Life Stories - Mary Ann Boddington

Mary Anne Boddington, 1846 - 1896

Mary Anne Boddington

1846 - 1896

Mary Anne (Minnie) Boddington was born in Ditchling in 1846, the only child of Dr and Mrs Boddington.  Her mother was a descendant of the influential Borrer family and they lived in Chichester House on Ditchling High Street.  Minnie was considered a very delicate child and was only taken out in her father’s closed carriage, well wrapped up and wearing a veil.  A governess provided schooling and later Miss Alice West was engaged as her companion and stayed with her for over twenty years.  Minnie was described as small and very thin, eccentric and had a stammer.

During her lifetime three local sisters, Sarah (Ann), Elizabeth and Mary Jane Burtenshaw worked as either cooks or housemaids for the family, Elizabeth for over thirty years. 

Minnie moved to Rowlescroft in her later years spending much time indoors and from her upstairs sitting room ‘would wave her hand as soon as you came in sight and continue as long as she could see you’. Minnie never married and after her parents died she inherited a considerable portfolio of property in Ditchling which was run on her behalf by Trustees.  Mostly substantial, the properties included The Limes, East End House, Sopers, North Cottage and Tudor Close amongst others.  Boddingtons Lane, at the side of Rowlescroft, previously known as Borrer's Plat was re-named after the family.

When Minnie died the Boddington name in Ditchling died out and in 1919, twenty-three years after her death, a large auction of all the Boddington properties in Ditchling took place.