Rebecca Lythell

Rebecca Lythell was the third of the five children of John Lythell and his fourth wife Frances Howard of Stretham, Cambridgeshire, England.

When Rebecca was 9 years old, her father died, leaving his widow with at least five children between the ages of 13 and 2yrs. After this loss, their mother clearly decided that she must baptise their children and so just 8 days after their father's death, all five children appear in the baptism register.

By 1840, Rebecca gave birth to her first child - William. However, Rebecca appears not to have been married at the time. In December of 1840, she marries William Dewsbury of Stretham and by the time of the following spring's Census, William has taken the Dewsbury name. Perhaps William Dewsbury was really her illegitimate son's father - noting the same name (although a common one).

The only trace of Rebecca's illegitimate child appears in 1842 (note - after the census!), where he is baptised at Stretham alongside George Dewsbury - the first child from her marriage, yet William has reverted to 'Lithall' and is noted as illegitimate.

The couple had a total of 12 children, although sadly two of them (Ellen and Walter) both died when they were 21mths old.

William and Rebecca appear on a number of censuses, starting with the 1841 Census for Stretham. Ten years later, they appear again on the Stretham census but this time accompanied by their six (of their overall twelve) known children. By the time of the 1881 Census, William and his wife are living alone in Stretham aged 70 and 60 respectively.

Life Events


  • 1820 at Stretham, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • With her siblings on 28th November 1830 at St. Mary's Church, Stretham, Cambridgeshire, England.



Census and Residence

  • 1841: 21yrs, Pump Lane, Stretham, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1851: 30yrs, Pump Lane, Stretham, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1861: 41yrs, Back Street, Stretham, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1871: 50yrs, East Street, Stretham, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1881: 60yrs, Back Street, Stretham, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • During December 1889 at Stretham, Cambridgeshire, England, aged 69 years.


  • 6th December 1889 at St. Mary's Church, Stretham, Cambridgeshire, England.



  • John Lythell (1746-1814)
  • Mary Finch (1748-1814)
  • Thomas Howard (17??-?)
  • Elizabeth Drage (17??-?)

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