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William Johnson (1806-1885)

Note on his life

William Johnson was born 25 Nov 1806 in the parish of St Luke's, Finsbury, and baptized along with three sisters Elizabeth, Margaret and Frances at St Luke's church on 30 Jun 1809. Their parents were Charles and Margaret Johnson, but nothing has been discovered about them from available records. There are two possible marriages in Scotland 1802-1803, but both are spelled Johnston which does not encourage further research.

Between 1825 and 1840 William Johnson worked in St Kitts as attorney for Nathaniel Harden (1772-1842), a London merchant and the owner of the Thomas Lucas sugar estate on the island as well as other properties in the West Indies. Harden's claim for compensation under the terms of the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act was settled on 10 Oct 1836 for 2,833 9s 2d.

On 27 Mar 1832 at St Giles', South Mimms, he married Janet Eliza Christopher (1810-1836), daughter of the late Thomas Christopher (1782-1818), wine merchant, and his wife Sarah Caroline Seton (1787-1845), in the presence of witnesses from the Christopher, Harden, Lucas and Seton families.

William Johnson returned to St Kitts with Sarah, where they had two children Janet (1833-1907) and William (b abt 1836, said to have died young). Sarah died there on 25 Jul 1836 "of the prevalent fever", aged only 26.

In about 1840 William left St Kitts and returned to England. On 05 May 1841 at All Saints Church, Upper Norwood, he was married again, to Jemima Isabella Lucas (1802-1874), the minister being Edmund Harden (1796-1856), Nathaniel's son, and the witnesses Margaret Johnson (1805- ) and Frances Johnson (1805- ), William's sisters.

That marriage is one of a network linking the Johnsons into the Harden, Lucas and Seton families:

- Jemima Isabella Lucas' father was Thomas Lucas (1765- ), presumed to be the same as the former owner of the Thomas Lucas estate in St Kitts or else a close relation;

- Jemima Isabella Lucas' mother was Jemima Newcome (1770- ), who was married again after Thomas Lucas' death, at St Mary's Monken Hadley on 26 Oct 1826, to Nathaniel Harden;

- Sarah Caroline Seton, mother of William Johnson's first wife Janet Eliza Christopher, was married again in St John's, Great Amwell, on 02 Jan 1830, to Philip Harden (1793-1850), another son of Nathaniel Harden;

- Elizabeth Johnson (1803- ), William's remaining sister, was married at St Mary's, Monken Hadley on 28 Apr 1831 to Robert de Neufville Lucas (1806-1871), son of Charles Lucas (1777-1846), presumed to be of the same Lucas family.

The network is complicated and still not fully worked out.

William and Jemima Johnson settled in Maidstone, at 4 Somerfield Terrace on the London Road (now a listed building), and William set up in business as a hop factor. They had no children of their own, but William's daughter Janet lived with them until her marriage in 1853. Jemima died in 1874, and his sister Margaret moved in to the house, their other sister Frances having also died. William himself died there on 30 Mar 1885, leaving little property since no will has been traced.


Owner/SourceRCC
Date13 Jun 2019
Linked toWilliam Johnson

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