Ludlow Castle_5

The is the Story of Andrew Corden CUSTODIAN of LUDLOW CASTLE Told by his Great,Great Great Granddaughter Mandy Sutton.

Andrew Corden was born in March 1805, the year that the Royal Navy under Admiral Lord Nelson triumphed over the combined French Navy and Spanish Navy at the Battle of Trafalgar during the Napoleonic Wars. It was the year that Beethoven's "Heroic" symphony [Sinfonia Eroica] premiered in Vienna. That very month, Thomas Jefferson, only the third President of the newly-formed United States, was sworn in for a second term during which time he bought the Louisiana Territory from France, sent the Lewis and Clark scientific and commercial expedition to the western edges of their vast continent, and abolished the international slave trade. Hans Christian Anderson was also born in 1805.

Andrew was baptised on Sunday, 24th March of that year in the church of St.John the Baptist, Ruyton-of-the-XI-Towns, not far from Shrewsbury in Shropshire. He was the third child of Arthur Corden, a gentleman farmer, and his wife Mary Howord who lived at Lawn Farm which is still there, on Blackbow Hill out to the north of the town.

Andrew Corden was married in 1827 to Sarah French, in the church of St. Mary the Virgin (15th century) - in an open-air ceremony, as the church was undergoing a rebuild having been deemed too small. Sarah was the 7th of 13 children of Francis French and Elizabeth Bull of Bulls Bank Farm, Bramshall, Uttoxeter Staffordshire

The first record that was found of his occupation is 11 years after he married, on 5th June 1838, where he has stated on his new-born daughter Hannah's birth registration that he is an Innkeeper living in Church Street, Shrewsbury
In the census of 1841, 3 years later, he is recorded as being a Police Officer at the age of 36. In 1851 he refers to himself as a Police Constable; by 1861 he is 56 years old and recorded as a Superannuated Police Constable which could mean that he has retired with a pension but equally it could mean that his post or position is one that entitles him to a retirement fund, a post that belongs to a superannuation scheme

Andrew Corden made regular appearances at the court house in the course of his work as a policeman or "special constable" according to records on the Quarter Sessions, between 1844 and 1859. In 1861-1862 he appears in the Quarter Sessions a "JUROR", but in 1866 he is a Fishmonger in Ludlow! but that year he suffered the loss of his 66 year-old wife, which probably prompted his move from their "private house" at 1,Oldfield Cottages (also recorded as Old Field Houses) in Bromfield. On a map dated 1891 Old Field was enclosed by the race course track (today called Ludlow Racecourse). The widowed Andrew Corden moved just a few miles, to Ludlow, where he might have lived with his daughter, Ellen, a Fruiterer on High Street - which might account for his own occupation as a Fishmonger in 1866?

As a former Policeman, Andrew Corden was an ideal candidate for the position of CUSTODIAN of LUDLOW CASTLE, a post he took up sometime prior to the census of 1871 (age 65). This came with a grace-and-favour home at 17, Dinham and he lived here, with an unmarried daughter Elizabeth, until he died on 13 December 1879, at the age of 74

The house at 17 Dinham, is an 18th century Grade II listed building with a Welsh slate roof. Until quite recently it was always the home of the incumbent Custodian of the Castle but is now let out to private tenants by the Powys Estate which owns the Castle and 17 Dinham. The current Custodian carries a very large bunch of keys, which were probably the very same ones Andrew Corden may have carried about with him.


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