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The Tathams of County Durham
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Meaburn Smith

Male abt 1696 - 1762  (~ 66 years)



  • Name Meaburn Smith  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Birth abt 1696  Houghton-le-Spring Find all individuals with events at this location   [1, 3
    • son of Thomas Smith and Margaret Mickleton [tbc]
    • elder brother Robert Smith d. abt 1759.
    Baptism 14 Apr 1696  St Michael, Houghton-le-Spring Find all individuals with events at this location   [1
    Marriage est 1751  Co Durham? Find all individuals with events at this location   [5
    Anne Purvis,   b. est 1733, Northumberland? Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jul 1764, Co Durham Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation - 1762  Coal owner  [2, 6
    Residence - 1762  Morton House, Murton Find all individuals with events at this location   [2, 4, 6
    Morton House, Murton
    Morton House, Murton
    Home of the Meaburn Smith family
    Death Dec 1762  Co Durham Find all individuals with events at this location   [2, 4
    • Newcastle, Dec. 11 - This week died Meaburn Smith, of Murton-house, near Durham, Esq; a considerable coal-owner in the river Wear. [London Chronicle or Universal Evening Post, 16 Dec 1762]
    Burial 09 Dec 1762  Co Durham Find all individuals with events at this location   [3
    Probate 1763    [4, 7
    • Will dated 29 Oct 1761.
    Notes 
    • Meaborne [var. Meaburn] Smith, of Morton [var. Merton, var. Murton] House, esq., heir-at-law to his brother, Robert Smith, 1759; bapt 14 Apr 1696; bur 09 Dec 1762; will dated 29 Oct 1761; proved 1763; marr (2) Ann Purvis, living as his widow in 1764; bur 25 Jul 1764.
      [Pedigree of Smith of West Herrington, in Robert Surtees, "History & Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham", vol I, 1823]
    • Ralph Tatham, my paternal Grandfather, married a Miss Anne Smith, one of three daughters, only children of William [sic] Smith Esq., owner of Merton House and Estate in the County of Durham, afterwards bought by the Earl of Durham from the three daughters. The Wallsend Coal is now, I believe, being got from the Merton Estate. My father's house at Highgate, since sold, was named by him "Merton Lodge".
      One William Smith, an ancestor of my paternal Grandmother , was Attorney-General to a Bishop of Durham. To him, or to one of his ancestors, a Coat of Arms was granted in the reign of James I, by the Heraldic King at Arms. It is now in my possession. A Meaburn Smith, a descendant of his, was sometime ago an attaché at the Hague and was generally known in the Smith family as "The Count". His sister, a Miss Smith, as I was informed by my aunt Miss [Mary] Tatham, used to be toasted at Court at the Hague as a Beauty. I have portraits of "The Count" and his sister, and of another Smith. The said Meaburn Smith is, I think, buried in Durham Cathedral. [Charles Meaburn Tatham, Recollections]
    • First marriage Houghton-le-Spring 02 May 1723 to Susan/Susanna Potts (bur Houghton-le-Spring 16 Jul 1725).
      - son Thomas bapt 09 Apr 1724, bur 07 Jun 1724.
      - dau Elizabeth bapt 16 Jul 1725, marr her 1x cousin Thomas Smith.
      [Surtees; Parish registers, St Michael, Houghton-le-Spring]
      Note: marriage given in Joiner Marriage Index as to Barbary Arthur on 03 May 1723; possible transcription error.

    • Two thirds of West Herrington were acquired by purchase by William Smith, a lawyer, who now took up residence in the old Manor House. In 1680 the Smiths moved to Morton House and the building was passed from family to family who either purchased or inherited parts of the Manor. [Herrington Heritage - The Early Lords of Herrington - website accessed 09 Oct 2011]
    • The number of collieries on the Wear had risen to eight by 1728. Their proprietors were Lord Scarborough, Mr Hedworth, Mr H. Lambton, Mr [Meaburn] Smith, Mr N. Lambton, Mrs Wharton, Mr Hylton and partners, and Mr Allan.
      In 1729 [...] the fitter Edward Browne, who had over-reached himself despite an annual profit of £500 by spending £5,000 on 'a commodious mansion' and other houses, issued a bond for £3,000 to the coal owner Meaburn Smith as security for a debt; Smith, 'treacherous and cruel' according to the fitter, put the bond into execution and bankrupted him.
      [Gill Cookson, Organisation of the Coal Trade on the Wear, citing Northumbs RO, 3410/GA/2, p. 23 and Some Account of Edward Browne of Sunderland, with Copies of Manuscripts Respecting him (1821), 12-14]
      Note: The 'commodious mansion' had extensive land and sea views and was much admired by the public who flocked to see it, apparently to the despair of the owner, Edward Brown, a Quaker, who put up a sign saying "Get thee about thy business". He fell into financial embarrassment, was in debt and declared bankrupt and the house was sold. He died in poverty in Cork. Afterwards the house became the Customs House. It is shown in the Burleigh and Thompson map of Sunderland of 1737 as belonging to Meaburn Smith, with extensive gardens and only the moor between it and the sea. [cf Northumberland & Durham Family History Society: Conference Report - 2003]
    • Morton Grange: Lies in the vale two miles to the west of Houghton-le-Spring. It includes four farm-houses and a public house.
      The services due from this vill are thus described in Boldon Book:
      "In Morton are 16 farmers, who hold twenty-five oxgangs each, consisting of 12 acres, and render eight-pence, and perform twenty days? works in autumn with one man for each oxgang, and harrow during eight days, with one horse for every two oxgangs. They till four ridges of land, like those of Wardon; and lead hay and grain six days, and carry eight loads in the year to Durham, or four to Alclet (Auckland); and for every carncate of land they plough one acre (of the lord's land) at Houghton, and render hens and eggs in the same proportion as Wardon"
      Under Hatfield's Survey the same services appear, but commuted in part for a monied payment.
      In 1525, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey granted a lease of the manor and Grange, under £6 reserved rent, to Richard Belasyse, who had married Margery, daughter and heir of Richard Errington, of Cockle Park Tower in Northumberland, and of Morton, Esq.
      Richard Belasyse, Esq., died in 1541, leaving William his son and heir, under age, afterwards of Newbrough Abbey in Yorkshire, Knt.
      Sir William probably settled Morton on his younger son, Bryan Belasyse, Esq., brother of Sir Henry Belasyse, and uncle of Thomas the first Viscount Fauconberg, who resided here in the reigns of Elizabeth and James.
      His son, Sir William Belasyse, Knt., who is styled of Morton in 1615, was high sheriff of the county of Durham, under Bishops Neile and Morton, from 1628 till his death in 1641. He received King Charles on his Scottish progress in 1633, at the head of the gentry, ".all giving the sheriffs livery, ash colour, lined -with blue bayes."
      The loyalty of Sir William's sons, during the civil wars, nearly occasioned the utter ruin of the family; and, after the Restoration, their losses and services, though acknowledged, passed unrewarded amidst the crowd of suffering loyalists.
      William Belasyse, Esq. (second son of Sir William) removed into Yorkshire, but died possessed of Morton House about 1678.
      The estate was probably sold soon after to Thomas Smith, Esq., who removed hither from West Herrington.
      His grandson [or son?], Meaborne Smith, Esq., left the estate to his three daughters (by his second wife), whose husbands joined in a sale of the estate to Major-general John Lambton.
      Morton House is the seat of Ralph John Lambton, Esq. The whole is held by lease for years under the bishop of Durham.
      [Surtees, An historical, topographical, and descriptive view of the county Palatine of Durham, 2 vols, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1834. Vol 1, pp. 364-5]
    • The house was built by by Mr. Edward Browne, a member of the Society of Friends, (one of the fitters for Thomas Smith, Esq., of Morton House, coal-owner), in the year 1727, for his private residence, at the south end of Fitters' Row. The beauties of Mr. Browne's house and grounds, [...] with extensive land and sea views, were much admired by the inhabitants of the town, by whom Mr. Browne was so much importuned for leave to view his house and grounds, that at length he caused a board with the words, "Go about thy business," to be affixed at his entrance gate in Silver Street. Mr. Browne by speculating, over trading, some considerable losses in trade, and building, got embarrassed in his affairs, and being induced to give a bond for £3,000 or thereabouts, to Mr. Meaburn Smith (son of Thomas Smith, above named) coal owner, to whom he was in arrears, that gentleman put it in almost immediate execution, the result of which was that Mr. Browne was declared a bankrupt. He died in poverty at Cork, in Ireland, Aug. 27, 1730. His residence in Fitters' Row was subsequently in the possession of Mr. Meaburn Smith, and is now occupied by the Sunderland Ragged, Reformatory, and Industrial Schools. [The History and Antiquities of Sunderland, and the parishes of Bishopwearmouth and Monkwearmouth; by Jeremiah William Summers; publ. Joseph Tate, Sunderland; 1858; p. 257.]
    • Morton [var. Murton] House [var. Grange], Houghton-le-Spring, should not be confused with Murton House, North Shields (in 1838 occupied by an Edward Collingwood).
    • Indenture between Abigail widow of John Mickleton late of Durham City esq (1st party), Richard Mascall of Durham City alderman and Meaburn Smith of Morton House, gent, (2nd party), Anne Bell of Castle Chair House, widow, one of the surviving daughters of Christopher Mickleton late of Durham City gent, and Thomas Smith of Morton House esq and his wife Margaret, another of Christopher Mickleton's daughters (3rd party) for the sale of property in Stranton, reciting various previous Mickleton family deeds. 30 July 1720. [Durham Cathedral Library Additional Manuscripts; Add Ms 244; Transcripts of Durham episcopal and court records.]
    Person ID I0124  Tatham | Durham roots, Meaburn branch | Parent of spouse
    Last Modified 24 Aug 2013 

    Family Anne Purvis,   b. est 1733, Northumberland? Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jul 1764, Co Durham Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 31 years) 
    Marriage est 1751  Co Durham? Find all individuals with events at this location   [5
    Notes 
    • Meaburn Smith's 2nd marriage.
    • eldest daughter Margaret; marr John Holmes, Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, sometime of Morton House, and after of West Herrington. [Surtees]
    • 2nd daughter Susan/Susanna; marr Charles Barker, ensign in the Northumberland militia, bapt 14 May 1734; was residing at Gloster-hill, 1766-1768, afterwards of Morton-house; bur 16 Jun 1788; date of marriage not certain:
      - Feb 1766 per History of Northumberland, vol ix, p. 7 (Earsdon Township), 1909, citing Warkworth Registers.
      - 02 Nov 1764 per footnote on same page, citing Newcastle Courant Nov 1764: "2nd November, 1764, married at Edinburgh, Mr. Charles Barker, of Bedlington, to Miss Susan Smith, of Murton-house, near Houghton, a beautiful young lady with a fortune of £5000."
    • 3rd & youngest daughter Ann(e).
    • son Thomas bapt Houghton-le-Spring 15 Sep 1761; living 1763; died under age. [Surtees, citing Rev. Ralph Tatham]
    Children 
    +1. Anne Smith,   b. abt Aug 1758, Co Durham Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 09 Oct 1847, Rectory, Colkirk Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 89 years)
    Last Modified 24 Aug 2013 
    Family ID F0042  Family Group Sheet

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsBirth - abt 1696 - Houghton-le-Spring Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBaptism - 14 Apr 1696 - St Michael, Houghton-le-Spring Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - < - est 1751 - Co Durham? Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - est 1751 - Co Durham? Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - 1762 - Morton House, Murton Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - Dec 1762 - Co Durham Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBurial - 09 Dec 1762 - Co Durham Link to Google Earth
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  • Histories
    Smith Family Pedigree
    Smith Family Pedigree
    From Robert Surtees, History & Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, vol I

  • Sources 
    1. [S06] Parish Registers, baptisms, St Michael, Houghton-le-Spring (IGI), 14 Apr 1696.

    2. [S11] Newspaper, London Chronicle, 16 Dec 1762.
      Country News

    3. [S07] Other Sources, Robert Surtees, 1823.
      History & Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham

    4. [S04] H Curtis: Notes for a Pedigree of the Tathams of Co. Durham.

    5. [S09] Estimate.

    6. [S07] Other Sources, Durham Record Office, 23 Dec 1737.
      deed of covenant
      ref D/No 206

    7. [S07] Other Sources, Durham Record Office, 02 May 1765.
      lease
      ref D/No 207