THE GRANDFATHER OF JOHN BROWN
Rev John Field
JOHN BRYANT FIELD was born on Sunday 31st March 1822, the son of Charles Field in either in Yatton Keynell (as per the Baptist Union Handbook – 1916) or Hullavington (reference – the 1891 Census). Both these locations are in Wiltshire, near the town of Chippenham and are around three to four miles apart. (One of these locations was possibly his place of birth, the other being where he possibly grew up).
1841 – CENSUS
John Field should appear on the Census Returns for 1841, when he would have been around 19 years old but I have not located him.
On 3rd June 1849, at the age of 27 years, he married LOUISA PEARSALL in St John Church, Clerkenwell in London. John’s father, Charles was a Carpenter, his wife’s father was a Brewer.
1849 – The Marriage of John Byrant Field and Louisa Pearsall
1851 – CENSUS
John Field and his wife Louisa should appear on the Census Returns for 1851, when he would have been around 29 years old but I cannot located them.
IN CAMBERWELL WITH THEIR CHILDREN
The couple had at least three children; a daughter named ELIZABETH (John Brown’s mother) who was born in London around 1851, and two sons, John C. born around 1852 and Uriah born around 1855. In 1858 John Field, presumably with his family, is recorded in a Rate Book as living at 36, Gt Windmill Street in the parish of St James Piccadilly in Soho, London. He is recorded at the same address in the Rate books for 1859 and 1860 but the family moved
1861 – CENSUS
The 1861 Census the family are living in the London parish of Camberwell St Giles at 4, Leipsic Road. On the night of this Census John is recorded as being 39 years old, his wife Louisa 39 years and their three children, Elizabeth, John C. and Uriah, are 10, 9 and 6 years respectively.
NB – Leipsic Road no longer exists but the road appears on the 1894 OS map, but the road is now called Comber Grove – so we can assume that is where Leipsic Road was once located.
1861 Census – John Field and Family at 4 Leipsic Road, Camberwell
Although the information on this Census is relatively clear I have transcribed the details below:
|John B Field||Head||Married||M||39||Tin Plate Worker||Wiltshire|
|Louisa Field||Wife||Married||Female||39||Middlesex, Holborn|
|Elizh Field||Daughter||Female||10||Scholar||Middlesex, Clerkenwell|
|John C Field||Son||Male||9||Scholar||Middlesex, Clerkenwell|
|Uriah B Field||Son||Male||6||Scholar||Surrey, Camberwell|
JOHN BECOMES A MINISTER
John Field was converted under the ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon and later studied for the ministry at the Pastors’ College, and was one of the first students to enter there. Previously to his conversion, he was in a prosperous business as a “tinplate” manufacturer, but, soon after he surrendered his heart to Christ, he gave up a lucrative calling that he might do fuller work for the Master. It is thought that his business was with the manufacture, among other things, of metal boxes used by British soldiers to store their food on the battlefield. The army in the Crimea War (1853 to 1856) used these boxes when soldiers from Great Britain fought, together with other nations, against Russia. It is not noted when, or indeed if, the wife of John Field was converted to the faith. If she did not share the new faith of her husband she is possible that she may have been very bitter that her husband ‘threw away’ an affluent lifestyle to become a relatively poorly paid Baptist minister.
While at college, he conducted some services in the “Rosemary Branch” Assembly Rooms, Peckham. The work grew, and, through his instrumentality, a chapel was ultimately erected, for which he collected the money required. It is now (in 1916) called the James Grove Hall and is headquarters of the work of a Mission carried on by the Church at Rye Lane, under the Rev. J.W. Ewing. M.A., D.D.
1871 – CENSUS
The 1871 Census the family are still living in the London parish of Camberwell St Giles but have moved two doors down from 4, Leipsic Road to 8, Leipsic Road . On the night of this Census John is recorded as being 48 years old, his wife Louisa 49 years and their three children, Elizabeth, John C. and Uriah, are 20, 19 and 16 years respectively. Elizabeth, John Brown’s mother is recorded as a Milliner – hat maker, John is following the previous profession of his father and is a Tin Plate Worker. The youngest son, Uriah, remains a Scholar.
Images, which are subject to copyright, show the front and back of the house in Leipsic Road in which John Field lived with his family, although I can identify exactly which of these house is number 8. These pictures can be seen by clicking – 8-12 Leipsic Road – front elevations and 8-18 Leipsic Road – rear elevations
1871 Census – John Field and Family at 4 Leipsic Road, Camberwell
As above, I have transcribed the details of this below:
|John B Field||Head||Married||M||48||Baptist Minister||Wilts, Chippenham|
|Louisa Field||Wife||Married||Female||49||Middlesex, Holborn|
|Elizh B Field||Daughter||Unmarr||Female||20||Milliner||Middlesex, Clerkenwell|
|John C Field||Son||Unmarr||Male||19||Tin Plate Worker||Middlesex, Clerkenwell|
|Uriah B Field||Son||Unmarr||Male||16||Scholar||Surrey, Camberwell|
In 1875, being around the age of fifty-three, The Reverend Field moved to Aylsham in Norfolk. Aylsham at that time was a well-built market town with a population, as recorded, six years later, during the 1881 Census, of 2,674 souls.The town contained several chapels of various denominations Baptist, Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists. (White’s Directory 1883. Supplied by Norfolk Family History Society).
At Aylsham, he was pastor of the Baptist church. There he exercised a profitable ministry, especially in the home-life of the people. He was an excellent pastor and a source of great comfort in times of sorrow and trouble. During his time at Aylsham John Field, his wife Louisa and daughter Elizabeth lived in a street named ‘Millgate’. Their house was one of fifteen in that street. The 1881 census records the ages of John & Louisa as fifty-nine and their daughter Elizabeth, twenty-nine years old. This record is shown further below.
In that year, 1881, at the invitation of the Medbourne (Leicestershire) Friends, the Reverend Field took charge of the Mission Hall in that village. His ministry was greatly blessed and large congregations were gathered.
In 1888, he became pastor of the Baptist Church at Billesdon. His age at this time being around sixty-six. It was the start of what was to be a sixteen-year ministry. During his time considerable improvements were effected in the Church and good work was done by him in the village, as well as in the district round. Congregations were very good at this time. Monthly Tea & Praise Meeting were held. These were happy social occasions at which birthdays, or anniversaries, were often celebrated. In addition he introduced a weekly Bible Class.
The Census of 1891 records him as living in Billlesdon with his wife Louisa, both of whom are aged 69 years, and their five year old Grandson, John William Brown and does the 1901 Census with their ages now 79 years and Grandson, John William Brown has reached fifteen year old.
During the time of the Reverend Field’s ministry, the Anglican church was under the control of a vicar who would have been called “Rather High Church” This was not liked by many of the parishioners, and the Baptists well have caused to be grateful to him as it boasted attendances at the Chapel. However, it is recalled that, whilst him and the Reverend Field were certainly not enemies, and even quite friendly, both were quite convinced that the other was on his way to perdition (spiritual ruin), and lived & died holding that opinion.
1881 Census – John and Louisa Field with Daugher Elizabeth at Millgate, Aylsham
As above, I have transcribed the details of this below:
|Millgate||John B Field||Head||Married||Male||59||Baptist Minister||Chippenham, Wiltshire|
|Louisa Field||Wife||Married||Female||59||City of London, Middlesex|
|Elizabeth H Field||Daughter||Single||Female||29||City of London, Middlesex|
RETIREMENT IN MEDBOURNE
He was to retire from the pastorate in 1904, around the age of eighty-two years. On the 1911 Census he is recorded, aged 89 years, as living at Rose Cottage Medbourne in Leicester with his grandchildren Albert Brown and Ada Brown who were aged 24 and 23 years respectively.
THE REVEREND FIELD DIES IN BILLESDON
But he came back to Billlesdon to again live with his Grandson, John William Brown after John’s marriage to Nellie Shellaker in 1911 but on Sunday 25th April 1915 the Reverend Field died in that village. His death was certified by Dr. William and his death was recorded the following week by his Grandson, John Brown.A copy of his death certificate is below.
1915 – The Death Certificate of the Reverend John Bryant Field