The Sufton estate in Mordiford was owned by the Hereford family since the 12th century, and this neat manor house was built during the 18th century by James Wyatt for James Hereford, who was renowned for his kindness and charity to both tenantry and the poor.
The Hereford family were not always at Sufton Court themselves, it was rented out on many occasions as can be seen by the information below and the census records, but from time to time they returned to take up residence.
In 1825 for example, an advert appeared advertised the Manor for let, furnished, for a term of not less than three years, and not exceeding ten.

Description of Sufton Court (1)

It was described thus:
“A delightful residence with large walled gardens and pleasure grounds, surrounded by fifty acres of excellent meadow. The mansion is situated five miles from the city of Hereford, on one of the most beautiful and picturesque eminences in the County.
It consists of spacious breakfast, dining and drawing rooms on the ground floor, with attached and detached offices; coach houses and commodious stabling. It is fit for the immediate reception of a large family and will be let with or without the manor. Hounds are kept in the neighbourhood.”

Richard Hereford

By 1828 we can see that Richard Hereford had taken up residence at Sufton Court, and it was while living here that he married Harriet Arabella Mends, daughter of Captain Sir Robert Mends of the Royal Navy. He later became Sheriff.

Description of Sufton Court (2)

Two years later, in 1830, Sufton Court was again put up for let – this time the description was a little more detailed:
“An excellent mansion house called Sufton Court, with capital offices, stables, walled garden, fifty seven acres of meadow and pleasure ground, and the manors of Sufton and Larport, well stocked with game.
The house is situated in one of the prettiest spots in Herefordshire, commanding extensive views and consists of dining, drawing and book rooms; an entrance hall and small study on the ground floor; four large bedrooms with dressing rooms on the first floor; a number of good sized bedrooms on the second floor with attics above. The offices which are detached from the house are particularly good, and the whole supplied with every requisite convenience.
The book room contains an excellent library, which will if required be left for the use of the tenant.”
By 1834 the Herefords were back in Sufton Court, where Mary, widow of the late James Hereford and daughter of John Scudamore, died aged 76, and Richard Hereford’s wife gave birth to a son.
1838 and we see John Hopkins in residence. He was Chairman of the Board of Guardians of the Hereford Poor Law Union and was very well respected. By the following year he had upped sticks and left Herefordshire.
The seesaw in occupation continued, with Mr. Lingwood, then Mr. Watkins at Sufton Court , then in 1843 Richard Hereford was back with his family, although sadly his two year old daughter died there of scarlet fever. Some years later, in 1852 whilst at Tenby, they were to lose another daughter, Lucy Arabella aged 6.

Egerton Hubbard at Sufton Court

By 1846, we see Egerton Hubbard at Sufton Court, and the following is a news snippet from during his time there:
A Coachman of Egerton Hubbard was leaving St. Owens Street in Hereford, when the horses spooked and bolted, with the lady’s maid on board. The horses hurtled on, overaking many heavily laden wagons on their way until they arrived at Mordiford. Unfortunately, in turning the sharp corner they caused the carriage to hit the posts in front of Mr. Morgan, the surgeon’s house, and it was turned over onto its side. The lady’s maid was thrown out of her seat with great violence, but it was lucky that Mr. Morgan was at home and he took her into his house. He was amazed to find that she was merely badly bruised. The carriage however was ruined!

Thomas Evans at Sufton Court

After Egerton Hubbard, Thomas Evans took up residence at Sufton Court and he was to stay there for many years, putting on record that he would be happy to stay for as long as he was allowed to do so by his “most capital landlord”.
In 1852 he married a Miss Webb, and there were great celebrations in Mordiford; the following year he returned to Sufton Court amid even more celebrations all the way from Hereford. Indeed, the welcome back must have taken the couple’s breath away, whilst the pealing of the bells in every surrounding village plus bands from Hereford must have near deafened them! Such was the importance given to their return,the “father” of the Herefordshire hunt left his hounds in full cry in order to join in with the regards for his new neighbour.
Huge numbers of well wishers were fed at Sufton Court that night and everyone wished the couple many years of good fortune and happiness.
Sadly, within a few short months there was tragedy when on 6th October 1853 the couple had a still born son, but they went on to have more children successfully.

1862, the Bandy Game and how it affected Thomas Evans

A game known as bandy, which involved a ball being hit with sticks, was causing a great nuisance in the streets, and in 1862 a “fine horse” belonging to Thomas Evans of Sufton Court was being driven by his servant through St. Owen’s Gate when it was hit by “the caul of some urchins who were playing bandy in the road”. The terrified animal bolted, and the vehicle overturned whereupon it was dashed to pieces. A female servant in the vehicle was thrown out and badly injured.
Two boys by the names of George Fuller and Samuel McMullen were apprehended – residents of the street where they played had frequently complained, and the accident with the horse was the final straw. Magistrates were determined to stamp the game out, saying that it was very dangerous, and although they dismissed this case, they warned that other offenders would be severely dealt with.

1863 – Failed Murder attempt on Thomas Evans and his family

In 1863, the family of Thomas Evans were lucky to escape with their lives, when one of their servants, a 17 year old boy by the name of William Perkins, tried to poison them all by putting corrosive sublimate in their milk. Thankfully it caused the milk to curdle at the bottom, and a nursemaid spotted it before anyone drank any of it.

 

1841 – Sufton Court Household

John Watkins 20 b. Herefordshire
Mary Leaves 58 b. Herefordshire
Susan Norfolk 27 b. Herefordshire
Sarah Watkins 55 b. Herefordshire
Ann Badham 23 b. Herefordshire

1851 – Sufton Court Household

William Banks 28 Fund Holder and Gentleman b. Swansea, Wales
Margaret R. Banks 27 Wife b. Clanelly, Wales
Julia S. Roffey 19 Cousin b. London, Middlesex
Margaret M.A. Banks 5 Daughter b. Orkney?
Constance I. Banks 3 Daughter b. Orkney?
William E. Banks 1 Son b. Orkney?
Elizabeth B. Burgiss 30 Governess
Nancy E.A. May 54 Vistitor
Mary A.F. May 5 Visitor b. Middlesex
Edith E. May 3 Visitor b. Middlesex
Augustus B.B. May 10 Visitor b. Bayswater, Middlesex
Ann Perrin 26 Visiting Nurse
Ann Williams 56 Nurse b. Carmarthen, Wales
Frances Southwell 40 Cook b. Kent
Martha Piddock 38 Housemaid b. Kent
Jane Williams 23 Dairymaid b. Wales
Elizabeth Graves 16 Under Nurse b. Kent
Ester Goulder 16 Under Housemaid b. Sutton, Kent
James Atkin 23 Footman b. Adisham, Kent
George Newing 23 Groom b. Kent
William Mitchell 14 Errand Boy b. Crawley, Sussex
Ann Wearn 62 Charwoman b. Staunton on Wye, Herefordshire

 

1861 – Sufton Court Household

Thomas Evans 57 Magistrate b. St. Johns, Hereford
Harriet Evans 37 Wife b. Underdown, Ledbury, Herefordshire
Harriet A. Evans 4 Daughter b. Sufton, Mordiford, Herefordshire
Mabel S. Evans 2 Daughter b. Sufton, Mordiford, Herefordshire
Catherine Beatrice Evans 1 Daughter b. Sufton, Mordiford, Herefordshire
Margret Privett 48 Housekeeper b. Worksop, Nottinghamshire
Mary Anne Bevis 34 Head Nurse b. Berkshire
Ellen Bridgwater 28 Head Housemaid b. Adforton, Herefordshire
Amelia James 22 Kitchen Maid b. Kings Pyon, Herefordshire
Mary Perry 17 Under Nurse b. Frenchay, Bristol
Eliza Williams 19 Under Housemaid b. Monmouth
Charles T. Davin 26 Butler b. Wormsley, Herefordshire
John Bullock 40 Coachman b. Breinton, Herefordshire
William Cooper 21 Footman b. Winforton, Herefordshire

 

1871 – Sufton Court Household

Richard Hereford 67 Landowner and Magistrate b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Charles Hereford 35 Son, Captain 19th Regiment b. Tenby, Pembrokeshire
Edward William Hereford 33 Son, Commander Royal Navy b. Tenby, Pembrokeshire
Catherine Anne Hereford 32 Daughter b. Gloucester
Alice Sarah Hereford 31 Daughter
Anne Tuder 74 Sister b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
James Tuder Hereford 1 Grandson b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Elizabeth Anne Hereford 9 mths Grand Daughter b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Mary Eliza Hereford 9 mths Grand Daughter b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Henry Howes 30 Butler b. Westminster
Edwin Boscott 17 Footman b. Bishops Frome, Herefordshire
Elizabeth Annie Lewis 28 Cook b. Stoke Edith, Herefordshire
Ann Walker Lady’s Maid b. Bodenham, Herefordshire
Eliza Jones 35 Housemaid b. Kings Pyon, Herefordshire
Elizabeth (no name given) 23 Housemaid b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Emma Etherige 19 Kitchenmaid b. Lugwardine, Herefordshire
Mary McCarraker 45 Nurse b. Tipperary, Ireland
Charlotte Anna Morris 17 Under Nurse b. London
Elizabeth Catherine Hughes 16 Under Nurse b. Walsall, Staffordshire

1881 – Sufton Court Household

William Sexty 47 Farmer b. Putley, Herefordshire
Emma S. Sexty 45 Wife b. Warwick, Birmingham
Elizabeth B.Wright 66 Mother in Law, annuitant b. London, Middlesex
Ann Taylor 19 Cook b. Bredwardine, Herefordshire
Fanny Pugh 18 Housemaid b. Brampton Abbots, Herefordshire
William Tombs 33 Waggoner b. Brampton Abbots, Herefordshire
Chas. Taylor 17 Groom b. Hampton Bishop, Herefordshire

 

1891 – Sufton Court Household

Benjamin Price 55 Gardener b. Garway, Herefordshire
Elizabeth Price 56 In Charge, Housekeeper b. Hereford
Emily Price 18 Daughter, Housekeeper’s Assistant b. Mordiford, Herefordshire

1901 – Sufton Court Household

Eliza Annie Guy 50 Widow, Cook b. Radnor, Radnorshire
Lily Jane Lewis 24 Parlour Maid b. Cheshire
Elsie Harris 32 Dairymaid b. Devon
Mary Taylor 19 Housemaid b. Kingsland, Herefordshire
Herbert Harvey 24 Groom b. Essex

1911 – Sufton Court Household

James Thomas Hereford 41 Private Means b. Sufton Court, Herefordshire
Eleanor Hereford 41 Wife b. Kings Caple, Herefordshire
Robert James Hereford 8 mths Son b. Sufton Court, Herefordshire
Marian Alice Griffiths 29 Hospital Nurse b. Bradford, Yorkshire
Clara Annie Smith 41 Childrens Nurse b. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Agnes Harrop 46 Cook b. Bromyard, Herefordshire
Fanny Louisa Bicketh 34 Parlour Maid b. Eardisland, Herefordshire
Elizabeth Sarah Smith 27 Housemaid b. Mordiford, Herefordshire
Caroline Birt 18 Parlour Maid b. Huntley, Gloucestershire
Frances Sophia Elizabeth Bartlett 18 Kitchenmaid b. Bosbury, Herefordshire
Ernest Albert Farmer 18 Houseboy b. Herefordshire