#52ancestors – Landed and I have chosen to write about George Pilbeam my x4 great grandfather who during 2 census years farmed parts of the High Weald AONB around my favourite village of Burwash. I have only just started to scratch the surface of the records I have found which tell the story of his life as a farmer. There are more to be found I am sure, but for now this is what I have so far.
He was born in 1784 at Burwash to Thomas and Hannah and he had 4 siblings. By the time of the 1841 census George was a farmer at Woodsell in Dallington. Both the C14 – 17 farmhouse and the C17 Barn next door are Grade II listed buildings. Looking at the record on the Genealogist website for the Tithe apportionment he farmed 35 acres of wood, pasture, arable, orchards and hops and rented the farm from Robert Watts Esq.
I searched the National Archives website and found the following entry on a record for documents pertaining to the Wellis family of Rye, Sussex:
fo. 1r. (i) 10 October 1399. Feoffment from Sir John Wellis, clerk, to Stephen Woodselle and Joan his wife of 30a. called Yongeland in Dallington, abutting on land called Mardore on the south, the land of Thomas Prynkyll on the east, the land called Tyy on the north and the highway from Dallington to Bucksteep on the west; which land was given to him by Sir William de Hoo, kt., and his wife Eleanor.
(ii) 12 May 1401. Feoffment from Sir John Wellis, clerk, to Thomas Petyjon' of Warbleton, of 2 tenements in Dallington, one called Wodsellys (30a.), the other Creplond (30a.), given to the donor by Sir William de Hoo, kt., and his wife Eleanor.
By the 1851 census George had moved to Battenhurst Farm between Ticehurst and Burwash. He had increased his land to 120 acres and employed 4 labourers.
The most interesting record I have found so far was made after his death in 1857. At the East Sussex Record Office I found an auction book that had belonged to A Burtenshaw & Sons, Auctioneers and Valuers, which had two auctions in September 1857 detailing animals, equipment, crops and household goods that went to auction after his death by order of his executors. Some of the goods were obviously bought by members of his own family and the amount of money raised was £377 6 11 1/2.
Below is a list of the animals sold and some other items, who bought it and the price it sold for:
There were also items such as 7.5 bushels of Medlins and a Cheese press.
I have a copy of his will that states:
Also I give to the said Richard Hook and Samuel Peters all my Term and Interest in any Messuages Buildings Farm and Lands which may be in my occupation at the time of my decease and all the Residue and Remainder of my ready Monies and Securities for Money Goods Chattels Cattle Live and dead Stock Debts and Personal estate whatsoever and wheresoever
and also the said sum of One Hundred and fifty pounds at the death of my said Wife upon trust that they my said Trustees shall if they consider it will be advantageous to my Trust property carry on the Business of my Farm and Lands I may occupy at my death for any time not exceeding two years from that period and to use my Farming Stock and effects and other my personal Estate for that purpose and to buy and sell stock and effects and to allow any part of my Family living on such Messuage and Premises a competent allowance and remuneration in return for work Labour and assistance performed and rendered by them in carrying on such Business as my said Trustees shall think proper and also to allow and pay all other wages Rents Tithes Taxes Duties Tradesmens Bills and other payments and expences incidental to carrying on such Business and fully to do all acts relating thereto as fully as I could have done if living
I will keep searching to see what other nuggets I can reveal about George. His descendents continued to farm around the area, my great grandfather George Charles, one of the last in our line at Three Cups, where my great great grandfather William had been a Chicken Crammer! But that is a whole different story!