Middlesex parish of Lealone, Lealom or Sealom?

+2 votes
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I am looking for the origins of James Gray, a musician, who married Eleanor Welch in a Fleet wedding in 1746.

The marriage register gives his parish of residence as 'Lealone Middx' or similar. His eldest son's baptism in Kent gives his parish as 'Leamon in Middlesex?'. In both cases, the handwriting is slightly ambiguous but the initial letter looks much more like an L than an S.

What parish might this be? The only Middlesex parish that looks remotely similar is Laleham, but are there other possibilities? There are no Grays in Laleham in this period, although there are some later.
WikiTree profile: James Gray
in Genealogy Help by Suzanne Doig G2G6 Mach 2 (29.3k points)

3 Answers

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Best answer
I don't think it's a parish at all but simply his place of residence: Leather Lane. This was extremely close to the Fleet Prison where clandestine marriages took place and the clerk may have just scribbled down "Lea lane" which was then miscopied.
by Matthew Fletcher G2G6 Pilot (101k points)
selected by Eddie King
I don't think this is the answer.  The marriage was performed at Seacoal Lane.  Why would they write the name of a lane in a county?  It says "xxxxx in Middx". It would be a lane in a town, or a parish in a county, surely?

The format is parish name for the City of London or place name and county for elsewhere. The fact that simply a street name is given rather than a town suggests it must be somewhere very close which everyone would know. Despite its modest name Leather Lane was a major market area outside the City boundaries in Holborn.

I spent some time puzzling over the similarity between Seacoal Lane and "Lealone" which could hardly be coincidental. I now think someone misread Lea Lane as Sea Lane and decided that the nearby Seacoal Lane was being abbreviated.

0 votes
It's a long shot, but could it be Leyton?  Leyton's name comes from the river Lea.  Maybe this was an old spelling?  I can't find any evidence for this... But maybe that's how some people wrote it then(?)  The big problem with this idea is that Leyton is/was in Essex, not Middlesex.  The Lea is/was on the border of Middlesex, so there's a possible connection.  

That's the best I could find...  I hope it maybe possibly helps.
by Ian Beacall G2G6 Mach 6 (61.6k points)
I see he was married at St Pulchre's ie St. Sepulchre.

If you drop the first part of St. Marylebone you'll get Lebone. Marylebone would have been on the edge of the countryside in those days
John's answer seems great (I hadn't even realised that it was called Mary Le Bone in the past).  Is there any way we can see the other documents that are cited?  They're on FindMyPast, which I don't subscribe to.
0 votes

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, yes Leather Lane does seem a more likely place of residence for a musician than a more rural village in the hinterland, but I think the jury is still out (as it would be unusual to refer to somewhere within the City as Middlesex?). 

Sea Coal Lane in the parish of St Sepulchre is where the wedding took place; probably in a pub owned by the minister's brother: see https://www.british-history.ac.uk/old-new-london/vol2/pp404-416 

I've attached the second of the handwritten references which clearly says parish, but is of course likely to be transcribed from whatever certificate James and Eleanor took away from their Fleet marriage, and so an assumption may have been made.

by Suzanne Doig G2G6 Mach 2 (29.3k points)
edited by Suzanne Doig

Unfortunately your image link isn't appearing. The only way I've found to get images to appear in G2G is to upload them to a freespace then link to that from here in both the URL field and the link field. Other people have some similar magic with ancestry shared links.

Whether it's Leather Lane or not, Middlesex is exactly how they would have referred to that area. It's not in the City of London but outside it and the distinction would have been well-known at the time.

Thanks Matthew, yes that serves me right for relying on faulty memory instead of checking the boundaries on the map! There are, not surprisingly, a few potential births for James Gray in St Andrew Holborn, most of them living close to Leather Lane.

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