William Temple


Son of George Temple, father of Rev. William Johnston Temple and husband of Sarah Johnston


William Temple was baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Berwick-upon-Tweed on 4th September 1710.  He was of Allerdean.


On 24th June 1733 he took over the post of General Riding Surveyor of the Salts for the Excise from his father.  He was appointed Waiter & Searcher on 28th July of the same year, earning c.£50 per annum for the first post and, if the posts ran concurrently, £30 per annum for the second post.


William married Sarah Johnston, daughter of Alexander Johnston, to whom, in 1705, land was conveyed at Allerdean and in 1723 he was described as a Chapman in a conveyance of a property at Amble; he was buried at St Nicholas, Newcastle upon Tyne on 27th November 1727.  William and Sarah's marriage was also at St Nicholas Church, Newcastle, on 14th January 1738/39.  The marriage bond of the 12th January 1738/39 states that William was of Berwick and Sarah of All Saints, Newcastle, although they married at St Nicholas. Sarah's brother, William, was a Mercer in Newcastle and admiited a freeman of the Merchants' Company on 27th April 1738, but died c. 1743, leaving his sister, Sarah, heiress to the Johnston properties


He was elected Mayor of Berwick on Michaelmas 1749 and 1753. William was clearly of a solid merchant family who, with other such families, dominated the trade, social life and politics of Berwick.


Over the portico of the Town Hall of Berwick-upon-Tweed appear the words "Finished A.D.  MDCCLIV, William Temple, Esq., Mayor." His name also appears on the Number 4 “William” tenor of the bells in the belfry, weighing in at seven cwt (784 lbs).


“These eight bells were cast during the Mayoralty of William Temple Esq. 1754 Berwick-upon-Tweed”


At the entrance to the Churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, there once stood a Memorial to “William Temple, Mayor of Berwick when the Townhall was built”.


He and his father, George, were both Presbyterians, of an old Berwick family and were trustees of "The Low Meeting House", the chapel of the Scottish Presbyterians, who were regarded in Berwick as dissenters.


William and Sarah had the following children, baptised in Berwick-upon-Tweed:


Rev. William Johnston Temple born on 6th December 1739


Sarah Temple baptised on 16th December 1740. She married Captain John Forster on 5th March 1764 in St John's Church, Newcastle and died in Warkworth on 17th April 1824. John was the younger son of Thomas Forster of Lucker and Brunton in Northumberland. John's regiment was the 46th Foot, 10th Company; he ended his foreign service after the taking of Havana in 1762. He died in 1787. Sarah and John had the following children, all born in Alnwick, Northumberland:


George Forster born c.1766


Sarah Forster born in 1768 and buried on 25th April 1854


Jane Forster born c. 1770 and married John Watson on 14th October 1792


John Forster baptised on 13th December 1772


Ralph Forster born c. 1774 and died c. 1805


George Temple baptised on 27th March 1741/42 and buried on 18th September 1747


Alexander Temple  baptised on 17th February 1743/44 and buried on 27th May 1746


Esther Temple baptised on 27th September 1745 and buried on 5th October 1747


Robert Temple baptised on 19th July 1747.  In 1762 Robert, known as Bob, was “a rollicking and extravagant young Lieutenant on half pay who was then sharing rooms with Boswell, William Johnson Temple’s friend, at the Inner Temple, greatly to that gentleman’s discomfort and dissatisfaction”  In December 1783, Robert was killed in India


Sarah was buried at Holy Trinity Church on 1st March 1747/48. According to William Johnston Temple, his mother died when he was seven or eight. Sarah was the last of the Johnston family of Newcastle.


William was declared bankrupt in May 1762 and his occupation then was stated as being that of a merchant in Berwick-upon-Tweed.


William was buried at Holy Trinity on 25th January 1774.


There is reference to William in John Scott’s “Berwick-upon-Tweed  - The History of the Town and Guild” 1888.


Much of The information concerning William and his family is contained two books in my possession. 

Additionally, information concerning the dates of William’s position as Mayor of Berwick and associated inscriptions was obtained by inspection of and noting the Borough records


The information on his bankruptcy is referred to in the Gentleman’s Magazine of 1762


Many dates are from the Parish Records of Holy Trinity, Berwick



by email if you want more information or if you have information to give me