Benjamin Thomas Langworthy 1826-1870

Benjamin Thomas (my 2x great grandfather) was born at Kingswear on the south Devon coast, where he was baptised on 24 Dec 1826, the fourth of 6 children of Henry & Mary Ann Langworthy. His father was a Mariner.

All the children were baptised at Kingswear though the abode of the family changed between Kingswear & Brixham over the years.

When Benjamin was born, his eldest brother Henry Charles was 9, Charles Henry was 6 and sister Mary Ann was 4. By 1829 the family were living at Hoodown, Brixham, when Jane was baptised on 12 July, Charles Henry was buried on 2 Jan 1830, and Anne Elizabeth was baptised on 21 Dec 1834. They were back in Kingswear again by 1841, when the census showed Benjamin aged 14 at Higher Street, Kingswear with his mother Mary Ann Langworthy 45,and sisters Mary Ann 19 and Elizabeth Ann 7.

His father drowned at Padstow in February between 1845 and 1851 (remembered on his mother’s gravestone in Kingswear churchyard but only the month was legible).

Between 1841 and 1846 Benjamin left Devon and went along the coast to Portsea where he spent the rest of his life. He was a shipwright at Portsmouth Dockyard.

On 10 April 1846, at St Mary’s Church, Portsea, he married Eliza Matthews, daughter of George & Catherine Matthews who lived at Lake Lane, in the presence of Eliza’s sister Caroline Ward & George Matthews.The marriage certificate says they were both full age (21+) but the date of his baptism and age in 1841 census indicates that he was under 20. However for the rest of his life, his apparent date of birth from census & burial register was 1824/5.

Benjamin & Eliza Langworthy had 7 children, of whom the first four were baptised at St Mary’s, Portsea:

Eliza Jane, born 15 Dec 1847, and Henry George, born 24 Apr 1850, were both baptised on 19 May 1850, abode given as Lake Lane.

Kitty, born 2 Jan 1852 in Gosport, and Mary Ann, born 1854 in Portsea, were both baptised on 15 Oct 1854, abode given as North Street ( probably North Street, Portsea which was in the parish of St Mary’s, but could be North Street, Alverstoke where they were living in April 1851,though only Kitty was born in Gosport).

The 1851 Census at 57 North Street, Alverstoke, Gosport shows Benjamin Langworthy,27, Shipwright, born Wootham, Devon with wife Eliza, 27, born Landport and children Eliza,3, and Henry, 11m, both born Landport.

The 1861 Census at 163 Lake Road, Portsea shows Benjamin Langworthy,Hd,M,36, Shipwright D Yard, born Devon,Kingswear with wife Eliza, M, 38, born Hants, Portsea and children Eliza Jane 13 and Henry 10 scholar, both born Portsea; Kitty 8 scholar, born Gosport; Mary 6 and Ellen 4, George 2, all scholars  born Portsea. 

No baptisms yet found for Ellen born Q2 1857, George Q1 1859, Elizabeth Q1 1861.

Eliza’s parents, George & Kitty Matthews were at 55/57 Lake Road. They were aged 74 & 73 and both died in 1865 (George buried in Kingston Cemetery, Portsea on 3 Feb and Kitty on 31 Dec). 

In November 1862, Benjamin & Eliza’s daughter Mary Ann died  at the age of 8, and was buried at Kingston cemetery on 26 Nov (7212. Goodyears, row 16, grave 1, 5ft depth).

23 May 1869 Marriage of daughter Eliza Jane Langworthy, London Road, to William Sibson, RN Seaman,HMS Excellent, at Portsmouth St Thomas. Her father Benjamin was one of the witnesses. Their first child William Benjamin Thomas Sibson was born about Sep1870.

In November 1862 Benjamin died at Lake Road at the age of 45 and was buried at Kingston Cemetery, Portsea on July 9 1870 (18867.Goodyears row 16, grave 4.5, 6ft depth). The cemetery records show that the headstone has been removed. Eliza Hardham was buried in he same grave aged 58 on 12 March 1881.

The 1871 Census at 55 and 57 Lake Road (Foresters Arms) shows Eliza Langworthy, Hd. W. 47, Public House Keeper, born Portsea with unmarried children Kitty 20, Henry 19, Ship''s Carpenter (apprentice), Ellen 14 scholar, George 12 scholar, all born Portsea, married daughter Elizabeth Sibson 23 and her son William 7m, born Portseaa and James Benjamin boarder, Unm 22 Ship's carpenter (workman) born IoW.

Kelly's Directory of 1874/5 shows Mrs E Langworthy, Foresters Arms, Lake Road, Landport.

In 1876, Eliza married again (Q4 1876 Portsea 2b 825) but her second husband Frederick Hardham (son of Frederick and Mary), baptised at Chertsey, Surrey on 31 May 1820) died in Q4 1878 Portsea. 

Eliza Hardham died at Clarendon Street aged 58 in 1881 and was buried on 12 Mrch 1881 in the same grave as her first husband. The following month, only son Henry and daughter Kitty were at 3 Clarendon Street for the 1881 Census.


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