Bourne Archive: Bourne People: Home

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The Bourne Archive

Bourne People

This page leads to documents and links dealing with people who have connections by birth, residence, ownership and so on, with Bourne.

Onward Links

The following is a list of brief descriptions based on one from the Bourne, Lincolnshire page of the English Wikipedia. It was taken with thanks, on 1 September 2006.

Links within this page :-

11th century

12th century

13th century

16th century

17th century

18th century

19th century

20th century

Though Bourne is not the name which comes to the mind of most people when they are asked to think of a town, it has associations with a surprisingly long list of noteworthy people. True, several of them knew it a good many years ago but still, they are worth recalling.

The earliest person who can be named with reasonable certainty as having directly affected Bourne, perhaps even passed through, before it had acquired that name, was Hadrian, the Roman emperor. It seems likely that he ordered a major change in the management of the land hereabouts when he visited Britain in the year 122. The result of it was that Bourne became a place from which people crossed the soft, wet fen to reach the solid silt land around the coast. That made it a place on which roads converged.

In around 960, when Bourne was part of the Danelaw, the jarl, Aslakr was lord of Bourne. He was probably the Aslakr whose name is also associated with Aslackby and with the wapentake in Lindsey, Aslacoe.

In the mid eleventh century, the town was owned by the Earl of Mercia, Leofric. He had a hall there because it was the centre of his south Lincolnshire estates and he will have stayed there during part of each year, to live from its produce and to keep an eye on its management. He was the earl whose wife is now known as Lady Godiva. So she probably lived here part of the time too, though he had another wife, Edith with whom the Bourne estate seems to have been more associated, since she was apparently, the great, great granddaughter of Aslakar ( the record by a non-Danish writer, calls him Oslac).

Consequently, Bourne will have been one of the boyhood homes of Hereward, son of Leofric and Edith’s, born in about 1035-7. Quite possibly, it was his birthplace. He was later known as Hereward the Wake. The boy, Hereward will have spent part of each year there. Having been away, working as a soldier, for Baldwin VI of Flanders, the young man returned and found that his younger brother had just been killed by Normans who had taken the place over. From this developed the Fenland revolt and the Siege of Ely in 1071. Although the twelfth century source of this information refers in this connection, only to his father, Leofric as being 'of Bourne' and to the father's house and retainers there, the Domesday Book information fits with the timing and names of this family. Charles Kingsley used the De Gestis text for his lively novel which repeats the fundamental story with much descriptive embellishment.

Baldwin fitz Gilbert de Clare owned Bourne when he established the Abbey in 1138. He was a member of the thrusting Clare family which was beginning to make itself prominent among the Normans in Wales and, later on in Ireland. He was a prominent ally of King Stephen and was present at the first Battle of Lincoln in 1141.

Recent archaeological work at Ashkelon has brought the arms of Hugh Wake, of Bourne and Deeping, to light.

Orm (or Ormin) the Preacher (flourished 1180) worked at Bourne Abbey nearly a century earlier than Robert Manning’s boyhood in the town but his presence here has been revealed only during recent research. His collection of homilies known as The Ormulum has been well known to linguists and language historians since the 17th century but its source was not then known to be in Bourne Abbey. Orm's language and particularly, his phonetic spelling, provide a glimpse of the spoken English vernacular of the time; before it was strongly influenced by French speakers. It is assumed that the manuscript remained at Bourne Abbey until the dissolution of the monasteries. In Bourne’s case, this was in 1536. After passing through various ownership, the document is now in the Bodleian Library in Oxford University.

Hugh Wake’s great grandson, Baldwin took part in the Second Barons’ War (1263 to 65), under the leadership of the Simon de Montfort. 

Robert Mannyng (1264-1340) is one of the most notable of the town's past denizens in that he is credited with putting the speech of the ordinary people of his time into a form that makes sense to us today. He is best known as Robert de Brunne because of his origins in the town. He was a Gilbertine and it was at Sempringham that he did most of his work, popularising religious and historical material in a Middle English dialect that was easily understood by the people of his time. His work Handlyng Synne is acknowledged to be of great value because it gives glimpses into the ways and thoughts of his contemporaries.

William Cecil (1520-1598) became the first Lord Burghley after serving Queen Elizabeth I for forty years, during which time he was the main architect of England's successful policies of that period, earning a reputation as a master of renaissance statecraft with outstanding talents as a diplomat, politician and administrator. He was born at a house in the town centre at Bourne on the site of the Burghley Arms and a plaque on the outside reminds us of the event.

Job Hartop (1550-1595) was a farmer's boy working on the land near Bourne but hankered after a life of adventure and ran away to sea when he was 12 years old. After a short apprenticeship with a gunpowder manufacturer in London, he signed on with the English admiral Sir John Hawkins and sailed the Spanish Main in the company of the young Francis Drake. He was captured by the Spanish on his third voyage and spent ten years as a galley slave and thirteen years in a Spanish prison but managed to escape and make his way back to Bourne where he spent his final days recounting his adventures in the town's taverns, although the privations he suffered had taken their toll and he died at the age of 45.

Sir Edward Harwood came from Bourne’s neighbouring village of Thurlby. He was an officer in the English army at a time when some Netherlanders were struggling for independence from Spanish control. English governments were inclined to help them so long as it did not provoke a Spanish attack on England. Edward did most of his soldiering in the Netherlands and died at Maastricht in 1632.

Robert Harrington (1589-1654) made large bequests to Bourne from which the community benefits to this day. It seems that he walked to London to seek his fortune and was most successful in his endeavours. When he died, he remembered his home town by leaving property in the Leytonstone area (on which shops and dwelling houses were later built) ‘for the benefit of his own people’, namely the citizens of Bourne. The charity established in his name is the main source of income currently administered by Bourne United Charities and Harrington Street was named in his memory.

Dr William Dodd (1729-1777), was an Anglican clergyman, a man of letters and a forger. He was the son of the Rev William Dodd, Vicar of Bourne from 1727-56, graduating with distinction from Clare College, Cambridge, before moving to London, where his extravagant lifestyle soon landed him in debt and worried his friends. They persuaded him to mend his ways so he decided to take holy orders and was ordained deacon in 1751. He became a popular and fashionable preacher and prominent in the foundation of good works such as the Royal Humane Society but lived beyond his means and in an attempt to rectify his depleted finances, forged a bond in the sum of £4,200. A charge of forgery was prosecuted and he was sentenced to death. Despite pleas for clemency made on his behalf by several eminent people, he was publicly hanged at Tyburn on 27th June 1777. – Related document. See also Newgate Calendar. Wesley’s response to Dodd’s views. Marrat’s short biography.

Charles Worth (1825-1895) was born in this town, the son of a local solicitor who lived at Wake House in North Street which survives today as a community centre. He left Bourne when still a boy to seek his fortune in London and Paris. In the latter, he became a world renowned designer of women's fashion and the founder of haute couture. His reputation was such that the French government awarded him the Légion d’honneur and when he died, 2,000 people, including the President of the Republic, attended his funeral. FNQ article.

Robert A Gardner (1850-1926) was a bank manager in Bourne and also a talented artist whose work was exhibited in the Royal Academy. He never aspired to public office but his interest in the community inevitably resulted in a number of appointments, notably as a magistrate and chairman of the Bourne bench. But he is best remembered for his paintings and many of his works survive to this day, mostly in private ownership although some can be found hanging in the Red Hall.

Frederick Manning (1882-1935) wrote what is considered to be one of the finest novels dealing with the Great War of 1914-18 and much of this work was completed while staying at the Bull Hotel in Bourne, now the Burghley Arms. Manning was an Australian who chose to live here after a spell at Edenham where he stayed with the vicar, the Rev Arthur Galton, who had been his tutor. Her Privates We was at first published anonymously, to much critical acclaim, but eight years after his death, it was published in 1943 under his own name and is still in print almost 70 years later. In the book, Manning acknowledged his affection for this town by calling his hero Private Bourne. See also Chapter 7, Chapter 10, Chapter 16.

Lillian Wyles (1885-1975) was a major influence in the acceptance of women into the police force. She was the only daughter of the Bourne brewer, Joseph Wyles, and after a spell of duty on the streets of London with the new women patrols to assist young girls at risk, was promoted inspector in 1921, becoming the first woman officer of the Metropolitan Police's Criminal Investigation Department.

Charles Sharpe (1889-1963) was a farmer's boy from Pickworth, near Bourne, who ran away from home and joined the army. During the Great War of 1914-18, an act of conspicuous bravery earned him the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest decoration for valour, and he subsequently inspired many young men to enlist. On return to civilian life, he worked at a number of jobs, notably as a physical training instructor of boys at the Hereward Approved School, who regarded him as a role model.

Raymond Mays (1899-1980), son of a local businessman, achieved fame in the world of international motor racing, both on and off the track. While still a successful driver, he established the ERA marque. Shortly before retiring as a driver, he opened workshops in Bourne where he developed the BRM, a later model of which eventually, in 1962, became the first all-British car to win the world championship. Mays, who lived at Eastgate House in Bourne all his life, was honoured by appointment as a CBE in 1978 for his services to motor racing.

The following dates are linked to lists, long or short, of contemporary Bourne people. 1265. 1720. 1730. 1797. 1799. 1824. 1826. 1830. 1835.  1841. 1854. 1856. 1860. 1882. 1894. 1947.

See also:-

E. Buckworth

W. Dodd (forger)

            William Dodd: Marrat’s biography

            William Dodd, the publisher

            William Dodd, details of some of his works. Find his name alphabetically in the list.

            William Dodd. an example of his poetry

            William Dodd: a controversy with John Wesley

W. Dodd (vicar of Bourne)

J. Hartop (naval gunner and galley slave)

            Job Hartop: Marrat’s biography

            Job Hartop: Swift’s biography

E. Harwood army officer: Marrat’s biography

R. M. Mills

The Parker Family


The Woolley Family

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