Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet



Garrad Family of Bures

Born in Burma in 1924, Anne Carter now lives in Norfolk. War service and work as a Probation Officer, Teacher and Guider has led to her fascination with history, consequently she has written widely about people and places.

Mrs Anne is a descendant of the Garrad family here in Bures, spending some time at Brook House.

Anne writes:-

I have now written a book 'Bewitched by Burma' telling the story of the Garrads in Burma during the first half of the 20th century, when my father Charles Garrad, his brother William and sister Fan (all born at Brook House, Bures where the rest of the family lived) were Christian missionaries out there, plus my mother Marjory The bulk of the book consists of extracts from letters written to all the Miss Garrads at Bures by their brothers, and from Aunt Fan's diaries, plus memories of my own (I was born and spent my early childhood in Burma) and later those of my husband who served there in the XIVth Army. Uncle Will
Garrad escaped to India by plane when the Japanese came but many of his younger colleagues walked out, and there is an amazing and exciting story of their bravery, taken from Rev. George Tidey's notes of the 1940s.

There is rather a good review of the book under 'Bewitched by Burma' in Amazon.

It has been published by Troubador, price £9.99, ISBN 9781780881710 and is fully illustrated with old photographs.

The Garrad family were well-to-do farmers and tanners in Bures and neighbourhood throughout the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
They owned substantial land in Bures, Mount Bures and the surrounding countryside. They were also involved with the Maltings, Brickmaking as well as owning boats at Colchester.
They owned Brook House, Secretaries and the White House in Bures Hamlet.


Noteworthy Garrads who had commercial interests within the village:-

John Garar (1551-1617) The first known generation of Garrads, Clothier in Bures.
John Garrad (1584 -1655) Farmer in Bures and collector of "Ship Money" for the district
John Garrad (1615 -1641) Farmer in Bures, died when he was only 26.
John Garrad (1634 -1696) Tanner of Bures, a Free Tenant of the Manor of Bures and called Yeoman.
Edward Garrad (1679 -1739) Tanner of Bures, inherited from his father.
John Garrad (1705 -1743) Yeoman of Bures married at Wormingford.
John Garrad (1730 -1788) Tanner, inherited the Tannery from Edward. Lived in Secretaries previously owned by the Gurdon family.
Moved to the Witham Tannery around 1768 and held 3 freehold properties in Bures where he is buried.
John Garrad (1754-93)
Tanner of Bures.  Free tenant of Bures manor.  His only son died young
Robert Garrad ((1761 -1844) Farmer, purchased Secretaries
Abraham Garrad (1766 -1801) Tanner, learnt the Tannery trade from his father John before moving to the Witham tannery
William Garrad (1764 -1816) Tanner, lived at the Bures Tan Yard. Not married.
William Garrad became a partner in the Corn Merchants business known as "Constable & Garrad" with Golding Constable of East Bergholt
Abraham Garrad (1789 -1867)

Tanner of Witham and Colchester

John Garrad (1796 -1874) Bures Hamlet:-
1851 lived at Secretaries, Malster, farmer, merchant and brickmaker employing 67 men. Of those, 8 were employed on two sailing vessels based at the Hythe, Colchester, with which he traded in bricks, malt, farm produce and coal.
1862 owned Bakers Hall, Butlers Farm, Ravensfield Farm, Pricketts Hall Farm and Pudneys Farm. Malting and Tan buildings.
Brick Kilns in Alphamstone, Lamarsh and Bures Hamlet.
1838 purchased the White House from the Guardians of Sudbury Union.
Mount Bures:-
1862 John Garrad owned Valley Farm, Hobbs Well, Brook House, Old House, Craxes Smithy(demolished)
1870 John Garrad owned Elms Farm, Fullmans and Olivers(demolished)

1874 John Garrad purchased a parcel of land for the school.
William Garrad (1833 -1921) Landowner and farmer of 1,000 acres in Bures & neighbourhood.  Lived at Brook House.  Blind from the age of 16 years
John Garrad (1866 -1949)

Farmer and Malster. Lived at Brook House, Bures. Owned the Maltings in Bures and one at the Hythe. He was in partnership at Colchester trading as "Grimston & Co" and as "Cross & Garrad". Took over Brook House from his father in 1915. Died unmarried.

George Garrad (1884 - 1978) Agricultural advisor to the County of Kent. Lived at Brook House, Bures where he farmed after the death of his elder brother John.
Made OBE in 1950.
He gave many generous gifts to the village and in recognition, the extension to the Village Hall was named the "Garrad Room"

Brook House was finally sold out of the family in 1958 by auction.

John Constables GreatGrandmother, Judith Golding was a member of a very old land owning family, The Goldings of Cavendish and held the Lordship of the Manor of Kemsings, She passed the manorial right in due course to her daughter Judith whose husband John Constable held it.

The Garrad Family Tree eventually leads to the founder of May and Baker the Chemists, now taken over by Poulenc

Garrads lived at a large house called "Secretaries" so called because of the legend when Queen Elizabeth 1 visited Bures, her secretary stayed there. The Queen certainly stayed in the village see:-


The Garrads had very strong links with the Constable family.
1. John Garrad (1730 - 1788) married Ann Constable (1732 - 1768).
2. The Garrads and the Constables were in partnership as Corn Merchants at East Bergholt.
3. Judith Garrad (b.1708 daughter of Edward) married John Constable (1705-1777) 
4. John Garrad (1796-1874) was in partnership in coal merchanting with John Sidey Constable of Wormingford (1792-1867)

From 'John Constable's (Artist) Correspondence' published by HMSO 1 862 by R.B. Beckett. P.60

Letter to John from his affectionate mother Ann Constable dated 16 March 1811. "We have this week had Mary & Ann Garrad from Bures with us - their kind [uncle] brought them last Sunday & we expect their brother Abram to come for them tomorrow - the weather has been favorable & they seem to have been pleased & happy. They are very worthy good young people."

From same publication, page 50. "The Masons & two Miss Inglis due here on Monday, & William Garrad & Nieces dined here last Thursday."

From same publication, page 58. John from his mother, East Bergholt, March 6 1811, "the Garrads coming here on Sunday".

From same publication, page 72 "Your brother Abram thinks of going to Bures tomorrow - the day fixed on for the Manoeuvres of the 'Light Fantastic Toe", amongst the heavy heeled Garrads - but good nature is better than attitude for every thing - & therein they excell". Letter to John from his mother 10 Dec 1811).

From same publication, page 266. Letter from M.Whalley to her brother John (Dedham Fri 16 Dec 1831. "Your good account of yourself Family by Miss Jackson's parcel gave us so much pleasure - & the deal case for Mary was forwarded the same evening by John Garrad."

From same publication, page 100. "William Garrad of Bures had been very ill", (Letter from M. Whalley to her brother John from East Ham 15 Jan 1814).

From same publication, page 124. "We have proceeded very far with his William Garrad's business & I think the next time he comes it will be finally settled" (Letter from Abram Constable to his brother John, East Bergholt April 9th 1815.)

From same publication, page 125. "Mr Garrad's business had been gone into here & everything done that can be done till Mr Garrad arrives, which is fix'd for the 10 May - this very day my father fix'd on in his note to Mr G - but he is in London, I trust ( shall shortly see this business settled finally." (Letter from Abram Constable to brother John dated 26 Apr 1815, East. Bergholt.)

Notes from Anne Carter 2013
George Garrad lived at Brook House (1885-1978). The Essex County Standard reported on June 16th 1950 "Honours List. Mr George Garrad of Brook House, Bures was awarded an O.B.E. in the King's Birthday Honours List in recognition of his work for agriculture. For over 40 years he was County Agricultural organiser for Kent and retired last January. He is now back in his old home and is farming the land at Brook House, Bures in place of his brother John who died in November 1949."

A 1957 newspaper cutting states
"105 YEARS SERVICE TO CHURCH. GARRAD FAMILY RECORD. A remarkable record of service to Bures Church by the Garrads of Brook House was disclosed by facts given at the annual Vestry meeting last Tuesday evening by Mr George Garrad when he accepted the office of churchwarden at the age of 72. He told the meeting that his grandfather John was 24 when he became churchwarden in 1820. He held the office for 53 years, during which time the tenor bell was cast and the 7th bell was re-cast. His name appears on both. When he died at 77, his son, Mr William Garrad (George's father) succeeded to the office and was churchwarden for 41 years until 1915. Although totally blind he was also honorary organist and choirmaster for 35 years. He resigned the churchwardenship when he was 81 to make way for his eldest son John (George's brother) who held it for 11 years..."

For George's 90th birthday, a full peal was rung at the church to celebrate the event and our family congregated at Brook House for a special celebratory lunch.
George was still possibly a churchwarden (or church treasurer) when he died in 1978 at the age of 93.

The Garrads had farmed in Bures since the early 16th century, and had also been tanners and brickmakers, so it was a long history. Brook House was auctioned by Olivers on 3 June 1978 by direction of George Garrad's executors. The land had been sold a few years earlier.

Today in 2013, it is 35 years since the last Garrad (George) died at Bures,


Acknowledgment to Anne Carter of Norwich for supplying this material.
Mrs Carter will carry out Genealogical research on the Garrad family for a charitable donation.
Use the Contact page for details.