Ambrose Weston / Wesson

2 Lower Street
204 Lower Street
6 Broad Street

Occupation: Gardener and Greengrocer

As we couldn’t find a baptism record for Ambrose it is unclear as to when or where he was born or indeed who his parents were. However, in 1813 he appears as a witness to the marriage of Edward Weston and Mary Rose, so we may assume that they are related in some way especially as that same Edward in 1823 is also a witness to Ambrose’s second marriage to Ann Taylor.

Before marriage by banns, a marriage affidavit had to be sworn. Ambrose and Ann’s affidavit survives and shows that they were both residents in Deal at the time. He was then living in a house in Broad Street and she was a servant at the Black Horse. The affidavit doesn’t say what Ambrose’s occupation was but at the time of all his children’s baptisms, it is given as a labourer. As he gives his occupation as a gardener on the 1841 census it could be that he was working for someone then rather than on his own account.

Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser – Saturday 07 September 1844

Accused of Bribery

Ambrose in 1844 was summoned before the magistrate accused of bribery. This was soon disproved on the evidence and alibi given by Ambrose’s female servant. It is not known who this ‘female servant’ is.

Theft from the shop

By 1859 the family has again moved, this time to 6 Broad Street. On the 15 January, The East Kent Times reported that Frances Jane, Ambrose’s schoolmistress daughter, had caught two boys stealing a jar of taffy sweets from their shop. Police Constable Parker was called and the boys, Jesse Ratchell and Richard Noble, were detained and the jar of sweets was recovered from there hiding place in Northwall. In court, Jesse said that Richard had assisted him and was sorry. Richard had nothing to say for himself and didn’t know how old he was. The magistrate ordered both boys to be “severely flogged” in the hope that this act as a “warning to other boys and prevent similar depredations”

The 1845 tithe map and schedule show Ambrose as the occupier of a house and garden at the south end of Lower Street, later to be numbered as number 2. By late 1848 though, he has moved to almost opposite at number 204 where he finds himself in financial difficulty and, like many businesses of the time large and small, he became bankrupt. There are reports of this in the newspapers and London Gazette dating from January 1849.  This seems to have soon been resolved as, by the time of the 1851 census, he is trading again as a gardener and greengrocer.


On Saturday 26 April 1862 in the cellar of their Broad Street shop and home Ann Weston, Ambrose’s wife of 39 years committed suicide. Thomas Matthews at the Coroners Inquiry, held later that day, told how on the way to work at six o’clock he had found Ambrose “….in great grief of mind ….as he had lost his wife…” Thomas offered assistance and helped search the house again and seeing a glimmer of light from the cellar he went down and found Ann “…suspended from the roof by a cord….”. Ambrose told the inquiry that the house they lived in had been sold and although they had not been given a notice to quit this had affected Ann greatly.

Dr. Mason in his evidence stated that he had known Ann “….for  twenty years and she was nervous and weakly woman….” The Coroners verdict was that “the deceased destroyed herself while in an unsound state of mind.”

What happened to Ambrose after this tragic event is not clear. There is a death recorded in Marylebone for an Ambrose Weston in 1864 and his certificate shows that he was a greengrocer who had died at the Middlesex Hospital on the 8 April. As we can not find our Deal Ambrose mentioned in any records after the death of his wife then it is possible that this Marylebone Ambrose is one and the same.

By 1871 Frances is living alone, no longer a schoolmistress but carrying on her fathers business as a greengrocer at 200 Middle Street. She is still there in 1891 but after that, she disappears from the records.

Name Born Baptised Married Died Buried
Ambrose Weston Abt. 1796 Unknown 1) Widow Jane Shaw, nee Gray
8 April 1822
St. Leonard’sBorn  Unknown
Buried 17 July 1822(2) Ann Taylor
7 April 1823
St.Leonard’sBorn Abt.1795
Died 26 April 1862



The Children of Ambrose Weston & Ann Taylor

Name Born Baptised Married Died Buried
Charles Edward 1825
Lower Street
6 November 1825
St. Leonard’s
1832 17 June 1832
St. Leonard’s
Mary Ann 1828
Lower Street
15 June 1828
St. Leonard’s
1831 23 October 1831
St. Leonard’s
Frances Jane 1831
Lower Street
19 June 1831
St. Leonard’s
Henry Thomas 1835
Lower Street
?? November 1835
St. Leonard’s
1837 26 March 1837
St. Leonard’s


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1841 Lower Street Ambrose Head Gardener
Ann Wife
Frances Jane Daughter


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1851 204 Lower Street Ambrose Head Greengrocer
Ann Wife
Frances Daughter Schoolmistress
Joseph Marsh (aged 10) Visitor Scholar


Year Address Name Relationship Occupation
1861 6 Broad Street Ambrose Head Gardener
Ann Wife Greengrocer
Frances Jane Daughter Schoolmistress

Trade and Street Directory

Directory and Year Trade or Occupation Address
Bagshaws 1847 Greengrocer 204 Lower Street
Kellys 1862 Greengrocer 6 Broad Street

Poll Books (selected)

 Year Profession Residence
1841 Gardener Deal
1852 Market Gardener Deal
1857 Greengrocer Deal
1859 Gardener Deal
Sources and further reading:
Marriage affidavit- Canterbury Cathedral Archives ref: CCA-U3-95/1/K/1/18
Newspaper image © The British Library Board. All rights reserved.
With thanks to The British Newspaper Archive (