James Beatson, one of the Overseers of the Poor for the Parish of Great Ellingham in 1873, was also one of the Trustees of the Fuel Allotment Charity.
But who was James Beatson and was he a local man?
The 1861 census finds 47 year old farmer, James Beatson and his 54 year old wife Elizabeth with James and Esther Gidney and their son Robert at ‘Beatson’s Farm’, Great Ellingham. 12 year old farm servant Edward Jenness completes the household. The farm may have been near to the brick yard on the Hingham Road.
Born in Briningham (Norfolk), 56 year old James Gidney is described as a farmer of 90 acres employing one man. His 51 year old wife, Esther, was born in Horningtoft and their 33 year old son, Robert, was also born in Briningham.
James Beatson (also described as a farmer), was born in Longham. The census also states that James was James Gidney’s partner. This would, of course, be a business partner. Given that both Esther Gidney and Elizabeth Beatson were born in Horningtoft, I believe the families may well be related or, at least well-known, to each other as well as being in partnership.
By 1871, James Gidney had retired and he and Esther had moved to Hindolveston, a village some 25 miles away from Great Ellingham. 55 year old James Beatson is now widowed. His wife, Elizabeth, died towards the end of 1868.
The census (of 1871) captures widower James Beatson as the head of a household in Hingham Road, Great Ellingham. James is described as a farmer of 60 acres employing one man and a boy. With James is his 82 year old widowed father, Thomas Beatson. The census suggests that Thomas is still working as he is described as a labourer. James and Thomas have two servants: 60 year old Suffolk born Elizabeth Bloomfield, a widow, is a general servant whilst 19 year old Shropham born William Shingfield is described as a farm servant.
James Beatson was a tenant of the farm in Hingham Road.
Auction of Farm House occupied by James Bateson
The Norfolk Chronicle & Norwich Gazette of the 5th August, 1876 included notice of a forthcoming auction to be held at the White Hart Inn, Hingham on Wednesday the 9th August. Mr Fisher Bradfield had instructed Mr John Long to sell at the auction a ‘desirable estate‘ lying in the parishes of Great Ellingham, Little Ellingham and Hingham.
The estate comprised “a well built brick and tiled Farm House containing two front sitting rooms, kitchen, scullery, six bedrooms, capital well of water with pump, garden, orchard, barn, cart sheds, stables, bullock boxes, with convenient yards and outbuildings“.
In addition, 87 acres 3 rood 7 perches of arable and pasture land were included in the sale. The land was freehold apart from just over 5 acres which was copyhold of the Manor of Ellingham Hall. I believe the Farm House was in Hingham Road, Great Ellingham with some of the land extending to Little Ellingham and Hingham.
The notice confirmed that the property was occupied by Mr J Bateson whose tenancy was due to expire at Old Michaelmas (10th October). The description of the Farm-House provides us with an insight of James Beatson’s home.
James Beatson leaves Great Ellingham
I assume that James Beatson left Great Ellingham before or at the end of his tenancy in 1876. The 1881 census reveals 65 year old James Bateson living in Gressenhall (near to the Chequers Inn). His servant, Elizabeth Bloomfield, relocated with James. The census records her occupation as a housekeeper.
1876, August 5th. Norfolk Chronicle & Norwich Gazette
1861 census RG9/1237/82
1871 census RG10/1841/81, RG10/1801/44
1881 census RG11/1980/46
GRO Index. Free BMD website. https://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/information.pl?cite=%2FxJvJjiL71IrM606YZYlEg&scan=1 accessed 14.04.2020