Looking for the Scarletts in West Bergholt part 2


I am not anything special, I don't even own a history qualification; nevertheless I like to spend a lot time in the past. Sometimes I think I am better in my own company, and as I am quite capable of peopling my surroundings with ghosts of those long gone I'm generally happy with this entertainment. Recently I went to Wormingford church and noticed some 17th c names, initials, a merchant mark and a date of 1673. After a bit of  sideways thinking, three ghosts popped into being as potential instigators of this graffiti. Let me introduce you...
 

There is the eldest, Christopher, he was born in West Bergholt in 1659. The middle boy, the *clever* boy Thomas was born in Wormingford in 1660 and the third son, called John (after his father) arrived in Copford in 1662. For those of you who aren't acquainted with the villages along the Suffolk/Essex border, all three villages are in quite close proximity to each other and to the town of Cochester.

Yes - I couldn't help myself. I did a little researching on line in order to try and piece together some of the boys' family tree. Mostly to see if they had uncles and cousins who could have scratched up the Wormingford graffiti.

Interestingly one of the first things to come to light was another sibling; the baby of the family, a girl called Frances. Of course I am going to approve of the name Frances; it is my name after all (I like little Frances a lot already, I'm sure she was very clever).

As for their surname,  Scarlett is an English metonymic occupational name for a dyer, or a seller of  bright red (expensive) cloth. By this time the name doesn't necessarily mean that the Scarletts were still dyers or cloth merchants, but I bet if you go down far enough it will have a cloth bottom. The Scarletts must have been pretty well off as a family, sending all three boys to the Grammar School in Colchester.

The little cherubs mother, one Mrs Frances Scarlett (nee Bettesworth) was the daughter of Thomas Bettesworth, and her people came from Winchester in Hampshire. She married John Scarlett, who interestingly doesn't appear at the Colchester Grammar School, although his brother Thomas does.

So the three boys' father was a John and their uncle a Thomas. Grammar school educated Uncle Thomas marries a Sara(h) Driwood, and there I can find no children (If anyone wants to chime in feel free, I'm not a paid up member of any genealogy sites).

Around 1662 Uncle Thomas has a 7 or 8 hearth house in West Bergholt called unimaginatively "Scarletts" and although I'm making a bit of a jump here ascribing that house to this man, it could fit.

In 1670 John Scarlett makes a land deal involving a piece of land near Church field Wormingford and is described as a "Gentleman". Both brothers seem to be doing well for themselves. Today Wormingford's Church lane runs into Bowdens Lane, a property called Bowdens being held for a while by a family called, you guessed it "Scarlett".

Go back a generation and the grandparents were one Christopher Scarlett and Alice Doggett. At this point I get some dates again. She was christened on the 14th of May 1601 and married on the 14th of July 1624. He died on the 23rd September of 1650. When they married they were living in Boxford Suffolk (not to be confused with the other two nearby Boxteds in Suffolk and Essex).

Meanwhile, we have his occupation to help in figuring out his social class.  He was a Mercer, as was Alice's father (a Mercer being a dealer in expensive cloth - I told you there would be cloth involved). Alice's father's memorial is set into the floor of the vestry area in Boxford. I remember seeing it because there is a large circle mark on the neighbouring stone, not to mention his brass mentioning the East India company. I'll return and get a photo another day.



Chappel (another local village this time in the Essex direction) may have been where Grandfather Christopher intended to live. A medieval freehold, called *Bacons* was sold in 1650 to one Christopher Scarlet, who was succeeded the same year by his son Thomas (that'll be Uncle Thomas I suppose). After a dispute the estate was split in 1664 between Thomas and a Stephen Smith of Crepping Hall. The status quo was maintained between the two families until 1713 when they both sold up to John Little. This means Uncle Thomas can potentially lay claim to two properties, Scarletts in Bergholt and Bacons in Chappel  (forgive me - this is starting to sound like a folk song)

Finally one last generation Great-grandfather John Scarlett, who married Mary Horsman. She was from a Norfolk family and her father held a knighthood. So money gets money, and with all the extra Christopher's and Thomas's you can't prove that the graffiti in Wormingford church was the Grammar School pupils I thought it might be; but it is corroborative that the three sons of John Scarlett are living close to, if not actually in Wormingford while their uncle is dividing his time between Chapel and West Bergholt.

As for the graffiti in this post? Well I thought I ought to go to West Bergholt and Copford to see if there was any. If I know anything about children it is that you have to make things fair. It's no good going to the birthplace of one and not doing the same for the other two. West Bergholt has some  lovely bits of graffiti on the porch door Go inside and you find Uncle Thomas' tombstone. No mention of a wife or children....

 Copford had no graffiti or tombstones to add to the story (it does have interesting wall paintings though). So here the Scarlett story stops for a while.