The Rundell Family
information was accumulated whilst researching London goldsmiths, and,
as it was not relevant for inclusion in the addendum to the third
edition of London Goldsmiths’ 1697-1837
Their Marks and Lives by Arthur Grimwade, published in 1990, it was decided
to include the material in the
following short history of the Rundell
families who lived in and around Norton
St. Philip and Frome in Somerset from the late 17th Century.
(1746-1827) was the senior partner in the firm of Rundell, Bridge and Rundell,
of Ludgate Hill in the City of London. However, when he was made Free of the
City of London in 1772
the relevant documents give conflicting
information concerning his
It had always
been assumed (correctly as it turned out) that he was the son of Richard
Rundell (1709-1776) from Norton St.
Philip, but on his Freedom paper the Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court had
written: “Son of Francis of Rolvenden in
Kent Officer of Excise”. After
research in the Customs and Excise records at The National Archives at Kew, and
examination of the parish records for Rolvenden at The Centre for Kentish
Studies at Maidstone this entry was eventually proved incorrect.
1772 a Henry Metcalf was Free by Redemption of the Glovers’ Company and the
City of London, and his freedom paper followed that of Philip Rundell’s in the
1772 bundle. Obviously the Clerk of the
Chamberlain’s Court had made an error in writing the name of Henry Metcalf’s father, Francis, on Philip Rundell’s indenture paper.
parish records for Norton St. Philip and Frome
were consulted subsequently, and this
produced a great deal of information regarding the history of the family which
had not been published hitherto.
There were two
branches of the Rundell family living in Norton St. Philip from the 17th
century, the families of Edward Rundell the Clockmaker and Philip Rundell the
goldsmith. It is likely that Philip Rundell’s great grandfather and Edward’s
father were brothers but it has not been possible to positively confirm the
relationship between the two families, since some of the mid 17th century
parish registers are missing.
No record of apprenticeship has been found
for Edward Rundell as a clockmaker, although he is recorded as such in an
Indenture Tripartite dated 14 October 1702.
This was concerned with the sale
of the tenure of leasehold of a field called Ten Acres, for one thousand years.
This field had been part of the farm or grange at Norton St. Philip, and was
formerly in the tenure and occupation
of Edward Rundell’s father, also Edward, who died
during November 1695. The Rundells had
first leased the land in 1687 and it is mentioned again in the following entry
in a damaged Tithe Book dated 1753-1770.
“Thos. Pearce had the vicarage and one acre
in ten acres belonging to Mrs Rundal, and
Richard Greenland, a coal driver, rented ‘Marlpit’ worth £6 a year from
her”. On another sheet she is shown
as Widow Rundel paying a tithe for arable ground at Pearl and Marlpit and ground adjoining the vicarage.
records there are several references made to rates and tithes being paid
for land called ‘Rundels’, which
presumably had belonged to the family in earlier times.
Edward Rundell appeared several times in the parish records and it proved
difficult to decide the identity of all the individuals concerned.
the clockmaker was baptised on the 18 December 1671
at Norton St. Philip. He married there Elizabeth Cottrell on 16 September 1700
and seven of their children were baptised at the church between 1701 and 1720.
Their only son, Edward, was baptised on the 22 September 1709. An Edward
Rundell was listed as a Churchwarden in 1710,
1720/21, 1729 and 1731.
Edwd Rundell, brother of Richard (1682-1718),
Philip’s grandfather, and Lavinia his
wife from Road (Rode) appear in a parish book of inhabitant’s examinations
dated 1718. These examinations were carried out by the
parish officers to ascertain the entitlement of individuals to settle within a Parish. As Edward had been both baptised and married
at Norton St. Philip the couple appear to have been successful in their
application, since both their deaths are recorded in the church registers,
Edward in 1745 and Lavinia in 1763.
However, there are no baptismal entries for any children. It is
possible that Edward had gone to Rode to enter into an apprenticeship about
1700 and subsequently settled there or elsewhere.
In the “second
month of 1729” Edward
Rundell attended a vestry meeting convened to discuss the
removal of one Edw. Holloway.
Subsequently he was paid 2s 6d
expenses for the part he played in the removal. Presumably Mr Holloway had been found to lack the necessary
qualifications for residence within the parish at an inhabitants examination In
1730 and 1731 an Edward Rundell paid rates of 2s 2d, and for land called Hunts
The appointment of Edward Rundell as
Tythingman on the 20 April 1731 led to an entry in Tithe papers dated January
have been defrauded of the Tythe of Little Pennil Ground since I came into the
Living, Wheat Close also very probably.
For Edwd Rundel, commonly called Nunile Ned told Mr Arch-Deacon
Wichsted who told me, that when he drew the Conveyance of that Estate of Little
Norton from Merchant Mr Pigot’s
Grandson to Mr Harding .........”.
also appears as a Surveyor of the Highways in 1736.
In an Account
Book of Parish Deeds and writings for Norton St. Philip
the Parish officer had written the following on the inside leaf: “In or about the year 1732 or 33, while I
was looking over the old Church and Poor Books, to trace out who had the last
handling of the Dole Money, Edward Rundell, formerly Druggetmaker,
came to me in Mr Harding’s name for the Old Poor Book, which I immediately
delivered to him. Edward Rundell soon
returned with the Book, when I told him that I had done with it and that I
desired him to carry’t back, together with the Old Church Book (which I had by
me) to Mr Harding, he being to the best of my remembrance Church Warden. So I deliverd both the books into Rundell’s
hands. The said Poor Book has appeared
ever since at Church in the hands of Mr Edward Rundell, Clock-Maker, who said
that he had receiv’d it of Mr Harding, and that he would deliver it to him
again. But the old Church Book has not
(as I heard of) been seen in public since.
It is not
possible to determine from the surviving records where Edward the clockmaker
resided. However, Brian Greenslade, a local historian interested in Somerset
clockmakers, considers it likely that his business and workshop were situated
at what is now a private house in North Street, known as Knoyle Cottage.
He made a
musical grandfather clock circa 1710 and is listed as a clockmaker of Norton
St. Philip at that date.
Several other clocks made by him are
known to survive. The one in the village school mentioned in a letter
circa 1860, was still
there when I visited the school during 1989.
There is no evidence in the parish
registers that his son, Edward, married and had children, or that clock making continued in Norton St.
Philip after Edward the clockmaker’s death during 1738/9. His son’s death is recorded on
7 May 1738 and there is a
memorial tablet to his family at the
base of the tower in the church.
The lineage of
the family of Philip Rundell the goldsmith (see below) is also unclear since it
is difficult to ascertain precisely to which individual the surviving parish
records and other documents refer. His great grandfather Richard died in
February 1718/19 and his grandfather, also Richard, had died during the previous October. A Richard Rundell was
appointed church-warden in 1710 and the name appears in the 1714 Poll Book.
of Richard deceased, (probably Philip’s
father who was
baptised 7 August 1709), was apprenticed to Jeff Hunt of Batheaston,
barber, in the sum of £10 in 1720.
On his marriage to Ann Ditcher on 26 January 1729/30 he is described as a victualler, and during 1735 he was appointed a constable at Norton St. Philip.
appears to have moved to Frome sometime after 1736 as four of their children
were baptised there. Richard is listed
as paying Town Tithing Stock
in Frome in 1739. Town Tithes were paid by those in business in a town who were
usually tenants, not landowners, and consequently they paid only the poor rate
against the value of their stock.
of the Rundell family, with the christian names William, Robert and Richard,
also appear in the Frome records. Their relationship with either Edward the
clockmaker or with the forebears of Philip the goldsmith has not yet been
established but details of their existence is summarised here as they are part
of the Rundell clan which was living in
the area in the 17th and 18th century.
On March 1680
John Champneys leased land to William Rundell cardmaker, of Welwood, Joan
Rundell and Robert Rundell, and on 21 May 1701 there was a counterpart to the
said lease between John Champneys and Robert Rundell for “99 years if 3 lives or either of them live so long”. In the next generation William Randol (sic)
of Welwood married Elizabeth Rucker at Frome 25 February 1724/5 and the
baptisms of their four children are recorded: Sarah on 14 November 1731,
William on 5 October 1733, Richard on 10 June 1739, Betty on 24 January
1740/41. Robert Randol (sic) of Wells
married Hannah Dyer of Frome 27
September 1726 and their son John was baptised on 16 June 1728. In the Frome Tithe Book dated 22 August 1735
Robt Rundell paid for four tenements and oatground, and William Rundell for
Barringtons and Callway and a House on Katharine Hill. There is also an entry in the 1785 Frome
Owner Rd. Rundell, farmer. Occupier Mr.Tucker 3 males, 3 females and 22 cows.
Richard and Ann Rundell, Philip’s
parents, had apparently returned to
Norton St. Philip by mid 1745, since their tenth child, Eleanora, was baptised
there. Richard appears in the tithe
books from 1746-1764, and he was appointed an overseer of the poor in 1748 and
records it is not possible to ascertain exactly where in Norton St. Philip the
Rundell family lived, however, the following extract from The Times, dated 27
January 1849, regarding the George Inn gives an indication.
“The adjoining house, too, has its historic
record. In this humble dwelling, though
it has a bell-tower like its massive neighbour, was born the late Mr Rundell,
the wealthy goldsmith, of Ludgate-Hill, who furnished the crown and table of
many a sovereign, and died a MILLIONAIRE”. The adjoining house referred to
was the Malt House, which is very
substantial and not at all humble!
Richard Rundell was shown as a victualler, when his
eldest daughter Elizabeth was apprenticedto
her uncle Francis Bennett
of Bath, linen-draper, on 24 June 1748.
In the Memoirs of the late Philip Rundell Esq.
Richard is referred to as a maltster, and certainly he paid some of his tithes
in malt and hops during 1755.
FAMILY TREE OF PHILIP RUNDELL THE GOLDSMITH
By 27 October 1766 he was a yeoman of Lyncombe and Widcombe, when his youngest son Francis
was apprenticed to another relative, Philip Ditcher of Bath, surgeon.
Rundell was buried at Norton St. Philip on 19 January 1776. His tombstone was
recorded in the churchyard during the 1950s and at the time was said to be badly defaced. I was
unable to locate the site of the grave during 1989.
The Land Tax
show that the family continued to have land in the village, and their
association with Norton St. Philip continued
into the 19th Century as the main beneficiary of Philip Rundell’s
will, funded a charity school
there in 1827.
Philip’s eldest brother, is listed in 1780 and 1782 as the owner of land occupied by a Jo. Printer. Between 1826 and 1832 Thomas’ son Edmund is
shown as paying rates on ‘land’.
Edmund, in his will executed in 1857, left
his nephew Thomas Bigge “a field
in Norton St. Philip in the County of Somerset, being the only property I have
inherited from my father”.
field was the ten acres formerly owned by the clockmaking Rundell since his widow died after both her husband
and only son and it is conceivable that she left the field to her husband’s
relative Richard Rundell.
the goldsmith was baptised on the 8 February 1746 at Norton St. Philip and
according to the Memoirs24 was educated at Bath. However, there is
no evidence to suggest where. King
Edward’s School, North Road, was in existence at that time, although no early
school records survive.
He is next
recorded on the 10 May 1760
when he was apprenticed to William Rogers
of Bath, jeweller. There appears to have been a link between the Rogers and
Rundell families, as Francis Rogers (William’s uncle) of Frome-Selwood,
wire-drawer, was bondsman at the marriage between Margaret Rundel and Gabriel
Pinsent on 8 September 1715.
Rundell, having served his apprenticeship, started his working career in London
during 1769 as shopman for Theed and Picket on Ludgate Hill.
On the 15 May
1771 he was made Free of the Drapers’ Company by redemption,
when he was described as a jeweller of 32 Ludgate Hill. His subsequent Freedom of the City of London
is unusual. He appears in the City
minute book on the 11 June 1771, although his Redemption paper was dated 29
October and he did not take up the Freedom until January 1772. He is listed on the Livery of the Drapers’
Company from the 17 June 1772-1791.
must have had substantial financial and influential backing to gain both his
Freedom and Livery of the Drapers’ Company so soon after starting his career,
although there is no record in the archives of the Draper’s Company of the
identity of his sponsor or sponsors.
extract dated Monday 6th August 1792 appears
in the Drapers’ Company Minute Book: “Mr
Philip Rundell being a nomination for Junior Warden of this Company (with
others) ....and each of them having signified their desire to be excused
serving the said offices on paying the usual fine of £20 were excused”.
Even though he
declined to take up this office, he was admitted to the Court of the Drapers’
Company in 1792 and remained thereon until 1826. He was fined a second time
during 1807 when he refused to become Master.
In 1822 the
Drapers’ Company purchased a salver from Rundell, Bridge and Rundell, which
they subsequently presented to one of their surveyors, Jessie Gibson, and the
instruction to order this can be found in the Court Minute Book for that year.
took only two apprentices through the Company - the first was his nephew Samuel
Goldney, son of his sister Eleanora, on the 24 November 1784, when he was a
goldsmith of Ludgate Hill in the Parish of St. Martin’s. The consideration was £210 which was a very
substantial sum at that time. Samuel Goldney was made free of the Drapers’ Company on 24
November 1791 when he was shown as a jeweller of Ludgate Hill, and was
presumably working in Philip Rundell’s business. However, he is listed in the Drapers’ Company records at the
Stock Exchange from 1802-1826, and at 25 Sloane Street from 1827-1842. Unlike his uncle he was active in the
Drapers’ Company. He was on the Livery from 1802-26 and was a member of the
Court from 1827 until 1842 when, most probably, he retired. He was Warden 3, Warden 2 Warden 1 and Master in 1827, 1839, 1840 and 1841 respectively.
apprentice was obviously one of convenience.
Thomas Wadd was bound for no consideration on 5 November 1795, and was
turned over the same day to his father Solomon, a surgeon, citizen and
musician, of Basinghall Street in the City of London. Thomas Wadd was made Free on 5 November 1802 when a Surgeon of Basinghall
Street where he is listed until 1856.
He appears on the Livery from
1808-41, the Court from 1842-56, he was
Warden 4, Warden 2, Warden 1 and Master
in 1842, 1851, 1852 and 1853
is little evidence in the Drapers’ Company records that Philip Rundell played
an active role in their affairs there is the following extract in his will: “I give and bequeath unto the Master and
Wardens and the several persons constituting the Court of Assistants of the
Drapers’ Company at the time of my death, and to Edward Lawford, Esq., their
clerk and Solicitor, a mourning ring a piece, of the value of five guineas
As a result, the following entry appears in the Court Minute Book on Thursday
10 April 1827: “A motion is made and
seconded that the Clerk is requested to address a letter to the Executors of
the late Philip Rundell Esq., late a worthy Member of this Court expressive of
the Court’s sense of the good will entertained towards this Court by Mr
Rundell’s remembrance of them individually testified by his having left to
each of them a diamond ring and also expressive of regret at the loss of so old
a Friend and Member - which on being put to the vote is carried unanimously”.
never married. When he died in 1827 he
left the bulk of his fortune to Joseph Neeld, the grandson of his sister
Susanna. Later that year Joseph built
the new school at Norton St. Philip at a total cost of £2,084. (ground £500,
school building £l,404 and other expenses £120).
regarding the village school, deposited in the Somerset Record Office, shows
Samuel Goldney was dealing with Philip Rundell’s affairs after his death and
that he was also involved with the setting up of the school.
letters and papers there is one setting out the Founders’ intentions:
“For the purpose of maintaining and
supporting a School for children of poor parents of the Parish of Norton St.
Philip on the principles exclusively of the Church of England as by law
established. Lasting provision for
teaching the inhabitants of the Parish of Norton St. Philip to read and write
and for teaching them up in the doctrines of the established Church and
instructing in the Liturgy thereof. It
is further declared and agreed that the school and the instruction and Liturgy
thereof and the Church catechism shall be taught therein, and shall be under
the inspection and control of the Master and Mistress thereof and shall at all
times be conducted in accordance with the doctrines of the Church. They shall be appointed and removed at the
discretion of the owner of Grittleton House or heir at law of Jos. Neeld and
the incumbent of Norton for the time being or the latter solely as the case may
be. The rules of the school forbid any
child attending who does not attend the service of the Church”.
had no legitimate heir when he died in 1856 and his fortune and estate passed
to his brother Sir John Neeld Bt.
Joseph never endowed the school at Norton St. Philip, although according to
correspondence from the Rev. R. Palairet, who was the incumbent at Norton St
.Philip when the school was built and subsequently a trustee, it was always his intention so to do. The school therefore lacked income and this
occasioned much correspondence during the period 1840-1880
between both the trustees of Joseph’s will, Col. Inigo W. Jones and the Rev. J.
E. Jackson of Leigh Delamere, and
various incumbents. The problem
seemed to have arisen as the school was paid £50 a year from the rent of Wick
Farm, but the farm had been sold by the
trustees and the income was no longer available. It was not clear how the problem
was resolved, or if it ever was.
Philip Rundell’s death there were several accounts written about him, each with
conflicting views of his personality.
George Fox jnr, employed by the firm since the early 1800s,
wrote that Rundell was a mean, bad tempered and rather unpleasant man, and this
account seems to be the one most quoted by later authors.
However, “An account of the Life
of Philip Rundell” published in 1828
gives a more balanced view of his character, and suggests that the unknown
author knew him on a more personal footing.
Certainly he did not enjoy good health in the last few years of his life
and this could perhaps have been the cause of some of the ill-temper remembered
book, Fruits of Experience,
Joseph Brasbridge wrote flatteringly
of him: “There cannot be a person
whose character I respect more than Mr. Rundell’s, the immense wealth which he
has amassed by his own industry, he dispenses with the utmost munificence: one
of his nieces was married two years go, he presented her with L7000. I have been told, and give credit to much
greater acts of kindness on Mr Rundell’s part than this, and I have no doubt
that whenever his Will shall be opened it will be found fraught with benevolent
remembrances of those workmen, the prime of whose days may have been passed in
view may well be correct for in his will Rundell was very generous to many
members of his family and made several bequests, one of which was to George
Fox’s father, but not to George Fox himself!
Philip Rundell was obviously a very astute
business man, with a certain amount of charisma. He took over the firm of Theed
and Picket which then became Rundell and Bridge, which having purchased the old-established business of John Duval
Sons & Co. in 1798, became the Crown Jewellers. Later as Rundell, Bridge
and Rundell it became
one of the leading retail outlets of the time, which, through association or
apprenticeship, created the framework from which a large proportion of the
silver manufacturing and retail trade of the late Georgian and the Victorian
era was founded.
Metropolitan Archive: LMA
Office, Taunton: SRO
 LMA: Ref:
 Sarah Tanner
A Man who never was published in The Silver Society Journal - Winter 1991 No 2. pp.89-90
the Excise minute book dated 8 August 1757 Francis Metcalf was appointed Hop
Officer in Rochester and he was subsequently mentioned annually in the minute
books regarding the collections held each year, and the following entry appears
on Wednesday 7 November 1764:
“Matthew Merridith appointed Cyder Officer
in Surry Collection, having declined the employment, ordered that Francis
Metcalf be Cyder Officer there in his stead”
at Rolvenden Nr.Cranbrook”.
On 20 November the same
year, he was re-appointed Cyder Officer in Canterbury, 21 July 1768 Hop Officer
in Rochester, and the 4 August 1768 he was returned to Canterbury as Hop
Officer. TNA: ref: Cust 47
Deposited at Somerset Record Office, Taunton. Most Rundell entries were marked
in some way in the registers which would indicate earlier research into the
 Tithe Book
SRO: DPN 3/2/1
1752 the New Year began on 25 March and so from l Jan to 25 March to avoid
confusion both year’s dates are included.
 Poor Book
SRO: DPN 13/2/1
 Quote from
the Vestry Minutes held at SRO.
 Tithe Papers SRO:DP/nph 3/2/2
Records Deposited SRO
the husband of Lavinia.
List of Watch and Clock Makers by Brian
Loomes. J.L.Hobbs Former Clock and Watch
Makers of Somerset lists Rundell, Edward of Norton St. Philip 1705-1710
as being named in the will of Elizabeth widow of Abraham Dymock of Evercreech,
It reads: In Memory of Edward Rundell and Elizabeth his wife : he died March ye
6th 1739 aged 68. She died Jany ye lst
1759 aged 83. Also of Edward their sone
who died May ye 3rd 1738 aged 28. Also
in Memory of Anne wife of John Turner who died Septr. the 20th 1744 aged
34. Also near these three lyeth the
body of Martha wife of Thomas Pearce who departed this life the 27th day of Dec
1772 aged 68 years. In Memory of
Elizabeth West who departed this Life May ye 9th 1783 aged 81.
Tithe Books 1739
34 No.7, DD/DU 35 No.33 Frome Leases
3/2/1. DPN 3/2/2
Freeman’s apprentice roll.
Francis Bennett married Jane Ditcher
3 March 1739 at St.
Memoirs of the late Philip Rundell Esq
... by a gentleman many years connected with the firm, published in London in 1827, shortly after
Philip Rundell’s death, by an unknown author
- copy at Goldsmiths’ Hall.
Freeman Apprentice Roll.
SRO: DP Box
Freeman’s Apprentice Roll
Rogers, son of Richard and Mary (nee Smith)(who married at Frome on the 21 April 1717), was baptised
there 27 December 1717. He was
apprenticed on 5 March 1737/8 to Peter Goullet, jeweller and appears on the Bath Freeman’s Apprentice Roll as
Free of the
City 20 February 1769 which was after he had started taking
 19th Century Silver by John Culme p57.
Company Archives: Drapers’ Hall, London
Correspondence at S.R.O
Story of a Hendon Fortune by George
Inram published in Money Milk and Milestones, the publication of the Hendon
& District Archaeological Society.
at Somerset Record Office
Library, V & A, London
 Paul Storr by N.M.Penzer published in 1954.
The Annual Biography and Obituary for the
year 1828, published in London by Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green in
1828. Silver Society Journal Winter
1991 No 2 pp 91- 102.
Library ref: 10826 dd.5.
For more information regarding Rundell Bridge & Rundell see John Culme Nineteenth Century Silver published
1977 chapter 2 p.57 “Rundell’s and the
Early Nineteenth Century”.
(Edmund Waller Rundell son
of Thos. late of Hampstead Esq, was
made free by Redemption of the Goldsmiths’ Company on 8 March 1803).