[ Bridgewater ] Farnham ] Taunton ]


The Bridgewater Bicknells.

The first of the Taunton BICKNELLS settled in Bridgwater of whom I know anything, was Jane BICKNELL, "a solemn religious woman," the second wife of John ANDERDA, a Quaker and goldsmith in that city, whose daughter married William ALLOWAY of Ninehead, Somerset, a man imprisoned afterwards for heresy, in Ilchester jail, where he died in 1684. James ll., in 1687, by an order in Council, "thought fit to remove " six " capitall burgesses " and the " towne clerke " of Bridgwater, and commanded that six others should be elected burgesses, amongst whom he named William BICKNELL to be one and town-clerk as well. Probably the dismissed burgesses had been implicated in the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion, in which no BICKNELLSs anywhere had taken part.

The above William, and his wife Mary, had two sons, William and John, and two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. William married Henrietta, whose only child, Priscilla, was the second wife of Sir William SANDERSON, Bart., of Combe, Greenwich, wherefrom no issue resulted: the baronetcy becoming extinct with the death of the third baronet in 1860. Elizabeth became the wife of the Rev. Thomas CONEY, D.D., rector of Chedzoy, Prebendary of Wells and Chaplain to Queen Anne. The CONEY family came into England with Isabella, daughter of Philip IV. of France, and wife of Edward II., A.D. 1308, from Bayonne, and after first settling in Cheshire migrated into Rutland, Lincolnshire and Somerset. Robert "CONIE," merchant of the Staple, circa 1530, married a daughter of William WIMBERLEY (1455-1540) of South Witham, co.Lincoln, who came from Lancashire after the battle of Bosworth, 1485, and Mary WIMBERLEY, sixth in descent from William's brother Christopher, became the wife of Peter BICKNELL, of London, in 1782; while, as mentioned above, Dr. CONEY married Elizabeth BICKNELL of Bridgwater, consequently the CONEYS and WIMBEPLEYS were connected with both the Farnham and Somerset BICKNELLS.

John BICKNELL, Who lived and died in Bridgwater, the other son of William, the town-clerk, had sons named William and John, and one daughter. The elder son William, probably in the wool trade, quarrelled with his father, and was disinherited by him; the daughter married a JACKSON, from whom descended the excellent portrait

painter John JACKSON, R.A., whose likeness of the Rev. John WESLEY is one of the treasures In the Wesleyan Conference office 'In the City Road. The disinherited William's son, also named William, was a serge-maker, and in 1789 he took over the business of his cousin and namesake in Blackman Street, which his own first cousin, son of his uncle John, and his family carried on till about 1873, when it was given up entirely. This last William had been a most energetic head of the Circuit managing the Wesleyan Chapel in Long Lane, Southwark, and at his death, aged 88, in 1842, a tablet monument was erected to commemorate his virtues, besides a presentation portrait, painted in 1841, being hung in the Vestry. The Rev. John BICKNELL, his only son, spent his life as a Wesleyan Minister, and on h