Thomas Buswell – Clipston

All Saints Church, Clipston
All Saints Church, Clipston

Thomas Buswell was christened at All Saints Church in Clipston, Northamptonshire on 30 October 1787.Thomas Buswell was a miller, as was his father and grandfather, and was probably part of the Buswell family that owned the Clipston Windmill.  This stood on the left hand side of the road leading to Marston Trussell and was taken down in about 1906.  It was used to grind corn into flour for the Buswell bakehouse in Chapel Lane.  People would take their Sunday dinner to the bakehouse on their way to Sunday worship where it would be cooked and ready for them to collect on the way home.  The Pytchley hounds used to meet at the Windmill, as did people who wanted to view the hunt, because the view from this point extended for many miles.

The village of Clipston is situated 4.5 miles SSW of Market Harborough and 14 miles from Northampton.  It’s population was at its highest of 882 in 1871.  Ethel Lucie Fisher (President of Clipston’s Women’s Institute 1926) compiled some historical details from the Parish Register about Clipston, which give a glimpse of village life at the time our ancestors lived there.  It was noted that the use of the word ‘ye’ shows that Clipston was probably ‘old world’ in the early nineteenth century as ‘ye’ had ceased to be in common usage sometime previous to that date.

There are many details about the weather and how it effected the local harvest which in 1795 included barley, oats and beans.

23 January 1795 Ye frost lasted about ten weeks and ye intenseness of ye cold proved fatal to a great many old people in particular
13 March 1795 exhibits a great deal of sorrow.  Agriculture in all parts of ye country has been alarmingly retarded
1 May 1795 All necessaries at this time are extremely dear: bread (2.5lb loaf) 6d butter 1/6 per lb beef veal and mutton about 5d per lb. Ye poor can scarcely reach ye necessaries of life a riotous disposition appears among them and in many places viz.Coventry Leicester Hinckley Lutterworth Rugby etc. they have obliged ye butchers bakers and butter-sellers to lower ye prices of these respective articles.  What will be ye end of these things God only knows.  Times are now alarming.
July 1795 Symptoms of rioting appeared here and many women and children went (sounding a horn and ringing a bell) to ye officer on account of the dearness of flour and a vestry was holden.  And ye case was maturely considered: ye indigent were relieved and ye industrious encouraged.  Wheat 14/- per bushel.  Wheat sold at Harborough and other places at £1 a bushel.
August 1795 Ye harvest weather remarkable: fine clear sunshire for many weeks ye crops of corn particularly barley prodigious and immense quantities housed without a drop of rain.  Eddishes and turnips in a very forward state.  In a word all things very promising and ye prespect of plenty exhilarates ye hearts of all sorts and conditions of men. Laus Deo.
18 January 1796 We received a leter from ye Bishop of our Diocese advising all sorts and conditions of men to eat bread made two-thirds wheat and one-third barley on account of ye scarcity of ye former.
22 April 1796 A very rapid fall in the price of wheat has happily taken place and what was sold a few months ago for 15/- per bushel will not fetch above 8/-.

The intense interest in the availability and price of wheat indicates that a miller would have occupied an important place in village life.

Thomas Buswell married Hephzibah Green at All Saints Church, Clipston on 18 November 1813 – the parish record of which is below.

All Saints Clipston_Marriages 1813 600Parish record of Thomas Buswell married Hephzibah Green

Children of Thomas & Hepzibah Buswell

Name Place(s) of Residence Life Dates Married
Thomas Buswell Clipston Nhants 1816-1872 Charlotte Buswell (1818-1893)
Edward Buswell Great Creaton Nhants 1820-1921 Harriet Buswell (1820-1850) Maria Anne Earp (1825-1877) Elizabeth Orton (1822-1909)
John Buswell Brixworth Nhants 1823-1900 Rebecca Dickins (1829-1909)
Louisa Buswell Clipston & East Farndon (Nhants) & Aston & Kingsbury (Warwickshire) 1825-1907 John Mutton (1827-1905)
Clara Buswell Thrapston & Little Bowden Nhants 1830-1903 William Palmer (1834-1910)

   Chart: Buswell Family Tree

Although Thomas, Hepzibah and their children Thomas, Clara and Margaret Buswell were living in Clipston on the 1841 census by the 1851 census their children had moved on and Thomas was on his own, a Miller & Baker employing 2 men.  Hepzibah was on the 1851 census at the house of her daughter Louisa Mutton (nee Buswell) who lived with her husband John Mutton and one month old daughter Clara, in Corby.

Thomas died in Clipston on 24 January 1858.  Hephzibah survived him by almost 8 years and died in Lutterworth in 1865.  They are both buried in Clipston Baptist Chapel graveyard (see below).

Clipston Baptist ChurchClipston Baptist Church & Graveyard

Grave: Thomas & Heph Buswell                                                                                  Gravestone of Thomas & Hephzibah Buswell

Their gravestone is to the immediate left of the main gate. (click on image to enlarge)

There was a revival of the Baptist church in Clipston in 1800. There is an account that the youth of the village were ‘trifling and indecent in behaviour, disrespectful and rude’, despite having pious parents. After much fervent praying of the congregation so many young people began to attend prayer meetings that they had to use the vestry at 4 o’clock in the morning for mutual prayers!

John Buswell – Brixworth, Northants…