Ambrose Lanfear, Sr.

Ambrose Lanfear (c. 1750-1809) married Elizabeth Hays at Maldon, Essex, on March 14, 1804. They resided at 4 Upper Terrace, Islington (he is the only Lanfear listed in Holden’s 1805 Directory). He may be the same Ambrose Lanfear who was a freeman of the Cordwainer Company, operating as a haberdasher at 32 Cheapside during the 1780s and 1790s. His first marriage was to Sarah Smith on June 7, 1781, a marriage that produced one son, also named Ambrose (1787-1870). After the death of his first wife, Lanfear married Sarah Stanfield (Stanfeld) (c. 1767-1802) on July 21, 1792. During their ten years of marriage, they had one son, Joseph (b. 1795). In 1809, Joseph Lanfear received a grant from the King to take his mother’s name of Stanfeld and assume the family’s properties in Middlesex. Elizabeth’s avowal in the 1803 letter that she was ready “to love those boys” is a reference to Ambrose, Jr., and Joseph. Ambrose Lanfear committed suicide in February 1809 as a result of a “commercial embarrassment,” according to Crabb Robinson (Diary, vol. 1, f. 416). At the time of his suicide, his partner was a John Holland of Cheapside, with Lanfear still operating as a haberdasher. He was assigned to appear in bankruptcy court on 18 and 22 April and 16 May, at Guildhall, London, but obviously never appeared (see Manchester Mercury, Bankrupts, 11 April 1809).