The Sheldon archives

All the Sheldon stories in one place

US descendants cherished John Sheldon’s memory

Back in 2006, seventh-generation American descendants of an eminent Victorian entrepreneur and manufacturerembarked upon a pilgrimage back to the city of Birmingham, where he made his fortune. the final part of our look at the life of John Sheldon…

The mysterious past of pen maker John Sheldon

John Sheldon was always vague about his age and background giving different dates and places of birth in numerous ‘official documents’ throughout his lifetime…

John Sheldon (1802-1863), pioneering manufacturer

John Sheldon was a pioneering manufacturer and innovator during the early years of the explosive growth in industrial capacity in the city of Birmingham. Innovators such as Sheldon were the catalyst for the rapid expansion of what was soon to become…

The complexities of Leicestershire mining

A more detailed look at the Sheldons’ involvement in the Leicestershire coalfield, which began during the reign of Henry VIII and lasted for another 200 years. The methods were primitive but William Sheldon and his heirs certainly knew how to make their investment pay…

William Sheldon (1500-1575) Part Two

Thomas Habington, the respected Worcestershire chronicler who lived through the same tumultuous period in English history, said of William Sheldon: “In our age for wisdom, estate and authority in our county he equalled most of the gentlemen of England”…

William Sheldon (1500-1575) Part one

William Sheldon (1501-1575) lived through one of the most turbulent periods of English history but had the good sense not to publicy commit himself to either side of the great religious divide that caused so many of his contemporaries to lose their heads…

My theory of Sheldon relativity

A study undertaken by University College London a few years ago gave genealogists useful statistical information about the distribution and frequency of family surnames in Great Britain…

1930s ‘Pretty Woman’ artist still in demand

Charles Gates Sheldon was a prolific and talented American illustrator whose ‘pretty woman’ stylised portraits in chalk pastels were much in demand in the 1920s and 30s. His work was initially distinctly Art Nouveau with a mix of Edwardian influences…

Willie Sheldon had the skills to navigate the divide

William Alexander Watson Sheldon (1907-1999) was an Irish politician who earned the respect and admiration of both sides of the country’s great political and religious divide. Despite being an Ulster Protestant…

Philippa’s will that of a wealthy woman

Philippa did not survivie long to enjoy the fishing rights granted to her in the will of husband Ralph (1470-1546) as she died within two years of him. She had little land to bequeath, but she had many other valuable…

The details of Ralph Sheldon’s will

Ralph Sheldon of Abberton was a wealthy man; by values that apply in today’s world he would undoubtedly have been a millionaire many times over. Much of his wealth was inherited from his older brother, William…

Ralph Sheldon (1468-1546) the first coal king

The Sheldons had already acquired great wealth through sheep farming and weaving when Ralph Sheldon, quite late in life, acquired land at Cole Orton in Leicestershire in around 1533, possibly at the behest…