In the Statement of Claims relating to the Great Ellingham Inclosure Act of 1799, Elizabeth Barnard claimed:
One messuage and 15 acres of land which was occupied by herself and one cottage and garden occupied by Judith Clarke and A Semmence. Of which 2 acres and 2 roods are copyhold of Ellingham Rectory and one messuage 1 acre and 2 roods of Buckenham Close Outsoken
In addition, Elizabeth Barnard claimed certain rights over the common land and waste land in the village which benefited her land and property.
Extract from 18th Century Map. Town Green, Hyrne and Broad Commons in Great Ellingham held at Norfolk Record Office. Cat. Ref. MC2213/113, 941X7. With kind permission of NRO.
The above extract from an 18th century map shows the position of Elizabeth Barnard’s house and cottage at Town Green. But which building is the cottage occupied by her tenants, Judith Clarke and A Semmence?
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
A Particulars and Valuation of Great Ellingham as taken by the Commissioners in 1800, again for the purposes of the Inclosures, provides schedules of the names of the owners and occupiers of the various parcels of land in the village. Further, the numbering of the pieces of land used in the schedules corresponds with an 1802 Map of the village.
This enables us to see exactly where Elizabeth Barnard’s property was at Town Green.
Elizabeth Barnard’s house and garden (which she occupied herself) is numbered 472, and the barn, stable and orchard (which she also owned and occupied) is numbered 474. The 1802 map also identifies the cottage and garden occupied by Judith Clarke and A Semmence as numbered 473 (the position of which I have marked with a black dot on the above map).
It is likely that the cottage occupied by Judith Clarke was divided into two tenements, with Judith Clarke living in one part and A Semmence in the other. I have not been able to find any information about the tenant referred to as ‘A Semmence’.
The parish registers for Great Ellingham include a marriage on the 5th October, 1758 between widower Thomas Clarke of Great Ellingham and spinster, Judith Curson, also of Great Ellingham. Banns of the marriage had previously been read in the Church of St James. The marriage was witnessed by Joseph Middleton and William Curson. Thomas Clarke and Joseph Middleton signed the register, but Judith and William Curson put their mark ‘X’.
Thomas Clarke had been married twice before. His second wife, Elizabeth, was buried in Great Ellingham in the July of 1757. Altogether, Thomas had at least 13 children, including those with Judith (Judah). I found baptisms in the registers for St James’s Church for eight children of Thomas and Judah Clarke between 1759 and 1779: Anne, Samuel, Charles, Hannah, Joseph, Hannah (the previous Hannah had died), Jemima and Elizabeth.
Like many other of the inhabitants of the village at this time, Thomas Clarke (Clark) was, on several occasions, in receipt of payments from the parish for support. His name appears regularly in the Overseers’ Accounts for the parish between 1775 and 1784 as being in receipt of payments.
Thomas Clarke, described as a married man, was buried in the churchyard of St James on May 7th, 1790. I do not know for how long the Clarke family had been living in Elizabeth Barnard’s cottage or how many members of the Clarke family lived there at one time.
However by 1819, the cottage (as well as Elizabeth Barnard’s house and land), was in the ownership of the John & Elizabeth Taylor. Judah Clarke likely moved out of the cottage (and Great Ellingham) before or following the transfer of the ownership of the properties, which likely took place not long after the death of Elizabeth Barnard c. 1812.
A Survey undertaken 1817-1919 reveals that Elizabeth Barnard’s house and cottage was then occupied by Martin Taylor and Edward Fox.
85 year old Judith Clarke of Tompson (Thompson) – a village around 8 miles from Great Ellingham – was buried in the churchyard of St James in September, 1820, some thirty years after her husband.
1802 Russell James Colman Plans. Great Ellingham. Catalogue Ref. C/Ca 1/84.
1799-1842 F W Horner, Records of the Surveyors to Commissioners for Inclosure in Parishes in Norfolk and Suffolk. Great Ellingham (Act 1799). Norfolk Record Office. Catalogue Ref: NRO, BR 90/2
1800 Inclosure Commissioner’s Particulars and Valuation, Great Ellingham. Norfolk Record Office. Catalogue Ref: NRO, MC 2213/119
18th Century. Maps. Town Green, Hyrne and Broad Commons in Great Ellingham. Norfolk Record Office. Catalogue Ref: MC 2213/113, 941×7.
Great Ellingham Parish Registers. Norfolk Record Office.PD609. Also available at https://www.familysearch.org/
1775-1789 Overseer’s Accounts. Great Ellingham Parish Chest. Norfolk Record Office. PD609/38. Also available at familysearch.org
Thanks to Cath Aspinall, descendant of Thomas & Judah Clarke’s son, Joseph.