ludham archive

     Huke Family

The Ludham Archive has received the following information about the Huke family from Kevin Huke of Philadelpia USA:

Huke Family of Ludham

Samuel Taylor Huke’s hometown was Great Yarmouth, but he made his mark in Ludham. 

Samuel was born to William Huke (1771-1848) and Mary Taylor (1766-1856).  Not much is known of his parents other then his father’s profession was a millwright.  Samuel found his profession to be in medicine and became a surgeon.  And according to his headstone in St. Catherine Churchyard, Samuel was surgeon in Ludham for 50 years. Ludham is where he started a family with his wife Charlotte Crow Norton.  Charlotte’s family comes from Stokesby. 

Samuel married Charlotte in 1831 at the age of 29.  Records couldn’t be located to determine when Samuel or Charlotte moved to Ludham.  But in the history of doctors of Ludham by Bob Jarvis, Samuel Taylor Huke was Ludham surgeon 1829-1879.

Here is an extract of Mr. Jarvis history that pertains to Samuel Taylor Huke’s Medical practice in Ludham:
“Dr Taylor-Huke was the first Registered Medical Practitioner in the modern sense (under the Medical Acts of 1858 & 1886), and was the son of a Yarmouth millwright and an eminent local Methodist. He appears to have been the first local doctor to live in the Manor House, which he initially rented. He was also Medical Officer to the Smallburgh Union, which may well have given him a secure income as the basis for his future prosperity. Before I discovered that he lived at the Manor, I had found earlier records (4) of him living at Horse Fenn, and enquired of Clifford Kittle, (then aged about 80 and resident for many years at Fritton Farm) if he had any recollections. He in fact had a vague memory of his father telling him that Dr Huke used to leave his trap with his driver outside Town House in Staithe Road, whilst he attended to patients. This information puzzled me for years until I discovered that “Town House” is the older English name for “Poor House”, a usage which persists in USA, but fell into disuse in this country with the creation of Union Workhouses in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. However the Unions in Norfolk had been amongst the first in the country, and the Town House was sold in 1790(5), long before Dr Huke’s appointment as MO to the Union. My theory is that the Town House may have remained as a ”house of call” for the local doctor, a common practice in rural areas up until well into my career in General Practice. Prior to the Lloyd-George National Assistance Acts 1911, and the resultant Medical Insurance Panels (later to be the basis for GP ‘lists’ in the National Health Act 1948), most medical practice was fee paying and usually in the patients’ home. Those unable to pay were eligible to Poor-Law Dispensary treatment. (This practice persists to the present day in the Irish Republic, which separated from the UK before the Lloyd George Acts were enacted in Ireland, and where only the poorer members of the community receive free dispensary treatment under the GMS arrangements of that country’s Health Service). So it may be that Town House was the first statutory Dispensary (or Surgery) in Ludham. 
Dr Huke sold his practice and the Manor to an Irish Doctor, James Alexander Gordon, and retired to his native Yarmouth, although he was later buried in Ludham, and his grave is to be found to the SW of the tower with the impressive record of “fifty years Surgeon to this parish”! Dr Gordon was not such a popular Doctor as had been his predecessor. I well remember when I first came to Ludham, being cornered by George Thrower, the then elderly Post Master, and told of Dr Gordon’s misdemeanors. Dr Gordon also owned a Herring Drifter, and was a local magistrate, which no doubt contributed to the low esteem in which he was held by a certain section of the non-conformist population! He is buried beyond Dr Huke to the SW of the tower beneath a splendid monument.”

Samuel and Charlotte had 13 children together while in Ludham, but most didn’t survive to adulthood.  Most of them were baptized in St. Catherine Church.  Their children were:
Jane Adeline Mary Huke (?-?)
    Samuel Herbert Huke (?-?)
    James William Huke (1832-1918)
    Adeline Charlotte Huke (?-?)
    Jane Emily Huke (1836-?)
    Harriot Waller Huke (1838-1838)
    Frederick S R Huke (1841-1854)
    Mary Lousia Biddy Huke (1843-1844)
    Alfred Norton Huke (1845-1926)
    Alexander Samuel Huke (1846-1846)
    Charles Thomas Huke (1847-?)
    Samuel T. Huke (1850-1857)
    William Thomas Huke (1852-?)

Samuel retired to his hometown of Yarmouth in 1881 where he passed away at the age of 85 in 1887.  His body was brought back to Ludham for burial, and is buried in the St. Catherine churchyard.  In fact, Samuel’s parents, wife, and most of his children are buried in the same churchyard.

After Samuel’s death, Charlotte moved to Chester to be with her sons William and James.  She worked as a bookseller with William until her death in 1891.  She was then brought back to Ludham to be buried with her husband.

Of all the children Samuel and Charlotte had in Ludham, it appears only James, Alfred, and William survived to adulthood.  James and William both eventually moved out of Ludham, got married, and had children.  No records at this time can be located concerning marriage or children for Alfred. 

Some of the girls may have grown to adulthood, but when you look at a gravestone in St. Catherine churchyard, a visitor is informed that 8 of Samuel and Charlotte’s children died in infancy. 

Unlike James and William, Alfred’s grave can be located in Ludham at the St. Catherine churchyard with the rest of his family.  His headstone mentions nothing of a wife or children.  Alfred spent most of his life in Ludham and Yarmouth. 

A year after Charlotte’s death, William took his family to America in 1892 and settled outside Philadelphia, PA.  His family consisted of his wife Hetty, son Arthur, and daughters Jane, Gertrude, Mildred, and Mabel.  William passed away in his new country, but no date or location has been located yet.

James was married twice with the 2nd marriage producing a son named James Waller Huke (1893-1983).  James lived in the Suffolk, Cheshire, and Norfolk counties throughout his life eventually settling in the town of Chester in Cheshire County.  There is a James William Huke who served two years (1897-1898) as sheriff for the city of Chester under Mayor John Goodie Holmes.  But there aren’t enough records at this time to confirm if this James was Samuel’s son James.  However, we do know Samuel’s son was living in Chester during this time.

James passed away at the age of 86 in 1918 while living in Chester. 

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