Henry Ernest Ruddy 1882-1966


The Revd. Henry Ernest Ruddy (r) with his son Denys Henry, taken at Braunston Rectory about ?1942-44. Denys then serving in the RAF.

Born on 13th October 1882, Henry Ernest was the eldest of five children born to Thomas and his second wife Frances Harriet. Remarkably, Henry’s only child, Denys, was the only grandchild from this marriage.  Since he did not marry, the line from Thomas and Frances Harriet, and from Frances Harriet’s Pamplin ancestors stopped with him.

Henry was an able child, gaining entrance to Aberystwyth College, later University and graduating in Applied Maths.  However, feeling a vocation to ordination, Henry then went up to Jesus College Oxford to read Theology. After serving a curacy in Mold, Flintshire, he later took up incumbencies in Scartho, Lincolnshire and then at Aston Clinton and Braunston.  Further research is required into the full details of Henry’s life.

Henry married Lilian Ward (1894-1984) on June 26th 1915.  Although Lilian was born in Staffordshire, the couple married at St. John’s Cathedral, Winnipeg,  Canada.  I believe they met in Wales, as Lilian was living in Rhyl  with her sister Catherine and brother in law Albert Hill from the 1911 census.  I have not been able to discover the circumstances of their Canadian wedding.

Henry inherited his father’s love of the natural world, and in particular of astronomy.  He and Denys were pretty serious in their study of astronomy, using a powerful telescope.


Henry Ernest was the keeper of the Ruddy and Pamplin family Archives, and an indefatigable researcher of the family tree, which he was well placed to do as a clergyman.  He would write to other parish priests around the country asking them to extract information from their registers, which were at that time still kept in vestries, rather than gathered up into county archives.  Through Henry Ernest and Denys Henry, the paperbave passed to the present author, who is doing everything possible to interpret, document and preserve them for posterity.


Henry (right) Denys (centre) and Frances Harriet 1884-1954, Henry’s younger sister, with Perro the dog at Aston Clinton

More about the older half siblings and the younger siblings as they appear in Thomas’ journals.

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