The Friend Family farm in Gloucester, Massachusetts

Exchange of emails regarding the Friend Family Farm in Gee, Gloucester Ma.


 Matt Friend <> wrote: I have attached some photos of the house in Gloucester, MA on Gee Ave our family used to own. The oldest one is probably form the 1880s. In it are my 2nd great grandparents (on the left) Lemuel Friend and Mary Friend (nee Rowe). And on the right my great grandfather William Friend’s brother and sister Albert and Eva. The color photo is my dad Russ Friend in 1984 in front of the same house.


Russ wrote :- I believe my son, Matt, has a scanned photo of the Gloucester farm home my father and uncles were born in. It was built in the 1690s. After my grandfather’s accidental death in 1926, my grandmother had to move and get a job in a shoe factory. My dad and uncles were little kids (William born 1918, my dad Charles born in 1921, and Richard born in 1924). The home changed hands multiple times since then. I saw it as a kid in the early 1960s and later in 1982. It currently has more modern appearance and an addition. The farm property was taken by Gloucester and turned into a reservoir.

Will F wrote –

Thankyou Matt , for sending photos of the Friend Family farm in Gloucester , Massachusetts. 

Dear Russ , that’s a sad story about your grandparents etc. . What was the name of the farmhouse ?Its nice to know its still standing . It would be nice to ‘google’ it .

Louise , George and Lizzie were driving back from Maine yesterday and found the site of the Friend Mill.

Russ Friend Wrote

I’m glad they found the mill. The home in Gloucester is at:  41 Gee Avenue,  Gloucester, MA

The salt-box style addition was added after the 1950s by one of its many different owners. The original home now has a red front door, red cedar clapboard siding, and modern 6-over-6 pane windows. The image on Google maps was from 2013. Also, the property is completely landscaped. When I last saw it in about 1982, it was not as surrounded with so many bushes and the chimney appears to have been replaced. They used to put the year it was built on the top of the chimney.

W.F wrote

 The interesting thing is how similar that farmhouse design , matches my that of my own . The New England houses used more weatherboarding – as timber was in abundant supply , whereas the in Kent and Essex , weatherboarding was mostly on the farm and fishing buildings, near the coasts, using imported Scandinavian softwoods .   The other difference was that the American houses had an central brick chimney breast acting as a storage heater for the whole house , whereas Georgian houses had the chimneys on the gable ends . However the older Kentish cottages,  did also have this central chimney breast  . I have a 10ft square one between my older kitchen , and the later extension/rebuild . I even have a similar roadside wall along my frontage , all be it flints and brick , not granite. 

Russ wrote :- Hi Will,

W F This area of East Kent was very ‘low church’ , and Charles 1st ‘s archbishop , Archbishop Laud was very ‘high’ Anglican – and particularly hated – insisting on the use of the prayer book in church services – this was a particular issue in Scotland with the Presbyterians , during this period and again in the time of James II . James I/VI  was less dogmatic and reached an understanding with the scots Presbyterians  and entered into a ‘covenant’ with them- they would support the crown , if they were left to worship  according to their own conscience . Charles I and James II both in turn went back on this covenant with disastrous consequences !. English Congregations were all within ‘the Church of England’ and were not free to break away and clergy had to follow the services in the form dictated from Canterbury (just up the road). Some congregations met illegally in the fields to worship , although they also had to attend services in church, as well. All the various Thanet families were resolutely parliamentarian during the civil war. Larger farmers such as Francis Tomlin , had their own militia of their neighbours, family and staff . There was a divide between the enterprising/free thinking  yeoman farmers, merchants, etc. – in the eastern , coastal and midlands industrial areas , and the landowners and their tenants in the West country , Wales, etc. , and in Scotland between the Protestant east Coast and Borders and the Catholic Western Isles and Highlands .  


Dear Rusty , I have been reading up about the friend tide mill and John’ the carpenter’ friend.  I thought you would be interested in an article about Simon Sackett, from the Sackett Family association , who came out at the same time with Winthrop , from the same place . They probably knew each other , and may have been related – as I am – I am as much Sackett as Friend , and the Farm here came to me from the Sackett line . My father always said that members of both families ‘signed the boston charter’ at the start of the colony . Two Richard Sacketts owned and lived at  ‘East Northdown’ through the early to Mid 1700’s as well as owning ‘Sackett’s Hill’ in St Peters in Thanet, my 5 and 6 x gt grandfathers . The head of the Friend Family at Brooksend Farm . Birchington Thanet , were called John over several successive generations at the same time . I see the Wenham Friends were also called John over three successive generations – this cannot be a co-insidence !

I love the fact that so many of the family names are the same -John , Mary, William , Richard for a start !

regards Will

Russ Friend wrote

Very interesting material. I bookmarked the Sackett Family Association site to keep it handy. One thing we know is that the colony was sparsely populated. There were perhaps four or five primary families directly related to me there in the 1630s (Friend, Rowe, Merchant, Dodge, Kimball). It would likely be that they came as “Puritans”. By the 1640s, there were at least 10,000 Puritan colonists in America. They ended up spreading out into what would become the US states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine. If someone wanted to have a vote and own land, they usually had to be members of the Reformed church. People were expected to be self-sufficient and industrious. That appears to run in Friend family!😉

The history of the English church had long lasting effects on America. The English Civil War brought people to the colonies, but had them split between supporting Parliament or the King (1640-1660). Those sentiments lasted well into the Colonial Civil War (American Revolution, 1775-1783). Even that resonated into the American Civil War (1861-1865) along religious lines (support for slavery and indentured servitude in central and southern states more along Catholic lines with New England abolitionists along Reformed lines). Many of the authors of our Constitution were Deists and Reformed. Because of that pluralism, the removed the concept of a state church. Nevertheless, people have chosen to support certain social issues that bring doctrines into politics. 

Russell L. Friend, 45 Chelsea Lane. Cary, IL 60013-1910, 847-915-8660

Clearly the American political system was set up using the British system as a model , trying to improve upon it. A book you might find interesting about this period is called ‘ The Lunar Men ‘ by Jenny Uglow . It charts the lives and achievements of a group of thinkers , scientists and business people in the UK, West Midlands , ( my home area) during the later 1700’s . They met monthly on the new moon and corresponded . The group included Josiah Wedgwood, Joseph Priestly , Erasmus Darwin ,Matthew Bolton and James Watt . They were in touch with other enlightenment thinkers in Scotland , America and France , particularly Benjamin Franklin , who visited several times.   It’s not an exaggeration to say their ideas formed and kick started the British industrial revolution and modern science in the fields biology, geology, chemistry etc., that took off and spread around the world. They were strongly behind the anti slavery movement. Their free thinking was a function of their protestant , questioning, beliefs, in a way that was not possible in autocratic and catholic mainland Europe.  I think is an ‘essential read’ for anyone interested in such things .                               Regards Will  



Taddy’s Tobacco and Snuff at Morden Snuff Mills -given to National Trust by Gilliat Hatfield 1941



 Following on from the Deaths of Edward and James Taddy ,without children, in around 1800, their business and property passed to the children of their three sisters , The Friends of Birchington and later Northdown , Hatfeilds of Hartsdown  Margate , and  the Tomlins of Moat Farm , Ash. The three families , ran the business , based at 45 the Minories , in the City of London for several more generations, until the business was closed in the general strike by ‘Uncle Gilliat’ . The two main potential heirs to continue the business- elder brothers , Charles Hatfeild, and George Friend were killed in WW1 . Aubrey Hatfield returned from Canada to fight in the Royal Flying Corps and took over the remaining Hengrove farm , after Hartsdown was given to Margate Borough . Irvine Friend (JIHF) ran Northdown house and estate ,until , the house and park was gifted to Margate Borough in 1937.  The following article is from the National Trust website .                 

A history of the snuff mills at Morden Hall Park

 Groves family outside the western snuff mill early 20th Century 

During the 18th and 19th centuries the prosperity of the Morden Hall estate depended on its snuff mills. Snuff was a popular tobacco product used before cigars and cigarettes became more fashionable. Today you can get a glimpse into the world of the mill workers in the Learning Centre set up in the now retired western snuff mill.        

The success of the snuff industry 

The Morden mills are based on the River Wandle. The area around it has been a prosperous area for milling since the time of the Domesday Book (1086). During the 19th century, with an increase in the popularity of snuff, the Wandle valley became a ‘hub’ of tobacco and snuff manufacture. 

Snuff was introduced to London’s elite around the year 1700, about fifty years before the original snuff mill at Morden Park was built. The trend for snuff-taking gathered pace throughout the century, becoming almost universal by the last quarter of the 18th century.

Snuff is a fine-ground smokeless tobacco product.  The mills ground dried tobacco leaves into snuff between two stones. The resulting powder was left natural or perfumed with flower essences or spices. Gentlemen, and sometimes ladies, sniffed pinches of snuff from the back of their hands which gave them a swift nicotine buzz – and often made them sneeze.  At Morden, the majority of snuff produced was the most common brown snuff, though a very dark, strong variety was produced in smaller quantities, as was a perfumed variety.

Running the Morden Mills

The eastern and western mills were built in 1750 and 1830 respectively while the Manor of Morden was held by the Garth family, who had owned the estate and title since the 16th century.  They did not have a great interest in either the estate or the business however.  

In 1834, an up and coming tobacco firm, Taddy & Co, part owned by Alexander Hatfeild, was granted the lease of the mills. In 1867, the Hatfeild family bought the whole estate. Hatfeild sourced his tobacco from plantations in Virginia. The snuff was blended and processed in the Taddy & Co factory in the Minories in London.  The addition of the Morden mills completed the production line and enabled Hatfeild to greatly expand his successful business.

The mills at Morden produced 6000lbs of snuff each month.  Memories of mill workers describe the working environment of a snuff mill as extremely dusty, noisy and uncomfortable. The Hatfeilds were comparatively good employers though, on hot days in the summer they would shut the mill down and let their employees work outside on the estate rather than putting up with the unpleasant conditions in the mill. 

Decline of snuff taking

By the late 19th century, snuff taking had become less fashionable. This decline has been attributed to a generation of Victorians who considered snuff to be ‘flamboyant, vulgar and offensive’. Cigars had also become reasonably priced, so people were increasingly smoking their tobacco rather than sniffing it.  In addition, the water mills were being outdone by their steam powered competitors around the country.  

In 1922, the workers in Hatfield’s tobacco company in the Minories went on strike.  No doubt motivated by declining profits in the business, Gilliat Hatfeild, Alexander’s  grandson, shut down his factory and his mills.  

He had been left with a large fortune however, and the running of the Morden Hall estate.  As the mill workers had not joined the strike they were rewarded with jobs working on the estate.  

The mills in the modern day

Following the closure of the mills they were used mainly as the estate workshop. The waterwheel remained in place in the 1930’ to supply power to various tools used in the workshop such as drills, planers and saws.  The only piece of machinery preserved was the large cast iron wheel currently in the stable yard.  

The buildings were also used to store all the equipment used on the estate such as the punts and rowing boats brought out for the garden parties organised by Gilliat Hatfeild for local children.  You can read about these charitable parties which were the highlight of the locals’ year in another Morden Hall history page.

In 1989 the western mill was opened as a classroom and education centre.  You can now enjoy an interactive exhibition on the life of the Morden mill workers in Victorian times.

An autumn view of the snuff mill on the river Wandle

An autumn view of the snuff mill on the river Wandle




Simon Sackett , early Massachusetts colonist from Thanet (from Sackett Family Assn Website))

 Simon Sackett the colonist

(1595-between 5 and 10 Oct 1635)
Father Thomas Sackett the younger (c 1557-1615)
Mother Martha Strowde (c 1560-1631/32)
Simon Sackett’s legacy
Undoubtedly the most significant migration in the history of the Sackett family was that of Simon Sackett who, with his wife Isabel and their infant son Simon, emigrated from St Peter in Thanet, Kent, England, to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in America.
     Despite a short life—he had probably not reached forty when he died in 1635—Simon Sackett the colonist enjoys a pivotal position in the history of the Sacketts, becoming the progenitor of the major part of the American branch of the family.

Simon Sackett, of St Peter in Thanet, Kent, and Newtown (later Cambridge), Massachusetts Bay Colony, son of Thomas Sackett the younger and Martha Strowde, was baptized at St Peter in ThanetG on 23 November 1595.1 He died in NewtownG between 5 and 10 Oct 1635.2 He married first at St Peter in ThanetG on 2 November 1618, Elizabeth Boyman.3,4 She died after only seven years’ marriage and was buried at St John in ThanetG on 27 February 1625/26.5 He married second at St John in ThanetG on 6 August 1627, Isabel Pearce.6,7 After Simon’s death, Isabel married after June 1636 and before 1639, probably in Hartford, ConnecticutG, William Bloomfield.8 Isabel died after 1 April 1682 (date of will made at Newtown, Long Island, New York.)9
     Simon would have been one of the unnamed sons each left £10 in their father’s will made at Birchington, KentG, on 23 June 1615.
Simon and Isabel’s emigration
Simon and Isabel emigrated from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony at about the time of the Winthrop fleet of 1630. Their names have not been found on passenger lists reconstructed by researchers of the early immigrants to New England. However, there is good evidence that they had settled in Newtown probably in 1631 and certainly by 1632.
     Charles Weygant, in The Sacketts of America stated that they made the journey on the Lyon, leaving Bristol, England, on 1 December 1630 and arriving at Nantasket Roads, off Boston, on 5 February 1631, after an unusually severe voyage. He further stated that among the heads of families on the Lyon were Roger Williams, Simon Sackett, John Sackett (who would be Simon’s brother), John Throkmorton, and Nicholas Bailey.
     Weygant does not explain his conclusion that Simon came on this ship. It is a reasonable hypothesis, but supporting evidence has not been found. The Lyon‘s arrival date (February 1631) is a good match with the first record (1631 or 1632) of Simon in New England. And the presence of Williams and Throkmorton on this voyage is confirmed by Winthrop’s Journal, Winthrop also recording the names of Perkins and Ong (but not Bailey or Sackett), “and others, with their wives and children, about twenty passengers”.
     Other ships on which Simon may have travelled are possible. A fleet of six ships, carrying a group of some 350 settlers led by the Puritan minster Francis Higginson sailed from Gravesend in April and May 1629 for Salem. Numbers of the passengers on these ships settled in Boston, Charlestown, and other Bay Colony places as well as in Salem.
     Gravesend, in the Thames estuary on the north coast of Kent, and only 60 miles from Thanet, commends itself as a starting point for Simon’s voyage, and is perhaps more likely than the Lyon‘s departure port of Bristol in the west of England.
     The possibility of Simon’s migrating in Spring 1629 rather than in Winter 1630–31 would also fit better with the fact of his brother John’s making his will in April 1628.
     It is possible, too, that Simon went with the main Winthrop fleet of eleven ships. The first five of these sailed from Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, in April and May 1630, arriving at Salem in June and July, but, perhaps of more interest, are ships setting out from Gravesend or London. The Thomas and William sailed from Gravesend in May, and the Handmaid from London in August.
     John Winthrop’s wife and children made the voyage the following year, 1631, sailing from London in August on the Lyon and arriving at Nantasket on 2 November. Charles Banks, in The Planters of the Commonwealth, identified a number of residents of Newtown who he thought probably came in this ship. These residents first appear in Newtown records on 7 January 1632/33. Simon could have been a passenger on this ship, although it is clear from the town records that Simon was in Newtown at an earlier date than these other residents, and probably by July 1631. The conclusion by the Cambridge Historical Commission that Simon Sackett and others had settled there by 26 July 1631 is discussed below.
Simon in Newtown
Simon and Isabel were among the first settlers of Newtown, arriving in 1631 or 1632, and remaining there until Simon’s death just a few years later in 1635.
     Newtown had been identified by Governor Winthrop and the “Assistants” of the company as a suitable site for a fortified town and he and Deputy Governor Dudley and Secretary Bradstreet as well as other senior men had committed to build houses there in the Spring of 1631 and to settle there before the following winter. (Winthrop did indeed have a house erected there but later took it down and re-erected it at Boston.)
     At the front of The Towne Book of Newtowne (later The Records of the Town of Cambridge (formerly Newtowne), Massachusetts, 1630–1703), Simon’s name appears in an undated list, but either 1631 or 1632, of the first eight settlers of Newtown: “The Towne, Newtowne, Inhabitants then, Tho = Dudly Esqr, mr Symon Bradstreet, mr Edmond Lockwood, mr Daniell Patrike, John Poole, William Spencer, John Kirman, Symon Sackett.”10
     The Cambridge Historical Commission have placed a historical notice in Winthrop Square stating that these men had completed and occupied houses in Newtown by 26 July 1631. This precise date would appear to refer to an order made at a meeting of the Court of Assistants held in Boston on that day that “eu’y first Friday in eu’y moneth there shalbe a gen’all traineing of the remaindr of them who inhabitt att Charlton, Misticke, & the new towne, att a convenient place aboute the Indian wigwams, the traininge to begin att one of the clocke in the afternoone.”
     It would seem unlikely that an order for a general training would have been made for a smaller number of men than the eight named in the undated list. It is therefore likely that the list refers to those resident by July 1631. The Towne Book was started in 1632 and there is missing data from the first two pages. The words “Inhabitants then” introducing the list clearly relate to an earlier date, now missing or illegible in the original. (The transcription “Inhabitants then” appears in the transcription made by the Cambridge City Council in 1901. Lucius Paige’s transcription in his 1877 History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 16301877 reads “Inhabitants there”.)
     The settlement grew rapidly with the arrival of the Braintree company in the summer of 1632, and it was decided to secure with fencing a substantial area of common land. By a decision of a town meeting on 7 January 1632/33, these “common pales”, of a length of some 580 rods, were divided among the then 42 landholders. Simon was allotted 6 rods (equal to 33 yards). On 5 August 1633, he was granted half an acre for a cowyard in Cambridge.11 On 20 August 1635, he was granted a one-acre share of land at Fresh Pond meadow.12
     Subsequent land records relate to Simon’s widow Isabel. An inventory of land taken on 10 October 1635 (within days of Simon’s death) and recorded in The Register Book of the Lands and Houses in the “New Towne” listed several lots in the name of Sackett: a house in the town at Long Street with about half a rood (i.e. one-eighth of an acre), half an acre at Cowyard Row, five and a half acres at Small Lott Hill, one acre and a rood at Long Marsh, and five acres in the Great Marsh.13
     Administration of Simon’s estate was granted by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Company to his widow Isabel on 3 November 1635.14,15
     “Widdow Sackett” was listed in the Cambridge Town Records on 8 February 1635/36 as a householder. She owned one of the 76 houses in the town.
Isabel’s removal to Hartford and remarriage
After Simon’s death, Isabel removed with her young sons Simon and John to Hartford, Connecticut, travelling in the Spring of 1636 with the hundred-strong Hooker congregation, including William Bloomfield who had immigrated from England and settled at Cambridge in 1634. Isabel’s sons Simon and John, about six and four respectively, accompanied her, and William’s three-year-old daughter Sarah Bloomfield also made the journey. Isabel and William Bloomfield were married sometime after 8 February 1635/36 when Isabel was listed as a widow and householder in Cambridge and before about 1639 when William and Isabel’s first son Daniel was born, presumably in Hartford. William and Isabel had two more sons, both born in Hartford, John in 1645 and Samuel in 1647.
     William and Isabel removed to Newtown, Long Island, in 1662. William died there in 1667 or 1668. Isabel survived him. She made her will at Newtown on 1 April 1682, leaving her share of the “housings and lands” left to her by her husband William to their son Daniel Bloomfield.
     Isabel’s son Simon Sackett married his stepsister Sarah Bloomfield in Springfield, Massachusetts, in about 1652.
Simon’s reasons for emigrating
Early migrants from England to the New World had various motivations for seeking a new life in a virtually unknown country and for undertaking the hazardous journey. Many fled religious persecution, but others removed in hopes of a better, more prosperous future. England had entered on a half-century of chronic trade depression. Propagandists for the Massachusetts Bay Company, which had been founded in 1629, were active in the recruitment of settlers. And there was the promise of boundless fertile lands. Some were escapees from threatening plague or famine. Survival in the new land would depend crucially upon the application of essential practical skills; thus, many were farmers or were engaged in allied trades. Well-placed migrants took with them their servants and these, too, were to become founding fathers of America.
     Simon’s reasons for embarking on his American adventure are not known. Nor do we know his occupation. Given the documentation of the time, it would seem likely that, had Simon emigrated for reasons of religious conviction, there would remain recorded evidence of the fact. But it is dangerous to speculate as to his reasons; it is to be hoped that further information will come to light. It is worth, however, considering Simon’s family circumstances at the time.
     Simon Sackett was born, probably in November 1595 (he was baptized on 23 November 1595), in the small rural parish of St Peter in the Isle of Thanet on the north-east coast of Kent. He was the sixth of nine children, and third of five sons, born to Thomas and Martha Sackett. Simon’s father, Thomas, who had died when Simon was 20, was a yeoman farmer in Birchington, a parish some five miles west of St Peter. Thomas had evidently established a farm at Birchington some time after the birth of his youngest child, Elizabeth, in 1604.
     The description of Thomas, in his will made in 1615, as a “yeoman” implies that he owned at least some of his land. However, the term does not necessarily imply significant wealth and it is clear from his will that his house and land at St Peter’s were mortgaged and that his house and land at Birchington were rented. His will directed that the St Peter’s property be sold to pay his debts and legacies. Thomas had inherited lands and a tenement at St Peter’s from his father, also Thomas. Thomas the elder, although possessed of property, described himself in his will as a “labourer”; again, that will does not suggest significant wealth.
     Simon was about 35 years old when he made his fateful decision to emigrate. Two of his brothers had died, older brother Thomas some eleven years earlier, and younger brother William about fifteen years earlier. Although there is no direct confirmatory evidence, it is possible that they were victims of plague or other epidemic which occurred frequently in Birchington in the early part of the 17th century16. His eldest brother John, later identified by his will as John Sackett the fisherman, survived. There is no evidence that John or Simon were possessed of lands.
     Simon had been married twice; first in 1618 to Elizabeth Boyman, and following her death in 1625/26, second to Isabel Pearce in 1627. Elizabeth had borne him three daughters, Christianna in 1620, Elizabeth in 1623, and Martha in 1625. Of these, only Christianna is known to have survived to adulthood, marrying Thomas Tanner in 1641. No death or burial records for Elizabeth or Martha have been found but it is reasonable to assume that they died in infancy or childhood, perhaps the victims of plague. In any event, when he emigrated, Simon left at least one young, motherless, daughter behind, presumably in the care of one of his brothers or sisters.
     The will of Simon’s brother John, made in 1628, reveals that Simon owed his brother a sum of money. It would be stretching the evidence to conclude that this would have been a loan to help finance Simon’s voyage (emigration may not even have been under consideration at this early date), but it does indicate that Simon was not a man of means. As a second son, probably without land, his prospects in Thanet may have seemed limited. In the absence of evidence of a religious motive, it is probable that Simon was attracted by the promise of a more prosperous future in New England. Or, he may have been motivated by both religious and economic factors.
Simon and Isabel’s voyage
Although Weygant gives specific details of the dates and method of Simon’s journey to Boston, Massachusetts, on the Lyon from Bristol on England’s west coast, it has not yet proved possible to verify from primary sources that he was a passenger on that particular voyage.17,18 Weygant’s version is probable but it is known to be inaccurate in the important particular of Simon’s origin, Weygant stating this to be the Isle of Ely, Cambridgeshire, instead of the Isle of Thanet, Kent. Other writers have proposed various dates for Simon’s migration (Riker, “about the year 1628 or ’29”; Savage and Anderson, 1632). The earlier dates would seem less likely as there were relatively few settlers before the sailing of the Winthrop fleet of eleven ships in 1630. If Simon was indeed on this Lyon voyage then he would certainly have met John Winthrop as the latter boarded the ship on 8 February 1631 as it rode at anchor off Long Island.19
     Weygant records Simon as being engaged, with others, in building dwellings in Newtown, Mass., in 1631. Confirmation of this date would be of help in determining Simon’s date of migration. Although it is likely that Simon was there in 1631, it has not been possible to confirm this. The first record of Simon found in Newtown (Cambridge) is in the undated list (almost certainly of 1632) in the Cambridge Town Records.
     The Cambridge Historical Commission have placed a plaque in Winthrop Park stating that Dudley, Bradstreet, Lockwood, Poole, Patrick, Spencer, Kirman, and Sackett had completed and occupied houses in Newtown by 26 July 1631. However, study of the Commission’s source (Lucius Paige’s History of Cambridge) suggests that this rather stretches the evidence. It would perhaps be more accurate to say that Dudley and Bradstreet had built houses in Newtown by 1631 and it is likely that the others had also done so.20
The family tradition
Weygant relates the family tradition as told to him by his father-in-law, Samuel Bailey Sackett, that Simon with his brother, John, travelled on the Lyon in company with Roger Williams. The existence of this brother has since been challenged (by Anderson) and our further researches have revealed that Weygant’s primary evidence in support of the family tradition, that John Sackett, Simon’s alleged brother, filed an inventory of his own son’s estate (in 1684), was mistaken. With the removal of Simon’s brother, John, the question is opened of the relationship between Simon and John of New Haven (claimed by Weygant to have been the son of Simon’s brother)—and, indeed, the migration of this John Sackett.
DNA test results
An early objective of the Sackett DNA project was to see if there was a genetic link between the lines of Simon Sackett the colonist and John Sackett of New Haven. Given the family tradition, it was fully expected that a match would be found. However, test results for a significant number of present-day descendants in each line suggest that Simon and John were not related.

The family tradition related to Charles Weygant by his father-in-law Samuel Bailey Sackett.

About ten years after the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth, Simon and John Sackett, brothers, came from England to Massachusetts, in company with Roger Williams. John Sackett followed Mr. Williams to Rhode Island and finally settled at New Haven, becoming the founder of the New Haven branch of the family. Simon Sackett remained in Massachusetts, was one of the founders of the City of Cambridge, and is the progenitor of the Massachusetts and Long Island, N.Y., branches.

1. Simon Sackett 160?-1635. On December 1, 1630 the ship Lyon, laden with provisions consigned to colonists who had the preceding year accompanied or followed Lord John Winthrop to New England, sailed from the seaport city of Bristol. The passenger list of the Lyon on this particular voyage contained 26 names, a little band of well-to-do Puritan colonists who had voluntarily left comfortable homes in the land of their birth, where liberty to worship God in accordance with the dictates of conscience was by law denied them, and seeking new places of abode, with such fortune as might await them on the rugged shores and in the primeval forests of the New World. Among the heads of families of this pioneer band were Roger Williams, Simon Sackett, John Sackett, John Throkmorton and Nicholas Bailey. The family of Simon Sackett included his wife Isabel, and their infant son, Simon Sackett Jr.
     This mid-winter voyage of the ship Lyon was unusually severe. She did not reach Nantasket Roads, off Boston town, the port of her destination, until February 5, 1631. About a month previous to her arrival, Governor Winthrop, Deputy Governor Dudley, and the “Assistants” to whom and their successors, King Charles had committed the charter government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, had formally selected, a few miles from Boston, on the Charles River, a site for a new town, which it was their avowed purpose to fortify and make the permanent seat of government. It was understood and agreed that the Governor, Deputy Governor, and six of the eight assistants, should each erect on the site selected a permanent house, suitable for the accommodation of his family, in time to spend the following winter there. But shortly thereafter several of the assistants became deeply interested in private business projects at Boston and other settlements and neglected to carry out their part of the agreement. The undertaking was not, however, abandoned or long delayed, for in the spring of 1631, Winthrop, Dudley and Bradstreet, together with six other “principal gentlemen,” including Simon Sackett, “commenced the execution of the plan” by erecting substantial dwellings. The house built and occupied by Simon Sackett and his family stood on the north side of what is now Winthrop Street, in the centre of the block, between Brighton and Dunster Streets.
     From the commencement of the settlement records were made of the “agreements of its inhabitants” touching matters of mutual interest, as well as of the public acts of town officials-all of which have been preserved to the present day. Wood, in his “New England’s Prospects”, written in the latter part of 1633, gives the following description of the place, which at that time was called Newtown, but three years later was re-christened Cambridge:

This is one of the neatest and best compacted towns in New England, having many fair structures, with many handsome contrived streets. The inhabitants, most of them, are very rich and well stored with cattle of all sorts, having many hundred acres of land poled in with general fence, which is about a mile and a half long, which secures all their weaker cattle from the wild beasts.

     Newtown did not, however, become the permanent seat of government of Massachusetts Bay Colony, but it did become, is to-day, and will undoubtedly long remain the seat of America’s most famous university.
     In the founding and laying out of this embryo “city in the wilderness”, Simon Sackett was a potent factor, but the exposure and privations of his mid-winter voyage on the ship Lyon had undermined his health, which continued to decline until October 1635, when he died. On the third day of November following, widow Isabel Sackett was granted, by the court, authority to administer on his estate. At same session of court, the memorable decree was entered which banished Roger Williams from the colony. Mrs. Williams had come to Newtown with her husband on that occasion, “he being in feeble health”, and it is altogether probable they were entertained at the home of their bereaved friend and fellow passenger on their voyage from England, whose dwelling was convenient to the public building where the court was held.
     Widow Sackett’s name appears on the Newtown records for the last time under date of February 8, 1636. In June of that year the Rev. Hooker’s congregation, having either sold or leased their dwellings, removed to Connecticut – widow Sackett and her boys forming part of the migrating company. Dr. Trumble give the following account of their journey:

About the beginning of June 1636, Mr. Hooker and about 100 men, women and children took their departure from Newtown and traveled more than a hundred miles through a hideous wilderness to Hartford. They made their journey over mountains, through swamps, thickets and rivers, which were not passable but with great difficulty. They had no cover but the heavens, nor any lodgings but those that simple nature offered them. They drove with them 160 head of cattle and carried their packs and some utensils. This adventure was the more remarkable, as many of the company were persons of figure, who had lived in England in honor, affluence and delicacy, and were entire strangers to fatigue and danger.

     After Mr. Hooker’s migrating company had become established at Hartford, widow Isabel Sackett became the second wife of William Bloomfield.

Simon Sackett and his wife Isabel were the parents of:

     3. Simon Sackett, b. 1630; d. July 9, 1659; m. Sarah Bloomfield.
     4. John Sackett, b. 1632, d. Oct 8, 1719; m. Abigail Hannum.


Hooker’s Company Reach the Connecticut
Src: Wikipedia, publishers: Estes & Lauriat, 1879

Children of Simon Sackett the colonist and Elizabeth Boyman

Children of Simon Sackett the colonist and Isabel Pearce

 Notes & Citations

  1. Baptisms Register, St Peter the Apostle, Thanet, Kent (Society of Genealogists), “23 November 1595 Symon s. Thomas Sackett.”
  2. “The American Genealogist”, digital image, American Ancestors, 1988, 63:179, (the range of death dates being established from inventories of lands held by neighbours abutting his and his widow’s lands as recorded in The Register Book of the Lands and Houses in the “New Towne”).
  3. Marriages Register, St Peter the Apostle, Thanet, Kent (Tyler transcripts, Society of Genealogists), “2 November 1618 Simon Sackett & Elizabeth Boyman.”
  4. “Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700”, database, American Ancestors, “Simon1 [Sackett] (–1635) & Isabel ___, (–1635+) m/2 William Bloomfield; by 1630; Cambridge. “
  5. Burials Register, St John the Baptist, Thanet, Kent, digital image, Findmypast, “27 Feb 1625/26 Elizabetha uxor Simonis Sacket.”
  6. Marriages Register, St John the Baptist, Margate, Kent (Parish Registers 1570-1650 (U3/140/1/1) (Debrett’s); Tyler transcripts; IGI), “6 August 1627 Matrimonius est solemnizatum inter Simone Sacket et Isabella Pearce.”
  7. “Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700”, database, American Ancestors, “Simon1 (-1635) & Isabel ___, (-1635+) m/2 William Bloofield; by 1630; Cambridge. “
  8. “Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700”, database, American Ancestors, “BLOOMFIELD, William & 2/wf Isabel (___) [SACKETT], w Simon; aft 8 Feb 1636, bef 1645; Hartford/New London .”
  9. Town Minutes of Newtown 1653-1734: Transcriptions of Early Town Records of New York (New York: Historical Records Survey, 1941).
  10. Cambridge City Clerk, publisher, Town Records of the Town of Cambridge (formerly Newtowne) (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge City Council, 1901), 2, Earliest settlers, undated list, but probably 1632, the first dated entry being 24 Dec 1632 on p4, “The Towne, Newtowne, Inhabitants then, Tho = Dudly Esqr, mr Symon Bradstreet, mr Edmond Lockwood, mr Daniell Patrike, John Poole, William Spencer, John Kirman, Symon Sackett.”
  11. Cambridge City Clerk, publisher, Town Records of the Town of Cambridge (formerly Newtowne) (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge City Council, 1901), 4–5, “The 7th of January 1632[/33] … Comon Pales divided as Follo—[Totals of 42 names, 581 Rodd/Rod (1 rod = 5½ yards), including:] Symon Saket 6 Rod.” “The 5th August 1633, Lotts Granted for Cowyardes. [Totals of 28 names, 12½ acres & 23 roods (1 rood = ¼ acre), including:] Symo Sakt ½ akr.”
  12. Cambridge City Clerk, publisher, Town Records of the Town of Cambridge (formerly Newtowne) (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge City Council, 1901), 12–13, “Division of Fresh Pond Meadow. Att A General Meeting of the whole Towne the 20th August 1635. Itt was ordered that William Spencer and Georg Steele should measuer all the meaddow ground undivided belonging to the Newtowne: and when it is measuered and divided to every man his proporcion they are to: measuer every mans severally and Cause stakes to bee sett at each end and to have three pence the Acker for the same and whosoever shall not pay for measueringe wthin one yeare then the ground to returne to them for measueringe. Further it is ordered that the same shalbee divided acordinge to every mans severall proporcion hereunder written untill it bee all dispossed off viz [Totals of 71 names, 118½ acres, including:] Sy. Saket 1 [Ackr].”
  13. The Register Book of the Lands and Houses in the “New Towne” and the Town of Cambridge with the Records of the Proprietors of the Common Lands, being the Records generally called The Proprietors’ Records (Cambridge, Massachusetts: J Wilson & Son, 1896), 33.
  14. Nathaniel B Shurtleff, Editor, Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, 1628–1686 (Boston: , 1853–1854), 155, “Att the Court, Novembr 3, 1635. There is adm’strac’on graunted to Isabell Sackett of the goods & chattells of her husband, lately deceased.”
  15. Lucius Paige, History of Cambridge, Massachusetts 1630-1870 (Boston: Houghlin & Co, 1877), 651.
  16. R K I Quested, The Isle of Thanet Farming Community: An Agrarian History (Ashford, Kent: Wye College Press, 1996), pp47-8.
  17. The names of some passengers on this voyage of the Lyon were recorded by John Winthrop in his Journal: “Febr: 5 [1630/31] The shippe Lyon with mr Wm: Peirce master, arived at Nataskat, she brought mr williams (a godly man) with his wife, mr Throgmorton, [blank] Perkins, [blank] Onge & others with their wiues & Children, about 20: passingers, & about 200: tun. of goodes: she sett sayle from Bristow december 1: she had a verye tempestuous passage, yet through Godes mercye all her people came safe, except waye his sonne, who fell from the spritsayle yarde in a tempest & could not be recovered thoughe he kept in sight neere 1/4 of an howre: her goodes allso came all in good condition.” [Richard S Dunn, James Savage, and Laetitia Yeandle, editors, The Journal of John Winthrop 1630–1649 (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1996), 44–45.]
  18. An article on Roger Williams in The Genealogists’ Post (May 1964) states: “Among the passengers [on the Lyon] was the Reverend Roger Williams and his wife Mary; John Throckmorton with his wife Rebecca and children, John and Patience; John Perkins with his wife Judith and children John, Elizabeth, Mary, Thomas and Jacon; Edmond Onge and his wife Frances and children Simon and Jonah; and William Parke.”
  19. Dunn, Savage, and Yeandle, editors, The Journal of John Winthrop, 45–46, “8: [Feb 1630/31] The Governor went aboard the Lyon rydinge by longe Ilande.” “9: [Feb] The Lyon came to an Anchor before Boston, where she rode verye well notwithstandinge the great drifte of Ice.” “10: [Feb] The frost brake vp, & after that, thoughe we had many snowes & sharpe frostes yet they continued not, neither were the waters frozen vp as before: (it hathe been observed ever since this baye was planted by Englishmen viz. 7: yeares) that at this daye the froste hathe broke vp everye yeare. The poorer sorte of people (who laye in tentes &c:) were muche afflicted with the Sckirvye, & many dyed, especially at Boston & Charles towne, but when this shippe came, & brought store of Iuice of Lemons, manye recovered speedylye. It hathe beene alwayes observed heere, that suche as fell into discontente & lingered after their former Conditions in Englande, fell into the skirvye, & dyed.”
  20. A plaque placed in Winthrop Park in Harvard Square by the Cambridge Historical Commission in 1980 states, “By July 26, 1631, eight houses were completed and occupied by Dudley, Bradstreet, Lockwood, Poole, “Capt.” Patrick, Spencer, Kirman, and Sackett.” Enquiries made by Lester L Sackett in 2004 reveal that the Commission’s source for the 1631 date was Lucius Paige’s History of Cambridge (Riverside Press, 1877). However, study of Paige’s work suggests that the Commission’s conclusion, that these eight men were established in Cambridge by July 1631, rather stretches the evidence. Indeed, Paige was careful to state that he had no “certain proof”. Referring to the Town Records, Paige stated, “But this Book of Records was not commenced until 1632, several months after Dudley and Bradstreet performed their promise ‘to build houses at the New Town.’ Whether more than the before mentioned eight persons, and indeed whether all these resided in the New Town before the end of 1631, I have not found any certain proof. The number of inhabitants in that year was doubtless small, yet there were enough able-bodied men to be specially included in an order of the court passed July 26, 1631, requiring a general training of soldiers in all the plantations.” There would seem, therefore, to be satisfactory evidence that Dudley and Bradstreet had built houses in Newtown in 1631. While it is likely that others had also done so, there is no direct evidence of this.
  21. Robert Anderson, The Great Migration Begins – Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, vol. III (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995).
See also Early American Sacketts timeline
Notable Sacketts timeline
Thurmon King’s Database, 1
The Great Migration Begins, Simon Sackett21
Simon’s brother John Sackett
Appears in Notable Sacketts
Sackett line Grandson of Thomas Sackett the elder of St Peter in Thanet

John Friend’s tide mill in Salem Massachusetts

This 1880 photo shows the Friend Tide Mill on the Bass River. The mill processed grain brought to the location by ship. Photo courtesy of Beverly HistoricalThis 1880 photo shows the Friend Tide Mill on the Bass River. The mill processed grain brought to the location by ship. Photo courtesy of Beverly Historical Society Society  


Looking anew at Salem and Beverly’s Bass River


Last September, we worked with the Beverly Historical Society and Tide Mill Institute to establish a new tour program for the old Friend’s Tide Mill site.  This feature near the Cummings Center fronts upon the Bass River in what is now Beverly.  Yet before 1629 this area was all part of ancient Naumkeag.  It was first settled by Nanepashemet’s boat-building, fishing & Indian corn-farming Native Americans.  It then remained part of colonial Salem until the 1750s.

By the 1630s, early English citizens like John Winthrop who sailed the famed 1630 Arbella fleet to Salem, and 1630 sailor and carpenter John Friend of Salem were influential near the Naumkeag or Bass River.  Friend built a ca. 1647-49 Indian corn-grinding tidal gristmill after obtaining Salem permissions.

Friend’s Mill or the Friend-Dodge Tide Mill was kept active by many different owners over the years. These including the Friends, Leaches, Dodges and Woodburys.  (John Friend, 1640s-1660s; then John Leach;  then John Dodge, Jr;  then Dodge’s son-in-law Ebenezer Woodbury after 1702;  then Israel Woodbury’s son-in-law Thomas Davis after 1798; finally Aaron Dodge and his son Israel W. Dodge after 1848.) 

Over time, this Salem and Beverly water-powered mill underwent changes.  Its dam was moved by circa 1848 downstream to the south side of Elliott Street perhaps to more easily access large ships.  A tall grain elevator tower was built in 1851. Some of the 17th century mill framing was recycled into a barn structure. A circa 1880 photograph shows the mill’s tall timber grain elevator tower was situated near the middle of the south side waterfront elevation while on the west gable end, a painted sign proclaimed “elevator and mills” with the reference to mills being plural.

Each pair or run of millstones was sometimes also called a mill. The sign evidently indicated that there were at least two pairs of millstones working within the Friend-Dodge Tide Mill by the 1880s.  Multiple centers of grinding provided versatility.

Grain elevators often used conveyor belts with attached metal buckets to lift great volumes of corn, wheat and/or other cereal grains to the uppermost floors of gristmills.  From near the top of the mill, gravity and cloth or wood chutes conveyed the grain to be milled down to the millstones—that were all turned at high speed using local waterpower. Meal, bran and flour were produced for local consumption as well as for maritime export.

The Friend-Dodge Tide Mill was a highly significant Salem and Beverly industrial, agricultural and maritime landmark between the 1640s and 1880s.  Schooners and vessels brought grain to be milled to the site.  Mill Street to the east also brought farmers and commerce to the mill.  The Beverly Historical Society noted “The region [near the mill] remained part of Salem until 1753.”

An 1880s fire removed all upper portions of the last tide mill on the Bass River. However surviving wooden dam remnants, pilings, and other features now visible prove the site retains high archaeological, historical and interpretive value.  It would appear that an intact 19th century waterwheel or metal shafted turbine likely also survives intact below grade.

To enhance Salem and Beverly tourism and pride of place, I propose several new elements could be introduced.  These might include: (1) new wayside markers for the nearby park; (2) regular tours and classes, as well as (3) archaeological inspection and documentation of the Friend’s Mill waterwheel and millstones.

In addition, to maximize community value, perhaps what is also needed is a new small floating educational center and gallery or museum that could be anchored near the Bass River tide mill remains.  A new flat-bottomed vessel and/or boat mill could perhaps work to present and preserve tide mill history along with new 21st century renewable energy education exhibits (relating to tidal, solar and wind energy) to benefit multiple audiences.

Could a new mobile or moored micro-museum on the Bass River enhance education and eco-tourism here and/or in other places where historic tide mills once functioned?

Tide mills and historic tide mill sites open wonderful new doors to history and maritime history discovery.  Salem and Beverly were and are fortunate to have John Friend’s Tide Mill. Look for related future articles to print to potentially discuss tide mills, boat mills, floating architecture and John Friend of Salem, the 1640s builder who constructed the first working tidal gristmill here on Salem’s and Beverly’s old Naumkeag or Bass River.

Final End to 35 years of Legal Challenges ?

Final End to 35 years of Legal Challenges ? 

We, William and Louise Friend, are relieved to announce that we have finally defeated long standing legal challenges to our title to and claims of extra  access rights over, our private road at East Northdown , for development of land at East Northdown House and grounds by Peter Robert Miles, beyond the express rights/easements first granted to him in 1982. Having reached a global settlement in 2013 , that was to be the end of all disputed matters , the other side has chosen to fight on for a further 8 years to avoid completion/registration of the original 1982 terms and the further agreed 2013 settlement terms. Only now that matters are no longer ‘sub judice‘ can we set out a record of some of the key claims , witness statements, and concluding orders and judgements. I try and do this in an impartial way setting out both sides of the argument in reciprocal witness statements , with 3rd party statements , judgements and decisions . The allegations, claims and challenges brought against us have been a terrible blight on our lives, and business interests, for over three and a half decades , an exhausting and debilitating struggle and a terrible waste of resources, but they had to be met and defeated before we could resume the normal lawful development of our and our tenants businesses.     

The Northdown Estate has been in the Friend , Tomlin , Sackett families since records began. The 6 properties along the East Northdown private road, other than our farm and farmhouse, have each been granted easements, when sold, for use as a single private dwelling and with an obligation to pay towards the road maintenance costs. I came to run the family farm at East Northdown in the autumn of 1985 at the age of 21 , having freshly graduated from Christ Church , Oxford in agricultural and forest sciences. I took over the business from F.A. Steed t/a Steed and Nicholass Ltd in June 1986 , after 9 months as farm manager . Percy Walter Steed took the tenancy from my grandfather, Cpt. (WWI, Major WWII) James Irvine Hatfeild Friend, MC, JP, OBE (Irvine) in 1937. My father Irvine James Cowley Friend,(Bobby) started his dairy farming business in Staffordshire. Throughout this time , it was the responsibility of the farm occupier to maintain the road , on behalf of the family/landlord under the terms of their tenancy. My unmarried great aunt , Maude Irvine Friend , JP and scouts commissioner, held a tenancy for life of Lawn cottage , East Northdown House  and East Northdown Cottage , from my grandfather , JIHF  , which passed to my father IJCF on her death in 1963 as part of JIHF’s estate,( even though he predeceased her) . Maude was of limited means , so made no contribution to the maintenance of the road to her brother JIHF.  The road , and all adjoining properties belonged entirely to James Taddy Friend , JIHF and IJCF in turn, until the sale of first of the six properties by IJCF, Oast Cottage, in the 1970’s . My father died in 2003 at which point title to the road passed to me and was finally registered in my name in 2011. 

Oast Cot rd payment 77 

1977 bill to Oast cottage for the agreed road maintenance charges.    

13 02 04 George Goodall WS

2013 Witness statement explaining the road maintenance provisions at East Northdown 

0 82 06 E N House contract .

The original 1982 sales contract setting out the agreed terms of sale and use of East Northdown House is now finally appended to the deed of grant on the title deeds of East Northdown House , Paddock and Orchard and my 2 access roads.  The property may only be used as a single private dwelling only with no conversion of the outbuildings or other secondary dwellings or uses (other than a domestic horse paddock, with the orchard, for 4 horses ). A regular road maintenance levy was to be paid annually, which Mr. Miles paid each year until 1986, after which he refused to contribute.

0 82 IJCF to St Gore re terms of sale

The easements to East Northdown House were granted and registered at the Land Registry in accordance with the conveyance of the 5th November 1982 conveyance and 28th October 1982 statutory declaration of IJCF , declaring his title to the road . 

0 82 10 28 IJCF stat dec for road

0 86 12 11 Road maintnc levy for 84, 85, 86,pd to IJCF

My father sold EN house to raise funds for death duties on my maternal grandfather, Sir Henry Hinchliffe’s estate at Mucklestone Staffs. My father always intended that one of the family would return to run the farm at Northdown in due course. I was the one who was interested in horticulture , whereas my brothers are a vet, a dairy farmer , and one sister has a fish farm. 

The agreed sale price of £75,000 (£70k house, £5k for the paddock) reflected a reduced price for the property restricted in use to a single private dwelling , rather than full potential value of the site for unrestricted development and/or commercial uses. 

82 E N H transfer

The 1982 transfer includes a protective covenant for East Northdown Cottage, that the use of the blue land , the side access to the garden paddock (and orchard)  should only be used for ‘reasonable’ purposes’ -this covenant has always been registered at the land registry.  Uses for new developments or uses that breach the terms of the 1982 sales contract , cannot be reasonable , and are therefore prohibited. The conveyance of the Paddock followed in 1983, with no separate easements granted for it, but only enjoying the same easement already granted in common with ENH.

A third parcel known as the Orchard , belonging to my four aunts , adjacent (but separate from) the third of an acre ‘Paddock’ became landlocked by the sale of East Northdown House , and was occupied by Mr. Miles in 1983 with the agreement of one of the Aunts , Mrs. Sheilagh Stanton. The Orchard did not enjoy any vehicular access at that time , but has only ever been accessed from the adjoining paddock. The Orchard , was rented by my gt aunt Maude Irvine Friend from my grandfather JIHF for £7/yr and upon his death this passed to his 4 daughters. 

 0 83 01 24 stat dec paddock   

 0 79 80 receipts for paddock, paddock not part of orchard 

It was decided to sell East Northdown Cottage in 1985 , the elderly residents having died. The cottage needed complete renovation . A sale was agreed , but not completed with a local building firm . Mr. Miles was anxious to buy the property to free himself of the covenants protecting the property from disturbance etc. He made a threat in April 1986 that if a sale to a third party went ahead the ‘repercussions for you son will be endless’. A sale was completed to the Riordan’s in Autumn 86 , and the cottage and buildings lovingly and sympathetically restored by them.

0 86 Miles threat 

My father reminded Mr.Miles of the terms of their sales contract , that there were no parking rights in the road, no rights for commercial uses  or vehicular or independent access rights to my aunts Orchard area.  

0 86 Miles threat rply 1 

but the  ‘repercussions’ of the sale of East Northdown Cottage, in terms of the campaign of retaliation against my seeking to uphold the original sales terms, and uphold/prove my title and control of the roads,  have indeed been ‘endless’ as he threatened in 1986 (and 2005), and have resulted in crippling costs. Surely now these unsuccessful and unfounded challenges of 35 years can now finally be laid to rest?

0 86 10 ward valuation ENd ho, or pad

0 86 M to LR IJCF no title to road

The above valuation shows that the value of the ENH property for development, multiple dwellings or commercial uses, in 1986 , would be roughly 4 times the actual price paid for the property in 1982 , which was subject to restrictions to use the property only as a single private dwelling .  The challenges and claims brought over the past 35 years start from this point in time up to the present, with the first letter to the Land Registry of the 9th of September 1986 , above challenging the truth of IJCF’s Oct 1982 stat dec for the Road.  From this point on, Mr. Miles has sought to disprove my and my fathers ownership & control of the access road, to free East Northdown House and Grounds  of any restrictions on their use by trying to establish that neither my father nor I exercise /ed any title or control of the road or retain /ed any  ‘benefit’ as owners of any of the 1982 ‘retained land’ , and thereby establish unfetterred access rights for unrestricted commercial or residential development at ENH .  In 1990 Burtons spelt out this argument – that the covenants no longer apply as Mr I.J.C. Friend no longer owns any ‘retained land’. This was not the case as IJCF DID still own the access roads, which passed to me on his death in 2003, I managed the roads on his behalf prior to his death, and ‘benefit’ of the covenants also passed to the new owners of the  other land retained in 1982 and sold subsequently, East Northdown Cottage and Lawn Cottage . This is the cause of Mr. Miles grievance against me and the Riordans – he wrongly perceived that none of the family would have any interest in or grounds to uphold the covenants after the sale of East Northdown Cottage in 1985/86, leaving him free to develop East Northdown House, Paddock or Orchard , as envisaged in the 1986 Ward valuation for many times his original purchase price of the ENH and ‘ Paddock’  , or oppose his adverse seizure of and subsequent development of  ‘The Orchard’.    

 0 90 05 8 Burton to W & B benefit of land moribund

A second thread to the argument over rights of way over the road , has been to dispute the 1983 stat. Dec , with regards to IJCF’s title to ‘The Paddock’. He tried to argue that The Paddock formed part of ‘The Orchard’ left in my Grandfather’s will to my 4 aunts, claiming IJCF’s Stat Dec. of  Jan 83 was false .  On this pretext he claimed a right of way to the Paddock and adjoining Orchard , deriving not from my father , but from my aunts’ prior title , independent of the restrictive covenants imposed by my father. The receipts for the paddock grazing above show that my father, alone,  not my Aunts, received the rent from the Paddock following MIF’s death. The land transferred to my Aunts in my grandfather’s will was the Orchard only , which is about an acre, and did not include the Paddock of about 1/3rd of an acre extra. The Paddock was mistakenly thought by the family to form part of the land vested to MIF for life. The Orchard and Paddock combined amount to 1.33 acres , not the 1acre referred to in JIHF’s will. In about 2007 Miles  made allegations against the Land Registrar , questioning his own route of title to the Paddock . The land registry complaints reveiwer  produced a 26 page report dismissing these claims and begging the question as to why would anyone question their own route of title, when nobody else ever done so ? 

In 1990 we initiated proceedings to rectify the East Northdown House title to include the full terms of the contract . We have also sought to settle the dispute by repeatedly offering (2010, 2019) a means of access for further development (and full title to the Orchard in 2010), by a route from the upper part of the road and through the Orchard that would not unduly impact on neighbouring listed dwellings and could be brought up to necessary highways standards without undue harm to the heritage assets. 

 A rectification claim was brought by us in 1990 – this is a simple process to align the transfer documents with the agreed contract.  However instead of acceptance, this application was opposed by a complex counterclaim, relating in part to claims to title of ‘The Orchard’, defamation claims , fraud and other such matters.

In 1993 I discontinued our rectification claim , due to the spiralling costs (out of all proportion to the value of the Orchard etc.), my father’s deteriorating mental and physical health with Parkinson’s disease , and my lack of information about, and therefore my inability to counter,  the matters raised in the counterclaim.

The 1990’s counterclaim set the pattern for future relations – any attempt to resolve , ‘rectify’ or negotiate a settlement, have been met by further counter-claims and allegations, not engagement. This strategy succeeded in leading me to waive my costs in 1990-93, and again in 2013 , but I did successfully refute the challenges being made to the established position on each occasion. 

The Orchard

I did not know then, that  the two claims of part performance and estoppel being threatened against my aunts at this time and again in 2009/10 had already been assessed as having ‘absolutely no merit ‘ for the reasons set out in the Stephens and Scown 1991 letter , nor did I have details, then, of the other matters being threatened, that were only ‘disclosed’ at the 11th hour by further direction of the court, by which time I had already taken the decision to discontinue, due to the spiralling costs of over £10,000. 

  0 91 09 24 stephens and scown to M resp. to M orchard title claims 1

In 1999 Miles started an adverse possession claim for the Orchard , his first 99 Affadavit was broadly true , but the land was in the registered possession of my aunts with their knowledge and consent (initially) and twenty years of ‘adverse possession’ had not elapsed. In 2009 Miles submitted a second adverse possession claim with a fresh affidavit . He added a series of extra embellishments under oath to strengthen his claim – which he must have known to be false, as the contents of the affidavit do not correspond with the 1991 correspondence .  

1)Mr. Miles never had any dealings with Lady Creasy , who at the time lived in Oman as General Sir Timothy Creasey was chief of the Sultan’s defence force, and effectively his 1st Minister/adviser , he never claimed such a meeting until 2009. 2) No contract was entered into , Mrs. Stanton was not authorised by the other owners to proceed,  who were not even consulted until their stat decs were required for first registration in 1985/6.  3) The cheque for £4,000 was paid to his own solicitor handling the first registration of the Paddock, in his words to be ‘held to my order until completion is in site,’ . 4) He always knew that no transfer or sale had been completed , hence the estoppel and part performance claims, and that the first registration , a pre-requisite of any such sale , for the Orchard in the names of the 4 co-owners was not completed until 1986. 5) The land was subject to a trust , all this is clearly apparent from and set out in the contents of the Stephens and Scown correspondence of 1991 above.  

0 99 M claim of Orch aff 99 & 05 v2

A case management conference was held at the Land registry offices in London in March 2010 looking at the two live cases of that time , Miles’ opposition to my application of first regististration of the road, and Miles application for title of the Orchard , by three potential means, Estoppel, Part Performance or adverse possession . It was established that unless Mr. Miles could demonstrate full title of the Orchard by part performance or estoppel , he could not show he was the legitimate successor in title to my aunts , potentially benefitting for any interest in the road. Mr. Miles accordingly agreed in court to an undertaking to withdraw his objection to the first registration of the road , if he failed to prove full title of the Orchard , but only possessory title by adverse possession.


In May 2010 we also offered to settle the dispute by offering to complete on the orchard in return for the legal costs expended up to that point , together with access for development according to standard commercial ‘uplift’ terms . No response to our offer was received. A condition of the offer was that there were to be no more unreasonable objections to our planning permissions (or their implementation!) until 2030. If only……. 

10 04 29 JS to M 1st HofT for settlement

In 2010 we were finally forced to concede possessory title of the 1 acre ‘Orchard’,  on the basis of adverse possession (only).  We could not contest , that although occupied under a license, no rent had been paid since 1983. The other two claims of full title by part performance and estoppel still had ‘absolutely no merit’ however ! You cannot claim rights of way enjoyed by a previous owner if acquired by adverse possession , you can acquire rights by long user by a new route , for new use, or uses carried out covertly. Mr. Miles acceptance of possessory title by adverse possession , rather than full title by any other route , triggered the March 2010 undertaking to withdraw all objections to my first registration of the road application.  Predictably matters took another year to conclude . see 1st reg award of costs below . 

The Orchard remains a land locked parcel of woodland, having no means of access other than on foot from the Paddock of East Northdown House.  It is protected woodland in a conservation area, next to Northdown Park and subject to a tree preservation order. In 2013 we granted a right of access to it, in common with the paddock , for use as a paddock (only- not any other uses, or commercial uses ), to be subject to a deed of grant , to be registered against the various titles.  The paddock in turn was to be granted access in common with the orchard as a paddock , and could also be used for storing building materials, ancillary to the use of  East Northdown House as a single private dwelling – only . This additional grant of access, only confirms the rights granted in 1982. The easement is not severable from the rest of the property and the paddock and Orchard cannot be enjoyed separately from the domestic use of East Northdown House as a single dwelling. 

25 years of Allegations  against Commercial Use of East Northdown Farm to TDC and other Public agencies, centred on ‘unauthorised use’ of and damage to the Road, from 1986 until completion of 1st registration in 2011.  

0 86 11 – 87 3 4 re alternative road maintenance agrmt

0 89 06 26 Cmpt re farm shop portacabin s64 det 91 05 24 

0 96 M objections to O licence renewal

0 98 03 11 M obj B1 CoU

As explained above , the grounds for refusal to pay the road maintenance levy, as set out in the agreement and transfer, and the claim of unfettered access rights over the private road for purposes beyond those express rights in the agreement granted to him, was based in turn on a claim that my father was never the owner of the road, that I did not have due authority , to act as his ‘agent’ to carry out repairs to the road, or from 2003 as his successor in title to the road. Indeed , Since 1986 Mr. Miles has progressively sought to overturn the true position , completely on its head . He has not only argued to public agencies that the road no longer belonged to IJCF or Me, but that HE was the owner and that it is I that enjoyed no access up the road and that vehicles accessing the farm were therefore trespassing on his road and that I was liable to pay Him compensation/ damages for the cost of repairs. (see counsels opinions and letters to the LR below).

from 1998 – 2005 , he called for my business centre planning permission to be rescinded and for my prosecution for fraud for falsely claiming my father was owner of the road !

0 98 04 06 M to DB prsc WF for Fraud

Extraordinarily , he still apparently clings to this position, in his latest planning objection of this year , 2021, even after the 2011 first registration with costs awarded against him , the 2006 TDC review of his planning allegations, the 2013 settlement , his 2019 and 2020 defeats in court and registration of his true limited express rights granted in the deed of grant.  

He has tried to assert that the farm and business centre are subject to the same restrictions on commercial uses as my father and I have placed on the easements we granted to the  residential properties along the road on some kind of reciprocal basis. 

Throughout this process Mr. Miles has not understood that even if a piece of land is unregistered , it does not mean that nobody owns it. The land registry accepted the 1982 and 1983  stat declarations for the paddock and road , stating my father’s title to them and granted Miles title to the Paddock and express rights over the road accordingly .    

0 97 06 12 WF to GG, PM, NP & PM re road rep.

0 97 06 George Goodall re Road repair

I tried to undertake limited repairs in June 1997. Two neighbours contributed £200 each . Neil Piper had moved house. Two new houses were granted easements on thev same terms in 2005 so All Five other neighbours contributed to my 07 and 09 repairs to the road. 

06 04 M to LR re reg of road 

07 07 M to LR re road title

06 LR title numbers

The claims of title to the road under ad melium filum presumption , and of proscriptive rights over the road, both lose sight of the fact that the express registered rights East Northdown House enjoys were granted for it , and for all the other properties fronting the lane, by my father and registered on the ENH title , on the basis of my father’s title to the road being accepted by the land registry in 1982 . At no point has Mr. Miles suggested that he wished to give up the express rights granted by my father and registered against his ENH title , but only that he wished to secure additional rights, and deny the reciprocal obligations and restrictions on the express rights enjoyed. 

The land registry have always made it clear that this is not how it works !  

  05 06 LR to M re title and rights over road  06 05 LR to M re title and rights over road 

Decades of trouble, expense and heartache could have been saved had he accepted this advice earlier – that his position was untenable/ ‘great difficulty’…unlikely to be successful’ , and had he shared this advice, and the terms of the 1982 contract and conveyance with his own legal teams over the years .  The 2005 counsels opinion below and all the claims based upon it were all founded on the entirely false premice  that I.J.C.Friend did not own the road and that there was no mechanism in place for the maintenance and repair – both untrue and both quite clearly apparent from reading the November 1982 transfer , which Miles did not show to his own barrister ! There is a basic principle in law that one is ‘estopped’ from both benefitting from  express rights granted by the owner of a roadway or other property , then challenging the owners title to that property , and then claiming the rights enjoyed were established by proscription or other means , either the rights were validly granted or they weren’t. either -or, not both!   

05 01 05 Cnl opnn road nuisance claim

07 05 22 WF to KCC re road repairs & title

By 2007 , I set out my own proposals to KCC highways officers for my repairs to my road , and my legal position , and I was forced to incur the expense of proving my title and registering the road in my name, in the face of Miles objections,  to prove the true  position of my title to the agencies in the face of Miles’ allegations against me. 

05 Miles petition against bus cntr.

05 05 Miles Threat 

Instead, of accepting the LR advice that his claims were ‘unlikely to succeed’ ,  two years after my fathers death the concerted campaign of allegations against me to public agencies to subvert my control of the road and harm my business and livelihood was intensified . 

05 03 22 M Obj to bunnet, TDC re Rd

The crux of the dispute is in spelt out in the second paragraph of the letter above  ‘I am contemplating an application myself and my proposed additional use would be compromised by the current condition and use of the road.’ Mr.Miles sought to deny access for me, my tenants, my farm traffic and the other adjoining properties, in order to establish with the LPA and HA that there would still be sufficient ‘spare’ capacity’ remaining along my private single track unadopted road for his own ‘additional use’ -in clear breach of the 1982 contract terms and of planning policy on the number of dwellings that can be served by a narrow single track unadopted road with no footpath , and to force multiple agencies LPA. L Reg, Police , KCC and others  to shift the burden of costs to upgrade the road to an adoptable standard onto me, on the one hand whilst denying my title to and control of the road on the other. 

This campaign was endorsed and supported by Council leader Sandy Ezekiel and Cllr Martin Wise.

white Miles Ezekiel    06 10 Wise Albon re C1 The Miles’ and Rowland- Spinkes’ were close political allies of Sandy Ezekiel and the Wises at this time, Peter Miles is godfather to Martin and Deborah  Wise’s daughter. They have all since apologised to me, with hindsight for ‘backing the wrong horse’.  

07 06 04 LR attendance note re road police

06 04 08 Albon TDC A Huch Highways re road

I was faced with conflicting allegations that I had no right of access up the road , no right to maintain the road , but a liability for my lack of repair to the road ! Even though the main access to my garden and business centre is and was via the main entrance off George Hill Road , Mr. Miles argued that my planning permission for the business centre should be rescinded , as I had no legal right of way up the private road , and that I had misled the council in 1987 , by serving notice on my father , instead of him, as the owner of the road.  

 07 06 06 WF to AH highwys re repairs

I finally brought the road up to full repair in several phases , with the full blessing of the highways authority and the majority of neighbours who made the contribution asked of them.

05 06 13 Main Obj re Bus . Units

06 04 3 obj unit E f th 06 086

Mr. Miles attacks against me initially focused on the ownership and control of the road ,but broadened out to include my use of the road for commercial purposes and then focused on attacks on the development of my garden centre and business centre as a whole . 

06 Than Gaz ‘latest round in Farm Fued’  

06 Tenants Petition

Thanet Dictrict Council investigated all these complaints at length in an in depth review of the 50 or so allegations made.

Miles refused to accept the Councils findings in 2006 and  referred officers to the LAO. TDC stated that it would be for the LAO to decide whether TDC had investigated the complaints sufficiently.                                                

06 06 13 memo re Miles v TDC refrd to LAO

Agreement was reached between mw WF and TDC, that the way forward was to reach a settlement between the parties , and a farm plan for the ongoing development of the farm, garden and business centre . 

08 06 WF to Fitt re conclusion of review

   08 12 WF LAO complaint form

09 01 TDC Vexatious complainants policy

Following the subsequent report of the local authority ombudsman into the investigations, TDC adopted new policies on handling vexatious complainants in January 2009.   Following the allegations re road repairs , I undertook , to the various agencies to establish my title to the road and made a renewed application to the Land Registry . This was opposed by Miles on the basis of his claim under ad melium filum , and also as the owner of the Orchard and paddock as my Aunts legitimate successor in title – see The Orchard , above  and the settlement terms offered in April /May 2010 to settle the Orchard case . 

09 10 WF RD SofC     

see undertaking given at the  CMC in March 2010 regarding the Orchard case above

Having failed to gain a response to our april 2010 HofTerms , and having conceded the title of the Orchard on the basis of adverse possession , we offered a second amended set of terms regarding the remaining unsettled matters  

   10 07 JS 2nd HOT M rejctn counter terms. predictably these terms were also roundly rejected and met with the ‘nuisance ‘ counter claim , explained below . 

  11 07 10 M to JS re HofTs ,     WF comments  despite this , Mr.Miles wrote to Mr. James Squier , that agreement had been reached , and accordingly he was not liable for costs of his opposition to my 1st Registration claim . Mr. Squire responded , with his recollection of events.       11 07 22 JS to PM reply re costs 11 07 10

The LRadjudicator , approved my first registration application , and my application for costs, finally overcoming the above objections of 25 years previously . 

1st registration of the road

Legal Claims of Damages and Proscriptive Rights 2010 – 2013 . 

The above attempts were made by us to reach a negotiated settlement to the dispute and come to normal commercial terms to end the dispute by offering to grant access for the development of the orchard , paddock and main house grounds via a new access point bypassing the groups of listed buildings and unsuitable narrow accessways – but these offers were ignored . The first registration of the road should have signalled the end to all such attempts to claim easements over the road for development of East Northdown House , beyond the express rights granted in 1982. 

 Despite all this, Instead of acceptance or engagement with our offers in 2010, he was preparing  two further sets of proceedings against me. 

10 11 19 Templeton’s ltr bfr claim for Defmtn re coach ho. & WF reply            10 11 15 WF to neighbours re further road rprs     

10 12 07 TEMPLETONS 3 claim of perscriptive rights      10 12 9 WF repsp to Templeton’s 3  

A claim for multiple rights of way was made over the private road, that if granted, would have gone well beyond those granted in 1982 -being those for reasonable purposes ancillary to the use of the property as a single private dwelling. The additional rights sought would have included rights of way over the ‘blue land’ that breached the covenants benefitting the occupants of East Northdown Cottage

12 06 27 persc rts Miles 1st amendedstatementofcase          12 11 2 persc rts signed WF Defence

09 Mitford Slade Damages opinion 

As seen above Miles had used objections against my business uses as a negotiating lever for the previous 25 years , all these allegations had been thoroughly investigated by the LPA and other agencies .   The Mitford Slade opinions of 09 ,18,19, and the nuisance claims based upon them, increasingly build on the  false premises of the 2005 road nuisance  opinion, that there is no known owner of the road, that I have no right of access over it , that the private is being used as the main access for the commercial uses of the farm , that this use is new and illegal and so on . The basic premise appears to be that I am liable to compensate Mr. Miles for the ‘diminution in value’ of  ENH arising from my attempts to ensure ENH remains in use as a single private dwelling ,  rather than its potential development value of the property for multiple dwellings  and uses with unfettered access over my road – and in fact has nothing to do with my use of or my maintenance of the road – which are just used as a pretext for a claim. All such claims should have been ‘put to bed’ by the 2011 road 1st Registration , that demonstrated that the easements were validly granted , and the programme of road repairs , up to its historic standard , carried out with no reference to or contributions from Miles. We had offered access on normal commercial terms in search for a reasonable settlement,  made every effort to minimise any use of the road for our own commercial uses and maintained the road in good order without any contribution from Mr. Miles. 

1st Berryman letter of claim


our offers have always been responded to by issuing further threats and claims. The 2010/11 claim of nuisance and damages against me was made on issues that had already been subject to the TDC , highways, police and land registry investigations. A defamation letter of claim was also served on me in Oct 2010. 

10 06 Email to Colin Fitt re Berryman letter of claim

The claim for damages was in large part a ‘re-run’ of the allegations against me investigated by TDC in their 2005-09 planning review and of allegations about the repairs and maintenance of the road resolved by the 2007, 09 repairs and should have been ended by completion the first registration in 2011.

13 07 12 WF to PM Final Global offer

The proscriptive rights claim over the my road ,  came before the land registry adjudicator in July 2013, for a scheduled 3 day hearing. The offer to settle , above was made .  The damages claim against me was stayed pending conclusion of the 1st claim. After the site visit a global settlement was reached resolving all issues . The agreed terms were set out in a court order , known as a Tomlin Order. There was no cause of nuisance, no proscriptive rights, the road and walls belonged to me,  . A deed of grant was to be entered into , setting out the scope of the rights of way enjoyed – only those in the original 1982 contract – to use the paddock(and Orchard) as a paddock for no more than 4 horses, and to use the paddock for storing building materials used in association with the maintenance of East Northdown House as a single private dwelling. An indemnity was given by Mr. Miles to me for all my costs  – beyond the original drafting costs of £1,000, of completion of the registration of the deed at the Land Registry. My costs of defending the nuisance and proscriptive rights claims against me, (£80k for each claim), that should have ‘followed the event’ , were waived, giving a cost neutral settlement, as were all past and future road maintenance contributions, as part of the price of achieving the final and lasting end to all the legal challenges against me I was seeking.   No further claims over any old issues known of in 2013 were to be made, in particular no objections to the use or maintenance of my road. 

The Tomlin Order was concluded as a global settlement of all issues  

13 07 Tomlin Order         

Completion of the Deed of Grant in accordance with the 2013 Tomlin Order,  July 2013 – Christmas 2020   

Amongst those issues know of at the time were my existing business and garden centre uses at East Northdown farm , and my use of my own road to access my farm buildings.

A farm proposal plan was submitted to TDC at this time to confirm my plans for the  ongoing future use of my farm to continue in my long established garden and business centre uses , rather than the alternative – to enter into a purely residential redevelopment scheme for the area of my land in the urban area , which would have signalled the end of the use of the farm as independent agricultural holding , garden , business centre and community hub. 


13 12 20 JT to WF re ENd planng propls

12 01 22 WF to MO re LAO and Standard’s Board invig.   12 01 22 WF to MO re LAO and Standard’s Board invig.    see my post about the Northdown Coach House 

Clearly these statements above, were not defamatory , as they were/are my truly held beliefs , submitted only to the relevant investigating body charged with investigating the allegations made against my wife and Cllr.Johnson by Mr.Miles and Cllr.Wells , upon a direct request to do so by the investigating authority, in response to the ‘prior attack’ made .  My testimony was upheld , Cllr. Johnston was exonerated, and Mr. Miles was also finally declared a vexatious litigant/complainant by TDC over these matters, by Mr. Patterson .   

My submissions to TDC regarding  the harassment I suffered , from enforcement action by TDC, and the maladministration of TDC resources ,submitted to the LAO and Monitoring officer in Nov 2008 (endorsed by Sir Roger Gale) were finally brought to a conclusion with the conviction and custodial sentence of former Council Leader ,Sandy Ezekiel.  Planning enforcement officer ,Steve Albon, gave evidence in court of how he was pressured to take enforcement action , and use TDC’s compulsory purchase powers against those targeted by Cllr. Ezekiel  for his own financial and political gain. The case was prepared by the Monitoring officer  from the best of the evidence he had available . He presented that evidence to the CPS.   

Ezekiel Trial   13       Ezekiel behind bars

Despite the generous cost neutral terms of the Tomlin Order , we were unable to complete the deed in 2013 or early 2014.  Our chasings letters, seeking to conclude matters, were ignored. Unreasonable letters of objection were made to TDC in 2014 and 2016  renewing the old patterns of allegations against my planning applications and uses in breach of the agreement. I could see we would be back to square 1 unless we pressed ahead with the conclusion of the registration of the Deed in accordance with the 2013 settlement and ensured the terms of the order were met and upheld. 

WF 1st Witness statement

M 1st Witness statement

Our service of our claim for the court to determine the terms of the Deed of Grant, firstly crossed over with yet another counter claim for defamation and harassment against me 

17 10 24 Partcs of Claim Defmntn

and secondly was further blocked by an application to  ‘strike out’ our claim.  


WF 2nd Witness statement

The 2017 defamation claim was withdrawn at Christmas 2017 and some costs paid.  Two days of mediation at the international dispute resolution centre in Fleet street were held in 2018 .  The 1st mediation session started with the warning from the mediator that if matters could not be settled , then the further  costs of taking it to court would run up to several hundred thousand pounds , as has been the case.  I had nothing to gain from the proceedings – other than the peace of mind of completion of the agreed terms Tomlin Order , so it appears my neighbour gambled recklessly on the fact that my pockets would not be deep enough to see things through, if he stalled things long enough, even though he had indemnified me for my costs in doing so. 


Appeal refusal

2nd appeal dismissed


Repeated planning applications were made at East Northdown House ,  relating to the potential division of the property into separate dwellings and apartments, conversion of the existing garage for accommodation, building a new two story ‘triple garage’ , and ending with an application for two new dwellings on the paddock – all in breach of the  terms of the Tomlin order, Deed of Grant and 1982 ENH sales contract. 

 18 10 04 Miles list of demands for JS negotiations 

  18 09 Doug Brown’s sketch plan proposals for ENd development    18 10 03 WF to DB re settlement      18 10 03 WF’s sketch plan for discussion

Following mediation we tried again to seek common ground in negotiation , but the list of Mr. Miles’ demands were impossible to meet. They kept reverting back to all the same issues since 1986, covered and finalised by the 2013 Tomlin Order. In particular in points 8 and 9 he sought the abandonment of the hard won agreed terms of the Deed of Grant completely -defining the terms of the easements he did enjoy and the complete cessation of all my commercial businesses at East Northdown -i.e the total closure of my farm, garden centre and business centre !?!

Mr. Brown’s proposals for a ‘joint development’ unrealistically sought diversion of all existing traffic through my private garden and my nursery site , redevelopment of East Northdown Cottage.   I suggested that a scheme could be agreed that diverted all traffic for all new developments at East Northdown House , paddock, Orchard and Gardens ’round the back’ via an new route through the orchard from an improved upper section of Road to take the extra traffic- but NOT via the narrow access past East Northdown Cottage.

We repeated our previous offers of 2010, to provide a means of access for what we believed he was truly seeking , but based on concluding , not amending or abandoning the deed of grant as a first step, and compliance with the Tomlin Order to end of the dispute.  

18 08 03 JS to PRM       19 02 18 HofT JS to Miles        19 02 18 offer plan       

No progress could be made for as long as the deed of grant terms in 2013  remained unsigned and unregistered, or without any willingness to observe the other terms of settlement .

enforcement officer visit notice re f th 15 0221

19 02 M JS re permissions ind use high end dev

19 03 26 PM to Bidwells JS

19 04 WF to Enf Off further complaints likely

19 04 10 WF to Enf Off re new complaints

19 08 05 letter of claim nuisance

In the summer of 2019 Mr. Miles also resorted to his old practice of making allegations of planning breaches against me. As usual these were repeats of old allegations that were decades old , against uses and permissions established for decades with all appropriate express or deemed permissions and consents in place. TDC is/was not obliged to re-investigate old settled issues , or where there was no public harm caused.  In 2013 we had agreed a farm proposal plan with TDC to continue and enhance our commercial uses , rather than residential redevelopment , and planning approvals granted on that basis .   

19 08 01 Mitford Slade opinion

WF 3rd Witness statement

The strike out application was due to be heard in August 2019 . Mr. Miles’s supporting evidence included a copy of his further draft particulars of claim issued a few days before the hearing . This was a repeat of the letters of claims made in 2018, the discontinued 2011 nuisance claim, the 2017 discontinued defamation claim and the 2010 defamation letter of claim. They were therefore in breach of the terms of the 2013 global settlement – that both parties intended to end the dispute and would not repeat past , settled legal claims. It was again based on the expert opinion of Mr. Miles’ chartered surveyor – Mr. Mitford Slade on the same terms raised in his 2009 letter  – before the registration of the road or 2013 settlement as if neither had occurred. 

19 09 26 FP response to dPoC nuis def

The 2018 and 2019 letters take no account of, nor even makes reference to, the  maintenance provisions for the road set out in the 1982 transfer ,  to the planning review or LAO findings , to the repairs undertaken in 2007 and 2009, the 1st registration of the road and costs award of 2011 , to the limited scope of the access rights set out in the original 1982 contract, nor to the subsequent provisions set out in the 2013 Global settlement or Tomlin Order . It holds me responsible for the continuation of the dispute and the consequent blight on property values, not vice versa.   Mr. Miles’ strategy of bringing claims and allegations against me to deter me from my purpose of defeating his claims against me seems in part to be due to his success of his counterclaims in 1993 at ‘heading off’ my 1990 rectification claim .  

Friend v Miles – Approved Judgment – 05.11.19 v.1


The strike out hearing was held in August 2019 and judgement handed down on 5th November 2019 . The strike out application was dismissed and costs awarded . Even then the other side would not sign the deed . We offered a version under the precise terms set out in the 2013 Tomlin Order , with all the usual supplementary ‘boiler plate’ clauses stripped away.

 3rd witness statement of PM    Actually 4th as the first ‘3rd witness statement for the August 19 hearing was inadmissible.


WF 4th Witness statement

at the eleventh hour a further 4th witness statement was submitted well past the deadline , in effect a second strike out application . Mr. Miles was advised to withdraw this application at the opening of the May hearing, as it stood no chance of success and would have caused further delays and expense for all sides . 

On 26th May 2020 a final hearing of my 2017 claim to the court to determine the terms of the Deed of Grant was heard – remotely due to the covid 19 restrictions . 

final order  

Deed of Grant signed by PM


Both Judges ended their judgements with the plea that this should be the final end of the dispute . Lets hope that my neighbour will now be content to enjoy his historic and beautiful property as a family home within the constraints against commercial or multiple use placed on its ongoing use by my late father to safeguard this unspoilt historic corner of Thanet.. 

21 07 07 FP summary of dispute .   

Mr Miles is still submitting planning applications with the apparent intention of having multiple dwellings and uses at East Northdown House without any legal means of accessing such developments – having refused all offers from us of providing suitable a means of doing so.  21 06 WF to TDC planning obj ,   DH to Thanet_District_Council

A final aside is that the 2013 Tomlin order at the centre of this case , takes its name after a 1920’s law lord, Lord Cheshire Tomlin of Ash, who was my grandfather, JIHF’s, second cousin twice over !  His grandmother Mary Tomlin (nee Tomlin) was born at  East Northdown House, my 3 x great Aunt and  If they are looking down , they can be pleased at playing a part in defeating the challenges against me , thereby helping to preserve this historic family home as a family home for posterity in the way that my father intended and specified.

I am now trying to implement the 2013 farm proposal plan , and the series of planning applications flowing from it – see ‘ William and Louise overwhelmed by support….’ and ‘ final go ahead for plans ?’ I have 10 planning approvals since 2013, and I submitted four further applications in 2020 to secure the future of the garden and business centre as a green creative hub , rather than being forced to sell for residential re-development – amazingly , but predictably – despite everything that has gone before, my neighbour and his agent Doug Brown are still referring to the dispute over the road in their letters of objection, and still appear to be refuting my ownership of , and free rights of access along the road . Doug Brown re F_TH_20_1418. Mr. Miles is still chairman of the Cliftonville sub branch of the South Thanet Conservative Association. STCA roles AGM 21 Our new conservative ward councillor is still supporting their objections rather than officer recommendations and the 30+ letters of support. 

We finally submitted our costs claims with further generous offers to settle , but , predictably these offers were ignored and our claims contested , just pushing everyone’s’ costs up still further. 21 07 Costs letter to M ,   21 09 22 costs points of dispute replies extcts , 2nd claim p of d and Friend – Replies (F00CT621)  We anticipate that Mr. Miles refusal of our summer 21 offers that gave a £40k discount , will end up costing him in the region of a further £100k , once hearing costs , preparation of our case, interest, and court penalties are all added in . That does not include debt recovery costs , if the final sum is not settled within fourteen days of judgement, or Mr. Miles’ own legal costs incurred in choosing to challenge our costs assessment, instead of accepting our discounted offers to him .   

Equally extraordinarily, Mr. Miles is still pursuing his 2019 planning applications for extra houses on his ‘paddock’ area and subdivisions of his house , even now after the deed of grant , grants him express rights of way to use the paddock as a horse paddock and/or for storing building materials used in relation to the maintenance of ENH as a single private dwelling only -all the attempts to claim prescriptive or other such rights made over 35 years have been defeated and are/were always ‘estopped’ by the scope of the agreed express rights granted by me and my father over our roads in the first place. 

19 10 11 OL_TH_19_0802-OBJECTION-737171 wf p1-10 

19 10 11 OL_TH_19_0802-OBJECTION-737171 wf p11-22 

19 11 29 OL_TH_19_0802-OBJECTION-754867 jr   

The Floor plan of East Northdown House submitted for FH TH 21 0841 shows the southern most rooms have been subdivided from the rest, by blocking the doors from the central hallway and passage to the kitchen, -to create a separate apartment served by the new entry door to the rear (or the new french windows turned down at appeal twice ). It appears that the proposed new conservatory is intended to serve as an extra entrance hall along the frontage for the separate use of the northern part of the house , and yet another application has been made to open up the door in the southern gable end , turned down countless times and TWICE at appeal already. 


What Mr. Miles loses sight of is that his easement was granted to serve East Northdown House under the terms of his 1982 sales contract – as a single private dwelling – not multiple dwellings or commercials uses, and there was to be no conversion of the outbuildings to further accommodation. Prescriptive rights rely on proving  long established additional ‘adverse’ extra uses.   But, as proven in 2013, there are none and have never been any – the paddock may be used as a paddock ancillary to the main house, as also with ‘Mockett’s Cottage’ which has only ever been used  as an ancillary staff or family annex to the main house, not a separate dwelling with any independent access rights. Thus the house and grounds have only ever remained in use as a ‘single private dwelling’ since 1982, in accordance with the rights originally granted. Attempts to refute my father’s or my title to the road and blue land have failed . Other means of access out onto the land would require proof of title to the boundary wall -my barrister tells me that you cannot gain title to a wall by adverse possession unless you are humpty dumpty ! Following first registration of the road in 2011, attempts to demonstrate and claim additional independent or multiple rights of way for new commercial uses or multiple housing units  in defiance of  the 1982 sales contract also failed – leading to the 2013 settlement . The 8 year attempts to overturn and ‘strike out’ the terms of the 2013 global settlement have now also failed . No further settlement could be reached despite two days of mediation at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in Fleet St. and  further negotiations with countless further offers made by us, that were all ignored.  Extraordinarily this was despite the fact that Mr. Miles had indemnified me for my ongoing costs of completing the deed of grant at the Land registry in 2013. We have assessed these costs at £291k so far and counting, and made concessionary offers to settle well below this- also ignored. Any further attempt to break the terms of these two contracts or now the 2020 Deed of grant , each signed by Mr. Miles, would certainly fail again . His uses must not cause nuisance to the occupiers of East Northdown Cottage – not vice versa. Use of the East Northdown Cottage side access (the blue land) was never intended to be for any new or additional uses beyond those prevailing in 1982, and so it is not in my power to grant or concede any such additional rights by this route. Under the 2013 settlement he is barred from repeating any previous legal claims against us including any repeated claims for additional proscriptive rights for secondary uses or dwellings.  He has  made none of the contribution to the maintenance of the road, specified in his sales contract since 1986, and so under the  2013 settlement terms has no say in its maintenance . He is barred from making any complaint over its use (by anyone) or its condition to anyone. Any claims against me that have actually got to court  have been judged to be ‘utterly without merit’ – any further such claims , in breach of the settlement terms reached would be similarly dismissed . Under the 2013 terms of settlement I was given an indemnity by Mr. Miles for my ongoing costs  in completing the deed of grant,  such that one would therefore anticipate that any further costs incurred by me in defending against any such further groundless, unnecessary, challenges to the deed, contract or settlement terms, repeated groundless claims of nuisance against me, or repeated groundless claims of new rights of way over my roads  should also be awarded to me on an indemnity basis. Given the humiliation that Dr Sampson received in the summing up and judgement of May 2020, and his failure to get his client to settle or concede at any stage of the litigation before defeat in court, we would urge any legal or other professional , or potential purchaser of any part of East Northdown House , Paddock or Orchard to fully check out the true legal position , set out above, with both sides of the arguments,  rather than just Mr. Miles side,  before embarking on any further litigation, developments or land sales/purchases. 

The final position remains  that any attempts to access any secondary dwellings or new uses over my land ,without any agreement from me to do so, would amount to both Trespass and Breach of contract and that any further repeats of past legal challenges or claims are barred under the terms of the 2013 settlement.

Postscript March 2024 

Despite the terms of the Deed of Grant . Mr. Miles applied for two houses to be built on the paddock land , accessed from the ‘Blue Land’ . TDC rejected the application , and the application was also rejected at appeal – this should be the end of all further attempts to establish secondary dwellings at the premises. APPEAL_DISMISSED-1088133


A costs assessment hearing was set for February 2024 at long last – predictably – only at the last , did Miles and his costs solicitor actively engage and ultimately accepted our settlement offer 1st put to them in summer 2021. Hopefully this is truly the end of this dispute . 24 02 18 final Skeleton     Consent Order 19.02.24 (2) 


Northdown and Friend Family History

Watercolour of Northdown (now known as East Northdown House) by Richard Havel (painted 1800-1840)

Watercolour of Northdown (now known as East Northdown House)
by Richard Havel (painted 1800-1840)


Watercolour of Northdown House (Col Baker’s house) before it was extensively added to in the 1870s

Watercolour of Northdown House (Col Baker’s house) before it was extensively added to in the 1870s

Northdown House and the Friend Family

The Friend family was – and still is – one of a handful of inter-related Thanet yeoman farming families associated with Northdown: the other families being the Tomlins, the Sacketts and the Taddy’s. Time and time again, the same families inter-married. It was considered to be ‘unfair on the horses’ to go courting too far afield. With water surrounding Thanet on three sides, this led to repeated inter-marriages between the same families and of pairs of siblings marrying – Jane Austen style!

The Tomlin family

Northdown was the home of the Tomlin family (said to be a French name) and one of the oldest families in Kent. The earliest records are of a dispute over ‘Botany Bayfield’ (I farmed the field where ‘The Ridings’ development now stands) between two brothers, John and Thomas, upon their father’s death in 1440 (qu’est qui change?). The ruling went in favour of the younger brother that the inheritance should be divided equally according to ‘gavelkind’ of the Kent-Jutish tradition rather than the Norman ‘prima genitor’. Six generations later, John Tomlin (1600-1651) of Northdown and Updown (next to the present-day Pilgrim’s Hospice/QEQM Hospital), raised ‘train bands’ at his own expense for the Parliament during the Civil War. Thanet had a ‘low church’ parliamentary tradition more akin to the arable lands ofEast Anglia than the rest ofKent. John had six sons and five daughters, dividing the estate between his sons on his death led to the break-up of the estate coveringWest Northdown andEast Northdown. John Tomlin’s mother was Mary (née Sackett, of Sackett’s Hill).

The Sackett family

The earliest mention of the Sackett family is in a ‘subsidy roll’ of 1327, based in particular at Sackett’s Hill, St Peter’s. Through the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries the family produced a long line of Cambridge-educated vicars. A Stephen Sackett set off for Connecticut in 1628 as one of the very early settlers.

The tomb-stone in St John’s Churchyard, Margate of Richard Sackett the elder (1668-1730) records him as ‘Yeoman of Northdown’. His wife Martha having inheritedEast Northdownfrom her great-grandfather, John Tomlin (1600-1651). Their son was also a Richard (the younger 1717-1789) of East Northdown and Sackett’s Hill. Richard Sackett the younger’s daughter, Susanna (1749-1773), married Peter Cramp in 1769 who farmed Dane Court (next to Sackett’s Hill) as tenant. It was an ‘unsuitable match’, Susanna already being pregnant with a son (who later died). Susanna herself died only four years later, aged 24, leaving a daughter, Sarah (1771-1846), as Richard’s only grandchild. Richard’s wife died the same year, 1773. Following this double bereavement, he erected the imposing double tomb in St Peter’s Churchyard in their memory.

Sarah was brought up by her grand-father, Richard, at East Northdown. She married Robert Tomlin (1770-1850), her third cousin, bringing the Northdown land back into the Tomlin name.

Robert Tomlin was descended from Martha Tomlin’s brother, Francis (of Northdown) (1676-1732) whose son Francis (of Ash) (1714-1751) married Anne Minter of Moat Farm, Ash. Richard Sackett (the younger) died in 1789, just one month after Sarah’s wedding thus securing the future of Northdown within the Tomlin/Sackett family.

During his lifetime, Richard Sackett (the younger) built up his property substantially, reuniting much of the Tomlin land of his great-grandfather: He purchased Dane Court in 1759 (219 acres) next to Sackett’s Hill (100 acres). At East Northdown, he owned Sackett’s/Home Stall Farm (103 acres) – now much of Northdown Park – and purchased Fell’s/Yorkshire Farm (40½ acres) – now ‘The Spinney’. The two West Northdown farms were purchased off Tomlin cousins, Omer Farm (127 acres) and Tomlin Farm (59½ acres).

All this was left to Robert and Sarah Tomlin in Richard Sackett the younger’s will in 1789, to be divided between their children. They also lived in East Northdown House, although Richard had intended them to move into the larger ‘Dane Court’.

Robert and Sarah Tomlin had one son, Robert Sackett Tomlin (1790-1868), and four daughters, Ann (1801-1877), Harriet (who never married), Jane and Sarah. Jane and Sarah married two brothers – their Tomlin cousins from Ash – James Tomlin and Thomas Minter Tomlin, whose mother was Susanna (née Taddy). Robert Sackett Tomlin was one of the main benefactors of the then ‘new’HolyTrinityChurchinMargate.

Ann Tomlin married George Friend (1790-1831), who was killed in an accident, leaving her with one surviving son James Taddy Friend (1827-1909) of just four years old. She lived opposite her parents in East Northdown Farmhouse (where I now live). This was not part of the original ‘Sackett estate’ but was probably acquired at around this time for her. Thus young ‘Taddy’ was raised atEast Northdownas the protégé of his grandparents just as Sarah, herself, had been raised by her grandfather.

The Taddy family

James Taddy (1710-1764) was another Thanet yeoman farmer , based at Street Court ,Westgate, with land stretching towards Westbrook, Hartsdown and Margate. He had two sons,. Edward (who married Mary Friend) and James ,who was an extremely gifted businessman and entrepreneur. He founded a successful tobacco and snuff ‘empire’. Neither brother had any children. However of their three sisters:

Susanna, married William Tomlin of Ash, who were the parents of James Tomlin and Thomas Minter Tomlin who married their Northdown cousins Sarah and Jane, aunts of James Taddy Friend;

Mary (1753-1817), married John Friend of Brooksend and was the mother of George Friend , grandmother of James Taddy Friend.

& Ann who married John Hatfeild from Norwich, who lived at Hartsdown House – Hatfeild is spelt with an ‘ei’ as it derives from ‘Hauptfeld’- literally meaning ‘high(or main/home) field’ in German.

The three sets of cousins ran the tobacco business until the 1920s when it closed during the General Strike never to re-open. The business made many innovations including being one of the first-ever pre-packaged goods and the first cigarette cards. The original premises were in ‘the Minories’ , near the Tower of London, and later moved out to the ‘snuff mill’ at Morden Park, south London. Sealed Stone jars of snuff were shipped out around the empire, particularly to Australia.

James Taddy (the Younger) was probably Margate’s greatest-ever benefactor, as well as passing the business to the children of his three sisters , he endowed a range of charities and good causes , such as ‘ Taddy’s Bounty’ for Margate’s retired seamen and farm-workmen and their widows. In particular he was the founding father the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital at Westbrook, where his portrait hung by the front door until its closure in the 1980/90’s.

The Friend family

The Friend family are another long established Thanet family, mainly Birchington, recorded back to Daniel Friend in the 1500’s. Family tradition is that the name Friend derives from ‘fremde’ meaning strange or foreign and that they were Jutish followers of Hengist and Horsa settling in Thanet in the 5th century. The Friends were, in turn, related to other Birchington families such as the Crispes of Quex Park and the Neames. Generations of John Friends (and the odd George) farmed at Great Brooksend Farm, Birchington which, then as now, was owned by the Church. The family was granted a charter and the title of Gamekeeper to the Archbishop of Canterbury , in the parishes of St. Nicholass and Minster hence the Friend-family crest of the greyhound. One ‘John Friend’ was hung, drawn and quartered during the time of King Charles I for being a ‘black protestant’ and dissident. As with the Sacketts , members of the family left for Massachusetts at the time, where the name Friend still persists and is considered among to be oldest of the American nation’s original founding ‘Brahmin’ families.

John Friend the younger of Brooksend (1753-1817) married Mary Taddy. They had three sons: James of Birchington Place (1781-1819) whose son, also named James, owned and ran a sugar refinery in the East End; John of Brooksend (1787-1858); and George (1790-1831),who lived in Clapham and was in the Taddy Tobacco business. George married Ann Tomlin of East Northdown and was father to James Taddy Friend (1827-1909). George Friend was killed in a tragic accident –when his ‘phaeton’ overturned on Clapham common, leaving his wife, Ann and four year old son.

Just as Sarah Cramp had been raised by her grandfather ,Richard Sackett, at East Northdown, so too, James Taddy Friend was raised by his mother Ann (née Tomlin) at East Northdown Farm House, living across the land from his grandparents Robert (1770-1850), and Sarah Tomlin.

‘Taddy’ Friend was the heir to East Northdown , from his his mother, his maiden aunt Harriet Tomlin, and two childless Tomlin uncles and aunts. His uncle Robert Sackett Tomlin inherited Dane Court. Also , from his father and two Tomlin uncles he inherited the main share of the successful Taddy’s tobacco business. With these resources he was able to re-consolidate the old Tomlin/Sackett estate at Northdown – as the Hatfeild cousins did with Hartsdown.

‘Taddy’was 23 in 1850 when his grandfather died. Mother and son ran the estate together for a further 27 years until her death in 1877. They set about extending the estate and building a suitable mansion. They purchased Northdown House from Colonel Baker, himself a distant Tomlin relation. They also acquired Mr Blackburn’s house across the road, which brought with it the land that lays either side of the present-day Northdown Hill. This was around the 1840s.

James Taddy Friend’s first wife, Frances Sweyn, died in 1874, with no children. He then married Mary Stewart Irvine who bore him six children in seven years from 1879-1886! She was from the Aberdeenshire family from Drum – reputedly descended from Robert the Bruce’s barber and standard bearer. ‘Taddy ‘Friend and his wife were very prominent local figures. He was master of the goldsmiths company in London and high sheriff of Kent. And keen supporter of a whole raft of local good causes and institutions , such as the Margate Lifeboat.

Northdown House

The original house was a square Georgian building, facing west as now. The north extension facing the sea was built first housing the reception rooms, probably prior to his second marriage, followed by the south extension built as a nursery-wing as the family expanded. The original house lay on theMargateroad (broadly along what is nowNorthdown Park Avenue/George Hill Road) which ran in a straight line along the south of the house. To allow for the expansion of the house, Mr Blackburn’s farmstead was demolished and the road diverted along its present course and a high flint-wall built enclosing the parkland.

St Mary’s Chapel was built for residents of the estate in 1893. The chapel was left to the Diocese in James Taddy Friend’s will. The surrounding land being gifted by my father and his sisters for the re-building ofHolyTrinityChurchin the current position in the 1950s.

Following James Taddy Friend’s death in 1909. As with so many other great family houses, the halcyon days of the Victorian and Edwardian eras were shattered by the First World War and its consequences. As with John Tomlin’s Northdown estate 250 years earlier, the property was broken up between his six children (and the tax man!) : four boys (George, ‘Reggie’, James and Arthur) and two girls (‘Freda’ and Maude). All four brothers served in The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) in the First World War. George, the eldest, was killed in action in 1915 near Plœgsteert, nr Ypres (‘Plug Street’ ) in Belgium, aged 35, leaving a son, Geoffrey, who later emigrated to Kenya. ‘Reggie’ received a DSO, he inherited ‘West Northdown’ including Mill mead, Holly lane, Omer Farm and all the land to the west of what is now Princess Margaret Avenue. He lived at ‘Duck Pitts’ in Bramling,Canterbury: a large house now used as offices. The land which he inherited was eventually sold off piece by piece. His family moved toSomerset. ‘Freda’ married and lived in Hay-on-Wye, eventually returning to the area to live inLanthorne Road, Broadstairs, as a widow. Maude never married and lived at East Northdown House and latterly in Lawn Cottage; she was one of the first lady magistrates in the country. James Irvine Hatfeild Friend was my grandfather. He was known as ‘Irvine’. During the First World War, he served on the Western Front (where he was awarded the Military Cross) and at Gallipoli where he specialised in making home-made bombs. After the war, he went toWrittleAgriculturalCollege. He inherited Northdown House and park, together withEast Northdown. He lived in Northdown House, where my father and his four sisters were all born. Arthur(also an MC) was a full-time soldier rising to the rank of General. At the fall ofFrancein 1940, he was trapped at St Valery and put to sea in a small fishing boat. He was picked up ten days later drifting in the Fastnet approaches. In the family tradition, he married one of his Taddy/Hatfeild cousins.

‘Irvine’, my grandfather, was known locally as Captain Friend, his First World War rank. Like all the generations before and since, he was a passionate farmer and countryman personally growing all the trees along Northdown Hill,Northdown Park Avenueand Reading Street Road from acorns etc and planting them all out. He was a tireless doer of ‘good works’ – probably to the detriment of his own affairs – on projects such as the building of theMargateHospital. He married Louie Cowley who was born inMadras; her parents served with the Indian Army and stayed on after independence in 1947. She was from a prominent military Anglo-Irish.

The high inheritance taxes and the collapse of agricultural commodity prices in the Great Depression led to heavy financial losses. ‘Irvine’ struggled on as best he could, mindful of how many families depended on the Northdown estate for their homes and livelihoods. Finally, he sold land to Sidney Van de Bergh, the developer of ‘Palm Bay Estates’ who purchased the land stretching from East Northdown to the sea. The price was agreed at the bottom of the market and was to be paid in instalments. In fact, money was not paid until the 1950s – because of the war – at 1930s prices!

Northdown House and parkland was put up for auction but did not sell. A deal was struck with Margate Corporation. The house, outbuildings and parkland were sold to the Borough Council for the legal expenses incurred of about £50, subject to ‘the property’ being ‘laid out and forever maintained as an open space and public park’ with no new buildings to be built except ancillary pavilions, tearooms, etc. A further sum was reimbursed to Sidney Van Deburgh for the option he had taken to buy the house. The two cottages were intended as ground-keepers cottages and the house to be used for reading rooms, etc. Attempts were made in the 1970’s and around 2008 , to dispose of the properties in the park by successive council administrations , but on each occasion has been met by a massive groundswell of public opposition.

My father, Irvine James Cowley Friend (known as ‘Bobby’) was born in 1923. His great friend and Taddy-cousin was Aubrey Hatfeild, a celebrated First World War pilot and my father’s godfather. Aubrey Hatfeild too saw the family estate at Hartsdown – James Taddy’s original home – given over to the town, for the same reasons as his older brother Capt Charles Eric Hatfeild was killed in action inFrancein 1918, aged 31. Aubrey Hatfeild continued farming on the family land at Hengrove where Jonathan Tapp, his grandson, now farms and has recently bought back the land.

My paternal grandfather, Capt James Irvine Hatfeild Friend (known in the family as Irvine), was also a trustee of the Quex Park estate during Major Powell Cotton’s long safaris abroad and was also Christopher (‘Kit’) Powell Cotton’s godfather. ‘Irvine’ was responsible for securing a tenancy at Somali Farm, Quex for his retiring Northdown farm-bailiff, Sidney Linnington, who was originally from theIsle of Wight.

My grandparents, my father, his four sisters , Mary, ‘Jean’, Sheila and ‘Annette’ moved into East Northdown Farmhouse for a brief period around 1937. My father loved being on the farm with the cows, goats, ducks, geese, ferrets, etc. But for Mary, the eldest of his sisters, it came as a big shock as she returned from boarding school, having not been told of the move from Northdown House. Shortly afterwards, they moved away to a beautiful house at Skeete, near Lyminge, during the war years and East Northdown Farm was let to the Steed family, who also farmed the Palm Bay Estate land as it was gradually developed over the next 50 years.

My father, Irvine(known as ‘Bobby’) also shared the family passion for farming. He was unable to join the Army due to ill-health so read agriculture during the war with Professor Hammond (an animal-breeding pioneer whose work started the field of IVF, ‘the pill’, AI, etc) then joined the Ministry of Agriculture (the ‘war ag’) as an advisor on the Isle of Wight. After the war, he set up the world’s first AI breeding programme in British Frisian cattle for the Milk Marketing Board, before moving to Staffordshire to start farming on his own account until his death in 2003.

Mary served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War landing in Normandy about a month into the campaign. She served with the Military Police and was there when they entered the Gestapo headquarters in Brussels, at the liberation of Belsen . She met her first husband, Robert Flach (whose mother was Jewish) serving in the Australian army , having left Vienna in the 1930s. She died in summer of 2011.

Louie (known as ‘Jean’) had a passion for animals, keeping goats and ferrets as a child. She married a stockbroker and lived the ‘good life’ at Knockholt until her death in 1982.

Ruth (known as ‘Annette’) married Tim Creasey who was from a naval family but joined the Army as a Private as he was colour-blind and the Navy would not take him. He rose through the ranks to become General commandingNorthern Ireland, thenC-in-CUKland forces. ‘Annette’ followed him round moving house every couple of years. As a passionate gardener, she started again from scratch each time. Finally, under threat from the IRA, Tim accepted the offer of the Sultan of Oman to go back as his Chief of Defence. He was an intimidating figure; a ‘soldiers general’ who made it his business to always keep his ear to the ground. He could speak to his Baluchi, Persian and Arab soldiers. Throughout his career, he was never far from the action. Annette died in early 2012.

Sheila was the youngest of my father’s four sisters. She married twice and has joined her daughter’s family in New Zealand.

I returned to Northdown in 1985; fifty years after the Friend family had left and fulfilling my father’s hope that one of the family would carry on living and farming at Northdown. It is a privilege to benefit from such a rich historical legacy and be able to look back over the ups and downs of past generations.

William Friend

With acknowledgements to Dane Court written byPeterHills and to the website


Fond Memories of a Friend

Turkeys in front of houseMembers of the Friend Family, gathered on Sunday (9th Sept.) to celebrate the life of the late Rt. Hon. Lady Mary Crofton TD.
Mary Irvine (nee) Friend , was born in Northdown House on the 23rd September 1920, eldest daughter of ‘Cpt.’ James Irvine Hatfeild Friend MC DL OBE.

A brief service of dedication of a memorial and of commital of her ashes, was conducted by the Rev. John Richardson, in St. Mary’s Chapel, Northdown.

The Chapel, built by Mary’s Grandparents, James Taddy Friend and Mary Stewart (nee) Irvine celebrated its 120th Anniversary earlier this year. Holy Trinity Church was rebuilt on the adjoining land, donated by Mary and the family, after the original church in Trinity Square, Margate, was destroyed by enemy bombing in WWII.

Mary’s final wishes were that her ashes be returned to her childhood home of Northdown – beneath her favourite Mulberry Tree. Northdown house, park and buildings were given over to Margate Borough by the family in 1937, to be used and maintained as a public park forever, for the primary benefit of the residents of Northdown and Palm Bay.

The readings were Psalm 16, and Philippians 4, 4-7, celebrating in her rich, varied  and selfless life, read by her nephew, William Friend, of East Northdown Farm.   Mary’s two sons Peter Flach- retired Royal Hussars , and Tim Flach – a renowned photographer, and her three grandchildren all attended , together with cousins, relations and friends.

The Family looked inside Northdown House, which is currently being used by the BBC to film a docu/drama about the allied invasion of Normany. East Northdown Farmhouse is to be used as a ‘Normandy Farmhouse’.

Mary joined the ATS in the summer 1939, aged 18, and served throughout the war, and afterward in the control commission. She was one of only a handful of women, selected to land in Normandy- on D+20, attached to the military police. Monty, thought some women MPs would be necessary to handle female POWs and Churchhill though it would send a positive message out to allies and foes alike, to have women serving in Normandy at an early stage. She was initially based outside Caen, she  later moved to Brussels, and then North Germany.

Family reunion inspires couple to recall a member of one of the great families of Thanet

Fond memories of a friend