Rev. John Cyprian Rust – Vicar, Councillor, Governor, Philanthropist, Writer and Fund Raiser. Born in 1841, the son of a Baptist turned Anglican clergyman Cyprian Thomas Rust, he eventually became the vicar of St Andrew’s Church for 53 years. In 1914 he also became the Chairman of Soham Parish Council and a Governor of Barway School as well as the Church School in Clay Street. During WW1 he also formed a club to send much needed items to the men fighting at the front.
A Fen is the local term for an individual area of marshland or former marshland and also designates the type of marsh typical of the area.
Fenland primarily lies around the coast of the Wash, it reaches into four counties: Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and a small area of Suffolk, as well as the historic county of Huntingdonshire. In whole, it occupies an area of nearly 1,500 sq mi (3,900 km2).
Anna or Onna, was king of East Anglia from the early 640s until his death. He was a member of the Wuffingas family, the ruling dynasty of the East Angles. He was one of the three sons of Eni who ruled the kingdom of East Anglia succeeding some time after Ecgric was killed in battle by Penda of Mercia. Anna was praised by Bede for his devotion to Christianity and was renowned for the saintliness of his family: his son Jurmin and all his daughters – Seaxburh, Aethlthryth, Aethelburh and possibly a fourth, Wihtburh – were canonised.
St Felix – an extract from the 1884 Soham Parochial Magazine
There is only a vague and uncertain indication of the existence of Offa, or Uffa, called the first king of East Angles. By one account, there was one Uffa who landed in 526, another who founded the kingdom in 571. We learn from Bede that from Uffa of 571, The East Anglian kings were called Uffingas, that is, sons of Uffa; but their annals have been almost wholly lost.
Soham’s Cemetery Chapels
One of the last outbreaks of cholera in the country took place on Soham’s East and Qua Fen Commons. This led to demands for better drainage throughout the parish and all the cemeteries were full, so it was decided to create a new cemetery for the parish. On April 14th 1855, agreement was reached to purchase three acres of high, dry gravel ground on the road from Soham to Fordham. Tenders were sent out to construct and design the new cemetery, a custodians house and a pair of dissimilar chapels. Several designs were put forward but the designs by Mr Wheeler of Greys Inn Terrace, London were eventually accepted.
The de Burgh Brothers
Hubert and Geoffrey in detail
Hubert De Burgh entered the service of Prince John by 1198, and from then until 1202 rose in importance in John’s administration. He served successively as count of Mortain, chamberlain of John’s household, an ambassador to Portugal, sheriff first of Dorset and Somerset and then of Berkshire and Cornwall, custodian of the castles of Dover and Windsor, and then custodian of the Welsh Marches . For these services, he was granted a series of manors, baronies, and other castles, and became a powerful figure in John’s administration.
The Beaker Period
While the Neolithic cultures were flourishing, fresh bands of continental immigrants entered Britain. These were the Beaker people, so named from their distinctive pottery. They evidently landed at various times and places on the south and east coasts, whence they spread over most of the country, penetrating, and probably dominating, the Neolithic societies. Beaker people ranged extraordinarily widely over the Continent, but those who reached Britain seem to have come mainly from northwest Europe. .
Originally built in 1510, this property was converted from a barn into a house around 1560. The original family house once stood on the land where Netherhall Manor now stands, in nearby Tanners Lane. In fact, the chimneys on his house are reputedly the only surviving pieces from the original medieval manor which once graced this site. To date we do not know why they moved to the barn, or when and why the manor was demolished. Further research would be of great value.
Geoffrey de Mandeville – Bandit of the Fens
Geoffrey, was remarkable for his prudence, inflexible spirit in adversity, and military skill. His wealth and his honours raised him above all the nobles of the realm. This lead to jealously, particularly amongst those who were connected with the king of the time – Stephen (B: 1092 or 1096, Reign: 22 December 1135 – 25 October 1154)
Education in Wicken at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century was remarkable for its success. It produced a wide range of nationally successful professional men and one woman. Sir James Pope the engineer, Wally Redit the boxer, Johnny Bullman the cyclist, Anthony Day the painter, Frank Barber the goat judge. Reginald [Wick} Alsop the banker, and most recently Ruby Barton as a self-taught educationalist.