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Descendants of  Henry Arnold & Elizabeth Burville








1-1.      HENRY ARNOLD bp. 9 Sep 1770 Deal, Kent or St Margaret's-at-Cliffe, Kent.  Son of Henry ARNOLD of Deal and Elizabeth JORDAN of St. Margaret's.  Marriage

            banns dated Oct. 1766 for Henry Arnold and Elizabeth Jordan.  HENRY married ELIZABETH BURVILLE, on 9 Oct 1801 in St Margaret's at Cliffe, Kent, England.

            ELIZABETH was christened at St Margaret's at Cliffe in Kent, on 10 Dec 1769, and buried at St Margaret's at Cliffe on 27 Dec 1825, aged 56.  NB Elizabeth was

            the fourth of nine children of William BURWELL and Anne WELLARD.  NBB  There are ARNOLD'S from the 1500's and 1600's, and a few from the 1700's.

            The earliest : William ARNOLD, bp. 26 Dec 1582, son of Robert.   James ARNOLD, bp. 4 Jun 1582, son of Thomas.





i.    WILLIAM ARNOLD BURVILLE christened 31 Mar 1795 in St Mary The Virgin Church, Dover, Kent.

Died 26 May 1798 and was buried in the churchyard of St Margaret's at Cliffe, Kent, on 6 Jun 1798.


ii.   WILLIAM BURVILLE ARNOLD born 1806/1807 in Flushing, Netherlands and died at Geelong, Australia on 27 Dec 1851.


                        *                                                              *                                                              *


Henry Arnold is the furthest our Arnold line can be traced back with any certainty.  It is not clear where Henry Arnold was born.  Who were his parents and where and when did he die?  He is an elusive character.


There are differing opinions. It is more than likely however that he and his ancestors came from the many nearby Kent parishes surrounding the port of Dover.


When HENRY ARNOLD and ELIZABETH BURVILLE were discovering each other in Kent in the 1790s, the seeds of the industrial revolution in England and the Continent were just beginning to sprout.  The French revolution had erupted in 1789.  It was a time of transition.  However, social relations, reflected for example in the Jane Austen novels of the period, were still defined by parochial village life, where local agriculture and cottage industry were the dominant forms. The countryside was network of small villages or parishes, each usually having a church or two. Transport was by foot or horse-driven. It was a much smaller world than the one which was to emerge later with the steam locomotion


The intriguing relationship and subsequent marriage of HENRY ARNOLD and ELIZABETH BURVILLE must be seen in this light.  ELIZABETH BURVILLE had a child out of wedlock in 1795, which she named WILLIAM ARNOLD BURVILLE.


In such circumstances, it was common for the child to give the middle name of the de facto father and Henry Arnold is almost certainly the father in this case.  But he and Elizabeth do not marry at this time, which is a little unusual.

(While premarital unplanned pregnancies were not particularly unusual at this time, it appears normal for the couples to immediately marry with the consent of parents. This does not happen in this case.)


This child died three years later in 1798 and was buried at St Margaret's at Cliffe.


Then in 1801, a further three years on, Henry and Elizabeth decide to marry.


A prominent Kent family historian, Peter Burville, has researched this case and wrote the following:



“A Posthumous Adoption?”


On 31 March 1795, ELIZABETH BURVILLE had her son William Arnold, described as base-born in the parish register, baptised in the church of St Mary in Dover.  Three years later, on 6 June 1798, Elizabeth buried William Arnold at nearby St Margaret's-at-Cliffe.


The St Margaret's archivist loaned me the monumental inscriptions records for St. Margaret's church.  There were records of several BURVILLE graves.  One is of William BURVILL and his widow Ann, dying respectively in 1797 and 1805.  Another is that of their son WILLIAM BURVILLE and his wife SUSAN LOUD together with their son Kingsford Wood, all dying in the period 1804-6. The graves of father William and son William are intriguingly separated by another grave, although the burials were obviously separated by only a few years. The middle grave has the MI of "In Memory of William son of HENRY and ELIZABETH ARNOLD who died 26th May 1798 age 3 years".


... it rather looks as though we have ELIZABETH BURVILLE, aged about 26 years, having the base-born William Arnold, baptised at St Mary Dover, fathered by an ARNOLD.  At the time of William's baptism Henry would have been some 17 years old so that their marriage might have been objected to by family members.  If Henry was the father, he would have been about 20 when his son William died. Henry had recently reached the age of majority when they married...


Certainly, it seems that we have the parents marrying three years after the death of their out-of-wedlock child and then erecting a gravestone declaring a de facto posthumous adoption. One wonders how common this was in the days when Nelson and Napoleon were changing the course of history.


                          - - Peter Burville (Kent)




This account is partly based on the belief that the responsible Henry Arnold was born at St Margaret's at Cliffe in 1778 and was thus much younger than Elizabeth was. There is still some doubt about this.  But the basic facts around the birth and the marriage are true.


The subsequent story is extremely sketchy but it appears that around 1804/5 for some reason Henry and Elizabeth leave Kent and travel to the Netherlands.


(There is an 1805 hotel registration in the town of Flushing, Netherlands for Hendrik and Elizabeth Arnold, but no child).  Around 1806/7, they have another child whom they name WILLIAM BURVILLE ARNOLD.


Infant mortality was commonplace then [and for another century arguably]. It was also a common practice, after the death of an infant, to give the next child the same name, almost as some form of commemoration. The two sons: one out of wedlock named WILLIAM ARNOLD BURVILLE and the later inside marriage named WILLIAM BURVILLE ARNOLD, has a ring of logic about it.)


According to his own report in the 1851 British census, WILLIAM BURVILLE ARNOLD (1) was born 1806/1807 in Flushing (Vlissingen), Netherlands, as a British subject: a fact one would imagine passed on to him by his parent(s).


What were they doing there?    After that, who knows?


What is clear is that at some point, Elizabeth subsequently returns to St Margaret's at Cliffe, the village of her birth, with second son William, where she lives until her death in 1825.  William gets married there to Hannah Tucker in 1826. There is no trace of Henry.


(The Burville line proceeded to Australia through not only Elizabeth's descendants in the Arnold line but also through the descendants of her brother, WILLIAM BURVILLE.  As a result, the Burville line is quite prolific in Australia.)


As far as we know, Elizabeth had only one surviving child, WILLIAM BURVILL ARNOLD, which is quite unusual for the times.  Large families were common. There is a missing story here, suggesting a premature death of husband Henry.


It is also interesting to note that after her death in December 1825, things start to happen in the family:


*         Her son WILLIAM BURVILLE ARNOLD marries HANNAH TUCKER 2 months later.   William sailed to Australia in

          1851 and died there the same year.



*         Her father's will-- in which she was a part beneficiary-- was finally proved by one of her sisters in 1827,

  30 years after her father's death.



The will was complicated and there are possibly elements of a family conflict here in which Elizabeth played a significant part. What happened to her husband, Henry, are still a mystery and also a matter for speculation (despite a lot of research).


Did he die overseas?  Did he return to England and get buried somewhere else?  What did he do for a living?  Why did he and Elizabeth not get married in 1795, which would have been the norm for those days? Were there other children?  All unanswered questions?


Second Generation



2-1.       WILLIAM BURVILLE ARNOLD  born 1806/1807 in Flushing, Netherlands and died at Geelong, Australia on 27 Dec 1851.William married HANNAH TUCKER,

             daughter of STEPHEN TUCKER and BATHSHEBA PEAKE on 6 Feb 1826 in St Margaret's at Cliffe, Kent. HANNAH was born 9 Jun 1806 in St Margaret's at Cliffe,

             Kent.  Died 24 Feb 1862 in Geelong, Australia and was buried in Barrabool Hills Cemetery. NB HANNAH was from a long standing local village family. When they

             married at St Margaret's in 1826, William gave his occupation as 'farmer'. This can mean a number of things : a tenant farmer who does not own land; a leasee

             of land or an owner of land. They are distinctly different classes and it is not clear which category he fits into.  The marriage was witnessed by Stephen

             Tucker (his father in law) and Ann Hammond Peake, both of whom are from the bride's side, which is a bit unusual. But he was an only child and both his

             parents were dead (probably) by this time. It still does reinforce the 'solitary' feel one gets from his parents and childhood.

             This apparent solitariness however is not reflected in his own life. He produces 11 children with Hannah between 1827 and 1850:


  1.  ELIZABETH ARNOLD b 1827 in St Margarets at Cliffe

            2.  HENRY ARNOLD b 1828 in St Margarets at Cliffe.

            3.  WILLIAM BURVILL ARNOLD b c1830 in St Margarets at Cliffe

            4.  STEPHEN TUCKER ARNOLD b 1832 in St Margarets at Cliffe,

            5.  HANNAH ARNOLD b 1834 in St Margaret's-at-Cliffe

            6.  BATHSHEBA PEAKE ARNOLD b 1836 in St Margaret's-at-Cliffe


Based on later birth records, it appears that sometime between 1836 and 1840, WILLIAM BURVILLE ARNOLD gives up the farming life and obtains employment with the railways as a bookkeeper. This was precisely the time when the British railway system was being expanded and reached south from London to parts of Kent. It was also a time of enormous industrial development in England generally. This change of occupation may have been a step up or a step down in status. It might also indicate some level of literacy and education for him.  In any case by 1840, he and his family are living in the area around Canterbury, the major historical centre of Kent and a distinct change of environment from the coastal village life of St Margaret's at Cliffe. He and Hannah have their next five children there.


            7.  JOHN PEAKE ARNOLD b 1841 in Canterbury.

            8.  MICHAEL ARNOLD b 1843 in Canterbury

            9.  JAMES BURVILL(e) ARNOLD b 1845 in Canterbury, Kent.

           10.  GEORGE ARNOLD b 1847 in Canterbury, Kent.

           11.  CHARLES ARNOLD b 1850 in Canterbury


The 1851 British Census records that WILLIAM and HANNAH and seven of his children were living at 5 Crop Street, in the parish of St Dunstan's Canterbury.  One family source suggests that during this time members of the family were paid choristers at Canterbury Cathedral

Of the other four elder children, ELIZABETH is by now married to JACK FOSTER and they are living with their 6 month old child (ELIZABETH) in East London at 24 James Street, Mile End in the borough of Tower Hamlets. WILLIAM BURVILLE ARNOLD (the 2nd), Elizabeth’s brother and our direct ancestor, is also staying there at the time.

HENRY ARNOLD is married also and living with his wife, CAROLINE WARMAN and 6 months daughter HARRIET, at his in-laws’ residence in Broad Street, Parish of Saint Mary Northgate, Canterbury. The other son, STEPHEN TUCKER ARNOLD, may well have been in the army by now.

Curiously, in the Census, WILLIAM BURVILLE, the elder, describes his profession, not as a railway clerk, but as a 'landed proprietor'. This could mean anything. It could be self-aggrandisement.  Alternatively it suggests he may have owned property from which he obtained rent, perhaps in Canterbury or St Margaret’s at Cliffe. If so, what happens to this property? Is it sold to finance a journey to Australia?

During 1851, William and Hannah, both aged 44 or 45, and all of their children with all of their spouses and children, with the sole exception of son STEPHEN TUCKER ARNOLD, embark for Australia on 25 July 1851, as passengers on "THE LADY FLORA" departing London, via Plymouth and arriving Adelaide on  31 Oct 1851.



Following up one of my in-law ancestors, JOHN PEAK(e) FOSTER, married ELIZABETH ARNOLD (daughter of WILLIAM BURVILLE ARNOLD and HANNAH TUCKER) in 1849.  It turns out that JOHN PEAK(e) FOSTER was the son of JOHN VALENTINE and a MARY ANN TUCKER, married in Deal in 1824.  This couple has a number of children, with some of the following given names.


John Peak

Bathsheba Ann

Thomas Stephen Tucker  

Stephen Tucker


This coincidence of names (as well as the existing links between the Arnold and Tucker families) strongly suggests to me that their mother, MARY ANN TUCKER, was the daughter of STEPHEN TUCKER and BATHSHEBA PEAKE.  MARY ANN TUCKER was baptised on 23 April 1801 and ANN TUCKER (her sister) on 11 December 1803


ANN TUCKER, MARY Ann’s sister married 12 Oct 1822 to WILLIAM CLAYSON b. 1801 Elham, Kent. This couple has a number of children, with some of the following (similar) given names.





John Tucker  


Mary Ann             



Sarah Ann     



JOHN PEAKE FOSTER and his wife ELIZABETH ARNOLD, and HANNAH CLAYSON were all first cousins.


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