The Gale family of Bentley

John Gale = Mary Portsmouth

     |         other children

Jane Gale = John Baggs

      |         other children

Henry Baggs = Elizabeth Rolfe

      |         other children

Walter Baggs = Alice Jane Ferry

      |         other children

Ruth Elizabeth Baggs = Reuben Alexander Beck


Jane Gale was born in Hampshire in November 1788, and was baptised at Bentley, Hampshire, on the 28th December 1788, at the age of seven weeks.1

She was probably employed as a domestic servant at Hannington Rectory when she met [E4] John Baggs; she married him on the 25th July 1805, at Bentley. Their first child, John, was baptised in Bentley in 1806 (d. 1882); all subsequent children—[E3] Henry (1808–1872), Charles (1810–1875), Catherine (1813–1888), Emily (1815–1886), James (1818–1898), Sarah (1820 – ?), Eli (1822–1909), Ann (1825 – after 1844), Edmund (1827–1902), and Elizabeth (1831–1862)—were baptised in Hannington.2

In 1841 she was working as an agricultural labourer, living with her family in what is now known as Yew Tree Cottage, in Hannington Village in Kingsclere. On 26 May 1849, at the annual exhibition of the North Hants. Agricultural Association, held at Basingstoke, Jane Baggs, widow, of Kingsclere, was awarded the second prize, of £3, for "the man or widow who shall have brought up respectably the largest family of children." In 1851, a house servant, she was being employed as a nurse at Andrew Twitchin's farmhouse in North Oakley, where Mary Twitchin had just given birth (the unnamed infant is described as 8 hours old).3

Of Hannington, Jane Baggs died there on the 8th May 1858, after five weeks cystitis and seven days typhoid fever. She was buried in Hannington churchyard on the 12th May.4

Jane Gale was the third child, and third daughter, of (E25) John and (E26) Mary Gale.5

1 death certificate; TNA: HO 107/392/11 f7 p10; Ken Smallbone (2010) Baggs: The History of a Family. The Ancestors and Descendants of the Baggs Family of Hannington, Hampshire, England. Basingstoke: The Changing Seasons; "England Births and Christenings, 1538–1975," database, FamilySearch: 6 December 2014, Jane Gale, 28 Dec 1788, citing BENTLEY, HAMPSHIRE, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, FHL microfilm 804,137

2 parish register; Hampshire Parish Registers; Smallbone (2010)

3 HO 107/392/11 f7 p10; HO 107/1684 f158 p7; Smallbone (2010); Reading Mercury, 1849-06-02

4 death certificate; parish register

5 Smallbone (2010)


John Gale was baptised at Froyle, Hampshire, on the 24th March 1754.1

He married (E28) Mary Portsmouth on the 27th July 1778, at Bentley, Hampshire. Their children were: Sarah (1780 – ?), Catherine (1784–1859), [E24] Jane (1788–1858), Ann (1791 – ?), and Mary (1794–1794).2

His body was buried at Bentley on the 10th May 1832.3

John Gale was the eldest child of [E26] Mathias and [E27] Mary Gale.4


1 parish register, transcript by Hampshire GS

2 "England Marriages, 1538–1973," database, FamilySearch: 10 December 2014, John Gale and Mary Portsmouth, 27 Jul 1778, citing Bentley, Hampshire, reference index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, FHL microfilm 804,137; Smallbone (2010); GRO index; Crondall parish register

3 "England Deaths and Burials, 1538–1991," database, FamilySearch: 24 December 2014, John Gale, burial 10 May 1832, citing Bentley, Hampshire, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, FHL microfilm 1,596,070

4 parish register, transcript by Hampshire GS


Of Froyle, Hampshire, Mathias Gale married [E27] Mary Cole on the 8th May 1753, at Froyle. Their children were: [E25] John (1754–1832), James (1756 – ?), Sarah (1760 – after 1796), George (1762–1830), James (1765–1835), and Hannah (1766–1774).1

Their daughter Hannah died in tragic circumstances, as reported in the Hampshire Chronicle:


On Sunday morning last an unfortunate mistake happened at the house of one Matthias Gale, a labourer, at the parish of Upper Froyle; this man is also employed as a rat-catcher in all that part of the country, and had been out the day before in laying poison for destroying the rats at some Gen[tle]mens houses in that neighbourhood, but had a very small quantity of the arsnic left, which he put into a paper in his pocket, but called at an apothecary's shop at Alton for a dose of physic he had ordered for a little girl about eight years old, who had been before under this Apothecary's direction, who ordered a little paper of powder to be given the next morning, to be mixed in a little beer: the man brought it home very safe in the evening, and put it on a shelf in his kitchen, at the other end of the shelf put the paper of poison, and early in the morning, before he got up himself, he called up another of his daughters aged about 12 years, and ordered her to mix the physic in beer and give her sister, but she unfortunately took the poison and mixed it and gave the child to take, which instantly throwed her into a violent vomiting, &c. and in about three or four hours occasioned her death.—The poor unhappy man soon found the mistake, and ran through the neighbourhood for oil, and to an apothecary's for assistance for the poor child, but to no purpose.—An inquisition was taken on the body by Mr. Lipscomb, Coroner, when the Jury presented the death accidental.——It is to be hoped this will be a caution to all who make use of such dangerous medicines, so to dispose of it, that it may be impossible to make such a mistake in future.

Matthias Gale died before 1806.3


1 parish register, transcript by Hampshire GS; Froyle; Hampshire Burials. It seems possible that he was the Mathew Gale, son of Mathew and Mary Gale, baptised at Oakley, Hampshire on 14 January 1732 ["England Births and Christenings, 1538–1975", database, FamilySearch: 20 March 2020, Mathew Gale, 1732

2 Hampshire Chronicle, 1774-11-14

3 Hampshire Burials; possibly the Matthew Gale who was buried at Froyle on 25 October 1791: "England, Hampshire Parish Registers, 1538–1980," database, FamilySearch (13 February 2021), Matthew Gale, 25 Oct 1791, citing Burial, possibly other reference information Hampshire Record Office, FHL microfilm


Mary Cole was born around 1722. Of Froyle, Hampshire, she married [E26] Mathias Gale on the 8th May 1753, at Froyle. Their children were: [E25] John (1754–1832), James (1756 – ?), Sarah (1760 – after 1796), George (1762–1830), James (1765–1835), and Hannah (1766–1774).1

Her body was buried at Froyle on 6 August 1806.2


1 parish register, transcript by Hampshire GS; Froyle; Hampshire Burials. FamilySearch has a number of possible Mary Cole baptisms.

2 Hampshire Burials

Suggestions for further research

The Gale line is barely more than a sapling. Birth/baptism, parentage, and death/burial information for [E26] Mat(t)hias Gale are evidently the starting point for further detective work. As we already know his bride's name, it would also be desirable to establish the birth/baptism and parentage of [E27] Mary Cole.


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This page was last revised on 2023-10-24.


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