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Knuston Farm
Top Lodge

By 1871 John Mather was farming 384 acres with 12 labourers and 8 boys.


Extract from notes of J Enos Smith:
Mr Mather was born on October 17th, 1841,
7th son of Mr John Mather, farmer, Knuston, Irchester.

In the 1880s Jonathan Austin, who formerly farmed at Manor Farm, Podington, had taken over and brought his young family to live at Knuston Farm. A daughter, Ada was born at Podington in 1869, followed by John Turnell Austin in 1870, Harry in 1871, Basil George in 1874 and Charlotte in 1876.

It seems that John Turnell Austin went to America, probably in 1890, where he became well-known as an organ builder. He had returned home in the late 1890s to find the family now living at Knuston Farm. Whilst here he and his father built an organ, which was later installed in the Old Baptist Church at Rushden.

Brother Basil also left, and went out to the Klondike to join the "gold-rush" in the late 1890s. He sent back an interesting letter.


Wellingborough News, 22nd July 1887, transcribed by Kay Collins

FIRE AT KNUSTON—At Mr. J. Austin's Lodge, soon after four o'clock in the afternoon on Wednesday, the 13th inst, smoke was seen to issue from a chaff team and loose box, the boarded partition being in flames, which had ascended to the roof. The loose box, which had been used for mares and foals, was filled with trusses of old clover, and this was burnt or spoiled by water used in putting out the fire, chiefly the latter, as most of it was carried out as soon as possible. All hands were actively employed, and all vessels capable of carrying water were used, and much praise is due to the exertions and promptitude of the household, very few men and boys being at home on account of hay-time in the meadow. The fire must have been a very disastrous one if it had not been extinguished in time, as the house and the whole of the buildings adjoin, and there were also three large clover ricks at the back of the building fn the rickyard. The origin of the fire is a mystery, but it is supposed to have occurred through boys playing with pipes and matches, a wanton practice which should be severely punished. The tenant is adequately insured in the Norwich Union Insurance Office, and has thus escaped a great loss.

Wellingborough & Kettering News, June 12th, 1880, transcribed by Kay Collins

A PROLIFIC EWE—A few days ago a ewe, belonging to Mr. Austin, gave birth to no less than five lambs, two of which are now living; the ewe seems as well as though she had only given birth to one.



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