The Tathams of County Durham
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Alison Bell (1822-1910)
Alison Bell (1822-1910)
These pages are a record of the Tatham family of County Durham. Most of the family migrated to the south of England from the mid 1700s onwards, and their north country origins were gradually forgotten. By the end of the 19th century there were Tathams all over the world - in Australia, Canada, Ceylon, China, India, New Zealand and USA, as well as the long established colony in South Africa.

The idea of this website is to raise the family's awareness of our shared history, and to encourage interest and discussion about our heritage.

Feel free to wander around this site and explore. There's a basic guide to the contents at the What's Here page.

Enjoy your visit!

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Family members are encouraged to register as users, which lets them view details of living persons.

Meaburn Roden Tatham
A Last Farewell

St Andrew's Church, Great Ryburgh It is now more than two years since Roden Tatham left us, on 29 March 2013.
On Sunday, 6th October of that year, a beautiful autumn day, we laid his ashes to rest in a Norfolk country churchyard, at the parish of Great Ryburgh where he had been the patron since 1976. Roden loved Great Ryburgh, and its ancient round-towered church of St Andrew, and was generous in his support. Over the past two centuries the Tatham family has supplied five clergy to the benefice, and six patrons, of whom Roden was the last.
First a Choral Eucharist was celebrated in St Andrew's Church, with the Tomás Luis de Victoria Mass O quam gloriosum, performed by the I Musicanti singers. Then in a simple ceremony led by the Rector, we buried Roden's ashes in the Garden of Remembrance, newly laid out last year. A stone in Roden's memory marks the spot, close by the graves of other Tathams, including that of the first family patron of the Ryburgh parish, Meaburn Tatham (1784-1875), restored for this occasion.
Afterwards a lunch was kindly offered by the Churchwarden in her home, for the family members, the rector, the singers and the Ryburgh parishioners, gathered together to bid Roden Tatham farewell.

Tatham of the Week
Edwin Christopher Lance (1893-1970)

Edwin Christopher Lance Son of a clergyman at Wells Cathedral and a direct Tatham descendant though his mother, Christopher Lance always sought adventure.

In WW1 he won the DSO for his gallantry at Delville Wood, and after 1918 fought in in Russia against the Bolshevik forces. From the 1920s he worked as a civil engineer, first in South America, then in Spain up until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936.

Shocked by the violence, Captain Lance dedicated himself to saving of the lives of those being hunted down by the murder squads. He helped Nationalists and Republicans alike, ready to rescue anyone in danger through being caught up in the war.

Both sides used him as a spy. In the end it was the Republicans who arrested him, as 'Criminal No. 1'. He was imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to death. Then, just before his execution by firing squad, the British Embassy secured his release and repatriation to England.

Until not long ago there was a street in San Miguel de Salinas named 'Calle Capitan C. Lance', in honour of the now almost forgotten 'Spanish Pimpernel'.