The Sheldon archivesPosts by Ken Sheldon

John Sheldon’s less savoury side laid bare

Following the death of surgeon John Sheldon, his long suffering wife Rebecca presented his prized anatomical specimen, the naked, embalmed body of a 24-year-old woman that Sheldon had kept in his bedchamber…

John Sheldon – the first Englishman ‘to fly’

Surgeon John Sheldon had a legitimate claim to having been the first Englishman to make a manned balloon flight and therefore to being among the first ‘to fly’ anywhere outside France, when he made the ascent…

John Sheldon had a thirst for scientific knowledge

John Sheldon was a leading 18th century anatomist and surgeon whose pioneering study of the lymphatic system earned him a worldwide reputation and ultimately recognition as one of the founders…

Unexpected reward for clutching at straws

This site grew out of frustration. Frustration on two counts. Firstly, that through my own family research I had built a substantial list of names of ancestors but knew little about them or their lives, and secondly…

Feast of the Swans saw 267 new knights created

ONE OF THE GREAT SPECTACLES of the Middle Ages took place in Westminster Abbey over 700 years ago when 267 men were knighted, the largest mass knighting in medieval England. Among them was Nicholas Sheldon.

William Sheldon at the Battle of Bosworth

DURING THE REIGN OF EDWARD IV (1461-1483), William Sheldon, the eldest son of Ralph and Joyce Sheldon (nee Rudding) of Abberton, purchased the Worcestershire manor of Beoley from Richard Neville, Lord Latimer…

The Sheldons move on to Abberton

JOHN SHELDON (1380-1428) left behind the hills of Rowley Regis to establish his family at Abberton, Worcestershire, due in no small part to his marriage to wealthy heiress Joan (Juana), daughter of John Cotton…

An international Sheldon family of entertainers

MANY YEARS AGO a chance find in the 1881 UK census set me on the trail of a Sheldon family of entertainers that moved from England to Germany, the Netherlands and finally to New York…

Burnt at the stake over a handful of dud coins

ANYONE BEARING THE SHELDON NAME will find the story of Sarah Sheldon a harrowing one. Even by the often barbaric nature of justice in 1692, being burnt at the stake over a handful of dud coins…

The Black Death and the first Ralph Sheldon

THE FIRST NAME in the earliest recorded Sheldon pedigree is that of Ralph Sheldon, believed to have been born in the village of Sheldon, Warwickshire, around 1320, a hundred years or so after…

Edward Sheldon, movie writer and playwright

EDWARD BREWSTER SHELDON, variously described as “America’s first great playwright” and “Broadway’s Wonder Boy”, achieved great success and wealth in the first half of the 20th century despite…

William Sheldon, tram pioneer

WILLIAM HENRY SHELDON, born in Preston, Lancashire, in 1812, became a sufficiently well-known public figure for The London Times newspaper to devote several column inches to his obituary when he died…