Robert Burch 1834 - 1899

My Great Grandfather Robert Burch, born 14 December 1834 of good farming stock, in the village of Ash in Kent. He was one of 10 children raised by his parents John Burch and Mary Burch née Solly.

Robert lived in Woodnesborough and raised 21 children between his two wives.

In 1858 Robert married Sarah Pemble who was already 5 months pregnant. They had 3 children before Sarah died in 1865.

In 1866 Robert married again this time to 19 year old Emily Drayson who already had a 2 year old illegitimate son Tom Drayson. Their marriage produced a further 17 children.

He progressed from being a Farm Bailiff to an agricultural Engine driver and from around 1883 he is shown as being the proprietor of a steam threshing machine. (see picture below).

This picture is unfortunately undated but it is assumed to be circa 1883. Some of the men have been identified at a much later date. Robert Burch born 1834, John Drayson born c1846 and Steven Burch born 1809. John Drayson was the brother of Emily Burch nee Drayson - she became Swain when she remarried after Roberts death in 1899.

Family verbal history recounts, "It was said that Robert Burch's original threshing machine was towed by four horses from farm to farm and was stored near the old Charity Inn in Woodnesborough, Kent".