John Ridout (1785-1855)

John RIDOUT was a direct ancestor of mine who was born in Sherborne, Dorset in 1785. His three score years and ten spanned a very interesting period of history. Probably, as a youngster, John was told about the ongoing war with France but, when Napoleon finally met his Waterloo, I wonder if the boy knew that a distant relation of his was in charge of guarding the defeated general on St Helena. When John died in 1855, Britain was once more involved in war, this time in the Crimean peninsula. My x3 great grandfather outlived his parents, his siblings, his wives and nine out of thirteen of his children. I imagine him somehow as a quiet, sober, hard working, perhaps religious man but of course I’ll never know.

And so to Bath…
By 1807 slavery had been formally abolished in Great Britain and the Napoleonic Wars were in full swing. Admiral Lord Nelson had met his end at the battle of Trafalgar, William Pitt the Younger had expired, perhaps from an excess of fine port and ‘Farmer’ George III was still on the throne. According to the Bath newspaper dated May 6th, Jane Austen had ‘escaped’ the city to the fresh air of Clifton Downs. Lilac and apple blossom were the season’s colours for young ladies of fashion. Free smallpox inoculations were being advertised at the City Dispensary and Dr Soloman’s Cordial Balm of Gilead laid extravagant claims to curing just about every ailment under the sun.

Meanwhile, John Ridout, a twenty-two year old cabinet-maker, married Sarah Hodges at St James’ church in the Southgate, Bath. Although there is no evidence of this, I’ve speculated that John may have married his apprentice master’s daughter. If he had started a seven year cabinet maker’s apprenticeship with Mr Hodges when he was fourteen then that may have been the point at which John first went to live in Bath and he would have finished serving his indentures by 1807. Sarah’s father’s name may have been William and there were several men named William Hodges in Bath directories of the time, including more than one cabinet maker. However, this relationship is pure speculation. Maybe John didn’t move to Bath until his marriage but what is clear is that at some point he moved away from Sherborne in Dorset to the still fashionable Somerset city where no doubt the market for fine furniture, although waning, exceeded that in his small, rural home town.

I’ve followed John all around Bath, in and out of various addresses. Over time, his history will appear on this site along with that of his many descendents.

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7 Responses to John Ridout (1785-1855)

  1. Angela Marchbank says:

    Really good, I always finish reading your writing and want to know more xx

  2. John Gasson says:

    I love the idea that John Ridout might have married his master’s daughter. You say that it is pure speculation, I would call it a hypothesis that needs further investigation.

    • Prevaricat says:

      John, I take your point and I agree. I would love to find an apprenticeship document for John RIDOUT but so far I’ve not turned one up. Finding William HODGES in Bath, however, was like finding several dozen needles in a very tiny haystack. I’ve not given up though.

  3. Richard Young says:

    Wow! Top work I’m loving reading it all and trying to take it all in! I am a keen and massively novice family history hobbyist, and I am also related along the same line of Ridouts through my grandma Edith Millicent Ridout (1902-1989). Her father was George (1874), William Henry (1845) then William (1829). I enjoy alot of history reading and have a special fondness for the Napoleonic wars, and I am very interested in the mention you give to Napoleon’s jailer (George Ridout Bingham). I knew nothing about him until I read it on your page. Since then I figured out who he was (love Google) and I’ve bought his book, which is actually quite a good read, he was a very interesting character in a very unique position. Since then I’ve been trying to figure out how he connects back to our line of Ridouts. His Mother was Elizabeth and one record suggests her father was J. Ridout (not that helpful). The link that I thought I had made was Robert Ridout father of Elizabeth, and John Ridout and Mary Symonds parents of Robert. I’m not sure how to solve the mystery other than ask the expert. How is Sir George Ridout Bingham related to the Sherborne Ridouts? Please please please it would be fab if you know and can assist.

    • Prevaricat says:

      Hi Richard

      Thank you for reading my blog… I’m glad you like it. You and I are fourth cousins once removed 🙂 You say that you are a relative newcomer to family history and therefore I don’t know what you know… anyway, your x3 great grandfather was William Ridout; he was born on the 3rd October 1822, not in 1829. I have written quite a bit about him on this site and you can trace from him all the way back to the mid 18th, if you wanted to, and beyond if you believe my theory of our ancestral beginnings. You may wish to find all this out for yourself but I can tell you that I have a huge amount of information about our family, not just facts and figures, which are pretty boring frankly, but anecdotes and even a scandal or two 🙂 Just ask.

      You wanted to know about Sir George Ridout Bingham and his connection to the Sherborne Ridouts. This, I would say, is still very much a work in progress but I sort of think that relatedness is probable. The relevant documentation is flimsy but here is what we think we know. I have indented the generations but this may all come out as gobbledygook when I post it, in which case apologies…

      Walter RIDOUT (? dates) married Joan … and had:-
      1. William of Worgret, Dorset yeoman died about 1656. He married Avis daughter of William GOULD of Worgret & his wife … BARNES born c.1607. They had :-
      1.1 William
      1.2 John married … had:-
      1.2.1 Anne who married a Rev’d John PITT
      1.3 Walter of Dorchester
      1.4 Richard
      2. Anne married … GRAY and had:-
      2.1 Anne GRAY and others
      3. John of Whitings, Shaston (Shaftesbury), London & Bunningham Wharf born c.1604
      4. Walter of Blandford, Stoford & Barwick, Grocer born c.1606 died 1680. Barwick was bought from Robert KEYLWAY. Walter married Anna daughter of Robert KEYLWAY. Died 1690/91 and they had :-
      4.1 John of Blandford Forum died 1667/8 married Anne … who had:-
      4.1.2 Walter of Blandford Forum, Grocer died 1740/41. He married, at Mapperton on 1st January 1696 Elizabeth (? or Jane) daughter of John BRODRIPP. They had:- John of Blandford Forum, Grocer & Dean’s Leaze, inherited Yeovil property from his ‘kinsman’ John RIDOUT. Born 1704 died 30th January 1773. He married Elizabeth daughter of John KELLAWAY of Dorchester born c. 1716 died 17th November 1791. They had:- Elizabeth born about 1753 died 31st December 1813. She married Richard BINGHAM of Melcombe Bingham born c 1740 died 1823. They had:-

      The question I suppose is… who was Walter at the top of the tree? I have spent hardly any time looking at this branch really but the ‘kinsman John Ridout’ is interesting and maybe the link back to Sherborne. If you fancy taking this one on…

      Hope all this helpful or of interest. Let me know what you want to be told or otherwise about our particular family or simply dig into this blog…


  4. Richard Young says:

    Hi Karen thanks so much for your reply, sorry to take ages myself I’ve been waiting impatiently for Virgin to fix my broadband. Fabulous detail on Sir Georges line but it blew my mind a bit so I’ll take a bit of time on that one. You mentioned anecdotes and scandals and I must say I’d be well into that! I really like the interconnectedness off it all, names, spouses, relatives, residences and jobs, but learning actual stories and events I love! So anything you have to share, even tit bits I would go a bomb on. And best of all I appear to have found a distant relative. Nice one Cuz.


    • Prevaricat says:

      Hi Cousin 🙂

      Thanks for getting back to me – glad you found the info of use. Chew on it all you like – it’s all I have on George though I’m afraid. As for our family, I am happy to share what I know but I will write direct to your email, if that’s OK, and it won’t be immediately because we are extremely busy with house stuff for the next few weeks but I will not forget! If you read some of the posts on this blog you will learn a lot about William, your ancestor and John, his father and my x3 great grandfather – I have shedloads on him! Laters, as they say….

      Cheers, Karen

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