52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

52 Ancestors (2014) #46 Tempest Sell

This week, I have decided my ancestor shall be my ggg grandfather, Tempest Sell.

Tempest Sell was baptized 20 August 1787 in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, England. His parents were Simeon Sell and Edith Leete1.

On 20 April 1813, at St Leonard’s in Shoreditch, London, England, he married Sarah Docwra.

Tempest and Sarah Docwra marriage
(London, England), Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921, Tempest Sell and Sarah Docwra (1813), issued 20 April 1813, Church of England Parish Registers, 1754-1921. London Metropolitan Archives, London. Guildhall, St Leonard Shoreditch, Register of marriages, Jan 1813 – Sep 1814, P91/LEN/A/01/Ms 7498/27; digital images, Ancestry.com, ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com.au/ : accessed 17 Jul 2009).

Tempest and Sarah had the following children:

  • Simeon Sell born 16 October 1813, christened 14 January 1816 at Bassingbourn1
  • Sarah Sell christened 17 Jul 1815 at Bassingbourn1
  • Sarah Sell born 19 May 1815, christened 14 January 1816 at Bassingbourn (it is not yet clear if the earlier Sarah died, or if Sarah was christened twice). 1
  • Edith Fossey Sell born Jun 1817, christened 27 March 1831 at Bassingbourn1
  • Tempest Sell born about December 1821, christened 27 March 1831 at Bassingbourn

Tempest’s wife died 24 December 1821, and was buried 30 December 1821 at St Peter & St Paul, Bassingbourn1.  Since their youngest son Tempest was born about December 1821, it appears that she may have died during, or following, childbirth.

After Sarah’s death, Tempest had an illegitimate son with her sister, Jane Docwra.  This son, Alfred Docwra, was my gg grandfather.  He was christened 13 Jul 18241

Tempest later married Sarah Willmott on 21 December 1829 at Bassingbourn1.  Tempest and Sarah Willmott had one son, Charles, who was christened 27 March 18311 (this was at the same time as Tempest’s other two children, Edith and Tempest, were christened).

The 1841 England Census shows the family living at South Street, Bassingbourn.   Tempest was age 50, publican.  Also in the household was Sarah Sell age 25, Edith Sell age 20, Tempest Sell age 18, Charles Sell age 10, Sarah Docwra age 14, and Joseph Wedd age 50.   The Sarah age 25 would have been his wife, Sarah Willmott, as his daughter Sarah was married to Wortham Hitch in 1839.   Sarah Willmott was born in 1812, so she was only a few years older than Tempest’s children by his first marriage.  The occupation of publican is a surprise, as all other records found for Tempest list him as a veterinary surgeon

The 1851 England Census shows Tempest still living in Bassingbourn (the census doesn’t specify a location within Bassingbourn).  He was age 63, a veterinary surgeon employing 1 assistant, born in Bassingbourn. Also in the household were his wife Sarah, age 38, and son Charles, age 20.

Tempest, Sarah and Charles were also living together in Bassingbourn at the time of the 1861 England Census.

Tempest died 22 April 1861.  The England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations),1861-1941 database at Ancestry shows the following entry for Tempest.

Sell Tempest 20 March.  Letters of Administration (with the Will and Codicil annexed) of the Personal estate and effects of Tempest Sell late of Bassingbourn in the County of Cambridge deceased who died 22 April 1861 at Bassingbourn aforesaid was granted at the Principal Registry to Sarah Hitch (Wife of Wortham Hitch) of Worboys in the County of Huntingdon the Daughter the surviving Residuary Legatee named in the said Will she having been first sworn.

It appears that there was no legacy granted to son Alfred, probably as he was illegitimate.  Alfred survived the longest of Tempest’s children – he died in 1903

From Tempest’s first marriage: Simeon died in 1843, Sarah died in 1872, Edith died in 1850, Tempest died in 1863,

From Tempest’s second marriage: Charles died in 1862.

Cambridgeshire Family History Society, St Peter & St Paul Bassingbourn, CD-ROM Database (N.p.: Cambridgeshire Family HIstory Society, n.d.).


  • 1787 Aug 20 Sell Tempest son of Simeon & Edith
  • 1815 Jul 17 Sell Sarah dau of Tempest & Sarah otp veterinary surgeon
  • 1816 14 Jan Sell Simeon son of Tempest & Sarah otp veterinary surgeon born 16 Oct 1813
  • 1816 14 Jan Sell Sarah dau of Tempest & Sarah otp veterinary surgeon born 19 May 1815
  • 1824 Jul 13 Sell Alfred son of Tempest Sell veterinary surgeon & Jane Docwra otp baseborn (in margin – Jane Docwra sister to Tempest Sell’s late wife)
  • 1831 Mar 27 Sell Edith dau of Tempest & Sarah otp veterinary surgeon aged 13 years 9 months
  • 1831 Mar 27 Sell Tempest son of Tempest & Sarah otp veterinary surgeon aged 9 years 3 months
  • 1831 Mar 27 Sell Charles son of Tempest & Sarah otp veterinary surgeon


1829 Dec 31 Sell Tempest widr otp Willmott Sarah sp otp wits: J. Jackling, Susan (x) Serjeant


1821 Dec 30 Sell Sarah otp 27