Alfred William Newsom Burder (1850-1944)

Alfred, the son of the Rev. Alfred Burder (1812/3-1879) and Ellen Sarah Perry (1824-1898), was born in 1850 in Ugley, Essex; probably in the vicarage, in Vicarage Lane, where his father has been vicar since 1846.



The Old Vicarage, Vicarage Lane, Ugley

In 1861, Alfred was staying with his mother, and four siblings, Walter, Amelia, Elizabeth and Gertrude at Elm Bank[1], Tottenham Lane, Hornsey, London; the home of Thomas Perry, his widowed maternal grandfather. Thomas Perry was the founder and until 1856[2] the proprietor and manager of Perry’s Bankrupt and Insolvent Gazette[3], located at Wallbrook House, London[4]. Thomas Perry died in December 1868 leaving an estate valued at less than £100,000[5].

Alfred was educated at Bishop’s Stortford Grammar School[6] and went on to become an architect, training under Sir George Gilbert Scott[7].

In the 1871 census, aged 21, he described himself as an architect, staying with his uncle, William Robert Perry, at Mount Pleasant House, Crouch End, in a house that he had designed.

Alfred married Florence Maclean Lee (1853-1939), on 11th May 1876 at Hartest Church, Bury St. Edmunds. Florence, who was born in Esher, Surrey, was the third daughter of John Maclean Lee, a retired merchant and Anne, of Stowehill, Hartest.

Move to Loughborough

In 1878[8], he was living at Clarence House, Gloucester Road, Croydon. However, by August 1879[9], he had completed the move to Loughborough where he remained for around 20 years.


   Nos. 1 and 2, Victoria Villas, Burton Street, Loughborough

He appears to have initially lived in Nos. 1 and 2, Victoria Villas, Burton Street, when in 1881[10] he was describing himself as a ‘Horticultural Builder’. By 1887[11], he had relocated further along the Burton Street to a brick built property on the corner of Gray Street.


Residence, corner of Gray Street and Burton Street, Loughborough

The Elms, Loughborough


The Elms, Loughborough c.1860

Prior to September 1889[12], he moved to The Elms[13], which at the time was approached along a carriage drive from a lodged[14] entrance off Leicester Road. The Elms was built at the beginning of the nineteenth century for hosiery manufacturer, Thomas Warner (1777-1844). It was subsequently owned by his son, Henry Warner. Following his death, in 1869, it passed to his younger brother Edward Handley Warner[15], a partner in Messrs. Cartwright and Warner, who in the late 1880’s were spinners and Angola hosiery manufacturers, Clarence mills, Nottingham Road[16].


The Elms from Lime Avenue, Loughborough

Little of Alfred’s architectural work is recorded and therefore it is difficult to know how much he continued his architectural business after joining Messenger & Co. It is known that he was involved in repairing the walls and roof of the church at Tarrant Hinton, Dorset, in 1891-2. Although he drew up the plans, John Samuel Alder, another architect, oversaw the work.


The Elms from Elms Grove, Loughborough

Whilst living in Loughborough, Alfred Burder was involved in the Primrose League[17], becoming their Honorary Treasurer. He was also Honorary Secretary of the Charnwood Forest Convalescent Home, almost from its inception.


Veranda, The Elms, Elms Grove, Loughborough – Messenger & Co., Ltd., 5th Edition Catalogue


Wilcroft, Herefordshire

He was still living at The Elms when the 1901 census was taken at the end of March, describing himself as a retired Horticultural Builder.

However, soon afterwards he moved out of Loughborough to live in Wilcroft,  Herefordshire; a late Georgian house, considerably enlarged in the 1880s. It sat in parkland of about 26 acres[18], again with a lodged entrance and carriageway. It also possessed a walled garden with greenhouses.

In the summer of 1901, the firm was involved in the refitting of the residence including installing a No. 54 Boiler, pipes and cistern[19].

Belcombe Court, Bradford-on-Avon

By 1906[20], Alfred had relocated, yet again; this time to Belcombe Court, Bradford-on-Avon. He was still living there in 1911[21], with his wife, Florence and their two youngest unmarried daughters, Phyllis and Christabel. Interestingly he had reverted to describing himself as a retired architect rather than horticultural builder.

Ordnance Survey Map, 1882

In 1906, the firm installed a new heating system and five years later[22] a new lean-to vinery, plant house measuring 45ft. 5in. by 16ft. 3in. and accompanying 11ft. by 4ft. 3in. lean-to pit.

Sale Advertisement, Country Life, 2nd July 1964

Whilst living at Belcombe Court he was an active member of The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, becoming the local Bradford-on-Avon Honorary Secretary, almost immediately. He became heavily involved in the preservation and restoration of Bradford on Avon Tithe Barn, taking on the role of Honoury Secretary of the Repair Fund.



In 1909 he gave a lecture at the Bradford-on-Avon meeting of the Society on the parish church and Saxon church, Bradford-on-Avon[23]. Three years later he published a book on the Saxon church entitled “A short account of the Saxon Church of St. Laurence, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire”.

St. Laurence Church, Bradford-on-Avon

He was also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries[24] and for a period around 1915 a JP.

Powyke Court, Powick

Around 1920 he purchased Powyke Court, Powick, Herefordshire, although, for a time in 1920 and 1921, he lived at various properties in Malvern, including Spring Bank, Graham Road, Holly Villa, Victoria Road and Sutherland House, Abbey Road. This may have been whilst Powyke Court was being renovated.

Photo of Powyke Court

In November 1920, the firm erected a 25ft. x 14ft. lean-to vinery & shed[25]. In early 1921, they installed a span-roof potting, wood & engine sheds[26]; followed, in December, by major alterations and additions to the domestic hot water supply[27]. Messenger’s completed several other jobs there over the next few years, including erecting a 17ft. 6in. square motor garage in 1924[28] and changes to the domestic heating system in 1927[29] and 1930[30].

Florence died on 3rd March 1939, aged 86 whilst living at Powyke Court[31].

Alfred died five year later, on 17th April 1944, aged 94, also whilst living at Powyke Court[32]. He left an estate valued at £21,713 3s. 2d., with his three of his children Alfred, Kenneth and Phyllis, acting as executors.



  1. Elm Bank no longer stands. It was located on the south side of Tottenham Road, close to Hornsey Railway Station. It was offered for sale in 1865 being described as “detached with seven bedrooms, two drawing rooms, dining room, morning room and servants’ offices; approached by a carriage drive; conservatory, pleasure and kitchen gardens and two paddocks, stabling for three horses, coach house and carriage yard; the whole” (The Morning Post, 20th April 1865). Eighteen years later it was again offered for sale, this time described as a six-acre freehold building estate (The Standard, 8th August 1883).
  2. The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 30th December 1868.
  3. Perry’s original Bankrupt and Insolvency Registry Office for protection against frauds, swindlers etc., was established in London in 1810 and published the Perry’s Bankrupt and Insolvent Gazette, monthly from at least 1828. The Gazette also included lists of dissolutions of partnerships gazetted in England and Wales. The names of the partners are given in full, surnames in capitals, followed by trade and address, and date of the end of the partnership.
  4. The Pall Mall Gazette, 24th December 1868.
  5. The Hull Packet and East Riding Times, 15th January 1869.
  6. The Chelmsford Chronicle 27th July, 1866.
  7. The Graphic, 19th October, 1878.
  8. Post Office Directory of Surrey, 1878.
  9. His eldest daughter was born in Loughborough on 5th August 1879..
  10. 1881 Census.
  11. Wright’s Directory of Leicestershire, 1887-1888.
  12. The Leicester Chronicle and the Leicestershire Mercury, 31st August, 1889.
  13. The house and 21½ acres of timbered parkland was offered for sale in 1906. The house was described as approached by a carriage drive of nearly 200 yards; on the ground floor, it contained a spacious entrance hall, staircase, long and lofty Dining and Drawing Rooms, Morning Room and Library, Servants’ Hall, Kitchen and Scullery, Butler’s Pantry, and Lamp Room; on the first floor, six principal bedrooms, three dressing rooms, four servants’ bedrooms, linen closet, bathroom with hot and cold water and W.C. The property had a frontage of 1,131 feet onto Leicester Road; 815 feet onto Great Central Road and 663 feet onto Beeches Road. The estate was bought by Nottingham-based developer Albert Ball (later Sir Albert Ball), who developed the parkland, by infilling with several new roads and associated housing.The house, which is still exists, is Grade II listed and, today, hemmed in amongst an out of place housing development. It was built for Thomas Warner (a hosiery manufacturer) in the early nineteenth century. The building is described in the listing as “ashlar. Two storeys, 3 window range. Projecting band between ground and 1st floors. Cornice and blocking course. Segmental headed recesses for windows on ground floor with cornice below tympana. Four columned Ionic porch with steps upon 3 sides, enclosing round headed entrance. 1st floor central window has flat pediment on console brackets above. Five windows to right hand return elevation (all modern or blocked) with flat pediment over central one. Rear elevation, 5 windows and pedimented door case. Stone cantilevered staircase in oval well beneath enriched cornice and lantern”.
  14. The lodge, which still stands, was later used as the lodge to Aingarth, the home of Mr. W. W. Coltman.
  15. The Loughborough Echo, 8th May, 1953.
  16. Wright’s Directory of Leicestershire, 1887-1888,
  17. The Primrose League was an organisation for spreading Conservative principles. It was founded in 1883 and active until the mid-1990s It was finally wound up in December 2004.
  18. The Cheltenham Chronicle and Gloucestershire Graphic, 27th October, 1934.
  19. Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office ref: DE2121/64.
  20. Museum of English Rural Life ref: TR MES AD1/0857
  21. Census.
  22. Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office ref: DE2121/50.
  23. The Wiltshire Magazine, December, 1909.
  24. The Antiquary, 1907.
  25. Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office ref: DE2121/51.
  26. Ibid.
  27. Ibid.
  28. Ibid.
  29. Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office ref: DE2121/52 and DE2121/59.
  30. Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office ref: DE2121/59.
  31. The Times, 6th March, 1939.
  32. The London Gazette, 30th March, 1945.