View Full Version : "Raffle at Nhylton Redorn"?
07-05-2005, 5:49 PM
I need some help in finding a location. I bought a stationary / writing box coming from GB and just want to know a little bit about the previous possessor. Inside the box, in a note-book, are some notes:
“Now in Raffle at Nhylton Redorn. / Given to Mary on her wedding. Feb. 6. 1883”. (my reading).
Below the text there is a heraldic figure (family coat of arms?).
I can’t find out something about the locations or the heraldic sign. Does anybody know which towns/houses are mentioned
Thank you for all answers and hints!
I read it as "now in Raffle at Whylton Rectory...". It was not unusual for an 'i' in a place name to be replaced with a 'y' and there is a place in Northamptonshire called Whilton - so could this be the place in question? :confused:
Could it be "won in raffle at Whylton Rectory?" That seems to make a bit more sense. In that case, someone in Whilton would have donated the box for the church raffle.
07-05-2005, 11:06 PM
Thanks for the two helpfull hints. Yes, ... won at Raffles makes a lot of sense. I was confused by the capital "R" and thought it was a name.
Rectory instead of Redorn is possible too, although there is no dash through the "t" as in Whylton, but the "at" hasn't one too.
It's not easy to read and understand those old scripts, if you don't speak English or have a poor vocabulary like me - I'm from Germany - it is very difficult to have the right associations.
Now I will concentrate on Whilton and find out something about the heraldic sign.
Peggy, I totally agree that it should say 'won in raffle....' |blush| Only excuse was that I was concentrating so much on Whylton Rectory......!
It does look like "now."
I don't think it is really a matter of old scripts. This isn't really so old that that should come into play. You might have just as much trouble with my handwriting, which gets worse all the time! And if you look at e-mails and posts, lots of people today throw in extraneous capitalization, or omit it completely. And even with spell check (and dictionaries) readily available, you see some bizarre spellings.
To everyone: Any opinions on whether the design is part of someone's heraldic achievement? My uneducated guess would be that it isn't.
It reminds me of one of those bookplates you find in old (and sometimes not so old) books. The only trouble is, bookplates usually have somewhere to write the name of the owner.
08-05-2005, 10:54 PM
1) Now or won? Won: Would be a strange situation: Somebody won the travel-escritoire at a raffle, noticed it inside and than gave it to Mary's at her wedding with this inscription inside? Now: Maybe after Mary's death (poor Mary) her family gave it to the raffle?
2) Bookplate? Indeed, the white horse is not printed into the notebook (exactly: a notebook with blotting paper) itsself, but glued onto the first page just in size of a bookplate. But definitely no space to write a name in.
I can't picture putting the note inside it (saying "now at Raffle") when donating it to the raffle. How about this? Someone who was far from wealthy, and was connected to Mary, won this prize in the Whilton Rectory Raffle. (Why Rectory, not Church? Did the rectory need a new roof?) Just the thing to give to Mary as a wedding gift! When Mary (poor Mary) died, it came bouncing back. "You gave this to Mary. She'd have wanted you to have it as a remembrance." The person made the little note, sighed, and tucked the box in the attic. It was found among his/her effects after he/she died, and after many years made its way to Germany. :)
This is fun. <g> We'll have a novel if we keep at it.
I've always fancied writing a novel. "The Raffle at Whilton Rectory" does have a sort of ring to it. If we could find a wicked Squire and a dashing Young Hero (who maybe was so distraught when Mary died that he ran off to Germany, taking the box as a reminder of Mary with him) we might be getting somewhere. Ulrich, you don't know what you might have started here ;)
A search on FreeBMD of marriages in the Mar Qtr of 1883 for the district containing Whilton turns up 5 candidates for Mary:
BIRD Mary Ann Daventry 3b 128
BULL Mary Ann Daventry 3b 135
REYNOLDS Mary Ann E Daventry 3b 141
STEANES Mary Maria Daventry 3b 129
WILSON Mary Ann Daventry 3b 148
I'd expected dozens. Could be more not transcribed yet. What is really needed is someone who happens to be browsing through the parish registers. ;)
10-05-2005, 7:39 PM
Yes, it's really a fine novel! Maybe it could be a dramatic book or a crime mystery. The inscription we are discussing is written inside the plotter paper. The person who wrote this (same script, I think), used the blotter paper when writing letters with ink, so some negative images of his writing remained on the blotter paper. First I tried to read them with a mirrow, then I scanned them and rotated in Photoshop. It's not Mary writing, but her husband ("my wife Mary"). I can't read all, only a few details: "brothers farm flooded", adresses in London, "safe key", "Diary from safe" ....
Why are the marble plates broken? What happened to Mary?
Good stuff for a story!
The box is very damaged and I will have a lot of work to repair it. Originally it's made by Wedgwood & Sons (the china manufacturer?), seems to be very expensive.
Thanks for browsing the FreeBMD. I tried myself, but had no success, because I made no geographic limitation. Does March Qrt. 1883 include February dates?
There's still a Rectory street in Whilton, but I can't find out more informations at the internet.
The March quarter includes events registered in January, February & March. Of course, we don't know that Mary was married in that district. And there may be other marriages not yet on FreeBMD.
This is fascinating. I took a quick look (I'll study them later) at a couple of the jpegs, and noticed the words "my wife." Mary's husband? Then did he also write the "Won in Raffle" note? Or was all of this written by someone else, later? "Diary from safe" sounds like material for a mystery novel to me! Please keep us informed.
10-05-2005, 10:57 PM
probably your opinion was the right one- someone connected to Mary wrote the text, but not her husband. A husband would have written "given to Mary at our wedding", not "... her wedding". A brother?
I will let you know, whenever some new details appear!
10-05-2005, 11:49 PM
Do you think the address on the blotter is Wm Whiteley, Westbourne Grove???
In the 1882 PO Directory, there’s a Wm Whiteley at 32-56, selling a variety of different products. Eg:
No 32 Whiteley Wm, tailor and draper
No 39 Whiteley Wm banker
This is maybe the William Whiteley of 2 Kildare Terrace in the 1881 census - described as a "universal provider" :)
The ref is RG11/0014 f 4
Maybe he was posting an order of to Whiteley's (for a genealogy book, maybe!)
I don't know if he was ordering genealogy books, but from the shopping list on image 8 we can figure that they didn't go thirsty. <g> Looks as if they weren't poor. I see upholsterers on another page, and something about running into someone on a visit to Margate. Ulrich, I see "safe," but I can't make out "diary." On the other hand, one phrase looks like "e__ d__ store the body." <g> What on earth does that really say?
Been reading up on lap desks/stationary boxes/other names for them. Wedgwood doesn't sound right for making the box itself. Is there a cameo on the lid? How about a jpg of the box closed? :)
P.S. Didn't you say that the "given to Mary" handwriting is the same as the rest? Is there anything else on that sheet?
11-05-2005, 11:32 PM
yes, Wm Whiteley, Westbourne Grove seems to be correct. Very interesting to find some in the PO directory! An Universal provider would fit to "To Superintendant/Goods department" on script5.
Mary's brother is preparing somethig evil! (Ordering arsenic for poisoning the Marsala or Sherry?)
I read "Diary ... from safe" on script5, but it can also be: "Mary ..." again.
No, the text written with pencil on the first side " .. given to Mary" is the only one, just above the paper with the white horse.
No, no cameo. The closed box is really ugly, It's made from wood and was originally upholstered (oh, you found this word!) with leather, but the leather has been removed mostly.
More photos of the box as soon as possible- it's to dark now.
Did I mention it: I love our discussion!
This gets more intriguing! I keep going back to the images to try and read more! I see the upholsterers were in Bournemouth, so what with that and the reference to Margate, they obviously liked the seaside? Or did they live in one of those places? I like the 'blots' of the alcoholic kind - I looked up St Estephe and found that it is a 'solid, robust, red wine', which, along with the Sherry and Marsala, adds up to images of a solid Victorian household, with all the correct booze for the visitors ;) Can't make out the other words on script 8, though. I'll keep going back to see if I can make out more.
I agree with Peggy that I can't see any connection between the box and Wedgewood. I can find no reference to Wedgewood and anything other than china, cameos, etc., but will keep searching.
12-05-2005, 9:20 PM
I added some more photos one of them showing the "Wedgwood & Sons o (?) Cornhill" sign.
16-05-2005, 1:17 PM
There was a Charlotte Vickers, married to Robert Thompson Wedgwood, who died at 9. Cornhill, Lnd., the same address as on the leather of the box.
Maybe these Wedgwoods were the manufacturer of the box?
I wonder if it might be worth your while contacting the Wedgwood Museum? Their web site is at Although the museum is probably dedicated to the well known china, they may have some knowledge of any other members of the family who may have produced boxes like yours.
18-05-2005, 6:45 AM
Just discovered this fascinating topic. I think I can shed some light on the origin of the lap desk. Josiah Wedgwood (of pottery fame) had a cousin, named Thomas who had a son named Ralph. Ralph Wedgwood invented carbon paper and his son, another Ralph became a London stationer, selling, in addition to stationery, all sorts of accessories for the Victorian study or library. Things with the Wedgwood Cornhill mark are not common, at least not here in Canada and not on the internet either(I could not find any for sale, not even on Ebay). I did once come across a leather-covered photograph album, which prompted me to do some research on the company. I have no idea if Ralph Wedgwood employed people to make these things or if he bought them from the makers and put his mark on them. Sorry I can't remember more.
Well, you certainly learn something every day! Thanks for that Victoria. I was getting a bit frustrated at not being able to pin down anything to do with the name Wedgwood and boxes! I had no idea it was a Wedgwood who invented carbon paper (I expect there are some out there who don't even remember carbon paper.... ;) )
Welcome, Victoria! We needed some new eyes on this. Have you seen an example of the Wedgwood Cornhill mark? I found a picture of a "Wedgwood & Sons" mark that looked similar, but no Cornhill. It does look like "9 Cornhill," and I'd found Vickers, but did she die at the Wedgwood factory? Possible, I guess.
Ulrich, sorry I've been quiet. Been trading info with a couple of new-found cousins. But I have been thinking about Mary. I'm enjoying this too! And I can't believe you mentioned ordering arsenic to go with the marsala or sherry. I thought it, but . . . . :D Also, my googling turned up some pages about Wedgwood tiles. I wondered if those might be tiles on/in the box, with the decoration somehow faded.
Ann, the museum sounds worth trying! They might be interested too.
20-05-2005, 8:59 AM
Yes, I have seen the Cornhill mark, on the photo album that I mentioned above. I know that in the antiques trade around here, it is believed to be the mark of Ralph Wedgwood, the London stationer.
I can't say with 100% certainty that this is true as I have never done any thorough research. I know a great deal about Wedgwood ceramics and I can say for sure that it is definitely not a mark that was ever used on Wedgwood pottery or china. Interestingly, the "Wedgwood and Co". mark that you mention was used by Ralph Wedgwood's father, the inventer, when he operated his own pottery
and for a short time when he was a partner in a Yorkshire pottery.
Perhaps he started the stationery business and designed a mark similar to the one he had used on pottery.
I don't know anything about Charlotte Vickers Wedgwood or how she might be connected to the stationery business. It does seem odd that she died at what seems to be the same address. But,
perhaps not so odd: the Wedgwoods were known for keeping a close eye on their businesses. Josiah and all the Burslem Wedgwoods lived beside the potteries. It would not be surprising
if Ralph had lived beside his factory. Charlotte's husband was a cousin so perhaps she lived there too. I took a look at the Wedgwood family tree and I noticed that under the name of Ralph's son, Ebeneezer, it said "of Cornhill and Barnes", so it seems that he had a house somewhere in Cornhill.
Enough of the Wedgwood family. I have strayed a long way from the lap desk. Perhaps, I'll start thinking about Mary now.
I don't think that you've strayed that far from the lap desk. Ulrich is looking for the history of the box, which would include the owner who had it before Mary. And all of this is interesting! I'm getting the impression that the box couldn't have been very old when given to Mary, and that it would have been expensive when purchased. Is that right? And it must have been in good condition to have been a wedding gift. Doesn't this suggest a wealthy owner in the vicinity of Whilton who donated it to the raffle? We could try to find out who the local gentry were. Perhaps there is a directory that would help.
If I may ask, are you a collector, or in the antiques trade? Rather remarkable that someone who knows so much about Wedgwood found this thread. B-G Forums is an amazing resource.
A book on UK County Families (Ancestry database) lists one family for Whilton. They could probably have bought and donated a few Wedgwood lap boxes without noticing. :) Here they are in 1881:
John Albert CRAVEN Head 41 J P D L
Ellen Amelia CRAVEN Wife 39
Also in the household were: House Keeper, Ladys Maid, Cook/Confectioner, 3 Housemaids, 2 Footmen, Kitchen Maid, Sculleryman.
Dwelling Whilton Lodge
Census Place Whilton, Northampton, England
RG11/1561, Folio 71, Page 17
The Rector of Whilton in 1881 was Rev. Randolph SKIPWITH, age 58.
20-05-2005, 9:51 PM
I think you are right in guessing that the lap desk was not old when given to Mary. It is just the sort of thing that was fashionable in the 1880s. It could be a bit older, hard to say. It would have been quite expensive, but certainly affordable for people of the same social class as Mary and her husband (going by the wine list, etc.. on the blotting paper).
The most puzzling thing is that note. I can't think why someone would admit that they won it in a raffle. I could see that if they were all poor people who could never have afforded such an expensive wedding present, but that does not seem to be the case. Unless it was given to Mary by, say a maid in her house who had won it and had no use for it? "This would make a nice present
for Miss Mary". Just a thought.
Yes, I am in the antiques trade, more a dabbler than a dealer. Always happy to help if there is a query that involves antiques.
20-05-2005, 10:12 PM
Wait a minute. Could we have this out of sequence?
How about this? The box (brand new) was given to Mary as a wedding present. Later (perhaps many years later) it was donated to the Whilton Rectory Raffle. The winner knew its history, and knew Mary, and put the brief note inside. In other words: "I won this box at the WR raffle. It had been given to Mary as a wedding present." Makes a lot more sense to me that way.
Btw, I don't think that Mary was from Whilton. No likely single candidates in the index for the 1881 census. But she could have become the wife of someone in Whilton or vicinity.
I have been going down the same road as you Peggy. I think in this draft novel of ours, we are picking up a few red herrings on the way (I thought it was supposed to be the reader who does that ;) ) Yesterday, I trawled through the whole of Whilton in the 1881 census, and found a remarkable lack of Mary's, single or otherwise, almost as if it was not done to be a Mary in Whilton! There were several Independents/Annuitants and the like, so I think there were a few possible families for 'Mary' to marry into. Why couldn't the wretched girl have been called Desdemona or something...... :confused:
Will keep looking (although I'm not too sure what for!)
21-05-2005, 11:39 PM
sorry for being so quiet - I had a little problem with my pc and was not online for a few days.
Now I'm very astonished and delighted, how much new informations and approaches can be found. I'm shure that Victorias hints to Ralph Wedgwood, the London stationer, are the right one. No kind of china or tiles, just grey marble plates - no connection to the "normal" Wedgwood pottery. But anyway, I will send an email to the Wedgwood Museum, maybe they have more informations about this part of the family.
The box was expensive, I'm sure. If someone gave it to the raffle when it was new, he/she was wealthy enough as the Cravens. By the way - I'm not familiar with British church raffles: Are the prizes donations by someone or is it more a commercial business: some prices purchased by the organisators of the the raffle and many lots sold?
Not easy to find the right way to Mary! The hints are vague and confusing.
Even if we could find a Mary in the 1881 census book, nobody can guaranty, she' the right one.
In Germany it was usage to celebrate a wedding at the hometown of the bride. I'm not shure about the British way?
Whilton is a small town, raffles are visited by almost everyone, the prizes are to be seen in public- I'm in doubt about Mary living in Whilton!
Good question! I'd been assuming (dangerous) that prizes for the raffle would have been donations, collected over a long period by the ladies of the Church Guild or whatever. I picture the raffle as part of a larger effort, with people selling preserves, and others knocking over milk bottles to win prizes, and that sort of thing. Guess I get those notions from reading too many British mystery novels. (Agatha Raisin would have bought the prizes - - - too much trouble collecting.) <g> Also, raffles might have been run differently in various eras.
My guess (at least today <g>) is: (1) That Mary was not from Whilton, but lived there or in the area after marriage. (2) That she was given a new box in 1883, and that it was used for some time by members of the family. (3) That it was eventually donated for the raffle, which could have been in 1900, or in 1940, for all we know.
22-05-2005, 2:02 AM
Some idle browsing......
From Kelly's 1895 London PO Directory
Carbonic Paper Mnfrs Wedgwood Ralph & Son 145 Up(per) Thames st EC.
Same entry under Manifold Writer Makers
ditto under Stationers-Wholesale
From Kelly's 1881 W Yorks Directory
Frederick Barnes & Co General Manufacturers Cornhill Works Sheffield
Closest I could get to Cornhill and Barnes
Don't know what this brings to the discussion or how the connection (I snoozed and lost it!) between London, The Potteries, Wedgwood, Cornhill, or Barnes is made but it is interesting stuff.
I thought you might enjoy this description of the sort of event which the raffle could have taken place. This is part of an article from the North Devon Journal of 4.7.1867 and refers to Braunton in North Devon. Unfortunately there is no description of the raffle prizes!
'A Bazaar in aid of the fund now being raised for the restoration of the ancient Parish Church, was held on Tuesday and continued on Wednesday for the sale of useful and ornamental articles. On Tuesday morning the weather was unpropitious, and some thoughts were entertained of a removal of the stalls to the commodious school rooms adjacent; but toward midday the rain happily subsided and the Bazaar was held in the open air. Through the kindness of the Rev. J.W.R. Landon, the Parsonage Lawn was thrown open, and on a terrace at the north west entrance to the vicarage house the stalls were fitted up under a very neat rustic booth, with gothic entrances. The booth was decorated with evergreens and flowers, the roof covered with tarpaulin, and all together it had a very pretty appearance. From the trees of the lawn were suspended flags and streamers, and over the entrance gate the “Welcome” invited allcomers to enter. A band of music enlivened the scene, and the bells of the steeple sent forth peals at intervals throughout the day…… The articles exhibited were of the usual description:- juvenile dresses, crochet work, watch pockets, book marks, work baskets, work bags, bead work, pin cushions, slippers, dolls and toys, antimacassars, urn stands, glass vases, mats, ottomans, fans, scent jars, pen wipers, fire screens, etc. Besides which we particularly noticed a rare avis, a stuffed cuckoo, on Mrs Landon’s stall, and a beautifully embroidered table cover banner screen and sofa pillow on Mrs George Day’s stall. The fair sale women practised every winning art and used every persuasive to attract (not entrap) buyers, and their efforts were very successful. A Bazaar is at best a very monotonous affair; but in this instance vivacity was imparted to the scene and an amount of agreeable excitement kept up by “Raffles”, by which means a good deal of loose silver was secured for the common fund. We noticed several refreshment stalls, which did not appear to be extensively patronised.'
22-05-2005, 6:32 PM
Thank you, now I have an impression of what happens on British raffles and bazaars - seems to be the same in Germany.
I tried out to find more about the CRAVENs Peggy mentioned, but with no results. Oh, yes, you can buy several flats at Whilton Lodge!
Hoped to find a photo of the house with a coat of arms placed over the doorway. But in the UK these seem to be personalized, not a sign of the family and I found none. I learned a lot about coats of arms in the last few weeks (do you know the difference between rearing/forcene/rampant/segreant or cheval/couronne/coronet?)
Maybe your opinion is the right one and the sign in the book is a simple ex libris. But I have a few English books with similar signs inside and these seem to be coats of arms with hand-written names.
Poor Mary - did she never use her box? No name, no tracks on the blotter! An illiterate with an writing box? This gift caused her early death!
Today I wrote an email to the Wedgwood Museum and asked for informations about Ralph W. and his manufactory.
Is there any news about Mary? I'm starting to miss her. <G>
Any answer from the Wedgwood Museum?
09-06-2005, 8:47 PM
no, nothing to report. No answer from the Wedgwood Museum an no news from Mary. Sounds a litte bit like a dead end, but I'm a little busy with private problems (yes, you guessed it- my cats are making trouble, what else) and can't spend much time on researches. As soon as something interesting happens, I will let you know.
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