Those Places Thursday.. Sutton Cheney

It was interesting this last weekend to see one of my ‘ancestral places’ on the news. Sutton Cheney in Leicestershire was the stamping ground of my MAY ancestors and was in the news as it was a stopping place for Richard III’s cortege.

It has been reported that the King spent his last evening in the village and the church of St. James was where he attended his final mass in 1485. The cortege paused for a short service to take place, which was very well received.

Unfortunately my ancestors wouldn’t have been there at the time. The first ancestor I have recorded in Sutton Cheney was Jeffrey MAY born c1720.  His father, William MAY was originally from Stoney Stanton and his mother, Elizabeth TOWNSEND from Burbage, both in Leicestershire.  I have traced them further back to another Jeffrey MAYE born c1549 in Sussex; he married Joanna DENSTON from Stoney Stanton and settled there.

The MAY family stayed in Sutton Cheney until at least 1811, when my branch moved to Hinckley and into the hosiery trade.

On a visit to the church a few years ago I found gravestones marking the burials of my 5xGreat Grandfather Thomas MAY and one of his sons Jeffrey MAY.

Thomas May 1754-1842 
Jeffrey May 1777-1862

There were other MAY graves in the churchyard and I believe there is also a memorial inside the church, which was unfortunately locked when we visited. Hopefully I will manage a return visit at some point in the future.

Picture Credit: Church ITV News Central

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