Alice Harford

Alice Harford was the youngest daughter of Thomas Harford, a Quaker, and was born in about 1708. Thomas Harford had married Martha Butler, Alice’s mother, on !8 Mar 1688 in the Society of Friends meeting house in Bristol. The Harford family owned estates in Marshfield in Gloucestershire and either for economic reasons or religious reasons a number of the branches of the family moved to Bristol and took a prominent role in the city’s affairs and in particular with the trade to Virginia and Pennsylvania. Alice had at least five elder siblings.

Thomas Harford’s uncle Charles Harford (d 1709) was a prominent Bristol Quaker merchant, imprisoned for his beliefs but clearly a man of substantial wealth. There are a number of documents in Bristol Archives that describe some of the Harford family activities, although not directly those of the family of Thomas and Martha.

One key document that ties the Harford family to the Marten family, the subject of many pages on this web site, is the will of the widow Martha Harford, Alice’s mother, who did not die until 1742. Here she names her grandchildren Martha Marten and Humphrey Marten, whilst also appointing, her husband’s cousin, Truman Harford, the well documented grandson of Charles Harford as executor of her will.

It is reasonable to presume that Alice was therefore brought up in her early years as a Quaker. She was probably christened into the Church of England in 1722. There is a CofE Baptism in Clifton dated 24 Aug 1722, that is probably her. She married Robert Amberson Marten on 6 Apr 1724 in Clifton, reputedly at the age of 15. Her Quaker upbringing must have been a strong influence on the religious thoughts of both her husband and her son Nathaniel Marten, whose autobiographies bear witness to some considerable struggle of conscience and differing non-conformist attitudes.

Some time in the 1730’s she moved with her family to London. In 1736 they were living in Millbank as, her husband, Robert Amberson Marten was working for the brewery of Mr Pitt (Williiam Pitt, the Younger’s grandfather) and the business seemed to have been centred on the West End. Her husband pursued a diverse career as a merchant and general entrepreneur and was probably away from home for periods of time, certainly by the early 1740’s the family was living in Stepney, close to the expanding docks of the Port of London.

Alice had at least six children. Her eldest son was baptized William Lloyd Marten on 2 Apr 1725, but died young. The name William Lloyd allows us to identify Alice’s great grandfather with some certainty as William Lloyd.

After her husband’s death in 1758, Alice may have returned to Bristol. Her brother Charles had left a large orphaned family in Bristol and she is mentioned in two of her nephew’s wills. It would appear she die on 14 Mar 1780 and was buried a Qualer on 17 Mar 1780 in Bristol.


Family of Robert Amberson MARTEN and Alice HARFORD

Husband:Robert Amberson MARTEN (1699-1758)
Wife:Alice HARFORD (1708-1780)
Children:William Loyd MARTEN (bap.1725, d.bef1730)
Martha MARTEN (bap.1726, bur.1773)
 Humphrey MARTEN (1729-1790)
Nathaniel MARTEN (1735-1816)
Robert Amberson MARTEN (1736-1773)
Alicia MARTEN (1740-1823)
Marriage6 Apr 1724Clifton, Gloucestershire

Husband: Robert Amberson MARTEN

Name:Robert Amberson MARTEN
Father:William MARTEN (1655-bef1715)
Mother:Elizabeth AMBERSON ( – )
Birth2 Sep 1699Glastonbury1
Baptism5 Sep 1699 (age 0)Glastonbury (St John The Baptist)
Death1758 (age 58-59)Dorset
Burial13 Sep 1758St Mary’s, Burton Bradstock, Dorset

Wife: Alice HARFORD

Name:Alice HARFORD
Father:Thomas HARFORD (bap.1659, d.bef1720)
Mother:Martha BUTLER (b.1668, bur.1739)
Christening24 Aug 1722 (age 13-14)Clifton, Gloucestershire
Death14 Mar 1780 (age 71-72)Bristol
Burial17 Mar 1780

Child 1: William Loyd MARTEN

Name:William Loyd MARTEN
Baptism2 Apr 1725St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol
Deathbef 1730

Child 2: Martha MARTEN

Name:Martha MARTEN
Spouse 1:Edward POSGATE ( -c. 1762)
Spouse 2:Stephen GOULDER (1712- )
Baptism7 Jul 1726St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol
Burial22 Sep 1773St Anne Limehouse

Child 3: Humphrey MARTEN

Name:Humphrey MARTEN
Spouse:PAWPITCH ( -1771)
Birth2 Feb 1729Bristol
Baptism20 Feb 1729 (age 0)St Stephens, Bristol
Occupationbtw 1760 and 1780 (age 30-51)-; Commander York (Factory), Manitoba, Canada
Death26 Jun 1790 (age 61)Windsor

Child 4: Nathaniel MARTEN

Name:Nathaniel MARTEN
Spouse:Martha CLARKSON (1736-1790)
Birth19 May 1735London
Occupationbtw 1770 and 1790 (age 34-55)Freeman of the Cooks Company
Death17 Oct 1816 (age 81)Assembly Row, Mile End
Burial24 Oct 1816Bunhill Fields MI

Child 5: Robert Amberson MARTEN

Name:Robert Amberson MARTEN
Birth27 May 1736
Baptism14 Dec 1749 (age 13)St Dunstans, Stepney
Death1773 (age 36-37)

Child 6: Alicia MARTEN

Name:Alicia MARTEN
Spouse:Burton BINDON (1726-bef1799)
Death21 Apr 1823 (age 82-83)Clonmel, Ireland


1“Marten Papers”. Text From Source: Reference: ADD.MS7744/P/21
Scope and Content
Envelope containing:
a) AGM to Vicar of St John the Baptist, Glastonbury [Henry Lowry Barnwell (1858-1912)], 14 June 1894. Copy.
b) Barnwell to AGM
With copy of baptismal entry, 5 Sep. 1699, of Robert Amberson Marten.16 June 1894
c) Barnwell to AGM 21 fune 1894.
d) Note concerning Barnwell.