Barstardy Examination of Honour Stedham, 1772

Honour Stedham of Colyton in Devon was my Great Great Great Great Great Grandmother,through my Father’s Father’s line. She had four children, all illegitimate : Jacob (1769 – ?), Frances (my GGGGGrandmother, 1764 – 1816), Honour (1765 – ?) and Sarah (1772 – ?).

This document is her Bastardy examination document from October 1772, where she swore John Bartlett of Colyton to be the true Father of Sarah. Full transcription underneath.



Devon To wit. } The Examination of Honour Stedham of the Parish of Colyton in the said County,Single Woman taken on Oath before John Stuckey & Richard Coplestone Esq. two of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace for the County aforesaid,this Sixteenth day of October in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Two

This Examinant on her Oath, saith, that on the fifteenth Day of August last,she was delivered of a Female Bastard Child,within the said Parish of Colyton in the said County ; and that one John Bartlett Tinker surjoiner is the Father of the said female Bastard Child, he the said John Bartlett having had the carnal Knowledge of her Body on or before the twenty first day of November last past

and that no other Person hath had carnal Knowledge of her Body with Respect to such child,but the said John Bartlett and he is the true Father of the said female Bastard Child,of which she has been delivered as aforesaid.

Sworn and subscribed by the said
Honour Stedham
the Day and year above-written before

J. Stuckey
Rich Coplestone

the mark of
Honour X Stedham


John Woodward (1815 – 1898)


1815 Born on 21st November in Littleover, Derby, the son of Edward Woodward & Ann Green
1817 Christened on 6th July in Littleover
1820 Brother George born
1823 Wife Eliza Pikett born in Boston, Lincolnshire, daughter of John Pikett and Anne Bowser
1846 Married Eliza Pikett on 27th July at Kirton in Holland, Lincolnshire
abt 1847 Daughter Clara Pikett Woodward born.
1851 Entered twice in the census – as head of household in Norfolk Place Boston, and as a labourer in the household of Joseph Waite, Manager of Gasworks, at Witham Marsh, Boston
1852 Daughter Emily born in Boston, Lincolnshire
abt 1855 Daughter Eliza Ann Woodward born in Boston, Lincolnshire
1861 Living in Norfolk Place, Boston with wife Eliza and three daughters, and working as a gas stoker
1870 Testimonial dinner held in his honour by the local Liberal party following his sacking fromthe local gasworks for refusing to vote Tory. Was offered a job at the gasworks in Spalding and moved there accordingly.
1871 Living at 39 Albion Street, Spalding with Wife, daughters Emily and Eliza, and his niece (and adopted daughter) Beatrice Woodward Steer (illegitate daughter of his brother William Woodward and Maria Jaycock Steer). Working as a Gasworks Manager
abt 1881 Adopted daughter Beatrice dies
1881 Living at 39 Albion Steet, Spalding, with Wife, and Granddaughter Emma Horry. Manager of Gas Works
1891 Living at 39 Albion Street, Spalding with Wife and Granddaughters Emily Horry & Etheline Hutson
1898 Died at home on 16th February at Elm Villa, Barrells Lane, Spalding. Buried at Spalding Cemetary
1898 Will proved on 14th June, in London. Effects £3386 16s. 4d.
1915 Wife Eliza dies on 15th December at Elm Villa, Barrells Lane, Spalding. Buried alongside John Woodward in Spalding Cemetary


Charles Down Mayne (1808 – 1883)

Born 12 March 1808, Colyton, Devon, England,
Died 23 March 1883, Ottery St Mary, Devon England.

Charles Mayne (The ‘Down’ does not appear until his first marriage) was born the ilegitimate son of Francis Mayne nee Stedham in Colyton, Devon on 23 March 1808. She was listed as a widow, and her husband Philip Mayne had not been heard of for a number of years. In 1810, she married James Snell. Was James Charles’ real father? His entry in the Colyton parish baptism register appears to have been added at a later date, and only mentions his birth date – his baptism date is given as ‘-‘. Deepening the mystery, the entry does not appear in the Bishop’s Transcripts for Colyton. And where did the name Down come from? Did Charles know who his real father was and add the name to embarrass him? Or did a ‘Mr. Down’ sponsor his education – Charles came from a poor, uneducated background, yet managed to have a book published, and owned a number of bookshops and properties in the Exeter area. Any suggestion welcome!



1808 12 March, Charles Mayne born illegitimate son of Frances Stedham, Colyton.
1810 Elder half-brother, John, dies, age 7, at Colyton.
1810 19 August. Mother, Frances Mayne marries James Snell (widower), Colyton.
1816 29 December, mother, Frances Snell dies, Colyton.
1826 Married Sarah Farrant, 3 August 1826 at Shute Witnesses: Samuel & Mary Farrant
1827 Son, George Down M. born, bap at Shute
1829 Son, Edmund Robert Down M. born, bap. 22 February, Shute. Occupation: Schoolmaster, abode: Shute.
1830 Daughter, Frances (Fanny) Down M. born.
1830’s Began trading as a bookseller in OSM (Long ago in Ottery by Roy Packer)
1833 Daughter, Mary Ann Down M. born, chr 2 June , OSM
1834 Witness to the will of Christopher Salter – OSM
1836 Son, Charles Down M. chr 25 March 1836, Ottery St. Mary
1837 Opened another shop in Exeter (Long ago in Ottery by Roy Packer)
1843 Abt April, wife Sarah dies.
1843 Wrote “Culture, Management and propagation of the Fuchsia” OSM
1843 7 October, married Ann Norrington (widow) nee Carter, Ottery St. Mary. Occ. Scrivenor. Witnesses: James Elias Carter & Charlotte Carter.
1844 Abt September, daughter, Emma Franklyn M. born.
1850 Abt April, wife Ann dies.
1850 Deputy clerk to the Commissioner’s of taxes for east Budleigh and Cliston district. Sub-distributor of stamps, Silver St, OSM (Whites directory)
1851 Bookseller & stationer, Silver St, OSM (1851 census)
1854 Bookseller, Castle Street, Exeter
1855 Bookseller, 4 High St, Exeter
1855 Abt June, married Isabella Stokes in Kensington.
1857 Bookseller, Stationer, House & Land Agent, High Constable for the Hundred of Ottery St. Mary, sub Distributor of Stamps, Agent to the Western Annuity Society of Exeter, Property and Protection Society of London, Atlas Fire and Life Insurance Office and lessee of the Tolls of the Markets and Fairs, Silver Street, OSM. (Billings 1857)
1857 Opened a shop in Exeter 11 June (Exeter Flying Post)
1857 Bookseller, 244 High St, Exeter
1862 In partnership with W Clifford as a Publisher, Exeter St. Leonards
1868 Removal of premises reported 5 August (Exeter Flying Post)
1868 Sold his stock in OSM (Long ago in Ottery by Roy Packer)
1869 Removal of premises reported 24 February (Exeter Flying Post)
1869 Bookseller, Bedford St. until 1875
1875 Bookseller, 24 High St. as Mayne & Co, until 1878
1881 Sub Distributor of stamps & House & Land Agent, Ridgway, OSM (1881 census)
1883 23 March, Charles Down Mayne dies.
Thanks to Carole Sharp for this timeline