An Inn Spectre Calls

It was a busy night in the Chequer Inn in the centre of Steyning, with winter around one corner and karaoke around the other. My wife and I were seated at the far end of the Saloon Bar, next to an out-of-tune piano and as far as possible from the strains of ‘Suspicious Minds’ being belted out in the Public Bar with scarce a thought for melody or accuracy. Continue reading An Inn Spectre Calls

The Monks Gate Murder

by Kairen Bright, Malcolm Linfield & Alan Lindfield

One of the questions frequently asked of family historians, is whether they have found any murderers in the family. Quite why we have this morbid fascination with murder is a mystery, but the fact remains that most families have at least murderer lurking somewhere in the genealogical cupboard, and the Lin(d)field families are no exception. There are in fact several instances of murder in our records, in which either the perpetrator or the victim is a Lin(d)field. Elsewhere in this issue, NICK LINFIELD tells the story of WILLIAM DE LINDFIELD, who was walled up alive in Bramber Castle. Definitely a case of malice aforethought! Continue reading The Monks Gate Murder

The Storrington Linfields & their poor relations of Sullington and Washington: part 2

My first instalment of this family history of my branch of the Linfield tree (Longshot, Vol 2 No 2) needs some clarification, as some confusion may occur if one fails to realise that PETER LINFIELD’S (1734-91) two sons, WILLIAM (1769-1835) and EDWARD (1774-1861), both had two sons named WILLIAM and HENRY. They can be seen on the Register format listing in the article on the Monk’s Gate murder elsewhere in this issue. Peter’s eldest son, William, married HARRIET STANFORD and formed the trunk of H. STANFORD SMITH’S researches in the 1950s. Both WILLIAM, and his brother, EDWARD, my great great great grandfather, were both described as butchers in various documents, but it is obvious that the major Linfield farming interests in Storrington were the inheritance of his sons, William and Henry and not his nephews, William and Henry, my direct ancestors. We can only fill in the story of the fifty years from Peter’s death in 1791 to 1841 by some future research into the archives of the Egremont/Wyndham family of Petworth House, especially any details of land ownership and farm tenancies (See Joan Ham: Storrington in Georgian and Victorian Times, 1991 and Lord Egremont: Wyndham and Children First, Macmillan, 1968.) Continue reading The Storrington Linfields & their poor relations of Sullington and Washington: part 2

William Penn and the Quaker Linfields of Sussex


Earlier this year, on October 14, we celebrated the 350th anniversary of the birth of WILLIAM PENN (1644-1718), undoubtedly the most famous of the early Quakers. Among his many achievements was the foundation of his utopian colony in America where people were allowed to worship without fear of persecution. Yet he also spent a large part of his life in Sussex, where he lived in a mansion house at Warminghurst near the village of Thakeham. Until the establishment of proper Quaker Meeting Houses, Friends would assemble at other members’ homes, and after their arrival at Warminghurst in 1676, the Penn household was also made available for this purpose. Warminghurst came into the area of the Horsham Monthly Meeting, and when Penn left England in 1682 for his first visit to America, he took with him many Quakers from the local area. In 1691 he helped to buy a property at Coolham, some four miles away, where the Thakeham Meeting House was established. Subsequently known as the ‘Blue Idol’, this famous building is still used to this day as a place of Quaker worship. It receives many visitors, often from the United States, who, among other things, come to savour the atmosphere so redolent of Penn’s era. Continue reading William Penn and the Quaker Linfields of Sussex

Longshot Vol 3, No. 2

William Penn and the Quaker Linfields of Sussex, by Malcolm Linfield
The Storrington Linfields & their Poor Relations of Sullington and Washington , by Eric Linfield
The Monks Gate Murder, by Kairen Bright, Malcolm Linfield & Alan Lindfield
For the Record, by Malcolm Linfield
Unto Every Purpose There is a Program, by Alan Lindfield
The L.O.N.G. Database, by Alan M Linfield
An Inn Spectre Calls, by Malcolm Linfield

Front Cover: This picture of the memorial plaque at the Blue Idol Meeting House, commemorates the Quaker William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. The 350th anniversary of his birth was celebrated last October. An article about the Linfield Quakers will be found on page 42.

Ralph Parkinson Linfield: An Update

In Longshot Vol 2 No 1 (May 1993), I wrote an article about CAREY HAMPTON BORRER, rector of Hurstpierpoint and amateur genealogist whose papers are now kept at the West Sussex Record Office. His research into the Lin(d)fields of Cuckfield and Hurstpierpoint led him to write a letter of enquiry to RALPH PARKINSON LINFIELD, a fellow clergyman, and vicar of St. Stephen’s, Elton, near Bury in Lancashire. Since his reply is preserved in the Borrer archive, I fully reproduced the contents which are of considerable interest, especially his claim that his grandfather was born in the Sussex village of Storrington and that as a boy he remembered visiting the churchyard and seeing the grave of his great grandfather. Unfortunately, Ralph gave no details of his immediate predecessors, but subsequent research has now revealed their identities and we are able to show exactly how he fits into the Storrington branch. Continue reading Ralph Parkinson Linfield: An Update

Roots and Cuttings

In a previous issue of LONGSHOT, Malcolm showed how much useful information can be gained from articles in old newspapers, which can give a fascinating insight into the characters and way of life of our ancestors, in a way that official records can never do. The article reproduced on the right of this page, for example, gives us not only the addresses of the business premises of FREDERICK CAESAR LINFIELD in 1886, but also an impression of the innovative and progressive character of this prominent local businessman. Continue reading Roots and Cuttings