Welcome to the Mount Bures Community Web Site
Local Blacksmiths - Bland, Sawyer & Hayward

(from Blacksmith to Gold Mine owner)
mount bures

Please note, that reference to the Sawyer family decendants in Mount Bures, has now been superseded by the Sawyer Family Tree page

This was the Blacksmths Shop which once stood at the entrance to "The Old House" (Craxes)
The date of this can be traced back to circa 1769

The same location today

Chronological Order of events as known:

Yocklettes, later Blands Cottages with 4 acres of land,

1793 Thomas Godfrey, late Scott, for lands. Rent was 7s.4d countersigned by Baker. 1793. John Baker held the copyhold premises, late Thomas Godfrey and formerly Thomas Scott.
Subsequently held by two more John Bakers; the third died 1841 then holding the same 5 acres and tenement with barn and shop.
His widow wed James Sawyer, blacksmith across the road at Craxes.

1846. Anne Sawyer and her son John Baker the 4th then aged 17, sold land to the railway contractors which split their 5 acres in half.
The tenement then occupied by Nathaniel Bland who was baptised 1816, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Bland.

1848 Nathaniel Bland was recorded as shopkeeper at Yocklettes


THE OLD HOUSE (also known earlier as Godfreys and Craxes)

1769 Thomas Godfrey was the tenant at Craxes with 9 acres of land. Thomas also farmed Yocklettes across the road which he probably used in conjunction with his Wheelwright business across the road. (see photograph above)

1799 -1830
Anne and George Caswell followed by their daughter Ann Rolt inherited the property.
The house and barn at Godfreys were leased to Joseph Hayward, Blacksmith

1862. John Garrad purchased all Anne and John Rolts estates, Godfreys included which was then occupied by James Sawyer senior, blacksmith.

1881: James Sawyer, junior (Blacksmith) and his wife Phoebe Honeyball were tenants (County Records)

James Henry SAWYER (1802-1882) married Elizabeth BLAND (1807-1842)

James Henry SAWYER

(son of James SAWYER and Mary [SAWYER] of East Mersea.

Birth 24 Nov 1802 East Mersea, Essex
Occupation btw 1841 and 1872 (age 38-70) Blacksmith
Census 1861 (age 56 Fordham,
Census 1871 (age 69 (Mount Bures
Census 1881 (age 78) Mount Bures
Death 1882 (age 79) Mount Bures
Burial Mar 1882 (age 79) Mount Bures

Elizabeth BLAND (possibly 2nd wife)

Father: Thomas BLAND (1771?-aft1841)
Mother: -Elizabeth Ruggles

Birth 1807 Mount Bures,
Christening 15 Nov 1807 Mount Bures,

Married 5 June 1829
Conceived 7 children

Death 23 Mar 1842 (age 34) Mount Bures,
Burial Mar 1842 (age 34) Mount Bures,






Birth 1828

William SAWYER

Spouse: Susannah MCLAREN (1848- )
Birth 1833 Mount Bures, Essex
Emigration 1856 (age 23 )to Australia.

William joined as a ships crew member to see the world. He then decided to disembark in Melbourne where he stayed and eventually made his fortune.

Zeckial SAWYER
Birth 1835
Caroline SAWYER
Birth 1837
Birth 1837
Spouse: Phoebe HONYBALL (1835- )
Birth 1839 Mount Bures, Essex
Occupation Blacksmith
Elizabeth SAWYER
Birth 1841

After the death of Elizabeth, James married a second time to ANN CLARRYVINCE on 30 January 1845 in Mount Bures.
They appeared in the census on 30 March 1851 in Mount Bures

Ann conceived three children by James.

Ann SAWYER (1846- )


Ephraim SAWYER (1847-1875)

For more comprehensive information of the Sawyer descendants visit:- http://www.kirkend.com/kft/toc17.html

Yocklettes, later known as Blands Cottages with 4 acres of land,

1848 :-At this point in time Nathan Bland was recorded as shopkeeper

1857. Yocklettes Sale:- Beer house and general shop with cottage and 5 acres of very superior arable land .

circa 1900: The tenement with its 5 acres was amalgamated with the Hall Farm lands and remained so until 1970s. The last Bland family had occupied the house since early 20th century during which time it was used as two cottages. Arthur Bland and his wife occupied one and Ted and Percy Bland and a sister Edie occupied the other.
The men worked all their lives on Hall Farm and it was not until after their deaths that the cottages were sold by William McMaster.
Ted Bland, sadly, had a fatal road accident walking home from Bures; fortunately young Neville Lock of the Thatchers Inn, who was with him, was unhurt.

Closure of Smithy

George the last surviving member of the Garrard family ( wealthy land owners) , died a bachelor in 1978 aged 90. He used the Old House as a workers cottage when the Smithy finally closed


Census Records
Bland Family Census 1841
Sawyer Family Census 1841
Thomas Bland abt 1771 (age 70)**

Susan Bland abt 1821
Thos Bland abt 1816
Thos Bland abt 1827

Apparently Thomas Bland** was living with his daughter Elizabeth, son in law James and grandchildren when the census was taken.
In those times because of his age he was classed as the "Head", so his name was used for all of them instead of putting him down as Thomas Bland then Sawyer for the rest.

James Sawyer age (35)
Elizabeth Sawyer abt 1831 (33)
Emma Sawyer abt 1830 (11)
Elizabeth Sawyer (10)
Thomas Sawyer abt 1840 (14)
William Sawyer abt 1833 (8)
Zeckial Sawyer abt 1835 (6)
Selena Sawyer abt 1837 (4)
James Sawyer (2)

Bland Family Census 1851
Sawyer Family Census 1851

Alfred Bland abt 1847
Ann Bland abt 1808
Fredrick Bland abt 1850
George Bland abt 1842
Nathaniel Bland abt 1817
Oliver Bland abt 1845
Sarah Bland abt 1848

Ann Sawyer abt 1846
Elizabeth Sawyer 1931
Elizabeth Sawyer abt 1841
Ephraim Sawyer abt 1848
James Sawyer abt 1839
Selena Sawyer abt 1837
William Sawyer abt 1833
Zeckial Sawyer abt 1835


Bland Family Census 1861
Sawyer Family Census 1861

Ann Bland
George Bland
Nathanl Bland
Oliver Bland
Sarah Bland
Thomas Bland

Ann Sawyer
Ephraim Sawyer
James Sawyer
John Sawyer


School Records
Mary & Edith Sawyer - admitted 1881 Geo. Bland admitted 1886
Eliza Sawyer - left district 1889 Fanny Bland
and George Bland re-admitted. 1891
Ref:- http://www.mount-bures.co.uk/school/school2.htm

The next part of this story surfaced in January 2012 from Australia, where Grahame Sawyer contacted the web site with this message:-

"I am looking for information for James Sawyer 1802/1882 his first wife was Elizabeth Bland 1807/1842.
It`s his second wife and I need help with, her first name was Ann maiden name unknown they had 2 children ann born 1846 and ephraim born 1848 they are my 3x grandparents and any help would be appreciated contact me

Ida McMaster was the source of the answer as I discovered in her book, together with the fact that the Blands worked for her husband Bill.

It would appear that William Sawyer in 1865 joined the ships to see the world and then decided to land in Melbourne, where he stayed and made a home for himself.

Grahame (Australia) Notes:-

William who came out to Australia was a Sawyer, he was the son of James Sawyer the blacksmith 1802/1882 and Elizabeth Bland his first wife 1807/1842 (dec)
Her parents where Thomas Bland and Elizabeth Ruggles also from Mount Bures,
Later he married a Susannah McLaren (b Sydney 1848)on the 13/02/1864 at St Enochs church in central Melbourne.

Apparently from what family notes, we were given they think it was when the youngest child Florence died, they decided to relocate to Victoria.

After working in Victoria on the railways, William and four of his sons moved to Menzies(WA) to seek their fortune gold mining.
Williams wife Susannah and the other children following later.

Eventually, William purchased the Lady Harriet and the Lady Shenton Mines.

William Sawyer (1833-1914) and
Susannah Sawyer nee McLaren (1848-1921)

The Sawyers outside the Lady Harriet (Menzies WA) Gold Mine.

Reading left to right are:

Charles William James (James and Elizabeths grandsons)

William senior( their son) and Ephraim(my grandfather

Thomas,their grandson

These would have been Grahames, Grandfather two Uncles and Great Great Grandfather

It was a very hard life for the women with all the children, as Kalgoorlie was 82 miles away but they coped and made good lives for all.

My grandfather Tom married Mary in Menzies in 1906 and after living in a cottage moved to a comfortable home of wood and tin. They had 7 children 3 boys and 4 girls, 2 of the girls passing away at a young age one from a hole in the heart.
He was manager of the Lady Harriet and warden of the Freemasons.
My father Hector was their 5th child and worked the mines as well.

The Charles in the above photo is their son which makes him the grandson of James and Elizabeth also on that site is the photo of them all in front of their mine that

My link is James and Elizabeths Grandson Ephraim known as Tom who was my grandfather not to be confused with the Ephraim that James and his second wife Ann Baker had William named him after his half brother.

James Sawyer and Elizabeth Sawyer nee Bland and anyone connected with the family can be proud of William
He arrived in Australia at a time when conditions were harsh with nothing but the work ethic his father had instilled in him.

My own journey of discovery has led me to Mt Bures and although my ancestors go back further my heritage lies with Mt Bures where William left his family and extended family to start a new life in Australia.
Now finally I also have a new family and a place I can proudly say my family comes from Mt Bures, that is my heritage

Grahame (Australia)

Graham (Australia) Part 2
January 2012

James Sawyer and Elizabeth Blands son William (born1833) was also a blacksmith like his father before becoming a merchant seaman jumping ship in Melbourne about 1856.
He married Susannah Mclaren in 1864 and they had 11 children 2 passing away at young age. in 1895 with three of his sons he went to Menzies in wa.
Susannah followed in 1896 and on her arrival remarked look where that silly old man has bought us. William and four of his sons worked hard as miners in Menzies taking on mine leases owning the Lady Shenton and Lady Harriet and eventually buying the Lady Harriet battery later referred to as the Sawyer bros battery and operated up until 1956 when the state battery started up.
The Lady Shenton is still regarded as the most important mine in the Menzie district.
James and Elizabeth had a son and grandchildren that were very highly thought of their grandson Charlie was a member of the roads board for 25 years and the local fire brigade for 20 years he was the first fireman in WAa to receive the excaptains badge for 15 years service as a fireman and five years as captain.
My grandfather Ephraim Thomas known as Tom was also a hard worker on the mine and always said he came from good english stock that thought hard work would never kill you.
He married my grandmother Mary in 1906 and lived in a modest cottage not a english cottage but one off timber and iron with a dirt floor. !!!
He always made his own sandwiches as Mary wasnt neat enough with the fillings. They where all kind and loving family men and Ihope this window into the australian side of James and Elizabeths ancestors show that heritage can be passe
d down through the years and any relation of Elizabeth Bland and James Sawyer can be proud of them.

ADDENDUM:- It is interesting to note that the Blands lived in Mount Bures, but there was also a family in Bures St Mary ( adjacent Parish) called Brands. These were Agricultural Engineers and Blacksmiths, with workshops in the High Street

Acknowledement to:-
Ida McMaster for her valuable assistance
"Mount Bures its Lands and its People" book by Ida McMaster
Grahame and Suzanne from Australia

Shirley Brown from Australia for the Mine and Family Photographs
Moya Sharp for her web site photographs http://www.outbackfamilyhistory.com.au