17th century

Born to a golden age but dogged by ill fortune

Despite being born into a golden age, William Sheldon’s life was dogged by persecution for his religion and his loyalty to the Royalist cause.

The Mystery of the Missing Passport

A travel document issued to Edward Sheldon in 1625 may prove to the oldest British ‘passport’ in existence, pre-dating by 11 years one previously thought to be the oldest.

The Sheldon Tapestries

The Sheldon Tapestries marked an attempt by wealthy landowner William Sheldon and his son Ralph to create new rural employment opportunities through the development of new skills imported from continental Europe.

Sheldon fortunes take a downwards turn

Ralph Sheldon was fortunate not to have been drawn into the 1583 Throckmorton Plot to murder Queen Elizabeth and replace her on the English throne with Mary Queen of Scots…

A life blighted by the march of religious change

A first look at the life of Ralph Sheldon, whose days were dogged by religious persecution and by greedy adversaries who cast envious eyes over his vast wealth…

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…

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…

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…