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Sunday 17th February 2019  

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Ploughing prize, 1848, William Sarson, Quorn

The wording on this impressive tankard says:

“1st PRIZE for Ploughing
Presented by the Loughborough Agricultural Association to Mr. W. SARSON 1848”

Each October, Loughborough Agricultural Association would hold their annual meeting, which included a show of stock and a ploughing competition with several classes. Strangely, in the ploughing competition results in local newspapers for October 1848, the name of William Sarson did not appear, despite the wording on the cup. However he did appear in the results for 1847. The item below appeared in the Leicester Chronicle on 30th October 1847 and reads as follows:

“Class 1. – To the farmer’s son under 24 years of age who shall plough in the best manner half an acre of land with two horses abreast and no driver - First prize W Sarson, Quorndon, a cup of the value of £5; Second prize Henry Brown, Stanford, £2; George Ashby of Coates, commended.”

There seems little doubt that the William Sarson on the cup and the William Sarson in the 1847 results are one and the same. The 1851 census for Quorn shows William Sarson, aged 20, as a ‘farmer’s son’, living with his father, mother and sister on Meeting Street. The father is recorded as a ‘farmer, occupying 250 acres and employing 6 labourers’. William was one of at least eleven children of Thomas and Ann Sarson. In April 1853 William, married Catherine Wilde from West Leake. At that time he was reported as living at Quorndon Mill, which is likely to be Mill Fields Farm.

In 1860 William Sarson (described as a miller) was declared bankrupt. The judge accused William of hiding assets at his brother’s house, and also said he was ‘remarkably corpulent’ and did not look as if he ‘lived on wind’!


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 Submitted on: 2019-01-15
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman
 Artefact ID: 2041
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own.

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