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Dudden

Ann the daughter of William Dudden junior was buried in Chewton Mendip on 22/9/1639. This was probably one of the many infant burials because a William Dudden junior was listed in the hearth tax exemptions in 1774 and a Wiliam Dudden was a  churchwarden in 1710. They may not have ben the same William Dudden but there is little doubt they were members of the same family.
The Duddens appear frequently the poor law records in a number of capacities. The 18th century Duddens were carpenters and builders as well as farmers and received frequent payments for repairs to various builders. They also acted as undertakers and this link between the trades persisted until the modern era and some firms still maintain the duel roles.
The Duddens were also farmers and they were responsible for one or more farms in both the Town and Middlesex tithing in the 18th century. Various names were mentioned which may identify the fields or properties they were responsible for.
Their holding in Middlesex was often called ‘Michaell’s’ but ‘Flowers‘ is also mentioned which may have been in the Town tithing or East End. They may have been farming at least part of Double,  Quarrs  and Sages Farms  which were owned by the Kingsmills so they are not shown in detail  the 1794 map.
The 1766 ledgers show that the Duddens rented some land from the Waldegraves. William Dudden who was 72 held a lease  on behalf of his wife Hannah Dudden who was 65  and Charles Dudden his nephew who was 35. This lease was for land on was on Jenks Lane but another lease suggested that they lived in Burgess Farm which has now  been incorporated in to Rookery Farm.
Another Hannah Dudden was listed on the same page but for a different lease. She was the widow of James Dudden. She was renting land held by Mathew House who was 57 at the time so she may have taken over his lease. This lease suggests that Michaells was part of what is now Bathway Farm.
The lease also states that her son was called Valentine and was 22 but does not list and another children for her although a 22 year old Valentine Dudden was listed as the youngest of three brothers in another lease.
Baptism records published in FreeReg show that George , the son of James and Hannah  Dudden, was baptised on 29 Mar 1736, James , the son of James and Hannah Dudden, was baptised on 23 May 1742  and Valinetine, the son of James and Hannah Dudden was baptised on 19 Aug 1744.
Susanna Dudden was a 63 year old widow in 1766 and she also held land in her own name and the names of her sons James aged 35 and John aged 27 although these ages should only been seen as estimates. They were either running the Unicorn Inn (Chewton House) or farming lands attached to that pub.
The lease suggests that they took over an earlier lease for a cottage that had been occupied by Richard Langley which may have been in the Red Sheard area. It was established practice for widows to take over the running of pubs to enable them to earn their keep.
Another 1766 lease may support the publican link. Three brothers, George (30), James (24) and Valentine (22) held a lease for a cottage near an inn and a withy bed which may have been the Crown.
However, it is not clear where this inn was but it may have been in the East End tithing so it may have had nothing to do with the Unicorn. The Taswells may have been running a pub in what was later called White stile. Other records show that the brothers were builders and probably undertakers.
 James Dudden was a 30 year old carpenter when he was named on lease in 1766 which also named George Dudden, who was 48 and may have been his uncle, and  William Dudden who was 24 but the relationship between him and James or George is not clear. The lease was for a cottage.
 Ann Dudden was the first name on a lease although she was aged 26 and Elizabeth her sister was 32 was the second on the list. The lease also named James Dudden who was her brother and was 35. This was a lease for a cottage near the brook which may have been near Chew Hill or was in Lower Street.
 Another 1766 lease identifies another George Dudden who was 43 and held land in the name of his sister, Hester Hill who was 40, and Hester Dudden who was widow of 43 and had a granddaughter called Bridget Thatcher..
The property share borders with a property held by Charles York and Blackmans. The last place has been reliably identified as the site of what is now Waldegrave House and was conveniently close to the Royal Oak.
George lived in Willets Farm in 1766 were a lease was held by a 43 year old George Dudden and a John Dudden who was 42. They had jointly purchased the lease in for the life of their nephew John Thatcher who was 17.
Willets Farm was once a substantial property near to Burges Farm, where William and Hannah Dudden lived, and Sages Farm but nothing remains above ground to day. The poor law records show that Francis Board was paying rates for Willets until 1752 and George Dudden started paying rates for Willets in 1754.
 Hampshire archive record number 19M61/2617 is the account of the expenses of the funeral of Revd John Kingsmill with James Dudden & Co, undertaker, for funeral drapery etc.
George Dudden was occupying land in Chewton Mendip according to the 1839 tithe map but he appears to have been living outside of the parish boundary.
William Dudden and his family was living in Litton Road when his children attended Chewton Mendip school from 1866.
It is not known if there is a direct family link between the Duddens  already listed and the Duddens who were living Manor Farm in living memory.
 [Richard] Stanley Dudden is pictured in the cricket eleven of 1904 and was the son of Richard Mogg Dudden and he took over Manor Farm from Cornelius Curtis.
[Richard] Stanley Dudden married Winifred Maud Baber from Wantage who was a cousin of Herbert Baber of Barrow Farm. They had two children, Richard John and Mary Louise.
Richard John Dudden took the tenancy of Cutlers Green farm in 1951 and is seen in the Waldegraves tenants lunch of that era.
Phillip Dudden is the son of Richard John Dudden but did not follow his father into farming and the Duddens finally left Chewton Mendip in 1977.
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