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Sorry, I’ve fallen behind a bit.  This week should be week 30, which I’ll do in a couple of days to catch up.

John Rose was born about 1809 in Mendlesham, Suffolk (an agricultural town) according to census returns. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find his birth or baptism at findmypast, freereg or familysearch. His parents were John and Mary. He had five siblings – four sisters and a younger brother.

I know nothing about John and his family until his marriage to Susannah Ford on 12 September 1831 in Naughton, Suffolk, to the south-west of Mendlesham.

By the 1841 census, the couple had four children.  They were living in Market Street, Mendlesham.  John’s occupation was listed simply as ‘smith’ and in White’s directory of 1844 he is listed as a blacksmith. The couple had three more children by the time of the next census.

By 1851 it appears that John went into partnership with John Foster.  As Foster & Rose they were listed as miller, baker, farmer, employing 2 labourers and farming 18 acres.  John Foster was about the same age as John Rose and lived with the family in Back Street, Mendlesham.  John Rose and John Foster are mentioned in a notice in 1843, so I expect their partnership had started some time before 1851.

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In a newspaper article of 1858, John Rose was mentioned in a case of perjury. It’s a fascinating, and confusing, account of John Rose being seen with Emma Ruffles. John was not present at the trial as his family would not allow him to appear in such a “disgraceful transaction”.

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(Twelve months’ hard labour was “mercy” – we could do with such sentences these days.)

The Foster-Rose partnership continued to 1861 (farmer and miller). In the census only the three youngest children are still living in the same house with their parents and John Foster. The farm was 70 acres and they employed 7 men and 3 boys.

John’s younger son, also named John and a miller, fell into financial trouble in 1863. John snr and John Foster were trustees.

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John still had a blacksmith’s shop, which he put up for lease or sale in 1867.

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In 1868 he brought attention to the state of the public road past his farm.

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Suffolk Chronicle…County Express, 21 March 1868

In 1869 John complained about one of his workers who had absented himself without leave. The scanned article was a little blurry so I have transcribed it:

Norfolk News 06 November 1869

Hartismere Petty Sessions

The Petty Sessions were held on Monday last before the Rev. T. L. French, chairman, the Rev. J. F. Reeve, the Rev. Ch. H. Chevallier, the Rev. C. Frere, and J. D. Hustler, Esq.

Robert Rosler, laborer, was summoned by his master, Mr. John Rose, farmer, Mendlesham, for absenting himself without leave, on 28th September last. A sum of 5s. was claimed as compensation. Defendant said: I am a “little” guilty. – The Chairman: I suppose we must take that as a plea of guilty. – Defendant: I asked Mr. Rose to raise my wages. I went to work on the Monday, but I did not see the complainant that day, and I left him on the Tuesday night. I never let myself for any time. I had 9s. per week. On the previous Saturday I told Mr. Rose I shall not work for him any more unless my wages were raised. He said he could not do so, and I told him I must go where I could get more wages. – Complainant said: Defendant engaged himself to me as my servant at so much per week. On the Saturday previous to his absenting himself he said to me, “I should be much obliged to you if you will raise my wages,” but he did not give me notice that he was about to quit my service. He came again on the Monday and left on the Tuesday. – The Chairman: Defendant having commenced work on the Monday he ought, by right, to have completed his contract. – Defendant: I settled with him on the Saturday night. – The Bench ordered defendant to pay the compensation claimed with 10s. costs or in default fourteen days’ imprisonment. Allowed a fortnight to pay it in.

In 1871 the partnership was still going strong with John Foster living with the family in Back Street.  John Foster is listed as being a miller and baker employing 2 men and 1 boy and John Rose is listed as the farmer of 76 acres employing 3 men and 2 boys.

In 1876 there appears to have been a “New Doomsday” (or domesday) about which I can find nothing. However, the two Johns are listed.

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By 1881 things had changed. John’s wife, Susannah, had died and John’s business partner, John Foster, had also died in 1877.  John was in the Brewer’s Arms on the night of the census with his son, Frederick, who was a master miller.  John was now 70 years old but still a farmer of 107 acres employing 3 men and 1 boy.

John died two years later on 17 May 1883. He was buried on 25 May.

ROSE John. Personal Estate £266 13s 4d 19 July. The will with two codicils of John Rose late of Mendlesham in the county of Suffolk Farmer who died 17 May 1883 at Mendlesham was proved at Bury St Edmonds by Robert James Mallett of Mendlesham Farmer and John Hayward of Stowmarket in the said county Gentleman and John Rose of Burgate in the said county Innkeeper the Son the Executors.

The farm was sold three years later.

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Sources: findmypast; Google; midsuffolk.gov.uk; family archives; British newspaper archive

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Staying in Suffolk, I turn to Mary Ann Mudd who was born in 1843 in Creeting St Peter, or West Creeting in Suffolk.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the exact date of birth as I haven’t yet ordered the birth certificate.  Her parents were Thomas Mudd, a farmer, and Eliza Gooch.  Mary Ann was one of nine children, including five boys.

Mary Ann appears, aged 7, in the 1851 census.  The family was living at Grove farm.  Grove farm today is either owned by Poundfield Products Ltd, a concrete product supplier, or by EO who work in the electrical vehicle charging industry, or both.  Both give their address as Grove Farm, Creeting St Peter, Suffolk.  Another company, Alfabloc Ltd, are registered at this address.

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Google streetview from entrance to Grove Farm

In 2013, there was a proposal to make the farm a solar farm and, of course, “NIMBY“s didn’t want that (lower the property prices, etc, etc).  It looks like they may have won as there’s no sign of solar panels in Google earth view.  Poundfield Products have also caused ire because of garish cranes.  It’s the pity the farm is no longer just a normal farm.

By the next census, Mary Ann had married William Rose, on 3 April 1860, and moved to Framlingham where William had a mill.  One newspaper notice said the wedding took place at Creeting St Peter’s and another at Creeting St Mary’s church (just down the road).

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It looks to be a nice little church with some lovely stained-glass windows.  Mary Ann was only 17 and William 11 years older.  One wonders how they met.

Mary Ann got pregnant almost immediately and their first child, Fanny Emma, is listed in the 1861 census. Mary Ann’s mother, Eliza, and older sister, Susan, were visiting when the census was taken.

The following year Mary Ann gave birth to their first son, William Mudd Rose.  Something took the couple to London between 1862 and 1867, their second son, John Edward, being born there in 1864.  William senior became a publican in Drury Lane.  They weren’t there long and had moved back to Suffolk where the third son, Charles Robert, was born somewhere in the Bosmere registration district (perhaps Henley).

In 1868, Mary Ann gave birth to her fifth child, a daughter, called Mary Anne.  Sadly, the girl died in September of the following year.  Another daughter, Bessie Emily, was born in 1870.  In the 1871 census the family of seven were living in Henley, William senior a miller.

The following year the fourth son, George Thomas, was born, and two years after that, another daughter, Susannah Ellen, then the following year yet another daughter, Florence Eva.  The couple now had nine surviving children, Mary Ann being almost constantly pregnant.  But they didn’t stop there.

The family moved to Sproughton, Suffolk, where William senior was still a miller.  Between 1876 and 1885 (when Mary Ann was 42) five more girls were born:  Maud Alice, Kate Beatrice, Mabel Mary, Millicent Gertrude, and Ethel Grace.  Incredible.  I don’t have details of when the children died but certainly ten of them lived to adulthood.  I can’t find deaths for Fanny (who married Fred Neale), Bessie, Susannah, Kate, Mabel (who possibly married very late, to Harold Clarke), Millicent, and Ethel.  It’s hard to know if the girls married.

Mary Ann’s husband, William, died in 1893 in Sproughton.  Sometime after that Mary Ann moved to Badley, Suffolk.  I’m assuming that she moved in with her son, William, who was a corn miller and farmer in Badley (but from what date, I don’t know).

Mary Ann died on 13 April 1900, aged just 57.

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Ipswich Journal, 21 April 1900

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The Mill House, Badley, Suffolk

The probate reads

ROSE Mary Ann of Badley Mill Suffolk widow died 13 April 1900 probate Ipswich 6 July to George Thomas Rose miller Effects £1240 10s 6d

Sources: familysearch; findmypast; Google; suffolkchurches.co.uk; probatesearch; family archives

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Back to Suffolk, where William Rose was born in Mendlesham to John Rose and Susannah Ford.  He was baptised on 11 March 1832 in Mendlesham.  He was the eldest of seven children (as far as I know) and had four brothers and two sisters.

Mendlesham is a small village in mid-Suffolk of a population of about 1,400.  It used to be a market town.  It was mentioned in the Domesday book in 1086 as Melnessam.  I presume therefore that the name is pronounced “Mendlesam” and not with the sh sound as I had previously thought.

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I would suppose that William was baptised in the church of St Mary, which was founded in 1558.

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In 1841 the family of six were living in Market Street.  This is a Google streetview photo of “Old Market Street”, which I assume is the same street.

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No occupation is recorded for William’s father in the 1841 census.

In 1851 the family of nine were listed as living in Back Street, which, apparently, is Old Market Street (parallel to Front Street).  Living with them was John Foster, a business partner of William’s father who was a miller, baker, and farmer.  William was 19 and working as a miller.

By 1860, William had moved to Framlingham to the south-east of Mendlesham.  He married Mary Ann Mudd at Creeting St Peter (to the south-west of Mendlesham) on 3 April 1860.

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The notice below gives a little more information:

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So William was running a steam mill in Framlingham, and married at his fiancée’s home town.  Here’s a map of the region, showing the three towns.

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Framlingham was also a market town (or village) of about 2000 people, mentioned in the Domesday Book.  It even has a 12th century castle, so has an interesting history.

The couple’s first child, Fanny, was born in 1861, before the next census.  William, Mary Ann, and Fanny, were living in Well Close Square in Framlingham.  It appears to be a short, slightly curved street.

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At the time of the census the family had two visitors – Mary Ann’s mother and older sister.  William was indeed a miller employing two men and two boys.  An apprentice and a servant were included in the census.

Between the 1861 census and 1871, the family had moved to London, where William was a publican in Drury Lane, and then to Henley, back in Suffolk.  By then, the couple had had five more children (three of them boys), but a little girl, named after her mother, had died at the age of one in 1869.  In the 1871 census, William was a master miller, employing one man (who was boarding with them), and the family lived in Debenham Road, in the parish of Henley, with one servant.

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St Peters, Henley, where some of Williams children were christened, and one buried

By 1875, the couple had another three children (including another boy).  In about 1876, the family moved to Sproughton, a village three miles west of Ipswich.

By the next census in 1881, the couple had had yet another three children, all girls, born in Sproughton.  William was a miller, employing three men and one boy.  He lived in Sproughton (no address noted) with Mary Ann and their nine children, and one general servant.

In 1891 the address given was the Mill.  I’m assuming it’s the mill house in Sproughton, a photo of which is below (from Flickr) which straddles the river Gipping.

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It’s now a listed building although it has been converted to residences.  I can’t find any history of the actual building apart from physical descriptions.  William and Mary now had seven children living with them, the older ones having married.  William was a miller and farmer, while his youngest son (age 18) was a miller’s assistant.  There were no servants listed, presumably because the daughters were old enough to help out.  William was now 59 years old.  Altogether, the couple had had 14 children!

William died on 24 February 1893 in Sproughton.  The gravestone says he was 59 years old, but as we know he was 59 in 1891, he should have been 61, which tarries with his birth year.

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The probate read

“ROSE William of Sproughton Suffolk miller and farmer died 24 February 1893 Administration Ipswich 28 April to Mary Ann Rose widow Effects £710 6s”

Sources: Google; findmypast; familysearch; probatesearch; genuki.org.uk; suffolkchurches.co.uk; wikipedia; Mendlesham neighbourhood plan History of the Parish

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