- Title: RAGS TO RICHES
- Released: 2012-07-21
- Pages: 178
- ASIN: B008NXCAQS
The stories of five entrepreneurial families whose
prosperity began in eighteenth century Devon
As reviewed in the Herald
The upstairs-downstairs dramas that draw millions to TV come to real life in a fascinating new book by Plymouth researcher Barbara Marlow
‘ONE look and it was love across the rose beds – and over the social divide.
He was William Rendle, a lowly gardener. She was Jane Edgcumbe, a member of the aristocratic family (of Mount Edgcumbe fame).
Soon the fragrance of flowers was replaced by the whiff of scandal. The gleam in the eyes of William and Jane led to a baby out of wedlock.
There is a sparkle in author Barbara Marlow's eyes, too, as she relates the story from two centuries ago.
She is a woman with a mission: to show that the history of families offers more than a list of names and dates.
The liaison between William and Jane nearly 200 years ago is backed by evidence in marriage and birth records, which the researcher has unearthed.
The actual circumstances of that meeting between the high-born lady and the common man is a matter of speculation.
"History belongs to everyone," says Barbara, the founding chairman of Devon Family History Society, justifying her creative telling.
"A good story is a good story. So many people, when they research family history, just produce lists of names and dates.
"There are stories to be told behind those names and dates.
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Staffordshire was home to the DICKIN family who lived in the village of Wolstanton. Contemporaries of Joshua Reynolds, they shared with him the birth of the Potteries that so excites todays antique collectors. Heading south, as early commercial travellers, they became dealers in Plymouth and later extracted clay from a major site in Devon.
The CHAPPELL HODGE’S left the foul smelling tanning pits of Dobwalls in Cornwall to become one of country’s first bankers outside The City. (London).
The story that gave Plymouth RENDLE STREET begins on a Devon aristocrat’s estate where the Rendle’s laboured as gardeners. They take us from the Union Marshes to New York City.
We join the CROAD’S, quarry workers who they delivered Portland stone from Dorset to Plympton House in Devon. As major contractors to The Board of Ordnance they built key south coast government defences and The Royal Naval Hospital.
The KING family diversified. They backed up their struggling wool and sheep rearing trades in South Devon, to become beer brewers and later gin distillers as part of Plymouth Gin. pdf