DATE: July 1984







Newsletter No.1





This first issue of the Newsletter of the Briginshaw One-Name Study will, I hope, be the forerunner of very many more to come and that it will keep family members up-dated with their family history as joint research progresses.


I cannot do better, by way of introduction, than reprint an article I wrote in 1981 and which appeared in the August issue of the journal of the East Surrey Family History Society that year for this set out clearly how some

of us became involved in the research of this family name:



Kindness Rewarded



by Jack Saunders



Prompted by Hilda Dixon's incredible story -'Coincidence and Family History' recounted in the last issue of the Journal, and at the risk of boring Members with yet another story of almost unbelievable chance, I set out on these pages a story that has taken me half way round the world, linked relatives that descend through five or six generations and added countless names andconnections to my family tree in a sequence of events that even now I find hard to believe cold have happened.



I tell this story because it is a story that most be told but aIso I tell it in the hope that it may be an encourage ment, not only to beginners, but to these who have, perhaps, waited a long time for a breakthrough or seem to have come to a deadend for this story did not happen overnight. If patience be a virtue the it has been richly rewarded in this case.


For me it all started with the kindness of a lady back  in August 1978. Jane Jones of Bray in Berkshire had just joined our Society, was putting the finishing touches to her transcript of Bray Parish Registers, and seeing that I had research interests in the area, wrote offering to help me.  I must be ever grateful to her for writing that kind letter.  Little did either or us know how far reaching were to be the consequences.I had only been a member myself for just over year but had already carried out considerable research in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire during that year and this had taken me back to my great great great grandparents in my direct line - Richrd Saunders (born c 1157) and his wife Mary.  They had lived in Maidenhead in the parish of Cookham but Mary's maiden name and when and where they had wed eluded me and I seemed to have come to a deadend


I replied to June's letter with a three foolscap page epistle detailing my many connections with the area. She thought it of sufficient interest to pass it to a local historian John Brooks who had started work on his Berkshire Marriage Index. He then wrote to me and gave me some useful information including a 'gem' from a private book kept by the Vicar of Cookham at the

beginning of the 19th Century.  Not all his references to his parishioners were flattering But against the name of my great great grandafther (also Richard) were just six little words but how important they were to be - 'Nephew to Farmer Briginshaw of Taplow'.  They took me across the Thames to Buckinghamshire and to Taplow new Churchyard where I found a number of M/I's to the Briginshaw family and the address of a farm 'Amerden Bank' which I was able to visit and photograph.


I was at this time preparing the script and taking many photographs in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire for a tape / slide presentation on my family history which some members will remember I showed to our Society's monthly meeting in March 1979.  Searches in the Parish Registers of Taplow and surrounding parishes finally gave me, at Beaconsfield, the marriage I had been looking for -


Richard Sounders, Master Grocer Maidenhead, and Mary Briginshaw of Taplow on 21. 10. 1777 by licence. Buckinghamshire CRO produced the marriage licence and allegation and the Parish registers of Taplow & Bray together with a number of wills gave me many members of the family and its co-laterals, the names and location of half a dozen farms and houses and the parents of Mary – John and Mary Briginshaw and I was back to two of my great great great great grandparents.


Noticing in Taplow a connection with a family of Norringtons I mentioned this to our fellow members John and Jeanette Norrington an d further  research by them in Taplow. found many family connections and the burial place of my Mary in Taplow. old Churchyard amongst the resting place of the early Briginshaws - 'In Memory of Mrs Mary Saunders of Maidenhead who died August 10th 1831 aged 75 years’.  She had come home to her final

resting place with her family in that most beautiful spot beside Taplow Court.


Jane Jones subsequently provided endless family entries from Bray registers to add to those I had extracted from Cookham and Taplow and I was able to build up an extensive pedigree.


At this time I had entered into correspondance with another member, Anne Mee of Chrischurch, New Zealand and carried out a small amount of research for her. She will be mentioned again later in this story.


Time passed and then in June 1980 I attended the annual general meeting of the Society of Genealogists.  After the business of the meeting many of us formed little groups, met old friends and discussed family history matters over a glass of wine.  At one stage I was talking, in company with our Treasurer, Jean Tooke, to Barbara Bassil, Secretary of Windsor, Slough & District Family History Society and Jean suggested to her that as I had so many connections with the area covered by her society I should show my tape/slide presentation to their members.  This was subsequently arranged for ten months ahead, at the end of April this year.


On the appointed day I arrived at Slough and presented my tape/slide programme.  Half way through this a little muffled cry of surprise came from a lady in my audience and at the end when we came to question time I was astounded when this lady,  Georgina Baker of Maidenhead, and who has a special interest in Taplow and its history, produced a file with many notes, extracts from registersand pedegrees of the Briginshaw family wich correesponded with those I had just shown on the screen!  No wonder that little cry of surprise came out of the dark!



Subsequently I learnt that Georgina had replied in July 1980 to a request which had appeared in the Maidenhead Advertiser for information and help in tracing the Taplow ancestors of Jennifer Langford of Chrischurch, New Zealand, who had written to them.  A pen-friendship ensued and Georgina carried out considerable research for her.  Here was another act of kindness taking place within a mile or two of that first one which were to be inextricably linked.


Yes!  Jenny is also descended from John and Mary Briginshaw and we are fifth cousins.  Small world indeed!



I immediately wrote to Jenny, who has been carrying out research for longer than I, and you can imagine her surprise was not less than mine had been.  A long and interesting exchange of information and family news has commenced and we look forward to meeting one day.


This story is not finished even now for Jenny just had to know Anne Mee and sure enough they had met several times, Jenny being a member of the Chrischurch Branch of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists of which Anne is past President!  Already we know of Briginshaws in Australia, Tasmania and Jersey.  Many more relationships and connections are in the offing both in England and New Zealand and only this week the telephone rang to reveal another New Zealand cousin on holiday in England and we have already met, Whilst Georgina on avisit to her sister in Vancouver telephoned the only Briginshaw in the local directory and sure enough another branch of the family has been added to swell the number of descendants of John & Mary Briginshaw which already number several hundreds.


It would be interesting to know the odds against this story every being written.


This story has not included all the links in the chain which holds it together and without which it mighthave broken, I turn cold when I think - ;’If Jane had never written to me …….’,  ‘If I had not attended that AGM …….’,  ‘If Jenny had not written to the Advertiser….’,  ‘If Georgina had not attended that April               meeting …….’,


One finds that genealogical research is paved with good deeds and little kindnesses but rarely can two have had such far reaching consequences.


Of course much water has flowed under the bridge since this was written and a family history built up which is beyond the wildest dreams of those early days.  Others already carrying out research or interested were 'discovered' and have added their contributions.  This year Jenny made that long anticipated visit to England and many happy hours were spent in furter research, visits to nacestoral homes and meetings with family members included a Briginshaw ‘get-together’ at Cheam in May


THE EARLY BRIGINSHAWS  -  Insert excel sheet:  Letter 1 Chart 1




The most exciting recent ‘find’ was the entries in a Family Bible in the possession of Alice Welsford (nee Briginshaw) and a great, great, great gandaughter of Richard and Millicent (nee Jefferies) which gave us the long sought after date and place of John of Taplow’s birth – 11.7.1706 at Halton, Bucks.  This was followed up by Jenny Langford and Georgina Baker when the Halton ParishRegisters were examined by them at Buckinghamshire Record Office at Aylesbury.  These confirmed the baptism – ‘John ye son of Wm and Sarah Briginshaw was baptisedJuly 13 1707’.  Also found was the baptism of a sister ‘Sarah ye daughter of Wm and Sarah Briginshawwas bapt on ye 16th of June 1704 – Day Labourer’.  There is a year’s difference between the bible and the register but if John was 90 when he died, as was stated at Taplow in 1797, the 1707 would be correct.  The hunt is now on for the marriage of William and Sarah.  It would appear that this did not take place at Halton nor is there anything to indicate if Sarah and John were the first or subsequent issues of this union.  The only other entry at Halton which might be relevant was the recording of a burial there of a Willisam on 18th of October with Affid entered October 22nd 1729.  This may or may not be our William.


I have put in a request to the Buckinghamshire Marriage Index.  This index is not complete and this particular marriage has not yet appeared but I am hopeful that it will turn up as work progresses.  We do not, of course, know that the marriage took place in Buckinghamshire and the search may have to be extended to neighbouring counties.  I have also entered a ‘Request for Information' in the journals of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and East Surrey Family History Societies.   As a preliminary to many other sources that can be searched I have started to look at Phillimore's printed marriage indexes.  Of course not all parishes are covered by these indexes but it seemed sensible to consult this easy source before progressing to less readily available ones.  So far I have searched 44 parishes in Buckinghamshire in these indexes plus some in the Challen Parish Register Transcripts but without success.  There are many more to do.


A recent examination by me of the up-dated I G I (International Genealogical Index) for London shows the following new entries:


1.     Richard Briginshaw married Millicent Jefferies 1.2-1787 at St Andrew by the Wardrobe

          Queen Victoria Street City of London


2    Kate Briginshaw married Horace Rainbow 20.5-1872 at St Pauls, Stepney


3.     John Briginshaw married Ellen Rumball  8.1-1842  at All Souls, Marylebone


4.     Georgina Bx!iginshaw married William Hobbs  22.11.1826  at St Anns, . Soho


5.     Georgina Briginshaw married James Booth 22.11.1864 at St Pancras Old Church


6.     Annie Maria Briginshaw married William Lewis Rumball 22.5-1866at St Pauls, Stepney


7.     Elizabeth Ann Briginshaw married James Badcock 16-3.1840 at St Martins-in-the-Field


8.     Elizabeth Brigengshaw daughter of Thomas and Hannah baptised  2.6.1762 at

      Sunbury on Thames


          9.   John Briginshaw son of Thomas and Hannah baptised 25.4-1759 Sunbury


          10. Mary Briginshaw daughter of Thomas and Hannah baptised 4.7-1756 Sunbury.


          11. William Briginshaw son of Thomas and Ann was baptised 8.4-1753  Sunbury


Note:      Most of the above events are known to those of us who have been carrying out research but they do give details not hitherto recorded and for the benefit of those whose knowledge is perhaps more limited I will deal with each in turn


1.             This is the most useful entry giving us the maiden name of Millicent and the date and place of marriage.  Here was another Briginshaw/Jefferies marriage and in a rather unexpected place.  One wonders what was the relationship, if any, between Mary and Millicent.  The 1787 marriage perhaps of first cousins?  One must also wonder where the Sarah Jefferies who died in 1816 aged 79 of Islington and who lies buried in Taplow Old Churchyard a few feet from the Briginshaws fits in.  Is this marriage and Islington leading us into London for the origin of the Jefferies?


2.             This gives us the Christian name of Rainbow, exact date and parish of marriage.  Kate was the daughter of Richard Badcock Briginshaw who in turn was a grandson of Richard and Millicent


3.             This gives us the maiden name of Ellen, exact date and parish of marriage.  John was a grandson of John and Eleanor (nee Neighbour)


4              This gives us the Christian name of Hobbs, exact date and parish of marriage.    Georgina was a daughter of John and Eleanor (nee Neighbour)


             This gives us names of groom, exact date and parish of marriage.  Georgina was a grandaughter of John and Eleanor (nee Neighbour)


6.             Anna Maria was the daughter of Thomas, a grandaughter of John and Eleanor (nee Neighbour) and first cousin of John who married Ellen Rumball 24 years before.


7.             Elizabeth Ann is not positively identified but the name Badcock must have some connection with the naming of Richard Badcock Briginshaw who was son of John Warren and grandson of Richard and Millicent.


8/ 9/

10//11     Not positively identified beyond the fact that they were the children of Thomas Briginshaw who died in 1763

                at Sunbury and a copy of whose PCC Will I have wherein he is described as a carpenter, leaves everything to

                his wife Hannah and makes her sole executrix.  This family may turn out to belong to a branch of the spelling



      Other exciting entries in Alice's Family Bible were those for  the name Jefferies and variants.      

      These showed:


1.                    Mary Jeffries was born Aug 29th 1719.  Died Oct 3rd 1809 - wife of the above John Briginshaw

                       (This appeared under the entry for John Briginshaw born 1706)


2.               Jane Jeffries dau of Richard Jeffries w'as born April 5th 1718



Pasted in the back of the Bible is a rather curious printed list which reads as follows:


Thomas Jefferrey, son of John Jefferrey, bapt Sept 13th 1619.

(Taken from the Register of Chafron, at Peter Chafron.)


Eliza Hentn, his wife, dau of Arthur Hentn, born Jan 25, 1608


William Jefferrey, son of Thomas Jefferrey, Baptized April 19


Jane Bert, the Daughter of Francis Bert, Baptized September 27


William Jefferrey, Son of William Jefferrey, born March 7, and Baptized April 1 1680


Thomas Jefferrey, Son of William Jefferrey, Born April 8 and Baptized May 6 168(?)


Elizabeth Jefferrey, Daughter of William Jefferrey, Born Jan 17 and Baptized Jan 27 1682


                          Mary Jefferrey, Daughter of William Jefferrey, Born March 11 1682-3 and Baptized April 9 1683


John Jefferrey, Son of William Jefferrey, Born Sept 20 and Baptized October 12 1685


                          Richard Jefferrey, Son of William Jefferrey, Born December 30 and Baptized January 22 1687-8


                          Francis Jefferrey, Son of William Jefferrey, Born January 31 and Baptized February 7 1690


                          James Jefferrey, Son of.William Jefferrey, Born January 4 and Baptized January 7 1692-3


                          Jane Jefferrey, Daughter of William Jefferrey, Born August 10 and Baptized September 15 1694               


                          Hannah Jefferrey, Daughter of William Jefferrey, Born November 2 and Bantized November 24 1696


                          James Jefferrey, Son of William Jefferrey, Born November 29 and Baptized December 12 1698


                          Joseph Jefferrey, Son of William Jefferrey, Born November 12 and Baptized

                          December 29 1700


                          Abraham Jefferrey, Son of William Jefferrey, Born May 31 1703


                          Sarah Jefferrey, Daughter of William Jefferrey, Born May 31 1703 both at a Birth


                          Abraham Jefferrey, Son of William Jefferrey, Born December 8 and Baptized

                          October 1 1705


                          Ann Jefferrey, Daughter of William Jefferrey, Born November 19 and Baptized November 21 1707


                          Ruth Jefferrey, Daughter of William Jefferrey, Born October 29 and Baptized

                          November 22 1710


                          Jefferrey, Wife of Francis Jefferrey, died Sept 1738


Quite a family!  But perhaps not all by the same mother.  The 'Chafron, at Peter Chafron' would have seemed likely to have been Chalfont St Peter (this spelling appears in an old map) but none of the later entries appear in the register for that parish.  It is of course possible that the reference to Chafron applies only to the first entry.  Also listed in the bible were the birth dates of the seven children of John and Mary Briginshaw which correspond with information that we already have of their baptism at Taplow.




In this first Newsletter and in accordance with my promise to produce selected articles on individuals and branches I decided to start with John whose decent is as follows:


                                                                Richard               =       Millicent

                                                                Briginshaw                  Jefferies

                                                                b 15.8-1752

                                                                bp 23.9-1752


                                                                m 1.2-1787

                                                                St Andrew by

                                                                the Wardrobe

                                                                Queen Victoria


                                                                Bur  4.5.1824



                                                                John Warren          =     Martha

                                                                bp 17.12.1789

                                                                W. Wycombe                b


                                                                                                        d 1856

                                                                d 1857                             Wokingham



                                                                John                       =   Hannah

                                                                bp 6.4.1817                     Dangerfield

                                                                Saunderton                    b 1817

                                                                in 23.4.1849

                                                                Kings Langley              d 1858

                                                                d  17.3.1902                  Wycombe



Before coming to John we will take a quick look at his father and grandfather , and it will be a quick look, for little is really known of either.  Richard, we do know, was born on 15.8.1752, eldest son of John and Mary.



He was baptised 23.9.1752 at Taplow Old Church and on 1.2-1787, when he was 35, he married Millicent Jefferies at St Andrew by the Wardrobe, Queen Victoria Street, in the City of London.  There has been a Church on this site since 1244 and probably even earlier.  The original was destroyed in the 1666 fire of London and was rebuilt by Wren in the years

1685-1695.   The  Wardrobe was a

Department of the Royal Household in which the King's stores were kept.  This was moved elsewhere after the fire but the name of the Church was retained.  Wren's Church is still there although it was gutted by Hitler's fire bombs on the night Of 29/30 December 1940 when so much damage was done to the City of London.     However, the tower and walls remained and the inside has since been rebuilt.  This picture was taken in 1984.



We know nothing of Richard's early life but it seems that at some time before 1789 (perhaps when he married) he must have moved to Saunderton and taken a lease on the ancient 'Grange Farm there.  The Bishop's Transcripts for Saunderton show him to be Churchwarden for most years 1798 to 1813 and although we cannot be certain that it is the same Richard there is an Article of Agreement dated 24.1.1789 Richard Briginshaw of West Wycombe, farmer, overseer of the poor, to enclose Wheelers End (piece of Common Land) near the workhouse for use of poor persons within the Parish.  Taken from a collection of deeds deposited by Sir John Dashwood, Bt in The Bodlein Library.  However we have record of the birth of two sons - Richard Jeffries, Baptised 11.11.1788 West Wycombe and John Warren who was Baptised  West Wycombe 17.12.1789. These baptisms and obviously of the first issues were extracted by Georgina from West Wycombe Registers but there did not appear to be any other entries although one must wonder if these were the only two.  Perhaps Millicent died young or they had no further children for we do not know the date of Millicent's death yet.  The first son, Richard Jefferies, we will look at in a future Newsletter.  John Warren who married, at a place and date at present unknown but circa 1813, must have remained in Saunderton and in due course taken over the lease of 'Grange Farm' from his father and in turn served as Churchwarden most years 1820-1826.  Richard died and was buried 4.3.1824 Taplow Old Churchyard.  John sold the lease of 'Grange Farm' to a Mrs Schobell in 1830.  The evidence for all this lies firstly in the following extract from the Victoria County History of Buckinghamshire:


Thame Abbey held lands in Saunderton, afterwards called SAUNDERTON GRANGE, granted to it in free alms late in the 12th Century by Robert de Saunderton for 2 silver marks and a horse-load  (summa) of oats and for 40d paid to his wife.   At the Dissolution this estate was in the tenure of Thomas Winter.  It was granted in 1541 to the Dene and Canons od Christ Churcyh, Oxford, a grant which was confirmed in 1546.  They have since retained it, their lesseein 1806 being Richard Brigginshaw.    Mrs Schobell, who purchased the lease from John Brigginshaw in 1830, was holding it in 1862 for £2. 4s. 4½d. yearly amnd the price (regulated by the Oxford market) of 1 quarter 5 bushels of wheat, 1 peck of malt and two capons, amounting in all from £15 to £30.


There are four pages on the history of Saunderton from earliest times in the County History and are well worth reading.


Our second piece of evidence is an extract, also made by Georgina, from the Bishop's Transcripts for Saunderton and giving us the following baptisms of John Warren's children The transcripts are in poor condition and some dates almost illegible but they clearly show John Warren to be a yeoman farmer at 'Grange Farm':


1814  Jul 5th                           James Briginshaw         s        John Warren & Martha              The Grange Yeoman


1815 Nov (19)th          Sarah Briginshaw          d       John Warren & Martha              The Grange Yeoman


1817 Apr  6th              John Briginshaw           s        John Warren & Martha              The Grange Yeoman


181(8)Apr 2(?)            Richard Badcock

                                      Briginshaw                     s        John Warren & Martha              The Grange Yeoman


1819 (Dec)7th             Martha Briginshaw       d       John Warren & Martha              The Grange Yeoman


1821 Apr 8th               Joseph Jefferies

                                      Briginshaw                     s        John Warren & Martha              The Grange Yeoman

1823 (Aug 8)               Jesse Briginshaw          s        John Warren & Martha               The Grange Yeoman


Next we find John Warren's son Richard Badcock marrying in 1843 at Wokingham, the marriage certificate showing his father to be a farmer.  The 1851 Census Returns for Wokingham show Richard Badcock to be living there with his own family in Peach Street.  It seems probable that when John Warren left 'Grange Farm' at the age of 41 he moved to that area with his family for he died in the registration district of Wokingham in 1857 a year after Martha in 1856 in the same district.  If he did continue to farm we have yet to find this farm but 'Grange Farm' at Saunderton is still there.






I called there recently when I was given a cordial reception and allowed to take a number of photographs including the one reproduced on the next page.  I am afraid that photocopying does not do justice to the lovely coloured original.  Now a beautifully kept stud farm, I was shown all round.  The beautifully preserved Farmhouse has had alterations made to it and additions added but even from the photocopy the original part of the house is easy to identify:




















Before leaving 'Grange Farm' and turning our attention to John Warren’s second son, John born in 1817, it is interesting to look at a description of the weather in Saunderton in 1739.  Recorded on the first page of the Parish Register Book for 1739 in the handwriting of Dr Christopher Willoughby, Rector of Saunderton from 13th September 1734 until his death in July 1745 at the age of 47, it reads:


'The frost began on Christmas Day, the Sat  Sun and Mon following, three the sharpest daies were ever known.  Wind N.E. The frost continued without any intermission till Sat the 16 of Feb when it began to thaw, but frose again all the next week till the Sunday following, when it thawed again and frose for some daie after.  No rain from the end of harvest till the 12 of April which lasted 3 daies.  Apl 20 it began to snow and continued 3 daies.  Frost lasted at nights till the middle of May.  On the 4 of the same month a good deal of rain and on July 30 a thunder-shower after that no rain till sometime in harvest'


Also in the Parish Registers are recorded the population figures for Saunderton St Mary in 1800:


'The return made to the Population Act 4 1 Geo 3d AD 1800 St Mary Saunderton.

Houses 25 Families 25 Males 105 Females 88   Employed in Agriculture 98

In Trade etc 32 Others 63 Total 193'


Now we come to John.  What can we reconstruct of his life?  Not much, but let us try to add at least something to the bare bones of the dates of his birth, marriage and death.  Born at 'Grange Farm' in 1817, twenty-two months after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, he was born into a period of peace that England had not known for many a long year and, no doubt, one that brought great relief, and yet, one that was to have much internal unrest and industrial revolution.  John was a lad of eight when Stephenson started to build his steam locomotives, and by the time John was twelve in 1829, he had built his famous 'Rocket'.


Perhaps John had the dream of every small boy thereafter to drive an engine.  We do not know if he ever did.  It seems unlikely although his younger brother Jesse certainly did so but at that age he can have had little idea what a big part the railways were to play in his life and that most of his working days were to be spent with them.


We know little of the first 23 years of his life. When his father left 'Grange Farm' in 1830 at the age of  41, John was just 13 and it seems probable that he would have worked with his father for a time but he must have been attracted by the potential for the future and the excitement of this new mode of transport which the rapid growth of the railways offered and probably the chance of earning a higher wage.  Then, too, it would have provided the opportunity to 'escape' from the parochial life of farming.  At any rate, in October 1840 at the age of 23, he joined the service of the Great Western Railway.


At this point I must ask for tolerance if I make some errors of detail in writing of the history of the railways.  I have done my research as carefully as possible but the history is so complicated by the springing up of countless small lines, the heterogeneous multiplicity of amalgamations  and, not least, the contradictory statements of those who later came to write that history.


The first public railway to use steam power had been 15 years before when the Stockton and Darlington had its public opening on 27.9.1825 with its one locomotive, Stephenson's  'Locomotion No 1’.  The Great Western Railway came rather late in the field and had only been in operation two years, opening on 4th June 1838 when the first section of the London to Bristol line had been completed.  This ran from Paddington and terminated at Maidenhead Riverside (now Taplow).  The line was completed and opened throughout, 30th June 1841.


It is perhaps interesting that when the railway came to Maidenhead, which it did, not without opposition, the Watch Committee under the Chairmanship of Robert Nicholson, fearing an increase in crime during its construction with the influx of thousands of labourers, appointed twelve additional special constables, one of whom was James Lovegrove.  Robert Nicholson was the father of William Nicholson who founded Nicholson's Brewery in the town and married my great grand aunt Sarah Saunders (a great grandaughter of John and Mary Briginshaw) and James Lovegrove was the father of Edward Richard Lovegrove who married Eleanor Georgina Brooks another great gtandaughter of John and Mary.  More of these connections in some future Newsletter.



  The Great Western Railway operated on the broad gauge and they ran, in the early days, a varied collection of engines, just one of which is shown here and which would have been operating on the G W R when John joined them.  Already a big advance on those first engines of 1825 but still fascinating to our eyes 144 years later.







We do not know exactly when his work first took him to Gloucestershire but nine years later he married Hannah Dangerfield of Kings Stanley there on the 23rd of April 1849.  We find him next at Stroud in the 1851 census when he was working as a railway porter:


Stroud 1851


67 Bath Place        John Briginshaw        Head      Marr       34       Railway Porter      Bucks     Saunderton                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Hannah                  Wife       Marr       34                                                Glous Kings Stanley

On that day (30th March 1851) we also find:

.45 Bath Place           William Rose         Head     Marr         35           Plumber  Wotton-under-Edge Mary                                Wife                                Marr       37            Needlewoman       Horsley

   John Briginshaw                  Visitor      1                                         Stroud



This John was John and Hannah's first born (March Qr. 18150) at Kings Stanley so he was 12/15 months old.  We do not know who the Rose’s were.  Perhaps friends or maybe Mary was Hannah's sister or other relative and looking after John for Hannah was by now expecting her second Child (Elizabeth) in a matter of days.  Four more children were to follow in due course,  James Richard in 1852, William Ridler 1854, Henry Edward 1856 and Hannah 1858.


The next we know of John is that he has returned to his native Buckinghamshire.  We have some indication of th e date by the birth of William Ridler in 1854 in Stroud and that of Henry Edward in 1856 in Wooburn.  Two other things which may be significant and perhaps provide clues for the reason for this move are that the Bristol to Gloucester Railway which opened in 1844 was taken over by the Midland Railway in 1846 when the G W R was given running powers between Bristol and Standish Junction south of Gloucester and this ceased in 1854.  Then the Wycombe Railway was operated by the G W R after it was opene d between High Wycombe and Maidenhead via Bourne End on lst August 1854.  The old Wycombe Railway had  various branches radiating  from High Wycombe.  The single track section from High Wycombe to Bourne End formed nart of the oldest portion between High Wycombe and Maidenhead.  The Marlow Railway came later and the two proposed extensions shown an this map were never built.  The line was originally carried over Cockmarsh near Cookham and the Thames on two timber viaducts which rocked alarmingly every time a train crossed;





















Here, it seems, John spent the rest of his working days. He eventually had charge of Wooburn Green and Little Kimble Stations, both not so very far from his old home at Saunderton.  Sadly his wife died in 1858.  Thirteen years later we find him in the 1871 census returns, now Station Master at Wooburn Green, with his sister Sarah looking after his home:



1871 Census Return


Wooburn Green


Railway Station          John Briginshaw          Head         Widr       54      Station Master    Bucks Saunderton

                                      Sarah            do              Sister         Un          56      House Keeper            do        do

                                      Elizabeth      do              D                Un          20                                     Glos Stroud

                                      Henry E        do              S                                14      Scholar                  Bucks Wooburn.


The 1861 and 1881 census returns have not yet been inspected.



When John retired in October 1886 at the age of 69 and after 46 years service with the G W R the Divisional Superintendent wrote him a testimonial that anyone might be proud to have and which is still in the possession of the family.  At the same time the inhabitants of Wooburn Green subscribed to a hansome parting purse, referring to him as their long respected Station Master and spoke of him serving in a most obliging manner.  This subscription list is also in the Possession of the family.  It is too long to reproduce but a reduced photocopy of the letter is shown below.









Although the line still runs from Maidenhead to Marlow via Cookham and Bourne End, over a rather more substantial bridge, that portion that once ran from Bourne End to Loudwater and then to join up with the main line at West Wycombe was closed and dismantled some years ago.


Recently I started at Bourne End to trace the route of this old line that once meant so much to John. When I got to Wooburn Green I was delighted to find the Station Master's House with adjoining ticket office and platform still there although, sadly, in verv dilapidated state and almost hidden by the wild, waist high, growth of weeds and tall bushes and due for demolition.  I met the present occupier who is waiting-, to be re-housed (her husband still works for B R in London) and she kindly let me wander all over the place to take a number of nhotographs, one of which I reproduce here:





















As I walked along the narrow and overgrown platform I could picture John standing on that platform which he knew so well a hundred  years ago.  Wooburn Green Station was a simple unpretentious structure and must have quietly served the community almost as part of the village scene but I am sure he was proud of it for all that.  As I stood there I would not have been surprised to have seen a Stephenson ghost train arrive along the now empty track.  After that I went on to Little Kimble to take this photograph:






















The  letter written by the Superintendent refers to John having charge of Wooburn Green and Little Kimble Stations but it is not clear at what periods.  Little Kimble was opened 1.10.1863.  Still in use to-day, it is an unstaffed halt.  I was touched as I stood on the platform to read a little handwritten

notice which read 'Enjoy your journey and come safely home again'.



























                                                                JOHN BRIGINSHAW 1817 - 1902


This photograph of a hansome old gentleman surely portrays a man with a kindly nature who deserved the respect and esteem in which he was so obviously held by those who knew and worked with him.


John died at the age of 85 in 1902 in Maidenhead and lies buried in the cemetery there.


John’s youngest brother, Jesse, emigrated to America where we know he was driving passenger trains on the Long Island Railroad and I hope to feature him in a future Newsletter providing research I am initiating produces sufficient information.





This entry appears in The Gentleman's Magazine 3 (1733) Page 156:


Marriages March 1733 – Edward Cape Hopton Esq (son of Richard Hopton Esq formerley Kt of the Shire for the County of Hereford) married Miss Briggenshaw a fortune of 30,000 L  !!!





It is my intention to produce the next Newsletter in the autumn when I hope to feature three more John's (grandfather, father and son, born 1754, 1791 and 1821 respectively) the last two being farmers on Foxleys Manor estate at Brav.  I would welcome any information which might help to expand the family history surrounding them.