Family News

1827 Jan 1st Mr Joseph Harding of Sherborne, Dorset, Drugest etc was married to Miss Frances Kitchen of Taunton, Somerset.  Mr Robt, Brother of the above Joseph, Gave him his Wife.  J.H. was published in Church.


1827 Jan 2nd    B. Hebditch to whom this Book belongs was married to (the eldest Sister of the above Robt and J Harding) Sarah Harding of Sherborne, Late of South Petherton.

                   I gave for the Licence        £3  3 0

                  to the Minister Mr Parsons     £1  0 0

                  to the two Sextons 2/6 each                        5 0

                  to the Clerk                                   10 0

                  to the Ringer Not to Ring     10 0

                  Was from Stratton 16 days – on an excursion in Dorset and Wilts.

                  Mr Robt Harding as above (Father) and Miss Manwarden Present.

1830 Feb 28th          This Sabbath Morning about One O’clock My Dear Wife was safely Delivered of her Second Child being a Daughter (see the 2nd of Feb 1829 when Wm B H was born) and was Baptised the 9th of May 1830 by the Rev E Paltridge the second Public Baptising that ever took place at Roundwell Chapel James Blake Daniel and Sarah Harding Hebditch was the only 2 baptised that day.

                  N.B. S Harding Hebditch was vacsinated the same day as Baptised by Doctor Norriss.

1832  March 14th  CHILD

My dear Wife was safely delivered of her second Daughter who was Baptised by the Revd E Paltridge in Public on Sabbath day the 8th of July 1832 – Anna. N.B. See 28th Feb 1830.

1832 An extraordinary interference of the Providence of God to Wm B H.

March 30th This day Wm Calloe was Hawling Dung from our Barton on the 3 Rood in Slade, when Wm Benjm  Hebditch aged 3¼ years was with him, just above 5 yard Lane he fell (on a large heap of Dung that slipped from the Putt before) exact before the Broad wheel of the Putt full of Dung consequently the wheel went between his leggs all up his back and down over his Right Arm. Calloe saw the Wheel the Instant it was between his legs and before he could stop the Horses the Wheel was over him – yet he was not much injured and no bone broken and next day able to play a little although stiff and tender.

1833 June 11th         My Brother Simeon’s 2nd Daughter Hannah Died of Consumption June(aged about 23) and she was beloved by all our extensive Family – respected by all her Friends and Acquaintances and highly esteemed by all the Members of our Church — She truly was a pattern to her Brothers and Sisters – an example to her young friends in the Neighbourhood and a Bright and shining orniment to the Church of God.

                  Also the same day Died my Fathers Brother Samuel he went to work n the morning as usual in good health and about half an hour after he began his Days work he fell down in a fitt of applopexey (as the Doctor say) and could not speak plain afterwards and next day Died being about 75 years of age.

                  As for my Uncles Character from a child to his Death – he was a sore trial to his Godly Parents – an unnatural Husband – a careless and unfeeling Father, a Quarelsome Neighbour and a reproach to all his Family.

14th June     the above Hannah Hebditch and Samuel was interd and on the following Sabbath Revd E Paltridge improved Hannah’s Death from 12th Hebrews & 1st and first Clause of the 2nd Verse

18th  June   Being exact one Week after the Death of the above Hannah and Saml Hebditch –       My Dear Wife after a long and severe time was safely Delivered of a Large fine Boy about 8 o’clock of the morning being also exact 18 years after the ever memorable Battle at Waterloo 18 June 1815.

Aug 6th   He was Baptised by the Rev E Paltridge Robert William being his Grand and Great Grand Fathers Names.

                  N.B. At this time his Life was not expected one breath after another by the Doctor and all.

1834 March 3rd My Son Wm Benjm  and Sarah Harding Hebditch went to School the first time to Miss Ann Richards of South Petherton the one 5 and the other 4 years old.

1834 May 20th  My Late Mother’s Brother, who is the last of my Grandfather’s Family  Stephen Gifford of Watergore told me this Day that he was the Father Grandfather and Great Grandfather of 140 descendants now living about one third part are now in America.

1834 Oct 13th My Brother in Law Saml Harding in London was Married to a Lady whose fortune is said to be about £4000 0 0.  I gave Petherton Ringers towards ringing 5/-, Mr Wm Harding the Rest.  No Man ever lived in Petherton who were more beloved by the Poor, I believe.

                  N.B. He Died the 8th Feb 1836.


Oct  18th This Day after Dinner we ate some wedding cake (and drank the healths) sent us from the above Saml Harding Cousin Mary Terrell and Cousin Rebecca Perry.

Marriage of Edith

1839 July 11th Was Married by the Rev E Paltridge at the Independent Chapel South Petherton – Mr Wm Baker of East Chinnock to Edith 2nd Daughter of my Brother Simeon of Lopen. My wife and 4 children was present.


1839 July 11  A few hours after the above Mr Wm Baker was added to our Family by  marriage my Sister Mary’s Husband Rev John Wells of Middle Lambrook Died – both of the Law-side, and July the 19th was burried within Middle Lambrook Chapel by Rev Edward Paltridge South Petherton.


1841 June 19th          Some particulars of the Life and Death of my Eldest Brother Wm Hebditch of Over Stratton in the Parish of South Petherton,  Somerset –

He was the Eldest Son of his Father Wm Hebditch see the 107th page and for further particulars see the 11th and the 24 pages – and he was an extraordinary strong Man and was considered for many years the very strongest man in our Neighbourhood – he also followed his Father’s trade in connection (Black Smith) with the Farmering from his early days until his Death and was one of the most carefull hardworking men of his age and Died worth about Six Thousand Pounds!!!

Died the 19th June 1841     

We were in Co for about 5 years before the Death of our Father and 20 Years afterwards bought Land, Houses etc kept but one Purse for both of us and my Wife Also and I can positively say we never had an angry word!!!  He loved all my 4 Children like a Father and at his Death gave me and my Children about £4000.

He was an Obediant Son, a Kind Brother, an Affectionate Uncle, for he gave his Nieces £15 0 0 each as they Married off and by Will gave some £10 and £15 each, also he was a tender Hearted and feeling and benevolent Man to the Poor especially orphans and children – his Prominent Grace was Humility and Condecencion to his Poor Neighbours but more particularly to all those he only  thought was pious thoughts, he was universally beloved and respected and Died the 19th day of June 1841 without Moving hand or foot for I and those with him knew not when he Died to 5 minutes – so his last End was Peace*

             N.B. I never knew him confined to his bed 2 days for 40 years.

                  * His Health and strength was very good until one year before his Death when he had the Influenza and about 2 months before his Death he had an attack about 11 o’clock on Saturday Night after the Doctor gave him a vomit he got better of this attack of water on the chest still he had 5 others all just about the same time of the Night and what is most Remarkable on the Saturday Nights – on which he Died within an hour – after he was taken.  Consequently he was Crowned.

An inquest was held and the Verdict was, a Visitation of God.

1841 June 23rd    The Procession of the Funeral


14                    14 Horses before the Corpse

 1                     2 Horses in the Herse

 5                     2 Horses Mourning Coach

 6               6 Horses Behind the Mourning Coach


  6                     6 Under Bearers with Cloaks who had 2/5 each and Breakfast

32                    2 Old Servants behind

& 4 females


36 all        

                  Expenses of Funeral

                  Clerk and Sexton’s Bill      £0  7  6

                  Brother Simeon’s Shop Bill                    £27  0  0

                  Wm Hebditch Merriott                          £10  0  0

                  Mr Mason’s Bill                          £8  0  0

                                                                          £45  7  6

                   N.B. It cost full £50 0 0.


1845 Feb 26th Brother Simeon’s son Joseph when bout 10 years old slipped or fell one Leg into a large Furnace of Lye in the Baking House and scalded his leg so that several Doctors tryed in vain to cure it.  Then he went to the London Hospital and came home much better but still the leg was not healed. But after he got married and in business as Grocer etc at Stoke his leg got so much worse that he went to London Hospital again either to have it healed or cut off as the Doctors may think proper so his Brother Simeon went with him and found it was necessary to have it off just above the knee which was done but 5 days afterwards the main artery bussted while he was sleeping and before the Doctor came nearly all his Blood flowed out of his body and he was so faint when he awoke & called the Nurse that he could scarce speak and after the Doctor gave him several things to restore him it was too late to restore life and he Died before either of his Brothers Simeon or Samuel arrived at the spot.  When the leg was put in the coffin and brought home to Stoke with the Body to his Wife and Daughter and on Tuesday the 4th March was conveyed in a Hearse to Petherton 9 on horse back with silk hat bands before the hearse and 4 cars with 9 men with crape hat bands beside 5 or 6 females.

N.B. He was a member of our church for several years and bore a good character and about 300 people was in the Church yard at his Internment.


1846 Aug 22  This day Brother Simeon’s youngest Son Benjm died of decline being 22 years of age.  He was about to be married this summer (to Miss Susan Vaux of South Street, South Petherton) and who was a Member of our Church and one of the most Clever Intelligent young Men in all our Neighbourhood, and beloved and respected by all, both rich and poor, that there have not been such a feeling for the loss of any Individual – Manifested by all for very many years.  Perhaps never.

As a Neighbour he was obliging, as a Master kind, as a Sunday School Teacher Active, as a Singer in the Choir Usefull, as a Member of our Church Consistent and Prayerfull – as a Friend Faithfull, as a Tradesman Clever, as a Brother Affectionate and as a Son Obedient and Dutifull.

Mr Paltridge preached his funeral sermon the Sabbath following from the 9th Chapter of Ecclesiastes and the 10th verse “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do” etc to as large a Congregation I think as I ever saw there, about 100 could not enter the Chapel.

 N.B. See the 55th page for an a/c of his Brother Joseph’s death.

 N.B. Benjamin’s brother Simeon married this Miss Vaux 1850.

1847 Apr 21st . My Brother Simeon’s Eldest Son Simeon was Married at Broadway to Miss Hannah Hayes niece of Mr Robt. Sladerwick of Broadway.

 And Simeon’s 4th Son John Campbell was Married at Bristol last week to his Brother Joseph’s Widow of Stoke – she having one Daughter Mary Jane Hebditch.

And Brother John’s Eldest Son Wm married Miss Collard Apr 27 1847

1847 Apr 21st  Mr Thos. Terrell of Yeabridge died about 67 years of Age, he was a Member of our Church for Many Years, and one of the most Pious, devoted Christians and usefull members in the Connection. His Dwelling House, Orchard and Close of Land at Yeabridge fell to his Eldest Son Joseph.

 Oct 25th 1857 – I remember my Grand father, father, brother John, his daughter Sarah, her daughter Mary Moors and child both now at Crewkerne.  The above are six generations and I am now 66 years of age – there are but few men can remember 6 generations in 66 years.

Nov 5th – My dear little grandson John Terrell died after only 3 days illness of concussion of the brain.  Doctors Norris and Webber attended him.  He was a very handsome boy 2½ years old, and was buried behind the Baptist Chapel at Crewkerne the 9th November 1857.

Dec 3rd – Died Cousin Samuel’s second daughter of Bristol, see the 5th Nov. He has but one daughter left and no son.

16th – Cousin Simeon Hebditch was Married at Langport to a Miss Mathews this being his third wife vis Miss Hayes of Broadway – Miss Vaux of Petherton and Miss Mathews of Langport.  (S.H. Married 3 wives in 18½ years!!)

1859 Mar 25th     This day my Brother-in-law Left that Beautiful & valuable Property of his in Palmer Street after living there for 65 years, being born there In consequence of his Brother Saml passing a fine on it, Wm was disinherited & Bot. it & mortgaged it at about £2500-0-0 with Stoodham Orchard 7 the 3 Fields at Pinsham (which I advanced £700-0-0 on at one time) so in about 1853 a Mr England late a very Poor boy of Shepton married Thos. Follett’s Daughter of Stratton & went to Australia, Returned and Bot. it for £2500-0-0 so much for my Father-in-law’s Home estate beside others.

 Now this day Elias Gailard has taken it at 140-0-0 a year with 12 cottages and Mr Wm Harding took Mr James Daniel’s House next door to his Brother John’s which is now not finished Building. Also Mr Walter Patten has taken late Mr Lyddon’s by Roundwell at 45-0-0 a year & Cousin Simeon Hebditch left Mr Gifford’s shop & built his in West Street.

28th     This day my Eldest Grandson Benjm walked the first time  (with his mother) from Severals to Stratton being between 4 & 5 years old. When I made him a Hemp Whip he offered to pay me for it in kisses so he voluntary kissed me no less than two & thirty times. When here for the first time he expressed a wish to see the milk House, back kitchen etc As though he had a presentiment of possessing it at some future day. I thought it may be so.

1859 March 28 Robt Wm had one if not the very Best Guernsey Cows we ever had, valued 14 Pounds. Calvd all night Sunday at about 3 o’clock Monday night at 8 it appeared well & Died the same Night from Inflammation. Perhaps she might have done well if she had been milkd before calving as Doctor Blake says so says I.

            I gave my 2 Grand Daughters Chinnock the calf (half Guernsey) valued 10/- & gave Robt Wm 10/-.

Births since 1860

1861 Mar 20      My dear John Campbell Vaux was born at E Chinnock

Apr 20 My dear Sarah was Born at Severals just as I left

      29   Cousin Saml Hebditch Eldest son was born at Arley Hill, Bristol being about 12 years after their last child Julia

June 14  My dear Anna was confind for her first Born son and this

15 Aug was Baptised Gilbert Maber by Mr Revell in the presence of my wife, her sister & her husband, the Revd Thos White Smith a Wesleyan Preacher

1860 Dec 25   My dear son Robt Wm and Jane Blake Daniel was married at the Independent Chapel, South Petherton by the Revd. Wm J Revill the Pastor by Licence which cost 40/- being a week too late at the Union where their Names were hung up – the cause was the Clerk left for London one day too soon. 22 of the 2 families set down at the Breakfast Table at Mr John Daniels.

1861 Jan 2   This day is the 34th anniversary of my wedding day When I had the pleasure of seeing my 8 children & 16 Grandchildren around my Dinner Table with wife at the Head – what an overpowering sight to my feeling to see all well with any deformity of Body or Mind – The Lord be praised  – But Wm Benjm just returned from Sherborne & left Uncle Robt all but Dead.

1861 Jan 8    My Brother- in-law Mr Robt Harding Died & left all he had to his Brother Wm of Petherton

12th     [& I went] was buried with every mark of Respect for 20 to 30 Tradesman of the Town preceded the corpse.

This 12th Mr Henry Ensor one of the Trustees told me Poor Robt had sold a 500 pounds policy on his Life & that Mr Pollard would get by it 300-0-0.

He also told me as Churchwarden he had signed cheques for Mr Digby to the amount of 17000 pounds which he gave towards the Repair of Sherborne Church & it cost in all 30 000 pounds.  I saw it open.