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Peony Baggins Burrows


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For Dragon Haiku May 2017

A peony rosette bought at Fantasy Faire 2011 from Daisy's Rosette Stand!

Proud Owner of a PanOlympics 2010 T-Shirt

In The One Ring:

I am Mrs. Peony Burrows nee Baggins, at your service (bows). I am a Hobbit of the Shire. I was born in Shire Reckoning (SR) 1350. It is now SR 1402. (If you do the math you will discover my secret, I am 52 years old). According to the outside world, it is Third Age 3002.

Milo Burrows is my husband. He is a fine Hobbit and I love him dearly, but alas, he never answers his letters. He was born in SR 1347 (so he is 55). Our children are Mosco (15), Moro (11), Myrtle (9), and Minto (6). Mosco and Moro are fine young men. They are my husband's favorites. I love all my children but I pay special attention to my two youngest, my little girl, Myrtle, and my youngest son, Minto.

I have two older brothers, Ponto and Porto. Ponto Baggins is four years older than me and Porto is two. Ponto Baggins is the father of the lovely Angelica, who unfortunately thinks very highly of herself. She was born in SR 1381.

My parents are Posco Baggins and Gilly Brownlock. Posco Baggins is a second cousin of Drogo Baggins. Drogo Baggins and his wife Primula met with that unfortunate boating accident in SR 1380, leaving their young son, Frodo (b SR 1368), an orphan.

Milo Burrows is the son of Rufus Burrows and Asphodel Brandybuck. My mother-in-law, Asphodel Burrows (nee Brandybuck), is the last surviving daughter of Mirabella Took, one of the amazing Took sisters. She is also the last surviving sister of Primula Baggins (nee Brandybuck). Asphodel still has two surviving brothers, Rorimac Brandybuck, also known as Old Rory, and Saradas Brandybuck. Old Rory has two sons, Saradoc Brandybuck, who is the father of young Meriadoc Brandybuck, and Merimac Brandybuck, who is the father of Meriadoc's cousin, Berilac. Old Rory's brother, Saradas Brandybuck, is the father of Seredic, who is the father of three fine children.

Some of Milo Burrows' relations are quite well to do. The noted firm of Messrs Grubb, Grubb, and Burrowes... Oh, I'm sorry. Is all this genealogical information boring you? I am afraid us hobbits are prone to prattle on about genealogy and food. Speaking of which, are you hungry? We have some nice fine taters and mushroom pie...

Take a stroll over to Shire of the Hobbits and learn more about hobbits!

In Narratives of Early America:

I help run the South Farthing Coffeeshop

Peony Burrows was born a Baggins. While some families had ancient lineages, family crests, and Latin mottos, the Bagginses were a quiet folk who had forgotten their ancient heritage. Some downplayed her family's origins and said the name suggested a substantial snack kept in a bag. Others claimed the name came from the Middle English Somerset surname Bagg, which referred to a bag of money.

Peony Baggins was born in 1724 in Sarehole, Worcestershire near the larger town of Birmingham. In 1775 she was 51. Peony's father, Paul Baggins (also known as Posco), was a blacksmith who had a repair shop by the Colebank Gate. Many coaches and other vehicles came by the Colebank Gate as they prepared to cross the treacherous Cole. Peony's mother, Gilly Brownlock, came from Wootton, Oxfordshire. Peony's Aunt Priscilla (Prisca) married William Bolger, a wheelwright, who had a shop by the Colebank Gate.

Sarehole was a small farming community with many tenant farmers and a water mill. The mill was used to grind grain, sharpen tools, etc. It had been built in 1542 under the name of Beddle's Mill. This later became Biddle's Mill. In the 18th century it was called High Wheel Mill and later Little Mill. The Mill had a single water wheel (this would change in 1807).

The Mill had recently changed hands several times. Matthew Boulton's father rented the Mill and Sarehole Farm in 1756. Matthew Boulton took over the Mill when his father died and made buttons and rolled metal. In 1761, he moved his business to Soho in Handsworth. John Jones later ran the Mill and ground cutlery and edge tools. Several generations of the Eaves family owned the Mill. The last owner, Richard Eaves, rebuilt the Mill between 1765 and 1768. He kept the Mill going for some years but he was slowly going bankrupt. (He would go bankrupt in 1775).

The local river, called the Cole, sometimes had violent flash floods. The floods became more violent as the forests were cut down. There were wooden bridges for foot traffic going across the fords of the Cole but coach drivers and others on horses had to wade the fords. The Warwick Road was so bad that many avoided it altogether. The coach came near the area. People could request a stop at Bull's Head but it was not a place where horses were changed.

Times were difficult and the young Peony was sent to Birmingham to earn money as a seamstress. She lived with her great-aunt Rosa's relations in Birmingham. Her brother, Paul Todd (Ponto), also lived with their great-aunt's family and worked in a metalworking factory. Birmingham was founded in the 6th century as an Anglo-Saxon farming hamlet on the River Rea. The name came from "Beorma ingas ham", which means, "home of the people of Beorma." In the Domesday Book of 1086, the place was a small village worth only 20 shillings. Birmingham grew into a market town after the 12th century, when Birmingham was granted a royal charter to hold a market. The market was called the Bull Ring. By the 16th century, Birmingham had access to iron ore and coal and was a big metalworking center. By the 17th century and the English Civil War, Birmingham was known as a big manufacturing town that specialized in making small arms and guns. The city grew quickly during the Industrial Revolution, which began in the mid-18th century.

In Birmingham she met a dashing young man named Miles (Milo) Burrows. He was a blacksmith like Peony's father. They fell in love and married.

The Burrows' family, unlike the Bagginses, claimed descent from a Norman duke and had a family motto. The Burrows were descended from Hubert de Burgh, Lord of the Manor of Tichfield in Hampshire. The family motto, when translated into English, was, "By courage and faith." While some said the Burrows' name was of French origin, the rulers of Normandy were really Vikings who settled in northern France under Thorfinn Rollo, first Duke of Normandy. The Burrows name appeared in the Census of 1086 by Duke William.

The Burrows family was quite mobile. Some lived in England and some in the American Colonies. Miles was not much of a letter writer but Peony soon found that she really enjoyed writing letters, especially to people in exotic locations. Even though she had not met the family members in the Colonies, she felt like she knew them well after many years of letter writing.

In England she wrote to Samuel Burrows of Tettenhall (born in the 1730s) and his wife, Mary Hollinshead (born 1736) of Walsall. They were married in 1762 at St Matthews, Walsall. Their sons were Samuel Burrows, born in 1763 at Tettenhall, and John Burrows, born in 1768. Samuel Burrows, the eldest boy, had attended Wolverhampton Grammar School since 1771. Tettenhall was a pretty, fertile area by the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. Many people who lived there were involved with businesses in Wolverhampton. The name of Tettenhall came from Theotenhall or House of the Pagans, or it came from Teotta's Halh, where Teotta was a person's name and Halh was a sheltered place. Walsall was east of Wolverhampton and northwest of Birmingham. Its name came from Walh halh" or "valley of the Celtic speakers". Walsall was a small market town with a weekly market since 1220. There was a mayor since the 14th century. Queen Mary's Grammar School was established by Queen Mary I in 1554. The school's emblem was the Tudor Rose and the sheaf of arrows of Catherine of Aragon tied with a Staffordshire knot. The town grew rapidly during the Industrial Revolution as people made saddles, chains, buckles and plated ware. There was also a nearby limestone quarry.

There were also relatives in the Colonies. John Burrows of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, was born in 1719, age 56 in 1775. He married a Lois Hubbell. The Hubbells were originally a Dane family. Their family came from Ipsley, Warwickshire originally. John and Lois Burrows had four children. Their youngest was also named John. John Burrows, Jr. was born May 15, 1760, so he is 15. (John Sr. will become a Captain January 27, 1777 and a Major on January 22, 1779. His son will become an express rider at Norristown, Pennsylvania for the army and then spend the winter at Valley Forge. He was with General Washington for 14 months. When his horse is shot out from under him at the Battle of Monmouth, General George Washington presented him with another).

She also wrote to the descendants of John, George and Robert Burroughs who settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630. Another branch of the family settled in Virginia in 1639. That branch came from Mathew Burrow. William and Jane Burrowe settled in St. Christopher in 1635 and also left descendants.

Of course, she also wrote to her relatives as well. Her brother, Paul Baggins (Ponto), lived in Birmingham with his wife and their only surviving child, Angelica. She had other relatives in Birmingham, Leicester, Oxfordshire, Yorkshire, and Somerset.

As the family grew, Miles decided to relocate the family to London where the business opportunities were greater. Peony thought she would never get used to such a large and frightening town as London, but, of course, she did. Their children are Matthew (Mosco), Morris (Moro), Myrtle, and Michael (Minto).

Sources of Inspiration:

Ancestry.com (for the Baggins information)

History of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, 1887, Burrows Family - (http://www.searchforancestors.com/bios/pennsylvania/history_of_lycoming_county/burrows_family.php)

Burrows Family Crest and Name History - http://www.houseofnames.com/xq/asp.fc/qx/burrows-family-crest.htm

The Burrows Family of Tettenhall and the Hollinshead Family of Walsall - http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/genealogy/burrows/burrows.htm

Burrows' Website - http://bbbandbonline.com/

The History of Tettenhall - http://www.tettenhall.co.uk/history/hist_int01.htm

Tettenhall - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tettenhall

Birmingham - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham

Sarehole - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarehole

http://www.john.lerwill.btinternet.co.uk/personal/billesley_h.htm

http://www.john.lerwill.btinternet.co.uk/personal/billesley_i.htm

http://www.schoolsliaison.org.uk/2004/sarehole/resources/millhistory.htm

And, of course, Lord of the Rings

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Zone : History
Early American Narratives

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