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Relevant to Brinton, Norfolk and the Brereton Family

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  INDEX -- Most recent at the top    
6 More Seppings finds and thoughts thereon Michael Sandford 17 Nov 2008
5 Will of Mary Seppings nee Brereton Rosemary Jewers 19 Aug 2008
4 Report of Views of Charles David Brereton on the Operation of the Poor Laws Michael Sandford 14 Aug 2008
3 Probates in Norwich Consistory Court -- William Sto(a)kes - Elizabeth Brereton Branch Rosemary Jewers 10 Aug 2008
2 Brinton- Edmond Cooke, the son, died 1675/6 Michael Sandford 7 Aug 2008
1 Edmund Cooke, Tanner of Brinton - died 1668 Michael Sandford 6 Aug 2008

6. More Seppings finds and thoughts thereon


P601 from Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in GB & I, has a bio an entry on Robert Seppings - It says he married his cousin Charlotte (d 1834) and they had 2 sons John Milligen and Edward. He died at taunton 25 Sept 1840. see Google books unfortunatley the preceeding page which is the start of the article is not available in limited view so the book has to be consulted the full ref is

A Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland: 1500 to 1830
By A. W. Skempton
Published by Thomas Telford, 2002
ISBN 072772939X, 9780727729392
897 pages

The DNB article says Seppings, Sir Robert (1767–1840), naval architect, was born at Fakenham, the fourth child of Robert Seppings and his wife, Lydia, the daughter of John Milligen, a linen draper at Harleston. His father was a cattle salesman but was not very successful and the young Robert had to work as a messenger, carrying letters on a mule. Lydia's brother John Milligen, a retired naval captain living at Plymouth and childless, adopted Robert Seppings and also two daughters of his brother Thomas. One of these girls, Charlotte, later married Robert Seppings while the other married Sir Richard Dacres.........His eldest son, John Milligen Seppings, was for twenty years the inspector of shipping for the East India Company at Calcutta. Another son, Captain Edward Seppings, together with his wife and two children, was killed at Cawnpore during the Indian mutiny.


The IGI shows Robert (the father) married Lydia Millegen 29 Nov 1760

Syderstone hauntings by a Shepherd of Thomas Seppings 1833 are described in a book

Haunted Places in England
By Elliot O'Donnell
Published by Kessinger Publishing, 2003
ISBN 0766177890, 9780766177895
236 pages


5. Will of Mary Seppings nee Brereton

From: To: <snippets@brereton.org.uk> Subject: Brereton Brinton Date: 19 August 2008 17:54

Will of Mary Seppings nee Brereton

The Will is dated on the last page as 1846 probate was 1851.

The beginning reads "Mary Seppings wife of Thomas Seppings of Whitehall in the parish of Syderstone in the County of Norfolk Esquire whereas my late Father John Brereton of Brinton" it continues for several pages. Charles David Brereton and Shovell Brereton were named as executors.

Mary and Thomas Seppings were living in Syderstone 6 miles from Fakenham.

According to William White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk 1845 Thomas was living at Whitehall (White hall) Syderstone

Rosemary Jewers

4. Report of Views of Charles David Brereton on the Operation of the Poor Laws

From: To: <snippets@brereton.org.uk> Subject: Views of Charles David Brereton on the Operation of the Poor Laws Date: 14 August 2008 11:45

Extract from Two Reports addressed to His Majesty's Commissioners appointed to enquire into The Administration and Operation of the Poor Laws by C.H. Cameron, John Wrottesley and J W Cowell esquires. Pub B.Fellowes London 1834

Page 61 (Colwell)

From Houghton we proceeded to Little Massingham, where we had the pleasure of seeing the Rev. Mr. Brereton. The publications of this gentleman display the deepest commiseration for the degraded condition to which the poor laws have reduced the labouring population in Norfolk, and a becoming indignation at the manner in which those laws have been administered. He has rendered no small service to humanity by the success of his writings in drawing attention to the subject, but unfortunately he has not been equally successful in practice. We learned that the hopes which he once entertained of unpauperizing the neighbourhood had proved illusive, and he has finally abandoned the attempt. The farmers find that labour is cheaper to them when the labourers are paid partly by rates and partly by wages, and therefore they will not permit the allowance system to be superseded.

We had much conversation with Mr. Brereton on the subject of pauperism and its ruinous effects. Among other things, he told us that he considered it to be owing to the prevalence of the allowance system, rather than to any improvement in their condition, that farmers had so entirely left oft' keeping labourers in their houses. For since no species of capitalist is so much at the mercy of his labourers, wherever labour is free, as the farmer, because, at particular seasons of the year, he inevitably requires a much greater number of hands than at others, he would necessarily be anxious to secure a certain number of labourers upon whom he could rely in all events, without the chance of being disappointed, and would naturally strive to do so by lodging them in his house. But the allowance system renders a resort to such means superfluous, as wherever it obtains, he can take labourers from the road as he wants them, and send them back to it when he has done with them.

Mr. Brereton informed us that he knew many instances resembling that which had struck us so forcibly at Royston, of rate-payers of towns resigning themselves, after vain struggles with the neighbouring magistracy, to maintaining a portion of their own poor in perfect idleness, and supplying their places by calling in labourers who have no settlement in the parish, and on whose good conduct they can consequently rely.


3. Probates in Norwich Consistory Court -- William Sto(a)kes - Elizabeth Brereton Branch

From: "To: <snippets@brereton.org.uk> Subject: Brereton links Date: 10 August 2008 18:11

In an attempt to find a connection that might indicate how the Brereton family might have acquired the Nelson parsonage staircase… I have been researching names connected to the Breretons of Brinton and I have come across possible interesting information after Internet searches for the name Seppings with the word 'probate'.

First I came across the Will of Thomas Seppings elder of South Creake 1835, who had a wife Ann without (e). This Thomas Seppings had 5 children 2 sons William and Thomas and 3 daughters.

Whilst still in the Seppings section, I found the Will of Shovel Brereton. In his Will he refers to his daughter Ann, (Still no e). The attorney was a William Sto(a)kes.

I thought it likely that this William Sto(a)kes might be the son-in-law of Shovel as families nearly always liked to do business with relatives as it was the thing they did in the country.

I noted that the Brereton family tree lists a William Stoakes marrying Elizabeth Brereton (daughter of Shovell) in Holt. They may have lived in Fakenham after their marriage.

The probate solicitor administrator in Fakenham was William Stokes the younger.

It notes Shovel died 1780 but the Will was still being finalised or competed in 1818.

Widening my search on William Stokes I found he had a wife named Elizabeth. She is mentioned in the Will of Charlotte Bendy Probate 1818.

I have not manage to read the Will fully but did glean the words Burnham Westgate and "Elizabeth wife of William Stokes the Elder of Fakenham" who received some money.

I then found the Probate of Elizabeth Stokes. She had a daughter Grace Stokes and two sons Henry Stokes and Shovel Brereton Stokes. Probate 1846.

I searched for Henry Stokes (as being solicitors it may run in the family) and found that a Henry Stokes was dealing with probate of John Dew. Probate 1832.

The Will of John Dew shows he lived at Swanton Novers.

According to the Brereton family tree, it shows that John Dew of Swanton Novers married Mary Brereton who was a daughter of John and Anna Margaretta Brereton of Brinton.

There is obviously more to glean from a close look at these Wills.

While none of this gives a direct link of the staircase to Brinton or Briningham it does indicate there were strong family connections living in the area.

Rosemary Jewers


2. Brinton- Edmond Cooke, the son, died 1675/6

From: To: <snippets@brereton.org.uk> Subject: Brinton- Edmond Cooke 2 death 1675/6 Date: 07 August 2008 17:44

I have just relaised that the NRO reference is to an Inventory which means that Edmund Cooke the son died in 1675-76. Presumably this then left the way open for Robert Cooke a younger son to take over most of the Brinton property left by Edmund Cooke, the father. I need a visit to NRO to transcribe the inventory - unless someone can help out.

Michael Sandford

1. Edmund Cooke, Tanner of Brinton - died 1668

From: Subject: Edmund Cooke, Tanner of Brinton - died 1668 Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 15:22:44 +0100

After a few searches I have come up with this important find. Edmund may be the father of Robert Cooke and grandfather of Cicely Cooke (1660-1752)

Will in the Perogative Court of Canterbury - Prob/11/329

There were many Cookes in Norfolk so this could be a coincidence - but on the other hand perhaps this was how Robert Cooke built up his estate in Brinton, assuming his brother Edmond died without passing the estate on to any of his own children.

Edmond Cooke (ie the son) continued as a tanner see NRO ref Cooke, Edmond, Brinton, N., tanner  DN/INV59A/10  1675 - 1676

I think Cicely Cooke must have married John Brereton around 1686 - so the dates could fit together.

Michael Sandford