Answers to Questions


The Squire, Buntingford, Early 20th Century

October, 2008




Iris Hills (irishills3 @t of Waltham Abbey writes: Do you have any information about The Squire of Buntingford? My husband, John Hills' grandmother, JESSIE PEGRAM, was in service and it is rumoured that she may have been employed by the Squire. A living relative says that she was told that her uncle was the Squire. I have been given a lovely photograph of JESSIE PEGRAM wearing a lace fronted outfit. The Pegrams were agricultural labourers so this must have been her uniform.

It is important to realise that the term "squire" could apply to any country gentleman, often the principal landowner of an area. The term might often be used by an employee (particularly an agricultural worker) about their well-to-do employer, and it could be used informally about a gentleman who made his presence well-known about a town or village. In lower class families where there was an illegitimacy the unnamed father may be described (perhaps with good reason) as "the Squire" or "the Squire's son." For these reasons it is impossible to identify who Jessie Pegram worked for from the "rumour" information you provide.

However it is possible to identify some of the more likely people listed under Buntingford in the 1926 Kelly's Directory for Hertfordshire.

Perhaps this list of names and addresses with trigger some further family memories - which could indicate which, if any, of the above could have been Jessie Pegram's employer.

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