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Original article by Douglas Ashby, transcribed by Sally Crane

The Ambler Family of Burton Latimer

The first entry of an Ambler in the Burton Latimer Parish Registers is a baptism – 15 Oct 1786 – Thomas – son of Abraham and Hannah Ambler, although there is not record here of their marriage.

Abraham was buried 7 Sept 1808 (no age given) and Hannah 13 Jan 1813 aged 62.

The first marriage entry is 16 Nov 1816Thomas Ambler and Achsah Keetch who went on to have ten children, five sons and five daughters. Thomas was buried 19 Feb 1840 aged 53 and Achsah 2 Dec 1868 aged 79.  Thomas was described as a cordwainer or shoemaker, but in 1833 his occupation was grocer.

One son James married Caroline White in 1844 and their son Thomas was baptised 27 April 1851 and it is his last will that is the subject of this article.  In 1851 James was described as a shoemaker.  In 1884 his occupation had changed to baker.

The old stone cottage on the High Street next to the Britannia Club was build by an Ambler in the late 18th century and was known as Amblers Cottage (now renamed Crofters Cottage)

Amblers Cottage in 1910
Ambler's Cottage in 1910

When the Club was built in 1894 the cottage had a thatched roof.  Later, on the land between Club and cottage, the Salvation Army erected a corrugated iron meeting house which was demolished in the 1960’s and the Club extended a new front entrance.

Amblers Cottage was lived in by Mrs. Beatrice Owen (nee Ambler) a former landlady of the Red Cow Inn, until she sold it in the 1970’s. She died in 1986 aged 93.

Between the Band Club and Budgens Stores the old stone house bears the datestone 'A.A. 1833' and was built as the first Methodist Chapel, A.A. being the initials for Abraham Ambler .  This was in use for services until the present chapel was built in Duke Street in 1890.  The old chapel was then converted into two homes until the time when the property was purchased by Mr and Mrs. Dennis Hornsby and it became one dwelling.

Former wslayan Chapel in Burton Latimer High Street The AA datestome on the former Weslayan Chapel
Former Wesleyan Chapel in Burton High Street, featuring the 'AA' datestone

On a sunny day the outline of two large arched windows can be seen on the south wall.  Inside during restoration, traces of pew ends and a gallery were revealed.

The Ambler family owned several properties in the former area of Croxens Yard and School Lane (now occupied by Latimer Close), Burton House and the Band Club; one group of cottages on the High Street was known as Amblers Yard.

Thomas Ambler also built the old stone house by the public footpath on Polwell Lane known as Netherfield (an ancient field name of that area). With him lived his nephew Wilfred who was the well-known Co-op milkman and a familiar figure with his trusted horse and dray.

The Will of Thomas Ambler

This is the last will and testament of me Thomas Ambler of Netherfield, Burton Latimer in the County of Northamptonshire made this 4th day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and 20.

I herby revoke all Wills made by me at any time heretofor.

I appoint Albert Granger of Station Road, Burton Latimer, Factory Manager and Fred Stokes of Finedon Street, Burton Latimer, Clerk to the Parish Council to be my executors and direct that all my debts and funeral expenses shall be paid as soon as conveniently may be after my decease.

I give and bequeath unto my former friend and housekeeper known to me as Agnes Ingram, now married to Samuel Currant, and living in Nichol's Yard, Burton Latimer, all those six houses with the appurtenances thereto situate in Croxens Yard, Burton Latimer and formerly the property of Mrs. Brown, also the cottage known as the Bungalow situate in Croxens Yard, Burton Latimer. To Mrs. Bailey now living at Whitewash Yard, Little Harrowden,  £40 (forty pounds) to be paid six years after my decease, also two pictures with her name affixed thereto.

To Mrs. Emma Ambler of Leicester, the right to occupy two cottages during her life time situate at Pytchley, and at her decease, the said two cottages to pass to the residue.

Abraham Lincoln Ambler, the sum of £20 (twenty pounds) to be paid two years

To Winnafreda Popplewell of Kettering the sum of £20 (twenty pounds), to be paid six years after my decease.

To Mrs. Max Reed, formerly Beatrice Ambler, my oak chest of drawers, also the piece of land now occupied by the Salvation Army.

To Fred Stokes the sum of £10 (ten pounds) to be paid one year after my decease.

To Mrs. Jenkins living at Dalkeith Place, Kettering, the sum of £20 (twenty pounds) to be paid one month after my decease, also one pair of good sheets, any torn sheets, and any white linen in my possession, as I think they will be of good service to her in her present position.

To Joseph Westley my terra cotta jug and any other article with his name affixed.  To Harry Whitney my ink stand and any other article with his name affixed. To Albert Granger my Oak bureau, oak chest, oak chair and one pair of pictures and any other article with his name affixed, also the pony, trap, harness , the pony to have free stabling and keep at Netherfield.

To Horace Ambler the right to occupy the Forty Acre land in my possession, one year rent to be paid, the land to be ploughed and cropped with corn, If not already cropped, two pairs of blankets and one counterpane the giving to be left in the hands of Albert Granger.

And the remainder of my property and possessions to Wilfred Ambler now living with me at Netherfield, the said Wilfred Ambler to keep the dog, cats and goat in good order, to pay £1 (one pound) per year to the committee of the Old Peoples Treat at Burton Latimer, 2/6d per week to Albert Granger for the benefit of my brother Harry Ambler, also to have erected a slate stone to the memory of my mother and a slate stone to the memory of my father, both buried at Burton Latimer.

All my cottage tenants who are clear with their rents to receive one months rent, all those who are not clear to have their arrears.

It is my expressed wish that my remains be interred on the north side of Isham cemetery, the funeral arrangements to be as follows, the coffin to be of the plainest order, no flowers, no mourning to be worn, the four bearers to receive £1 (one pound) each, no horses to be used, and the mourners to walk to the cemetery, a slate stone to be erected to my memory with the inscription  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”

Thomas Ambler.

Signed by the said Testator Thos. Ambler in the presence of us, present at the same time, who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.

John William Marriott

Hetty Granger.

Testator died 23 March 1921

Will proved 22 August 1921 by Albert Granger and Frederick William Stokes (in  the Will called Fred Stokes) the Executors in the Principal Probate Registry.

Gross estate £2729/5/10

Estate Duty and interest paid on Grant £4.3.9

Lamb and Stringer.

Kettering

  Douglas Ashby 1999


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