Peter Linfield of Storrington 1734-1791

Among the many thousands of names we have now collected in the family archives, there are a number of individuals who stand out from the rest. One of these is undoubtedly Peter Linfield of Storrington. Born in 1734 in the parish of Nuthurst, Peter was the youngest son of William and Sarah Linfield, who were married at Itchingfield in 1724. His grandfather, Peter Linfield of Snow’s Farm in Nuthurst, was a successful yeoman farmer who died in 1715, leaving his estate to his eldest son, also Peter (1677-1756) who appears to have sold his inheritance some time before 1744. William Linfield, one of his five younger brothers, had to make do with the 40 shillings he received in his father’s will; nevertheless, it would appear he owned and farmed his own land because, with his brother Peter, he was qualified to vote in the General Election of 1734. Both of them travelled to Chichester to cast their vote, the qualification being the ownership of freehold lands or tenements whose annual net value was 40 shillings or more. Continue reading

Parish of Nuthurst

Henry Linfield of Nuthurst

Wills, Administrations and Inventories

Wills, administrations and inventories are valuable documents to family historians: they provide us with a glimpse of our ancestors not available in other records, of a nature which helps to bring them to life as people in their society and time. Wills not only help to clarify family relationships, but they usually give us information about occupation and property ownership. Of course, not everybody made a will, so they are a special bonus when found. Continue reading

The Monks Gate Murder

For the British motorist of the 1990’s, it is relatively unusual to have to pay a toll to use a road. Indeed, virtually all the toll roads are now over bridges or through tunnels, though the government is threatening to introduce more toll roads in order to finance improvements to the road system. If they do so, they will be following what was normal practice in the 18th and 19th centuries. Two hundred years ago Sussex roads were notorious throughout England for their appalling condition; Horace Walpole wrote of one journey through the Weald in winter “The roads grow bad beyond badness, the night darker beyond all darkness, our guide frightened beyond all frightfulness.” One can well imagine the discomfort of an unheated and poorly sprung coach being compounded by the ruts and potholes in the roads. Continue reading

My Early Researches

My real interest in the LINFIELDS began after my father, George Mark Linfield, died in 1953. I had met his father, also George Linfield, vary rarely, as he had remarried after his wife’s death in 1917 and lived latterly at Firle, near Lewes, whereas we lived at Henfield. My mother (neĆ© Annie Knapp) moved to Shoreham-by-Sea in 1955 to live with my sister, and she kept me posted with West Sussex news by sending me newspapers and newspaper cuttings. Indeed, it was a newspaper cutting from the Worthing Herald in November 1963 sent to me here at Saltford, a village on the Avon half-way between Bath and Bristol where I still live, that stimulated my first researches into the LINFIELD family tree and my own links with it. Continue reading