John Beale 1811-1873 Farmer of Biddenden and Beckley and my great great grandfather. Rich Richard Beale, 18th century dog doodler and Twitter sensation, had eleven children. The second youngest was my great great grandfather, John. I have been lucky enough to receive some copies of letters once in the possession of my 3rd great … Continue reading John Beale: letters from the grey sheep of the family
It appears that my great great great grandfather has gone viral, nearly 200 years after his death. The Museum of English Rural Life, in Reading, has acquired various bits of Beale memorabilia - mainly farming diaries and account books. But one little book caught their eye more than others: the school maths book of 13 … Continue reading Rich Richard and the Trousered Chicken
Rich Richard came from a long line of successful Beales in Biddenden. They owned a beautiful country house called River Hall, which is still in existence now. Built in the 1400s and refurbished in the 1700s. It is now a listed building, probably worth several million pounds. River Hall was not only the Beales' home but the seat of their cloth-making business. It had been passed down through nine generations of Beales before this story begins. Said Beales had massive altar tombs in the churchyard at All Saints Church, Biddenden, and plaques in their memory within the church. They were clearly very rich and highly respected. How did they come to end up with nothing?