Bygone Felmersham and Radwell
very readable and
well produced book.”
"a work of commendable scholarship written in plain English
"Thank you - I have greatly enjoyed it"
"If I were an inhabitant or
lived in the area I would want to own this book
and use it well."
Robin Stains, British Association for Local History
A Bellarmine witch
found in the parish
From ring ditches in Radwell to a witch
bottle in Felmersham; from a 13C Italian mathematician to a medieval chapel in Radwell;
medieval wall paintings,
a ceremonial bucket
and murder most foul; this book is a comprehensive account of
the history of Felmersham parish.
Contains over a hundred illustrations
with 28 in colour.
Includes original research and fieldwork.
Hardback cover – 212 pages
Milton Ernest Garden Centre,
and locally from the author.
Orders by post,
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cost of £12.30
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the subject line (using upper case): FELMERSHAM HISTORY
Page from Arpin's
Felmersham - The History of a
Edward Arpin’s Felmersham, 1756 to 1836
We all perhaps wish we had kept a diary but in
reality very few of us do. Yes, we record appointments and dates but
most people tend not to do a “Samuel Pepys”. Very few of us actually
record the everyday events happening around us year after year. One
such person who did was Edward Arpin, and he kept his diary over an
eighteen year period from 1813 to 1831, together with previously
made notes and recollections dating back to 1780.
For us the Edward Arpin story begins circa 1929 when Mrs Marshall,
of Sherington, was dusting an old book and some yellow papers,
covered in faded writing, fell out. Fortunately Mrs Marshall brought
this discovery to the notice of Mr Robertson Scott, Editor of The
Countryman, who realised the importance of the documents and
published them in The Countryman under the heading “A
Grave-Digger’s Diary: 1814-1831”.
In fact Edward Arpin was not a gravedigger per se but an
agricultural worker who also happened to dig graves when necessary.
However, a more interesting and important feature of his life was
that he was asstant [parish] Clark 14 years to Richard Wills
and in 1823 he became parish clerk until 1834(?). This puts Arpin
into a unique social class because not only was he literate, which
was unusual for a farm worker of that time but he was also a public
servant. It is this wider experience of life combined with his
ability to read and write, which make his diaries so interesting.
His writings are not diaries in the accepted sense as they are
simply dated notes on scraps of paper. Again this adds to the
interest, because here was