Jonathan Seckington was born in 1861 at Helmdon.  He was the second son of Jonathan Seckington, Sexton, and Christiana, lacemaker.  Jonathan senior died in 1876, and by 1891 Christiana was living in the Alms Houses in Wellingborough Road, Rushden.  Jonathan junior married Sarah Ann Tarry in 1874 and they had one son, Harry, who was born in 1875.

Jonathan and Sarah with their son, Harry.

Christiana at the gate of the Alms Houses.

In 1871 Jonathan, junior, was living in Finedon and working as a groom but on the 2 March 1873 he started work at Higham Ferrers Post Office as rural postman for Rushden and Wymington.  At that time he delivered all the letters in Rushden and Wymington twice a day.  He used to leave Higham Ferrers at 6 a.m. and after delivering the letters in Rushden, had to go to Wymington, arriving about 9 a.m.  He would then return to Higham and start all over again at Mid-day.

In 1873 the only streets in Rushden were High Street, Duke Street (Duck Street), Church Lane (Newton Road) and Little Street.  There were also Margetts’ Cottages on what is now Rectory Road, the Rectory, and six cottages in Park Road, plus Sargent’s Yard (Beaconsfield Place), Denton’s Yard (site of the Rectory Road Clinic), The Orchard, Jaques’ Yard (Milton Place), Drawbridge’s Yard (Succoth Place) and two cottages adjoining the Old Malting (site of Peacock’s shop in the High Street).  In High Street South there was Albion Place and a few cottages at the back of the factory occupied by Mr. Arthur Willmott.  There were only two houses in Wellingborough Road – Blowsick Farm and the house adjoining the Windmill.  These last two houses were outside the radius of delivery.  At that time it was one of the postal regulations that if a house was over 70 yards from the street it was not included in the delivery.  They had to fetch their letters or appoint a place where the letters might be left.

Jonathan delivered the first parcel in Rushden which came from abroad.  It was addressed to him and was from his brother Luke who lived in India.  The box contained a collection of curios carved from elephant bone.


The box of curios sent from India.

As Rushden grew Jonathan was relieved of the Wymington deliveries and devoted all his time to Rushden.  Eventually he had six helpers.   Jonathan retired from his position in the post office through ill health in July 1907.  On his retirement he received a silver-plated tea pot and was presented with an Imperial Service Medal.

In 1911 Jonathan and Sarah were living in Woburn Place, Rushden.

Jonathan’s Imperial Service Medal.

In 1878 Jonathan Seckington opened his florist and seedsman shop in Rushden High Street.  The shop was run by Jonathan, his wife Sarah, and their son Harry.  Harry married Mary Hammond at Towcester in 1896 and they had two daughters, Winifred and Violet.  Harry and Mary took over the running of the business when Jonathan retired. Jonathan died in 1924 and Sarah died in 1930.  Harry died in 1939 and Mary in 1950.

The shop in Rushden High Street.

Jonathan and Sarah with Harry and his daughter Winifred.

Harry and Mary on their wedding day

Harry and Mary in the garden behind the shop.

Rushden High Street with the shop which was Seckington’s on the right of the picture.

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