Page 6 - Chiron Autumn 2018
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 1796 including 2,000 horses so there was no shortage of work.
Perhaps, John came into contact with Col. Sir Charles Wale from the adjoining parish of Gt Shelford who may have sown the seeds of his military career.
Colonel Sir Charles Wale joined as Major Wale on 25th April 1798, he later joined the regular army taking with him 200 men, to each of those a bounty of £3 was given. Wale died at his birthplace of Gt Shelford, Cambs (the neighbouring parish to Fulbourn) aged 84. He was General Officer Commanding & Colonel of the 33rd Duke of Wellington’s regiment where he served for 12 yrs. In 1797 regiment was increased to 820 rank & file from Cambridge, Ely & Bury St Edmunds.
This leads us to John’s (bap.1765) descendants. Of the three children born of his marriage to Mary, only John would marry. He married Elisabeth Mason, also of Fulbourn at St Vigors on 3rd Jan 1815 just 6 mths before the Battle of Waterloo where his father of course played an important role as Veterinary Surgeon. The witnesses at his wedding were Maria Shipp & John Cranaway (son of the rector).
I can find two records of baptisms, but no marriages or burials of any children born to John & Elisabeth between their marriage in Jan 1815 and John’s death aged just 29 on Sept 15th 1822. The name disappears from the Fulbourn registers around this time. First a daughter Marianne was baptised on 1st November 1819 at Fulbourn St Vigor’s, followed by a son Richard on 6th October 1823. Richard is described in the baptism record as ‘posthumous son of John & Elisabeth (Lab)’ Lab = labourer.
Marianne is an unusual name for the time so it’s rather frustrating that I’ve been unable to track her down anywhere. Did she survive, marry and have children? These would have course had been John’s grandchildren. Likewise Richard; both disappear from the records in Cambridgeshire.
So what of John’s deeper lineage? Where did he learn his skills? He is the son of at least four generations of blacksmiths & farriers in the adjacent parish to Horseheath of West Wratting. The earliest of these is, yes you’ve guessed it John Shipp (baptised 3rd October 1612) in Burwell, Cambs. He married Elisabeth Brand of West Wratting in 1628. The family moved into West Wratting at this time. There are no Shipps recorded there before that date. John was born at Burwell in 1612, the son of Henry Shippe and Ann Ffreston who married in 1594 at Fordham. Their other children are Henry (jnr) baptised 1599, Anne 1602, William 1604, Thomas 1607 and finally John (John’s 3x Grandfather) in 1612. Henry (jnr) married Elizabeth Hopwood in Burwell in 1623. Anne married but died a widow aged 29 in 1631. They appear to have moved from Fordham to Burwell at the turn of the century as Henry (jnr) was baptised in 1599 at Fordham and Anne and her brothers and sisters from 1602 at Burwell. Henry (snr) John’s 4X Grandfather was born at Great Wilbraham on 23rd Aug 1561, the year that those parish records
John Shipp Place of birth
began. There is also an Elizabeth Sheppe who married William Kemp in 1565. This was almost certainly Henry’s aunt. The family moved out of Gt Wilbraham around this time but the name appears again in the late 1700s onwards.
The smithy, forge & tools and of course the craft and knowledge were handed
The smithy, forge & tools and of course the craft and knowledge were handed down through four generations
down through four generations, in their adoptive village of West Wratting, their wealth increasing with each one. Firstly from John (bap.1612) to his son John (bap 17th Oct 1630) then to Timothy (bap 27th Oct 1663) then to John (bap 9th Jan 1701) and finally to John’s father John (bap. 1741).
The Hearth Tax records of 1674 for Cambridgeshire shows John Shipp of West Wratting paying tax for 3 hearths, so a comfortable and substantial property, along with other members of the extended
family e.g. Stephen Shipp in Cheveley (2 hearths) and Timothy Shipp in Kirtling (1 hearth).
1. The name appears as both Shipp & Sheep, often variant spelling within the same record. There is almost certainly no nautical connections as the name doesn’t appear at all in coastal areas, sailors were usually named Shipman, it is however quite common around the former medieval wool towns of Suffolk. I have found a huge variety of spellings e.g. Shippe, Shepe, Sheepe, Shiepe etc
2. I have copies of wills from the 1700s of John’s ancestors. These were copied in the late 1980s and of not great quality. I intend to obtain higher resolution digital scans from the Public Record Office asap
3. The following websites will be of interest:
http://www.fulbournandthewilbrahams. org/our-churches/st-vigors-fulbourn/ churches/horseheath.htm churches/westwratting.htm

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