Generation three: John and Eliner Hodgson

In the case of tracing my Hodgsons, this Lurgan Friends Meeting minute from 1701 provides a crucial link to Murton in Lamplugh:

Robert Hodgson, son of John and Elinor was born in Cumberland, 5th mo 1668, and came to Ireland in 1682 and on the 20th of 9th mo, 1701 took to wife Sarah, daughter of Wm Nicholson and Isable, born in Armagh.

Pardshaw minutes previously cited the husband of Elinor/Eliner as John Hodgson of Murton in Lamplugh, and also report one other known son – George Hodgson, born 8th month 2, 1668. (Those minutes, in their quaint language, read: “1666 – Robert, the son of John Hodgson of Lamplugh with Eliner his wife bare unto him was born the 10 [day] 9 [month]” and “1668 – George, the son of John Hodgson of Lamplugh with Eliner his wife bare to him born the 2 / 8”

When Robert arrives in Lurgan, at age 14, one of the prominent Quakers was George Hodgson, quite likely his uncle.

“I have always assumed that the John Hodgson who married Eliner and had sons Robert (21-v-1666) and George (2-viii-1668) was John Hodgson, baptised 14 December 1631, son of Robert Hodgson of Murton; and that he was the John Hodgson of Murton whose 1675 burial was noted in the Pardshaw register,” Chris Dickinson wrote to me. “I would normally expect yeomen of this period to marry 25-35, and John would fit in neatly.”

He added: “I’ve also assumed … the reason why Hodgsons disappear from Murton is because they all upped and went to Lurgan. They would have had no trouble selling their Lamplugh inheritance.

“Which has made me think of a solution to something that has puzzled me. You mention that George Hodgson of Lurgan was a prominent linen draper who died in 1688. In my very brief exploration of Lurgan records, I was struck that Hodgsons seem more prominent in Lurgan than they were in Lamplugh.

“It strikes me now that if the Hodgson brothers John and George inherited two Murton tenements (Murrow and Hodgson), then George might have sold his inheritance to raise cash for a successful Lurgan career, leaving John behind in Lamplugh. If that were the case, it would fit in quite nicely with the Wood purchase of a Murton tenement, possibly extending that purchase later when John died in 1675. His sons Robert and George would go off to Lurgan to be looked after by their prosperous uncle.

“Um, I quite like that as a hypothesis.”

And so do I.

One point to note with the two sons of Robert and Elizabeth Hodgson is that their mother died less than four months after the birth of their second son, George, while John, the older boy, was barely three years old. (Who raised them, and how?)

Dickinson provides another dynamic with Ireland. “There was a lot of contact between Lamplugh and Ireland, especially from the 1690s. Not just Quakers in Lurgan and Edenderry, but trade and settlement in Ireland.”

Only six miles west of Murton, “Whitehaven had been established by the Lowther family mid-century. It sat on a very rich coal seam and was not far from Lamplugh. Dublin was a boom city, importing a huge amount of coal from Whitehaven. By 1700, a triangular shipping route was developing of coal from Whitehaven to Dublin, passengers and goods from Dublin to America, and tobacco back to Whitehaven.

“The Lamplughs of Lamplugh Hall tried (rather unsuccessfully) to break the Lowther grip on the Dublin coal trade in the 1690s. Lots of Lamplugh families, Quaker and non-Quaker, will have had relatives and contacts in Dublin – more or less commuting over the Irish Sea.”

In addition to the Lurgan years, examined in a separate posting, I would like to mention an earlier posting regarding at least one Quaker John Hodgson from this period, and possibly several. Because many soldiers in the Parliamentarian army received tracts in Ireland as part of their pay, I had long assumed this was the motivation for Hodgson settlement at Lurgan. Chris’ model of selling an inheritance at Murton to raise funds for a career in Ireland now gives us a viable alternative explanation.


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