The Kings Candlesticks - Family Trees
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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

1. Harriet LIVEING [227]

Capt Robert FENN [198]

  • Baptised: 2 Oct 1785, Coddenham SFK
  • Marriage (1): Harriet LIVEING [227] on 18 May 1813 in St Nicholas Harwich ESS
  • Died: 27 Mar 1844, Coddenham SFK aged 58
  • Buried: 3 Apr 1844, Coddenham SFK

bullet   Cause of his death was dropsy.


bullet  General Notes:

Robert farmed Valley Farm Coddenham from 1806, when he replaces his father, now deceased, Simon Fenn on the Coddenham Parish Tax assessments, "Valley Farm" was valued at 160 . Valley Farm was held in Leasehold from Rev John Longe, who inherited the land from the Rev Nicholas 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, stover, grain, seeds, etc 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).

The researcher of this family history has resisted the urge to insert opinion and conjecture into the notes on departed family members but for Robert his 2 x Gt Grandfather, the situation is different.

On the 200th anniversary (2017) of these unfortunate matters below, much of the life of Robert Fenn is now revealed after 20 plus years of research, and a scathing appraisal by his mother-in-law, Harriet Liveing (Snr).

Robert (aged 28) married Harriet Liveing in 1813, in 1817 he relinquished his lease of Valley Farm and sold up his farm assets. On or about that time Harriet returned to her family in Harwich permanently, and Robert disappeared from family records.
For many years the search for Robert and his story has gone on, this year it is now as complete as can be reasonably be expected, thanks to the Liveing Archive, a trove of information.

Robert is accused by his mother-in-law of being an adulterer, a drinker, and a squanderer of his money, her disapproval would have been palpable, she is judgmental but not a fool. However Elizabeth Goodwin (Roberts sister) appears quite clear from her remarks quoted by Harriet, that she sees Harriet (Snr) as instrumental in the marriage breakup. Harriet (Jnr) for her part does not appear a strong character physically or emotionally, it is little wonder the marriage collapsed in some 4 years. The Liveing's had money, a fact no doubt not lost on Robert, when contemplating marriage.
Given the mores of the Regency era (The Age of Scandal), Robert may have taken the view along with his Cavalry friends and "pot companions" that his behaviour as a bachelor could continue after marriage, a view not unknown to this day ! This is somewhat confirmed in a letter below by Ellen Stuart dated 9 June 1813 suggesting young men in the country should seek domestic pleasures, rather than gatting about . . . . .
I suspect he may have been slow to realise that his view was unacceptable to his wife, let alone his mother-in-law, whatever the shame.

The Letter.
Liveing Archive 128a-d LT11
In another hand: "May 28, 1833 Mr Fenn ill and applies for money 5 pounds sent by T L Mrs Fenn at Nayland unwell" Postmarked: Harwich May 28 1833. Calculation on front sheet totaling 201.11 shillings.

Mrs John Ambrose
near Colchester
post paid

May 28, 1833
My dear Julia1,
I have delayed writing till I fear that you may be uneasy so will put off no longer - we are heartily thankful that you are able to report so well of yourself - but I beg that you will not be unmindful, that care is still necessary - if you exert yourself all will be undone - and you may soon be as bad as ever therefore if as Mr Haynes often reminded you - if you value health and life - act cautiously - and do not exert yourself much - for fear of the ill consequences, remember if you do it will be at the peril of your life - I recd a letter from Catherine this morning written by Harriets desire, as I suppose she was not able to write herself - she says that Harriet caught cold on Thursday from sitting in a draft and brought on rheumatism attended by some degree of fever - but that Edward hoped she would be better tomorrow - and added that I should hear again shortly - I partly expected her last night - but had made almost sure of seeing her tonight, so shortsighted are we - she had been much indisposed from influenza for some time before she left us - and we hope the change of air would have carried off her cough - last Sunday was a week, a letter from Stowmarket was addressed to her here - and thought it advisable to open it - which we would not do till after church thinking the contents would annoy us - it came from Mr Hall's a Butcher at Haughley - written by advice of Mrs Goodwin2 thinking it proper Mrs Fenn should know how ill Mr Fenn was having been confined to his bed for three weeks from rheumatism and that his legs were in a bad state and it was thought he would not get the better of - and also to apprise Mrs Fenn of his unfortunate circumstances - that he had nothing to depend on but the profits of his school - and that medical attendance etc etc was very expensive and if Mrs Fenn could afford him some pecuniary assistance it would be gratefully and thankfully received - and then followed an abundance of praises - "I have known Mr Fenn intimately from his first residing at Haughley, having had a family under his tuition - and for the last
Page 2
few months Mr Fenn has been a lodger in my house - and whatever may have been his failings he has always conducted himself respectably moreover I have always found him to be a person of the strictest veracity and integrity - and possessing inwardly the best of morals indeed no one of his friends but thinks him an object worthy their commiseration" - this is too gross to write to people - or rather to a wife who has so much cause to lament his directly contrary character no doubt that he is a pot companion - my poor Harriet I dread her knowing this, her nerves are so shattered from a former account of him - added to her ill-health I don't know how she will stand under it all - your F - wrote a cheque for five pounds - and I wrote under it to Mrs Goodwin - that Mr Hall's had written by her advice - and that he had in consequence of Mr F's bad health sent 5 pounds to her to manage prudently the expenditure - being afraid to send it directly to him thinking it would be squandered as all he ever possessed had been - and that he must not expect any more from him nor would have any more - that his wife had no money only what came out of my pocket - as she had placed one of her sons out for whom she had to pay a large portion of what her Uncle left annually - besides his clothes pocket money and washing - and that it was an indefensible duty to make provision for the completions of his studies after his time had expired - I enquired respecting the money he came too at his mother's death - if he was without - it must be because he had squandered it as he had done what ever he had before I requested a line to know that she got the cheque - and at the same time to say whether Mr F was better - I also said that Harriet had been in ill health for more than 12 month and was then from home in the hope that the change of air might be beneficial that of course she knew not of the . . .cept of Mr Hall's letter - which I was sure would hurt her very much and add to her indisposition - yesterday morning a letter came from her in reply - "with thanks in her Br[othe]r's name for the reasonable relief" you say it is the last assistance he must expect from you - what then is to be done he has no one else that can do but very little for him - no one but myself and we have a family - from whom we cannot withhold assistance - there is only one other to apply to that is his parish - and they will not do anything till they are satisfied that Mrs Fenn's Uncle did not provide for her - as well as her children - which information I shall be in possession in a few days" - so I suppose they have sent
Page 3
for a copy of Uncles will - she goes on "I was informed through one of your family that Mr Betts left Mrs F 20003 - the same sum to the children - if that is true - surely it can't be no particular consequence to her to assist my Br[othe]r with a small sum now and then - if he had not been afflicted I would not have troubled you - I trust the time is not far distant when if both are spared things will assume a difference full more to the comfort of both parties" - she must allude to one or both our deaths - I don't know how this comfortable full is to come forth else - when this sad tale is told to Harriet she shall hear our advice at once - as her husband's affairs we rarely talk of - as we are careful not to wound her feelings more than cannot be helped - we shall advise, that when we die, if he must have a part of her money - to allow him such a sum - for as sure as he can finger the whole - the whole will go - as the former has done - the letter abounds with falsehoods - he pretends that he did not know but his wife was coming back in a few weeks - and that he did not know that all her clothes were taken away until after she had left him several days - and of course they must have been sent away before - I wrote a home? reply - for as we were falsely accused I had a right to clear ourselves - I told her that nothing was done clandestinely that she had not many clothes to bring - and that all she possessed he brought away with her to Shotley - and then left her to the mercies of strangers in a dark stormy night in the month of February to cross the water with his child only three years old that I wondered who could discover the aff[ectio]n of a husband or of a Fa[the]r in that transaction - she goes on, he had written several times - and that she saw Mrs F's answer to his last letter when he was he was positively forbidden to write any more - if she had not written - surely his children ought to have been taught to acknowledge him their Fa[the]r it must be their duty - my reply was that we had done our best for his children - and because he was their F[ather] although he had never behaved like one - we had been ever careful not to prejudice them against him - that his name had been seldom mentioned - because we could say nothing to his advantage she says her B[rothe]r came to Harwich once, but was denied seeing her which was illegal if he had been ever so bad he could demand an interview - my reply was - that it was a right down falsehood - for she went to Mrs Stevenson's to see him and they took a walk together, when he had opportunity to say whatever he pleased - she says a young man wanted his wife to sympathise with and restrain him - and that it was unscriptural to part man and wife - my reply - had he not broken the marriage vow which he made in the presence of God - to keep the marriage bed undefiled - to keep to her - and only - unto her - no one would have dared to put asunder those whom God had joined - but he had broken the solemn engagement he made before God - and then he was not indeed a husband - and as to sympathising with a man who lived in the course of such wicked habits - who would think of such a thing - she could not go to pot homes4 to sym[pathi]se with him and his pot companions4 - nor to the resort of common women to restrain him she says she saw him on Thursday - when he was much as he was the week before - the then sm [symptoms?] was subsided - his legs and hands were not so swelled - but are very much discoloured - not broken out - that he could not turn in his bed - his medical attendant told her he did not think it likely he would recover - if he did - it would be long first - he had bad symptoms - now I am afraid to hide all this from Harriet - for fear he should die - she would be more hurt yet not to know it before hand perhaps and she might like to see him - and would blame me - and then it would be too late - I could not undo what I had done and as she is so unwell and so nervous I think it will be more than she can bear - if E[dward]5 - comes to you let him know this - I have kept the letters and the copies of mine
Page 4
poor Capt Hunt is now dead - I have begged for money for their two sad living men O that God may have softened their erring hearts and have forgiven - pray don't let this letter lay about - everyone ought not to see it - I wish E[dwar]d may be with you - we - Father and I are tolerably well - not very well the heat don't agree with me - my stomach and cough annoys me - I take Mr Hagan's pills - but I am fast to have the pain - I don't touch any vegetable or fruit of any kind - F is delicate in eating his tooth troublesome - the Commissioners have ordered the Packets to be sent up tomorrow - they have put F - thinks 30 tons weight on board her Lady Nepean by their Lordships orders all the Packet guns - and balls and carriages are all put on board of her - F was afraid her decks would fall in and her bottom be driveout - but she still floats. I would not have anybody belonging to me go up in her - I pray God nobody may be drowned if her bottom does come out W[illiam] - says it won't hurt him - I hope not how stupid it must be to put all in one Vessel - and she was so fall of her own ballace and tackling etc etc - remember us kindly to Ambrose I pray God to be with you and bless and keep you all for ever and ever - you know Capt Moon is appointed - he has arrived at his place and part of his family - the rest are going - his twins are dead [deced?]
your Aff Mother
H Liveing

Top of front page
Ann was loath to leave us - my new maid is neat and good-looking and appears modest - but I fear she has no who-rah in her - she did not come till Friday I don't think she can stir faster than I do - O dear
Remember me to Mrs Ambrose - I hope you will be able to read what I have written it has made my eyes feel uncomfortable writing so small and close
1. Julia Ambrose, Harriet Liveing Snr's daughter
2. Mrs Goodwin, Robert Fenn's sister Elizabeth
3. Edward Betts, in 1826 left Harriet 2000
4. Possibly an ale house or from "flesh pots" places providing luxurious or hedonistic living.
5. Dr Edward Liveing, Harriet Liveing Snr's son

November 2017
And still more revelation on Robert Fenn.
A letter from his Gt Niece Isabella Cotes nee Fenn, reveals the patronising and shamed attitude towards Robert 100yrs later!
Liveing Archive.
248a Isabella D Cotes 6, to Edward H T Liveing 445 25th Aug 1922, Page 1 of 2

Beaufort Road,
25 August 1922.
Dear Edward,
I am going to ask you a favour and hope you will grant it, and that is not to tell Adria Fenn1 about the doings of her great grandfather, curiosity would interest her and I expect she would like to tell the tit-bits to her half-brothers etc.
I think the poor black sheep after all these years might be left in peace, when I think of the loyalty of my Grand Mother, father, and Uncle Robert who never mentioned him to us. I knew he was a fast man2, but am afraid hard-drinking was a very common vice a century or so ago3 - you must remember you only knew of him from letters which were not meant for our eyes4, and I feel sorry your father did not burn them. I am sure my brother Edward5 would have felt with me and much preferred that his children should not be told about the poor man and that we ought to be as loyal as our ancestors. The family has not inherited his vices, I am sure my father and Uncle were the best of sons and it has always been a pleasure
(Page 2)
to me to remember that just before my mother died she said to me "none of my boys have ever given me a moment's anxiety".
My father had always the greatest affection and admiration for your Grandfather and all his family, who were always held up as models to us when we were children and we never hated them for it! But I think continued the admiration.
When I was staying with Uncle Henry6 at Tansor on my return from India he told me that my grandfather was a handsome and fast man, but that was all, and that my grandmother was a great fidget7 which I knew to have been the case, it was her nature and we all have our weak points.
I am the only old person left in our family now, and I felt I must write.
I am very glad to hear such a good account of your Uncle George8, he really is a wonder! Did you ever get over to Nayland to find out the things you wanted to know? I hope the old family Bible is Safe I wrote to Charlie9 about it. My memory gets worse and worse. I hope your wife is well, I saw her once at I.G.S. Adria seems to have enjoyed her day with you both very much we are staying here till the end of next month and then hope to return to our old rooms for the winter.
21 Westby Road

Yr affect Cousin
Isabella D Cotes
Don't tell Adria I have written to you about the poor black sheep

1. Adria Fenn was Isabella's niece
2. A man or woman who is quick to engage in sexual activities. (The Urban Dictionary 2017)
3. The Age of Scandal
4. Letters by Harriet Liveing Snr discovered in the 1880's, in a secret desk drawer.

5. Dr Edward Liveing Fenn
6. Rev Henry Thomas Liveing Rector of Tansor Northants.
7. Make small movements, especially of the hands and feet, through nervousness or impatience.
8. Professor George Downing Liveing.
9. Dr Charles Edward Fenn.

More details on Robert Fenn:

Records from the Muster Rolls of The 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry, of those noted to be available for muster 1815 to 1822:-
Robt. FENN of Coddenham enrolled 1813

Name - Robert FENN, Gent
Rank - Ensign
Corp - Bosmere & Claydon Volunteer Infantry
Date of Commission - 19 May 1807
When Delivered - [this column entry is annotated for 7 men including Robert, all commissioned and sent on the same dates, and the wording looks like - delivered to Sir M Middleton Bart., at the Ipswich July Sessions 1807 2-2-0d]
B506/1/1 List of Commissions Suffolk Volunteer Yeomanry 1804 -1825.
Suffolk Record Office 2017

FENN Robt.
Parish - Coddenham
When enrolled - 1813
HA247/5/44 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 14 Apr 1816

Parish - Coddenham
When enrolled - 1813
HA247/5/46 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 08 Dec 1816

Parish - Coddenham
When enrolled - 1813
HA247/5/70 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 12 Aug 1818

Copy of certificate delivered unto Mr Leggatt respecting exemption from the Horse Tax", contains an entry for FENN, Robert of Coddenham.
HA247/5/80 List of Regimental Members 2 Dec 1820

HA247/5/82 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 01 May 1820

Parish - Coddenham
When enrolled - 1813
HA247/5/83 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 12 Aug 1820

Parish - Coddenham
When enrolled - 1813
HA247/5/84 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 14 Dec 1820
Suffolk Record Office 2017

Family Notes by Edward Liveing FRCP 1870.
". . . . . 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 Family Archive

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 Jnr1, M A Enefer2
Marriage Certificate on file
1. Samuel Ward was probably brother of Ellen Stuart nee Ward letter extracts about Harriet below.
2. Mary Ann Enefer a young friend of the Liveing family, died Dec 1813 aged 24.

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.

Letter to Julia Ambrose nee Liveing, Harriet Liveings sister, from Ellen Stuart nee Ward
9 June 1813
. . . . . I am now anxiously expecting to hear of Harriet's wedding, which I judge has taken place I wrote to congratulate her on the approaching event, & sincerely do I wish her much happiness . . . . . do let me hear about Mr F [enn] and Harriet I will not call him round face now, & when I see him shall shake hands with him, with pleasure & wish him joy that he has had courage to give the young man in the country, an example of marrying, for there were a great many of them, that I think would . . . . . wiser if they would marry, & content themselves? with domestic pleasures, rather than gatting about to see every diversion which happens near them . . . . . "

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] ?)

A Alston Fenn writes 12 Dec 1961 to H L Fenn ". . . . . 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 . . . . ."

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 Geo Goodwin (probably his brother-in-law) for the last two quarters. (Ref SRO FB37/G1/3)

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.

Letter to Julia Ambrose nee Liveing, Harriet Liveings sister, from Ellen Stuart nee Ward
26 Jan 1818
". . . . . I suppose your Sister yet remains at Coddenham I heard from some one (Susan Cope I believe) that she had rooms at Mrs Reeves but wether (sic) the farm is let, or they have finally left it I am ignorant . . . . ."

The researcher considered (2002) that Robert and Harriet may have been unable to continue at Valley Farm 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.
In 2017 in a letter dated 1833, Roberts mother-in-law, reveals details, at least from her view, around the end of Robert & Harriets marriage, no financial support for Robert from the Liveing's to continue his lifestyle would have been considered.
It is then most likely that given very difficult farming conditions at the start of the 19th C and that perhaps Robert was not the farmer his father was, he just quit.

It is not known when Robert turned to teaching, his sister Elizabeth mentions above (1833) that he had a school at Haughley (Harleigh).

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.
G Brown

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

In 1836 Roberts father-in-law Thomas Liveing died, the Fenn family (Harriet and Roberts 2 sons) were mentioned as follows:
Provided always that with respect to the share of my daughter Harriet the wife of Robert Fenn I order and direct that the same shall be placed out at interest in the names of the said Edward Liveing and Charles Liveing and the prooceeds thereof be paid into the hands of my said daughter Harriet Fenn for her own sole or separate use for the term of her natural life. . . . . . "that those same or any part thereof may not be at the disposal of or subject or liable to the control debts or engagements of her present or any after taken husband but only at her own sole and separate disposal" . . . . .
At Harriets death:
Thereafter I give and bequeath the principle monies aforesaid to be divided between the children of my daughter Harriet, at age twenty one, equally share and share alike.

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 SRO.

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.

The affliction described in these death notices was almost certainly that described in 1833 as "rheumatism and that his legs were in a bad state and it was thought he would not get the better of"

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 describe 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 2 Oct 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.

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 . . . . .

Notes from researcher, Y Massingham, of the Suffolk Record Office - 2017
HA247/5/86 List of Cavalry Members 1st Regiment 06 Mar 1822
The original records that we hold for the Suffolk Yeomanry, Militia and other volunteer forces are held across the 3 separate Suffolk Record Offices, and are not held in one location. In general, items relating to the west of the county are held at Bury Record Office, north of the county are held at Lowestoft Record Office, with central and Ipswich records here at Ipswich Record Office.
However, your notes indicate that Robert FENN had close connections to the parish of Coddenham which falls under Ipswich Record Office collecting area so I looked for yeomanry, militia, and volunteer force records that are held here.

A large amount of promising material is contained within the Edgar Family Papers under collection reference HA247. Lieutenant-Colonel Edgar was at one time the commander of the 1st Regiment Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry, and documents under reference HA247/5, concern his Public Office duties.

However, a further catalogue search revealed a promising document B/506/1/1 List of Commissions Suffolk Volunteer Yeomanry 1804 -1825, within the Collection of the Suffolk Quarter Sessions, so I began with this, and can confirm the following entry:-

Searched also were B/505/1/2 List of Commissions Local Militia1809 - 1818, and B/505/1/3 List of Commissions West Suffolk Militia, East Suffolk Militia, Yeomanry Suffolk, Deputy Lieutenants 1844 - 1847, also from the Suffolk Quarter Sessions collection, no entries for Robert FENN.

Turning to the Edgar Family papers, HA247/5/41 Copy Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 14 Apr 1815. The document title states "To his Grace the Duke of Grafton his majesty's Lieutenant of the County of Suffolk, Muster Roll of the First Regiment Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry Commanded by Lieutenant-Col. Edgar".
Under the entries for "Effectives", were the following entries:-
FENN Robt.
Parish - Barham
When enrolled - 1813
HA247/5/42 Copy Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 14 Aug 1815, I can confirm the following entry:-
FENN Robt.
Parish - Barham
When enrolled - 1813
In HA247/5/45 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 14 Aug 1816 I can confirm the following entry:-
FENN Robt.
Parish - Barham
When enrolled - 1813
Is this Robert of Barham husband of Harriet ?
B/506/1/1 List of Commissions Suffolk Volunteer Yeomanry 1804 -1825
B/505/1/2 List of Commissions Local Militia1809 - 1818
B/505/1/3 List of Commissions West Suffolk Militia, East Suffolk Militia, Yeomanry Suffolk, Deputy Lieutenants 1844 - 1847
HA24:50/19/4/4/6 Papers Relating to Local Defence Bosmere 1794 - 1830
HA247/5/41 Copy Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 14 Apr 1815
HA247/5/42 Copy Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 14 Aug 1815
HA247/5/44 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 14 Apr 1816
HA247/5/45 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 14 Aug 1816
HA247/5/46 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 08 Dec 1816
HA247/5/70 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 12 Aug 1818
HA247/5/80 List of Regimental Members 2 Dec 1820
HA247/5/82 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 01 May 1820
HA247/5/83 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 12 Aug 1820
HA247/5/84 Muster Roll 1st Regiment Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry Cavalry 14 Dec 1820
Whilst the sub-section HA247/5 of Collection HA247, contains 115 separate documents, some are too early, or too late in date to reasonably hold any mention of Robert 1785 - 1844. However, I chose those with most potential for listing named individuals for this search. The details set out above for each potentially relevant FENN entry is as found, and took three hours to research. However, you may wish to order further paid research of original documents we hold here to extend the family details, or to confirm entries found via the internet.
Suffolk Archives Ipswich Jun 2017

Also searched by Suffolk Archives Ipswich 2017:
HD80/3/1 'An account of the cause and institution of the Yeomanry in Suffolk with Minutes of the 2nd Troop by Cornelius Collett of Woodbridge 1794 - 1803 relates to the 2nd Troop in Woodbridge, no mention of a Fenn
HA247/5/34 Return of the 1st Regiment of Loyal Suffolk Yeomanry commanded by Milson Edgar 14 April 1815, a single page setting out the numbers or strength of the 1st Regiment in a table/grid format with no named individuals.

Document HA247/5/86 List of Cavalry Members 1st Regiment 06 Mar 1822, lists the members of this cavalry regiment at this date, and called to muster at Scole Inn (a village close to Diss on the Norfolk/Suffolk border). Whilst the surname FENN is noted, the initial is certainly an 'S' not an 'R'.)
Suffolk Record Office 2017 (Probably not Robert Fenn of Coddenham [198])

The Suffolk Record Office Ipswich in 2017 searched for any record of Robert or Elizabeth Fenn in Haughley SFK, and Robert in Crowfield. They reported difficulty finding school records before 1850, References to documents held relating to Haughley School Collection have a start date of 1869. For Haughley Crawford CEVCP School Collection the start date is 1871.
The following was searched without success:
FB220/M/1/1 Papers mainly relating to the Ward and Crawford charities and Charity School 1853 to 1948.
HA24:50/19/4/5/20 Papers relating to schools 1759 - 1889 (part of the Bacon Longe Family Archive), it includes reference to charity within Crowfield.
However Fenn's were mentioned on a Valuation List the basis to pay Poor Relief, as:
Valuation List 2nd August 1799
Fenn, Robt.
Valuation 31.10
Coddenham Suffolk Valuations 1797 - 1801
Simon Fenn 110

Also searched FB37/L2/1 Mendlesham Farm - Lady Catherine Gardemau Charity for Coddenham School - Account Book 1754 -1846, which is in a detailed ledger format setting out the disbursements etc for the running of the school. No mention of Fenn.

Finally searched was a Collection for Shrubland Hall under the Saumarez Family Archive Collection reference HA93. This holds over 13,000 separate entries.
Files concerning education searched without success were HA93/6/9, HA93/6/9/1, HA93/6/9/2, HA93/6/9/3, HA93/6/9/4.
Ref: K Massingham Suffolk Record Office Ipswich.

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.

Early in the reasearch into Robert Fenn [198] there was much confusion with Robert Fenn 1787-1825 [4529].
It is however proven that it is (a cousin of Robert [198]), Robert Fenn 1787 - 1825 [4529] 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.

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 <>

Original Will of Robert Fenn of Soham
IC/500/1/287/83 1833 Suffolk Record Office Bury St Edmunds Branch
Was this perhaps the Will of Capt Robert Fenn [198] ?
The Ipswich Record Office advise in 2017:
IC/500/1/287/83 Original Will of Robert FENN of Soham, has been looked out by colleagues at our Bury St Edmunds Record Office (where the original document is held) and can confirm the following details listed therein:-
Wife - Sarah, who receives 'all & every household goods & furniture, plate, linen & china for her use absolutely'.
Good friends Anthony Fenn of Fordham in Cambridgeshire, and William Chives
Children - John Fenn, son, Eliza, and Hephizibah, daughters
Ref: Y Massingham IRO


bullet  Other Records

1. Robert Fenn: Assignment of Valley Farm, 27 Aug 1807, Coddenham SFK. Mr Wenn

August 27 1807.

Dear Sir,
I herewith send you the Lease for late Simon Fenn's Farm, which I should wish to be attended as I lately mentioned to you, as to his son Robert Fenn, to take the place from last Michaelas.
Except the mere alteration of the name & the clause for the life of S Fenn, everything else may remain.
I yesterday saw Sir Wm Middleton1 and had a good deal of conversation with him in the different subjects at present in dispute between us . . . . . The remainder of the letter outlines these and Longe finishes as . . . . . therefore however unwilling I fear nothing but the Law will rescue me from being continually encroached by such an overbearing neighbour.
I am Dear Sir
Your faithfully
J Longe
IRO Ref. HA24/50/19/3.21
1. Middleton lived at Shrubland Hall.

2. Robert & Harriets: Marriage Bond, 18 May 1813.

3. Census: England, 7 Jun 1841, Crowfield Suffolk.
Records Robert Fenn aged 50 a School Master born Suffolk.

Note: In the 1841 census, the age of persons over 15 was supposed to be rounded down to the nearest multiple of 5. For example, a person aged 19 would be listed as 15, a person aged 22 would be listed as age 20, and a person age 59 would be listed as 55.
Therefore if Robert gave his age as 54? it would have been rounded down to 50.
At the marriage of his son Thomas he was named as "of Crowfield".


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,1 year certified.

Copyright © and all rights reserved to Edward Liveing Fenn and all other contributors of personal data. No personal data to be used without attribution or for commercial purposes. Interested persons who wish to share this data are welcome to contact to arrange same and be given the details.

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