“This Sun of York” – in Suffolk
From street level, the four stone pinnacles on the tower of St. Mary’s, Walsham le Willows, appear to be lions. On close inspection at tower roof level, seventy-five feet above the street, this is not the case. The pinnacles are undoubtedly medieval and unrestored, and their upper parts are badly weathered, but as with most time-worn carvings, the bases of these carved creatures remain relatively intact. Three have clawed feet, but the animal on the north-east corner has cloven hooves and is heavily bovine. Usually such an animal in a quartet of creatures is the calf of St. Luke, but the symbols of the evangelists should be winged, (cf. Revelations 4 v.7) and although these stone creatures are eroded, three of them, including the bovine, show no trace of ever having borne wings. The one winged creature, the south-east, is four-footed and clawed, so it cannot be the eagle of St John or the winged man of St Matthew. Neither can it be the winged lion of St Mark, for the other two creatures on the western corners of the tower are clearly maned lions, and this creature, altogether more sinuous, has the characteristics of a dragon.
It becomes more and more likely that these creatures, although erected on a church, are more secular than sacred. They could well be the heraldic beasts of the Yorkist King Edward IV who reigned from 1461 till his death in 1483. Usually his shield is shown flanked by two white lions, their tails passing between their hind legs and up their backs. This detail seems to be present in the lions here, and it is likely that they are the white lions of the Mortimers, Earls of March, the family from whom Edward IV was descended. The bovine animal is the black bull of Clarence, for Edward was also descended from the Dukes of Clarence, a royal dukedom said to be based on Clare in Suffolk. At his coronation the eighteen-year-old Edward elevated his brother George, aged eleven, to be Duke of Clarence. After years of treachery, ‘false, fleeting, perjur’d Clarence’ was sentenced to death in 1478, and according to some, he was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine. Because of the unfortunate association of the Clarence title, it is possible that Walsham’s grouping of heraldic beasts dates from the earlier years of Edward’s reign. As for the fourth creature on the south-east, most heraldic dragons relate to the Tudors, but at Edward’s early death, only two years before Bosworth, few would have attached any importance to the red dragon of Wales. In the present context the dragon on the tower is the black dragon of Ulster, for Edward’s family had long held the earldom of this province, and Ireland was an important Yorkist power-base.
The stone figures were presumably painted, two white lions to the west, two black creatures to the east. They each hold a shield which is smooth, bearing no trace of any heraldic charge. Again it would seem that the stone was painted. Although the shields are small (about eighteen inches high), a well-known and distinctive design like the quarterly blue and red of the Plantagenet royal arms would be recognizable at street level. It should be pointed out that the exotic copper trident held by the south-western lion is a modern lightning conductor.
The whole scheme of Yorkist symbols accords well with the details inside the church. The celebrated roof, still decorated with its original paint, bears carvings on every spandrel of a white rose surrounded by the sun’s rays, known as the ‘rose en soleil’ Edward’s principal badge. The east window, as with so many East Anglian examples, is a later assembly of medieval scraps, so the provenance is not entirely secure. Here however are more white roses and more suns. On the left appear the Plantagenet royal arms, but the shield has been disconcertingly reversed, a glazier’s error. Although the glass is almost certainly fifteenth century, it need not relate specifically to Edward IV, for the same arms were borne by all monarchs of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. A more significant shield is that on the right: gold with a red manch or lady’s sleeve. This was the device of William, Lord Hastings, King Edward’s lifelong friend and minister, created a baron at the 1461 coronation. He was beheaded a few weeks after the king’s death for impeding Richard of Gloucester’s grasp of power, and this particular piece of glass, therefore, is likely to predate 1483. Lord Hastings appears to have had no local connections and the presence of this shield in Walsham le Willows, reputedly among the church’s original glass, can only be interpreted as being a reference to the reign of Edward IV.
Zachariah Pamment – Transported to Australia for Seven Years
Zachariah Pamment was the seventh of ten children born to Isaac and Catherine Pamment. The family tree above is derived from Walsham parish registers – they were truly a local family.
Isaac was a labourer in 1793 when he married, unable to write, he signed the register with a cross. The 1817 Parish Map and the 1842 Tithe Map show him owning and occupying a cottage opposite The Chestnuts. By 1844, Whites Directory lists him as a rope-maker. Zachariah born in 1806 was a plumber and glazier. In 1831 he married Susan Browe and their daughter Louisa was born the following year. In the same year he stole a quantity of glass from the mansion house of Sir James Blake of Langham. He was tried at the Suffolk Quarter Sessions in Bury St. Edmunds on 6th January 1832. The Bury and Norwich Post carried the report. He was found guilty and sentenced to seven years transportation. He sailed on the Lady Harwood on 13th March 1832 with 200 male convicts arriving in New South Wales on 5th August.
His convict record states that he had a previous conviction with a seven year sentence but no details are given. He was 5 feet 8 and a half inches tall with a ruddy freckled complexion, light grey eyes and red whiskers. The letters LF were tattooed on his lower left arm and his left little finger was contracted. These details were important in the case of men who escaped to become bushrangers.
On arrival Zachariah was assigned as a plumber to a Robert Cooper of Sydney. A muster of convicts in 1837 showed him aged thirty-two still with the same master. His name also appeared on a postal list for the collection of letters at a post-office – it’s good to know he could have received news from home.
A banns list for St. James church in 1837 lists the banns of Zachariah and Ann Beckley who arrived as a convict in 1830. This record is marked NA – possibly not approved. His wife Susan had died in Walsham the previous year but perhaps the necessary papers had not yet arrived. A son Zachariah was born to him and Ann on 24th September 1837 and baptised on 19th November 1837. Zachariah senior was then a plumber and glazier of Parramatta Street, Sydney. Another son, James, was born on 8th May 1839 and baptised on 29th September. They were then living in Castlereagh Street. Zachariah and Ann were eventually married on 9th February 1841 in the parish of St. Lawrence, Sydney. Ann signed her name with a cross. She died at Charles Street in the parish of Camperdown aged forty-six on 31st March 1856. Zachariah died in 1869 aged sixty-four.
Zachariah junior married Emily Griffiths in 1859; they had a daughter Emily in 1868 and sons William Henry in 1871 and James E. in 1875. William married in 1892 and had six daughters and four sons. Of those, four girls and one boy were still alive in 1918; the others had died in infancy. James married Matilda Penny Cad in 1858 and had three daughters and eleven sons. Of those, five boys and one girl died young but one girl and five boys married so the surname Pamment had opportunity to continue.
Most of the above information was supplied by Mrs. Heather Davis, a research officer for the Society of Australian Genealogists. She supplied a list of thirty-eight Pamments with their addresses and phone numbers from the 1997 Electoral Roll for New South Wales. If there are any Pamments who wish to carry the research forward, I will gladly forward a copy.
Philip French – Transported to Australia for Seven Years
Born John Philip Finch in Walsham in 1804, Philip was the sixth child of John and Mary (nee Spencer). The 1817 Parish Map lists more than one John Finch. One rented a cottage in The Street opposite the Wattisfield Road and the other rented a house and bake-office near Nunn’s Yard in The Street. One was probably Philip’s father and one his grandfather. He was described on his convict record as a baker so, no doubt, belonged to that family.
On 31st March 1827 he was tried at Suffolk Assizes in Bury accused of stealing feathers from George Finch a higgler who had some land south of Clay Street but doesn’t appear to have lived in Walsham. Philip was found guilty and transported to New South Wales for seven years. He sailed on the Pheonix on 4th March 1828 with 190 male convicts (the muster roll confirmed that all 190 arrived) landing in Sydney Cove on 13th July 1828. They were still on the boat on the 18th when the muster was held – the organisation was probably chaotic.
The crimes of his fellow travellers included stealing oats (7 years), a silver cup (7 years), ginger (7 years), a watch (14 years), fowls (14 years), a shawl (life), sheep (life), a horse (life), house-breaking (7 years), shop robbery (7 years), extortion (14 years) and picking pockets (life).
On the muster roll Philip was described as twenty-five years old, able to read and write, Protestant and married with no children. He was 5 feet 3 and 3 quarter inches tall, of dark sallow complexion, dark brown hair with hazel eyes. He had small scars on his left eyebrow and over his right brow, (burns from the bake-oven?) He had a crucifix tattooed on his right arm and men, a flower-pot, an anchor and P John Finch on his left.
He was assigned as a servant to John Hely, a baker of Castlereagh Street. Hely had arrived eight years earlier and having completed his sentence, had been joined by his wife and children in Sydney.
By 1834 Philip had obtained his Certificate of Freedom. He never returned to Walsham. He died in Redfern, a suburb of Sydney in 1866 and was buried in Lismore, a town about 470 miles north of Sydney.
James Tyderman – Transported to Tasmania for Seven Years
James was born in Walsham on 27th December 1829, the son of James and Mary Tyderman. The 1841 census shows him aged twelve living in Church Street (now The Street) with his mother Mary, a washerwoman and young brother William aged three years.
In 1848, aged nineteen years, James was convicted of stealing a peck of Windsor beans at Walsham le Willows from George Finch. This was not his first offence; he had already been given 18 months for a house robbery, so, after his trial at Suffolk Quarter Sessions in Bury on 4th July 1848, he served a sentence before being transported to Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania) for seven years. He sailed on the Pestonice Bomanice on 16th April 1852 with 292 male convicts arriving on 31st July 1852 with a ticket of leave. His ticket had to be carried at all times to show he was not an escaped prisoner and had to be renewed annually. He could lose it if he misbehaved or upset anyone in authority. He could not leave the colony, of course. It was not difficult to abscond from prison but it was almost impossible to survive on the run. Large rewards were paid to anyone recapturing an escaped convict and food etc. would have had to be stolen.
His convict’s report states that he was 5 feet 4 and a half inches tall, fresh complexioned with a large head, black hair, oval face, low forehead, black eyebrows, black hair, medium nose, medium mouth, medium chin and a tattoo of a heart and a cross on his right arm and an anchor on his left. No need for a photo-fit! He was single and worked as a farm labourer. He could read and write a little. His gaol report was good. He had to undergo six months probation for an incident which happened during the voyage but gained fifty-five days by hard work. He was granted a second ticket of leave in 1854 and a conditional pardon in March 1855.
On 26th November 1866 aged thirty-five he was married to Louisa Denner who was seventeen. Her father John had been transported in 1831. There were three children, all girls – Rosanne born in March 1868, an unnamed girl in February 1872 and Louisa born in August 1877. The death of a James Tyderman was registered in 1876 aged 0 years, so perhaps they had a still-born son. The marriage and births all took place in Fingal, a district of Hobart.
Louisa died of lung disease aged twenty-seven just sixteen days after the birth of her last child. Let us hope that James lived long enough to raise his young family.
- Bury and Norwich Post 1827–1848
- Walsham Parish Map 1817
- Walsham Tithe Map 1842
- Whites Directory of Suffolk 1844 Census 1841
- The Archives Office of Tasmania and the Society of Australian Genealogists supplied details of convicts’ records, births, marriages and deaths etc. in Australia
What the Papers Said
The Bury and Norwich Post dated 3 October 1798 gave notice of an auction of the household furniture of Mr. William Holland, a baker of Walsham, to be held for the benefit of his creditors. For auction were four bedsteads, bedding, bureau, chairs, chest of drawers, coal range, a quantity of pewter, a six bushel copper, beer casks, malt tub, brewing utensils, a useful mare, tilted quarter cart, horse flour mill, kneading troughs, flour bins, queech pan and a quantity of wood, iron and hay.
The Bury Post 28 November 1798 printed a notice to the clergy of Norfolk and Suffolk: Five guineas reward is hereby offered to any clergyman who will transmit to Mr. John Sparke, attorney of Walsham le Williams a true copy of the baptism of Richard Bloise or Bloss, the said Richard being born about the year 1676. Also a copy of the baptism of Roger Bloise, father of Richard who was born about the year 1656.
In the 16 January 1799 copy of the Post it was reported that T. Walne a long established shopkeeper of Walsham was selling his business. T. Walne returns his sincere thanks for the many favours conferred on him by his friends and customers when in trade. He begs leave to inform them that he disposed of his shop and stock to Mr. George West who he has found deserving of public favour. To prevent trouble, T. Walne hopes that those who stand indebted to him will very soon discharge their accounts. George West, grocer and draper, begs to inform the public that he has taken the shop of T. Walne and has a fresh assortment of goods in the general shop-keeping business, good articles at reasonable prices. N.B. Funerals completely furnished.
The Post dated 20 March 1799 carried an advertisment for a journeyman tailor – Wanted immediately, a good workman who may have constant employ by applying to Samuel Bishop, tailor, of Walsham le Willows.
The Post of 4 September 1799 carried a notice that the live and dead farming stock and some household furniture of Mrs. Quantrille, Mr. Thomas Collen and Mr. John Keeble were to be sold at auction by Dodson and King of Stowmarket.
A house to be let in Walsham appeared in the Post dated 25 September 1799: To be entered upon at Michaelmas, a genteel dwelling house consisting of parlour, kitchen and every convenience needful to the same. An exceedingly good garden and good stable. Now in the occupation of John Goddard of Walsham aforesaid.
In the same issue notice was given of an auction to be held in the Blue Boar of two lots of copyhold estate in Walsham le Willows in the occupation of Lovat James. : Six enclosed pieces of exceedingly good arable and pasture land containing about 30 acres and a number of good timber trees. I: Consists of a farmhouse, two barns, stable and other convenient out buildings, 5 acres of rich arable and meadow land and the same more or less in a state of good cultivation. Unlimited right to commonage over a very large and extensive common.
The Bury Post of 7 May 1800 reported that an order of bastardy was made against an opulent Walsham farmer who, it was said, was far advanced in years. The girl being very solemnly interrogated by the court claimed the appellant to be the father of the child and that she never had connection with any other person, which evidence was corroborated by her sister-in-law. On behalf of the appellant three witnesses were called to impeach the girl’s credibility but who, in fact, only served to establish it and the court confirmed the order of filiation with full costs to be paid by the appellant amounting to no inconsiderable sum.
Notice of an auction appeared in the Post 26 November 1800 to take place on the premises of Mr. Jeffery Millar in Walsham le Willows known as Fish Pond Farm. On Monday 8 December 1800 all his live and dead farming stock comprising three horses and mares, one cow with calf, four 2 year old heifers, twenty sheep, thirteen lambs, one sow and two shoats. Also a road cart, a market cart, three ploughs, one roll, tees and breechens, a plough trace, exceedingly good clover stover and a ten ton stack of hard land hay.
- young pig
- tees and breechens
- part of cart harness
- stover & stuver
- red clover made into feed for horses
- hard land hay
- rye grass hay or rough hay?