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BURITON (HAMPSHIRE) - HAW, SEWARD AND ALDOUS ANCESTORS

 

page last updated 14 November 2014

 

Ancestors of Dr George Frederick Aldous and Isabella Henderson Aldous (Stewart)

 

 

In the early 1800s, Buriton and Petersfield were two little Hampshire villages, and the originally 1100s Church of St Mary the Virgin in Buriton was their mother church.

 

Then the railway happened.  Petersfield got the station and Buriton the tunnel.  In 1886 the fast growing Petersfield became a separate parish, and Buriton never even managed a shop!

 

I went to Buriton in search of Ancestors from the Seward family and found a veritable Aladdin's cave of family history.

 

The main land owning families of the parish were the Hugonins and Bonham Carters, and the church's chancel is full of wall plaques commemorating various members of both families as well as a few of the parish's rectors.

 

The complete surprise was the south aisle of the nave, whose wall has been given over to wall plaques commemorating the Seward family and the Haws - a seemingly well heeled London couple who married their daughter into the yeoman (tenant) farmer / miller Sewards in the early 1800s.  Here were memorials to my great great grandmother, who died from scarlet fever on Christmas Day 1862 at the age of 38, and my long lived great great great grandparents Seward and my also long lived great great great great grandparents Haw.  Outside were their large sarcophagus tomb and several other later Seward graves, and we have since discovered a copy of William Haw's Will.

 

Adrian Fletcher - September 2009

 

 

 

Petersfield lies to the north of Portsmouth in Hampshire.  The little village of Buriton can be seen just to the south, close to Butser Hill (271M), the highest point of the South Downs.  Weston, a small hamlet of farm houses, was home to the Samuel Seward families in the 1800s.  The area is one of great natural beauty and conservation, and popular with walkers. In spring there are carpets of wildflowers including snowdrops and bluebells.

 

 

 

The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Buriton - discovery morning, Tuesday 22 September 2009.  The Seward / Haw sarcophagus is in the sunlight just outside the south porch.

This was where Norfolk / Portsea Wine Merchant Alex Aldous married Yeoman Farmer's daughter Elizabeth Seward on 24 May 1855.

 

 

 

Late afternoon light on the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Buriton.

 

 

 

The  direct ancestors involved - going backwards ........  Nick Fletcher (b1980), Emily Bradburn (Fletcher) (b1978) (not able to be present), and James Fletcher (b1975) ........

 

 

Adrian Fletcher

(b1943) .......

 

Peggy Fletcher (Sproule)

(1917 - 2005 (88)) ........

Clare Sproule (Aldous)

(1891 - 1958 (67)) .......

Dr George Aldous

(1861 - 1937 (76)) ......

 

 

Going further back ........ the main Buriton Parish Church tombs and memorials .........

 

more details about the ancestors of Dr George Frederick Aldous and the Australian Isabella (Bella) Henderson Aldous (Stewart)

 

 

Elizabeth Haw Aldous (Seward) (1824 - 1862 (38))

 

Christened at St Marys, Buriton on 26 May 1824

 

 

In 1855 at age 31 Elizabeth married Portsea wine merchant Alex Aldous (39) in the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin in Buriton on 24 May 1855

 

Elizabeth tragically contracted scarlet fever and died on Christmas Day 1862, leaving behind surviving children George (1) and Florrie (4) (photo below).

 

 

 

 

Alex Aldous  (1815 - 1879 (64)), a Portsmouth wine merchant whose family came from Harleston in Norfolk, remarried unhappily after Elizabeth's tragic death.

 

He died unhappy in 1879 aged 64 and worth give or take a couple of million pounds  in today's money.  The probate schedule shows that his executors included Elizabeth's brother "the Colonel" (below) and the Paymaster in Chief to the Royal Navy - a tribute (as was his wealth) to the success of his business supplying grog to British tars. 

 

But Alex was at heart a Norfolk man, and his grave is to be found near other members of his original family in St Mary, Redenhall.

 

Grave of Alexander James Aldous in St Mary, Redenhall

 

 

Elizabeth's elder brother was another Samuel Seward, aka Colonel Samuel William Seward (1822 - 1895 (73)) - more about him below .....

 

 

Samuel Thomas Seward (1787 - 1867 (80))

 

Yeoman (Tenant) Farmer of Weston, nr Buriton (Hampshire).  Born in 1787 in Loxwood (near Wisborough Green), then moved to Weston with his dad (but no other brothers) c1804.  Started out in Weston by building a mighty windmill.

 

Married on 6 March 1821 in the Old Church, St Pancras.  He was 34 and Elizabeth was 29.

 

Old Church, St Pancras, early 1800s

 

Worked up the Weston leases into a significant agri-mining venture covering 685 acres and employing 38 men and 8 boys at the 1861 census.

 

Died in Petersfield on 26 November 1867 aged 80, with an estate assessed at  12,000 (550,000 very-roughish today).

 

 

 

 

The Sewards had at least 10 children, most of whom survived infancy.

 

 

Thomas Seward (November 1748 - 1817 (69)) of Loxwood  / Wisborough Green then Weston.

 

As there was then only a cemetery-less chapel in Loxwood, CM&Bs were staged in St Peter ad Vincula over the wooded hill in Wisborough Green, which no doubt allowed for a pint or two at the Cricketers' Arms before the long journey home.

 

The Cricketers' Arms, Wisborough Green

 

Thomas' father Yeoman John Seward the Elder (married to Hannah Lidbetter 1719 - 1799 (80)) farmed and (water) milled at Brewhurst nr Loxwood. 

 

Around 1804 Thomas (then 56) moved west to take over leases at Weston Farm near Buriton, where there was a century in the Hampshire sun awaiting him and his descendants (and the great windmill he built).

 

We have a copy of his will (and a transcript), in which his father-in-law Thomas Stevenson is mentioned.

 

Thomas and Elizabeth had 11 children.

 

 

Elizabeth Seward (Stevenson) of St Martins, Westminster.  No birth or death dates yet.

 

Elizabeth married Thomas Seward in St Martin in the Fields on 10 October 1776.  She was then a parishioner of St Martins.  Both signed their own names.

 

Elizabeth was the daughter of Thomas Stevenson and Mary ( ) - possibly their only child. - presumably they lived / he worked in London.  They died in Godalming, Surrey - Mary in November 1796, and Thomas in April 1803.  Elizabeth was later appointed administratrix of his estate.

 

 

Elizabeth Seward (Haw) (1791 - 1858 (67))

 

Christened in the old Church, St Pancras.

 

Died in Weston, December 1858 aged 67 (we say!)

 

How, one wonders, did the girl from Oxford Street meet the Hampshire Yeoman Farmer in the first place?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

p.s. in September 2009 - we knocked on the door of Samuel's Weston Farm house to say hello, but were told by an outstandingly unfriendly young man that they did not like Australians.  A sad and disappointing contrast to everyone else we met in Buriton who did and were most friendly and helpful.  How sad that the spirits of three generations of our direct ancestors should have to put up with such an unpleasant Australiaphobe living in their house.

 

 

William Haw (1764 - 1839 (75)) - we have yet to track down his christening.

 

Married Elizabeth Shaw in St George's Church, Hanover Square (Westminster) on 14 October 1790 when he was 26.

 

In grown-up life he was a Carpenter then later a Builder living in  4 Petty's Court, Hanway St / Oxford St (East), which in those days was in the parish of St Pancras, London. 

 

We have the 13 July 1819 Insurance Papers relating to Wm Haw and a group of others who owned a couple of dozen (small) Central London houses with an insured value of 15,200.

 

He retired to the Sewards' Farm in Weston at some stage after his wife died in 1829, and died there in 1839 aged 75.  Daughter Elizabeth Seward seems to have been his only (surviving) family.

 

We have managed to download a copy of William Haw's 9 page will (see below - download complete will (2MB)) which must contain a fascinating amount of data about his assets and relations ...... but it's a bit difficult to read!

 

Anyway nine pages of will must have equated to quite a bit of moolah, some of which manifested itself in the two generation burst of church monuments which appeared after his retirement move to Weston and subsequent death and burial in the Buriton Parish Church in 1839.

 

 

Elizabeth Haw (Shaw) (1766 - 1829 (63))

 

Born c 1766 - there are several possibilities amongst the Westminster churches!

 

Dropped the S from her surname when she married Bill in St George's Church, Hanover Square (Westminster) on 14 October 1790.  They were both "of the parish" at the time, but must have moved a bit North shortly afterwards as their (two) children were christened in the Old Church, St Pancras.

 

Elizabeth Haw was buried in the crypt of the new St Pancras Church in December 1829 aged 63.

 

 

 

First paragraph of the will of William Haw, the Oxford Street builder (copy of will from the Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury) - download complete will (2MB)

 

 

 

Still to come - Photos and research from Spring 2014 UK road trip

including

Brewhurst Farm and Mill, St Peter ad Vincula Wisborough Green (Napper memorials), St Andrew Steyning, St Nicholas Bramber

 

 

 

Children of Yeoman John Seward the Elder and Hannah Seward (Lidbetter) (1719 - 1799 (80)) of Brewhurst Farm and Mill, Loxwood (n of Wisborough Green)

 

John Seward (1743 - 1779 (36)) (married Ann Napper of Ifold House, Kirdford, in 1765)

Hannah Seward (1745)

Richard Seward (1746)

Yeoman Thomas Seward (1748 - 1817 (69)) (married Elizabeth Stevenson of the Parish of St Martin in the Fields)

William Seward

Bridger Seward (1753)

Samuel Seward

and other daughters Seward

 

 

Brewhurst Farm - photo Nigel Chadwick

 

Brewhurst Mill - photo Colin Smith

 

Brewhurst mill wheel - photo Dave Spicer

 

 

Children of Thomas Seward (1748 - 1817 (69)) and Elizabeth Seward (Stevenson) (1744 - 1806 (62)) of Wisborough Green / Loxwood /  Brewhurst Mill & Farm, and later (c1800) Weston

 

Elizabeth Seward (1777)

William Seward (1783) (married Mary ? )

Yeoman Samuel Thomas Seward (1787 - 1867 (80)) (married Elizabeth Haw of St Pancras, London)

Sarah Seward (1790)

Mary Ann Seward (1792)

Bridger Seward (1795)

Richard Seward (1795)

George Seward (1797 - 1861 (64)) - Grave outside St Peter ad Vincula, Wisborough Green

 

 

 

Benjamin Seward (1800)

Thomas Seward

Hannah Seward

 

 

Children of  Samuel Thomas Seward (1787 - 1867 (80))  and Elizabeth Seward (Haw) (1792 - 1858 (66)) of Weston, nr Buriton

 

* Colonel Samuel William Seward (1822 - 1895 (73)) (married Mary Hobgen - see below)

* William Seward (1823 - 1862 (39) (Married Mauritian Marie Eugene ? and died in Mauritius)

* Elizabeth Haw Aldous (Seward) (1824 - 1862 (38)) (married Alex Aldous) (Adrian's 2xfrt grandmother)

Ellen Cooke (Seward)  (1827 -         )  (married Thomas William T Cooke on the same day as ......

* Jane Cooke (Seward) (1828 - 1870 (42))  married his brother William Henry Cooke)

* Margaret Haw Seward (1829 - 1830 (1))

Caroline Cross (Seward) (1830 -          ) (married Robert Shackleford Cross)

Thomas Seward (1832 - 1875 (43)) (buried at Buriton - no grave located)

* Charles Seward (1834 - 1864 (30))

George Haw Seward (1835 - 1909 (74)) (married Ann Chalcraft (1843 - 1885 (42))

 

* Tomb and / or memorial plaque located in Buriton Church / graveyard

 

 

Colonel Samuel William Seward (1822 - 1895 (73)) and his wife Mary (1840 - 1915 (75))

 

Elizabeth Aldous' eldest bother was, like his father, a "Samuel" Seward (1822 - 1895 (73)), aka Colonel Seward.  He eventually took over the Weston farm (nr Buriton) from Samuel Snr (who died in 1867 aged 80) for the second leg of its 100 years in the sun, and is now the best remembered member of the Seward family.  In the 1871 census he is recorded there as "Farmer, Limeburner, Miller of 680 acres employing 32 men and 9 boys".  The Colonel increased his tithage by a couple of hundred acres over the years.  Both he and his father were big in prizewinning  sheep and hops - each year hundreds of East Londoners and Portsmouthers came down and up for their hop pickin' summer holidays. 

 

The Sewards were also significant millers via the huge windmill next to Weston Farm House.  In 1810 it was reported that the relatively new windmill "drives two pairs of stones, a thrashing and winnowing machine, and a chaff-cutter at the same time.  The work performed per hour in this mill, when going with a brisk steady wind, is: grinding wheat and barley, six bushels each; thrashing and winnowing wheat, 12 bushels; and straw cutting with Winlaw's three-bladed engine, as fast as any person can conveniently feed it." 

 

The land around Weston produced wheat, barley and oats and lime was mined from Butser Hill on the South Downs, and fired in their own kilns.  On the pleasure side there was a lot of huntin' and shootin' and other country squire stuff.  The Colonel is buried in the family sarcophagus in St Marys Buriton (inscription on the lid if you apply yourself) and remembered as an add-on in his parent's plaque inside (maybe fashions had changed or financial times were a bit harder for the family then because after this the plaques were full-up and no new ones appeared !).

 

Why "Colonel" ?  - probably via his participation in the Third (Duke of Connaught's Own) volunteer (Territorial) Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment - not a regular soldier and thus in today's values an act of bad taste / pretentiousness to use a military title (though it may have not been then).

 

The Colonel married Mary Hobgen from Sidlesham, Sussex (1840 - 1911 (71)) on 3 July 1862, when she was 22 and he 42.  They had 10 children - five born before the 1871 census came round.  At the next census in 1881 the Colonel was at Weston with some kids, whilst Mary, aged 40, was at a lodging house at 50 Kings Road, Brighton with another two kids.  She was back at the farm for a 1890 family photo (below), but at lodging house "Dalhousie", West Hill Rd, Holdenhurst, Bournemouth with daughter Florence Helen at the following census (1891) - the Colonel (who died in 1895) was still around Weston in 1891 with two sons and two daughters in residence.  For the 1901 census Mary had returned to Great Weston Farm (with single son Charles running the joint and two unmarried daughters Ethel Mary (d1913) and Mary Victoria (d1955) living there also).  In the 1911 census Mary, who died soon afterwards aged 71, is back in Brighton at another boarding house (102 Kings Road) with Ethel and Mary Victoria.

 

 

Mary Seward died in Brighton in 1911, and is buried in the Buriton churchyard down the hill from the Seward sarcophagus containing the old Sewards and Haws and her arms length hubbie the Colonel.  Her grave is marked by the cross on the right above.  Around her are the graves of the first five of her ten children. 

 

Samuel Thomas (d1930) and Mary Victoria (d1955)

Percy William (d1941), his wife Olive Geraldine (d1957) and their three year old daughter Mary Olivia.

(Percy's first wife Christine (d1903 aged 23) is in a tomb next to the sarcophagus)

Ethel Mary (d1913), eldest daughter

Charles Wilfred OBE JP and his wife Mary (both d1955 )

 

Link to junior Seward grave inscriptions.

 

Percy was a church warden from 1895 to 1941, and Olive was a significant church benefactor whose funds eventually paid for the building of the 1957 church vestry and the 1994 "Seward Room" on the north side of the church.

 

The name Seward now seems to have died out around Buriton.

 

 

   

 

Team Fletcher look at a photo of their Seward rels at the September 2009 Buriton Family Heritage day.

Colonel Samuel Seward was the brother of Adrian's great-great-grandmother Elizabeth Haw Aldous (Seward).

 

 

 

George Haw Seward (1835 - 1909 (74)) and his wife Ann Chalcraft (1843 - 1885 (42))

 

At the other end (agewise) of Samuel and Elizabeth's family (and not buried in Buriton) was George Haw Seward - son number 5 and child number 10, who was born in 1835 -  13 years after the Colonel.  Not for him a life in the shadow of big brother Colonel Samuel, and in the census of 1871 George can be found running Manor Farm in the beautiful countryside of nearby Harting (Sussex) with 500 acres, 12 men and 5 boys, a wife (Ann Chalcraft), 4 little children and several house servants.  The Ship Inn at South Harting is a more than pleasant spot to sink a few pots and have Sunday lunch.

 

 

Sadly for George, 1871 was as good as it got.  By the 1881 census he was down to 60 acres near Liss (Hampshire) and 2 men.  Ann died in 1885, and at the 1991 census he was a commission agent in Twickenham living with three children.  By 1901 he was living on his own in a single rented room in a house in Battersea.  He died in Richmond in 1909, aged 74 and pretty certainly the last surviving child of Samuel Thomas Seward, and was buried in the Old Mortlake Cemetery.  By that time all the Buriton memorial plaques were full, and there was probably no Haw money left to put up new ones!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above:  The Seward memorial Plaques on the south wall.  Over the Norman stone font where she was christened on 26 May 1824, is the white cross memorial to Elizabeth Haw Aldous (Seward), who was married here on 24 May 1855 and only seven year's later died from scarlet fever on Christmas Day 1862, aged just 38 years.

 

Elizabeth Harriette is in the family sarcophagus outside but there is no mention of her mum Elizabeth Haw or little James - maybe they were buried in St Kevin's, Southsea - wherever that was.

 

 

Memorial to Elizabeth Haw Aldous, died 25 December 1862

 

Adrian's great great grandmother

 

 

Memorial to William & Elizabeth Haw and Samuel "The Colonel" Seward

 

Adrian's 4x grt grandparents Haw (she was a Shaw), and as add-ons their grand children Margaret (died aged just 13 months) and William, Elizabeth Haw Aldous' brother, who died in Mauritius aged 38.

 

 

Memorial to Samuel & Elizabeth Seward

 

Adrian's 3x grt grandparents (she was a Haw), and as an add-on at the bottom, "Colonel" Samuel Seward who took over the Great Weston Farm businesses from his father, and died on 26 December 1895 aged 74 (he is in the family sarcophagus outside the south door).  The Colonel's wife Mary died in 1915 but gets no mention here.  Her grave in the churchyard is with those of her children down the slope from the "old family" sarcophagus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The big Seward-Haw sarcophagus (vault?) outside the south porch of the Buriton Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin.  The Seward inscriptions are on the south side (above photo), and the Haws are remembered on the other side.  The legible wording is transcribed below, revealing a couple of discrepancies with the church plaques, especially the date when Elizabeth Seward died.  There are two inscriptions on the lid, both difficult to read.  The second is to (Colonel) Samuel William Seward (d 1895).  Whilst it is possible that the colonel's sister Elizabeth Haw Aldous (d 1862) is in the box, we are not sure as she died in Portsea and may well have been buried there.

 

 

NORTH SIDE OF SARCOPHAGUS

 

SACRED

TO THE MEMORY OF

WILLIAM HAW ESQUIRE

OF HANWAY STREET OXFORD STREET LONDON

WHO DIED AT WESTON IN THIS PARISH

ON THE 27TH DAY OF JUNE 1839

IN THE 76TH YEAR OF HIS AGE

 

ALSO OF ELIZABETH WIFE OF THE ABOVE

WHO DIED IN LONDON

ON THE 8TH DAY OF DECEMBER 1829

IN THE 63RD YEAR OF HER AGE

 

Notes:  the Haw address was 4 Petty's Court, Hanway Street.  He was a carpenter who graduated to being a builder.

His wife Elizabeth was in fact buried in the New St Pancras Church.

 

 

SOUTH SIDE OF SARCOPHAGUS (ABOVE)

 

SACRED

TO THE MEMORY OF

ELIZABETH THE BELOVED WIFE

OF MR SAMUEL SEWARD OF WESTON

WHO DIED DECEMBER 30TH 1859

IN THE 67TH YEAR OF HER AGE

 

ALSO OF THE ABOVE NAMED

MR SAMUEL SEWARD OF WESTON

WHO DIED NOVEMBER 25TH 1867

IN THE 82ND YEAR OF HIS AGE

 

Notes:  Elizabeth was William and Elizabeth Haw's daughter and was  christened in Old Church, St Pancras on 9 October 1791, and died in December 1858 (not 9).  So she was in her 68th year when she died.

Elizabeth and Samuel were married in Old Church, St Pancras,

on 6 March 1821.

 

 

WEST END OF SARCOPHAGUS

VERY DIFFICULT TO READ

 

TO THE MEMORY OF

MARGARET HAW

DAUGHTER OF SAMUEL

& ELIZABETH SEWARD

 

WHO DIED JUNE 25TH 1830

AGED 13 MONTHS

 

 

EAST END OF SARCOPHAGUS

 

TO THE MEMORY OF

ELIZTH HARRIET

DAUGHTER OF ALEZR

JAMES & ELIZABETH

HAW ALDOUS

WHO DIED FEB 28 1857

AGED 6 MONTHS

 

ALSO OF

CHARLES SAMUEL

INFANT SON OF

WILLIAM AND MARIE

EUGENIE SEWARD

WHO DIED APRIL 7TH 1860

AGED 6 WEEKS

 

 

TOP OF SARCOPHAGUS (badly eroded) - Annie and the Colonel

 

Sacred

to the memory of

ANNIE nnnnn SEWARD

illegible (presumably "daughter of")

Samuel William and Mary Seward

Born January NNNN

Died NNNNN NNNN

 

ALSO IN LOVING MEMORY OF

SAMUEL WILLIAM SEWARD

OF WESTON

ELDEST SON OF NNNNN

SAMUEL AND ELIZABETH SEWARD

WHO DIED DECEMBER (probably 26 1895)

AGED 74 YEARS

 

Colonel Samuel Seward's wife Mary chose to keep her burial distance.

 

Link to inscriptions on the graves of  Mary and several of their children which are down the slope from the sarcophagus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great great great great (great) grandsons James and Nick Fletcher at the Seward / Haw tomb / vault in Buriton on the morning of Saturday 26 September, 2009. 

 

 

 

Looking down the sloping graveyard from the edge of the sarcophagus towards the duck pond - not a bad spot to spend the next 170 years (so far).    The "cross tomb" belongs to Christine, first wife of the Colonel's son Percy Seward, who died in 1903 aged 23.

 

 

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