Entries in Worthies (2)


Henry Raymond (1606- 1666) ONE OF THE WORTHIES

Although I had told myself that I have finished my Ringstead life stories I came across Henry again and had to write a little about him. This is a first rough draft and more research is needed. I wondered if anyone who knows about the Ekins, Raymonds ot Tuttles might be able to add to, or correct what I have done so far. Please contact me at


Henry Raymond (1606 – 1666)

Henry Raymond was a minister at Ringstead during some of the most turbulent periods of British history. The turmoil had started in the time of Henry VIII, when the Church of England had broken away from the Roman Catholic Church because of the Pope’s refusal to allow the divorce of Catherine by Henry. Underlying this, however, was not only Henry's need for a son to succeed him but also the increasing belief of the Tudor monarchs that the Pope was an outside political power and that the crown should be the ultimate authority in England. As we have seen in the world over the last sixty years, once you remove an overarching authority from an area it tends to break up into bitter disputes between rival interpretations of religion and nationhood.

With each new monarch the imposed religious practices changed and at a local level the services and the interiors of the parish churches would also change. The Church of England had become part of the bureaucracy of state from 1537 when each parish had to keep, by law, Registers of Christenings, Weddings and Burials.

During the seventeenth century religious divisions widened leading in part to the English Civil War, the Commonwealth, the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell and then the Restoration of Charles II (which was not the end of the religious seesawing in the century).

Henry Raymond was a minister in Ringstead during this period of religious and civil turmoil.

He was born in 1606 (from his age at marriage), the oldest son of Francis Raymond of Dunmow in Essex and his first wife. In 1604 Francis had married Mary, daughter of Raffe Eve, of Maldon in Essex. They had three other children, John, Mary and Francis. After the death of Mary, Francis married Elizabeth Spilman and there were four further children, Hanna, Martha, Abigale and Francis.

In Easter 1623 Henry matriculated at, (became a member of), Emmanuel College Cambridge as a “pensioner” or “commoner” which meant that he had not gained a scholarship and so had to pay for his tuition and “commons” (board and lodging). At this time, with few exceptions students of Oxford and Cambridge had to be members of the Church of England and of the gentry. He gained his B.A in 1626-7 and his M.A. in 1630. Both awards were often largely a matter of payment and time rather than of any learning and examination.

Between these two degrees he had been ordained as a deacon at Upton Chapel near Castor by Thomas Dove, Rector of Castor and Bishop of Peterborough, on September 3rd 1628 and a day later as a priest. The Doves owned most of the land in the Castor area before it was sold to the Fitzwilliams in the eighteenth century. Thomas Dove, who died in 1630, was a noted preacher who had greatly impressed Elizabeth I. He was, however, very much on the High Anglican side of the widening divide.

Henry became a curate at Ringstead in 1630 (or some sources state that it was possibly 1628, although the Ringstead Registers do not bear this out) and he was described as a "Clerk from Ringstead" on his marriage licence of May of that year. The vicar  of the joint parish of Denford with Ringstead from 1617 to 1638 was James Southwell.

Charles I, who had come to the throne in 1625, began to oversee the reordering of the church again emphasising ritual rather than preaching. We cannot be sure how far each round of changes reached Ringstead but many churches prior to this had had a communion table lengthwise in the chancel with the seating around it on three sides. Charles, through Archbishop Laud particularly, had it moved back to under the East window as an altar and rails, communion wine, surplices etc were reintroduced. The interiors of parish churches became more like they had been before the Reformation, and to High Anglican churches today. In the Peterborough diocese these changes were rigorously enforced so it appears likely that the Ringstead Church would have undergone these changes. We get some sense that there was local resistance to this from an order given in 1631 to Ringstead Church to repair the chancel screen (which separated the clergy from the laity) and presumably Henry Raymond was involved in the reply that the position of the pulpit had caused "inconveniences", (i.e made this difficult to carry out).

James I had issued a Declaration of Sports which had set down sports which were permitted on Sundays and holy days and those that were not. Those allowed included: archery, dancing, “leaping, vaulting, or any such harmless recreation” together with “May-games, Whitsun-ales and Morris-dances and the setting up of May-poles”. Recreations that were not permitted included bear and bull baiting, “interludes”, [short, sometimes political, plays put on by strolling players], and bowling. On 18th October 1633 this Declaration was reissued by Charles with the addition of “wakes and ales” (countryside sports) to the list of prohibited sports. Although he denied it, the new Book of Sports was attributed to Archbishop Laud. Any parish priest who refused to read this declaration was to be deprived of his position.

The puritans who wanted to emphasise the keeping of Sunday "holy" led a Sabbatarian movement against this Declaration. Edmund Calamy, writing in the eighteenth century, stated that Henry Raymond was “an able Preacher and bold as a Lion” and Robert Woodford in his diary wrote that Henry Raymond “was a puritan divine who read a lecture at Ringstead sponsored by patrons from London in which he condemned the Laudian Book of Sports”. I am not sure when this lecture was read as obviously this has relevance to the bravery of his action but it was probably in the 1630s. Nevertheless, despite protesting, Henry "conformed" at this point.

Henry Raymond, "Clerk of Ringstead, Northamptonshire", had married Susanna Eakins of Gumbley (Gumley near Foxton 5 mile north-west of Market Harborough) at Gumbley or Langton (may be Laughton which very close to Gumley) in Leicestershire. In the Marriage Licence transcription on FindMypast it states that Henry was 24, so born about 1606, and Susanna was 20, so born about 1610. This seems to contradict the usual age of seventy given for his age at death. If the marriage licence transcription is correct it was nearer to sixty.

Although at her wedding Susanna Ekins was said to be of “Gumbley” she was the “Susan daughter of Henrie Ekins”  amd his wife Susan (nee Keyworth) christened at Ringstead on 12th February 1609. Henry was the son of Robert Ekins of Chelveston and Isabel, daughter of Alexander Travell of Weston Favell. His  brother, Alexander Ekins, of Chelveston seems to have been the main heir.  The main country seat of the Ekins family was at Weston Favell, near Northampton (possibly through the Travells) with three generation of Alexander Ekins being the heads of the families in succession in the early 17th Century. [Looking at the family tree in The Visitations of Essex .Vol.13 I think there was a brief interlude  from about 1638 to1642 when Robert Ekins was the head.] .

Henry and Susan Ekins had three other daughters, Elizabeth, Elinor and Isabell. Ellinor had married John French of Gumley and it seems most likely that Susanna was staying with her sister and brother-in-law at the time of her wedding. It still may seem a little odd to have been married away from both of the couple's homes but perhaps the birth of a child quite soon after the marriage could have been another factor. The first child of Henry, now the Ringstead curate, and Susanna was christened “Marie” at Ringstead on January 25th 1630 which confusingly was some seven months after their marriage in May 1630, as the old calendar ran from March to March.

There followed regular entries into the Ringstead Baptismal Register of christenings for the couple. I have included a couple of christenings of the children of Henry and Susanna Hayman although you would think that the children of the curate would have the correct surname written in the Register. We must remember, however,that this was the age before dictionaries and if you look at the original Registers the sprawling writing is difficult to transcribe accurately. Henry James (29/09/1633); Susan Rayman (26/12/1636); Francis Hayman (06/01/1637);Thomas (16/09/1639); Rebecka Ramone “daughter of Henry” (1641); Hanna Raymond (03/10/1643); John Raymond is recorded as born at Weston [Favell?] at the end of April 1645 and buried there ** months later; Marie again (26//09/1647); John (06/10/1647); Elizabeth (06/10/1648); Elizabeth again (04/05/1651 ) Finally there is another Hannah but no details are given (appears after 1651). There is a gap in the Ringstead Burial Register from March 8th 1639 to February 24th 1665 so we cannot check for infant deaths. The Puritan “Commonwealth” was from 1649 to 1660 and before this there was a tendency for parishes to lean towards Puritan or Catholic beliefs and it seems that Ringstead would have been in the former camp with Henry as the minister. It may be, therefore, that the two later entries are for adult baptisms.

Henry's father died in 1640 and in his Will of the previous year Francis, a linen draper had made his second wife, Elizabeth, and Henry his executors. Henry does not appear to have a bequest and his father has divided his fortune eqyually among his younger children. Perhaps Henry had already been well provided for.

Henry became vicar of the joint parish of Denford with Ringstead in 1647 which Edward Calamy states was worth some 40 to 50 pounds a year. It is a little confused because the Denford  Church booklet has Henry "intruded" in 1647 but then Arthur Leonard intruded in Denford in1648. The previous Vicar or Rector, James Southwell had signed the Register on a regular basis but there is no sign of Henry's signature and the Registers are signed by the churchwardens. On one page there are some scribbles and "Hannah Raymond" and "John Raymond" written in large letters. Was this one of the churchwardens practising or two of Henry's children writing their own names?

We must remember that the English Civil War had started in 1642 and 1647 was a brief pause before a short second conflict which culminated in the execution of Charles I in 1649. It also appears that Henry was always known as being "of Ringstead" so whether for a time the vicar was based at Ringstead and a curate at Denford is unclear. Whatever the truth, it seems that Henry was preaching in Ringstead during this period

In Robert Woodford’s diary he records that “Alexander Eakins of Weston Favell, whose servants were accused of brawling in the belfry of St. Peter’s Church in Northampton in 1634” died in Ringstead in 1666 where his family owned property”. He left money to his kinsman, Henry Raymond, a puritan divine. If this date is correct the bequest did not do Henry much good as, it appears, that he also died in the same year. His wife Susanna and his children may have benefitted.

Henry would have been a lesser member of the landed gentry and Susanna also had strong connections to the landowning class. The Hearth Tax return for Ringstead taken on 30th September 1662 records that Henry Raymond had a house with three hearths (Mr Ekins had 6 and Alexander Ekins 4); In 1670, Henry's widow still had three hearths (so presumably in the same house), the widow of Alexander Ekins had four and Mr Ekins six.

Of course between these Hearth Tax returns much had changed. In 1660 Charles II had returned to England in what is usually termed the Restoration. Much of the old church practices and ritual were again reinstated and in 1662 a slightly revised Book of Common Prayer was issued. Every incumbent of church office had to take an oath of loyalty both to the new Prayer Book and to the monarchy. Two thousand ministers refused and were ejected from their livings. In 1665 the Five Mile Act forbade the ejected clergy to come within five miles of the place where they had held a living. It may be that Henry died before this rule was enforced.

On November 21st 1665 Henry made his Will (Archdeaconry Court of Northampton 4th Series Book 8, page 100 microform 70). It was proved on October 15th 1666 so Henry had died between these two dates. Had he had to leave his parish for a short time before his death? His burial does not appear in the Ringstead Burial Register but during the chaos of this period much of the recording was not carried out and there are only three burials listed in the Register between 1665 and 1668. Surely some must have gone unrecorded.

The Will detailed his various bequests with his wife Susanna as his executrix:

To wife Susanna house and homestead with all land &c., in Ringstead, and all goods remaining after wife's decease to son Henry and his heirs; to son Francis 40/= [£2]; son Thomas £10; dau. Susanna Raymond house, &c., bought of Rich. Lileman, paying to her brother Henry's children £10 a child at 21, that is to say, to his son Joseph, his dau. Mary, his dau. Susanna £10 each. To daughter Susanna R. my silver tankard; 2nd dau. Rebecca R. £80; dau. Hanna £80; dau Mary land in Ringstead bought of Anthony Aborne; dau. Elizabeth R. that little close I bought of Robert Gilbert in R.[Ringstead] and £50. To son Francis's son£10; my 4 youngest daus. a silver spoon each; to dau. Raymond wife of Henry 10/=; cosen Samuel Ekins and his wife Mr.Hildersham's book upon the 4th of St. John and the 51 Psalme; Poor of R. [Ringstead] 20/= [£1]; wife Susanna exec.

Inventory taken 29th April 1666, £220 4s. 6d. including his library £14 0s 0d.

The Inventory itself does fill in a little detail of the house and the way he lived. It does not include the houses and lands:

£ d

  His wearing apparrell   06 13 04

His Library 14 00 00

All the goods in the Hall 01 10 00

All the goods in the Parlour 04 10 00

The goods in the kitchen of Pewter & Brass 04 02 04

The goods in the Milk House 01 03 06

The goods in the Buttery 00 10 06

The goods in the two Chambers over the hall 04 06 08

The goods in the Parlour Chamber with the Linnin 04 15 04

The grain and the goods in the kitchen and milk house chamber 02 05 06

The Cowes 06 10 06

The grain in the field 08 04 06

The hoggs, pullen [chickens?] Mannard [Mallard ducks?] in the yard 01 12 04

The debts 160 00 00

£ s d

  Total      220 04 06

Henry had had a licence for a "birden piece" so we see that he would have probably enjoyed the shooting and fishing as many country gentlemen of the time. Of course, he may just have used it against the crows and pigeons eating his corn.

Nevertheless he was not like the "Vicar of Bray" in the later satirical song who changed his beliefs with every new monarch so he could keep his position. He made a stand and was one of the two thousand “Worthies” as they became known. It seems that after his ejectment he never preached again. The local church was now irrevocably split and the Baptists of Ringstead and Raunds trekked each Sunday to Rowell (Rothwell) and back to hear another ejected priest from Desborough preach. In 1714 the Ringstead Baptist Church was established.

Meanwhile we know that two of Henry’s sons, Henry and Thomas, had gone into the ministry and both “conformed” and stayed within the Church of England. Interestingly both are shown as being educated at Ringstead. Was there a private school at Ringstead at this date or were they educated at home, perhaps by Henry himself or by a tutor? According to the Clergy of the Church of England Database, on 28th July 1713, the Bishop of Peterborough appointed a schoolmaster called John Allison to Ringstead but I have not found any any previous appointments.

The eldest son, Henry was first at Little Oakley but spent most of his career as Rector of Warkton, where he was buried. The third son, Thomas, spent the majority of his working life as Rector of Hardwick in Northamptonshire. It was at Hardwick, in 1668, that Susanna Raymond of Ringstead married Abraham Syannon [Sparrow?] of Kettering. is this Henry's widow or, most likely, his daughter? The following year Abraham Green of Moulton married Mary Raymond. Abraham is recorded as being a husbandsman "of Warkton, parish of brother Henry but the wedding was again at Hardwick.


The Tuttle (various spellings) family of Ringstead are known as one of the early families who migrated to America. Originally they came from Woodford and in 1605 Simon Tuttle was living in Ringstead and we see in the Ringstead Baptismal Register the christenings of the children of the sons of Simon, John and Richard, from 1623 to 1634. It seems certain that Henry Raymond, curate at Ringstead from 1630, officiated at the later ones of these.

John Tuttle had been set up in the mercery business (which included linens, silks etc.) in St Albans by his father and in the 1639 Will of Francis Raymond of Danbury, father of Henry, he was described as a "Linen Draper". Was this just coincidence? In 1634 Thomas, the son of William Tuttle was christened in Ringstead. Soon after that, William and his family, together with his widowed mother Isobel, joined his brother John in St Albans and, in 1635, aboard The Planter they sailed for New Haven. They were not  a family escaping poverty so perhaps it was their religion that played an important part in their decision to take the dangerous voyage to this puritan settlement. Did the preaching of Henry have anything to do with this? Certainly one wonders if Richard and Anne Tuttle had talked about their plans with Henry. It seems very probable.

There also seems some evidence that Richard Raymond and others of Henry’s extended family from Dunmow also emigrated in the seventeenth century but this needs much more investigation.


Ringstead Registers (Rushden Heritage website). hardwichk Parish Register (

 A Continuation of the Account of the Ministers, Lecturers, Masters and Fellows of Colleges and Schoolmasters who were Ejected or Silenced after the Restoration in 1660 (1729). Edmund Calamy

The Diary of Robert Woodford 1637 – 1641 (note p.127) [googlebooks].

Marriage licences 1570 – 1729 on

The Church of the Holy Trinity, Denford Church Guide by Stephen Swales 1990 updated 2003: Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ringstead Guide by K.M. Watson 1980.

Cambridge University Alumni 1261 – 1900 (

Alumni Cantabrigiensis: A  Biographical List of all Known Students etc Volume 1 Pages 428 – 9  (googlebooks)

Leicestershire Marriage Licences 1604 – 1891 Transcription (


Northamptonshire and Rutland Clegy Vol. 11 (LON 13 Northamptonshire  Record Office)

Raymonds of Ringstead family tree (N R O)

The Visitation of Essex 1634 (N R O)

The Visitation of Northamptonshire: 1618-19 Appendix.  Walter C. Metcalfe 1887 (HER/11 N R O)

Inventory of Will of Henry Raymond April 1666 (N R O )

The Notorious Elizabeth Tuttle. Ava Chamberlain. (NYU Press 2012). 


Reverend Alfred John Sandilands and Anna Maria Bethune SMALL STEP TO EQUALITY

Reverend Alfred John Sandilands (c1803 - 1862) and Anna Maria Bethune (c1800 - 1880)

I wrote recently about John Phillips, whose few years as a soldier had been hidden in the space between the parish records. Another reminder, of how much of a person’s life is often beneath the surface of the local records, has been brought to my attention. It concerns Alfred John Sandilands who was Vicar of the joint parish of Denford with Ringstead from 1854 until his death in 1862.

In writing about the long list of rectors, vicars and curates that were incumbents during the nineteenth century I tried not to stray too far from their time in the parish. In the case of Alfred this meant that I missed his extraordinary behaviour and its consequences in the period just before he took up the Denford with Ringstead post.

I wrote, “He had just married a widow, Ann Maria Leggatt, on 11th April 1850 in Brighton and they came to Denford four years later”. I was wrong because “they” never came. Anna Maria (there are various spellings) Bethune, the daughter of the Reverend G.M. Bethune, the vicar of Worth in Sussex, was born in 1800. On 6th September 1821 she married Horatio Leggatt , some twenty years her senior. Horatio, from the Norfolk gentry, had been indentured to Attorney, George Whemer at Reepham in Norfolk in 1793 and in 1800 he had gained a post in the Office of Taxes. In 1820, he had become Solicitor to the Board of Taxes. He had a salary of £1500 a year, an official residence in Royal Terrace, Adelphi so that, with other “perks”, his income was equivalent to some £3,000 a year. Then, in 1833 his department was merged with another and Horatio was made redundant with a pension of £1,300 a year. All his furniture in Adelphi Terrace, together with his paintings and fine china and wines were sold by auction. The sudden reduction in his income together with his loss of position drove Horatio into a deep depression with terrible consequences. The Leicestershire Mercury of 29th December 1838 reported:

SUICIDE. – Horatio Leggatt, Esq. late solicitor to the Commissioners of Taxes, cut his throat at Morley’s Hotel, London, last week. The deceased was 65 years of age, was pensioned off in 1833, on a large allowance, and was constantly saying that he was the most wretched man in existence, for want of active employment.

The couple had had eight children, of whom two girls did not survive infancy and Anna Maria was left with six children under 18. A report in the Newcastle Journal of 7th March 1840 reported on a Parliamentary debate on another call for a pension for someone leaving office. In the debate the case of Anna Maria was raised. Horatio’s pension had finished with his death and she was left with a “jointure” [provision made by a husband at marriage, for his wife after his death] of £300 a year for the support of herself and her six children, aged from 17 to 2 years of age. In recognition of his 34 year’s unblemished service she had “memorialised” first the Lord Chancellor and then the First Lord of the Treasury for a pension to relieve her state of destitution but had been refused as her case was not covered by the rules laid down by the House of Commons. On the 26th July 1841, the Sussex Advertiser carried details of Leggatt’s house, called Oakfield Lodge in Worth, with its ten acres of land including gardens, orchards and a pair of cottages, which was to be auctioned under an order of the High Court of Chancery. On 10th February of the previous year the Court of Chancery had asked for all creditors of Horatio to come forward to prove their debts so perhaps the sale of the house was partly to clear these debts and the death duties.

Hugo Leggatt has kindly sent me a transcript of the Will of Horatio’s brother, the Reverend Samuel Leggatt, made in 1841. In this he leaves bequests to pay Miss Gwynn £50 and £30 to the Miss Millers, who ran an academy in Brighton, to cover debts left by Horatio. In an 1847 codicil he revokes these bequests because Anna Maria had paid them. Samuel also left the considerable sum of £500 pounds to Elizabeth Simpson, a widow, “but if not then surviving the said sum of five hundred pounds to be equally divided between the several illegitimate children of my late brother, Horatio Leggatt or between their personal representatives.” It is not clear but it seems that Elizabeth Simpson was his mistress, living in Gloucester Place in New Road, Marylebone and the children were hers. Unfortunately I have not been able to find her in the Censuses. It seems likely that Horatio’s, rather profligate, life unravelled when he lost his post with the Government and this led to his depression and death.

After Horatio's death, Anna Maria probably had gone to live with her father George Maximilian Bethune who was Rector of Worth and then, when he died, in December 1840, with her brother George Bethune who took over from his father as Rector. Certainly, she is there in Rectory House in the 1841 Census along with her widowed mother, also Anna. Her two youngest children Catherine (8) and George (4) are still at home with her. There were six servants for the small household. Her two older girls, Anna (15) and Georgiana (12) were in a small private school run by a woman with the Dickensian name of Susannah Grimley in Vassall Road in Lambeth. [Georgiana was wrongly named as Georgina Mary Bethune Leggatt in the Parish Register when she was christened at St. Martin in the Fields in Westminster even though the service was conducted by her uncle, George Bethune.]

Perhaps it was at Worth that she met another cleric, Alfred John Sandilands, for on 11th April 1850 she married him, just down the road, in Brighton. Alfred had been born in 1803 in the Hanover Square area of Westminster and he too, like most of the clergy, was linked to the gentry. Alfred Sandilands had been ordained on 13th October 1827 and became a stipendary curate at Heydon bridge Chapel and then, in 1829, at Bishopwearmouth in Durham. In the 1841 Census he is shown as 25 and still living at the Green, In 1845 moved to the vicarage of Darley in Derbyshire and in the 1851 Census for Cross Green in Wensley and Snitterton in South Darley Alfred (48) is with his new wife Anna M. (49) and his step daughter Georgiana (21) together with two servants. There is also a mysterious figure, Jane L. Watson (29) the house keeper, born in Rothbury in Northumberland, who appears regularly throughout the history of the family. Rothbury was not far from where Alfred had spent some time as a curate but this was some five years after her birth.

Unlike the poor of the nineteenth century, Anna Maria may not have had the imperative of desperate need, to marry but perhaps she needed security and did not want to be dependent on the goodwill of others: to be mistress of her own house again. Whatever the reasons, she soon regretted her decision and any happiness seems to have been very short lived.

The newspaper reports on a case heard in the Queen’s Bench on June 11th 1852 give some insight into what happened. It was considering a case, R. v. Horatio Leggatt, originally heard in a lower court. Alfred Sandilands had brought an action of habeas corpus against Anna’s son for withholding her from him. In the lower court this writ had been granted but the Queen’s Bench judges confirmed that because she was living with her son of her own free will:

            “This court has no power to order a wife to be restored to her husband.”

This was one of a number of important cases that established that a husband could not compel his wife to live with him, although he still retained the right to this power over their children.

The report of the case gives the bare bones of an unhappy wife desperately wishing to live apart from her husband. Hugo Leggatt, a descendant of Horatio, has written to me about the case and the light thrown on it by a letter sent to his father in 1957. The writer was Mary Nix who was 89 years old at the time. She had a note written by the wife of Anna Maria’s brother (George Cuddington Bethune) which stated:

She (Anna-Maria) married secondly the Rev. Sandilands, curate of Worth, and they went to the west of England where he ill-treated her by locking her up in his house until she should make a will in his favour.

She wrote this in her blood on a handkerchief, & dropped it out of her window, asking the finder to convey it to her father, then Rector of Worth, Sussex.

The gardener picked up the handkerchief and took it to the Rector – who thereon took a trusty friend and a horsewhip & went to the rescue. He brought home Anna-Maria to Worth, where she eventually died. There is no further mention of the Rev. Sandilands.

This sounds like an episode from one of the gothic novels that were popular in the first half of the nineteenth century. There appears to be some discrepancies and the reports on the court case describes what happened more prosaically:

Letters had been conveyed to the family, and her brother and son went to the husband’s house in Derbyshire. They saw her and she left her husband’s house with them. . .

Alfred was the vicar of Darley in Derbyshire at this time which is hardly the “west of England”.  How far would the messenger gardener have had to travel? Further, the possibility of writing a letter in your blood on a handkerchief seems unlikely. Nevertheless, the essentials of the story appear to be true.

I had wrongly assumed that the couple came to Denford and Ringstead in 1854, but Alfred came alone, or at least without his wife. By 1861 we see Alfred in his house in Woodford (near Denford) with his stepdaughters Georgiana (31) and Catherine (28). There are also three servants and Jane Louisa Watson (39) is a visitor. We know from the local newspapers that Alfred laid belligerently into the local gentry about the state of Ringstead Church and the Denford Rectory. Much needed work had started on the repair of the church when he died suddenly on 22nd September 1862. The summary of the probate on 4th November reveals that he had “effects under £3000”, a reasonably large but not huge sum. His executors were his brother Richard Samuel Butler Sandilands and Jane Louisa Watson, a spinster of Park Square in Middlesex.

Anna Maria used the surname Sandilands all her life (although she is shown as just Anna Maria, relict of Horatio Leggatt on his memorial in Worth Church) and in 1861 is living with her sister Catherine and her barrister husband in Slaugham in Sussex and in 1871 with her son Horace (Horatio) in Titchfield in Hampshire.



Anna Maria remembered on memorial to her first husband in St Nicholas Church, Worth.

With the kind permission of Charles Sale. ( Photograph by Steve Lockwood.

There is another twist to the story for when Anna Maria died, aged 80, on 12th October 1880 at Brownwich in Titchfield, she left in her Will a personal estate of “under £10,000”. She seems to have recovered from her “destitution” although much of this may have been from legacies from her parents. She bequeathed money to her children Horatio, Samuel and Anna Maria (Mence) but not to Georgiana, Catherine and George because she stated that they had “behaved to me most undutifully and improperly” She later, in a codicil, did leave something to George provided “he does not look like going bankrupt”.

Can we infer that three children sided with Alfred? Life is rarely as clear cut as we would like it to be. A brief look at their lives may give us some clues as to why they were cut out of her Will.

George became a curate at Ilkeston and married Ellen Matthews, the daughter of a Farm Bailiff from Waltham in Leicestershire at St Marylebone Parish Church on 1st June 1867. In 1871 he is living with his in-laws and John Matthews describes himself as “formerly a farm labourer”. In 1901 George and Ellen are together at Short Street in Rearsby in Leicestershire and writtten beside the entry for George there is a note, “paralysis”. Ellen died in 1902 and George in 1904 in Essex.

Catherine Leggatt never married and became a governess in Mr. Tait’s orphanage in Fulham and in 1911, aged 78 is a sister in the Community of St Peter in St Peter’s House of Rest in Woolverstone, near Ipswich. Woolverstone House was designed in 1901 by "arts and crafts" architect Sir Edwin Lutyens , and had gardens designed by Gerturde Jekyll. It was built for Mrs C. Berners, a lay-sister of the East End Sisters of Mercy. Catherine died at St. Peter’s House in Mortimer Road, Kilburn on 2nd April 1918, and her executor was solicitor Gerald Esdaile Winter. She left £326. 5s.

Georgiana in 1881 was an “annuitant”, aged 52, living with Jane L. Watson (55 – her age varies from Census to Census) who “derives her income from property and dividends”. They are living at 65 Blackett Street, St Andrews, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Georgiana’s place of birth is shown as Crawley not St. Martin in the Fields as we would expect. But, in a previous Census, she had used Worth as her birth place and Crawley was then a village in the very large parish of Worth, although it has now become the major settlement. It seems too much of a coincidence not to be the same person. Surprisingly, Georgiana is shown as Jane's half-sister so there must be a family connection of some sort.

Even more confusingly Georgiana had married widower Robert Young Rowley, butcher then cattle salesman, on February 14th 1873, at the Parish Church of St Peter in Newcastle. He is 45 years old, a widower and the son of Robert, a cork cutter. Georgina [sic] Mary Bethune Leggatt is 39 and the daughter of Horace Leggatt, a clerk in the Admiralty which is all almost correct - but not quite. Robert Rowley, at least from 1881 until his death on 28th November 1904, (a Newcastle Evening Chronicle transcription has death as 83 which seems wrong but his age too varies between Censuses), was living at 20 Eldon Place (or Street) and in 1891 Jane L. Watson is living just two doors away from him. But in 1891 Georgiana M.B. Rowley, “wife of R.Y. Rowley” aged 62 and born in St. Martin in the Fields is in the Union Workhouse in Newcastle.

A few months later, on 2nd June 1891, Georgiana Leggatt Rowley, aged 59 died in the Newcastle Registration District. The Death Certificate has the death as 28th May, aged 62, and her name as Georgina Matilda Bethune Rowley and confirms that she died in Newcastle Union Workhouse. It seems inconceivable that this is not the same person. She died of “General debility, Diarrhoea and Exhaustion” Robert Young Rowley is shown as a retired butcher and his address is shown on the certificate as 31 Ryehill, Newcastle, (although he is shown as living at 20 Eldon Street or Place in the 1891 and 1901 Censuses and in his probate summary. There is a widower, John Scott, umbrella maker, living with his widowed daughter and other family at 31 Ryehill in 1891). There is much still that needs explanation but I suspect that much of the confusion is down to clerical errors. 

So was it her three children's life choices or their attitude to her split with Alfred Sandilands which so angered Anna Maria?

Finally, looking at Jane Louisa Watson, there is another possibility for her connection to Georgiana which needs to be explored. Robert Young Rowley’s first wife was Ann Watson who died in 1864. In the 1851 census Robert and his wife were living in the Cloth Market in Newcastle. He was a butcher aged 28 and in a part of the same house is a widow, Jane Watson aged 65, also a butcher born in Harbottle in Northumberland. It seems likely that she is Robert Rowley’s mother-in-law and possibly that Jane Louisa Watson was Robert’s wife’s sister. It is in this sense that Jane and Georgiana are "half sisters". At the moment this is just a possibility and more work is needed.

As we have said, Jane Louisa Watson is shown in the 1891 Census living at 18 Eldon Street, St Andrews, Newcastle, with a domestic servant. She is an accountant which would have been unusual for a woman at this time. I think that she may have died on 31st December 1899 while living at Willow House, Longbenton in Northumberland but there are other possibilities. If this is the correct person, she left £5,938 7s. 5d. in her Will and her executors were Joseph Watson, brass finisher (and possibly Jane's nephew) and Isaac Freeman, collector of taxes. She seems to have been an independent, self-made woman who showed another side of the women’s movement for equality.



My thanks to Hugo Leggatt who sent me the fascinating information about the breakup of the Sandilands marriage and the Leggatt ancestry. Of course, any errors or assertions in the text are my responsibility.

Censuses and Parish Registers ( and

England and Wales Probate Calendar (

Death Certificate of Georgina Matilda Bethune Rowley [sic] Registered 30th May 1891.

Marriage Certificate of Georgina Mary Bethune Leggatt and Robert Young Rowley 14th February 1873.

Morning Post 8th September 1821; Morning Advertiser 15th August 1831; Leicestershire Mercury 29th December 1838; Sussex Advertiser 10th February 1840, 26th July 1841; Newcastle Journal 7th March 1840; Evening Mail June 11th- 14th 1852; Morning Chronicle 12th June 1852.