The following article first appeared as part of the Hadleigh Heritage booklet, “Grave Revelations 1500-1900’s”, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The booklet contains information about 24 “Important, historical and interesting graves” to be found in the St James churchyard, including those of servicemen from the Crimean War to World War II, along with a ghost story and a plan showing where the graves may be found. That booklet may be purchased as part of a pack also containing the “History of Hadleigh” from Essex Hundred Publications.
221 – Yeaxlee Family Tomb
Henry Yeaxlee took over as Head Teacher at St James the Less School in 1865. Water for washing hands was collected from the school ditch! The school was nearly empty in June 1866 when smallpox reached Hadleigh. Mr Yeaxlee made attempts to improve the hygiene in the school and by the September the smallpox had eased.
He resigned in 1875 and went on to become a Master at Christchurch School in London, but later returned to Hadleigh.
Arthur Henry Yeaxlee, Henry’s son, set up as a draper in Hadleigh and by 1895 opened a double-fronted shop in the High Street opposite the Castle Inn. He later took over a larger corner shop in the new by-pass road, next to the Kingsway cinema. After his death in 1961 at the age of 88 years, his son Maurice took over, eventually selling to Thomas Bros. He died in 1967.