The "Hawtin Whites" and "Gentleman" Richard White
Some Whites, however, remained in Shotteswell. The family of William White's older brother, Richard and his wife, Elizabeth (Hawtin) continued to farm in the area. One tragedy, however, had befallen them. Thomas, one of their sons, is recorded on the gravestone of Richard White, who himself had died on 10 February and been buried in the graveyard of St. Laurence Church on 16 February 1845, as having died at the age of 27 on 6 March 1854 in Newtown (the gravestone inscription says Newton), New South Wales in Australia. It is interesting to speculate what young Thomas was doing in that distant colony, so far from the hilly lanes and rolling countryside of Shotteswell. Had he travelled there as a settler? My first thought was to wonder whether he had been transported to the colony as a convict for some crime he may have committed. This, however, is not correct.
In the 1851 census, we find a Thomas White, a draper aged 22 and born in Shotteswell, as a visitor to the home of William Wakelin In Bicester when he was accompanied by his wife Ann (probably William Wakelin's sister) and their four month old son, Thomas Oscar White. This Thomas would not be of the correct age to have been that one who died in New South Wales 3 years later (then he would have been 25 not 27 which is the age given on the gravestone and presumably Thomas' mother would have known his correct age to be inscribed there). However it is easily imagined that the age recorded in the census is incorrect, especially if it were being reported by his brother-in-law who may have had a stab at it for the purpose of completing the census. It is quite possible that Thomas, Ann and Thomas Oscar were visiting the Wakelins to say goodbye to them before setting off for Australia. We should also note that the Shotteswell parish records mention the baptism of only one Thomas, son of Richard and Elizabeth, on 28 December 1827 and no other Thomas White appears in the baptismal records until 1842. Therefore any Thomas White recorded in the 1851 census as being in their early twenties and as having been born in Shotteswell must be the son of Richard and Elizabeth and therefore must be the young man who died in Australia (despite the anomalous age recorded in the census).
It appears that Thomas, Ann and Thomas Oscar emigrated voluntarily to New South Wales which was something that a lot of families from all over Great Britain and Ireland were doing during that period. They must have travelled to Australia between March 1851 when the census of that year was held and before March 1854 when Thomas is known to have died. Unfortunately, I have not found the family appearing on any of the migrant ship passenger lists for that period (although there are 2 or 3 Thomas Whites of the correct age traveling alone to Australia but the details are not convincing that any of them is the correct individual). I do not think that we can yet be sure about why Thomas White and his family were in Australia in 1854 but presumably they had gone there with the hope of establishing a business there and starting a new life: this is of course against the background of the growing problems for the English rural economy which seemed to have resulted in his uncle losing his farm.
The gravestone of Richard & Elizabeth (Hawtin) White, St. Laurence Churchyard,
which also records the death of their son, Thomas, in Australia in 1854.
Australian records show that Thomas Oscar married Alice McGuiness, daughter of Hugh and Margaret McGuiness and born on 2 June 1855 in Hobart, Tasmania, in 1872 in Newcastle, New South Wales in 1872 but he died at the age of 39 in 1888 in Ryde, New South Wales.
Another son of Richard and Elizabeth White, James Hawtin White, married Annie Ledbrook, born in Shotteswell in 1843, in Leamington Prior on 24 July 1866. In 1861, James had been recorded as a "farmer of 22 acres", clearly a very great decrease in the total amount of land he possessed compared with that owned by first, his father and then, his widowed mother, which had been 105 acres in 1851. We also note that his brother, Richard (born 1818), who seems to have led a privileged early life, seemed to have experienced a dramatic loss of social status. He had married Jane Taylor (born 1814) at St. Laurence Church on 9 April 1838 and in the records he was described as a farmer. They had a number of children recorded in the Shotteswell parish records:- James (baptised 27 May 1839, buried 12 March 1841, aged 2), Julia (13 November 1840), Mary (20 June 1841), Richard (6 November 1842), Judith Jane (19 October 1845), Elizabeth (31 May 1846) and possible twins, Anne and another James, baptised together on 22 February 1852 but James died in 1858 and was buried at St. Laurence Church on 7 April 1858.
In the 1861 census, Richard was described as an "agricultural worker", having been a "farmer" in 1841 and an "annuitant" in 1851. He and Jane were living in Shotteswell High Street in 1861 near his Uncle William and cousin Joice. With them were their children Richard, then aged 18, and Ann, then 12. His "profession" may have been wrongly recorded for his annuity had been large enough for him to be living off it, as well as supporting his large family with it, ten years earlier. But, possibly he was profligate with his spending and does not seem then to have any land, so his social status was reduced to that of a labourer, a term, I suspect that he would have considered an affront if applied to him. But his fourth child, Richard, was certainly doing the work of a servant, which would be consistent with his family losing money and status - he was employed as a wagoner at the Malt Shovel Inn in Southam. Jane died in 1863 and was buried at St. Laurence graveyard on 13 August 1863.
In the 1871 census, we find Richard living as a widower, lodging in the house of a general shopkeeper, Sarah Burton, in Cornelia Terrace in Warkworth in Northamptonshire. Under "rank, profession or occupation" he firmly described himself as a "gentleman" - how this equates with his record ten years earlier as a labourer is a mystery. When his daughter, Judith, married Josiah Eastwood, a forgeman from West Derby in Liverpool, on 26 December 1872 at Ladbroke parish church in Warwickshire, at which Richard acted as a witness, he described himself again as a "gentleman". In 1881 Richard was still lodging with Sarah Burton but at a new address, in Middleton Road in Warkworth where there was also two more lodgers of rather lower social status, a tin plate maker from Birmingham and a railway porter. On this occasion, Richard described himself as "independent", so clearly he was still living off his annuity.
Richard lived long enough to be included in the 1891 census. By then he was living with his daughter Ann and was now "living on his own means". Ann, who was then 43, had married Joseph Buckingham (born 1836), a blacksmith from Silverstone in Northamptonshire where the couple were living with their three children:- Thomas (then aged 18 and also a blacksmith), Joseph (aged 14) and William (12). Richard died, still with the Buckingham family, on 30 April 1891 and the probate record reads "1891 28 July Administration of the Personal Estate of Richard White late of Silverstone in the County of Northampton Gentleman a Widower who died 30 April 1891 at Silverstone was granted at Northampton to Judith Jane Eastwood (Wife of Josiah Eastwood) of West Street Crewe in the County of Chester the Daughter and one of the Next of Kin". According to this, at least, he remained a "Gentleman" to the end.
James Hawtin and Annie White had eight children:- James Hawtin (baptised 10 November 1867), John Ledbrook (11 July 1869), Marianne (born in 1871 in Little Kineton), Thomas William (baptised 11 April 1873), Eliza Annie (baptised 4 June 1876), Annie (born 1878), Sarah Louise (born 1879) and Alice (born 1880). The 1871 census records that the family was living at Jones' Farm House in the village of Kineton, the church tower of which is from where Oliver Cromwell is said to have watched part of the Battle of Edgehill in 1642 before sliding down the bell rope to get back to the fight. James' fortune seemed to have improved remarkably by the 1881 census, the family had by then moved to the village of Warmington, where they were living in a "Farm House" and James was recorded as "Farmer of 469 acres employing 6 Labourers & 2 Boys". In 1891, James and his family were living in Shotteswell itself and he was described simply as a "Farmer" and in 1901 the family's address was given as 1 Top Road, Shotteswell with James, at the age of 67, still a farmer. James died on 10 February 1905 in Shotteswell and was buried in St. Laurence Churchyard. His will passed through probate in London on 28 March 1905 and was divided between his widow, here called Eliza Anne, and his son William Thomas White, butcher, the effects totalling £2,411-3s-6d. Interestingly his home village's name is spelt as Schotteswell in the document. Annie, James' widow, died in 1926 but is not buried in James' grave with him.
Thomas William had indeed become a butcher and lived in Kineton. He married Sarah Ann Fawk who had been born in Knighton in Radnorshire in 1876 and they had three children:- Alice Mary (born 4 January 1904), William James (born 5 December 1904) and Alan Thomas (born 11 July 1907). William James married Margaret Cullen Channing from Wolston in Warwickshire on 7 February 1929 and they emigrated to Salisbury, the capital of Southern Rhodesia. They both died in an accident there on 7 February 1945, leaving a son who had been born in Salisbury in 1934 and who returned to Warwick in England where his Uncle Alan adopted him. Alan died in Warwick in 1960, his son having married and having four children.
After the death of James Hawtin White, there were very few Whites living in Shotteswell itself. The 1911 census records only two people with the surname to be living in the village, unmarried brother and sister, Tom and Florence Emily White, who were farming there. They were descended from Thomas White who had married a woman whose first name was Elizabeth, the son of the Richard White who had married Kezia Curtis (his father was the brother of John White and had married Sarah Bradford). This branch of the family was the wealthiest and maintained its links with Shotteswell well into the 20th century.