It is done – Herbert Hayward Budd’s gravestone raised

Herbert Hayward Budd, always known as ‘The Doc’ was my great uncle. He had a fascinating history before his untimely death aged only 43 in 1927. Working as the Medical Superintendent on Robben Island, his specialism was leprosy (in the 1920s, the Island housed a leper colony). Visiting another leper colony in the Eastern Cape in April 1927, some 700 miles from his home on Robben Island, he was taken ill and died very suddenly. As was common at that time he was buried where he died in Umtata. His wife Lil and son Billy (only 7 when his father died) never made the long journey to visit his grave.  Since 2009 I have been researching his family and ancestors.  Finding their home on Robben Island in Aug 2009 , then following a remarkable run of good luck on a brief visit to Umtata in Feb 2013, finding his unmarked grave there, I made a promise to us both that I would one day raise a stone above his grave.

Last Friday, 27 November 2015, I did that.

I doubt that any permanent mark has ever been there since he died in 1927.  And now there is one.

When I made a mad dash visit to Umtata in 2013 on a mission to find The Doc’s grave, I will never forget the kindness of the local official in the Parks and Gardens office who, once he had personally gone to the cemetery to find the unmarked grave, explained how to find it, but also issued in very serious terms what amounted a moral contract:

‘One day, you must come back and raise a stone above his grave…so he is not forgotten.’

Well, 3 years later, it is done.  After so much frustration, endless phone calls and e-mails, the wonderful staff at AVBOB have walked the cemetery, once again found the unmarked grave, and raised a stone there for me.

It’s magnificent.

And the words on that stone that mean the most were given to me by that kind gentleman from the Parks and Gardens office:

Not forgotten

In our busy lives we actually achieve so little.  I feel that last Friday, I actually did something important.

The Doc is not forgotten.

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The Budds of Quainton – close but no cigar!

Well, I really thought I’d solved it – see earlier post “William Budd – lineage solved?”

Tying up William, Thomas and Samuel, all players in the trail that will eventually lead us to William’s lineage, seemed very convincing.

So I got the underlying transcripts this week from the wonderful Buckinghamshire Family History Society (so fast, accurate and helpful, thank you!) and have spent a quiet Sunday morning ticking and bashing through them.

It didn’t take long for my theory to unravel.

The Thomas Budd of Quainton who I suggested was the signatory to WH Budd’s marriage in 1798 actually died an infant of probably 3 months in Quainton in Feb 1744.

The William Budd of Quainton who I suggested was our William, also died a one month old infant there in Feb 1745 (bless them, the William and Eleanor of Quainton had a series of infant deaths).

The Samuel Budd of St Olave’s Southwark whom I suggested was a relative of our William, and still could be, whilst having parents whose names were John and Mary, I can find no link to a similarly named couple of Quainton (which I needed to in order to get a link between this Samuel and our William).

For the record, in case in the future someone else is working on this hypothesis, and to complete the public dismantling of my theory, I attach the facts:

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 06.18.28Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 06.18.14

This will perhaps teach me not to get excited too soon and put these things out there, but I suppose it does chart the ups and downs of this wonderful project.

We keep going…

William Budd – lineage solved?

I first started my Budd Family history in 2007.  That’s approaching 9 years of research.  All along, where William Budd came from has been a total mystery.

I think I’ve solved it.

As always, the small but focused community of researchers have helped enormously.  I was particularly intrigued by a theory put forward by the authoritative Margaret Rose, who posited that the witness to William Hayward Budd’s marriage (William H was William snr’s eldest son), Thomas Budd, was not WH’s brother (Thomas Hayward), but possibly William Snr’s brother.  Margaret’s rationale was that the signature of the witness did not match that of TH Budd.  That takes some spotting, given the flowery signatures that were so common at that time (1798), and to me, frankly, all look to be by the same hand.

That got me thinking.

My own contribution to the puzzle (see earlier post on William Budd’s lineage 15 Aug 2015) was that when William married Ann Hayward, they were first to be found in the London borough of Southwark.  Their first child, predictably called William, sadly died an infant and was buried there aged 5 months in July 1776.  My theory was that it was no coincidence that there was a Samuel Budd (married to Anne Dredge) in the same parish at that time.  Seemed too good to be coincidental – so here was another relative, perhaps a brother or a cousin?

To cut a long story short, it would appear that both theories are correct.  Through building a number of ‘what might be’ family trees, eventually the connections can be made.  What makes it hard, and therefore explains why it’s been so elusive until now, is that the common connection between Thomas (signatory to William Hayward’s wedding), Samuel (in Southwark at the time of the birth of William and Ann’s first child) and William himself can only be determined by tracing back 2 earlier generations – to their commonly shared Grandparents.

Here’s how it looks:

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 06.56.28

And here’s that all-important signature of ‘Uncle Thomas’.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 07.08.28

I have to admit I’m just a little excited so I’m dashing this off perhaps sooner than I should.  For those who will be keen to fact-check (and I hope you will!), the common thread is Quainton, Buckinghamshire.  That’s where the Budd’s came from – about 35 miles North West of Uxbridge.

By reference to the chart above, you can see Samuel, living in Southwark when the sick infant William Hayward was born, is William’s cousin, and that Thomas, as Margaret Rose suspected, is William’s brother and witnesses (the second-born William Hayward) William Hayward’s marriage, as WH’s uncle.

It works.  Perfectly.

I need to get the records, but I think we have it.

Readers, let me know what you think.

William Budd’s lineage

With William Budd’s death now pretty much resolved (see my earlier Blog on this topic), I have turned my attention to William’s birth and his immediate family.  This seems to be a little harder to pin down.

One lead appears to be that when William and Ann had their first son, William Hayward in the parish of George the Martyr, Southwark in early 1776, there was another Budd, Samuel, living in the same parish (he and his wife Ann Dredge had five children in that parish from 1776 – 1787).  It seems significant that two Budds were living in the same parish – that they were related seems to be a hypothesis worth exploring.  I haven’t had any luck to date!

Interestingly, William and Ann’s marriage certificate cites him as being from the Diocese of London, and says that he was also a widower.  Again, no further clues unearthed on this thread to date.

That William came from London and had his first child there makes me think that he was a Londoner and was perhaps born there (as opposed to Gloucester, where he married Ann in her parish, and Wiltshire, where so many of his children ended up living out their years, and where I believe he lived in the latter part of his life from 1801 until his death in 1821, again, see my previous blog on this).

Margaret ROSE has commented elsewhere on this Blog that there’s a witness to William Hayward Budd’s marriage to Mary Packer called Thomas Budd.  Margaret’s view is that the signature is not that of WHB’s brother Thomas Hayward Budd, and her hypothesis is that this could be an uncle – William Budd Snr’s brother.

Interestingly, there is a William (b 1744, 2 years adrift from the believed birth date of our William Snr) and a Thomas, both with the same parents (William and Eleanor Budd) born in Quainton, Bucks – so this could be a lead worth following up.

To date, nothing definitive…any clues welcome!

William Budd – closing in on his final years

William Hayward Budd is an enigma.  No doubt about it. Patriarch of a large family that was seemingly born into relatively humble circumstances, his children went on to great things. William, having married a vicar’s daughter, Ann Hayward in 1774, was an Inn Keeper (of some repute and standing), but it appears that the significant capital outlay required to refurbish the Crown Inn at Uxbridge in the early 1790s was too much for him and he was declared bankrupt in 1794.  Despite this setback, William was a social networker of his time and used any and all connections he had to secure patronage and advancement for his children.

Of the twelve children that can be traced, a brief summary of their lives is as follows:

Ann (eldest daughter)   Married Benedict John Angell, joining a wealthy family of landowners

Elizabeth Hayward       Married Charles Barrington who went on to establish a place named after him in Nova Scotia, Canada

Thomas Hayward          Married Marie Ann Reinagle, daughter of a Royal Academician and became a wealthy solicitor in London

Hopewell Hayward        Joined Royal Navy and became a protege of Sir Sidney Smith (a peer of Nelson), retired a Commander

Henry Hayward             Ditto

George Hayward            Joined the Madras Native Infantry, sponsored by George Thelusson, a Director of The East India Company

Edward Hayward           Sponsored into the War Office by William Wyndham, Secretary of War, went on to become one of the best known cricketers of his generation

Charles Hayward           Became a Land Agent in London

Richard Hayward          Became a Vet and emigrated to America

Samuel Hayward           Gained a commission in Dillon’s Regiment

William Hayward          Perhaps most like his father, Postman, then Waggoner, also declared bankrupt

These children were no slouches!  Due to their status, much can be found in public records about their lives (and their tombs are invariably impressive, bearing testament to their standing). It’s clear that William worked Georgian patronage relentlessly.

But what’s also interesting is that his patronage seems much diminished from 1800 (George entered the Madras Native Infantry not through his father’s connections, but his bother’s, Thomas) – one cannot help making the connection with his Bankruptcy, declared in late 1799.

William’s later life can be pieced together as follows:

1799.  August – Declared bankrupt.  Sale of the Crown and Cushion, the Inn he leased from the Evans family – comprising ‘thirty two good sleeping rooms, seven dining rooms, an elegant spacious assembly room…stabling for one hundred horses…meadow land nearby adjoining…fifty two acres of meadowland…household furniture, plate, linen, china, horses…’

1800.  Still a tenant of Mrs Evans.  We know that from the Uxbridge Tax records that Crown and Cushion is demolished by 1804.

Here’s where the story can only, at this stage, be a hypothesis.

1801.  William Budd is recorded in the Salisbury and Wiltshire Journal as being a licensed Gamekeeper to BJ Angell (Husband of William’s eldest daughter Ann), in Studley, Calne. These records persist, on and off, until 1812 (at this stage, William would be 65 years old, if you believe how this hypothesis ends).

The next mention of William Budd in Studley is also in the Salisbury and Wilts Journal, citing the death of a William Budd, of Rumsey Cottage, Calne, on 20 Jan 1821 ‘aged 75 years after a long illness which he bore with christian fortitude.’

I think that the chances of this not being our William are very slim – this appears to be a cottage on the Angell estate and my belief is that Ann installed her aged father there for the final years of his life.  I expect he lived there from 1801 but cannot prove that at this stage.  Being a recent bankrupt, my theory is that she supported him by installing him on the estate in 1801 (and the last definitive record of him in Uxbridge is as a tenant of Mrs Davies in 1800).

We should remember that he still had four dependent children at that time – George (14), Charles (12), Richard (10), and Samuel (9).  When Samuel applied to re-enter Army service (having retired on half-pay in 1815), he cites his place of residence for the last five years as Rumsey House, Calne.  So I think that Samuel grew up there from the age of 9 and returned there once he left the Army in 1815, where his father was still living.

Interestingly, there are references to Budds living in Uxbridge from 1805 to 1812, with a William Budd cited as owning and living in property 1809 and 1810.  I believe these references to be related to William Hayward Budd, William’s son (and not William snr), who married Mary Packer and had eight children over the period 1801-1813, all of whom were baptised at St Mary’s Church, Uxbridge.

Credit must go to Tim Wilkinson for his research into William’s death in Studley and sharing that with me.

Finding Herbert Hayward Budd’s grave in Mthatha, South Africa

February 2012.

My son was going on a school cricket tour from UK to South Africa and I decided to join him.  Spending the first week in Cape Town watching cricket in the hot South African summer was a treat as the sleet covered England back home.  After the first week, I set out on my adventure – to find Herbert Hayward Budd’s grave.

HH Budd is a great uncle.  He died very suddenly in 1927.  At the time he was the Medical Superintendent on Robben Island which in those days was being used as a leper colony.  His wife Lil and young son Billy lived with him on the Island.

He was working with Lepers on the island and in April 1927 visited the Emjanyana Leper colony which is in the Eastern Cape (some 700 miles distant from Robben Island).  Whilst there he very suddenly contracted pneumonia and following a short period in the nearby Umtata general hospital, died.  As was common practice he was buried where he died in Umtata (now called Mthatha).

I had worked this much out from my Family History research, but I did not know where ‘The Doc’ was buried.  I knew that Lil and Billy had never visited his grave before returning home to England in 1928.  Could I be the first family member ever to visit the grave?

Boarding a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg, and then a very small propeller plane from Jo’burg to Mthatha, I became increasingly nervous. Having been in touch with a voluntary organisation in South Africa which records gravestones, they had advised that no grave was known in Mthatha, but of more concern, that the town would be dangerous to visit alone as a white person.

My itinerary allowed me only 24 hours in town.  Any attempts to contact the municipal offices had failed, with phones just ringing off the hook.  I had booked a room in the only hotel I could find…and that was all I had to work with.

Speaking to the Hotel clerk the day before, I had a telephone number of a local cab driver who was trusted by the hotel staff.  He picked me up at the tiny airport building.  He was to be my guide and saviour over the next 24 hours.

On the way into the town (as we travelled through sprawling wicker hut encampments on each side of the road) I tried to find out as much as I could about the environment.  Telling my story, Sibongiseni, my driver, cheerfully told me about his life as a cab-driver, trying to support his family.  Our interests aligned – hiring him for 24 hours would give me a chance to get about the town, probably safely, and with some local knowledge. In return, I would pay my new friend a decent sum which would no doubt be very welcome.  Dropping me off at the Hotel (where I was effectively imprisoned, being told that it was far too dangerous to go out alone), we agreed that he would pick me up the next morning.

Right on time, his smart VW taxi-van pulled up outside the hotel.  First stop was to be Mthatha cathedral – to see if any burial records were to be found.  Very soon I was speaking to the Bishop of the diocese, who confessed that any records they might have would be hard to find and probably incomplete.  He advised going to the Municipal offices where cemetery records might still exist.  By good fortune, Sibongiseni had a niece who worked there.  Driving across Mthatha he tooted his horn constantly, waving to people he knew and shouting animatedly out of the driver’s window in his native isiXohsa – I had managed to team up with one of the most connected people in town.

Arriving at the bustling Municipal offices, we quickly found ourselves in a tiny office where a town official was happy to see me.  He was responsible for the Municipal parks, which included the cemeteries.  I told him my story and he offered to help.  When I explained that I was booked on a flight to Jo’burg at 4pm that day, he laughed…South African administration does not move quickly.  Giving me a warm, toothy smile, he nonetheless said he’d do what he could.  Within 5 minutes a dusty ledger book was open on his desk.  Turning to the page for 1927, the burial record for Herbert Hayward Budd was quickly located.  I couldn’t believe my luck.  But with the good news came bad.  Although the location of the grave was set out, he explained that the ‘white graves’ from the period were in a very overgrown and untended part of the cemetery.  Only one person knew his way around the graves – him.  He had a day full of meetings, but he would meet me at 2pm and we would go over to the site together.  Returning to my hotel to wait the 3 hours until our next meeting, my heart was in my mouth.  We were so close, but I had only one hour from the time we would all meet again to find the site before I had to leave for the airport.

Sibongiseni arrived late, smiling and relaxed.  I did not share his calm demeanour.  We went to the Municipal offices where my guide was waiting.  This time the news was not so good.  He had an urgent meeting to attend and could not take me to the grave.  Playing with my emotions and seeing my disappointment, he let me take in the news.  Then, with a big smile, he said that he’d driven over to the cemetery during his lunch hour, taken the cemetery worker (aka grave digger) with him…and they had found the grave.  It was unmarked, he explained, but could be found by locating a neighbouring gravestone.  He had marked the mound (which was all that remained of HH Budd’s grave) with some knotted grass.  The cemetery worker would be waiting for me and would lead us to the grave.  As he said goodbye, he made me promise that I would raise a headstone for HH Budd, ‘to show that he had not been forgotten’.  With tears in my eyes I left his office, overwhelmed by the kindness and support he had shown a total stranger.  It was nearly 2.30 pm when Sibongiseni and I reached the cemetery.

Picking up the cemetery worker, who spoke no English, we made our way across the tumbledown modern grave sites to the much older, colonial graves.  Our cemetery worker quickly became disorientated and could not find the grave.  With time against us we were on our own and I frantically walked up and down the rows of untended, tipping gravestones trying to find HH Budd’s neighbour, which would lead me to him.  Eventually some order to the site emerged and I was able to work chronologically towards the graves dating from the 1920s.

And then I found him.

Right next to the cross which had been pointed out, a small rise in the ground, overgrown, untended, but with 2 small knots of grass which marked the spot where HH Budd was buried.  I had never met him, knew of him only through research, but I shed a tear for this man, who had lain there under hot African sun since 1927 and had never been visited by anyone from his family.

Shattering this moment, a noise from a crowd of school children brought me back to the present.  A nearby school yard sprawled onto the edge of the cemetery and shouting from a small group of teenagers indicated something untoward going on.  Suddenly 2 gunshots pierced the air and 2 gangly men (one brandishing a pistol above his head as if to warn off anyone in pursuit) ran from the crowd and across the cemetery.  Carrying the bag they had stolen,they passed close by, but were more intent on escaping than acknowledging us.  I looked on as if I was watching a scene from a movie.  Sibongiseni shrugged and explained wearily that shootings and muggings were part of everyday life in Mthatha.

Recovering my composure, I snapped a few pictures, paid a tip to the cemetery worker and then raced to the Airport.  As I sat in the tiny aeroplane as it whirred over the vast uninhabited interior of South Africa, I could hardly believe what had happened in the previous 24 hours. Another 24 hours later, I was at home in Wimbledon, back in the sleet and greyness of winter.  What had happened in a small town in the Eastern Cape seemed like a dream.

My guide, Sibongiseni (L) and the cemetery worker look on at HH Budd's grave site
My guide, Sibongiseni (L) and the cemetery worker look on at HH Budd’s grave site
Unmarked, in the foreground, HH Budd's grave
Unmarked, in the foreground, HH Budd’s grave
HH Budd's burial, Apr 1927
HH Budd’s burial, Apr 1927

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HH Budd has been found again.  And one day I will return to raise that headstone…so that he is not forgotten.  Update:  it is done, see my post here.

See my website: http://www.buddfamilytree.uk/index.html