Reeves, Albinus (c1786 DOR - 1861 DOR)

Albinus Reeves

Reeves, Albinus


Father: Edward REEVES
Mother: Elizabeth DOWN

Birth: bef 05 Jan 1786
Birth Source: Baptism

Death: 1861
Death Source: GRO Index to Deaths

Spouse1: Lydia BURT


The baptism in early January 1786 of Albinus Reeves, the son of Edward and Elizabeth Reeves, took place at the Parish Church of St Mary The Virgin at Gillingham, Dorset.

A marriage licence bond for the marriage between Albinus REEVES, a labourer of Gillingham parish and Lydia BURT, a spinster of the same parish, was issued on 22 December 1806. The Bondsman was Edward REEVES (perhaps his father), also a labourer of Gillingham parish. The Licence was issued for the Peculiar of Gillingham in Dorset, including Motcombe. It is likely the marriage took place shortly after the licence was issued.

The known children of Albinus Reeves and his wife Lydia (nee BURT) are
  1. Eliza Maria REEVES, bapt December 1807, Gillingham
  2. Sophiah REEVES, bapt October 1809, Motcombe and bur Mar 1811 also Motcombe
  3. Hannah REEVES, bapt April 1811, Motcombe
  4. Albert George REEVES, bapt August 1812, Motcombe
  5. Josiah REEVES, bapt November 1814, Motcombe
  6. Frances Matilda REEVES, bapt May 1817, Motcombe
On the 1838 Tithe Records for Motcombe, Dorset, Albinus Reeves is shown as both the owner and the occupier of a small plot (number 307) comprising a house and garden in the parish of Motcombe.

On the 1841 census, Albinus Reeves is head of what appears to be an extended household group in Motcombe, Dorset. Albinus is shown as 65 years old (placing is birth around 1776-1781) and claims he was born in county (that is, in Dorset). Although this census does not identify relationships, along with his wife Lydia, we have his son Josiah, grandson Alfred, son (Albert) George REEVES plus daughter-in-law Martha and their three children Mary Ann, James and Jabez.

In July 1849, Albinus Reeves was tried at the (Dorset) County Assizes and convicted of Larceny, for which offence he was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment.

At the time of the 1851 census Albinus Reeves appears in the household of James SANGER, widower, at Wyke Marshes, Gillingham, Dorset. Albinus is 60 years old, a widower and claims birth in Gillingham, Dorset. Alongside James is his six year old daughter Eliza E Sanger (age 6). Mary Bastable (age 70, a Lodger) completes the household. See Research Note 2 below.

In December 1855,Albinus was convicted for the offence of "Misbehaviour Union, refuse to work" and sentenced to 21 days in the County Goal.

On 3 April 1861 Albinus was admitted to Dorchester Prison for stealing potatoes. The Admissions Register notes he was 74 years old, a widower with three 3 children from Shaftesbury parish. It was the fifth time he had been admitted to that prison.

Albinus has yet to be identified on the 1861 census. Albinus is not explicitly named on the 1861 census. However an individual with the initials "A R" who was aged 74, a widower, was born in Gillingham, Dorset and was a Farm Servant appears in the list of the prisoners at the Dorset County Prison, Dorchester, Dorset. There is little doubt this was Albinus.

The burial of Albinus Reeves on 18 April 1861 is recorded in the Burials Register of the Parish Church of St Peter, Dorchester. It notes he was 74 years old and his place of abode was the County Goal. See Research Note 4 below.

The GRO Index to Deaths notes the death of Albinus Reeves during the second quarter of 1861 in the Dorchester Registration District. His age at death is noted as 74, placing his birth around 1787.

Research Notes

(1) The given name Albinus is not commonly found. This probably caused challenges to scribes during his life time as well as to modern transcribers, some of whom provide different spellings from the same document. The result is some fluidity in the spelling of his name. The variant Albinas is noted on the transcription of Sophia baptism (1809) her burial (Mar 1811), Hannah baptism (Apr 1811), Albert George's baptism (Aug 1812). The variant Albines is noted by FS for the burial of Sophia. However, the variant ALBINUS is used for his baptism, marriage bond, both census returns and his death registration and is the principle form used here.

(2) The 1851 census seems to show Eliza E SANGER's place of birth as Charlicham (sic), Devon and based on her age she would have been born around 1845.

The GRO Index to Births has an Elizabeth SANGER registered during 2q1844 in the South Molton (Devon) Registration District, with mother's maiden name of PERKINGS. However there is no obvious match with the birth place of Charlicham in that Registration District.

The GRO Index to Births does have an Ellen Eliza SANGER registered during 4q1842 in the Shaftesbury (Dorset) Registration District, which includes Motcombe and Gillingham parishes, with mother's maiden name of REEVES, which seems like a better match for this individual. This also fits well with the FreeBMD marriage registration during 3q1842 for James SARGER (sic) and Frances REEVES, again in Shaftesbury Reg.Dist.

(3) Albinus raised his family during a time of hardship and change for agricultural workers. The "Swing Riots" of 1830 and their aftermath saw what many regarded as a harsh reaction by civil authorities. One of those convicted and transported to Australia came for the neighbouring parish of Stoke Provost to the south west of Motcombe. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swing_Riots http://www.thedorsetpage.com/history/Captain_Swing/Captain_Swing.htm and http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/politics/g5/ for additional background information.

A little later in the same decade the "Tolpuddle Martyrs" were tried and sentenced to seven years penal transportation. Tolpuddle is about 25 miles south of Motcombe. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolpuddle_Martyrs

(4) It is unclear where the burial of Albinus took place. Dorchester Prison is now closed but it had its own consecrated burial ground and the goal was within the boundary of the Parish of St Peter's. A map from the 1880's shows the location of the Prison https://maps.nls.uk/view/106010898#zoom=5&lat=7023&lon=9518&layers=BT

The entry (number 648) for Albinus in the burials register is at the foot of page 81 and the eight entries on that page span the period June 1856 to April 1861. So few entries over an extended period might indicate that the grave yard surrounding the church was closed to new burials, the only exception being "additions" to existing family plots. Three of the eight entries are for individuals from the Goal. Of the remaining five, two have the surname BESANT (age 1 1/2 and 77), two TAPP (14, 19) and one HAWKINS (76). The Hawkins and Besant family are both represented in the graveyard, a see http://www.opcdorset.org/fordingtondorset/Files2/MonumentalInscriptionsStP.html numbers 84 and 85

On balance it is thought more likely Albinus was buried in the Prison's burial ground with the service conducted by the Chaplain from the Parish Church of St Peters and that the Chaplain recorded the burial in the church's register.


Baptism:     FMP Dorset Baptisms https://www.findmypast.co.uk/transcript?id=GBPRS/B/217377872/3 - accessed 10Sep2018
Marriage1:  FMP Sarum Marriage Licence Bond https://www.findmypast.co.uk/transcript?id=GBPRS/M/98061032/1 - accessed 10Sep2018
Death:         GRO Index to Deaths   1861, June quarter, Dorchester Registration District.
1841 Census:   HO107, Piece 0290, Book 19, Folio 49 reverse, Page 11
1851 Census:   HO107, Piece 1851, Folio 375 reverse, Page 3, Schedule 11
1861 Census:   RG9, Piece 1353, Folio 104 reverse, Page 8, Row 24

1849 Jul - Dorset Criminal Register - Ancestry - accessed September 2018
1849 Jul - Dorchester Prison Admissions Registry - Ancestry - accessed Sept 2018
1852 Jan- Dorchester Prison Admissions Registry - Ancestry - accessed Sept 2018
1855 Dec - Dorchester Prison Admissions Registry - Ancestry - accessed Sept 2018
1861 Jan - Dorchester Prison admissions Register - Ancestry - accessed Sept 2018
1861 Apr - Dorchester Prison admissions Register - Ancestry - accessed Sept 2018
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Page last modified on Thursday 20 of September, 2018 11:55:51 CDT by @MartinB.