Too much time on his hands?
Report from The Times, October 20, 1823
There is now living in the neighbourhood of Bollington, Cheshire, a man of the name of John Jackson : the following particulars of whose history, together with that of his wife, were related by himself, and can be easily substantiated:__ He relates that he was married the first time in the year 1763, to one Betty Brown, by whom he had 12 children, six boys and six girls. In 15 weeks after her death, he married his present wife, who before their marriage was a widow, and had had five children, which were then all living : by her he had 22 children in 20 years and 46 weeks, the time and circumstances of whose birth were equally singular, and probably unprecedented. He hired a cow from a neighbour every year during that period (in which he had but two different cows) and in three or four weeks after the cow had calved, each time his wife was delivered of a child; but in the 21 st year the cow had two calves at the same time, and his wife was then pregnant : the people in the neighbourhood began to predict that his wife also would have two children, which in about three or four weeks was realized in the birth of two boys. When he took them to the church at Prestbury to be baptized, the Minister smiled (as he had had 32 children baptized there before) and said, “Well, John, have you another?” “Yes, two, Sir,” was the reply. “Well, what must they be called?” “Abraham and Isaac,” said John. When the children had been baptized, and the ceremony was over, the Minister said, “Well, John, we should have another, and call it Jacob:” and, faithful, as in times past, in about 12 months afterwards, John’s wife blest him with another boy, which was called Jacob; so that he had 35 children baptized in Prestbury church, 23 of whom in the space of 22 years. – Stockport Advertiser.