Thomas Green was born in the time of Queen Anne. He was
baptised on 11th of September 1709 at Great Barford, Bedfordshire, the
son of Richard Green, labourer, and his wife Mary. His mother
died in 1725 and the following year his father married again, but as
Thomas was then 15 and would by then have been working for several
years he was probably no longer living at home. At some time
Thomas married a girl called Elizabeth and he next appears with her at
Willington, the next parish. All the parishes hereabouts
stretch out to reach the river if they can and Willington didn't mind
about its width, which is slight, so long as its length
extended to give it a frontage on the Ouse, for a river frontage meant
cheap transport and the possession of mills. Here, four miles
from Bedford, are the remnants of the harbour in which the Danes
kept their long ships when in the time of Edward the Elder.
Before their defeat at Tempsford, they used to hurry and lay waste
these parts. At Willington it is possible to trace the actual
docks in which the Vikings kept their war-boats. However this
was long before Thomas and Elizabeth were here and it is doubtful if
they were aware of the violent doings of the past.
They took their son Samuel to the church of St Lawrence
to be baptised on 8th June, 1735. Thomas is described as labourer but
later on his occupation is given as shepherd, which, as a skilled
job, commanded higher wages. Their son, Richard, was baptised
on 6th February 1736/7. Another son, William, was baptised on
the 15th of April 1759. Thomas Green's wife, Elizabeth, was
buried on the 30th of April 1741 followed a week later by two year old
William on the 8th of May. Thomas was left a widower with two
young sons, Samuel, aged six, and Richard, aged four. Did he
turn for consolation to Priscilla Ward whose illegitimate son, William,
was baptised on the 25th of May 1746, "the supposed father is Thomas
Green, a shepherd"? William died at eighteen months
old and was buried on the 12th of January 1747/8. Thomas
Green died a few months later at the age of 39 and was buried on the
30th of April 1748.
Richard Green was born in the time of George
He was baptised on 6th February, 1736/7 at Willington. Bedfordshire,
the son of Thomas Green a shepherd and his wife Elizabeth.
When he was four his mother died and he was only 11 when his father
died and he was left an orphan to fend for himself. His brother Samuel
was only eighteen months older than him.
In 1763 he was living at Cardington where the banns of his forthcoming
marriage to Susannah Simons were read in June, 1763. It was not until
11th October that the marriage took place at the bride's parish of
Both bride and groom had to make their marks in the register, the two
witnesses were the bride's brother James and her sister's husband
Thomas Willamot. Richard was 26 and Susannah was 23 at the time of
their wedding. Their first child, a boy died at birth and was buried
unbaptised on 7th June, 1764 at Cardington, where the couple had made
their home. A daughter was baptised
Elizabeth after Richard's mother on 7th September, 1766, their next
daughter was named Susannah after her mother and was baptised on 17th
April, 1769 but lived for only two weeks and was buried on 2nd May.
Their next four children all survived, Thomas baptised 27th May, 1770,
another Susannah, who this time survived on 26th April,
1772, Mary baptised on 27th February, 1774 and their last child Richard
baptised on 2nd August, 1778. In 1781 Richard Green became ill and on
21st April had to go on parish relief of 5/- a week. This was paid for
three weeks until he died and was buried at the parish expense of £1.
9s. 8d. with a further sum of Is 4d beign paid to Haynes, who was
possibly the gravedigger. Richard Green was 44 years old when he died.