BLOMFIELD CLOTHIERS
     OF DEDHAM
JOHN BLOMFIELD-CLOTHIER
OF DEDHAM 1623-1687
Our Puritan ancestor John Blomfield  was born in Winston in 27/1/1623/4 but as all his children were born in Dedham, one could assume  he moved to Dedham   when he married Abigail Blackler in Dedham  1647.  His new wife Abigail was the sister of  Samuel Beckler,  MA Dedham, Vicar of Whatfield  Suffolk.  John was the son of Henry Blomfield, a Chief Constable inThredling Hundred and  Mary Jaques of Winston.
Dedham is a village within the borough of Colchester in northeast Essex, England, situated on the River Stour and on the border of Essex and Suffolk, it became a  rich wool town and market town, with the rich merchants of the bustling town building the  most splendid  medieval buildings .
John and Abigail had two sons,  John Blomfield born Dedham on 8.8.1648 and Henry Blomfield  born  Dedham 28.11.1652.  John Blomfield senior was a Clothier by trade and his son John Blomfield junior followed his fathers footsteps, we do not know if the second son Henry was also in the Clothier trade, but it is highly probable that he was. It is a sad fact that  John Blomfield senior outlived both his sons
John Blomfield senior was of reasonably weathy middle class family, possessing a good sized piece of land in Dedham and including 'Popes Field' which remained in the family name until 1803.'
John Blomfield was appointed to the post of a Governor of Dedham Grammar School in 1662.. He was buried at Dedham on 14th June, 1697,  having out lived his both of his sons, the eldest John, by ten years, and his other son, Henry, by only a matter of four months.  John Blomfield was evidently much respected  in Dedham which is shown by the entry of  his burial in the Parish. Register. Here  he is written down as `Mr. John Blomfield,` whereas the great majority of other persons are only recorded with their bare Christian and surnames. The same courtesy was also given to his son, Henry Blomfield..

The Blomfield Famlies also resided for many generations in the property known as SOUTHFIELDS, which is now a grade 1 historical building. SOUTHFIELDS MANOR  HOUSE DEDHAM.  This property came about with John Blomfield  son of  Beezaliel Clothier of Dedham  and  Sarah Blomfield, and the grandson of John Blomfield junior 1648, marrying into the Sida Family fortunes. So now we have the combination of two familys of Clothiers with the entry of this very well known Clothier family the' Sidas,' ( re marriage of John, and Mary Sida) combining with the Blomfields, and the  whole of this property, with about eleven acres of land, came into the Blomfield family through Henry Sida, a Clothier, when his daughter Mary married  our John Blomfield. But alas times & fortunes changed over the passing of the years and unfortunately through the advent of much more modern & technical machinery, the weaving industry slowly drifted to the North of England, and Colchester, with its Bays and Says Hall, and fine merchant-owned dwellings, felt the vicious pinch of enroaching poverty. So with failing  work/finances it was with heavy heart & under dire circumstances, that John Blomfield, a descendant of the above John, in the year 1808 had to reluctantly dispose of their beloved  home and workplace,SOUTHFIELDs.
Fortunately in recent times  the property was acquired by the late Mr. W. Hewitt of Dedham, who took avid interest in preserving the lovely and unique property for prosperity. So it is today a lovely Heritage building gently settling into the pages ofTime, if only the walls could speak, what tales they would  tell of days gone by........

From: 'Dedham: Domestic buildings',  http://www.british-history.ac.uk


SOUTHFIELDS is one the most interesting old timbered houses in Dedham, it is now classed a  Heritage grade 1 listed building and still known by the same name. For many years it was the home of the John Blomfield branch of the family, and was by far the largest Bay and Say factory in the neighbourhood and since the Blomfields of the periods 1685 to 1740, were mostly described as clothiers,( i.e., actual makers of cloth), there is no doubt that this building is certainly the place where they carried on this industry. In the historical monuments of Essex, this building is described as of great interest, it was  built in the late 15th./ early 16th century, and consists of a range of buildings with spacious court yard. The Master Weaver`s house is situated on the southern side, and here it was that John Blomfield 1742-1820 lived and died. The photographs shown give a very good idea of the `best parlour` as it was then called, with its moulded ceiling beams and joists, and a window of six lights with moulded mullions; the hall also has some heavy timbers and an old door, nail studded with strap hinges, and the staircase with turned ballusters, these latter are of later construction (about 1700). The upper storey, on the east side, was accessed from an outside stairway, and consisted originally of one long room, where the weavers worked.. The courtyard is approached under an archway, the whole range of buildings, with the exception of the Master Weaver`s house, is now divided into ten tenements.
Mr Henry Sida b 1699  was declared bankcrupt   and from 1718 until 1824 SOUTHFIELDS descended in the Sida and Blomfield families. (fn. 37) Henry Sida, the last clothier there, was bankrupted in 1744.
Looking through our extended Blomfield Family tree it can be seen that for over a hundred years this  particular branch starting with our ancestor John Blomfield 1623, plyed the trade of successful Clothiers around the counties of DEDHAM & COLCHESTER........

© Copyright Robert Edwards and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Southfields was built in 1500 by a rich clothier. It is square in plan with an inner courtyard and has lots of exposed timbers. This view shows its east side.


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Southfields once home of  John Blomfield and Sida familiesSOUTHFIELDS, now a beautiful Heritage Home listed Grade 1SOUTHFIELDS by Pauline Farmer
        The Blomfield Clothiers of Dedham Family Tree

William Blomvyle  1366 Newton Flotman
  ?     &   Robert Blomvyle  1430-1498 Stonham Parva
Elizabeth & Gilbert Blomvyle  1450-1524 (Mowness Lands in Diss etc.,)
Anne & John Bloomfield -1488-1548 Bury St Edumds
Elizabeth & John Bloomfield  1532-1598   Bury St Edmunds
Grace & Henry Blomfield  1535 Mickfield
Anne & Henry Blomfield-Debenham 1565-1647.
Mary & Henry -Debenham 1601-1674
Abigail & John Blomfield  Dedham  (Clothier)  -1623-1697
Sarah & John Blomfield Dedham  (Clothier)1648-1687-son of above John& Abigal Blomfield
Hannah & Henry Blomfield-Dedham- 1652-1697 2nd son of above John Blomfield
Now we have Mary Blomfield -1686 Dedham daughter of Sarah and John, marrying her first cousin Beezaliel,( Clothier) son of Henry and Hannah on the  24/11/1709- they had 3 sons and 2 daughters.
(from the Blomfield/Blomvyle Family Tree)

SOUTHFIELDS MANOR  HOUSE DEDHAM.  This property came about with John Blomfield  son of  Beezaliel Clothier of Dedham  and  Sarah Blomfield, above, and  grandson of John Blomfield junior 1648, marrying into the Sida Family fortunes.  It stayed in these families for just under a 100yrs.......

Mary Blomfield had her dwelling house at Dedham  licensed as an Independent meeting house in 1733. (fn. 46) and  1738  her father and Uncle, brothers John and Henry Blomfield bought part of Frog meadow and conveyed it to trustees for a meeting house. A chapel was built the following year, and a pastor, Bezaleel Blomfield,  he  could have been Mary' father ?

From: 'Dedham: Nonconformity', A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10: Lexden Hundred (Part) including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe (2001), pp. 183. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk