John Dickinson (died 1644)


John Dickinson of Streetgate, died 1644


John is something of an enigma, largely because there is no will for him. He was likely a minor when his father died in 1581. As he married in 1595, and had five younger siblings, he was probably born in the late 1560s.

He married twice, the second marriage providing a significant dowry. He probably wasn't literate, but may have established the foundations of the family's prosperity upon which his son William was to build - the problem is that the documentation just isn't there to show it.

First Marriage - 5 June 1595 at Lamplugh - to Annas Richardson

If Annas came from Camerton, as the probate of William Dickinson might suggest, then that would be very significant.

William Sumpton, living at Streetgate, was brother-in-law of Christopher Crakeplace - who resided at Flimby in Camerton before building Crakeplace Hall. The attraction of Camerton? Probably coal, even at this early date.

Annas didn't survive long. Her first two children died young. Her third survived (Janet, baptised 1598, unmarried in 1645), but Annas herself was buried two years later (26 November 1600).


Children of John Dickinson and Annas Richardson


The probate of William Dickinson of Fell Dyke 1614

John acted as bondsman to William Dickinson of Fell Dyke.

William was a member of the resident Dickinson family there, son of Anthony and Janet Dickinson. He died in his thirties, his possessions valued at only £10 11s. His brother George had been appointed administrator of his estate; and, had someone with standing been needed to guarantee the bond, then his brother Richard (who had inherited Fell Dyke) was available.

So why was John Dickinson willing to be his bondsman? Even if the Fell Dyke and Streetgate families had a common ancestor, the family link was too remote to explain John's role.

One possible clue is that the 1614 inventory lists George Richardson of Camerton as owing William 12s for three sheep.

John's first wife Annas was a Richardson. Perhaps another Richardson link existed with the Dickinsons of Fell Dyke.


Probate Inventory of William Dickinson 1614

Debts owing to the said Willm Dickinson

George Richardson of Camerton for 3 sheepe xiis

The marks of George Dickinson and John Dickinson in the probate bond of William Dickinson in 1614.

John's mark should be the one on the right, and may be the same as the animal branding used by Streetgate.


Since writing this, I have had a further thought. The money owed to William Dickinson by George Richardson of Camerton might have been a simple purchase (no family relationship involved), with the sheep becoming part of Annas' dowry. It would have made sense to provide sheep from a local farm (indeed, William may have been anxious to sell them - there were rules about how many you could graze on the fells - and John may have done him a favour in accepting them as dowry). John, then, would be a perfect choice as bondsman, taking over the debt from his father-in-law, and having local opportunities to trade it away.

Second Marriage to [Katherine??] Pearson of Mockerkin


There is no record of the marriage in parish records, but two sets of evidence help to place it. The first is that John's son William inherited two properties in Mockerkin in Loweswater. The second is that Isabel Pearson of Mockerkin named John as her brother-in-law in her 1645 will.

The will of Isabel Pearson of Mockerkin 1645 She describes John Dickinson as her brother-in-law

Evidence from Admissions in Mockerkin

August 1627
Admission of Thomas Pearson to 1 tenement on the death of William Pearson, rent 6 2s
August 1633
Admission of Thomas Pearson to 1 tenement, formerly William Pearson's, rent 6s 2d
October 1636
Admission of William Diconson to 1 tenement on the death of Thomas Pearson, rent 6s 2d
September 1669
Admission of William Dickinson to 1 tenement, rent 6s 2d
17 April 1677
Admission of James Dickinson to 1 tenement in the Manor of Mockerkin lately occupied by William his father, rent 6s. 2d. p.a.
28 June 1688
Admission of Daniel Dickinson to 1 tenement in the Manor of Mockerkin, rent 6s. 2d. p.a.
25 June 1723
Admission of John Dickinson to 1 tenement in the Manor of Derwent Fells (Mockerkin) in the Honor of Cockermouth, rent 6s. 2d. p.a.

Thomas Pearson held two tenements in Mockerkin. William Dickinson, son of John Dickinson of Streetgate, inherited one of them in 1636 and the other in 1669.

Presumably Thomas was childless and William was his closest heir. The inheritance must have come through William's mother, otherwise his father John would have been admitted in 1636.

The will of Isabel Pearson of Mockerkin, written 1645

The will of Isabel Pearson of Mockerkin, written 1645


Isabel Pearson was a widow, a lady (clearly from her will) of substantial local importance.

In a codicil to her will in 1646, she called Nicholas Mirehouse of Sosgill her brother.

So she was a born a Mirehouse and married a Pearson - presumably Thomas Pearson - and was probably living in the property (through widow's rights) that William had inherited in 1636.

Since writing this, I have checked out the 1677 admission of James. This is a mistranscription for 'Daniel'. The Whitehaven RO have now amended their online index, and I have informed TNA for their Discovery catalogue.

To inherit the property, William must have have had a Pearson mother The only conclusion seems to be that John married Thomas Pearson's sister (the term 'in-law' then had a slightly looser usage than it has today, To call the brother-in-law of your husband your own brother-in-law was normal).

The second tenement would have been held by a Pearson family member. Possibly John's wife.

The suggestion that John's wife was a Katherine is extremely tenuous. The Red How tree calls her 'Caroline Patrickson'; and John had a daughter Kathere who died in 1612. Maybe there is a document that mentions a 'Catherine Pearson' that was misread.

The Children of John Dickinson

Janet Dickinson

Mentioned in Isabel Pearson's will in 1645.

No further trace of her, so the likelihood is that she remained a spinster and died in the 1660s when the Lamplugh parish register was not maintained.

William Dickinson of Streetgate

Inherited Streetgate. Click the link.

John Dickinson

The Red How Tree lists him as marrying Elizabeth Steele, but this is an error. The death date is the chart is mistaken too (needs amending). That John was from another family. Nothing is known about this John, apart from being mentioned in the will of Isabel Pearson of Mockerkin in 1645. Perhaps be died in the Civil War?

George Dickinson

Founder of a family line in Winscales. Click the link.

David and Thomas Dickinson

Founders of family lines in Branthwaite. Click the link.