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Martha Fysh
Notes on her date of birth and parentage
(no baptism has, as yet, been discovered for Martha)

Evidence for her parentage:
1. Census 1851
PRO Reference: HO/107/1829 Folio: 519 Page: 16
Address: London Road, Kings Lynn
James P. SADDLETON, Head, widower, 75, M, Alderman Late Silversmith Etc. Lynn-Norfolk
Martha PLOWRIGHT, late wife's niece, U, 35,  F, ---, Lynn-Norfolk
take into account: 
James P. Saddleton was Martha's husband
Martha Plowright was the daughter of William Plowright and Jane Springwell Fysh (married St. Margaret, Kings Lynn, 1811 as Jane Fysh - full name spelled out in the will of William Plowright 1845)
Jane Springwell Fysh was baptised 1st Jan 1791 at St. Nicholas, Kings Lynn, the daughter of Francis and Elizabeth Fysh

2. The will of Elizabeth Tuck, proved Kings Lynn 1798:
this will mentions the following bequests, among others:
to my daughter-in-law Elizabeth the wife of Francis Fysh, taylor, my mourning ring which I bought on the death of her father my former husband
Also to Martha the daughter of the said Francis Fysh I give my garnet ring and to 
Elizabeth another daughter of the said Francis Fysh I give one of my plain gold rings
3. The will of Francis Fysh, proved 1809 has:
James Parlett Saddleton as one of the executors - no relationship mentioned
Conclusion: that Martha Fysh was the daughter of Francis Fysh and Elizabeth his wife

Evidence for her birth date:
1. Westacre churchyard - tombstone
Sacred to the memory of / MARTHA the wife of / J.P.SADDLETON Gent. / of Kings Lynn / who departed this life / AUGUST 16th [1839] / in the sixty first year of her age

* ie she had turned 60 but not yet 61, therefore born between 17 Aug 1778 and 16 Aug 1779
2. Westacre burial register:
1839 22 August
Martha Goodwin Saddleton of Lynn Regis aged 61

* this would put the above date range a year earlier, ie 17 Aug 1777 to 16 Aug 1778
3. Kings Lynn, St. Margaret, marriages
4 June 1801
James Parlett Saddleton of this parish, bachelor
Martha Fysh of the same parish, spinster 

presumably 21 or over (no consent of parents needed)

* this would mean born before 4 June 1780
4.  children of Francis and Elizabeth Fysh (married 1775 5 Oct, neither married before)
from the registers of St. Nicholas, Kings Lynn
born baptized
1775 15 Dec  1778 1 Jul Elizabeth daughter of Francis and Elizabeth Fysh
? William Fysh, son of Francis, buried 05.03.1778
1778 7 June  1778 1 Jul Matthew son of Francis and Elizabeth Fysh
1779, May ? 1780 24 May Margaret daughter of Francis and Elizabeth Fysh
buried 8 April 1785
1780 10 May 1782 14 Mar William Wollaston s. Francis and Elisabeth Fysh
Conclusions drawn from the above:

on this evidence she is 
EITHER not the daughter of Francis & Eliz Fysh

OR she was born between Elizabeth (born 15 Dec 1775) and Matthew (born 7 June 1778) but not before Aug 17 1777 (or she would have been 62 when she died) - this leaves a very narrow opening for her birth in the second half of August 1777. 

OR she was originally christened Matthew but found later to be Martha

OR the name Matthew in the parish register is a mistake for Martha. This parish register is obviously a fair copy written up from notes or a rough book (the bishops transcript is identical) and there are many mistakes in the Kings Lynn registers (later corrected with testimony of witnesses) and, in fact, to illustrate this sort of mistake, the St. Nicholas register records the baptism on
1788 Nov 19 of Martha d. William & Elizabeth Hilyer
with a note at the bottom of the page saying:
it appears from the testimony of James Wilson who was present at the christening that the above entry ought to have been "Martin s. etc."

Francis and Elizabeth Fysh did, however, have reason to call a child Matthew as Elizabeth had a brother Matthew Wollaston.

I have not yet found any mention of Matthew Fysh other than this one. On the other hand the will of Francis Fysh and the Estate Duty Register says he was survived by 7 children - on the basis of their children I have so far found, Matthew would be required to make up 7 - BUT there is a large gap (as far as Francis & Eliz are concerned) in the St. Nicholas registers, from 1782 to 1789 with no baptisms, the next child registered having a birth date of December 22 1788

On balance I am inclined to think the last hypothesis is probably the correct one but, until further information comes along, I have put her birth at August 1777 allowing Matthew to co-exist for the moment!
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