Jane Cowling, born Brentor 1808, was married in Falmouth in 1828 and gave birth to a son in 1830. She was widowed in 1832 and married for a second time in 1835, again in Falmouth. In 1841 she was living alone in Falmouth - her husband was at sea and her son was in the care of his grandmother. At the same time Jane's sister, Joanna, born Brentor 1822, was recorded as a servant in the household of Robert Platt, clergyman, in Falmouth.
In 1850 Jane was widowed for a second time and in 1851 she was shown as a servant in the household of Robert Platt, R C priest, in Totnes. In 1852 she married again in Totnes but in 1861, whilst her husband remained in Totnes, she was with Robert Platt in Somerset. In 1871 they were together in Gloucestershire. Robert Platt died in 1876 after which Jane returned to Somerset, where she died in 1889.
Now the speculation. Although Jane's parents were born in Cornwall, I can find nothing to link the family specifically with Falmouth that could explain what drew Jane to the town.
Robert Platt was attached to the Axminster Mission between 1824-1826. After spending a year in Newquay he moved to Falmouth in 1827. Given her later devotion to Robert, I wonder if Jane made a connection with him whilst he was in Devon and then followed him to Cornwall. I know Axminster is a long way from Brentor, but is it possible that his duties might have taken him into West Devon? Her marriage one year after his arrival in Falmouth would allow for a reasonable period of courtship! Perhaps Joanna replaced her after the birth of her child/ during the time of her second marriage.
I realise that this is totally speculative and it is highly unlikely that any further relevant facts will emerge, but I would be pleased to hear the thoughts of others.
« Back to index | View thread »