Person:John Drake (112)

Watchers
John Drake
m. 29 Apr 1782
  1. Mary Drake1784 - 1873
  2. Elizabeth Drake1787 -
  3. John Drake1790 - 1877
  4. Christopher Drake1793 - 1793
  5. Grace Drake1793 - 1830
  • HJohn Drake1790 - 1877
  • WMary Harrisabt 1784 - 1832
m. 29 Oct 1814
  1. Edward Drake1815 -
  2. Celia Drake1817 - 1860
  3. Mary Drake1819 - 1880
  4. Elizabeth Drake1821 - 1893
  5. Jane Drake1824 - 1894
  6. John Drake1826 -
  7. Christopher Foot Drake1829 - 1885
Facts and Events
Name John Drake
Gender Male
Christening[1] 31 Jan 1790 Bere Ferrers, Devon, England
Marriage 29 Oct 1814 Bere Ferrers, Devon, Englandto Mary Harris
Census[2] 6 Jun 1841 Bere Ferrers, Devon, EnglandAgricultural labourer
Census[3] 30 Mar 1851 Bere Ferrers, Devon, EnglandAgricultural labourer
Census[4] 7 Apr 1861 Bere Ferrers, Devon, EnglandSexton, farm labourer
Census[5] 2 Apr 1871 Bere Ferrers, Devon, EnglandSexton
Death[6] 1877 Devon, EnglandTavistock Registration District

John Drake was baptised on 31st January 1790 at Bere Ferrers in Devon, son of Celia Drake, formerly Foot, and her husband John Drake. He was one of five children, and the only boy to live to adulthood. When he was seven years old his mother died. In 1802 young John was apprenticed to a William Toll of Gratham, which appears to have been a hamlet in Bere Ferrers parish, but the name has subsequently fallen out of use.

In 1814, aged 24, John married Mary Harris. John and Mary had seven children baptised at Bere Ferrers between 1815 and 1829. Several of their children's baptisms gives an abode of 'Monks Castle', which is presumably the same place as the 'Monkeys Castle' in which John appears in some of the censuses. Monkeys Castle appears to have been in the vicinity of the modern Well Farm, on the road between Bere Ferrers and Bere Alston. John's wife Mary was buried at Bere Ferrers on 26th November 1832, with her burial record giving her age as 48, implying that she was born in 1783 or 1784. The burial record also records that she had lived at Monks Castle. At the time of her death, her youngest son was only three years old. Mary and John were married for eighteen years. John outlived Mary by nearly 45 years, but appears never to have remarried.

John appears to have raised the children on his own after Mary's death. In each of the censuses from 1841 to 1871 he was living with some of his children - with Mary and Christopher in 1841, with Jane and Christopher (and next door to Mary) in 1851, with Mary in 1861 and with Elizabeth in 1871.

John was described as a husbandman on most of his children's baptisms and in most censuses as an agricultural labourer. However, in the last two censuses in which he appears he was also described as a sexton - meaning he was responsible for maintenance of the church and other related duties possibly including bell-ringing and grave digging.

John died in 1877, at the age of 87, in the Tavistock district, which covers the parish of Bere Ferrers in which John appears to have spent his whole life.

References
  1. Church of England. Parish Registers of Bere Ferrers. (Exeter: Devon Heritage Services), Primary quality.

    Baptisms 1790
    Jan[uar]y 31st John Son of John [&] Sicilia Drake

    This baptism has been linked to the John Drake who married Mary Harris on the basis that they had a son named Christopher Foot Drake, who appears to have been named after the John baptised in 1790's maternal grandfather, Christopher Foot. John and Mary also gave one of their daughters the unusual name Celia, which was the John baptised in 1790's mother's name. The 1790 baptism also is in the same parish John gave in the censuses as his place of birth, and is very close to the age he claimed to be. Also, one of the witnesses to John's daughter Mary's marriage in 1846 was a Celia Spry, who was the daughter of Matthias Spry and Mary Drake, with Mary being the John baptised in 1790's sister.

  2. General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) HO 107/1-1465 Census Returns: 1841 Census Schedules, Class HO107; Piece 240; Book 5; Folio 11; Page 17, 6 Jun 1841, Primary quality.

    Address: Church Cot, Beerferris, Devon
    [listed between Well and Woolacombe]
    John Drake, male, 50 [1786-91], Ag lab, b. in county
    Mary Drake, female, 20 [1816-21], b. in county
    Christopher Drake, male, 13 [1827/8], b. in county
    Mary Drake, female, 18m [1839/40], b. in county
    William Drake, male, 14m [1840], b. in county

  3. General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) HO 107/1466-2531 Census Returns: 1851 Census Schedules, Class HO107; Piece 1883; Folio 79; Page 18, 30 Mar 1851, Primary quality.

    Address: Monkeys Castle, Beerferris, Devon
    [households listed in order: ...Wallers, Hole Farm, Monkeys Castle, Well...]
    John Drake, head, widower, male, 65 [1785/6], Ag lab, b. Beerferris, Devon
    Jane Harry, daughter, married, female, 27 [1823/4], b. Beerferris, Devon
    Christopher Drake, son, unmarried, male, 22 [1828/9], Labourer in Lead Mine, b. Beerferris, Devon
    Mary Ann Harry, granddaughter, female, 1m [1851], b. Beerferris, Devon
    ~ [2nd household at Monkeys Castle]
    Jacob Hooper, head, married, male, 28 [1822/3], Ag lab, b. Stoke Damerel, Devon
    Mary Hooper, wife, married, female, 31 [1819/20], b. Beerferris, Devon
    Mary A. Hooper, daugher, female, 2 [1848/9], b. Beerferris, Devon
    John Hooper, son, male, 7m [1850], b. Beerferris, Devon
    Mary Jane Drake, daughter in law, female, 11 [1839/40], b. Beerferris, Devon

  4. General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) RG 9 General Register Office: 1861 Census Schedules, Class RG9; Piece 1457; Folio 54; Page 7, 7 Apr 1861, Primary quality.

    Address: Monkeys Castle, Beerferris, Devon
    John Drake, head, widower, male, 71 [1789/90], Sexton, Farm Labourer, b. Beerferris, Devon
    Jacob Hooper, lodger son in law, married, male, 38 [1822/3], Farm laborer, b. Stoke Damerell, Devon
    Mary Hooper, daughter, married, female, 41 [1819/20], Laborers wife, b. Beerferris, Devon
    Mary Jane Drake, daughter in law, unmarried, female, 21 [1839/40], House servant, b. Beerferris, Devon
    Mary Ann Hooper, daughter, female, 12 [1848/9], Scholar, b. Beerferris, Devon
    John Hooper, son, male, 10 [1850/1], Scholar, b. Beerferris, Devon
    William Richard Hooper, son, male, 8 [1852/3], Scholar, b. Beerferris, Devon
    Jacob Hooper, son, male, 6 [1854/5], b. Beerferris, Devon
    Edwin Hooper, son, male, 4 [1856/7], b. Beerferris, Devon
    Amelia Elizabeth Hooper, daughter, female, 1 [1859/60], b. Beerferris, Devon

  5. General Register Office. The National Archives (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO) RG 10 General Register Office: 1871 Census Schedules, Class RG10; Piece 2142; Folio 41; Page 3, 2 Apr 1871, Primary quality.

    Address: Well Farm, Beerferris, Devon
    William Cole, head, married, male, 54 [1816/7], Kind, b. Thornbury
    Elizbth. Cole, wife, married, female, 49 [1821/2], Kind wife, b. Beerferris, Devon
    John Cole, son, unmarried, male, 19 [1851/2], Kind son, b. Beerferris, Devon
    Jane Cole, daughter, female, 10 [1860/1], Scholar, b. Beerferris, Devon
    John Drake, father, widower, 82 [1788/9], Sexton, b. Beerferris, Devon

  6. Deaths index, in General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration. (London: General Register Office), Primary quality.

    d. John DRAKE, September Quarter 1877, Tavistock Registration District, Vol. 5b, page 224, aged 88 [1788/9]

  7.   National Archives Discovery Catalogue, Secondary quality.

    1237A/PO68/52
    Devon Heritage Centre
    1802
    John Drake, apprenticed to William Toll for Gratham