Family’s search comes to island

Brian Crawford, pictured with the items he has from the tea set given to his ancestor.
Brian Crawford, pictured with the items he has from the tea set given to his ancestor.

A man from Bedfordshire believes a family heirloom he has been trying to track down for 20 years to complete a tea set could be here on Bute.

Brian Crawford (68)is searching for a tea tray given to his great-great-grandfather, Mark Marshall Crawford, a tenant farmer at Langalchorad on Bute in the 19th century.

The tea set inscribed for Brian's great great grandfather Mark Crawford.

The tea set inscribed for Brian's great great grandfather Mark Crawford.

He was evicted after the 1865 county election for not voting for the candidate supported by the then Marquis. A tea set was presented to Mark’s wife by the local community, which sympathised with him for voting according to his “conscientious conviction”.

All parts of the tea set have been located with the exception of the tray on which the story is inscribed.

Brian said: “We have reason to believe that the tray may still be in the possession of a family member on Bute, and I would like to make contact with them if that is the case.

“It’s the last remaining bit the family needs to find. We had thought it was in New Zealand but my cousin in Australia, who checked that out, now believes it is still on Bute.

“The third cousin of mine – John Faulds Crawford (69) – has traced the family all the way back. He has done the bulk of the research. He has got the water jug. I have got three pieces. The tray is obviously the last bit of the jigsaw.

“We are both getting to an age that if we don’t get it soon we won’t be able to pass the set down to our families.

“There are a lot of Crawfords on Bute, but a lot of them we don’t know, so it’s been quite difficult. I wrote to the archivist at Mount Stuart who found no records of this incident in 1865 happening which is no surprise really.

“I hired a private detective a couple of years ago to trace family in Australia and they were going to try to find other cousins on New Zealand but weren’t successful. So it’s an on-going thing.

“I’ve probably been looking for this tray for about 20 years.

“The other bits I have got – the teapot, milk jug and sugar bowl – have been passed down through four generations.

“It’s of no monetary value, but massive to the family.”

If you can help the Crawfords with their search, email doc.b.crawf@talk21.com.