Benjamin Hebditch’s Life

1860    Remarks Continued

June 7th In consequence of my confinement through afflication, being the first time in my life, for 7 days.  Being now much better and able to review God’s mercies towards me thro many years in the wilderness above so many thousands of my fellow creatures, I now feel disposed to leave on record for my Dear children’s information only, with my Grandchildren as well, a few particulars of the leading particulars of my protracted life which many of them they may find in my Books especially under the head Remarks.

            I was Born the 8th of May 1791 in the same House I now live in, and I do not think there is another in the Parish of South Petherton has lived in the same house so many years – but it is now thought best I should leave it for dear Wm very soon.  When about 7 years old, my Great Uncle John Weare of Stratton gave me half acre of land which I exchanged with father for Slate Close and also 30 pounds to put me to some trade but I learnt the trade as a Dowler Make of my Brother Simeon and kept it on for about 15 years when the trade wore out as the callico superceded the trade.

            I employed in the winter season spinners, weavers & from 70 to 100 hands when Flax was selling from 5/- to 15/ per Dozen and Dowlas from 14d to 2/6 pr. yard at this time there were about 12 Flax Pits between our House & Yeabridge in which Flax was put in & coverd with water for 9 or 12 days before spreading upon the grass. I have weavd many pieces of Dowlas.

            I was sent to Mr Noons School in South Street, where my Daughter Anna now lives, several years taking every Monday Morning a 6d for the past week’s learning. This being my only opportunity for improvement as to schooling.

            About 12 years old I felt seriously about my souls salvation and often retird upstairs with Janeways token for children & on my knees wishing and hoping I may become like those children I was reading about___________

            so that I could never state the particular time when I was converted to God as many can like Saul if ever I was yet I believe it must have been God’s Grace in my heart that kept me from the Thousands of Temptations Having so much Travelling in the Trade for many years.

            In Jany 1814 I was admitted to the Church at Petherton and in Sept 1821 I was unanimously chosen Deacon, in the place of my Father with my Brother Simeon and at the Death of 2 sons in-laws’ Father (J Vaux) I was chosen Churchwarden & continued successfully for 15 years following – also I filld the offices of Tax Gatherer & Guardian & was the Cash Overseer before the Union came.

1860 Remarks Continued

June 7 Brot over part only

            I was a Teacher-Treasurer in the Sunday School for about 20 years and Clerk in the Chapple say 15 years and very many times struck off the Tunes in my Pew or ran up in the Gallery to begin the Tunes

            Also for many years I attended the Week Night Meetings once or twice a week & had to pitch off the Tunes.

            I was joint Executor with my Best & Kindest of Brothers of my Father Will. Also Executor of Dear Wm’s Will, and of my Brother-in-law’s Revd John Wells & Mr Joseph Humphry who livd for 56 years where Lord Portman’s New House is at New Cross is, Beside many others especially Miss England whose Estate I sold at Middlenny near Drayton for over £5000 which I Recd in London being the first and last time I was there.

            I married Miss Sarah Harding of Petherton the 2 Jany 1827.

            We have had Wm Benjm who has now 3 sons & 1 Daughter – Sarah Harding now Vaux who has 2 Daughters and Anna now Vaux who has 2 Daughters and Robt Wm who is now living with us but who thinks of marrying Miss Jane Daniel of South Petherton who is a Member of our Church. May they all with their Parents meet each other in Heaven at last.

            Now for my Temral mercies which have been more than can be numbered.

            I was born of pious Parents – all my Brothers & sisters I believe are now in Heaven.

            I have a good Healthy wife who traind up her children in the fear of the Lord.

            No man living has a Family of 4 children freer from Deformity and defects of Intellect and better good common sense I believe and I hope all pious & loving each other & they have all Kind loving Partners so that I have never to complain of either of them.

            I have enjoyd almost uninterrupted good Health through Life

                                                                        £ & ½ acre land

                              Uncle John Weare gave me      30 0 0

                              My Holy & good Father say   1000 0 0

                              My Dearest Brother Wm do    2000 0 0*

                              My wife’s Fortune     do     750 0 0

                              My Brother-in-Law Humphry     300 0 0

                              Also other small sums say     20 0 0

                                                                    4100 0 0

* at my Death his Land he gave to my sons, principally Wm.