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1901 Census.
RG13 : Piece 1623 : Folio 102 : Page 4
4, Verulam Avenue, Walthamstow, Essex.

John PIGOTT : Head : Married : 43 yrs : Occupation, Salvation Army Officer : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire.
Eliza M PIGOTT : Wife : Married : 39 yrs : Born, Newcastle, Staffordshire.
Henrietta D PIGOTT : Daughter : 8 yrs : Born, Newcastle, Staffordshire.
John W V PIGOTT : Son : 7 yrs : Born, Newcastle, Staffordshire.
Douglas R O PIGOTT : Son : 3 months : Walthamstow, Essex.

04_John_PIGOTT_Eliza_Matthews_LINDOP.pdf - Original family history written and mechanically typed by Godfrey BRAMHALL.

My maternal grandfather, JOHN PIGOTT and his wife ELIZA MATTHEWS LINDOP

John Pigott junior was born in Faringdon, Berkshire, in 1856 and his brother Josiah two years later. Their father, John Pigott senior, was a cordwainer with premises in the Corn Market - right in the centre of the little town. Their mother was Emma Jane Oldaker - a milliner and straw bonnet maker whose father Charles, a saddler, had come to Faringdon from Witney. For a short time before her marriage Emma had her own millinery business in the neighbouring town of Wantage.

Grandfather's schooldays were probably spent at the local National School. Mother used to say that her father "left school early" as he had shown high promise and attainment. Although there is no evidence to show the precise date when he left school there is plenty to show that he was possessed of outstanding ability.

John's mother died in 1866 and great-grandfather took as his second wife Sarah Day - the daughter of a Shrivenham baker. Some time in 1871 the family moved to Filkins - a village between Burford and Lechlade. Sarah's first child, Elizabeth Hannah, was a year old. Living space in the new home must have been very limited for "The Evergreens" had to double as village grocery store and Post Office as well. All this must have imposed some pressure on John junior to leave leave home at the earliest opportunity. But it would not be fair to cast Sarah in the role of the archetypal, wicked stepmother of cheap fiction. Far from it. All the evidence points to the fact that relationships within the family were warm and affectionate from beginning to end and it is surely significant that when he had a daughter of his own grandfather named her Henrietta Day.

It is interesting to find that one hundred years later "The Evergreens" still serves Filkins as village store and postoffice. In 1981 a postcard was issued by the Gloucestershire postal authorities illustrating some of the more picturesque post Offices in the Cotswolds. One of them was "The Evergreens" at Filkins.

I have a letter written by grandfather which makes it clear that by the middle of 1872 he was established as an apprentice to a grocer named Porter at 10 Arundel Place, Westbourne Road, Barnsbury, London. A few years later Josiah followed a similar path and went to work for a grocer in Thrapston in Northamptonshire. By May 1881 Josiah was assistant to a grocer named Edward Candler at 42, South Street, Worthing. Where grandfather spent the twelve years after 1872 will probably never be known but by 1884 the brothers had joined forces in their own grocery business at 117, Montague Street, Worthing. All that I have learnt about the brothers indicates clearly that John must have been the driving force in this enterprise.

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The two boys were brought up in a Strict Baptist household but at Worthing they joined the Salvation Army, which had started its evangelical work in that repectable seaside resort in about 1883.

In its avowed purpose of bringing the gospel message out of the chapel and into the streets General Booth's Army encountered noisy and often physical abuse from the very people it was trying to reach. For reasons which are impossible to identify this opposition reached alarming proportions in the Worthing disturbances which reached their climax in July and August 1884.

It seems possible that, in the first instance, the troubles may have been little more than noisy - and initially good-humoured - barracking of the "boys in their red jerseys ornamented with texts . . . and the girls in their coal-scuttle bonnets and draggle-tailed dresses" (Sussex Coast Mercury Newspaper 1884) especially when the idle by-standers recognized in the Army’s processions some of their own workmates or neighbours engaged in a novel activity which was, of course, intended to draw attention to itself. It is hardly surprising that the out-door meetings with uniforms and singing should have excited the noisy and mindless derision of local rowdies but, left alone, it seems highly probable that they would have tired of their sport once the novelty had worn off. Unfortunately there is evidence that certain publicans, seeing the Army's denunciation of the "demon drink" as a threat to their trade, orchestrated the hoodlum noisiness to suit their own ends.

It came as no surprise to read in "The Sussex Coast Mercury" of July 12th 1884 that, in order to formulate the activities of the "Skeleton Army" in opposition to the Salvation Army, a meeting was convened by "Mr.Fletcher of the Victoria Arms." more surprisingly the somewhat reluctant chairman of the gathering was a certain Dr.Coxwell - a Worthing doctor. There is further evidence to suggest that "dutch courage" was freely available to members of the "Skeleton Army" who felt they needed it. Small wonder that the Worthing papers soon became full of reports of verbal abuse, jostling, egg-throwing, disruption of processions and indoor meetings and even overt, massed and premeditated attacks on the persons of Salvationists and their property.

One such account in July 1884 reads thus:
"Such a shocking desecration of the Sabbath we have never witnessed at Worthing . . . The Salvation Army did not attempt another procession after the morning's disappointment but went quietly to and from the Montague Hall . . . But the spirit of discord and riot was abroad and as one of the "soldiers" - Mr.Pigott, grocer, of Montague Street - was proceeding towards his home after the afternoon meeting he was surrounded by a number of the "Skeleton Army" . . . A gentleman went to his assistance and the young man escaped uninjured though his cap was torn."
Grandfather John got off lightly on this occasion. Although this was the

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only instance when he was named as having been the object of physical attack there is no doubt that he was fully involved in everything that happened both before and after.

What were the authorities doing in the face of these public disorders?
It seems that they blew hot and cold. At times the police gave protection to the Salvationists. At others they did not. The local papers reported that Worthing magistrates had, on one occasion, described the Army's activities as "provocative and an incitement to rowdyism." On more than one occasion William Booth wrote to the Home Secretary demanding protection for his "soldiers" - but there was no response. As a result Booth ordered the Worthing Salvationists to refrain from openair activities. For a time they obeyed but fearing that their enforced inactivity would be construed as an admission of defeat they decided to force the issue and recommenced their marches.

By August 20th the situation had become so serious that the police and magistrates were forced, at long last, to clear their minds of prejudice and recognize where their civic responsibilities lay. The Riot Act was read from the Town Hall steps and a detachment of the 4th Dragoon Guards was brought in to disperse the mob and restore order. Notices were displayed warning that further attempts to disturb the Army's lawful activities would be treated as criminal offences punishable by imprisonment without the option of a fine.

But peace was only gradually restored. Even after the Riot Act had been invoked it became necessary for many local residents to be sworn in as Special Constables - among them being "Mr.Pigott, grocer" on September 5th - which might, perhaps, be taken to mean that grandfather was not wholly content to "turn the other cheek"! A week later brother Josiah tried to enrol but was turned down as being under age!

There had been breaches of the peace, many prosecutions before the local magistrates and some before the Sussex assizes. Among the latter was that of a certain Mr. Head of 39, Montague Street - a Salvation Army sympathiser - who had used a revolver to repulse rioters who had broken into his paint and hardware store and were threatening to set fire to it.

The local press - and to a lesser extent – the national press had a field-day. Apart from endless reports of events, court cases and editorial comment the correspondence columns reverberated with the thunderingsi of correspondants who, for the most part, concealed their identities behind such pseudonyms as "Disgusted" "Quietness", "Reason", "Fair PP1ay", "Lover of Justice" and "Disgusted Resident". Strangely these pen-names seldom indicated which side of the fence the writers were sitting on! Of course there were braver spirits who did sign their names although one of them could find nothing more significant to say than that Salvationists were just -

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. . a lot of boys and girls parading the town in grotesque costumes and filling the air with a hideous bawling, screeching and clanging."
"Worthing Intelligencer" 26th July 1884

It is, perhaps, not entirely fair to reproduce snippets from letters without printing all that has gone before, but space will not allow such an objective approach. (After all this is merely a family history exercise!) Grandfather was a Salvationist. It follows that anything he wrote in reply to others must be biased. Nevertheless we reproduce extracts from two of his letters because they demonstrate that he was possessed of strong but balanced convictions supported by admirable powers of self-expression.

From the "Sussex Coast Mercury" August 30th 1884
"Your correspondent's letter of the 24th conveys an entirely wrong impression as to our motives in holding our procession at Worthing on Sunday . . . The facts of the case were that in consequence of strong representations. . . the Worthing magistrates arrived at the wise determination to protect the Salvation Army in the exercise of their established rights against mob violence. It was, therefore, in fulfillment of a prearranged plan that our procession took place on Sunday morning from 10.15 to 10.45 a.m. and in consequence of the admirable arrangements of the Chief Constable there was no disturbance worth mentioning, and this has been the invariable result when the authorities have determined, at any cost, to put down rowdyism and brutality with a strong hand. I should add that, although in most of our six hundred and twelve stations in the United Kingdom we are in the habit of marching with a band, yet at Worthing this was not the case, and what your correspondent terms the "fons et origo" of so much hatred and bitterness has been forty or fifty Christian men and women singing hymns (of which the sentiments are those professed by all Christian denominations) through the streets for about one hour a work between the hours of divine service.
Mr.J.Pigott, Montague Street, Worthing"

In another long and closely reasoned letter to the same paper on November 8th John had this to say about the people who sought to disrupt the Army's work:
“The people who have opposed us in the open air have done it to please themselves, and they do not profess to believe that they were under the painful necessity of doing what they have done but have thoroughly enjoyed it. The Salvation Army has annoyed no-one but is disliked because those who persecute it enjoy what they do to such an extent that their doings become scandalous. The Salvation Army is persecuted because it is persecuted. If our processions had never been molested by those, remember, who enjoyed the chance of doing so, no one would have complained about annoyance. Many have despised the processionists, others pitied them, but neither of these sentiments would have led to open persecuting by force and violence, but would sooner or later have been dispelled by the chance . . . of coming to acquaint themselves with, and understand, the objects or their pity and scorn.
As to respecting a place of worship by ceasing singing whilst passing, I would only say that the truest, and only real respect anyone can show to a church is that we should love . . . There is no virtue in respecting an empty place of worship. Let us enter its gates with thanksgiving. That every house of prayer in the town may be crowded with devout worshippers is the earnest desire of my heart.
Yours respectfully, John Pigott."
(The underlining is grandfather's.)

Clearly the Worthing Salvationists had, in John Pigott, an advocate of formidable eloquence!
There is no way of telling how long grandfather had considered becoming a full-time member of the Army. It is worth recalling that his father often preached in the Strict Baptist chapels in Berkshire and Oxfordshire, that his aunt Elizabeth had recently gone to India to work in the Zenana Mission of the C.M.S. in Karachi, and that his uncle Robert, pastor of the Providence Baptist Chapel in Swindon, had a nationwide reputation as a persuasive preacher.

Certain it is that the Worthing experience had in no way changed his views on full-time committment. Early in 1885 he left brother Josiah to run the grocery business and entered the Army's Training Garrison at Clapton, East London.

Josiah was a more easy-going character. My mother recalled that on more than one occasion Josiah brought the business to the verge of bankruptcy by extending too much credit to the numerous "genteel" families who, after renting rooms in Worthing for the summer season all too frequently disappeared without settling their accounts. Grandfather had to seek leave of absence from his duties and use all his skill and influence to resolve his brother's difficulties. When admonished for granting too much easy credit Josiah would assert that if he had acted differently he would have lost many customers. Grandfather's reply to this shaky reasoning is not recorded but would, no doubt, have contained some reference to the scriptural authority which exhorts the businessman to combine the gentleness of the dove with the wisdom of the serpent!

John's training as an officer lasted a bare three months. On April 7th 1885 he was sent to do evangelical work at Metheringham in Lincolnshire. Other similar appointments of short duration followed at York, Yarmouth, Derby and finally Ryhope near Sunderland in 1888. By this time he was a Captain. By 1890 it is clear that grandfather's ability in administration had been recognized for in that year the Army's journal, "The War Cry", recorded that he had been promoted to the rank of Staff-Captain and appOinted "A.D.C. to Colonel Ridsdel of the Bristol Division."

From this time grandfather's career in the Army is clearly charted by at least twenty-two entries in "The War Cry" and the Army's "Year Books", right up to the time of his retirement as Lieutenant-Colonel in 1919. The Army's use of quasi-military terminology sometimes makes it difficult to appreciate the precise nature of his many appointments e.g.:
"May 16th 1896. Staff. Capt. Pigott (Staff Secretary at I.H.Q.) to the Foreign Office as Asst. Sec. for Foreign Trade Affairs under Commissioner Howard." Or
"August 26th 1899. Major John Pigott (Central Staff Sec.) to take charge of Food and Shelter Dept. of City Colony under Commissioner Cadman."

But enough comes through to show that grandfather was an able businessman and administrator who was to be tested to the full when, in 1907, with the rank of Brigadier he was appointed manager of the Uniform and Outfitting Department of the Salvationist Publishing and Supplies Limited.

The Year Book for 1907 provides us with the Army's own valuation of this post when it says that the Uniform and Outfitting Section was -
". . . the most important division of the Trade Headquarters . . the value of the business is considerable. For instance the Uniform Section sent out last year some forty thousand garments . . Under the control of this department is a well-established Straw Goods Factory at Luton. . ."

Subsequent Year Books record that grandfather's department dealt with -
". . .straw hats and bonnets, tailoring, hosiery, red guernseys, furnishings, drapery, boots and shoes, dressmaking and also all the insignia and badges of the Army."

The workers in the workplaces under his supervision were -
". . . employed on a proper trade basis and paid the prevailing rates of wages, while every care is taken that work is done under the best conditions . . . The well-known serges and other textile specialties sold by this department are manufactured especially for it."

To obtain supplies of the right quality John had to travel extensively in the United Kingdom and my sister Olive has reminded me that to secure raw materials for the Army's bonnet factory John had to go as far afield as Italy.

It was interesting to read in the Year Book for 1920 - the year following grandfather's retirement - that two men had been appointed to share the managerial responsibilities he had shouldered alone for twelve years.

John did not get married until his work had enabled him to settle in the London area. In 1891 he married a petite and attractive young Army officer named Eliza Matthews Lindop who came from Newcastle-under-Lyme. She was the second daughter of a Methodist brush-maker, William Lindop and his wife Elizabeth Wilbraham. William's father was a potter named Joseph Lindop who lived at Etruria - the village built by Josiah Wedgwood to house his employees. Elizabeth Wilbraham was the third child of a labourer named John Wilbraham (born in Crewe in 1788) and his wife Elizabeth Luntby.

John and Eliza Pigott made their home in Walthamstow in about 189S - first at 4,Verulam Avenue and later at 71, Greenleaf Road. They had three children:-

  • My mother Henrietta Day who was born in 1892. She (and her brothers) first went to Gamuel Road School of which, by great coincidence, I later became the Headmaster. Later mother went to the Technical School in Hoe Street. On leaving school mother worked for the Icilma company before marrying - in March 1917 - Lt. William Bramhall of the Manchester Regiment.
  • My uncle John William Vincent (born 1894) who became a Salvation Army officer and served in Scotland before resigning due to ill-health. He later took a degree in History and became a schoolmaster.
  • My uncle Douglas Randolph Oldaker (born 1900) - a bank official whose third name reminds us of his grandmother - Emma Jane Oldaker.

My memories of my maternal grandparents are of two loving and delightful people whose religious convictions were profound but never bigoted. On Sundays it was grandfather's custom to don his Colonel's uniform and walk from our home in Greenleaf Road to the Army's Hall in High Street. As the years advanced this walk proved more than he could manage. Fortunately Greenleaf Road was well endowed with places of worship and grandfather demonstrated an ecumenical outlook far ahead of his time. Thus his Sabbath pilgrimages took him first to the Baptist Chapel at the far end of the road, then to St.Luke's Parish Church a mere hundred yards from our home, and finally to the Friends' Meeting House which was literally next door.

Grandmother Eliza died in 1924 and grandfather in 1931. They rest in the Walthamstow Cemetery in Queens Road - sharing the same grave as my infant brother Douglas John.

Family Bible of John Pigott senior
Letters of John Pigott junior to his grandmother and to his father.
Census Returns for Faringdon, Worthing and Stoke-on-Trent
"The War Cry"
"The Salvation Army Year Books"
Kelly's Directories for Berks. and Bucks.
"Happy Heart of Youth" - by E.J.Allen (nee Pigott)
"The General next to God"
General Registry - St.Catherine's House


1892 Birth in the Sub-district of Hackney in the County of London.
No. 295
When and where, Twenty Sixth June 1892, 24, Linscott Road.
Henrietta Day PIGOTT : Girl

Name of father, John PIGOTT.
Name of mother, Eliza Matthews PIGOTT formerly LINDOP.
Occupation of father, Evangelist Salvation Army.

Description of informant, Jno PIGOTT, Father, 24, Linscott Road, Lower Clapton.
When registered, Twenty second July 1892.
T COATES, Registrar.


1891Marriage solemnized at Matthews Church, in the Parish of Hackney in the County of London.
No 466
July 22nd 1891

John PIGOTT : 33 yrs : Bachelor
Occupation, Salvation Army Officer
Residence at time of Marriage, Cornkiln Road
Father's Name, John PIGOTT.
Profession of Father, ?

Eliza Mattthews LINDOP : 30 yrs : Spinster
Residence at time of Marriage, Newcastle under Lyme
Father's Name, William LINDOP
Profession of Father, Brush Maunfacturer.

Married in the Church of St Matthews according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church, by Licence by me, H BUSDEN.
This Marriage was solemnized between us, John PIGOTT, Eliza Mattthews LINDOP in the Presence of us, William Drummond otom, Elizabeth Emma LINDOP.

1891 Census
RG12 : Piece 1991 : Folio 118 : Page 16
10, Brightons Place, Fishpond Road, Stapleton, Gloucestershire.

Samuel Chas GANATT : Head : Married : 32 yrs : Occupation, Railway Signal Fitter : Born, Derby, Derbyshire.
Anne GANATT : Wife : Married : 38 yrs : Born,
Chas Wesley GANATT : Son : 6 yrs : Occupation, Scholar : Born, Rotherham, Yorkshire.
Emma Eliza GANATT : Daughter : 5 yrs : Occupation, Scholar : Born, Kimberworth, Yorkshire.
Annie GANATT : Daughter : 2 yrs : Born, Masbrough, Yorkshire.
Eva Raynes GANATT : Daughter 1 yr : Born, Fishponds, Gloucestershire.
Mary Jane RAYNES : Sister : Single : 22 yrs : Born, Breaston, Derbyshire.
John PIGOTT : Visitor : Single : 33 yrs : Occupation, Salvation Army Officer : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire.

1881 Census
RG11 : Piece 1120 : Folio 72 : Page 18
New Road, Littlehampton, Sussex.

Benjamin J. CANDLER : Head : Married : 64 yrs : Occupation, Master Grocer Employes 6 Men & 3 Boys : Born, Bawburgh, Norfolk
Phillis CANDLER : Wife : Married : 60 yrs : Born, London, Middlesex.
Sarah CANDLER : Daughter : Unmarried : 23 yrs : Occupation, Grocers Clerk : Born, Birkenhead, Cheshire.
Martha J. CLUNN : Visitor : Unmarried? : 57 yrs : Occupation, Ministers Wife : Born, Crathorne, Yorkshire.
John PIGOTT : Assistant : Unmarried : 23 yrs : Occupation, Assistant Grocer : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire.
John G. PAVEY : Assistant : Unmarried : 21 yrs : Occupation, Assistant Grocer : Born, Goudhurst, Kent.
John GREGORY : Assistant : Unmarried : 19 yrs : Occupation, Assistant Grocer : Born, Long Marston, Hertfordshire.
Frederick S. REED : Assistant : Unmarried : 15 yrs : Occupation, Grocers Apprentice : Born, Billingshurst, Sussex
Kate WOOLVEN : Servant : Unmarried : 18 yrs : Occupation, General Domestic Servant : Born, Littlehampton, Sussex.

06_John_PIGOTT_Bn_1832_and_Family.pdf - Original family history written and mechanically typed by Godfrey BRAMHALL.

My great-grandfather JOHN PIGOTT senior and his family

My great-grandfather was born in Faringdon in 1832. He was the fourth child of Hugh Pigott and his wife Miriam. The family home was in Gloucester Street where Hugh carried on his bakery business.

There can be little doubt that John and his brothers and sisters all attended the British School for the children of non-conformist families. Like their parents they were all literate. In his autobiography John's elder brother Robert gives us two useful clues when he says that he "can remember but little of schooldays" but that at an early age he had read - in addition to various periodicals - "Captain Cook's Voyages","The Travels of Commodore Anson", "The Voyages of Francis Drake", "Pilgrim's Progress", "The Holy War", "The Annals of the Poor", "The Young Cottager", "The Dairyman's Daughter", "Harvey's Meditations" and the Bible all through. Surely John and the others must have been nourished on the same literary diet.

Music seems to have been a family interest. Robert learned to play the trombone and to ring the church bells but unfortunately he later took the rather jaundiced view that these pursuits had become "a snare and deadened all spiritual feelings and desires." On the other hand John, who played the flute and was also known to strum the occasional tune on the piano, took pleasure in music-making and, later in life, encouraged his son John to learn the violin and paid for his daughters Elizabeth, Alice and Emma to have "extra" music lessons at their "dame" school in Filkins.

John learned the cordwainer's trade. In 1855 he married Emma Jane Oldaker whose father, Charles, had come from Witney and established himself as a harness-maker in London Street, Faringdon. Emma was a milliner and straw bonnet maker and, for a time before her marriage, had her own business in Mill Street, Wantage.

By the time of the 1861 Census John had his own shoe-making business in the Corn Market - right in the centre of Faringdon - and was the father of two sons - John who was born in 1858, and Josiah who was born in 1860. The presence of a house-servant, Mary Hedges, would seem to suggest that the business was thriving.

In 1866 Emma Jane died. A year later John married Sarah Day - the daughter of Daniel Day a grocer in Shrivenham. Like the Pigotts the Days were leading members of the Strict Baptist communities in their respective towns, Sarah was a diminutive figure barely five feet in height but according to her third daughter she made up in strength of character what she lacked in inches. In 1870 Sarah gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth Hannah who was later to be known as "Triss".

By this time the family had left the cramped accommodation in the Corn Market and had moved to a house in London Street. I believe that this house was formerly owned by Charles Oldaker for in his will of 1861 he had given his children the option of buying his premises.

In 1871 the family moved to Filkins - a village between Burford and Lechlade. John had abandoned the cordwainer's trade and was now the proprietor of the village store and sub-postmaster as well. Had John financed this move on the proceeds of his Faringdon business or did he receive some assistance from his second father-in-law Daniel Day? We shall never know but it is certain that Daniel was a man of substance for it was he who had purchased a burial ground for the Strict Baptist Chapel at Ashbury.

John and Sarah had three more daughters all of whom were born at Filkins - Alice Ruth in 1876, Emma Jane in 1880 and Grace in 1882. Nurse Swinford, the village midwife was present at all three births.

For this seemingly insignificant detail we have to thank Emma Jane who, at the age of sixty, wrote a detailed and fascinating account of her childhood in Filkins and of the loving home Sarah and John had created there. Emma Jane, an avid reader of guide books and county histories,complained bitterly of the neglect suffered by her home village.

"Topographical books wander all round its outskirts. They take the reader to Burford, to Chipping Norton, to Northleach and Bibury, down the Windrush valley to Witney or through the Coln valley to Fairford, from thence to Lechlade, back again to Eastleach Martin and Eastleach Turville to make the circuit complete - leaving an ignored little island in the centre unvisited, its charms unsung, its beauties deemed unworthy of praise.

And so she set out to fill the gap and in the process gives us a vivid picture of Filkins - still mercifully unspoilt, her home "The Evergreens" with a wealth of personalities, anecdotes and botanical observation. Here is Emma Jane's description of the contents of her father's shop - a veritable "William Whiteley's in miniature" -
" . . . Wooden clogs were there for wet weather - they made a queer clip,clop noise when worn up and down stone paths. Pattens too, but these were for even wetter weather when the irons, affixed to wooden soles, kept one's feet quite four inches above the puddles in the farmyards. The toe was slipped into an open toe-cap and a strap secured the patten to the instep. They made a loud metallic noise as they struck - tang, tang - on the paved yard.

The characteristic smell of stacks of corduroy suits can never be forgotten - nor the sickly, rank smell of large bundles of tallow candles!

Cook sun bonnets used to fascinate me, stacked one inside the other; they were made of pretty, patterned prints tightly gathered round the face and piped to make a firm bordering. At the back of the shaped head was a loosely falling frill that protected the field-worker from strong sunshine. All the field women workers wore these in and around our Cotswold village.

Smock frocks, too, were alluring. The smocking was beautifully worked in reds and blues that looked exceedingly well against the buff-coloured material.

Benzoline hand-lamps used to be sold. They had round wicks, had no glasses and smoked horribly at times.

Even a funeral pall could be hired. It was made of black plush or velvet and had a deep frill of white satin all round which the bearers had to hang on to in windy weather! The coffin was borne on the shoulders of bearers from the house to the church. The mourners followed behind - all walking.

One could buy those little jet ornaments for bonnets that were so favoured by old ladies at that time. They were really amusing for, with every movement of the head the ornaments would jingle and sparkle as the light caught them. Crepe was largely used on mourning clothes. I have seen skirts trimmed half-way up to the waist with this detestable stuff, sleeves covered to the elbow with it and "Widows' weeds" of it hanging down the back from a hat or bonnet to below the waist.

Many yards of red flannel were sold in those days for chest-protectors and petticoats - indeed everyone deemed a red, flannel petticoat quite a necessity! White frilling, very stiff upstanding stuff used to edge the necks of dresses and a narrower one edged those dainty, black laces , jet-spangled caps worn indoors by elderly ladies of byegone days.

Twist tobacco was chewed by workmen of peculiar taste! Snuff was indulged in by both men and women. Ipecacuanha wine, Blue Vitriol, Red Ruddle, Mace (a fascinating product both in colour and shape), Isinglass, soothing syrups, turmeric, Sal-prunella for one's sore throat, boots and shoes, brooms and besoms, postage stamps and paraffin, tintacks and pins, the latest fashionable hats trimmed and untrimmed or trimmed to order - and the trimming needed in those days was enormous! White, shining hay-rakes, bladders of lard, bright, clear, many-sided lumps of sugar-candy - all thses things and many more un-named - to say nothing of toys, books, household linens and fireworks could all be bought at the miniature William Whiteleys!

A limited stock of second-hand furniture was stored in one of the lofts over the warehouse and included some ofthose brown, wicker baby perambulators on three wheels long age out of fashion and forgotten.

Toys that the present-day child would scorn were a delight to us of an earlier generation. Wonderful were those kaleidoscopes and those soft green and brown wadding-filled jumping frogs! Penny Noah's Arks - yes! - and containing half-a-dozen animals all made to stand up together with a miniature tree or two! What one could buy with the modest penny in those far-off days!"

Emma Jane illustrated her account with sketches she made before she left home - never to return - on March 13th 1898, and with postcards sent to her by friends. With these to help us, my wife and I had no difficulty in identifying "The Evergreens" when we went in search of it in 1980 and found, to our amazement, that it still serves Filkins as store and post-office today.

The only school in Filkins was the National or Church School. Being a Strict Baptist, John was unwilling to send his daughters there so he paid for them to attend a small, private school at "The Yews" - mornings only, music and French in the afternoons and daily assignments of homework.

John was, all his life, a deeply religious man but it seems that there were times when his faith must have been severely tested. A century after the events which must now be related it is hard to appreciate the depth of feeling of the members of the sturdily independent Strict Baptist chapels.
Perhaps the absence of any ordained ministry or any coordinating organization made it inevitable that each "cause" should develop its own distinctive and even intolerant notions concerning acceptable standards of membership, and that it would be all too easy for strong-minded individuals to find themselves at variance with the majority.

The Minute Book of the Faringdon Block Green Chapel establishes that Hugh Pigott, his elder daughter Mary Counsell, Robert and "warm-hearted, generous, impetuous" John were all members. On November 6th 1870 - shortly before John's move to Filkins - there appears the following minute:
". . . Mr.Whiting then introduced Mr.John Pigott's name and stated that he had spoken to him in reference to his fall, his repentance and his desire to come back amongst us. He also stated a few things that Mr.Pigott had related to him. It followed that the church sympathized . . but as yet could not fully receive him."

Nearly four years later brother Robert, who had frequently preached at Block Green, had also "blotted his copy-book" for the Minute Book says - on 26th April 1874:
"Mr.Robert Pigott of Swindon no longer considered a satisfactory preacher and would not be asked to preach any more."

It is a pity that Robert's memoirs make no mention of this affair - or of his brother's fall from grace. What had gone wrong? Was it a matter of doctrinal hair-splitting or perhaps a clash of personalities?

In June 1874 - three years after John had moved to Filkins - a special meeting was convened to enquire into Mrs. Sarah Pigott's "long absence from chapel gatherings." She had sent a note saying that "she had lately been confined, that her child was not well and that she was therefore unable to
attend in person." Her husband was also before the meeting asking, once again, to be received back into the church. In view of the treatment meted out to brother Robert two months earlier surely John must have known that he was "on a hiding to nothing." Needless to say he was rejected but, once again, there is no attempt to spell out his offence.

Having regard to the six miles which separated Filkins and Faringdon and Sarah's family responsibilities one can only marvel at the impertinence of this enquiry. How could John have brought himself to grovel before his wife's inquisitors and ask for reinstatement? How did Hugh and Miriam react to the affair? With hindsight we should perhaps content ourselves with the opinion that in a matter involving the virtual "excommunication" of three of its members the Chapel should have ensured that its minutes were more specific and balanced. As it is the elders of the Chapel - and John Pigott - are shown in a very unfavourable light. But they were accountable to nobody but themselves and there was no higher authority to whom appeal could be made. It comes as no surprise to find that John transferred his allegiance to Alvescot Chapel - a mere two and a half miles from his home.

Services at Alvescot were held only once a fortnight. Emma Jane tells us how she and her sisters would walk there accompanied by her father and Mr. Cook, William Hazel and John Lock who also lived in Filkins.
"There was a morning service and another in the afternoon but no service in the evening as many members of the congregation came from a distance and liked to reach home before nightfall.
Each family took their own eatables for lunch, ours being cold meat sandwiches, jam turnovers and apple tarts. We partook of luncheon in the Chapel itself, there being no other place for it, the members remaining in their pews during the meal. Cups of tee could be obtained at the lower end of the Chapel under the gallery, brewed in a large urn. Mother always wrapped up the provisions in linen serviettes, one for each of us, which we spread over our Sunday frocks. The act of disposing of our viands was very properly and quietly performed - as befitted the sanctity of the building - after we had sung the grace - "For mercies countless as the sands."

After luncheon we were released and all the young folk rambled off into the meadows, passing the time between lunch and the afternoon service. I remember the first barberries I ever picked were taken from an overhanging branch in a hedge that skirted one of the field-paths near the old parish church.

It was a sight to see the numerous vehicles lined up outside the Chapel, under the wall. The horses were stabled, fed and watered at the Plough Inn opposite and there was a busy scene when they were brought out and re-harnessed when the congregation all left for home."

On alternate Sundays John conducted a simple service in his sitting-room - the congregation consisting of his family and the few Baptists who lived in Filkins.
"Triss and I played the hymn-tunes, in turn, on the piano and mother's sweet soprano led the singing while father's rich, deep bass gave balance to the old-time melodies. . . Father usually read a sermon from the "Gospel Standard" and sometimes one of Spurgeon's sermons. It was an orderly and reverent service. When very young Grace and I used to fall asleep during the sermon sitting on our small, folding carpet-chairs - Grace leaning on mother one side and I on the other . . . After the service we would gather round the piano to have a sing-song. We always enjoyed these times. Mother led us in soprano, Triss singing alto, father bass as always, Ruth, Grace and I following mother's lead. Triss played as accompanist. So many of the old melodies were known to mother and father - "Jerusalem", "Hail smiling morn", "Oh had I Jubal's lyre", "Vital Spark", and mother would sing as solos "Happy be thy dreams", "He wipes the tear from every eye", "Larboard Watch", "Sylvia sleeps" and many other songs. We loved to listen while she sang for she had a sweet, true voice. She used to lead the singing, when a girl, at a chapel near her home in the days when some chapels disapproved of musical instruments and only permitted a tuning-fork to pitch the note for them".

It was clearly a loving household. Emma Jane speaks often of her adored mother and of her generous but impulsive father. She recalls the high regard in which he was held by his neighbours and by the ministers of local churches. She remembers with delight the expeditions he led into the beautiful Cotswold country which encircled them, and of his love of wildlife - which must have been the base on which Emma built up her own remarkable botanical knowledge.

There were numerous family pets - Tibby the cat, Trixy the fox terrier, Birdie and Tottie the bantam hens, silkworms numerous and predictably un-named, and even Nanny the goat who could sometimes be persuaded to pull a tiny, two-seater chaise just large enough for Emma and Grace. This novel "equipage" had been a present from John and Josiah - the half-brothers who, by 1884, had their own thriving grocery business in Worthing. Unfortunately outings in the chaise were seldom a success for Nanny's browsing instincts proved too strong for small hands to control. John was reluctantly obliged to sell Nanny and the chaise to the local vicar for the amusement of his two small sons. Emma Jane does not record how the dissenting goat took to the established church!

Emma recalled that in the course of visits to friends in and around the village they were frequently offered home-made wine. Having been brought up by Sarah to be strictly teetotal the girls would always decline while their father would accept. Is it possible that this trivial memory contains just a hint of liberal thinking which, in other matters, had been so repugnant to the elders of the Block Green Chapel?

John's second wife, Sarah, died in 1894. In accordance with her expressed wish she was buried at Kingston Winslow, near Ashbury "where so many of her own people already rested." Having read about this, we went in search of this Strict Baptist burial ground. After many enquiries and some
unintentional trespassing we eventually found it - tiny, totally neglected and almost completely
overgrown by, saplings and bushes. It seems that the "cause" at Ashbury must have been a small one for all the visible headstones commemorate members of the Day family of Shrivenham or the related Pounds from the upper mill at Kingston Winslow. Alas, Sarah Pigott's grave is unmarked - as no doubt are others.

John - a remarkably resilient man - did not remain a widower for long. In 1895 he married Sarah Jane Reeves of South Moreton, near Wallingford, and immediately moved there with his youngest daughter Grace and took up residence at "Rose Cottage" in the Main Street. When we visited South Moreton in 1982 we identified the house with the aid of photographs taken by Emma Jane's husband, Percy Allen, and found it quite unchanged - at least as far as external appearances are concerned.

Elizabeth Hannah took over the running of the village store in Filkins but she did not retain the postal business. She was assisted by Alice and Emma. But the wind of change was blowing. Alice married a builder named Alex Giles and moved to North London. In March 1898 Emma herself left home to train as a telegraphist in the Post Office and, in 1913, married Percy Franklin Allen. In 1899 Elizabeth married Edwin Simkin - a minister in the Primitive Methodist Church. By 1909 they had emigrated to America and made their home in Philadelphia. Grace did not marry and died in 1917.

Great-grandfather died in 1920. His grave in the immaculately-kept burial ground of the South Moreton Strict Baptist Chapel is marked with an inscribed headstone.

John Pigott's Family Bible
"Happy Heart of Youth" by Emma Jane Allen 1940 (unpublished)
"Memorials of Robert Pigott" 1903
Census Returns for Faringdon and Filkins
Kelly's Dirctories for Berks., Bucks. and Oxon.
Faringdon Block Green Chapel Book - by courtesy of the Strict Baptist Historical Society

1871 Census
RG10 : Piece 1258 : Folio 101 : Page 14
68, London Street, Faringdon, Berkshire.

John PIGOTT : Head : Married : 39 yrs : Occupation, Cordwainer : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire.
Sarah PIGOTT : Wife : Married : 24 yrs : Born, Shrivenham, Berkshire.
John PIGOTT : Son : 13 yrs : Occupation, Scholar : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire.
Josiah PIGOTT : 10 yrs : Born, : Occupation, Scholar : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire.
Elizabeth PIGOTT : 4 months : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire.

* Cordwainer - originally term used for one who worked with Cordovan (a special leather from Spain) but later term used for shoemaker.


1866 DEATH in the Sub-district of Faringdon in the Counties of Berks, Oxford and Gloucester.
No. 319
When and where died, First April 1866, London Street, Faringdon.

Emma Jane PIGOTT : Female : 37 years
Occupation, Wife of John PIGOTT, Cordwainer Master.
Cause of death, Phthisis, Certified

Description of informant, X The mark of Sarah KENT? present at the death, London Street, Faringdon.
When registered, Third April 1866
James LONG, Registrar

1861 Census
RG9 : Piece 728 : Folio 70 : Page 38
Corn Market, Faringdon, Berkshire.

John PIGOTT : Head : Married : 29 yrs : Occupation, Boot & Shoe Maker : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire.
Emma Jane PIGOTT : Wife : Married : 31 yrs : Occupation, Straw Bonnet Maker : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire.
John PIGOTT : Son : 3 yrs : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire.
Josiah PIGOTT : Son : 6 Months : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire.
Mary Ann HODGES : Servant : 15 yrs : Occupation, House Servant : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire.


1858 Birth in the Sub-district of Faringdon in the Counties of Berks, Oxford and Gloucester.
No. 51
Thirty First January 1858, London Street, Great Faringdon.

John : Boy
Name of father, John PIGOTT
Name of mother, Emma Jane PIGOTT formerly OLDAKER.
Occupation of father, Cordwainer.

Description of informant, John PIGOTT, Father, London Street, Great Faringdon.
When registered, Eighteenth February 1858.
James LONG, Registrar


1855 Marriage solemnized at the Parish Church, in the Parish of Faringdon in the County of Berks.
No 63
December 22nd 1855

John PIGOTT : 24 yrs : Bachelor
Occupation, Cordwainer
Residence at time of Marriage, Faringdon.
Father's Name, Hugh PIGOTT
Profession of Father, Baker.

Emma Jane OLDAKER : 26 yrs : Spinster
Residence at time of Marriage, Faringdon.
Father's Name, Charles OLDAKER
Profession of Father, Sadler.

Married in the Parish Church according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church, by or after Banns by me, Henry BARRIE? Vicar.
This Marriage was solemnized between us, John PIGOTT, Emma Jane OLDAKER in the Presence of us, Charles OLDAKER, Sarah PIGOTT.

1851 Census
HO107 : Piece 1687 : Folio 286 : Page 25
London Street, Faringdon, Berkshire.

Charles OLDAKER : Head : Married : 47 yrs : Occupation, Harness Maker : Born, Witney, Oxfordshire.
Jane OLDAKER : Wife : Married : 52 yrs : Occupation, Straw Bonnet Maker : Born, Finsbury, Middlesex.
Emma P OLDAKER : Daughter : 21 yrs : Occupation, Straw Bonnet Maker : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire
Elic D OLDAKER : Daughter : 19 yrs : Occupation, Straw Bonnet Maker : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire
Martha OLDAKER : Daughter : 10 yrs : Occupation, Scholar : Born, Faringdon, Berkshire

08Hugh_PIGOTT_Miriam_BUXTON.pdf - Original family history written and mechanically typed by Godfrey BRAMHALL.

Great-great-grandfather HUGH PIGOTT and his wife MIRIAM BUXTON

The indisputable facts concerning Hugh Pigott are best set out as follows:-
23rd March 1797 - birth at Faringdon. Youngest child of Leonard Pigott, a staymaker, and his second wife Sarah New.
1824 Hugh set up in business as a baker in Gloucester Street.
19th May 1824 - marriage at Faringdon Parish Church to Miriam Buxton of Alpheton, Suffolk.
1826 birth of first child, Mary, who later married Edwin Counsell, a watch-maker from Ross-os-Wye who set up in business in the Corn Market, Faringdon.
1827 Birth of Richard who became a solicitor's clerk, married Mary Langshear Clare and finally settled in Cheltenham.
1830 Birth of Robert who married Susannah Clare and later Anna Maria Beak. He became a baker, corn-dealer and (from 1871) Pastor of Providence Baptist Chapel, Swindon.
1832 Birth of my great-grandfather - John.
1832 Hugh is named as having voted in a Parliamentary Election.
1834 Birth of Sarah who married William Collett - a miller and farmer from Bampton.
1835 Birth of Elizabeth. She did not marry. The only Anglican member of Hugh's family. She was a school-teacher at Corsham, Chippenham and Worcester. In 1883, after caring for her widowed father, she trained as a missionary and went, as an "honorary" worker to the Zenana Mission of the C.M.S. at Karachi. She died at Amritsar in 1886.
1847 In a Tithe Coversion Map Hugh is named as the owner of an eight-acre plot of ground - with cottage - called the "Old Cherry Orchard" at Great Coxwell.
1867 Hugh Gave up his business to Robert and lived in retirement at Brooms Place and later in Marlborough - both in Faringdon.
16th February 1875 - his wife Miriam died.
22nd February 1883 - Hugh died. Both he and Miriam were buried in the Free Church Cemetery, Canada Lane, Faringdon. Until 1982 their grave was marked by a very informative headstone. This has now been removed - along with many others - as part of a plan to tidy up the Cemetery. The intention is to re-erect the headstones up against the boundary walls.
Hugh's birth, like that of his wife in far-off Alpheton, was recorded in the Parish Register. The births of their children were not so recorded because of their parents' allegiance to the Strict Baptist Church. The parents' marriage took place at the Parish Church because, at that time, there was no provision for marriages in non-conformist premises other than the Quakers.
The facts relating to Hugh's wife Miriam are as follows:-
4th September 1794 - Miriam baptised at Alpheton, Suffolk. She was the oldest of the three daughters of Robert Buxton - a small farmer - and his wife Sarah Dyer. The younger sisters were Harriet and Cozbi.

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19th may 1824 - marriage to Hugh Pigott at Faringdon.
16th February 1875 - death at Faringdon.
The aspect of my grandfather's life-story which has proved most absorbing is the discovery of his involvement in the Worthing Riots of 1884. In the story of Johh senior attention focussed itself on the unsolved puzzle of his rejection by the Block Green Baptists. But in this chapter of the family history the most absorbing question is - 'How did Hugh Pigott of Faringdon come to marry Miriam Buxton - the farmer's daughter from a tiny village in Suffolk?'
The first clue was found in Robert Pigott's memoirs. He said that his mother's parents - ". . . experienced difficulty in keeping their heads above water. In consequence their three children were obliged to turn out in the world.* [Victims, no doubt, of the Enclosure Acts which changed the face of rural England & drove thousands of small farmers into the towns.]
While living in Norfolk Street in the Strand she (Miriam) used to worship with the saints at Zoar Chapel, Great Alie Street, White-chapel . . . To this place she used to run after attending the young ladies on Sundays and had to run back with all speed to attend them on their return from church."
Whilst speaking volumes about Miriam's athletic prowess - to say nothing of her spiritual zeal - this rather naive statement does at least indicate that, after coming to London, she had found employment as a ladies' maid with a family - as yet anonymous - in Norfolk Street.
The next clue was in the form of a photograph we found amongst family papers. On the back of it my mother had written "Elizabeth Twining, lifelong friend of Elizabeth Pigott." Being a Londoner I remembered that Norfolk Street is very close to the premises opposite the Law Courts in the Strand which were - and still are - the London headquarters of the famous tea-importing company. Samuel Twining - the present head of the family - confirmed that the photograph was, indeed, one of the daughters of Richard Twining who, early in the nineteenth century, had lived at 34, Norfolk Street.
There seems no doubt, therefore, about the identity of Miriam's employer but we had made no progress in answering the question - 'How did Hugh and Miriam meet ?' But meet they did and they decided to marry.
Hugh's banns were called at Faringdon and Miriam's at St.Clement Danes in the Strand. As nobody raised "just cause or impediment" Miriam was duly issued with the appropriate certificate, left her employment and journeyed to Faringdon to be married in the groom's parish - not in the bride's as was more usual. We could not escape the thought that they must have met in London, that Hugh had returned to his home-town with his savings, set himself up as a baker and then asked Miriam to marry him. The discovery

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amongst our family papers of a photograph of Elizabeth Twining as a very old lady suggests strongly that Miriam never lost touch with at least one of her "young ladies" - a notion entirely consistent with all that we have learnt about the kindly Elizabeth Twining's innumerable philanthropic activities.
But what had Hugh been doing in London? It seems fairly certain that his father, Leonard, had died in 1801 in Faringdon and had been taken back to his home village, Letcombe Regis, for burial. The theory that Hugh had left home to ease the burden of his widowed mother and make his own way in the world seems reasonable enough. (It will be remembered that his son
Robert and his grandson John did something similar in their respective generations.)
A new and startling light was thrown on the problem when we discovered - as a result of our research - two very distant cousins - Mrs.Ethel Moss, Hugh's sprightly octogenarian great-granddaughter from Cumnor in Oxfordshire, and Maurice Hugh Pigott, his great-grandson from Devizes in Wiltshire.
When talking to new acquaintances we have set ourselves two rules -1. not to probe too far too fast and 2. not to put leading questions- knowing that some people will give you the kind of answer that they think you want to hear. Our meetings with these two delightful cousins were separated by nearly three years but their response to the same question - "Do you know what Hugh did before his marriage?" was roughly as follows:-
Ethel Moss: "In my family there has always been a tradition that Hugh was a seaman - probably a ship's cook. My son still has a small wooden box which Hugh made to hold his shaving things. He didn't like the long voyages and couldn't wait to get back to see Miriam."
Maurice Hugh Pigott: " I think Hugh spent some time at sea. I remember that, as children, my brother and I used to play with an old seaman's chest that had belonged to Hugh. Of course we haven't got it now."
Among the items which passed to me on the death of Emma Jane Allen was a small compass in a plain mahogany case. The degree markings are typically those of a nautical style - as opposed to a surveyor's compass. Emma Jane stated that it had once belonged to "father's grandfather" and had been given to her husband by John Pigott senior (Hugh's son) with the words:
"I am giving you this compass because, like you, it has travelled thousands of miles across the sea." The reference to "father's Grandfather" was, I feel sure, an error and that she meant to say "father's father".
And so we have these three tenuous scraps of information which individually or jointly would not convince a court of law. Nevertheless it is surely significant that in three families which, to my certain knowledge, have had no contact for the best part of a century, traditions should have persisted having about them a strong "whiff of the sea."

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All that we can do is to lay these traditions alongside the few facts which seem beyond dispute - that Miriam was a lady's maid in the household of Richard Twining, tea-importer and major share-holder in the East India Company and whose home was in Norfolk Street, and that Miriam used to attend Zoar Chapel in Great Alie Street, Whitechapel which was a mere stone's
throw from St. Katherine's Dock with its great tea and spice warehouses. The rest must, I think, be left to the reader's imagination for when evidence is exhausted we are left only with speculation. With his total preoccupation with spiritual matters Hugh's son Robert insisted that it was religious zeal that spurred Miriam's hurrying feet to "worship with the saints" in her off-duty hours. But is it possible that Zoar Chapel held some more worldly attraction for her - especially when a certain ship was in port?
In spite of this last cynical thought it has to be admitted that Miriam's very real Calvinism persisted throughout her life. While her children were small one imagines that she and Hugh attended the Faringdon Chapel. But the Alivescot Chapel Book tells us that by 1841 (when her children were aged between fifteen years and six) "Mrs.Miriam Pigott of Faringdon" was a member and remained so for twenty years. There is nothing to show that Hugh had shifted his allegiance so one has to imagine Miriam - accompanied by one or more of her six children - driving the pony and trap twelve miles each Sunday (or perhaps every other Sunday) to listen to some favourite and eloquent preacher.

SOURCES: Parish Registers of Faringdon, Alpheton, Letcombe Regis and St.Clements Danes, London
Census Returns for Faringdon, East Hanney, Bampton and Cheltenham Faringdon Tithe Conversion Map of 1847
Kelly's Directories
Records of the Church Missionary Society
Memoirs of Robert Pigott. Writings of Emma Jane Allen
Correspondence with Samuel Twining