Biddle Pictorial Tour of London

Before the Ancient Days of New Jersey

St Botolph Church on Bishopsgate Street Without

This is a Biddle Pictorial Tour of London showing the areas my Biddle ancestors lived with the intention of providing some feel for the area. I am from a poor Biddle Family branch, my Grandmother was Martha (Biddle) Picton. This web page is based on pictures I took while visiting various Biddle ancestral places during a recent London trip. The most recent ancestor to live here was William BIDDLE II with his parents before they all moved to New Jersey.

After arriving in London I took a city bus tour of London to orient myself. One can hop on and off the bus whenever you wish. While on this tour they pointed out a London tourist information office just off Piccadilly Square where one may go to ask questions. My Grandmother Picton's maiden name was Biddle. I want to see where my Biddle ancestors lived here in London. So I went to the tourist information place and they made some maps of locations of the various London parishes where my ancestors in the Biddle line had lived. They were very helpful, located all the parish churches on maps which they printed out and told me which underground stations to use. I started with the Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate Street Without, London because that was the parish that Sarah Smith the wife of William Biddle I was baptized on February 11, 1638. Also the whole family including her son William Biddle II had lived in this area. Before I start the tour, the following is a brief Biddle history starting with William Biddle II on Bishopsgate Street Without in London and working backwards several generations.

FIRST GENERATION

1. WILLIAM BIDDLE II of "Mt. Hope," New Jersey was born 4th October, 1669, at Bishopsgate Street Without, London, England. He died at Mt. Hope, New Jersey on 1743. Various genealogies report that WILLIAM BIDDLE II arrived in New Jersey with his parents in 1681 at age 12, was Sheriff of Monmouth County, New Jersey in 1683 at age 14, member of House of Deputies in 1688 at age 19, member General Assembly in 1692 at age 23 and died in 1743 at age 74. He was married to Lydia WARDELL (daughter of Eliakim (Wardell) WARDWELL and Lydia PERKINS) on December 13, 1691 in Township of Mansfield, Burlington Co., NJ. Lydia WARDELL was born about 1671 in Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, NJ. She died in Township of Mansfield, Burlington Co., NJ.. Our ancestor Lydia Wardell had an uncle named Samuel (Wardell) Wardwell who was hung at Salem for witch craft on Sept 22, 1692 and on another occasion her Mother Lydia (PERKINS) Wardwell was stripped to her waist naked,tied to a fence post and whipped as a result of her Quaker religious beliefs (see more on the Ancestors of Lydia Wardell).
Click for Salem Witch Trials.

William BIDDLE II and Lydia WARDELL had the following children:

SECOND GENERATION

2. William BIDDLE I was born about 1633/34 in Parish of Birlingham, Co. Wocester, England. He was baptized on March 10, 1633/34 in Parish of Birlingham, Co. Wocester, England. He died in 1711 in Township of Mansfield, Burlington Co., NJ.. Took an apprenticeship as a cordwainer (shoemaker) at the age of about 16 under Thomas Biddle in London. He was married to Sarah SMITH (daughter of John SMITH and Anne WRIGHT) 7 Dec 1665 (7 Feb 1666 N.S.) in Bishopsgate Street Without, London, England. Sarah SMITH was born about 1638 in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England. She was baptized on February 11, 1638 in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England. She died on April 27, 1709 in Township of Mansfield, Burlington Co., NJ.. She was first married to Roger Kempe and he died..

Both Sarah and William were Quakers. As a Quaker they suffered bitter persecution, during which he himself suffered imprisonment. Sarah Smith his wife was born in London and suffered through her first husbands (Roger Kemp) death. Sarah and William were in London during the Great Fire of London in 1666 and also at the time of the Plague. Of there seven children only 2 reached adulthood.

January 22d, 1676-7 William Penn, Gawen Lawrie and Nicholas Lucas, trustees for Edward Byllynge sold to "William Biddle, shoemaker of Bishopsgate Street, London, Thomas Ollive, haberdasher, of Wellingborough and Daniel Wills, practicioner in Chymestry of Northampton" a share of land in West Jersey.
http://www.westjerseyhistory.org/books/decou1/mtn17.html

Abstract of part of a letter from Daniel Wills to William Biddle, in Bishops-gate-Street, London.2
"From the Falls of Delaware, in West-New-Jersey, the 26th of the 4th month, 1680."
"Now my near and ancient acquaintance, William and Sarah Biddle, my love you may feel beyond expression; and if you have clearness to come to New-Jersey, let nothing hinder; but if you have a stop within yourselves, let not any thing farther you until the way clears to your full satisfaction. In this advice I deny myself; if I might I would forward you to the utmost, but I dare not; if a man cannot live here, I believe he can hardly live in any place in the world; the place being, as I thought, set before me, by him who gives length of days; I will wait his good pleasure, and see what he will afford me in it. The last ship that came to New-York, brought several passengers, some of which came to see this country, and liked it well; so dear friends, you may stand against all opposers concerning the land, for it is good."
History of Nova Caesarea - Part 3:
http://www.webroots.org/library/usahist/honc0003.html

The English or Colonial merchant ship called " Henry & Ann" brought William and Sarah Biddle and two children, to the New World in 1680-81. They voyaged from London to Barbados. Then the " Henry & Ann" voyaged them to the West Jersey area of Southern New England. They arrived in 1681 at Burlington County, NJ. William Biddle was a pillar of Quaker society, was a shoemaker in London; in New Jersey he bought and sold much land, and is designated first as a "yeoman" and later as a "merchant. William and Sarah Biddle owned forty three thousand acres of New Jersey, purchasing some of the land from William Penn in 1676, a century before the Revolution.

Coming to America, William and Sarah Biddle built a two story frame house on a bluff overlooking the Delaware River in view of Biddle's Island. They called their new home Mount Hope. One can look across the Delaware River and see William Penn's home in Pennsylvania. Times were not always easy. They had a dispute with William Penn over the ownership of Biddle Island but our ancestors won. Fellow Quakers were unhappy because their daughter Sarah was marrying someone who was not a Quaker but they stood by her. Their daughter Sarahs first husband died and she remarried. They then saw their daughter Sarah die before they did.

The Library of Congress has pictures and a detailed layout of the William Biddle House built in 1684.
Go to:
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/
then go to search and search for the 3 words: william biddle house
One of the addresses found will be for the house.

William BIDDLE I and Sarah SMITH had the following children:

    i. Sarah BIDDLE died on June 9, 1667 in Bishopsgate Street Without, London, England. She was born in Bishopsgate Street Without, London, England. She died from teething.

    ii. Elizabeth BIDDLE was born on April 24, 1668 in Bishopsgate Street Without, London, England. She died on July 16, 1669 in Bishopsgate Street Without, London, England. She died from the griping.

    iii. William BIDDLE II (born on October 4, 1669). He married Lydia WARDELL.

    iv. John BIDDLE was born on October 27, 1670 in Bishopsgate Street Without, London, England. He died on July 27, 1673 in Bishopsgate Street Without, London, England. He died from small-pox.

    v. Joseph BIDDLE was born on December 6, 1672 in Bishopsgate Street Without, London, England. He died on February 8, 1674 in Bishopsgate Street Without, London, England. He died from the measles.

    vi. BIDDLE was born on November 29, 1676 in Bishopsgate Street Without, London, England. He (or she) died on November 29, 1676 in Bishopsgate Street Without, London, England.

    vii. Sarah BIDDLE (born on October 23, 1678).

Start of Tour

Sign of St Botolph Church on Bishopsgate Street Without

One sees how there life was physically connected to Bishopsgate Street Without after reviewing a little Biddle history. The Biddles left London about 1780. The tourist office said to take the underground to the Liverpool Station and when I come out I will be on Bishopsgate Street. Now, I am ready to start my Biddle walking tour of London. I found the churches (even went inside all of them) where my ancestors attended or some were baptized. The churches were all rebuilt about 250 years ago which is after my ancestors left for America. I came out of the Liverpool Station, turned right and eventually spotted St Botolph Church on Bishopsgate Street Without about a block down the street.

THIRD GENERATION

3. John SMITH was born about 1591 in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England. He was a Merchante. He resided in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England. He was married to Anne WRIGHT on November 7, 1616 in St Botolph Bishopsgate, , London, England.

Anne WRIGHT was born about 1595 in Of, Saint Marylebone, London, England. She resided in Parish of St. Mary le Bowe, London, England.

Anne WRIGHT and John SMITH had the following children:

    i. Francis SMITH was born about 1626 in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England. He was baptized on December 5, 1626 in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England.

    ii. Sarah SMITH was born about 1631 in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England. She was baptized on August 5, 1631 in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England. She died on August 25, 1631 in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England. She was buried on August 25, 1631 in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England.

    iii. John SMITH was born about 1642 in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England. He was baptized on June 3, 1642 in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England.

    iv. Mary SMITH was born about 1645 in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England. She was baptized on November 9, 1645 in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England.

    v. Sarah SMITH (born about 1638). She married William Biddle I.

Old Baptismal Font inside St Botolph Church on Bishopsgate Street Without

Sign for the Antiochian Orthodox Church Service at St Botolph Church on Bishopsgate Street Without

There are currently too few members in the neighborhood for Sunday morning worship service. I think this was true for most of the churches in this London area. This church is rented out to the Antiochian Orthodox Church for worship on Sunday mornings.

St Botolph Church on Bishopsgate Street Without

Most of these churches do not have worship on Sunday morning, but they are open during the week and have special musical programs at noon on specific days. I was fortunate and arrived at St Botolph Church just as the noon concert was starting. I do not remember which day of the week this is on. All the churches I visited, had a musical concert on a specific day of the week.

Tower of St Botolph Church on Bishopsgate Street Without

An old fish market at one time had been in the red brick building to the right in the picture.

Sign on Liverpool Street about 100 yards off Bishopgate Street near St Botolph Church on Bishopsgate Street Without

Liverpool Street is between Liverpool Station and St Botolph Church. I do not know if our William Biddle family used this hospital but it was in the neighborhood. I would think that they would have. Consider that Sarah Biddle had her first husband die in this area and of there seven children only 2 reached adulthood. They lived here in London during the Great Fire of London in 1666 and also at the time of the Plague.

Sign for Petticoat Lane Market on Bishopsgate near St Botolph Church

When you come out of the Liverpool Station, turn left, and you come to this sign on Bishopgate Street. An old market called Petticoat Lane Market is several blocks away. I am sure the Biddle family would have visited this market. I walked over to it and it was a very messy market with booths filling the middle of the street. I next went back to the Liverpool Station and started walking down Bishopgate Street past St Botolph Church for about 15 or 20 minutes. I eventually come to a place where if I turn left it is about a 10 minute walk over to St Margaret Pattens Church on Cheap Street and the Memorial Tower for the great fire of London. If I had turned right instead of left it is about a 15 minute walk to St Mary le Bow Church on Cheapside Street and then onto St Paul's Cathedral (for an additional 5 minute walk).

Looking at Tower for St Mary le Bow Church on Cheapside Street

This is St Mary-Le-Bow Church were some of our ancestors attended 400 hundred years ago.
St Mary le Bow Church Web address:
http://www.stmarylebow.co.uk/

FOURTH GENERATION

4. William WRIGHT was a clothworker on September 6, 1593 in London, England. He signed a will on September 6, 1593. He died on July 29, 1594 in Parish of St. Mary le Bowe, London, England. He was buried on July 29, 1594 in Parish of St. Mary le Bowe, London, England. He had an estate probated on August 2, 1594. He was a Mercer. He resided in Parish of St. Botolph, Bishopgate, London, England. He was born in Marbury.

William WRIGHT was married to Barbara SMITH.

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Looking at Tower for St Mary le Bow Church on Cheapside Street

An ancestor William WRIGHT was buried on July 29, 1594 in Parish of St. Mary le Bowe.

Notice the roaster on top of the church tower.

Looking at Tower for St Mary le Bow Church on Cheapside Street

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Looking at Tower for St Mary le Bow Church on Cheapside Street

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1500 year old Roman wall in the Norman Crypt of St Mary le Bow Church on Cheapside Street

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800 year old previous church pillars in the Norman Crypt of St Mary le Bow Church on Cheapside Street

There is now a restaurant in this basement crypt of St Mary-Le-Bow church. The pillars in the basement date from about 1200 AD and part of the basement wall is even older and dates from the time of the Romans (about 500 AD).
Resturant web address is:
http://www.theplacebelow.co.uk/home.htm

Tower of St Margaret Pattens Church on Eastcheap Street

William WRIGHT was married to Barbara SMITH.

Barbara SMITH resided in Parish of St. Margaret Pattens, London, England. There was a Barbara Smith whose father was Thomas Smith baptized 02 APR 1580 at St Augustine Watling Street, London, London, England.

She was married to John SNOWE on July 27, 1585 in St. Margaret Pattens, London. Barbara SMITH and John SNOWE had the following children:

    i. John SNOWE.

    ii. Catherine SNOWE.

She was married to Thomas HILL on July 11, 1597.

Barbara SMITH and William WRIGHT had the following children:

    i. Anne WRIGHT (born about 1595). She married John SMITH.

    ii. Gregory WRIGHT was born about 1592. He was baptized on June 18, 1592.

    iii. Elizabeth WRIGHT was born about 1594. She was baptized on May 26, 1594.

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Sign above door at St Margaret Pattens Church on Eastcheap Street

As I said before, there are too few church members to have services at the various parishes and St Margaret Pattens Church is no exception. The church was at the time of my walking tour being used for worship by Filipino people. Website about St Margaret Pattens Church.

After leaving St Margaret Pattens Church on Eastcheap Street, I walked about two or three blocks to the Memorial Tower for the great fire of London. The way I found the tower was to look around until I saw a tower. You go by this tower when you take a bus tour of London. So realize when you see this tower you are not far from where our ancestors walked.

Memorial Tower for great fire of London near St Margaret Pattens Church on Cheap Street

This is near the place where the great fire of London started. I walked from here over to St Mary le Bow Church on Cheapside Street.

Tower of St Augustine Church by St Pauls Cathedral

I walked from St Mary le Bow Church on Cheapside Street about 5 minutes to the Tower of St Augustine Church by St Pauls Cathedral. St Augustine Church was destroyed during WWII except for the tower. It is on the same block as St Pauls Cathedral.

FIFTH GENERATION

5. Thomas SMITH reported to have been baptized 02 APR 1580 at St Augustine Watling Street, London, England.

Thomas SMITH had the following children:

    i. Barbara SMITH married William WRIGHT.

    ii. Luke SMITH.

    iii. Francis SMITH.

    iv. Richard SMITHE.

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Tower of St Augustine Church by St Pauls Cathedral

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Tower of St Augustine Church with St Pauls Cathedral in the background. Both are on the same block.

Late in the afternoon I went to St Pauls Cathedral to look around. They let me in free to attend a 5:00 o'clock worship service. I was able to set in the choir seats right next to the all male choir. They sang the entire service except for the scripture that the pastor read. The first church was built on this location in the year 606. So I heard a continuation of worship on this spot that has lasted about 1400 years. I walked around and had a good look on the way out. I went back another time, visited the crypt, looked around the main floor and tried to climb to the top. My son and his wife made it all the way to the top.

Some of the parish churches in this area have restaurants in the basement to make a little money. This is even true for St Pauls Cathedral. All the parish Biddle churches I walked too were not that far from St Paul's Cathedral. There is even an underground station for St Pauls Cathedral.

Biddle Manuscript Collection- 8 linear feet and oversize (1766-1943).


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Last Modified May 2004
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