Archive for the ‘The Pursseys’ Category

Lady Ellen Amelia Pink (Purssey)

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Purseys do not figure widely in the ranks of the English gentry.

One who did was Ellen Amelia Purssey, wife of jam and pickle-maker Sir Thomas Pink.

Born in 1859, the eldest child of meat salesman Edmund Purssey and Amelia Frances Swan, Ellen married Sir Thomas when she was just 20 years of age.

She died in Camberwell, London on 28 April 1917. In the probate registry, she is referred to as Dame Ellen Amelia of Thornton House, Clapham Park, Surrey.

Incidentally, Pink’s, an offshoot of the firm still exists. See here for more info.

Where is Mr John Purssey?

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

So asked the South London Chronicle in April 1870.

John was a son of John [and Elizabeth Birdeye], the youngest son of Stogumber farmer George Purssey and his wife Elizabeth Pinn.

John senior was a successful meat salesman at London’s Smithfield market. Building on his father’s business, he became a pillar of the community. But in 1870, something happened to cause the press to become interested, reflecting public speculation that he had fled to Spain.

Before his disappearance, he withdrew 200 sovereigns from the bank – seemingly, his last savings. The Chronicle reported that the “Local Commissioners met to consider the case” hearing that “beginning with the British Bank failure, Mr Purssey has sustained losses … amounting to about £7,000”.

What caused the intense public interest was that John Purssey was also a tax collector and so the Chronicle noted, “a very awkward question will arise … for according to the Inland Revenue, the default of a collector is held to his liabilty of the taxpayers”.

In June following, John’s case was heard by the Chief Judge. John chose not to appear but the court heard that he owed £3,000, of which £2,000 was due in taxes. The Judge ruled that he could be prosecuted by his creditors.

So what did happen to him? There’s little trace of him after this report. Son John Charles, an unmarried corn merchant is found living with his mother and John’s wife Mary [Pay] (annuitant) in Queen’s Road, Marylebone, in 1881.

Purssey Origins

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014


The earliest Purssey I have come across is one William Purssey who was living in Taunton at the end of the seventeenth century with his wife Dorcas (Gilbert). He is a Purssey rather than a Pursey on account of the will left by Margery Gilbert of Taunton St Mary (mother of Dorcas), dated November 13, 1699. Although she and William had four children at least, she only mentions granddaughter Joan in her will. She also names the grandchildren of Dorcas but curiously not their parents!

Thereafter, the line resumes with William Purssey of Stogumber, Somerset. He married Emlin Routley and raised children William, George and Elizabeth. Both William and George’s families are well-documented in terms of available records. William and his descendants owned land whilst George and his, worked it – several becoming butchers.

Another big cluster of Pursseys are found in Kent. This line begins with Joseph Purssey, born 1785. He married Avice Seymour. Their family and numerous descendants are also well documented.

Other early Pursseys:
John, born 1790 who married Mary Beal and lived in London
William, born 1788 who married Ann Prowse and lived in Wilton, Taunton. He is likely to be descended from William and Dorcas