According to her age given in the census returns1, Rhoda was born in about 1791/92 in Leigh-upon-Mendip, Somerset. A Rhoda TEMPLEMAN died on 19 Jul 1872 aged 802, which also indicates that she was born around 1792. She died at Odd Down, and was described as the wife of John TEMPLEMAN, a mason. The informant was Joseph TEMPLEMAN, probably her eldest son by her second marriage, who was living in the same street as his parents in 1871.

A Rhoda AISHMAN, daughter of Benjamin AISHMAN and Mary, was baptised at St. Giles, Leigh upon Mendip on 7 Oct 17923. This fits with the census data, and is likely to be her. Another transcribed record for this parish has the marriage of Benjamin ASHMAN(2161) and Mary PARSONS(2162), both of the parish of Leigh upon Mendip, on 26 Sep 1791, and these were possibly Rhoda's parents. The marriage was by banns, and the witnesses were William PARSONS and Joseph WHITCOMB.

First marriage

On 14 Feb 1811, when she would have been about 19, Rhoda ASHMAN, of Stoke Lane (also called Stoke St. Michael), married Joseph ROBINS of Holcombe 4. Possibly Rhoda was in service at Stoke Lane, which is only about 3 km west of Leigh Upon Mendip, and Holcombe was a small village and parish about 3 km north of Stoke Lane. So nobody had to walk very far. The marriage was at St Giles, Leigh-upon-Mendip, and was by banns. Witnesses were Charles BRYANT and James PARSONS.

Joseph must have died before 1820, when Rhoda married John TEMPLEMAN (see below), and a Joseph ROBINS, residing in Holcombe, was buried in that parish on 25 Oct 1818, aged 33 5. This looks as though it could be him. Did he and Rhoda have any children?

A Martha ROBINS, daughter of Joseph and Rhoda ROBINS was baptised at Babington on 11 Jul 1813 6, and I suspect that this is the Martha TEMPLEMAN who later appears in the household of John TEMPLEMAN. The record indicates that Joseph ROBINS was a coalminer.

There is also a baptismal record for another daughter of Joseph and Rhoda ROBINS, Emma ROBINS, baptised at Babington on 25 Dec 1811, so an older sister to Martha. I have found nothing further about Emma.

Second marriage

Rhoda ROBINS, a widow, married John TEMPLEMAN(1720) on 24 Dec 1820 at Mells, Somerset 7.

The baptism register of St Andrew's at Mells 8 contains the baptism of eight children of John TEMPLEMAN and Rhoda, all entries indicating that their father was a labourer:

By the time of the first census in 1841 10 the family was at Newberg (as transcribed, but possibly actually Newbury House or Farm, a few hundred metres SW of the village ), Babington, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Rodah (sic) aged 45, was there with her husband John TEMPLEMAN, ag.lab., aged 44. Also present, and presumably children of theirs, were:

Both names and ages are compatible with the list of baptisms above, minus Joseph the eldest son, and Mary Ann. In 1841 son Joseph would have been 19, but I have not found him in the 1841 census.

Rhoda and her husband appear in the subsequent 1851, 1861 and 1871 census returns, for details of which see the page on John TEMPLEMAN. The census returns described her as a laundress. In their later years she and John lived at South Place, Lyncombe, just south of Bath. Various family members lived in the same street.

When Rhoda died, she was buried on 23 Jul 1872 1866 at St James Cemetery, Lyncombe and Widcombe 11, where her husband was later also buried, but in a different plot. There is no record that she had a memorial.


1) In 1861 her age was given as 69 and in 1871 as 79, both indicating that she was born in 1791/92.
2) GRO deaths index, Bath, Somerset, Sep quarter 1872, vol.5c, p.401.
3) Transcribed baptism register for St Giles, Leigh upon Mendip, through FreeREG, www.freereg.org.uk, accessed 5 Apr 2014.
4) Transcribed marriage register of St Giles, Leigh Upon Mendip, through FreeREG, accessed 18 Apr 2014.
5) Transcribed burial register for St Andrew, Holcombe, Somerset, through FreeREG, accessed 8 Apr 2014.
6) Transcribed baptismal registers for St Margaret's, Babington, through FreeREG, www.freereg.org.uk, accessed 20 Apr 2014. The same date is given in the Bishop's Transcripts for this parish.
7) Transcription of the marriage register of St Andrew's, Mells, 1565-1913, through FreeREG, www.freereg.org.uk. The marriage was by banns, and Rhoda was a widow. The witnesses were Mary Ann READ and Stephen SMITH.
8) Transcribed baptismal registers for St Andrew's church, Mells, Somerset, 1565-1913, through FreeREG, www.freereg.org.uk, accessed 20 Apr 2014.
9) GRO births index, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, Sep quarter 1838, vol.10, p.423.
10) 1841 England Census, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, HO107, piece 948, folio 2/3, p.3, through Findmypast.co.uk, accessed 15 Mar 2014.
11) Email from Drew Westerman, Bath Record Office 9 May 2014. The grave was in Section C, Row D, Plot 33.

© John Stowell 2014             This file last edited on 14 May 2014.