Generation two: Robert and Elizabeth Hodgson

Robert Hodgson (before 1581- buried 7 November 1655); he married 27 October 1623 Elizabeth Rogers; to them, known sons John and George.

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Surviving Cumbria parish records pick up with Robert Hodgson’s family:

Robt Hodgshon married Elsabeth Roger 27 October 1623 (no locator).
Robert Hodgshon of Murton buried 7 November 1655.
Elizabeth Hodgson, wife of Robert of Murton, buried 16 December 1634.
John Hodgshon
, son of Robert of Murton, baptised 14 December 1631; crucially, the Pardshaw Quaker records note two sons born to John and Eliner of Lamplugh – Robert, born 9th month 10, 1666, and George Hodgson, born 8th month 2, 1668; as well as the burial 11th month 30, 1675, of John Hodgson of Murton in Lamplugh.
George Hodgson, son of Robert of Murton, baptised 21 August 1634.

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One of the things I noticed with the parish records posted online is a large gap regarding the Hodgsons, making me wonder if many of the family joined with the Independent church of the Puritans or with other sects. In reply, Chris Dickinson noted, “There are some things about Lamplugh in the seventeenth century that you need to know in order to make judgments about the evidence.

“The northern half of Lamplugh and Arlecdon parishes was pretty much under the control of the Lamplughs of Lamplugh Hall (who were Lords of the Manor of Lamplugh & Arlecdon).

“The Lamplugh parish register started in 1581 and was kept in an orderly fashion. It was maintained even during the Civil War and Interregnum, which was unusual. Unfortunately, it wasn’t maintained from 1660 to the mid-1680s, when George Lamplugh (brother of John Lamplugh of Lamplugh Hall) was rector. This gap can make tracing some individuals and families difficult.”

Partisanship during the Civil War is another matter. Dickinson observes, “The Lamplughs were Royalists. John Lamplugh raised a troop of infantry which fought at the battle of Martson Moor in 1644. The troop fought as part of Newcastle’ Whitecoats, who were famous for their last stand in the bloodiest of the encounters of the war – they got stuck in a ditch (White Syke Close) surrounded by the Parliamentarian cavalry and refused to surrender. An eyewitness claimed that only 30 Whitecoats survived – but historians seem to be revising the number of survivors upwards.

“There is a significant drop in the number of baptisms in the Lamplugh register 1649-1653, but I’m not sure that that has anything to do with the battle. I suspect that, if Lamplugh troopers did get killed, they were younger sons who might not anyway have married and settled in Lamplugh.

“However, the point of this is: if a family suddenly dies out in this period or a younger son goes missing, then it might have been a casualty of the war.”

Of special interest to me is the Quaker imprint and ways it may have connected with these Hodgsons. Dickinson commented, “The Society of Friends had a huge impact in the area. James Lancaster was the first Friend to come into Cumberland (in 1653). One of his successes was to convince Anthony Patrickson on Stockhow in Lamplugh, a member of the family that controlled Ennerdale to the south and that had considerable interests in Loweswater, Lamplugh, and Arlecdon. James with John Tiffin and John Burnyeat (both from Loweswater) helped William Edmondson to set up the Quaker community in Lurgan in Ireland. George Fox visited Cockermouth and Brigham in 1653, and Pardshaw in 1657 and 1663.”

David M. Butler, in Quaker Meeting Houses of the Lake Counties (Friends Historical Society, London; 1978), includes some fascinating details on early Pardshaw Meeting, which originated in 1653 as the first Quaker body in Cumberland. Until a meetinghouse was erected in 1672, Friends typically met outdoors in worship at Pardshaw Cragg, even in snowy or stormy weather, although in the winter the Meeting did eventually agree to divide into four quarters, with worship conducted in members’ homes in Lamplugh, Pardshaw, Whinfell, and Eaglesfield.

Lamplugh is roughly three to four miles southwest of Pardshaw, with Murton a few miles further on.

Chris Dickinson continues: “Matthew Dickinson of Fell Dyke in Lamplugh (not my family) was convinced in 1653, dying in 1709 aged 82, a minister for 56 years. His family and the Jacksons at Fell Dyke became Quaker, as did the farms next door at High Trees. Murton is a couple of hamlets on. The other leading Quaker in Lamplugh was William Bowman, whose house at Hunterhow (much further south) was used for meetings.

“As you said, early Quaker registers can be a bit patchy. The problem about this batch of Quakers is that I lose a number of them in the 1650s-1690s. I don’t know why they don’t appear in the Pardshaw registers.”

Combined with the irregularities in the parish records, this leaves several decades without significant family data.

As Dickinson remarks, “So, with the parish register gap 1660-1680s, the Pardshaw blips, and the back-and-forth movement between Lamplugh, Ireland, and America, some individuals can disappear from baptism-marriage-death events in Lamplugh. They only become visible if you happen to see a reference to them in probate or manorial records or such like.”

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