Lawrence Hurrell was a Suffolk lad born at Whepstead south of Bury St Edmunds in 1856 and on his birth certificate his first name is given as Lowry. This may have caused problems, as in the 1861 Census he is recorded as a daughter – Laura! He reclaimed the name Lowry in the 1871 Census, although by the 1881 Census he was Lawerance and when he married in 1886 he had become a straight-forward Lawrence and Lawrence he remained.
Lowry was the fifth of nine children of William and Maria Hurrell, all born at Whepstead and William was a gamekeeper and then agricultural labourer.
Lawrence married Julia Elizabeth Wallace at Hargrave parish church 31 July 1886. They had a son, Sidney Charles born Chevington, Suffolk 8 July 1888. Daughter Hannah born Elmstead Essex on 18 October 1889 and son George at Great Barton, Suffolk on 7 February 1898. At the time of the 1891 Census the family was living in a cottage on the Harwich Road at Great Oakley, Essex. Lawrence was a shepherd and displayed the peripatetic nature that was typical of shepherds. They also tended to live in isolated locations.
In 1901 he was living with his family at Willingham, Cambridgeshire and moved to Moco Farm, Steeple Morden in early summer 1903. Son George Hurrell was admitted to Steeple Morden School on 13 June 1903 and the date of his last attendance was May 1907 and noted as gone to Guilden Morden. Daughter Hannah was admitted to Steeple Morden School on 29 September 1903 and her previous school was recorded as Hargrave. There is no date entered for her last attendance, although she is marked as gone to Guilden Morden.
The 1907 departure date fits with Lawrence having taken the tenancy of The Diggings beerhouse at North Brook End in 1907. North Brook End tended to associate itself with Guilden Morden rather than Steeple. Lawrence declared his occupation as shepherd in 1911, although his wife Julia was “assisting in the business of beerhouse keeper”. Newton Hunt, who farmed North Brook End Farm, would refer to Lawrence as Shepherd Hurrell and it is most likely that Lawrence worked for the Hunt family.
Daughter Hannah had a daughter Hilda born 5 January 1916, baptised at Guilden Morden 2 April 1916, when Hannah was described as single woman of The Diggings, North Brook End, Steeple Morden. As they say in the country Hannah started before the vicar said go.
Burials are recorded at Guilden Morden for both Lawrence and Julia. First, Julia on 12 March 1936, of The Diggings, North Brook End age 73. Buried in cemetery. Then Lawrence on 8 January 1938 of The Diggings, North Brook End age 81 years. Buried in the cemetery. Lawrence had kept The Diggings beerhouse [illustrated in the modern photograph above] for just over thirty years.
Hilda, daughter of Hannah married Donald Williams in 1936. Sidney Charles emigrated to Canada and died at Balcarres, Saskatchewan in 1980.
Last Updated on August 24, 2020