George Roots Harris Bowles and Hannah Rumbold
my 2 x gt grandparents

George was born on 17th May 1824 to Mary Harris of Cranbrook. The bastardy bond from the Cranbrook parish records held at CKS, Maidstone names George Roots, carpenter, of Biddenden as the father.

The baby was baptized at Frittenden; George Roots, baseborn son of Mary Harris in November 1824, just a few weeks before Mary was married to John Bowles, blacksmith. Did the vicar of Frittenden insist on the baptism before he would marry the couple?

In 1841 sixteen year old George Harris was an Apprentice Blacksmith living with his recently widowed step-father and is listed after his younger half-siblings. In 1847 he married as George Roots Bowles; after that he was just George Bowles until his death in May 1880 when his son George registered the death of George Harris Bowles.

Hannah was born at Werewell, Hampshire in December 1825, daughter of Charles Rumbold and Mary Beves.
In 1841 she was living in Caroline Street, Belgrave, St George Hanover Square, London with her sister-in-law Martha and 3 months old baby Emily. Hannah was a servant and Martha was of independent means; her husband William (Hannah's brother) was not with them because he was resident at the House of Correction at Brixton Hill. I don't yet know why he was there.

George and Hannah were married George at St Bride, Clerkenwell in February 1847 and then went back to Kent to live. Together George and Hannah "muched up" eleven children, all of whom lived to adulthood. The eldest child was baptized at Frittenden, the next nine at Chart Sutton where they lived for about twenty years, and the youngest at Headcorn.

George and Hannah are both buried in Headcorn.

George was a master blacksmith; he purchased 'The Olde Forge' which stood at the junction of Ulcombe Road and Lenham Road, Headcorn in 1866. In addition to making and repairing farm implements and shoeing horses he also on occasions shod teams of of oxen.

After George's death in 1880 Hannah was still listed as 'blacksmith' at Headcorn in trade directories for several years, although the forge at Headcorn was by then being worked by their youngest son James.

The Old Forge at Headcorn

'The Olde Forge' Headcorn in 1871 .
George is standing in the centre of the picture and the boy on the left is James who later took over the forge.

Children of George and Hannah:
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