Sophia Thurtell


 BORN 4 October 1803 at Hobland Hall, Bradwell, Suffolk, England.
 BAPTISED 9 October 1803 at Hopton.
 DIED 18 March 1891 at Oulton, North Cove Hall, Suffolk, England.
 BURIED Cove, Suffolk, England.
 FATHER John Thurtell (1762-1846)
 MOTHER Anne Browne (c1762-1834)
 MARRIED William Everitt (1794-1879) on 11 March 1824 at Gubton, Suffolk.
 CHILDREN   Kate Caroline Everitt (1832-1913) (m. 1850 George John Rose [d. 1851]) (m. 1855 Edward Deodatus Wells [1830-1897])

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Aunt William Everitt of the letters. Lived at North Cove Hall, near Beccles in Suffolk, and hosted family reunions. She had numerous children and grandchildren but all her Everitt grandsons died without issue. A granddaughter, Clare One (Cissy) Everitt (b. 28 March 1878), married Oct 1914 Basil Ray, a captain of the Union Castle line. The Ray branch, at least, seems to have continued.

M.E.Shearing says in My Ain Folk:

Dr George Murray in letter dated 22 Sep 1880 says, Aunt Sophia is a very kind and very lively old lady. Of their eight children, Kate, the 2nd youngest, married 1st George Rose (no issue); 2nd The Rev. Edward Deodalus Wells. Kate and Rev. Wells’s eldest daughter is the Mitty often mentioned in Family letters.

In 1856 Kate painted the Poppy picture which hangs in my bedroom. (Now belongs to David in 1990.)

Golden Wedding

In 1874 Sophia and William celebrated their Golden Wedding. The following extract is taken from a letter written by Sophia to her brother Alfred Thurtell Murray on 11 March, 1874:

Our Golden Wedding, on the above date, was most entirely a success; there was far greater demonstration than at the real one 50 years before. Nearly 100 assembled in the Barn which was decorated, well lighted and good music. Our Company consisted of Cottage Tenants to Dinner—Old English fare. After dinner they fetched their wives, and children over 12 years. At six o’clock all sat down to Tea, three long tables prepared with cold sliced Beef, sausage Rolls, Tarts, cakes, fifty dozen Tartlets, mince pies, Baked custard and Apple Pies.

My son Willie then made a little speech, and the Bride and Groom led off the Dance, a few couples down and retired. Oranges, outs, cakes beside a large wedding cake, which went round three times, with Punch, Rum and Water etc. Added to the great enjoyment was that the Hall Party threw themselves into the People’s pleasures. A young and elegant lady, who had just returned from Germany, where she had attended the Court Balls, was seen dancing with the Gardener, and Country Policeman, provided to keep order, but he never ceased dancing when he could, leaving order to take care of itself. Willie was waltzing with the Cook. George Peilman with the Nursemaid. Indeed when I beat a retreat home to supper, thinking we might be some restraint upon the movements of the Barn Party, it acted like a blanket thrown over them.

The absurd part was that several of our friends brought presents to us—quite unnecessary at our age. I had a beautiful old Gold Brooch, an elegant letter weight, black marble inlaid with sprays of orange blossom and jasmine, very beautiful, and my old Husband had a very handsome and expensive Carriage Rug and other nice presents. We had luncheon with our friends at 2 o’clock. The cake had a wreath of Orange blossom and a spray on the top. The village was alive with Flags — I am thankful it is over; but the remembrance of the Party will never be forgotten, as long as one of those attended it lives.

A Golden Wedding from a local newspaper, 1874:

Great rejoicing took place at the village of North Cove on the 11th instant, it being the anniversary of the old Squire’s and Mrs Everitt’s fiftieth Wedding Day. The village was gaily decorated with Flags and Evergreens; a large Flag floated from the Church steeple, and the bells rang a merry peal.

‘At 2 o’clock the Cottage Tenantry partook Roast Beef and Plum Pudding, and at 6 o’clock they were joined by their Wives and Families, when a handsome Tea with Wedding Cake was provided, after which the Band struck up Haste to the Wedding when the old Squire of just eighty summers led off in a Country Dance with his loving partner of fifty years.

‘All these festivities were held in a Barn, which was tastefully decorated with Flags and Mottoes.’


Sophia and William’s youngest child William Spencer (1835-1913) married Elizabeth Josephine Reeve in 1860. They lived at North Cove Hall and later Broad House, Oulton, Suffolk. Both are buried at Cove. Of their five children, the 2nd Charles, was drowned, aged 11. The other four all visited South Africa and Roode Bloem, and were well known to the family. They were: William George (1861-1929), Bachelor of Broad House; Josephine Olive m. Stuart Holmes of New Foundland; Clare One m. Basil Ray, Commander of Union Castle Mailship; Henry Reeve (Nicholas or Nick) (1867-1928) of Broad House was a solicitor of Norwich and Lowestoft, Member of the British Foreign Secret Service, Sportsman, Traveller and Author.

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