A Blyth Valley misty morning, a sign of the coming Autumn season. September is often a pretty month, and often warm too, so is a good time to visit. Come and sniff the Suffolk air, whether by the sea or in the countryside. Relax and recharge.

The Pattman Family

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The Pattman Family

Ale, Sail and School - The Pattman Family

Dear Father and Mother
You must feel very anxious about me. You must want to know how I am inclined for the sea. To tell you the truth I should like to go. We had a very rough passage down. The morning we went out we got as far as Lowestoft Roads and laid there all day ....

Thus wrote thirteen years old Robert Pattman to his parents in February 1864, from Shields on the northeast coast, having ran away to sea. Robert is just one member of the Pattman family of east Suffolk in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, revealed by their descendents' research. Robert, who was born in Southwold in 1851, became a noted sea-captain, skipper of the clipper "Loch Torridon", famed for its speed, which beat all other ships in 1892 bringing Australian wool from Sydney to London in 83 days. He commanded the four-masted barque for over 26 years, until 1908 when he went into steam. He died in Falmouth hospital in 1912, after breaking his leg at sea.

Robert’s father was a bootmaker, born in Beccles, also named Robert (1822–1882). He married a Hampshire girl, Martha Cox of Milton (1822–1899), at the Church of St Martin in the Fields, London, in 1847, and moved to Southwold. All of his eleven children were born there. The 1851 census shows him living at 100 Meeting House Lane as a bootmaker employing one man. The household included his wife, two young children, his sister in law from Milton (had she come to help with the new baby?), and two lodgers. By 1861 they were living at 39 High Street Southwold. Now Robert employed four men and a boy, and there were five children, and a fifteen-years old apprentice in the household. By 1871 the Pattmans were in London, with Robert, now nearly fifty, a coffee-shop proprietor.

An elder sister of Robert senior (and aunt of the sea-captain Robert) was Harriet (1818– ), also born in Beccles. By 1841 she was living in Blythburgh at the schoolhouse with her half–sister Mary Ann (1812– ), the schoolmistress. Harriet married Henry Trueman of the village around 1845, and with him became joint innkeeper of the White Hart at Blythburgh. The census of 1871 shows their fourteen years old son John staying with his aunt the schoolmistress.

The father of Mary Ann, Harriet and Robert was John Pattman (1781–1857) of Blythburgh, a whitesmith and brassfounder, who married Ann Feaveryear in 1811. Mary Ann was their only child, and she was Blythburgh schoolmistress for at least thirty years. John married a second time in 1814, in Barsham, to Rachel Blowfield (1789–1869) who had been born in Westleton. They had seven children, all born in Beccles. In 1851, in their old age, they were living at 40 High Street, Southwold.

There are two Pattman graves in Blythburgh churchyard. Those of John (d.1857) and his wife Rachel.

Further reading:
B. Lubbock, The Colonial Clippers (Glasgow, 1921)
E.R. Cooper, Storm Warriors of the Suffolk Coast (London, 1936)

Alison Edmonds, Harpenden, February 1995.
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Some Favourite Websites For September 2018:

CICO Chimney and Fireplace ServicesTaking pride in providing a perfect chimney lining and fire prevention service

As one of the largest networks of chimney lining installers in the UK, CICO chimneys offer advice and solutions to individuals and trade. Since the early 1980's CICO chimney linings have continually developed a service and product that have been approved and recognised by many professionals as well as the general public.

Bloom'sComfortable Bed and Breakfast accommodation close to Southwold

B&B accommodation just for one or two, in modern farmhouse on working farm close to Southwold. WiFi. Kingsize bed in room. Exclusive use of private adjacent spacious bathroom with jacuzzi bath. Cycle Route 31 passes farm drive. Sorry, no children or pets accepted.

David Elliott Stained GlassUnique decorative stained glass, plus courses for all abilities held in a custom-equipped studio

David offers his wealth of experience to create unique stained glass commissions and items for your home. Stained glass courses offered, suitable for all abilities, from beginner to expert. Gift vouchers.

North Manor FarmhouseEnsuite B&B accommodation in beamed Suffolk farmhouse close to the Suffolk coast and Southwold

Two B&B rooms, both with en-suite. Guest lounge with open fire. Discount for stay exceeding three nights. Sorry, dogs not accepted.

Halesworth Arts FestivalThe Seventeenth Festival takes place 13th - 28th October 2018 - online booking open now!

Another marvellous selection of musicians, entertainers, and more. Book at least three qualifying events and receive 15% discount. Why not build a short break in Halesworth or area around an event or two? Come and enjoy!