I continue with the description of our trip to Lincolnshire with a visit to the small villages of Hogsthorpe and Mumby. I was especially eager to visit Hogsthorpe because the earliest record that we have of the Stephenson family is in Hogsthorpe. Henry Stephenson (1) was born in Hogsthorpe in 1666. His son, Henry(2) and grandson, Henry(3) were also born in Hogsthorpe. George Stephenson who married Elizabeth Would was the son of Henry (3). There is evidence that William Stephenson and his wife Elizabeth were the parents of Henry (1) but we cannot confirm this at this time.
We know a little about the Stephensons in Hogsthorpe. We have discovered land records that show that William Stephenson owned 39 acres in the “West End” in 1683. Henry (1) and his wife Susannah Clark paid a poll tax to support the war in France in 1693, so they would have been land owners as well. We also have found a record that says that Henry (2) was a staymaker. Apparently, this was a tailor who made corsets. Many of the Stephensons who settled in Horncastle were tailors, so they could be following in the occupation of their ancestors.
St Mary’s Church in Hogsthorpe was built in the 1300s. The church registers date to 1558, and these registers are deposited in the Lincolnshire Archives. Prior to 1813, the records were limited so that there are many questions that we cannot answer.
In 1975, the churchyard was cleared of most of the gravestones. Inscriptions on 307 stones were recorded and deposited in the Lincolnshire Archives. To this date we have not found these records. There was one very old stone at the church which appears to have the name Stephenson on it but that may be wishful thinking. Behind the church are six small gravestones that are for six children of the same family, all of whom died of diphtheria in just one month.
Pat Stephenson and I made a stop in the post office/general store for a brief chat with the proprietor. In the late 1800’s, the post master was a Stephenson, but there are no Stephensons in Hogsthorpe today and have not been for quite a few years.
The village of Mumby is located about three miles from Hogsthorpe. Martha Richardson, the wife of Henry(2), and her family were from Mumby, just a short brisk walk from Hogsthorpe for Henry to court Martha. We ate lunch in the Red Lion Pub in Mumby and enjoyed English fish and chips and cottage pie. I also was able to enjoy Sticky Toffee, my favorite English desert. I was tempted to try Hanky-Panky Toffee Pie but was happy I stayed with my old favorite.