The Parish Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Long Sutton, Lincolnshire.
courtesy of Keith Hutchins.  

Unfortunately on our recent travels we have not yet managed to visit Long Sutton to see the places where Robert and his family lived.    In the meantime, I hope that Keith Hutchins will not mind me using his photograph of the church where they would have worshipped, married, been baptised and some of them buried.    Unlike the previous generation, none of Robert's children entered the church but carried out a variety of professions and businesses.     One daughter, Mary, did marry a Clergyman and at least two of their sons followed him into the Church.

Robert Mossop was the youngest child of Rev. John Mossop and Ann Berridge of Deeping St. James where he was born on 31 March 1805.    He married Mary Elizabeth Peele, daughter of a local landowner, Richard Peele, at Long Sutton, Lincolnshire on 30 June 1829 when he was 24 and she just 19.   She was baptised 26 June 1810 at Long Sutton.

Robert founded a firm of Solicitors in Long Sutton in which he was later joined by two of his sons, Samuel Septimus and Richard Peele and later by other descendants.   The firm became Mossop & Bowser in 1916 and the last Mossop connection ended by the retirement of Robert's great-grandson in 1990.   In Robert's lifetime a further office in Holbeach was opened in 1872 and more recently ones in Wisbech and Boston.  

I am indebted to the website of Mossop & Bowser for this information and also for the invaluable portrait of Robert.    Should you wish to consult them, they can be found at


Robert also acquired many parcels of land becoming Lord of the Manors of  Gedney, Welby, Gedney Burlion, Sutton Granock, Waterbeach (Cambs), Huntingfield, Lithington (Cambs), Waltham Hall (Essex) E. & W. Deeping (Lincs)(-1882).    At his death, he also owned several other properties including a house in Eastbourne, Sussex, a farm in Kent, a leasehold house in Chelsea and an estate in Tennessee, USA.

Robert died on 28 November 1882 at Long Sutton, aged 77.   Mary Elizabeth died 26 October 1888 at Long Sutton aged 78.

Robert and Mary Elizabeth had 18 children as shown below of whom 7 died in infancy, childhood or as a young adult.    They had 6 surviving sons and 5 surviving daughters.    From the wills of Mary Elizabeth and Robert, as well as other information, I gain the impression of a close and loving family



 1.         JOHN was born 27 Oct 1830 Long Sutton.    He married ELIZABETH CROSS, daughter of Brentford Soapmaker Salem Cross,  on 11 July 1857 at Brentford,Middlesex and they  lived around the London area at New Brentford, Wandsworth and Hampstead.   John's occupation was variously given as  Gentleman 1851, Glass Manufacturer 1861, Payment Bank Manager at London & Southwestern Bank, Finsbury.   He died 16 May 1907 Hampstead aged 76 and was buried  at Wealdstone.   Elizabeth died Q4 1920 in Hendon, Middlesex aged 86.

John and Elizabeth had 7 children. 

Thomas and Elizabeth Spencer visited them from New Zealand in 1887 when they attended events connected with Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.   Elizabeth was John's father's cousin through their Berridge ancestry but more of an age with John himself.

 2.         RICHARD PEELE, named after his maternal grandfather was born 4 Dec 1831 at Long Sutton but unfortunately died as an infant.

3.         RICHARD PEELE the second child named as above was born 9 January 1833 at Long Sutton.   Sadly he too died in infancy.

4.         CHARLES was born 6 November 1833 at Long Sutton.  His Godfather was his uncle Rev. Charles Mossop of Helpston, Northants.    He married ELLEN SKELTON 14 Sept 1857 probably at Long Sutton parish church as the marriage was registered in Holbeach District.    Charles was one of three children of Robert and Mary Elizabeth Mossop to marry three children of Spencer Skelton, a near neighbour of Sutton Bridge, Lincs.  Charles was a Solicitor in Chelsea.    Charles died 1 October 1901 in Wandsworth, Surrey aged 67.       Ellen died in the same place on 24 June 1910 aged 73.

Charles and Ellen had 10 children.   

Their eldest daughter, Harriet Louisa aged 17, embarked on 7 October 1875  on the maiden voyage of the "Brodick Castle" to New Zealand, probably for her health and in order to visit her Spencer relations.    The voyage was long and beset by numerous troubles during which she and the ship's Surgeon, George Cleghorn, fell in love.   They were were married in New Zealand just under two years later when she was 19 and George 27.    Very sadly both their children died as babies and Louisa herself died at the young age of 23.


5.         ROBERT PEELE was born 28 March 1835 at Long Sutton.   He married LUCY MASON, daughter of a Norfolk farmer, 24 June 1858 at West Runcton (near Cromer?).    Robert was farming 760 acres at "Mr. Mossop's Farm", at Sutton in 1881 and stayed on the land all his life and some of his descendants still farm in Lincolnshire.  

He died 16 August 1911 at Sutton Bridge.    Lucy predeceased him, dying on 25 May 1895 at the age of 55.   





Robert & Lucy had 13 children including Dr. A. G. Mossop who carried out extensive research into their family history.    In 1918 Dr. Mossop obtained a grant for a Coat of Arms for descendants of his father.    This can be seen on Marshall Mossop's website at

A granddaughter of Robert and Lucy was the prolific author in several genres Irene Maude Mossop born 1904.  As Irene Mossop she wrote many popular girls' stories.  In 1934 she married Charles John Swatridge (1896-1964) and collaborated with him in writing romances such as "Lady in the Mist" under the pseudonym "Theresa Charles".   Other pseudonyms were Fay Chandos, Virginia Storm and Jan Tempest.  Charles himself wrote under the pseudonym "Leslie Lance" which was taken up by Irene after his death.   Coupled with their literary output they ran a sheep farm in Devon.   Irene died in 1988 at the age of 83.   Her brother Robert Owen Mossop (1909-1999) took Holy Orders and was Vicar of Constantine in Cornwall for 23 years.  He married Kathleen Nora Pearce and had two sons.  He also contributed to the book "Lake and Loch Fishing" in 1961.

6.         MARY LOUISA, known as LOUISA, was born 17 September 1836 and baptised 13 January 1837 at Long Sutton.   She married THOMAS RULE OWEN  Q3 1857 in Holbeach Registration District which might have been Long Sutton parish church.    Thomas was a Land Agent in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire and later a J.P. for the town and county of Haverfordwest.    Thomas and Louisa had two children, Thomas Henry Rule and Agnes Maud.    In 1891 they had Louisa's nieces Effie Mossop and Annie Ashton Mossop living or staying with them.

Thomas died Q1 1921 in Haverfordwest at the age of 88.   Mary Louisa survived him until Q1 1929 dying at the age of 92 in the same place.

7.         HENRY was born 26 June 1838 at Long Sutton.    He attended the Diocesan School, Lincoln with his brother Samuel but died in Lincoln Q4 1852 at the age of 14.

8.         SAMUEL SEPTIMUS, their seventh son, was born 8 Sept 1839 Long Sutton.     He married CORA ELIZABETH SNOOK 18 Aug 1864 at Colyton, Devon, her birthplace and residence where she was the daughter of a Surgeon.    They had no children.    Samuel joined his father in their Solicitors' practice in Long Sutton.    He also inherited the titles of Lord of the Manors of Sutton Grinell, East & West Deeping, Lincs:  Huntingfield & Lithingfield, Cambs:  and Gedney Burlion.

Cora died 5 June 1916 Long Sutton aged 72 whilst Samuel Septimus survived her until 4 April 1930 dying in Long Sutton at the age of 90.

9.         MARY was born 28 May 1841 Long Sutton.    She married REVD. STEWART GEORGE HOLLAND 18 April 1865 at Long Sutton.    They lived at Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk where Mary died 18 Jan 1874 at the early age of 32.    By then they had had five children of whom at least two sons became Vicars.    After Mary's death Revd. Holland married again and had six more children.

10.       MARTHA was born 4 July 1842 Long Sutton but died in infancy.

11.       THOMAS ROBINSON WOOLFIELD, named after his uncle by marriage, who may have been a godfather, was born 24 Nov 1843 at Long Sutton.    He married a local girl SARAH ANN WALKER Q1 1865 Norwich R.D.   They had 8 children; seven sons and an only daughter, Effie.

It may have been hoped that some of his uncle's business acumen might rub off on Thomas as he went into commerce.   He was a Merchantís Clerk in London in 1861, a Brewer & Wine Merchant in Long Sutton 1871 and a Tea Dealer at Prittlewell, Essex in 1881.  


Unfortunately he made a success of none of these enterprises and was hounded by creditors.    He and his family, especially the daughter Effie, were of much concern to his parents.    His brothers Samuel and Richard had lent him money to pay off his debts and were likely to lend him more according to their father's will.    His parents also left money to be invested on behalf of the family to keep them afloat.

Sarah Ann died Q3 1882 in Rochford Registration District, Essex, just before her father-in-law, at the young age of 37 leaving her young family and especially her daughter Effie, then aged 10, vulnerable.  

In Q4 1886 at Greenwich R.D., Thomas married Kate Elizabeth A. Fryer, who had been a Barmaid in Deptford, Kent in 1881.    One cannot imagine that the news of Thomas' latest escapade was received with any great enthusiasm in Lincolnshire especially as events turned out.

Thomas himself died less than a year later on 20 September 1887 in Camberwell, a year before his mother, aged 43.    His widow, Kate, does not appear to have functioned well or been popular as a stepmother although we do not know where she or Thomas' children were living from then to April 1891.

On the 1891 census Effie was staying with her aunt Mary Owen in Pembrokeshire.   The youngest two brothers were with their uncle John Mossop in Chelsea.   Three of the other brothers were single young men living in various lodgings.    The eldest two have not been found on this census though one at least appears on the 1901 census and the other is known to have lived until 1913.

Kate was with her married sister Lizzie Jennings and family in Deptford, living on her own means which may have been through a legacy devolved upon her by Thomas' mother provided she remain a widow.   In 1901 she was working as a General Servant at an hotel in Margate, Kent.   She never remarried but died Q4 1935 in Camberwell, London at the age of 82.

12.       RICHARD PEELE, the third of Robert and Mary Elizabeth's children of that name, was born 18 Dec 1844 at Long Sutton and this time lived to maturity.    He married:  1) CLARA SWINSON, daughter of a Birmingham Surgeon, on 1 June 1871 at Mickleton, Gloucestershire where she was then living.    They had three children before Clara died at Long Sutton on 13 April 1875 at the age of 32.

Richard joined the family firm of Solicitors and it was probably he who opened their Holbeach branch as he lived in that town for most of the rest of his life.  

Holbeach crossroads. Photo: Peter Latham CCL


He married 2) MARY ELIZABETH GROSVENOR, daughter of a Kidderminster Merchant and Magistrate, on 5 July1876 at Broadwas, Worcestershire.    They had one son born 1878.   Mary Elizabeth died 26 May 1900 in Holbeach at the age of 48.

Richard married 3) LAURA AGNES CLIFFE 15 June 1901 at Lindley, Yorks.    She was some 23 years younger than Richard and the daughter of a Huddersfield Linen Draper.    They had no children.

At some time they retired to Salcombe Regis, Devon where Richard died on Died 25 May 1935 at the age of 90.    Laura Agnes outlived him by 23 years when she died Q4 1958 in Honiton R.D., Devon, perhaps still in Salcombe, at the age of 91.

13.       GEORGE AUGUSTUS was born 1 Dec 1845 at Long Sutton.    He died Q2 1864 Holbeach R.D. aged 18.

14.       JULIA was born 15 Jan 1847 at Long Sutton.    She married ARTHUR SKELTON 4 June 1874 at Long Sutton.    Arthur was a son of Sutton Bridge farmer, Spencer Skelton and brother to Ellen who married Julia's brother Charles.    Arthur became a Customs Officer in the London area and they lived at Twickenham, Middlesex where in 1851 Arthur had been at school with his brothers George and Thomas under the care of Revd. Michael Gibbs and family, whilst their brother William was at Christ's Hospital (Bluecoat School) in London.    Their mother, who had died as recently as 1849, had been born in London so presumably their father had some good reason for making this arrangement in sending his sons so far from home.   William's son Philip later married his cousin Julia, daughter of Charles and Ellen Mossop.

Arthur and Julia had 2 children, Arthur Woolfield and Catherine J. before Julia died on 27 March 1884 aged 37.     On 1901 census Arthur was a widower living in Chelsea with his daughter Catherine and his daughter-in-law Ruby Maude, an Actress.    His son Arthur was away at the time visiting in County Durham.

15.       AMELIA VICTORIA was born 19 Sep 1848 at Long Sutton.    She married GEORGE SKELTON 6 July 1869 Long Sutton, George of course being the brother of Ellen and Arthur.    George farmed around the Long Sutton area.     They only had one son, George Spencer, who attended King's Lynn Grammar School but sadly died at the age of 11.      Amelia died on 10 December 1898 aged 50.    George was most probably the one who died Q2 1908 in Lincoln R.D. aged 67.  

 16.       ARTHUR was born 17 May 1850 Long Sutton but died Q4 1854 in Holbeach R.D. aged 4.  

17.       KATE was born 12 Sep 1851 at Long Sutton but died under a year later in mid 1852.

18.       ELIZABETH ANNIE was born 21 Aug 1853 at Long Sutton.    She married RICHARD PRICE DAVIS Q2 1876 in Holbeach Registration District, which included Long Sutton.    Her husband had been a Farmer but had retired by 1881 at which time he was only 28.    They lived at Kempston in Bedfordshire but had evidently temporarily removed to Clifton in Bristol where Richard died Q1 1891 at the age of 37 leaving Elizabeth Annie as a newly bereaved widow with two children living in the town.

Presumably they then moved back to Bedfordshire where Elizabeth Annie died on 17 Sep 1894 in Bedford R.D. aged 41 and was buried at Kempston.     At that time their daughter Hilda was aged just 17 and their son Stanley only 12.   On 1901 census Stanley was living as a boarder with a family in Kempston.    I have not found Hilda  on this census but she married Dr. Victor S. A. Bell in Paddington Q4 1904.


ROBERT and MARY ELIZABETH had 54 grandchildren born in their lifetime.    Of these there were 23 surviving boys carrying the Mossop surname.

Please click the button on the left to read the contents of the wills of Robert and Mary Elizabeth together with the names of their grandchildren......

Also please select the appropriate button to view some Mossop Family Photos of this era and perhaps be able to assist in their identification.