Robert Licence

Robert Licence was the second son and youngest child of the family. His father was a linen weaver, as was his father before him, and his son Robert would follow the same calling. I think we might assume that he also was in the weaving trade.

He moved just a few kilometres away from Bressingham, where he was born, when he married Rebecca in 1749. They settled in South Lopham, about half-way between Bressingham and Rebecca’s family home at Garboldisham.

They had six children: Robert, Rebecca, John, William, Minta (our ancestor) and Stephen. It’s very possible that their grandmother Elizabeth was also living with them. Their grandfather Edmund had died before any of them were born and his widow moved to South Lopham.

They would all be helping in some way in the family business; growing and preparing the flax plants, weaving the linen and selling the cloth. A thriving, busy, happy life.

Until in 1770 Robert died, less than forty years old. The records at this time and place did not give a cause of death so we do not know if it was illness or accident.

Robert’s mother Elizabeth at 81 years old had to go through the heartbreak of burying her son, whom she outlived by two years.

Rebecca was left with her six children, all still living at home. Her youngest child, Stephen, was seven and our ancestor Minta was nine. We know that Robert Jnr carried on the linen-weaving business: we have a record of his taking on an apprentice in 1779.

Rebecca may have repeated her mother-in-law’s experience of a long widowhood. I have not been able to find a record of either her re-marriage or her death.

Father of Minta Licence, son of Edmund and Elizabeth Licence

Baptised on 23 September 1732 at Bressingham, Norfolk

Married Rebecca Wilden on 16 May 1749

Buried 7 October 1770

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