Jesson Biographies

Allen John JESSON (1958-


Allen was born in 1958 in Northamptonshire, England, the youngest of the three sons of Robert and Doreen Jesson (née Tite). His lifelong interest has been poetry and in 1998 he retired from his job in transport to become a full time poet. He set up the internet site "A Gift of Poetry"( in 1998 offering to write poems on request for all situations. To date he has written more than a 1000 poems and the site is visited by more than 10,000 people a day.

He married Australian Karen Egan in 1985 and moved with his family to Australia in 1991. He has since divorced and in 2005 remarried Jill Faith Maidens. He has 4 children.


Arthur James JESSON (1901-1978)

Arthur James was born on Feb 19th,1901 in West Bromwich to Samuel and Alice (née Patrick) Jesson. As an architect he designed two churches in the Great Barr area, the Moorlands Methodist church in Hall Green Road (1959) and the church at the Greenside Way/Redwood Road junction (1967).

He married Joyce Dora Henn in 1932 and they had 5 children. He died in Devon in 1978.


Arthur William Mosley JESSON, A.M.I.C.E (1884-1958)

Arthur William was born on Aug 12th,1884 in Bransgore, Christchurch, Hampshire, the eldest son of William and his first cousin Amy Gertrude Jesson. He joined the Indian Service of Engineers at the age of 21 and was successively appointed Assistant, Executive and Superintending Engineer in the Punjab.

He died in Bournemouth in 1958.


Beatrice Mary Weston JESSON (1885-1947)


Beatrice Mary was born in Southampton in 1885 to solicitor's clerk Robert Weston and Annie Randall (née Fairey) Jesson. She travelled in Egypt and wrote two books of her experiences: "Twenty-four Strokes of the Pen - An Egyptian Holiday" in 1929 and "The Glamour of Egypt" in 1935.

Her brother was Robert Wilfred Fairey Jesson (see below). She never married.


Bradley Dean JESSON (1932-


Bradley D. Jesson was born on Jan 26th,1932 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He attended law school at the University of Arkansas and was admitted to the bar in 1959. He was Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court in 1995-96 and Outstanding Lawyer of the Year in 2001-02. He is now in private practice with the law firm of Hardin, Jesson and Terry in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

He married Mary Ellen. His daughter Lucinda Ellen Jesson (qv), born in 1959, is also a prominent attorney in Minnesota.

Bradley D. and Mary Ellen Jesson


Bruce Edward JESSON (1945-1999)



Bruce Jesson, born in New Zealand to Victor and Edna (née Taylor) Jesson, was a descendant of John Jesson who had emigrated from Eaton, UK in 1856. He trained in Law but became a well-known and respected political journalist of the political left producing for many years a monthly publication called "The Republican". In 1991 he gained a seat on the Auckland Regional Council standing as a candidate for the newly formed Alliance Party. In additional to numerous articles and editorials he wrote several books, the most famous of which was the 1998 political critique"Only their Purpose is Mad, the Money Men Take Over NZ". The Bruce Jesson Foundation honours his memory by organising annual awards for journalism.

He was survived by his wife Jocelyn "Joce" Gavin Jesson (née Brown), an academic of Auckland University, and their two daughters Linley (qv) and Rebecca.


Cecil George Horace JESSON (1899-1960)


Cecil was born on July 7th 1899 in Glebe, New South Wales to George, an 1884 migrant from the English Black Country, and his second wife Lily Maud (née Jones) Jesson. After attending St Andrews College, Sydney he moved to Queensland where he acquired the nickname Nugget. He was elected to the Queensland Parliament as Australian Labor Party candidate for Kennedy (1935-1950) and Hinchinbrook (1950-1960) when he was also a Government Whip.

He married twice; firstly in NSW in 1922 to Dorothy J. Harris and then in 1928 to Mary Wilhemina Shaw, with whom he had 5 children. He died on Dec 25th 1960 in Brisbane, Queensland.


Charles JESSON (1843-1863)


Charles was born near Bourne, Lincolnshire in early 1843, one of the 11 children of William and Elizabeth (née Rosling) Jesson. The family emigrated c1850 to Richland Co, Ohio.

Charles, with brothers Jesse (1840-) and Robert (1845-1865), enlisted in the Union Army at the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861. Charles enlisted into the 25th Ohio Volunteers then transferred to the 12th Ohio Artillery and became a cannoneer. He died at Aquia Creek, Virginia on May 11th, 1863 and is buried at Fredericksburg National Cemetery, Virginia.

Robert and Jesse were both captured by the Confederates. Robert was killed on on 27th April 1865 on his way home after release when the Mississippi river boat Sultana exploded near Memphis. Jesse was a POW in the infamous Andersonville prison.

Cornelius "Charles" JESSON MP (1862-1926)

Cornelius was born in Leicester on July 1st, 1862 the son of shoe manufacturer John William and Martha (Tidey) Jesson. He trained as a musician and in 1879 joined the Army Band. He was later to become one of the founding executives of the Musicians Union. He was a member of the London County Council from 1906 to 1919 and then, representing the Coalition National and Labour Party, was elected in 1918 as an independent MP for Walthamstow West. He retired from politics after an electoral defeat in 1922 and died in Rochford, Essex on Sep 21st 1926.

In his public career he always used the forename Charles. He married Emily Roberts in 1889.


David Edward JESSON B.Sc, Ph.D, Professor


David was born in 1960 in Barrow-in-Furness to James Edward and Monica Jesson and brought up in Stourbridge, Worcs..

After 3 years as a Reader at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh he worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA and in South Africa. After a few years as Professor of Physics at Monash University, Victoria, Australia he has returned to the UK and  is currently Professor of Experimental Physics and a Marie Curie Fellow at Cardiff University where his research group is studying quantum structure formation and dynamics.

His main interests are in the field of electron microscopy, diffraction physics and surface physics, in which he is considered a world leader.

He married Sharon Lynn Carney in 1994 in Anderson, Tennessee.


David Frederick St John JESSON, Professor (1935-


David St John was born in London in 1935 the son of Frederick John and Florence (née Ekins) Jesson. He obtained a degree from Manchester University and taught at both Charterhouse and Christ Hospital School, Lincoln.

He worked for some 20 years at the University of Sheffield School of Education and is now Associate Director of the Centre for Performance Evaluation & Resource Management at the University of York,UK.

He married Catherine Whitehead in 1965. They raised three children; Simon, Sarah and Rebecca and have now retired to St Ives in Cornwall.




Edward was running a trading post near Dawson City in Yukon Territory, Canada when he decided in 1900 to join the Alaskan gold rush. He bought a single speed bicycle for $150, taught himself to ride and then rode it the 1200 miles to Nome, Alaska along the frozen Yukon river. He arrived in Nome, bruised and nearly snowblind, after only 36 days on the trail.

He had a half-brother Billy Zeilor and later lived in San Francisco. Edward was possibly Edward Rothschild Jesson (1869-1942) , the son of Danish immigrant Soren Jesson.


Enid Mary JESSON (later COTTON) (1889-1956)

Enid Jesson was born on May 1st 1889 in Malvern, Australia to Mining Engineer John Charles and Lilian née Dawson Jesson.

On their return to England she worked as a botanist at Kew.

She married fellow botanist Arthur Didsbrowe Cotton in 1915 and died in Farnham Common, Bucks on April 19th 1956.


Eric Edwin JESSON (1931-


Eric Edwin was born in Kent, UK to Frederick George Richard and Maud Emma (née Macey) Jesson. He emigrated as a geophysicist to Australia in 1957 to carry out the first gravity observations in the Larsemann Hills of Antarctica in 1958 before joining the Australian Antarctic base at Mawson as a seismologist. He was awarded the Polar Medal in 1961 and a small island in Antarctica has been named Jesson Island in his honour.

He is married with two daughters and now lives in retirement in Brisbane.

Jesson Island, Antarctica


Genevieve JESSON (later GETZ) (1918-1994)

Genevieve was born in St Pauls, Minnesota on Feb 14th, 1918, the youngest child of Edward and Margaret (née Tuttle) Jesson. She graduated from Cedarwood College (Ohio) in 1939 and became a Baptist missionary in Burma in 1947 until forced out in 1950 by civil war. She then became a home missionary to American Indians in Oklahoma before moving to work in the Philippines in 1967 followed by three years in Vietnam. After a second spell of home missionary work she served in Thailand for a final three years until 1985.

She married Dr. Roger W Getz in Springfield, Ohio on Oct 17th, 1941 and had five children. She died in Phoenix, Arizona on June 3rd, 1994


George Henry "Nick" JESSON (1951-


George Henry, known as "Nick", was born in California in 1951.

He is founder and President of the multi-million dollar company No Time Delay Electronics. In 1987 he resisted payment of state taxes, declaring them illegal according to the 16th Amendment, but was famously raided in 2001 by the tax enforcement agency at gunpoint. He was sentenced to 27 months in prison for tax evasion.

He ran for Governor of California in 2002, coming in fourth place (of seven).

He is married to Trina Thi Vu.


Herman L. JESSON (1917-2000)


Herman L. Jesson was born on 22 Nov 1917, a Californian of German extraction who established and was President of the Intra America Travel company.

He was a member of the Adventurers Club and a great lover of the Upper Amazon rainforest where he spent a lot of time exploring and recording the local culture.

He is pictured with his daughter Jasmin at his Peruvian home, Jessonia Island, on the Amazon river.

He died in California in 2000.

Jacob JESSON (1650-1686)

Jacob was born in London in 1650 into a family of ironmongers who, on the basis of their landholdings in the West Bromwich area, were obviously closely related to the Handsworth Jessons. He married Elizabeth Whalley and moved to the early settlement of Boston in the New England colony as the sales agent for his brother Abraham's ironmongery business. His wife and 3 children (Jacob1670-, Abraham 1672-and Jacob 1674-) all died there. He returned to London and was remarried on Nov 25th,1678 to Mary Glover with whom he had three more children (Glover, Mary and Elizabeth). He died there in 1686.

In a famous 1675 Massachusetts theft trial in which he was one of 12 jurors he was fined heavily by the court for not agreeing with the magistrates and the other 11 jurors that the defendant was guilty.


James (c1808-1884), James (1832-1901) & William Henry JESSON (1871-1939)


James, his son James and his grandson William Henry were a family of renowned puppeteers and marionettists particularly known for their Punch and Judy show. Their winter months were spent giving performances in and around their home town of London and the summer ones on tour to the seaside and country fairs. They performed at the various royal palaces for the Royal Family and their guests. All were also proficient musicians.

James senior had moved to Marylebone from Cornwall and married Ann (from Huntingdon). Of their two children James (who married Jane Sarah Tuff) followed in his fathers footsteps but William became a shopkeeper. Of James junior's five children William Henry was the only boy to reach adulthood and adopt the family profession. William Henry's only son by his wife Elizabeth Stanley, Stanley James, chose not to continue the tradition.


John "Jack" JESSON (1897-1991)


Jack Jesson was born John Sidney Jesson in Aston, Birmingham around 1897, the eldest child of publican John Enoch and Lucy Jane (née Fletcher) Jesson. He showed musical talent at an early age and received musical training, going on to compose hundreds of songs and hymns during a long life.

He was the organist at the "Little Chapel" in Winson Green, Birmingham for most of his adult life and wrote the scripts and songs for most of their annual shows and pantomimes.

He never married and ran a sweetshop with his mother in the district, where he died in May 1991.


Joseph Edward JESSON (1950-


Joseph was born in Hamilton, New Jersey in 1950 to Joseph Ephraim and Irene E.(née Horvath) Jesson. He gained a Masters degree from DePaul University, Chicago.

He worked on IT and telecommunications for Motorola, Oak Technology and BP Amoco and holds multiple patents for Optical Sensors, Covert Patch Antenna, Membrane Switch, and Software innovations. He is currently Chief Technology Officer with GE Asset Intelligence.

He married Linda Lee Liveley.


Linley Kay JESSON B.Sc M.Sc Ph.D (1973-


Linley Kay was born in the Auckland area in 1973 to Bruce (qv) and Jocelyn (née Brown) Jesson.

After studying for a B.Sc in Botany at Auckland University she was awarded a PhD in 2003 by the University of Toronto for research into plant ecology. Linley is currently an Assistant Professor of Plant Evolutionary Biology in the Department of Biology, University of New Brunswick, Canada and has produced a number of scientific papers in the field of plant ecology and evolution.


Lucinda Ellen JESSON B.A. J.D. (1959-

Lucinda was born in 1959 in Arkansas to lawyer Bradley Dean (qv) and Mary Ellen Jesson. She gained a BA in Law at Arkansas University and a 1983 from Pennsylvania Law School. She moved to Minnesota first as a partner in a law firm, then as a Deputy Attorney General for Minnesota and then as Chief Deputy Attorney for Hennepin County. In 2003 she opened with Tammy Pust their own law firm of Jesson and Pust in St Paul.

She joined Hamline University School of Law in 2006 as an Associate Professor of Law and director of the Health Law Institute. She is now commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

She married Peter Knapp in 1986 and has four children.

Marjorie Wilhemina JESSON (1889-1970)

St Stephen's Hospital ward Marjorie was born in Bournemouth to William and Amy Gertrude Jesson. She was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind gold medal in the 1943 Birthday Honours for her work as secretary at St Stephen's Mission Hospital in Delhi.

She died unmarried in her home town in 1970.

Mary JESSON (1849-1926)
Mary Jesson poster
Mary was born in Nottingham in 1849 to framework knitter James and Keziah (née Chandler) Jesson. After working for some years in the lace industry she  got a job as costumier at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham. Later she would tour with various production companies in the same capacity.

She gave birth to her only child Ferderick Thomas Major Jesson in 1872. There are strong suggestions that the father may have been Frederic Lemaitre, a well known French actor of the day

An 4-page article
on Mary Jesson by Tony Proctor entitled Theatrical Roots appeared in the genealogical magazine Your Family History in February, 2012.


Nathaniel JESSON (1622?-1653)

  Nathaniel was born into a Stepney family, probably in 1622 to Randall and Joan Jesson, and became a captain in the Royal Navy. During the first Anglo-Dutch war he commanded the 36 gun ship William and John at the Battle of The Gabbard (June 1653) and the decisive Battle of Scheveningen (Aug 1653) at which he was unfortunately killed. A grateful Parliament voted a generous award of £500 to support his wife Alice, their three children Mary, Joan and Nathaniel and his aged parents.
Battle of Scheveningen


Paul Albert JESSON (1955-


Paul Albert Jesson was born Jan 14th, 1955 in Christchurch, New Zealand, the son of Albert Edward and Moyna (née Sutherland) Jesson. He was a promising professional road & track cyclist until an accident with a car in a lead-up to the 1980 Tour de France caused him to lose a leg. He now competes as a disabled cyclist and was a double world champion in 1998. He raced for New Zealand in the Paralympics of 2000 and 2004, where he won two bronze medals.

He married Heidi Helm in Germany in 1988. They have two children.

Ralph William JESSON (1893-1985)

Vivian Rich Ralph William Jesson was born in 1893 to druggist Jacob and Electa May (nee Fincher) Jesson. Jacob was an immigrant from Denmark.

Ralph was an American Football coach. In 1920, he was appointed head coach for Loyola Marymount University. From 1924 to 1928, he coached the football team at Polytechnic High School, Los Angeles, after which he coached the basketball team. In the 1930's he also worked as an official in the Pacific Coast Conference.

He married Vivian Rich, a silent movie star who made over 200 films. They had three son, Ralph William, jnr,  Charles and John.
Vivian Rich

Randall JESSON (c1600-c1660)

Randall was born c1600 into a family of Merchant Venturers and spent most of his time in the East Indies trading both for himself and the East India Company as master of his own ship, the "Pearl". In 1636 he famously sailed single-handedly to the Dutch-owned island of Neira to demand (unsuccessfully) the return of the island of Run, renowned for its valuable nutmeg trees, from the Dutch East India Company.(Run was later exchanged for Manhattan)

By 1654 he was non compos mentis. He had married Joan Mason on Oct 3rd 1622 and had two children, Nathaniel (1622-1653) (see above) and Elizabeth.


Rayner Charles Percy JESSON (1954-2007)


Born in 1954, the son of Percy William and the Hon. Jean Davina (née Stuart), Rayner was manager of a number of pop music bands the best-known of which is Nick Cave and the Bad Seed. Other groups have included 16HP, Dirty Three and the Good Sons.

He married Gordana Simakovic in 1987. They had two children, Alexander and Georgia.

He died in Putney on 5th Oct 2007 and was buried in Essex.


Richard JESSON (1741-1810)


Richard Jesson was born in West Bromwich in 1741, the son of Thomas Jesson, an ironmonger in a long line of West Bromwich ironmongers, and worked with his brother Joseph in the family iron and nailmaking business. In 1772 he and his brother-in-law John Wright developed and patented the first commercially successful method for producing wrought iron with coke which became widely adopted. The family business grew into the largest iron makers in the West Bromwich area.

Richard and his brother became wealthy men and Richard was appointed High Sheriff of Staffordshire. He had married Mary Willats in 1776 and was succeeded on his death in 1810 by his only son Thomas.

Jesson & Wright's Wrens Nest Forge


Richard JESSON (1800-1878)

Richard Jesson was born in Walsall, the son of Attorney Richard Jesson, some time High Sheriff of Staffordshire and his wife Carew (nee Bullock) Jesson. He too became a solicitor and took over the family business of Addison, Jesson and Cooper in Walsall. He married twice; firstly Mary Jane Adams and secondly Elizabeth Marklew.

In 1852 he was one of the founders of the South Staffordshire Water Works. He was succeded by his son Richard Henry, also a solicitor.


Robert Perrin JESSON (1914-2003)


Robert Perrin Jesson was born on Dec 24th, 1914 in Lougheed, Alberta, Canada, the eldest son of immigrant draper/farmer Abraham Richard and Julia née James Jesson. As a young man he was an excellent athlete and Golden Gloves boxer. In 1932 he started his cowboying career for the Gang Ranch and became one of the most respected horsemen in the Canadian west. He broke and trained many horses and was involved all his life in rodeo, horse-shows and horse racing and in 2001 was inducted into the British Columbia Cowboy Hall of Fame.

He died on August 8th, 2003 in Vancouver, British Columbia at the age of 88 and was buried in Kamloops. He had married twice, to Augusta Elizabeth Cahoon (1920-1967) and Margaret Isobel Campbell (1920-2001). With Augusta he had a son Jim and daughters Anne and Judy.


Robert Wilfred Fairey JESSON (1886-1917)


Robert Wilfred Fairey Jesson was born in Southampton on June 17th 1886, the son of solicitor's clerk Robert Weston and Annie Randall (née Fairey) Jesson. He excelled at cricket and played both for Oxford University and then Hampshire (14 matches) as a right-handed batsman and leg-break bowler. He also played rugby for Rosslyn Park.

He was killed (Feb 22nd 1917) on active service near Basra, Mesopotamia when serving as a major in the Wiltshire Regiment and his name is inscribed on the Basra Memorial in Iraq (see picture).

He never married.


Robert William JESSON (1947-


Robert William was born in New Zealand in 1947, the eldest child of William Henry and Dorothy C (née Brookes) Jesson who had emigrated to NZ from Wales in 1938. He went to art school in Norwich and at St Martins in England to study sculpture. Since his return to New Zealand in 1977 he has gained recognition for his abstract sculptures and had several exhibitions.

He married Gwyneth Dowson in 1969, by whom he has two sons.


Robyn Leigh JESSON (1987-


Robyn was born on 9 Apr 1987 in Kamloops, British Columbia to publishers Jim and Linda née Sutherland Jesson. It was a musical environment- her father played guitar- and by the age of 3 she was learning to play the fiddle and later played trombone in the school orchestra. She studied both classical and Bluegrass style fiddle playing and was soon playing at and winning prizes in Bluegrass festivals all over Canada and the United States including an appearance at the Grand Ol' Opry. At the age of 11 she had made her first CD "Bluegrass and Beyond"

Robyn is currently away on a 4 year scholarship studying music at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Mass.

Ronald F JESSON Ph.D (1915-2001)

Ronald was born Oct 2nd 1915 in Muskegon, Michigan to Swedish immigrants John and Kristina (née Andersonsdotter) Jesson. He studied music at the Christian run Augustana College and was subsequently awarded a Ph.D in Music from Indiana University. He served as a captain in the US Army during WWII and on Oct 3rd 1943 married Norelle V Gillham in Washington, DC. They had a son (John) and a daughter.

He became Professor of Music at the Augustana College and served as choirmaster and accompanist at several local churches.

He died in Rock Island, Illinois on May 25th, 2001.


Roy Hart JESSON Ph.D Dr (1926-1972)

Roy Hart was born in London in 1926 to Charles Hart and Ethel (née Crouchman) Jesson. After graduating in 1955 from Indiana University with a PhD in Musicology Roy became an Associate Professor of Music at Richmond University,Virginia until 1961 where he specialised in teaching piano. He then returned to England to became a Professor at the Royal College of Music. He played harpsichord and organ on a number of studio recordings of classical music, especially accompanying cellist Jacqueline du Pré.

After his untimely death in Paris on Oct 8th 1972 his friends established the Roy Jesson Music Prize in his honour to be awarded annually to an outstanding music student at the University of Richmond.


Susan JESSON-WARD (1951-


Susan was born in Monsall, Manchester on July 14th 1951 and married Terence Ward in 1973. In 1987, after a successful period of breeding and racing horses at stables near Oldham she accepted a post in Oman as Stud Farm Manager for the Sultan of Oman. After 8 years, during which the stud grew from 30 to 300 horses, she left to set up her own equestrian centre in Muscat and become a freelance consultant and journalist on equine matters. She has an English degree from Leeds University.

They have had three children.


Thomas JESSON (c1580-1634)

Thomas was a wealthy grocer based in London. In his will proved in 1636 he left the considerable sum of £2000 to Coventry Corporation to be invested in land for the perpetual annual benefit of a number of apprentices, poor freemen, widows and descendants plus sums for an annual corporation dinner and to provide the churchwardens of St Michael's with cakes and wine. The bequest is now known as Jessons Charity and a street in the city has been named in his honour. His full length picture hangs in the Mercer's Hall in Coventry.


Thomas Edward JESSON MP (1882-1958)

Thomas Edward was born in the Ashby-de-la-Zouch area of Leicestershire on July 28th, 1882 the son of solicitor Thomas and Charlotte (née Peach) Jesson. Thomas,after attending Charterhouse school, also became a solicitor in 1906. He made an unsuccessful first effort in 1924 to enter the House of Commons, but succeeded at the second attempt in October 1931, when he became MP for Rochdale until his retirement in October 1935.

He had served for a time as a Major with the Leicestershire Regiment. He married Beatrice Holding in 1921 and died in Lytham St Annes on July 23rd 1958.


Thomas Percy Henry Touchet TUCHET-JESSON MBE, 23rd Lord Audley (1913-1963)


Thomas Henry was born on Sep 15th, 1913 in Herefordshire to Thomas Touchet Tuchet-Jesson (born Thomas Touchet Jesson) and Annie Rosina Hammacott-Osler and educated at Lancing College. He went into the business of manufacturing crystal tableware. His first marriage on Nov 15th, 1952 to Jean Isabel Chaplin ended in a divorce in 1957. His second wedding, to Sarah Spencer-Churchill (Winston Spencer-Churchill's second daughter) took place at the Rock Hotel, Gibraltar on April 26th, 1962. He was to die 13 months later, on July 3rd, 1956, from a heart attack in Granada.

He had inherited the title of 23rd Lord Audley on May 27th, 1942 by writ, it having been in abeyance since the death of his grandmother's cousin Mary Thicknesse-Tuchet, the 22nd Baroness. As Thomas died childless the title passed to his younger sister Rosina.


William JESSON (1580-1651)

William (I) Jesson (1580-1651) was a successful dyer in Coventry, becoming an Alderman of the city and then Mayor in 1631. He married Elizabeth Barker, the daughter of a Coventry draper. He was MP for Coventry during the Short and Long Parliaments.

His eldest son William (II) (1617-1661) was MP for Coventry in 1660 and his daughter Elizabeth married Thomas Babington of the influential Rothley Temple Babingtons.

His grandson William (III) (1650-1711), son of the William (II), married Penelope Villiers (23 Jan 1669) of the influential Villiers family of Brooksby, established a family seat at Burleigh Hall, Loughborough, Leicestershire and was knighted in 1668. Burleigh Park is now the Loughborough University campus.


The JESSONS of Langley Hall


William Jesson (c1666-1725), the son of Sir William Jesson above, married Ann Pudsey of Langley in Sutton Coldfield in 1696. Ann had inherited the Langley Park estate and manor after the death in 1677 of her father, Henry Pudsey. The estate passed in due course to William and Ann's eldest son Pudsey (1696-1748) and after him to Pudsey's only son William (1730-1786). On William's death it was divided between his surviving two daughters Elizabeth and Hannah.

Pudsey's daughter Anne (1733-1799) married in 1754 Sir Charles Holte (1721-1782), the 6th Baronet Aston of Aston Hall, Birmingham. They had a daughter Mary Elizabeth but no male heir. Mary Elizabeth married Abraham Bracebridge whose unfortunate business ventures were to cause the break-up of the Aston estate.

Langley Hall was later demolished by Sir Robert Peel when he bought the estate.

Pudsey Family Coat of Arms


Thomas BLOODWORTH (1882-1974)


Thomas Bloodworth was born on 10 February 1882 at Maxey, Northamptonshire, England, the seventh child of Ann Jesson and her husband, Thomas Bloodworth, a groom and gardener. He left the village school at 10, and was apprenticed as a carpenter and joiner in Grantham, before emigrating to Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1908. He soon moved to Auckland, where he worked for two years as a carpenter on the construction of Grafton Bridge, then the largest single-span concrete bridge in the world.

In 1910 he became active in the Auckland branch of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners (ASCJ). He served as its delegate to the Auckland Trades and Labour Council, and the following year became president of the union.. He also became active in the Auckland branch of the New Zealand Socialist Party. By the end of 1913 he was an executive member of the United Federation of Labour (UFL) and from 1918 to 1920 served as their president. In 1921 he was elected secretary of both the Auckland branch and district council of the ASCJ; he combined these roles with spells as secretary of its Otahuhu and Hamilton branches. He failed in several attempts to get a seat in Parliament/

Tom Bloodworth also worked in local and community affairs, serving on the Auckland City Council for many years. He was made an OBE in 1966 and retired from civic life in 1968 at the age of 86. He died at Remuera, Auckland, on 11 May 1974. He had married Rhoda Alice Aspin in Auckland on 28 February 1912. Their only child, William, died in 1967


Charles Holte BRACEBRIDGE (1799-1872)


Charles Holte was born on 19 March 1799 to Abraham Bracebridge of Atherstone Hall and Mary Elizabeth Holte and as such was the grandson of Anne Jesson (1733-1799) who had married Sir Charles Holte, 6th Baronet Aston, in 1754. Charles married Selina Mills in 1824 and the pair became internationally known for their extensive travel and love of literature, Charles himself writing several books. They were also very close and influential friends of Florence Nightingale and George Eliot and very active in local government and campaigns for social justice.

He died childless on July 12th 1872.


Harry BURRARD-NEALE GCB GCMG MP, Admiral Sir (1765-1840)


Sir Harry was born Harry Burrard on 16 Sept 1765 to Lt-Col William and Mary (née Pearce) Burrard and was the great-grandson of Mary Jesson of Coventry and John Button. He joined the Royal Navy in 1788 and between 1804 and 1807 was a Lord of the Admiralty and captain of HMS London, a ship of the line, was promoted to Admiral in 1810 and Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet in 1825. He was invested with the GCB in 1822 and the GCMG in 1824.

He was also MP for Lymington, Hants between 1790 and 1802 and again in 1806-07, 1812-23 and 1832-35. He succeeded to the title of 2nd Baronet Burrard of Walhampton in 1791 and changed his name by Royal Licence to Burrard-Neale on his marriage to Grace Elizabeth Neale in 1795.

He died childless in Lymington in 1840. Burrard Inlet, the main waterway of Vancouver, British Columbia, was named after him by his friend Captain George Vancouver.


Alfred John CHATFIELD CB, Vice-Admiral (1831-1910)


Alfred John Chatfield was born on 27th Aug 1831, the eldest child of the Revd Robert Money and Anna Maria (née Jesson) Chatfield. He joined the Royal Navy at the age of 15 and was made Lieutenant in 1854 as which he served in the Crimean War. He was promoted to Commander (1862), Captain (1868) Rear-Admiral (1886) and ultimately Vice-Admiral before retiring in 1891.

He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1887 and Chatfield Island in British Columbia is named after him. He died 25th Aug 1910.

He had married Louisa Faulconer in 1868. Their only son Alfred Ernle (below), also an admiral and First Sea Lord, was created 1st Baron Chatfield of Ditchling.

Insignia of the Order of the Bath


Alfred Ernle Montecute CHATFIELD PC GCB OM KCMG CVO, Admiral of the Fleet (1873-1967)

Alfred Ernle was born in Southsea on Sep 27th 1873, the only son of Alfred John (above). He entered the Royal Navy as a boy cadet of 13 and after a series of rapid promotions served in World War One as Flag Captain of HMS Lion. He was present at the battles of Heligoland, Dogger Bank and Jutland and was inducted as KCMG at the end of the war. After the war he served as Third Sea Lord and Controller of the Navy (1925-28), as Commander-in-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet (1929-30) and of the Mediterranean Fleet (1930-32). He was First Sea Lord from 1933-1938.

He was later promoted to Admiral (1930) and then Admiral of the Fleet (1935). In 1937 he was raised to the peerage as the 1st Baron Chatfield of Ditchling, Sussex. At the outbreak of World War Two he was appointed Minister for Co-ordination of Defence but resigned the post in 1940.

He died in Farnham Common, Bucks on Nov 15th 1967 and was succeeded by his son Ernle David Lewis. He had married Lillian Emma St John Matthews in July 1909.


Richard Samuel CHATTOCK (1825-1906)


Richard Samuel Chattock was born in 1825 in Solihull, Warwicks, the youngest son of Thomas and Jane (Prince) Chattock and grandson of Richard and Rebecca (née Jesson) Chattock.

He was a well-recognised landscape etcher and painter, exhibiting at the Royal Academy 1869-1891. He published his best known works Views in Wesleydale in 1872 and Sketches of Eton in 1873. He also wrote Practcal Notes on Etching published in 1883.

He had married Fanny Birkett in 1858 with whom he had seven children.

Nappa Hall in Wensleydale


John FAIRFAX (1804-1877)


John Fairfax was born in Warwick, England on Oct 24th 1804 the second son of William and Elizabeth (née Jesson) Fairfax. At the age of 12 he was apprenticed to the printing trade and by 1835 was publishing several newspapers in the Warwick area. After losing an expensive libel case he emigrated in 1838 with his wife and children to Sydney, Australia where he joined with a colleague Charles Kemp to buy the Sydney Herald. They established it over the next 20 years, renamed the Sydney Morning Herald, as Australia's leading newspaper. After Kemp's retirement in 1853 Fairfax's eldest son Charles John took his place.

John Fairfax became a member of the Legislative Council in 1874 and died in Sydney on June 16th 1877. His second son Sir James Reading Fairfax took over the business ( Charles having been killed in a riding accident) and James' sons Geoffrey Evan Fairfax and Sir James Oswald Fairfax followed him in turn and James Oswald's son Warwick Oswald after them. The business today (John Fairfax Holdings) is however no longer controlled by the family.

He had married Sarah Reading in Leamington Priors, Warks, England on July 31st 1827. They had three sons and a daughter (Emily).


James Francis GARRICK KCMG, Sir (1836-1907)


James Francis was born James Francis GOWIN in Sydney, New South Wales on Jan 10th 1836, the second child of James Francis and Catherine Eliza (née Branson) Gowin and the grandson of Francis and Mildred (née Jesson) Gowin of Deptford, Kent. James Francis senior had emigrated to Australia in 1833 to run a flour mill and for some as yet unexplained reason changed the family name to Garrick in the early 1840's.

James Francis junior trained as a solicitor and was admitted to practice in 1860, moving to Brisbane, Queensland to become solicitor to the city council. He entered politics and represented East Moreton in the Legislative Assembly in 1867-8 and again in 1877, holding a number of important government posts before being appointed Agent-General, based in London, to represent Queensland in international affairs. He did with great success from 1884 to 1895 and was awarded the KCMG in 1886.

He had married Catherine Cadell in 1865 with whom he brought up three children and died at his London home on Jan 12th 1907. His daughter Katherine endowed the James Francis Garrick chair of law at the University of Queensland in his memory.

Portrait used by permission of

Alexander Turnbull Library


Edward HOPKINS MP, Rt Hon (1675-1736)

Edward Hopkins was the son of Richard and Mary (née Johnson) Hopkins of the well-known Coventry family and as such the great-grandson of Mary Jesson and John Button. He was MP for Coventry from 1701 to 1710 and for Eye in Suffolk from 1713 to 1727. During this latter term he served for four years in Ireland as the Chief Secretary for Ireland under the Duke of Grafton (Lord Lieutenant of Ireland) which also gave him a seat in the Irish parliament.

He married Anna Maria Chamberlen with whom he had several children of which the eldest, Richard, was also an MP.


David Wilfred John JESSON-DIBLEY (1924-2006)


David Jesson-Dibley was born on 22 Apr 1924 to John and Grace Kathleen (née Jesson) Dibley. During WW11 he served on HMS Inglefield and was aboard her when she sank in 1944. After the war he went up to Merton College, Oxford after which he took up a post as English teacher at Christ's Hospital school in Horsham (1949 to 1967).

He edited several books of poems, particularly those of Robert Herrick and Leigh Hunt. He wrote books which included The Foundation of Christ's Hospital (1953) and the allegorical Earthbound:The Big Issue ( 1995).

For many years he did voluntary work in prisoner welfare. He died in a London nursing home on 19th December, 2006


Sir Thomas NORTON MP (1615-1691)

Thomas Norton was the son of Simon and Prudence (née Jesson) Norton and was created Baronet Norton in 1661. He was MP for Coventry in 1685-1689

He married Anne Jermy, daughter of John Jermy of Hutton Hall, Suffolk. They had four daughters and the baronetcy became extinct.