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Fordham windmill stood in the grounds of The White House, behind buildings on the south side of Fordham Heath, about 150 yards from the road (now known as Huxtables Lane) to Eight Ash Green.

Fordham windmill, was brought c1836 to this site, from some place unknown, by Lingo Robinson, a millwright himself, from Ballington. The mill made an inauspicious debut in circumstances detailed in the insolvency hearing by Ling Robinson against Abraham Scott, the elder and his son Abraham, in which the allegations were of fraudulent disposal and concealment of property!. The Scott's were acquisitive beyond their means. Scott, the elder owned a cottage and rented two acres of land at Fordham, his crops being distrained upon for arrears of rent. By raising a loan on the security of two cottages, the Scotts bought the windmill for 165, removed it to their premises, and increased the mortgage first to 450, and then to 650. According to the Scott's, Robinson failed to complete his work, leaving the mill unfinished.

The structure was subsequently offered to a Mr. Daniel, of West Bergholt, for 800, it allegedly having been valued at 900. Daniel had previously made a loan of 131 to a brother of Abraham Scott, for whom the latter purported to act as guarantor. The purchase of the mill was declined by Daniel, in view of a defective title. As it was in a dangerous condition, the court was informed, Scott, with the agreement of the mortgagee, had employed Bowles, a Colchester millwright, to remove one pair of stones, worth between 10 and 20, in order to ease the mill, which was ready to fall, and as advance payment in kind for further work. Bowles was obliged to surrender the stones, being warned that he could be indicted and sentenced to a maximum of three years imprisonment for concealment of property due to creditors.

Abraham Scott the elder was released, having served already a term in prison, but his son was sentenced to eight months, for his part in the disposal of assets being viewed more gravely. Following his release from Chelmsford prison in May 1837, the mill was advertised for sale in June 1837. It had two pairs of French stones, a flour mill and a new brick roundhouse; also the attraction of good access to Colchester. The freehold was bought by George Spooner, of Feering, for 575.

Charles Dorling was the miller in 1850, and until 1862, when he auctioned his trade utensils after the mill had been offered for sale by private treaty, now having three pairs of stones. The last miller using wind in Fordham was Charles Appleby, whose term extended at least from 1866 to 1885; land tax returns credit Appleby with a mill in the latter year, but with cottage and garden only in 1887 (1886 record missing).

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Last updated: 01 January 2003 17:54:56