Henry Taylor's notes to his Pedigree of the Taylors of Ongar
  The Taylors of Ongar
and others of their family



Writers on
the Taylors

Henry Taylor's notes to his
Pedigree of the Taylors of Ongar


Henry Taylor (1837-1916) created the Pedigree of the Taylors of Ongar in 1895, when he was living at Tunbridge Wells, Kent. He had previously been an architect in Manchester.

The pedigree is the foundation for most later research on the Taylors of Ongar and their extended family.

The pedigree was a considerable feat for its time, when communications and transport were slower and digitisation of records was scarcely imagined. The document records six generations largely accurately, although in some areas Henry's information was sketchy.

The organ in St Helens at Worcester, mentioned in Henry's introduction, has since been moved and Henry's speculation on what was under it has unfortunately been proved wrong. His pedigree also appears to have given William and Ann Taylor a number of offspring who were not theirs.

Stephen Painter, May 2009

Henry Taylor's notes

William Taylor, ancestor of the Taylors of Ongar, appears to have migrated from the Parish of S. Helen, Worcester, into that of S. Michael, about the year 1720. We know from the Registers of S. Michael that his wife's Christian name was Anne.

In the adjoining Church of S. Helens, a William Taylor married Anne Cooke on the 25th of December, 1715, and the following baptisms took place in that Church: 28th July, 1717, Anne, daughter of William and Anne Taylor; and on 29th of May, 1719, Charles, son of William and Anne Taylor. Probably the migration then took place.

At S. Michael's Church, the five children of William and Anne Taylor, which appear in the subjoined Pedigree were baptised, the first being Anne on 7th July, 1726.

The Registers of S. Helens (which have been searched from 1700 to 1800 and a few years previously) give the baptisms of William, son of William Taylor, 26th of January, 1679 and of William, son of William, 2nd of August 1690. The latter is not unlikely to have been the father of the first Isaac Taylor.

In the Registers of S. Michael's a William Taylor is recorded to have been buried 26th of February , 1738, but the William Taylor in question may have died in 1755 as set forth below. These Registers have been searched from 1650 to 1800.
The fact that in the Registers shortly before and after the year 1700, the Christian name William is of such frequent occurrence, no doubt indicates the gratitude of the people of the Western Shires to William III for delivering them from the possibility of the horror of another Bloody Assize; but at the same time this interesting circumstance adds necessarily to the perplexities of research.

In S. Helen's Church there is a monument to the memory of a Taylor family. It is mentioned in Green's History of Worcester, 1790. It has been moved from its position near the pulpit, and a few years ago the organ was placed upon it, covering up some of the names. It is possible that William may have been one of this family. There seems to be some probability of his being the fourth son of Richard Taylor, who died on 14th January, 1696. The Christian name of this fourth son is covered up by the organ. The inscription runs: "... Taylor, the fourth son of the above Richard Taylor and Ann, his wife. He departed this life the 29th ....ber, 1755, aged 66 years." On this monument is recorded the death of Samuel, "the third son of Richard and Ann Taylor, Alderman of this city, who thrice filled the office of Mayor. He died November 11th, 1754, in the 68th year of his age." The Town Clerk informs me that it is recorded in the books of the Corporation that  various other honours were showered upon him.

Henry Taylor
January 1895

Bibliography to the Pedigree
of the Taylors of Ongar

In preparing this document the following sources of information have been used:

1. The Registers of S Michael-in-Bedawardine, Worcester, which have been searched from the year 1650 to 1800.

2. The Registers of S. Helen's Church, Worcester, which have been searched from 1700 to 1800 and a few years previously.

3. Extracts from the books of the Corporation of Worcester, and other investigations carried on in 1894 by the Town Clerk of Worcester from 1712 to 1755.

4. Prolonged researches at the British Museum and other Libraries.

5. Voluminous correspondence with various members of the Taylor, Gilbert, Herbert and Hinton families.

The following books, magazines and newspapers contain biographies of the various members of the family:

Illustrated Gleanings from the Classics: Sir Charles Grandison, with Isaac Taylor's illustrations, by John Oldcastle (published by Field and Tuer, London). Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers. Redgrave's Artists of the English School. Bartolozzi and his Works, by Andrew Tuer. Mrs Gilbert's Autobiography. The Taylors of Ongar by Canon Isaac Taylor of Stanford Rivers. Galton's Hereditary Genius (Macmillan and Co, 1892). Four Biographies, by L.B. Walford, being contributions to Blackwood's Magazine, with Memoir of Jane Taylor (published by Blackwood). Evangelical Magazine for 1829. Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography (London, Mackenzie, 69, Ludgate Hill) edited by J.F. Walker, LLD. The Quiver for July and October 1880. Illustrated London News, 5th August 1865. Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography, by Sir James Stephen (published by Longmans 1868). The Leisure Hour for 6th April 1867. Good Words for 1865. The Christian Observer for May 1872. The Expositor for August 1885. Day of Rest for March 1881. Catalogue of the Victorian Exhibition, held at the New Gallery, Regent Street London, 1891-92. The Biograph for April 1881. Languages, 15th October 1894. Life of Jane Taylor by Mrs Knight (Nelson & Sons). Sunday Magazine for August 1889. The Atheneum, 10th September 1892. The Alpine Journal, November 1892. The Nottingham Congregational Magazine, 1892. Life of James Hinton, by E. Hopkins, with Preface by Sir William Gull. Men of the Time for 1862. Men and Women of the Time for 1891. Chambers' Worcestershire Men, 1820. The Gentleman's Magazine for 1830, 1831, 1865 and 1867. Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee.

Appendix: Some of Henry Taylor's sources

Bryan's Biographical Dictionary of Painters and Engravers (extracts)

Taylor, Charles, an English engraver, born London in 1748. He studied under Bartolozzi, and produced many plates after Angelica Kauffmann. His works appeared at the Incorporated Society between 1176 and 1782.

Taylor, Isaac, an English engraver, born at Worsester in 1730. In the early part of his career he worked successively as a brass-founder, as a silversmith, and as a surveyor. Then devoting himself to engraving, he found much employment in book illustration, for which he frequently furnished the designs. His best work was done for an edition of Sir Charles Grandison. Many of his plates are to be found in the Gentleman's Magazine. From 1774 to its dissolution he acted as secreatry to the Incorporated Society of Artists, where many of his works appeared. He died at Edmonton, October 17th, 1807.

Taylor, Isaac, the son of the last-named, and an English engraver, was born in London about 1750. He studied under Bartolozzi, and worked much for Alderman Boydell, for whose Bible he made designs.. Before he was 40 he retired into Suffolk, and spent the rest of his life as a dissenting minister. He was the father of Jane and Ann Taylor, the writers of Original Poems. He died at Ongar, December 11th, 1829. Amongst his best plates are: Henry the Eighth's First Sight of Anne Boleyn; after Stothard. Falstaff and His Tormentors, after Smirks. Assassination of Rizzio; after Opis, 1791.

Taylor, James, an English engraver born at Worcester in 1745. He was the younger brother of the elder Isaac Taylor, with whom he worked. Anker Smith was his pupil. He exhibited at the Incorporated Society between 1770 and 1776, He died in London in 1797.

Bartolozzi and His Work, Andrew W. Tuer

Tuer lists known students of Bartolozzi, including:

Taylor (Charles) was born in London in 1748 [in fact, 1756 — SP] and studied under Bartolozzi for some considerable time. He engraved chiefly after Kauffman and Cipriani.

Taylor (Isaac) was the son of the line engraver of the same name, who executed numerous plates for the Gentleman's Magazine. He was born in London about 1750, and after studying under Bartolozzi was employed by the Boydells on their Shakespeare Gallery, for which he engraved Rizzio, after Opie (1791); Henry VII's First Sight of Anne Boleyn, after Stothard; and Falstaff Frightened by the Supposed Demons, after Smirke. He also drew the designs for Boydell's illustrations to the Holy Bible, many of which were engraved by his father about 1786. He died at Ongar, December 11th 1829.

Taylor, Isaac (living at Holles Street, Clare Market) exhibited at the Society of Artists in:
240 An Entertainment
285 Frontispiece to Daphne and Arminta
An Emblematic Subject
283 Scene in Opera: Love in a Village
282 Six prints for Hoole's translation of Metastasia
310 Apollo Growing his Majesty with Laurels
311 Syogins, the Roman General, a Prisoner
245 A Fancy Head miniature, a first attempt
(living at the Bible and Crown, Hoborne, FSA)
319 Frontispiece of History of Emperor Charles V
320 Subject from Salator Rosa
(Director FSA)
331 Elihu Reproving Job and his Friends
332 Iago Exciting Othello's Jealousy
333 Miss Atkins Found by her Father (Man of Feeling)
(Living in Chancery Lane)
271 Nuptial Felicity; an engraving
272 Island of Jamaica (an engraving)
(secretary FSA)
250 Sacrifice to Ceres, after Stuart
251 Genius Descending
252 Britannia
(living at 306 Holborne)
278 Golden Chain of Salvation, after Clark
301 Four historical frontispieces
302 Ancient Minstrel
224 Subject from Sir Charles Grandison, engraving
225 Subject from Sir Charles Grandison, engraving
226 Subject from Sir Charles Grandison, engraving
227 Subject from Sir Charles Grandison, engraving
228 Subject from Sir Charles Grandison, engraving
229 Subject from Sir Charles Grandison, engraving
230 Subject from Sir Charles Grandison, engravingrt
231 Vignette to Poem (Owen)
265 Employment of Men Prisoners at Bern, engraving
266 Employment of Women Prisoners at Bern, engraving

Tuer appears to have confused the work of father and son, and perhaps to have mistaken the name of the elder Isaac's father, which was William, not Isaac. The younger Isaac was born in 1759, so he would have been extremely precocious to be exhibiting by 1765. The elder Isaac was born in 1730, and it was he who was involved in the Incorporated Society of Artists. The younger Isaac was the one employed by the Boydells.

Francesco Bartolozzi left Florence for London in 1764, and lived there for nearly 40 years, during much of which time he took students.

Francis Galton's comments on the Taylors of Ongar

From Hereditary Genius (1869)

Taylors of Ongar

This family is remarkable from the universality with which its members have been provided with a restless literary talent, evangelical disposition, and an artistic taste. The type seems to be a very decided one, and to be accompanied with constitutional vigour; thus Mrs Gilbert died a short time ago at the advanced age of 84. None of its members have attained the highest rank among authors, but several are considerably above the average.

From English Men of Science: Their Nature and Nurture (1874)


Numerous members of this family have shown a curious combination of restless literary talent, artistic taste, evangelical disposition, and mechanical aptitudes. There is  an interesting work published upon it, called The Family Pen, by the Rev. Isaac Taylor, 1867 (see below in the "fourth generation"),  which contains a list of 90 publications by 10 different members of the family, up to that time;  and there have been more publications, and at  least one new writer, since.

First generation. Isaac Taylor came to London with an artist's ambition, and ended by being a reputable engraver. He acted for many years as secretary to the Incorporated Society of Artists of Great Britain, which was the forerunner of the Royal Academy. All the  family characteristics were strongly marked in  him.

Second generation consisted of three males, all  of whom deserve notice: (1) Charles Taylor, a learned recluse, editor of Calmet's Bible; (2) Rev. Isaac Taylor, author of  Scenes in Europe  &c, educated as an engraver, and far surpassing his father in ability. He married Ann Martin, a woman of reputed genius, authoress of The Family Mansion, and the numerous able members of the Taylor family for the two next  generations sprung, with one exception, from this  fortunate union ; (3) Josiah Taylor, eminent  publisher of architectural works; he made a  large fortune.

Third generation. Descendants of Isaac Taylor and Ann Martin, 3 males and 3  females, of whom 2 males and 2 females deserve  notice: (1) Isaac Taylor, author of  Natural  History of Enthusiasm; (2) Jeffreys Taylor,  author of Ralph Richards, Young Islanders,  &c; and (3), Ann and Jane Taylor, joint  authors of Original Poems (Ann married the  Rev. Joseph Gilbert). In this same generation is ranked the Rev. Howard Hinton, a leading  Baptist minister, who was a son of one of the  sisters in the previous generation, and is father of a well-known aurist.

Fourth generation. 6 males and 9 females  now living, and some few others who are deceased; of these, 5 males and 1 female deserve special notice: (1) Rev. Isaac Taylor, author of Words and Places, of  The Family Pen, and  of Etruscan Researches; (2) Josiah Gilbert, author of The Dolomite Mountains; (3) Joseph Gilbert, FRS, eminent for his chemical and  physiological researches in their relation to agriculture (the paternal race of Gilbert had also a marked type); (4) Thomas Martin Herbert,  Independent minister, scholar, and writer; (5) Edward Gilbert Herbert, of the Chancery bar, who died young of diphtheria; (1) Helen Taylor,  authoress of Sabbath Bells.

Unfortunately, Francis Galton's theories on heredity led him into the scientific dead end of eugenics, which became associated with theories of racial superiority and the possiblilities of selective breeding of humans, as practised in animal husbandry. Galton's theories for several decades were taken up by many governments, and eventually and most notably by the Nazis in Germany as a pseudoscientific foundation for their master race policies. Eugenics fell from favour after that. Writing in 1895, Henry Taylor was not to know where Galton's theories would later lead, and in any case his citing of Galton's references to the Taylors does not imply detailed knowledge, let alone approval, of Galton's theories. SP


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