Pattenden Family of Felbridge

Pattenden Family of Felbridge

The first documented evidence of the Pattenden family is in 16th century in EastPeckham,Kent, this being Henry born about 1540.  The first direct line of the Felbridge branch of the family can be traced back to Jeremiah born in 1635 inSouthease,Sussex.  Jeremiah’s great grandson, Samuel, is the first documented member of the family to move to this area.  Samuel was born in 1694 inWaldron,Sussex.  He married Elizabath Waggone, in the parish ofEast Grinstead in 1713, and they had ten children, all born in the parish.  The Felbridge line all descends through their son Richard, born in 1727.  He married Mary in 1751 in the parish ofEast Grinstead, and they in turn had 5 children.  The Felbridge line then descends through their son John, born in 1753.  John married Elizabeth Gower in 1774, in the parish ofEast Grinstead and they had twelve children.  Elizabeth in 1774, John in 1775, Ann in 1778, Mary in 1781, Thomas in 1783, Elizabeth in 1785, William in 1786, Edward in 1788, Henry in 1791, Charlotte in 1794, Jane in 1796 and Susan in 1798. 


In 1823, John and Elizabeth were living on Hedgecourt Common, in the parish ofEast Grinstead.  John’s will details that his farm and two acres of land should be left to his wife Elizabeth, and on her death it should be divided between his children.  This plot of land is now the site of nos.111 and 113,Crawley Down Road, Vine Cottage and no. 117CrawleyDown Road.  By the1840’s there is documented evidence that the Pattenden family had also spread to the parishes of Worth and Horne, as well as living on East Grinstead Common, all within the perimeters the area that became part of the parish of Felbridge in 1865.  The East Grinstead Tithe of 1842 lists William as owner of a cottage, and just over six acres of land, in the area of what are now the allotments inImberhorne Lane.  He married Amelia Dearling in 1814 and in 1851 is listed as running the brewery at North End, with his son Thomas.  As the brewery stood in the same area as William’s cottage it would seem likely that he set up the brewery some time between 1842 and 1851, as it is not mentioned in the tithe apportionment.  The Worth Tithe of 1839 lists Edward as tenant of what is now known as The Park Farm, Snowhill, then known as Copthorne Farm, owned by Francis Smith.  At that time, Edward was also listed as owning three acres of land next to the farm.  Edward married Lucy, and the 1851 Census lists them as still occupying Copthorne Farm. 


However it is through John and Elizabeth’s son Henry that the major section of the Felbridge Pattenden family descend.  Henry married Jane Wood on 9th January 1820 and they had thirteen children. These were: John in 1821, Eliza in 1822, Henry in 1825, Jane in 1827, William in 1829, Sarah in 1831, George in 1832, Harriet in 1834, James in 1836, Peter in 1837, Thomas in 1840, Edmund/Edward in 1842, and Amos in 1843.  Most of the children went on to marry and many set up home in the Felbridge area.  John married Anna Miles and later Elizabeth Boxall of Rusper, little else is known about them.  Eliza married William Gorringe, a well-known local family who lived and farmed on Hedgecourt Common.  Henry married Sophia Prevett who was born in Horsted Keynes.  Jane unfortunately died at the age of twelve.  William married Eliza, living at Spicer’s Farm in Charlwood, Surrey.  They celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary in 1914, and both lived to well over ninety.  Nothing is known about Sarah’s life.  George marriedPhiladelphia of the parish of Godstone, unfortunately she died, in 1861, aged 34, and George remarried Mary/Eliza Friend and they lived at Earlswood,Surrey.  Harriet married William Godley of the parish ofEast Grinstead.  Harriet and William were the grandparents of Pte Sidney Frank Godley VC.  James married Mary J of the parish ofEast Grinstead, but little else is known about them.  Peter married Ellen Gear of the parish ofEast Grinstead but she unfortunately died in 1883, aged 46, and Peter remarried Emma Winter.  Thomas married Caroline Miles, nothing else is known about them.  Nothing is known about Edmund/Edward.  Finally, there was Amos who married his niece Jane Pattenden, daughter of his brother Henry and his wife Sophia.


In 1823, after the death of his father John, Henry and his family moved into Little Hedgecourt Farm, on the extreme Northern edge of Hedgecourt Common.  The farm formed part of the Clayton estate of Bletchingley and by 1842 was under the ownership of William Kendrick.  Descendants of Henry were to remain at Little Hedgecourt Farm until it was sold in 1911 as part of theFelbridge Placeestate, having been purchased by the Gatty family in the late 1800’s.  On the death of Henry, in 1874, his youngest son, Amos, took over Little Hedgecourt Farm.


Amos married Jane Pattenden on 19th November 1873 and they had six children.  Annie Sophia in 1873, Alice in 1875, Alfred John in 1877, Arthur Earnest in 1879, Agnes Mary in 1882 and Dora Jane in 1893.  It is from these children that the name of Pattenden remains in the area.  Annie Sophia unfortunately died in 1885, aged twelve.  Nothing is known aboutAlice.  Alfred married Edith Ellen Howell and they had five sons and one daughter.  Arthur married Edith Annie Pollard and they had two daughters.  Agnes married Samuel Wren fromEssex, they had no children.  As a point of interest, there is a stained glass window to the memory of Agnes inSt John’sChurch.  Dora married Charles Wheeler and they had two sons and one daughter. 


Before taking over the farm, Amos had previously been working at Hedgecourt Water Mill; it was here where he lost two fingers on his right hand in the cogs.  Amos took over Little Hedgecourt in 1874 and farmed it until 1911.  On the sale of Little Hedgecourt Farm in 1911, it was described as a brick-built cottage, with tiled roof, containing a living room, dairy, wash-house, and two bedrooms.  There was an earth closet and well for water.  Outbuildings included a timber and tiled two-stall stable, cart lodge with a lean-to, an open lodge, three piggeries, and a cattle lodge.  Land included in the lot totalled just short of twenty acres.  A further eleven acres were sold as a separate lot.  On 2nd October 1911 the farming stock and effects were auctioned off on the instruction of Amos who had decided to give up farming.  These included: four dairy cows, three steers, a mare, four pigs, twelve hens, one rooster and two hives of bees, along with farm implements, firewood, fagots, and household sundries.


It is at this point that Dora takes up the story.  Dora, the youngest daughter of Amos and Jane, kept a scrapbook that included information about her family and Felbridge.  She also had the foresight to write down her memoirs in 1965.  In 1912, Amos and Jane bought nos. 1 to 4,Rowplatt Lane, including the land where The Ark, (no. 4A), now stands.  Tom and Betsy Wheeler lived at no. 1, Amos and Jane Pattenden lived at no. 3, and one of Dora’s brothers lived at no. 4.  In 1919, Dora married Charles Wheeler, son of Tom and Betsy Wheeler, and they purchased no. 4, from Dora’s brother.  The Wheeler family was connected to the local hero, PC James Baldwin, who was murdered in 1898, whilst on duty inLondon.  Betsy Wheeler, mother of Charles, was one of his sisters.  Dora and Charles first home had four rooms and a small lean-to room, and they soon started their family, Frederick in 1920, Charles in 1921 and Agnes in 1923.  In 1925, they turned the small lean-to room into a small shop which they ran until 1949 when they sold up and moved to Brockworth, Crawley Down Road, now the site of Wheeler’s Way, hence the name.  They later moved to Cludden, next toFelbridgeSchool.  Their memory lives on to this day, with a bench erected on the Village Green outside their last home.


The legacy of documentation and photographs left by Dora Wheeler, and kept by her son Frederick, help bring to life many of the members of the Felbridge Pattenden family.  But it is not until you start to compile the Pattenden family tree that you realise how interconnected they are with nearly all the local families of Felbridge.  Local names like, Baldwin, Barton, Belton, Buckland, Chart, Cook, Coomber, Creasey, Darling, Dearling, Godley, Harding, Heselden, Killick, Miles, Prevett, Stripp, Tullet, Webber, Wilding and Wheeler.  Many of whose descendants still live within the Felbridge area.


Post Script


The above information is based on extensive research into the Pattenden family compiled by Karen Tayler, nee Pattenden, who has traced the family name back to Henry Pattenden of 1540.  Additional research on the Felbridge branch of the Pattenden family was supplied by Richard Cook and formatted by Don Beale.  The extended branches of the Felbridge Pattenden family were researched and formatted by Jeremy Clarke.  This Fact Sheet is a brief summary of the Felbridge branch of the family.  The ‘Pattenden Tree’, compiled mainly by Karen and extended by those above, has over 12,000 names on it. With further research it will continue to grow.  Any missed names or information on the family will be gratefully received and can be added at any time.  The ‘Tree’ not only gives an insight into the Pattenden family, but also the interaction of the people and families who lived and worked on the Felbridge estate.



Pattenden Tree compiled by Karen Tayler

Felbridge Pattenden Tree compiled by N Cook

Extended Pattenden Tree compiled by J Clarke

Tithe Maps and Apportionment’s forEast Grinstead, Worth, Horne and Godstone 1839-1842

Documented memoirs of D Wheeler

Archive material on PC Baldwin

Archive material on Pte Sidney Godley VC

Pte Sidney Godley VC, Fact Sheet SJC 03/00

Census Records, 1841, 1851, 1881

Felbridge Parish Registers

Horne Parish Registers

IGI Records

Will of John Pattenden, 1753-1823

Felbridge Sale Catalogue, 1911

Little Hedgecourt Farm,SaleCatalogue of Farming Stock, 1911

SJC 06/01