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Photo of St Lawrence, Darlaston

St Lawrence, Darlaston.

Copyright 2010 - Nigel James Wright.

John Waltham M.A.

John Waltham M.A. is the most important of all the Steatham vicars in that he baptised / buried nearly all of Robert Steatham's children.

The only exceptions are the last surviving son of Robert Steatham, Samuel Steatham, and Robert Steatham's first and last child James Steatham, at St Lawrence, Darlaston, Staffs.

John Waltham M.A officiated the following,

James Stathem (1800-1816) baptised.
Thomas Statham (1803-1873) baptised.
John Statham (1805-1806) baptised.
John Statham (1805-1806) buried.
Joseph Statham (1806-1889) baptised.
Sarah Steatham (1809-1810) baptised.
Elizabeth Steatham (1809-1889) baptised.
Sarah Steatham (1809-1810) buried.
Elizabeth Steatham (1809-1810) buried.
William Steatham (1811-1811) baptised.
William Steatham (1811-1811) buried.
Moses Steatham (1813-1891) baptised.

John Waltham (1751-1814).

This research is broken down into Five sections;

Quick Overview.

Detailed Research (John's origins and Children).

Census findings.


Research - Additional Planned.

  Quick Overview

John Waltham baptised on Saturday the 7th August 1751, at Kingston Upon Hull, Yorkshire.

John Waltham married Mary Belton, she died and he then married at St Lawrence, Darlaston, on Tuesday 11th June 1811, Mary Fletcher.

They had at least one child.

Detailed Research

Photo of John Waltham's baptism

John Waltham's baptism.

John Waltham was baptised [IGI] on Saturday the 7th August 1751, at Holy Trinity, Kingston Upon Hull, Yorkshire, by the Rector William Mason.

Holy Trinity is the largest parish church in England when floor area is the measurement for comparison, and it occupies an area of not less than 20,056 square feet.

The church dates back to about 1300 and contains what is widely acknowledged to be some of the finest mediæval brick-work in the country, particularly in the transepts.

William Wilberforce, who led the parliamentary campaign against the slave trade, was baptised in Holy Trinity Church.

Photo of Jesus College - Chapel Interior

Jesus College - Chapel Interior.

On Saturday the 5th October 1776 he was admitted [CED] sizar at Jesus College, Cambridge, and then matriculated [CED] Michaelmas [29th September] 1776, he then obtained [CED] a B.A. in 1781.

[sizar at Cambridge was a student who received an allowance toward college expenses in exchange for acting as a servant to other students]

[Matriculation is the process by which you will be formally admitted to the University]

He was then ordained [CED] Deacon by John Hinchcliffe the Bishop of Peterborough, on Sunday the 28th June 1778, then ordained [CED] a Priest on Friday the 20th December 1778.

He then obtained [CED] his M.A. in 1784.
Photo of All Saints, Kilnwick

All Saints, Kilnwick.
He was then made assistant curate [CED], on Friday the 6th October 1780, at All Saints, Kilnwick on the Wolds, "Beswick Chapel"!

This gave him a living of £30/annum.

John Waltham's patron was William Jesse, who was Curate from 1765 to 1799.

It was described in the early 1820s as a Church that is a perpetual curacy, dedicated to All-Saints, incumbent the Rev. Francis Lundy; curate, the Rev. Wm. Legard; patron, Charles Grimston, Esq. Population, 230.

Coincidentaly 35 years later Joseph Hugill was appointed Curate at Skerne, East Riding, Yorkshire, on Sunday the 17th December 1815. Skerne is only 4 miles North-East of Kilnwick.
Photo of St Gomonda, Roche, Cornwall

St Gomonda, Roche, Cornwall.
He was then made Rector [CED] at "St Gomonda of the Rock", Roche, Cornwall - near St Austall.

The Anglican parish church was dedicated to St Goemandus, Conandus, Conant or Gonnet. It was originally arcaded as most of the neighbouring churches are, but was rebuilt in 1822 and is now a plain parallelogram with a north transept, entered through a chamfered pointed arch.

The church has a fine Norman font of the Bodmin pattern made from Pentewan stone.

It is likely that there was a Saxon building before the Norman Church was built by the Lords of Tremodrett.

In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Roche like this:

ROCHE, a village and a parish in St. Austell district, Cornwall ... was known, at Domesday, as Treroache; and has a post-office under St. Austell; and fairs on 24 May, 18 July, and 10 Oct. The manor was anciently held by the De Rapes!

Stream tin and porcelain clay are worked; and the latter is sent, by way of Liverpool, to Staffordshire [by sea I assume, then onto the potteries].

The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £413.* Patrons, the Trustees of the late J. Thornton, Esq., and J. Rashleigh, Esq.

The Norman Church was largely rebuilt in the 14th century and restored in 1820-2 and again in 1890.

Finally in 1800, he was made Rector [CED] of St Lawrence, being presented by Henry Foster, and instituted on Friday the 21st February 1800.

When John Waltham was appointed Rector, the patrons were; John King, Rector of Bisley, Charles Simeon, Vicar of Holy Trinity, Cambridge, and William Richardson, Minister of Michael le Belfry, York.

John Waltham's first marriage

John Waltham's first marriage.

John Waltham firstly married [IGI] Mary Belton on Sunday the 12th May 1766 at the Abbey Church of St Peter and St Paul, at Bourne, Lincolnshire.

The present building was formerly the church of the Priory of Augustinian Canons founded in 1138 by Count Baldwin FitzGilbert (Strongbow).

When the priory was dissolved in 1540 the church was retained for the parish.

John Waltham's first baptism

John Waltham's baptism.

John Waltham's son also named John, was baptised [IGI] on Monday the 17th June 1770, at the church of St Firmin, Thurlby near Bourne, Lincolnshire.

John Waltham's first wife Mary burial.

His first wife Mary died, and was buried [WHC] in the churchyard at St Lawrence, but there is some confusion about the date; in the burial records it cleary states the 16th, but on John Waltham's monument it says Mary died on the 18th April 1810, aged 76.

I would say the burial records are the correct one!

John Waltham's second marriage.

He then married [WHC] at St Lawrence , Darlaston, on Tuesday 11th June 1811, Mary Fletcher, baptised [IGI] on Thursday the 8th February 1776 at St Lawrence, daughter of William Fletcher & Alice Blakemore.

John Waltham M.A was Rector from 1800 to 1814.

The following is taken from a book [HAC] about Darlaston [A history of Darlaston - Frederick Hackwood, 1887][HAC].

The Rev'd John Waltham is said to have been a fine stalwart man, 6 feet 4 inches in height. He was a magistrate and occupied the bench when the court used to sit in the room at the back of The White Lion Inn.

It is related of him, that in his attempts to suppress bull-baiting in his parish, he often displayed indomitable courage.

On one occasion, hearing of a baiting that was going on at the Bull Stake, he stalked down upon his erring flock, walked straight up to the bull, unfastened the brute, and led it away to his tithe-barn; remarking to the astonished awe-struck rabble that "he would like to see the man who would fetch it away !"

Whether it was consciousness of the parson's great physical strength or a dread of incurring his magisterial wroth, or both, it is certain that the bull was not claimed: and that next day the beast was slaughtered and its flesh distributed amongst the poor.

[End quote]

A Communion Plate was gifted to the church by the Rector, John Waltham.

It is inscribed "The Gift of the Rev'd John Waltham A.M. [sic] Rector to the Parish of Darlaston June 1805".

[Page 105] The Tenor bell has the following inscription,

The Rev. John Waltham M.A.

[Page 86] The church has Silver chalice 9oz avoirdupois, inscribed,

|The gift|of|The Revd. John Waltham, A.M. [sic] Rector|to the|Parish of Darlaston|June 1805|.

Just over 13 years later, the Church Records record on the 11th September 1816, a 12 year old boy being buried, who drowned while stealing turnips on the Sabbath.
[End quote]

John Waltham's slab in church yard.

John Waltham was involved in the restoration of the church in 1806.

In the church yard there is a slab inscribed as below.

Where this slab was originally located before the headstones were cleared, is unknown.


From the wording of the first line it looks like this may be just the bottom of a larger inscription.

Also, why the I. instead of J., possibly the I does not represent his first name, any ideas?

John Waltham burial.

John Waltham died on Monday the 11th July 1814, and was buried [WHC] in the Rectory Vault at St Lawrence, on Saturday the 16th July 1814.

His surviving wife Mary, then married the Rev. John Howells, on Thursday the 3rd October 1816 at Handsworth, Staffs.

Mary died on Wednesday the 23rd December 1846, and was buried on Wednesday the 30th December 1846, at Holy Trinity, Coventry.

Note - Mary Fletcher's ancestory can be traced back to about 1564 at Shareshill, Staffs.

John Waltham's Monument,
St Lawrence, Darlaston.

Copyright 2010 - Nigel James Wright.

John Waltham M.A. has a monument to him, in the Chancel.

The wording is quite moving. To quote

"For several years he discharged with exemplary diligence the labourers duties of a magistrate, when in the midst of his usefulness and worn down by the pressure of his work, he finished his course with joy on the 11th July 1814, in his 63rd year".

To quote again

"This monument is erected by his deeply afflicted widow, as a memorial of her perpetual affection and veneration, for one of the kindest of husbands and the best of men".

His first Mary died on the 10th April, 1810, aged 76.

The monument was erected by his second wife, also named Mary!

To read about the church, see

Steatham Churches - St Lawrence, Darlaston, Staffs.

To view the church in GoogleEarth, open GoogleEarth and click the following link:-

GoogleEarth - St Lawrence, Darlaston, Staffs.

John Waltham Will.

John Waltham's Will.
John Waltham's will [with one Codicil] was signed on Saturday the 16th April 1814, and was proved at London on the 15th Otober 1814 before a judge for Mary Waltham widow and executors.

The witnesses for the Will were, George Green of Darlaston, Victualler [The publican of the White Lion] and Charles Thornhill, of Darlaston, Draper, and Charles Adams, of Darlaston, Attourney.

To read the Will Click here.

Census findings

I have searched the 1841-1911 Census's, and here are the results.

The Census was always conducted on a Sunday,

[1841 - June 6th]

Other dates will be added in once / if children found.


John Waltham is the first of our Steatham vicars at St Lawrence, he appears to have had at least one son, who disappears with without trace, and no children are mentioned in his Will, but it is possible that all this will be cleared up in time.

Research - Additional Planned.

In Progress.

Locate in 1841 Census.
Locate in 1851 Census.
Locate in 1861 Census.
Locate in 1871 Census.
Locate in 1881 Census.
Locate in 1891 Census.
Locate in 1901 Census.
Locate in 1911 Census.


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