ID: PH01_MLC / Elaine Barker

TitleHistory of Malting Cottage Peldon
AbstractThe History of Malting Cottage, Peldon.

In researching the history of this house on Malting Road in Peldon, I found early documents taking us back to the wealthy Reynolds family who were Lords of the Manor and owned Peldon Hall from 1650.

Amongst the cottage deeds is an Abstract of The Title to an Estate at Peldon in the County of Essex written in 1801 but referring back to owners from 1755 onwards. In tiny, barely decipherable letters at the top it states the document's purpose, to prove title to part of the estate on behalf of the Reverend Nathaniel Forster who bought the property in 1801. We now know the cottage as Malting Cottage but it seems to have been called Vines in the eighteenth century and to have had 8 acres of land comprising several fields.

Abstract of Title 1755 - 1801

Particulars of premises to which the abstract purports to deduce a title in the Rev Nathaniel Forster.

A newly erected messuage with the Orchard belonging in Peldon formerly called Vines - Honey Hall Barn - Honey Close - Long Acre - Round Field and Old Hall containing 8 acres

The phrase 'newly erected' would indicate the approximate date of the building of the cottage to be mid eighteenth century.

As was the legal requirement, a list of former owners had to be produced to prove title to property and land, backed up, where possible, by the production of original documentation. This Abstract gives the owners of Malting Cottage which was, at one time, part of The Peldon Manor Estate, and a copyhold property owned by the Lord of the Manor. Its tenants had to be 'admitted' to the property by the Manorial Court and they would undergo a ritual before the Lord's steward involving an oath and a ceremonial 'rod' where they agreed to abide by the customs of the manor. An appearance at the Manorial Court was also required when relinquishing the property. These tenants often did not live in the property themselves having under-tenants who are sometimes also named in documents.

Charles Reynolds is the earliest entry on the Abstract of Title for Malting Cottage which refers to his will of 23rd April 1755. He was the owner of Peldon Hall and Lord of The Manor and was the fourth generation of Reynolds who had the Manor. His great grandfather, Thomas Reynolds, was a Colchester clothier and held his first Manorial Court at Peldon in 1650. (See Appendix 1 The Reynolds of Peldon Manor)

The Abstract of Title gives a summary of Reynold's probate documents although the original documents were not produced at the time of writing it in 1801. After a few bequests, Charles left all his Real Estates in Essex to his cousin Dr William Samuel Powell and his heirs. Charles Reynolds died around 1759.

Dr William Samuel Powell

A relation with whom he had very little acquaintance, and less expectation from, Charles Reynolds of Peldon Hall Esq, left him the estate and manor of Peldon Hall in Essex together with other estates in Little Bentley ... he well deserved it for he was both hospitable and generous and being a single man had ample means to exercise his generosity. The greatest part of his fortune was left to him in 1759 by Mr Reynolds a relation of his mother. A New and General Biographical Dictionary

The next entry refers to Powell's will of 11th November 1771. His niece, Susan Jolland, a spinster who lived with him, was appointed as his executrix. She was also principal beneficiary being left all Powell's Real Estates, Lands and Tenements.

William, schooled at Colchester Grammar School, was to be Archdeacon of Colchester from 1766 to his death and probably never lived in Peldon Hall, nor indeed had any of his Reynolds predecessors. He became master at St John's College, Cambridge, and remained unmarried without issue. He was buried in the college chapel at St Johns College, Cambridge.

With ownership of this Estate passing to the Jolland family in the 1770s, all the property and land was divided up between members of the family. However, at a later stage in the nineteenth century, as we shall see, ship owner, John Pratt, was to reunite the cottage with the Peldon Manor Estate.

The Jolland family

Susan Jolland's grandmother, also called Susan, was Charles Reynolds aunt.

The Peldon Estate inherited by Susan consisted of the Manor of Peldon, with three farms and a cottage, namely Peldon Hall, then tenanted by Robert Keye, Peldon Lodge and Billetts, occupied by Benjamin Cook, and Roll's Farm with the land Stockfield and Paites. Kay Gilmour Peldon in Essex: Village over The Marshes

Peldon Hall, Peldon Lodge, and Rolls Farm still exist. Billets Barn was submerged in the building of the Abberton reservoir in 1936-1939 and the old Billets Farm demolished. It would seem from the documents that at this time Peldon Lodge and Billets were farmed as one.

In A History of Layer de La Haye , Mary Hopkirk confirms Billets Barn was left by Charles Reynolds of Peldon to William Powell DD Master of St John's College Cambridge and Archdeacon of Colchester

From her will made on 21st August 1775 and proved May 25th 1776 [National Archives PROB 11/10/9] it is clear Susan was living in Cambridge at the time of her death and she bequeathed her Peldon estate of considerable value to her father, the Reverend George Jolland

First I dispose of my Real Estate Subject to the incumbrances
affecting the same as well by the Will of my late dear
Uncle doctor William Samuel Powell as by the Will of the
late Charles Reynolds Esquire in manner following ..
..I give and devise unto my dear Father The Reverend
George Jolland of Leigh in the County of Stafford Clerk all
my Estate \situate/ in Peldon in the County of Essex with the Appurt[enance]s
consisting of the Manor of Peldon with three Farms and
a Cottage one of which Farms called Peldon Lodge and
Billetts is now in the Tenure or Occupation of Benjamin
Cook or his Assigns at the Yearly Rent of One hund[re]d
and fifty pounds the other called Peldon Hall is in the
Tenure or Occupation of Robert Keys or his Assigns at the
Yearly Rent of one hundred and ten pounds and the
third called Rolls Farm with the Lands called Stockfields
and Paites therewith occupied is in the Tenure or Occupation
of George Weyland or his Assigns at the Yearly Rent
of eighty pounds fifteen shillings and nine pence and
the said Cottage and the premises therewith now used
are in the Occupation of the said George Wayland
and [blank] Bullock or their Assigns at the Yearly
Rent of twelve pounds To hold the same to hold the same unto the said
George Jolland and his Assigns

In the will, Susan directed that after her father's decease the estate be divided up between her brothers

I give and devise the said Maner of Peldon and the said
Farm called Peldon Lodge and Billets with the Lands
Tenements and Appurtenances thereunto belonging or
therewithall used as the same is now in the Tenure or
Occupation of the said Benjamin Cook or his Assigns at
the said Yearly Rent of one hundred and fifty pounds
unto my dear Brother Charles Jolland his Heirs and
Assigns for ever

We find Charles Jolland in the capacity of Lord of the Manor of Peldon Hall named on various Peldon indentures between him and his tenants.

Susan left the Peldon Hall Farm to her brother William. To her brother Francis she left Rolls Farm and Malting Cottage.

Also I give and devise unto my Youngest
Brother Francis Jolland and his Heirs all that my said
other Farm called Rolls Farm with the Lands called
Stockfields and Paites and all other the Premises
therewithall used as the same are now in the Tenure &
Occupation of the said George Weyland or his Assigns
at the said Yearly Rent of eighty pounds fifteen
Shillings and nine pence and the Cottage and
Premises as the same are now in the Occupation of
the said George Weyland and Bullock or their
Assigns at the said Yearly Rent of twelve pounds with
their Appurtenances To hold the same unto the said
Francis Jolland his Heirs and Assigns for ever
[The Will of Susan Jolland National Archives Prob 11/10/9]

The Abstract tells us that The Reverend George Jolland died in 1778 and his son Francis made an agreement with George Wayland for lands and properties for the initial sum of £500 followed by an annual peppercorn rent, this in effect was a mortgage lent to Wayland by Jolland. Francis Jolland was to die the following year.

The entry of 29th October 1779 citing the will of Francis Jolland, reveals that the property and land in the possession of George Wayland included Rolls Farm, 160 acres of land and the fields Stockfields and 'Pailes'[Paites]. He also had Malting Cottage with its 8 acres, then 'occupied' by William Mortimer.

The loan was duly repaid by Wayland to The Reverend Robert Hodgson, husband of Catherine née Jolland. Robert died in 1800 and the property passed on to his wife Catherine.

With many of the Jolland beneficiaries dying in quick succession shortly after their inheritance (over a five year period) the cottage repeatedly passed between family members. During this period the property is still known as The Vines with the orchard thereto belonging in Peldon ... And also a barn called Honey Barn and four pieces or parcels of land called Honey Close, Long Acre, Round Field & Old Hall containing by estimation 8 acres

The list of members of the Jolland family inheriting the property is given in Appendix 2.

On 1st and 2nd April 1801, Catherine Hodgson née Jolland signed an indenture between herself and Nathaniel Forster of Peldon, Clerk, and John James Talman, Clerk, Chaplain of Bromley College in Kent. Catherine agreed for Forster to buy the messuage or tenement and orchard and 8 acres of arable land lying and being in Peldon aforesaid and therein at the price of £420.

All that new erected messuage tenement one Dwelling house formerly called or known by the name of the Vines with the orchard thereto belonging in Peldon aforesaid and also a Barn called Stoney Hall Barn and four pieces or parcels of Land called Stoney Close, Long Acre, Round Field and Old Hall contained by estimate 8 acres ... then in the occupation of * James Croyden or his undertenants

* James Croyden lived at East Mersea Hall

Talman and his heirs and assigns could stay in the house as long as Nathaniel Forster was alive and it was to be held in trust for Forster's heirs and assigns.

At the Essex Records Office, there is a photograph of Malting Cottage showing earthquake damage where it is referred to as Church Clerk's Cottage. Not a name found anywhere else it must surely refer back to the period when it was in the ownership of the Reverends Nathaniel Forster and John Talman. That it became Talman's home seems likely, he was to serve as Priest in Charge of St. Mary's, Peldon, until 1817.

John James Talman MA of Wadham and Magdalen, Oxford, was appointed curate at Peldon during the incumbency of the Reverend Jehosophat Mountain. Mountain famously remained rector of Peldon following his departure to Canada in 1793 where he was to remain until his death in 1817. For a stipend of £100 a year John Talman served as Priest in Charge at Peldon from 1782 to 1817. He also appears in the 1798 Land Tax Redemption Form as an occupier of property owned by the Reverend Mountain - this could have been Glebe land.

Nathaniel Forster can be found in documents, living at the Parsonage in East Mersea, and was rector at West Mersea from 1797 - 1851. He was also curate at East Mersea in 1806. In the Peldon tithe maps of 1840 we find the Reverend Nathaniel Forster still owner of a House and Garden and Old Hall, also Honey Hall which would indicate he still owned Malting Cottage. He appears living in East Mersea in its tithe awards (1838) and 1841 census. In his will dated 1851 [National Archives PROB 11/2140/307 ] he leaves all my Real and present Estate to my son Robert White Forster.

With Nathaniel Forster's ownership of the cottage this is where the Abstract of Title comes to an end.

From the beginning of the nineteenth century other documents and indentures then take up the story of the owners of Malting Cottage with just one or two missing conveyances.

It is uncertain when the cottage passed out of these clergymen's hands, with no documentary evidence amongst the deeds but the Sanders family was the next to be recorded as having the property.

The Sanders Family

Thomas Sanders, a farmer of Corringham married Sarah his wife, late Sarah Deeks spinster, on 31st August, 1815 in Great Wigborough. Sarah Sanders was granddaughter of Martin Seabrook who is the earliest recorded manorial tenant of Malting Cottage. Sarah was also described as the 'niece' of the landowner Samuel Bullock with whom she was living until his death in 1814 and in whose will she was a beneficiary. [In fact, I believe she was his great niece]

Also I give and bequeath to my niece Sarah Deeks who lives with me the Sum of Twenty Pounds of lawful Money for a Suit of Mourning and a Ring at the Discretion of my Executors [The Will of Samuel Bullock ERO D/ABW 120/3/15 ]

Sarah's mother died within weeks of giving birth to her in 1794 and her father died when she was only three years old so it would appear Samuel Bullock had taken her in and she would have been around 20 years old when he died.

Thomas Sanders was born in Layer de La Haye, Sarah in Abberton, and their children in Corringham, Essex, but their third child, John Deeks Sanders, was baptised in 1824 in Little Wigborough.

Thomas and Sarah signed an indenture with Lucy May of Abberton dated 19th April 1820. The existing tenants are named as John Phillips and [Samuel?] Turp. The Indenture seems to be gifting the cottage to Lucy May, a widow, during Thomas's lifetime, with the understanding the property is to remain in trust for Thomas and then his heirs.

This document indicates Sarah Sanders' family's long involvement with Malting Cottage going back to the death of her grandfather, Martin Seabrook, who was buried at Peldon Church on Christmas Day 1760. He had the property during the time of Lord of the Manor, Charles Reynolds; was he, in fact, the first manorial tenant of the newly-built cottage?

... the said Martin Seabrook in his lifetime & up to the time of his decease which happened in about the year 1760 was possessed of the hereditaments & premises hereinafter mentioned & upon his decease intestate the same descended to & became the property of Sarah Seabrook his only daughter who afterwards intermarried with the said Samuel Deeks.... by whom she had issue namely Samuel Deeks who died an Infant & Intestate & the said Sarah the wife of the said Thomas Sanders who upon the decease of her said brother Samuel Deeks became possessed in fee of the said premises.

All that messuage divided into two cottages or tenement with the piece or parcel of land or ground thereto adjacent & belonging situate & being at or near Peet Tye Common in the parish of Peldon ... formerly in the occupation of the said Martin Seabrook then since of the said Sarah Deeks then Sarah Pissey Widow & then or then lately in the tenure or occupation of John Phillips

This 1820 document is the first to indicate that Malting Cottage had been divided into two dwellings.

In the will of George Wayland the younger (1790) he refers to transactions which do not appear in the surviving deeds of Malting Cottage. It would appear that his late father George Wayland the Elder (who died in 1788), and is mentioned above in the will of Susan Jolland, purchased copyhold property from Sarah Pissey, presumably including Malting Cottage, Stockfield and Paites and Rolls Farm.

I give and devise unto Gregory Haxcell (Son of my
Relation Gregory Haxcell deceased) and his Assigns
during the term of his natural life (he or they
keeping the Buildings in good and substantial repair)
All those my Freehold Messuages Tenements or
Cottages Barn Stable Buildings Lands Hereditaments
and Estate with the Appurtenances in Peldon
aforesaid which I lately purchased of the Reverand
John Hall And also all those my Freehold Messuages
or Tenements Malting Office Barn Stable Buildings
Lands Hereditaments and Estate in Peldon aforesaid
with the Appurtenances which my said late Father
purchased of Mrs Sarah Pissey (Subject to such right as
the Widow of my said late Father hath for her life in
or to one of the Tenements last mentioned by virtue
of my said Fathers Will) and from and immediately
after the decease of the said Gregory Haxcel I give
and devise the same unto his Brother George
Haxcell and his Assigns for and during the term of
his natural life he keeping the same and all the
Buildings thereon in good and substantial repair
and from and immediately after his decease I give
and devise the same unto his Brother John Haxcell
and his Assigns for and during the term of his
natural life keeping the same and the Buildings
thereon in good and substantial repair and from
and immediately after his decease I give and
devise the same Estates late purchased of Mr Halls
and Mrs Pissey unto William Haxcell (another Son
of my Relation Gregory Haxcell deceased) and to
the Heirs and Assigns of the said William Haxcell
for ever absolutely
[The Will of George Wayland The Younger of Fingringhoe 1790 National Archives PROB 11/1264/41]

In Wayland the Elder's will, dated 1788, he refers to the Phillips' children being his wife's children by an earlier marriage and in the list of tenants we find one of those children, John Phillips, in residence at Malting Cottage.

Another indenture dated 29th September 1840 has Thomas Sanders selling the property to John Sanders, farmer of Purleigh, for £130, (no doubt a relative). The current tenants of the cottage are listed as Widow Mortlock and Malliry / Malliny [?]. This document of 1840 reveals Thomas and Sarah Sanders were now resident in Stanway, Colchester. In Stanway's census of 1851 Thomas is described as a Relieving Officer. This could well be connected with the nearby Stanway Union Workhouse which opened in 1836.

John Sanders died in 1845. His will made provision for his children, and all the profits from his property and land was to finance their upbringing until they came of age. He willed that six months after his youngest daughter, Harriet, reached 21, the properties and land were to be put up for sale. Nine years later, the Essex Standard newspaper of 12th April 1854 carried notice of the auction.

Theobald and Rich are the tenants paying £10 5s per acre when A freehold messuage in two tenements and Garden Ground attached, nearly opposite Peldon Hall Gate is sold on behalf of the late John Sanders.

[It is interesting to note that the current drive into Peldon Hall is a later addition and Peldon Hall Gate was indeed originally located almost opposite Malting Cottage.]

An indenture, dated 3rd April 1854, conveyed hereditaments in the Parish of Peldon from the Sanders family to Mr John Pratt for £70. A familiar list of tenants appears formerly in the occupation of Martin Seabrook afterwards of Sarah Deeks Widow then of Sarah Pissey Widow after that of John Phillips & [blank] Turp and now or late of Theobald and Rich.

John Pratt was a Wivenhoe Ship owner. In his will dated 31st May 1873 and proved 12th January 1874 he left his Wivenhoe home to his wife and made various bequests to five nieces, a nephew and a sister.

And I give and devise unto my said nephew, John Pratt and his heirs all that my Messuage, farm and lands called Peldon Hall situate at Peldon in the said County of Essex or in some adjoining parish or parishes with the appurtenances to the same belonging. And also the Manor or reputed Manor of Peldon Hall together with the Cottages some time since purchased by me and now held with the said farm. And all other my real estate in Peldon aforesaid subject however to any mortgage that may be upon the same.

His nephew, also John Pratt, is subsequently listed as Peldon's Lord of the Manor and a principal landowner in both the 1874 and the 1882 Kelly's Trade Directories.

It would seem from a later Abstract of Title that on 16th November 1878, Gregory Haxcell and James Noah Paxman sold the property to Gregory's niece, Hannah and her husband, William Page, for £170. There appears to be no surviving indenture recording the sale by the descendants of John Pratt to Haxcell.

Hannah Page was a niece of Peldon landowner Gregory Haxcell (Haxcells Farm still stands) which presumably is how she became a significant landowner in Peldon. As we have seen, Gregory as a young man was a beneficiary of George Wayland which seems to be when these Peldon properties came to first the Haxcells then the Pages. Hannah sold land on Lower Road for the building of the Peldon Wesleyan and Methodist Chapel in 1893. She also appears on deeds belonging to the cottage Hilldene on Church Road built on land uphill from the chapel. (Hilldene was demolished in the 1980s and replaced by the house, Grangewood).

It is likely that Malting Cottage was in the ownership of Hannah and William Page when in April 1884, Malting Cottage suffered devastating damage by what was the greatest English earthquake. Photographers at the time captured images of many of the damaged buildings including Malting Cottage.

On 18th March 1903 Hannah Page signed an Indenture of Conveyance to Edgar Nicholas

The Nicholas Family

Edgar Nicholas As a special constable Edgar Nicholas famously detained the captured crew of the Zeppelin L33 which came down in Little Wigborough in 1916. His father, born in Tendring around 1875, served as a police constable. Edgar lived for many years with his wife and children in Malting Farm, Peldon, and in the 1911 census is described as a carrier. The Nicholas family rented out Malting Cottage next door to their farm over a long period. In the register of 1939, still living at Malting Farm, Edgar is described as a farmer.

One of Edgar Nicholas's tenants was Samuel Hyam. Samuel started out as a 'hawker' in Great Wigborough. He moved his family to Peldon and he is listed as shopkeeper, grocer and hardware living in The Shop (near Brick House Farm) in the 1891 census, [now known as The Olde House]. Samuel subsequently moved to a grocery shop in West Bergholt while son Clement took over his father's house and grocery business in Peldon.

The first reference I have found to the Malting Cottage's former name of Hill House appears in the 1911 census. which reveals Samuel Hyam and his wife Eliza, in retirement, had returned to Peldon, renting Hill House from Edgar Nicholas. Samuel was to die in 1916 according to the parish burials' register. At this point Malting Cottage must still have been two dwellings for we know a family called The Masons moved in during 1917 and were to stay there into the 1940s yet the address given at the death of Samuel Hyam's widow Eliza's in 1925 is also Hill House.

Alfred and Sarah Mason of Hill House, Peldon, (now known as Malting Cottage). The latticed porchway is still there today and must have been built between the 1884 photograph and this one, taken no earlier than 1917.

The Masons moved into Hill House, renting from Edgar Nicholas, and remained there until about 1943 when ill health forced the widowed Mrs Mason to move in with her daughter, Margaret, in West Mersea and she subsequently died in 1944. It is not clear who lived there for the following twelve years.

Upon her husband Edgar Nicholas's death at the age of 80 in 1955, Flory Elizabeth Nicholas inherited Malting Cottage. Her son Will and his wife Bar (Barbara) moved into the cottage upon their marriage in 1956 (moving next door into Malting Farm in 1957/8). Flory died on 16th March 1958. Her probate address was given as Malting Farm, the same address given for her in both the 1911 census and the 1939 register. Her two sons Philip and William inherited the property.

Bar Nicholas in the garden of Malting Cottage in 1957

William Nicholas sold to the Prestons in 1962, after 59 years of the cottage belonging to the Nicholas family. With the sale to the Prestons the name 'Malting Cottage' appears for the first time (documents dated 1958 still refer to it as Hill House). The following sketch appears with the Conveyance

A sketch showing Malting Cottage and its dead well next door to Malting Farm

Dr Phillip Geoffrey and Mrs Ishbel Catherine Preston bought the cottage on 10th January 1962. It is believed Phillip was working at Colchester Military Hospital which, by the late 1950s, had started admitting civilian patients. Phillip was born to a large Sheffield family and his father Job Preston was a noted pharmacist. Both Phillip and Ishbel had spent much time abroad most particularly in Kenya.

In 1930 Phillip was listed in a Medical Directory as working in Sheffield. It was reported in the Kenya Gazette that Phillip was appointed to be Medical Officer of Health in the Fort Hall District of North Nyer with effect from 31st August 1936.

On the shipping details for a journey from Southampton to Port Said en route to Kenya on 18th January 1946 Phillip is listed as an obstetrician and gynaecologist and Ishbel as a nursing sister. It is quite possible they had just visited England for a holiday, their last address being the Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch.

In 1962 they moved to Peldon. They were active in village life and Phillip was involved with the new village hall which opened in 1965, being the first person in charge of the hall bookings.

Ishbel died on 19th December 1978 and her grave is in Peldon churchyard. Her husband, Philip Geoffrey Preston went back to Africa following her death and upon selling the house to the Callaghans in 1979, his address on the documents was a box number in Malindi, Kenya. Philip died in Mombasa on 5th December 1982.

John and Doreen Callaghan On the 1979 conveyance, the Callaghans' address was Silver Springs Motel, Thorrington. They bought Malting Cottage for £30,000. The schedule gives the purchasers the right to use the dead well [cesspit] and also to enter on the adjoining land for the purpose of cleaning and repairing the same, a right which still exists today.

In 1982 Malting Cottage was officially registered as a Grade II listed house. The notification of the property being listed appears in a letter dated 27th January 1982

On the Historic England website, the entry for the cottage is given as follows

Maltings Cottage, Malting Road

C18 cottage, timber framed and weatherboarded, with red plain tile gambrel roof. One storey and attics. Two window range double hung vertical sliding sashes with glazing bars. Four gabled dormers, with modern casements and vertical sliding sashes. C13 gabled porch with decorative bargeboards.

At the time of selling the cottage, John and Doreen's address was given as The Cross Inn, Great Bromley - they never moved into Malting Cottage and it remained unoccupied for five years. The cottage was sold to the current owners with vacant possession in 1984.

Professor William and Naomi Tamblyn 1984 to the present. Naomi remembered the cottage being structurally unsound to the extent it wasn't mortgageable. 

The earthquake had popped all the beams out that supported the roof and it was only resting on the walls which were rapidly moving outwards.

The Tamblyns have been at the heart of village life since their arrival in 1984. Bill, Professor of Music at Colchester Institute until retirement, has been responsible for much of the music in the village whether playing piano, organ or keyboards for church, concerts or, in earlier times, the annual pantomime. A lay reader and founder of the Friends Of St Mary's he has also instigated harvest festival processions and suppers, carols on top of the church tower, and around the village, blessing the plough and Café Church. He has organised numerous public concerts in the village featuring his World Music choir, Quire. He is editor of the Parish Magazine and started up the Peldon History Project arranging many local history lectures in the church. He has also been responsible for populating the village with bee hives, selling Peldon honey from the porch of Malting Cottage. Naomi, a primary school teacher, has been on the Five Parishes Show Committee for close to forty years. A musician and singer herself, she has regularly appeared in the pantomime as one of the leading actresses.

Malting Cottage is about to enter a new era as a sympathetically designed annexe is constructed incorporating further accommodation and a separate utility area to facilitate Bill's beloved beekeeping husbandry.

Elaine Barker
Peldon History Project


The Reynolds Family

In England's Gazeteer Or An Accurate Description of all the Cities Towns and Villages of The Kingdom written in 1751 there is a potted history of the wealthy families who owned Peldon Manor and Hall from Tudor times

Peldon, Essex, near Mersea Island was granted by Henry VIII to Sir William Petre, but it reverting to the crown by an exchange, Edward VI granted it to Sir Thomas Darcy, and it went by marriage to Sir Thomas Savage Earl Rivers. It was afterwards sold to Mr Reynolds great grandfather of the present owner, Charles Reynolds of the Temple Esq.

Thomas Reynolds of Peldon Hall

Charles Reynolds' great grandfather was Mr Thomas Reynolds, a wealthy clothier who lived in Colchester. Thomas's purchase of the Peldon Hall Estate represented a momentous change in ownership from the hands of the gentry to an industrialist and tradesman.

The Essex Record Office holds a document of Bargain and Sale of the Manor and the advowson* of Peldon's Church between the The Right Honourable Elizabeth Countess Rivers and Thomas Reynolds, merchant for £1,200 on 23rd April 1650. [ERO D/DZf9]

* ie the right to choose the incumbents.

Thomas Reynolds was an Alderman and in 1654 became Mayor of Colchester and again in 1662. His first Manorial Court held at Peldon Manor was in 1650, the year he first became owner of Peldon Hall. From the booklet about the church of St James the Great, Colchester written in 1954 by the Reverend M M Martin, we learn that Thomas was a master bays maker of the parish of St James

but was not a very pleasing character. He tried to cheat his Dutch weavers by paying them in kind instead of in money, but in 1637 the Star Chamber took the matter up and ordered that the foreigners should be paid double for all their arrears of wages and be refunded their costs and that he should go to prison. He promptly paid up.

Thomas died in 1665 and he and his wife Margery (née Decoster), daughter of a rich London merchant, Samuel Decoster, are buried in St James's Church, East Hill, Colchester, (she died in 1649), marked by an oval alabaster tablet with a richly sculptured border on the South wall.

The alabaster tablet commemorating Thomas Reynolds on the south wall in St James, East Hill, Colchester.
The inscription, in Latin, is translated below

Sacred to Almighty God.
Beneath this wall
Is buried
At one time an eminent magistrate of Colchester
He married Margery Decoster, daughter of Samuel Decoster
A merchant of London
Who bore him eight children, four of either sex
She laid aside the corruptible burden of the body
on April 15th 1649.
He however, enjoyed to the full the fruits of his work
and then, abounding alike in riches and in length of days
when his cup was overflowing,
faithfully and peacefully fell asleep in Christ,
when the almond tree was in bloom, April 29th
in the year of our Lord 1665,
Aged 61.
Wealthy he was, and blessed with riches and nobly born children;
Though in the dust lies the flesh, yet dwell in heaven his soul.
Reader, begone; here silent our record, no more could it utter.
Always the rest will remain written upon life's scroll

Samuel Reynolds

Thomas was succeeded by his son, Samuel, who went on to become Member of Parliament for Colchester. Samuel was born in 1642 and married Judith Samford at Moze in Essex on 27th August 1665. They had 6 girls two of whom died and 5 boys one of whom died. He was a magistrate and Captain of Militia when in 1679 he first contested the borough unsuccessfully but went on to be elected as Colchester's MP in 1681, 1689 and again in 1690 during the reigns of Charles II and William and Mary. Samuel was to move into his father's house, now No. 86 and 87 East Hill, Colchester, following his election in 1689 and received King William on his first visit to Colchester.

Philip Morant wrote of him

In this parish [St James] just without East Gate lived Samuel Reynolds Esq who was one of the representatives for this borough in the last Parliament of King Charles II and in the first and second Parliaments of King William and Queen Mary. He died August 23rd 1694. His heirs have since parted with the House he lived in but still have Estates in this County, particularly at Peldon. The History and Antiquities of the Town and Borough of Colchester, Philip Morant

The memorial to Samuel is set in the floor of St. James' Church, East Hill, Colchester and reads

Here lieth the Body of Samuel Reynolds Esqre;
who after he had long served his Countrey, and this
Town as their Burgesse in divers Parliaments,
departed this life August 23. Anno D[omi]ni 1694
Aetat 52 [at the age of 52]

Samuel's family inherited a business that was in decline

His sons suffered much from the decay of the weaving industry St James The Great, Rev MM Martin

They inherited debt too.

He left a burdened estate to his son Samuel whose negotiations for marriage were complicated by a suspected debt of £3,000 at least part of which was due to Samuel Reynolds Senior having 'spent a great deal in carrying on an election' The House of Commons 1690 -1715 Constituencies by David Hayton

Following the death of Samuel (Senior) in 1694, his son, Samuel succeeded to the estate. Samuel (Junior) was born on 25th July 1666 and baptised at St James's Church, Colchester. He attended Colchester Grammar School and went to Grays Inn at the age of sixteen. Samuel served as Clerk of The Peace at Chelmsford 1702 - 22.

In a Poll book for 1715 Samuel Reynolds Esq is listed as from Peldon but was living in Colchester.

Samuel (Junior) married Frances Pelham and was succeeded by his second son Charles Reynolds, who died in 1760 and left no direct heir.

Susan, the daughter of Samuel Reynolds (Senior) and his wife, Judith, was born on 16th April 1681. She first married George Jolland on 12th September 1708 at Copford and following his death married The Reverend Francis Powell who was born 29th September 1682 and was baptised at St Mary at The Walls in Colchester. There was a boy from her first marriage, The Reverend George Jolland, and a son and daughter from the second marriage, William Samuel Powell 1717 - 1775 and Susanna Powell; the latter died in 1796 in Colchester having been the Matron of the Chelsea Hospital.

It was William Samuel Powell who inherited the Reynold's family estate in Peldon upon the death of Charles Reynolds. Charles was Susan's brother's son (her nephew and her son's cousin). The niece, Susan Jolland who inherited the Reynolds estate was this Susan's granddaughter.

Appendix 2

Susan Jolland left her property and land to her father willing that upon his death it should pass to her brother, Francis. Their father died in 1778.

Francis Jolland immediately entered into an Indenture of Demise (a lease) between himself Francis Jolland of Duffield in the County of Derby and the existing occupier George Wayland, Gentleman of Peldon. With a payment to Francis of £500 (essentially a mortgage), George Wayland entered into an agreement whereby he continued in possession of the land and buildings for a peppercorn rent.

All that Messuage Dwelling House or Tenement with the Outbuildings Yard Garden and Appurtenances thereto belonging sited and being in the parish of Peldon in the said County of Essex then in the Occupation of the said George Wayland. And also all those several closes Enclosures pieces or parcels of Land situate and being in the Parish of Peldon aforesaid County together by estimate 160 acres (more or less) belonging to and usually occupied with the said Messuage dwelling House and Tenement then also in the possession of the said George Wayland...

And also all other the messuages Closes Lands tenements hereditaments Gardens Yards Orchards Backsides Ways Waters Water courses Basements Trees Hedges Ditches Mounds Fences and Commons and common of pasture profits privileges liberties advantages emoluments hereditaments rights members and appurtenances to the said Messuage Dwelling House or tenement Closes Inclosures hereditaments and premises belonging or in any wise appertaining or with the same used site let occupied or enjoyed or reputed or known as parcel or member thereof

The probate of Francis Jolland is dated 29th October 1779 and he devised his estate to his two brothers Charles and William, his estate is specified as Rolls Farm, Stockfields and Pailes [usually spelt Paites] all in the possession of George Wayland. At this point the land and properties of the Manor seem to be divided up between family members.

To Sarah Clarke of Westhallam in the County of Derby he left Malting Cottage for her lifetime

A Cottage House and premises with about eight acres of land (more or less) lying in the said parish of Peldon and then in the tenure or occupation of Mortimer of the Parish of Peldon aforesaid

There is a note that Sarah died shortly after.

The next document listed is that of a Lease and Release between William Jolland of Burton on Trent in the County of Staffordshire and the Reverend Robert Hodgson, Master of Arts of the University of Cambridge. It is dated 28th and 29th October 1782. They seem to set up a joint ownership or tenancy.

All that new erected messuage tenement one Dwelling house formerly called or known by the name of the Vines with the orchard thereto belonging in Peldon aforesaid and also a Barn called Stoney Hall Barn and four pieces or parcels of Land called Stoney Close, Long Acre, Round Field and Old Hall contained by estimate 8 acres be the same more or less then or then in the occupation of the said *William Mortimer

* William Mortimer marries Sarah Tiffin of Abberton in Peldon on 13th February 1793. Their witnesses are George Wayland and William Salmon. William seems to be another of the wealthy farmers in Peldon in that era, mentioned in churchwardens accounts, possibly an overseer?

A note tells that

The Principal and Interest due on Mr Wayland's Mortgage was paid by Mr Hodgson as appears by the receipt under the hand of George Wayland with an undertaking to execute as assignment of the mortgage when required

On the 7th and 8th of January 1783 Charles Jolland of the city of Dublin, an Upholsterer and his wife Margaret entered into an agreement with brother-in-law Robert Hodgson.

On 4th February 1800, Robert Hodgson's will bequeathed to his wife, Catherine Hodgson née Jolland,

All his Estates both real and personal ... Subject to the payment of an annuity out of Stock in the public funds.

She was his sole executrix and subsequently sold Malting Cottage to the Reverend Nathaniel Forster and curate the Reverend Talman.

Appendix 3

A list of tenants appears in various documents, this commonly appears in conveyances as part of proving title and a chain of ownership. In this appendix I have tried to find more biographical information on those named. These tenants would have been 'manorial tenants', in effect, leaseholders of the property from Peldon Hall Manor.

formerly in the occupation of Martin Seabrook afterwards of Sarah Deeks Widow then of Sarah Pissey Widow after that of John Phillips & [blank] Turp and now or late of Theobald and Rich.

Martin Seabrook In the marriage register of St Mary's, Peldon, Martin is described as a farmer. He married Sarah Harvey on 12th June 1758. He died only 2 ½ years later on 21st December 1760 leaving Sarah expecting a baby. He died intestate. It is possible he was the first tenant of Malting Cottage. In 1762 the child, Elizabeth, died aged only 1 year old but it is clear Martin had another older daughter called Sarah. There are also other Seabrooks in the list of churchwardens for Peldon :

1754 Mr Seabrook
1755 Mr Howard Seabrook
1760 - 1779 Martin Seabrook

Martin's widow was the Sarah Seabrook who was to go on to marry wealthy landowner, Samuel Bullock on 22nd April 1763.

Sarah Deeks widow and Sarah Pissey widow. It is not certain who these tenants were. Sarah Deeks was the name of Martin's married daughter but since she pre-deceased her husband, Samuel Deeks, maybe it was another family member who is listed as tenant. Deeks was a common name and there are several Sarah and Samuel Deeks in the area. Equally, it is uncertain who Sarah Pissey was. There is a marriage in Peldon between a Sarah Seabrook with Robert Pissey of Hemingstone, Suffolk in 1779. Suffice to say the Seabrooks, Deeks and Pisseys were all related!

John Phillips married Mary May at Great Wigborough on 27th July 1789. He was one of four sons of George Wayland The Elder's wife, Hannah Phillips, who had been married before. Presumably Mary was related to Lucy May, mentioned above, who held the cottage from the Sanders in 1820. A John Phillips also takes an apprenticeship in Peldon with carpenter, James Wells, in July 1780. He died in Wigborough in 1833.

Turp no Christian name is given but a Samuel and Mary Turp, probably from Bulmer in Essex, had two children baptised at Peldon Church, John in 1810 and Elizabeth in 1813. The family seem to have returned to Bulmer by the earliest census of 1841.

Theobald This could be John Theobald (1801 - 1881), born in Tolleshunt Knights, a shepherd and agricultural labourer. He was in Peldon by 1831 when his son, Johnson, was baptised in the village. John was to see out his days in Peldon.

Rich There is a Rich family living in the village in the late 1700s and first half of the 19th century. Daniel Rich was later jailed for his smuggling activities.

AuthorElaine Barker
SourceMersea Museum