Two rows of Beans in the churchyard

Two rows of beans in Redlingfield churchyard. This is how Eddie Coe described the graves of the BEAN family when he asked me to see what I could find out about them.

There are six gravestones – Thomas Bean, his two wives and three children from his first marriage.

THEODOSIA (first wife of Thomas) was the first to be buried. She died in 1830 aged only 31. She was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Pipe baptised in Horham on 23rd July 1799. She married Thomas, also in Horham on October 16th 1823. They had four children: Mary Ann born in Horham 1824 then Betsy 1827, Walter 1828 and Thomas 1830 all born in Redlingfield.

THOMAS born about 1799 (I am not sure where) lies beside Theodosia. He was a wheelwright and is named as the owner and occupier of a wheelwright’s shop on the 1839 tithe apportionments for Redlingfield. It stood at the end of Low Road where the old school is now. There were two wheelwright’s premises in the village at this time, the other owned and occupied by Robert Bolton was where Woodvale stands today. Thomas married Sarah Pipe in 1846. He died aged 50 in April 1849 in Redlingfield.

WALTER, baptised Redlingfield January 1828, is buried beside his father. He too died in April 1849 aged 21 in Eye.

SARAH the second wife of Thomas died aged 76 in 1883. Her grave is next to Walter’s. According to the 1851 Census she was born in Wilby about 1807. Her parents were Jerimiah and Sarah Pipe so she wasn’t a sister of Theodosia – perhaps a cousin? She was in the house of Thomas Bean in 1841 as Sarah Pipe and there are two children, both Pipes. She was described as a spinster when she married Thomas in December 1846. Then in 1851 after the death of her husband she was the head of the household which included Thomas, son of Theodosia. There were four other children all with the surname Bean. Only the baptism of the last born has Thomas recorded as the father.

The others were recorded as the children of Sarah Pipe and were born before the marriage. The 1851 Census also notes that she was being kept by the parish. 1861 and 71 censuses show Sarah as a charwoman alone in the house in 1861; in 1871 she had two grandchildren with her. In 1881 she was “formerly charwoman” aged 74.

BETSY was baptised in September 1828. The 1851 Census tells us that she was housekeeper for her grandfather John Pipe in Horham, a retired farmer of 86. In 1861 she was a cook in Halesworth, 1871 a cook in Dedham and in 1881 housekeeper for her nephew Thomas Beecroft, an unmarried grocer in Eyke. She died in Eyke in March 1883.

THOMAS jnr. was born 1830 in Redlingfield but not baptised until 1832. He was a wheelwright aged 21 in 1851 living in his stepmother’s house. By 1861 he had a wife, Emma and was a carpenter living in Eagle Street, Norwich. He had moved to Diss by 1871 with Emma and two children and remained there through 1881 and 91 as a carpenter. In 1901 we find him a
widower, retired carpenter, aged 71 and an inmate of Hartismere Workhouse in Eye, perhaps due to illness rather than poverty. He died on the 13th April 1902.

MARY ANN born 1824 also a child of Thomas and Theodosia is not buried with her parents but in
Horham. She married Charles Beecroft in 1846. They ran the grocer’s and Post Office in Horham.
Mary Ann continued after Charles died in 1868 and was still there in 1891. She died in 1895.

Linda Hudson (Published in Athelington, Horham & Redlingfield Spring 2016 issue No 33).

Redlingfield sampler from attic at the Horham PO

This is a postscript to my little piece about the Bean family in the spring issue of our magazine. 

Alan Johnson showed me a picture of a sampler worked by Maryann Bean in 1835 when she was eleven years old. Alan was born at the post office and now lives in the non-shop part of the building. Some time ago he found the sampler in the attic. It has been a feature of the village website for a while. (See the sampler).

Maryann married Charles Beecroft in 1846 and ran the post office and grocer’s shop with him, continuing after his death in 1868. She died in 1895 at the age of 71. 

Her daughter Ann continued the running of the post office. In 1875 she had married George Stageman, a builder, and lived with him in Earl Soham. He died in 1884. The census for 1891 shows that Ann with sons Arthur and George were now living with Maryann at the shop.

In 1893 Ann married William Hawes described on the 91 census as a widower aged 65, boot-maker and postman. By 1911 Ann was widowed again, sub postmistress running a general stores. With her was William’s daughter Laura, 38 and described as a general help.

Ann died in 1924, Alan told me that her son Arthur had electricity put in the church at Horham in memory of his mother.

It seems that Arthur continued with the shop until Alan’s father, Percy Johnson, arrived in the mid-1930s when the business finally passed out of the hands of the descendants of Maryann Bean.

The shop is still linked to the Johnson family as current occupier David Spall and Alan are cousins.

 Alan gave the sampler to Brian Beecroft who is a great grandson of Maryann. Thanks to Alan I had the privilege of meeting Brian recently and hearing more about his family history.

Linda Hudson (Published in Athelington, Horham & Redlingfield Summer 2016 issue No 34).