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Richard Gilling

(1850 - ????)

Richard Gilling was born to parents William and Sarah in Bridgwater, Somerset. His birth was registered in Bridgwater in the final quarter of 1850 (ref x 333).

At the time of the 1851 census Richard was recorded as six months old and living with his parents and five year old sister, Elizabeth. The family were living at Ropers lane within the Bridgwater parish of Trinity.

At the age of 20, Richard married Emma Creedy in Bridgwater in the second quarter of 1870 (ref 5c 666).

Their first child Louisa was born in 1871. She was baptised at St John's Baptist church, Bridgwater on 5 February 1871. The family were recorded as living within the parish and Richard's occupation was that of labourer.

At the time of the 1871 census Richard was living with his wife and daughter along with his in laws at 15 Polden Street Bridgwater.

Their second child, William James, was Baptised at St John's on 25 August 1872. An identifiable address is not recorded but Richard's occupation is still recorded as labourer. William could not be located in either the 1881 or 1901 census. It is therefore assumed that he died at a young age.

A further child Elizabeth Kate was baptised at St John's on 19 April 1874. Again no specific address is stated and Richard was employed as a labourer.

Their fourth child Emma Jane, was baptised at St John's on 24 October 1875. Richard, who would have been 26 years old, was still working as a labourer and no detailed address is recorded.

Edward James was born in 1877 and baptised at St John's on 23 November 1877. The family were recorded as living at Bristol Road and Richard's occupation had changed to that of Seaman.

Their sixth child Richard William was baptised at St John's on 2 November 1879. Richard's recorded occupation is unclear and the family were still living at Bristol Road.

The 1881 census places 29 year old Richard in Padstow, Cornwall working as Mate on board the "Parkend". Richard's wife and five children were living at 19 Bristol Road, Bridgwater.

The seventh and final child of Richard and Emma was born in 1881. Alice May was baptised at St John's, Bridgwater on 27 May 1881 when the family were still living at Bristol Road and Richard was working as a sailor.

Richard Gilling (junior) could not be located in the 1901 census. Given that he would have only been aged 21 at this time, it is felt likely that he died. He was not included in a family photograph taken approximately 1899

Richard's grandson Stan Hallett, recalled in 2003 that Richard had worked as a local boat pilot in later years.

Whilst it is uncertain if the records relate to Richard's wife or daughter, it was noted that an Emma Gilling was admitted to the Bridgwater infirmary for a number of weeks, on a number of occasions between 1893 and 1895.

The 1901 census places Richard working as able seaman, on board the "Meridian". The census was included with the records of Devon, the ship being "off Bideford, River Towinge" at midnight on Sunday 31 March 1901. Also on the ship was William Baker and Robert Humphrey.

In the same census, Richard's wife and daughter were living with Richard's 90 year old father in law at 84 Bristol Road, Bridgwater. Also in the property was a further grandchild of James Creedy, namely Alice M Creedy. It is possible that Alice was a further child of Richard and Emma

Richard's daughter Alice May was married in December 1902. The marriage certificate states that Richard's occupation was that of labourer.

A precise date and place of death has yet to be established for either Richard or his wife Emma. Stan Hallett believed that Richard died in the early 1930's.

The following records were found in the Somerset Records Office archives, listing Bridgwater vessels and the names and ages of the persons who served thereon. The records appear to support Richard's career as a seaman.



Surname Forenames Year Age/DOB Ship
Gilling Richard 1877 27 Parkend
Gilling Richard 1878 28 Crowpill
Gilling Richard 1878 27 Parkend
Gilling Richard 1878 27 New Fancy
Gilling Richard 1879 28 New Fancy
Gilling Richard 1879 28 Crowpill
Gilling Richard 1879 28 Parkend
Gilling Richard 1880 29 Parkend
Gilling Richard 1880 33 Polly
Gilling Richard 1880 29 Crowpill
Gilling Richard 1881 1850 Crowpill
Gilling Richard 1881 31 Parkend
Gilling Richard 1881 1851 Polly
Gilling Richard 1882 31 Polly
Gilling Richard 1882 1836 Commerce
Gilling Richard 1882 30 Crowpill