Sidney Alfred Parsons and his Ancestors

Uriah Parsons (1823 to 1887)

Uriah Parsons was a nephew of Charles Parsons of Marston Magna who was a great-grandfather of Sidney Parsons. He was therefore Sidney’s cousin twice removed.

Uriah was baptised in Charlton Horethorne in Somerset on the 12th of December in 1823. His father, George Parsons, was a son of William Parsons who had owned land in Kington Magna in Dorset and had been an inn-keeper in Holton, a village near Wincanton. Uriah’s mother, Jane Peters, was the sister of John Weston Peters who was a wealthy land owner. John Weston Peters had no male heirs, and when he died much of his fortune passed to his sister Jane’s sons — Uriah and his brothers George, Charles, Henry and William.

Charlton Horethorne is in the south eastern part of the county of Somerset between Wincanton and Sherborne. A red cross marks its location on the map.

Uriah lived in Charlton Horethorne all his life. He grew up in the Manor House and after his father died in 1845 he lived there with his mother and his brother William. They looked after the family’s farms together as business partners. The partnership between Uriah and William was formally dissolved when William withdrew in 1859 having received a large inheritance from the Peters estate.

At the Wincanton Union’s annual election of guardians in 1855 Uriah Parsons, Yeoman, was elected as the guardian for Charleton Musgrove.

Uriah married Mary Ann Marshall Tabor in about November 1860. Mary came from North Barrow, in Somerset. Her father had died about 20 years before and since then her mother had been successfully running the family farm, and built it up to more than 400 acres.

Uriah and Mary lived at Church Farm with Uriah’s mother, Mary. He farmed about 550 acres and employed about 20 labourers. He also owned land in Kington Magna which had been passed down from his grandfather, William Parsons, who had been born there.

Uriah was a progressive farmer and used the latest techniques and equipment. In 1868 he advertised for an experienced engine driver as follows — “WANTED, an active ENGINE DRIVER. One accustomed to Hornsby's thrashing machine preferred. Apply to URIAH PARSONS, Charlton Horethorne.”

1869 was not a good year for Uriah. Firstly, there was a serious outbreak of disease in several herds of cattle in the region. The chief constable reported that: “pleuro-pneumonia and foot and mouth disease had broken out in several herds of cattle, including one owned by Uriah Parsons residing in Charlton Horethorne. Forty-one of his dairy cows were suffering on the 3rd inst., but were now recovering”.

Uriah’s second misfortune of that year was the loss of a threshing machine which was destroyed in a fire. The report in the Salisbury and Winchester Journal read as follows:

“Two barley ricks and two wheat ricks were destroyed by fire at Goathill near Sherborne. A thrashing engine, belonging to Mr. Uriah Parsons, of Charlton Horethorne, which was standing near, was also destroyed. The ricks belonged to Mr.Ayles, of Stour Hill, who was insured in the West of England office. The total loss was estimated as between £400 and £500.”

In addition to running his farm, Uriah, like his brothers George and Henry, and his uncle John Weston Peters, acted as a steward and a land agent for Lord Portman. He also sometimes acted as in independent agent in which capacity he sold houses and land on behalf of his own clients.

Uriah died on the 17th of November 1887 in a shooting accident. The incident was reported in several newspaper.
The following report is from the Hampshire Advertiser of November 23rd

“Mr Uriah Parsons, a well known farmer, living at Charleton Horethorn, near Sherborne, met with a shocking gun accident on Saturday, as he was returning from shooting with his son and a Mr. Hole, who is learning the farming business, from the effects of which he died soon after. The party were driving home in a pony trap, in which were two guns, one of which had a cartridge in it. By some means, deceased’s leggings touched the spring of the gun, and it went off, the charge entering deceased’s arm, and literally blowing it to pieces. Deceased was removed to his home, and speedily attended by Dr. Scallon, but death occurred a few hours after from haemorrhage and shock to the system. At the inquest, held on Monday, the jury brought in a verdict of 'Accidental Death', at the same time censuring Mr. Hole for his carelessness in leaving the gun loaded. Deceased was one of the best known farmers in the county, and was held in high and deserved esteem. He was 64 years of age and had for many years resided at the Manor Farm, Charleton.”

There is an inscribed brass plaque in the church at Charlton Horethorne in memory of Uriah. It says   —   ‘In loving remembrance. The Lamps in this Church were placed here by the wife and children of Uriah Parsons who fell asleep Nov r 17 th 1887. “Thy will be done” ’.

Uriah’s wife Mary died on the 21st of February 1908 at the Rectory in Penselwood, Somerset, which was the home of her son Revd. Newton Parsons. She was interred in the family vault in Charlton Horethorne.

Children of Uriah Parsons and Mary Ann Marshall Parsons née Tabor

  •  Uriah and Mary’s first child, Marion, was born in about June 1861 but she died the following January and was buried in Charlton Horethorne on the 21st.

  •  Weston Peters Parsons was born in about 1863. He was named after Uriah’s wealthy uncle John Western Peters who had died five years before. Weston took over the Manor Farm at Charlton Horethorne after his father died. He still owned land in Kington Magna, which had been passed down in the Parsons family for generations. Weston never married and was active in village affairs; he was chairman of the Parish Council. In 1889 he joined the Dorset Yeomanry and served in the South African War and in the Great War when he was in Egypt and Palestine. He left with the rank of Major. Weston died in Charlton Horethorne on the 27th of October 1926 leaving an estate worth £44,759, but no will. His two brothers George Parsons, a farmer, and the Revd. Newton Parsons, administered the estate.

  •  Uriah and Mary’s daughter, Jane, was born in about 1866. She never married. After her father died she lived with her brother Weston. Later she went to live with another brother, the Revd. Newton Parsons, in Penselwood, Somerset. By 1911 she and her sister Annie, who was also single, were living together in Bourton in Dorset, with a resident sick nurse. Jane died in a nursing home in Bristol in 1955.

  •  Uriah and Mary had a another daughter whom they named Marion after their first child who had died. Marion went to school as a boarder at Radnor House in Fisherston, Wiltshire, as a boarder. (Fisherston is today within the boundary of the city of Salisbury, to the north west of the city centre on the road to Wilton.) After leaving school Marion lived with her brother Weston Peters Parsons in Charlton Horethorne for some years and then with her brother George. She died in 1941.

  •  Newton Parsons was Uriah and Mary’s second son. He was born in Charlton Horethorne very late in 1868 and grew up there. He went to school at Weymouth College as a boarder and then to Fosters Grammar School in Sherborne. He trained as an Anglican priest and for a short while he was a missionary in South Australia. On his return he became the Vicar of Penselwood in Somerset, and he remained there for over forty years except for a very brief period of service with the Royal Army Medical Corps beginning in August 1918, just as the First World War was about to end. Newton married Cicely Margaret Dyne in 1911. He died on the 31st of March 1955.

  •  Annie Parsons was baptised in Charlton Horethorne in March 1870. She never married. She lived with her parents until her mother died in 1908 and then with her sister Jane in Bourton, Dorset, with a sick-nurse in attendance. She died in Charlton Horethorne in 1949.

  •  Uriah and Mary’s last child, George Parsons, was born in 1871. He lived with his parents until his mother died in 1908 and then he moved a short distance westwards to the hamlet of Sigwells where he lived with his sister Marion. He died in hospital in Sherborne in 1929.

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You are free to make use of the information in these web pages in any way that you wish but please be aware that the author, Mike Parsons, is unable to accept respsonsibility for any errors or omissions.

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The information in these web pages comes from a number of sources including: Hampshire County Records Office, Somerset Heritage Centre; Dorset County Records Office; Southampton City Archives; the General Register Office; several on-line newspaper archives; several on-line transcriptions of Parish Register Entries; and several on-line indexes of births, marriages and deaths. The research has also been guided at times by the published work of others, both on-line and in the form of printed books, and by information from personal correspondence with other researchers, for all of which thanks are given. However, all of the information in these web pages has been independently verified by the author from original sources, facimile copies, or, in the case of a few parish register entries, transcriptions published by on-line genealogy sites. The author is aware that some other researchers have in some cases drawn different conclusions and have published information which is at variance from that shown in these web pages.