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The Lovell Family


I came across this interesting early reference to Lovells in London this is a extract from From The Times, 5 January 1843:


Victorian Lives:- John Lovell, Gypsy and Tinker of Frying Pan Alley, London

5 January 1843


"Death of an Old Gypsy – Last week John Lovell, aged 80 years, expired at his residence in Fryingpan-alley, Clerkenwell. The deceased was well known in the metropolis for the last 50 years as a Gypsy and travelling tinker; and in more recent years, being afflicted with apoplexy, he lost the use of his left side, and paraded the streets in the vicinity of Lincoln’s-inn, calling out, “Poor old man! – pots and kettles to mend.” His appearance was most deplorable, and he received sums of money from charitable persons daily, supposing him to be in great distress. After his decease a sum of money amounting to 700l. was found in various parts of his room, which he had hoarded up, amongst which were several pounds’ worth of farthings.


"On Sunday last he was respectably buried in Clerkenwell burying ground by some relatives. The deceased had a large family of children; one of his sons was executed at the age of 17 years, at the Old Bailey, with John Henley, the captain of the celebrated West-end fair gangmen, Hampstead, for desperate highway robberies at that fair; two others of his sons were transported, for robberies, for their natural lives. The deceased, some years ago, resided at Paddington, and was the associate of the Lees and Coopers, gangs notorious for horse-stealing. Lee, who was at that period termed the King of the Gypsies, being convicted of horse-stealing, suffered execution. The deceased, when a young man, was a noted prize-fighter."


Its Interesting to note in Vernon.S.Morwood's " Our Gypsies in City Tent and Van "1885* Sylvester Boswell who was considered

the most reliable authority on his own people, said that the most ancient and purest families of Gipsies in this Country are the "Lees,Lovells,Stanleys,Coopers,Drapers,Bucklands, Chilcotts and Boswells," and he added that the Locks,who are numerous

in Gloucestershire,are the descendants of Welsh Gipsies.


Its Interesting to note that the John Lovell in the article above dated 1843 aged 80 would givea birth date of 1763, and there is another John Lovell b abt 1798 who married Union Lee in 1819 Finchley London ,they settled in Barnes Surrey (Barnes Common) but family lore has it that when Union died her caravan & posessions were burnt at her death in the traditional gypsy manner.


 Some Baptism's for John and Union from the IGI.


Christening:06 JAN 1833  Woodmansterne, Surrey

Parents: Father: JOHN LOVELL  Mother: UNION  


LETITIA LOVELL* FemaleBirth:  03 MAR 1823    

 Christening:27 JUL 1823  Saint Leonards Shoreditch London

 Parents: Father: JOHN LOVELL  Mother: UNION


HENRY LOVELLChristening:05/7/1835  Morden, Surrey

  Age at Christening:  5    

Parents: Father:JOHN LOVELL  Mother: UNION    


 JOSEPH LOVELL Christening:28 /8/1843  Merstham Surrey

Parents: Father: JOHN LOVELL  Mother: UNION


The Lovell Family

The Info below kindly sent to me by a family member Alison:- Thank's .


Lovell Limpady 1825 18 Sept bap John & Unity (Union) Lovell (nee Lee), Stranger, Banstead, Surrey

(a brother Henry is 4 lines further down to John Lovell & Union Lee).

Lovell Joseph 1843 28 Aug bap John & Naomi (Union Lee), brazier, Merstham, Surrey. This is my husbands great grandfather.


Other children of John & Union that are known for certain are:

Letitia Lovell  b. 3/31823,  bapt 27/7/1823. St Leonards, Shoreditch.

Catherine Lovell b abt 1824 in Putney. Married Henry Whitby. (however Catherine might be Limpady)

Duriah Lovell b. abt 1838-40 Hendon.

Robert Lovell b. abt 1848 Godstone

Mignonette Lovell baptised 6/1/1833 Woodmansterne, Surrey.

(the other Mignonette Lovell born 1897, and  Sampson Lovell  are her niece and nephew by her brother Joseph Lovell -born 1843).


These Lovell’s settled in Barnes, Surrey.  Duriah and Mignonette were both still there in 1911. John Lovell & wife Union Lee also died in Barnes.


It would seem that quite a few of the London side Travellers including the famous "Norwood" Gypsie families who seem to have married into most of the major Romany lines, and thus spread to most parts of the Country ,the West Country being it seemed quite favoured by them and many related families seemed to have Emigrated to the USA in the mid 1850s.

Of course they may have been there earlier as in 1614 Britain began to send its criminals overseas , in due course this became

to be known as "transportation"  From 1614-1775, the destinations were the American colonies of Virginia and Maryland,and from 1788- 1868 Australia. Its impossible to say just how many men and woman were Gypsies.

But from the passengers lists of the mid 1850s we can see that members of the Lovell family were among the folks seeking a better life in the USA.

One Lovell member recorded in Newspapers of the times as a "Gyspy King" was Seth Lovell son of Walter and Rosanna Lovell.


1870*PASSENGER LIST *The Ship*Cuba.

Walter Lovell 23 Jun 1870 AGE 50 abt 1820 Liverpool  

Rosanne Lovell 23 Jun 1870 AGE 50 abt 1820 Liverpool

Rody Lovell 23 Jun 1870  AGE 35 abt 1835 Liverpool

Seth Lovell 23 Jun 1870 AGE 30 abt 1840 Liverpool



 Published May 30th 1884

In a  little dome shaped tent near the railway station at EL MORA NEW JERSEY the body of the late ROSANNA LOVELL a Queen of the Gypsies lay in state yesterday ,from early afternoon until far into the night. Three wax candles stuck a upon three crooked sticks  burning at her head, cast a mellow light a upon the glistening casket and upon the white muslin draperies of the weather stained tent.

Camp fires surrounded by groups of men  women  and children in whispered conversation sent long lines of smoke trailing across fields and in the early twilight shoe dimly like beacons far at sea, causal visitors came and went, the horses stamped uneasily and dogs  like skulking shadows prowled from tent to wagon with hungry restlessness, horse trading was stopped fortune telling ceased for a day the Queen was dead. Strictly speaking ROSANNA was not a Queen, at the same time it maybe said there are no Gypsy Queens in this country  although many claim the title. Rosanna never claimed to be a Queen although in point of age influence and worldly prosperity she ranked above all strolling fortune tellers in America.  She was born in England about 102 years ago until 1870 she roamed over England telling fortunes in villages in the suburbs of the cities and at country fairs.


In1870 she came to America and continued the same nomadic life. Her husband WALTER LOVELL to whom she was married very many years ago accompanied her and did profitable business Horse trading with venturesome strangers. He is now about 76 years of age and is hale and hearty as though he was scarcely 50!! He is BOSS of the LOVELL & SMITH band.  Rosanna was his wife there was no Queen except in the imaginations of romantic minded people in the provinces, the Band in number  of about 30 with 16 wagons came from near Oakdale Park Philadelphia about a week ago, at that time ROSANNA was taken ill , A physician who was called in said she was dying of old age.

On Wednesday night she died, She will be buried today in EVERGREEN CEMETERY Two years ago ROSANNA and her band performed in the ROMANY RYE at Booths Theatre in this city She liked the experience very much, WALTER LOVELL and others of the band own houses and lots near Elizabeth.


Newspaper report on ""Prince Lovell"" October 14th 1899



Oct 18th The body of SETH LOVELL who died in west Philadelphia Monday which has lain in state in a new tent of the LOVELL tribe in a Newark Road was buried today in EVERGREEN CEMETERY .

The REV  E B Cobb officiated, The coffin was covered with Floral offerings from the many members of the tribes present who came from Chicago Wrightstown N J Fall river Massachusetts Brooklyn Boston Madison Chatham N J Conshohocken Pennsylvania Providence and Philadelphia.

The dead Gypsy was known as prince Seth ,he being the son of the King Walter and Queen Rosa, who died in 1897, and were both buried in the same plot,on which is erected a magnificent monument, costing about $4,000. The deceased Gypsy, leaves a brother Prince Joseph who will take his place.Seth Lovell was a native of Wales he had lived in America forty years.


Rosanna Lovell is also mentioned in the book "Charles Godfrey Leland page" 192:-

In 1892 ,referring to these old days, "Do you remember old Rosanna Lovell,and how we took her a dukkerin lil (fortune- telling book) and  brought a thousand people out to see her; and how Val Stanley sent out every ten minutes for beer which we drank out of a moustache-cup- and the great tent with the Arab brass lamp,where the beer was carried round in a watering pot!- and the old Rom who apoligised for the want of a view or scenery, and who offered a piece of tobacco for hospitality?"-Why, Philadelphia

was all adventure, a town of "strange things."


According to a family tree given to me by Bob Lovell , Slacks son Frederick had amongst other children Llewellyn and Josh who both went to America ,also his son Laden ahd a dauhter Leni who married a Smith and also went to America so i shall be looking these families up in the records to see what happened to them in the States.


Below is the  Ships Passenger list for the ship the Pembroke 22nd June 1874

Isaiah Lovell  born abt 1839  Cardiff, Wales    

Fyence Lovell  born abt 1844  Cardiff, Wales    

Isaiah Lovell  minor (child)    Cardiff, Wales    

Nicodemus Lovell minor (child)  Cardiff, Wales          

Frank Lovell  born abt 1831  Cardiff, Wales    

Leonard Lovell  minor (child)born  Cardiff, Wales    

Gania Lovell minor (child) female  Cardiff, Wales    

 Louisa Lovell minor (child)  Cardiff, Wales      

Benjamin Lovell minor (child)    Cardiff, Wales    


John Lovell age 27/ abt 1847  Cardiff, Wales  

Elizabeth Lovell  bornabt 1850  Cardiff, Wales    

 Benjamin Lovell minor (child)  Cardiff, Wales    


 Frank Lovell 43 born Cardiff, Wales

 Elizabeth Lovell born abt 1834  Cardiff, Wales    

 Edingel Lovell age 24 female abt 1850  Cardiff, Wales        

  Lewellyn Lovell  abt 1851  Cardiff, Wales      

 Sophia Lovell age 22 born abt 1852  Cardiff, Wales      

  Fyence Lovell  born  Cardiff, Wales      

  Mary Jane Lovell  born   Cardiff, Wales      

 John Lovell  born   Cardiff, Wales    


John Lovell  age 20 born Cardiff, Wales


little ditto wagon

July 7th 1884 The ship the City of Rome*

Port of departure Liverpool*Arrival New York

E'd Lovell age 30 born England Tinman

Mary Lovell wife age 29 born England

Emily age 16 born England

Rachel age 11born England

Aaron age 6 born England

Nehemiah age 4 born England

Hesekiah age 1born England

Llewellan age 15 born England


Levi Lovell age 19  Grinder born England

Elvira Lovell age 19 born England