J. Funnell


    John Funnell was a Grocer, Draper & Dealer in Sundries in Bank Street (Pigot's 1830 directory). In the 1839 directory he was a Grocer & Tea dealer in Lowbourne.

    John was born on 19th May 1787 in Chiddingly, Sussex, son of John Funnell & Elizabeth. He appears in an early 1821 census at Chiddingley as a grocer & draper with his wife Selina and infant son Henry Frederick. Some research on his ancestry can be found here: John Funnell the Shopkeeper.

    John married Selina Gill by license on 27th Apr. 1818 in Chiddingly. Their son Henry Frederick was born 10th Nov. 1820, baptised 17th Dec. 1820 but died in 1823 and was buried 16th Jan. in Chiddingly.

    In 1819 his shop in Chiddingly suffered a burglary: "Early on last Thursday morning, some robbers burglariously entere the wareroom of Mr. John Funnell, shopkeeper, of Chiddingly, and feloniously stole therein two sides of bacon, Derby and Dutch cheeses, two firkins of Irish butter, and a quantity of teas and moist sugar, and got clear off with their booty. The villains, to effect their entry, must have raised a ladder nigh to a chamber's window, under which a lead covering, 14 weather tiles, and some inside brickwork were removed, evidently by a hand not unused to such kind of work, as the tiles were carefully laid out and unbroken. The above is the third visit of its kind which Mr. Funnell has recently experienced, and it is supposed, by some thieves of his neighbourhood, where, it is said, many suspicious characters are abiding. On the same evening a garden not far distant rom Mr. Funnell's house, was robbed of sixteen cabbages." (Sussex Advertiser - Monday 28 June 1819 p3).

    Curiously, at the Lenten assize at Maidstone, Kent, in 1820, a John Funnell, a member of the "Chiddingly gang" was sentenced to death for burglary. Although clearly not our John Funnell, it may have been a catalyst for John leaving Sussex although he still appeared to be there in 1825.

    The 1841 census has John & Selina in the Town Tything, Melksham with another son, John. John senior is listed as of independent means. He is no longer in the trade directories at this date. John his son was John Gill Funnell, born Chiddingly, 12th Apr. 1823, bapt. 22nd June. There was also another son Frederick Funnell, born in Chiddingly in 1825, bapt. 25th Sept.

    After leaving Melksham John returned to Lewes, Sussex, where Selina died on 13th August 1849 after a lingering and painful affliction. In 1851 John is a pauper living in Eastport Lane, Lewes. By 1861 he is in the Union Workhouse in Dartford, Kent. It seems he did not live much longer, he was dead by the time Frederick married.

    Frederick became a ticket manufacturer, he lived at 3 Tower Lane, Bristol, in 1851, but married Jeanette Couldrick, fifth daughter of the late Mr. John Couldrick of Castle Morton, Worcs., at the Baptist Chapel in Bath on 23rd Dec. 1875 and moved to that city. He was bankrupt by July 1890.

5 Gallon Saltglaze Stone Flagon. file.jpg
Impressed:  J. Funnell / Melksham.

Image courtesy: M. Squires collection.
Likely Bristol brownware, no potters mark.

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