The following article was written by Ethel in 2004
The story about Woad appears on page 110 of Magazine No 3, Volume 1. The plant produces a blue dye and all I knew of it was that the ancient Britons used it as war paint to scare off the enemy. It was also said that it had healing properties for their wounds. This article makes interesting reading.
Now with the possible link with the family name my interest was aroused. We were told that it still appears on The Mythe, a red marl cliff above the Severn just outside Tewkesbury. Claud & I went to try and find it but we had not arrived at the exact flowering time, which is in May and June. The magazine includes a diagram of the woad plant and some views of Odell
I also bought some woad seeds from a specialist seed merchant and successfully grew some in the garden as did my sister, Dora. Our efforts at boiling the leaves and trying to produce dye were not a success.
Odell – Woad
Rodney Murray Jones wrote on page 82 of Magazine No. 2, Volume 1 of his meeting with his Mother’s cousin Isabel Ross who lived in the village of Odell, Bedfordshire. Some of the villagers pronounced the name as “Woadle”. The source of the name is Old English “Wad Hyll”, being the hill where the plant grew which was the raw material for their woad. In the Domesday Book, Odell was “Wadehelle” and later “Wodhull” The initial letter was lost in the sixteenth century rather like Ockenham in Essex (Domesday Book wochanduna). There was a Robert de Wadhullow in Bedfordshire in 1273.
Coat of Arms in Little Downham Church.
At the back of the church is a painted coat of arms of George III with the following inscription:- This church was ceild and pewd in the year 1763Mr. Philip Cawthorn, church warden.
Mr. William Martin, church warden.
The same was painted and beautified in 1772.
Mr. George South, church warden.
Mr. Willm Waddelow, church warden.
Mr. George South and Mr. William Waddelow were family connections and we have a connection with the Martins.
Nicholas Waddelow emigrated from Sheffield, Yorkshire to Virginia in America in 1622. We find him in the IGI for Yorkshire, the son of Nicholas Waddelow.
He married Amy Anderson, the widow of Garrett Anderson in about 1649, leaving three children. Nicholas and Amy had three daughters, Comfort, Temperance and Patience. Nicholas died in 1660. The record of the descendants of these daughters appears on page 147, Magazine No 5, Volume 3. He was engaged in shipping hogsheads of tobacco to England.
Lists of Wadlows and Wadleys in Virginia from 1778 are likely to be descendants of Nicholas who settled in Virginia. It is interesting that the name changed to Wallop. On page 133 we have the will of John Wallop alias Wadlow. There is also a Wallop Island in Accomack County. This is now a Nasa Centre and Nature Refuge. Page 127-139, Magazine 4, Volume 4.
Weeting and Sir William Wadlow
The little village of Weeting in Norfolk used to have two churches, St. Mary’s and All Saints or All Hallows. One of these churches was demolished when its tower fell on it in about 1700. There are different views on which church was demolished and which remains.
The will of Sir William Wadlow is on page 338 of Magazine No. 8, Volume 1 and is followed by a transcription. His bequests are very interesting. One of the first is that his body should be buried in the chancel of the church before the high altar. This follows mention of the fact that he was “parson of All Hallows”. This surprised me as I would have thought this was an honour others bestowed on one, not to be claimed for oneself. The list of bequests includes sums of money to various individuals and organisations and his “furred” gown and his “long gown lined” went to named priests. Details of the disposal of all his animals were included. The whole of this will I found very interesting. There were individuals named who should pray for his soul.
We visited Weeting and saw the existing church which is a fine building with a round tower. Inside the church is a board listing the incumbents of both churches in Weeting, including Sir William. In the chancel is the grave of William Angerstein of Weeting Hall. There is no reference to our man. Could he have been buried in the other church of All Hallows? We visited the site of the demolished church which is now a sports field. There is a raised part of the site which I took to be the position of the old church and wondered whether the remains of those buried there had been exhumed and re-buried elsewhere or might still be buried there. Enquiries about any records being available of the demolition of the church drew a blank. If you could contribute any more knowledge on Weeting and its churches I would be delighted to hear from you. I could let you have a copy of the will of Sir William Wadlow if you wish.
Public Baptism Interrupted
The baptism of Adeline Hull, wife of Robert Hull of the Railway Tavern, Little Downham was to take place in the village pond in Cannon Street in a public ceremony. Adeline was a Christian woman but her husband had no time for religion. The account of how he disrupted the ceremony by trying to stop it, but failed, was supplied by Robert Hull, grandson. It is to be found on page 191, Magazine No 7, Volume 2.
An interesting account of this old Fenland custom appeared on page 39 of Magazine 2. Volume 4. Here is the account in full:-
“Bull Shaving was apparently a very popular custom in Little Downham in the late nineteenth century. Legend has it that the pastime began after the traditional Plough Monday festival. It had turned into nothing more than an excuse for local drunken youths to demand money from the villagers. ‘Bull Shaving’ was normally held at Whitsun and involved picking the hairiest bull in the village and six of the strongest lads to perform the task. The bull was dressed in ribbons and finery and led through the village by the rector while youths ran ahead collecting money for the poor of the parish.
Once the party had reached the green opposite The Plough, the bull would be tethered to the four stakes with leather straps without causing undue discomfort to the animal. Six young men would gently shave the bull using cutthroat razors; a skill learned from Mr Louis Hopkin of Main Street. Once the bull was clean, it would be covered up in the colourful ‘Bull Monday’ waistcoat which was knitted by the W.I. in Pymoor. Sadly ‘Bull Shaving’ became unpopular when it was deemed to be demeaning to the animal. However supporters of the custom pointed out that it was never done in winter, as that would be cruel.”
How’s that for eighteenth century fund raising? It surprised me that it was led by the rector. There are some Hopkins on The Waddelow Family Tree.
The Waddelow Society is a non profit Family History Group, established in 1988, interested in reasearching the Waddelow/Wadlow name.
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