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Flower

Flower is a relatively common family name in the area to the present day. The Flowers are first recorded in Somerset living in Norton St Phillip, Saltford and other places nearby. The first reference to a member of the Flower family in Chewton Mendip, was when for a Henry Flower was living in, “Blandens” or  Sages Farm from 1657 to 1670. He worked in a lead mine when he gave evidence in a court case in 1676. The early miners mixed farming or other trades with mining buttThe lead miners had their own laws and did not welcome newcomers.
The probable location of the farm and the link to mining supports the theory that at least one branch of the Flower family was introduced to Chewton Mendip by the Carthusians, who owned the centre of the village which included Sages Farm, before the dissolution of the monasteries. Another possible connection was Roger Manners who briefly owned the rectory lands of Chewton Mendip.
The link between the Manners and Flowers family was not always a happy one so the link may be coincidence. Roger Manners of Uffington, who held Chewton Mendip, was related to Earl of Rutland who accused his servant, Joan Flower, of being a witch. The poor woman died in custody and her case became famous as the Witches of Belvoir Castle.
The Manners link may be coincidental. The Flowers may have come from near Rutland and the Manners family were Earls of Rutland but Belvoir Castle is in Lincolnshire.
The Flowers are not mentioned as tenets of the Waldegraves which also supports the theory that ‘Blandons’ was an alternative name for Sages Farm which was owned by the Kingsmill family when Henry Flower was a tenant. It may also help to identify where a branch of the Blanning family may have been based.
It is relatively easy to trace tenants of the Waldegraves back to 1700 but the Kingsmills did not keep such good records and what remain are held in Hampshire and have not been studied as thoroughly as the Waldegrave records.
 Some family researchers suggest that one of Henry Flower’s sons called Lamrock emigrated to America and died in Connecticut in 1716. No conclusive evidence has been presented to prove this theory right but there is circumstantial evidence to support this view. Flower may be a common family name but Lamrock is unusual and the only records for a Lamrock Flower living at the right time found so far are for Somerset.
 Martha Flower of Chewton married Richard Clarke of Henton (Hinton Blewett?)  on 8th July 1731 and Clarke(e) is a name that is fairly common both nationally and locally. Flower and Clarke(e) are names that tend to be spelt consistently unlike other names.
There are several references to the Flower family in the 18th century churchwarden and the poor law records. There may have been a  field or farm called Flower in the Middlesex tithing that was farmed by the Duddens in 1743 but that is consistent with the Sages being the Flower’s home in the 17th century.
A record from 1751 states “…Pd Lambourn Flowers bill for thatching at ye Church House…” may have referred to Lamrock Flower who was also  the person refered to in 1763 “…Pd Lamme Flower  for Mending Arrabella Blannings’s House…”. Lamrock was a relatively common name at the time and it cam from the legends of King Arthur.
Thatching was a skill that many people would have had and the houses of poor people were simple structures but these records suggest that Lamrock was a builder by trade although he may have also been a small holderbut he was not listed as a rate payer putting him under the 40shilling or £2 threshold.
 Lamrock Flower had married Jane Veale on 8 November 1730 in Chewton Mendip. They had at least four children together, Alexander, Francis,  Betty and Ann. Jane was buried on 17 November 1790 in Chewton Mendip and both the location of the marriage and her burial shows she lived in Chewton Mendip.
 Mary, the daughter of Alexander Flower and Elizabeth (nee Perkins) was baptised on 21/11/1756 in Chewton Mendip. This family link may have relevance to a later record.
 A record from 1767 provides some clue about where one member of the Flower family lived and that they had fallen on hard times. ” …That 15s be allowed towards the payment of Francis Flowers House Rent, provided his landlord, Wm York suffers him and his goods to remain in the said house…“. This was probably the son of Lamrock and Jane Flower who was born c1736 and married somebody called Sarah. Francis was now poor enough to need support from the parish but not so poor that he had to be admitted to the church house.
 There were several branches of the York(e) family in the village at the time who were primary tenants for properties in several parts of the village. Both the amount and the condition that the money was paid on the condition that Francis was allowed to stay in the property was relatively unusual. The usual amount paid for the rent of a poor persons house was £1 or twenty shillings so 15 shillings was only a partial contribution.
It is possible that Francis Flower was the tenant of a completely different William York who either owned the land himself or rented it from the Kingsmiills.
 A record dated 1771 states  …The Overseers make Contact with Dr Perkins for a cure for Fra Flowers wines breast, on the best terms possible…”. This may have been the same Francis Flower who was guaranteed accommodation in 1767 but it is not clear if the Dr Perkins was related to Elizabeth Perkins who married Alexander Flower in 1756. This record does not guarantee that Francis was female either. Francis was usually a male name and the word ‘breast’ did not have the female connotation it does today.
The eldest son of Lamrock and Jane Flower was Alexander who was born c. 1733, and died c. 1784 so he was probably the Alexander Flower who was paying £4 rent to Robert Kingsmill for land in Chewton Parish (Somerset Record DD\SAS/H70/12/7) in 1781. He married Elizabeth Perkins on 23/8/1756 and he later married Rachel Wilson in 1763.
A Mr Flower was listed as owning 23 acres in Ston Easton in 1779 which was taxed at 13s  in 1781 according to Geoffrey Loxton. This could have been Alexander Flower and the property could have physically been in Ston Easton. The 1785 sale showed that the Kingsmills had several properties in Ston Easton.
Rachel Flower, Alexander’s widow, was paying rents for Newlands, Carters, Palmers and part of Button’s in Emborough in 1792 (Geoffrey Loxton). A ‘Newlands’ is clearly identifiable in some of Geoffrey’s maps but there may have been at least  two ’Newlands’
George Flower was described as living in Emborough when he married Betty Lochstone on 11/6/1790. John and Elizabeth Flower were listed as witnesses and it is assumed they were his parents. A William flower was listed as a witness of the marriage of John Flower, a bachelor of Emborough and Mary Loxtone a spinster of Emborough in 1793. He may have been the father or brother of George Flower who married in 1790.
A record held in the Somerset Archive (DD\SAS/H70/12/7) dated 1791 states that  Lamerock Flower was paying 12/- (12 shillings or 60p) rent whilst Alexander Flower was also either paying £4 or 4 shillings for land in Chewton Parish. It is significant that they were both paying Robert Kingsmill but it is not clear where they were living but it may have ben Quarrs Farm. The  Hampshire archive  contain records that show that the Flowers may have had a link with the Kingsmills in Hampshire (50M63/C49/50).
 The 1839 tithe map shows three members of the family living in Chewton Mendip but in modest accommodation.  John Flower lived in a cottage  between Bathway and Nedge which is now demolished. Joseph Flower was living in the Folly whilst Sarah Flower,a widow, was renting a garden in Nedge.
 A John Flower was a labourer married to Elizabeth and living in Chewton mendip in 1823 when she gave birth to a daughter, Mary, who married Thomas Curtis on 12/4/1844.
Various members of the Flower family attended Chewton Mendip school in the Victorian era. George Flower was the tenant at Quarrs farm in 1872
Thomas Curtis, the youngest son of Lamrock and Anne (Ann Hippisley) born 8/6/1808 baptised 11/12/1808. He married Mary Flower in 1844. He died 7/4/1891 aged 82 possibly buried in the old Churchyard. In 1901 his widow Mary was living in Ford:
 John Henry Flower was a wealthy builder who owned several properties in the late Victorian era and early 20th century. He lived in Woodside.
 A Mary Flower is listed as the only female casualty of WW1 from the village. She worked at the hospital that was set up in Gourney Court in West Harptree.
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