The earliest Shedden reference I have found is to the birth of Thomas to Thomas Shedon and Elizabeth in London in 1697. The next earliest is to the birth of Alexander to Alexander Sheddon and Betty in Bristol in 1750. Alexander senior was a warehouseman who dealt in Scotch linens. His many descendants lived in the Bristol area for another 100 years or so, and included apothecaries, accountants and sea captains. The name was sometimes spelt “Shedden” and modern descendants spell their name this way.
Another group of Sheddens were located in Dudley (now a suburb of Birmingham). They were cloth merchants and tailors from the parish of Beith in Ayrshire. Around 1800 William Shedden, born in 1776 to Robert Shedden and Barbara Orr, settled in Dudley and a generation later was joined by his nephews Robert, John and James, sons of William’s elder brother Robert and Agnes Clark in Beith. William’s father was a son of Robert Shedden of Hessilhead and had a brother named Alexander (born in 1720). It is possible that this Alexander was the progenitor of the Bristol Sheddons/Sheddens. The Sheddens of Hessilhead were minor gentry and the family laterly owned property at Scoup and Netherward in Beith parish. Their Dudley branch prospered, had large families, and gave rise to many prosperous descendants.
Another Robert Shedden from Beith, but not related to the above, was the progenitor of a large group of English Sheddens. This Robert was born in Beith in 1741 and came from a landed family whose pedigree goes back to the late 1600’s. He was sent when young to Virginia where he prospered and married. Robert lost his tobacco plantations in the American War of Independence but recouped his fortunes in Bermuda and returned to Britain where he became a very wealthy broker at Lloyds. He had a large family, all of whom married into the English gentry, and gave rise to many descendants. These include Sir George Shedden (1769-1855) of Paulespury Park in Northamptonshire, Hardmead in Buckinghamshire and Springhill in the Isle of Wight and Roscow George Shedden (1882-1956) who was a former Bishop of Nassau.