Answers to Questions


Jonathon Cox, Hill Farm, Sandridge, 1821-1881

July, 2010




Linda Cummings (kjcummings @t of Bromham, Bedford, writes:  My maiden name was Cox, my Father's name was Frank Ward Cox born St Albans in 1915. My Grandfather's name was Frederick William Cox b Cunningham Hill Farm in 1882. His Father, same name, b approx 1852, wife Lizzie Marks. I believe his Father was Jonathan Cox, wife Mary, both of Hill End Farm Sandridge. So far I have not been able to go back any further. If Jonathan is a relative of mine I then believe we may be distantly related??

We are cousins and our relationship is shown in the following tree:
Jonathan Cox = Margaret
William Cox (1686-1751) = ??
Thomas Cox (1734/5 - 1787) = Rose Priest (1732/3 - 1782)
William Cox (1760 - 1802) = Ann Tharp (1755 - 1835)
Jonathan Cox (1788-1832) = Sarah Weast (1781 - 1833) William Bates (1798- 1865) = Mary Ccx (1797 - 1830)     Thomas Cox (1794-1874) = Mary Ann Beasney (1804-1978)
Jonathan Cox (1821-1881) = Mary Ann Bates (1825/6 - 1884)     Henry Cox (1826-1882) = Patty Hill (1830 - 1909)
Frederick William Cox (1852 - ....)  = Lizzie Marks     Harry Finch Reynolds = Sarah Constance Cox (1867-1935)
 Frederick William Cox (1882 - ....)     Gerald Finch Reynolds (1907-1977) = Frances Bertha Locke (1908 - )
Frank Ward Cox (1915 - ....)     Christopher Finch Reynolds
Linda Cox      

Some comments

  1. The earliest names in the tree should be considered as guesses which require more work to establish the truth
  2. The names in blue are links to pages with further information. Several of these pages are awaiting updates.
  3. The tree doubles up because Jonathan Cox (1821-1881) married his first cousin, Mary Ann Bates.
  4. Mary Ann Bates' mother, Mary Cox, died and William married again. His second wife, and Mary Ann's stepmother, was Jane Burchmore, whose sister Martha Burchmore was the mother of Patty Hill,on my side of the tree.
  5. Cousin marriages among the well-to-do farmers in the area were very common until about 100 years ago - see the pages Who is Related to Who?  which only mentions some of the cousin marriages I know about. The chart on the second page would be impossibly complex if I had tried to show all the cousin marriages.
  6. Much of the research I did was in the 1980s, many years before there were any online indexes. The information was initially stored using an experimental data base package and the computer needed to read the data no longer exists. While I have a 1,000 page long listing, I am afraid it is very difficult to extract the information.

Jonathan Cox (1821-1881)

As it happens Jonathan was a prominent member of the Sandridge parish and  I have drafted a "time line" of the main events including items from my old family tree plus references to news items in the Herts Advertiser. He was, like most other farmers in Sandridge at the time, a tenant of Earl Spencer, Lord of the Manor.

1821    Born at Hatfield, the son of Jonathan Cox and Sarah Weast
1821 May 6th   Baptised at Sandridge
1841   Farmer (living on his own) at Handside, Hatfield.
1847 May 31st   Married Mary Ann Bates at St Pauls Walden
1848   Farmer at Hill End Farm, Sandridge and became the village "Stone Warden" for a year - the job being to take responsibility for the maintenance of the roads.  The better off inhabitants of the village took turns to do this, and other parish jobs. Over the years he took his turn on several different chores.
1848   Son Henry Cox born at Sandridge
1849   Son Jonathan Cox born at Sandridge
1851   At the time of the 1851 census he was at Hill End Farm, with his family, and farmed 372 acres and employed 20 men.
1851   Son Frederick William Cox was born at Sandridge
1852   Daughter Rosa Burchmore was born at Sandridge
1853/4   Son Thomas Cox was born at Sandridge
1858   Representing Sandridge on the Board of Guardians  (The Board was responsible for the Workhouse and the meetings are regularly reported in the local paper. I have not determined when he was first elected.)
1858   Jesse Greaves, carter to Mr Paul, builder of Sandridge, was charged with stealing turnips from Mr J. Cox, Hill End, Sandridge.
1860   A lad named Roberts, in the employ of Mr J. Cox , of Hill End Farm, was loading some straw, when he was blown off the cart, and seriously cut about the head.
1860   There was a serious fire in the rick yard of St Stephen's farm ... The farm is the property of Mr. Jonathan Cox, of Sandridge. Herts Mercury 31 March
1861   By the time of the census the farm had expanded to 532 acres and he employed 20 men and 10 boys.
1861   Leaving Employment. - Henry Peters, a lad in the employ of Mr Jonathan Cox, of Hill-end Farm, Sandridge, was charged with leaving his service. - Mr. Cox informed the Bench that the boy had left his employment on a former occasion, which he overlooked, he being a yearly servant. - Defendant pleaded guilty, and was ordered to pay 17s 6d costs, and return to his work. - His master paid the money which was to be deducted from his yearly wages. Hertfordshire Express 25 May
1861   At the Christmas Fat Stock Sale Mr Peppercorn, a St Albans butcher, purchased four very fine Hereford oxen, fed by J Cox, Esq., of Hill End Farm, Sandridge. (I suspect there are similar references in most reports of this annual show.)
1862   Son Thomas Cox was born at Sandridge
1863   Deaths - On the 1st inst., at Sandridge, William Payne, for 35 years a faithful servant of Mr. Henry Jonathan Cox, of Hill End, Sandridge. Herts Mercury 9 May
1864   Joseph Howard, of St Albans, was convicted of trespassing in search of rabbits, on lands of Earl Spencer, on No-Manís Land, and of Mr. Jonathan Cox of Hill End
1865   Jonathan Cox, of Hill End Farm competed in the West Herts Agricultural Society meeting at Watford and won a silver cup, value £10 given to the tenant farmer who produced the best general root crop, not to be less in extent than one-firth of the arable land on the farm. Herts Guardian 17 October
1871   Joseph Mardell  (16) was brought up in custody on remand, charged with stealing 6s. 6d, the property of Isaac Matthews, a ploughboy in the employment of Mr Jonathan Cox, Hill End Farm, Sandridge ... Mr Cox stated that the prisoner was employed at 4s 6d a week and £2. 10s. annually ... [FULL TEXT] Herts Advertiser 11 February
1871   At the census the farm is recorded as being 425 acres and he employed 21 men and 8 boys.
1873   His name comes up several times in the history of the Sandridge Agricultural strike
1874   The judges for stock at the Tring Agricultural Show included Mr Jonathan Cox, of Sandridge. Bucks Herald 24 October
1874   John Gravestock pleaded guilty to leaving the service of Mr. Jonathan Cox, Sandridge, without leave, and was ordered to pay damages and expenses 14s. Herts Advertiser, 26th December.
1875   During an outbreak of foot and mouth disease Jonathan Cox, Hill End, Sandridge, had 163 infected sheep, including 144 on No Manís Land Common. His foreman was William Kenny, and his shepherd was Charles Goodspeed.
1875   There was a dispute between William Chapman, who had been his ploughman, and Jonathan Cox regarding pay for harvest work, involving the foreman William Kenny. [FULL TEXT].
1880   He was foreman of the Jury at the Inquest of Edward Anstee
1881 February 23rd   Died at Hill End Farm
1881 March 3rd   Buried at Sandridge
1881   At the time of the census his widow, Mary Ann Cox, is described as a farmer of 358 acres employing 8 men and 5 boys. Also in the house were her children Rosa and William, a domestic servant, and four farm workers, Frederick Payne, William Kilby, Frederick Rosier and Frederick Messenger.
1881 May 5th   Live & Dead Stock sold on farm
1881   Made a will, and his estate was valued as less than £10,000 (which was a lot of money in those days)

The following Press cuttings relates to his death

These comes from the collection of press cuttings I assembled when collecting material for a book on Bernards Heath - and at the same time I also collected any possibly relevant references to my relatives.


DEATH OF MR. JONATHAN COX. - The death took place on Wednesday night of a long resident in the parish - Mr. Jonathan Cox, of Hill End-farm. Sandridge. The deceased gentleman had a. very serious illness some years or more ago, and has been ailing of late. But he had kept about till within a fortnight of his death.  A month ago, he presided over the fortnightly meeting of the St. Albans Board of Guardians of which he had been vice-chairman for several years past. Mr. Cox, who bad been suffering from dropsy and an affliction of the heart, died on Wednesday evening. at half-past eight o'clock. at his residence at Sandridge. He looked much. older than he really was, for till April next he would not have completed his 60th year. Within a fortnight., the Board of Guardians of the St. Albans Union has lost two useful members. But recently we had to record the death of Mr. Mardall, of Harpenden; now it is the demise of Mr. Cox which has to be noticed.

Herts Advertiser, 26th February 1881


THE LATE MR. JONATHAN COX - On Thursday afternoon last, in bitterly cold weather, the mortal remains of Mr. Jonathan Cox, late of  Hill End farm, whose death took place on the 23rd ult, were laid in Sandridge Churchyard. ~ Mr. Cox's circle of friends was so large and he was so generally well known in the neighbourhood, that it was not surprising that a crowd of persons gathered to pay a last tribute of respect to the deceased. The funeral cortege arrived from Hill Eud farm at a. few minutes past two o'clock. The coffin was taken into the church, where a portion of the Burial Service was read by the Rev. Dr. Griffith, vicar of the parish. The deceased was followed by his five sons - Mr. Henry, Mr. Jonathan, Mr. Fredk., Mr. Thomas, and Mr. William Cox - and by some forty other gentlemen. The latter included several of Mr. Cox's colleagues at the  Board of Guardians, a body of which he had been vice-chairman for several years, and over whose deliberations he occasionally presided. The members of this board present were Messrs. W. H. Aylen, T. Blain, F. Gough, J. Purrott, H. Smith, H. A. Taylor, J. Wells, W. T. White and H. Brabant (clerk). The general body of mourners included Dr. Prior, Messers. H. Lewis (nephew of the deceased), H. Cox, T. Cox, Hugh Smyth, E. Bates, G. U. Robins, G. W. Sheppard, W. George, G. Nott, Whitbread Roberts (Luton), J. Barker (Kimpton), O. Sibley, A. Duckworth, R. Mather, Jos. Beaumont, R. Dickeuson, J. H. Smith, T. Smith, W. Marks, T. Goddard, T. Cartwright, A. Rumball, J. Reynolds, S. S. Josling and J. S. Robertson. The body was enclosed in a shell, a leaden coffin, and a handsome oak coffin, and was bourn by eight men. The outer coffin bore the following inscription - "Jonathan Cox, died 23rd Feb., 1881, aged 59 years." In addition to the general body of mourners, a number of villagers were at the graveside. where the service for the dead was concluded. The body was placed in the large family vault near the entrance to the churchyard, where twenty-two other relatives were already laid. The funeral arrangement were entrusted to Messrs. T. and F. Syrott. - There are memorials to the Coxes in Sandridge churchyard. The earliest is dated .January 12th. 1740. A manuscript in the British Museum. shows that a Mr Jonathan Cox was an owner within the Manor of Wheathampatead-cum­Harpenden in the year 1705. The late tenant of Hill End farm was lineally descended from that Mr. Cox.

Herts Advertiser, 5th March 1881



ADVERT for the sale of Hill End Farm Live and Dead Stock

Herts Advertiser, 16th April 1881

cart horses, nag, bullocks, cows, tegs. down couples, pigs, boar, poultry, reaping machine, mowing machines, cart drillssteam engine and threshing machine, wheat, oats, straw, barley, ricks meadow and clover hay

Before Jonathan took Hill End Farm the tenant was his uncle, Henry Cox (1790-1851). Jonathan's son Henry Cox continued at the farm on his father's death, but died in 1883. The farm was then farmed by Henry Alexander Taylor, whose wife, Elizabeth Smith, was from a family involved in the local cousin network.

Part of land associated with Hill End Farm now forms part of the Heartwood Forest Project.

Another branch of the Cox family is described in HORN, Handside, Welwyn/Hatfield, 19th century

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

August 2010   Page created
February 2017   Various news items added