Archiver > OXFORDSHIRE > 2006-09 > 1159093616

Subject: Re: [OXF] WASTIE / SMITH - Press-ganged!
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2006 06:26:56 EDT

An article in the Oxford Mail in the 1960s refers to one of my ancestors
being press-ganged into the navy.

Apparently, in 1797, William WASTIE Jnr. (born 1776 in Eynsham) and his
friend Jeremiah SMITH went down south for a holiday and ended up in a seaside
tavern where they were caught by the press-gang and forcefully enlisted into the
Royal Navy. It seems that the villagers of Eynsham were not happy about
this happening to two of "their own". When William and Jeremiah's ship next
sailed into port the captain was presented with a priority order for their
release, signed by the MP for Oxfordshire (later an Admiralty Lord), the Secretary
to the Admiralty, and some other Admiralty officials.

Can anyone suggest any way of verifying this story (or does anyone have any
connection to William WASTIE or Jeremiah SMITH)?

Interestingly, despite having four or five generations of Eynsham ancestors,
William WASTIE was settled in Bermondsey, Surrey, by the end of the 1800/1,
as he married there and had six children baptised at St. John Horseydown,
Bermondsey. He was working as a butcher, and there are other WASTIEs in the
area following the same trade. He remarried (in Surrey) in 1828, had a further
child in 1832, but then returned to Eynsham sometime before 1836 (when said
child was baptised in the parish). He was buried in Eynsham in 1840.

Any comments/connections/ideas re. the above would be very welcome!


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