in rural Nottinghamshire  

The Sudburys of Egmanton – Part one

John was born in Maplebeck around 1553 here is the link why Maplebeck is involved with the Sudbury Trust

The Sudbury family lived for many years in Egmanton. A number are buried in the churchyard although only the headstone of George and Mary Sudbury will be easily found at the rear of the church. The Sudbury name is commemorated in a house name on Kirton Road and lives on through the generosity of John and Christopher Sudbury in establishing and adding to a charity for the poor of the village which is still administered. The charity is the seventieth oldest in the country. Today it is administered by trustees Rev. Christopher Levy, David Hope, Andrew Banks, Russ Smith and John Bower and each year distributes money to those in Egmanton who are not fortunate to be blessed with good health, or have had a sad event involving close relations or friends, or have simply reached a notably senior age.

In the church bell tower are displayed large information plaques documenting the setting up of the charity. The plaques were originally erected in 1750 but restored by public subscription in 1999. They record the donation of land by John Sudbury to establish a charity and later additions by Christopher Sudbury and others.

From the plaques we learn:

In the year 1616 John Sudbury citizen and leather seller of London, gave to the poor of the Parishes of Maplebeck and Egmanton, one acre of pasture ground lying in the South Field of Tuxford and that the annual rent arising was to be given to the poor inhabitants of the settlements with the consent of the vicar or ministers and churchwardens of Maplebeck and Egmanton one half to the Parish of Maplebeck and the other half to the Parish of Egmanton to be paid at the feast of Nativity of St. John Baptist & the Nativity of our Lord Christ by equal portions yearly.

At the time of the Egmanton Inclosure in 1823 this land, lying in the Parish of Tuxford, was exchanged with his Grace The Duke of Newcastle, for lands lying in the Parish of Egmanton known by the names of Outgangbridge Close and Beetoning Close.

The plaque continues:
In the year 1678 Christopher Sudbury Gent and Goldsmith of St. Clements Lane, London gave to the poor of Egmanton three parcels of arable land lying in the south field of Egmanton one at the Washing Stone in Abbingmore and the other land butting upon Wainrights Homestead and also two roods in the east field  and several lands lying in the west field of Egmanton containing by estimation one acre and one rood lying in a place called the Hockholm the rents and profits thereof yearly arising to be given to the poor inhabitants of Egmanton one half to be paid to the poor on Good Friday and the other half upon the fifth of November by equal portions yearly.

The original charity was added to by several members of another prominent Egmanton family, the Oldhams.  Katharine Oldham, widow, left £1. 5s the yearly interest to be given to the poor of the Parish of Egmanton to be paid on or before the second day of February. Thomas Oldham, Egmanton Yeoman gave £3.15s the interest to be given to the poor of the Parish yearly on the fifth of November.  In 1666 Francis Oldham gave a yearly rent of six shillings from land lying near to the Leeming bridge in the West field of Egmanton to be paid at the feast of the Nativity (Christmas Day) amongst the most necessitous poor. Mrs Hannah Burton left five pounds the interest to be given every Easter Eve to poor widows and fatherless children in the Parish of Egmanton.

The sums donated by the Oldham family were paid towards exonerating the lands belonging to the poor of tithe and other expenses incurred by the Egmanton Inclosure in the year 1823.

The five pounds given by Mrs Burton was paid towards exonerating the land belonging to the poor widows and fatherless children of Egmanton lying and being in Tuxford Parish of tithes and other expenses incurred by the Tuxford Inclosure in the year 1802.

It is amazing to learn that today little is known of John Sudbury who was responsible for setting up the charity in 1616 or of Christopher Sudbury who later added to the charity. Who were they? What was their connection to Egmanton and what became of the family?

Over the last four years considerable research has been carried out concerning the family. This has been made difficult due to large gaps being left in records and the fact that American researchers have already looked at the family and drawn conclusions which are clearly wrong.

For many years members of the Sudbury family lived and farmed in Egmanton. Today no direct descendants exist in the village. The last male Sudbury was here during the 1860s. The Sudburys married into other Egmanton families of the time such as the Gales, the Applebys and the Wardells. When a female Sudbury married the Sudbury name was often retained as the middle name of any child of the union.

Working with a descendant of the Sudbury family it has been possible to piece together much of the Sudbury history and its link with Egmanton but many pieces remain to be found and many uncertainties remain.

The Sudburys of Egmanton – Part two

Early Times

When gathering together the evidence for this series of articles many different sources have been consulted. There are many gaps in records so some best guesses have been used. Some reliance has been made upon American research into the family but because some of this evidence has been found to be incorrect such evidence must be treated with caution. Where no other source exists the American research has been quoted.

Let us begin with the early Sudbury family. According to American researchers the Sudbury family originally came to England from France. The name Sudbury was a family name brought from Normandy. The Sudbury family settled in East Anglia from where they travelled to London and other parts of the country.

The Sudburys were religious people, being ministers, vicars, curates and pastors in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and in London.

Some Sudbury family members believe that they are related to Archbishop Simon de Sudbury. He was Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor in the fourteenth century.  In 1348 and 1349 The Black Death had struck Britain reducing the population by between a quarter and a third which dealt the medieval economy a severe blow.  A shortage of labour and a shortage of tax revenue resulted. The shortage of labour led to an increase in wages but attempts were made to force workers to work for the old rates. A poll tax was introduced to raise revenue but this hit disproportionally the poor. As Lord Chancellor Simon de Sudbury was involved in the introduction of the tax in 1381.  Unrest in the country developed rapidly, now known as The Peasants Revolt, in which Wat Tyler took a lead. As Lord Chancellor the crowd turned on Archbishop Sudbury. He was murdered and his head placed on a spike on London Bridge later to be removed and taken back to the town of Sudbury in Essex where it still remains in the Church of St. Gregorys. His body was buried in Canterbury Cathedral.

Is there any proof of a Sudbury family link to the archbishop? The parents of Simon de Sudbury were Nigel and Sarah Theobald suggesting that the surname of Simon of Sudbury was Theobald and that his title was taken from the town of Sudbury. Simon had a brother John (of Chertsey) and together they had business dealings with John Sudbury of London.

British History Online records a deed of sale for some property in the Parish of St. Dunstans by The Tower of London by John of Chertseye which he with Simon Sudbury late bishop of London (and Archbishop of Canterbury) and John Sudbury had acquired dated 1381. This sale is in the right place to fit with the Sudburys that were to be linked to Egmanton.

Moving forward a century there is a record of John Sudbury, Goldsmith, in London in 1481 and a son of John, also John, who was sworn in as Goldsmith in 1500. Between 1504 and 1515 Edward Sudbury son of John of London (Goldsmith) is also recorded. There is reference to John Sudbury, debtor, heir of John formerly of London (Goldsmith) in 1510. Goldsmiths were very important people in the city loaning money to enable trade to function.

These Sudburys were in the right place to be the ancestors of the Sudbury family which would be associated with Egmanton.

American researchers say that in the 15th and 16th Centuries there were five Sudbury brothers. They and their families amassing great property and wealth. London was their “home base” from which they operated their large commercial business.

It is assumed that the Sudburys gained their wealth by carrying out trades in London. In common with others at the time some of this wealth they used to buy land around the country. It is believed that sons of such families may have left London to farm the land but in turn their sons may have returned to London to take up trades with family members who had stayed in the city.

By the seventeenth century Sudburys were found locally in North Collingham, Fledborough, Averham, Sutton upon Trent, Carlton Upon Trent, Norwell, Caunton, Laxton, Egmanton, Edwinstowe and others.

When the Sudburys first came to Egmanton or at least bought land and property here is unknown. Available evidence shows that they were here by the middle of the sixteenth century.  Records with references to Egmanton show that:

  • In 1551 John Sudbury, yeoman of Egmanton and William Sudbury, yeoman of Kirton made a bond of £40 to John Hardie of Milton for the performance of a covenant.
  • In 1582 John Sudbury had 18 stones of wool worth £13.6s.8d damaged and claimed £20 in damages.
  • In 1596 Christopher Sudbury is named for not attending to fences in the village. (This is not the Christopher who later gave to the charity)
  • The owners of Egmanton town in 1612 are said to have included John and Thomas Sudbury.
  • In 1612 Thomas Sudbury threatened to hit a man in the churchyard on Shrove Tuesday.
  • In 1616 there is a record of a mortgage by Francis Thornhill (another important resident of Egmanton) to Thomas Sudbury in County Archives. The mortgage of £40 involved a property of garden, orchard and close of meadow called Welyearde Close. (Does this name mean anything to readers?)
  • Between 1623 and 1630 John Sudbury snr and his wife and John Sudbury jnr and his wife, all of Egmanton are recorded as  Popish Recusant in the Reigns of James 1 and Charles 1. (This is not the John that set up the charity but almost certainly a close relation)
  • In 1664 Hearth Tax records (a method of taxation used between 1662 and 1688 decided by the number of chimneys on a dwelling) show a Thomas Sudbury snr and a Thomas Sudbury jnr. In Egmanton.
  • In 1674 Hearth tax records show Francis Sudbury, Edward Sudbury and Thomas Sudbury in Egmanton.

The Sudburys of Egmanton – Part three

John Sudbury (part 1)

John Sudbury was responsible for setting up the Sudbury Charity in Egmanton. This he did in 1616 some four years before his death in London.

John was born in Maplebeck around 1553, son of a husbandman named James Sudbury and with known brothers Richard and Robert.  In June 1568, at the age of fifteen, after the death of his father, John went to London to be apprenticed to Robert Hackforth citizen and stationer of London. Hackworth was an unimportant stationer who died in 1570 before John had finished his apprenticeship.

In addition to printing John Sudbury was an apprentice to a Mr. Hart in the leather trade and became a merchant and dealer of leather. During his life he worked both in printing and in leather selling.

London in the 1500s was very different from today. It was still very small and in two parts, the up-river town of Westminster was the Royal capital and centre of government, whereas the City of London was the centre of commerce and trade. The area between them did not become urbanised until 1600.

In 1500 London’s population was estimated at 50,000 but was growing rapidly. By 1600 it had quadrupled to 200,000 (The population of England and Wales was about 4 million). Families were large but infant mortality was very high. Death rates were also high and life expectancy short. Today almost 8 million people live in London.

Sixteenth century London was a filthy place to live. Streets were treated as sewers and waste was thrown into them. Animals waste littered the streets.  Water was polluted and rats carrying bubonic plague thrived. Orphans roamed the streets, theft and drunkenness were common.

What a massive difference from the peace and quiet of Maplebeck young John must have found when he arrived in London.

It is worth recording that John Sudbury lived at the same time as William Shakespeare that he was in London at the time that Francis Drake sailed around the world and at the time of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605. The Pilgrim Fathers had yet to sail to America (1620) and the Great plague of 1665 and the Great fire would be sometime after his death.

Little is known of John’s early life. He is said to have ‘disappeared for a while’ before appearing as a printer. Might he have returned to Nottinghamshire and then gone back to London? It is impossible to say.  

On 17th February 1594 John Sudbury, by that time in his early forties, married Parnell Nicholl in Little Ilford, Essex (eastern side of London). Parnell was some fifteen years his junior. Five children have been traced to the union, Mary, Joseph, John, James, and Elizabeth. Mary was the oldest but it is believed that she died young.

In his work as a printer, John Sudbury initially published under his own name but in 1599 went into partnership with his nephew George Humble in a printing company in Pope’s Head Alley near the Royal Exchange, London. George Humble was a successful businessman having shares in ships of the East India Company (established 1600). The printing company they formed was the first English firm to specialise in the sale of engravings, maps and copybooks and became the most successful publishers and print sellers in London at the time.

John Speed, described as ‘the most famous of English map makers’ turned to Sudbury and Humble to produce his ‘Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine’ which was to be the first atlas of the British Isles. Sudbury and Humble were perhaps the only publishers of the day able to undertake such a grand project. In it Speed produced illustrated county maps with Latin text of the time. To produce the map plates Sudbury and Humble turned to a Flemish engraver Jodocus Hondius in Amsterdam. Plates were sent to London for printed proofs before return to Amsterdam for correction. It is probable that the maps were for sale individually as is implied by the information on some of the maps (e.g. Cornwall) that “Theise Mappes are to be solde in Popes-heade alley against ye Exchange by John Sudbury and G. Humble. Cum Privilegio”.  Such editions can still be found today but are rare and when sold fetch considerable sums.

Speed’s map of Nottinghamshire has been recently reproduced by Cambridge University Library to mark the 400th anniversary of its original publication. The map shows a plan of Nottingham, an illustration and account of the Battle of Stoke Field as well as local coats of arms. At that time the forest of Sherwood extended to the River Trent.

George Humble’s daughter Honor became the second wife of Sir Thomas Vyner goldsmith, banker and Lord Mayor of London. He was also involved in running the Treasury.

Elizabeth daughter of John Sudbury married Captain William Woodcocke who destituted them. They had a daughter Katherine who became the second wife of poet John Milton on November 12th, 1656. In 1657 she bore him a child but baby Katherine died soon after birth and mother  died on February 3rd 1658. It is believed that Milton wrote his sonnet XXIII to Katherine. His sonnet offers an autobiographical dream vision of the poet’s imagined reunion with Katherine.

Pope’s Head Alley was named from having been a passageway by the side of the Pope’s Head Tavern, which occupied the site as early as 1465 and was still going strong 300 years later. At the Reformation the owner was forced to change the name; he chose the Bishop’s Head but shortly after, when he assumed that the King had forgotten the fracas with Rome, changed it back. During Henry VIIIs reign the Alley was renamed Kings Head Alley.

The Sudburys of Egmanton – Part Four

John Sudbury (part 2)

It may be that once the partnership with his nephew George Humble in the printing business was established John took more of a back seat and was more actively involved in the leather business. Leather was exported from London and merchants bought and sold goods at The Royal Exchange close to Popes Head Alley where John was in business.  John appears to be the only member of the Sudbury family to have been involved in leather selling. In 1605-06 he served in the capacity of Fourth Warden in the Leather sellers Guild and of Third Warden in 1609-1610,  By 1608 he was a member of  the leather sellers 'Court of Assistants' (effectively an executive Committee of around 24 people, who elected the officers each year), before being elected as the Master of the company for the year 1615-1616. Whilst Master of the Company John donated land in Tuxford to the Egmanton and Maplebeck poor and so set up the Egmanton Charity.

Records available name three of John’s apprentices. Compton Holland, who was made free in 1615. Daniel Gosnell who was made free in 1620 and Alexander Wignall who was made free in 1622 [He was left £100 in John Sudbury’s will].

Apprentices were made free after completing their apprenticeship, usually a term of about 7 years entered into when they were about 14 years of age. Sometimes they were relations of their master.

In 1610 Parnell Sudbury died leaving John with a young family. Soon afterwards John remarried Katherine (surname not known). The family were then living in Tower Street, London. By this time John was obviously a wealthy man for he also owned property in Rood Lane, Edgware and in Hendon.

John was a charitable man. He taught at the Bridewell Hospital and served as a master there.  The Bridewell Prison and Hospital had been established in 1553 with two purposes: the punishment of the disorderly poor (petty crime) and housing of homeless children in the City of London. It was located on the banks of the River Fleet. It was the first house of correction in the country and a major charitable institution. From the 1570s Bridewell was governed jointly with Bethlem Hospital (which treated the insane) by a Court of Governors. Appointment as a governor was socially prestigious and gave elite men the right to nominate apprentices. A large number of governors were appointed but only a small proportion showed up for meetings of the Court. Bridewell Hospital provided a home and training for deserving children. Bridewell apprenticeships were considered highly desirable as their successful completion ensured both the freedom of the City of London and payment of a substantial charitable contribution (£10) towards setting up as an independent master.

John left the print partnership in 1618 leaving his nephew to continue on his own. This may have been due to John’s failing health (he would have been 65 years of age).

In Nottinghamshire available evidence suggests that members of John Sudbury’s family moved from Maplebeck initially to Tuxford and then Egmanton (maybe a brother) and that absent brother John purchased land here with the monies he was making in London. We can be fairly certain that the Sudbury wealth was made in London and not in farming. In 1619 there is a record of rent arrears due to John Holles from Sudbury of Maplebeck.  

The link of the Sudbury family to both Maplebeck and Egmanton would explain why when John set up his charity in 1616 it was to benefit the poor of both settlements. How surprising that the Sudbury charity recognised John only as a leatherseller whereas much of his wealth must have come from his printing partnership.

John Sudbury died in late 1620 or early 1621. In his will, written in November 1620, he left much to charity including a bequest for £6.13s.4d to the poor people of Dunham on Trent to be distributed amongst them at the discretion of the vicar and church wardens, which suggests a close family link to that village also. 

John’s will makes interesting reading and shines light onto the type of man he was.

The family home is left to his wife Katherine. His four surviving children each receive cash payments together with their orphanage portions. One third of his estate went to good causes which included:

  • Fifty poor men to each receive a pair of breeches and jerkin to be worn at the time of my funeral.
  • Forty shillings to the relief of the poor prisoners in the Compter (small debtor’s prison) in The Poultry, London.
  • Forty shillings to the relief of the poor prisoners in Newgate and forty shillings to the relief of the poor prisoners in Ludgate.
  • £10 towards the relief of the poor harboured in the Bridewell hospital and £20 towards the relief of the poor harboured in Christ’s hospital, London.
  • £10 to make a repast (meal) for the masters and governors at the two hospitals above mentioned on the day of my funeral
  • £10 repast for the brethren of the Livery of Leather sellers of London on the day of my funeral.
  • £20 to my poor kinsfolk to be distributed amongst them at the discretion of my executor and overseer.
  • £80 unto the company of Leather Sellers of London, where I am a brother, towards the purchasing of a small parcel of land the profits and benefit thereof going towards the relief of the poor people of the same company according to the wisdom and good discretion of the masters and wardens of the said company.

This bequest was combined with those of three other benefactors and used to buy some land at Sydenham, which then formed part of the Leather Seller company’s estates for a long time until being sold off piecemeal in the C20th.

Katherine Sudbury, John’s widow, died in 1641 in the Parish of St Dunstan in the East of London. In her will she makes bequests to their daughter and grandchildren and to her kinsfolk, one being Alexander Wignall, John’s apprentice who may well have been a family member. She also leaves money to prisoners in Newgate and Ludgate and to the poor of the parish.

At his death James Sudbury (son of John) in his will, left money to the parish of his father’s birth, unfortunately the parish is not named but it would follow that this was Maplebeck although no written record has been found to support this.   © PS

The Sudburys of Egmanton – Part Five


It was Christopher Sudbury who in 1678 added to the Sudbury Charity in Egmanton.  How Christopher connects to John the printer/leather seller is unclear. It is thought that he is likely to be a nephew. American researchers claim that Christopher had been the son of Christopher Sudbury, a brother of the John featured last month. We know this to be wrong since Christopher’s will names his father as Thomas and his mother as Mary and it is certain that Christopher’s parents lived in Egmanton around the time of his death.

Whether Christopher was born in Egmanton is unknown. The names of his brothers and sisters are only known because they are mentioned in his will. No records have been found of their baptisms. Christopher’s brothers and sisters lived in the Egmanton area but Christopher (most likely the eldest) was definitely in London in the 1630s but whether he spent his whole life there or moved there from Egmanton is unknown.

Christopher had a brother Francis who farmed at Tuxford, marrying Ann Hurst in Tuxford in 1634 where they brought up their family.

Christopher’s sister Sarah married Richard Allcock in 1658. He was a weaver in Egmanton by trade. There were three other sisters – Elizabeth, Mary and Ann.

Christopher married Mary Bailey in 1635 and had children Mary b.1648, Ann b. 1653, Elizabeth b. 1656 and Alisimon b.1668. There is some evidence to suggest a son Christopher but if this was so he must have died young.

Christopher Sudbury’s trade was goldsmith. He was in business on St. Clemants Lane in Westminster, London. Christopher is recorded in A. Heal's The London Goldsmiths 1200-1800 as at the 'Swan, over against St. Clements Church (Strand) 1664'. He was Gent and Goldsmith of St. Clements, just outside the city limits where he did not have to be a member of a company to trade. (Hence he did not have the title Citizen and Goldsmith)
In the early seventeenth century goldsmiths lent and changed money. In 1640 King Charles I confiscated gold which London merchants had deposited at the mint for safety. As a result people began to deposit with goldsmiths instead. The goldsmiths gave receipts for the gold in the form of notes promising to pay on demand. In time merchants and tradesmen began to exchange these notes as a form of money. The goldsmiths realised that not all of their customers would withdraw their gold at the same time so it was safe to issue notes for more gold than they actually had. The Bank of England was not founded until 1694.

Not having a surviving son, Christopher’s nephew Thomas Allcock (son of Richard Alcock and Christopher’s sister Sarah) was apprenticed to Christopher (it was usual practice for family members to be apprenticed) and in 1667 was recorded as goldsmith at Grubb Street, London. (Thomas is later left £30 in Christopher’s will).

In July 1668 Thomas Sudbury, the father of Christopher, farming in Egmanton died leaving land and property to his oldest son Christopher. The land would have been farmed by Christoper’s brother Francis or maybe his Uncle John and nephews also farming in Egmanton.

After the death of his father, Christopher wrote his last will on 20th August, 1669.  Christopher died later that year little more than a year after his father. It is almost certain that he died in London.  He was 59 years of age.

In his will Christopher left to his “aged and loving mother for and during the term of her natural life all my messuages (houses including outbuildings) lands and tenements with the appurtenants at Egmanton which were my father’s and those also which I purchased there and likewise those at Caunton (together worth about fifty shillings). After the death of my mother I give and bequeath the said messuages and lands tenements and with the appurtenants unto Mary my loving and well beloved wife and to her heirs”

This ensured his mother’s tenure of the land in Egmanton for her life although this was to be short since she died in September 1669. Upon her death the land and property in Egmanton passed to Christopher’s wife Mary. Christopher also left money to his daughters, to his sister Elizabeth and to his brother Francis. 

At the time of Christopher’s death his children would have been between twenty one and one year of age.  There is an inventory dated 14 May 1678 in the Orphans Court records at the London Metropolitan Archive.  The inventories were taken for those who died and had children under the age of majority (then 21 years).  The sole executrice was Christopher’s widow, Mary who had a house in Islington.  The records list Alisimon orphan of Christopher who would have been one year of age at the time of his death.  

The relevant part of Christopher’s will as far as the poor of Egmanton are concerned appears to be: And unto the poor of Egmanton the sum of ten pounds to be distributed unto them by my mother and brother Francis within twelve months of my death.

The mention of £10 to the poor of Egmanton suggests that this was given by the family to the charity in the form of land rather than in cash directly to the poor. The death of Christopher’s mother at about the same time as Christopher, possibly before, might explain why there was a gap of 9 years between Christopher’s death and the gift being received by the Sudbury charity in 1678.

The family donated three fields in Southfield, but unlike John this was only for the benefit of Egmanton’s poor.

Christopher’s widowed wife Mary later married John Sutton of Staple Inn, London (possibly a lawyer).  Documents in the Nottingham Archives show that Mary Sutton sold land in Nottinghamshire in 1707 instructing local representatives to act on her behalf. Mary Sutton died in 1709 in Cripplegate, London and was buried at the church of St. Mary, Islington. Her will instructs the sale of her freehold estate in Egmanton to raise money for the payment of her legacies. Much of the land was sold to John Hollies, 3rd Duke of Newcastle (upon Tyne), former MP and Lord Privy Seal and local land owner, by her executor Adam Dutton of Stepney, Middlesex and John Jones, patternmaker of St. Ann’s Westminster one of the legatees in the will and a grandson of Mary. The sale resulted in a total of £88.

The Sudburys of Egmanton – Part six

The Sudburys in Parish Records

It is possible to establish that members of the Sudbury family lived in Egmanton as far back as 1551 thanks to various sources of evidence (as outlined in part 2). Egmanton Parish Records start in 1653 (with a gap for burials between 1660 and 1665).

As early as 1620 the Sudbury family are recorded as ‘refusing to attend services of the Church of England’. This applied to John snr and jnr and their respective wives and to Francis living in Tuxford.

The earliest Sudbury found in Parish Records is Edward who married Mercia (Mary) in 1662 in Egmanton. American researchers have concluded that Edward was the son of Christopher featured in last month’s issue, but this is not true. Christopher lived in London and brought his children up in London. The names of his children are known and they married in London. The father of Edward cannot be proved without some doubt but the most likely conclusion is that he was a child of Christopher’s brother Francis who lived in Tuxford and therefore a nephew of Christopher.

Edward Sudbury was to be the ‘father’ of the Sudbury generations that followed and who farmed in Egmanton.  Edward and his wife Mercia had a large family (thought to be 14 children) all baptised in Egmanton church. Two of their sons married and remained in Egmanton, Edward who married Mary Hempsall and had two sons and a daughter all dying young and Seth who at the age of 37 married Anne Heratt.

In 1690 Edward senior and Edward junior were involved in a transaction with Francis Hopkin of Laxton  for 9 lands in South Field for £17.10.

Members of the Sudbury family were trustees of the Sudbury Charity since its beginning and remained so whilst there were Sudburys in Egmanton. In addition members of the Sudbury family took on the roll of overseer of the poor of Egmanton. In 1717 Edward Sudbury held this post. County records show that at East Retford on 11th October 1717 Edward Sudbury, overseer for Egmanton, was ordered to be taken into custody for being negligent in his office and using ill practices, the nature of which is not stated, nor is there any further reference to the matter.

Overseers had the power to force people to pay a local tax to help the poor. Those who could not work such as the old and the disabled would be provided for. The overseers were meant to provide work for the able bodied poor, those refusing could be placed in a house of correction. Paupers children were sent to local employers to be apprentices. In the village belonging to the parish there were four poor houses covered with thatch and by 1864 in a very dilapidated state.

It is thought that two children were born to Seth and Anne (Heratt) Sudbury. John about whom little is known and Samuel who married local girl Mary Truswell in 1749 by license at Fledborough church. There are a number of Truswell graves in the church yard. During the 18th century Fledborough gained a reputation as a destination for eloping couples to marry and became known as 'the Gretna Green of Nottinghamshire'. The man responsible was Rev W Sweetaple, rector from 1721 to 1753, who records in the church register a large number of marriages with license granted by me. This may explain why Samuel and Mary did not Mary in Egmanton!

In 1750 Samuel together with F. Gale are recorded as overseers of the poor. The Seth / Anne marriage resulted in seven children although only three survived long enough to marry and only Edward survived beyond the age of 31 years. He was born in 1755, married Ann Johnson in 1785 and their children continued the Sudbury name in the village. Edward’s younger sister Mary, at the age of 16 became the first wife of local farmer Samuel Appleby bearing two children both of whom died young. Mary also died young at just 27 years. It was Samuel Appleby’s second wife who was to be the mother of Samuel Appleby the writer of My Native Village, the verse already featured in the EV over a number of months (issues number 12 to 25).

Five children were born to Edward and Ann. The oldest Anne, married John Gale who was farming at Manor Farm. Mary born in 1788 married William Ward and moved from the village. It is a descendant of this union who has helped in doing much of the research for this series of articles. Nanny (or Nancy?) born in 1789 died as a baby, Samuel born in 1793 married local farmer’s daughter Mary Wardell  and stayed in the village to produce the next Sudbury generation. Youngest daughter Nanny was born in 1796.

The 1823 land assessment for the purpose of regulating the Parochial Assessment in Egmanton lists Edward Sudbury as owning house, outbuildings, orchard and land in Egmanton; a total acreage of around forty acres.

His son Samuel rented a cottage and some seventy acres of land from the Duke of Newcastle mainly in West Field. In addition he rented a further eighty acres from Pendock Barry mainly in East Field, some 150 acres in all, suggesting an ambitious young man (he would only have  been 30 years of age at the time).

Edward Sudbury died in 1824 at the age of 69. He is buried in a marked grave in the churchyard. It is assumed that the Sudbury farm passed to son Samuel.                                                      © PS2012

The Sudburys of Egmanton – Part seven

Leaving Egmanton

Last month using Parish records and other sources the Sudburys of Egmanton were traced as far as Samuel and Mary (Wardell) Sudbury at the start of the Nineteenth Century. This month looks at the generation produced by Samuel and Mary which were to be the final Sudbury generation in Egmanton. 

Samuel Sudbury (b. 1793) married Mary Wardell in Egmanton in 1819. They were the parents of eight children born between 1820 and 1837 and Christened in the Methodist Church.  The first born was Edward (1820) followed by George (1823). Samuel rented a cottage and land from the Duke of Newcastle and land from Pendock Barry.

Samuel father Edward died in 1824 aged 68 leaving his son Samuel aged 31 years to run the family farm. Whether or not Samuel continued to farm the land he rented is not known.

The 1832 map of Egmanton suggests that the Sudbury home may have been Moat Farm on Kirton Road. If not then the Sudbury home was just to the east of Moat Farm and is today without trace. At that time Moat Farm was much smaller than today. The front part was a later addition so only a building side on to the road would have existed in the C19th. (The Price family bought Moat Farm in 1920).  The map of 1832 shows a plantation to the south of Stone House belonging to Samuel Sudbury which is still known as ‘Sudbury land’. It also shows that the Sudburys owned land mainly along Laxton Road.

From evidence available Samuel falls upon hard times. Farming was very unpredictable in the C19th and there was no government support should crops fail. In Nottingham archives there is a letter from John Parkinson to Henry Pelham-Clinton 4th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne dated 16th August 1836 discussing the mortgage and bill of sale arranged with S. Sudbury of Egmanton in payment of arrears.  At the time Samuel commented upon the harvest, a lack of rain and the fact that the turnip crop was destroyed by small flies and larvae. This suggests that the Sudbury family were now a long way from their days of wealth only to be confirmed in the following year (1837) at the court house in Nottingham on the 7th of August where Samuel Sudbury farmer and bricklayer appeared and was declared bankrupt.

Maybe the challenges of farming were a reason why all but one of Samuel’s family left farming. The oldest child, Edward, is listed on the 1841 census as a ‘land surveyor’. His interest lay in mathematics and he worked in ordinance. He joined the office of John Parkinson of Leyfields, Notts a land agent and engineer. By 1851 Edward had married Hannah Pye and was living in Lancashire working as a surveyor and estate auctioneer. He was surveyor with the Ormskirk and Southport Building Society. He worked with the Liverpool borough engineer’s office. He later formed a business partnership in Burscough (near Ormskirk) with his brother-in-law James Hewitt Pye dealing in brewing, farming and brickworks. When James died the business was carried on by Edward although he too died young at only fifty years. His son James Pye Sudbury and daughter in law emigrated to British Columbia, Canada.

Edward’s obituary records that : He was a native of Egmanton, son of a yeoman, brought up to agricultural pursuits. His father Samuel was well acquainted with Dukes and Lords and admired for his concern for the poor. Nearly every week he distributed soup and provisions to the poor and invited them home for a meal.

The second son of Samuel and Mary Sudbury was George Wardell Sudbury. He stayed in Egmanton to work with his father on their farm. In 1851 he was working on the farm of 60 acres. In 1854 he married Mary Ann Tinley Hornby from Sutton on Trent and by 1861 had taken over the family farm and his father Samuel aged 67, had moved to Sudbrook near Grantham to live with his daughter (see below). The farm then showed as only 38acres. Samuel died in 1872 returning to Egmanton to be buried near other Sudbury members in the churchyard. By 1871 no male Sudburys remained in Egmanton. George and Mary Ann had moved to Worksop farming xx acres. They had no children. George died in 1891 aged 60 and Mary in 1901 aged 83. Their bodies were returned to Egmanton making them the last Sudburys to be buried here. Their memorial is a fairly grand affair and can be found next to the earlier Sudbury graves in the churchyard close to the boundary with Manor Farm.

Samuel and Mary’s daughter Mary, born in 1825, married John Whitehead in Egmanton in 1843. They will re-appear again next month.

Samuel John Sudbury was born in 1829. It is Samuel’s story we shall be following next month.  

Daughter Ann Johnson b. 1827 became the second wife of John Ward and moved to Sudbrook.

Richard Seth was born in 1832. As a young man he worked as a servant in the Gale household. He married Maria Brayton but nothing more is known of his life other than he died young at the age of 41 years at Pinfold Street Sheffield.

Youngest son (born 1833) William Thomas initially worked on his father’s farm (1851 census) but left Egmanton to become an engine driver moving to Lincoln where he married and brought up a family.

The youngest member of the family was Keziah (b.1837). In 1851 she was working with her brother Richard as a servant in the Gale household but moved with her father to the Ward household. In 1874 she became the second wife of Joseph Gale, having previously worked in the Gale household as a servant. Joseph had been apprenticed as a draper and had set up a draper’s shop in Tuxford. Older residents may remember the Gale shop in the tall three story building in Tuxford Market Place. (Now called the tall house).

The Sudburys of Egmanton – Part Eight


This month traces the Samuel John Sudbury third son of Samuel and Mary. He was born in 1829 in Egmanton, baptised in Egmanton Methodist church and died eighty years later in America.

As a boy of 12 years of age in the 1841 census Samuel was living in Egmanton with his parents and family. American researchers say that he learned to be a miller in his teens which may have been at the Egmanton mill which had been opened around 1818.  By the age of 22 Samuel had left the village and was living on Monmouth Street, Sheffield working as a miller.

Whilst in Sheffield there appears to have been a career change, for in 1852, when he met his future wife, his occupation was given as policeman. The woman who was to become Samuel’s wife was Emma Lavina Crossland of Broomhall Street, Sheffield. She was the daughter of John Crossland an Edge Tool Maker in Sheffield and three years younger than Samuel. Soon after they had met the couple announced their intention to marry and to emigrate to America where they intended joining the Church of Later Day Saints.

According to American researchers Samuel loved to read and was interested in science and philosophy and the whys and wherefores of life. He read the Book of Morman and looked for evidence that what he read was true. He is said to have experienced a striking, bright light which frightened him and this he took to be a sign that it was true.  

Samuel and Emma married by licence on the 13th January 1853 in the Parish Church, Sheffield. The marriage was not with either family’s blessings and family members were not witnesses at the marriage. Emma was described as a rather weak and poorly educated girl. Unlike Samuel she was illiterate putting only a ‘X’ on the marriage record.  

Immediately after the marriage the couple travelled to Liverpool to board the ship Golconda which departed for the U.S.A. on 17th January arriving in New Orleans on 26th March 1853. Samuel’s occupation is shown as ‘miller’ on the sailing records. Their emigration caused a lot of upset within the respective families.

The newly wedded pair were accompanied by Samuel’s older sister Mary and her husband John Whitehead (see last month) and their three young children aged 7, 5 and 1. 

In the same year (1853) Samuel’s cousin Mary Sudbury Humphries and her husband Thomas and their six children from Mansfield also emigrated to join the Morman trail although they did not go with Samuel and Emma but followed in June on the ship Camillis.

The sea crossing of Golconda is well documented. Whilst on the crossing they were caught in a huge storm which tore the sails and the three main masts were lost.  It is reported that: The passengers were terrified, weeping and wailing for help. Samuel told them to stop and lectured them, saying he had started out for Salt Lake City and he was going there and that faith would get them through. A terrifying experience for anyone but especially for the young children that travelled with them.

They landed at Balize at the mouth of the River Mississippi and stayed there twelve days after which they went to New Orleans on March 26th. Sudbury descendants claim that Samuel was baptised in the River Mississippi. From New Orleans they took the steam packet to St. Louis, then on to Keokuk, Iowa, from where they joined the Mormon trek to Emigration Valley in Utah on May 20th – 56 wagons, 224 oxen and 420 people. There was one wagon and one tent to ten people. They were allowed 1oz. of flour and a portion of bacon each and 4 oxen and 2 cows to each wagon to carry baggage. They had to walk most of the time covering approximately 20 miles per day. Sometimes they camped without water or wood and burned buffalo droppings as fuel.

Accounts of the journey make it clear that the trek entailed much hardship and deaths resulted from the hard living that they had to endure. Samuel and Emma must have been very determined to give up the security of a job in Sheffield to risk all for the unknown of a new life in America.

It has been written that when wagons were going down steep inclines Samuel would hold the rear wheel and act as a brake. He would carry a woman in each arm across streams while they held their babies! He mended wagons and tents. – Maybe with a little exaggeration!

When crossing the plains Emma was walking at a distance behind the wagons and on seeing Indians she fainted. The wagons went on until she was found to be missing and lost. When Samuel was told he was very angry. He retraced the trail and found her in a dead faint.

Samuel and Emma eventually reached Salt Lake City on October 10th1853.

Thomas Humphries, the cousin from Mansfield did not make it to Salt Lake City. He became ill and died in St. Louis. His wife, Mary, having spent all their money on doctors and medicines was left without funds to continue. With her were her four boys and two girls from 6 to 16 years. She spent the next three years working to raise the necessary funds to continue their journey which was eventually achieved by agreeing to the dying wish of Orson Spencer from Utah who provided the money on condition that Mary ensured his body was returned to Utah. By that time oldest son George was 19 years of age. The money bought the necessary wagon, horses, oxen and supplies to travel the 1000 miles across Nebraska and Wyoming to Utah by wagon train.

Another of Samuel’s cousins, Mary Sudbury Ward Brown, her husband William and their children
Mary was Samuel John’s cousin, she and William and children went to Illinois and to Iowa in 1854 and had, I think, seven more children in America.
William (1798-1866) was born in Egmanton, his family farmed at West Willoughby near Sudbrook.

The Sudburys of Egmanton – Part nine

A new life begins 

After the long trek following the Mormon Trail Samuel and Emma Sudbury reached Salt Lake City on October 10th 1853 and camped in Union Square (now known as Pioneer Park).

Samuel, using the skills he gained in England, was engaged by Brigham Young the leader of The Church of Latter Day Saints as a miller and ran the mill near the mouth of Parleys’ Canyon.

Having first been attracted to the Mormon religion in Sheffield, Samuel further developed his interest and was soon taking an active part in the early church in Utah.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) had been founded in New York in 1830 by Joseph Smith but had faced much opposition leading to his murder.  The group moved away from New York settling in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois but in the face of continuing conflict with neighbours they moved again with their new leader Brigham Young travelling the 1,300 miles along what became known as the Mormon Pioneer Trail, eventually settling in Utah. Here Young founded Salt Lake City and the group established a civilization in this mountainous, dry region where they enjoyed relative peace and were free to practice their religion. By December 1847 more than 2.000 Mormons had completed the journey to Salt Lake City. They were joined by many more from Europe as a result of missionaries sent to spread the word.  At that time Utah was Mexican territory but after the war with Mexico the land became part of the United States.  

Brigham Young built The Beehive House as his residence, his strong work ethic being reflected in the chosen name. Today his home is a museum offering tours of what life was like for the Young family in the 1850s.

Samuel and Emma’s first child John Samuel was born in 1855 but died the same year. The following year their second child, Lovina Alice was born.

Samuel became a much respected member of the Church of Latter Day Saints and as a result was ordained an Elder in the Church on March 18th 1856.

It is recorded that he wasn’t keen on public speaking, but he did teach the gospel and the philosophy of the church. He always made sure that the table was well provided and that there was something extra for the children.  Father Sudbury was at home alike with rich and poor, high and low, learned and unlearned. None were too intellectual or too brainy. He was adequate in any intellectual conversation and could give more light than he would receive. He was strong willed and determined to hold on to what he believed to be right.”  He was highly thought of and highly praised and a powerful preacher. Everyone felt privileged to have known him and Emma.

The Church of Later Day Saints permitted and encouraged polygamy which led to much of their opposition. Brigham Young is said to have had more than fifty wives! In line with this custom, Samuel married twice more whilst still married to Emma. In all he fathered fourteen children with three wives.
In 1857 Samuel married Lydia Franklin a British immigrant born in Wiltshire. Lydia was only fifteen at the time of the marriage, twelve years the junior of Samuel. Lydia gave birth to two children, Emily (born 1858) and Julia, but later deserted Samuel taking the children with her. 

A change in governor in Utah led to renewed opposition to the Mormons and their practice of polygamy. Five thousand troops were brought to enforce order.

Fearing for the safety of the settlers in 1858 Brigham Young ordered all citizens and homeowners in Salt Lake City to move to Provo south of Salt Lake for refuge as they feared being burned out. Samuel was instructed to stay and keep the mill running.  Emma was the only woman to stay.

Emma gave birth to three more children. In 1858 Clara Ann, in 1860 Samuel Charles and in 1862 Albert George (he died at the age of seven years). 

In 1862 an anti-bigamy bill was passed but was difficult to enforce. Few offenders were prosecuted. Brigham Young was arrested but released without trial.

Samuel and Emma moved to a mill in Liberty Park which in the 1860s was a farming area.  It was there that Samuel and Emma’s sixth child Julia was born in 1864. In the same year the family moved to Henniferville in Summit County near the Weber River where Samuel farmed. A newspaper cutting from 1869 records that Sudbury won a diploma for the best specimen of wheat at an agricultural show.

Brigham Young saw Samuel as a trusted and loyal friend. By 1866 Samuel was again working for Young, this time at the Empire Mill (also known as Sudbury Mill). He was also given charge of the Liberty Park Mill in City Creek Canyon and another mill. Five more of Emma’s children were born during this period; Caroline (1867), Edward (1869), Emma Laura (1871 - 1879), George (1878) and Fredrick (1883).

A visitor to Samuel and Emma recorded: One of the places I often went was to the Sudbury home because Brother and Sister Sudbury were very fine people and made the friends of their children welcome. Sister Sudbury had a fine garden and orchard which she and her children tended. Brother Sudbury had all he could attend to the grist mill. The fine orchard was quite an invitation to the boys of the community. I know one day Brother Sudbury gave one of the sons of Bro. D H Wells a good lecture for stealing fruit.

There was an occasion when Brigham Young’s life was believed to be in danger when threats were made by officials at Fort Douglas. If there was a perceived danger flags were to be hoisted around Young’s Beehive residence, for the gathering of forces to protect the President. Samuel was one of the first to see the signal and armed with a pistol hurried to the mansion to defend him against the Government officials.

View of Gardo HouseIn 1873 Brigham Young commissioned the building of a mansion to be called the Gardo House. This was on South Temple Street opposite his Beehive residence but was to be a much grander affair. It was perceived as a place where official callers could be received and entertained. When complete the house had four levels, a basement and a tower and contained elegant furnishings, paintings and mirrors imported from Europe.

In 1875 Samuel returned to England on missionary work but nothing is known concerning the visit.

In 1876 The Arsenal or Powder House, about ½ mile from Sudbury’s home and mill on Capitol Hill exploded, killing two boys and injuring many others. The residents of Salt Lake City ran to the scene thinking that all in the vicinity had perished. The Gardo House, by then nearing completion had windows smashed and the mill at which Sudbury worked was severely shaken.

Brigham Young died in 1877 before the completion of the Garda House. John Taylor succeeded Young as church president. In 1879 church officials voted to make the Gardo House the official parsonage for church presidents and President Taylor reluctantly accepted their decision.

Some time between 1876 and 1880 Samuel took a third wife. Wilhelmina (known as Vinnie) Damcke.  She had been born in Holstein, Germany but had been living in England with her two sisters having lost her father. She, her mother and her sisters were brought to America by their uncle Carl Heinrich Wilcken who had previously deserted the American army and joined the Mormons becoming involved in missionary work in Europe and returning to Salt Lake City with many converts including his nieces. (Mitt Romney who ran for US president in 2012 is a descendant of Carl). Wilhelmina was some 22 years the junior of Samuel. 

In the 1880 census Wilhelmina is shown as living in the Sudbury household and is named Wilhelmina Sudbury but although shown as wife on the census she is also shown as single and as ‘keeping house’ – maybe to avoid prosecution for polygamy.

US census Salt Lake City. 9th June 1880

Samuel J. Sudbery   50           Miller
Emma Sudbery         48           keeping house
Lovina Sudbery        23
Clara Sudbery          22
Samuel Sudbery      20            work in Picture Gallery
Julia Sudbery           16
Carrie Sudbery         13
Edward Sudbery      11
Fredrick Sudbery      7
George Sudbery      1
Wilhelmina Sudbery,  28  wife  b Slerwichohewia    keeping house. single

Samuel’s sister Mary and her husband John Whitehead who had travelled to America with Samuel (see last month) initially lived in Utah where their son Leo was born but then moved away to Missouri where they appear on the 1860, 1870 and 1880 census. In 1880 or 1881 John and Mary divorced. Mary with son Leo (then 24 years of age) returned to Utah and Mary then lived with Samuel and Emma. In 1881 Mary suffered a fatal fall which was reported in the local press. She was riding in a horse drawn wagon with her son Leo and her brother Samuel’s three year old son George. It was reported that the horse was going at a rather rapid pace and shied to one side, upsetting the vehicle and throwing all occupants to the ground. All escaped injury except Mary Whitehead who died some four hours later

In 1882 a son, Ruben Clement (called Clement), was born to Wilhelmine fathered by Samuel.

In the same year The Edmunds Act outlawed co-habitation with more than one woman. All Mormons who practiced polygamy were stripped of the right to vote or hold public office.  Those found guilty of co-habitation could be imprisoned for up to five years and fined $500. John Taylor held a meeting in the Gardo House with sixteen general authorities of the church to discuss the Edmunds Law and its threat to their religious practices and to statehood. Despite these pressures, the polygamous Mormon leader endeavoured to conduct church business as usual within the Gardo House.

Wilhelmina and Clement were sent away to Jordan (an area to the south of the city) to live with Samuel’s son Samuel Charles, maybe as an attempt to avoid problems created by the Edmunds Act.  Although Clement and Samuel were step brothers he was twenty two years older than Clement and recently married and with a young family of his own. In later years Clement was bullied by one of Samuel junior’s children, eventually running away and later sending for his mother to join him.

Sudbury’s Empire Mill burnt down in 1883 supposedly arson by an ex-employee. Sudbury was retained at Parley’s Canyon grinding flour, boxing it, sending it to the Saints and storing the rest in the hillside. Emma and Samuel’s daughter Lovina stayed with him. It is recorded that for two weeks he was grinding flour continuously with no time for sleep.

Before the mill burned down in 1883 Samuel bought 160 acres of land to farm at Jordan to the west of Salt Lake City and he built a house there.                        
The Sudburys of Egmanton – Part nine

A new life begins  (continued)

Last month told the story of Samuel Sudbury’s life in salt Lake City. The part he played in the early years of the Mormon Church, his work as a miller, his three wives and 14 children and the death of his sister Mary in a buggy accident.  In 1882 the Edmunds Act had outlawed co-habitation with more than one woman …………

Mormons began to feel the pressure of the Edmunds Act when federal officers arrived in Utah to replace existing (more lenient) lawmen and enforce the new law. Marshals made raids on Mormon households searching for lawbreakers and witnesses. The Gardo House served as a meeting and hiding place for those fleeing from the marshals.

Samuel and Emma Sudbury were invited to live in the Gardo House and stayed there for a period of five years employed by Mormon leaders John Taylor and after his death Wilford Woodruff.

According to John Whitaker, son-in-law of John Taylor:

The Gardo House was a rendezvous where the brethren and sisters on the underground would often come in the night to meet their loved ones and hide from the authorities. Samuel Sudbury, a mysterious man, was custodian of the Gardo House and was ever on the alert for the approach of marshals and deputies searching for polygamists. It was the rule that the Gardo House was to be closed at 10pm and no stranger was permitted after that hour.

The Gardo House was raided several times but the brethren weren’t found. Sudbury was trusted to deliver private mail and when someone else lost the mail, Samuel took a lantern and went out on foot into the night and found it.

Samuel’s wife Emma was matron and cook at the Gardo House at the time of the raids and described as a good friend and neighbour, but always reticent and timid because of her lack of education. She was a good housekeeper and an excellent cook. Samuel was told by Joseph F Smith (the nephew of the Mormon founder and later president) that his faithfulness would secure a martyr’s crown.

Samuel’s nephew Leo Whitehead was a talented inventor. In 1884 working with his Uncle Samuel and cousin Samuel Sudbury he applied for a patent for a valve for steam engines resulting in higher speeds, durability and steadiness as a result of which it was claimed that a speed of 2,000 revolutions per minute was possible and that a railway locomotive could be built using the valve to travel at a speed of 3 miles a minute (180mph!). It was said that the idea of the invention was ten years old and had originally been the work of Samuel Sudbury snr. A model of the engine was constructed by Leo. A patent request for a self–acting boiler feeder was also submitted by Samuel snr at the same time.

Leo was responsible for other inventions including a rapid fire gun. Later in life he was arrested in Washington as an alleged bigamist who had deserted a wife and seven children. When confronted by his first wife he claimed to have been divorced.

In 1887 Mormon president John Taylor died and was succeeded by Wilford Woodruff. In 1890 he declared his intention to submit to the Edmunds Act and to use his influence with the members of the Church to do likewise.
Samuel went on to build a home at 919 South Seventh Street facing Liberty Park, where he and his unmarried family lived until he died.

Emma, the first wife of Samuel, died in Salt Lake City on December 28th 1900. She he was buried in the cemetery there.  In 1901 Samuel was ordained a High Priest. In 1904, at the age of 74, Samuel returned to England for the final time. During this visit he returned to Egmanton and visited friends including the Gales at Manor Farm.  In the following year he returned to America leaving Liverpool on the Winifredian and landing in Boston, Massachusetts. How different the journey to Salt Lake City must have been thanks to the building of railways. Samuel died at the end of 1909; cause of death was given as pneumonia. The death was recorded by his third wife Wilhelmina, who was living at 919 South Seventh Street at that time, but Samuel was described as a ‘widower’ and his obituary only mentions Emma Lavina as being his wife. He was buried in the cemetery in Salt Lake City. Wilhelmina died in August 1922 and was recorded as the wife of Samuel Sudbury.  Clement, Samuel’s son by Wilhelmina, died in 1948.

Of the fourteen children that Samuel fathered eleven went on to marry (some more than once) and to have children. In all it is calculated that Samuel had 57 grand children. It will be no surprise to learn that today there are hundreds of Sudburys living in Salt Lake City and many other descendants scattered around the states.

Samuel John’s great grand daughter, Zoe Murdock, a descendant of Ruben Clement Sudbury, has written a novel “Torn by God” based on the story of her father’s interest in polygamy and the family struggle that resulted. (Available at

The Sudburys of Egmanton – Part ten

Missionaries to England

As stated in last month’s instalment Samuel Sudbury returned on a mission to England in 1875 and again in 1904 when he stayed for six or seven months. Before leaving for England in 1904 he addressed the tabernacle recounting his coming to America and of his trials and struggles over 50 years in the region. He testified of his knowledge of the truth of ‘Mormanism’  and expressed his pleasure at having the opportunity to bear that testimony to his relatives and others in his native land.  Elder Joseph McMurrin spoke of the faith exhibited by Brother Sudbury, who, though seventy five years of age was ready and willing to leave his home and cross the sea to carry the Gospel to his native land and also gather up the genealogy of his ancestors that he might work for their salvation in the vicarious ordinances of the Gospel. Unfortunately nothing is known of Samuel’s visits to England, other than he called on a number of residents in Egmanton and relations in the surrounding area and Sheffield.

We know much more about a mission to England in 1926 by Samuel’s daughter Julia and her husband James Paxman because they kept a daily journal.  

Julia Sudbury had married James Walter Paxman on 1st March 1888. His father had been a president in the Church of Latter-Day Saints and James was ordained a high priest and called to serve as a councillor to his father in the Juab Stake.  Julia bore him ten children, nine of whom survived infancy.

James had already been on a mission to Britain in 1884 returning with 179 emigrating saints in 1886.

He became a successful businessman after his mission, spending two years as a clerk and bookkeeper and was then elected County Clerk. In 1890 he founded a mercantile company which the following year merged with two other successful establishments.  He subsequently purchased two mining companies and involved himself in various agricultural interests.    

After the death of his father in 1897, James succeeded him as president of the Juab Stake, a calling that he held for seventeen years.  Upon his release in 1914, James was called as stake patriarch, a calling he held for the remainder of his life.  In 1899 he became engaged in dry farming and in 1914 was appointed State Wide Demonstrator in Dry-Farming by the Utah Agricultural College. 

In September 1926 James and Julia volunteered to serve a six-month mission to Britain entirely at their own expense.  They departed from Salt Lake City in October that year and arrived in Liverpool on 6 November 1926.  They were accompanied by Julia’s older sister Clara Taylor. In England they were received by President James E. Talmage who expressed his desire for James to serve as president of the British Mission which due to the short period of their visit was declined. 

They first travelled to Sheffield where they met cousin Willie Sudbury, the son of Richard Seth Sudbury brother of Samuel, and his wife. They are taken to visit a cutlery and silver manufacturing concern and shown the various processes of manufacturing all kinds of table silverware and knives, spoons etc. Their journal records giving speeches at the Relief Society Meeting

Whilst in Sheffield the Paxmans visit the family of Emma Crossland, Samuel’s wife and Julia’s mother. The journal records: Cousin Sudbury takes us to steel cutting tool factory where Cousin S.G.Crossland is the manager. He received us kindly and showed us through where we saw the processes of manufacture from crude iron and steel to finished tools. In this factory are rooms where the family of mother Sudbury lived and the room used for bedroom one of their brothers were born. We are just glad that our parents had been brought out of such conditions and gave us our birth in Zion.

From Sheffield the Paxmans travel around the country mixing missionary work with ancestry. They spend much time in the London area tracing members of the Paxman family but are not greeted with enthusiasm. They also travel to Ireland, Paris and Nottingham where other Sudbury members are traced.

Towards the end of their stay the Paxmans visit Egmanton to see the birth place of Samuel. On Monday, March 7th  their journal records  We take the bus at Trinity Square, Nottingham at 10.30am for Walesby and visit John Edward Ward and family. (a second cousin of Julia)

On March 8th he records that Mrs Ward takes them to her cousin John Gale at Egmanton, the birthplace of Father Sudbury. Here they discuss their faith with the Gales but comments that they had already heard much from Father Sudbury when he had visited some 23 years previously. The journal records:

“During the day we saw the house (now almost in ruins) which Father Sudbury was born in and the home of his father Samuel Sudbury and family. Also saw the house they lived in at a later date when Father Sudbury left for Utah in 1853. We visited the village church and the graves of Great Grandfather Edward Sudbury and wife and grandfather Samuel Sudbury and wife in the church yard. We plucked some green leaves from these graves and silently offered our thanks for such parentage and that fathers and mothers were moved upon to go to Utah – the place of
opportunity and of correct religious principles.

Whilst in Egmanton they also called upon Mr John Wardell, then aged 86, who remembered Father Sudbury. He was related to the Sudburys by the marriage of Samuel Sudbury and Mary Wardell in Egmanton in 1819.

On March 10th the Paxmans met with Barnard Brammer of Retford, the son in law of Mrs Ward. The Brammers like the Gales were strong Methodist families so although welcoming and polite would not have been interested in the Mormon faith. Mr Brammer took the Paxmans on a tour of the estates of the Duke of Newcastle and to Scrooby, the home of the Pilgrim Fathers. The Paxmans gave half a crown to each of the three Brammer boys before travelling back to Sheffield by train where they again stay with cousin Willy Sudbury. Here they visit a cutlery manufacturer and purchase pocket knives for relations in America as a memento of their visit to England.

On 23rd March 1927 the Paxmans left England from Southampton and returned home. Julia Paxman died in January 1940 and James on 10 January 1943 in Nephi, Utah.

The Sudburys of Egmanton – Part Eleven

The Charity: Having learnt much about the family that donated land to the village for the benefit of the poor this month we return to the charity whose full title is The charities of John Sudbury, Francis Oldham and Christopher Sudbury.

The land left for the benefit of the poor of Egmanton and Maplebeck by John Sudbury in 1616 in Tuxford Southfield was administered by four men of Egmanton and four of Maplebeck. A deed of Feoffment bearing the date 31st May 1656 names Richard Wright and three others in Maplebeck and Edward Sudbury and three others in Egmanton. By the schedule they were directed to let the acre of ground for the best yearly rent and to bestow the rents and profits thereof yearly on such of the poor inhabitants of the said towns of Maplebeck and Egmanton as by the discretion of the said officers, their heirs or assigns with the advice and consent of the parsons, vicars or ministers and church wardens of the said parish’. In 1795 it was noted that all but one of the then trustees had died and that only John Shaw remained as trustee in Egmanton. New appointments were made. In Egmanton these were Francis Gale, John Gale, John Truswell and Edward Sudbury, all familiar names in the village history.

At the enclosure in 1821 the Tuxford land was exchanged for land in Egmanton called Outgangbridge and Beetoning Closes containing 2 acres 3 roods and 15 perches. These plots of land are to the south of Kirton Road on either side of the stream and alongside the track leading to the Sheepwash.  At a vestry meeting held on Lady Day 1824 George Wass as the highest bidder tenanted these two plots at a rent of £6.6s which was subject to a deduction of land tax of 6 shillings. This income was divided equally among the settled poor of Egmanton and Maplebeck about Christmas in sums varying from 2s 6d to 12 shillings according to their necessities.  The 1832 map labels the land as ‘Egmanton & Maplebeck poor’.

The land left to the charity in 1678 by Christopher Sudbury for the poor of Egmanton consisted of two lands lying in the South field at the Butts, one at the washing stone in Abingmore and the other abutting on Wainewright’s homestead, two roods in the east field and six lands in the west field.

Under the Egmanton enclosure, an allotment was made to the overseers of the poor in lieu of the Christopher Sudbury land plus 24 perches in lieu of the annual sum of 6 shillings payable in respect of Francis Oldham’s Charity  from  an  ancient  inclosure  called  Poor  Close

  Right: Areas of charity land - shaded.

Plantation. The awarded land was an acre of the  common field which is today situated off Holme Lane (then called Hall Grounds Road), this the 1832 map labels as ‘Poor of Egmanton’. From Lady Day 1824 this land was let out as garden ground amongst six poor men of the parish at a rent of 6 shillings for each garden. Records from 1897 refer to the Poor Gardens and show there were then eleven allotments with a rent of 3 shillings and 3 pence for each plot. This money was distributed to the poor of Egmanton. 

Members of the Sudbury family were trustees for the administration of the charity during their residence in Egmanton and combined it with the position of overseer for the poor of Egmanton, thus Edward Sudbury is recorded in 1717 and Samuel Sudbury in 1770.

In 1895 the newly formed Egmanton Parish Meeting elected Mr John R. Wardell as senior overseer for the ‘Poor Garden Charity’ and Mr R Price and Mr G Saxelby as junior overseer. Each year new representatives were elected.  During the C20th a number of long stay families have served as trustees for the charity. These have included members of the Gale, Cupit, Booth, Banks, Laughton, Wardell and Price families.

In 1963 the charity was registered with the Charity Commission but for some reason was recorded as two. The John Sudbury charity is shown as helping the poor of Maplebeck and the Oldham Charity the poor of Egmanton.

The Christopher Sudbury field on Holme Lane continued to be used as allotments for many years but as demand became less was gradually turned into grassland. The final allotment tenancy ended in 1970. 

In 1982 the newly founded Egmanton Sports and Social Club took on the lease of the field under committee members who included Tony Oliver, Mike Sears, Margaret Sears and Ivor Raynor. They organised events to raise funds to pay the rent of the field and the purchase of swings and a slide. For many years the field thrived, but the equipment became old and the facilities were used less. New committee members became difficult to find. In 2004 the lease was taken over by the Parish Meeting.  An inspection of the equipment revealed that it did not meet modern safety standards and so was removed. Attempts to encourage the use of the field for organised games failed and the field was advertised for private tenancy and is now grassland.

Today the charity receives just over £400 pa income, this being made up of rent and a small income for electrical posts. Half the income from the John Sudbury field is sent to trustees in Maplebeck most of the remainder is distributed to members of the Egmanton community.

Over the years many individuals and families have been helped by cash payments and by gifts such as coal and television licences. Today with the welfare state the charity has lost much of its original purpose but the trustees continue the tradition of this historic charity. Each year payments are made to those whom suffer with poor health, have had a sad event involving relations or friends, or have reached a notably senior age.

Trustees of the charity today are the Chair of the Parish Meeting and the Vicar of Egmanton. The other trustees, David Hope, John Bower, Russel Smith are appointed for life unless they choose to leave.

Posted 13/04/2016

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