William Henfrey: tailor and smallholder – keeping it in the family

Like William Lane, William Henfrey also made provision for his children – not through a marriage settlement, in his case, but through his will. This offers a brief snapshot into the lives of his family. William and his wife Joan had two sons and two daughters when he came to make his will, which was […]

William Lane: another marriage settlement

William Lane was a small farmer in West Haddon around the time of the fire. He had two daughters. The elder, Mary, married Thomas Knowles in 1663 and all attempts to trace any record of the couple thereafter have so far failed. A few months after the wedding his wife Dorothy died, leaving his younger […]

John Bland: founding a family

When John Bland of Long Buckby came courting Lettice Miller of West Haddon her parents, Richard and Elizabeth Miller, approved the match and settled a house and some land on the happy couple when they tied the knot in the summer of 1656. The first baby arrived promptly the following January. She was a little […]

William Ringrose and the cottage that grew

William was a child at the time of the fire. He had an elder brother, Richard (named after his father) and a younger brother, John. His youngest brother, Thomas, born in 1655, had died before he was six months old. He also had two sisters: Susanna (named after her mother) and baby Mary, born just […]

Mary Clarke: a woman who left no trace

All of the men who lost their homes in the fire have left some scrap of historical record behind them. The only woman named in the report left nothing at all – except for her appearance in that list. That is the only evidence we have that she ever lived. She was probably a widow […]

John Warde: an unspeakable grief

On the day of the fire, John Warde and his wife Elizabeth had buried their daughter Clement. And the following day they buried their son James. It’s just possible that the children were casualties of the fire, but it seems unlikely that funerals would have been arranged quite so quickly in the aftermath of the […]