George Marsh the Younger
Proctor in Doctor's Commons (1749 - 1790).
Born: 29 December 1749, baptised 4
January 1750 and died 14 July 1790.
Son of: George Marsh (1722-1800) commissioner of the Navy, and Ann Marsh (nee Long, 1720-1784).
1. William Marsh (1755?-1846) the banker, who married first Amelia Marsh (nee Cuthbert, 1765?-1793), second Francis Graham (15 June 1770- 5 April 1805), third Elizabeth Tresilian (1769?-1838).
2. Anne Marsh (18 February 1760 - 11 August 1777).
3. Samuel Mead Marsh (16 June 1751 - 10 July 1751).
George was never married but he did have two illegitimate children.
1. George ? who later changed his name to George Smith. He became a soldier in the East India Company's service.
1. Mary Paterson (nee ?) who married Captain Gilbert Paterson. They had at least two children.
George Marsh: An Overview
We know of George Marsh from the following sources:
1. The diary of his father George Marsh (17201800).
A tablet in the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Gillingham, Kent.
2. "History of the Ancient Family of Marsh" by Joseph J. Green, Archivist and Genealogist, 1903, revised to date by Wm. Ernest Marsh, of Marston, Bromley, Kent, 1912.
3. His will.
14th July 1790
My dear son George died who was borne 29th December 1749 who from bad connections particularly with women neglected the very great business of a Proctor in Doctors Commons which he had and might have had, and fell into every other bad destructive habit, insomuch that I advanced some thousands to keep him from Bankruptcy, tho' he might have got a fortune in his situation with honour and honesty, he having also a seat in the prerogative Office there as a mere sinecure of about £200 per annum. I ever had a most fatherly love and affection for him, although his bad conduct to often gave me great very great uneasiness. But now he is no more, all his imprudence vanishes, and his fine person is uppermost in my mind with his genteel amiable manners and various other good qualities, which has occasioned some unpleasant reflections, that I have not made those allowances I ought to have done for the imperfections of human nature, or rendered him all the service and assistance with money, which I had it in my power to do. But upon as strict examination of my heart hereon, I knew my readiness to do my utmost for him, if I had thought it would not have fed his vices and idleness, rather than have been of service, and would too have put it out of my power to provide for him hereafter when they might bring him into the utmost distress, I would have given him as much as was in my power, with the greatest pleasure. From this self examination, I therefore found great comfort, being conscious I have &ldots;. supplied him with money from time to time 'till I found it answered no good end, and that he did not reclaim and follow my advice tho' frequently given it in the mildest friendly manner possible. Having therefore acted my own part, as I ought to do, I have no reason to be uneasy for any event that has frequently happened to him or my family, on the contrary I am sensible it is my duty to submit thereto, and make the best of all things which has or may happen to me or them, being totally ignorant of what is best for us, or will tend most to our happiness. He was buried the 20th July 1790 in the vault I built in Gillingham Church, Kent.
The tablet in St Mary Magdalene Church reads as follows:
"George Marsh Junior Esq. Proctor in Doctor's Commons son of the above mentioned George and Anne Marsh, died the 14th of July 1790 in the 41st year of his age".
George's will is held in the Public Record Office in Kew (Prob 11/1197). He is described as George Marsh Esquire one of the Procurators General of the Arches Court of Canterbury. The will itself starts "George Marsh the younger of Gostors Commons London". He appoints his friend Henry Stevens as executor and leaves most of his estate to "Mary Boyner otherwise Marsh and Francis Boyner Spinsters". The witnesses are Edward Toller, Walt Wright and George Byworth, all of Doctors Commons. The will was written 8 February 1787 and was proved 2 October 1790. William Marsh and Henry Creed are mentioned as creditors.
The Court of Arches was the court of appeal of the archbishop of Canterbury and dates back to the 13th century. In its heyday the court exercised an extensive jurisdiction over marriage, probate and testamentary disputes, defamation, church property (rates, tithes, fabric of churches), and morals of the clergy and laity. I understand that an extensive archive relating to this court is in the library at Lambeth Palace.