|Elizabeth Tucker Budd with her six oldest children.|
Elizabeth was born in Dolton, Devon in 1836, the daughter of John Budd and Eleanor Southcombe Tucker. In the summer of 1864, she married Henry Smith, a mason, the son of Thomas Smith and Mary Field Bulleid. The following year their daughter Pollie was born, followed by my great-grandmother Edith in 1868, Fannie in 1868, and Kate in 1872.
In 1873, Henry and Elizabeth emigrated to Canada with their four daughters, and settled in Usborne Township in Huron Country, Ontario. Six children later they moved out west, first to Brandon, Manitoba, and then to Hamiota, Manitoba.
When they emigrated, Elizabeth left behind most of her relatives, including her father, two brothers, and several uncles.
|1849 Map of the Brightleys|
showing the location of Dolton Mill
In 1873, Elizabeth's cousin William Budd (1846-1922) was the miller. William had trained as a miller with his uncle Robert Budd (1813-1871), and had taken over when his uncle had died childless. Robert had inherited the mill on the death of his father (Elizabeth's grandfather) John Budd in 1834, who in turn had inherited the mill from Elizabeth's great-grandfather, also named John in 1809.
Elizabeth's great-great-grandfather, Richard Budd, may had been the miller for over sixty years when he died in 1786. Richard Budd does not appear to have been born in Dolton. Recorded in the register of the nearby parish of Peters Marland, however, is a Richard, son of Richard Budd, Miller, and Catherine, born in December of 1705 and baptised the following month.
The evidence suggests that Richard Budd came with his parent to Dolton some time before 1723. His father, "Richard Budd of Dolton" appears on the 1723 Oath Rolls and was buried the following year in November. His mother was buried five months later. Richard married Joan Ley (1703-1796) in 1728 and the first of their seven children was born a year later.
In 1761 Richard Budd purchased Woolridge from John Lethbridge of Pilton. In the 1798 Tax Assessment, the property is listed as owned and occupied by his son, John. Woolridge Farmhouse is Grade II listed and dates from the early 17th century. It has plastered cob walls and a thatched roof.
For most of the 18th century, the manor of Dolton, including the mill, had been owned by the Cleveland family. In 1805, John Cleveland sold of most of his Dolton holdings. Higher Langham and South Woodtown were purchased by John Budd, but it is not clear whether this was the father or the son. When Dolton Mill was purchased is also not clear as the mill does not appear in the list of estates for sale published in Trewman's Exeter Flying Post.
|Dolton Mill House, Dolton, Devon|
The miller's house is built of rendered stone and has three separate open fireplaces. The house has not been lived in for many years and has partially collapsed. It was recently sold at auction along with the ruins of the old mill.
|Ruins of the New Mill|
When John Budd died in 1834, Higher Langham went to his wife Margery and after her death to their son, Frederick. South Woodtown went to Rowland Budd, while Woolridge went to Elizabeth's father, John Budd.
Elizabeth's father, however, did not live at Woolridge, choosing instead to lease nearby Lower Brightly. Higher and Lower Brightley had been purchased by Thomas Owen in 1805. Lower Brightley is a Grade II listed farmhouse dating from the late 15th century but rebuilt with additions in the 17th century and 19th century. The house is of plastered cob and stone and was thought to have been originally built as an open hall house with a central hearth.
|Lower Brightley, Dolton, Devon, England|
Sadly, Eleanor Southcombe Tucker died in 1842, possibly of tuberculosis, leaving John a widower for three small children. Her epitaph reads:
|Eleanor Southcombe Budd|
Through months and years in pain and tears
Through troubled paths I trod
My Saviour's voice bid me rejoice
And put my trust in God.
Where John Budd was in 1861 is a mystery. All three of his children were living with their uncle Robert at Dolton Mills, while another family occupied Lower Brightly. It is possible that John was in prison for debt.
An intriquing clue as to what may have happened is contained in a letter from John Budd's granddaughter Fanny to her nephew Clarence Sadler:
Grandfer Budd owned his own Estate "Lower and Higher Brightly" pretty name. Grandfer followed the Hounds at too great a rate and lost it all.
Exeter and Plymouth Gazette,
27 Mar 1852
By 1871, John Budd was a porter at the Union Workhouse in Great Torrington. In 1881 he was a gardener living in Great Torrington, and in 1891, he was inmate at the Union Workhouse where in died in early June.
According to his obituary in the Bible Christian Magazine, Elizabeth's brother, William Tucker Budd, moved to Exeter when he was 26. He married in 1864 and had two children before his death in 1870.
William and Elizabeth's brother John was raised and trained as a miller by his uncle Robert Budd. He moved to Stroud, Gloucestershire about 1865. John married three times but had no children. After his death in 1892, his third wife Adelaide married three more times before her death in 1940 at the age of 88.
After Henry Smith's death in 1903, Elizabeth's granddaughter Myrtle often kept her grandmother company and would "talk about all the things of Devon." In a letter to her cousin Clarence Sadler she writes:
Grandmother Smith was raised on her father's farm. Her father had a housekeeper, also help in the farm yard, kept sheep & a good many fowl. She really had to bring herself up. She was fond of her father, who seemed to be a jolly man. I believe he lost his farms. Grandmother went to a young ladies private school. Some years later she became ill after taking a chill. The Doctor advised she go to Portsmouth. She did and regained her health then worked for a time in a store then returned home to Devon [and] later married Grandfather Smith.
A 1958 article in the London Free Press describes the collar:
The lace ... is five inches wide and fashioned in the T-square shape popular in 17th century England. The design is intricate, bearing carefully-worked crowns, roses and plumes in a stylized pattern that repeats at intervals of about a foot. Lettering on the ground read "Carolus" and "Vive Le Rex Roy" on one angle of the "T"; coronets on the other read "C. B. Baronet" and C 1661 B."The London Free Press article, which was likely written by one of Elizabeth's many granddaughters, goes on to claim that Elizabeth "as a young girl was employed in a royal household" and the lace collar "was given her to her in appreciation of her service."
This claim was disputed in Fanny Smith's letter to Clarence Sadler written a few months after the London Free Press article.
Mother never worked in any Royal Household. She left home and went to the Isle of Wight to work in a store of some kind. The owner of the store bought a bag from a woman who worked in one of the Castles. They were allowed to take anything that was discarded. The piece of lace was in the bag. Either the man gave it to Mother, or she bought it.It is not difficult to understand how a flat lace collar from the 17th century would lead to a myth about domestic service in a royal household.
Elizabeth Tucker Budd died in Hamiota, Manitoba on February 12, 1927.
Dave Dingley, Partners in Time: The History of Dolton & Dowland, 2011
National Heritage List for England
"Fragile Lace is Link between Ilderton and Royalty," London Free Press, May 17, 1958.