Sunday, 6 May 2012

David Ivall (1816-67), journeyman coachmaker

David Ivall was my great, great grandfather. This profile of David contains information from research done by Dennis Ivall.

David was born on 2 September 1816 in Bray, Berkshire, the fourth child of Thomas Ivall (1781-1835) and Jane Smith (1780-1866). Their other children were Georgiana Jane (born 1810), Robert Thomas (born 1812) and Louisa (born 1814). David’s sister Georgiana died in 1821 when she was 10 and he was 5.

At the time of the baptism of his son David on 29 September 1816, Thomas was described as “Gardener” of Down Place, Bray. This was a landed estate about 2 miles SE of the village of Bray. Down Place house was built in about 1750 and is next to the Thames. The estate was the property of Henry Harford in 1816. Thomas’s wife Jane, when widowed described herself as “formerly a gentleman’s steward’s wife”. It appears that David spent his childhood at or near Down Place. The house is still standing and is part of the Bray Film Studios, just north of the A308 from Maidenhead to Windsor. In the period 1951 to 1966 the studios were used by Hammer Film Productions to make “horror” films. The approach road is still called Down Place.

Thomas Ivall died on 6 June 1835 aged 53 when David was 19. Thomas’s will left £50 immediately to his wife Jane and each of his three surviving children. His children were also left £500 each (equivalent to about £30,000 in current terms) when they reached 21 with the residue to be invested to provide an income for his wife until her death or remarriage when the remaining funds were to divided between Thomas’s children. If any of his children were dead at this time then their share would go to their children. The estate duty record values the estate at £4,000.

David married Elizabeth Ann Gibson in St Pancras Church on 3 December 1837. He was aged 21 and she was 20. Elizabeth was from London, the daughter of Thomas Gibson, a lacemaker, and his wife Ann. The marriage certificate gives David’s occupation as coachmaker and indicates that Elizabeth was illiterate. St Pancras Church was built in 1819-22 and was the most expensive church in London since the rebuilding of St Pauls Cathedral. It is still there - at the junction of Euston Rd and Upper Woburn Place.

David and Elizabeth had ten children. They were an infant girl that died soon after birth in 1838, Thomas David (1839-43, born at 41 Star St, Paddington), Henry (1842-99, born at 22 Wilsted Court, Somers Town), Georgiana Jane (b1844 at 25 Wilsted Street, Somers Town), Emily (1845-1911), David John (1848-54), Elizabeth Ann (b1850 at Middlesex Street, Somers Town), George (1853-1932), Louisa (1856-1898) and William (1859-1940). Seven of the children survived into adulthood. Somers Town is an area of London near St Pancras station where the British Library is now located.

The parish register of All Saints Church, High Wycombe shows the baptism of Thomas David Ivall, son of David and Elizabeth Ann Ivall on 26 July 1840. David’s occupation is given as coachmaker and his address as Wycombe. The next entry is the baptism of Jane, a daughter of David’s brother Robert Thomas Ivall, also listed as a coachmaker living in Wycombe. Robert had a coachmaking business in High Wycombe - it seems likely that David was working for him.

The 1841 census shows David. a journeyman coachmaker, Elizabeth and their son Thomas David living in Lane’s Row, High Wycombe (then called Chepping Wycombe). "Journeyman" means someone who has served their apprenticeship and is not bound to a particular employer. 

It appears from the place of birth of their son Henry, that by 1842 David and Elizabeth had moved to Somers Town.  According to Dennis Ivall, David was employed by his uncle, David Ivall (1795-1850), who had a very successful coach making business nearby at 158 Tottenham Court Road, London.

The 1851 census lists David (aged 34, a coach maker) and Elizabeth (33) living at 29 Bull Place, St Pancras with their children Henry (9), Georgiana (7), David (2) and Elizabeth Ann (8 months). Emily Ivall (age given as 3 but should be 5) is listed with her grandparents Thomas (aged 54, a coach-lace weaver) and Ann (54) Gibson. David and his family moved from St Pancras to Southwark sometime between 1851 and 1853. This may indicate that David stopped working for his uncle’s firm at this time (his uncle died in 1850 but the firm continued to trade).

Henry Ivall, David’s eldest surviving son, worked in the coach maker’s shop with his father. Dennis Ivall recorded a story that David showed Henry a piece of finished work and asked how long it would be before he could do as well. He answered “Never!” and was chased out of the shop. He joined the Royal Navy in 1857 aged 15.    

By 1861, the family were living at 19 Nursery Row, Walworth, Southwark and consisted of David (aged 44, still a coach maker), Elizabeth (43), Georgiana (17), Elizabeth (10), George (7), Louisa (5) and William (2). By 1866 David’s mother Jane was living at this address.

On the basis of where he lived (Somers Town and Walworth), David doesn’t seem to have been well off. According to family tradition (as recorded by Dennis Ivall) he drank away most of his money.

David’s sister Louisa had died in about 1848 and his brother Robert died in 1865. When his mother Jane died in January 1866, David Ivall was the only child of Thomas Ivall still alive and so took over the administration of the residue of his father’s estate (£1,175). In May 1866 two of the children of David’s brother Robert brought a case at the Court of Chancery against David (I have documented this separately). The court decided that one third of the estate should be divided amongst Robert’s children, even though Robert had been given his share while he was alive. David received one third, as did the child of his sister, Louisa.

David died on 30 September 1867 at 19 Nursery Row. Walworth aged 51. The death certificate records his cause of death as morbus cordis, which means heart disease. David’s occupation is given as a journeyman (meaning a skilled person who works for another) coach maker. The informant was Mary Pavey, who was present at his death. He was buried on October 3rd 1867 at St Pancras Cemetery in Finchley (the burial register gives his name as David Ivell but his address as 19 Nursery Row). There is no record of probate being granted on his estate. Elizabeth, David’s wife, lived until 1892 when she died in Islington aged 74 after falling down some steps. An item on this on blog gives more details. She was buried in Islington Cemetery (also in Finchley).

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