Saturday, May 30, 2009

Colyton, England

Although I didn't know for sure that my Wicker family was from Colyton, England, I decided to visit the village with my husband and children in 1987.
According to R.Fenton Wicker's book Thomas Whicker came to America in 1685 as an indentured servant sending his son Benjamin back to Southleigh, England where he was living in 1704. I did the charts and notes in the 1980's before I had a computer program.
If you look at the map above Southleigh is to the left and above Seaton. I believe we visited Southleigh and there wasn't anything there really. So, we went on to Colyton which was the "city" for the parish.
In fact, that is where the progenitor (Richard Whicker) was from.
We, first, went to the church but didn't find any tombstones for Wickers.
But, it is still very moving to go to the churches and walk down the streets where you think your ancestors lived.
I do recall that the family had some problems during the English Civil War. But, since I didn't buy R. Fenton Wicker's book, I don't recall which side they were on Royalists or Cromwell, but I do remember hearing about the Civil War while we were visiting the church.

Note that the document above mentions Southleigh as being still a part of the Colyton parish.
Here's a little history about Colyton. Keep in mind that Thomas Wicker left in 1685 which is the same year as the Monmouth (or Pitchfork) Rebellion. Click here to find out more about this Rebellion. According to Wikipedia:

"Colyton first appeared as an ancient village around 700 AD and features in the Domesday Book as 'Culitone'. . .

It was called the "most rebellious town in Devon" due to the number of its inhabitants who joined the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685."

On the map above (a replica) dating from 1610, the town is seen as Cullyton. If you're intested in historical fiction, the following books according to Wikipedia deal with the Monmouth Rebellion:

The Monmouth Rebellion plays a key role in Peter S. Beagle's novel Tamsin, about a 300-year-old ghost who is befriended by the protagonist.

Arthur Conan Doyle's historical novel Micah Clarke deals directly with Monmouth's landing in England, the raising of his army, its defeat at Sedgemoor, and the reprisals which followed.[22]

Several characters in Neal Stephenson's trilogy The Baroque Cycle, particularly Quicksilver and The Confusion, play a role in the Monmouth Rebellion and its aftermath.

Dr. Peter Blood, main hero of Rafael Sabatini's novel Captain Blood, was sentenced by Judge Jeffreys for aiding wounded Monmouth rebels. Transported to the Caribbean, he started his career as a pirate there.

R. D. Blackmore's historical novel Lorna Doone is set in the South West of England during the time of Monmouth's rebellion.

John Masefield's 1910 novel Martin Hyde: The Duke’s Messenger tells the story of a boy who plays a central part in the Monmouth Rebellion, from the meeting with Argyll in Holland to the failed rebellion itself.[23]

The Royal Changeling, by John Whitbourn, describes the rebellion with some fantasy elements added, from the viewpoint of Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe.

Aphra Behn's Oroonoko can be read as an allegory for the rebellion, with the titular slave playing Monmouth's role.

That last one is very interesting---Aphra Behn was my topic (assigned to me---I'd never heard of her) for a graduate class in research.

1 comment:

Kristine Wicker said...

Hey There! Wicker Here in NY>NC>Colyton!
Feel free to check out my ancestry page Kristine_wicker