The Burgum family history society is a member of the Guild of one name studies and researches the names

Several generations of Burghams of the "MM" family tree lived at Redbrook near the Forest of Dean. Here is their story...

REDBROOK is set in the beautiful Wye Valley and belies its industrial past. Divided into Upper Redbrook and Lower Redbrook, it sits about 3 miles south-west of Monmouth and 2 miles north-west of Newland.

Lying in the county of Monmouthshire and the parish of Dixton, it was an important centre for ironmaking and tinplating. A number of leats and dammed reservoir ponds were created from Swan Pool down to the River Wye, supplying mills, the iron furnace, the tinplate works, copper works, flour mill and brewery.

Buildings included -

King's Mill, (1434-1925). It was a corn mill first.

The Redbrook Copper Works (1660-1740). Later the buildings were used as a tinplate works.

The Redbrook Tinplate factory, (1740-1962) produced high quality tin.

The manager's residence, (c. 1700), which still survives.

Redbrook Quay, which still exists, was where goods were shipped down the River Wye to Chespstow.

Other industrial clues still exist including the stone warehouse and the tram-road. The Wye Valley Railway (1876-1964) crossed the Wye at Redbrook and the bridge still remains. The Boat Inn, lies on the opposite side of the river at this point. There was a railway station, a church dedicated to Our Saviour, a school and a Weslian Chapel.The furnace at Redbrook closed in 1816, but the forge and foundry continued to function.

Thomas Burgham is recorded as being born of the parish of Newland, in Gloucestershire, in about 1796. This could have been Newland itself, or in Redbrook. We do not know who his parents were. Thomas married his first wife Esther Knight (1799-1833) in 1816 with witnesses John Knight and Thomas Bond. Thomas and Esther had eight children at Redbrook. William, Thomas, Sarah, Esther, John, Henry, Eliza and Lydia were born between 1817 and 1831. Following Esther's death, he married Harriet Weare and they had children Edwin, James, William, George and Sarah Ann between 1836 and 1846.

Thomas married his first wife, Esther Knight, on the 21st July 1816 at Newland Parish Church. Having had eight children in the space of fifteen years Esther died at Redbrook aged just 34 years old. She was buried at Newland Parish Church on 17 November 1833. Her parents, William and Esther Knight, who were living at Monmouth Forge in 1841, where William had worked as an iron roller. That year, eight years after the death of their daughter, they were looking after Lydia, age 10, the last child of Esther.

Thomas remarried just over two years later. He married Harriet Weare (1805-1879) on 11th January 1836 at St Briavels, West Dean. The witnesses were Richard Morgan and Charlotte Weare.

Thomas Burgham was an iron founder and he bought the Redbrook Iron Foundry from Henry Davies in 1828. Thomas ran the foundry and the stampers, which crushed blast furnace scruff for the bottle-glass industry. In 1847 the company Burgham & Harris were supplying tram wheels to the great Scottish engineer and metallurgist David Mushet, who lived in nearby Coleford.

In his will, which Thomas wrote on 17th August 1850, he left to his wife - "A property now in my possession and occupation, consisting of a cottage or cottages with garden, Stamping Machine, etc, in Upper Redbrook, purchased by me of Henry Davis about the year 1828." His trustees were instructed to allow permit his wife sufficient capital to carry on 'the trade'.

In 1864 he wrote - "The furnace was supposed, from the cinders that have been made, to be in work for 500 to 600 years or more" (prob c200 years). "It was used to melt the Forest Iron Ore, also the Lancashire Ore, with charcoal. The furnace to my knowledge worked up till the year 1816. " He continued - "I am not in the habit of using Forest ore in the Foundry Business. The pig iron I use is of different sorts and old castings." Thomas continued as an iron founder at until 1870. The foundry closed in around 1874 and the buildings later demolished. A small hamlet still exists there called 'The Foundry'.

There were two breweries in Redbrook (see map right). Charles Herbert established the Old Redbrook Brewery in the 1840's and sold it to Thomas Burgham in 1856. It was sited down by the River Wye, near the Upper Tin Plate Works. It was south of the incline between the tramroad and the road. The son of Thomas, Henry Burgham (1827-1869) had worked as a moulder, but then began brewing. Following his death, his wife Eliza (Williams) Burgham continued the business, which was then taken over by her son Oliver Arthur Burgham (1863-1939).

Over the three generations the family gradually extended the business and supplied to at least 22 licenced premises, which were either owned or tied to the Redbrook Brewery. The wet grains were sold on to feed the swine in the Forest od Dean, transported there by pony and donkey.

In 1923 Ind Coope and Co. took over the business and, in 1926, most of the brewery buildings were demolished. Only the house and stable block remain today and run as a bed and breakfast business.

A second brewery, further north adjacent to Turnpike Gate House, near Redbrook Flour Mill at Upper Redbrook, was owned by James Hall and described as "house, offices, brewhouse, malthouse and sheds". James ceased brewing in 1853 and became a wine and spirit merchant in Monmouth.

Kelly’s Directory of 1870 listed the principal residents as -

Upper Redbrook
Adams John - carpenter and wheelwright
Burgham, Mrs Eliza - brewer & malster
Burgham, Thomas - iron founder
Courteen, Thomas - corn, flour, and hop merchant and malster
Davis, Mrs Mary - miller
Groves James - grocer
Moore Theophilus - miller
Payne, Henry - wheelwright and blacksmith

Lower Redbrook
Beard, James - Bell Inn
Beard, Mrs Sarah - King's Head
Hudson, John - shopkeeper and timber merchant
Redbrook Tin Plate Co. (Charles Frederick Medhurst, resident manager)
Walters, George - farmer, Highbury Farm

FAMILY living at Redbrook were as follows -

1841 Census at Upper Redbrook (CS1841-11)
Thomas Burgham (iron founder, 45), Harriet Burgham (wife, 35), Sarah Burhaum (dau, age 20), John Burgham (son, moulder, 15), Henry Burgham (son, 10), Eliza Burgham (dau, 10) and James Burgham (son, 2).
MM Family Tree

1841 Census Upper Redbrook (CS1841-20)
Thomas Burgham (moulder, 20) and Mary Burgham (wife. 25, dressmaker).
MM Family Tree

1851 Census at Upper Redbrook (CS1851-38)
Thomas Burgham (iron founder, 56), Harriet Burgham (wife, 46), Henry Burgham (son, moulder, 23), Lydia Burgham (dau, 19), Edwin Burgham (son, moulder, 14), James Alfred Burgham (son, moulder, 12) and William Burgham (son, 8, scholar).
MM Family Tree

1851 Census at Upper Redbrook (CS1851-39)
John Burgham (moulder, 25), Louisa Burgham (wife, 22), Harriet Burgham (dau, 3, scholar) and Thomas Burgham (son, age 1).
MM Family Tree

1861 Census at Upper Redbrook (CS1861-28)
John Burgham (moulder, 35), Louisa Burgham (wife, dressmaker, 30), Edward Stanley Burgham (son, 10), William John Burgham (son, 8), Esther Louisa Burgham (dau, 5) and Lydia Burgham (dau, 1).
MM Family Tree

1861 Census at Upper Redbrook (CS1861-29)
Henry Burgham (malster + brewer employing 7 men, age 33), Emily Marian Burgham (dau, 1), Sarah Williams (mother-in-law, 73, widow) and Elizabeth Long (servant, a nurse, 44).
MM Family Tree

1861 Census at Mount Cottage, Forge + Foundary, Upper Redbrook (CS1861-32)
Thomas Burgham (iron founder, 65), Harriet Burgham (wife, 56), William Burgham (son, clerk, 17) and Sarah Ann Burgham (gd-dau, 5).
MM Family Tree

1871 Census at Upper Redbrook (CS1861-30)
Thomas Burgham (iron founder, 75), Harriet Burgham (wife, 66), Sarah Ann Burgham (gd-dau, 15) and Lewis T. Burgham (gd-son, 12).
MM Family Tree

1871 Census at Upper Redbrook (CS1871-45)
Edwin Burgham (iron founder, 34), Caroline Burgham (wife, 35), Maurice Burgham (son, 10), Oliver Burgham (son, 8), Maude Burgham (dau, 7), Beatrice Burgham (dau, 5), Eleanor Burgham (dau, 3) and Eva Burgham (dau, 10 months).
MM Family Tree

1871 Census at Redbrook Villa, Upper Redbrook (CS1871-45)
Eliza Burgham (brewer + malster, 43), Emily Burgham (dau, 11), Oliver Burgham (son, scholar, 7) and Beatrice Burgham (dau, scholar, 5) and a governesss, cook and housemaid.
MM Family Tree

1881 Census at Upper Redbrook (CS1881-41)
Eliza Burgham (brewer + malster, 53), Emily M. Burgham (dau, 21), Arthur Burgham (son, 17) and Beatrice Burgham (dau, 15). Also George Lindsey (brewery manager), Mary Hakins (governess) and Mary Rees (a common servant).
MM Family Tree

1881 Census at Upper Redbrook (CS1881-63)
Moses Hawkins (cellar man in brewery, 60), Sarah Hawkins (wife, 59), Thomas Hawkins (son, common labourer, 19), Albert Hawkins (son, miller, 17), Thomas Burgham (father-in-law, retired grocer), Thomas Hopkins (son-in-law, tin plate roller, 25), Annie Hopkins (step-dau, wife of tin roller, 25), Henry B. Hopkins (gd-son, 1) and Arthur L. Hopkins (gd-son, 2 months).
MM Family Tree

1891 Census at Redbrook (CS1891-46)
Arthur Burgham (brewery manager, 27) and Agnes Burgham (wife, 24).
MM Family Tree

1891 Census at Road, Redbrook (CS1891-60)
Thomas Burgham (tinplate roller, 47), Edith Burgham (wife, 44), Rosa Burgham (dau, 22), Annie Burgham (dau, 16), Elizabeth Burgham (dau, scholar, 13), Emma Burgham (dau, scholar, 10) and John Charles Burgham (son, scholar, 9).
GG Family Tree

1891 Census at Road, Redbrook (CS1891-67)
Tom Henry Burgham (tinplate worker, 24) and Catherine Burgham (wife, 24).
GG Family Tree

1891 Census at Road, Redbrook (CS1891-76)
Eliza Burgham (brewer, 63) and 2 servants.
MM Family Tree

1901 Census at Upper Redbrook (CS1901-83)
Oliver A. Burgham (brewer + malster, 37) and Agnes M. Burgham (wife, 33).
MM Family Tree

1901 Census at Wye Villa, Upper Redbrook (CS1901-88; picture right)
Tom Burgham (tin plate shearer, 57), Ann Burgham (dau, 24), Emma Burgham (dau, 21) and Edith P. Davison (gd-dau), age 2.
GG Family Tree

1901 Census at Lower Redbrook (CS1901-95)
Tom Burgham (tinplate worker, 34), Catherine Burgham (wife, 35) and Nora Burgham (dau, 1).
GG Family Tree

1911 Census at Inglewood, Redbrook (CS1901-71; picture right)
Oliver Arthur Burgham (brewer, 48), Agnes Martha Burgham (wife, 42) and Mary Anne Williams (servant, 22).
MM Family Tree

1911 Census at Oak Cottage, Upper Redbrook (CS1911-89)
Thomas Henry Burgham (shearer, 43), Catherine Cecila Burgham (wife, 42) and Nora Annie Burgham (dau, student, age 10).
GG Family Tree.

1911 Census at Glen Vale, Redbrook (CS1911-121)
Tom Burgham (tin worker roller 68) and Mary Ann Burgham (wife, 60).
GG Family Tree.

For more on the MM Family Tree click here.