ID: FBQ_102 / Willoughby John Bean

TitleMay and Bean family history from Willoughby John Bean
AbstractIt was Edward May of Coppid Hall [ Copt Hall ], indeed I believe there were two of these and both are buried at West Mersea - no William May there -

Mr Quincey the Timber Merchant of London put his savings into land in Essex and Suffolk. He first had as his estate agent a Mr. William Newman familiarly known as Billy Newman, and after whom our uncle William Newman Bean was named. This Mr. Newman was very friendly to our Great Grandmother, Mrs. Anne Bean. He was I believe well-off and when our Grandfather Samuel Edwin Bean made his run-away marriage with Miss Francis Green of Regent Street, he arranged that the young couple should become tenants of Mr. Quincey's New Hall Farm at Little Wigborough, and later he retired from business in favour of our Grandfather.

Quite early in the eighteen hundreds Quincey bought from a Mrs. Firmin Peldon Hall and the Manor of Peldon, which included the Glebe fields and Cottage opposite New Hall in Little Wigborough so that the Clergyman of Little Wigborough paid and no doubt still pays quit rent to the Lord of Manor of Peldon, a small yearly sum.

A Mr Sach was tenant of Peldon Hall and our Grandfather had considerable trouble with him because for some reason Sach did not pay his rent. Finally, two things happened at once - I might say three things - (1) Sach vacated the farm (2) Quincey sold both the farm and Manor to Mr. John Mann of Whyvenhoe (it was, perhaps still is, Mr. Mann's profile in chalk which our Uncle Willoughby sketched on the wooden partition in the riding stable; I renewed this on one of the last occasions that I was there). (3) Mr. Mann let Peldon Hall to our Grandfather (in 1823) for thirty years 212 acres at £200. Writing from memory I am not sure if Mr. Mann died before our Grandfather, but when he died he left the farm and Manor to his nephew Captain Pratt also of Whyvenhoe, whom I remember quite well, amongst other voyages he used to fetch guano from the Falkland Islands. He owned more than one ship of about 300 tons I believe, but he left off sailing them himself a few years after having Peldon Hall from his Uncle. He died in the seventys, about the same period that Mr. Christmas the little man who was Secretary to the Reversionary Society and good friends to our Father.

When our Grandmother Bean died the Peldon lease was just at an end or had been renewed by Mr. Mann, our two Uncles William and Willoughby, carried it on for a year together, but William married and went to Cobben End near to Epping and near to Little Laver, and Willoughby intnded to carry on by himself but he died before he had been on his won for a complete year, and our Father took over the lease and moved up to the Hall from Newhall where he had been for about a year after our Grandfather died, and this farm which some years before our Grandfather had bought from the widow of Mr. Quincey was sold to the Mr. Isaac Green who was a son of the fourth Mrs. Thomas May and had married Betsy May the daughter of the second Mrs. Thomas May.

I do not know whom Mr. Quincey bought Peldon Lodge from, it may have been Mrs. Firmin or may not, but he did own both farms, and it was probably he that transferred the twenty acre field High Rows and the plantation from the Lodge farm to the Hall, but it was our grandfather who shifted the entrance road to the Hall from the East side of the Berry pond and put it opposite the entrance to the Mersea road.

When Captain John Pratt died he left the farm and Manor to his nephew John Pratt who was I think a grocer at Langham, a village to the east of Colchester. Peldon Lodge had been sold a number of years before to Mr. Oldfield a London builder or the son of a London builder and our Uncle Willoughby managed the farming for him for a little while, our Father the same for a time. Oldfield had two daughters, one married Captain Burgess, a retired Army Captain, the other married Mr. Aspinwall who was interested in mines in Wales or slate quarries perhaps it was, you will remember the family, I believe they are all dead now, Mrs. Aspinwall left £30,000 and I believe that the youngest son Harry (an Army Colonel) was then the only one alive and that he had a good deal of his mother's money, anyhow he had the Lodge, and promptly sold it for what it should fetch in a bad time, and it has been sold for less since then, and recently the South Essex Waterworks have bought a part for the Abberton Peldon storage lake at perhaps four times as much per acre. There are I believe no horses kept on the farm, indeed I do not know of any farm horses in Peldon - all cows and sheep, that is a few of each. Twenty-six infants go to the Peldon school; children over ten and under thirteen? go by bus to West Mersea and over thirteen? by bus to Colchester. The Rector has just resigned owing to ill health, he must be bad, for it is a very good living, yet, I have known six Rectors if not more, and with it all the population is as large as ever in our time.

There were both Johns and Williams (Mays) at Mersea during the years 1600 to 1800. John Mann was tall, thin, and round shouldered, used to ride to hounds.

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Background to these papers
Bean and May families

AuthorWilloughby John Bean
SourceMersea Museum / Alan Brook