John Bodman (1734? – ?) and Mary Stephens ( 1739 – 1832)
John Bodman was born at Bowood between 1729 and 1734 and married Mary Stephens at Lacock, Wiltshire on the 7th May 1759. They were both of Pewsham. He was a labourer. At the baptisms of their children they were described as “of Pewsham”, “of Pewsham Forest” and poor.
John and Mary had a large family. They had the following known children:-
Richard Bodman baptised 2nd March 1760 Bremhill
James Bodman baptised 7 Mar 1762 Chippenham – Click Here
John Bodman baptised 29 Apr 1764 Bremhill- Click Here
Ann Bodman baptised 3 May 1797 Bremhill
William Bodman baptised 13 Aug 1769 Chippenham
Daniel Bodman baptised 5 Jan 1772 Chippenham
Mary Bodman baptised 11 Sep 1774 Chippenham
Henry Bodman baptised 16 Feb 1777 Chippenham
Edward Bodman baptised 11 Jul 1779 Bremhill
Robert Bodman baptised 10 Mar 1782 Chippenham
By 1805 the family had fell on hard times and John applied for parish relief. Firstly the parish which he was settled in had to be determined and he submitted to a Settlement Examination on 22nd September from which we learn a lot about John. On the same day, sons James and John also had a settlement examination.
22nd September 1805
Is 76 years of age, was born within the Liberty of Bowood. He saith that when he was about twenty three years of Age, at Michaelmas, he hired himself to Abel Gee (who then lived within the Extraparochial place of Pewsham at the farm, called Middle Farm, which is now occupied by Mrs Hancock for one year at the wages of fifty shillings, that about a month before the year was out Farmer Gee told him that he must go away because he should not gain a settlement, and when the time was out he might
come back again, that Examinant accordingly left farmer Gees’ service
and the Farmer deducted two shillings from his wages, That Examinant
went home to his father’s house and played the month, and when that Expired he went back to farmer Gee and bargained with him for three quarters of a year at the same wages of fifty shillings which time he served and the quitted Farmer Gees’ service.
That he then hired himself to farmer John Beamis who lived at the Lodge Farm in the said Extraparochial place of Pewsham at The wages of three pounds for one year, that he served the time excepting one month when Farmer Beams told him he must go away because he should not gain settlement, and farmer Beamis deducted about three shillings from his wages and left his place.
That he then hired himself to farmer John Beamis who lived at the Lodge Farm in the said Extraparochial place of Pewsham at The wages of three pounds for one year, that he served the time excepting one month when Farmer Beams told him he must go away because he should not gain settlement, and farmer Beamis deducted about three shillings from his wages and left his place. That he soon afterwards married and has never since done any act to gain a settlement elsewhere, –
That after his marriage he went to live within the Liberty of Bowood, but the house he resided in being burnt, he was distressed and applied to the Magistrates, who upon examining him in the presence of Farmer King, the overseer of Pewsham, determined that he had gained a settlement in Pewsham, Pewsham Parish officers in consequence received and provided for the Examinant and his family, by giving them occasional Relief when
they required it
The Mark of
This examination has been read to me it was taken in my presence by me putting the questions to my husband he being very deaf, and it is the true account he gives of his services.
The Mark of
The Examination was }
taken the 22nd day }
of September 1805 }
We do not know when John Bodman died but his wife died in 1827 aged 82 and was buried at Chippenham on 15th June.