ludham archive

                 Bentley Family

Arthur William Bentley and his wife Sarah Essie (nee Beddall) lived in a house called Riverside in Staithe Road Ludham. They were cousins.

1911 census

In the 1911 census (the year before their marriage) they were living together with two servants. Sarah is named as Essie in the census but we are certain that this is her.

The following year on the 30th October 1912, they were married at St James' Church, Hampton Hill and the reception was at Fairlight, Hampton Hill, the home of the Dashwood-Howard Family. The Dashwood-Howards were good friends of the Bentleys, and they owned The Mowle, a house on Staithe Road Ludham, close to Riverside where the Bentleys lived. In theory, The Mowle was a holiday home, but the Dashwood-Howards spent much of their time there. Sarah gave her address as Fairlight in the run up to the wedding. Sarah was an orphan and the Dashwood-Howards took the place of her parents. You can find out more about the Dashwood-Howards on this link.

wedding invitation
Wedding photo
Wedding Invitation, photograph and the cake.
Cards and items from the wedding.


Despite not taking place in the village, the wedding was the cause of considerable celebration in Ludham. On the actual day, there was afternoon tea and musical entertainment for the children and also a dinner for 60 guests in the King's Arms. The return of the bride and groom to Ludham after their honeymoon was further cause for celebration. The village was decorated and the church bells rang out followed by a salvo of gunshot. The following press cuttings from the Eastern Daily press give the details.

press cutting

press cutting

We have in our posession, a letter from the Ludham School teacher George Hayhurst describing the scene. Unfortunately, the handwriting is hard to read but if you would like a copy, please send us an e-mail. Details on our home page.

The Bentleys presented an inscribed butter dish to the Dashwood-Howards in thanks for their help in 1912. Pictures below.

Butter dish


The photograph to the right shows Arthur Bentley's grave in St Catherine's churchyard, Ludham.

The inscription reads:


Died February 14th 1918 aged 41

Arthur died young. Sarah died in Taunton, Somerset in June 1961 aged 77.

When Arthur died he is shown as living in Rakefield, Suffolk, but his actual place of death was Penarth in Glamorganshire. In his will he left 11606 15s 4d.


Sarah's parents were Alfred Toller Beddall and Rosina Robinson. In the 1891 census, Sarah is living with her parents in Islington. Her Father died in 1892 and her mother in 1893. In 1901 she is living with her aunt (Arthur's Mother) and Arthur in Hampstead. In 1891, Arthur was a boarder at a school in Giggleswick, Yorkshire.

Although cousins, Arthur and Sarah's family connection is a little bit more complicated than that.

Sarah's Father, Alfred Toller Beddall was the son of Alfred Beddall and Esther Toller
Arthur's Mother, Mary E Bentley (nee Beddall) was the daughter of Phillip Beddall and Elizabeth Toller

So both are descended from Beddalls and Tollers but not the same ones. They must be related but we are not clear exactly how. Perhaps two Beddall brothers married two Toller sisters.

family tree

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