It was on 23 Dec 1776, at Tottenham, that the Revd Thomas Roberts married Mary Constable, who was the elder daughter and with her younger sister "co-heiress of Edward Constable Esq" and "co-heir of the Austens of Tenterden, Baronets of Bexley". Mary was baptised on 22 Dec 1755 at St Helen's, Bishopsgate, London. Her grandmother was Jane Grace Austen, "daughter of Robert Austen of Tenterden, in the County of Kent, Esq, and sister and heir of Sir Edward, Sir William and Sir Robert Austen, Baronets, in which last that title became extinct". (The 1st Baronet Austen was created in 1660, he being High Sheriff of Kent). Jane Grace Austen was baptised 12 Jun 1709 at Tenterden, Kent, and died and was buried 30 Dec 1733 in the South Vault, Mercers' Chapel, having married circa 1731 Richard Windsor, baptised Jun 1706 at St Peter le Poer, London, and died 1 Mar 1785 at Tottenham, Middlesex, buried 4 Mar 1785, South Vault, Mercers' Chapel. The second child of Richard Windsor and Jane Grace Austen was named Sarah Windsor, baptised 9 Dec 1733 at St Peter le Poer, London, who married (1st) before c. Mar 1755 Edward Constable who died c 1756/57 [his daughter Ann was born after his death]; Sarah Constable then married (2nd) J. Bristow.
Thomas Roberts was born in 1751, and died on 5 Oct 1824; Mary his wife was baptised Dec 1755 and died 19 July 1837 and is buried in the churchyard at Tenterden.
Silhouettes of the Revd Thomas Roberts and Mrs Roberts, nee Constable are in the possession of A.J.R. Vigne.
An inscription in the churchyard of the Parish Church of St Mildred, Tenterden (copied for a publication by Leland Duncan, 1919), occurs on a flat stone, stating: "In a vault beneath are deposited the remains of Mary ROBERTS, wife of the late Rev. Thomas Roberts of Tottenham, Middlesex, died 19th July, 1837, aged 81. William Roberts, only surviving son, was born 10th March, 1796, and died 25th May, 1840. Her daughter, Caroline Roberts, died 20th September, 1840, aged 48. Catherine Roberts died 6th February, 1843, aged 54. Jane Dorothy Roberts died 3rd May, 1843, aged 49. This stone was restored by Harriett Roberts, only surviving daughter, August 22nd, 1868, who died at Newton Abbot, Devon, April 8th, 1870, aged 85."
The children of Thomas Roberts and Mary Constable were:
* Mary Ann [Maryanne] [Margaret] Roberts married on 11 Dec 1802, at Tottenham, to "Henry Vigne, Esq, of The Middle Temple",who was born 30 Dec 1778, baptised 26 Jan 1779 at Christ Church, Surrey, and died 1840. Mary Ann Vigne was still living in 1854. Henry Vigne established the stockbroking firm of Vigne and Sons, London. They entered partnership with James and John Peter of Neilson & Co, Kirkland, Fife - a mill manufacturing rope, canvas, flax and damask. Their son Henry Thomas Vigne (who emigrated to the Cape, South Africa) married Anna Maria Peter, daughter of the above James Peter and his wife Henrietta, nee Tandy. Henry Vigne bought a 30 acre property at Walthamstow and built Churchill House in 1828.
* Harriett Roberts, born c 1785, who visited the Vigne family at Tyger Hoek, South Africa, circa 1847 and with Robert Vigne and Susan Cotesworth was a sponsor at the christening of Edith Susan Vigne. The Tenterden memorial stone records: "This stone was restored by Harriett Roberts, only surviving daughter, August 22nd, 1868, who died at Newton Abbot, Devon, April 8th, 1870, aged 85."
* Catherine ("Kate") Roberts born c. 1789, died 6 Feb 1843, aged 54 (see Tenterden memorial stone).
* Caroline Roberts [??baptised 13 Feb 1791 at St Leonard's, Shoreditch, and may have m 23 May 1826 at Old Church, St Pancras, Thomas Coull??] According to the Tenterden memorial stone she died 20 September 1840, aged 48, apparently a spinster - her birth year being c 1792.
* Jane Dorothy Roberts born 1794, died 3rd May, 1843, aged 49 (Tenterden memorial stone).
* William Roberts who inherited Eastgate Estate which he, in turn, left to Mary Anne Roberts. As stated on the Tenterden memorial stone he was the only surviving son, born 10 Mar 1796, and died 25 May 1840.
Further possible children were:
? Sophia Roberts, baptised 22 Mar 1787 at St Paul's Wharf, London.
? Sarah Roberts, m _ _ _ Fleetwood
? Fanny Roberts, m _ _ _ Sparkes
? Eliza Roberts, m _ _ _ Dixon
It is surmised (on the basis of letters preserved in the family) that Eliza Roberts and Mr Dixon had children:
[Speculation] Fanny Dixon m _ _ _ Brush
[Speculation] Florence Caroline Dixon
[Speculation] Harriet Dixon
[Speculation] _ _ _ [Son] Dixon
[Speculation] Eliza Dixon, cousin of Fanny & Henrietta Vigne.
The Revd Thomas Roberts had two sisters at least, Mary Roberts of Southgate and Sarah Roberts of Southgate. Robert and his two sisters were left bequests in the will of Mary (Constable) Roberts' nephew, Captain George Curtis.
The information on this page is subject to correction: the author would be glad to receive comments and corrections.
I thank Judith Stichbury in New Zealand and Jacqueline Webster in USA who are distant cousins connected via Revd Thomas Roberts' sister-in-law, Ann Constable, who married Sir William Curtis.
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