1878 - 1934

Frank Pretty

Frank Pretty, was born at Ipswich on 28 December 1878, son of William Pretty (1 January 1842-12 February 1916), a draper & corset manufacturer, and his second wife Anne Maria Sherington (1849-28 December 1925), second daughter of Charles Sherington (1814-10 July 1868), a hairdresser & perfumer, William and Anne married at Christ's Church, Gipsy Hill, Lambeth on 30 June 1874. In 1881, a 2 year old, living at 11 Henley Road, Ipswich with his parents, 39 year old William, a draper, and 31 year old Anne, together with three elder sisters including Maud Pretty [q.v.], Elsie Pretty [q.v.] and Hilda who married Robert Harold Paul [q.v.]. Educated at The Leys, a Methodist preparatory school in Cambridge, and in 1891 the family were living at 'The Firs', Woodbridge Road, Ipswich but by 1901 had moved to 'Goldrood', Belstead Road, Ipswich. In 1911, a 30 year old corset manufacturer, still living with his parents at Goldrood, with two sisters and a brother, all unmarried. A Life Member of the Ipswich Art Club 1913-1935 from the Goldrood, Ipswich and from 1924 from Beacon Hill, Ipswich but does not seem to have exhibited. A major in the Territorial Army's Suffolk Regiment during the First World War and who continued to serve in the Suffolk Regiment after the war, also working in the family business of clothing manufacture. After a long courtship, he married on 8 April 1926, Edith May Dempster (1 August 1883-15 December 1942), younger of the two daughters of the very wealthy Robert Dempster and his wife Elizabeth née Brunton, of Vale Royal Abbey, near Whitegate, Cheshire. After their marriage they purchased, from the family of John Chadwick Lomax [q.v.], for 15,250, the 526 acre Sutton Hoo Estate near Woodbridge, Suffolk with a mansion built in 1910 to the designs of John Shewell Corder [q.v.], formerly called 'Sutton House' but renamed by the Pretty's 'Tranmer House'. On 7 September 1930, at the age of forty-seven, Edith gave birth to a son, Robert Dempster Pretty, who died on 14 June 1988 leaving three children. In 1938, Edith enlisted the help of Basil Brown (22 January 188812 March 1977), a local archaeologist, to dig ancient mounds on her land and in the summer of 1939 he unearthed the remains of an enormous burial, later identified as a 7th-century Saxon ship, probably the last resting-place of King Rdwald of East Anglia. In September 1939, at the treasure trove inquest, it was determined that the grave goods from the ship were Pretty's own property but a few days later she made the greatest donation to the nation made in a donor's lifetime, giving the treasure to the British Museum. Sutton Hoo House and the burial site are now in the care of The National Trust. Frank died at Sutton Hoo House on 28 December 1934, on his 56th birthday, leaving an estate of just under 38,000, his wife's estate on her death on 15 December 1942 was just under 400,000. Both Frank and Edith were buried in All Saints Churchyard, Sutton, Woodbridge.