Emily Sadler & Tomas Payne
by Jan Beasley
My great, great aunt Emily Sadler came to Blackheath with her sister Jane from Hertford when they were "in service" with the Marriott Watson family of Chiswick. It is recorded in Aunt Em's obituary that the family came to stay at "Cobbins" in 1902. Whilst here Emily met, and in 1904 married Alexander Saunders landlord of the Forest King who is David Saunders great, great uncle. Alex died in 1907 at the age of 36 and in our family, it was always understood that he fell off his push bike and was impaled on the railings at the church causing his death. Several years ago I discussed this with David Saunders who said that his family had a different story - apparently Alex always used to wear spurs on his boots. He would regularly walk to Chilworth and carry a barrel of beer up from the railway station on his shoulder. One day, when doing this his spurs became entangled causing him to fall, he was hit by the barrel and this is how he died. Intrigued, I went to Surrey History Centre and found his obituary in the Surrey Advertiser. Although it is quite lengthy it doesn't mention any nasty accident so I then applied for his death certificate to discover that he died of stomach cancer, no accident at all! However, I suspect he was involved in the other incidents even if they didn't cause his demise.
Aunt Em continued to run the Forest King pub with her parents John & Louisa Sadler until she married Tommy Payne in 1926 and moved to Hazelhurst, where they remained until they died within a few months of each other in the early 1960's.
Incidentally much has been mentioned about the original 12 inhabitants which were very likely squatters but they were not all "wild" - there has been a member of Mum's family living in the village since the records began with my great, great, great grandfather Thomas Mercer and his brother Henry who were born and had paid rates in Wonersh, as I believe had several of the others prior to moving up to Blackheath. Being related to a sheep stealer from the "wilds of Shere or Albury" would have been much more interesting!
Jan Fowler (Beasley)
Former Blackheath resident