Baron Cranworth,with the Defendants being(see below).
Retired in 1858 and moved into town,devoting time and talents to the public welfare(BMJ obit. 1866)
When he retired in 1858,WEG moved from Fairwater into Taunton.
His wife died in 1859.
In 1861 census living at Paul's House,Bishops Hull,Taunton,age 61,widower,Licentiate of the College of Physicians,Edinburgh,Licentiate of the Apothecaries Company,London,not practising,with visitors WEG(our great grandfather)(nephew age 12) and Eliza R Gillett(neice age 19),and also Elizabeth Oaten,cousin,unmarried,age 35,born London.
WE Gillett's obituary in the British Medical Journal in 1866 relates that he was at Fairhead House lunatic Asylum on Blackdown Hills,near Taunton and after some years moved to a more commodious residence,Fairwater House in the parish of Staplegrove,one mile from Taunton,abandoned general practice and for 30 years carried on care and treatment of the insane,with great success(BMJ obit.1866)
WEG died March quarter 1866 Taunton district,Devon,Somerset,vol 5c,p319,age at death 66,d24 Feb 1866 in his 67th year(BMJ obit.1866)
Died at Pauls House,Taunton,Devon at age 67.
Death certificate;Registration district Taunton,sub district Taunton St James,24 Feb 1866 Paul's House,Bishops Hull,WEG,age 66,LSA London,LRCP Edin.Magistrate for Somerset,Cause of death fatty degeneration of heart,angina pectoris 18 days,Informant WM Kelly in attendance,Crescent,Taunton,registered 1 March 1866,Registrar "FCS" Whitwham.
Left Pds 2000 in his will to Elizabeth Oaten who was living with the family at the time(and in fact for most of her life).
Extract from the British Medical Journa l(BMJ) of 10 March 1866.
Note re Fairwater House,Stapelgrove,Taunton.
In 1828 WEG moved his families's mental asylum from Fivehead House in the Blackdown Hills near Taunton, to Fairwater House,Stapelgrove,Taunton.(Fivehead House may be in the village of Fivehead,near Taunton)
For 30 years WEG successfully ran this institution at Fairwater House on 24 acres one mile north of Taunton.
In 1847 Taunton School was established at Stepswater in the Wellington Road just outside Taunton.
In 1865 Taunton School, under the headmastership of Mr Griffith,urgently needing additional space to expand, purchased the Fairwater Estate of 24 acres which accomodated the school while a new building was built.
In 2014 Fairwater House is still part of the school and is used as a residence for pupils.Fairwater East and West are two houses of the school.
Note re the connection between the Oaten and Gillett families.
The following is the result of some research on the connection between the Gillett and Oaten families done by Rosemary Mountjoy and Stephan Thomas.
The mention of a friendship between John Oaten (b1770) and William (b1864?) should be 1799?) came from Iolene Oaten in New Zealand a couple of years ago. I seem to remember that she said that the friendship was likely to have been in London, but my research, from dates and places of his marriage and the births of his children, suggests that he was in Somerset until about 1811 (birth of 7th child) and then moved to London (births of Nos. 8 and 9).
It appears that the geographical and historical overlap of what we think we know about William Gillett (1864) and John Oaten (1770) is Somerset between c1806 when WG left Exeter and before May 1814 when William Henry Oaten was born in Marylebone, although this is a very simplistic assumption, but it doesn't help our search for WG in London.
This is some information I have about John Oaten: Born c1770 Wilton, Somerset (Iolene). Bapt 16 Sep 1770, Somerset, son of John Oaton (sic) and Mary [England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975]. Married Hannah Tamsey either 19 or 20 Apr 1795 Pitminster, Somerset [both entries England, Marriages, 1538-1973]. Children: Elizabeth bc1795 Pitminster, Somerset; Sarah bc1798 Wilton, Somerset; John bc1800 and died 17 Aug 1800, Wilton Somerset; John b 17 Mar 1802 Wilton Somerset d 11 Apr 1866 Melbourne Australia (related to Iolene Oaten); Mary Ann bc 1805 Taunton Somerset; Joseph bc 1807 Wilton Somerset; Harriet bc 1811 Taunton Somerset d 01 Dec 1844 Kensington London; William Henry b 08 May 1814 Marylebone Middlesex; Arthur 12 May 1815 London d 24 Jan 1816 Marylebone Middlesex. Wilton was about a mile south west of Taunton, and has been absorbed within it, and was about three miles from Staplegrove where Fivehead House(Fairwater House?) was. Pitminster is about three miles south east of Wilton.
What we do know is that William Edward Gillett was named as Executor in John Oaten (1770)'s Will written 21 March 1837, together with John's son (also named John, b1802 above). At that time John Oaten senior is 'of Queen Street, Edgeware (sic) Road in the County of Middlesex, Gentleman (so I unfortunately don't have an occupation for him). Iolene sent me her transcription of his will which also included "I give to my niece Mary Gillett the sum of fifty pounds" (Mary being WEG's wife). So certainly JO (1770) knew, or knew of, WEG (as the husband of his niece, they were married in 1825 in Taunton), but I can find no definite confirmation of his knowing WG. JO (1770) died 20 Nov 1837.
There is more information about John Oaten (b1802) but it doesn't provide any links to the Gilletts. The following from the London Gazette (Issue 21297 published on the 2 March 1852) includes various addresses of his:
"COURT FOR RELIEF OF INSOLVENT DEBTORS.
The following persons, who, on their several Petitions filed in the Court, have obtained Interim Orders for protection from process, are required to appear in Court as hereinafter mentioned, at the Court-House, in Portugal street, Lincoln's-Inn, as follows, to be examined and dealt with according to the Statute:
On Wednesday the 17th March 1852, at Eleven o'Clock precisely, before the Chief Commissioner:
John Oaten, formerly of No. 4, Newland-street, Eaton-square, Middlesex, Cook, afterwards of No. 10, Caroline-street, Eaton-square aforesaid, Cook, then of No. 1, Park-place, Petersham, Surrey, Cook at the Star and Garter, Richmond, Surrey, afterwards of Kew Foot-lane, Richmond aforesaid, Cook, then of No. 4, Cambridge-place, Paddington, Middlesex, Cook to Her Majesty's 2nd Regiment of Life Guards, and now of No. 13, Jubilee-place, Chelsea, Cook to Mr. Win. Walter Mabey, of No. 33, New Bond-street, Middlesex, Turtle Dealer." [<http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/21297/pages/693>]
So, we have an occupation for him of Confectioner in 1841 census and Cook in 1851 census and above in 1852, and he emigrated to Australia arriving in Melbourne in 1854, with his second family.
Looking at the 1841 census entry for JO in Curzon Street, Mayfair, I find it hard to see a connection between him as a Confectioner with wife and children and the following entries of Viscount Northland with his brothers the Hons S and G Knox, and wonder whether the enumerator forgot the small double mark between households. The entry for Viscount Northland with the age rounded is rather misleading. He is shown as being 20, but he was actually born in 1816, so was about 25 or 26. He had been MP for Dungannon (following his father who had succeeded to the title of Earl of Ranfurly in 1840)for about 3 years by then, and was re-elected about 3 weeks after the census was taken (MP 1838-1851)<http://www.proni.gov.uk/introduction_-_ranfurly_papers_d235__d1932__d4183.pdf>] Looking back at the census, I think the Hon S Knox may have been The Hon William Stuart Knox (1826-1900), later a Colonel with the 51st Foot, JP for County Tyrone, and also MP for Dungannon following his brother from 1851-1874. The Hon G Knox was Granville Henry John Knox bc 1829 who drowned in 1845 while bathing at Plymouth. I suppose it is possible that JO was employed as a confectioner by the Knox / Northland / Ranfurly family?
I am not sure that any of the above helps with the 'fixing' of William Gillett in London, but hope that it all adds to the overall picture.
Results of research done by Rosemary Mountjoy;
There are more details about some of the following generation of Hawkhurst Gilletts, but I am trying to stop this email growing out of hand. However, I think that I might have found a reason for the family getting the extracts of Parish Registers in 1853/4. I found the following item in the London Gazette:
"PURSUANT to a Decree of the High Court of
Chancery, made in a cause William Edward Gillett
against Elizabeth Gillett and others, the creditors of Edward
Gillett, late of Brighton, in the county of Sussex, Gentleman,
who died in or about the month of June, 1850, are, by
their Solicitors, on or before the 20th day of November,
1854, to come in and prove their debts at the chambers of
the Vice-Chancellor, Sir William Page Wood, No. 11, Newsquare,
Lincoln's-inn, Middlesex, or in default thereof they
will be peremptorily excluded from the benefit of the said
Monday, the 11th day of December, 1851, at twelve
o'clock noon, at the said chambers, is appointed for hearing
and adjudicating upon the claims.-Dated this 8th day of
So then I looked for information on the above people using familysearch,ancestry.co.uk and Google. Edward Gillett was baptised on 25 April 1773 in Hawkhurst, son of William and Elizabeth Gillett, as above. He married Elizabeth Munn in Hawkhurst on 3 March 1795. and he died Q3 1850 in Brighton, as far as I can tell without issue. Pigot Directory 1840 shows Edward Gillett Esq of 180 Western Rd, Brighton [http://www.sussex-opc.org/Pigot1840/BrightonPigot1840.htm]. The 1841 census shows him at Western Rd, Brighthelmstone (old name for Brighton), Sussex, age 65 (rounded), not born in Sussex, Independent.
He died Q3 1850, Brighton, Sussex, vol 7, p225 (so it might be worth getting his death certificate, although I don't know what that would prove at this stage).
I was then really pleased to find that his memorial inscription had been put online, which gave a date of death of 19 June 1850: MI St Nicholas Rest Garden, Dyke Rd, Brighton, No. 259: Sacred to the memory of Elizabeth, widow of Edward Gillett died August 29th. 1859 aged 91 years, also Elizabeth Miles, sister of Mr Edward Gillett, died November 9th 1852 aged 72 years, also of Mr Edward Gillett Gentleman who departed this life June 19th 1850 aged 77 years. TOMB TO BE LEFT (sic). [Recorded by SNCGSA Heritage Group 2008] [http://mortiquarian.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/rest-gardens-inscription-records.pdf]
Working from this information I looked for Elizabeth Miles (sister of Mr Edward Gillett, as MI), which led to Elizabeth Gillett, born 18 Nov 1775, Hawkhurst, daughter of W&EG. She married Stanley Mantle Miles 18 June 1809 at St Mary, Harrow, Middlesex (unlikely, I thought, but stuck with it). Their third child, a daughter, Maria Miles was in Brighton with Edward and Elizabeth Gillett on the 1841 census, not born in Sussex. In the 1851 census she was still with them (and her entry shows that she was born in Harrow, Middlesex!) and they had been joined by her widowed mother. Maria married in Q2 1851 to Edward Edwards, and if you look back at the sheet of Gillett dates, there is an item dated 1869 showing Mr Edward Edwards and his wife alive and living at "Gillett's Cottage" 192 Western Road, Brighton!
So, my assessment of the above is that William Edward Gillett was sufficiently sure of his relationship to Edward Gillett (his uncle) to get the extracts of Parish Records to prove the relationship (perhaps so that he could make his claim?). Quite what the significance of getting Henry Gillett's baptism (as distinct from any of the other siblings), I am not sure, but it seems he may have gone to Devon as well. HEC gives a death for HG on 10th March 1836 at Colyton, which if accurate would rule him out of any claim, and might be able to be checked. The only other thing I have found which might be relevant, or might be totally unconnected with this family is in the National Archives: Item Reference C 15 / 112 / G22, a case in Chancery for 1854 Gillett v Gillett, which is held by National Archives, Kew and I have attached the reference (I wish they had been more detailed in their summary and had given forenames for the Gilletts). I think this may require a trip to the National Archives at Kew!
Comment from Stephen Thomas;
Interesting thoughts on Hawkchurch. It is interesting though that there is
a William in Hawkhurst and I wonder just what was available in index form
that Mary Edwards could consult before 1926. Not much I should have
Yes I agree that William was probably living close by in 1801 which is
another (together withe occupational discrepancy) for supposing that it is
quite a leap to the Hawkhurst William. I wonder if anyone has ever looked
to see if William lived on in Hawkhurst which would of course rule him
out and either put that theory to rest or reinforce it. The thing with the
Harthill/ Sheffield Gillats is that they were in Hammersmith/ Westminster
and connect with the William who lived in Brackley, Northamptonshire who
had a daughter who moved to and married in Clapton where your William
Gillett worked in Brooke House. This girl, Emily Gillett, had a
grandmother, Sarah Gillett nee Jennings who was born in Taunton in 1763.
She married Thomas Gillett in Hammersmith/Fulham in 1794.
So the thread develops and for such a problem as this we still keep adding
facts and extending the family and this is a good thing after all because
the truth of the matter is probably something we cannot envisage and all
the new data may bring us closer to the truth.
Consider for example the fact that George Gillett (b1801 Hackney) was
apprenticed to an apothecary in Peterborough, Northamptonshire which is
the same county where William Gillett (b Hammersmith 1803) was a Relieving
Officer and Registrar.
I think all these facts strengthen the research because they add substance
and detail which will help facts fit together.
5. I believe Sarah married Thomas Gillatt/Gillett in 1794 in Fulham next
to Hammersmith but was born as Sarah Jennings in "Taunton Deane" in 1763.
6. I think it is a stretch to assume that the Dover William is the father
of William of Hawkhurst. I think the family came from Salehurst, but need
Comment from Rosemary Mountjoy;.
1.I agree with the sentiments about the Hawkhurst Gillett's.
The only reason we have persevered with that line of thought is that it's
the only lead we have inherited.As mentioned, the information was passed
down from a relative (Mary Edwards),who dictated her memories to another
relative (Laura Clarke) in 1926.
How or why Mary believed that the Hawkhurst Gilletts were our ancestors we
will probably never know.
The lack of records in Devon exacerbates the predicament.
An interesting fact which emerges from a study of a map of Devon is that
there is a small village called Hawkchurch between Chard and Axminster in
which area we know certain of our relatives lived.(eg.Dr George Gillett in
1861 after living in Colyton for almost 20 years from 1840 to 1861.Dr
George's son,Samuel Walkey Gillett was born in Axminster on 2 June
1856).This may be a coincidence but it could also be that it was not
Hawkhurst in Kent but rather Hawkchurch,Devon where we should be
looking.Just a thought.
2.In this regard It was interesting to note the information relating to
the Gillett's you found in your latest research.
Reviewing your research I was intrigued to note the reference to
If we go back to what we know for certain,we note that George Gillett,who
married Eliza Catherine Walkey,was christened on 22 May 1801 at St. John's
Church in Hackney,London.(refer familysearch.org).His father's name was
William but there is no mention of his mother's name.This is the William
that we are struggling to find.If George was christened in Hackney, would
it not be reasonable to assume that he was born somewhere close?.If so,it
would mean that William and his wife would have been living in London
before moving to Exeter to take up the position as Head of St Thomas's
3.Rosemary Mountjoy has found reference to this William running a Home for
mentally deranged persons called Fivehead House near Taunton as early as
1807 and up to 1822 when he was declared insolvent and the Home was taken
over by (presumably his wife),Mrs Gillett as matron, and their son WE
Gillett jnr,surgeon and Licentiate of the Soc. Of Apothecaries.This info
is from various editions of Trewman's Exeter Flying Post(15 Jan 1807,24
April 1817,20 Nov 1821 and 2 Aug 1821) although the insolvency notice is
from the London Gazette of 5 March 1822.
This Home was later called Fairwater House when WE Gillett moved it to
Stapelgrove near Taunton and is today part of Taunton school.
This WE Gillett had an illustrious career .He was a Licentiate of the
College of Physicians in Edinburgh,Licentiate of the Apothecaries Company
in London.He was a member of the West of England Agricultural Society,was
invested with Magisterial honors,was Chairman of the Board of Health and
was a supporter of the Taunton and Somerset Hospital.
4.If George Gillett was born in Hackney on 1 May 1801 and we assume that
his father was in his 20's it would mean that his father,William, would
have been born around 1775 and 1780.Was he in turn born in London or
surrounds or did he come from the country,Devon or Kent,perhaps?These
dates tie in with the Hawkhurst Gillett's.Rosemary has done some research
in this direction and has put together one scenario which could have our
William being one of 9 children.The others being
Henry,Susannah,Thomas,John,Edward,Ann,Charles and Elizabeth.All born or
christened in Hawkhurst.(familysearch.org).
5.The Sarah Gillett you refer to who was born in Taunton Deane could be
the daughter of one of the above Gillett's.eg.Henry,Edward or Charles
altho you say she was the daughter of a Thomas Gillatt.???
6.According to the info we inherited(ie no confirmed source) William's
father could have been another William Gillett,christened on 17 Feb 1731
at St John the Virgin,Dover,Kent.
This latter William is the one whose Banns of marriage were read on 27
October 1761(or 1760) in Hawkhurst when he married Elizabeth How.
7.A lot of this I will be uploading to the gillettfamilytree.org later
8.I have established that all the Parish Records for Hawkhurst have been
transferred to the Maidstone County Records Office /Kent County Records
9.There is also a website covering the Staplehurst Parish Records going
back quite far.
10.In familysearch.org (William Gillett born Hawkchurch 1775 to 1780)there
is a William Gillett recorded as being born in 1776 in Devon.In 1841 this
WG is 65yrs old and is recorded as being in Churchstanton,Devon.
11.The same search shows another William Gillett born c1797 in
Fifehead,Dorset recorded as 54yrs old in the 1851 census.No parents
12.The same search shows another William Gillett born c1844 in
Fifehead,Dorset recorded as 7yrs old in the 1851 census.No parents
It's a reasonable guess that with our links to Fifehead/Fyfett near
Taunton that these last two William Gillett's are one of us but I can't
fit them into the info I have on the website!!!!!