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William Chapple

(1825? - ????)

William Chapple is believed to have be born in North Molton, Devon in 1825; this information being calculated from later census documentation. His father was believed to be named John.

William has yet to be found in the early census'. Later documentation suggests that he was an army pensioner and perhaps he was away at war.

It is believed that William married Mary Ann (maiden name unknown) some time before 1868, which is the date their first known son, Henry Thomas was born in Plymouth, Devon. At 43 years old, this may have not been the first time William had been married.

William and Mary Ann had a further child also named Mary Ann, in Plymouth during 1870 / 71. Sometime between this birth and 1873 / 4, William and family moved to North Molton and had a further child named Harriet.

A further child Esther, was born in North Molton during 1876 but not baptised until 29 April 1877. William would have been 52 years old at this time.

William's wife Mary Ann died in the second quarter of 1876, it is therefore possible that she may have died during childbirth.

On 26 March 1877, in the parish church of North Molton, William married. Susanna Gould from North Molton. The marriage was witnessed by John Sanders and Lucy Cookings. William was recorded as a labourer.

It is worthy of note that William married Susanna ten months at most after the death of his first wife. This appears more unusual today than was the case in 1877. At the age of 52 and with no other family support, William would have found it very difficult to support and raise four young children, the oldest of whom was eight. It is also of note that the baptism of Esther Chapple followed 28 days after William's marriage to Susanna.

The 1881 census records William aged 56 and living at 'Roberts', North Molton. At the same address is his wife Susan and children Henry aged 12, Mary Ann 10, Harriet 7 and Esther 5. William was employed as a farm labourer.

Susan died on 07 January 1885 in North Molton from bronchitis, which she had suffered from for three months. Her final three days were made worse by having a 'congestion of the lungs'. She was only 50 years old. William was the informant.

The 1891 census places William in Fore Street, North Molton. He is recorded as 66 years old and an army pensioner. Also in the property is 49 year old Mary A Chapple who is recorded as William's wife.

William has yet to be found in the 1901 census.