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William & Sarah Plank

WILLIAM PLANK  was bapt: 1 Oct 1755 in Chirton With Marden, Wiltshire, England, son of Joseph Plank and Hester (Esther) nee Javis; occ: agricultural labourer, he was bur:  30 Jun 1824 All Saints Church, Marden.

He mar: SALLEY OR SARAH MASLIN on 19 Apr 1778 in Marden , Wiltshire, the dau: of JEFFORD MASLIN and MARY nee DUNFORD. She was b: 01 Jun 1758 in Marden, Wiltshire, Bapt: 22 Jun 1758, Marden and d; 11 Jun 1829 in Marden, Wiltshire.

During William's life, it became impossible for a agricultural labourer to own a small area of land due to the Enclosure Acts of rural England. Up till then,  an area of the land was categorized either as being "common" or as "waste". "Common" land was under some collective control - operated as an open field system -  a single plot of land was divided among groups, often by a lord why employed his ag-lab workers or by a collection of participating peasants. It allowed common grazing and crop rotation.  Land that was not claimed by any group, was called "Waste" and could be cultivated by landless peasants.

Enclosure Acts for small areas had been passed sporadically since the 12th century, but with the rise of the Industrial Revolution, they became more commonplace. In search of better financial returns, landowners looked for more efficient farming techniques. Enclosures created meant that landowners could charge higher rent to the people working the land and this resulted in many peasants forced to leave the countryside to work in the city in industrial factories.

Between 1770 and 1830 about 6 million acres (24,000 km) of common land were enclosed. The common land had been used for centuries by the poor of the countryside to graze their animals and grow their own produce. now, with this land divided up among the large local landowners, the landless farmworkers became solely dependent upon working for their richer neighbours for a cash wage. During the boom years of the Napoleonic wars,  this for some, offered a tolerable living as labour was in short supply and corn prices high, but the return of peace in 1815 brought with it plummeting grain prices and an oversupply of labour. Enclosure was fatal for the small farmer, the cottager and the squatter. Before enclosure the cottager was a labourer with land but, after enclosure he was a labourer without land.


i.  MARY PLANK (bapt: Abt. 07 Jun 1778, Marden, Wiltshire; mar. 1817, Marden, Wiltshire to JAMES SAVORY, .

ii. THOMAS PLANK (bapt: 26 Mar 1780, Marden , Wiltshire; d. 24 Sep 1832, Sydney.) He mar: JANE JULIE* ANGELICA STONE on 29 Aug 1807 in All Saints Church, Burbage, Wiltshire, daughter of CHARLES STONE and (JENNY) SMITH. She was b: 07 Mar 1779 in Burbage.

iii. DANIEL PLANK (bapt: 14 Jul 1782, Marden , Wiltshire; d. 09 Dec 1866, Marden, Wiltshire. He married MARY HAYWARD 09 Jul 1808 in Chirton, Wiltshire, daughter of MAURICE HAYWARD and ELIZABETH COLEMAN. She was b: 17 Nov 1785 in Marden, Wiltshire, and d: 06 Jun 1829 in Marden, Wiltshire. 

iv.  SOPHIA PLANK (bapt:20 Mar 1785, Marden, Wiltshire; d. Abt. Jun 1842, Pewsey) She did not marry

v.  HESTER PLANK  (bapt: 4 Feb 1787, Marden, Wiltshire; d. 06 Aug 1869, All Cannings, Wiltshire at age 82. She mar: STEPHEN HISCOCK

vi. JOSEPH PLANK (bapt: Bef. 13 Sep 1789, Marden, Wiltshire; Died on the voyage to Tasmania)

vii.  ELIZABETH (BETTY) PLANK (bapt: 29 Apr 1792, Marden, Wiltshire; d. 28 Apr 1860, Beechingstoke, UK. She mar; WILLIAM PINCHIN 08 Jun 1822 in Marden, Wiltshire, son of WILLIAM PINCHIN and BETTY. He was b: 03 Jan 1787 in Bottlesford Nth, Wiltshire, and d: 1868 in Chippemham, Wiltshire.

viii. WILLIAM PLANK  (bapt: Bef. 30 Mar 1794, Marden, Wiltshire; d. 26 Feb 1797, Marden, Wiltshire; d: before 8 years

ix. ELEANOR PLANK (bapt: 04 Jun 1797, Marden, Wiltshire; d. 1864, Beechingstoke, UK. She married DANIEL TILLEY 21 Oct 1826 in Marden, Wiltshire. He was born 1800 in Broadstreet, Beechingstroke, Wiltshire; Occ: Ag Lab

x. WILLIAM PLANK (bapt: 02 Sep 1799, Marden, Wiltshire; Occ: Ag Lab;  d; 09 Jan 1877, Marden, Wiltshire. He mar: MARY NAISH 08 Nov 1828 in Marden, Wiltshire. She was bapt: 1 Sep 1811 in Marden, Wiltshire, and d: 27 Feb 1903 in Marden, Wiltshire.


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