Interesting People

The Tonyn Brothers – Swanbourne Links to Africa and Florida

Charles W. Tonyn and his family links to Africa and Florida (revised February 2022) By Clive Rodgers Charles William Tonyn (1732-1805) Reverend Charles William Tonyn, Vicar of St. Swithun’s Church, Swanbourne,  seems to have been unusual in the Tonyn family in that he went into the church rather than following his father into a military career. […]

Hollywood Star Deborah Kerr marries Swanbourne war hero

The marriage of Anthony Bartley to Deborah Kerr. By Clive Rodgers When Swanbourne RAF fighter ace Anthony Bartley (1919 — 2001) was working in America, lecturing in fighter pilot tactics, he also made the acquaintance of several film personalities (e.g. Elizabeth Taylor).  Subsequently, when then stationed in Brussels it was through an introduction by Stewart Granger in 1945 […]

Betsey Wynne

Betsey Wynne 1778 – 1857 By Ken Harris Betsey Wynne was the second of five sisters, born 19th April 1778 to Richard Wynne and his French wife Camille de Royer. Richard Wynne, who was born in Venice, and lived much of his early life on the continent,  had inherited a large estate at Falkingham (now […]

“Old Timer” Reminiscence Short Stories

Old Timer Reminiscence stories by Jean Dyke (born 1928 – died 2002) Originally written by Jean Dyke who (called herself ‘Old Timer’) for the ‘Swanbourne Newsletter’ from 1999 to 2001.  Jean lived at Spuddlespits (19 Mursley Road), Swanbourne.  Recently transcribed by Linda Rodgers. ‘Looking back’ (1920s – 30s) by Old Timer  (July 1999) There were no […]

Louisa Palmer – a family survivor

Louisa – the daughter of Charles Palmer By Clive Rodgers  Based on sources of  information kindly provided by LeAnn Vallis Fekjan Charles Palmer, the second son of James and Rachel Palmer, married Ann Cutler Hedges (1838-1863) of Stewkley in 1857 and they raised their children in Swanbourne. Elizabeth Fanny was born in 1858, but died in 1860, and […]

Telford Twins – War Babies

The Telford Twins – War babies born to an evacuee mother in 1944 By John and David Telford John and David Telford are identical twins who have had links with Swanbourne for 70 years. The connection began when their mother Olive Telford’s cousin Dennis Henderson (son of Ernie Henderson who lived for many years at […]

Emma Bolton – a Domestic Servant at Swanbourne House

Emma Bolton – a Domestic Servant at Swanbourne House By Ken Harris and Linda Rodgers It started with a photograph of an elderly woman sitting in a greenhouse (see below), and an inscription on the back saying simply ‘Miss Bolton, Swanbourne House’. But who was she and what could we find out about her? A […]

Thomas Alderman the Convict

Thomas Alderman the Convict By Neil Rees Thomas Alderman (1782-1863) Thomas Alderman was the 5th of 7 children of Richard and Ann Alderman who were married in Swanbourne in January 1773.  He was the youngest of their three sons born in 1782. The Family of Thomas Alderman Thomas Alderman was a labourer in Swanbourne, and […]

Rees Rees the Welsh Drover

Rees Rees the Welsh drover – with new photographs  By Neil Rees Two of the last Welsh drovers who used to come to Swanbourne were Rees Rees and his nephew James James.  They were friendly with the Tofield family who also bought animals from them. Rees Rees Rees Rees was born in 1855, the son of James […]

Charles Edwin Gurnett – A sad case of suicide

Charles Gurnett By Neil Rees Charles Edwin Gurnett Charles Edwin Gurnett was born in 1871 at Swanbourne.  He was the fifth of eight children of William and Charlotte Gurnett and they lived in Nearton End, where they attended the Primitive Methodist Chapel. Charles worked as an agricultural labourer and then got a job as under […]