Samuel Newman: alehouse keeper

In 1657 William Worcester, the constable, brought Samuel Newman, alehouse keeper, before the magistrates for allowing Richard Wills and Samuel Brabson to continue drinking late into the night at his alehouse. He wasn’t the first Newman in the village to keep an alehouse and turn an occasional blind eye to the law. Over 70 years […]

Samuel Clerke: provision for the poor

Samuel Clerke was lord of the manor in West Haddon. He was buried here in 1688 but there is no evidence that he ever lived here. Had he done so he might not have found himself at odds with the freeholders of the parish, leading to  a legal dispute with them in the Court of […]

Bartin Gutteridge: a Silsworth connection

Silsworth was once a tiny settlement in Watford parish.By the 17th century it was no longer viable as an independent hamlet, but the land around it was good grazing and it was gradually parcelled up and sold – not just to Watford farmers, but also to several from West Haddon. The land of Silsworth ran […]

Edward Burnham: the ‘trusty friend’

Edward Burnham was a gentleman and landowner, as well as the ‘trusty friend’ of Joan Elmes. Like Joan, he died unmarried, leaving property and cash bequests to members of his extended family and also mentioning the Apprenticing Fund in his will. Like Richard Wills, he had siblings who had made their homes in London: his […]

Joane Elmes: making connections

There was something about Joane… Her father’s will left her £200 – twice as much as her sister Sarah, but the money was to be invested by her brother and the interest paid yearly for her maintenance as long as she remained single. If she married she was to have £150. But, if Joan shall die […]

Richard Wills: Hooray Henry?

Richard Wills appeared on a number of occasions before the Justices of the Peace during the winter of 1657/8. There was the assault on Thomas Cawcutt, the carpenter from Church Brampton, the late night drinking with Samuel Brabson and the pigeon shooting with an unlicensed gun and finally (perhaps in revenge for the Constable’s accusations), […]