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Ennever & Enever family history & ancestry. Click here to return to the home page WJ Ennever (1869-1947). From the portrait by J Seymour R.A., exhibited in the Royal Academy.

Joseph Ennever (1786-1807) and family

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Joseph Ennever was found guilty of uttering (spending) forged bank notes and hanged at Ilchester in 1807.  This story is told in detail by Patricia Hill on her web site.

Joseph was one of a number of the family with criminal connections and convictions, principally for forgery.  These included his elder brother George, who was transported to Australia and a younger brother William and his wife, Elizabeth (nee Wade).  George Ennever assumed the name George Ennever Morris to avoid detection in England and continued to use this alias in his successful new life in Australia, the subject of a book by a descendant of his, Kevin Lewis Smith.  George's story, based on Kevin's book, is told here.

Two probable further family connections to criminality also exist:

  1. A William Ennever was charged with theft at the Old Bailey, London on 25th February 1884.  William James Ennever was the eldest son of William Ennever & Elizabeth (nee) Wade above and it appears it was him who was accused of theft in this trial.  I cannot be certain this is the correct William but he was a carman and was living in the area a few years earlier.  Perhaps because of his family's criminal connections I have wrongly accused him but he matches the information we have available from the trial documents and there is no better matching William Ennever alive at the time. William was found not guilty and you can see the trial documents by following the earlier link.

  2. Another surprising story exists in that a Sarah Ennever, alias Morris, was indicted for passing a forged £2 bank note in London on 25th August 1809. 

    George Ennever's marriage to Anne Walton, was to take place on 14th September 1809 at St George's Church, Hanover Square and it is likely therefore that members of his family would have been in London for the occasion.  Could this, therefore, have been George's mother Sarah Ennever, nee Hibbitt?  It is a remarkable coincidence that the alleged crime of uttering forged notes was identical, the alias of Morris was used and that Sarah would have been in London for her son's marriage.  I think we can be sure this is indeed George's mother although the reason for her choice of alias is not known.

    Both the text and the original trial document is available at The Proceedings of the Old Bailey web site. They are shown below.

Original document

Original doc


629. SARAH ENNEVER, alias MORRIS , was indicted for feloniously forging on the 25th of August, a promissory note for the payment of 2 l. with intention to defraud Robert Mackglew .

SECOND COUNT, for uttering and publishing as true a like forged note, she knowing it to be forged, with the same intention.

THIRD COUNT, for feloniously offering a like forged promissory note with intention to defraud Robert Mackglew , she knowing it to be forged and counterfeited.

WILLIAM CULLEN . I live at No. 4, City-road, Finsbury; with Robert Mackglew , a linen-draper. On the 25th of August last, between the hours of eleven and twelve, the prisoner came to our shop alone, she asked for some calico, she wished them to be remnants, as she lived with a lady that was a benevolent person, she purchased them for the purpose of giving them away to poor people, she did not say who that person was. I sold her two remnants for five shillings, she produced a two pound note. I perceived it to be of Westham, Essex bank; I gave it to John Spring , who has the management of the concern, No. 4, in the City-road; he told the prisoner that we did not take country notes, but if she would wait he would send to a friend of his, meaning to Mr. Mackglew, at his other shop, Pavement, Moorfields, or to the Banking-house where it was made payable; she consented to it, and stopped; he sent Martha Spring , his little girl, to Mr. Mackglew; Martha Spring came back with Mr. Mackglew, he presented the note to the prisoner and asked her if it was her's; she said it was. I went to Worship-street office and brought Mr. Ray, the officer, with me; he searched the prisoner and found no other notes upon her.

Q. Was any thing said in the prisoner's presence whether any body had doubted it before - A. The prisoner said to me that she had endeavoured to negotiate it in the neighbourhood; the person objected to it, being a country note. That was after I had shewed it to Mr. Spring.

Q. Then it was while Mr. Spring had the note, was it - A. Yes.

Mr. Knapp. So this person came to your shop to utter a forged note and told you that it had been objected to before - A. She told me that she had offered it to a neighbour, and they objected to it because it was a country note.

Q. Then you did not like the note, you sent it out by Martha Spring , and desired the prisoner to wait - A. Yes; she waited twenty minutes in the shop.

ROBERT MACKGLEW . I have two shops; the note was brought to me at my house on the Pavement, Moorfields; I went back and saw the prisoner; I addressed her, and said is this the lady that owns the note; she said yes; I asked her where she had got it; she said she had taken it from a lodger of the name of Ipsditch, a shoemaker; and she lived in Old Bethlem, I think she said No. 9. I asked her if she knew whether it was a good note; she said she believed it was. I saw it was directed to Postlewaite, London; I asked her where that Postlewaite resided; she seemed to hesitate; in a little time she said she believed in Tooley-street. There was Westham, Essex, upon the note. On further questioning of her she said she believed the banking house was a large shop. I saw it was a new note, the writing was fresh; It was dated in January.

JOHN RAY . I am an officer of Worship-street office. I took the prisoner into custody. This note was delivered to me; I have had it ever since. I went down to Westham to see whether there was any such firm of Davey, Brathwaite, and co.; there was not. I made enquiries in Tooley-street, there I found in Church-alley a person of the name of Postlewaite. I enquired at No. 9, Old Bethlem, the prisoner did live there.

The prisoner was not put on her defence.


First Middlesex jury, before Mr. justice Bailey.

Author:  Barry Ennever

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