Wednesday, 10 April 2013

NPM #3 ~ In their soft footprints ... Phoebe


On the other side 
was a branch
That swayed with pale gold wheat
with an aura of an August day
A woman came walking through
these hazy royal fields
and showed me the landscape she once called home

Vast bronze and deep green planes,
unbroken horizons and a simple church
its stones warmed by the blush of heat
She spoke to me of travel, a deep yearning
to walk and move to where the money flowed
She was without fear
as she journeyed with others,
her hands falling on the bowed heads of the crops
towards the north. 

This is about my great, great Grandmother Phoebe Brett who was born 5th November 1847 in Swaffham, Norfolk. Phoebe Brett and her husband Richard Bacon are very special to me since they were the first names I found on my journey into genealogy. They were both part of the great movement to look for work at the time and came to Hull, East Yorkshire - Hull was then an expanding port and had lots of job opportunities, they came here with other members of their family and made this their new home. 

Phoebe and Richard had six children (all in Hull) and I am descended from their fifth child; George Cain Bacon. Phoebe, and all her 10 brothers and sisters were christened at St Peter and St Paul church in Swaffham (the picture on the left), she was christened 12th December 1847. The town of Swaffham and the church of St Peter and St Paul in particular have a lovely myth connected to them of the Pedlar of Swaffham - a man in the 1600's who had a dream that brought him to London, it really is a great story.

Also a fascinating fact about the Brett family is about Phoebe's uncle, Thomas Brett, who left England for America with all his family in June 1854 - They ended up in Illinois. Just over 10 years later Thomas's son, James Brett (Phoebe's cousin) was dead, after fighting in the American Civil War in company K88 he was taken to the infamous Andersonville Prison in Georgia where he died on 25th July 1864 of scurvy, he is buried in The National Cemetery. 

I hope you are all enjoying reading this as much as I love writing it :)

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