ludham archive

         Dashwood-Howard Family

The Dashwood-Howard family lived at The Mowle in Staithe Road, Ludham. They initially had their main home in Hampton Hill, Middlesex and The Mowle was a holiday home but they spent a lot of their time in Ludham. They were prominent members of the village community serving on various local committees and taking an active part in Ludham life.

We are grateful to Douglas Dashwood-Howard for supplying the following information about the family.


Arthur was born 31st May 1866 in Blackheath, Kent. He was the only child of Joseph Jackson Howard, LL.D., F.S.A., Maltravers Herald Extraordinary (Click here for his entry in Wikipedia), and his wife Ellen Clara née West.

On the 6th Sept 1899 he married Melita Margaret Betts at St James' Church, Hampton Hill.

Arthur and Melita in 1909

Although they kept the house at Hampton Hill until approximately 1925, the family appears to have spent most of their time at The Mowle from about 1918/19 onwards.

The Mowle
The Mowle in about 1920. To the left are Ula Pegatha and Arthur Maltravers Dashwood-Howard, children of Arthur and Melita. Near the door is Miss Dorothy Ellen Shail, their nurse, (known as Ribby) and her mother, Mrs Shail

Arthur was Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of the Potter Heigham and Ludham Regatta Committee, President of the Ludham Branch of the British Legion, President of the Ludham Piscatorial Club, Vice-President of the Ludham Lawn Tennis Club and Captain of the Ludham Post of the Comrades of the Great War. He was instrumental in calling a meeting on 21 July to form the Ludham Football Club of which he was to become a member of the Selection Committee. 
A keen photographer, eleven of his photographs appeared in the Short Guide to St. Catherine's Church, Ludham, and were  acknowledged in the brief introduction written by the Vicar. To see the guide Click Here.

To download a more comprehensive biography of Arthur, Click Here. To read his obituary, Click Here.

Melita was the only daughter of Walter Betts, farmer, and his wife Margaret née Paterson. She was born on the 17 January 1877 at Gateley Hall, Gateley, Norfolk.

Her interests included gardening, painting, shooting, riding and angling. She also shared her husband's interest in butterfly collecting, boating, and photography and very much enjoyed car driving.

To download a more comprehensive biography of Melita, Click Here.

Later Mowle
The Mowle after the 1923 extension


Arthur and Melita in later years.

Arthur was not well known for his interest in politics, but below is a notice of a political meeting in the King's Arms which he chaired. What is interesting is that the meeting included songs. If only modern politics did the same.


Jo and Ula
Their children Arthur Maltravers (known as Jo) and Ula. Probably by the pond in the Mowle garden.

Family and staff
Photograph taken in about 1922 showing the family and some of the staff.

Back row from left to right:
George Newton (houseboy), Ula Pegatha Dashwood-Howard (Melita's elder daughter), Amelia May Alexander (parlour maid) and Coleman (gardener at "The Corner", Hampton Hill – forename unknown)

Front row:
Melita Dashwood-Howard holding her younger daughter Nona Nivea).

George Newton was a Ludham man and normally worked at "The Mowle". He died suddenly and unexpectedly at Hampton Hill on 16 February 1924 aged only 33 years. He had accompanied the Dashwood-Howards to their home there and was buried at St. James, Hampton Hill. He was terribly handicapped physically but was nevertheless much loved by Jo and Ula. According to the latter's "Childhood Remembered" notes, the church bells at Ludham were rung at the hour his funeral took place at Hampton Hill.

To read the memories of Nona Nivea, click here.

Amelia May Alexander also lived in Ludham and died there.

Nona Nivea aged 18

Arthur Maltravers Dashwood-Howard (Jo)
Ula Pegatha Dashwood-Howard

Jo was born 1911, and his sister Ula Pegatha was born 1909. They were both born at Hampton Hill but lived at "The Mowle" with their parents after the latter moved to "The Mowle" in about 1919.

"Jo" married Lilian Wilson Douglas Smith on 2 July 1938 at St. Catherine's Church, Ludham. Their son Douglas was born 14 September 1939 at "The Mowle" and baptised at St Catherine's, where Nivea Ann Green was also baptised although born in Hornchurch.

In 1934 Ula married Donald Maurice Hartley Wright who ran Hall Farm at Ludham together with his father William Wright. Ula and Donald did not marry at St. Catherine's. Later they moved to Elm Farm in Suffield, Norfolk.

Douglas recalls that he and his parents often spent their holidays with their grandmother at "The Mowle" until her death in 1959. Christmases were always spent at Ludham with the whole family, Ula and Donald Wright with son Robin, Henry Clarence and Nona Nivea Green with daughter Nivea Ann, Jo, Lilian and Douglas.

The picture on the right shows the Dashwood-Howard grave in St Catherine's Churchyard, Ludham. It is the only large angel and is Plot F80.

The inscription reads:

In loving memory of my dear husband
Who passed away May 19 1926 aged 50 years
Maltravers Herald Extraordinary
Who passed away 19th Feb 1959 aged 82 years

In loving memory of
1911 – 1991
(Died 18.12.1991) (Ashes)

Note. H. C. Green whose ashes are in the grave was Henry Clarence Green, son of Henry Augustus Green, who lived at Holm Mere next to the Mowle.  Henry Clarence, married Nona Nivea Dashwood-Howard who celebrated her 100th birthday in 2019.
Dashwood grave

We have various letters and press cuttings relating to the Dashwood-Howards. However, they are quite poor quality and difficult to read on a web page. If you would like us to send you a copy, please send an e-mail. Details on our Home Page.


Dorothy Ellen Shail (1892 - 1965), variously referred to in the Howard family as 'The Old Nurse', 'Nursie', 'Old Puss', 'Twitchit', 'Ribby' or 'Rib' (after the cats Twitchit and Mrs. Ribby featured in several of the Beatrix Potter Tales), was initially employed by Dr. and Mrs. Dashwood-Howard as a nurse for their then two children, Ula Pegatha and Arthur Maltravers (Jo), and later for Nona Nivea. She is pictured above.

She began her service to the family in 1913 at the age of 21 and was with them until she retired in 1959. Although a servant, she was also very much part of the family.

To read a more comprehensive biography of Ribby, Click Here.

The Dashwood-Howard Family were great friends with the Bentley Family who lived nearby at Riverside in Staithe Road (now Holme Mere). To find out more about this, visit our Bentley Page.

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