in Family history

Michael Devon – Weaver of London

St Giles Cripplegate

This is a short post about a man with very few records.

Michael Devon was born around 1668 and grew up in Oxfordshire. His father was also Michael Devon and only one record – so far – provides this detail. Michael Devon Senior was not illustrious in any way. Respectable, but quietly so. Although he is listed as ‘Michael Devon of Oxford’, his surname is uncommon there. He may have come from elsewhere.

It’s very likely that Michael Senior had sons Samuel and William since men of this name are in the city of Oxford at the same time. But it’s not certain.

Portion of Michael Devon’s indenture document

Michael Devon Junior moved to London in the late 1690s and was apprenticed as a weaver. He completed his apprenticeship and entered business on his own. At around this time he married Mary Sambrooke on 29th December 1698 at St Giles, Cripplegate.

Record from marriage register St Giles Cripplegate

They had fourteen children, many of whom died in infancy.

The survivors were Michael (1703), James (1704), Thomas (1708), possibly Bartholomew (1710), George (1712), possibly Josiah (1717), William (1720) and Samuel (1727).

There are a few records of a Bartholomew Devon in Massachussetts who might be this man, but I’ve not found a way to confirm that. James, Thomas, George and Samuel remained in London.

In the majority of his children’s baptism records, Michael is listed as a weaver of Parson’s Lane.

Mary appears to have been a daughter of silversmith Samuel Sambrooke and his wife Mary, cousins to the Vanacker Sambrooks who held a baronetcy through the 18th century. It makes sense. How else did the family of a lowly weaver move up in the world so fast? And the family certainly did just one generation later. Michael Devon could read and write and had the wherewithal to send all of his sons to school. It seems likely that Mary’s family assisted.

My own line is through Michael’s eighth son Thomas, the third child to reach adulthood. I’ve written about Thomas here.

And really, this is all I know about Michael Devon. He was buried on 26th February 1730 and buried at St Mary Abchurch, London, in a vault.

His widow then married Walter Partridge.


Image: St Giles, Cripplegate. John Salmon / St Giles, Cripplegate, London EC2 – Sanctuary , https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/St_Giles%2C_Cripplegate%2C_London_EC2_-Sanctuarygeograph.org.uk-_1209143.jpg

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