Priscilla’s son Edward and his first wife Susan would have ten children the first Catherine in 1793, the last born in 1813 and the spent Susan dying three years later. The pattern of their births is interesting and rarely commented on by researchers. Edward and Susan married in 1791.

 Catherine Gurney – 1793

Edward Gibbon – 1796

Daniel Bell – 1798

Arthur – 1799

William Hayward – 1801

John Howard – 1803

Felix – 1807

Priscilla – 1809

Percy – 1810

Un-named – 1813

(Source: A Sort of Conscience: The Wakefields, by Philip Temple, p. 6.)

 What is interesting is the seeming delay in the birth of the first child, followed by a three year gap, then a succession of pregnancies. This raises the possibility of babies that may have died or lost pregnancies. Nothing in the literature about the Wakefield family seems to have addressed in particular the gap between Catherine and Edward Gibbon. Yet every biography refers to the difficult behaviour of the young Edward Gibbon.  Possibly the behaviour of an over-indulged  son by parents recovering from a loss.

Published in: on August 16, 2009 at 4:46 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. A very good point! In later years, he was away a lot in Ireland so that might explain some of the gaps. Evidently, he was not all that faithful either.

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