Monthly Archives: January 2013

Rev. John Bullen

John Bullen was a subscriber to Kirby’s Historical Account.

The Rev. Mr. John Bullen (c. 1712—1774) was ordained Deacon in 1736 and Priest in 1738. His first appointment was as Rector of Newbourne in Suffolk, a post that had been earlier held by Robert Hingestone. The patron was Thomas Western, Esq, himself also a subscriber.

Newbourne St. Mary’s

Rev. Bullen retained his position at Newbourne until his death in 1774, adding to it the livings of Rector of Kennet, just over the border into Cambridgeshire, and Vicar of Rushmere, taking over from Rev. Richard Canning, both in 1756.

While John Bullen lived the quiet life of a country vicar in Kennet, his (second) son Joseph went to sea and had a vigorous and illustrious career in the Navy. He fought in the Caribbean during the American War of Independence, served with Nelson on the Agamemnon (as did William Bolton – I’ll leave it to the naval historians to determine if they were on the ship at the same time), he was 69 times under fire, retired to land, and lived to the ripe old age of 96 as Admiral Bullen.

Rev. Thomas Bolton (1697—1772)

The Rev. Thomas Bolton was a member of the Bolton family of Woodbridge, one of the children of Samuel Bolton, a surgeon. He grew up in Woodbridge and in the usual way of things, went on to Cambridge and was ordained deacon in 1720 and priest in 1721. He was for a time Rector of Barham, resigning to take up the position of Rector at Hollesley, a position he held from 1739 until his death.

Hollesley Church

Hollesley is only half a dozen miles from Woodbridge, with Ipswich another 6 or 7 miles onwards. From 1739 to 1743, Rev. Bolton was also Headmaster at Ipswich School, being succeeded by Robert Hingestone. Thomas Bolton married Mary Bird and they had four children, Samuel, Thomas, Martha, and Mary. His grandson Thomas married Susannah Nelson, eldest sister of Horatio, Lord Nelson; and a great-grandson, Sir William Bolton, married his cousin Catherine, a daughter of Thomas and Susannah, and served with Nelson for many years. William Bolton was unable to be at the Battle of Trafalgar, being on other service, a circumstance which apparently caused Nelson to exclaim, “Billy, Billy, out of luck!” Another great-grandson of Thomas Bolton was killed at Waterloo.

Along with Kirby’s Historical Account, Bolton also (not surprisingly) subscribed to Rev. Richard Canning‘s Account of the Gifts and Legacies…In Ipswich.

The Lottery of 1726

Lotteries, at least state-run lotteries, in England went back to the time of Queen Elizabeth, the first recorded one being from 1566—1569. At the time, there were two main types of lottery. Common was a `zero-sum’ lottery where the amount given away as prizes equaled the face-value of the tickets sold. In this case, the lottery essentially acted as an interest-free loan to the state for the length of the lottery, which could run for several years. The accounting gets more complex when some of the prizes were in the form of government debt. The other form was explicitly to raise funds, often for worthy causes, such as the 1612 lottery is support of the Jamestown colony in Virginia, or the lottery to support the founding of the British Museum in 1753. The lottery of 1726 was a rare occasion when the state lost money.

The 1726 lottery was designed to raise £1,000,000 through the sale of 100,000 tickets at £10 each. The procedure then was that each ticket would be drawn and would either win a prize or `benefit’, or be recorded as a `blank’ or non-winning ticket. The top benefit was £20,000, an enormous sum of money, followed by two second prizes of £10,000 and so on down to 360 prizes of £100 and 7550 prizes of £20. The process of drawing all 100,000 tickets took weeks and the news was steadily reported in the papers. The 8000 winning tickets were worth a total of £310,000, so the remaining £690,000 was returned via the Blanks, each paying back £7 10s of the original £10 cost.

Not everyone could afford the full £10 for a ticket and this gave an opportunity for enterprising brokers to sell fractions of an interest. John Bagnall, publisher of the Ipswich Journal, offered his services buying fractions of a ticket, `for those who desire it, I will procure Shares of Tickets, viz. an 8th for 25s. and so in Proportion, whereby they will have a chance for 2500l at 6d each for my trouble of transmitting the money to London, and having a return’. Even 25 shillings was a lot of money for some to lay out on a lottery ticket, so ‘For the Benefit of small Adventurers, 40th Shares may be purchased at 5s 6d each’. Bagnall also offered a service whereby, for the same 6d, customers could register their lottery ticket numbers and as they were drawn he would publish the number together with whether it was a blank or the amount of the benefit, noting that his anonymous procedure ‘doth not expose the Names and Fortunes of the Adventures in the Lottery to any Body’.

Despite these valiant attempts by local entrepreneurs to extend the market for tickets, and despite concerns in London that small fractions were becoming so accessible that servants and apprentices might be buying them, the lottery ended with 11,093 tickets unsold. These tickets, with a face value of £110,930, made only £103,272 10s in the drawing, thus leaving the Exchequer £7657 10s short.

For those of you hazy on old English currency, 1 pound (£1) was worth 20 shillings (20s), and a shilling was 12 pence (12d). The 6d (six pence) Bagnall charged for his services was half a shilling, or 1/40th of a pound.

The Blois Family

Joshua Kirby dedicated Plate 7, South view of Blithburgh Church and Priory, of his Twelve Prints to Sir Charles Blois, Bart, and Plate 11, Tomb of Henry Howard, Earl of Surry, to the Rev. Mr. Ralph Blois. Both Charles and Ralph were subscribers to the prints and accompanying Historical Account. The Blois family were wealthy landowners in Suffolk (indeed, still are) who had made their money in trade in the 16th and 17th centuries. The family seat was at Grundisburgh Hall a few miles northeast of Ipswich, which an ancestor, Sir William Blois, had inherited from the Brooke family by marriage (his first wife was a Brooke, and his second was the widow and heiress of his brother-in-law).

© Copyright Chris Holifield and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Blois family had a long connection to Blythburgh Church as patrons, and at the time of the Twelve Prints, Rev. Ralph Blois was curate of Blythburgh. I do not know of any Blois connection to Henry Howard (who was beheaded in 1546), nor indeed to Framlingham, where the tomb is.

The baronetcy was created in 1686 by King James II and the first baronet, Sir Charles Blois, lived on to be 80, dying in 1738. Sir Charles married twice, firstly Mary Kemp, daughter of Sir Robert Kemp. Charles and Mary had four children, Robert, William, Charles, and Mary. William married Jane Kemp, his mother’s niece via her brother Robert’s second marriage, and William and Jane had two children, Charles and Mary. The two elder sons of Sir Charles, Robert and William, both pre-deceased their father, and so the younger Charles inherited the title from his grandfather in 1738, and it is this second Sir Charles Blois, Bart who is our subscriber.

The Rev. Ralph Blois was a son of the original Sir Charles by his second wife, Ann Hawtrey. Ralph married Elizabeth, daughter of Reginald Rabett. Ralph’s sister Ann married Samuel Thompson, Esq, of Ufford. Along with Charles and Ralph Blois, Ralph’s father-in-law, Reginald Rabett, and his brother-in-law Samuel Thompson, were subscribers to the Historical Account, and Jane Kemp’s brother, Sir John Kemp, was a subscriber to the first edition of Method of Perspective.

The younger Sir Charles Blois died in 1760 unmarried and the title passed to his uncle Charles, who the Complete Baronetage says, `was a lunatic’, and who died unmarried in December 1761. The title then briefly passed to Rev. Ralph before he died in May 1762, whereupon the title passed down to Ralph’s son John and out of our history.

Unqualitied Persons

Since we are on the subject of Alexander Bence, I reproduce below a legal notice from the Ipswich Journal of January 1748 on the protection of game in Suffolk. It well illustrates the interconnections between the gentry and better-off people in the fairly small world of the Suffolk countryside, shows the social gulf between classes, and is the first time I met the term “unqualitied persons”. It is also worth noting that no less than ten of the people named in the notice were Kirby subscribers (I have put their names in bold).

Whereas the Right Honourable the Lord Viscount Hereford, Sir Robert Kemp, Bart. Sir John Rous, Bart. Sir Charles Blois, Bart. Alexander Bence, Esq; John Rush, Esq; Charles Scrivener, Esq; Reginald Rabett, Esq; Nicholas Jacob, Esq; Thomas World, Esq; John Damer, Esq; Dudley North, Esq; Charles Long, Esq; Thomas Gooch, Esq; Philip Bewster, Esq; and others, have entered into an Agreement and Subscription for the Preservation of the GAME within the Hundreds of Blything, Wangford, Plomsgate and Hoxne, in the County of Suffolk; and for prosecuting by Action, Information, or otherwise such unquality’d as shall offend against all or any of the Statutes made for Preservation of the Game: And by such their Agreement have appointed Peter Pullyn, of Halesworth in the said County, their Attorney and Sollicitor for the Purposes in the said Agreement aforementioned.

    These are therefore to certify, That if any Person or Persons will inform against any such unquality’d Person or Persons, who shall take, kill, or destroy in the Night-time, or have in their Possessions any Hares, Pheasants, or Partridges, within the said Hundreds, so as such Person or Persons may be convicted thereof, he or they shall receive of the said Peter Pullyn, on the Conviction of such Person or Persons offending, FIVE POUNDS (over and above the Reward allowed by Act of Parliament) and his or their Name or Names shall not be discovered, unless the Offender or Offenders stand a Tryal at Law, or make Defence to any Indictment or Informations, nor until the Time of such Tryal or Conviction of the Offender or Offenders; And that if any Person or Persons unlawfully take, kill, or destroy and Fish, in any several Rivers or Fishery, or out of inclosed Fish-Ponds within the said Hundreds (without leave of the Owner or Owners thereof) he or they who shall make such Discoveries shall be well rewarded for the same.

    N.B. The Subscribers desire all Noblemen and Gentlemen to have their Titles or Names, with the Day of the Month, wrote on the Direction of any Game to be sent by any Stage-Coach, Waggon, Carts, Carriers, or otherwise; they being determined to prosecute the Drivers of such Stage-Coaches, Waggons and Carts, and the Carriers who shall have any Game in their Custodies that have not such Directions upon the Game as aforesaid.