The Widdington Rust Family
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The Rust family in Widdington

This is Joseph Rust born in 1853, one of twelve children.  He was also born “deaf and dumb” as was one of his sisters. 
He could however lip read and was able to speak by sign language.  

We know he moved to Widdington in around 1888 where he became the post messanger.
By 1891 he lived at Railway Cottage, Spring Hill in Widdington. 
He was a lodger with the Reynolds family as a shoemaker, post messenger and agricultural labourer.

The Post Office Archives show that 84870 J Rust was postman for Newport to Widdington from the 6 March 1894. 
We think this picture was taken close to his retirement date in 1913.

Mr Joseph Rust, The postman is wearing the uniform of the day: the peak shako hat, plus blue jacket with 
red piping he has  four good conduct stripes,  such stripes were awarded for good time keeping, excellent 
attendance and good work. The awarding of good conduct stripes ceased in 1914.

In 1894 Joseph married Martha Thurgood born 1866 in Widdington.  Her father William was an
agricultural labourer living at Newlands Cottage in Widdington.  

We believe that Joseph is standing in the picture below which is on your site and dated around 1906.

We believe that Joseph lived in Widdington until about 1896 when he moved to London Road Newport
although he continued to maintain a garden (allotment) at Leylands in Widdington after he moved away. 
He received a pension from the Post Office from the 28 August 1913.  
Joseph died in the Saffron Walden Workhouse in 1928.

Anne Newman (nee Rust)



These pictures come from Anne Newman’s (nee Rust) collection.  She is on the extreme left of the second row from the front.  I have put in insert of her here. 

 We think her only daughter Emily is standing to the left of the vicar.  
 Anne was born in 1851, sister to Joseph above. 

A widower herself she married widower John Newman in 1891 in Newport where he managed the Gas Works. 
She possibly moved to Widdington in around 1912 staying until around 1923 
when her husband died. 
She lived in Rose Cottage Spring Hill, Widdington. 

This is a picture of Rose Cottage again from Anne’s collection. 

This is not the Rose Cottage on the Village Green 



A more long standing relationship with Widdington was established by the family of Joshua Rust
Joshua was born on the 5 October 1850 in Debden. 

He married Mary Salmon of Widdington on the 27 November 1871 at Debden Parish Church. 
Mary had been baptised on the 26 July 1857 at Widdington Parish Church.  Unusually she was the
daughter of Mary Salmon single woman.  Mary senior was to have two further children as a single woman
in Widdington, which may have created a stir at the time? 

Left Joshua and Mary and below the signature of Joshua (and Mary’s mark)


Joshua had a difficult early life losing his father when aged nine and his mother when sixteen as well as
three of his five siblings by the age of twenty-one. 

By the 1881 census Joshua and Mary were living at Front Street, Widdington.  In fact it seems likely that
 they moved to Widdington very shortly after they married.  Their eldest son was baptised at
Debden Parish Church in 1873 but from 1875 onwards their children were baptised at Widdington Parish Church. 

Joshua and Mary were to spend their whole lives on the main street in Widdington.  They raised their
large family of eleven children, produced over a twenty-year period.  Joshua was an agricultural labourer
whilst Mary was a servant before her marriage.

Left, the home of Joshua and Mary Rust, Flint Cottage, Widdington 2001 showing
the bottle decorations in the flint.

The 1910 Inland Revenue Valuation returns revealed that Mrs Rust lived
at “Flint Cottage”, which was a cottage and garden.  The size of the plot was
12 poles and 15 yards.  The tenancy was a yearly term at a rent of £6. 
The cottage was one of two semi-detached flint rubble built and slatted.
It was described as being in good external and fair internal repair. 
The cottage had three bedrooms and two living rooms with a small pantry. 
 It had a fair garden, a brick and slatted shed, an earthen closet and piggery (?). 
They shared a pump in common with the cottage next door. 
The owner was a D Palesthorp and V Smith with the cottage valued at £110.

Flint Cottage was built by Francis Smith between 1843-1873 on a plot of land to the west side of the
village street that he had purchased.  The builder was William Thurgood who lived at the Conqueror (public house). 
There were protests that Mr Smith was spoiling the beauty of the village by building houses similar to
County Council houses.  One of the houses built used bricks on edge because money was running out. 
Flint Cottage had bottle decorations.

Above, this picture probably taken around 1898 in the distinctive porch of Flint Cottage, Widdington.  Joshua Rust with the little girl being  Florence Rust.  The older girl may well be Margaret who perhaps was a servant in a local house at this time.

Mary Rust died in 1921 and was buried on 16 July 1921 at Widdington Parish Church aged sixty-nine.  Joshua was buried on 17 November 1927 aged seventy-seven at Widdington Parish Church.  It seems he died at Severalls Hospital, Colchester.

Below, Mary Rust (nee Salmon)


The children of Joshua and Mary

George Henry Rust was born on 9 August 1873 the eldest son of Joshua and Mary.  He was baptised at Debden Parish Church.  In 1901 he was living at home as a farm horse keeper.  He married Katie Smith in 1912 but died in 1916.  He was buried on 18 March 1916 at the age of only forty-two. 

Katie was to live at “The Hut”, Widdington from 1914-1934 according to the Saffron Walden Almanac.  She remarried in 1933 to Thomas Wilson and moved to his cottage at Spring Hill.

William Rust was brother to George Henry and was baptised on 11 July 1875 at Widdington Parish Church.  After his marriage to Jane Elizabeth Speller in 1896 he does seem to have lived in Widdington off and on until 1904.  In 1901 he was living in Widdington near The Chapel in four rooms with Elizabeth and his three children.  He was listed as an ordinary agricultural labourer.

From 1905 he was to live around Henham before making the long trip to Britwell Salome. 

Left, William Rust circa 1937 with grandson Michael.

Albert James Rust was the third son of Joshua and Mary Rust and was born on 15 January 1877.  He unfortunately died and was buried in Widdington Parish Church on 16 June 1877 aged just five months.  Frederick Rust was born on 10 June 1878.  He was also to die young and was buried on 5 February 1879 at Widdington Parish Church aged seven months.

Joseph Benjamin Rust was the fifth son of Joshua and Mary Rust born on 3 January 1880.  He was baptised on 28 March 1880 at Widdington Parish Church.  In 1901 he was living at home as a non-domestic groom.  In 1902 he was to marry Bessie Andrews at Radwinter Parish Church.  Bessie was daughter to James Andrews a horse keeper and agricultural labourer of Radwinter who between 1881 and 1891 had lived at Radwinter End.  In 1901 she had been a cook and domestic servant at the Newport Grammar School.  By 1891 Joseph Benjamin was an agricultural labourer in Widdington.  In 1902 his eldest daughter was born in Widdington but by this time however, he was living at 58 Brewery Lane, Plumstead near Woolwich.  He used this as a chance to enter the brewery trade. 

By 1914 he had returned to the ancestral home in Debden as the landlord of the Fox Inn before going on to be a publican in Stanstead.  One of his daughters Jessie went on to be a cook in the Royal household.


Above, Jessie meeting the Queen mother


Frederick Rust was the sixth son for Joshua and Mary.  He was born on 30 June 1881 and was baptised on 21 August 1881 at Widdington Parish Church.  In 1901 he was still living at home as a carpenter. 

By 1908 it seems he had moved to Stansted where he married a local girl Alice May Law at Stansted Parish Church and by 1909 Alice and Frederick were living at Burton End, Stansted. 

Margaret Jane Rust was the first daughter of Joshua and Mary born on the 22nd August 1883 and baptised on 14 October 1883 at Widdington Parish Church.  In 1901 she was living at home as a general domestic servant. 

She was fondly known as “Mag” by her brothers Frederick and William.  In 1906 she married Harry Coston and they moved to live in Newport.  Harry was born and lived in Widdington, in 1901 he was recorded as a bricklayers labourer living at home with his parents. 

Right Margaret Rust

Frank Alexander Rust, the seventh son of Joshua and Mary, was baptised at a private baptism on 15 March 1885 at Widdington Parish Church.  On the 5 February 1916 he married Annie Rust his first cousin at Widdington Parish Church.  His brother Alfred was a witness.  Annie was the daughter of Frederick and Emma Rust of Debden.  She had been born in Debden in 1883.  Her family had moved to Newport in the mid to late 1890’s and her father Frederick was Joshua Rust’s brother. 

In 1901 Frank was living at home as a shepherd’s help on a farm.  Frank became a gamekeeper and possibly a gardener.  In 1916 they lived at Waldegrave Cottages in Widdington but later moved to Shipton Cottage, Widdington.  Frank and Annie had four sons but tragically two were to die at a very young age.

Frank died in 1951 and was buried on 25 November 1951 at Widdington Parish Church.  Annie died at Saffron Walden General Hospital on 12 January 1953.  She was also buried at Widdington Parish Church. 

Harry Ernest Rust was Joshua and Mary’s eighth son.  He was baptised on 18 September 1887 at Widdington Parish Church.  Unfortunately he died aged eleven and was buried on the 3 June 1899 at Widdington Parish Church.  The grave was still visited by the family up to the 1930’s. 

Next came Alfred Rust and yet another son for Joshua and Mary Rust.  Alfred was baptised on the 16 March 1890 at Widdington Parish Church.  By the time of his army service in 1917 Alfred was a butler working at Banbury Court, Tewksbury.

He was recorded on the Widdington Parish Church Memorial as having served and returned safely. 

Alfred married Fanny Maria Quarrie at St Elphine, Warrington in June 1920.  Fanny had been born in West Derbyshire in 1877 and was 13 years older than Alfred. 

Alfred and Fanny emigrated to South Africa on the 3rd February 1927 aboard the P & O ship the “SS Benalla” bound for Australia via the Cape.    At this time their address was recorded as being 6 Sussex Mews, Kempdown, Brighton.  He was listed as carpenter and Fanny a housewife.

It is believed they had a gold mine in South Africa but sadly Alfred died of appendicitis as the mine was far from proper medical facilities.  It is likely that this death was at sometime prior to May 1931.

The final child was Florence Harriet Rust born on 8 August 1893 and baptised on 17 September 1893 at Widdington Parish Church. 

(second row from the front, fourth child in from the left)

aged 8



Left, Florence Harriet Rust



She married Oliver Edwards in February 1916.  From around December 1916 she looked after brother Frederick’s newborn daughter Dorothy after his wife Annie died in childbirth.  She did this until 1924 when Frederick remarried.   

Florence and Oliver lived at Wendens Ambo, Essex for many years where they used to exhibit vegetables and flower arrangements at the Essex County Show at Saffron Walden. She eventually moved to Clacton on Sea where she ran a guesthouse.

The final Rust connection to Widdington was Joshua’s grandson Leonard William Rust.

Only Frank Alexander Rust and his wife Annie remained in Widdington after his parents died.   Their eldest son was Herbert Walter Rust born at Waldegraves Cottage on 2 March 1916.  He died and was buried on 26 March 1916 at Widdington Parish Church.  The cause of death was premature birth.

Their next son was Ronald George Rust who was born on 13 May 1917.  He married Irene May Vaudrey in the Crewe area in 1942.   It is believed that Ronald was a chef who went to Derby, he may also have had a bicycle shop. 


The next son of Frank and Annie was Leonard William Rust born on 3 August 1919.  He lived at South Green, Widdington and by 1953 was a van driver.  Leonard was also remembered as a local school bus driver and Roadman.



On 3 August 1957 Leonard  married Gladys Mary Nash (nee Potts) at St Mary’s Parish Church, Saffron Walden. 

Frank and Annie did have one further child, Percy James Rust born in 1921. He died in April 1928 aged six and was buried in Widdington Parish Church.

I come across this wounded article in the Newport News Dated 1997

This is Derek Rust's  Email address:


Thank's Derek,  for your ongoing help with the Rust family Page.