James Parchment 1791/2 - Turnkey




Bocking is the north part of Braintree on the above map.

. . James Parchment was born ~ 1792, Witham -from 3 censuses. No baptism found. Parents probably William Parchment & Elizabeth Amies. Siblings: definitely Samuel Parchment c 1788 and likely William Parchment, baptised 1796- as both James & William had father, William Parchment, shoemaker. . Have searched many surrounding parishes for his baptism - see Samuel page

1807. . . .James Parchment was probably with his mother & a younger brother [ but the 2 sons could have been John & William! ] in Bocking in 1807. Then probably joined the Fencibles[Militia] like elder brother Samuel.

1825. James Parchment was appointed a Turnkey of the old county gaol - from his 1873 obituary . Also from a 1842 detailed report on Essex gaols

www.google.ca/search?tbm=bks&hl=en&q=essex+british+prisons+james+parchment . This gives his appointment as 1/10/1825

1841C James Parchment, 50, Turnkey, living in Chelmsford Gaol. Before this he had worked in the House of Correction and then in the gaol probably from around 1834.[references to his employment there in 'Behind the Walls']

1841. Nov. James Parchment marries Sophia Hitchcock, b. Aylesbury and living there in 1841C, aged 55, independant, 2/11/1841 in Christ Church, Spitalfields, giving his occ. as Shoemaker.[perhaps this was more socially acceptable than Gaoler to his new bride]. Ages given as full, fathers William Parchment shoemaker [ not given as deceased!] & Richard Hitchcock, draper, address for James & Sophia - 229 Brick Lane. This shown on Bethnal Green Maps, map2.

1851C. They are living in Randulph Terrace, near the gaol. James Parchment, aged 60, born Witham, is an Officer at County Gaol-Provisions Dept. & Sophia, aged 64, born Aylesbury. .

1855. 3/1/1855 Sophia Parchment, 74, dies .She was buried, MI ref.67, in London Road Church, Chelmsford, Non conformist. Do not know if she she leaves a will?- National probate records only start in 1861-, and is this where James' wealth on death originated?? But Findmypast now have Death Duty Registers, and cannot find her on these for 1855/6. Her death was announced in the Bucks Herald: she was the sister of the late Mrs Terry of Aylesbury

1861. He retired from his job as Steward at the new gaol of Springfield with a pension of £1.4s 2d - from his 1873 obituary

1861C James, [mistranscribed as Parchmond], 70, born Witham, widower, Steward at the Gaol, still at Randulph Terrace with a servant, Mary Lapworth,47, b. Writtle.

1862. James Parchment marries Mary Lapworth at Chelmsford Register Office on 5/12/1862. Report of marriage in the Chelmsford Chronicle .Never asked GL for cert.

1871C. James Parchment, 71 [prob.79], b.Witham,Yeoman with wife Mary, 57, b.Writtle, at 10, Randulph Terrace.

1873. James Parchment dies 23/11/1873 , 'at his residence, Randulph Terrace, Springfield, in his 82nd Year, much respected'[Chelmsford Chronicle 28/11/1873]. He left a will,[written in November 1872] with assets of £3000, a large sum for those days. The Will was proved on 26/03/1874. In it he left £10 each to his 3 nephews, Samuel, William & James.: this is our proof that he was certainly a brother of my Samuel Parchment 1789. I have a copy of the will, a complicated document, in which the nephews seemingly will receive equal shares of the estate after the death of his wife, she receiving a £50 yearly annuity & provision for living in Randulph Terrace, which he seemed to own.. The fact that she outlived all 3 nephews meant that it would have just been their wives or descendants who would have received probably~ £1000 each in 1896/7. Nephew Samuel Parchment,1823, was an executor of this will, which suggests that James remained in touch with his late brother's children after the death of Samuel,1789, in 1861.[but, on the other hand, help had not been proffered when Samuel's wife went into Braintree Workhouse c1861 as a pauper and Samuel had then been reduced to a Hawker]. Death duty registers; the records for England and Wales are at The National Archives (in their series of records filed at reference IR 26, and covering 1796-1903]


From Findmypast- Essex memorial Inscriptions, James Parchment buried, MI ref 67, in London Road Church, Chelmsford, Non conformist , where his first wife Sophia was buried.


1881C. Widow, Mary Parchment, 68, still alive, at 10 Randolph Terrace.. Annuitant, with a servant.

1888. Mrs Parchment was letting out 11 Randolph Terrace, consisiting of 2 front parlours, 2 kitchens , 4 bedrooms & a walled garden

1891C, Widow, Mary Parchment, aged 78, independent means , with a servant.

1896. Mary Parchment dies 15/2/1896 Parchment Mary 84 Chelmsford 4a 265. Buried in the same church, London Road Church, Chelmsford, Non conformist, as her husband.. Her death was reported in the Essex newsman- she was still mentally alert and had been ill just for a fortnight. MI ref. 63 in Burial records. She bequests money to her church - see book below. Here the church is stated as the Ebenezer Baptist Chapel in New London Road, and a photo of it is shown .This is still functioning today - now a Grade 2 listed building . Are there any graves? A Record Book still in the church shows her Bequest.


I wonder who she left her money to?

The life of James Parchment is amplified wondrously in BEHIND THE WALLS by Geoffrey Lewis. I have a copy of this book.



Randulph Terrace, home of James Parchment between 1851 & 1873.


Earlier Parchments.

Samuel Parchment 1823 - his nephew

William Parchment 1831 - his nephew