the notes of Elizabeth Ladd NEAME (nee Duffell):
Alan Neame letter to Laura Neame dated September 16 1981.
Regarding the history of the Edward Elizabeth Ladd Neame family, he says the following.
“ A Mrs. James Gibson of 26 St Lawrence Forstal, Canterbury…. has a number of documents, including the ACTUAL PLEDGE which they took to abjure the bottle… Prosperity over the centuries had weakened their moral fibre; having grown the barley they then decided to brew as well; there was always drink on the sideboard and less and less work got done. Eventually it was TOO LATE” (capitals his.)
Alan left it a little unclear as to which of the Birchington Neames he was referring. Perhaps if Mrs Gibson is still alive, she could be of some assistance. However, given other evidence, I would guess that the rot began with Edward Neame, the father of both your Edward and my William Walter, who having inherited and amassed a great deal of land and having sold much of it, decided he was too much of a gentleman to engage in the daily toil. He educated his sons at King’s College ensuring that they did not gain the skills needed to remain what their forefathers had been for 400 years—prosperous, hardworking farmers who both supported, and were supported by their land.
Alan writes further:
“The Pledge of Total Abstinence… was taken by …. Edward and his wife Elizabeth Ladd (nee Duffell). Needless to say, they relapsed, but took the death of their seventh child Percy at the age of three (my ‘little pet Percy’ as his grieving mother called him,) as a sign of Heaven’s vengeance and renewed their vows. This couple died in 1908 (he) and 1926 (she) respectively, in Dover, having lost their lovely lands. They had 12 children in all, ten sons and two daughters: bakers, photographers, tradesmen of various sorts and v. respectable. I met the eldest Edward Ladd Neame, retired baker, when I was an undergraduate and living in Canterbury.”
The following is a copy of some handwritten notes by Elizabeth Ladd Neame (nee Duffell) in the possession of Mrs. Nellie Corrigan
1866: Edward and Elizabeth’s son was born on 16th January at ¼ to 10 o’clock in the evening. He was christened on 4th March. His name is Ethelbert John. The Reverend P. H. officiating, Birchington Church, East End Cottage.
1868 Edward and Elizabeth’s 6th child was born on Saturday 14th day of March about 8 o’ clock in the evening. She was christened on Saturday evening on 11th April. Her name is Flora Lizzie. The Reverend P. H. Whish officiating. Birchington Church, East End Cottage.
1870 Edward and Elizabeth Ladd Neame’s 7th child was born on 7th of February about 4 o’clock in the morning, was christened on 16th march, Wednesday evening. Her name is Isabel Alice. The Re. P.H. Whish officiating, Birchington Church, East End Cottage, Birchington.
1872 Edward and Elizabeth Ladd Neame’s 8th child was born on the 5th of February about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, was christened on the 14th March, Thursday evening. His name is Percy. The Rev. I.P. Allcock officiating. 3 Station Road, Birchington.
1873 Edward and Elizabeth Ladd Neame’s 9th child was born on the 20th April, about 12 o’clock Sunday morning. Was christened on Tuesday, 24th June, evening. His name is Frederick. The Rev. I. P. Allcock officiating. Epple Road, Birchington.
1874. Edward and Elizabeth Ladd Neame’s 10th child was born on 23rd December about 6 o’clock on a Wednesday evening. His name is Norman, given on Sunday June 24, the Rev. Cook residing, Preston Church Faversham, Kent.
In memory of 1875. Lost my dear Arthur 19th February on a Friday evening about ½ past four. Aged 10 years and 10 months and on Sunday 23rd, the dear child was buried in Preston Church and on March 10, we lost our dear little pet Percy about 10 o’clock at night and buried him on Saturday, 13th March, aged 3 years 6 weeks with his brother in the same grave. Preston Church Faversham.
We signed the pledge on March 23rd in the presence of Mr. Jules not to take anything to drink in our life. God grant we may all keep the oath. Came to live at Dover, 7th April.
Edward and Ladd signed the agreement to apprentice to Mr. Morris (??) 20th day of May to commence his apprenticeship from the 1st of June for three years and a half to expire 1st December 1878. God assist him to go through and do well.
We signed to be good… in 25th may to lodge of … Help me oh Lord - Dover 1875.
1876 We signed to my money to have an advance of a Hundred to pay off the …. Years half interest and to pay three years in advance up to February 6th. Now it is all paid up to February 6th 1879 and I have had pounds 4 on my share, We signed this in February 10th 1876
1876 Herbert Neame broke his leg on 14th July in Northampton. H. waiting for the papers. The lower third of his thigh. Thank God he is well.
1879 Had another advance on my share 21st August, This makes pounds 5 interest paid for 2 years up to Michaelmas 6th 1881.
1879 February 19th lost dear Ladd. 1 /2 to nine in the morning. His suffering were great. Aged 24 years. Buried him 25th in Bishopsbourne Churchyard in beside dear Father.
24th September. Dear Mother and Polly came too see me for the last time on Sunday. 5th October I went to see her. Oh she did look ill – worry all the week and on Saturday morning telegraphed for – went directly but she was dead. All over at 25 minutes to nine on Saturday morning. Her age was 75 years October 11th. Her end was peaceful Was buried in Father’s grave in Bishopsbourne Churchyard. 1879.
On the versa –a hand written note from Alan Neame:
Corrigan, nee Neame, is the daughter of Ethelbert John, grand daughter
of Edward the older brother of William Walter, She was born in 9.2.05
and lives near Dover – I think she is still alive. It was Nellie who
allowed me to copy these two photos of her grandparents