Name: Robert GUMBLETON  N0004 
Born: ca. 1770   
Died:13 Jun 1820 St Thomas Southwark, Surrey, England
Buried: 23 Jun 1820  St Thomas Southwark, Surrey, England
Spouse 1Ann ENSOR
Married 7 Sep 1796
Sherborne, Dorset, England
(Died 24 Nov 1861 Hampstead, Middlesex, England)
Child 1 N0028 Ann GUMBLETON ca. 1798
Child 2 N0038 Henry GUMBLETON ca. 1799
Child 3 O0001 Richard GUMBLETON 1801
Child 4 O0005 Mary GUMBLETON 1803
Child 5 O0007 Elizabeth GUMBLETON 1805
Child 6 O0020 Jane GUMBLETON 1807
Child 7 O0022 Josiah William Dornford GUMBLETON 1809
Child 8 O0027 Maria Urmston Backhouse GUMBLETON 1811
The date and place of Robert Gumbleton's birth are uncertain, but he could (based on age at death) be the Robert Gumbleton baptised in West Grimstead in 1770 (numbered as N0770). However, other facts that seem to relate to that individual would make it nearly impossible for them to be the same person. He could alternatively be the Robert Gumbleton baptised in Melbury Abbas in 1765 (numbered as M0026) but the age at burial would be wrong. Also there is a letter (source unknown) in the Society of Genealogists Library which appears to be a transcript of a family bible for Robert's family. However, the letter was written in the 1950s and probably transcribes entries from a bible dating from the late 19th century, rather than being contemporary with Robert's life: certainly some of the early information contains errors. Nevertheless, it includes 'Robert Gumbleton, born Sept 1775' and 'Ann Ensor born Apl 7 1778'. This latter piece of information is correct, so perhaps the former is also.

By the mid-1790s, Robert was a shopman at the grocer's shop of Simon PRETOR, in the Shambles, Sherborne, Dorset. Many of Simon Pretor's papers have been preserved and include references to Robert Gumbleton, at least in 1795. On 10 Jan of that year he refers to 'my man Rob. Gumbleton who is as honest a fellow...'. In July 1795, Simon Pretor retired and sold his business to John and William ENSOR. A notice in the Sherborne Mercury of 10 Jul 1795 indicates that they retained Robert Gumbleton as their shopman.

On 7 Sep 1796, Robert Gumbleton married Ann ENSOR, the sister of his new employers, at Sherborne Abbey (by license). He left Sherborne: the Ensors were advertising for a shopman as early as Sep 1796. However, the evidence suggests that he actually left in September 1797, when he acquired his own business in Ilchester, Somerset: a grocery business, previously owned by J. Backhouse. He baptised his first 4 children in Ilchester between 1798 and 1803. In 1801, Robert Gumbleton, grocer of Ilchester, paid the tax for an apprentice (William Trent). In 1802, 'Mr Gumbleton of Ilchester' was listed as an agent for the Dorchester and Sherborne Militia Insurance Office.

However, in 1805 he was back in Sherborne, and baptised his 5th child, Elizabeth, on the 18th October. This stay in Sherborne must have been short-lived, and on the 28th Dec 1805, Robert Gumbleton was in London where, having cashed a cheque for £33 and dined with friends at an eating house in the Strand, he was robbed in Birdcage Walk, whilst walking to Pimlico. The woman who robbed him was later caught and Robert appeared as a witness at her trial at the Old Bailey on 15th Jan 1806. At this point he said that he lived in Deal (Kent).

In August 1806, Robert Gumbleton was a beneficiary of the will of his father-in-law John ENSOR, who left him £5 in his will.

Robert Gumbleton was enrolled as a freeman of Deal, Kent, on 20 Mar 1806. This was a necessary step to being able to pursue his trade as a grocer in that town. What led him to leave Dorset and travel across England to Kent is another mystery.

From September 1809 to December 1810, the Kentish Gazette carried adverts for boot blacking that listed 'Gumbleton, Deal' as a stockist.

'Mr. Gumbleton' is listed in the census enumerators books in 1811 (these survive for Deal). His household consists of one family of 12 people, 6 male and 6 female, with two 'in trade'.

In July 1811, advertisements in local newspapers show that Robert had made an 'assignment of all his effects in trust, for the benefit of his Creditors', presumably indicating that his business was on the verge of bankruptcy. His grocery business was to be carried on by Mr John Backhouse, of Deal, for the benefit of Mrs Gumbleton and her family.

In the bankruptcy proceedings of John Taylor, a ship's purser, in 1814, 'Ann Gumbleton, of Deal, grocer' is listed amongst his creditors. So Ann must have continued to run the business in her own name.

The will of Mary ENSOR, Ann's mother, was proved in December 1813 (and had been made 9 July 1813): it named 'Ann the wife of Robert Gumbleton' as a beneficiary.

Robert appears in the Deal poll books until August 1813, when his name is crossed out and 'Dead' is written in the column. However, he remained alive until 1820, when he died in St Thomas's Hospital, Southwark, and was buried at St Thomas's church.

He was admitted to St Thomas' on 1 Jun 1820 and was in Edward Ward: a male medical ward with 24 beds. He died two weeks later, on 14 Jun, and it seems there was then a delay until the 22 Jun, when the burial fee was paid. He was buried on 23 Jun 1820. The burial ground no longer exists, having been built on by Guy's Hospital. His age at death is given as 50 and it is perhaps of note that some other burial entries around the same time, also for inmates of St Thomas' Hospital, omit the age. So there are some grounds for believing that the age was not simply a guess.

After Robert's loss of his business, and eventual death, Ann did not remarry and the family did not fall into poverty. Their eldest son became a grocer in Grosvenor Row, Pimlico; another son was a cordwainer (also in London) and the daughters were straw hat makers. Ann (nee Ensor) ended her days in Hampstead and was buried in Highgate cemetery. The apparent prosperity of the family is another mystery.

Robert Gumbleton and Ann (nee Ensor) had the following children:

  • Ann GUMBLETON bapt. 26 Jan 1798 Ilchester, Somerset.
  • Henry GUMBLETON bapt. 20 Apr 1799 Ilchester, Somerset.
  • Richard GUMBLETON born 20 Oct 1801 Ilchester, Somerset.
  • Mary GUMBLETON born 25 Jun 1803 Ilchester, Somerset
  • Elizabeth GUMBLETON born 7 Sep 1805 Sherborne, Dorset.
  • Jane GUMBLETON born 9 Aug 1807
  • Josiah William Dornford GUMBLETON born 27 May 1809
  • Maria Urmston Backhouse GUMBLETON born 9 Dec 1811
Steve West's family tree View details
Robert GUMBLETON referenced in Steve West's family tree View details
1794 Papers of Simon Pretor, Banker & Grocer of Sherborne, Dorset Sherborne, Dorset View details
10 Jul 1795 Notice of sale of Pretor's shop, Sherborne, 1795 Sherborne, Dorset View details
6 Sep 1796 Marriage licence of Robert Gumbleton & Ann Ensor Sherborne, Dorset View details
7 Sep 1796 Marriage of Robert GUMBLETON and Ann ENSOR Sherborne, Dorset, England Marriage index
25 Sep 1797 Sherborne Mercury, 1797: Gumbleton, grocer Ilchester, Somerset View details
1801 SoG Apprentice Index: Robert Gumbleton Ilchester, Somerset View details
22 Apr 1802 Advertisement for Mr Gumbleton's shop Ilchester, Somerset View details
15 Jan 1806 CHARLOTTE GRUBB, theft: pick pocketing, 15 Jan 1806 London View details
20 Mar 1806 Robert Gumbleton admission as freeman of Deal Deal, Kent View details
1806 Freemen of Deal, Kent Deal, Kent View details
1806 Robert GUMBLETON referenced in Freemen of Deal, Kent Deal, Kent View details
1806 - 1813 Deal, Kent poll books for election of mayor Deal, Kent View details
12 Aug 1806 Robert GUMBLETON referenced in Will of John Ensor of Sherborne Sherborne, Dorset View details
1807 Deal Poor Rate Assesment books, 1807 Deal, Kent View details
1807 Robert GUMBLETON referenced in Deal Poor Rate Assesment books, 1807 Deal, Kent View details
1808 Deal Poor Rate Assesment books, 1808 Deal, Kent View details
1809 Deal Poor Rate Assesment books, 1809 Deal, Kent View details
24 Oct 1809 Suppliers of Fawcett's Brilliant Fluid Blacking Deal, Kent View details
1810 Deal Poor Rate Assesment books, 1810 Deal, Kent View details
1811 Deal Poor Rate Assesment books, 1811 Deal, Kent View details
27 May 1811 1811 Deal, Kent, census Deal, Kent View details
9 Jul 1811 Assignment of effects in trust by Robert Gumbleton of Deal Deal, Kent View details
1812 Deal Poor Rate Assesment books, 1812 Deal, Kent View details
1813 Deal Poor Rate Assesment books, 1813 Deal, Kent View details
7 Dec 1813 Robert GUMBLETON referenced in Will of Mary Ensor Sherborne, Dorset View details
1814 Deal Poor Rate Assesment books, 1814 deal View details
1815 Deal Poor Rate Assesment books, 1815 Deal, Kent View details
1816 Deal Poor Rate Assesment books, 1816 Deal, Kent View details
1817 Robert GUMBLETON referenced in Deal Poor Rate Assesment books, 1817 Deal, Kent View details
6 Dec 1819 Surrey Quarter Sessions: Robert Cumbleton Newington, Surrey View details
14 Jun 1820 St Thomas' Hospital death register Southwark View details
23 Jun 1820 Burial of Robert GUMBLETON St Thomas Southwark, Surrey, England Burials index
27 Jun 1820 Death notice of Robert Gumbleton St Thomas's Hospital View details
25 Oct 1840 Named as father in marriage certificate of Richard GUMBLETON and Mary EVANS St Marylebone, Middlesex Marriage certificate
24 Aug 1854 Named as father in marriage certificate of William THOROGOOD and Mary Gumbleton St Pancras, Middlesex Marriage certificate
24 Nov 1861 Named in death certificate of Ann Gumbleton Hampstead, Middlesex, England Death certificate
26 Oct 1864 Named as father in marriage certificate of Josiah William Dornford Gumbleton and Lydia Steele St John, Westminster, Middlesex Marriage certificate
27 Feb 1951 Robert GUMBLETON referenced in Letter re Gumbleton family Birchington, Kent View details

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