As our local Wetherspoon's pub has quite rightly noted in the naming of its public house, Harbord Harbord was a prominent figure in Middleton's history and deserves to have some form of rememberance in reference to him in the town as he was our last truly active Lord of the Manor of Middleton and achieved a lot for the town during the years of the industrial revolution when Middleton really had huge growth taking it from village to town status. There is some confusion over Harbord Harbord and Lord Suffield but they were one and the same. Harbord simply acquired the title of Lord Suffield which he was known as after this time.
A nobleman born 15th Jan 1734 to father William Morden who in 1742 assumed the name of Harbord in compliance with his grandfathers will and was created Baronet in 1743, Harbord was elected to represent the city of Norwich in 1754. He married Mary Assheton in 1760, daughter and heir of the last Assheton Lord of the Manor, Ralph, and they inherited the estate of Middleton on Ralphs death in 1765 ending the 327 year tenure of the Assheton Family. He succeeded to the baronetcy upon the death of his father in 1770 and was created 1st Baron Suffield in 1786 which was when the family became known as the Suffields. They had children Mary, William, Louisa, Catherine and Edward.
Land tax returns of 1787 show that the Suffields owned almost all the land that was Middleton at that time except Langley. Lord Suffield obtained a Royal Charter from King George III in 1791 to hold a weekly market and annual fairs. He then built a market house and warehouses at his own expense. He died in 1810. Wife Mary died in London in 1823.Written by the editor, July 2008
A letter from Canada
Middletonia has recieved a letter from a great great great great grandson of our very own Harbord Harbord (Lord Suffield) in Canada!
Stewart Addley e-mailed after finding the site in a search whilst doing his own research of his family genealogy and discovering he was a descendant of the Suffields who played a major part in the development of Middleton during the industrial revolution of the 1800's.
Stewart wrote, "I came across your site doing a Google search whilst doing my family genealogy and found your information on Harbord Harbord or Lord Suffield. This gentleman would be my 4th great Grandfather as his daughter Katherine Harbord of Suffied married Jack Petre and his son John Berney Petre married a commoner. The marriage was supposed to have been annulled. I have not found documentation of the marriage or annulment but I do have documentation proof that they did have children, one being named Berney Seymor (Petre) my great grandfather. I have found my quest very interesting in finding out about my family history. I also have information on my website." www.starsplace.com
Stewart goes on to say, "Family means a lot to me, even if we are talking more than 100 years. I always wanted to know how I came to be. Not that this changes me as a person but gives me peace of mind knowing my family history. I have come from Lords and Barons and land owners to a middle of the road working class person enjoying life as I go along my own journey on this planet".