The Origins of the Morgan’s Close Estate Road Names
The road names are:
Morgans Close
Parkes Close
Ross Close
Thorpe Close
Morgans Close – Henry Morgan
Henry Morgan, the son of Thomas and Ann Morgan, was born in 1845 and christened on 16th July 1845 at Saint George church, Leicester. Henry married Sarah Anne (b.1845 Northampton) in 1866 and as far as we are aware they had no children. Henry learnt the drapery trade in Leicester and came to Newark as head assistant to Messrs. Wright; the Stodman Street tailors of that day. He started business on his own account, following John Hage, hatter, in the shop that was later occupied by Mr. R.J.Hambling. On the 1881 census Henry and Sarah lived in Barnby Road, Newark  - his occupation is given as tailor/woollen draper.
Henry was a keen church worker, superintendent of Newark Parish Church Sunday School and also a member of the Philharmonic Society. After a period of successful trading, Henry’s doctor advised him to retire, so he moved first to Fiskerton, and then to the “Old Vicarage”, (Plough corner Beckingham Road) in Coddington c 1899. On the 1901 census he was living with his wife Sarah Anne in Coddington and his occupation was given as “Living on his own means”. 
Henry was keenly interested in all the world of nature, his chief hobby being his large garden. This was his special pride, and the display and profusion of flowers and fruits was apparently a delightful sight. On the 1st August 1901 at the village flower show Henry won no fewer than eight firsts and five second prizes. He also took a great interest in Coddington parish affairs. He was chairman of the Parish Council, a Trustee of Coddington United Charity, a School Manager, and one of the leading organisers of the Flower show.
At one time, his smart turnout, pony and trap, was quite a feature in the village and Newark, and he constantly wore a choice flower in his buttonhole. He was very alert and had a good sense of humour.
On the occasion of their Diamond wedding day, Mr and Mrs Morgan received a letter from the King and Queen: Buckingham Palace 15th February 1926.
“Dear Sir, The King and Queen are much interested to hear that you and Mrs Morgan have recently celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of your Wedding day, and I am desired to convey to you Their Majesties’ sincere congratulations and best wishes on this memorable occasion, together with the hope you may long be spared to each other. – Yours very truly Clive Wigram”.
Sarah Anne Morgan died on the 9th February 1927 in her 82nd year and was buried in Coddington churchyard. Henry by then aged 82, had a housekeeper named Emma. Intensely patriotic, he hoisted the Union flag on his and the King’s birthday from the flagpole in his garden. Charlotte Hackett remembers him as a very kind nice gentleman. Before the days of the National Health Service, when the majority of village people couldn’t afford to go to hospital, Henry Morgan would sign a “Recommend” form for free treatment. Henry died on the 8th June 1940 in his 95th year.
Parkes Close – Samuel and Fred Parkes
The road was named after publican Samuel Parkes and his son Fred a small tenant farmer.
When Samuel Parkes married Emily Henton, at Coddington church on 6th December 1883, he was employed as a miller’s man aged 22, and his father John was a groom. Emily aged 25 was sewing mistress at the school; her father Thomas was an agricultural labourer. Four of their six children were baptised at Coddington church: - Fred 17th March 1893, Elsie 27th March 1995, Lily 24th April 1896 and Alfred 4th June 1899. Between 1892 and 1912 he is listed in trade directories as a shop keeper, victualler and the publican at the Red Lion (which once stood on Main St almost opposite the junction with Chapel Lane). On the 1901 census they are recorded at the Red Lion public house and Samuel’s occupation was publican and farmer aged 38, his wife Emily aged 42, children Annie 17, Maggie 13, Fred 8, Elsie 7, Lily 5 and Alfred 2. The latest entry in Cooks Trade directory of Samuel Parkes as the publican at the Red Lion was in 1942. He was a real character – closing time at the Red Lion would not be called or rung, but Samuel would simply put on his tall silk hat and everyone knew it was time to go home.
His son FredParkes was a small farmer who lived at 79, Beckingham Road in a very small house that had no modern facilities. In the 1918 Thorpe Estate Sale Catalogue, Fred was listed as the tenant of Lots 9 (Moor Brats) and 24, 25, 26 and 27 (all behind Main St, bordering Beckingham Rd, and lying between it and Farm Lot 6, which was bought by James Hollingworth). Fred didn’t buy any of the lots then, but continued to farm various fields in the village – one of which was the grass field across from his house on which Parkes and Thorpe Close were later built.  This field contained an orchard, his farm buildings, and a modern house that was occupied by Mr Fryer. Mr Fryer retailed milk in Newark, which he delivered from two large cans balanced on his bicycle - which was no mean feat as he had an artificial foot and could only pedal with one foot.
Ross Close - George and George Allen Ross
Mr George Rosswas the eldest son of Mr George Ross of Stubton and in 1873 he married Sophia a daughter of Mr Allen, Harrowby Hall, Grantham. They settled in Coddington immediately and George started farming on his own account. His next 42 years of strenuous work met with a great measure of success.
On the 1881 census Mr George Ross senior was 36 years old (b. 1845 Scopwick, Lincoln) and farmed 209 acres employing 5 men & 2 boys. His wife was Sophia aged 39 (b. Harrowby, Grantham) their children were all born in Coddington and baptised at Coddington church: - Sophia Ann 1st March 1874, Nellie 27th February 1876, and George Allen 17th February 1878. In an 1894 trade directory, George snr. was listed as a farmer, maltster, tax collector and highway surveyor. He rented some of his land from James Thorpe - Drove Lane East farm and Home farm (listed as Lots 5 and 6 in the 1918 Estate Sale – Lot 6 included the farm/malting complex on the south side of the Green).
George was very interested in the welfare of others and the well being of the parish. He was a member of the Parish council (immediately after the Local Government Act of 1894 came into force, which established that Parishes of more than 200 people must have an elected Parish Council) and also a long-serving trustee of Birch’s Coddington Charity. For many years was a member of the Newark Rural District Council and its chairman for a year. He was a school governor and on the 26th March 1883 he was party along with James Thorpe, Godfrey Tallents and William Daybell to dismiss the school headmaster John Roberts and replace him with Joseph Chauntry Hunt.
George snr was also very involved in the social life in the village, and on the 1st August 1900 his barn was used for the annual village flower show. In religion he was an ardent Churchman and was a people’s warden; a member of the Diocesan Conference for the Newark Rural Deanery, and a regular attendee at the meetings. He was a staunch Conservative and a strong supporter of the Coddington Habitation of the Primrose League. For nearly 30 years he belonged to the Newark Squadron of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, principally at the time when Colonel James Thorpe was the captain of the local men. He was a fair shot, and was exceptionally good swordsman. George Ross died on the 11th May 1915 and his wife Sophia on the 7th July 1916.
At the village school George Allen Ross passed in 3 subjects in January 1884 and received good attendance award from 1886 to 1892. Leaving school he went to Trent College before working with his father on the farm - by 1916 he ran the farm and was also assistant overseer and village tax collector. At the time of the Thorpe Estate Sale George A Ross was listed as co-tenant with his father of lots 5, 6, 8, 13, 14, 20, 23, 29, 43 (The Laurels). George A  (living at The Gables, Chapel Lane) bought lot 5 Home Farm (later named Hall Farm,136 acres - £6,100), lot 8 arable land (£875) and four cottages lot 36 (at the corner of Chapel Lane, now Rose Cottage next to the Almshouses - £300). Village Farm’ (Manor Dairy Farm) was sold to incomer James Hollingworth for  £3000.
{insert picture of GA and Alathea Ross}
George Allen married Althea, but they did not have any children. George was the godfather of Edward Charles Patchet Daybell (father of Hugh). In 1937 George Allen Ross decided to retire so Mr Arthur Geeson became the tenant at Hall Farm. George Allen Ross lived at the “The Old Vicarage” on Beckingham Road after Henry Morgan died until 1950. He then bought “The Old Parsonage” Newark Road, where he remained until he died on the 12th of December 1952.
 An obituary for George Allen Ross stated that he was a member of the choir for 69 years, a lay reader and was clerk of Coddington village parish council before becoming chairman from 1945 until 1952 and was a past chairman of Newark Rural District Council. For many years he was Clerk to the Birch’s Charity and a member of the board of Guardians. He served on the Newark Internal Drainage Board and the Notts.Agricultural War Committee. In both wars he was a member of the Special Constabulary. For a long time he was a manager of Coddington school and he was a former governor of the Lilley and Stone Girls’ High School, Newark. His wife Althea died on the 10th March 1955 aged 76.
Thorpe Close – The Thorpe Family
The Thorpe family were the principal landowners in the village between 1840 and 1918, were responsible for building Coddington House and for a large part of the funding for rebuilding the church - they and acted as patrons and de facto squires.
Col. James Thorpe 28thAugust 1823 Newark – 13th July 1902 Coddington. James lived at “Beaconfield Hall” he changed the name of the house to Coddington Hall, he owned over 50% of the land and property in the village including the land on which Morgan’s Close was built. An article about him appears in the People section – follow this link. {insert link}
Three of his ten children are: -
Captain John Somerled Thorpe M.C. The 2nd son christened at Coddington Parish Church on the 30th March 1873. John Somerled was educated at Eton and Sandhurst and obtained a commission in the Scots Guards in 1892. He also served in the Boer War - taking part at Graspan, Belmont but not at Maggersfontein - coming through unwounded with medals. After his father Col. James Thorpe died he took over the family business, selling out of the Scots Guards in 1903 (to live at Coddington Hall), but retaining a commission in the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry.
 On 9.5.1904 he married Elizabeth Cecilia Meade, daughter of Canon Sydney Meade of Frankleigh and granddaughter of the third Earl of Clanwilliam at Salisbury Cathedral. They had three children:
James Ian Sydney (bp 11.11.1905); Michael Alexander b 1907 and Constance Cicely b1908.
At the outbreak of war John was in command of the Sherwood Rangers Reserve Regiment, but he rejoined the Scots Guards. In Jan 1916 he was mentioned in despatches and awarded the MC for conspicuous bravery, having collected men to held a position for 3 days at Loos - as a Major. Invalided home with wounds he went for a while to Scotland, then to Wellington Barracks, before returning to France in July. He was killed on 15.9.1916, by a sniper at close range. There were memorial services in Coddington and in London (Scots Guard Memorial Service) - and no doubt also at Ardbrecknish. We have his obituary from the Newark Advertiser (he was a Director of the paper) which reprinted a letter written from the front describing his burial. After John Somerled’s death the family decided to sell the estate in 1918 – the Hall had already been requisitioned by the Army. There is a large marble monument to John Somerled Thorpe in Coddington Church.
Col. Harold Thorpe D.S.O.
Harold was the 3rd son, b. 17th April 1875 in London. Harold also became a soldier in the Sherwood Rangers. On census night 1901, James and his 25 year old Harold are at Coddington Hall with 5 servants, the rest of the family are at their London home. 59 Eaton Place, whilst John and Gervase were with their regiments in S Africa. In 1902 James died and Harold inherited a third of the profit and goodwill of the Maltings business. 
On 12.7.1909 Captain Harold Thorpe of the Sherwood Rangers married Dorothy Marion Tallents, daughter of Godfrey Tallents of Coddington House at Coddington Church. They had 4 children: Margaret Anne, bp 20.4.1911,Bridget Mary and two other daughters. Harold and Dorothy Thorpe (nee Tallents - from Coddington House). The couple farmed at Coddington Moor Farm,from at least 1912, and were the only members of the family to stay in the village after John was killed and the Estate sold off. He bought several lots in the Estate auction, some of which were let to Samuel Parkes, and were later transferred to his brother Gervase.
In World War 1 Harold became a Colonel and earned a DSO in the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry. In World War 1 he saw service in Gallipoli, Palestine and Salonika, earning a DSO. In 1914 he was in command of A-Squadron of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry. His second-in-command, brother-in-law Hugh Tallents, took over the squadron at Gallipoli when Harold was promoted [1c]. By November 1915 [2] Harold had become temporary Lieut. Colonel and was Commanding Officer of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry. After the war he retired from the army and continued to farm at Coddington Moor Farm. He owned some of the land that Morgans Close was built on. From 1928 he is listed as a justice of the peace. He died 1st December 1953, and is buried at Coddington. 
Brigadier General Gervase Thorpe D.S.O. The 5th son of James & Anne Thorpe was born on the 10th June 1877 in Argyll. He also became a career soldier serving in S Africa - taking a distinguished part in the crossing of the Modder River, was at Magersfontein and was shot in the chest at Paardeburg. We have a Newark Advertiser report of Harold (who was in the the Sherwood Rangers) travelling to Southampton to meet him after this injury in May 1900. James died in 1902 after a long illness - both John and Gervase were travelling back from service abroad but arrrived too late for their father’s funeral. Gervase’s inheritance was £5000.
Gervase remained with his regiment, becoming a captain by 1904. By the end of 1915 he had become a Major and was mentioned in despatches - by 1916 he was on HQ staff. He married and had at least two sons. From 1927 he was a Colonel and 1929 a Brigadier General in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. His eldest son, Lieut  Ian Thorpe was killed in action in NW Europe in WW2. Sir Mathew Alexander Thorpe (born 1938), High Court Family judge, is Gervase’s descendent.
Sources: Newark Advertiser, CHG, Census, Charlotte Hackett. Thorpe biography in Newark Library 
Fred Reed 5/11/07, additions J Armstrong.