16th century

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…

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…

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…

Where Sheldons were found in the 16th century

A SEARCH THROUGH the earliest-available parish records from 16th century England gives us a good indication of the geographical distribution of people with the Sheldon surname at the time…