Friday, 30 March 2012

Area: "High Country History Group" Journal No. 41

The Quarterly Journal of the High Country History Group was issued to members in September 2011.  It contains a number of items including:

-          High Country.  An extract from ‘The People’s History of Essex’ on Greensted (see
-          The Bells of St Christopher’s Church, Willingale (see
-          After Dinner Anecdotes, written by Edward Henry Lisle Reeve
-          The Greensted Road
-          Kellys Directory of Essex 1933 – Greensted
-          Richard Thomas Dutton Budworth (part 1)
-          The Essex Earthquake of 1884

For membership and further information go to

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Ongar: An extract from the Commonplace Book of Edward Reeve c1860

One of the best things is to see in a good man rewarded, the next best thing is to see a great rogue punished.

The affectionate recollection of the virtues of the dead, is the duty of the living.

The truth of our affection is tested when the object of our affection is absent.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Blackmore: Martin boy on Exmouth

Received 12 February 2012


I am impressed by the Blackmore village history web site, there is a lot of information here, and a lot of work has obviously gone into it.  I hope it was a labour of love!

I used to live in Blackmore, enjoyed my time there and only moved away as my job moved and commuting from Blackmore was just not on.  I was made redundant a few years ago and now fill in some of my time as a volunteer at the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), where I have recently been working with the records of the training Ship ‘Exmouth’.  It was moored on the Thames off Grays in Essex, and was used in a scheme set up in the mid C19 by the Metropolitan Asylums Board to look after boys, usually either orphans, or with a single parent who was unable to look after them, so the boys had to be taken into care. The boys, who had to be ‘of good character’, lived on the ship and were given training that would suit them either for the Navy or the Merchant Marine. They were on the ship for varying periods of time, starting anytime after age 11, and required to leave, if still there, by their 16th birthday.

I wondered if you would be interested to know that there is a record of a boy Alfred Charles Martin, son of A.C. Martin (possibly the same name) of Vine Cottage Blackmore, on the ship in 1920.  I am sure I remember a Vine Cottage being in the village when I lived there, is it near the little round-about? (the only house I do remember was Swan Cottage at the end of Church Lane because of the pargetting that it carried).  The record of Alfred Charles Martin on the ship gives a note of his height, weight, leg length and boot size (which is unusual, most entries do not carry that much information) and also say that he was a somnambulist.

Might this be of any interest for your record of names?

Peter Jackson

Replied  13 February 2012


Thank you for your E Mail.  This is an interesting piece of social history.

Vine Cottage was the home of Emma Bass.  I understand that she was a foster-parent to a number of children, one of whom was Edwin Alexander, a victim of the First World War.

It would be interesting to find out more about Alfred Martin.  I will take a look through the notes I have, and come back to you.



Replied 10 March 2012

Hello Peter

I have looked through my records of the Martins in Blackmore, of which there were many.  Without access to the 1911 Census I can add very little to the story.  The Burial Register (1893-1992), the original of which is in the church safe, reveals a number of Martin burials, one of which is “Elizabeth Martin. Vine Cottage, Blackmore. Feb 8 1936. 76 years”.  Looking at the year Alfred was on board the Exmouth, and his age, it makes it very unlikely that Elizabeth was his mother, perhaps his grandmother.  Some detective work would be necessary to solve the mystery.



Received 10 March 2012

Hello Andrew

Thanks for getting back to me, and for your researches … I partly wondered if you might say “yes I know all about the family”, sadly you didn’t.
I might amuse myself with some more general researches, if I find anything of interest I’ll let you know.


Replied 10 March 2012

Thanks Peter.  I will post our correspondence on the blog and look forward to receiving comments.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Ongar: An extract from the Commonplace Book of Edward Reeve c1860


My 1st is called a Company – Co
My 2nd avoids a company – Nun
My 3rd assembles a Company – Drum

And my whole, amuses a Company.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Fryerning: Conebeare family

Received 13 February 2012

I am researching for a biography of Charles Conybeare, born in 1853 at Ingatestone. Charles became a Barrister, like his father and also a MP. I wondered whether you have any knowledge of local sources of papers or records about the Conybeare family. The family lived at St Leonard's Grange, Fryerning in the 1880s.

Replied 10 March 2012

Hello Dean.  The obvious places to look are census records and parish registers for Fryerning.  E E Wilde mentions Fryerning Grange in her book ‘Ingatestone and the Great Essex Road with Fryerning’ (1913).

“Fryerning Grange, formerly Blankets.  Blankets was one of many old small farmhouses of the neighbourhood. It was pulled down about 1870 by Mr Parkinson, who built the present house on the site of the old one, did away with the ancient name of Blankets, and called it Fryerning Grange.  Mr Parkinson was also responsible for enclosing a piece of roadside waste on Beggar Hill, near the present pump; it is now planted with white poplars, but the double hedge remains, and middle-aged men remember playing on that ground as boys.  He also attempted to close the footpath running from Fryerning Road to Beggar Hill, but after many lively scenes, when Mr H G Conybeare and his brother assisted in destroying the obstacles erected on the path, the path was preserved for public use.  Behind the house lies a field, marked on the Tithe Map ‘Church Field’; owner, Mr E Sikes.” (page 280)



Received 10 March 2012

Thanks Andrew. I had read a little about the rights of way argument. I shall have to have a few days in the area. I have exhausted the census info on the Ancestry site and elsewhere on the net. Currently reading about the Irish evictions.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Ongar: An extract from the Commonplace Book of Edward Reeve c1860

In many cases a true secret of what is called good fortune; it consists only in the being never unprepared to seize a favourable opportunity when it comes.

The crooked path of cunning will always lead us into difficulties.

Silence is a friend, that will never betray.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Stondon Massey: Cardinall's Musick to sing Byrd

Cardinall’s Musick to perform Byrd at Stondon Massey

The multi Gramophone Award winning Choir the Cardinall’s Musick will be coming to St Peter and St Paul Church Stondon Massey on Sunday 2 September to perform two short concerts as part of their Byrd Tour 2012. 

Cardinall’s Musick is an internationally recognised Choir specialising in early music.  In 2010, under the direction of Andrew Carwood, the singers released their 13th disc concluding the complete Latin choral works of William Byrd.  ‘Infelix Ego’ won them the Recording of the Year. 

The Byrd Tour 2012 celebrates the recording achievement by taking the music of the great Elizabethan composer to venues both great and small.  St Peter and St Paul Church, the only stop planned in Essex, is one of the smallest on the tour but has such a strong association with Byrd that Andrew Carwood felt that the opportunity to perform here should not be missed.  The tour will be extensively advertised by Cardinall’s Musick in national newspapers and the music press.  The Choir can be heard on the cover CD of the BBC Music Magazine soon.

Members of Stondon’s congregation will be there on the day to supervise car parking, provide front of house support and post-concert refreshments.  The professional Choir will be offering tickets for sale online for about £10 for each of the two concerts.  (However please indicate to us now whether you are interested so that we can seek to secure tickets for sale locally).

Provisional times for the concerts are 3.00pm and 5.30pm on Sunday 2 September 2012.  Each hour-long offering will include a different Mass by William Byrd plus motets.

The Financial Times carried an interesting article giving information on Byrd and heralding the Byrd Tour 2012, which began at the Wigmore Hall in London on Monday 5 March (was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and is available to hear on the I Player until Monday): . For the latest tour information go to and specifically, for Stondon Massey Essex, follow the link to the William Byrd Festival blog, .

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Ongar: An extract from the Commonplace Book of Edward Reeve c1860

The art of conversation is …

Not only to say the right thing in the right place, but, far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Roxwell: Young MI

Received 3 February 2012

I found this...  [Visitation of Essex 1634 – which provides family trees of important families]  and after Thomas Yonge it says "Buried there 1593, M.I.". I have no clue what that means and Google doesn't seem to help me. Do you know?


Replied 4 February 2012


M.I.?  I am not at all sure but wonder whether this is shorthand for Latin.  ‘Mort’ in mortgage is a Latin word meaning lifetime, and my Latin dictionary says that ‘morior’ means die.  It leads me to think, because of the short family tree, of the word intestate or ‘intestatus’ in Latin.  So my wild guess is that your ancestor died without making a will or died without issue – that is surviving children.


Thursday, 1 March 2012


Welcome to this month’s round-up of local history and heritage in and around Blackmore, Essex.

Cardinall’s Musick launch Byrd Tour 2012

William Byrd (see picture), composer and one-time resident of Stondon Massey, is the focus of a nine-month tour by Cardinall’s Musick.  Under the direction of Andrew Carwood the internationally renowned Choir begin their series of concerts at the Wigmore Hall in London on Monday 5 March.  The tour will include two short concerts at St Peter and St Paul Church, Stondon Massey, on Sunday 2 September.  The Financial Times has carried an interesting article giving information on Byrd and heralding the tour: . For the latest tour information go to and specifically follow the link to the William Byrd Festival blog, .

Petre Chapel Refurbishment at Ingatestone

The Petre Chapel in Ingatestone Parish Church, the resting place of John Petre patron to the aforementioned William Byrd, has just been refurbished.  See

Antique Road Trip

Megarrys Antique Shop on The Green, Blackmore, was featured on the BBC day-time show 'Antique Road Trip' on 21 February.  It was recorded last August.  Since then there has been an influx of visitors to the village.

Dr Livingstone I presume

Ongar United Reformed Church hosted a talk on the explorer and missionary David Livingstone.  Before going to Africa the young man stayed in Ongar for about nine months.  He is famously recalled locally for being lost for words when about to give a sermon one evening at Stanford Rivers Congregational Church.   Ongar URC is one of the oldest non-conformist chapels in the country, having been formed in 1662.  It celebrates its 350th anniversary in May.


Buttsbury churchyard accident: Drivers misjudge sharp bend at Buttsbury Church causing road accident – locals refer the two right-angle turns as ‘dead cyclists’ bend’, warning of extreme care required on this country lane.

For an extensive list of links to other sites go to: