Consideration of the facts related to Stepney changed my
original understanding of the early roots of this branch of the family. The
confusion started with the will of Stephen
Calense, mariner, who died in 1760. He left most of his estate to the
children of his brother Thomas Calenso of
There were two Thomas Calensos married in the Parish of Madron around the relevant time:
Thomas Colensoe marrying Phillippa Lewarne 14th October in 1732
Thomas Colenso marrying Elizabeth Rowe 8th December 1733
The children identified in Stephen’s will, which was made in 1759, were as follows, with the known christening dates also indicated:
John Colenso, 8th September 1733, Penzance
Stephen Colenso, 23rd March 1735, Madron
Thomas Colenso, 24th February 1737, Penzance
Hannah Colenso, before 1738 as she is older than 21 in 1759 when the will is written
Sarah Colenso, 2nd February 1740, Penzance
Anne Colenso, 19 June 1743, Penzance
Robert Colenso, 16th April 1746, Penzance
The christening date for John, probably the eldest from the order mentioned in the will, suggests that Phillippa Lewarne is the mother of this family. There is also a daughter Phillippa who dies young.
The significant of this will is that Robert Colenso is the
innkeeper of the King’s Head in
Investigating the naming patterns for sons in the succeeding generations gives clues about who belongs to whom, especially where Stephen is a prominent name. The apparent size of the legacy would have resulted in this Stephen being remembered. For this reason I have called this the “Stephen Branch” and will describe it later.
The first mention of a Stephen Calense in the family is the marriage of this Stephen to Mary Corfield in St Dunstan’s Stepney in 1709. Stephen and Mary have a son John christened on the 23rd April in 1714, also in Stepney. So it is possible that Stephen’s father was called John. This is reinforced by brother Thomas’ first son also be John.
In the Penzance/Madron/Paul area one or more Johns have the following children:
Robert Callensow, 25th April 1676, Madron
James Kalenson, May 1683, Paul
Sackville Kalensow, 14 Aug 1687, Paul
Thomas Calensow, 30th November 1690, Madron
Thomas Calenso, 28th April 1694, Madron
There is also a John Calinsoe, of Madron, marrying Bridget Harry, also of Madron, in Paul in 1707. Possibly this is a second marriage for this John. Unfortunately there are no christening records for Stephen and his sister Mary.
Mary Calense (Stephen’s sister) married Richard Leakins,
also in Stepney on
Edmund Amos married Ann Fairchild in 1744 and had the following children:
Edmund Calense Amos, 1745, Stepney
Francis Calense Amos, 1748, Stepney
Mary Amos, 1750, Stepney
John Amos, 1751, Stepney
The Calenso Amos mentioned in Stephen’s will is probably Francis Calense Amos, who started the shipyard in Gosport that became Camper and Nicholson, described as the world’s oldest yachting business. It is believed that Francis Amos started this business in 1782, and passed it on to his grandnephew William Camper when he died in 1824. This shipyard built many of the challenger yachts for the America’s Cup.
Where the original John Calenso came from is not easy to pinpoint. One clue maybe that the Sackfile Calensoe who marries Ane in Madron on the 13th January 1693 could be his brother, explaining his son with the same name. Unfortunately the records of this era are very patchy and there are not many options – one is John, son of William Calensow born 1607 in St Martin in Meneage.