James Sadd Buys White House Farm
James Sadd was already farming and living at White House Farm in Long Street, Great Ellingham, when he completed the purchase of the farm.
On the 29th September, 1920, he bought the freehold farm for the sum of £750 from spinster Mary Fortune, of Poplar Grove, Scremerston, Berwick-on-Tweed.
The purchase included the messuage (i.e. dwellinghouse with outbuildings and associated land), the farm premises, and several enclosures of arable and pasture land.
Purchase of Land from Richardson
Four months earlier, James Sadd completed the purchase of two pieces of arable and pasture land adjacent (and to the south) of White House Farm. He paid £60 to John William Richardson, a carpenter’s labourer, of Gillingham, Suffolk. The purchase also included the shed and other buildings, which were then standing on the land.
The conveyance deed also tells us that a double cottage (with a barn, outbuildings and a garden), once stood on part of this land.
Maps in Conveyance Deeds
Early conveyance deeds rarely include maps, but usually include a full description of the land. This description is generally a repeat of the descriptive wording used in earlier deeds, and is repeated in the deeds for subsequent transactions.
Accordingly, the descriptions given for the pieces of land recited in the 1920 conveyances between Richardson and Sadd (mentioned above), and between Wilkins and Sadd (which I mention below), may well be descriptions which were used to describe the various pieces of land in much earlier conveyance deeds.
Purchase of Land from Wilkins
On the 13th November, 1920, James Sadd completed the purchase of two further nearby pieces of arable land. The seller was Thomas William Wilkins, a farmer of Swan (Swamp) Lane, Great Ellingham. Sadd paid £65 for the land.
The conveyance deed relating to this transaction describes the two pieces of land as follows:
“All that piece of freehold arable land situate on the west side of the road called Long Street in Great Ellingham aforesaid containing two roods and twenty six perches or thereabouts and numbered 549 on the Ordnance Survey Map of Great Ellingham aforesaid whereon two cottages formerly stood
And also all that other piece of freehold arable land situate on the east side of the said Long Street in Great Ellingham aforesaid and containing two roods and six perches or thereabouts and numbered 548 on the Ordnance Survey Map of Great Ellingham aforesaid whereon two cottages formerly stood“
Approximate position of two parcels of land sold in 1920 edged in green on an Extract from Second Edition, 1906. Norfolk, sheet LXXXV S.W. Courtesy of Ray & Maureen Beales
Where were these Pieces of Land?
I have roughly edged in green the two pieces of land on an extract from a 1906 map. One piece on the west side of Long Street, and the other on the east side.
With north to the top of the map, the piece of land referred to in the conveyance deed as numbered 549 on the Ordnance Survey Map and lying to the west of Long Street, is on the left hand side of the map.
The land numbered 548 is on the right (east). There is no evidence of any buildings on either piece of land at that time (1906).
Extract from 1802 Map of Great Ellingham. Original held at Norfolk Record Office. Russell James Colman Plans.
Cat. Ref. C/Ca 1/84. With kind permission of NRO
The above map is an extract from a much earlier 1802 map of Great Ellingham. Again, I have again edged in green the approximate position of the two pieces of land sold by Wilkins to Sadd in 1920.
Parcel of Land to the East of Long Street
The map clearly shows buildings on the parcel of land to the east. However, I cannot be certain that the two cottages which once stood on this piece of land and referred to in the conveyance deed between Wilkins and Sadd, were the same buildings which were on the land in 1802.
Parcel of Land to the West of Long Street
Turning to the piece of land on the west of Long Street.
The extract from the 1802 map shows the position of the Town House (or Alms House), which was built c.1769 to house the poor of the village. The parcel of land to the west of Long Street includes part (if not all) of the Town House.
Were the two cottages mentioned as once standing on this piece of land, formerly the ‘Town House’? The Town House was certainly still standing in 1836.
Sale of Two Cottages by Poor Law Commissioners
As a result of the Poor Law Act of 1834, the poor would no longer be housed in the parish, but in workhouses.
Accordingly, as the ‘Town House’ in Great Ellingham was no longer required, it was subsequently sold.
The Wayland Union workhouse in Rockland All Saints was built in 1836-1837, and would also take in those inhabitants of Great Ellingham who were in need.
Consequently, the Poor Law Commissioners ordered the sale of two freehold cottages in Great Ellingham. The cottages were auctioned at the Crown Inn in Great Ellingham on the 24th September, 1836.
I have no doubt that the property comprising two cottages sold by the Poor Law Commissioners in 1836, and the two cottages referred to in the 1920 conveyance (Wilkins to Sadd) were indeed the former ‘Town House’ used to house the poor of the parish.
Occupiers of the Town House
I mention one final point about the Town House. The notice of the auction appearing in the Norfolk Chronicle mentions that the two cottages were occupied by ‘B Long and others’.
In 1836, some 81 inhabitants from the village emigrated to Canada and America. Amongst the names of those leaving the village was ‘Benjamin Long’.
I wonder whether Benjamin Long together with some of the other villagers who took advantage of the assisted emigration scheme, were housed in the ‘Town House’ before departing for a new life on the ‘other side of the world’.
Indenture 13th November, 1920. Wilkins to Sadd. Wilkins Family Private Collection
Indenture 31st July, 1920. Richardson to Sadd. Wilkins Family Private Collection
Indenture 29th September, 1920. Smart to Sadd. Wilkins Family Private Collection
Norfolk Chronicle 24th September, 1836. Viewed via https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ 7th March, 2021