The Recollections of Mrs King
These are found in a manuscript by James Hopkins which was in a book into which he was copying the old records; the second page of it shews the burials for 1761 on the facing page. The Rector enquired of her reminiscences which were mainly about five Pastors of the Meeting and of Venn Eyre in our Church. It is included in this chapter since it is mainly about Pastors; I presume she is the relict of the Mr King who died in 1799 some 14 years before J.H. spoke to her…
I have not yet checked the accuracy of her recollection of dates.
For the purpose of ascertaining the history of Stambourne as // as I cd. I called this day (Thursday 8th April 1813) on old Mrs King widow of the late Wm King who died 14 years ago viz: 24th March 1799. I found her in good health & considering that she is 76 years of age* wonderfully in possession of her faculties. She resides in a farm house on what is called Morley’s Farm near the meeting. Her *Maiden name was Price She was brought up at The Slough the substance of her information seems to be as follows_ Believes there was a meeting house or place of worship for dissenters at or on the farm called Newhouse now in possession of her son Wm King believes there were two dissenting teachers of the name of Havers [so I find the name written in Mr Bowyer’s Tithe Book] brothers [I find mention of a Mr Henry Havers buried October 5th 1707, the other Mr Havers dissenting teacher buried at the meeting 1723, in the old registers] does not recollect when the meeting was built. nor when the house contiguous to it. Remembers a 3d Mr Havers (Henry) nephew to the preceding says he was 22 years dissenting preacher at Stambourn recollects their coming to visit a school which was kept at the Butcher’s Arms, rewarding the best answerers with fruit. recollects his funeral when she was only 12 years of age.] reckoning from 1737 the time of her birth Mr Havers died 1749 adding 22 years of his ministry to 1723 when his predecessor died his death must have been 1745] recollects the day of the month 2d Decr. Mr Mayhew succeeded him as teacher [I conjecture anno 1750]staid but 4 yrs having married a lady of Lynn in Norfolk who p[referred residing there Succeeded by Mr Hullum [I suppose about 1754] who staid 22 years left Stambourn [blot 1776] & died at Melford. Mr King was the next dissenting minister he staid 2 years and was succeeded Mr Benj.n Beddow  who died in June 1810 and was buried in the meeting next to Mr Henry Havers. Mrs King having pointed out to the bricklayer where the latter had been interred. His successor was Mr Spurgeon who had been minister at Clare Suffolk thus as the old lady remarks she recollects 6 dissenting ministers in Stambourn.
Having been always been brought to the meeting does not possess so much information respecting the church does not know who was Mr Bowyer’s predecessor always had an excellent character of him does not know whether he built any part of the parsonage in taking his tythe he received the farmers separately at his house or 2 or 3 together rather than all together at an Inn at 7 or 8 o’clock used to dismiss them with the observation that it was time for them to be at home.
Recollects Mr Eyre very well. Latterly was very intimate with his family latterly Mr E did not visit Stambourn at all died at Lynn was a magistrate and much occupied with magisterial duties Mr Frost lived at Stambourn Hall married a woman who had been servant to Mrs Lowe.
Her statements that she recalls both Mayhew & Eyre decamped to Lynn are questionable; perhaps a confused recollection of an old mind. I shall endeavour to find some evidence there this Spring.
This report is referred to in the paragraph on Venn Eyre in Chapter 8.
Return to Chapter 4 – The rise of nonconformity