Oxborough Mill
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So far I know very little about Oxborough Mill and have only found one record and no photographs.
The mill stood to the west of Oxburgh Hall and to the north of Whittington.


The Plight of Anne Hemson

The transcript of the letter below is taken from an article first published in the East Anglian Magazine, December 1980 written by Peter Christie.

The letter relates to the plight of Ann Hemson, a young servant girl who, in 1803, became pregnant out of wedlock by Robert Kemp a miller at Oxburgh watermill. This condition referred to as ‘bastardy’ in those days was frowned upon and under the threat of prison the young woman had to appear before the magistrates and tell them the name of the child. The man in question had four choices: to run away, to go to goal, to marry the woman or to pay large sums for the upkeep of the child until it was old enough to earn its own keep.

The letter was discovered in old court archives and was addressed to a magistrate at Bury St Edmunds. It has been reproduced with its original spelling and punctuation.

“Lynn Janry 23, 1803

to Mr. Matthise Wright, Crown St. near the three Tuns, Bury, Suffolk

Sir I have taken the Libberty of Trubbling you with these few Lines hopping you will not be angry as Nessesaty Causes me to Come Trubblesome to the town as it have bin my Unfortunate I ott to be Deluded by man and I am in very Low Circumstance so that I am under the Nessesaty of trubbling the parrish to wich I belong for Support in time of my trubble So I think it in my place to Lett you know that you may proceed after the man that I am with Child by, as soon as possible you Can make it Convenienthis name is Robt Kemp by trade a Miller Low pluggy man Darke Complextion Live betwin Stoke ferry and Oxburgh at a water Mill on the Right hand goin from Stoke to Oxburgh. I have Lived at Sarvis at Lynn since Micklemass but am now seven months with Child that I am not able to do my work so that on next Tusday I must Come to Bury my Name is Ann Hemson I Lived five years with Lady Gage in Bury but I have not Lived a year in one place never since – if you be at Oxburgh on next wedensday you would finde him in the mill that is his day to Grind. I hope Sir you will do as far as Lay in your power for me for on Contempplating on the Circumstance has brought me very Low.
I am yours Humbly

Ann Hemson”

According to the records, four days later, Ann appeared at Bury to swear that Robert Kemp was the father of her unborn child. It is noted in the records that Robert had agreed to appear in court on sureties of £40.
Finally, Ann appeared again on July 21st to state that, earlier in the year and still unmarried, she had give birth to a baby boy on 13th May 1803.
Anne Grand - 20th January 2008

Faden's map 1797

Faden's map 1797


Faden's map 1797: Oxburgh Mill

1803: Robert Kemp, miller (sharing use of mill with others)


If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site. By all means telephone 01263 713658 or

Nat Grid Ref TF 71790087
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Copyright © Jonathan Neville 2003