Shelley Forges at Wigan End, Sudbury Suffolk

Shelley Forges at Wigan End, Sudbury Suffolk

Before 1850

Smithy No.1, of Samuel Shelley, off Girling Street before 1850. The barn-like building became the Plymouth Brethren Chapel.

Smithy No.2, of James, and Charles Thomas Shelley, off East Street Nos. 9,10 & 11 Wigan End.

Smithy No.3, later became the forge of Aylmer Shelley, employing two men opposite the main buildings in East Street at Nos.88 & 89 Wigan End. It is likely that the ‘Red, White & Blue’ PH of Charles Thomas was just next-door.

The Plymouth Brethren Chapel was founded at sometime around 1873 and closed before 1925. There was a barn-like large building that was used previously by Samuel Shelley a Wheelwright and gig maker. This building may just possibly be that referred to as ‘the conventicle in an old barn’ that Mr Petto, a non-conformist, preached from time to time.

Mr Samuel Petto (1624-1711) is known to have been a friend of Mr John Catesby (Mayor of Sudbury c1684). Petto lived in the vicarage house belonging to All Saints Church for about ten years. Sudbury was long known for its staunch Puritanism. Mr Petto, Cambridge trained MA was silenced after Restoration, is buried in the churchyard of All Saints, Sudbury.

Philip Shelley with Cottages and Hereditaments are recorded 10 April 1783 as being at Wigan End.

Samuel Shelley is recorded in the Pigot’s Directory of 1823 as Wheelwright and Gig maker. His Will is dated 1831 Property is distributed and wife Sarah lives on in one of the cottages until 1840.

James Shelley (twin brother) Will 1855 in main Forge blacksmithing Farrowing property in East Street

Charles Thomas Shelley (son of James) born 1824 operating blacksmith in Wigan End, Census 1852 at 103, 1861 Census is living at 22 Melford Road. 1871 Census, is at 91 Wigan End and in 1881 Census is at 9, 10, and 11 East Street. He was declared bankrupt after building a Pub in 1863 and cleared of bankruptcy 1869 at the age of 43 yrs. His Will is dated 1884.


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