The Sheldon archives

All the Sheldon stories in one place

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…

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…