GUNMAN family of Dover:
The First James GUNMAN: Where Pencester Road now is, stood Gunman’s mansion, which may have existed since the Commonwealth time. The Gunman’s line began, as far as we know, with Captain William Stokes, RN. a freeman of Dover. It is probable Captain Stokes dwelt in the Biggin Street mansion. He had a daughter Elizabeth, who married Edward Wivell, who became a free¬man, a member of the Corporation and six times Mayor. Edward Wivell resided at the mansion. He was a man of impor¬tance, and owned the manor of Buckland. His daughter Elizabeth married Captain James Gunman, and brought to him the Buckland manor. James was the first of the Gunmans that we hear of in Dover, and he had a younger brother, Christopher. The first we learn of Captain James Gunman is that he was one of the bearers at the funeral of Mr. Henry Matson in 1722; and Madam Elizabeth Gunman, nee Wivell, was one of the bearers at the funeral of Mrs Minet in 1738. Captain James Gunman became mayor in 1737. He only appears to have been Mayor one year, and died before his brother Christopher, to whom he bequeathed his estate, including the manor of Buckland.
Christopher Gunman was three times Mayor in 1751, 1760, and 1773. Little is recorded respecting Christopher, except a tradition that he was rich. How the Gunman’s obtained their wealth is not known but it is pre¬sumed it was inherited, as they were connected with some of the principal families in Dover. In Christopher Gunman’s time the family mansion may be pictured as abutting on Biggin Street, occupying not only the top of Pencester Road, but also a considerable portion of the frontage round the corner in Biggin Street towards the town hall. A gateway to the mansion fronted onto the street and the lawns, gardens and grounds eastward occupied the whole of the dour side land from Park Street to Dieu Stone Lane.
The second James Gunman: Christopher Gunman left a son, James Gunman - James also was mayor of Dover three times, - 1776, 1784 and 1789. In addition to possessing the Buckland Manor, he purchased the manor of Shepherdswell. After his last mayoralty, James lived 38 years in Dover, dying at Biggin Street on the 29th of June 1824, in his 76th year.
(above information extracted from "Dover" by J.Bavington Jones)
This James Gunman of Dover and Coventry married Sarah Hussey Delaval in 1805. She was the only daughter of Edward Delaval who inherited Doddington Hall in Lincolnshire in his 80th year. Delaval accomplished a great deal but died 6 years after succession to Doddington. When Edward’s widow Mrs Hussey Delaval and his daughter Mrs Gunman succeeded him, they bought Sir John Astley's part of the Doddington estate and Col. Jarvis bought the remaining part.
James Gunman had lands in Warwickshire, in Yorks, and around Dover where he lived. He was the last of a family of sailors and was collector of customs at Dover. The contents of his Dover house went to Doddington. He died in 1824 and his wife died of consumption in 1825. Mrs Gunman left everything she owned to her lover, Lt. Col. George Ralph Payne Jarvis. When her mother died in 1829 age 78, she also left most of her property and possessions to JARVIS. He must have been a man of great charm. (Jarvis served at the Battles of Rolica and Vimiero, under Wellesley and at Corunna under Sir John Moore etc… He moved to Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire in 1829) …. At Doddington is a portrait of James Gunman and Sarah Delaval (Mrs Gunman). The upper stairs are hung with nautical paintings associated with the Gunman family. Very appropriately a portrait of George R. Payne Jarvis hangs near that of Sarah Gunman.
(source of some of above information from a book on Historic Houses of Lincolnshire. C.1990s)
James and Sarah GUNMAN are buried at Dover St Marys church, there is a memorial – a Sarcophagus shaped plaque - to the right of the South Door to them:
“Sarah Hussey Gunman widow of James Gunman Esquire IV May MDCCCXXV”
Registers for St Marys Dover, say:
burial on 12.5.1825: Sarah Hussey GUNMAN of Biggin Street Dover;
burial on 8.7.1824: James GUNMAN of Biggin Street age 77