The history of the Besfords

Robert Besford (1792-1844)

Robert was born at Garrett Lee Farm to Robert Besford and Ann Besford (née Goodfellow). He was baptised on 10th January 1792 at St. Helen’s Parish Church, Longhorsley. He was an agricultural labourer.

He was living in the Parish of Stannington immediately prior to his marriage in 1818. He married Isabella Robson, from Mitford, at St. Mary Magdelene Parish Church, Mitford, on 18th April 1818.

Sadly, like his father Robert, his first wife died. Isabella was buried on 28th February 1819, at the age of 24. She and Robert had been living at Stickley Farm, to the north-east of Cramlington.

Robert married for the second time on 10th June 1821. His wife was Mary Marshall. Robert and Mary continued to work at Stickley Farm after their marriage, but then moved to Dam Dykes Farm, to the south-west of Cramlington, sometime between 1822 and 1823.

They moved again, this time to Eshott Heugh Farm, sometime between 1823 and 1825. Their son John Besford was born at Eshott Heugh in 1826, being baptised at St Michael and All Angels, Felton, on 10th December 1826. Robert and Mary moved to a farm at Fenrother between 1826 and 1829. They were still at Fenrother until at least 1831, but had moved to a farm at Espley by 1833.

Robert and Mary moved to Cowpen (Blyth) at some point between 1833 and 1841. The 1841 Census shows Robert was still working as an agricultural labourer at Cowpen, as was one of his daughters, but two of his sons were now coal miners.

Robert died of consumption (tuberculosis) on 8th December 1844.

Records are equivocal at this point, with him being referred to as both a husbandman and a pitman. A husbandman was a term for someone who worked with horses so my belief is that Robert became a horse-keeper at Cowpen Colliery a year or two before his death.

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