Robert Mead

Male, b. circa 1753, d. 29 August 1819
     Robert Mead, son of Thomas Mead and Ann Flack, was born circa 1753.1

The Manor Court Books show that at the age of twenty one on 26 May 1774 Robert was admitted to some land named Riddens plus one acre abutting Turnpike Road at Great Burstead.2

Robert married Susanna Flack, daughter of William Flack and Martha Sabin, on 21 November 1782 at St Nicholas, Laindon, Essex, by licence. While Robert was recorded as being from Laindon, Susanna was from Ware in Hertfordshire.3 Robert and Susanna had nine children over the next thirteen years but only William survived childhood. All except the first born, Ann, were baptised at The Independent Meeting House, Billericay, Essex.4

At some time towards the end of 1783 Robert moved from Laindon and a notice was placed in the Chelmsford Chronicle of 26 September 1783 stating that due to his leaving the farm, some of his household furniture, farming equipment and stock were to be auctioned by Abraham Glasscock on 30 September.5 He was certainly residing at Great Burstead by 1785 when further notices appeared in the Chelmsford Chronicle on 30 September and 7 October stating that a gelding and two colts had been found on the Manor of Great Burstead on 23 September and that the owner, if he could describe their markings and defray expenses, could have them back again.6

On 23 May 1793 Robert was admitted to eight acres called Stone Croft abutting on a close called Scarletts in the east and Laindon Common in the west.7

As a beneficiary in the will of his father Thomas Mead written on 9 December 1793, Robert was to receive a silver tankard plus a one fifth share of Thomas' household goods, furniture and linen after the death of his mother Ann and anything else remaining after all bequests had been made and expenses paid. He was named as the sole excutor of Thomas' will and charged with providing a home for his older brother Thomas.8

Susanna died circa 1796 but Robert did not remain a widower for long and on 29 June 1797 at St Mary, Whitechapel, London (Middlesex), Robert Mead married Susanna Mickelburgh by licence.9 Their marriage produced eight children and all were baptised at The Independent Meeting House, Billericay, Essex. Only their first child, Sally, and last, David, survived to become adults, however.10

Robert was admitted to a part of the common at South Green, Great Burstead, Essex, on 18 May 1815. A house, stable and barn had been recently erected on this land.11 In 1818 Robert was said to be the owner of The White Lion, Browns Green, some land called Riddens, Longfield and Stone Croft occupied by William Mead.12

Describing himself as, " ... of Great Burstead Grainge in the County of Essex Farmer ... ", Robert made a will on 22 January 1818 in which he appointed, " ... my good friend Mr. William Flack of Ware Herts his Son Mr. William Flack Junior of Waters Place farm and my friends Mr. Thomas Richardson of Downham and Mr. John Richard Pratt Corn factor ... " Executors and, together with his wife while she remained his widow, Guardians of his son David. The Executors were to manage his property and estate for the benefit of his wife and children who were to be allowed to continue to live at at The Grange, Great Burstead, Essex, until the lease expired. His estate would then be divided among his wife and children. The property comprised of land recently enclosed at South Green with barn and house already built and other buildings which may subsequently be erected, approximately three acres of land adjacent named Little Riddens, four freehold cottages nearby, a cottage and premises at Brooms Green, copyhold land of around seven acres called Stone Croft, all of these in Great Burstead; also, " ... all those freehold Messuages or Tenements and premises situate in the Hamlet of Billericay ... ". He had become a very successful man.13 On 18 August 1819, just eleven days before his death, Robert added a codicil. It seems that his son William had taken possession of a farm and Robert had helped him do this by becoming bound to the former owner with a bond of £500 and borrowing a further £150 from Mr. William Jackson whom he now named as Executor in place of John Richard Pratt. William's legacy was reduced by the total of these amounts but he would now take possession of Stone Croft, which he already occupied, immediately upon on his father's death.13

Robert Mead of The Grange, Great Burstead, Essex, died aged 66 on 29 August 1819 and was buried on 5 September 1819 at The Independent Meeting House, Billericay, Essex.1,14

Children of Robert Mead and Susanna Flack

Children of Robert Mead and Susanna Mickelburgh


  1. [S22] Monumental inscription on the grave headstone of Robert Mead, 1819 (The Old Meeting House Burial Ground, Billericay, Essex), photographed and transcribed by A.R. Mead 16 March 1991. [ESSMI].
    The burial ground is on the west side of Chapel Street. Facing the burial ground from Chapel Street, the stone is to the left of the gate towards the perimeter fence, about four metres in from the road.
  2. [S115] Correspondence from D.C. Green, Chepstow, to A.R. Mead A.R. Mead's records, Epsom, Surrey, reference COR7, relating to Robert Mead's family and descendants, 1742-1920. DCG refers to Manor Court Books, Land Tax returns, Quit Rents, the IGI and Robert Mead's will and descendants; source references are generally not identified. [COR7/2-6]
  3. [S117] Unknown compiler. ( : accessed 25 August 2011)Parish Register of St Nicholas, Laindon, Essex, 1775-1821, content: Marriages 1775-1812 with banns 1775-1821, Essex County Record Office, Wharf Road, Chelmsford, Essex, England, reference D/P 278/1/7. p. 8, entry no. 32, " ... Robert Mead of this Parish of Laindon, Bachelor, and Susanna Flack of the Parish of Ware in the County of Hertfordshire were married in this Church by Licence this 21st day of November in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Two By me Wm Potter Curate. This marriage was solemnized between Us Robert Mead [signed] Susanna Flack [signed] In the Presence of Thos Hummerstone [Sarah?] Flack John Jackson. Susanna and Robert were first cousins as they shared Robert Flack of Thorley (1687-1750) as a grandfather. It is likely that there were close ties between the two families since the days when the Mead family also lived near Ware. [ESSPAR, M0005]
  4. [S1] Microfilm of the Dissenters Register of The Protestant Independant Congregation of Billericay, Essex, 1778-1837, content: Baptisms and Burials, (Public Record Office (PRO), Kew, Surrey, England. Reference: RG4 1499). pp. 4-34. [ESSNPR].
    The conclusion that all of the children of Robert and Susanna Flack, except William, did not survive childhood is arrived at bearing in mind that the name John was used twice among Robert's children and none of these children except William was mentioned in Robert's will.
  5. [S118] The Chelmsford Chronicle, 26 September 1783, The British Newpaper Archive ( : accessed 10 January 2012). Notice of sale of household and farming items. Front page. "To be sold by auction, by ABRAHAM GLASSCOCK, (on the PREMISES) On Tuesday September 30th, 1783, Part of the Househld Furniture, Brewing Utensils, and Farming Stock, &c. belonging to MR ROBERT MEAD, (leaving the farm) as situate in the Parish of Laindon, about three miles from Billericay Town, and leading from Cray’s Hill to Dunton, in the county of Essex; consisting of bedsteads with furniture, featherbeds, bedding, tables, chairs, pewter, brass, walnut-tree and other chests of drawers, a wind-up j[ ]ck, a thirty-hour clock, &c. brewing coppers, mash tubs, brewing tubs, a six inch wheel loading cart, a large dung cart, a wagon, barrows, harness, three fine useful cart mares, a fine bay colt two years off, fifteen fine cows, and a polled bull, a large quantity of poultry and sobe pigeons. n.b. a quantity of wheat straw. The goods &c. may be viewed the morning of sale, and till the time of beginning, which will be exactly at ten o’clock.". [PRINT01]
  6. [S119] The Chelmsford Chronicle, 30 September 1785, The British Newpaper Archive ( : accessed 10 January 2012). Notice of the finding of roaming livestock. “September 23rd, 1785. TAKEN UP, On the Manor of GREAT BURSTEAD, Essex, A GELDING and TWO COLTS. The Owner describing their marks, and defraying expenses, may have them again, by applying to Mr Robert Mead, of Great Burstead, aforesaid. If not owned within one month from the date hereof, they will be sold to defray the expenses.” [PRINT01].
  7. [S115] Correspondence from D.C. Green to A.R. Mead, 1989-1993. Land Tax returns for Great Burstead 1823-32 show that this property was occupied by a family named Gladwin. [COR7/2-6]
  8. [S102] Will of Thomas Mead, gentleman of Great Burstead, Essex, dated 9 December 1793, proved 22 August 1794 in the Commissary of Bishop of London. (Essex County Record Office, Wharf Road, Chelmsford, Essex, England. Reference: D/ABR 28/488). [DOC0008/WIL0011].
  9. [S116] Unknown compiler. ( : accessed 11 November 2010)Parish Register of St Mary Whitechapel, Middlesex, 1754-1921, content: Marriages and Banns 1754-1921, London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London, reference P93/MRY1, Item 032. p. 471, " ... Robert Mead, Widower of this Parish, and Susanna Mickelburgh, Spinster of the same, married in this church by Licence this twenty ninth day of June in the year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety Seven By me Edwd. Robson Curate. This marriage was solemnised between us Robert Mead [signed] The mark X of Susanna Mickelburgh In the Presence of John Flowerday Elizabeth Witham ... ". Although this marriage was unexpectedly found in Whitechapel, Susanna did end her days in East London and may well have had family there. John Flowerday was a relation of some kind; the surname is mentioned in her uncle Henry Mickelburgh's will. [MDXPAR]
  10. [S1] Microfilm of the Dissenters Register of The Protestant Independant Congregation of Billericay, Essex, 1778-1837.
    Their children George and John are known not to have survived infancy as they were buried at St. Mary Magdalene, Great Burstead, soon after birth, while Richard, Susanna and the twins Rachel and Robert Henry are not mentioned in their father's will.
  11. [S115] Correspondence from D.C. Green to A.R. Mead, 1989-1993. It is likely that Robert was planning for the future. Tenure of The Grange at Great Burstead would terminate with his death and in 1821 his executors surrendered property including this land at South Green to his widow Susanna and Henry Mickelburgh. Susanna quite probably then lived in the South Green property. [COR7/2-6]
  12. [S115] Correspondence from D.C. Green to A.R. Mead, 1989-1993. This information apparently obtained from Quit Rents D/DP M1566-7. [COR7/2-6]
  13. [S3] Will of Robert Mead, farmer of Great Burstead Grange, dated 22 January 1818, proved 22 September 1819 in the Commissary Court of the Bishop of London. (Essex County Record Office, Wharf Road, Chelmsford, Essex, England. Reference: D/ABW 122/2/63). [WIL0012/DOC0005].
  14. [S1] Microfilm of the Dissenters Register of The Protestant Independant Congregation of Billericay, Essex, 1778-1837.