Linford-Holton family photo-sleuthing

elizabethholtonfamily

Angela Manders has sent me some photos of her Moss / Holton family, including this group.  She says lady in the centre is Elizabeth Linford née Holton, (1839-1917).  The youngest lady seated at the far left of the photo is her youngest daughter Elizabeth (1884-1964) whose husband William Ridgway is standing behind her.  Another daughter, Caroline (born in 1876), is seated at the far right of the photo.  She married Joseph Moss in 1901 in Peckham where they continued to live – again, he is standing behind his wife.

Angela wonders if anyone can help identify the other people in the photo and help her to date it. Elizabeth had given birth to ten children, of whom seven were lived to adulthood:

  • Joseph ?Inns (1857-58) – died age 1
  • William George (1862-79) – died age 17
  • Eliza Ann (1867-1871) – died age 4
  • Emily Maria (1870-1942) m. Alfred Jesse Bennett – age 39 in 1909, living with husband & 5 children in Buckingham
  • James Thomas (1872-1934) m. Ada Tasker  – age 37 in 1909, living in Rugby, Warwickshire with wife and children – the youngest of whom was only born in the first quarter of 1909, so perhaps unlikely to be in Tingewick in April 1909
  • Joseph (1874-1937) m. Minnie Lucy Collier Steeden (no children) – age 35 in 1909, perhaps living separately from wife who – by 1911 – was in Nottinghamshire
  • Daniel (1875-1918) m. Clara Ethel Smith – age 34 in 1909, living in Leicestershire with his wife and 3 children: the youngest was 1 year old in 1909
  • Caroline (1876-1960) m. Joseph Moss – age 32 in 1909,  living in London with her husband and 8-year-old son
  • Esther (1878-1956) m. James Linford – age 31 in 1909, living with her husband and three children in Maids Moreton [in spite of the same surname I’ve not found a family connection between them … yet!]
  • Elizabeth (1884-1964) m. William Ridgeway – age 25 when she married in April 1909, still living with her mother in Tingewick in 1911

We know that daughter Elizabeth jnr. (identified by Angela as sitting at the far left of the picture) married William Ridgway five days after Elizabeth snr’s birthday, on 19th April 1909, so – since William is standing behind Elizabeth in the same way that Caroline’s husband stands behind her – I think this photo is unlikely to have been taken more than a year or two before that.  Elizabeth jnr. would have been 25 in 1909: again, her appearance agrees more or less with that date.   I then wondered if it might be a gathering of the family to celebrate Elizabeth’s 70th birthday on 14th April 1909, with a second celebration (of Elizabeth jnr’s marriage) to come a few days later.

Three of Elizabeth’s surviving daughters still lived in the Buckingham area (Caroline – sitting at the right of the photo – was living in London).  The lady in the white blouse beside Caroline looks a bit older and might be Emily, aged 39: but where is Esther (aged 31)?  Perhaps she is the smiling lady behind the man (presumably her husband, James Linford) seated with the child.  The man in the centre, standing behind Elizabeth, could be Elizabeth’s middle son Joseph, aged 35, whose marriage to Minnie Steeden might already have failed – by 1911 she was living in Nottingham; later she worked in Canada and only returned to England a few weeks before she died at the end of 1934.

The couple at the far left of the photo might be youngest son Daniel (age 34) and his wife Clara who would have travelled here from Leicestershire.  It’s perhaps less likely that it would be Elizabeth’s oldest son James, since his wife – Ada née Tasker – had given birth in the first part of 1909 so they would probably have been unable to come all the way from Rugby.  But that leaves me unable to guess who the final lady at the far right of the picture might be.  Perhaps, then, James and his wife did make the journey and she, not surprisingly, has been given a chair with James standing beside her.  The last unidentified lady might then be Emily, unaccompanied by her husband

Does anyone have any photos of any of the people mentioned to help prove or disprove my theory?

Murder? or accidental death?

[The two reports below are from the same newspaper, printed two weeks apart, and presumably refer to two different inquests into the same mishap. The second report also refers to a report one week earlier, which has not (yet) been electronically archived]


OXFORD, Saturday, Nov. 30
Jackson’s Oxford Journal (Oxford, England), Saturday, November 30, 1822; Issue 3631

Thursday last an inquest was held, at the pub-
lic house at Tingewick, Bucks, before Mr. Burn-
ham, Coroner for that county, on view of the
body of — Wells, keeper of the Old Angel public
house at Buckingham, who was found murdered
on the road, near the turnpike at Tingewick.
From the best information we can collect, we
learn that the deceased, with another man named
Brewerton, were returning, in a gig, from a
meeting held in Banbury for letting turnpike
tolls, on Monday last, and had quarrelled on
their road home; Brewerton had been heard to
say, “he would do for him.” When the de-
ceased was found, it was at first supposed his
death was occasioned by falling out of the gig;
but on a closer inspection of the wounds, there
was no doubt of his having been brutally mur-
dered. He had several severe blows about the
head and face, and one blow across his hand,
which it is probable was received when endea-
vouring to save them from his head. After a
very long investigation, the Jury returned a ver-
dict of Wilful Murder, against some person or
persons unknown.


INQUEST
Jackson’s Oxford Journal (Oxford, England), Saturday, December 14, 1822; Issue 3633

INQUEST

Upon Mr. W. Wells, of Buckingham
Held on Wednesday, Nov. 27, before Mr Burnham,
one of the coroners for that county
[THE CIRCUMSTANCE WAS GIVEN LAST WEEK]
Charles Cross, of Tingewick, shoemaker, deposed,
that on his road home from Buckingham last Monday
evening, the 25th of November, in company with his
apprentice, John Durrant, he met a horse and gig,
about half-past nine o’clock, without any person in it.
— that on approaching nearer Tingewick, they found
the body of a man lying by the road side — it was
quite cold — and a quantity of blood was under the
head and near it. Deponent immediately went to the
toll-gate (about 200 yards further on) to get as-
sistance, and on enquiring there whether a horse and
gig had lately passed through, the collector, Thomas
Brewerton, replied there had about half an hour ago;
and that the person who was with it was Wm. Wells,
of Buckingham. Whilst deponent was in coversa-
tion with the collector, in consequence of the ap-
prentice having gone into the village and given the
alarm, Benjamin Brewerton ran past the collector
and the deponent, as if alarmed, and on being called
to by name by the housekeeper at the toll-gate (Su-
sannah Stokes) he did not answer, but continued
running. Deponent followed, and on arriving again
at the place where the body lay, saw Benjamin Brew-
erton, who had arrived there about half a minute
before deponent, examining the head of the deceased;
and he (Brewerton) said he thought it was broken,
and expressed much surprise at finding Wells dead,
he having been to Banbury with him that day. De-
ponent waited till other persons came up, and then
left the place.
John Durrant, apprentice to the last witness, cor-
roborated his master’s testimony as to seeing the
empty gig and the body. On his master’s stopping
at the toll-gate, the witness ran on to Tingewick and
gave the alarm of the deceased having been found.
Went to several houses for that purpose, and amongst
others to that of Benjamin Brewerton, who was sit-
ting with his wife by the fire side. Benjamin Brew-
erton immediately ran out of his house towards the
toll-gate.

The Rev. Mr. Risley, of Tingewick, deposed that
on Monday evening the 25th of November, on his
return home from Buckingham in his gig with his
servant Richard Steeden, he met a horse and gig,
having no person in it, going towards Buckingham;
this was between nine and ten o’clock. Deponent
called to a waggoner who was passing at the time,
and desired him to take charge of the empty gig and
bring it back towards Tingewick. On deponent’s
road home, when about 200 yards on the Buckingham
side of the Tingewick toll-gate, observed three or
four persons standing by the side of the road, and,
on enquiring of the cause, learnt that William Wells
had been found dead. Deponent to ascertain the truth
got out of his gig and put his hand to the face
of the deceased and found it cold, and that he was
quite dead. Benjamin Brewerton was one of the
persons standing near the body, who said to depo-
nent that he had been to Banbury with the deceased,
and that upon their return they had called at
the Red Lion, and had quarrelled there — that the de-
ceased had used him very ill; in some further con-
versation with Brewerton on their way home, Brew-
erton expressed himself as being an innocent and an
upright man, and that he knew nothing of how the
deceased came by his death. Brewerton further
added, that the deceased was not intoxicated at the
time he had parted company with him at the Red
Lion.

William Stowe, of Buckingham, surgeon, deposed
that he had been called on to go to Tingewick about half-
past ten on the night of Monday the 25th ult. to see
a person who had been found lying on the road within
200 yards of Tingewick turnpike. On reaching the
spot, he found the body of William Wells, who ap-
peared to have received several wounds about the
head, and was quite dead. After noticing the posi-
tion of the body and limbs, and making such other
examinations as might tend to elucidate the cause of
the death, he directed that the body should be taken
to the nearest public-house for the purpose of inquest.
On farther examination in the presence of the Jury
this day, both ears were found severely lacerated, a
wound about two inches long on the right cheek, a
smaller one on the chin, the upper lip swollen, and a
front tooth deficient, an extensive wound on the back
of the right hand, and fluid having a spirituous smell,
was trickling from the left ear. Under the direction
of the coroner, he opened the head and removed the
brain, when a fracture was discovered extending across
the basis of the skull from ear to ear, which might
have been occasioned by falling on the top of the
head, or by considerable force applied overy one ear
while the opposite ear was on the ground — the left
ear had gravel in it, as if the injury had been sus-
tained while the head was in that position. Depo-
nent, on his first seeing the deceased, searched his
pockets and took from them 3l. 1s. 9d which, his wife
on receiving said, was within a shilliing or two of
what he had with him when he left home in the morning.

Joseph Terry, of Tingewick, labourer, deposed
that soon after eight o’clock on Monday evening last,
he heard the voice of Benjamin, exclaiming “Damn
his eyes, he shall have it.” Deponent lives next door
but one to Brewerton, and he (deponent) saw him
from his window at the time. Brewerton was wran-
gling afterwards with his wife or some person in the
house, and pulled his door to on coming out of it;
he returned again immediately, and on opening it said
to the persons inside the house, “D–n you, follow
me if you dare.” Brewerton then went towards
Tingewick turnpike-gate, passing deponent’s house,
and muttering to himself a the time, “D–n his
eyes, he shall have it.” Deponent thought at the
time Brewerton had been quarrelling with Edmund
Side, who was in Brewerton’s house.

Edmund Side, of Tingewick, labourer, deposed
that he was at the house of Benjamin Brewerton from
six till about nine o’clock on Monday evening the
25th of November. That Brewerton was absent at
the time he first went, but came in a quarter before
eight. He (Brewerton) appeared rather fresh — did
not remain above five minutes. That he then went
down to the turnpike, and was gone a quarter of an
hour, having been fetched home by his wife. That
he then remained ten minutes, during which time he
said he had had a few words with Wells, and behaved
very abusively towards his wife, saying he would go
out again and desiring her not to follow him. That
no words whatever passed between deponent
and Brewerton, nor did they even speak to each other —
That upon the request of Benjamin Brewerton’s wife,
deponent went to call John Brewerton to fetch Benj.
who did so, and brought Benjamin home. That Ben-
jamin remained in the house till deponent and his
wife left it, which was about half-past nine. — This
witness, on his re-examination said, that Brewerton
had said he would “wallop” Wells. And the evi-
dence generally came from him very reluctantly.

Charlotte Side, wife to the last witness, deposed
as to Benjamin Brewerton coming to his house, she
being there with her husband; that they left it to-
gether about nine o’clock; that, soon after they got
home, her husband went to the door and said “here
is the gig and Wells in it; he seems very fuddled, for
he sways about.” That about ten minutes after-
wards deponent went to Benjamin Brewerton’s house to
ask his wife to have some camomile tea, and saw
Benjamin Brewerton, and John Brewerton, drinking
beer together.

Mary Mansfield, the wife of Daniel Mansfield,
of the parish of Tingewick, victualler, deposed that
between the hours of 6 and 7 in the evening of Mon-
day, November 25, W. Wells and Benj. Brewerton got
out of a gig at deponent’s door; that they went into
the tap room together, and drank two pints of ale
with two half-quarterns of gin in it; they appeared
friendly towards each other at first, but afterwards
words arose between them about some money, which
the deponent cannot exactly speak to. Brewerton
appeared violent; threatened to knock Well’s teeth
down his throat; but on deponent’s interfering they
appeared good friends again, and got into the gig and
went away together. A few minutes afterwards
they came back to the door again and into the house;
Wells said on entering, “I don’t know what to make
of this fellow; he wants to fall out with me on the
road,” alluding to Brewerton, who said, “it was
only my fun.” Wells soon afterwards went to the
door, and got into the gig and drove off by himself,
leaving Brewerton in the house, who followed on foot
almost immediately. — Mansfield keeps the Red Lion,
at Finmere, but the house is in Tingewick parish.

Jas. Holton, butcher, of Tingewick, deposed that on
Monday evening the 25th ult. about 8 o’clock, Wm.
Wells, of Buckingham, called at deponent’s house,
in Tingewick, and told him that he (Wells) had come
from Banbury with Benjamin Brewerton, that even-
ing; that they had had words on the road, and again at
the Red Lion, where Brewerton at last promised to
drop it and shake hands; that Brewerton, when in
the gig again, used abusive language, and threatened
to fight Wells, who thereupon turned about to go to
the Red Lion again, where they agreed to settle the
dispute; but that Wells ordered the horse to be
ready, that he might drive away alone, for that Brew-
erton had threatened to knock his (Wells’) teeth down
his throat. Wells left deponent’s house about
twenty minutes past eight, but called again in the
gig on his way home, a little before nine o’clock;
nothing particular was said then; Wells appeared
a little fresh, but talked with deponent rationally,
and appeared perfectly capable of going home alone.

Susannah Stokes, housekeeper to Thos. Brewerton,
keeper of the Tingewick toll gate, deposed that she
did not leave her master’s house at all on Monday
evening the 25th of Nov. That Benjamin Brewerton
came there about half past eight; that he appeared
fresh, and had a few words with his father, and men-
tioned having had some with Wells. That deponent
sent Sarah Bedford to fetch Benj. Brewerton’s wife,
which she did; that Benj. Brewerton left the house
with his wife, but returned soon afterwards alone;
that he remained there about ten minutes, and quar-
relled with deponent about family affairs; that Ben-
jamin afterwards left the house in company with his
brother John, and did not return that evening. That
a gig, in which was William Wells, went through the
gate soon after nine o’clock. Benjamin and John
Brewerton had left the house some time.

John Brewerton, of Tingewick, labourer, deposed,
that between 8 and 9 o’clock, last Monday evening,
Edmund Side came to his (deponent’s) house, to re-
quest him to fetch his brother Benjamin away from
his father’s at the turnpike gate, as he was making
a disturbance there. That deponent went for his
brother immediately, and took him from his father’s
to his (Benjamin’s) own house; that he remained with
him drinking beer till past ten o’clock, and
never left him from the time he first went to the toll
house to that hour.

The evidence closed with this witness, and the
Jury, after taking another view of the body, and of
the gig from which the deceased is supposed to have
fallen, returned the their verdict, under the
direction of the Coroner, of Accidental Death.

W.C. Kingham, photographer

Does anyone have any photographs taken by William Charles Kingham of Tingewick? If so, I’d love to hear about them.

His father, Joseph Kingham was born around 1855 in North Marston, a dozen or so miles south-east of Tingewick in Buckinghamshire.  He married in 1877 and had three sons by 1884.  He was a coachman in Quainton and Maids Moreton; then, in 1898, he moved to Tingewick to take on the tenancy of the Royal Oak.

That same year, William Charles Kingham – his oldest son – married Tingewick girl Fanny Amelia Steeden.  He described himself as a ‘cycle agent’ in the marriage register, but at the census two and a half years later he is a ‘photographer and cycle dealer‘.

I have one of his photographs- of Frank Floyd, at Wood Farm, looking splendid in his Bucks Yeomanry uniform.  Then, a few weeks ago, I had an email from Vic in Hampshire, asking for help identifying the people in a family group.  The smart young man with the bicycle in front of the same cottage is his grandfather, Charles Smith (b. 1885).  Could the others be relatives?

His grandfather’s grandfather was Tingewick labourer Edward Smith (1818-1853) who died in his mid-thirties, leaving his widow with six children to raise.  Vic is descended from the youngest, George (b. 1848), who moved to London.  The older siblings dispersed to Oxfordshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire, leaving just their oldest sister Ann (183-1911) 1in the village.  Her daughter Harriet (b. 1856 and Vic’s grandfather’s oldest cousin) married Richard James Coates (1858-1915) who plied a variety of trades in the village – painter and glazier, plumber, even grocer – before settling – by the turn of the century – as a ‘house decorator‘.   On the 1901 census, he and his six children are a near-perfect match for the group in the photograph above which probably dates from around the same time.

Meanwhile, Charles Kingham’s photography business seems to have been a sideline to his main bicycle sales and repairs – it doesn’t appear in the local Kelly’s Directories where he is listed as a cycle agent and cycle repairer.  At some point after 1907 he moved to Stantonbury, now part of Milton Keynes, with his wife and two children.  In 1911 he is recorded there as an electrician’s labourer in the railway carriage works.  A year later, Fanny died; he remarried in 1915; and he died in Northampton General Hospital in 1948 without – as far as I know – continuing his career as a photographer.  Or does anyone else know differently?

 

The funeral of Shugborough Newitt Steeden, 15th November 1918

[sent to me by June Underwood of the Buckinghamshire Remembers website.  Although Shugborough Newitt Steeden’s name appears on both the Tingewick parish war memorials, he is not recorded on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site because he died of influenza, not of his wounds]

From the Buckingham Advertiser and North Bucks Free Press, Saturday November 30, 1918

The second part of the cutting reads:

“… – A particularly sad scene was wit-
nessed in the village on the 15th inst., in the
presence of the Washington car passing through
the Main Street carrying two coffins containing
the mortal remains of Shugborough Newitt
Steeden, aged 29, and Elsie Louisa, his wife, aged
30, both having passed away the same night,
leaving two little children – a girl, 6 years old,
and a boy, aged 4. Deceased was a grandson of
the late John Steeden, of Tingewick, and his
wife a daughter of Ebenezer Newman Pollard.
He joined Kitchener’s Army in the early days of
the war, was drafted into the Oxford and Bucks
L.I., and sent to France, where after a few
months he was severely wounded, his life being
despaired of for some time. Treated in Glasgow
Hospital with every care, after a year or so he
was discharged about 12 months since, the marks
most visible of his wounds being a stiff knee and
the loss of two fingers. He was a gardener in the
employ of Lady Lawrence at Chetwode Manor
previous to the war, and only a week before his
death he removed from Tingewick to The Gables,
near Winslow, to act in the same capacity with
Lady Addington, the floral wreath sent by the
latter being one of the many floral tributes to
the memory of two lives so swiftly removed from
us. Of a cheerful and obliging nature, deceased
had many friends. Symbolical of a union ex-
pressed in life, one grave contains both husband
and wife. The Rev. P.E. Rayner (Rector) offi-
ciated
—–*——

shugborough steeden

British Army Records 1914-1920

Some Tingewick men who appear in the British Army records 1914-1920

[last update: 1st Sept 2014]

Albert John Aris, ‘Canteen Steward’, born 1880, son of John and Maria (Greaves): Royal Garrison Artillery: signed up 13 Oct 1914: discharged (having been promoted several times, finally to rank of Sgt) 26 June 1919.  He must have been an impressive sight – relatively tall at 5 ft 10½ and weighing 182 lbs when he enlisted, he had a 42 in chest and a number of tattoos – “flags on inside of left arm, & figure of General Butler on forearm & faith home & charity, also figures on right arm, Lord Kitchener &c”.  He appears to have joined the army for 6 years in 1898, which he extended for a further 6 years in August 1905 while serving as a gunner in Gibraltar.  He also served in Sierra Leone, South Africa and Malta, finally discharged from the regular army in 1913, after nearly 16 years’ service, during which he had been promoted to Bombardier but had reverted to Gunner at his own request!

Thomas George Barnes, labourer, born 1880, son of  Joseph and Mary Ann: enlisted 10 Nov 1914 but two weeks later: “Discharged – not being likely to become an efficient soldier under para 392(111)(c) Kings Regulations” – signed by the colonel commanding the 8th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry.  He appeared before a medical board but there is no record of any physical disability.

William Ambrose Cross Neale, shoemaker, born 1879, son of Elizabeth Neale enlisted 30th June 1915 in the Army Services Corps. His army record shows his ‘physical development’ was ‘poor’ and he wore glasses.  He sailed to France aboard SS ‘Lydia‘ in July 1915 and joined 16 Labour Coy at Rouen: he was absent from roll call in November and lost 3 days’ pay.  He was invalided to England (T.S. ‘Panama‘) on 12 March 1916 and admitted to Manchester Western Hospital suffering from ‘Debility‘ caused by diarrhoea and vomiting, and with sleep problems.  Six weeks later he was discharged from hospital with his weight regained and sleep improved but on 21st June 1916 he received a “Discharge being no longer physically fit for work” and was awarded a pension of 4/8d per week.  His medical notes also show that he had a slight heart murmur.

George Alfred Richardson, clerk, born 1890, son of James and Louisa was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.  His citation reads:

“265046 CSM G.A. Richardson MM 1/1st Bn. TF (Tingewick) (ITALY)
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion
to duty during the attack north of
Asiago on 1st November 1918, when in
face of heavy machine-gun, rifle and
shell fire he did magnificent work in
reorganising the men on the various
objectives and leading them forward.
By his cheerfulness and coolness he set
a very fine example to all about him.
(25.2.20)”

Reginald George Benjamin Steeden, farmer, born 1884, son of James and Jane (nee Paxton) enlisted at Bletchley Recruiting Office on 14 December 1915 and was appointed to the 96th Territorial Reserve Battalion – perhaps because of his occupation.  However, he appears to have seen at least one spell in the British Expeditionary Force at the end of September 1917.

James Arthur Stuchfield, railway porter born 1891, son of George and Elizabeth (Lucas) joined the Grenadier Guards 31st August 1908 and was discharged into the Reserves after three years service.  He was mobilised as part of the Expeditionary Forces on 5th August 1914 – the day after war was declared.  He was wounded in the leg in September 1916 and returned to the UK where he remained until he was again transferred to the reserves in June 1918.

Abel Townsend, platelayer with the L & N W railway, was a relative newcomer to the village.  He was born in Mixbury but his family had moved to Finmere before the 1891 census, and he had presumably set up home in Tingewick when he married.  His daughter Beatrice had been baptised at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in October 1906.  He was attested in December 1915 but was medically classified “B1” and kept ‘on reserve’ until March 1917, when he was finally posted to Egypt with the Railway Company, Royal Engineers, as a platelayer / sapper.  He was transferred out in April 1919 with “Lumbago & Sciatica, following Dysentery (attributed)” – 40% disablement and awarded a pension – initially – of 11/- per week.  He appears to have contracted Amoebic Dysentery in Palestine in October 1918, when he was admitted to hospital with diarrhoea and vomiting.

The items in his possession on admission to hospital in Cairo were inventoried as: 1 pair drawers, 1 pair gaiters, 1 pair putties, 2 flannel shire, 3 pairs socks, 1 towel, 1 pair trousers, a fork, a holdall, a clasp knife and a table knife and a spoon, a haversack, boots with laces, braces, shaving and tooth brush, cap with badge, hair comb, tropical helmet, and razor in a case.  His medical notes are also quite comprehensive – perhaps a little too graphic, considering his ailment, but fascinating as a window into that aspect of life in the Great War.  They even include his temperature chart!

================

ALSO:

William Ball, born 1881, enlisted in the Northamptonshire Regiment in 1903 and served in South Africa.  In 1906 he married Martha Jane Stuchbury at Hillesden: she lived in Tingewick, and her daughters (Celia May and Ethel) were born there in 1903 and 1908.  William served in France in 1914 and 1915: he was severely wounded / gassed on 25th September 1915 and was discharged 30 March 1916.

Tingewick World War I project

To commemorate the centenary of the start of WW1 members of Tingewick Historical Society  are researching Tingewick’s WW1 soldiers who are named on our village war memorials.   We would love to hear from people descended from those families who have photographs or stories to share with us.  Over one hundred Tingewick men fought in World War One and, while we are currently researching those that died, we would also be pleased to hear from descendants of any of the men who survived.  If you have any information please contact Ruth Roy ruthroy@hotmail.com  or Lorraine Carter   lorraine.carter@btinternet.com (and, perhaps, add details here as a comment)

Buckingham Advertiser, Saturday January 15, 1898

1898-01-12-clipping—- 0 —

TINGEWICK

WEDDING. — The marriage of Mr. John Tompkins, of Spring Cottage, Buckingham, with Mrs. F. Steeden, of Church View, Tingewick, was solemnised at the the Parish Church, on Wednesday, January 12th, the Rev. W.J.B. Hancock (curate) officiating.  The bride, who was attired in navy blue, with bonnet to match, was given away by Mr. Atkins, of London.  Her bridesmaids were Miss Steeden (daughter), and Miss Thompson (niece), and they wore dresses of light grey trimmed with red silk, with hats to match.  Mr. Thomas Bonner, of Buckingham, accompanied the bridegroom as best man.  The guests included Miss Richardson, Mrs. Atkins, Mrs. Bonner, and Miss Alcock.  Merry peals were rung on the bells during the day, and also at Buckingham, where the bridegroom was a ringer for over half a century.

SOIREE. — An invitation soiree was again arranged this year, on the same lines as that held last year.  Invitations were sent out by the Committee to a large number of persons in the village and neighbourhood, and about 90 responded to the invite, and put in an appearance at the Board Schools, on Friday evening, January 7th, the charge being 1/6 gents, and 1/- ladies.  The Schools had been cosily arranged by the following Committee:– Mrs Richmond, Mrs. Hadland, Mrs. Barrett, Mrs. Lever, Miss Gomme, Miss Miller, Miss Thompson, Mr. Richmond (Chairman), Mr. Barnes, Mr. Woodman, Mr. Dudley, Mr. F. Hadland, and Mr. Goss, Mr. Stanley acting as Secretary, and they were very assiduous in their efforts to make the evening an enjoyable one.  A long and varied programme had been arranged, including games, singing and dancing, and all were entered into with much spirit.  During the evening, light refreshments were handed round at intervals.  The Committee had secured the services of Mrs. Lever at the piano, which was kindly lent by Mr. Richmond, Mr. Judd with piccolo, and Mr. G. Neale with the violin.  Several of the company had volunteered to sing, among these being Mr. J. Baker, Mr. G. Neale, Miss F. Barnes, Mr. E. Pollard, and Mr. G. Pollard, and altogether an enjoyable evening was spent.  A meeting of the Committee was held on Wednesday evening last, when the accounts were presented, and showed a deficit of 1/7, which was paid out of the balance on last year’s account.  The balance now in the Treasurer’s hands being 18/4.

The Steeden family in Tingewick

richard_steedenI have just heard from a Steeden descendant, fifth cousin (I think) to my daughter.   She was enormously excited to be able to trace the family name back to 17th century Northamptonshire, using information from the Tingewick family group sheets.

Ah, but can she?

Certainly, I am confident that ALL the Steeden folk from Tingewick are descended from one couple – James Steeden and Sara Markham who married on Christmas Day 1770.

Sara was Tingewick born and bred – baptised in October 1741, her parents were Thomas Markham (1716-1769) and Catherine Poulton (bur. 1752 at Tingewick).  The Markham line is reasonably clear, linking back four more generations to the start of parish registers and beyond in Tingewick.

James Steeden, though, was an incomer.  According to the marriage register, he was from Charleton … but the next question is, which one?  There are three obvious candidates – two in Oxfordshire and one in Northamptonshire – but my money is on the one in Northamptonshire.  It’s now combined with Newbottle (which used to be the dominant hamlet) two miles east of Kings Sutton.  When I visited the graveyard some years ago I found – not Steeden graves – but Markham ones in quantity.  My main reason for linking the family to Chartlton/Newbottle, though, was finding (pre-internet search) what appeared to be plausible entries for the family on the old fiche-based IGI.

steeden_bros_1Now of course I knew that the IGI was seriously flawed: but (for my sins) I built the hypothetical tree  in my database which in due course grew into the Tingewick website.

Do I still think the family came from Newbottle?  I’m not sure.  The old IGI entries I found have not been carried through to the modern, cleaned-up online FamilySearch IGI.  But that DOES have a plausible baptism in 1745 in Bloxham – less than ten miles to the west of Charlton/Newbottle – and still with William as the father’s name.  And I have found references in the London Gazette to the bankruptcy of a Daniel Steeden in 1845.  He was a cattle dealer … the same trade followed by the Steeden families in Tingewick.

Conclusive?   No, but a straw in the wind.