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Name: John Orton

Burial Number: 0241

Gender: Male

Occupation: Clergyman; Author

Born: 17/6/1837

Died: 24/02/1895

Buried: 28/02/1895


John Swaffield Orton was a twin, born on 17th June 1837 on the Isle of Wight. He was baptised, with his brother, Charles, on the day of their birth at St. Thomas, Ryde. His father was John Swaffield Orton Snr., 27yrs, and his mother was Elizabeth, nee Frampton, 22yrs. John and Charles had 4 siblings, Owen b.1838, Eliza b.1840, Laura b.1844, and Ellen b.1849.

John’s father was a man of great wealth, he described himself on various census records as a fund-holder, living on dividend interest, and a solicitor. When he died in 1888, he left estate of £81,000, equivalent to £10.8m. in 2021. John and his brother, Owen, both went into the Church, his twin, Charles, became a member of the stock exchange, they all left estates in excess of £2m. (2021 value).

John studied at King’s College, London, and went into the Church; at 23yrs of age he was Curate of Shalfleet, a village on the I.O.W., and a few years later he became Rector of Beeston St. Mary, Norfolk, where he remained for 29 years.  On 24th July 1877, when he was 40yrs, John married Rebecca Jane Hendry, 27yrs, at the Parish Church, Beeston. They had 2 children, John Swaffield Orton, September 1886, and daughter, Ellery Swaffield Orton, July 1889.  John was also an author, he wrote “The Beeston Ghost”, today this work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important.

After 1891, John and his family moved to Worthing, Sussex, where they lived at a property they named Beeston, in Wordsworth Road, where, on 24th February 1895, John died, aged 57yrs.  Probate was granted to his widow, Rebecca Jane, effects £20776 12s 10d. Value 2021 – £2.8m.

Researcher: Maggi Martin

The Grave

No headstone image available

Location in Cemetery

Area: SWS Row: 1 Plot: 22

Exact Location (what3words): odds.sung.status

Ashes or Urn: Unknown



No description of the headstone has been added.


in loving memory of John Swaffield Orton Priest 29 years Rector of Beeston Next Mileham, Norfolk died February 24th 1895 aged 57 years "So He giveth His beloved sleep" Also of Rebecca Jane his wife died January 20th 1922 aged 71 years

Further Information


Name: John Swaffield Orton

Gender: Male

Born: 17/6/1837

Town: Ryde

County: Isle of Wight

Country: England


Maiden Name: Not applicable

Marriage Date: 24/7/1877

Spouse First Name: Rebecca

Spouse Second Name: Jane

Spouse Last Name: Hendry

Town of Marriage: Beeston

County of Marriage: Norfolk

Country of Marriage: England

Information at Death

Date of Death: 24/02/1895

Cause of death: Unknown

Address line 1: Beeston

Address line 3: Wordsworth Road

Town: Worthing

County: Sussex

Country: England


No obituary has been entered.

Personal Effects

Money left to others: £20776 12 s 10 d

Current value of effects: £2800000

Census Information


John 4yrs is living at Carisbrooke, IOW with John 30yrs, Elizabeth 25yrs, Charles 4yrs, Owen 2yrs, Eliza 6mths, Mary Ann Curden 15yrs Servant


John 13yrs is living at 6 Hill road, St Marylebone, Middlesex with John S Orton 40yrs, Elizabeth Orton 38yrs, Charles Orton 13yrs, Owen Orton 12yrs, Eliza S Orton 10yrs, Laura Orton 6yrs, Ellen Orton 2yrs, Mary Ann Grant 17yrs Servant, Fanny Grant 20yrs Servant, Elizabeth Mapy 19yrs Servant, Sarah Miles 22yrs Servant


John 23yrs is living as a lodger at the Vicarage, Shalfleet, Hampshire as Curate of Shalfleet with Frederick Marks 31yrs Carpenter, Sarah Marks 31yrs


John S Orton 32yrs is living at the Rectory in Beeston as Rector of Beeston with Amelia Pile 18yrs Cook, Ann Pilgrim 16yrs Housemaid


Living at Fransham Road, Beeston, Norfolk. John S. Orton, 55yrs, Rector of Beeston, wife, Rebecca Jane, 40yrs, son, John S., 4yrs, daughter Ellery S., 1yr, plus 3 domestic servants.

Miscellaneous Information

John Swaffield Orton’s grandfather was Charles James Orton 1768-1810; Charles was a Gentleman of the Pantry to King George III from 1801-10. These managerial duties involved ensuring bread and bakery products were provided daily to the King’s household wherever they were staying, and to other royal officials totalling between 200-300 people. He is listed as an ‘Officer of the Crown’.

Charles married Eliza Swaffield, the daughter and heiress of John Swaffield (1732-1825) of Wyke Regis, Dorset in St Mary’s Church, St Marylebone on 23 February 1805