The Quaker Connection

The Tivetshall register has no record of the marriage of Andrew and Hannah, or of the births of their children, or of the burial of Hannah who was dead by 1731 (when Daniel was born) since Andrew remarried in 1732. It seems certain, however, that Andrew and Hannah married in the late summer of 1713 in Hannah’s parish. It also seems likely that Andrew became a Quaker in order to marry Hannah and that after her death he reverted to the established church which duly recorded his subsequent marriages.

There was, then, a declared intention to marry in both parishes in Suffolk and Norfolk. But what of the event itself? We have no recorded date, unfortunately, and nothing like the extraordinary document that describes the marriage of Daniel ALDIS and Mary DIX:

“Daniel Aldis of Moulton in the County of Norfolk and Mary Dix Daughter of Robert Dix and Mary his wife of Tivitshall in the County aforesaid: having declared their intentions of taking each other in Marriage before several Meetings of the people called Quakers at Tivitshall in the County aforesaid and the proceedings of the said Daniel Aldis and Mary Dix after due Enquiry and deliberate Consideration thereof were allowed by the said Meetings, they Appearing clear of all others and having Consent of parents and Relations Concern’d.

Now these are to Certify all whom it may Concern, that for the Accomplishing of the said Marriage this Twenty-sixth day of the Eleventh Month call’d November in the year One Thousand seven Hundred and Sixty One. They the said Daniel Aldis and Mary Dix, appeared in a publick Assembly of the aforesaid people and others in their Meeting House at Tivitshall. And he the said Daniel Aldis taking the said Mary Dix by the hand did openly and solemnly declare as followeth, Friends, in the fear of the Lord and before this Assembly, I take this my most Esteemed Friend Mary Dix to be my Wife Promising through Divine Assurance to be unto her a Loving and Faithful Husband until it shall please the Lord by Death to separate us (or words to that Effect) and she the said Mary Dix did then and there in the said Assembly in like manner, declare as Followeth, Friends in the fear of the Lord and before this Assembly, I take this my most Esteemed Friend Daniel Aldis to be my Husband promising through divine Assurance to be unto him a Loving and Faithful wife until it shall please the Lord by Death to separate us (or words to that Effect). And they the said Daniel Aldis and Mary Dix as a Faithful Confirmation thereof and in Testimony thereunto did then and there to these presents set their Hands”.

But documentary evidence of the marriage is to be found in surviving Ellington records. Two Wills proved in the Norwich Consistory Court reveal the names of Hannah’s parents and refer to Andrew and Hannah as man and wife. Hannah’s father, Joseph ELLINGTON, made his Will the 20th of April 1714, proved the 24th of May 1714. Joseph, a clothier of Mildenhall, mentions a son Thomas, a son Joseph, his wife Rachel, a daughter Rachel wife of William SEAKINS, a daughter Elizabeth wife of Edward PEACHEY, a daughter Hannah wife of Andrew ALDIS, and a daughter Sarah ELLINGTON. Joseph made his wife Rachel sole executrix. Hannah’s mother, Rachel ELLINGTON, made her Will the 30th of June 1721, proved the 18th of December 1722. Rachel ELLINGTON, widow of Mildenhall, mentions grandsons Benjamin PEACHEY and Joseph PEACHEY. She mentions her son Francis ELLINGTON, his nine children and his wife Hannah. She mentions Rachel, wife of William SEAKINS, and Hannah, wife of Andrew ALDIS. She mentions Frances, wife of Joseph ELLINGTON, and Rebecca, wife of Thomas PERRY. She leaves her daughter Hannah her looking glass, pillow and side saddle, and to her (ie. Hannah’s) four children £1.1s.0d (a guinea) each. She also leaves £1.1s.0d to each of her daughter Rachel’s four children and to her son Joseph’s three children. She makes her son Joseph her sole executor.

There can be no doubt then that Andrew and Hannah were married, and that by 1721 they had four surviving children. Frustratingly, not one of them is named.