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The People of Wateringbury 1650-1841

Steven MacDougall has published an eBook that may be of interest to our readers

The Book
People of Wateringbury 1650-1841

 Click on the Book to buy and Download immediately

The records of every person who lived in Wateringbury between 1650 and 1841 were researched for this book, which tells what it was really like to live in Wateringbury at that time, through the lives of the people who actually lived there.

Who were the poor families? Who were the rich? How did the rich control the poor? and how did the poor control the rich? How did they interact? Some families remained poor over the whole period and others remained rich, but some changed their position in the village hierarchy. As families change their position they appear in different types of records and interact with others in different ways. Individual people also change their position in the hierarchy as part of their life cycle from single person to married person to old age. The book deals with different aspects of their lives in a chronological way. Some families can be followed from the beginning of the book in the 1600's to the end in the 1840's but Wateringbury was not an isolated village: It was in the county of Kent, not far from London so it is not surprising that people and families were moving in and out of the village the whole time. The book ends in the 1840's when the railway reached the village and the rate of movement increased.

By this time Wateringbury was well known as a hop growing area and the quantity of the harvests was regularly reported in the newspapers. Some of the people who picked the hops came from as far away as Ireland and they often caused a lot of trouble by attacking the locals and breaking into houses. One amusing aspect of this is that from time to time when people appear in court in London and they want an alibi, they say they were not in London but in Wateringbury hop picking !

There is a whole chapter on the Tomlin family, which is a detailed case study of one family over several generations. The Tomlins were the ancestors of the Perrin family of Wateringbury through the marriage of Elizabeth Tomlin to Thomas Perrin in 1754 when he moved to Wateringbury. Thomas Perrin and his family ran the main carpentry and building business in Wateringbury for the next one hundred years. The carpentry yard was behind Vine House and was there for hundreds of years before it was knocked down in the 1990’s. No photographs of the yard have been found yet. Has anyone seen a photograph?

Other families descended from the Tomlins include the Reeve family at Wateringbury and the Boorman family from William and Rebecca. Both of these were butchers in Wateringbury. The chapter on the Tomlins will be of special interest to  descendants of these families.

Thomas Perrin's house next to where the yard was.
The side of Charles Perrin's house where he kept his horses

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