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  Where you are: Local History - Snippets - 18th Century Wedding
  The story behind an 18th century wedding at St Mary's Church
 

 

After featuring a story behind a gravestone in a previous newsletter, this is a less sombre story which focuses on a wedding, one of whose participants had achieved fame in North America. As part of some research for a future Occasional Paper on the history of Tickhill Castle since the Civil War, Tricia Hill looked at St Mary's Marriage Register to find marriages performed by the Revd Basil Bury Beridge who became a tenant of Tickhill Castle in 1767 and occasionally stood in for Tickhill's vicars over the following 14 years. On 30 March 1772 the Revd Beridge officiated at the marriage of Henry Gladwin of Wingerworth, Derbyshire, and Frances Beridge of Tickhill, one of the witnesses being Basil Beridge's wife Dorothy.  

This basic entry in the Marriage Register started a search to find out who the bride and groom were and what their relationship might be to Basil and Dorothy Beridge. The Revd Beridge's will confirmed that Frances was his sister, actually his step-sister, as his mother had died aged 26 after giving birth within a few years to three sons. His father remarried and Frances and a son John, later a physician in Derby, were born. An internet search, with which Margaret Jones helped, found that Mrs Dorothy Beridge née Gladwin was Henry's sister. The wedding must have been a very happy family occasion. The only title listed against Henry's name in the Register is 'esquire', but he had held the rank of Major then Lieutenant Colonel by virtue of promotion following his efforts in North America in the previous decade. He later attained the rank of Major General. Henry is remembered in particular in Detroit. He led the successful defence of Fort Detroit, where he was commandant, when under a sustained siege from May to October 1763 by Chief Pontiac and several hundred Native Americans. As a result, Henry is commemorated in the naming of Gladwin County and Gladwin City, for example, in Michigan.  

Henry's portrait showing him in a red military uniform is in the Detroit Institute of Arts and can be seen on their website <http://www.dia.org>. The DIA also had a portrait of Henry's wife Frances, but this painting was deaccessioned in 1998 and the DIA has no record of what happened to it. Possibly it did not match the then concerns of art historians but it is something of a loss for those interested in social and local history. A 1915 History of Michigan states that the portrait shows Frances to be 'a handsome woman'. We also know what Dorothy and Basil Beridge looked like. Their portraits were painted by Joseph Wright of Derby, an acquaintance of John Beridge. Dorothy's portrait is now in Minneapolis and Basil's is in Vienna. It is hoped that copies of both portraits will be included in the Occasional Paper on Tickhill Castle.  

After their marriage Henry and Frances settled on the Gladwin family estate at Stubbing Hall near Chesterfield and raised a family of eight daughters and one son. Henry's military career was then focussed on the Derby militia. His wealth came in part from family land holdings in Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. Henry died in 1791 and his sister Dorothy the following year.

 

 

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