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Savell Research Notes

Page history last edited by Michael Hicks 10 years, 9 months ago


Savell Research Notes



For many years I have been searching for any information that can help fill the gap between the birth of John Savell in 1821 and his marriage at age 30 in NSW to Jane Hastings.  Any details for John Savell's parents, Thomas and Sarah Savell have also been hard to determine including when and where they married, where either were born, where and when they died, Sarah's surname and the probable brothers and sisters of John.


With the parish records now available online from the London Metropolitan Archives which are fully viewable on Ancestry.com, more information is now available to help establish details on his family, even though at this stage it cannot be fully proven.  The information available however, provides a better view to helping establish relationships and a probable picture.


As referenced on the page for Thomas Savell, the likely children of Thomas and Sarah Savell are the following:


    1. ELIZABETH SAVELL was born on 11 Feb 1808 in St Mary, Lambeth, Southwark, England. 
    2. THOMAS HENRY SAVELL was born on 10 Oct 1810 in St Mary, Lambeth, Southwark, England.
    3. ANN SAVELL was born on 01 Feb 1816 in St Saviour, Southwark, Surrey, England.
    4. WILLIAM SAVELL was born on 21 Feb 1819 in St George the Martyr Southwark, London, England.
    5. JOHN SAVELL was born on 12 Oct 1821 in St Saviour, Southwark, Surrey, England. He died on 05 Nov 1901 in Enfield, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
    6. FREDERICK SAVELL was born on 22 May 1824 in St Saviour, Southwark, Surrey, England. 
    7. ELIZA SAVELL was born on 22 Aug 1827 in St Saviour, Southwark, Surrey, England. 
    8. EMMA SAVELL was born on 22 Aug 1827 in St Saviour, Southwark, Surrey, England. 
    9. SARAH MATILDA SAVELL was born on 01 Aug 1829 in St Saviour, Southwark, Surrey, England. 




The starting point for this research is the birth of John Savell, which can be validated by his death certificate in NSW, which is extracted in part:






The key information is that his father is stated as Thomas Savell, a "Jeweller", mother Sarah, surname unknown.  John is born in London circa 1821 based on his age at death and having spent "all 50 years in New South Wales".  He is also aged 30 when married to Jane Hastings whom he married in Sydney in 1852.



To assist with the street locations in the following births extracts from the parish registers in Southwark, the map Cruchley's New Plan of London Improved To 1827. Including The East And West India Docks is referenced:





St Saviour's church is the large black cross on the left of High Street.



John Savell's baptism to parents Thomas and Sarah Savell is recorded in the Parish Register for St Saviour Southwark, Surrey in 1822:



Thomas Savell is living in Bankside, a street that runs directly beside the river Thames which can be located at the top of the map running to left and right of Southwark Bridge, which is in the centre of the map.



The entry is also validated in the information provided from the Savell family bible, an extract was provided in the research by Bernard Heagney which states his baptism as the 7th of April, 1823.  Although it is incorrect by one year, the day and month are consistent.


John Savell's younger brother Frederick Savell is also baptised in the parish of St Saviours Southwark, born in 1824:




Castle Lane, although not directly recorded on the map, is described in the Topographical Dictionary of London as "is in Bridge-street, Southwark, the first turning on the right hand in Castle-street going from Redcross-street.  It leads into Maid-lane, opposite Horse-shoe-alley".  Castle Street is located in the lower centre of the map.


Frederick Savell is found in the 1841 UK Census at the Marine Society in Greenwich, Kent:


Frederick Savell 1841 Census Greenwich West Kent District Marine Societys Ship.pdf



The Marine Society is described in "The Saturday Magazine, No. 117. Supplement, April, 1834"


MARINE Society. This admirable and patriotic institution has now become of national importance. It rears up the children of the poor, and destitute orphans, in habits of virtue and active industry, and thousands, who, if they had not thus been rescued from destitution, ignorance and vice, would probably have followed the paths of idleness and infamy, have by its means been made useful and worthy members of society. Since the Society originated in 1756, it has trained up 78,595 individuals for the sea-service, some of whom we are told, "have risen to rank and considerable estimation." A certain number of widows of captains and lieutenants in the navy, whose indigent circumstances justify an application to the Committee, are also annually relieved.



The logical implications of this is that Frederick Savell is now either an orphan, or his parents are too poor to care for him.  Frederick married Pheobe Eliza Wellings in 1847.  His occupation is listed as Mariner, which further supports the 1841 census entry:




The link between John Savell and Frederick Savell is further established as Frederick and Phoebe's son Skipworth Savell (b 1850), travelled to Australia and was listed as a witness to the burial of John Savells wife Jane (nee Hastings) in 1910 on her Death Certificate.


For reference, the census records for Frederick and Phoebe are provided:


Phoebe Savell 1851 Census Allhallows, London Wall, Middlesex .pdf

Frederick Savell 1861 Census Tower Hamlets, Bethnal Green, Middlesex.pdf

Pheobe Savell 1871 Census Tower Hamlets, Mile End Old Town.pdf



Frederick is absent from the 1851 census, presumably at sea with Phoebe and son Skipworth (incorrectly recorded as a daughter) living with Phoebe's mother, Phoebe Wellings.  Frederick is listed as a Seaman (Royal Navy) in the 1861 census (the family is split over two pages).  On the 1871 census, Phoebe is now a widow.  I am yet to locate the death of Frederick Savell between 1861 and 1871.



The marriage of Frederick Savell also states his father as Thomas Savell, and that his occupation is a "Turncock of Waterworks".  This is an important piece of information and contradicts the occupation of Jeweller that was provided on John Savell's death certificate.  This is important for the baptism of the twins, Emma and Eliza Savell also at St Saviours, Southwark on the 20th January, 1828:




Thomas Savell has moved to Union Street, which can be located on the bottom of the above map.  His occupation is also listed as a Turncock which provides a degree of certainty that they are the sisters of John and Frederick.  I cannot locate either their marriages, definitive 1841 census entries for the twins or the possible deaths of either Emma or Eliza prior to 1841.  My assumption is that both died at a young age given the inability to locate a marriage or census entry, but this may certainly be proved incorrect.






The Southwark Water Company can be located  with the help of Greenwoods Map of London, dated 1830.  The Waterworks is located at the intersections of Maid-lane, Clink-street and Bank Side and is shaded in blue.  


It is highly likely that this is where Thomas Savell was employed.  A Turncocks occupation is described as "Worked for the local water company, opening and closing the water supply. He also had to inform householders that their water was being turned off".


See Additional Notes for more information on the Southwark Water Company.




A last possible younger sibling is Sarah Matilda Savill, who was also christened in St Saviour Southwark in 1829, again with parents Thomas and Sarah:




Although the christening occurred in Southwark, the address of Thomas Savill is Whitecross St, which can be found today across the Thames in St Lukes, Islington.  The occupation of Thomas is listed as a Labourer, which may indicate that he no longer works at the Water Company with his move to the parish of St Lukes.  It is not certain by any means that this entry is part of the family and could be further verified if a marriage for Sarah Matilda was located, which I have not been able to as yet.  I have also not been able to locate Sarah Matilda Savill/Savell in either the 1841 or 1851 UK census.



We now turn to the older siblings.  The first is William Savell (recorded as Savill in the register), born in 1819, baptised at St George the Martyr, Southwark on the 16th of April, 1820:




The address of Thomas Savill is again Bankside, which is consistent with address of Thomas for the baptism of John Savell.  William Savell married Elizabeth Rowlands at St Giles without Cripplegate in 1840:




Three important facts are provided on this marriage entry.  Thomas Savell is recorded as the father of William whose occupation is a Turncock.  William's occupation is given as a Watchmaker.  There is also as a witness to the marriage, Thomas Henry Savell.


Census records for William Savell are provided for reference:


William Savell 1841 Census Finsbury, Parish of St Luke.pdf

William Savell 1851 Census Finsbury, Parish of St Luke.pdf

William Savell 1861 Census Finsbury, Parish of St Luke.pdf

William Savell 1871 Census Finsbury, Parish of St Luke.pdf



The 1851 census shows the typical surname variations that can arise with the name Savell, where the surname is spelt and transcribed as "Savile".  This census shows William Savell born at Southwark, Watch Motion Maker and wife Elizabeth at 6 Ironmonger Street, St Lukes.  The 1861 census has William with the correct surname born in Lambeth Surrey, still resident in Ironmonger Street.



The next eldest child is Ann Savell, born on the 1st of February 1816, the child of Thomas and Sarah.  Ann Saville is christened at St Saviours, Southwark in October 1816:



The father Thomas Saville is living in Maid Lane with an occupation of Labourer.  Maid Lane can be found running parallel to Bank Side on the map of Southwark above.


A marriage can also be located for Ann Savell to Frederick Grover in St Mary's Lambeth in Surrey in November 1832:




Ann Savell would have been aged around 16 years at the time of this marriage to Frederick Grover and consent of the father, Thomas Savell was required for the marriage.  The witnesses are the father Thomas Savell, who was required to make his mark and Thomas Henry Savell, the same person who witnessed the marriage of William Savell.  The presence of Thomas Henry Savell provides a valuable link between Ann and William.


Census records for Frederick and Ann Grover are provided for reference:


Frederick Grover 1841 Census Surrey, St Mary Magdalen Bermondsey, St James.pdf

Frederick Grover 1851 Census Surrey, Lambeth, Waterloo Road First.pdf

Frederick Grover 1861 Census Surrey, Lambeth, Waterloo Road First.pdf



The 1851 census stating Ann Grover's age as 34, born in St Saviours Southwark which is consistent with her christening although being recorded under the name of Ann Saville.



This now takes us to Thomas Henry Savell, who is born on the 10th of October 1810 to Thomas and Sarah Savell and is christened on the 3rd of February at St Mary's Lambeth, Surrey in 1811:




Thomas Henry Savell married Harriet Williamson at St Leonards, Shoreditch in February 1833:





Census records for Thomas Henry Savell are provided:


Thomas Henry Savell 1841 Census, St Luke, Finsbury.pdf

Thomas Henry Savell 1851 Census, St Luke, Finsbury.pdf

Thomas Henry Savell 1861 Census, St Luke, Finsbury.pdf

Thomas Henry Savell 1871 Census, St Luke, Finsbury.pdf



Thomas Henry Savell is also a Watch Motion Maker.  In the 1841 census, his address is Peerless Row in St Lukes.  By the 1851 census he has also moved to 6 Ironmonger Row.  Again, the surname variations are present in these census entries.


Peerless Row is described in the Topographical Dictionary of London as "in City Road, the first turning on the left hand from Old-street".




The streets and rows referenced can be located using an extract from "Cary's New Plan of London and its Vicinity" map above, dated 1837: 



Ironmonger-street  address of William Savell 1841 onwards 
Peerless-row  address of Thomas Henry Savell 1841 
Ironmonger-row  address of Thomas Henry Savell 1851 
Noble-street  address of Thomas Henry Savell 1861-1871 
White Cross-street

address of Thomas and Sarah Savell 1829 on the baptism of Sarah Matilda Savell.  

Does the location provide some degree of probability that Sarah Matilda, given its proximity

to the addresses of William and Thomas Henry Savell is a sibling?  Or this is just chance...





William and Thomas Henry Savell are also referenced in Post Office Directories:



1839 Pigots Directory 

1841 Post Office Directory   
1848 Post Office Directory
1856 Post Office Directory   




There is also one more possible daughter of Thomas and Sarah Savell who is Elizabeth Saville, baptised on the 10th of December 1809 at St Mary's Lambeth in Surrey:





I have not located a possible marriage for Elizabeth Saville/Savell to provide any additional details or proof of relationship to the other siblings.  The baptism occurred in the same parish as Thomas Henry Savell, but as no address information is present it is hard to prove that it is indeed the same parents.



All of the children seem to still be pieces of a puzzle, and unfortunately there is no definitive record as yet such as a will or census for Thomas Savell that glues the whole family together.  The links between the family via the marriages and baptism entries do however provide a degree of certainty that William, Ann and Thomas Henry are siblings of John, Frederick and the twins Eliza and Emma.  Additional information would need needed to conclusively link Elizabeth and Sarah Matilda.


When the 1841 census was first available for searching online, I expected to find Thomas and Sarah Savell in Southwark, probably John and Frederick in the household, the two twins and possibly Sarah Matilda.  The actual search result was not what I was expected.  The only individual I could locate with any certainty was Frederick Savell in the Greenwich Marine Society.  This provided some evidence that both Thomas and Sarah were probably deceased by 1841 to be placed in this type of institution.  


Thomas Savell was at least alive in 1832 to consent to the marriage of Ann.  His absence as a witness to the marriage of Thomas Henry may mean that he was deceased by 1833 (or was simply not asked to do so)?  I would also have expected to see the word "Deceased" next to the father Thomas Savell on the marriage of William in 1840 if this was the case.   As this is a church record, possibly it is recorded on the marriage registration, as this marriage was after formal BDM registration commenced in England in 1837 where this would have normally been recorded.


I had not yet made the connection to William Savell and Thomas Henry Savell prior to viewing the church records, although they shared the same mother and fathers names when christened.  The fact that they were both Watchmakers and John Savells father was listed as a Jeweller on his death certificate had always intrigued me.  Is this why John Savells father was listed as a Jeweller, could the Savell family be descended from a line of watch and clockmakers?



Then an unexpected twist....


Mentioned previously, I have been searching for more details on John Savell to help fill the gap left between his christening and his marriage to Jane Hastings in 1852 at Sydney, where he was aged 30 at the time of this marriage.  His occupation provided on the christening of their first child was a sawyer, which indicates that John was probably unskilled at a trade.  This does not strike me as somebody who simply buys a ticket to travel from London to Australia and who would have taken advantage of the immigration schemes available at the time.  These schemes are well indexed, but I cannot located John using any of the any surname variants.  


Perhaps he left for America before traveling to Australia, or was a sailor similar to his brother Frederick and simply jumped ship.  This may help explain why he was unmarried at age 30.  


There could also be another very probable reason.



An entry was located in the Tasmanian Convict Ledger returns dated 1849 for a "John Savill", convicted at the Central Criminal Court in 1842 who arrived on board the ship 'Emily':





Prior to his departure on the 'Emily', John Savill was placed aboard the Convict Hulk 'Fortitude'.  This record confirms the age of John Savill as 20 years, which aligns well with the expected age of John Savell born in 1821 (second row from the top):


John Savill Fortitude, Prison Hulk Register.pdf



The occupation that was given for John is a Watch Pinion Maker.  This was now starting to get interesting.  The Central Criminal Court is better known as the Old Bailey.  Court Transcripts of trials are fortunately available online and the following is the transcript of this trial in 1842 (starts towards the bottom of the first page).  This needs to be read in full:


Old Bailey - John Savill Trial 1842.pdf



John Savill, convicted for burglary and sent to Tasmania is the brother of Thomas Henry Savell.



The following are recorded in the Launceston Examiner for John Savill, providing dates for his Ticket of Leave, recommendation for a Conditional Pardon in 1848 and Conditional Pardon being granted in 1850:  




22 January 1848




23 December 1848




23 February 1850




The following convict records are available from the Tasmanian Archives:


Conduct Registers of Male Convicts - John Savill.pdf

Description Lists of Male Convicts - John Savill.pdf

Indents of Male Convicts Ship Emily 24 Nov 1842 - John Savill.pdf






Additional Notes


Southwark Water Company - The origins of the Southwark Water Company start with the Borough Waterworks Company which in 1770 took over a water house between the Southwark and London bridges that supplied Thames River water to a nearby brewery.  The residents of Southwark in the broad area near the brewery were supplied water from two waterwheels under arches of the London Bridge via the London Bridge Waterworks Company. By a Parliament act of 1822, the London Bridge Waterworks Company was dissolved and its water license for Southwark residents was sold to the New River Company.  Shortly thereafter, John Edwards Vaughn, the owner of the Borough Waterworks Company, bought the license from the New River Company, merged Borough and the former London Bridge Waterworks Company, and formed the Southwark Water Company.  




Links: FrontPageThomas SavellSavell Family Tree





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