WILLIAM SEAMONS of the Napoleonic Wars

Born in 1767 at Weedon, Bucks, England.
Christened at Hardwick, Bucks., on 17 April, 1767.
Married Anne Brooks on 4 June 1789, at Hardwick, Bucks.
Died 19 March, 1831.
William and Anne had 10 Children:

  • Elizabeth ("Betsy"), born 1790, died February 1875. Married James Turpin Watkins at Hardwick on 30 May 1833;
  • Charles, born 1792, Christened at Hardwick on 8 August 1792, married three times in 1832 (wife unknown), 1847 to Mary Anne Bone, and 1859to Sarah Nicholls; in each marriage he was bereft. Charles died 9 January 1868 at Weedon, Bucks.;
  • Sarah, born 27 March 1797, Christened at Hardwick on 24 April 1797, died 11 September 1884, married William Judkins at Hardwick on 9 August 1820 and had 11 children;
  • William, born 31 December 1798, Christened at Hardwick on 28 January 1799, married Mary Judge at Hardwick on 24 April 1832. Married Elizabeth Griffin at Aylesbury on 30 April 1870; died 14 March 1885, ;
  • John, Christened at Hardwick on 31 December 1800, married Anna Maria Billington at Hardwick on 27 September 1826, died February 1890 at Franklinford, Victoria, Australia;
  • Joseph, born 11 August 1803, died 1804, buried 10 April 1804 at Hardwick;
  • Joseph, born 27 July 1805, Christened at Hardwick on 6 January 1806, married Elizabeth Brazier at Wycombe in September 1838, died at Weedon on 26 October 1888;
  • Edmund, born 5 April 1808, Christened at Hardwick on 18 September 1808, married Mary Elizabeth Loader at Hardwick on 9 April 1832, died 19 December 1899 in Victoria, Australia;
  • Mary, born 1811, married William Bartlett Burnard at Ellesborough on 16 November 1837; died 12 May 1851 in Oxford UK.
  • James, Christened at Hardwick on 27 February 1814, married Harriet Burrell at Waddesdon, Bucks. on 14 October 1858, and died at Weedon in April 1878.

The older son, John, of "Independent John" inherited his father's temperament and the Seamons' longevity. The younger son, William, stayed at home in Weedon, and supported his father in his old age. William was of a gentle, sensitive disposition, and might easily have been crushed by his father (John the Fourth) and older brother John, had it not been for a marriage which was exactly right.

Anne Brooks, a farmer's daughter, was strong and calm, gentle but competently determined, and brought up their large family so that for years they were a strength to their invalid father. William and Anne rented a farmstead in the Weedon village which only passed out of the Seamons' family in the late 1960s. At one stage, a French Royalist refugee from Napoleon sheltered there.

The "Penwick View" home of William and Anne Seamons, on Aston Abbotts Rd, Weedon, Bucks, taken around 1910. The view is taken looking up Aston Abbott's Rd., towards the Five Elms pub. To the left of the photo would be the field known as Penwick. In the middle of the photo, at the intersection of Aston Abbotts rd with High St, is where the "Loves" homestead was located.

William and Anne had a family of seven sons and three daughters. One son died in infancy. The other members of the family grew up. One daughter, Sarah, married a William Judkins, and their descendants are today scattered throughout the state of Victoria, in Australia.

Anne was the real power behind getting the Methodist cause established in the village from which the Seamons family came. Tradition shows that she was of a splendid character; she opened her home for the Methodist services, and at one time gave shelter to a French Refugee from Napoleon, and through a period of about 24 years she presented William with a family of 10 children.

In about 1827, a Chapel was formed from part of a barn which had belonged to the Seamons' family for many years. In 1853, the barn was burned down in a great fire. Following this destruction, her eldest son, Charles, built a new Chapel and donated it to the village. One of her other sons, Edmund, used to return to Weedon several times a year (while his mother was still living) to preach in the Barn - Chapel. Yet another of the brothers, William (after having spent 10 years in America saving enough to purchase a field in Weedon), gave the plot of land for the burial ground by the side of the new Chapel that was built in 1854. Three of Anne's sons, William, Joseph, and James are buried there, as well as two of her three daughters, and many more of her descendants.

Special mention needs to be made on this family. At a time when infant mortality was incredibly high, nine of the ten children reached adulthood. Only one of those nine failed to pass his three score years and ten. Six passed their eightieth year! One passed his ninetieth birthday, and a second died in his ninetieth year. All but one of the nine became loyal Methodists and their descendants have included several Methodist ministers and missionaries. Within the twentieth century, their service under the Methodist banner touched every continent . Descendants today are legion; some are in England, a large colony flourishes in America, and an even larger colony exists in Australia and New Zealand. Yet strangely, the Seamons surname has not been perpetuated in England by descent from any of the "family of ten".

The last of them, a grandson of Joseph, died in the 1970's, leaving a married daughter, but no sons. In America two of Joseph's descendants, representing two generations, bear the name. In Australia the name flourishes by descent from John (and his cousins descended from his g-grandfather's twin brother), but not from his other emigrant brother to that new world, Edmund. Often in England, the surname Simonds links with that of Seamons descent from the 17th century, and sometimes the name of Seamons is found with a link in the 18th century; but the descendants of the family of ten in England are now represented by many names, such as Goss, Rolls and Bates.

This house in Weedon was built by William Seamons (1798 - 1886), one of the sons of William and Anne, following his return from 10 years in America. William died in this house in March 1885, and his widowed second wife, Elizabeth (nee Griffin), continued to live in the house with her two maiden sisters, until her death in January 1907 at the age of 66.