George Jackson was born in Upton Grey, Hampshire, in December 1796. His father, William, was a labourer and George was the only child of William's second marriage. Little is known of the family at this time apart from some references to a much older half-brother Daniel, and nothing about where William came from, though it could have been the neighbouring village of Herriard. The photos above were taken during the 1870s. Another photo of George, now lost, showed him with a very long more wispy beard.
It was when George married Mary Ann (surname unknown) from Nateley Scures, a few miles away, that he must have planned to move to Devon. His daughter Emma was born in Washfield not far from Templeton but beyond Calverleigh. The Chichesters of Calverleigh had land there for some was left in a will to descendants of theirs later in the century. Possibly George was working as a labourer though it seems unlikely that that was all.
George Jackson and his family were definitely Catholics but whether lifelong or not is not known. It is possible that he went to Devon through a Catholic connection as it was a long tradition for Catholic families to have Catholic servants. When it was a crime to harbour a priest or to attend mass it was far safer to have Catholic servants who would not betray the family to the pursuivants. Although by the 19th century the penal laws had fallen into disuse, being removed in 1830, the old habits remained. The Jacksons were married in a parish church, probably that of Brown Candover in Hampshire, that being the law. A marriage record there is very likely to be theirs, and this is backed up by the fact they they were married by special license. This was often used by Catholics to avoid having to attend the church to hear the banns read out. They were no longer being fined for not worshipping in the established church but there was no Catholic centre for their own worship in Hampshire. In Devon there was the chapel at Calverleigh Court with its resident priest, the Abbé Moutier but either no records of baptisms etc were kept (quite likely) or they have not survived. This priest founded the first Catholic church in Tiverton in 1839. It was not at all uncommon for people to walk this far to go to church so George and Mary Ann could have made that trip to Calverleigh or Tiverton every Sunday!
By 1835 the Jacksons had moved to Templeton and were living at Lower South Combe Farm. The name of this farm may be due to there being a South Combe Farm at Witheridge not far away. Lower South Combe belonged to or was rented by George Besley who had a young and growing family, some about the same age as the two Jackson children.
The Public Record Office made available their copies of the documents relating to the Tithe Apportionment Act. Although this Act was passed in 1836 it took some time to enforce as maps were made of the whole country where it applied. It is known therefore that George Jackson had a garden and nursery of "one rod and one perch" and a garden of "14 perches" in addition to a 'house etc'. The 'etc' were listed as 'buildings'. The 'house' was at the left hand end of the farm as seen above and the buildings appear to have been in front perhaps with the entrance to the house on the side. They have all long disappeared. The 'garden' was the northern corner of a patch of woodland near the stream which runs past the farm to Little Esworthy. The 'garden and nursery' was across the road to the west and down by the same or another in the deep combe on that side.(The map does not go far enough to show whether the streams join up at Little Esworthy). The nursery could be for young game birds rather than plants - George was in fact a gamekeeper and perhaps had a reputation for this. Even in old age in Sussex he was still described as a gamekeeper.
All the property here which was occupied by George Jackson belonged to the Chichesters of Calverleigh
Information is often found in what seem at first to be unlikely places. For example, many of the Tithe Apportionment records for Templeton are in the Record Office at Beverley in the East Riding. The reason is that one member of the family, Lady Constable (formerly Barbara Chichester), who shared income from Templeton moved there with her husband, Sir Thomas Constable, when he inherited the estate of Burton Constable near Hull. (See the Chichester family and Sources for more details of this) The handwriting on the contemporary records for Templeton obtained from Beverley does not look like that in the account book and it is doubtful whether George Jackson was land steward at this stage.
It must have been by November 1847 that George and his family moved to Cloggs and perhaps as a direct consequence of his appointment as land steward. This house is in the middle of the village, facing the parish church at the other end of a long and narrow 'green'. It is given as George's residence on the 1851 Census and George and his wife remained here until at least 1864. There was a farm called Clogsmoor but nothing is known of any connection.
R. Bovett's Historical Notes on Devon Schools fills in some details about this house. It was said to be the oldest in the village and one reason for its preservation may be found in its name, 'Cloggs Court'. It was the old Court House and was so listed in the Tithe Apportionment of 1842. Perhaps it was the 'official residence' of the Land or Estate Steward.
Thomas Payne paid rent for Cloggs while James Beedell was renting 'High and Low Town Living' - a property also in the village. In 1847 however James Beedell took over Cloggs as well and continued to pay rent for both, his last payment being on May 5th 1842. After that Henry Blake had taken over the Town Livings and no rent was collected for Cloggs. George, as mentioned above, was already living at Cloggs and had probably moved in in 1847, which ties in with the beginning of the account book in 1846. In addition the financial arrangements - or lack of them - must have had something to do with Lady Chichester's wish to promote the use of a room here as the schoolroom. (See Templeton for more details on the school itself). This room was probably on the right of the photo and being 24 ft by 12 ft a reasonable size for a village Court House.
The first to leave home was Emma Jackson who became lady's maid to Miss Chichester for a time. On the 1851 Census she is listed with some of the family and other visitors, staying at Burton Constable near Hull on Humberside. Two or three years later she was living at Arundel in Sussex and married George Mason of Bloxham, Oxfordshire, at Slindon not far from Arundel.(Countess Newburgh, wife of Col. Charles Leslie of Slindon House is mentioned in one of Lady Chichester's letters.) George Mason was a gardener, later the bailiff, at Burton Park, Petworth, an estate which belonged to the Wright-Biddulphs. Calverleigh, Arundel, Slindon and Burton Park were all old Catholic centres dating back to penal times.
By 1861 Emma is listed as a 'schoolmistress', probably running the little school in the house at Burton Park. She had ten children of her own altogether. When George and Mary Ann Jackson 'retired' from Templeton they moved to stay with the Masons for a while and then rented a cottage locally. All four of them, Jacksons and Masons, are buried in the churchyard of the Catholic church built within the grounds of Burton Park in 1866.
Albert Jackson, the only one of the family actually born in Templeton, who must have been well-used to horses, enlisted at Tiverton in the Royal Artillery to go and fight in the Crimea in 1854. He reached the rank of sergeant and subsequently went to India to fight in the Indian Mutiny. He then remained in India until 1875. On his discharge from the army, now with a wife and two children, he joined Emma and his parents at Burton Park but eventually went to Woking where he worked for a short while as a prison warder. Lastly, for over twenty years he ran the first bus service (horse-bus) from St John's to Woking and was proprietor of the Rowbarge Inn. He was also a member of the local (voluntary!) fire brigade and the Woking Club. Part of his job was to take officers from the various barracks to the railway station or to collect them. There are various references to this in Albert's notes in the spaces in the account book, including jottings about the fares or the cost of breakfast.
Albert is seen here as host of the Rowbarge Inn, wearing his Crimea and India medals.
Albert died in 1902 but people still remembered him in the 1930s. He had been 'in charge of the theatricals' in India and was a great story-teller. Three local newspapers carried extensive front-page reports of his full military funeral in January 1903, two of them repeating one of his best stories. He had an old flintlock, brass blunderbuss pistol. (lost since 1948) as a memento of the Crimean War. It had belonged to a Russian who pointed it directly at his head in the thick of a battle but it misfired. Before the Russian had time to reset the trigger Albert felled him to the ground with the butt of his rifle! There were lots of details of the funeral, though the most telling was perhaps was the description of Albert's favourite horse in the procession, following behind the gun carriage on which his coffin, draped with the Union Jack, was placed. There were said to be about 800 people in attendance.
4 chapters on Albert's life include details of his army service in the Crimea and in India, followed by his time in Woking, Surrey, and then his funeral. These pages give names of other soldiers, some officers, a VC etc, also members of the fire-brigade in Woking, friends, and some previously unrecognised relatives.
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