Revd H W Rous Birch - The Mill, which opens for business this year, is the third of Southwold's wind-powered flour mills and is known as 'New Mill'. It has been built on the edge of what was then called Church Green or St Edmund's Green by Southwold's 'Perpetual Curate' who apparently intends to run it as a commercial enterprise, much to the townsfolk's disgust. There is a snatch of folk verse going the rounds which runs:
Who gives to angry passion vent
And built a mill to grind dissent
Showing thereby his mal-intent?
For more about Revd Birch, see No 81 High Street
The first miller who hires it from Revd Birch is Mr R G Turner from Wangford. (M)
Read Crisp takes over as Miller but leaves in 1850, before his contractual term is up, to become a bookseller in Beccles.(M)
A Mr Boyden takes over the mill for the one-year unexpired tenancy left by Read Crisp. He leaves in June 1851 (M) and, for four years the mill stands unoccupied and, apparently, un-cared for.
William Baggott leases the mill from Revd Birch. From this date, it becomes known as 'Baggott's Mill'. However, 53-year-old William Baggott is not a miller. He is a farmer and entrepreneur. Back in 1847 he took a lease on a brick kiln on the N E outskirts of the town together with the farmland owned by the Town. In 1850 he bought several properties on South Green. By 1851 he was describing himself in the Census as a "Farmer of 59 acres employing 8 labourers".and ten years later as "Farmer and Brickmaker". As soon as he acquires the mill, he sub-lets it to Amos Barber an experienced journeyman miller from Walberswick.
Genealogical note: William Baggott is married to Susan and they have two daughters, Adelia and Emma, and and two sons, the eldest of whom is Frederick. (C1851, C1861, M, deeds). Adelia Baggott is married to Thomas Naunton and their daughter, Ellen Sophia will one day marry Francis Charles Goffin, butcher of No 21 High Street.. Ellen & Francis have 8 Children, the penultimate being George Henry Goffin who runs the Manor Farm Dairy at No 53a High Street from the 1930s to 1960s
A December storm
wreaks considerable damage. (A news cutting in James Maggs' diary reports 'During the gales along the coast the sails of Mr Baggott's mill fell off owing to want of repair').
By now the mill's ownership has passed to the Revd Birch's son, Augustus Frederick Birch who this year sells it on to its erstwhile tenant
William Baggott along with the surrounding land. The cost is £120. (deeds)
William Baggott dies on 1st July aged 68. His will stipulates that the mill should pass down first to his eldest son Frederick Baggott and thence to his eldest grandson, William Frederick. William has also ensured that it should remain at the disposal of his widow, Susan for her lifetime. However, only a year or two afterwards (between 1872 and 1877, Frederick also dies, leaving his widow Amy, and the property passes into the ownership of William Frederick who is in his early twenties.
In the meantime, the condition of Baggott's mill steadily deteriorates and in...
a fire destroys Baggott's Mill. A news cutting in James Maggs' diary, dated Feb 2nd 1876, notes: "Fire at Baggott's Mill, recently hired by C M Marsden but unoccupied at present. Mr Marsden is believed to be insured."
Miller Charles Marsden has had bad luck with his mills. In 1856 he hired the Town Mill which sustained considerable fire damage seven years later in a November Gale. (M)
Young farmer, William Frederick, with the support of his Grandmother, Susan, has now had two semi-detached cottages - Victoria Cottages - built on the site, paid for with a mortgage of £160.
William Frederick Baggott dies intestate at the age of only 31, leaving a widow, Ann (nee Snelling - see comment in forum below), two daughters, Edith and Alice, and a three-year-old son, William Henry.
Between 1886 and 1896 there were numerous transfers of mortgage on the properties.