Simon FENN of Offton [4544]
(Abt 1712-1780)
Mary FOLGER (FOULGER) of Battisford [4545]
(Abt 1720-Bef 1778)
Simon FENN [4546]
Elizabeth UNDERWOOD [4547]
(Abt 1753-1831)

Capt Robert FENN [198]


Family Links

Harriet LIVEING [227]

Capt Robert FENN [198]

  • Baptised: 2 Oct 1785, Coddenham SFK
  • Marriage: Harriet LIVEING [227] on 18 May 1813 in St Nicholas Harwich ESS
  • Died: 27 Mar 1844, Coddenham SFK at age 58
  • Buried: 3 Apr 1844, Coddenham SFK

bullet   Cause of his death was dropsy.


bullet  General Notes:

Robert was a farmer of Valley Farm Coddenham from 1806 when he replaces Simon Fenn on the Coddenham Parish Tax assessments of "Valley Farm" valued at L160 . Valley Farm was held in Leasehold from John Longe, who inherited the land from Bacon.

Robert is named as son and executor in his fathers Will, and is legatee to all the residue household furniture, plate, linen, china, stock of liquors, farming stock live and dead, crops of corn, hay, ? , grain, seeds, ? , and the occupation and use of the farm Lease (Valley Farm)

A letter from Rev John Longe to his solicitor James Wenn dated 27 Aug 1807, instructs that the lease be transferred to Robert "from Michaelmas last" on the same terms and conditions (ref. HA24/50/19/3.21 Wenn died aged 67 in Aug 1834).

Robert & Harriet were married by licence which reads: "Robert Fenn of Coddenham Gent to Harriet Liveing of Harwich. 1813".
DP170/1/22 Pg 4
A marriage bond for L100 was signed by Robert on the 18th May 1813, confirming both their ages were upwards of 21 years, and that he was free to marry
Essex PRO D/ALL 1813. (copy on file)

Robert Fenn bachelor of the Parish of Coddenham in the County of Suffolk and Harriott Liveing of this Parish of St Nicholas Harwich were married in this Chapel by licence with consent of Parents this Eighteenth day of May One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirteen by me Wm Winfield Vicar
Witness's:Thos Liveing, Harriet Liveing, Mrs Liveing, Samuel Ward Jnr?, M A Enafer?
Marriage Certificate on file

Harwich May 21
Tuesday was married here, Mr Robert Fenn, a respectable farmer at Coddenham, Suffolk, to Harriett second daughter of Mr T Living (sic) Esq, Commander of his Majesty's packet the Lady Nepean, of this port.
Ref: Ipswich Journal Saturday 22 May 1813.

Yesterday sen'night Mr Robert Fenn of Coddenham, to Miss Harriet Living, daughter of Capt T Living (sic), Commander of the Lady Nepean, packet at Harwich.
Bury & Norwich Post. 26th May 1813.

Yesterday sen'night John Robinson was committed to the county jail, in this town, by the Rev John Longe, charged with stealing a silver tablespoon, the property of Mr Robert Fenn of Coddenham.
Ref: Ipswich Journal 5 November 1814 (this may have been Robert [4529] ?)

Grandfather Fenn of Coddenham had one son Robert, Capt in Yeomanry, who succeeded him in house and farm (Rectory farm belonged to Longe) and married Miss Harriet Liveing . . . . .
Liveing Archive Liveing, Family Notes by Edward Liveing 1870

In 1817 he held the auction described below, the Parish Tax assessments (valuation still L160) then name a Thomas Diggons as taxpayer for Valley Farm.

In 1818 - 1819 Overseers tax for the poor a Robert Fenn was assessed for land bought from George Gibbons, valued at 6 pds, however in the 1819 - 1820 assessment this land appears to have passed to a Geo Goodwin for the last two quarters.
(Ref FB37/G1/3) Who was this Robert?

The researcher is of the view (2002) that Robert and Harriet may have been unable to continue at Valley Farm perhaps for financial reasons? although Rev Longe papers show no record of arrears in land rent due to him, and no trace of a bankruptcy has been found.

Land Tax assessments for the district of Bosmere & Claydon, village of Coddenham show:
1803 ref HB16 29/40 Ipswich PRO, no record of Robert.
1806 - 1817 Robert Fenn assessed for tax on Valley Farm
1823 ref HB16 29/40 shows Robert Fenn (occupier) Longe (proprietor) assessed tax L2. Also Mrs Fenn (proprietor) Sharman (occupier) tax 12/-
1827 ref HB 16 290/10 shows Widow Fenn occupier (land) Longe (proprietor) tax L2. Also Mrs Fenn (proprietor) John Sherman (occupier) tax 12/-

THE IPSWICH JOURNAL, of the 4 Oct 1817, pg. 4, col. 2, carries an Auction notice as follows:
At Coddenham, by John King, on Mon & Tues the 6th and 7th of Oct 1817. The farming stock and part of the furniture of Mr Robert Fenn of Coddenham.
On the first day will be sold the farming stock, which comprises 6 very excellent young cart mares and geldings, chestnuts and bays; a chestnut stallion, ditto mare with foal at foot ; another chestnut mare, and a black ditto, a bay horse fit for saddle or harness; a 3 year old chestnut colt fit for saddle; a chestnut suckerel, by Belgrade ; and a year old chestnut cart colt ; 5 prime milch cows, in calf ; a 2 year old hefier, and 3 two year old steers; 2 sows and pigs ; a capital road wagon, a useful ditto, a half ? -bucked ditto, a harvest carriage, 3 full-load tumbrills, a three-quarter ditto, an 8 hopper drill complete, a set of scarifiers, tormentors and hoes, 4 gangs of harrows, 4 foot ploughs, a wheel ditto, 2 double toms, a 2 horse roll, dressing machine, 40 sacks, barn utensils, steel malt mill, hand tools, 10 pairs of plough trace, 8 sets of cart ditto, 4 ditto of thillhorse gears, and a great variety of useful farming effects. On the same day will be sold, the Dairy Utensils, 16 excellent hogsheads, Iron-bound stands, 4 1/2 barrel casks, and a quantity of glass bottles, in lots.
The Furniture (to be sold on the Tuesday) consists of an extra sized 4 post bedstead, with green moreen furniture; a 4 post bedstead with mahogany feet pillars, and glazed cotton furniture; other bedsteads and hangings, bordered goose and other featherbeds, blankets and counterpanes, bedside carpets, mahogany chest of drawers, ditto basin stands, dressing tables and glasses, painted wardrobe, neat chamber chairs, a handsome pier glass, in burnished frame; Kidderminster carpet, 4 yars by 5; 6 modern mahogany chairs, and two elbows to match, mahogany card and pillar tables, handsome chinz window curtains, coffee and tea urns,mahogany bureau, painted buffet, 30 hour clock in wainscot case, an excellent kitchen coal range with cruife, & c. complete; kitchen tables and chairs, a good 3 coomb mash tub, 190 gallon brewing copper, 2 small coppers, other brewing and washing requisites, cullinary articles, earthen and stoneware, and numerous useful domestic effects.
Catalogues to be had at the Market Inns in the County; at the neighbouring Public Houses; at the place of sale; and of the Auctioneer, County Press Ipswich.
Sale to begin each day at Ten o'clock.

Merchant Taylors School Register.
June 1827.
Robert Liveing Fenn, b 17 Mar 1814, s of Robert and Harriett, schoolmaster, Harleigh, Suffolk.
Thomas Harrold Fenn, b 15 Dec 1815, s of Robert and Harriett, schoolmaster, Harleigh, Suffolk.
Roberts entry comes with a note: "R L Fenn Senior Clerk in National Debt Office"

Enquiry's with Merchant Taylors School in 2009:
Dear Mr. Fenn,
We have records of Robert L.Fenn as born 17.3.1814 son of Robert (schoolmaster) and Harriet of Hawleigh Suffolk M.T.s 1827-29 died unknown date August 1884 (occupation civil servant National Debt Office). Variant spelling Liveing/Lieving and his brother Thomas H. Fenn as born 15,12.1815 M.T.S 1827-31 with 2 terms in the Sixth Form. No further details under his entry in the 1561-1934 Register published in 1936)
Geoffrey Brown: Head of General Studies
Merchant Taylors School was formed in 1327 by the craft Guild of Merchant Tailors & Linen Armourers.

Dear Mr. Fenn,
In an idle moment I discovered that "Hawleigh" is an obsolete variant spelling of Haughley (Suffolk) still seen on some old milestones.
Godfrey Brown

Elizabeth Fenn, widow of Simon Fenn late of Coddenham farmer, buried 21 May 1831 at Coddenham, died at Hawleigh aged 78 yrs - was Robert living with his mother at Hawleigh at that time?

Robert appears to be alive in 1836, Harriet is described as wife of Robert Fenn in Thomas Liveing's Will. Harriet is living with her family in Harwich at this time.

The 1841 Census lists a Robert Fenn of Crowfield aged 50 (age rounded down in 1841 census could be between 50 & 54) schoolteacher born Suffolk. (Crowfield is a hamlet a short distance from Coddenham).

2015 - proof that Robert was of Crowfield in 1840 has now been found in the Suffolk Chronicle of 30 May 1840 reporting the marriage of his son Thomas Fenn to Maria Alston. It reads "On Tuesday week, at Nayland, by the Rev H.T. Liveing, Thomas Harrold Fenn, Esq., of Rushall, Wilts, son of Mr Robert Fenn, of Crowfield, to Maria, youngest daughter of the late George Alston, Esq."

The school at Crowfield was owned by Shrubland Hall, a 19thC undated map shows it with a mark "sell". Does the Shrubland Hall Archive have information on Robert Fenn ? 2011

A search of the Ipswich Journal on line for school masters between 1817 - 1844 reveals many ad's for school masters for Workhouse Schools (pay between L20 - L35 p.a.) and National Schools.

A note in the diary of Aaron Smith of Coddenham is as follows: "March 27th 1844 Mr Fenn our lodger died aged 58yrs"
Ref: Qs Coddenham 9 Lummis Vol 21 Ipswich PRO.

This Robert was described as a farmer on his death certificate, cause of death dropsy (on file) Application No R157327 No 413, a Sarah Smith was present at his death.

Died: 27th inst., at Coddenham after a protracted affliction, Mr Robert Fenn: as a neighbour he was highly respected, and as a master he was generous and kind.
Ipswich Journal. 30th March 1844.

Deaths: 27th ult., after a protracted affliction, Mr Robert Fenn of Coddenham.
Bury & Norwich Post. 4 April 1844.

Mr Robert Fenn of Coddenham near Ipswich aged 38 (sic)
Ref: Norfolk Chronicle 6 April 1844

Robert Fenn abode Codd b 3 Apr 1844 57yrs
Coddenham Burial register

Deaths: Mr Robert Fenn of Coddenham - Norfolk Chronical 16 April 1844.

Whites Directory Suffolk 1844 Crowfield: No record of a Robert Fenn

The death details entered against Robert in this record are based on an age at death of 58 years. This fits the bap. date the death certificate, and the note in the diary of Aaron Smith of Coddenham. Roberts address given in his son's marriage notice 30 May 1840 plus the mention of "master" in his death notice, links this Robert with the 1841 Census record of Robert of Crowfield schoolmaster and Robert of Hawleigh schoolmaster in 1827 and finally Robert husband of Harriet Liveing, father of Thomas Fenn. This Robert was described as a farmer on his death certificate (on file) Application No R157327 No 413, a Sarah Smith was present at his death.

Tithe Apportionment Crowfield.
Robert Fenn Occ. William Webb Owner. Plan 325 Cottage & Garden 27p. 10 Jun 1845. (No tithe entered?)
Ref: Tithe Apportionments TNA IR29/33/126.
This tithe apportionment struck in June 1845 is a minor anomaly.

The 1851 Census records Harriet as a widow, records at her death in 1864 record her as widow of Robert Fenn, gent, landed proprietor.

bullet  Research Notes:

Robert is shown in the Coddenham Baptism Register as ; Fenn Robert son of Simon and MARY Aug 28 1785.

There is no record of a marriage between a Simon Fenn & Mary in the Coddenham Register. Elizabeth Fenn is described as Simons relict on her headstone. This section of the 1785 Register is in a different handwriting to that of the vicar Longe and the researcher now (2002) considers the entry an error.

The Robert Fenn married to Harriet Liveing is believed to have separated from Harriet at some time, and is not mentioned in Fenn family records of that time kept by following generations. From at least 1828, family letters confirm Harriet living with her parents in Harwich, at times in a depressed state.

Harriet is named a beneficiary in her fathers will dated 5 Oct 1833 and described as the wife of Robert Fenn. However her legacy is placed in trust for her and "her present or any after taken husband" specifically denied any benefit from the proceeds.

Ref General Notes Thomas Liveing [230]
Appeared Personally: Charles Liveing of Danmark Hill Camberwell Esq, Robert Liveing Fenn gent & William Jennings gent both of the National Debt Office London, Liveing stated on oath that after the death of Thomas Liveing on the 30th Aug 1836 but before the funeral his sister Harriet wife of Robert Fenn proceeded to the room or bedchamber called the Great Front Room where stood a chest of drawers . . . . .

Coddenham Association
Notice is hereby given, that the Annual Meeting of the Subscribers of this Association will be held at the Crown Inn in Coddenham, on Monday the 5th day of June next, at the hour of One o'clock in the afternoon; when the subscribers, and all other persons desirous of becoming Members, are requested to attend.
Subscribers Names:
Sir William Middleton Bart.
The Rev John Longe.
The Rev Thomas Methold.
William Martin Esq.
Mr Robert Brooke, Barham.
Mr William Bird, Baylham.
Mr J. Simpson, Coddenham.
James Brooke, Coddenham.
John Fox, Coddenham.
John Bird, Coddenham
Robert Proctor, Coddenham.
William Bird, Coddenham.
Robert Fenn, Coddenham
Theod Banyard, Coddenham.
Mrs Katharine Mayhew.
Mr Richard Keeble, Creeting All Saints.
Mr Philip Beart, Creeting All Saints.
Mr Joseph Peck, Crowfield.
Mrs Mary Larter, Crowfield.
Mr Thomas Edwards, Gosbeck.
Mr Edward Elliston, Hemingstone.
Mr Luke Leaders, Hemingstone
Edward Field, Hemingstone
James Garnham, Hemingstone.
James Brooke - Treasurer
Richard Mudd - Solicitor
24th of May 1809.

The Ipswich Journal of 29 May 1819.
Contains an similar report of the Coddenham Assn.
A Robert Fenn is listed as a subscriber

The Catalogue Ipswich Borough Archives 1255 - 1835
Town Responsibilities & Services Page 511
King Garnham, plumber & glazier, obligor; Robert Fenn of Coddenham, farmer, and John Garnham Jnr of Nacton, farmer, sureties.
C/5/1/5/2/93 14 Dec 1811.

A Robert Fenn was living in Cogshall 12 Nov 1842.
Ref: Leeds General Advertiser

Suffolk Burial Index - Robert Fenn buried Coddenham 3 Apr 1844 aged 57 abode Coddenham.

Alston Fenn writes in the 1950,s "I have a nice water colour of our Gt Grandmother Harriet Liveing who married Robert Fenn and whose mother was Harriet Harrold. It was given me by Dolly (Cotes). I wish I could find out something about Robert Fenn, we know he left Harriet but where he came from or where he went is a closed book"

Harriet Liveing writes 5 Sep 1825 Liveing Archive 52a LT6
. . . . . Aunt Downes has been with us nearly a fortnight - Harriet is gone home with her - they left us last Tuesday - on Friday they hired a donkey and cart and went to Denham? To see Uncle and Harriets children - they heard from Edwards account to me that Uncle was not at all likely to come and see us this summer as he is so lame so my Aunt wishing very much to see him took that mode of convenience . . . . .

It is however proven that it is Roberts cousin, Robert Fenn 1787 - 1825 and Margaret Fenn (nee Driver) who took up the lease of Malt Office Farm in 1817, previously occupied by John Bird, Margaret continuing with the lease after Roberts death in 1825.

Valley Farm has been owned since 1922 by three generations of the Cousens family, Harold, Reginald and Gerald, grandson of Harold - 2003.

Bankrupts 1820 - 1843 London Gazette.
Fenn Peter, Hyde St., Bloomsbury, hill broker & schoolmaster, April 8, 1828.
Fenn Sarah, Bromley, Kent, draper and milliner, March 2, 1841.
Fenn Samuel, Bell street, Edgeware road, flour dealer and baker, Nov. 5, 1825.
Fenn William Hugh, Old Change, Cheapside, tea dealer, Dec. 10, 1830.
Ref The Bankrupt Directory, Elwick.,M1

Check of Cambridgeshire burials 1801-37 had no record of Robert Fenn.

27 June 2009
Dear Mr. Fenn
I passed your e.mail to our Honorary Archivist who has run extensive searches but can find no record of Robert Fenn within the Hadleigh Archive Catalogue.
Elaine Root
Office Administrator
Hadleigh Town Council
01473 823884 <>


Robert married Harriet LIVEING [227] [MRIN: 76], daughter of Commander Thomas LIVEING R N [230] and Harriet HARROLD [231], on 18 May 1813 in St Nicholas Harwich ESS. (Harriet LIVEING [227] was born on 21 Sep 1789 in St Nicholas Harwich ESS, baptised on 20 Nov 1789 in St Nicholas Harwich ESS and died on 28 Mar 1864 in Nayland SFK.). The cause of her death was a diseased heart, 1year certified.

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