People

A number of note-worthy and interesting people are associated with Ayot St Peter.

Follow the links to find out more about a few of them …

Christopher Egerton Balfour (1872 to 1907) – Captain Balfour was a career soldier who had fought in the Boer War. He was the nephew of Robert Drummond Balfour, the owner of Sherrards, Welwyn. Read more …..

Rev. Robert Brown-Borthwick (1840 to 1894) – Rev. Brown-Borthwick was born “Robert Brown” in Aberdeen and was the brother of Jane Susan Jephson and also the half-brother of Catherine Sarah Burns. He married Grace Borthwick (1830 to 1884) of Borthwick Castle, near Edinbourgh. He was vicar of All Saints church Scarborough for 22 years, but was better known as an author and writer of hymns. Read more …..

Annie Catherine Boulton (née Martin) (1839 to 1894) – Annie was a widow and single parent at the age of 23. Her second husband was a pioneer in the field of obstetrics, and her son was a career soldier. Read more …..

Catherine Sarah Burns (née Brown) (1821 to 1905) – Catherine was was born in Aberdeen and was the half sister of both Jane Susan Jephson and Rev. Robert Brown-Borthwick. She married Professor Islay Burns D.D. of Glasgow (1817 to 1872) and they had eight children, one of whom – Hannah Burchell Burns (c.1848 to 1882) is buried next to her at Ayot St Peter. Read more …..

The Draper family – A significant family on Ayot Green from the late 19th century to early 20th century. They ran both the smithy and the post office. Read more …..

Rev. Henry Jephson (1839 to 1911) – Rector of Ayot St Peter for 39 years from 1872 until his death in 1911. Henry was rector at the time when the current church was built and had much responsibility for the beautiful church we see today. His wife was Jane Susan Brown (c.1845 to 1917), the sister of Rev. Robert Brown-Borthwick and the half sister of Catherine Sarah Burns.  Read more …..

The Prodgers family –  There were two consecutive rectors of Ayot St Peter called Edwin Prodgers- father and son, who between them held the position from 1841 to 1867. Rev. Edwin Prodgers (1786 to 1861) and his wife Caroline (c. 1793 to 1863) are buried here, along with their daughter Emily (c.1831 to 1850). Read more …..

John  Pollard Seddon (1827 to 1906) – the famous architect who designed the current church. Read more …..

The Thompson family – William Frederick Thompson (1847 to 1921) and his wife Marie Charlotte (née Warde) (1849 to 1900) were a respectable Victorian family but Marie had a turbulent childhood. William was mayor of Aldeburgh in Suffolk for 8 years and their daughter Edith Marie Thompson, C.B.E, (1877 to 1961) was a champion of women’s sport and education. Read more …..

William Henry Wills (1810 to 1880) ~ WH Wills was a journalist and the working editor for Charles Dickens. He married Janet Chambers (1812–1892), the youngest sister of William and Robert Chambers, of the Edinburgh publishing house. William and Janet Wills retired to a house called Sherrards, which is now in Welwyn Garden City. Both are buried in the old churchyard at Ayot St Peter and lso commemorated by stained glass windows in the church. Read more …..