May 1, 2012


Burlingham Rudd of Norfolk, England


~ Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors - Ralph Waldo Emerson ~


The area known today as Norfolk was a pre-Roman settlement with camps along the high ground to the west where flints were quarried. An ancient Celtic tribe of Eastern Britain known as the Iceni inhabited this area from the first century BC to the end of the first century AD. Sometime between 43 and 45 AD, Prasutagus, King of the Iceni, married Boudicca. Her ancestry is not known, she may have been from one of the numerous tribes that lived on the island. As the Roman Emperor Claudius was conquering large parts of Britain, Prasutagus remained passive and attempted to avoid conflict by becoming his patron. That forced the Iceni into a subservient role, but did allow the tribe to remain relatively secure. When Prasutagus died, he left his kingdom to be shared by his two daughters and the new Roman emperor, Nero. But Roman law did not allow for royal inheritance to be passed to daughters and co-ownership with a woman was not acceptable. Prasutagus’ kinsmen were enslaved by Nero; Boudicca was flogged and forced to watch the public torture and rape of her two young daughters. After years of suffering under Roman taxation, being driven off their lands, and being taken as prisoners and slaves, the indigenous tribes joined together under Boudicca in a rebellion in 60 AD. The natives fought a guerilla type war, but the Romans were better equipped and they defeated the Iceni and drove them into what we know today as Scotland and Ireland. It is believed that after the battle, Boudicca took her own life to prevent the Romans taking her prisoner.

Then came the Roman era; ports were established, roads were built and agriculture became an economic base. Since Norfolk was situated on the east coast and vulnerable to invasions from Scandinavia and northern Europe, the Romans built forts to defend the coast. After the Romans left the area in the early 5th century, those left behind became known as Britons. They were vulnerable to raids by the Scots and Picts so they sought the assistance of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes from across the North Sea about 446 AD. The Franks and the Frisians eventually joined them. The Angles came from the area of western Germany that is modern-day Denmark, the Saxons were from northern Germany, the Jutes are believed to have come from the Jutland Peninsula, the Franks and Frisians were from the low counties and north-western Germany.

This coalition decided they liked the land and turned against the Britons who they called “wealas”, which meant foreigner, and drove them to the west where they became the Welsh. About the year 520 AD, more Angles migrated from across the North Sea and settled in the eastern area of the island. They began to refer to themselves as the “north folk” and the “south folk” which gave name to Norfolk and Suffolk. Eventually a kingdom grew; it is believed to have been ruled by Wehha Wilhelming who died about 571 AD and passed the kingdom to his son, Wuffa. This succession led to the creation of the ancient Kingdom of East Angles by 575 AD and they named it for their homeland, Angeln. His descendants became known as the Wufflings, or wolf-people. It is speculated that it was here in East Anglia that the poem Beowulf was composed in the seventh century as it mentions all the tribes that crossed the sea and came to this area. By 653 AD, the kingdom had passed to King Anna/Onna. His daughter, Etheldreda, married Tondberct, chief or prince of the South Gyrvians (fenmen) which added the Isle of Ely (pronounced to rhyme with mealy) to the Kingdom. Etheldreda maintained her vow of virginity and founded the monastery at Ely in 673 AD. Anglen ultimately gave name to England. The East Angles spoke an Old English dialect and it was here that English was first spoken anywhere in the world.

The Angles and Saxons gave name to the Anglo-Saxon people of England. Over the course of about 150 years most of southern Briton was under their domain and they set about dividing it up into states. East Angles was one of the seven Anglo-Saxon heptarchs (kingdoms) until about the ninth century. In the year 869 AD, Danish Vikings crossed the sea and invaded the kingdom. They killed King Edmund who became the Martyred Saint Edmund. The Danes took control of the kingdom and gave it the name East Anglia.

About fifty years later, in 920 AD, the Anglo-Saxons retook the kingdom from the Danes. They lost it again about 1015 AD when it was conquered by Canute the Great of Denmark. This brought the crowns of England, Denmark, Norway and parts of Sweden together. Canute the Great gave East Anglia as a fiefdom to Thorkell the Tall who became the Jarl of East Anglia. By 1021 AD, Canute and Thorkell had a falling out. Thorkell was outlawed but later pardoned in 1023 AD. However, it seems that after this date Thorkell’s whereabouts are unsure.

After the death of Canute the Great’s successor, Harthacnut, in 1042 AD, the native English dynasty was restored with King Edward the Confessor. East Anglia became an earldom that was passed between the male heirs of two families, one of which was the husband of Lady Godiva.

The Battle of Hastings in 1066 AD brought about the Norman Conquest and the reign of William the Conqueror as William I. He gave East Anglia to Ralph the Staller, who is said to have been born in Norfolk, and he passed the title of Earl of East Anglia to his son, Ralph the Gauder, who lost it in 1075 AD because of his participation in the Revolt of the Earls against William the Conqueror. This resulted in Ralph the Gauder having to flee to Brittney. His estates were confiscated and given to Sir Roger Bigod, loyal Knight of William I. His second son, Hugh Bigod, succeeded him and became the 1st Earl of Norfolk.

In 1154, the Norman Dynasty ended and brought the first king of the House of Plantagenet to the throne of England with Henry II. As far as invasions were concerned, things began to settle down for East Anglia. The Domesday Book survey records East Anglia as the most densely populated part of the British Isle at the time. Throughout the Middle Ages agriculture and wool became the base of the economy and the area prospered in spite of continued plagues that killed large percentages of the population and fires that repeatedly destroyed the capital city, Norwich. More than one thousand mediaeval churches were built in Norfolk alone, more than in all the rest of Great Britain.

In the mid-1500s inflation was extensive, unemployment was rising and civil unrest spread throughout England. The upper-class began to enclose the common lands that were used by the lower-class to graze their sheep. This led to full scale revolts across England and the most intense was in Norfolk in 1549 known as Kett’s Rebellion, led by Robert Kett. The rebels eventually seized control of Norwich and it took about 14,000 men under the Earl of Warwick to break the rebellion. Robert Kett was captured, tried and hung at Norwich Castle. When it was over, about 4,000 people were dead.

By the 16th century, Norwich was England’s second largest city but in economic decline. The need to boost the textile industry brought about the invitation of Protestant refugees fleeing religious persecution from the Spanish controlled Netherlands (Holland and Belgium) in 1565. They brought with them the manufacture of leather and weaving of wool into cloth for export. Their skills also contributed to the draining of much of the fens and reclaiming of the land which led to reforms in agriculture. By 1700, the textile industry of Norwich stood supreme in Britain and Europe. The city’s population was about 25,000. During the 18th century, Norfolk was one of the wealthiest and most densely populated counties of Britain with over 700 rural parishes, 1,500 manors, one of the largest cities at Norwich and two major sea ports, King’s Lynn to the west and Great Yarmouth to the east, brought prosperity to the county, particularly through the export of wool cloth.

However, in the early 1800s, the introduction of coal and steam as sources of energy created competition for the textile industry and the economy began to collapse once again. This combined with an agricultural crisis which affected the whole of Britain. The countryside began to depopulate as people migrated towards the cities. By the mid-1800s, about twenty percent of Norwich’s population was classified as paupers and it had one of the highest mortality rates in all of Britain.
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1636 – 1728

Burlingham Rudd was from the town of Holt, located in north Norfolk, not far from the coast of the North Sea. The town is believed to have derived its name from the Anglo-Saxon word for woodland and lies on wooded high ground of the Cromer-Holt ridge at the intersection of two ancient roads which would be a natural location for a settlement to grow.

In the Domesday Book commissioned by William the Conqueror in December 1085, the entry for Holt says:
Holt: King's land; Earl Hugh from the king. 5 mills, market. 140 sheep. Small market town. The church has a Norman font bowl.
In 1808, Francis Blomefield published “An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk” which contains a description of the towns, villages, hamlets, manors and religious buildings across the county. He documented the evidence of both Anglo-Saxon and Norman founding of towns and villages, as well as, the chain of transfer of land through inheritance and purchase. In volume 9, pp. 394-400, he included a description of the Holt settlement, the amenities, as well as, the annual dues paid to William the Conqueror. He tells us that prior to the Conqueror, Holt and the larger area belonged to eight freemen under the reign of Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) and at the time of the survey by the Conqueror it belonged to Walter Giffard, the Earl of Bucks. Then it was given under the protection of Earl Hugh, the Earl of Chester, to the De Vallibus or Vaux family as a lordship. After that it was given to the Earl of Albemarle, and eventually it made its way through marriage and inheritance to James Hobart, Esquire, who gave it to his son, Edmund. When Edmund died in 1666, it went to his daughter, Hannah, who married Dr. William Briggs, a physician, in ordinary to King William III.

According to the transcription of Burlingham’s baptismal record, he was baptized on August 7, 1706 at St. Andrew Church in Holt. However, a look at the parish register book seems to indicate on the left-hand side that the year was 1707, not 1706, but I’m not the transcriber. His father’s name was Gualterus Rudd, which translates from Latin as Walter.

The transcription of his marriage record lists his name as Walterum Rudd of Skaring (sic) and he married Annam Pricard of Holt. The parish register list their marriage as November 2, 1703 in Holt at St. Andrews Church.

The baptismal records for the children of Walter Rudd and wife, Anna begin with a daughter, Dorothy, baptized on January 16, 1704 in Scarning.

Then came Burlingham on August 7, 1706 in Holt, but as I mentioned, the parish register seems to say 1707.

Elizabetha, a daughter, was baptized on April 7, 1708 in Holt.

Next came a son, Thomas. But I don’t find a baptismal record for him. I do find a burial record dated July 4, 1710 in Holt. He may have died at birth or before he could be baptized.

Followed by two daughters, Maria on July 28, 1713 in Holt, and Anna on June 8, 1715 in Holt. But there is also a parish record for the burial of Anna Rudd, daughter of Gualterus and Anna, on June 27, 1720 and it looks to me like it says infant after her name, so there may have been another daughter born last who died as an infant. However, according to the laws at the time, minor children were referred to as infants and this entry may be the first Anna who may have died soon after her fifth birthday.

Then a son, Gaulterus, named after his father was baptized on October 28, 1716, and buried on October 31, 1716 in Holt.

Based on these records, Burlingham had four, perhaps five, sisters and two brothers. The brothers appear to have died as infants, leaving him as not only the first born son, but also, the only son to live past infancy.

Walter was from Scarning and Anna was from Holt. They married in Holt, but began their life together in Scarning. After the first child, Dorothy, was born they relocated to Holt, which was probably Anna’s hometown, by the time Burlingham was born.
I don’t find a record of Walter’s death, but I do find a burial record for Anne Rud in Holt on September 3, 1731. My guess is this was Burlingham’s mother. There doesn’t appear to be another Rudd family in Holt at this time. Because she is not identified as the wife of Gualterus or Walter Rudd on this record, it seems to indicate that by that time he had died. Could be that everyone, but Burlingham, is buried in the graveyard of St. Andrews Church in Holt.

Walter Rudd’s father was Thomas Rudd and his mother was named Catharinae (maiden name unknown). A marriage record for them has not been found, but the baptismal records for their children do include their names. The parish register for West Dereham, where it appears they were likely married and gave birth to their children, is in poor condition. Luckily, some of the entries were legible enough to be indexed and those pages of the parish register are available. There are eight children identified. Among their children is the name Gaulterus, which fortunate for us, appears to not have been a common name for the time period and makes the family all the more identifiable.

First born was Thomas, baptized on December 20, 1668.

Next came Edwardus, baptized on August 13, 1671. He died when he was almost nine years old and was buried on April 11, 1680.

Then, Susanna was baptized on May 24, 1674. She had just turned five years old when she died and was buried on May 27, 1679.

Followed by Johannes baptized on February 24, 1675, who died nine days later on March 4, 1675.

They named a second son Johannes who was baptized on September 30, 1677. He was about two and a half years old when he was buried on February 5, 1680.

The next child was Hammondus, baptized on August 12 or 21, 1680, who is listed twice in the parish register. It looks like they were uncertain of the day and recorded both dates because he died and was buried on August 21, 1680. It appears that he either lived about nine days or he died at birth.

Then, Gualterus, our Walter, was baptized on February 17, 1681.

The last child appears to have been Maria, baptized on November 15, 1683.

I do not find a baptismal record for Thomas Rudd, Burlingham’s grandfather. But the evidence suggests that Thomas was born in West Dereham and that is where he married Catharinae because I do find a marriage record in the parish register for Thomas Rudd and Margareta Benard (sic), who look to be his parents.

The transcription of this record states they were married on June 14, 1636. It is difficult to make out Margareta’s surname. Based on the portion of the parish register that has now been transcribed, there does not appear to be another Rudd family in West Dereham. I don’t find a baptismal record for this Thomas Rudd either, however, there does appear to be two possible women who could be our Margareta Benard with a variant surname. One was baptized as Margereta Barnard on September 16, 1604 by parents Henrici and Margerete Barnard. The other was baptized as Margareta Barnard on August 3, 1606 by parents Edmundi and Margarete Barnard. This documents the existence of a Barnard family in West Dereham in early 1600 and it’s likely one of these is our Margareta. Then there is a record for burial of Margareta Bernard on October 25, 1633. It’s not our Margareta, it could be the other Margareta. It seems Henrici and Edmundi would be Barnard brothers, so perhaps it is the death of their mother or maybe a wife. As I said, there are portions of the West Dereham parish register that are in very poor condition, but it’s notable to me that I find baptism records for a couple of Margareta Barnard entries, but not Thomas Rudd, especially if they were close in age. So we need to consider that Thomas Rudd, Burlingham’s great grandfather, was baptized some where else and was not born in West Dereham.

There is a parish record for Catherine Rudd, wife of Thomas Rudd Sr. buried on October 24, 1704 in Scarning.

This is the grandmother of Burlingham and indicates that at some point the family moved to Scarning from West Dereham which is supported by the fact that the marriage record for her son, Gualterus, our Walter, says he was from Scarning when he married Anna Pricard in 1703. Note too, Thomas and Catherine had four children die within about a year of each other in West Dereham; Edwardus, Susanna, Johannes and Hammondius between May 1679 and August 1680. Their surviving children were Thomas Jr., Walter and Maria.

The Norfolk Record Office database includes two Last Wills in Scarning for Thomas Rudd during our time period. Fortunate for us, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah has the microfilm and Nathan Murphy who is an accredited genealogist at the library has provided us with the images of those Wills. But even more so, Mr. Murphy has abstracted the information for us, which is no easy feat. I challenge you to try it for yourself!

First, Thomas Rudd of Scarning, Norfolk, Yeoman. He was buried on May 3, 1720. His Last Will is dated 1719 and proved in 1720 by his relict, Susan. He named a son Walter Rudd, a daughter Mary Dack, a brother John Rudd and two minor children, George Rudd and Margaret Rudd. He left his widow an annuity.

Thomas and Catherine Rudd had three surviving children. This Last Will named two of them, Walter and Maria. The baptismal records for Scarning include George Rudd baptized on May 2, 1708 as the son of Thomas Rudd, Sr. and wife, Susan. On May 13, 1711, Margaret Rudd was baptized as the daughter of Thomas Rudd, Sr. and wife, Susan. Walter’s mother’s name was Catherine. In 1704, she died in Scarning. A different wife and two minor children indicate a second marriage for Burlingham's grandfather.

Thomas and his first wife, Catherine had a surviving daughter named Maria, the variant name is Mary. On May 12, 1699 Mary Rudd married Francis Dack in Thuxton On January 21, 1701, they baptized a son in Scarning named John.

Also, this Will shows that Thomas Rudd, Sr. had a brother named John Rudd, but remember, we did not find a brother in West Dereham. It might be because of the condition of the records. But the marriage records for Scarning include a John Rudd who married Ann Ring (also listed as King), on December 13, 1678 This is likely the brother of Thomas Sr. and if so, he seems younger since Thomas and Catherine had five children by the time he was married.

Second, Thomas Rudd of Scarning, Norfolk, Yeoman. He was buried on December 30, 1715 His Last Will is dated 1710 and proved in 1715 by his widow, Susan. He left small monetary gifts to his brother Walter, and sister Mary Dack. So this is Thomas Rudd, Jr. from the West Dereham family, the oldest son of Thomas and Catherine. He’s not included in his father’s Last Will because he died five years earlier. The relationship to his kinswoman, Blanchflower, is not clear but the indication is that she was a minor. He did not name any children in his Last Will and it was written about five years before he died at the age of forty-seven years. Perhaps, that is an indication of about the time he married.

From these two Last Wills we find out that Burlingham’s father, Walter, was alive when the grandfather wrote his Last Will in 1719. From the second marriage of his grandfather, Burlingham had a half-uncle named George (Yes, I know George Lounsdell branch cousins, my eyebrows rose too!) who was about one or two years younger than he was. And based on the monetary gifts that were bestowed in grandfather’s Last Will, he was not a poor man for the times.

There is one other Rudd family in Scarning at the same time that Thomas and Catherine Rudd are document there by the name of Hamond Rudd. My best guess is that it is not likely a coincidence that Thomas Rudd had a son named Hammondius, aka Hamond. These two Rudd families are the only Rudd families in the Scarning parish register, so it seems very likely they are somehow related.

There are five children documented in the parish register for Hamond Rudd and his wife, Mary. But there does appear to be one more born first that is not found in the register. A daughter, Sary, baptized on January 10, 1687.

Next was Mary, baptized January 1, 1690.

Then a son, Hammond, baptized on January 9, 1693.

Next was another son, Richard, baptized on August 2, 1699.

Last was Susanna, baptized on July 30, 1699.

Mary married Gregory Blockwell on February 5, 1715, and Susan married Bennet Spencer on September 29, 1720 in Scarning.

Hammond married Bridget Filby on May 24, 1720 in Thuxton. Her family appears to have been from the Thuxton area.

Mr. Murphy at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah provides copies of two Last Wills for Hamond Rudd in Scarning along with the abstracts.

First, the Last Will of Hammond Rudd the Elder of Scarning, who was buried on July 8, 1717.

He left his land in Yaxham to his son, Hamond, and made him his sole Executor. He named three daughters who he gave monetary gifts to; Sarah, Mary and Susan. He also named three grandchildren, Mary Sutton, Margaret Sutton and Rachael Sutton as minors. These are the children of this other daughter, Rachel, whose baptism is not found in the parish register. However, her marriage to John Sutton in 1703 is documented in the parish register. She looks to be the oldest child and perhaps was born in another parish. Hammond doesn’t mention his wife, Mary, because she died in 1713.

Next, the Last Will of Hammond Rudd of Yaxham. He was buried on November 18, 1720.

We see that he moved onto the land that his father left him in Yaxham and left that land with some money to his wife, Bridget. Her father was named as his Executor. He named his sister Susannah Brown, so she had married since their father died. He, too, named the minor Sutton children of his sister, Rachel. Evidence that the responsibility as head of the family as the oldest son had passed to him after his father's death. But he did not name his other sisters, Sarah and Mary, and I don’t find a parish record for what happened to them.

His widow, Bridget, remarried on April 30, 1722 to John Grimmer in Garveston. She was living in the parish of Reymerstone at the time.

These records tell us a sad story. Hammond Rudd, Jr. and Bridget Filby were married in Thuxton on May 24, 1720, about five months later he wrote his Last Will and died about a month later, buried on November 15, 1720, less than six months after marriage. He was twenty-seven years old.

Several of our Rudd family died that year.
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Over the years, there has been much speculation about the source of the name Burlingham, hoping it was a clue to his identity in Norfolk. But I don’t think any of us expected this:


As Francis Blomefield recorded in his essay on the history of Norfolk, Dr. William Briggs became the Lord of the Manor of Holt through his marriage to Hannah Hobart who inherited the land from her father. As entered into the parish register, in 1686 Dr. Briggs introduced to the townsfolk of Holt a new rector for St. Andrews Church named Thomas Burlingham. By the time our Burlingham was born, Thomas Burlingham had held the position of Rector for about twenty years. He died in 1722, so he was in that position for thirty-six years. Our Burlingham Rudd looks like he was the namesake for Thomas Burlingham. But why would Walter name his first born son for the church rector and not a family member? Well, Walter was from Scarning and his wife was from Holt. So his wife, Anna Pricard, had family in Holt and obviously knew the church rector, possibly as long as she had been alive. A search of the name Pricard (and variants) in Holt turned up a burial record for Elizabetha Picard, widow of Thomae (Thomas), with a notation that her husband may have been connected to the clergy. Were the families of P[r]icard and Burlingham connected? Perhaps, this Elizabeth and Thomas Picard, were the parents of Burlingham’s mother, Anna Pricard; they may have been connected through the church, or maybe through marriage. Perhaps, Thomas Burlingham was the godfather of Burlingham, which was the practice then to recruit someone prominent in the community. Or perhaps, it was just the fact that he was the Rector of their Church.
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In December 1721, Burlingham Rudd was indentured to James Gurlington of Swanton as an apprentice butcher. The date December 18 is on the left hand side and the date December 2 is on the right hand side. One date is likely the date of the transaction and the other is likely the date his indenture began. So it appears at about the age of fourteen or fifteen, Burlingham began to learn a trade as a butcher. Knowing now that he was the first-born son and the only son to survive childhood, perhaps the fact that he was apprenticing at this age is an indication that, for whatever the reason, he was not going to inherit any sizable estate from his father. This is an attempt to give him the skills necessary to find gainful employment. The full page of the register can be seen HERE.

There were three Swanton parishes in Norfolk at the time and all of them look like possibilities. Swanton Abbot seems to be the less likely because it was a good distance from Holt. Of the other two, Swanton Novers was located about six miles from Holt and within the boundaries of the Hundred of Holt; Swanton Morley was located near East Dereham in the Hundred of Launditch which included Scarning. Both locations are good possibilities.
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In “The Complete Book of Emigrants in Bondage ~ 1614-1775” by Peter Wilson Coldham, we find on page 692 the entry:
Rudd, Burlingham of Poringland, S s horse Summer 1728 *Nf
Mr. Coldham states in his book that this information was extracted from original records that are held at the Public Record Office in London. Based on the key he provides for the record extracts this translates into; Burlingham Rudd of Poringland was sentenced to transportation for stealing a horse in the summer of 1728 by the Assizes Circuit Court for the County of Norfolk, England. The circuit judges conducted proceedings twice a year. The Norfolk Circuit included Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. The court would likely have sat at Norwich Castle where the county goal was located.

Between May 10 -14, 1728, Lee Warner, Majesties Justice of the Peace, conducted an examination of Burlingham Rudd and witnesses on the charge that he:
feloniously stole a Grey Gelding valued at 30 pounds the goods and Chattels of the said Mary White widow against the peace of the said Lord King, his Crown, and Dignity etc.
Among the witness to the felony was Mr. Thomas Sayar of Gressenhall, farmer, who testified that:
Burlengham Rud of Holt bought .. an Iron Grey Horse to his House in the sd Parish of Gressenhall on Sunday the 12th of this pr[e]sent Month which he offer’d to sell to him and agreed to sell it him with Bridle and Saddle for 37 Shillings, which he thinking too cheap made him Suspect he had Stole him he on Examining the sd Burlengham Rud he pretended he had it of one James Paul of Fakenham upon which he went to ye sd James Paul who said he knew nothing of the Horse, upon which the sd Thomas Sayar secured the said Burlengham Rud.
Mr. Nathaniel Money of Norwich, weaver, testified that it was his mother’s horse:
.. saith that Mary White his Mother of Pawling (sic) in the sd County did on Saturday the 11th Day of this Present Month lose an Iron Gray Horse off of the Common of Pawling (sic) aforesaid and Suspecting that Burlengham Rud of Holt had taken ye same we pursued the said Burlenham Rud to ye Parish of Walsingham Parva where He found the said Burlengham Rud in Custody of the Constables of Gressenhall and the sd Grey Horse in his Possession.
Then Mr. Richard King of Bixley, husbandman, confirmed both of the testimonies with his own:
.. saith that Mary White of Pawling (sic) Widow in the sd County did on Saturday ye 11th Day of this present Month lose an Iron Grey Horse off of the Common of Pawling (sic) aforesd and he Suspecting that Burlengham Rud of Holt had taken the same pursued ye Burlengham Rud to the Parish of Walsingham Parva where he found the sd Burlengham Rud in Custody of the Constables of Gressenhall and the sd Grey Horse in his Possession.
I know, you’re thinking there is some logical reason that our dear Burlingham stole the horse from the widow, Mary White. Well, we’ll probably never know because Burlingham didn’t give any excuses when he confessed to his crime:
The Examination of Burlingham Rud of Holt Market in the said County Butcher taken before me Lee Warner Esqr one of his Majesties Justices of the peace this 14th Day of May 1728. The sd Burlengham Rud being examined Concerning Feloniously Stealing an Iron Grey Horse belonging to Mrs Mary White of Pawling (sic) in the sd County Widow confesseth that he did on Satturday the 11th Day of this pr[e]sent Month Steal the sd Horse off of ye Common Belonging to ye sd Parish of Pawling (sic) and that he Offer’d to sell the same to Thomas Sayer of Gressenhall and further this Examinant saith not.
Signed: Burlingham Rudd

We may never know any more about this incident. It was a serious felony. On one hand, crossing the county to steal a horse would be a good plan if you’re intent on stealing a horse. But on the other hand, taking it to Gressenhall (which is essentially his backyard, the Scarning area), trying to sell it so cheap, saying it belonged to some who could be found and questioned, is not a good plan! Burlingham does not seem to have been very experienced with this for a twenty-one year old.

Burlingham Rudd signed his name to his confession and he was a butcher by trade when he was arrested. Later, in Anson Co., NC, he will sign all his land deeds with his legal signature too. Hopefully, the fact he could write and was skilled in a trade was to his advantage when he was sold into indenture in South Carolina.

And since I have the benefit of knowledge of things to come … it likely put him in a better social situation when he arrived in the backcountry of Anson Co., NC.
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Anthony Vaver succinctly points out at his excellent website on Early American Crime,
over 50,000 convicted felons who were uprooted from their families and friends in Great Britain and forced to travel overseas to begin new lives as indentures in the American colonies between 1718 and 1776. These convicts accounted for one quarter of all British immigrants who came to what would become the United States during this period. They constituted the next largest group of people ever to be forced to immigrate to America, second only to African slaves.

Interesting, twenty-five percent of the population in the colonies were sentenced to transportation in the last 60 years of about 160 years of colonial history. For all the years that I’ve been involved in genealogy research, both for my own family lines and many others who I have assisted in getting started or over brickwalls, I have never come across another genealogy of someone sentenced to transportation to the American colonies.

Our Burlingham Rudd brought his name with him to America, but unlike most of the more than 50,000 who were sentenced to transportation to the colonies, once he completed his punishment for his crime, he did not change his name and disappear into the frontier to leave his old life behind and begin anew. He kept his name, married and raised a family. He passed his name to his first born son, who passed it to his first born son. And George Lounsdell looks to me like he passed it to a son also. Actually, the name Burlingham or Burrel was passed down to third and fourth generations.

I would guess that had something to do with both his family ancestry and his own perseverance.