Bothway family

Within a year of the great 1869 farm auction, the remaining tenant of Burton’s Farm, Maria Burton, had died.  New tenant farmer, Henry Bothway, took her place, arriving with his wife, Mary, and five children in 1870. 

The full story of the Farm is provided here.

The new land owner, after 1869, was Sir Henry Tyrwhitt.  He died in 1894 and was succeeded by his wife Harriet, Lady Berners

The 1871 Census advises that tenant, Henry Bothway, employed seven men and two boys. By 1881, this had increased to ten men and two boys.

Henry Bothway farmed until his death in 1902 and was succeeded by his son, Herbert – at the very young age of 18.

Lady Berners died in 1917, and her successor, Raymond Robert Tyrwhitt-Wilson, 13th Baron Berners died a year after her. The farm was inherited by Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson, 14th Baron Berners – and nephew of the 13th Baron, who immediately decided to sell.

The young Herbert Bothway was able to raise a mortgage and buy the farm – no longer were the Bothway family farm tenants.

In June 1911, Robert Dennis Day was carrying out house repairs for Mrs H Bothway – but we don’t know whether it was the senior or junior Mrs H Bothway!

The tasks comprised:

Repairing ..? veneer, repairing a ..? stand & varnishing, putting up wardrobe hooks, repairing a cane seated chair, putting letter-plate and bell on hall door, shortening towel horse, new frame for looking glass and converting ..? a chair. All for the sum of £1 13s 10d.

Sometime after the death of Henry Bothway, his widow, Mary, had moved to a newly constructed house: “The Homestead”, in Church Road. The land had been bought for £40 from Lady Berners in 1910 by two married women (sisters?) who each lived in different parts of England. By 1919, one sold their share to the other – for £200, by which time, The Homestead had been constructed – with Mary Bothway as its tenant.

Is there a connection between R D Day’s above June 1911 “repairs” (plus adding a letter box & front door bell) and Mary Bothway moving from the farm / into the newly completed house?

At almost the same time as Herbert Bothway was buying Poplar / Home Farm, his elder brother, William Edwin Bothway (husband of Elizabeth, nee Quantrell) had made his own successful bid for a 183 acre farm: this was the Grange/Canal House Farm, just to the south of Toprow (and mostly in Ashwellthorpe) together with a number of Toprow cottages being offered in the same auction. This farm’s northern-most fields were in Wreningham – and bounding the southern edges of Hill Farm.

In 1915, Dorothy Bothway (daughter of William and Elizabeth) had married Horace Folwell the son of a pork butcher from Leicester. A further connection between Wreningham and Leicester’s Folwell family. Dorothy Bothway went on to become founder of the Wreningham Womens Institute branch. She eventually became the branch’s lifetime president – and, over many tens of years, morphed into local Womens Institute “royalty”!

In World War 2, Major Richard Bothway was in the Norfolk Regiment, serving in S E Asia. He can be seen in this East Anglian Film Archive film report sending a message home – from Burma to Wreningham (about two and a half minutes into the film).

Advice, should you ever want to hire a reindeer….

Herbert remained in charge at Poplar Farm until his death and was succeeded by Robert Bothway in the late nineteen sixties. (Robert’s father was already running a farm at Fundenhall and preferred to remain there.) In arriving at Poplar Farm, Robert had the interesting experience of taking on a farming establishment still mostly powered by horses; he needed to make rapid changes to mechanise!

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