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.”
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|