Ancestors of

Christopher Finch Reynolds

Francis Evered Reynolds


Old Herts



When I started my research into my ancestors in the 1970s virtually nothing was known about my Great Great Grandfather, Francis Evered Reynolds. I soon found a surviving family tree, in the document collection of the Society of Genealogists, that allowed me identify his connection with the parish of Chippenham, Cambridgeshire, and hence trace the family further back - but this included no information about his life. I soon found that the 1851 census and some wills suggested he might have left his wife, with three children before 1851.

Then, 20 years ago, a family scrapbook turned up with an obituary from an unknown paper and his lifestyl started to take shape. Now more information is available, particularly in digitised newspapers, I have reopened the file and it is clear that his problem was that he was more interested in horses and horse racing (and probably gambling) than he was in his family and he was almost certainly considered the "black sheep" of the family.

Time Line for Frances Evered Reynolds

1804 Chippenham, Cambs Born, the son of Philip Reynolds (1775-1838) and Sarah Evered (1778-1857), presumably at the Reynolds family farm, La Hogue Hall
30 June, 1804 Tuddenham St Mary, Suffolk Baptised - in village where his maternal grandparents lived.
29 November, 1827 Castle Acre, Norfolk

Chippenham, Cambs

Married Frances Finch (1797-1858), daughter of Jacob Finch (1664-1840) and Frances Young (1767-1801). Witnesses John Garwood, Mary Anna Finch, Walter Palmer, Eliza Finch.

Cambridge Chronicle, 7th December, 1827

Similar announcement in Bury and Norwich Post, 5th December 1827

10th January 1829 Chippenham, Cambs

Daughter Fanny Elizabeth Finch Reynolds (1829-1905) born.

Fanny married John Gardner in 1854 & Arthur Mavor Brown in 1875. Children: John Arthur Gardner, Charles Henry Gardner, Fanny Elizabeth Gardner & Mary Gardner. Grandchildren include the authoress Ursula Bloom.

 20th March 1832 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk

Son Arthur Robert Reynolds (1832-1896) born.

Arthur married Letitia Parminter in 1879. Children: Gwendoline Gladys Reynolds & Major Frank Reynolds. No grandchildren.

1835 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk

Francis farmed at Newton by Castle Acre and in 1835 was one of only two farmers in this small parish, the Lord of the Manor being Andrew Fountaine of Narford Hall, Norfolk.

8th December 1835 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk Son Jacob Reynolds (1835-1926) born.
March 1836 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk


We the undersigned, Land Owners, Farmers, and Graziers, resident in the county of Norfolk, are firmly resolved and determined that all our Stock, both beasts and sheep, shall be consigned to the New Market at Islington, and shall be sold there as soon as opened, and not at Smithfield; and moreover that we will not employ any Salesman who shall advocate or encourage the continuance of Smithfield.

... ... ... Francis Reynolds, Newton ... ... ...

Stamford Mercury, 18 March, 1836

8 April 1836 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk

No fewer than 22 sheep were stolen last week from the flock of Mr. Francis Reynolds, of Castleacre Newton, near Swaffham. It will be seen by an advertisement that a reward is offered for the discovery of the offenders.

Bury and Norwich Post,

13 April, 1836


Also mentioned in Stamford Mercury, Huntingdon Gazette, Norfolk Chronicle


Philip Reynolds (Francis Reynolds' father) died suddenly on 23rd January 1838 ... leaving a widow and two sons [Frederick & William Philip Reynolds] incapable of managing the farm. Mr Tharp [solicitor for the landlord] considers his decease puts an end to the agreement beyond Michaelmas 1837. The widow seems anxious to retain the land and farm. (she) talks about Mr. Tharp not being able to turn her out. He thinks it inadvisable to send her a regular notice before Lady Day next ... if not she cannot withhold the farm not let to her or her two very unruly ect ??? sons.

 (Source Cambridgeshire Records Office 572/E1)

[In view of the events later in the timeline Francis does not seem to have been much better.]

March 1838 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk

Bury & Norwich Post, 28 March 1838

9 July 1839 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk

On Tuesday, the 9th inst. as Robert Atkins, about 35 years of age, was driving a waggon containing two tons of slate, on the East Winch Road, on his way to Newton, near Castleacre (being in the employ of Mr. Reynolds, a farmer, of Newton) he got upon the shafts and struck the shaft horse, which kicked and threw him to the ground, both wheels passing over him producing a compound fracture of the thigh, besides other injuries; he was conveyed to the West Lynn Hospital and is a very precarious state.

Norfolk Chronicle, Saturday, July 13, 1839

The poor man, Robert Atkins, of Newton, near Castleacre, who, as was mentioned in the Norfolk Chronicle about three weeks ago, received some very serious injuries up the road near East Winch, by both wheels of the waggon going over him, as he was going from Lynn with two tons of slate upon the waggon, and who, it was also stated, was taken to the West Norfolk and Lynn Hospital in a very precarious state, we are now happy to say, appears to be doing well, and it is hoped that he will speedily recover.

Norfolk Chronicle, Saturday 3 August, 1839

April 1841 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk

Swaffham Sessions

Thomas Andrews, charged with having stolen eight pints of oats, the property of Francis Reynolds of Newton, three months imprisonment.

Norfolk Chronicle (supplement) Saturday, April 10, 1841

1841 Census Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk
Name Sex Age Occupation Where Born
REYNOLDS, Francis M 45 Farmer  
REYNOLDS, Frances F 45   Norfolk
REYNOLDS, Arthur M 5   Norfolk
REYNOLDS, Jacob M 5   Norfolk
EVERITT, Elizebeth F 15 Servant Norfolk
ENGLEDOW, Sarah F 15 Servant Norfolk
GITTON, Peter M 15 Groom Norfolk
September 1841 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk


Persons who have obtained Game Certificates for the Year 1841

... ... ... Reynolds, Francis, Newton ... ... ..

Norfolk Chronicle, 18 September, 1841.

October 1841 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk

Kings Lynn, Norfolk

The aristocratic amusement of breaking street lamps was indulged in, on Tuesday week, by [Francis Reynolds], as he was leaving market in his gig, and no less than twelve fell victims to the prowess of his arm, being smashed to pieces by the whip, as he drove past. ...

Cambridge Independent Press,

 18 October, 1841


George Dyke reports Andrew Fountaine, John Benet Lawes's brother-in-law, tested superphosphate before the date of the patent; this is clearly implied by Lawes in an MS written in 1896 by him after the death of his wife in 1895. Lawes writes "new manure", but that must mean superphosphate. He later reported that he had found a record of the sale of fertilizer to Andrew Fountaine in 1842, before the opening of the Deptford factory.

It is not known whether Francis Reynolds (as a tenant of Andrew Fountaine) was involved in these pioneering trials, but it is very likely that the superphosphate was made locally - using acid provided by the Finch's chemists shop in Swaffham. What is certain is that the Finch family became agents for Lawes' fertilizer, and that Francis's son Jacob Reynolds later became actively involved in selling superphosphate.

24 December 1842 Easton

On the 24th ult., at Easton, J. B. Lawes, Esq., of Rothamstead Park, Herts, to Caroline, youngest daughter of the late Andrew Fountaine, Esq., of Narford Hall, Norfolk.

Cambridge Independent Press 7 January 1843

1 February, 1843 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk

Mr Francis Evered Reynolds' Assignment

... ... Francis Evered Reynolds, of Newton next Castleacre, in the County of Norfolk, Farmer, duly Assigned all his Personal Estate and Effects, unto Thomas Matthews, of Newton next Castleacre aforesaid, Farmer, Henry Finch, of Swaffham, in the said County, Chemist and Druggist, and Thomas Jacobs, of Pakenham, in the County of Suffolk, Farmer, upon trust, for the Benefit of all the Creditors of him the said Francis Evered Reynolds ... ...

Norfolk Chronicle, February 11, 1843

also Norwich Mercury



In effect Francis Reynolds was bankrupt, but rather than go through the courts the Finch family, and Thomas Matthews (who farmed the other large farm in Newton and was also a tenant of Andrew Fountaine) wound up his affairs - selling off his property to pay off his creditors. It would seem likely that this was when he left his wife Frances Reynolds and the children.

18 & 19 October 1843 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk

Sale of All the Live and Dead FARMING STOCK, Light Gig, with Lamps and Harness, neat Luggage Cart on steel springs, new Dog Cart, light Breast Van, Household Furniture, and other Effects, the Property of Mr. FRANCIS REYNOLDS, at Newton, next Castleacre, in the County of Norfolk.

Norfolk Chronicle, September 30, 1843

Newton next Castleacre



(Under an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors)

On Wednesday and Thursday, the 18th and 19th day of October , 1843.


Norwich Chronicle, October 14, 1843

15 May, 1844 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk

To be sold by Auction

By Mr. J Trundle

On Wednesday, the 15th day of May, 1844

Upon the Premises lately occupied by Mr. Francis Reynolds,

By Order of the Trustees under a Deed of Assignment for the benefit of the Creditors.

A Capital Four-Horse-Power Threshing Machine, in good repair, and the following valuable Barn Implements ... ...

Norfolk Chronicle, May 11, 1844

September 1850

Identity uncertain

Kings Lynn, Norfolk

LYNN RACES: ... ... The Hunter's Stakes ... For this race five horses were entered - The Weaver, Small, Hopes, Latitat, Ross, and Rattlesnake, the latter of which was withdrawn ... ... The Innkeepers' Plate, for horses not thorough brad, of 1 sov. each, with 10 added. This was a hurdle race. There were six horses entered, a;; of which appeared at the starting part except "Devil's Own," which was withdrawn

Mr. Stephen's g m Ross



Mr Boyd's Br. b. h Small Hopes



Mr Reynold's C H Rattlesnake



Mr. Bollins' b. m. The Duchess



Mr Wood's b. M. Miss Chance



At starting the horses were well up together, Ross, Small Hopes, and Rattlesnake taking the lead. The was a very sharp contest between Ross and Small Hopes, but, as in the previous race, the former was victorious. The second heat was run in much the same manner, and several flights of hurdle were cleared, in many instances, almost simultaneously.

Norwich Mercury, 14 September, 1850

Also reported [in more detail] in Norfolk Chronicle, and Norfolk News 14 September, 1850


1851 Census Kings Lynn, Norfolk

26 Broad Street, St Margarets, Kings Lynn. He was a visitor staying with Thomas Leach, innkeeper - no occupation was given.

His wife Frances Reynolds, and son Jacob Reynolds (working as a clerk to his uncle, Jacob Finch, chemist), were living in Swaffham, Norfolk, with her step-mother (and aunt), Elizabeth Finch.  His son Arthur Reynolds was apprenticed  to his widowed uncle, Benjamin Chaston, and chemist & druggist in Watton, Norfolk, while his daughter Fanny E Reynolds was also there, as Benjamin's housekeeper.

6 September 1851 Kings Lynn, Norfolk

LYNN RACES: ... ... Later in the day a Match was "got up" between Mr. Reynolds' "Nancy," Mr Bolin's "Agnes" and Mr Boyd's "Erin," which was won by the former, Agnes coming in Second."

Norwich Mercury, 6 September, 1851


In September 1857 Henry Young Finch, brother-in-law of Francis Reynolds, made his will, and died the following January. He was unmarried and left his money to the family. A 2,000 trust was established for his sister, Frances Reynolds, and the wording of the will (unlike the wording for similar trusts for her sisters) strongly suggests that her [unnamed] husband was not welcome. The will requires that if she transfers any of her income [to her husband] she looses the lot.

At the time Henry Young Finch died the firm of Jacob & Henry Young Finch were distributers of Lawes patent fertilizer, and Jacob Reynolds (Francis 's son) became London manager.

9 June 1858 Swaffham, Norfolk His [estranged] wife Frances Reynolds dies and is buried in the Finch family grave in the Swaffham parish churchyard.

On the 10th inst., at Swaffham, suddenly, Mrs Reynolds, aged 61

Norfolk Chronicle, 10 June, 1858

25 December, 1858 Kings Lynn, Norfolk

LYNN - Petty Sessions - Monday, Jan. 10

Calvert Case, of Guanock-terrace, was charged with assaulting Francis Reynolds of Paxton-Terrace (an individual known to local fame as the "Marquis") The alleged assault arose out of a dispute which took place between them at two o'clock on Christmas Morning on the bank of the Littleport reservoir, respecting a girl of indifferent character. Reynolds stated that Case struck him on the head; but Case said he only interfered to prevent Reynolds striking the girl, and took him by the collar with that object. - The case was dismissed.

Norfolk Chronicle January 15, 1859

September 1860


Identity uncertain

Norwich, Norfolk


Mr. Wilkin appeared for the plaintiff in the case of Francis Reynolds v James Elsey, publican of the Golden Ball, Norwich, concening a bet between Francis Reynolds and George Money where James Elsey was the stake holder.

Norfolk News October 20, 1860

1861 Census Kings Lynn, Norfolk Lodging with Mary Platten, 3 Market Lane, Kings Lynn. - described as a 66 year old former farmer, born at Newton, Norfolk.
September 1861 Swaffham, Norfolk

Mr Mawby's bay hunter, "Hawk," trained by Mr. Reynolds, wins the Hunter Stakes at Swaffham Races

Norfolk Chronicle, October 1, 1861

1871 Census Kings Lynn, Norfolk Cattle Market Tavern, 24 Broad Street, St Margarets, Kings Lynn. - Lodger - described as Retired Farmer.
5 November 1874 Kings Lynn, Norfolk Died at Bridge Street, Kings Lynn, Norfolk of senile decay. Retired farmer. Witness Robert Gittings.
7 November 1874  

The Field

Were these his horses - being sold off by his son? However Mr Leigh's Hounds were based at kennels at Harpenden

November 1874 Newton by Castle Acre, Norfolk

Buried in churchyard at Newton by Castle Acre. Memorial stone reads: In memory of Francis Reynolds who died at Lynn Novr the 5th 1874, aged 71 years.



On Friday, November 6th, died at Lynn, Mr. F. Reynolds, formerly of Newton-by-Castleacre, perhaps better known under the sobriquet of "the Marquis" a name given him when he kept a pack of harriers at his own expense, with which he had good sport, and afforded amusement to many. Although not what would be styled a brilliant horseman, he was so thorough a sportsman, that with kind and quiet usage to the animals under his care he had great command over them, and many were the remarkable feats he used to perform with them. Once, in pursuit of a stolen horse for a neighbour, he drove one of his hunters - a bay blood horse - 100 miles in 10 hours, only stopping once, which was at Six Mile Bottom near Newmarket, where he gave his horse some corn from a nose-bag, and fetched him water in his hat from a brook. One of his first and perhaps best hunters that he trained to such perfection, was a bay thoroughbred mare by Old Whistler, bred by Chifney, the celebrated jockey. She became a distinguished hunter with the Marham Staghounds: and her portrait is kept by the gentleman who rode her for many years. What such horses as he possessed would be worth now it is really impossible to say. For Chip he gave but 8; he was afterwards sold by Mr Anderson for 500 guineas. Grey Tail also sold by the same - then the great dealer in London, for 600 guineas; and Sweep, bought for 10, sold by Mr Percival for 300 guineas; and so with many others; while the poor old Hawk struggled on with him in his decline, winning him a few pounds at country races by his indomitable pluck, and carrying him miles and miles when other people were at rest. There is much more value to be attached to the way in which the affairs of business are conducted by some men. Although the subject of this slight memoir had some failings, no one could impeach his honour. He possessed such peculiar blandness and suaviloquy - free from haughty and unkind feeling - that he was always regarded with something more than the common courtesy of life. He received in his dying illness the greatest attention from his old servant Peter, his former whip, from whom many anecdotes of his strange eventful life might be gathered; but let them close in peace.

[From press cutting - Jacob Reynolds' scrap book]

Fitrst published in the Lynn Advertiser and then reprinted in The Norwich Mercury 18th November 1874

An article about horses published in the Norwich Mercury of 8th June, 1895 said We here note some incidents connected with the making of hunters, and what can be accomplished by training, quiet usage, and care when placed in the hand of one who is a perfect master of the art. The late Mr. F. Reynolds of Newton-by-Castleacre, better known under the sobriquit of "The Marquis," when he kept a small pack of harriers, trained several horses., bought at low prices, into valuable hunters.  One of his first and best was a bay thoroughbred mare by Old Whistler, bred by Chifney ... ... [edited extract of above obituary ]


If you can add to the information given above tell me.

September 2011   Page created
December 2014   Totally rewritten and restructured
July 2018   Identification of source of obituary - and later quote