The Bokenham Family

This line is relevant to our family because:

The Suffolk Bokenhams comprised a small number of families. By the end of the 18th century, they had become fairly well-to-do, and they've been well-researched.

The name has several variants, including Buckingham and Buckenham – which is the name on a Georgian building in the middle of Southwold. That page says "This Grade II Listed building was probably built by Richard Buckenham, a Tudor merchant specialising in beer and fish. The house was left to his nephew, John Clarke [and has since passed through many hands]". (The Tudor period ended in 1603, and the Georgian began only in 1714, so the facade at least isn't original). However, no 'Richard' appears in the most authoritative family-tree I've had access to.

I've done zero original work on this family-line. I've drawn on many and varied sources, some of which I've no doubt garbled a little in my endeavours to piece a story together and highlight what appear to be relevant and/or interesting aspects. Here's an outline of my primary sources.

William Buckingham/Buckenham (c.1715-1751)
b. c. 1715
m. 1 Jun 1740, Elizabeth Rud, Reydon, Suffolk
William was a Tanner
William d. 6 Oct 1751, so aged c. 35?

  1. Elizabeth Buckingham (1741-?)
    b. 9 Aug 1741, Yoxford, Suffolk
  2. Margaret Buckingham (1743->1762)
    chr. 2 Sep 1743, Yoxford
    m. William Sheldon, 17 Oct 1762, Reydon
  3. William Buckenham (1749-1788?)
    chr. 27 Mar 1749, Yoxford
    A Sailor
    m. Mary Julian, 17 Feb 1771, Reydon
    Drowned 26 May 1788?, so aged 39?
    7 children, including:
    6.   Thomas Buckenham (1784-1832)
          chr. 10 Dec 1784, Southwold
          Master Mariner?
          m. Mary
          Mary was b. 1783
          Mary bur. 5 Mar 1827?, so aged 43?, Southwold
          Thomas bur. 31 Mar 1832, so aged 47, St George in Ex, London, from cholera
          They had 5 children, including:
          3.   Thomas Buckenham (1814?-1836)
                b. c. 1814
                drowned 28 Sep 1836, so aged 22
  4. Thomas Buckingham (1749-1827?)
    b. 1749, chr. 13 Jul 1752, Yoxford, Suffolk
    m. 28 Aug 1771, Southwold, Suffolk
    m. Mary Evelin
    Mary was b. 1747
    Mary d. 15 Mar 1825?, so aged 78, Southwold, Suffolk
    Thomas d. 17 Oct 1827?, bur. ? Oct 1827?, so aged 78, Southwold, Suffolk
    1. Mary? Bokenham (1772-?)
      chr. 13 Jan 1772
    2. Thomas Bokenham (1774-1846)
      chr. 18 Apr 1774, Southwold
      There are no Bokenhams in the Southwold Poll Book for 1790.
      This may imply that Thomas' father had moved there and/or was not a person of means.
      m1. Sarah Libbis(s), 11 May 1798, Southwold (or 6 May 1797, in nearby Reydon?)
      Sarah was b. 1776
      Children 1-10, b. 1799 to 1820.
      Thomas was a Clothes Manufacturer.
      This was still early in the industrial revolution, so Thomas may have 'made good'.
      At some time prior to Oct 1819, he was at the New Swan Inn, Southwold.
      In Oct 1819, so aged 45, he moved from the New Swan Inn to the Old Swan Inn.
      Sarah d. 6 May 1821, so aged 45.
      m2. Elizabeth Gibbons, a widow, 30 Jan 1825, in Melton Constable (50 miles north)
      Elizabeth was b.1780, so aged 45 at the time.
      According to one East Anglian source (since disappeared from the Web), "In 1818 The Swan was bought by Thomas Bokenham who also built a grand house, which stands to this day, next door to the Swan for his family. However, he sold the brewhouse to the local maltster William Crisp and it was under Crisp that the Sole Bay Brewery became famous. 1872 saw the arrival into town of George and Ernest Adnams from Berkshire who bought the Sole Bay Brewery with the help of their father".
      A more local source, current on 25 Feb 2022, says that the first record of brewing on the site is from 1345; an inn was well-established before Southwold's great fire of 1659, with the brewery at the back of the block; Thomas owned "'The Old Swan' and brewery" 1818-1846 and his widow stayed until about the late 1850s; and Thomas sold the brewery in 1825. In 1872, the then 'Sole Bay' brewery was acquired by the Adnam Brothers. In 1896, they bought the Swan. The family brewery company still operates, and still owns the (swan-k and expensive) hotel.

      The Old Swan Inn, now the Swan Hotel.
      The Post Office is on the left.
      Presumably the 'grand house' is on the right.
      The ground floor is currently the hotel dining room
      The New Swan
      Adnam's Brewery, with the back of The New Swan
      visible at the end of the lane
      The New Swan Inn down the road, now the Crown, taken October 2009
      Click on the image for a larger version
      The Old Swan
      On 22 May 1836, Thomas bought the pilot boat 'Jubilee' , at auction, for Stg 124.
      On 11 Oct 1841, Thomas hired the house next door, later the Town Hall, for Stg 31/10/-.
      On 8 Mar 1845, there was a sale of 40 gallons of brandy seized from Thomas by the Excise.
      Thomas owned the Old Swan Inn from 1819 until his death on 31 May 1846.
      He would have been 72, and was described as Innkeeper, bur. 24 Jun 1846, Southwold.
      Elizabeth ran 'The Swan' for a further 10 years, until 1857, by which stage she would have been 77.
      David Meredith found two sale ads, in The Bury and Norwich Post, and Suffolk Herald, Wed 3 Dec 1856, p.1, Issue 3884 (19th Century British Library Newspapers: Part II), and in The Ipswich Journal, Sat 13 June 1857, Issue 6162
      Sale Ad
      Sale Ad
      Elizabeth rem. Edmund (Gibbons?), 1 Oct 1857, Southwold.
      Elizabeth bur. 6 Dec 1868, so aged 88.
      Here's Buckenham House, diagonally opposite The Swan:
      Buckenham House
      1. ?Lucy Bokenham (1799-?)
        b. May 1799, Southwold
      2. Mary Ann Bokenham (1800-1827)
        b. 27 May 1800, Southwold (we originally had her as 1804)
        Baptised Independent in Southwold
        m. Simon SPICER, 8 Jan 1825
        At St Boltolph without Aldgate, London
        Simon was b.1797
        2 children, the first presumably born prior to her marriage
        Mary Ann d. Apr 1827 (we originally had her as 9 Feb 1828)
        1. William Bokenham
        2. Sarah Elizabeth Spicer
      3. William M. Bokenham (1803-1876)
        b. 1 Sep 1803, chr. 22 Sep 1803, Southwold
        m1 ? in c. 1822, child 1, b. 1823
        m2 Clarinda Clifton-Bokenham (1812-1898), 17 Feb 1835, in St Luke Old Street, Islington
        Clarinda was b. 1812, in Great Yarmouth
        Controller of Money Order Office, St Martin le Grand, London
        They lived in Islington, then Stoke Newington
        William was bur. 1876, so aged 73, Yarmouth
        Clarinda was in her young son's household in 1891, aged 79
        Clarinda d. Sep 1898, Hackney 1b 305, aged 86
        William and Clarinda had children 2-12, from 1836 to 1855, incl.:
        3.   Clarinda Bokenham (1837-1917)
              b. 1837, Islington
              In the 1881 census, a nun, a Sister of Mercy, aged 54
              Her young cousin, Catherine Cheeper, subsequently also became a nun.
              They were in the same location in 1891 (Shoreditch).
              Clarinda was there again in 1901 and 1911, but Catherine had moved on
              Clarinda d. Jun 1917, Shoreditch 1c 126, aged 80
        11. Charles Hugh Bokenham (<1850->1891)
              b. 1850, Islington
              In the April 1881 census, at 56 Darville Rd, Hackney (inner north-east London)
              His younger cousin, Catherine Cheeper, was governess, aged 20
              In the 1891 Census, Charles is at the same address, again as Head of household
              Also his mother, an elder brother, three elder sisters, and a cousin, all 'of means'
      4. Jane Bokenham (1805-1852)
        b. 7 May 1805 in Southwold
        m1. Anthony Jacques Cheeper, 1825, Southwold
        Among the witnesses were her father and her sister Charlotte and Sophia?
        8 children, of whom only 3 survived childhood
        Anthony d. 1837
        Here are details of this line (which is the one of direct relevance to this web-site)
        m2. Charles Teakle
        3 further children. A separate page provides information on the Teakle step-family
        Jane d. 1852
      5. Thomas George Libbiss Bokenham (1807-1835?)
        b. 1807, Southwold
        d. 1835?, so aged 28?
      6. George Libbiss Bokenham (1807-1862?)
        b. 16 Feb 1807, chr. 20 Mar 1807, Southwold
        m. Susannah Diver, Reydon, c. 1828-40?
        Susannah d. 22 Nov 1850, so aged c. 40?, Islington
        George d. 5 Nov 1862?, so aged 55?
        1. Thomas Bokenham, b. c. 1830-40?
      7. Sophia Bokenham (1808-1889)
        b. 1808, Southwold
        m. Samuel Gayfor, Walberswick (just south of Southwold)
        d. 31 Oct 1889?, so aged 81?
      8. Sarah Bokenham (1810-?)
        b. 22 Jul 1810, Southwold
      9. Emily Bokenham (1812-?)
        chr. 25 Jun 1812, Southwold
      10. Eve(r?)line?/ Eme(r?)line / Evelin Bokenham (1820?-1826?)
        b. 1820?, Southwold
        [Sarah would have been 44 by this time]
        bur. 18? Feb 1826?, so aged 6?
    3. John Bokenham (177X-1780)
      b. 1773-1780?
      bur. 5 Jul 1780, Southwold
    4. Elizabeth Bokenham (1784-1864)
      chr. 3 Feb 1784, Southwold
      d. 4 Jan 1864, so aged 79, Southwold
    5. Sophie Bokenham (1786-1873?)
      chr. 25 Jun 1786, Southwold
      d. 22 Jan 1873?, so aged 86, Southwold
    6. John Bokenham (1791-1848)
      chr. 2 Feb 1791, Southwold
      m. Patience Spoore?, 11 Apr 1825, Walberswick, Suffolk
      John d. 11 Oct 1837, so aged 46, Southwold
      Patience d. 1848, so aged c. 55?
    7. William Bokenham (1795-1797)
      b. 29 Jul 1795, chr. 3 Aug 1795
      bur. 3 Nov 1797, so aged 2, Southwold

Sources Used in Compiling This Page

This page draws on the work of many researchers, particularly our older half-second-cousin and fellow family-researcher Geoff Clarke, who in turn benefited greatly from information from Dr D. Buckingham of Majorca in the early 1990s. See also this Bokenham tree reaching back to the mid-1500s, provided by Patrick Hanson-Lowe, of South London. (To find Anthony Jacques Cheeper, search for Libbis, halfway down the document). According to the James Maggs diary compiled during the early 1800s, several Bokenhams were mariners and at least two Thomas Bokenhams were lost at sea.

This page extracts only that fraction of the Bokenham tree that is relevant to the subject of this web-site, i.e. the direct lines of our forebears, plus the other Thomas Bokenhams who create the potential for confusion in the record.

David Meredith of Nottingham UK, the husband of a 4th cousin through the line of George Libbiss Bokenham (1807-1862), made contact in February 2012, and provided the sale ads for the 'The Swan' in 1856 and 1857.

In July 2013, Roz Gray emailed to me that her G6M was Rebecca Bokenham (c. 1696-1765), b. Fressingfield  Suffolk, m. John Daniels in 1725, d. Fressingfield. (Fressingfield is 19 miles west of Southwold, whereas our line during the period 1750-1825 was in or close to Southwold). Rebecca's parents were John Bokenham and Ann Smith (so c. 1670-1730). Our G6F was William Buckingham (c.1715-1751). So it's plausible that the correspondent was a 6th, 7th or 8th cousin, perhaps once removed.

Roz continued: "Rebeccas grandfather was a John Bokenham born 1646 in Fressingfield, Suffolk and married a Mary Lock in Risby in 1667 their son John the father of Rebecca was born that year. There was also a Bokenham family in the village of Syleham near Fressingfield which I am currently researching the possible links to and hopefully can follow the line back to pre Norman conquest to the Suffolk Bokenhams linked to Edward the Confessor, possibly Norman relatives he or his family bestowed lands upon as they were related in some way to his mother Queen Emma of Normandy".

So there's a chance that the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic blood is complemented by a little from Viking-Norman 'nobles'. But don't get too excited. For those of us who are second cousins to one another, Anthony Jacques Cheeper is one of only 8 of our 3rd-generation forebears (2 to the power of 3). Whereas a Norman c. 1100 would be one of 2 to the power of 36, i.e. one of about 4,000 36th-generation forebears.

There is an unproven line back through successive William Bokenhams in that corner of Suffolk, 1656-1752?, 1631-?, 1602-1671 – gentleman, 1576-1632 – attorney, preceded by a Thomas d. 1623. The tree on this page begins where it appears to be authoritative.

We're missing a lot of information; and we'd love to know more!

This a page within Roger Clarke's Family Web-Site

Contact: Roger Clarke and/or Anne Kratzmann

Created: 8 November 2009; Last Amended: 9 November 2009, 6 April 2010, 7 Feb 2012 ('Swan' sales ads), 6 Jul 2013, 22 Mar 2013 (Mary Ann Bokenham details from Liz Nathan), 25 Feb 2022 (more on 'The Swan', and a tidy-up)