THE SUSSEX MUDDLE FAMILIES
THE LAUGHTON MUDDLES
The Laughton Muddles are a relatively small family that originate with Richard and Joan Muddle, who lived at Buxted in Sussex where Richard worked as a smith. They married and had their children in the mid-16th century before the start of the surviving Buxted parish registers, so their children are only known from Richard’s will, which mentions two sons, Alexander and Samuel, and a daughter who was not named.
Son Alexander worked as a whitesmith at Buxted, he married twice and had children and grandchildren, but his line died out after two generations. It was Alexander who was a witness, overseer and bondsman in documents concerning members of the families of the John and Richard Muddle who may possibly have been his brothers but are more likely to have been his cousins.
Son Samuel lost his first wife only three months after their marriage, he then moved to Chiddingly in Sussex with his second wife where he had four children, only their fourth child, another Samuel, continued the Muddle line. This Samuel moved to Laughton in Sussex where he married and had four children. Again it was only their fourth child, son John, that was to continue the Muddle line at Laughton. John had two sons, John and Edward, who both married and had children, but it was these children that were to be the last of the Muddle line living at Laughton in the early 18th century. It was Edward’s daughter Mary, who married William Funnell in 1750 and had a large family, who seems to have resulted in the main number of living descendants of this Muddle family of Laughton, but of course no longer continuing the Muddle name.
The above Alexander and Samuel are the only confirmed sons of Richard and Joan, though it is possible that there are two more, these are the John and Richard Muddle that Richard Muddle senior stood bail for in 1582 when they were accused of being horse thieves. They are not in Richard senior’s will, even being left the preverbal shilling to acknowledge their existence, so it seems more likely that they were some other close relatives such as nephews that Richard senior had possibly become the guardian of.
Of these two possible sons John was a smith at Rotherfield and the originator of the very extensive family of the ‘Buxted Muddles’ with living descendants in England and Australia. Richard junior was a blacksmith at Hadlow Down in Mayfield Parish, he married Elizabeth and had four children. It was his son William, who lived at Framfield and East Hoathly, who was to continue this Muddle line to the next generation, having ten children, though nothing is known about what happened to the sons after the early 17th century, and if any of them continued the Muddle name.
Copyright © Derek Miller 2016
Last updated 28 March 2016
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