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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

David Stapleton, linen weaver

David Stapleton was one of Ari’s 5x great-grandfathers (and before you read on, one of the criminal ancestors I wrote about here). He was born in 1772 in Harringworth, Northamptonshire, the youngest son of Joseph Stapleton and Mary Lewis. His christening took place at the church of St John the Baptist in Harringworth on 12 July 1772.


The Harringworth Viaduct, built in 1878. It is the longest masonry viaduct across a valley in Britain, and a Grade II listed building.

In 1797 David married Mary Sutton in Stamford, Lincolnshire. I have just discovered the marriage banns, which show that she was a widow:

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Lincolnshire Banns, Findmypast

The couple had four sons, and then a daughter and then another son. (Two of the boys, Robert and John, died as young children.) Mary died in 1837. The 1841 census shows David living alone in Harringworth, aged 68. His occupation is given as a weaver.

The next record we have for him is a criminal register:

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England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791–1892,

He was sentenced to two years in Northampton Gaol for this assault, and there were several newspaper reports, naming the girl as Anne Norman, who is listed with her family on the next page of the 1841 census.

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Lincolnshire Chronicle 15 July 1842, Findmypast

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Evening Mail, Findmypast

In January 1844 this appeared:

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Northampton Mercury, Findmypast

I’ve just found this correspondence and letter asking for his discharge:

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david stapleton.png

David died of old age at the Union Workhouse in Uppingham, Rutland on 29 December 1849. He was 78. He was buried at Harringworth on the 1st of Jan 1850.

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Northamptonshire, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1912,

Ari, this is how you are related to David:

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