Annex 2

The Spurgeon Family

Some notes on the family tree in the biographical book on the Spurgeon Family by W Miller Higgs, London 1906 made by J B E with data from the Stambourne records & information from Mrs Veronica Etchells & Geoffrey Diss. It is out of print & untraceable.

  • First known 2 Dec 1465 [5 Edwd iv]in~Gt Maplestead where John & Thos Spirjon are witnesses
  • 24 Jun 1551 [5 Edwd vi] Richd Spurgeon rents Fitzjohes close to Bourchiers College Chantry
  • 19 May 1575 Thomas Spurgeon was tenant of the Manor Of Dynes in the parish of Gt Maplestead
  • John Spurgen bd Halstead 1570 = Ellen….. bd Halstead 1566

Let us call this generation #1 in which births occurred around 151020; there must have been at least four earlier generations for Thos Spirjon to be active in the 5th year of K Edw iv.

They have 2 issue in generation #2 born about 1540

  • #1, John Spurgeon = Joan Wang….[the centre fold did not copy up to 5 letters of her surname]

They have 6 issue in generation #3 born 1567-81

  • #4, Vincent Spurgeon or Spurgin, bd Halstead 1625 alone carries on the line; wife’s name unknown

They have 6 issue in generation #4 born 1592/1607/8;

  • #3, Clement Spurgen [, or ..eon] bz Hstd 1599/1600; will 1662 = Mary Vine in 1623.

They have 3 issue in generation #5, born 1623-28

  • #1 Clement bz Halsted 1624; will 1681; = Mary….

They have 5 issue in generation #6, born c1658-1670c ; [this gap is rather large]

  • #1 Clement Spurgen of Halsted; will 1715 = Eliz d o John Morley & Julian[sic]Bragg
  • Morley ²(will 1696) was a butcher & property owner; father of the famous land agent etc
  • 1656-1733 (Morley’s College ??)
  • Geoffrey Diss in a letter of 31 May 1997 presents data that he is descended from the Jeremiah & Hannah of this generation.

They have 7 issue in generation #7; d.o.b around 1690

  • #1 Clement = Bethia? d o John & Eliz Bunting [John was a clothier s o Wm B]

They have 2 issue in generation #8; d.o.b. around 1710

  • #1 Clement Spurgen = Ann Goodson 28 Jul 1732
  • #2 Rev Samuel Spurgeon (sic), Pastor Halstead Independent Church. He is the first Gentleman of the Cloth in this family tree

Clement & Ann have 2 children in generation #9 born c 1735;

  • #1 Clement Spurgeon of Halstead m Ann Pinchbeck 8 May 1766 = parents of J.S. of Stambourne & were born perhaps 1740

They have 12 children in generation #10 of whom 6 died in infancy; bz 1767-1780++

  • #1 Clement bz 1767 is the seventh consecutive first-born to bear that christian name; he has no issue & it does not appear again.

The printed pedigree records only 8 issue in generation #11 from 1808-1823 but there are 11 births entered in the register kept by Jas himself at the Stambourne Meeting House; none of them appears to have died young, for J S was meticulous in his entries, usually adding a note [This is dead].

  • There is also a record of a burial in 1901 for an 84 y o Mary Spurgeon whom I think to be his child.
  • #2 became the Rev John Spurgeon [the 3rd priest] & was also born at Clare on 15 July 1810; d 14 Jun 1902. He m Eliza [surname unknown] of Otton Belchamp

They are shown as having 17 children in generation #12;

  • #1 Their firstborn was the famous Rev Chas Haddon Spurgeon b 19 Jun 1834; d 31 Jan 1892; bd @ Norwood [really ? I thought he d in Switzerland]
  • #2 Eliza Rebecca b Rayleigh 19 Jan 1836 m Rev W Jackson.

A piece of paper held by Mrs Etchells, who is the granddaughter of a Charles Oliver Sudbury [1864-1916, [(shown as Oliver Charles on his birth certificate) which is in her mother’s writing, says:

  • Miss Spurgeon, sister to Charles Spurgeon, Married Mr Franklin.
  • Miss E Franklin married Mr Sudbury
  • Mr C Sudbury married Miss Mary Adler
  • Originally I deduced Miss Adler [or is it Alder ?] to be Mrs Veronica Etchells’ [V.E.] mother and the author of the manuscript note.
  • Eliza cannot be grandmother of Oliver Chas Sudbury who was born 25 June or 3 July in 1864.
  • Equally nor can any of Charles’s other 5 sisters Viz:
    • Emily Jarvis bz 1839
    • Caroline Lewis bz 1845
    • Charlotte Jarvis bz 1846
    • Josephine Eva bz 1857 & m to Rev Henderson
    • Flora Mary bz 1859

Eliz, bz 1836, could genetically, aet 18y, be the mother whose name is given on the birth certificate of O.C.S. as “Ellen, formerly Spurgeon”; though whether she was a spinster or widow[!] is not stated.

None of the other 5 could be.

Of the 3 females, aunts of Charles, recorded in the previous generation none could be mother or grandmother of O.C.S.

The note remains a mystery, as does Mr Franklin. In a letter of 11 February 1997 V .E. says she has concluded both the Franklins to be “both apochryphal1 & erroneous” & that my deduction is incorrect. She writes:

  • An Anthony Sudbury, born in Hadleigh, Suffolk, in 1836 To Anthony & Amelia, née Norfolk, married
  • Ellen Spurgeon in 1857 in Halstead. No father is given for Ellen on the certificate. They had several daughters & 3 sons, the 3d of which, Chas Oliver, m Mary Ann Alder (sic) in Woolwich SE18 in 1891. Chas & Mary Ann (Polly) had 7 d. The third of these was Gladys Victoria Maud, bz 2 Nov 1896, She m Thos Edwd Martin on 23, Dec 1923, Their only child was Veronica Alison Martin (= V.E.). She m Roy Vincent Etchells 24 Nov 1933 & have 2 s.

She adds that Spurgeons owned shops in Halstead [I have a picture of one in Sible Hedingham only 6 mi from there] & one of their daughters was probably Ellen.

  • #3 Rev Jas Archer S D.D., bz 1837, was priest #4 in America. He m, firstly a Miss Burgoyne and secondly, a Helen Withers; they had a child, Ellen Mary born in 1885 who is the first Ellen I can see in the family., though she would indeed be an Ellen Spurgeon.
  • So who was Ellen, the mother of O.C.S? I can see no candidate in the couple of dozen children of about the right age in the records I have.
  • There were at least 33 children in generation #12 but only the 2 priests.
  • Of 17 children in generation #13, 4 were ordained.
  • In generation #14, 8 births are registered between 1889-1893 but no ordinations are recorded for any of them; but the chart records no issue for half of the families in this generation of the nineties. The date of publication was 1906.

Thus this Nonconformist Family had 10 priests (and at least one other with some status as a lecturer) in the period of about 1740 1900. Of three of them we have some details:

  • James [1776-1864] was minister at Stambourne for more than half a century and prompted my interest. He was born in Clare and since his son was born there also in the year that he left to take up the Stambourne living it seems probable that for a decade or so he was minister in Clare too.
  • Charles Haddon Spurgeon [1834-1892] was the famous author of the book of sermons that sold five million copies. Among his many other publications is ‘Memories of Stambourne’ where he frequently visited his grandfather.
  • James Archer, born 1837, is the only known graduate with a degree recorded as D.D.(America). [at that time presumably Yale or Harvard]. 
    Since he married the daughter of a General Burgoyne he was a cleric of some renown though this soldier cannot have been the one famous in the revolutionary war of 1775-1783.

[1] Deliberate misspelling?; AFE

Pencil outline by J.B.E. of the Sketch of the First Chapel made by C.H. Spurgeon in 1846

Pencil outline by J.B.E. of the Sketch of the First Chapel made by C.H.Spurgeon in 1846
Pencil outline by J.B.E. of the Sketch of the First Chapel made by C.H.Spurgeon in 1846

An old Photograph of the Second Chapel

An old Photograph of the Second Chapel
An old Photograph of the Second Chapel

Return to Chapter 4 – The rise of nonconformity