James Whiting c.1785-?

Parents: Robert Whiting and Mary Hazlewood(1)
Born: c.1785
Baptised: 10th April 1785 at the St Mary's Church, Haverhill (1)
Married: Amelia Walton, spinster, on 14th August 1808 at St Alphege, Greenwich. Witnessed by Ruth Dorrington and James Smith (2)
Children: James Robert Whiting b.3 Nov 1809, Elizabeth Amelia Whiting b.5 Jan 1812, Mary Whiting b.17 Jun 1814, Henry Thomas Whiting b.16 Nov 1816
Died: Unknown

Bio: James Whiting was the second surviving son of Robert Whiting and Mary Hazlewood and was baptised at St Mary's Church, Haverhill, on 10th April 1785. James made the transition from Haverhill to Woolwich along with his parents and siblings.

James Whiting married Amelia Walton on 14th August 1808 at St Alphege's Church, Greenwich. His surname appears to be spelt 'Whitling' or 'Withing' here, but confirmation that this is 'our' James is provided by the witness - his youngest sister Ruth, who had married John Dorrington two years before.

The marriage of James Whiting and Amy/Amia/Amelia? Ashton on 22nd January 1797 at St Nicholas' Church, Plumstead, Greenwich(2) can be discounted as being that of 'our' James not only because it is too early given James' baptism in 1785 (this is not on enough on its own, as his sister Ruth appears to have been baptised several years after her birth), but also because of the evidence of the witness to the marriage at St Alphege being James' sister. Also, the children of the Plumstead marriage consistently refer to their mother as 'Amy' on baptism records, rather than 'Amelia'. James and Amelia had a son whose second name Robert provides a connection to James' father, as does James and Amelia's residence as will be shown.

After marrying at St Alphege, James and Amelia had several children who were all baptised at St Mary Magdalene, Woolwich. The baptism register that records the entry of the youngest two children of James and Amelia at St Mary Magdalene gives the abode and occupation of the father and reveals that James was a sawyer who lived at Green Hill, Woolwich. James' father Robert Whiting died in this street in 1837.

Patients records for James' sister Amelia from Kent Asylum, Oakwood Hospital, Maidstone, suggest that James died in Bethnal Green Lunatic Asylum. Although he is just referred to as a brother of Amelia, it is known that her other brother Robert died elsewhere. Unfortunately patient records for Bethnal Green asylum have not survived from around this time. If James was here it was probably in the White House, a private asylum owned by James Warburton which housed paupers paid for by their parish, or the Red House which was a later addition which became used by male patients from around 1831(5).

Unless more substantial evidence comes to light is best to take this information about James being in Bethnal Green Asylum with a pinch of salt.

...to be continued


(1) Suffolk Records Office, Bury St Edmunds, Parish Registers of St Mary's Church, Haverhill. Fiche 578/4 of 37
(2) London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Reference Number: p97/nic/006, p.24. www.ancestry.co.uk
(3) London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Reference Number: p97/mry/037, p.198. www.ancestry.co.uk
(4) London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Reference Number: p97/mry/026, p.88. www.ancestry.co.uk
(5) https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol11/pp203-212