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Muckleston Family History Group

researching all references to the surnames Muckleston, Mucklestone, Muckelston and Mackleston please get in touch via the contact us page with any additional information or to correct any errors.

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George Muckleston

 

George Muckleston was the illegitimate son of Dinah Muckleston. According to the censuses he was born about 1836 in Flitwick, Bedfordshire. On the 1841 census he can be found living with his grandparents Edward and Mary, his mother was working as a servant on the Goodman's farm in Newport Pagnell. He was still with his grandparents on their farm in Westoning, Bedfordshire in 1851, his mother having married Samuel Hallworth that same year. He was still working for his grandfather in 1861.

 

One of Dinah’s neighbours in 1861 was a Robert Hillyard, the brother of Dinah’s sister in law, wife to her brother Richard. It is therefore likely that Dinah kept in touch with her family. Sadly Dinah was to die the following year, a year before her father Edward.

 

In his will Edward left a legacy to both of Dinah’s children, the child of her marriage was given £50 but George inherited a third of his grandfather’s estate. In 1862 George had an illegitimate child, Arthur Edward, with Sarah Holmes and in 1868, another child with Sarah, this time named George Frederick. According to the censuses both of these children were born in Toddington. In his will George was to call these two children Arthur Edward Holmes and George Frederick Holmes my reputed sons!

 

Arthur’s birth was registered as Arthur Holmes in the Woburn registration district of Bedfordshire in 1862 and his baptism can be found under the name of Arthur Edward Holmes at Toddington on 2nd August 1863 and only the mother’s name of Sarah Holmes is given. George’s birth appears in the indexes as George Frederic Holmes in 1863 and again in the registration district of Woburn. By the time of the baptism on 30th August 1868 at Toddington his middle name had gained a K and become Frederick. Again only the mother’s name is showing. It appears that Sarah had trouble persuading George to acknowledge the children as his.

 

 

The George Inn (Old Oxted)-Exterior

 

The George Inn, Oxted, Surrey.

 

 

On 28th September 1869 George married Sarah Holmes at St James' Westminster in London. Their third and legitimate son Albert Ernest Muckleston’s birth was then registered in Croydon Surrey the following year. We now know from the census returns that by 1871 he was the Inn Keeper of the George Inn, Oxted, Surrey, and remained there until at least 1881. On the census of that year his name was recorded as George Stone and his wife as Sarah Stone. I have no idea why he should use this surname but it’s use was quite deliberate.

 

By 1891 George and his family had returned to Bedfordshire and he was a Farmer at Long Lane Farm in Toddington, Bedfordshire. His unmarried aunt Hannah who had also inherited a third of his grandfather’s estate was living with him. She had been living alone, but close to her brother Richard, in Westoning since her father’s death. Her brother Richard who had inherited the final third of the estate had died in 1886 and this may have been the family event which brought George home. Maybe Richard disapproved of his nephew’s unusual relationship with Sarah or there could have been many other reasons for the estrangement – maybe as eldest son he though he deserved more of his father’s estate than his nephew who had probably been brought up as a second son.

 

George was to die in 1898. His eldest son Arthur had married by this time using the surname Muckleston but when the second son George Frederick married in 1908 he used the surname Holmes. On the 1911 census both brothers gave their surnames as Muckleston. Both of their deaths were also recorded as Muckleston.

 

Sarah continued to farm at Long Lane Farm after her husband’s death with her youngest son Albert and his wife, the other two sons now having farms of their own to manage. She died in 1919, 20 years after her husband at the good age of 79.

 

This family had previously given us a few headaches with the names Holmes and Muckleston and now we can add the name Stone, which would appear to have been used deliberately. The 1878 trade directory for Surrey gives the landlord of the George Inn as one George Stone!

 

Arthur Edward Muckleston / Holmes

 

Eldest son Arthur Edward was born in 1862 in Toddington but some census returns give his birth around 1865. Arthur helped his father on the farm at Long Lane and on marrying Alice Emma Norman in Eversholt in 1895 could be found working as a farm bailiff at Town Farm, Eversholt. He married using the surname Muckleston. The couple had two children Percy William Muckleston born 1896 and Cecil Arthur Norman Muckleston born 1905 both events took place in Eversholt. Arthur died in 1928.

 

George Frederick Muckleston / Holmes

 

Second son George Frederick was born in 1868 in Toddington. As with his brothers he worked on his father’s farm. After his father’s death he continued to work on the farm as an agricultural labourer, his mother was classed as Farmer (employer) and his younger brother was the farm manager. He married Edith Wilford Turvey in 1908 in Luton, using the surname Holmes, and from the time of the marriage he was a “working farmer” as a tenant at Castle Farm, Tingrith, Woburn. The following document relates to this member of the family.

 

In some papers for the parish of Tingrith, document reference BML 10/73/1 can be found, the synopsis reads:-

i)                    Extracts from tenancy agreement between Captain Trevor Battye (landlord) and Mr G Muckleston (tenant) for the Castle Farm, Tingrith, 6 March 1908.

ii)                  Bundle of correspondence concerning a number of disputes at Castle Farm, Tingrith between Captain Battye (landlord), Mr Turvey (incoming agent) and Mr Muckleston (outgoing tenant). Chief among them is a dispute over the amount of hay bought to Castle Farm from Long Lane Farm which Turvey is to purchase from Muckleston, 16 August 1911 – 18 April 1912.

 

It would be interesting to know how his wife was related to the “incoming agent” listed above. George and Edith had no children. George died in 1933 and his widow in 1951. When she died she was living in a cottage in Totternhoe. Her brothers were her executors. As well as the cottage she lived in she also owned two other cottages. In her will she also asked for money to be given to the local council to construct a building to be used as a Sunday school or for church social activities. In the 1914 directory for Hockliffe the entry reads; Muckleston, George Frederick Farmer, Hockliffe Grounds and by 1924 the entry was; Muckleston, George Frederick and Albert Ernest, farmers Hockliffe Grounds. After George’s death the entry for this farmer continued with Albert’s name only. The partnership clearly started earlier than this:

 

Another document in the same record office relating to the WAR AGRICULTURAL COMMITTEE reference WW1 AC/OP/1/2. Dated 1918-1919

Lodges an objection to “Orders to Plough up Pasture for Crop Planting”.

The objectors are A.E. & G.F. Muckleston of Grounds Farm Hockliffe.       

 

Clearly the brothers were not happy at being told to plant crops on their pasture.

 

Albert Ernest Muckleston

 

Youngest son Albert Ernest was born in 1870 and this event was registered at Croydon in Surrey. He was running Long Lane farm after his father’s death and at least until 1912. In their father’s will Albert had been left some specific fields and the rest of their father’s property was to be divided between the three sons. Their mother died in 1919 at the age of 79. Albert married Edith Anne Elwood in 1908 and they had four children. The eldest was Bertram George Muckleston born September 1908 who died aged 28 in a motorcycle accident outside the farm when on his way to get petrol for the tractor. Second son was Frank Reginald Muckleston born 1910 who I was luckily enough to have contact with and who followed his grandfather’s profession and ran a pub in Maidstone, Kent. He also worked for the Automobile Association which was how I made contact with him (I worked for them also) and he died in Dover on New Years day 1996. Their only daughter who I was also privileged to meet was Evelyn Dorothy born 1911 was the person who told me about Bert’s sad death; she herself died in 1997. The fourth and youngest child was Victor Ronald Muckleston born 1919 and died 1987 and I am still in contact with his widow Muriel.

 

Reputed sons

 

The extract from George’s will which helped us to make sense of the relationships follows:

 

This is the last will of me George Muckleston of Long Lane in the parish of Toddington in the county of Bedford Farmer. I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid as soon as convenient after my decease by my executors hereinafter named I give and bequeath to my dear wife Sarah Muckleston the whole of my property both real and personal whatsoever and wheresoever to have and to hold during the term of her natural life and at her decease I direct that my share of the fields situate in the Luton Road Toddington known as Bandon Hill be given to my reputed son Arthur Edward Holmes  and the residue of my property be sold by my executors and the proceeds to be equally divided between my reputed son George Frederick Holmes and my son Albert Ernest Muckleston I appoint my wife Sarah Muckleston executrix and the above George Frederick Holmes and Albert Ernest Muckleston executors I direct that in the event of the decease of any of these my children their share shall be given to their issue or next of kin. Dated this 24th day of June 1898 Signed - GEORGE MUCKLESTON.

 

 

There are many descendants of George alive today.