A Memoir by Alfred Barrett Sackett (1895–1977)
[This memoir, written in the early 1960s, is a small part of about thirty volumes of material written by Alfred Barrett Sackett and now in the possession of his son Edmund John Christopher Sackett.]
I am my parents and my grandparents, and they were theirs. Sackett and Sandford; File and Sackett; Leyland and Sandford.
The name is an embarrassment to an employer but it is deep in the past centuries in this island: and in these islands in one only, the isle or once isle of Thanet: the historian has called us "an ancient yeoman family".
[Note by Michael Oliver Sackett, Alfred Barrett Sackett's son — In an insert, ABS says that he now believes that the name originates on the analogy of Beckett which is known to derive from bee and cot and to mean a cottager or dweller who keeps bees. The earliest form of Sackett is Saket and this almost certainly means therefore a cottage by the sea, which in Chaucer would be pronounced Say.]
There is a note in the Archaeologicae Kantiae which your aunt Dorothy and I began to study in Canterbury Cathedral Library, that the family had been settled in St Peters for several centuries. Their name remains in Sackett's Hill, a treed oasis still (in 1962) in a plain land of bare houses and fields. The C17th farmhouse stands but, though the deeds go back to the Sackett ownership, it has long passed out of their hands. The earliest date we have so far found (in the Arch Kant) is 1327 when William and John Saket were "assessed for considerable sums" on the subsidy roll (Lay Subsidy Kent in Public Record Office 123/10 memb 13a) for the Ringslow Hundred. In 1444 John Sakett by will bequeathed £5 for 3 ornamental altar cloths for the altars of St James the Apostle, St Mary of Pity and St Margaret, all in St Peters (tres pallas pro dicta ecclesia pres tribus altaribus).
In the muster roll of select companies in the parishes of St Johns, St Peters and Birchington, captains, lieutenants, ensigns, sergeants, clerks, drummers, corsletts and musquets are named for the year 1619: John Sackett a corslett, and William senior and junior, musquets.
The parish records for St Peters, St Johns, Birchington, and St Lawrence all have Sakets among their first entries in the C16th.
Our links with these earlier generations are clear as far back as the beginning of the C18th when Henry Sackett of St Peters in 1734 married Elizabeth Clifford of St Peters. Henry, born in 1710 lived to be 80; Elizabeth, born in 1709 to be 77. Henry and Elizabeth had eleven children. The eighth and ninth were twin boys, baptized at Birchington in 1749. Benjamin died but Jeremiah became a gardener, or market gardener, at Northwood (between St Lawrence and St Peters) and then churchwarden of St Lawrence in 1800 and 1801. In 1779 (then of Margate) he married Hannah Newing. His wedding certificate is signed by Edward, his next younger brother. They too had eleven children of whom at least 7 died young. They too gave their children biblical names: Keziah, Hannah, Martha, Benjamin, Jeremiah. We are not yet quite sure which of their sons was father of their grandson Benjamin, who was my great grandfather, for his mother died at his birth, and he was cared for by his grandparents who brought him up. However it seems probable that Benjamin, Jeremiah's son, was our Benjamin's father since the Benjamin Sackett who married Mary of Ramsgate in 1814 called their eldest son Jeremiah, and their eldest daughter Hannah Newing. It seems certain then that Benjamin, Benjamin's son, was of a first marriage in 1810. Search should be made for the marriage register of the first marriage; perhaps we shall find it in an adjoining parish, say Ash or Birchington or Great Mongsham. Jeremiah (and Hannah Newing) gardener of Northwood, and churchwarden of St Lawrence then brought up their motherless grandson Benjamin who has left us an account of his life; and his son Jabez my great uncle whom I never knew, a memorial of him. He was converted by the Methodists and began the work of a local preacher which obviously absorbed the thought and energy of his life. Jeremiah apprentice him to Mr Hudson at the Northwood windmill, an apprenticeship he served to the last day. Then at once he married and to earn his bread he left in 1834 for what were to him "foreign parts" and found employment in Hythe. While he looked for it, he stayed at the Red Lion, still there as it was. The details of his employment as a millhand with the Hortons water-mill, Albion mills, now gone, first with Mr Benjamin Horton, with his sons and grandsons later, until his death, will not much interest you, perhaps, and you may find the language and piety of his religious memoirs out-dated. Read it and see. Two things are clear:- first his religious sincerity and the wholly laudable way in which, surmounting the initial disadvantage of little education of an academic kind, he made his way by hard thinking and reading though this is not mentioned much, to his own theology. This is Arminian, following Wesley rather than Whitefield, commonsense rather than ranting. He has mastered the arguments for free will unexpectedly well. He has a literate pen and a clear style and evidently, as his son Jabez says, a fund of theological readings and knowledge: he is broad minded, liking to help other denominations "especially the Baptists, independents and bible Christians", courageous and determined. These qualities were shown not only in the persistence of his preaching and the hardness of his reasoning, but in his experience. Jabez culls from his father's memoirs how his head was once jammed in between the millsweep and "the post of the head window through someone moving it forward at the bottom". Then his presence of mind saved him. On Christmas day he lost his way in deep snow and found his way back from his preaching after "having walked over a wood filled with snow". His first wife, Mary Ann Cooper of Whitstable, died in 1842: his second, Lucy Lee, whom he married about 1844, died in 1868: his third, Emily Day, married in 1871, survived his death in 1885.
My grandfather, Jeremiah, has spoken of him in the all too short memoir he has left: evidently he was a man of immense energy and courage. He seems to have had no leisure. When the arduous task of the mill was over, his preaching began. This was nearly every Sunday and his son tells how he never missed an appointment but would think nothing of a twenty mile walk to and from preaching; how if locally an appointed preacher failed to come he would "doff his garments of whiteness and dust and be ready in ten minutes to preach in the little sanctuary to a handful of people and afterwards return to his place in the mill". This happened often and it made the deeper impression on my grandfather's mind because he was "left to fill his place in the mill during his temporary absence—which I proudly did". His physical and mental courage and energy he certainly left to my grandfather who, I judge had all his qualities but at a higher level.
To my grandfather Jeremiah I turn now. Last night I read his own account of himself again. What admiration and affection even his memoirs draw to himself. We know much about his boyhood and youth. Born in 1836, he was a lively, adventurous and properly naughty boy dealt with by the drastic methods of the mid C19th; for example, his mother Mary Ann tied him, as punishment for playing with his elder brother Benjamin on a dangerous plank in the foundations of a new house being built for them, to a chair for the rest of the day. "In her absence however I managed to release myself, and for this my imprisonment was lengthened". He was six years old when Mary Ann died with the baby daughter she was bearing. Young Jeremiah remembered it: he saw her lying in her coffin. Old Mrs. Rose, the soldier's widow who came in to care for the three children, told him he was a wicked boy when he "even laughed and was light hearted about it. It was certainly a fact that I did not cry—I was not a crying boy, unless I was whipped, my laughs never left me. They tell me that my face in those days was all smiles, my eyes all mischief, my nature all frolic and fun. Poor mother, I have heard father say, used to sigh over me and predict a life of folly. The farthest she could see into my future was that I should make a mountebank or a merry Andrew."
There was sickness almost to death, and near enough tragedy in his life but as I remember him when I was a boy of 13 or so he never lost his cheerfulness or his sense of fun. It is like him that he should record the authentic Guy Fawkes ballad and the bludgeon thump on the door (during family prayer) which accompanied it.
Remember remember the fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot
Do you see any reason why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot?
Three score barrels laid below
To prove old England's overthrow
With a dark lantern, and a lighted match
They met old Guy Fawkes just going to touch
Hurrah boys Hip Hip Hurrah
Hurrah boys Hip Hip Hurrah
His school days ended at 12 years of age; a star pupil, good at arithmetic. He records a fight with the school bully Dick Back. Challenged to the battle he "entered upon this as a solemn duty" his opponent "a tall thin gaunt boy much my superior in size, but a coward when it came to a pitched battle", was beaten for as my grandfather says "the only umpire was myself." Then he went to work at the mill helping his father; no formal apprenticeship for him, no pay either, only occasional silver from the master Mr Horton: no holiday, not even a half holiday except the yearly Sunday school treat. No wonder the Sunday schools were popular! But he was learning more than the grinding of the corn. During this period, 1848 to 1853, a new steam mill was built: he learnt from carpenters, bricklayers, blacksmiths, engineers, painters and especially from the millwrights. With the Horton sons in their little workshops he made kites, boats, guns and turning lathes. The Hortons had ships at sea; these my grandfather helped to repair and provision in the days of sail. A Sackett of Thanet must have potential hereditary skills with boats and spars.
Not always successful as the wreck of the Sacketts corn Hoy of Margate in [unclear] may seem to show. A youth of mischievous high spirits, his father thought him and his brothers "terrible boys". He would pray "O bend or break the iron sinew in his neck" and invoke his favourite text for them from Isaiah 44 vs 3-5, "I will pour my blessing upon thy offspring: one shall say I am the Lord's and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob, and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord". The play and "cricket gangs" gave way to the Sunday school teaching, the formation of a "mutual improvement" society and the popularity and success of his father's preaching led to the acceptance and adoption of the promise his father (it may be thought somewhat naively but in accordance with current common practice) took to himself out of Isaiah's prophecy.
This before he was 20 (and both brothers too) the promised acceptance was evident in the life of the mill carter changed from drunkenness to usefulness under his father's persuasion and prayer and clinched by a matching sermon of his in 1853, when Jeremiah secretly made the "surrender of myself to the Lord's will".
The following year he heard that Mrs. File of Barham wanted a young man capable of taking charge of her mill and business. The exact place he stood in when he heard the news is recorded in his memoir and the details of his successful application also. That third Tuesday in January 1854 was the day of his life. He packed his bundle (millers suit and underlinen) and with 1/- in cash he set out to walk (took the marrow-bone coach, he says) the eleven mostly uphill miles to Barham. His bosom friend (later a missionary, they shared the mutual improvement and religious experience) George Lee walked with him to Bargrove. Parting painfully from George, he walked nimbly enough ("I was young and strong and always a quick walker") until on high ground he saw two mills both Wingrove and Breach farm, one near one far. Anxious that he might be too late, suspecting criticism by the laughter of the children of the house, bothered by having come upon Mrs. File hanging up the washing and the agitation of the young daughter who was scolded for not properly watching over some "rare elderberry wine" put to warm of the fire for him, he was nervous and slow to answer the question of Mr Inge, Mrs. File's brother in law. "My face is my character, Sir, I said". Engaged there and then he changed his 7/- a week including Sunday perhaps (he does not say) for a not much greater immediate wage, a modern mill for the severe labour and total responsibility for the old tyrant whose battles with the wind he began to control. He worked five years for Mrs. File, and eleven years later on in his own interests until the industrial revolution drove him out. But he gained also two wives, the eldest Sarah, and the youngest Ann, daughters of his employer whom he adroitly managed to get appointed as matron of Richmond college.
But I anticipate. First it will be worth sampling Jeremiah's lively style as he relates his struggles and triumphs in that romantic realist old devil of a mill.
That first eventful night I shall never forget; the man who was at the mill pro tem left me towards the evening. I worked the mill away long after dark. In a mill that needed the skill and management of the old hand the wonder was that I got through so well. (He was not yet 18). The mill at once took to me and behaved smartly and helped me in those first hours … there was an unseen eye and hand guiding my doings those first few days. My "Robert Dawson or the Brave Spirit" [one of his mutual improvement books] came to my relief—a stick at a time and the reduction of the pile … Old Humphrey and his walk through the fields exclaiming "they won't be all potato fields" gave courage to my heart—these things and a heart which never quaked at a hard job sustained me. But, O the vagaries of that old mill; the going about of the winds. The squalls which came up over the woods and caught me without a reef in my sails. The old wooden brake which had become gulled and smooth with use; it sometimes would not act and the wind got the better of me despite my efforts. Something had to give way and broken cogs within and torn sails without stopt my work for days. Still with a brave heart and dogged perseverance I persisted in my daily duties with never a break or give in. The history of my adventures in the dead of the night when working all alone and tired out for want of sleep working at an amazing stretch of time until the wind had spent itself, would fill pages in a comic or tragic story. My father would have died of fright had he known of my exposure of life and limb and the plight I was often in. He never did know the whole. One cold snowy night the wind blowing cold and strong from the west one of my sails got loose and curled around the sweep and the wind shaft. I stopt the mill and got out on the top with a lantern in the blinding snow and hail. I was as near perished as need be and it was dangerous. If the mill had drawn under the break as it used to do I should have been killed. In an hour and a half I had disentangled the sail, passed it down the sweep and started my mill again. And before morning I had cleared away a big lot of work. … Those stormy nights they are with me still. Under the pressure of the sail and the wind the mill trembled in her main timbers. The darkness was intense. I have stood in the lee of the mill when she was running at full speed with my great blanket coat on, and watched the cottagers lights go out in the village till the last disappeared and I have watched eagerly for their reappearance in the morning. I have seen the shooting stars, showers of them, the full moon shining bright and clear and the fast flying scud driven before the wind. I have seen the clouds gather and the storm clouds arise and with the full moon shining upon it I have often seen lunar rainbows, and had splendid sights of the aurora borealis. I have gone down to the house in the middle of the night to see that the sleepers were safe—and in the fast running mill when no ear was nigh I have called upon God in prayer audibly and God has heard, answered and blessed me there. I have sometimes been so overcome for want of sleep that after filling the hopper with corn and hanging up a fresh sack, and calculating that I might rest for half an hour, my wink watching [his writing is difficult here but one knows what he means] became a sound sleep and I have awakened to find the mill running furiously — the corn all gone, the stones empty and striking fire by the friction. Jumping to my legs they have been numbed and for a while I have wondered where I was — where was the door, which door might I open to stop the mill and get ready for a fresh start after replenishing the stones with corn. I drove that old mill in the interest of Mrs. File 5 years, and on my own 11 years. During this time piece by piece the old mill had been repaired and improved.
Why, I wonder, did he call the old mill "She". That old devil fickle enough to be traditionally feminine (but how unfair that is) was malignant strong and furious, as well as shifty enough to be masculine.
The next phase of his life from 1854 to 1858. It includes his candidature for the Wesleyan Ministry and his engagement to Sarah File, the eldest daughter of Mrs. File, working for a draper in Canterbury. The File household was "godly".
Billy Butler, the saddler, a poor man, on his first Sunday in Barham persuaded him to make a public confession of his faith which led ten days later to an experience of assurance, the exact content and location of which remained in his memory, to hard reading and active Christian evangelizing and social work in the village. In a year's time he was preaching. He describes it in detail, often movingly, but with sanity, as for example when he writes of the preaching of the "Lincolnshire thrasher" at Elham.
One night especially; the text was "˜and the great trumpet shall be blown and they shall come who were ready to perish'. The preacher described them coming; poor wretches, from the sides of the chapel and then from the middle seats and the singers in the gallery finding mercy and then seeking others. There was great excitement and holy feeling. Peter Duthoit, an impulsive brother, sat by my side. He was in a state of rapture as, in vision, he saw them coming from everywhere at the sound of the trumpet of alarm and warning and welcome. He wanted to shout: I held him down. "Be quiet", I said but shout he did and it only served to fan the heavenly breath — the glorious power spread and spread and we had to take to a prayer meeting for the unwashed and unsaved came along the aisles in crowds. It was a wonderful night, and God was glorified. We walked home these nights and in batches we sang praises to God and made the hillsides resound with our Hallelujahs. For Kentish people it was the more surprising.
The same emotional scenes were repeated as during a sermon in Uncle Inges wheelwright's yard when the notables of the village were present, "the notables of vice and sin." They adjourned to the chapel and with no long appeal the table pew was full of seekers who wished to flee from the wrath to come.
Sceptical at first about the permanence of shallow emotion he found himself wrong, and tells of permanent changes in living ways. Certainly there was keenness. "Some of us, Uncle Inge, Peter Butler, Peter Duthoit, John the butcher, Uncle Joseph and myself, were at prayer meetings at 5.30 in the morning." I will omit the story of his own preaching and acceptance for the Ministry: proposed unanimously in his locality. His 6 hour examination was at Westminster. He was given a 2 mark for his sermon — the only one he ever wrote — and passed in distinguished company including W F Moulton, Wesley Brunyate, H J Highfield, W L Watkinson. Amongst the successful candidates was Thomas Hubbard who stood next to him.
The telling of his time at Richmond College is best read in his own words. For nearly two years he pursued his studies with great diligence and severe application.
Often I had the joy of leading souls to Christ — I was looked on as a brother plod—accepted as I was by the Foreign Missionary Committee when the claims of Fiji were pleaded. I volunteered for service in those islands.
Then trouble came. His companion and friend Hubbard fell ill, it would appear of tuberculosis.
I carefully nursed and tended him until my own health began to break. Poor Thos. got weaker and had to go home to die. My college course was cut short by a premonitory sickness in the first quarter of 1860 — Bro. Hubbard was very ill. God had appointed him to die. … I nursed and cared for him and neglected myself. I abated not my legitimate student's labours. My sickness began in my hands.
A decayed bone was extracted without anaesthetic. Brother Walton held his hand.
The pains were transferred to my stomach and I was in danger of consumption of the bowels. When I returned home I was ready for the June examination. Latin, Greek, Hebrew were my classics—these I was especially proficient in. Bishop Butler was most difficult to comprehend. Mathematics I got on in fairly well; as to theology I revelled in the plain gospel lectures of Rev. Thos. Jackson.
Back at Hythe under the assiduous care of Dr. Fagg at Folkestone he began to mend and by the end of July 1864 was well enough to go to Boulogne and take charge of the chapel there for three weeks. On his second Sunday when he was preaching on God's call to repent a woman cried out for mercy at the top of a shrill voice. Friends treated her as an hysteric but she cried the more, "What shall I do to be saved?". Someone shouted, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ". Jeremiah was still in the pulpit:
We fell to prayer and there were several seekers at the communion rail, among them the woman. God had set his seal on my ministry for all time.
The occasion was reported to Conference and Jeremiah was warned to abstain from making excitements.
Some years later, a perfect stranger in the Midlands told him that she and others she knew had "found the Lord then". Advised by doctors and others to return to lay life and the country: a cough still then persistent: discouragement at the sailing of his co-volunteers for Fiji: possibly the desire to hasten his marriage: the application of Mrs. File for the matronship of Richmond successfully and a vacant house: possibly some cold-shouldering either at Richmond or Conference: these combined to determine him not to continue at the next Conference his entry to the ministry.
So began the second decade of his life from 1861 to 1872, from 25 to 36, a time of happiness and slow tragedy. Children came; Alfred Barrett, my father, in 1862; then George File, Walter, Susie, Sarah Annie (called Daisy at once by the others), Leonard, Bertha, Charles Christopher Benjamin (in 1871). We see glimpses of family life, mother Sarah carrying 8 children in 10 years, but they were the "bonniest anywhere". What they cost her!; the making do out of very little; three bouts of acute rheumatism and weakened heart; searchings of heart; labour in cleanliness; clothing; Godly instruction and early education 7 times repeated. She must have been tough indeed; and though Bertha died young and Charles Christopher Benjamin in infancy, there was Frank Colyer still to emerge. Her very birth in pioneer America may have begun the long test of her powers of endurance. Alfred, "the object of greatest solicitude", that "touchy, whimpering crying child at the beginning", was trained "for God and holy things from the day he was born; his first responsible actions were directed for holy purposes and all the willfulness and disobedience was suitably and promptly corrected." But his parents must have been distracted from their efforts at bending the iron sinew, which was presumably born in his neck, by the arrival of his brothers and sisters, for by the time he was 5 he had become a big boy with manly sensibilities who "bossed the nursery and early showed a military spirit." Good for you, my father! More of this in due course.
There were the usual childhood stories. How George made friends with the horse and walked under and around his legs with no fear; how Walter, the meditative and restful, always happy to thread buttons and beads with a needle for hours at a time, went and chopped off the top of his finger one Sunday morning just as Jeremiah was going off to preach somewhere and had to be galloped off on horseback to the doctor out at Elmstead; how useful young cousin Orpah was and good with the children; how when Daisy was born and Sarah had rheumatic fever and for weeks Jeremiah had to help nurse her and turn her in bed (no arms were capable of the duty but mine he said) that poor but clean and Godly Mrs. Isaac Moody who had milk and to spare suckled and saved her.
The slow tragedy was not with the children unless we think that far too much was taken out of Sarah, for husband and wife vied with each other for care and responsibility: their children were happy and loved and survived the economy, and the close watch which kept them "well in subjection" and taught them to obey, with nothing but love and affection for their parents. And tragedy is too strong a word for the hard and fast-changing conditions which followed his decision not to try again for the church, but to take on Mrs. File's mill, the old mill of his young exploits.
The industrial revolution was reaching even the windmills. A new era meant steam power there too. The farmers already tired of carrying corn to the mills, only to wait for the flour in long periods of calm which lengthened in these years; steam and sail were both in use in the same mills at first and those who could afford them secured the custom. Jeremiah was unable to go in for steam but he built a stable and bought a horse and cart and began to offer free transport of corn. In slack times they carried it to the steam and back. Some farmers began to grind their own by using iron mills and the small miller was in jeopardy. Bad-paying customers: the work of a minister which he was really doing all the time as a layman: the baking: pig-keeping and milling: an effort at buying standing wood to be cut into hop poles: finally the death of the horse, badly tied up one night by "Edward, our man" and found strangled in the morning (the cost had been £60; 10/- in return as horse flesh): all these determined him to give up the mill, which he still rented from grandpa File at £30 a year; and getting in all the bad debts he could he moved to Woodchurch into a carriers business, carrying between Rye, Tenterden, Headcorn, Ashford and his home. He describes the 18 mile journey with furniture and chattels, 6 children and a baby in arms, Uncle William's team of horses, a large waggon, Uncle's family coach, all marshaled by him now on horseback now on foot. The send-off had been remarkable. A farewell sermon "When thou passest through the waters I shall be with thee": bound bibles and hymn books for him and Sarah, both, a purse of gold of Â£13 to which the rector contributed £3. A kind-hearted man, his cellar and pocket were open to the sick but he left the care of their souls to grandfather Jeremiah.
The carriers business had been sucked dry and did not pay: preaching was what he did best; it was his life. He applied for, and with Dr. Rigg's help, was successful in getting a position in the newly-formed Manchester Mission as one of three missioners. Almost at once he took charge of the ever-extending social department and gave himself to social remedial work, "to the redemption of the outcast". It was said of him that he had high powers of organisation and business sagacity, that he combined shrewdness (in dealing with impostors) with sympathy. He was compassionate and discriminating, with no trace of self-seeking "a brave and gracious influence which leaven the most degraded felt in his presence". For little reward, he worked among the down-and-outs of Manchester, in what seemed to me, remembering a visit I paid to him in the Mission, to be a perpetual jumble sale, dirty, raggy, tawdry, uncomplaining, cheerful, and far closer to the sources of truth and goodness than will ever be known to me. A man of strength in character and practice and of human delights as well. Cricket on the Old Trafford ground, where he took me out of the sordid and drunken atmosphere of the Mission, and for him too a natural value. It was recorded after he died in 1918, at my uncle Sandford's home in Hathersage, that a taciturn man of affairs said to the recorder "if I felt inclined to talk over my spiritual longings and experiences to any man it would be to your Mr Sackett". Indeed I wish I knew and could tell you more about this work done by the "Grand old man" of the Manchester Mission. Sarah File was dead when I was one year old. Jeremiah married again, Sarah's sister Annie File who looked after us grandchildren, Sandfords and Sacketts: she was quiet and kind to us all.
Before I leave the Sacketts you may like to know that two of them, Simon and John, sailed for America on December 1st 1630 from Bristol in the ship Lyon: and Simon's wife Mabel [sic] and son Simon sailed with them. Roger Williams was one of the passengers. It was a severe midwinter voyage. They landed at Nantasket Roads off Boston in 1631 and Simon built his house on the north side of what is now Winthrop Street. John followed Williams to Plymouth and Rhode Island and then to Newtown. Simon's son John is said to have been the first white child born in Cambridge, Mass. The first generations were mostly soldiers and administrators and parsons. Joseph in the fifth generation was High Sheriff of Orange City, — John of Newtown, speaker in the Court Judicature: he signed the revolutionary pledge in 1775 in New Cornwall. Samuel melted window lead into bullets. Joseph, son of the revolutionary Samuel, had a business in spectacles, rum, worsted caps, and mink. The Honourable Nathaniel (1737-1805) was delegate to the first New York provisional Congress: quartermaster of the patriot army on the Hudson and chief of Washington's secret service. He died near Sackett's Lake in Sullivan City, New York state. Captain Sam was wounded at Quebec. Augustus (1769-1827) founded Sackett's Harbour. Buel was one of the guard at the execution of Major Andre. The Rev. Nathaniel (1787-1834) was a Methodist minister in Orange City. Edward (1806–1866), of Sackett's Harbour, raised cranberries on an extensive scale, 11,000 barrels from a single crop. They prospered. You could read all about them in C H Weygant's Sacketts of America (Journal Print Newburgh, NY). I have summarised it in a small notebook. It would be fun to trace Simon's and John's descent through the Canterbury library or perhaps in the Isle of Ely from which area they are said to come. Perhaps link them with Henry and Elizabeth.
There is, in the Gentleman's magazine of 1746, a poem by John Sackett, gentleman:
To a fanatick
If there be such, whose giddy brains
Fancy their breast a church contains
his head let each of these wise people
furnish with bells and call't a steeple.
to which poem an anonymous answer was printed in August 1747:
If Sackette! thy church like the wit in thy head
is a jingle of sound in a steeple of lead
while fanaticks stand round securely to hiss thee
may thy church on thy neck fall gently and kiss thee.*
* the scripture tells us that the church fell on Paul's neck and kissed him.
Two of my grandfather's brothers emigrated to Australia, George and Leonard, where they married, built up businesses I believe, and have left families with some of whom we have kept in touch. One of them is in the methodist ministry. See later on when I come to my father.
My grandfather Sackett had two brothers: their descendants, including a Sheriff of London and Congregational Ministers, are entered in a pedigree which will be appended I hope.