Thomas Beane of St Katherine by the Tower (1654 – 1689)

 

Thomas Beane my 8x great-grandfather was born during the last years of the Commonwealth of England whilst Oliver Cromwell was still in office as 1st Lord Protector. The Beane family were predominantly an old London family and the surname BEANE can be researched back to the late Tudor period when the eldest known member of the family lived. His name was Nicholas Beane and he was resident of St Botolph Aldgate, London 1572 when he married Suzanna Katell. These early family members were married into the Watkins family who were related to John Watkins / Watson, Bishop of Winchester (1520 – 1584). Nicholas Beane is recorded in the Bishop of Winchester’s last will and testament (to Nicholas Beane and his wife, £10), the relative value of £10 in 1584 is worth an estimated £2,614.00 today.
Nicholas Beane was the 2x great-grandfather off Thomas Beane (1654 – 1689).

Ancestors of Thomas Beane

Nicholas BEANE (1550 – )

Nicholas ‘Turner of London’ BEANE (1572 – 1613)
son of Nicholas BEANE

Alexander BEANE (1601 – )
son of Nicholas ‘Turner of London’ BEANE

Richard BEANE (1631 – 1658)
son of Alexander BEANE

Thomas BEANE (1654 – 1689)
son of Richard BEANE

Thomas Beane was baptised on the 8th January 1654 in the Collegiate Church of St Katherine by the Tower, London, his parents were Richard Beane (1631 – 1660) and Ephata Brookbanke (born about: 1638). Thomas was the eldest known sibling of four his sister Sara (born 1655), Alexander (1656 – 1695) who later became a mariner and resided in Botolph, London and the youngest was Richard Beane (born 1658).
Thomas would have grown up in the parish of St Katherine by the Tower, which was a parish situated just outside the City walls, where Saint Katherine Dock’s now stand. The area had a vast mix of both English inhabitants and foreigners in John Stow’s 1598 “Survey of London” he referred to the housing in this area as “small tenements and homely cottages, having as inhabitants, English and strangers [i.e. foreigners], more in number than some city in England”.
During the reformation of England there were about 1,000 houses with in its parish (including a brewery) in its precinct, inhabited by foreigners, vagabonds and prostitutes, crammed along narrow lanes (with names like Dark Entry, Cat’s Hole, Shovel Alley, Rookery and Pillory Lane). The Beane family were more fortunate than most, as many left Wills and all of their marriages indicate good matches, with well established families. Their descendants also had enough money to relocate to Kings Langley, Hertfordshire some years after the great fire of London, although the parish of St Katherine by the Tower was untouched by the devastation.

A map showing the civil parish boundaries (recorded in 1870) - with Saint Katherine by the tower situated within the Whitechapel District.

A map showing the civil parish boundaries (recorded in 1870) – with Saint Katherine by the tower situated within the Whitechapel District.

East end of St Katharine's Church, the chapel of the hospice

East end of St Katharine’s Church, the chapel of the hospice

It is difficult to tell exactly which profession this branch of the family worked in, although many of their immediate family were Seamen and Rivermen and were involved in someway with the occupation of Blacksmith and Pottery. Thomas Beane’s father Richard Beane ‘Mariner’ died in June 1658 whilst onboard S.S Paule in Jamaica and a Will exists for him “Richard Beane -1658 whilst on state service in Jamaica on board the ship Paule” another document relating to Jamaica records the following “June Richard Beane of S.S. Paule to Wid Effata rel.” I have yet to view these document’s in full. It’s very likely that Richard was buried at sea, the document’s would also shed light on the families position in society and allow us a glimpse into his life.
Thomas Beane’s mother Ephata remarried on the 11th September 1660 in the Holy Trinity Minories, London to a John Billin, her children would have all been under the age of six when she married.
The family remained in the parish of Saint Katherine By The Tower possibly still living in the property once owned by Richard Beane, although no more children are recorded as having been baptised. It was more likely a marriage of convenience and one of stability for Ephata and her children.

The family would eventually bare witness to the Restoration of King Charles II and the Great Fire of London which occurred between the 2nd and 5th September 1666, it must have been an extrodinary sight and one they would never forget.

Detail of the Great Fire of London by an unknown painter, depicting the fire as it would have appeared on the evening of Tuesday, 4 September 1666 from a boat in the vicinity of Tower Wharf. The Tower of London is on the right and London Bridge on the left, with St. Paul's Cathedral in the distance, surrounded by the tallest flames.

Detail of the Great Fire of London by an unknown painter, depicting the fire as it would have appeared on the evening of Tuesday, 4 September 1666 from a boat in the vicinity of Tower Wharf. The Tower of London is on the right and London Bridge on the left, with St. Paul’s Cathedral in the distance, surrounded by the tallest flames.

By the 1670’s most of the Beane children were making their own way in life and on the 8th January 1679 in the parish church of St George the Martyr, Southwark, Surrey, Thomas Beane married Susanna Howard the 2x great-granddaughter of William Howard “1st Baron Howard of Effingham” (1510 – 1572)

William Howard (c.1510-1573), 1st Baron Howard of Howard of Effingham oil on panel 70 x 55 cm

William Howard (c.1510-1573), 1st Baron Howard of Howard of Effingham oil on panel 70 x 55 cm (my 12x great-grandfather)

Ancestors of Susanna Howard
William “1st Baron Howard of Effingham” HOWARD (1510 – 1572)
Thomas HOWARD (1561 – 1602)
son of William “1st Baron Howard of Effingham” HOWARD
Thomas HOWARD (1594 – 1652)
son of Thomas HOWARD
Thomas ‘Mariner of Stepney’ HOWARD (1622 – 1672)
son of Thomas HOWARD
Susanna HOWARD (1662 – )
daughter of Thomas ‘Mariner of Stepney’ HOWARD

Susanna Howard was born in January 1662 in Stepney, London she was the daughter of a Mariner and youngest of six known children, after her marriage with Thomas they lived in the parish of Saint Katherine By The Tower, possibly in the childhood home off Thomas Beane’s as he was the eldest and most likely inherited the property after the death of his mother and step father.
Thomas and Susanna went onto have four children; George (born 1686), Richard (born 1688), William (born 1688) and Elizabeth (born 1688).
Thomas Beane never left a will and died in 1689, perhaps his death was unexpected as he was only 35 years old, he is buried in St Botolph Without Bishopsgate, London.
Susanna may have remarried, but no record has yet been found for either her death or a second marriage. Thomas and Susanna’s son William Beane (1688 – 1773), who is my 7x great-grandfather eventually moved to Kings Langley, Hertfordshire where the family continued to prosper, by the late 1700’s many of their descendants returned to London and lived in some of most affluent areas of the time Harrow-on-the-hill, Roxeth, Chelsea, Kensington and Saint Marylebone. The Beane family eventually helped excavate the London Underground which is certainly a piece of heritage I am most proud off and always think about whilst travelling through the city and more so when my train pulls into Baker Street tube station.