We don't really know anything about this gentleman but he does appear in lots of newspaper reports of the time. Once as a victim of theft and once as the thief himself! And his name crops up frequently on various deeds where he seems to have been buying and selling property in Plymouth in the 1830s.
He was a solicitor but does not appear to be related to the Totnes tree WINDEATTs who also went into the solicitor trade at this time. There are also reports of an older solicitor in Plymouth at this time, a Thomas WINGATE, and it is possible that he could be Francis' father - however, Thomas WINGATE only mentions a wife and no legitimate children in his will.
Here are a selection of reports about him:
1826 - Married for the first time
A Francis WINGATE appears in the DFHS index as having married a Mary DAVY on 3rd November 1826 at Plymouth, St. Andrew.
1835 - Agent for Atlas Insurance Company AA
A Mr. F. P. WINGATE is listed as an agent for the Atlas Assurance Company, location: Stonehouse, in the Trewman's Exeter Flying Post of Thursday June 4th 1835. A Mr. George HEARDER of HEARDER'S FAMILY HOTEL, Torquay, is listed as the agent for that town and its neighbourhood.
1837 - Widowed
Jan 10, in Emma Place, Stonehouse, Mary, the wife of F. P. WINGATE, Esq. solicitor, after a protracted illness.
Trewman's Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser (Exeter, England), Thursday, January 19, 1837; Issue 3721.
1838 - Married again - (probably June 20)
At S. George's Chapel, Stonehouse, F. P. WINGATE, Esq., solicitor, to Letitia, youngest daughter of Captain SUTHERLAND of Stonehouse.
Trewman's Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser (Exeter, England), Thursday, June 28, 1838; Issue 3795.
1838 - DEVON ASSIZES - CROWN BAR - VICTIM
Elizabeth HITCHENS was found guilty upon the most conclusive evidence of stealing a quantity of articles at East Stonehouse, the property of Mr. F..P. WINGATE. There were three other indictments against the prisoner, to two of which she pleaded guilty, and the other was not proceeded on, the Court sentencing her to be transported for seven years.
Trewman's Exeter Flying Post or Plymouth and Cornish Advertiser (Exeter, England), Thursday, August 2, 1838; Issue 3800.
1843 OVERSEERS OF THE POOR - Settlement and removal papers
30 Sep 1843: Francis Philip Wingate of Stonehouse, gent, appears as a witness in the settlement examination of a Phoebe HILLARD in Castleton parish, Dorset. (See ref. PE/CAS/OV 14/5 in the Devon Record Office - a summary can be retrieved from the Access to Archives (A2A) search screen. Without having read the document, I can only presume he was the putative father.
Six years later he was in trouble again . . . .
1844 - Widowed again
We know that his wife, Letitia, died in 1844 aged 31
LINK: see the Burnet Morris Index (my transcription no 69).
1849 - EXETER POLICE RECORDS September - October
22/09/1849: Francis WINGATE, solicitor, was charged with theft of some silver cutlery items from the house of an architect. He was found not to be sane and the prosecutor declined to press charges. You can read the details on the GENUKI DEVON source page, kindly transcribed for GENUKI by Brian Bassett.
According to FREE BMD a Francis WINGETT died in Stoke Damarel in the December quarter of 1852 [Ref: 5b 215]
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