Jonathan Dudley – Publican of Burpham

Moira MacQuaide’s history of Burpham

“Jonathan Dudley, long time publican of the Green Man in Burpham, is one of my local history conundrums!”

Jonathan was born in Leighton Buzzard in 1846. In his youth he was an agricultural labourer on farms in Bedfordshire, then worked as a coachman. In 1869 he married Martha Tarrier in Luton and they had eight children, though five died in infancy, the last three being born in Worplesdon. It’s not clear why they moved to Surrey, or how John (as he became known) came to Burpham, but by 1876 he was working in Worplesdon as a coachman.

It’s likely that they didn’t live in Burpham as they had three of their children baptized at St Mary’s, Worplesdon in 1876, but the rest were baptized at St Luke’s. By 1878 he was recorded as being the Publican for the Green Man and was living there with his family and lodgers. The pub was owned by the Elkins family until 1890, when it was sold to Hodgsons Kingston Breweries.

Martha died in 1884, aged 37 years, leaving John working at the pub and looking after four small children. She was buried in St Luke’s graveyard. In the late 19th century, Burpham was still a small hamlet, with around 350 residents, one church and two pubs. John would have been an important man in the community, knowing most people as the Green Man would have been a popular meeting place. In 1888, having lived here for about ten years, John married Maud Ellen Durrant Mansell of Chiddingfold. They had four children, of which their only son, Frederick, served in the Great War.

John would have been an important man in the community, knowing most people as the Green Man would have been a popular meeting place.

John continued as publican at the Green Man into the early 20th century, but from 1909 to 1912 he was replaced by Alfred Jacob. For some reason he became a builder’s contractor and was living with his wife and four children in George Road in Guildford. (Why the change?) However, by 1913 John was back running the pub, which he continued to do until about 1922.

From about 1920 they lived at Cornflower Cottages in Burpham, no longer residing at the pub. John died in 1927 and Maud Ellen moved to Woking until her death in 1936. She was buried with John at St Luke’s.

John and Maud Ellen’s headstone in St. Luke’s graveyard.

Many of John’s children stayed in the Burpham and Woking area and it may be that some of their families are still living here – I would love to find out. John Junior, and wife Emily, lived on Burpham Lane for many years and his
two daughters attended the local school.

But the questions remain – why did Jonathan Dudley come to Surrey and why, in his sixties, did he change jobs but then return to the pub for another ten years? If you know then please do tell me!

If you are willing to share your memories and/or photos to tell us more about Burpham then please contact Moira MacQuaide, either by e-mail ( or by phone or text (07963 756543). My two books (‘The History of Burpham Primary School’ and ‘Burpham – A Gateway to Guildford’) are still available from me for £10 (free delivery locally) or on Amazon.