Nat Gould

His life and books

John Coker Egerton 1829-1888

John Coker Egerton
Born: 1829 Bunbury, Cheshire
Died: 1888 Burwash, Sussex
John Egerton 1796-1876
Ellen Gould 1802-1862
Charles Cadwallader Egerton 1831-1907
Philip Reginald Egerton 1832-1911
Hugh Aldersey Egerton 1834-1913
Ellen Mary Egerton 1835-1849
Lucy Egerton 1837-1900
Agnes Harriet Egerton 1838-1849
Thomas Gilbert Egerton 1840-1848
Elizabeth Augusta Egerton 1843-1917
Hubert Decimus Egerton 1848-1932
Helen Breach 1851-1942
Caroline Augusta Egerton 1876-1951
Helen Mary Egerton 1878-1961
Sybil Egerton 1879-1974
Katherine Egerton 1881-1974
John Egerton 1884-1929

The Reverend John Coker Egerton was born on 8 July 1829 at Bunbury in Cheshire, the son of the Reverend John Egerton 1796-1876 and his wife née Ellen Gould 1802-1862. He was baptised on 12 November 1829.

He was educated at Brasenose College in Oxford, graduating Bachelor of Arts in 1852 and Master of Arts in 1854 (1). He was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Salisbury on 24 December 1854 and priest on 18 May 1856. He served curacies at Nunton and Bodenham in Wiltshire from 1854 to 1857, Burwash in Sussex (where his uncle the Reverend Joseph Gould 1797-1866 was rector) from 1857 to 1862, St Andrew Undershaft in London from 1862 to 1865, and back at Burwash from 1865 to 1867. After the death of his uncle, John Coker Egerton was inducted as rector in March 1867.

Burwash Church

Burwash Church

He kept detailed diaries during his ministry at Burwash, and in 1892 wrote a book entitled Sussex Folk and Sussex Ways: Stray Studies in the Wealden Formation of Human Nature (2), which is still in print.
In 1992 a book was published based on his diaries entitled Victorian Village: the Diaries of the Reverend John Coker Egerton, Curate and Rector of Burwash, East Sussex 1857-1888.

On 21 January 1875 he married Helen Breach at Holy Trinity church, Wallington near Croydon in Surrey. She was born at Carlisle in Cumberland on 19 May 1851, and known to her husband as Nellie. She was the daughter of B.B. Breach of Wallington, who had previously resided for many years at Laurelhurst in Burwash village.
The wedding service was conducted by the bridegroom's brother the Reverend Charles Cadwallader Egerton and Dr. H. Wace, the Principal of King's College, London. The honeymoon was spent at Bath and Exeter and in touring Devon (3).

They had the following children:

Caroline Augusta Egerton. She was born on 27 May 1876 at Burwash (4), and died on 16 April 1951.

Helen Mary Egerton. She was born on 24 May 1878 at Burwash (5), and died on 29 October 1961.

Sybil Egerton. She was born on 8 August 1879 at Burwash (6). She was married in 1915 at Abingdon in Oxfordshire to Austin Charles Longland, son of the Reverend Charles Boxall Longland and his wife nee Gertrude Makins. Austin Charles Longland was born on 3 June 1888 at Brompton in Kent, and educated at Merton College Oxford and the Inner Temple. He became a barrister-at-law. In 1911 his father was Vicar of Radley, Abingdon. Sybil Longland died in 1974 at Lancaster.

Katherine Egerton. She was born in 1881. She was unmarried, and died in 1974 at Lancaster.

John Egerton. He was born on 9 September 1884 at Burwash, and baptised there on 7 December 1884 (7). He had a military career and was a Major in the East Africa Force 1914-1918. He died at Johannesburg in South Africa on 17 April 1929.

Signature on 1911 Census Return

Signature on 1911 Census Return

Their father John Coker Egerton died on 19 March 1888 aged 58 years, and was buried at Burwash on 23 March 1888 (8). The funeral service was conducted by his brother the Reverend Philip Reginald Egerton and Dr H. Wace.

His widow Helen Egerton died on 3 November 1942 at 2 George Street in Oxford aged 91 years (9).


(1) Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire for the Year 1918: The Monuments of Bunbury Church, Cheshire volume 70 New Series volume 34 J.P. Rylands and F.C. Beazley (1919) pages 90-91.
(2) Reprinted from The Leisure Hour and The Sussex Advertiser (1884).
(3) Victorian Village: the Diaries of the Reverend John Coker Egerton, Curate and Rector of Burwash, East Sussex 1857-1888 edited by R. Wells (1992) pages 156 and 201.
(4) ibid page 176.
(5) ibid page 206.
(6) ibid page 218.
(7) ibid pages 305 and 309.
(8) His Will was proved on 26 May 1888 at Lewes in Sussex, probate being granted to his wife as sole executrix. His personal estate was £13,057 6s 8d. England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966 (1888) page 392.
(9) Her Will was proved on 11 February 1843 at Llandudno in Wales, probate being granted to Austin Charles Longland, barrister-at-law (and her son-in-law), and John Farwell Roper, solicitor. Her effects were £13,006 3s 3d. England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966 (1943) page 45. The monumental inscription to her memory in Burwash churchyard records the date of her death as 4 November 1942.