I had considered that possibility but found nothing so far.
I have looked at the HODGEs, including Ancella.
A RICHARD HODGE was a major witness in the trial of JOHN BRIGHT (alias RADFORD) who was executed for the murder of SARAH DOWN(E) in 1823. There are many newspaper reports which vary in content (it was either an accident or murder, as BRIGHT confesses to both eventualities).
Richard states he was SARAH’s brother-in-law. I have not found a marriage that proves that connection, but I know the term was used more loosely then than it is now. He could have claimed that to make himself more important, but he stated it in court under oath, so I am inclined to believe it.
Nevertheless, he was sufficiently close to the family to take it upon himself to visit BRIGHT (who was in a sort of relationship with SARAH) and try to find out where SARAH was when it was realised that she was missing.
Various reports mention her sister MARY, and one mentions a brother JOHN.
BRIGHT alleges, when SARAH tells him she is pregnant with his child, that it could be anyone’s, as she has 2 children born out of wedlock already. I have found one, a son William, baptised in 1808.
So if RICHARD HODGE is indeed loosely related to SARAH, then she could have been WILLIAM’s sister, by virtue of the fact that his sister JANE was married to WILLIAM. Does being WILLIAM’s brother-in-law allow him to claim that connection to WILLIAM’s siblings? I don’t know.
SARAH was born c 1788 (deduced from her burial record, which states she was single and was murdered). There are 3 possibilities (I mentioned in my original post that I had pieced together the DOWN families in the area). I am inclined to think that she is the one baptised in Cheldon, the daughter of JOHN & JOAN. Partly because the other 2 came from reasonably well–off families (family members made wills) and my WILLIAM was a labourer, and partly because of the JOHN & MARY siblings, which do not occur in the other 2 families.
There are, however, two RICHARD HODGES in the vicinity, which complicates matters.
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