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Archiver > BLAND > 2007-10 > 1191452622

From: "Murrel Bland" <>
Subject: Re: [BLAND LIST] Blandsgill reunion
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2007 18:03:42 -0500
References: <>

Malcolm: Thanks for the info. My wife and I fell in love with Sedbergh--it
was something out of a storybook. I based my suggestion after reading a
couple of history books about the school. The books probably didn't tell the
whole story. We stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast operated by a most
congenial lady named Kate Vigar. Her husband, also a fine chap, was a
retired math teacher from the Sedbergh School. He provided the history books
about the school. I didn't realize that "prep school" had a different
meaning in England. When in Rome...Regards, Cousin Murrel.
----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 4:08 AM
Subject: Re: [BLAND LIST] Blandsgill reunion

> In a message dated 02/10/2007 22:26:10 GMT Standard Time,
> writes:
> I visited Sedbergh England this summer and tried to track
> relatives from that area. I didn't have enough time, but did find that
> the
> Bland family was very prominent in that area in 1525. They were
> co-founders
> of the Sedbergh Prep School which has a very good reputation,
> particularly
> today. I am trying to find a link from the Virginia Blands and our family.
> I
> have Charles Bland's book, although I have not studied it much.I have
> thought that it might be a good project for the Bland Heritage Foundation
> to
> have a Bland Family reunion in Sedbergh.
> Hello, Murrel, I hope that this reply is not going to upset anyone else!
> Sedbergh is what we (English) call a Public School and, just to confuse
> the
> issue, a 'Prep' school is a junior school which feeds the Public School
> system. The term is a short form of 'preparatory', which describes its
> function;
> to prepare pupils for Public Schools. Sedbergh does have a Preparatory
> School, but it is situated in Low Bentham.
> Sedbergh does indeed have a good reputation, unlike the Blands who were
> co-founders! They tried to sell the school while Lupton, the headmaster,
> was
> away in London! As a headmaster of a Prep school which 'fed' Sedbergh
> (more
> that a quarter of a century ago), I visited the school on many occasions
> and was
> gently ribbed for my nominal association with the Bland family! Its most
> famous recent 'old boy' is Will Carling, a former England Rugby Union
> captain
> and much publicised (in the tabloids), friend of the late Princess Diana.
> Back in the 16th century Sedbergh educated the martyr John Bland, who
> suffered
> at Canterbury and whose sad story is outlined at:
> _
> ( The
> full story is in Foxe's "Book of
> Martyrs" which can be found online.
> According to Carlisle, whose genealogy is often suspect, the senior branch
> of the Sedbergh Blands quickly died out and the younger branch was based
> elsewhere. Leeming (and later Kippax), if my memory serves me well; and
> it often
> doesn't! Later, I believe, even this branch ended and the titles passed
> through the female line to a Mr Davidson on condition that he took the
> name of
> Bland. With this came the Bland family achievement (not crest, which is
> only
> the part of the achievement which is placed above the helm and mantling).
> Carlisle illustrates several variations of the shield, differenced to
> distinguish the several branches, but entitlement to the ancient
> achievement now rests
> with the Suffolk branch. However, they could only trace back their tree
> to
> 1679 and The College of Arms could find no actual evidence that they had
> a
> right to those arms. The fact that they were granted them smacks of
> bribery,
> though this would be impossible to prove. What is certain is that none
> of us
> is entitled to display them, unless we can prove beyond doubt that we are
> directly descended from Michael Bland, for whom Carlisle wrote his book!
> (Having
> said that, I have them on a key ring and beautifully painted and framed
> in
> my study!)
> The above is from memory but easily checked online. The point is that
> Blandsgill, Sedbergh, may not be an ideal place for a reunion. As I
> wrote (off
> list) to Valerie, Blandsgill is "a very unspectacular hamlet and its
> claim to
> be the sole origin of the Blands is not proven. At best, it is the
> earliest
> recorded location of the name in England; perhaps! Next time you are in
> England, may I suggest a visit to Kippax? The Bland seat has gone
> (subsidence
> from the mining activity beneath), but the church is full of Bland
> memorials,
> mostly to do with the Ulster branch of the family." Indeed, I should
> warn
> prospective visitors that Blandsgill does not always appear on maps in
> England.
> It is now more usually called "Chapel Beck", after the small stream that
> runs
> through it from the Howgills.
> Here's hoping that I have not offended anyone this time!
> Malcolm
> Visit The Bland Heritage Foundation at
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