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1890 church tower contributors

Church Tower Restoration 1890 The church tower needed urgent work done to it so not for the first or last time, a committee was formed. Quite a lot has been identified about the people listed on the committee and the contributors to the fund.The Rev C Young was the vicar so his involvement as chairman was obvious. Major, the Honorable  E J Boyle, JP lived at Chewton House and appears in several other records. He was also a churchwarden at the time. What is also of interest is that several members of the committee were methodists and were trustees of the Methodist Chapel. Copies of these documents were provided by Terry and Pat Green.
 J Batt.  He may have been John Batt who was listed as a carpenter in Kelly’s Directories. A Mr J Batt was elected to chair the first meeting to decide the Parish Council elected under the Local Government Act of
1894. There are two sets of  gravestone for the Batts  family in the ‘old churchyard’ of Chewton
Mendip Church, both of them next to graves for the Curtis family showing a close family connection. He lived in what was once the Duck Gallery at the bottom of Kingshill and worked as a wheelwright. He may have given his name Batt’s Wood.
William Blanning Carter. He was a tenant at Priory/Sages Farm in 1872 and an original trustee of the Methodist Chapel. The Link between him, and the Wiliam Blanning and Wlliam Blanning Carter described below is not clear.  No known link has been stablished between this branch of the Carter family and Jerry Carter.
Ernest H Collis. It is known he ran the village shop and later played a significant role in the Ancient Order of Foresters.
 Cornelius Curtis was the churchwarden at the time and is well documented in the website maintained by Mike Mathews.
 E Dewdney. He may have been Wilfred Ernest Dewdney buried in the old churchyard. A Mr Dewdney
was one of the last overseer/tax assessors under the Tudor Poor Laws that were finally replaced by the 1894 Local Government Act. Records held in the Taunton Archives described as the ‘Dewdney Papers 1500 to 1989’ (DD\X\DWY) may clarify this and a number of other questions
J H Hill may have been Joseph Hansford Hill who was buried in the old Churchyard in 1930. He is buried with Mary Norris who presumably was his wife.
Mr John Reynolds Keen was a tenant at Chewton Fields farm from 1861 to 1866 but probably longer. He is buried in the old churchyard of Chewton Mendip. He was  a successful businessman as well as a farmer who traded in agricultural products who was able to make a profit in a time of economic decline in the area. He became one of the first aldermen of Somerset County Council. William Blanning may have worked for him or with him to explain how he got the money to buy Pleasant House in 1859. William Blanning died childless so he left Pleasant House to Samuel Keen who was a tenant of Barrow Farm and a trustee of the Methodist Chapel. Samuel Keen left Pleasant House to William Blanning Keen of Blagdon. The link between Samuel Keen and John Reynolds Keen has not yet been established.
 Mr T A D Lovell was probably Thomas Alfred Lovell who was a tenant at Franklyn’s farm from 1906 to 1914
W Loxton was probably the William Loxton buried in the old churchyard in 1922.  A William Loxton was a tenant of Grove Farm from 1866 if not before but moved to Rookery farm in 1894. The Speeds took over at Grove farm. He was also a trustee of the Methodist Chapel. He was related to William Blanning through marriage and probably Geoffrey Loxton of Ston Easton who wrote some local history books.
Mr James McMutrie was recruited from Ayrshire in Scotland by the Waldegraves to run three of their coal mines in 1861 aged 23. He went on to save the Waldegrave fortune and be married three times and produce 17 children. One of his many sons, Hugh, moved into Pleasant House in about 1904 and it is presumed it was him who gave it the name Navestock Cottage in honour of the ‘lost’ Waldegrave estates.
F R D Selway may have been Ray Selway of Manor Farm Emborough but this needs to be clarified. The Selways are another family that can be traced back to medieval times.
George Tredaway was the school master at the time and he compiled statistics regarding the population decline in the school registers.
 A Wilcox was probably Alfred Wilcox who was a tenant at Nedge farm from 1897 to 1926 when he died and was buried in the old churchyard of Chewton Mendip. The Wilcox family can be traced back to 1623 in Chewton Mendip.
 Church Tower Restoration ContributorsThe committee members all made a contribution to the fund but so did a number of other people as shown on the left.The contrubution by the Bishop of Bath & Wells was to be expected but there are some other contributors of historical interest. The list below is in alphabetical order, omitting the people already described.
 Mrs Barf was probably Emily Barf who ran a ‘young ladies school’ in the village. She is buried in the old churchyard of Chewton Mendip with her daughter Ann.
 The Right Honourable Lord Carlingford was married to Francis, Countess Waldegrave. They were not full time inhabitants of the village but Chewton Priory was their country seat. They also donated land to the Methodists.
 Robert Curtis. He was probably the blacksmith, born in 1840 and the son of John Curtis and Lucy Dredge which made him the first cousin of Cornelius Curtis. He worked in the Old Smithy at Chew Head/Dumpers Lane.
 Mrs Habgood could have been one of several members of the family living in the village at the time. The Habgoods are prominent in the 19th and 20th centuries of the history of the village but no earlier records for them have yet been discovered.
 W. H Kingsmill. The Kingmills had been Rectors since the 17th century if not earlier and this record conflicts with the list of incumbents of Chewton Mendip Church which lists the Rev David Jams Drakeford as the first rector/vicar since John Stephens/Kingsmill (another complicated story!) who died in 1814. The Kingsmills were selling land and property from that date onwards but this record shows they retained the advowson, or the right to collect tithes and appoint the vicar, until 1890 at least.
Thomas Sheppard may have been the shopkeeper who was involved in a legal transaction with the Rev David James Drakeford regarding the sale of land connected to the Old Vicarage.  Sheppards in the village goes back to 1530 if not earlier.
 William Sheppard may have been the father of the children who attended Chewton Mendip school in the Victorian era and is burried in the old churchyard of Chewton mendip.
Mr W Stallard was probably living in Homedene at the time. He may have been a tenant of Manor Farm in 1840.
 Mr W Tucker appears in the Handbell Ringers of 1904 and it is believed he lived at Chewton House at the time but that may conflict with Major Boyle’s ownership. There are records of other members of the Tucker family living in Chewton Mendip at the time.
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