The Ancient Brinsmeads


The Quaker Brinsmeads

Society of Friends Records

quaker meeting house A Quaker Meeting House from the time

The recent indexing of early non-conformist records has revealed a hitherto unknown family of Brinsmeads living in Middlesex, England in the late 17th century.   They lived in Cloth fair, very near the centre of London, near what is now the Barbican (and about 500 yards from the Society of Genealogists)

They were early members of the Society of Friends or Quakers. This family came to London from Lincolnshire; the earliest member being Thomas, the son of Garrard Brinsmade, of Burton on Stother, Lincolnshire.

Garrard Brinsmade was a Blacksmith in Burton on Stather.  His wife's name was Anne and they had the following children: Mary, born 1654, Gerard, born 1656, Rose, born 1659, Susanna, born 1661, Willia (probably William) born 1664, Thomas, born 1665 and Elizabeth, born 1667.

The London Quaker Records - Peel Meetings - show a marriage on July 7th, 1691 according to Quaker practice. Thomas Brinsmaid, tailor, of Bartholomew Close in London married Sarah Gibbs of Jervin Street, Cripplegate Parish in London. Her father was Edward Gibbs of Parshaw, Worcestershire, a cutter, deceased.  It records Thomas as the son of Gerard.    

Thomas and Sarah marriage Thomas and Sarah's Marriage Record

A son Thomas Brinsmade was born on April 10th, 1692. A daughter Anne Brinsmade followed on August 31st, 1693.  She survived for 12 days. Two deaths are recorded for September 12th, 1693 one for Sarah and one for her mother Ann. Presumably mother and child died from complications of childbirth although the searchers reported the baby died of gripe and the mother of a "feavour".  Sarah was about 26 years old when she died, placing her birth at about 1667. 

Thomas (Snr.) remarried, on September 16, 1697.  The record identifies him as the same son of Garrand Brinsmade. His second wife's name was Elizabeth Reed, relict (widow) of James Reed, late of Cripplegate Parish, Gardener.

A Quaker record in the Bedfordshire Achieves from 1701 shows a signature of Thos. Brinsmade on a letter from the Friends at the Peel Monthly Meeting to the Friends at the Hempstead Monthly Meeting commending a transferring member to the Hempstead group. 

Thomas, still a Quaker, is recorded in the Peel burial records as dying of an astma on 15th January, 1709.  He is said to have been about forty three years old at the time of death.We have recently located a copy of Thomas' will, made in 1709. It makes bequests to a brother and other relatives still in Messingham, and to his wife Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Brinsmade wife of James, Clerkenwell, aged about 82 years, died on June 7th, 1733.  Searchers reported, perhaps not unexpectedly, that she died of "age".  This would place her birth at about 1651.  We are unable to tell if this was Thomas' second wife, Elizabeth Reed, or another relative from the Lincolnshire family.