Scrapbook of Samuel and Elizabeth Logan and family

Samuel Logan grew up in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. He established a boat building business and he and Elizabeth had six children including my great grandfather, John Maxwell Logan.

Research on the Logan Family by Tony Atienza

Who ARE these people?

Click to find out.

Tony Atienza

I made contact with Tony way back in the late 1990s, early 2000s when researching the origins of the Logans in Cambridge. On my trip to the UK in 2001, we met up and had a very pleasant morning tea and exchange of information. (Well, hardly an exchange of information as he had achieved so much already. I could only fill in a few blanks from the Australian side of things.)

Tony's grandmother, was Clara Rose Bullard, the sister of my great grandmother Alice Logan nee Bullard.

Tony had been a history teacher so he was a stickler for accuracy, supporting evidence and references. I've included all of his references to this document but some I did not have access to at all.

Sadly, Tony passed away in 2017 at the grand old age of 95.

I sincerely hope he wouldn't mind me publishing the information that he gave me back in 2001. It is unedited and, even with so much more information available digitally now, it would still be accurate for what was available at the time - it could only be added to.

Click on the image above to read the obituary in the Essex Live News.

Anne Logan - 16 Feb 2021


Part One :  Samuel Logan

by Tony Atienza

Elizabeth Logan nee Charles (1819-1876) - second wife of Samuel Logan and the mother of their six children.
Samuel Logan
(c 1801-1883)

I start with the Logans partly because there are only two chief characters to consider and because most of the records are near at hand in Cambridge. Also they did have a considerable influence in my mother’s family.

Quite how my grandmother’s Yarmouth Bullards came to meet the Cambridge Logans we may never know,[1] but on Wednesday, the 22nd December 1875 my second surviving great-aunt, Alice Mary Bullard, was married in the Deneside Weslyan Chapel in Great Yarmouth to John Maxwell Logan of Chesterton, on the outskirts of Cambridge.  It was, perhaps, uncomfortably close to Christmas, but the day was luckily an unseasonable 530 F.[2]  The Bullard story is dealt with elsewhere, suffice it to say here that Alice, at 23, was a year older than her groom.   She was supported by her father, William, owner and sea-going master of more than one Yarmouth brig;  John’s father was Samuel Logan, whom we shall be meeting  shortly - interestingly, he was a boat  builder.   My grandmother, Clara, was a witness, as was John’s elder brother, Samuel Charles Logan.

So who were these Logans?

Inquest into the death - apparent suicide - of James Rutt in 1822

It is, of course, a name that smacks of Scotland; indeed there was an Elizabeth Logan who married in Cambridge in 1805 and is recorded in the 1851 Census as having been born in Edinburgh in 1781.  There is a family legend that a farmer’s daughter from Edinburgh named Elizabeth Logan, became pregnant through the efforts of a Cambridge don holidaying in Scotland.  The story goes that she made her way to Cambridge but her seducer had vanished by the time she arrived.[3]    Although we know very little about our Samuel Logan’s early years, later Census returns indicate that he was born about 1802-3. Could this Elizabeth Logan, in 1805 getting wed to thatcher William Jolley, possibly have been his mother?  There were several Jolley families around in Cambridge in the first half of the nineteenth century, but no connection between them and the Logans has been established.  No doubt from his own information to the returning officer at the 1871 Census, he is shown as having been born in the Cambridge parish of St. Andrews the Less in 1802, but there is no sign in the registers.

This article I found from 1879 - four years after the marriage of John and Alice - may answer the question posed by Tony as to how John came to meet his bride from Yarmouth.

The first firm evidence for his existence comes in 1824, when the Chesterton parish records show him marrying Hester Rutt, with a Charles Rutt as one of the witnesses.   He seems to have been close to the Rutts; Hester, who had been widowed a couple of years before, had been married to James Rutt and had borne at least four children.  After the birth of their son Alfred on September 14th 1822, this family suffered a double tragedy at the end of that year: James died on November 12th, aged only 36, then their four-year-old  daughter, (H)epsebar, died on the 14th.  (See newspaper extract on inquest at right.) Hester was left with three children aged 7 years,  6 years and 2 months;  it is not surprising that she welcomed Samuel Logan.  At the wedding ceremony neither of them signed their names - they made marks.

Frederick Charles Rutt (1817-1890) son of James and Hester and step-son of Samuel Logan. There are records of three sons, Alfred Logan Rutt, Logan Rutt and Samuel Rutt which would indicate the close relationship he had with the older Samuel.

Esther and Samuel were together for twenty-six years, until she died in 1850, but I have  found no records of any off-spring.   Hester’s family seem to have been happy with her remarriage: her son Frederick gave three of his children names that echo the Logan relationship - Alfred Logan; straight Logan and Samuel.  As far on as the 1871 Census we find Frederick’s grandchildren being given Logan as a second name.    When in 1838 Frederick married Martha Jarrold in St Botolph’s parish, he was recorded as ‘son of Samuel Logan’, in fact, of course, he was his step-son - Samuel was present as a witness.  

Esther died on January 7th. 1850 and Samuel wasted no time in finding a new wife in Elizabeth Charles;  the wedding took place in the parish of St. Andrews the Less on Tuesday  April 2nd;  this time they both signed their names.   One other feature of their marriage certificate is that, not surprisingly if our legend has substance, Samuel does not appear to know who his father was - the spaces for that name and occupation are left blank.   One has to draw one’s own conclusions.

RUTT/LOGAN Connections

It may be that the Rutts brought Samuel Logan into the boatbuilding business, but we do not have any firm evidence of this until 1831, when Trinity College Boat Club ‘employed Logan to clean’ their boats, although they were storing the boats at King’s yard.[4] Such boat builders as King, Searle and Winter were building boats to the crews’ specification as they began serious racing.  In fact racing on the Cam did not really get under way until about 1825, when the first college clubs appear, although there had been scratch competitions before that.  As we have seen, that was just after Samuel had married Hester Rutt.

Frederick Charles Rutt (1817-1890) son of James and Hester and step-son of Samuel Logan. There are records of three sons, Alfred Logan Rutt, Logan Rutt and Samuel Rutt which would indicate the close relationship he had with the older Samuel.

Some early boats were bought in London, and it seems that the Eton College boys brought the Thames river-racing sport to Cambridge when they  came up to university.   A real upper-class pastime!   Soon, however, the crews were having their boats built locally by yards along the Cam.  In 1834 Logan offered an estimate to Trinity College for a new boat, but another boatyard owner  from Chesterton, Searle, who had come, significantly, from Lambeth, won the contract.  ‘Only a few months later the Club directed Logan to build a new eight-oared cutter on the same lines at a cost of £70’, followed by further orders for deal and oak boats.[5]  By 1828 most boats were eight-oared, typically reaching 38ft. long, 5 ft. wide and 26ins. deep.  So by the early 1830s Samuel Logan must have been fully qualified to construct boats of this size and quality.  How he acquired his skill is not clear, perhaps he had served an  apprenticeship, although no record of this has come to light.

I am not yet sure of the site of his early boatyard, but there are indications that it may have been off Thompson’s Lane, alongside the river, near Magdalen Bridge.  Clearly he was well-regarded by the boat clubs:  in the May Term of 1838 the Lady Margaret boat was the fastest on the river ‘by a stop watch timed by Logan’.[6]    That July at his step-son’s marriage, Samuel was a recognised  ‘boatbuilder’.    In 1840 he was recorded as ‘boatbuilder’ of Thompson’s Lane[7] ;  this is clarified in the 1841 Census (6 June) where he is shown living with ‘Esther’ in Sedge Yard, off Thompson’s Lane and another step-son, Alfred, aged 15, ‘boatbuilder’s apprentice’.   In the same yard was Frederick Rutt, ‘boatbuilder’ with wife and baby son - Alfred Logan. 

Now in middle age at 40, Samuel is moving up.   The forties kept him busy:  in 1842 his step-son presented him with another grandson, Logan - what else! - followed by another - Samuel - in 1849.  Business seems brisk:  ‘Logan built us a new ship....the fastest ever constructed’ reported the Lady Margaret Club in the Lent Term 1845; then, in May 1847, ‘Logan built a new outrigger for the first exchange for last term’s ship’.   The Club had a set-back in 1848 when ‘ spite of a new ship by Logan, the races proved disastrous’.  In the May 1850 races, however, his boats were still keeping the Lady Margaret Club at the head of the river.[8]                      

Another activity came Samuel’s way in the 1840s.  Since the Reform Acts of 1832 and 1835 had given the vote in boroughs to male freeholders who occupied premises with a rental of more than two pounds a year, we find Rutts, Charles and Logans exercising their right.  At the Parliamentary election on June 29th 1841: Samuel Logan, ‘boatbuilder’, and Charles Rutt, ‘shoemaker’, voted for the Radicals, whereas Charles Charles, ‘groom’ - in 1850 to become Samuel’s father-in-law - voted Tory.[9]

As we mentioned above, 1850 was a turning point in his career:  his wife Hester died in January in Victoria Street to which they had moved by 1845, although it seems he retained premises in Sedge Yard by the river until 1850.[10]   We have also noted - with raised Victorian eyebrows - that Samuel married again within three months.   Hester was 60 when she died of ‘dropsy’; his new bride, Elizabeth Charles, was 31.    Within a year, on March 18th 1851[11], they had a son, Samuel Charles - a nice combination of family names.  About then, approaching 50, he must have moved into the Chesterton Road area, since his second son, John Maxwell was born there in 1853[12] although at the 1851 Census he and Elizabeth were staying with her mother and father - a groom - at ‘4, Christ’s Pieces’ just round the corner from Victoria Road.   There is a little puzzle here, because the Census was taken on March 30th, but baby Samuel Charles, only twelve days old, does not appear.  Even if they had left him at home with a nurse he should have been recorded. 

Stepson Frederick Rutt with a growing family had by 1851 also moved out of what may have been the less than salubrious Sedge Yard, round the corner into Portugal Place, a little further from the river, but still near Thompson’s Lane.  In fact as late as 1878 directories are still referring to Frederick in Thompson’s Lane and, in 1874, to Alfred Rutt, boatbuilder, at ‘3, Rutt’s Cottages, Thompson’s Lane, next to Rutt’s boathouse’.[13]

The Rutt/Logan family tree on p.2 above shows that Samuel’s sister-in-law, Mary, was married to Thomas Waites and had a son, David Charles.  Born in 1837, now just called ‘Charles Waites’, he turns up in 1861 in Samuel’s Chesterton household  correctly labelled ‘nephew.’  He must have been useful as a 23 year-old ‘boatbuilder’ to Samuel, now 58 and suffering from deafness. His own eldest son was still only nine, and the second son, John Maxwell, who would eventually take over the business, a year younger. 

19th century vintage photograph - Lady Margaret Boat Club, Cambridge, rowing team, 1890s. Image shot 1890.
Exact date unknown.

Samuel Logan had now moved nearer the centre of the boatyard area which by the 1850-60 decade  stretched from Magdalene Bridge down river to the end of Midsummer Common. At first the boatbuilders leased or sold boats to the colleges and rented them storage space, quays and even complete boathouses.  By the 1860s, however, the boat clubs were buying land and building boathouses to their own specifications - each with its own changing rooms and other leisure facilities.   They often bought the land along the river from the old boatbuilders, and the boatbuilders themselves sold each other sites and buildings.   Without being quite sure, it appears that Logan bought up Cross’s business, because the 1840 Tithe Map for Chesterton[14] shows Charles Cross occupying a ‘boat establishment’ just where Logan’s yard appears on later maps - that is near where the Victoria Bridge was to be built in 1890.   In 1840 other members of the Cross family had premises opposite Midsummer Common and land near Cutter Ferry.  Perhaps Logan managed to acquire all this Cross property, because, just downstream from today’s Cutter Ferry Path and Elizabeth Bridge, we now find Logan’s Way running down from St. Andrews Road, Chesterton, to the extensive Selwyn College boathouse - across the river from the gas works! Certainly by 1861 three members of the Cross family had moved into Ferry Path, very close to Chesterton village. John Cross was then 86, but still employing 3 men and 2 boys as a boatbuilder[15].  There are further ghosts of Logan along the riverbank:  Selwyn once used the building rented by Jesus College from Logan, which stood right behind his house in Chesterton Road.  Again, down river, beside Logan’s Way, is Logan’s Meadow, soon to be tidied up by the City Council.[16]

Logan's Way and Logan's Meadow in Chesterton, Cambridge.

So between the 1861 and 1871 Censuses,  in spite of advancing years and the handicap of deafness, Samuel Logan must have been prospering, with the wealth of the well-heeled upper-class colleges trickling down into his pockets.   His wife, Elizabeth, was 43 and he 59 when their youngest son, William Henry, was born in 1862.  By the time we come to the 1871 Census he has six children at home, the eldest already an undergraduate at St. John’s College, having passed through the Perse School.  ‘Home’ was the large, double-fronted Victoria House, then numbered 24, Chesterton Road, standing in its own garden.[17]  The family has a domestic servant, and he employs  two men, one boy and an apprentice.   Interestingly his second son, John Maxwell, is in 1871 an eighteen-year-old ‘boatbuilder’s apprentice’, and destined to take over the business, while the other sons went through college to careers in education and the Church.[18]

By the time of his wedding in 1875, described earlier, John seems to be taking the leading role in his father’s firm.  Samuel was probably feeling his mid-70s age;  the next year his wife, Elizabeth died and was buried in Chesterton on December 2nd.  Young enough by our standards, she was only 57.   In December 1878 he was signing his will, but only by making his mark. Between 1877 and 1881 three grandchildren were born and one died.   The last snapshot we have of his life is the 1881 Census, taken on April 3rd, which shows him still living in the same, probably rambling, Victoria House with his last remaining children, Benjamin, then 21, William (19) and 24 year-old Mary who was, without doubt, his queen-pin housekeeper.  She was helped by  Elizabeth Farrington, a ‘general servant’ of 16.   Poor Samuel was still deaf, which must have been a great handicap.  Within a few months, on September 17th. Benjamin left home to marry 16 year-old Ellen Germany, daughter of a local florist. 

Within a couple of years, on the 24th March 1883, Samuel died. The will, which he had drawn up in December1878 and slightly modified in the following year, shows that he owned four houses in Chesterton Road, probably those numbered 18,20,22 and 24 on the plans.   These he distributed to his son Thomas, two to John and Victoria House to Mary together with, in effect, all its contents.  John also received all his boatbuilding plant and stock.  The will also shows that he owed a £400 mortgage to Banham - another boatbuilder; from whom he may have bought some property.[19]

[1] But see evidence mentioned in biography of  my grandmother, Clara Bullard, for 1868.

[2] Bury & Norwich Post  28 Dec. 1875 p.5

[3] Information from Dorothy McKay of New Plymouth, New Zealand, who has a family connection.

[4] See biographical listings.  Also Foster & Harris Lady Margaret Boat Club (1890);  W.R.Ball History of 1st. Trinity Boat Club (1908)

[5] W.R.Ball (1908) p.43

[6] Foster & Harris (1890)  p.23

[7] Pigot’s Directory of Cambridgeshire 1840

[8] Foster & Harris (1890) pp.38,44,45,66

[9] Poll Books in Cambridge Record Office.

[10] Slater’s & Pigot’s Directories of Cambridgeshire 1850

[11] Alumni Cantabrigienses  (1951) Vol.4.

[12] 1861 Census - Chesterton Road.

[13] Spalding’s Directories of Cambridge 1874 p.103 & 1878 p.49

[14] Cambridgeshire Record Office

[15] 1861 Census - Sch. 80a - Ferry Path, Chesterton

[16] Personal visit Dec. 1998

[17] See 1885 25” O.S. map.  Now has shop built onto front - Dec. 1998.

[18] See Appendix A  - list of additional Logans.

[19] Transcript of will on file.                                                                                   

The combined photos in the heading are believed to be Samuel and Elizabeth Logan nee Charles. This was the second marriage for Samuel having married Hester Rutt who had been widowed with young children under tragic circumstances.
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