1744 - 17905,1

Ivory turner4

Life History


Born in St Martin in the Fields

20th Jan 1744/5

Baptised in St George, Bloomsbury.1

s/o John and Ann

5th Sep 1759

Apprenticed in London.2

Kingsman, William, son of John, St Martin in the Fields, Middlesex, coachmaker, to William Limby, 5 Sep 1759, Turners' Company for £20.

5th Jun 1764

Beneficiary in Marylebone, Middlesex.3

In the will of Admiral Robert Long

19th Apr 1768

Married Jane HIRD in St Sepulchre.1

William married Jane Hird on the 19th April 1768 at St Sepulchre after Banns.  The witnesses were Robert Frear and William Bannister.  Bannister was obviously a church official as his name appears on several other marriages as witness.

Jun 1769

Birth of son John KINGSMAN in Holborn, Middlesex

Oct 1770

Death of son John KINGSMAN in Holborn, Middlesex

24th Aug 1771

Birth of daughter Elizabeth KINGSMAN in St Sepulchre, London.1


Occupation Ivory turner.4

12th May 1774

Birth of son William KINGSMAN in St Sepulchre, Middlesex.1

3rd Jun 1775

Birth of son James KINGSMAN in St Sepulchre, Middlesex.1

25th Apr 1778

Birth of son John Valentine KINGSMAN in St Sepulchre, London.1

11th Jul 1781

Birth of son Edward KINGSMAN in St Sepulchre, London.1

17th Oct 1786

Birth of daughter Jane KINGSMAN in St Sepulchre, London.1


Death of daughter Jane KINGSMAN in Holborn, Middlesex


Died in Holborn, Middlesex (St Paul Covent Garden).5,1

16th Sep 1790

Buried in Holborn, Middlesex (St Sepulchre).1

Buried in Durham Yard, from St Pauls Covent garden, aged 46 years. NB on page entitled "Subject to Tax"


  • Apprenticeship record for Kingsman, William, son of John, St Martin in the Fields, Middlesex, coachmaker, to William Limby, 5 Sep 1759, Turners' Company for £20.

    William received some financial help during his apprenticeship from an unexpected source.  Admiral Robert Long, the great-uncle of William's cousin, William Long Kingsman, left him £10 a year in 1764 for the remaining term of his apprenticeship "to buy him clothes" as well as £20 when he completed his apprenticeship.  Probably sufficient to set himself up in business.

    This legacy was never paid as such as Robert Long did not die until 1771, after William had completed his apprenticeship, but if the intent was there then perhaps Admiral Long gave it to him direct as a gift while he was still living.

    William was the first in the line of several generations of Ivory turners - some of whom in turn became brass turners and then by natural progression, gas fitters.

  • From the burial records of William and some of his children, they lived in the parish of St Sepulchre, in and around places named as Newcastle Street, Seacoal Lane and Durham Yard.

    John Strype's Survey of London in 1720 describes this part of Farringdon Ward as:

    "Chich lane, an ordinary Place, both for Buildings and Inhabitants. It comes out of Smithfield by the Sheep Pens, and runneth down to Field lane. In this Lane are several Courts and Alleys: As Newcastle Street, or Durham Yard, pretty open to receive Carts and Coaches; having at the lower end a Yard for Stabling. And at the upper end is a passage into Katherine Wheel Yard, which is none of the best. Blue Boar Court, is ordinary, and ascended up by Steps. Churchyard Alley, but narrow and ordinary. At the upper end is a Churchyard which belongs to St. Sepulchre's Parish."

  • In 1772 William appeared in court at the Old Bailey as a character witness for one Joseph Harrison.  William's short statement was: William Kinsman. "I am an ivory-turner. I have known him about two years; he always bore a good character."

    Harrison and John Mitchell were on trial for "Theft with violence, Highway Robbery" perpetrated on one Mary Wilds aged 16, and also separately for the rape of Mary Wilds on the same occassion.  They were found not guilty of rape, but guilty on the highway robbery charge.  For this theft with violence (of Mary's clothes) they were both sentenced to death.

  • External link to the Old Bailey trial record of Joseph Harrison.[Opens in a new window]

  • In the summer of 1790, 3 of the children of William and Jane's family were admitted to the workhouse in St Sepulchre. It is not obvious whether they were admitted because of poverty in the family or because they were ill and were able to obtain some degree of medical care there.

    In either case, it was only the youngest 3 who were admitted (John Valentine, Edward and Jane) and the register from which this information came was only for those under the age of 14 - the other 3 children were older than this and therefor perhaps not eligible for even this degree of help.

    Whatever the case, Jane, then aged 3 years and 9 months, only stayed for 2 weeks, and the two boys for another one.

    There is a note that says that Jane was then being nursed by her mother.

    It also records that John could read and say his prayers, but Edward could only say his prayers.

    The children were released from the workhouse to their parents, but their abode is recorded as "Not known"

  • William died aged 46 in 1790. His daughter Jane died within a month of him and her burial is recorded on a page in the parish register headed: "Exempted from the tax which commenced Oct the 3rd 1783 being Poor". William's burial, a month earlier, was recorded on the page of those who were subject to this tax.


  • 1. Parish Register
  • 2. London Apprenticeship Abstracts 1442-1850
  • 3. Will of Robert Long 1771
  • 4. Old Bailey Trial record
  • 5. Court Proceedings

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