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of Our Lady of Walsingham
Five years before the Norman conquest an event occurred that would alter the face of English Christianity for ever. In 1061, the Lady of the Manor of a small village in North Norfolk, received in a vision, a visit from the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Mary appeared with Jesus to Lady Richeldis de Faverches, and asked her to build a copy of the Holy house at Nazareth, in which the boy Jesus had grown up. To help her with her efforts, Mary gave Richeldis the exact measurements. The site was indicated by the springing up of a holy well. The shrine has been a place of pilgrimage since medieval times, when travel to Rome and Compostella was virtually impossible. Many Kings and Queens came several times in their reigns to visit the shrine. Henry III was the first monarch to visit the shrine. Edward I is recorded as coming 11 times. Edward II came in 1315, Edward III in 1361, King David of Scotland in 1364, Richard II and Queen Anne in 1383, Queen Joan in 1427, Edward IV in 1469, Henry VI in 1487 and many other times, and the last English Monarch to visit was Henry VIII. The original Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham was destroyed in 1538.
a. Nicholas Mileham, the Augustinian
Sub-Prior of Walsingham, Norfolk, England, 1537:
During his reign, Henry VIII, King of England, renounced the Roman Catholic Church and replaced it with the Church of England. This was the beginning of The Reformation. The British Museum houses articles of enquiry regarding the Shrine at Walsingham. The enquiry was designed to discredit all that had happened there and to turn public opinion against the Shrine. The enquiry was a formality antedating the destruction of the Shrine, the confiscation of its wealth, and the public burning of the Virgin's revered statue in Chelsea. Destruction came in 1538, with the active cooperation of the Prior, Richard Vowell, who thereafter received a pension.
A popular plan to ask
the king to spare Walsingham was termed a "rebellion." The local people were much alarmed and expressed their indignation at the
injustice about to be committed. In 1537, the King was informed of ‘a
great insurrection like to be at Walsingham.’ Within a week, he ordered the
immediate execution of all who were involved in what he was pleased to call, ‘The
On May 24th, 1537, the Commission at Norwich Castle condemned eleven of those suspected in connection with the Walsingham Rebellion to be drawn, hanged, beheaded, and quartered for high treason. The sentence, in that particular order, was reserved for especially heinous offenses. Two days later Ralph Rogerson, Thomas Howse, Richard Hendley, Thomas Menal and Andrew Pax were executed in the Castle Ditch. John Semblye and John Sellers died at Yarmouth on May 28th. Nicholas Mileham, the Sub-Prior, and George Gysborough, a layman, were put to death in Walsingham itself, before the very Priory gates, on May 30th, and William Gysborough, who was apparently guilty of nothing worse than being brother to a conspirator, was hanged with John Pecock, clerk, in Lynn, on June 1st.
The shrine of Walsingham in the small town of Little Walsingham in Norfolk was once England’s second most frequented place of pilgrimage. At its peak during the Middle Ages, it drew the faithful from all corners of the British Isles and from the Continent. Only Canterbury was more popular.
Click here: Chronology of the Shrine of Walsingham
2. Dr. James Mileham, New South Wales, (1763-1824):
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a. James Mileham (1763-1824) was given a commission as assistant surgeon in New South Wales in 1796, and arrived on the "Ganges" in June, 1797. He was sent to the Hawkesbury in 1808, remaining there until his retirement. He was a trustee of the Windsor Charitable Institution, treasurer of the Hawkesbury Benevolent Society and vice-president of the Windsor Bible Society.
Elizabeth Price lived with Mileham until her death in July, 1818, having borne him several children. On 2nd June, 1819, he married Susannah Kable. Mileham died on 28th September, 1824, aged 61, at Castlereagh Street, Sydney. His wife received a pension of one hundred pounds annually until her death in 1885.
b. Remember Captain Bligh of the infamous Mutiny on the Bounty? Well, after the Bounty naval investigation and courts-martial were completed and Bligh was exonerated, he was assigned as Governor of New South Wales, Australia. Soon afterwards, he suffered another mutiny! It was instigated by many of the important citizens, business people, and "The Rum Corps." In 1808, a petition was signed by about 15 people calling for his arrest by Major Johnston and for Johnston's taking control of the colony. One of the signers was James Mileham. He was sent to NSW as a surgeon and was later appointed as magistrate/other. He hobnobbed with the other Governors and apparently was a solid citizen.
See copy of James Mileham's signature and petition letter in Bligh's explanation:
c. LAND GRANTS 1788-1809 A Record of registered Grants and Leases in NSW, Van Diemen's Land and Norfolk Island. Edited by R J Ryan, B.A. Australian Documents Library, Sydney. Published 1981. (Indexed by Ann Evans, New Plymouth, September 1993 from the copy held in the New Plymouth Public Library).
d. GHOSTS, MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF THE HAWKESBURY by REX
THE BAKER STREET GHOST.
A now-retired Windsor doctor stated that he frequently heard footsteps moving up and down the verandah of his Baker Street premises, but never saw anybody whenever he investigated the cause. He eventually attributed the sound to "Surgeon Mileham."
(Source - oral.)
Lucy Mileham, NSW:
On 22 November 1819 Mary Rouse married Jonathan Hassall (1798-1834) at St. John's Church in Parramatta - in the famous triple wedding when three of Rowland Hassall's children were married in the same ceremony: Samuel Hassall married Lucy Mileham, the daughter of Dr. James Mileham (c.1763-1824) and Mary Cover Hassall married the Methodist missionary Rev. Walter Lawry (1793-1859). After Mary Rouse's marriage Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie engaged Theodore Bartley, aged 16, as a tutor to their son Lachlan. (Apparently, Samuel and Lucy Mileham Hassall named a son, James Mileham Hassall.)
Source: Hassall Correspondence (Mitchell Library, Sydney: ML Ref: A1677 p.514).
4. PRO Kew
---Letter to Arthur Wavell from Col Milam: Saltillo, Mexico 1824
---Correspondence between Col Benjamin Milam and Arthur Wavell: Saltillo, etc, Mexico; London, etc 1825-1827
---Copy certificate of title of Arthur Wavell and Col Benjamin Milam to mines at Iguana, Vallecillo and Ceralvo, Mexico [c 1825]
---Copy contract for the Voladora mine, Iguana, Mexico between Arthur Wavell and Col Benjamin Milam of the one part and John Masters and Richard Exter for the Mexican Company of the other 1826