On 12 October 1811 William Whistler of Basingstoke and Elizabeth Hood were married at Monk Sherborne, the bride’s home village near Basingstoke (1). It appears that William was the nephew of Edward Whistler, a butcher of Old Basing, who died in 1817.
William and Elizabeth Whistler made their home in Basingstoke. Sons William and Charles were baptised, respectively, on 28 November 1813 and 3 January 1817 at St Michael’s Church, Basingstoke. Their daughters were Harriet, baptised on 18 July 1819, and Sarah, baptised on 2 September 1827. Two sons, Henry and David, died in infancy. In the Basingstoke baptismal register, for the Whistler children, the father’s profession was given as labourer.
The Whistler brothers, William and Charles, both found marriage partners from the Basingstoke area and settled in the Dartford district of Kent, attracted by work in the brewing industries. The opening of the railway to Dartford in 1849 encouraged many newcomers to settle in the area. The breweries, supplied by the hops grown in the Darent Valley, were a major Dartford employer (2).
Charles Whistler and Sarah, the daughter of William Cooper, were married in Old Basing on 26 November 1842. The wedding of William Whistler and Harriet Munday was celebrated in the village of Herriard on 28 May 1846.
A gravestone at East Hill Cemetery, Dartford has the lines: (3)
(1) Exactly one year later, on 13 October 1812, Sarah Whistler, possibly William’s sister, became the wife of John Hood(s) at a wedding in Basingstoke. The signature of William Whistler in the 1811 Monk Sherborne marriage record matches the signature of William Whistler who was a witness at the 1812 Basingstoke marriage of Sarah Whistler.
(3) Memorial inscription by Phil Taylor, 2012, at Find A Grave .