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Kempley, Herefordshire

Several generations of Burgums of the "FF" family tree lived in Kempley, Herefordshire.

was described as a “straggling village” and is six miles north-west of Newent and fifteen miles north-west of Gloucester just to the north of the Forest of Dean.

The village lies close to the Gloucester and Hereford canal. There were 311 people living there in the 1861 census and 306 inhabitants in the 1871 census. The farmland consisted of arable, pasture and orchards (which produced cider and perry).

The church, dedicated to St. Mary is Norman, built between 1095 and 1100, has a nave and chancel with a tower crowned with a low spire. It was built by Hugh de Lacy, son of the Norman baron, Walter de Lacy, and is believed to have replaced an earlier Saxon Church. During restoration in 1872 whitewash was removed from the walls to reveal wall paintings dating back to the 1100’s. “Christ in Majesty” is particularly striking. A second church, St. Edward's, was built in 1903 because of frequent flooding of St Mary’s. St Edwards Church was described by John Betjamin as "a miniature cathedral of the Arts and Crafts Movement".

Slater's 1868 Directory of Newent, six miles from Kempley, includes entries for Arthur Burgum, Farmer, of Kempley, and Charles Burgum, a retailer of Beer, from nearby Taynton. The earliest Burgums at Kempley (as far as I am aware) were William and Ann, both born in the 1720's. They had six children at Kempley between 1747 and 1761. Their first born John (Bergum) married Ann Baylis at Kempley in August 1769 and they also had six children - Richard, Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary, Hester and Ann. The third child, Elizabeth married Robert Phelps at Upton Bishop on 25th February 1811. They spent their married lives at Moor House, Kempley and they both served as Overseers for a time. Their son James Phelps and his first and second wives had connections with the ancestors of people still living in Kempley today. Further down this page are some details taken from the Overseers records. An entry for 1810 shows the overseers began giving money to Sarah Burgham, almost certainly Elizabeth Burgam Phelps' sister. She was, presumably, a single mother and there is a note recording that Mr Phelps paid 3 shillings a week for 44 weeks for Sarah Burgam's child, but which Mr Phelps? Some have speculated he was the father. Yet Robert Phelps married Sarah's sister Elizabeth the next year. Will we ever know?

John and Ann (Baylis) Burgum's only son Richard was born at Kempley in 1782. He married a Gloucester girl, Elizabeth Gab at Kempley and together they had six children between 1811 and 1824. They were all baptised at Kempley and their residence was given as Kempley Green. Richard worked as a labourer, presumably on one of the local farms, but his life was about to change forever when he was found guilty of stealing a sheep! Click here to read more of his story. We do not know what happened to his wife Elizabeth (yet), but rest of the family seems to have moved away sometime later, with their youngest son John marrying at Hartlebury in 1849. His children were born in Hartlebury and at Stone, both in Worcestershire. Curiously, one of his children Elizabeth (1851-1912) died in Philadelphia, USA.

However, the Kempley connection does not stop there. Arthur Avery Burgum (1834-1903), a farmer, was living at nearby Bickerton Court, Much Marcle, in the 1861 census. I have been unable to find him in 1871, but by 1881 he is living at Mathew's Farm, at Kempley, with his wife Esther. He is farming 196 acres and employing four men and two boys. In 1891 Arthur and Ester are still at Matthew's Farm, but their surname is now spelt Burgham. In 1901, again at Matthew's Farm, the surname is back to Burgum and their niece Ellen Cummins (a domestic) is also present. Arthur died at the farm in 1903, and his will indicates he left effects of £1476-10s-5d to his wife Esther. Esther died in 1908 and her will gives her residence as French House, Kempley. She left effects of £78-6s-3d to her niece Ellen Cummins. I have not yet established a direct link between Arthur Avery Burgum and the earlier Kempley Burgums, but it is likely they both originate from the Burgum dynasty who farmed at Linton and Aston Ingham between 1635 and 1835. (This is already proven in the case of Arthur Avery Burgum). Tantalisingly a number of the Linton and Aston Ingham Burgums (FF family tree) settled at Abenhall, in the Forest of Dean, in the 1790's just a mile or two from my family of Burgums (AA family tree) who were working iron at Flaxley and Littledean.

Van Goulding, of the Kempley Tardis , has very kindly supplied me with more information (there is a little more about the Kempley Tardis at the bottom of this page). As with other places, the church was responsible for overseeing the collection of rates for the poor from parish members and for the distribution of money to those most in need. The Oversees records reveal the following -

1777 Payd to Ann Burgam at times ........ 4s

1782 16th December
Sarah Burgum put as apprentice to Mr Thomas Nott at Powells End 13s 4d
John Burgum put as apprentice to Mr Howells at Bridges 13s 4d
? Burgum apprentice to Mr Gurney at ye Lower House 13s 4d
(The overseer sought placements for poor people and paid for the indentures)

Richard Burgum put as apprentice to Mr Thomas Palmer for Sasols (Saycells)
Paid Ann Burgam £3..3..9
John Burgum £1..1..0

Weekly pay to Ann Burgam £3..8..9 (for 55 weeks)
(Overseers were appointed at Easter, so some years were longer than others)

1795 Paid John Burgum in want £1..8..0

1810 Sarah Burgum 44 weeks at 3s per week £6..12..0

1811 Sarah Burgum 54 at 3s £8..2..0

1818 Sarah Burghams child 52 weeks at 6s £7..16..0
1818 Sarah Burghams child 48 weeks at 2s 6d £6..0..0

1829 Allowed Mr Burgham £1 with an apprentice

9th March Richard Burgham illness 5 shillings
27th March Richard Burgham illness 5 shillings

Eliz Burgam boy 23 weeks at 1/6d £1..14..6
1st June Paid Mrs Phelps for Eliz Burgam's lodging for 6 weeks at one shilling per week 6 shillings
Paid for Eliz Burgams lodging for 4 weeks at 6d per week 2 shillings
(This payment continued from December 1835 to March 1836)
14th July Gave James Burgam in want

1st June
Paid for a pair of small close for James Burgam 4s 6d
A wascoat 2s
A frock 3s

A pair of stockings 1s 2d
2½ yards of calicole at 4d per yard 10d
For making a short 6d
A cap 1s 4d
A pair of shoes 2s
Maintaing John Burgam 1 week 2s 6d
Paid for the indenture for John Burgam 7s 6d
[Henry Burgam was a church warden approving the overseers account in 1836!]

The Morris & co. Commercial Directory & Gazetteer of Kempley 1876 lists the following -
Clergy and Gentry
Drummond, Rev. Arthur Hislop, M.A. - vicar, The Vicarage
Ferris, Timothy John, Esq. - Lower House

Trades and Professions
Brooke, Isaac - farmer and thrashing machine proprietor, Friar's Court
Brooke, John - farmer, Cakes Farm
Burgum, Arthur - farmer, Mathew's Farm
Forty, Robert - parish clerk
Fretwill, Henry - farm bailiff, Green Farm
Hartland, John - farmer, Old Vicarage
Jones, Samuel -farmer, Print House Farm
Jones, William – shoemaker
Lane, Frederick -farmer, Bridge's Farm
Mason, John - farmer, Brick House Farm
Nott, John - carpenter and wheelwright
Palmer, John - farmer, Bullocks End
Palmer, Mrs. Mary - farmer, Kempley Court
Phelps, James - farmer, Moor House Farm
Powell, John - farmer, Seysell's Farm
Probert, John - farmer, Folly Farm
Sandford, Miss Elizabeth - National schoolmistress
Spencer, Thomas - farmer, Powell's End
Symonds, Ira - carpenter and wheelwright
Thurston, Frederick - farmer, Stone House Farm
Wintle, William - beer retailer and shopkeeper Kempley Tardis Want to know more? Kempley Tardis is a Social History project, funded originally by the Heritage Lottery Fund, creating an online archive of the Kempley's history through vital records, maps and old papers. Well worth a look!

Did you read about Richard Burgam - Convict? It is quite a story!

The map below shows the principle areas in Herefordshire where Burgums and Burghams lived.
1. Aston Ingham         2. Foy                 3. Kempley               4. Kilcot             5. Linton            
6. Much Marcle           7. Taynton         8. Upton Bishop         9. Weston-under-Penyard

Click below for more (click Back to return to this page) -

FF Family Tree

Kempley Tardis Project

List of Burgum baptisms, marriages and burials that took place at Kempley