Taunton Courier 29 May 1922 100 Somerset Worthies George DUDDERIDGE of Hillfarrance includes HAYES

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Taunton Courier. Bristol and Exeter Journal, and Western Advertiser Wednesday 29 Mar 1922
Page 10 Column 5


GEORGE DUDDERIDGE OF HILLFARRANCE, AND THE HANGING INCIDENT AT STONE GALLOWS. - George DUDDERIDGE, of Norton Fitzwarren, Allarford in Hillfarrance, and Hillcommon in Heathfield, was the third son, seventh and youngest child of William DUDDERIDGE, of Norton Fitzwarren, by Elizabeth, his wife, and tenth in descent from William DODDRIDGE, churchwarden of Lydeard St. Lawrence in 1533. Born at Norton Fitzwarren, he was baptised at the Parish Church, there, 6th November, 1757, being the first of his long ancestral line to be named George, out of loyal respect to the reigning Sovereign, King George II., a name since kept up in the family to the present day. On 14th April, 1784, he married, at the Parish Church of Hillfarrance, Fanny, the eldest daughter of Robert JENNINGS, of Hilllfarrance, by Alice SHOPLIN, his wife, of the same place, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. William SLOCOMBE, the vicar. His married life was spent at Allarford, where all his seven children were born. The prime of his days was during the “Great Terror.” 1797-1805, when men's hearts failed them because of an universal fear of Napoleon invading England. In 1800 – 1 wheat was being sold in Somerset at a guinea a bushel, and the great interest of George DUDDERIDGE's life is the fact that in the latter year he witnessed, in company with his son-in-law, James HAYES, of Hillcommon, the awful tragedy on Stone Gallows at Rumwell, when nine men were hanged at once for bread stealing, rioting, etc. According to his account, still preserved, the poor wretches were placed in carts, each sitting on his own coffin, and attended by mounted dragoons, were drawn from prison through Bishop's Hull to the place of execution. The nine ropes for hanging were suspended from an erected gallows, and the culprits being made to stand in the carts, the ropes were placed around their necks, and the conveyances being drawn from under them, the poor fellows were left suspended until dead. On 30th April, 1825, his wife, Fanny, died at Allarford, aged 65, in the presence, among others, of her grand-daughter, Ann LOVELL, who had been her constant attendant. Her funeral was delayed till the 8th of May, following, when her body was interred at Hillfarrance on the west side of the church. After his wife's death George DUDDERIDGE took up his residence with his son-in-law, James HAYES, at Hillcommon, but died there one morning at 10 a.m.. in the presence of his pious grandson, Aaron HAYES, and others, at the age of 75. The funeral took place on Sunday, 4th March 1832, leaving the house of James HAYES for Hillfarrance about 1.30 p.m., six bearers bearing the coffin, which was covered with the then customary black pall. He was burried at Hillfarrance beside his wife, the service being conducted by the then newly-appointed Vicar, the Rev. John King EAGLES, the first funeral, it is believed, he was called upon to take. In appearance George DUDDERIDGE was a man about 5ft. 9ins. in height, somewhat stout, of a fair complexion, with blue eyes, rather dark hair, and side whiskers.


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