John Green IV (1728 – 1791)

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   1. His childhood

John Green IV was born in ca 1728 as the eldest son of John Green (1697 – 1779) and Mary Holland (1707 – 1783) from East Malling, Kent, England.1

   2. His wife

He married Jane Jones (*ca 1730) on 12 February 1764 at East Malling. Sam Jones and Elizah Smith were witnesses to their marriage. The couple had ten children. Jane died at the age of 54 years and was buried on 12 January 1784 at East Malling, Kent, England.1,2

  3. His children

Their children were born and christened at East Malling. They were Mary (≈2 December 1764), Jane (≈20 July 1766 – Ω17 April 1768), James (≈12 April 1768 – Ω17 April 1768), Samuel (*May 1769 – 1853) , John V (≈17 September 1771 – 11 March 1854), Margaret Jane (≈21 January 1774), Jane, Charles, Rebecca, and William (*September 1781).1,3

  • Samuel married Rachel Barcham. He became an affluent surveyor, builder and carpenter from Sevenoaks, Kent and also invested money into his brother’s paper making enterprise at Tunbridge Wells. They had five children: 1) Elizabeth married Dr Collin Browning, a naval surgeon, 2) Ann married Stephan Beeching of Tunbridge Wells and 3) Alfred (1805 – 7 September 1895, Northam, Western Australia), a medical student when he left for Australia, never to be seen again by his family – he married Anne Elizabeth Turner on 8 August 1844 in Australia. There were also 4) Elizabeth, who married Thos Barcham of Mundesley, Norfolk and 5) John Barcham, who eventually became the owner of Hayle Mill at Tunbridge Wells, which previously belonged to his uncle, John Green (V).1,3
  • John owned Hayle Mill. He married Ann Turner and they became my husband’s great-great-great-great-great-grandparents. READ MORE on John Green V.
  • Charles was mentioned in his brother Samuel’s will as having an interest in the farm Mount Pleasant at Thurnham, Lancashire. Nothing more is known about his life.1

  4. His death

John died at the age of 63 years and was buried on 12 April 1791 at East Malling.1

  5. His career

He seemingly followed in his father’s footsteps by also becoming a wheelwright, as this is the most likely the reason why he inherited his father’s working tools. Later in life their financial disposition grew grimmer, as the family were receiving poor relief three years prior to John’s death.1,3

During his lifetime, John Green IV saw the reign King George II from 1727 to 1769 and King George III from 1760 to 1820.4 Living in the eighteenth century in England was hard for most British subjects who were battling poverty, hardship and oppression. The social disparity between the elite and the poor was vast, with only a small middle-class having better living conditions. The elite enjoyed prosperity, dominance, elegance, often indulging in pomp and parties. About 80 % of the population was working class. They lived on plain food such as bread, butter, potatoes and bacon. Meat was a luxury. Living conditions of the poor were atrocious, and included poor quality drinking water, inferior sanitation and health care, low wages, unsafe working conditions particularly in mines, and no power or say in the governance of the country they were living in. In the cities conditions became even worse, because of overcrowding in existing housing facilities and the mushrooming of slums, as people flocked to the cities in search of work opportunities as a result of the Industrial Revolution (1760-1840) and Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815). Industrialization caused a shift from manufacturing done at people’s homes with manual machines and basic hand tools, to mass production in factories and large workshops with powered, specialised machinery. While some experienced improved living conditions, others were facing fading employment opportunities. Crime, disease and the exploitive use of child labour rose sharply in 18th century England. Addressing the problem of the poor, was on the agenda of the government, even during previous centuries, by means of systems such as the workhouse-system, orphaned child apprenticeships and the local parishes having to provide for their own via the taxation of the wealthy in their respective county. The Gilbert Act of 1782 made provision for the elderly, sick and disabled to be cared for in poorhouses set up by their own parishes, while the able-bodied poor were provided for within their own homes.5,6 John Green II was one of the benefactors of this poor relief.

Thankfully there were those aristocrats in governance who had concerns regarding the circumstances of their less-fortunate fellow men and became motivated to address the social problems of their day more actively and innovatively, resulting in a 19th century England with improving living conditions for all.5

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  1. Family tree notes by Jean Jamison, made available by Katie Taylor from Germany, October 2017
  2. Kent. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent
  3. Tanner, S. 2014. Green Letters Introduction. http://www.stanner.net/Family Letters/Green letters intro
  4. List of British monarchs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_monarchs
  5. Bhatti, G. Britain in the 1800s. http://cpabritain1800s.weebly.com/living-conditions-in-the-1800s.
  6. Poor relief. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poor_relief

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