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Saturday, October 4, 2014

52 Ancestors #40: John Lawton, Dragoon and Cabinet Maker

   John Lawton was born in about 1722.  I have not found his birth for certain but my best guess is that he was the son of Thomas Lawton and Ann Glasbrook born 20 Sep 1722 in Warrington, Lancaster, England. This town is now part of Greater Manchester. The name Lawton comes from the Anglo-Saxon Law, meaning a small hill or burial mound and ton, meaning a town. It comes from the town of Church Lawton, where the church is built on a small hill said to have been an ancient burial mound. this land was owned by the Lawton family who took their name from the place.

     Nothing is known of John's early life until November 1748 when he was dismissed from the Third Regiment of  Dragoon Guards, having served 13 months. It seems that they were simply cutting down and John left in good graces.  We have a copy of his discharge and of a receipt for his clothing, pay and horse. These are dated 16 and 17 November 1748 and state that he is going to Manchester. The 3rd Regiment of Royal Guards was a light cavalry regiment. It has quite a history before and after John's service but as far as I can see, during the 13 months he was in it the Regiment saw no battles.

     John returned to Manchester in November 1748.  Three months he married Martha Hatton. He was 26 and she was 33. He was a cabinet maker and is listed as such in the Manchester Directory of 1772. John and Martha had several children.  The family Bible has been handed down and is in the possession of Sarah Murphy.  The pages show a sad history.  Their first child, Elizabeth, was born 28 January 1750.  She died 18 October 1752.  Not long after this their second daughter, also Elizabeth was born on 17 July 1753 and their son, Thomas, was born on 7 September 1755 followed by john on 26 March 1757 and Mary 26 March 1758. But John died 18 Sep 1758 so then the next son, John was born 7 March 1761. But then Elizabeth died November 1763 and John died 23 Aug 1766. Thus only two children, Thomas and Mary lived to adulthood.  Finally the Bible tells us, "Note my wife Martha Lawton died Febr the 10 in the year of our Lord 1780 15 minutes past one clock Thursday after noon in the 63 year of er age" and "Note my father John Lawton died Decembr 17 about 4 clock on Sunday afternoon in the year of our Lord 1780 in the 59 year of is age."

     In 1790 in the Manchester Tax records, Thomas Lawton is listed as living next door to John Caldwell who had married his sister, Mary.  John and Mary's daughter, Hannah, married William Lane who came with his family to America in 1849.  Thus the Bible and discharge papers have come down to us. One last piece of John's history has come to us, the bill for his burial at St. Mary's Cathedral in Manchester. The total bill?

17 shillings and 10 pence.

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