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Copyright RomanyGenes 2007-2020 Design and Web Layout S.J.Day All Rights Reserved
Romantic Gypsy Marriage (Sequal To The Death of A King Of The Gypsies)
New York Times Published Aug 1st 1881
At Elmwood .N.J. Just at dusk one chilly Sunday evening in November,1876,a young and comely Gypsy woman called at The residence of Rev.Dr.bishop, Rector of Christ Episcopal Church, In East Orange,N.J. and said that a dying man had
sent her for a clergyman. Dr.Bishop accompanied her to the Gypsy encampment ,about a mile from his residence,where he found about a score of swarthy looking men and woman gathered about a large square tent.on a rude pallet in the tent lay a man about 60 years old.His iron grey was long and bushy,his eyes blue,and his face thin and careworn. He did not bear any resemblance to the Gypsies, who moved away from his tent at his bidding when the clergyman entered,he said to Dr. Bishop that his name was Uriah Wharton, that he was born in Shropshire,England, and that his family were respectable and well-to-do.They They were communicants in the Church of England,which he attended in his boy-hood,and they discarded him after his clandestine marriage with Mary Holmesworth,the pretty daughter of the queen, so called of, a band of Gypsies camping near his home. He had a fair education,good prospects,and excellent family connection,but he gave up all and became a member of the Gypsy band.His wife was recognized as the head of the tribe after her mother died, and he
became the chief,about 35 years ago.
He had brought the band to the United States. He had laboured to improve the morals and correct the habits of his compoanions,and in a measure he had sicceeded.The men became thrifty,and purchased a house and considerable land in Elmwood for a permanent home,but they never lived in the house , preferring to sleep in the tents or wagons. Dr.Bishop was impressed by Wharton's story,especially when the old man said that he wished to die in the faith which he was taught in childhood,and to have the church of england service read at his burial.After praying with Wharton,Dr.Bishop went away,but on the following day he returned with a female Physician.
The old man refused to have anything to-do with female doctors,however, and Drs.Webb, Pierson,and Wilmarth kindly gave him some attention. On one when Dr.bishop was praying with him,an old woman,who did not like his sending for a clergyman,slipped into the tent and began an incantation.She was tryingto work a gypsy"spell" according to the old Romany custom,but the other members of the band ordered her to come out."What do you know about it," said a burly felklow to the old woman." "The chief is talking with a christian,You're a --- old heathen." Dr.bishop noticed that the gypsies did not like to be called heathen. He was respectfully treated in the camp.When the old man Wharton was dying the clergyman urged him to confess every sin that he had committed ,but his only reply was: "I have never murdered anybody.I have no man's blood on my hands." The corpse was laid out decently in the caravausary,or house wagon,and there Dr.Bishop held the burial service the swarthy members of the band being gathered about the improvised chapel. The Internment took place in Rosedale cemetery,in Orange,where the Gypsies,by direction of Wharton,purchased a large burial-plot.Wharton left a wife and several chilkdren,and a few weeks after his death the eldest son called on the clergyman,bade him good-bye, and said that he had given up gypsy life,and was going South to become a useful member of society .That was in January,1877.
Wednesday evening last Mrs Bishop was startled by seeing several swarthy men and woman approaching the front door of her residence.before she coukd recover from her surprise they were in the hall.A man asked for Dr.bishop,saying that a couple had come to get married.As soon as the clergyman saw the bride he recognized her as Dinah Wharton,the youngest daughter of the old chief of the gypsies,who was 13 years old when her father died.The bridgroom was Henry Lee,a burly young man of 21 years,whose piercing black eyes ,coarse black hair,and swarthycomplexion proclaimed him pure Gypsy.Dr.Bishop told Dinah that as she was not quite 18 years old he could not marry her unless her mother was present or sent her written consent.A messenger soon brought the mother,who said to the clergyman::You have acted very well,for I want everything so that no talk can be made."She added that Dinah and young Lee had been "running together." and therefore she thought it best that they should be married. Dinah,a petite brunette with splendid brown eyes, was very nervous during the marriage ceremony.She cried for a while, Her lover was also nervous and bashful, he fidgeted, and evidently wished the thing well over.Their friends, dressed in quaint costumes,looked on in wonder. lee put the wedding ring on dinah's right hand,and when Mrs.Bishop told told him to put it on her left he slipped it on the wrong finger Dinah knew no better than he where the ring belonged.The service had to be said iover again on account of this blunder.They went away in a happy mood after being tied, and a jollyfication took place in the dimly lighted camp. The following day the old woman called after the marriage certificate,which show s that Henry Lee's mother was Caroline Boswell,and his father Oak Lee, a Lineal descendant from the recognized king of the Gypsies in England
60 years ago. The Boswells were also one of the original tribes of English Gypsies.Fifty years ago George Borrow
an authority in Gypsy lore,who died in England on Saturday last, got most of his "History of the English Gypsies" From one of the Lees that lived near London.
On a plateau overlooking Central-Avenue a Times reporter found last evening hald a dozen villianons-looking Gypsies swaggering and swearing .A dozen rods near Elmwood their was a different scene . A handsome Gypsy covered wagon was drawn up under the trees near a pretty white cottage with green blinds. Near by was a spacious canvas tent, in which two comely young woman were dressing. Another maiden was combing her hair squatted on the ground. An old shrivelled- up hag crouched before the dying embers of the fire and crooned in a low tone. Three brawny young men were stretched on their backs under the wagon readin.In the centre,sat on a log , were a young girl and a elderly woman,each holding in their arms atiny blue-eyed baby. the older woman was the mother of Dinah Wharton, now Mrs.Lee, who was braiding her dark brown hair.
Mrs Wharton is a well-preserved woman of 50 years,she has dark brown hair,brown eyes, and regular features.
She was evidently a fine looking young girl."My husband was always one of us"."she said",and good Mr. Bishop must be mistaken It was Uriah's grandfather who was a house-liver.He was Lodge-keeper for Lord Sefton,the lord of the Manor for Northbridge,Shropshire England, and he educated his son for a gentleman.But his son fell in love with one of the children of the the woodsand married her. he was discarded, and then joined the tribe.He educaed his children and became a power among the Gypsies,so that at the fairs and the conventions his voice was always powerfull.His son, my husband, got a good education also.The old man died broken-hearted when he saw the tribes breaking into pieces. there are very few persons of pure Gypsy blood living now.Don't you believe the tales about queens. We have none.We travel in families.The head male of the family is looked up to by the men,and the women respect the oldest female in the direct line. that's all there is about Gypsy life.A true Gypsy will not be a "house-liver".We love out-door life,which our rules and traditionsand our religion teach us.we are always married by some christian minister.There is no marriage ceremony performed by any member of a gypsy tribe. We are not so romantic or so bad as some folks think.we might be better, but we could be worse, Good night".
I wanted to see if the details above fitted ,and so far to my delight ! i found on the 10th March 1871 3 Christening's
for the family all at St.Paul Methodist,Bridgeport,Gloucester New jersey :-
Dinah Wharton born 27/4/1865 chr 10/3/1871 Parents Uriah and Mary Wharton.
Louisa Wharton born 30/4/1869 chr 10/3/1871 Parents Elijah and Phebe Wharton.
Caroline Wharton born11/1/1861 chr 10/3/1871 Parents Thomas and Carnation Wharton.
Interestingly although Uriah said he wasn't a born Gypsy I found these Wharton's? and occ Tin Smith? next door was a Lee family and of course Dinah Wharton married Henry Lee ?.
1881* Census : Southwick, Durham, England
Dwelling Cottage On Ballast Hill
Stephen WHARTON Head M Male 41 Ryhope Tin Smith
Margeret WHARTON Wife M Female 40 Sheriff Hill
Mosiah WHARTON Son U Male 22 Hexham Tin Smith
Mary An. WHARTON Daur U Female 17 Tow Law
Ellen WHARTON Daur U Female 15 Sheriff Hill
Alfred WHARTON Son U Male 13 Sheriff Hill Scholar
Masah WHARTON Son U Male 7 Sheriff Hill Scholar
Carnation WHARTON Daur U Female 3 Sheriff Hill Scholar
Dwelling Cottage On Ballast Hill
Oliver LEE Head M Male 29 Durham, England Basket Maker
Elizabeth LEE Wife M Female 30 Lincoln, England
Mary LEE Daur U Female 8 Scholar
Annie LEE Daur U Female 5
Edward LEE Son U Male 3
Richard LEE Son U Male 1
I also found a Christening * Carnation dau of Abriah and Bathsheba Wharton 7/Nov/1841 Skelbrooke Yorkshire.