Chapter 4

Henry Ponting and Jane Jones

Henry Ponting was baptised on 28 March 1810 at Berkeley Parish Church, the son of Henry Ponting of Mobley, a dairyman. His mother was Hester Wetmore (Chapter 3).

I have been told that Henry is shown as occupying land as a tenant at Mobley, Hamfallow in 1834/35 and 1837/38 (Gloucestershire register of electors), but possibly this is more likely to be his father? 

On 23 April 1839 Henry Ponting, aged 29, a farmer from Mobley married Jane Jones, aged 27 from Newpark, the daughter of John Jones, farmer, at Berkeley Parish Church. Both parties signed the marriage register. The witnesses were Thomas Wetmore (Henry's maternal uncle - Appendix I - Part 1) and Sarah Jones (Jane's sister - Appendix K). 

As is illustrated in Chapter 2 and elsewhere, this was just one of a number of marriages between Pontings and Jones. Further detail of the Jones family is at Appendix K.

Berkeley is a parish comprising of Berkeley and the tithings of Alkington, Breadstone, Hamfallow and Hinton. It is situated near the Little Avon, a tributary of the River Severn. The church of St Mary the Virgin is pictured below. The tombs to the immediate left of and closest to the west entrance include that of Henry and his parents Henry and Hester Ponting (Chapter 3). The churchyard at Berkeley is Grade II listed. This generally means 'particular important buildings of special interest'. Among the churchyards other famous residents are Thomas Pearce, watchmaker and five times mayor of Berkeley who died aged 77 in 1665 and Dicky Pearce the Earl of Suffolk's Jester who was killed in revels at Berkeley castle in 1728. There is also a tomb that goes back to the Tudor times.

Henry and Jane had eight children:

  • Thomas Hewett Ponting; Born 2 February 1840. Baptised 4 March 1840 at Berkeley. Father Henry is described as a farmer from Hengaston (Chapter 6
  • Mary Jane Ponting; born 11 February 1841. Baptised on 14 March 1841 at Berkeley (Chapter 7)
  • Susanna Ponting; born 9 March 1842. Baptised 6 April 1842 at Stinchcombe (Chapter 8)
  • John Jones Ponting; born 10 April 1843. Baptised 7 May 1842 at Stinchcombe (Chapter 9)
  • William Ponting; born 1844. Baptised 13 June 1844 at Stichcombe (Chapter 10)
  • Anne Ashfield Ponting; born 17 July 1845. Died 1847 (see below)
  • Sydney Ponting; born 11 May 1847. Baptised 6 June 1847 at Berkeley. Father Henry is described as a farmer from Hengaston. (Chapter 11)
  • Ashfield Ann Ponting; born 12 May 1848. Baptised 12 January 1849 at Kemeys Inferior (Chapter 12)

At the time of the 1841 census (taken 7 June 1841) Henry and Jane'e eldest two children had been born. The census shows Henry Ponting, aged 30, farmer and his son Thomas, aged 1, living at Hengaston Farm, Breadstone. Breadstone is a couple of miles north east of Berkeley. 

Jane Ponting and her 4 month old daughter Mary were visiting Jane's sister Mary and her husband, William Wetmore who were farming in Hill (Appendix I - Part 1) .

In 1843 Henry Ponting is listed in the electoral register of "Durley Polling District - Parish of Cam". He qualified through "occupation of land as a tenant", the land being Hengaston Farm. 

Henry and Jane's sixth child Anne Ashfield Ponting was born on 17 July 1845 at Hengaston in Breadstone. She was baptised on 31 August 1845 at Stinchcombe, the daughter of Henry Ponting, farmer from Hengaston and his wife Jane.

The death of an Ann Ashfield Ponting is recorded in 1847 (Reg Gen June Qtr 1847 Thornbury 121 359). The parish records for Berkeley record the burial of an Ann Ashfield Ponting on 17 April 1847 at Hengaston aged 21 months.

In 1847 Henry Ponting of Hengaston is listed in the electoral register by virtue of his occupation of land as a tenant at Hengaston Farm. 

When all of Henry and Jane's children were born in Berkeley, Henry was a farmer from Hengaston, except for their last daughter Ashfield Ann Ponting who was born in Kemys Inferior, Monmouthshire. It is unclear what Jane (and the rest of the family?) were doing in there in Wales (about 32 miles from Berkeley) in 1848. They were still there when Ashfield was baptised in January 1849. Henry is described as a farmer and they give their abode as Kemeys Inferior.

Henry Ponting had certainly returned to Berkeley by early 1851 for this is where he died early that year. 

Henry Ponting died on 5 February 1851 at Mobley in the parish of Hamfallow. There are some strange features to Henry's death certificate. The death was registered on the same day as it occurred by a Harriet Peck (?) who was only able to make her mark, but who states that she was present at the death. She describes herself as from Mobley. The cause of death is given as 'insanity, paralysis and shock, not certified'. (Reg Gen March Qtr 1851 Thornbury 11 400). Who was Harriet? The only possible person I can locate in the 1851 census is Harriet Pick, the 55 year old wife of Isaac Pick a carrier living in Ham village with her 4 sons at the time. Could this be her? How come she registered the death? What exactly was the cause of death? Why was it not certified? Who decided the cause?

Henry Ponting of Mobley was buried at Berkeley on 8 February 1851

He was buried in and commemorated the same tomb as his parents who both died after him (and who farmed at Mobley). The inscription reads "In memory of Henry Ponting junior who died 5 February 1851 aged 39 years

The age given as the date of death varies between records. Whilst the memorial inscription states that Henry was 39 years old, the parish register says that he was 40 and but the death certificate shows him as 42.

At the time that the 1851 census was taken on 30 March 1851 Jane Ponting and family were living at Appleridge, Highfield, Berkeley. 39 year old widow Jane gives her occupation as a farmer of 127 acres of land, employing 2 labourers

All of Jane's children were with her except her son Thomas who was staying with Jane's parents (Appendix K). Also living with the family at the time was Jane's brother, Henry Jones who was unmarried at 30 and gives his occupation as 'farmers son'.

The current Appleridge Farm is pictured below. I am unclear when Henry and Jane would have moved to Appleridge. Was this on their return from Kemeys Inferior, but if so when was this? If they had moved there together then why was Henry described as "of Mobley" at the time of his death? If Jane moved after his death then she did so very quickly. Appleridge Farm does seem to border on to New Park Farm where Jane's parents had lived for a number of years and which may explain the move.

In 1861, Jane was still living at Appleridge, Berkeley with her three daughters, 20 year old Mary Jane, 19 year old Susanna and 12 year old Ashfield, but none of her sons are listed. Jane, now aged 49, is farming 130 acres employing 1 man and 1 boy. One of Jane's farm employees 20 year old Henry Bull, carter is living with them as is general servant, 14 year old Mary Ann Thore. 

Whilst I have found no trace of Jane's son's William or Sydney in 1861, Thomas and John Jones Ponting were working as drapers in London (Chapter 6 and Chapter 9). 

By 1871 Jane had followed her sons to London. The census shows that most of the family were living at 123 Westbourne Grove, Kensington, the address of Thomas's drapers shop. The entry includes

  • Jane Ponting, head, widow, aged 59, annuitant, born Berkeley
  • Thomas H Ponting, son, unmarried, aged 31, draper employing 4 assistants, born Berkeley
  • Mary J Ponting, daughter, unmarried, aged 30, draper employing 4 assistants, born Berkeley
  • John J Ponting, son, unmarried aged 28, draper, employing 4 assistants, born Berkeley

Also at the address were Annie Florence, aged 20, Alice J Clarke, aged 19, Emma Barnes, aged 17 and Martha H Pidgeon, aged 19, all drapers assistants and Margaret Byrne, aged 14, general servant.

The whereabouts of Jane's children is considered in subsequent chapters dedicated to each of them.

At the time of the 1881 census Jane was still living at 123 (and 125) Westbourne Grove, Kensington, although the rest of her family appear to have moved away. She is described as a 69 year old widow of independent means, born Gloucester. Also at the same address were

  • S A Tuckes, aged 15, L Potts, aged 18, G Madwick, aged 20, G Harley, aged 21, E M Monk, aged 25, C J West, aged 21, M Hope, aged 19, E Laker, aged 16, E M Tucker, aged 17 and L Wills, aged 25, all 10 drapers assistants and
  • E Blackhall, aged 22 and Emma Grove, aged 25, both domestic servants.

In 1891 Jane, now aged 78, was still at 123 Westbourne Grove, Kensington, but her son Thomas had returned and was now shown as head of the household. She is again described as 'living on her own means'.

Jane Ponting died on 16 January 1893 aged 81 at 38 Woodville Road, Ealing (Reg Gen March Qtr 1893 Brentford 3a 63). On her death certificate she is described as the widow of Henry Ponting, a farmer. Among the causes of death is senile decay. The informant was M J Finemore, her daughter Mary Jane (Chapter 7), who was present at the death. Woodville Road appears to have been Mary's address at the time.

Jane was buried three days later on 19 January 1893 in Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetary. On her gravestone she is described as "Jane, widow of Henry Ponting, Appleridge, Berkeley, Gloucs". 

Probate of Jane's will was granted on 24 November 1893 to Thomas Hewett Ponting, draper of 6 Paddington Road, Paddington. On the probate form Jane is described as a widow being "formerly of no 123 Westbourne Grove, but late of no 38 Woodville Road, Ealing". Presumably she had only recently moved to her daughter's home.

In her will made on 26 December 1889 she bequeaths to her daughter Susanna Love and her deceased daughter Ashfield Ann Beardsworth's two children, George Coupland Beardsworth and Constance Myldred Beardsworth

  • all her personal property "now in the hands of her two sons John Jones Ponting and William Ponting" to be divided with half going to Susanna and the other half going to Ashfield's children. The half due to Susanna was to be paid within six months and the other half to be held in trust by Thomas until Constance reaches 21 (which would have been in 1900). I am unclear on what was meant by "in the hands of......."?

A codicil to Jane's will dated 16 December 1892 states that

"Whereas I have the sum of --------- on deposit (the sum is blank) with my sons John Jones Ponting & William Ponting bearing interest at 5 per cent I hereby desire that the said sum or whatever money I may have deposited with them at the time of my death may not be called in but may remain invested for the space of three years after my death"

The codicil was written before Ponting Brothers Ltd was incorporated (Chapter 5) and does seem to suggest that Jane had invested in Pontings, but what was the extent of her investment and the source of her funds? Did the investment in William and John Jones coincide with the expansion of Pontings?.

At the time of Jane's death her effects were worth £492 18s 2d (approx £37K in 2006 - Lawrence H. Officer, "Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1264 to 2006.", 2007). 

Our line continues through William Ponting, Henry and Jane's third son, the subject of Chapter 10.

Click here to go to "Chapter 5 - Ponting Brothers Ltd"

Click here to continue to the chapters dedicated to Henry and Jane Ponting's children starting with "Chapter 6 - Thomas Hewett Ponting".  

To find out more about the Joneses, click here to go to "Appendix K - Jones of New Park".  

Click here to go back to "Chapter 3 - Henry Ponting and Hester Wetmore"