Holy Cross Church, Slapton

Here, right, is the memorial to John Tearle b22 Dec 1824 in Dagnall, the son of Abel 1797 of Stanbridge, and Hannah nee Frost. He married Sarah Bishop of Oxon and died aged only 42. I have added a picture of the full headstone below right so you can find it, if you ever go to this part of Bucks. John is of the branch Thomas 1737.

John was also the father of Jabez b1856, Slapton. He is well-known to the Australians, and is buried in Forbes, NSW.
John was also the father of Jabez b1856, Slapton. He is well-known to the Australians, and is buried in Forbes, NSW.
The lynchgate
The lynchgate

The John d 1867 of the headstones in the Slapton Churchyard above died aged just 42. He was John Tearle 1825 (actually Dec 1824) son of Abel 1797 and Hannah nee Frost. Abel, son of the famous Fanny, is the grandfather of several families in Australia.

In 1851, John is a servant, a malt maker, in the house of Mary Gurney in Slapton, Bucks. She describes herself as a Maltster & Victualler, but I can’t find a street address for her. I suppose she possibly runs a pub or an inn. Just two doors away is young Sarah Bishop, 22, from Milton, Oxon, and she is a servant in the house of Thomas Ginger a farmer, originally from Edlesborough.

In 1861 John and Sarah are married and living, as far as I can tell, at an address called The Bury Farm, but I’m not completely certain since the address is about 3 pages before John and Sarah’s house, and I only have the margin numbering to go by. The family is as follows:

1861 John 1825 Dagnall Sarah 32 Oxon William 8 George 6 Jabez 5 Sarah A 3 Louisa B 1

Young Jabez there goes to Australia, marries Ann Gordon, and dies in Forbes, NSW, 1936 leaving Australian descendants.

In 1871, Sarah 1829 is by herself, a widow, a victualler, and her family is as follows:

1871 Sarah 1829 Oxon Jabez 16 Sarah A 13 Anna F 7 in Slapton.

Louisa B is on the last page of the Slapton census returns, a servant in the household of Alfred Gurney, a maltster.

In 1881, Sarah 1829 is a publican and grocer and her household has:

1881 Sarah 1829 Oxon Sarah A 23 Louisa B 21 Ann T 17 in Slapton

Sarah is a dressmaker, Louisa B is back home with Mum and is also a dressmaker, while Ann is a pupil teacher.

In 1881, Slapton also welcomes Joseph 1856 from Dagnall, labourer, and his wife Mary. Joseph is John’s nephew because Joseph is the son of Thomas Tearle of Dagnall and Jane nee Draper, and Thomas is John’s brother.

In 1891 Sarah 1829 is living in the Public House and Shop on Leighton Rd, Slapton. She calls herself inkeeper and grocer, so she must be running the pub. We now find out that Sarah A is Sarah Ann, she is single and still a dressmaker.

Joseph 1856 Dagnall is now a brewers labourer and lives in a block of 6 cottages in Slapton called “The Row.” Their family is:

1891 Joseph 1856 Dag Mary 35 George 12 Frederick 11 John 8 Sarah 7 Annie Naomi 5 Alfred 1 I guess there is more than one pub, so Joseph does not necessarily work for Sarah, but the possible connection is interesting.

I’m afraid there is no sign of Sarah 1829 or Sarah A in Slapton in 1901.

However, in 1901 Mary 1856 Edels is a widow, so Joseph has died, and her family is:

1901 Mary 1856 Edels wid George 23 John 18 Alfred 11 in Slapton – so that is how I found out the identity of George of the headstone died 1953 – with Edith Jane died 1967, below.

And one more thing you will really, really like. Have a look at the photo I took in Edlesborough of the headstone of Jane, wife of Thomas Tearle of Dagnall.  She was Jane Draper and Thomas re-married and is buried in Dunstable. Joseph 1856 of Dagnall is their son. He married Mary Reeve. George 1878 of the headstone below is Joseph’s son, and Jane nee Draper was his grandmother. Very nice.

Thomas was also a son of Abel 1797 and Hannah nee Frost. It is very tempting, isn’t it, to surmise that Joseph and Mary went to Slapton to work for Sarah, who looks like she was quite a successful pub manager?

Pat Field recently sent me these Slapton baptisms of Joseph and Mary’s family:

13 April 1884 Susan Jane child of Joseph & Mary Tearle of Slapton, Brewer’s Man

24 June 1883 John aged 10m child of Joseph & Mary Tearle of Slapton Brewer’s Man

24 June 1883 Fred aged 3 child of Joseph & Mary Tearle of Slapton Brewer’s Man

20 June 1886 Annie Naomi aged 8m child of Joseph & Mary Tearle of Slapton Brewer’s Man

If Joseph did not go to Slapton to work for Sarah nee Bishop, it looks as though once he got there, he joined her in helping to run the pub.

Here is Joseph’s death:

Joseph Tearle aged 44 of Slapton buried 21 April 1900 at Parish of Slapton St Botolph.

This memorial, left, is to George 1855 Dagnall and his wife Edith Jane nee Hing.  George was the son of Joseph 1855 Dagnall, one of the sons of Thomas 1830 and Jane nee Draper, whose headstone we saw in Edelsborough. Thomas 1830 and John 1824 were brothers, so this George is grandson and grand-nephew.



18 Oct 2020  
Tearle family, Slapton
Carolyn Whitney
Hi Ewart,

I am a descendant from the Soulbury Tearles (originally Stanbridge) and we met briefly some years ago at Stanbridge, my grandmother was Caroline Tearle – daughter of Annie Tearle, father unknown.  I recently visited the Tearle website, which you have done such a fantastic job of and many thanks for all the work you have put in, in order to see if there was anything about Joseph Tearle married to Alice Hide.  This was how I started reading your piece about Slapton.  I have done a bit of delving and hope that I may be able to give you an answer, at least in part, to some of the questions you were left with.  I will go in chronological order.

Mary Gurney senior, born 1800 in Oxfordshire, give or take a year, was married to William Gurney who had extensive property and land in Northall, Edlesborough and in Slapton.  From what I can see, the Gurney family as a whole had a reasonable amount of land and property throughout Bucks and as a profession were maltsters, publicans, victuallers.  I think they must have married 1820 roughly but cannot find a record and so cannot tell you Mary’s maiden name.  William made his last will and testament on 6 August 1841 and it was proved on 24 August 1841, among its many details he leaves land and property in Northall to one of his sons and land and property including a bakehouse and importantly, a malt house in Slapton to his son, Alfred.  He makes provision for his daughter Mary, poss born August 1824 and also his wife, Mary. He states that he wishes it to be lawful that his wife will be able to carry on his profession as a victualler if she chooses.  I also found out that a maltings was built adjacent to The Carpenters Arms in Slapton in early to mid 1800s.  I imagine this must be the malthouse left to Alfred.

As far as I can tell, there has only ever been one pub/inn at Slapton, The Carpenters Arms which dates back certainly to 1500s.

In the 1841 census Mary senior is listed as a victualler in Slapton, in 1847 both the Kelly’s and Post Office directories list her as a maltster at The Carpenters Arms, 1853 Musson & Cravens Commercial Directory has her as a victualler and maltster at same place and in 1854 Kellys Directory still has her at The Carpenters Arms.

As you already know, the 1851 census has Mary as a maltster and victualler living with her daughter plus John Tearle as servant and malt maker.

On the 1861 census Mary is a brewer living with daughter Mary.  Mary senior dies on 10 December 1861, she appears to leave everything to Mary and Alfred who is still a maltster.  Alfred is listed as being the enumerator for this census.

Alfred marries Martha born at Waterloo Farm on the outskirts of Wing, they have several children but he dies aged 49 in 1886 leaving his family over £13,000.

In 1864, Kellys Directory lists Miss Mary Gurney as a maltster and commercial and lists John Tearle as a shopkeeper at The Carpenters Arms. Sadly John subsequently dies but wife Sarah, née Bishop from Oxfordshire, stays at The Carpenters Arms as listed in the following directories; 1869 and 1877 Post Office, 1887 and 1891 Kelly’s.  I wonder if there was a connection, possibly family, between Sarah and Mary senior given that they both came from Oxfordshire?

On the 1871 census Miss Mary Gurney is a landowner living with two nieces and a female servant. In 1881 she is listed as formerly brewer living with two nieces and a male servant/groom/gardener who stays with her probably until her death, in 1891 living on her own means at The Villa in Slapton with a niece and said servant, in 1901 she is at the same address living on her own means with said servant.

Miss Mary Gurney never marries and lives in Slapton until she dies on 6 January 1907. According to a newspaper article she was a respected member of the Slapton community with many villagers attending her funeral. Her Will leaves her estate to Alfred John Gurney, Steam Laundry Proprietor and Frederick George Gurney, gentleman who was her nephew – I believe his father died when Frederick was quite young but left the family quite well off. I imagine Alfred John was another nephew.

On the 1901 census Sarah has retired and is living at Horton Wharf farm and on the 1911 census at Grove Farm, Ivinghoe Aston, from memory I think I am right to say she was always with at least one of her daughters, she dies in 1914.

In 1901 William and Ruth Hing are at The Carpenters Arms.  From memory at some point in the 1920s  members of the Hing and Gurney families marry so all very interconnected.

You mentioned a Louisa B Tearle being a servant to Alfred Gurney, this Alfred would be Mary senior’s son and so there seems to be a bit of a history of Tearles working for Gurneys.

You will be relieved to hear that is the sum of my research!!  Hopefully not too long winded but I think it is nice to fill in the blanks where possible.

With my very best wishes and thanks again for all you have done, it is very interesting and a great help.

Carolyn Whitney