Greenwich Hearth Tax: Dock and Tavern Row

Between January and June 2018, a shared learning project was run with the University of the Third Age in Greenwich. As with the London and Middlesex SLP, the team was charged with using the hearth tax returns as a starting point and following their interest to reveal stories of Greenwich and the people who lived there in the late seventeenth century. In this post, Jackie Davies uses the hearth tax to explore the relatively wealthy area of Dock and Tavern Row.

Greenwich, 1664: Dock and Tavern Row (35 households listed with chargeable hearths) (Jackie Davies)

In 1695 Tavern Row still exists.  The area known as The Dock is already occupied by the Naval Hospital (B in the diagram).  On the map below, a yellow ring is around where the Hearth Tax return for Dock and Tavern Row might have been. 

The map comes from the National Maritime Museum Greenwich, as can be seen from the watermark.  The interactive map is available online and is described as the map where it is described as made by Samuel Travers Esqr. Surveyor General 1695 as part of a of the Kings lordship or manor of East Greenwich.  In 1668 the Chancery pays (the estate of) Hamond Chadwick, who has a house in the Dock, £500 to pull down the house. I think this is evidence that the house is where the hospital now stands.   

Dock and Tavern Row is a comparatively wealthy area with 74% of households with 3 or more hearths compared with an average of approximately 50%.   Two of the 35 are heads of households are women.   I have been able to find a few of the original people and more often their heirs in the 1695 work.  I have also found reference to their families in baptisms, marriages and burials. Some have PCC wills (Prerogative court of Cantebury) and there are a few other scraps.   Hamond Chadwick, already mentioned, is one of these people, and his will and other information are stet out below.  I was delighted to find evidence that Reuben Goulding of this area was the musical barber who served Samuel Pepys, but I have not found evidence that Sarah Clarke was Pepys’ landlady.   Unlike Combes Hill there are few people included in other histories from the Dock and Tavern Row area, however there is the first governor of St Helena: Captain John Dutton. I had expected to find lots of references to Taverns, but the records only confirm a few households as involved in the trade. The first person listed has a tenement called Lalmpbenn 

Here are the Taxable households:

Ball, Elizabeth 12 hearths. May be the widow of Edward Ball. There are baptisms for Edward Ball’s children at St Alfege: Edward 1647, Edward 1648, Charles 1649, Elizabeth 1652.  Elizabeth Ball, widow, bur. St Alfege 30 May 1711.  

Ball, Luke, 2 hearths  Wm Ball ‘a youth’ bur 9/1661, Luke Ball bur 7/1666, widow Ball 11/1666, In 1695 there is a Luke Ball, son of Luke Ball, waterman. (next generation?).  Mar 1696 Luke son of Luke ball is bur. Luke Ball (Labourer) bur. 3/1708/9. Burial of Widow Ball  (11/1666)

Bannester, William,  6 hearths.  4 children baptised at St Alfege to father William Bannester: Allen 1630, Sara 1635, Elizabeth 1637, Nathaniel 1640.  Pepys met a Mr Bannister in Westminster in August 1666 (He travelled home to Greenwich with Capt Cocke on the same day – not a clear link to Wm B).  

Blissett, Richard, 5 hearths. Baps of 4 children of Ric Blisset, at Greenwich: Jane (Feb 1654), Mary (Oct 1656), Wm (July 1658), Ric (Nov 1659). Richard Blisset was buried  19 May 1697 at St Alfege, as a resident of the almshouse, Trinity College:

Other Blissets include Mark Blissett, buried St Alfege,  Sept 1679. (see Church Wall) Burials: Elizabeth Blissett, wife of Matt B, 5/1666, Widow Blisset 5/1668.  In the earlier records of 1630, There is an Eizabeth Blysett, dr of Marke Blysett baptised, Jan 1637(8). 

Bosvill, Mr. Robert, 6 hearths   Possibly born Eynsford, Kent, in 1633 to Henry Bosvile (listed in the Visitation of Kent in 1663-1668).  A Robert Bossevill (a son of Hen B) married Jane/Jone in 1657 in Eynsford.

Mr Bosseville ‘carried to London (22/8/1664 is probably Francis.  There is a PCC will for a Francis Bosvile, gentleman of East Greenwich in 1664 (PROB 11/315/126)  Francis was son of Walter Bosville of Beckenham Kent Esq (Francis and Walter are listed near Robert and Henry in the alphabetical work of the visitation of Kent 1663-1668).  In his will, Francis Bosvill, gent, appointed Walter as his heir/executor, and witnesses incl  Roger Clissold, Wm Bonford and Fras August (latter with 10 hearth house in Church Wall).    Greenwich burials record August burial of a Mr Bossvill, whose body was then carried to London.  Burial of Mr Bosseville 12/1666 may be Robert Bosvil. 

Broughton, James, 2 hearths. June 1662 Charles Broughton, son of James  Broughton, waterman of Greenwich, was apprenticed to   John Worrell, vintner Webb’s index   1662 (p 39 in Webb). Burial of Broton, widow (11/1668), Bur Charles Broughton son of Samuel 1679

Browne, Thomas, 2 hearths.  A Thos, son of Peter Browne, was bap at Greenwich, Sept 1639.  He may also be the Warden of Trinity College in Crane Street. The warden, listed in the 1664 hearth tax list is Thomas Browne.  There is a PCC will for a Henry Browne, ‘Warden of the Hospital of the Holy and undivided Trinity of East Greenwich’ in June 1673  PROB 11/342/162   MZ suggests Henry is a son or brother. Family recommendation was acceptable. 

Brunton, Nicholas, 2 hearths. Only Nic Brunton found buried in Oxford Sept 1670 ‘Servitor’ (unlikely to be from Dock and Tavern Row??)

Buddell, William, 4 hearths. A Mary B, da of Wm Buddle, was bap in Greenwich, March 1658.    

Castleman, Edward, 5 hearths.  Four children of Edw C baptised at St Alfege: Mary (Dec 1651); Philip (Sept 1653); Eliz (May 1655); Edw (Aug 1657).

Chadwick, Hamond, 14 hearths. Burials: Chadwick, Harman’s wife (5/1666) 

    Chadwick, Harman,in the church (8/1667)

 PCC will of Hamond Chadwick, vintner of East Greenwich, 1667, PROB 11/3234/466)  incl:

  1. To my son John Chadwick £60 which is in my house to be put out by overseers to good hands until son is 21. £20 to John for setting up and putting out to apprentice for some good trade as he shall like to set him, with his apparel. 
  2. To da Margaret Lewis, widow of Charles Lewis, household goods now in her house bought of her late husband as by his bill of sale.
  3. Remainder to be divided
    1. Half to my son John Chadwick
    2. Half to my 3 daughters
      1. Martha Gray, wife of Richard Gray, mariner
      2. Margaret Lewis, late wife of Charles Lewis
      3. Elizabeth Crow wife of Ralph Crow, mariner. 

If John dies before he’s age 21, then his portion shall come to 3 daughters and their heirs.  John Chadwick apt sole exec,with overseers Thomas Raymond of Deptford, brewer and Robert Smyth of East Greenwich,yeoman (referred to as friends). They to approve apprenticeship and marriage before 21.  To TR and RS each £5.  Witnesses James Hart and Samuel …  July 26 1667.

Margt ‘Chidwick’ marr Charles Lewis, at Charlton, March 1657. 

In 1668, in Calendar of Treasury Books, £500 to Hamond Chadwick for pulling down his house at Greenwich to make way for the King’s buildings, to be in lieu of a former order of Treasurer Southampton which was not executed.  (So is it his son John who had £500 for the house to be pulled down?) 

Charlton, Thomas, 2 hearths. Greenwich bap register: bap of Thos, son of Rog Charleton, Sept 1637; and of Thos, son of Thos Charlton, March 1645. Bur Kath Charlton 7/1661

Clarke, Sarah, 3 hearths.  Some notes in Pepys website suggest she is the landlady of Pepys (but she only has 3 hearths!). A Sarah Girdler marr Thos Clarke in Greenwich, Feb 1648.  

Burials: Clark, Jn  (9/1666)

Clark, Jn’s wife  (10/1665)

Clark, Mr, a mason  (09/1664)

Clark, Thos  (09/1665)

Clarke, Nic  (5/1668)

Davis Mathew, 1 hearth.  (In Kimbell’s collection, Travers 1695 survey has ‘widow Davis’ around the dock).   In 1695 Mathew, son of Mathew Davis, waterman at the Crane, was buried.  This might be the grandson of the Mathew in 1664.  burials: Davis, Geo, ‘servant to Capt Crispe’  (3/1668) Davis, Powell (12/1668)

 Denman, John, 2 hearths.   A Jn Denman, waterman, was bur at Greenwich, Oct 1705.

Doe, Nicholas, 5 hearths. Bap at Greenwich of  Nic, son of Nic Doe, Apr 1657 and bur 8 Feb 1658. and bap of Andrew, son of Nic Doe, Aug 1658.  Bur Doe, Nic  (5/1666)  Nicholas Doe is listed as Petty Constable. 

Dutton, John, Captain.  5 hearths.  Edw, son of Jn Dutton, bap Greenwich, Feb 1656.

Governor of St Helena 28 Oct 1659-1661 (held by British Library: Asian and African Studies  Reference: E/3/85 f 125.  John may be the John Dutton, son of Hugh Dutton, waterman, 29 Nov 1630, baptised St Lawrence Pountney, City of London. (there are other John Duttons). History of St Helena says that Captain John Dutton’s wife travelled with 59-61.  In May 1667 wife of Capt Dutton buried. 

Edghill, Adam, 5 hearths From Parish registers on 

Thomas Edghill baptised 22 Sep 1663 St Alfege, father Adam Edghill. 

Adam Edgell baptised 7 Nov 1666 at St Alfege to father Adam Edgell.  

Ellis, John, 7 hearths.    In Aug 1650 Elizabeth, da of Jn Ellis, baptised at St Alfege. Bur Mrs Mary Ellis, da. Of Robert Ellis 12/1667.  

Everist, Mr. John, 5 hearths. (several John Everist born in Kent,  None in Greenwich.) There is a John Everitt born Greenwich 1637.  Both were names in 1660s) 

Gladman, Mr Thomas, 6 hearths.  Bur Richard Gladman and his da. Mary 6/1666.  Does hte  family later live in Deptford?  In 1700s butchers called Gladman in Deptford.

Glanvill, Benjamin, 12 Hearths, London Merchant (mainly tin?) with significant involvement in the East India Company.   Extensive notes made in Marine Lives including special agent to Bruges.   A Richard, son of Benj Glanvile, bap in Greenwich, 31 May 1655, and bur 11 June 1656. There was a memorial to “Richard, son of Benjamin Glanvill, merchant, 1656” in the old St Alfege church (Michael has also found reference to burial of a sons in the church:  Chas, son of Benj G, ‘bur in the church’ (02/1662) and Benj, son of Mr Ben Glanvil, in the church (06/1663). Bur of Mr Benj G at Greenwich, Feb 1681.

Benjamin may be a brother of William Glanville (1618-1702) listed in History of  Parliamentary), of Wonford, Devon and Greenwich, Kent who was was MP for Queensborough 1681 and sonin-lawtoJn Evelyn.

Goulding, Reuben, 2 hearths. Baps of Wm, son of Reuben G (1651); Sim, son of Reuben G, 1654 (also bur 1654); Mary, da of Reuben G (1656) and another Mary, da of Reuben G (1659).  Ruben Goulding’s youth bur 5/1666. Ruben Goulding’s wife bur 6/1666. He remarried Mary Bradshaw, spinster of G, at G, Oct 1666. Is this the musical barber liked by Pepys??  (1662, 1665):

At noon Commr. Pett and I by water to Greenwich  … waiting upon us a barber of Mr. Pett’s acquaintance that plays very well upon the violin.  

And:  ‘Golding, my barber at Greenwich, for our fiddler, to whom I did give 10s’

There is also a Susan G, wife of Steph Goulding, bur in church (04/1664)

Milles, Henry, gent, 6 hearths.  Baps at Greenwich of Thos, son of Hen Mills (May 1640); another son bap May 1647; and another Thos, son of Hen Mills (Aug 1648). A Hen Mills bur 10/1666.  Wife of Hen Mills bur 8/1667.  

PCC will for Henry Mills, yeoman of East Greenwich, June 1671 PROB 11/336/308  (Difficult to read – but gist is he must be older as leaving money to 6 grandchildren.)  He has 5 friends as feoffees:  Master Plume, minister of the Parish; Edward Nash (possibly Captain E Nash 9 heaths East Lane E; Francis Goone (maybe Francis Gunn of Stable Street); Geoge Petley of Tendridge/Tenterton/Tunbridge); John Stanford of Gt. Peckham,Kent, tanner. Legacies: to the poor, 40 shillings worth of bread. Feoffees to get £20 shillings a piece. Exec = grandchild Ric Mills; house and land at Tenterden called Percival to pay my daughter Damsical /Dansyval out of it £10 p.a. And if she dies to go to grandchild Richard; my tenant in house in Peckham shall have a new lease, paying old rent; to grandchild Olive Mends my 3 houses and gardens in Tunbridge [and another town/village]; to grandchild Henry Pointer, an annuity of 12 shillings at Clagget ward Turnbridge, bequest to John Huberts and his heirs; to my 2 grandchildren of Margt of Tunbridge, £1 each; to my 3 grandchildren of my dead son Sever, £1 each; book debts, bills and bonds which are from the king to be sold for the clearing up; Richard Mills is to be put to service; remainder to be divided between my 6 grandchildren. Wit: Edward Gray

Oxmond, John, 2 hearths. John Oxman has daughter baptised in St Alfege in 1642. (Ann) 

Penn, Mathew (?mariner) 7 Hearths. Penn, Matt buried in the church (1/1669)  November 1703 will of Mathew Penn, mariner belonging to their Majesties Ship Defiant of Saint Mary Whitechapel, Middlesex PROB 11/472/276  Mathew Penn of Whitechapel had a son bap Jan 1667 in Whitechapel. Also ref to Mathew Penn with mother Katherine in Whitechapel. 

Smyth, Mr. William, 10 Hearths.        In 1660 in the marriage licenses a Damaris Smyth (his daughter?) marries aged 24 with consent of Father William Smith 30th Oct.  In the London Livery Company Apprentice Reg 1609-1800 (by Cliff Webb) Theophillis Avery, christened 1648 at St Alfege, son of a waterman called John Avery (deceased), was apprenticed to William Smyth in 1664.  I think this is the son of Elinor Avery, also in the hearth tax. Wm Smyth’s wife dies 7/1667. 1668 William Smith bequeaths Blew Boar Tavern of Greenwich and wife Damaris. (In burials ‘A child from the Blew Boar’ bur 8/1667.) Reference to Sir William Smyth Swan and College in Kimbell.  (another William Smith?) (There are people called Smith in the burial records, but not William or Damaris).

Burials for Smith/Smyth. 

Smith, Giles, ‘drowned’ (11/1663)

Smith, Matthias  (8/1666)

Smith, Robt’s wife, in the church (08/1664)

Smith, Thos’ wife (10/1665)

Smith, widow ‘of the Queen’s College’ (03/1663)

Smyth, Ant  (4/1668)

Smyth, Robt, in the church (10/1668)

Smyth, Robt, in the church (10/1669)

Smyth, Thos, of the Lord’s College (5/1661)

Smyth, Wm’s wife  (7/1667) [listed above]

Smyth, Thomas, Mr. 6 Hearths     

There are two Thomas Smyths’.  One of D&T and one of King’s Barn with 4 hearths.  There is a PCC will for a Thos Smith, ‘Fisherman’ of Greenwich Nov 1665 (PROB 11/318/552.   Thomas Smith dies 27th September and his wife Iana (Jane) dies 2 days later on 29th September 1665.  The short will(s) are nuncupative.  Thomas calls Jane, his wife, to his bedside, and freely gives to her all his chattels… witness Margaret Taylor, Joan Philpott, August Rochford and Peter Devitt.   Two days later Jane leaves her goods to her sister Katherine Jacobs (possibly wife of Jacob Jacobs?)   The burial of Thomas Smith’s wife in October 1665 is listed in the burials above.  [This Fisherman is more likely to be CAPTAIN who is in King’s Barn.  Captn Tho Smyth has a daughter Elizabeth in 1663. 

There is also a second will for a Thomas Smith of East Greenwich 30/9/1671, butcher who leaves his estate in the hands of a wife Elizabeth to divide in to three between Tho Smith’s daughter once 18, Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s son  (hard to read, but think that’s what is meant).  If a dispute, to be settled by John Mann, Royal Official Master of His Majesty’s Barge.  Witnesses Henry Morris [5 hearths, church wall] and Edward  Turner [11 hearths High Street East] (PROB 11/337/230). 

In 1695 Travers survey there is a reference to Thomas Smith(s). For example, in 1670(s) Thomas Smith proves by oath that Sir William Boreman cut down royal trees worth £100. WmS. also owns land near Crane Street. 

In MarineLives Mr Thomas Smyth. Just possibly Thomas Smith (b. ?, d. ca. 1671), butcher, of East Greenwich (PROB 5/1208 SMITH, Thomas, of East Greenwich, Kent, butcher [Registered will: PROB 11/337] 1671; PROB 11/337 Duke 102-158 Will of Thomas Smith, Butcher of East Greenwich, Kent 30 September 1671)

Stevens, Henry, 3 hearths.  Baptism in Greenwich of Henry,son of Henrey Stevens, Dec 1643.   Wife of Richard Stevens bur 10/1663. Widow Stevens bur 9/1662 and 7/1666. Christian Stevens, wife of Mr Wm S bur 9/1664.A Hen Stevens was bur in Greenwich in July 1679. There is a reference to William Stephens in Kimbell. Francis Gunn in 1670 refers in his will to 5 tenements in the Dock of East Greenwich bought from James Moore Gent. These tenements are occupied by Henry Stevens, William Moore, Widow J/Tiney, widow Hogwood, [and another] widow.

Worrell, Mr. John (?vintner),14 Hearths Baptisms in St Alfege: Elizabeth, da of John Worrell, 31 Dec 1657, and John, son of John Worrell, 1659. In Webb’s book on apprentices (at LMO) John Worrell, ‘vintner’ took on Charles Broughton, son of James, as an apprentice in 1662. Amy, da of Mr Jn W, bur in church  (10/1663). Mr Worrall’s maid bur 11/1665. Mr Worrall’s youth bur 5/1666. Mr John Worral’s child Edward bur 5/1668.. Kent Marriage licences  WARTER John, of the Inner Temple, London, gent, bachelor, 40, and Jane WORRELL, of Greenwich, Kent, spinster, 26, – at Christchurch, London. 15 Nov 1687. PCC will for a John Worrell, ‘masters   mate’ of the Breda of Bermondsey 11/494/78, in April 1707 (likely to be someone else?).  In 1674 John Worrell is witness to the will of Mary Gunn PROB 11/347/74

Walker, Edward, 3 hearths. Bap of Edward, son of George Walker at Greenwich, 29 Aug 1628. Baps of John, son of Edw W (Dec 1654); Edw, son of Edw W (Oct 1656); and Fras, son of Edw W (Feb 1658).  Matt Walker of the Lord’s College was bur. August 1996, Robt W bur. Sept 1665, Jn Walker “A poor man from John Walker’s” was buried Dec 1669.

Wray, Thomas, 5 hearths.  Bap of Thos ‘Wrays’, son of Geo W, in Greenwich, Apr. 1632.

Two possible wills, neither are strong matches:
1709 Mariner on “The Ipswich” PROB 11/512/221
1679 Yeoman of Higham, Kent PROB 11/359/702

A Geo Wray was bur in Greenwich, June 1665. And widow Wray in December 1665

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The Greenwich Hearth Tax: Crooms Hill.

Between January and June 2018, a shared learning project was run with the University of the Third Age in Greenwich. As with the London and Middlesex SLP, the team was charged with using the hearth tax returns as a starting point and following their interest to reveal stories of Greenwich and the people who lived there in the late seventeenth century. In this post, Margaret Gravelle takes us on a journey of the wealthy street of Crooms Hill and the people and properties therein.

Crooms Hill- East Greenwich (Margaret Gravelle) 

Crooms Hill was a wealthy street with a total of 34 properties mentioned in the hearth tax returns and 263 hearths, an average of 7.7 hearths per property, compared with an average of just over 4 hearths per property in the rest of East Greenwich.

Crooms/Combes Hill is an ancient road which runs from Greenwich centre up to the Roman Road and then on to Lee and Eltham.  It winds up the west wall of Greenwich Park, and may be the oldest known road in London.  The Celtic and Saxon origin of its name , ‘crom’ or ‘crum’, means crooked. At one time the southern end was called Heathgate Lane and there may have been a gate onto the Heath here. Heathgate House, which still stands at 66 could be the site of the gate.

In 1695 William III commissioned Samuel Travers to draw a map of East Greenwich so that the ‘diverse trespasses, encroachments and other abuses’ could be recorded and corrected.  These had occurred as a result of the Commonwealth annexation of land in Greenwich Park which had belonged to the crown.  Travers and his associates compiled a list of some 268 tenants, describing their holdings and listing the rent.

King James I had replaced the fence around the park with a 2 mile, 12 ft high brick wall, at a cost of £2,000. Much of the wall still exists.  He gave the park and the palace that is now the Queen’s House, to his wife Anne of Denmark.  In turn Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, spent much time there.   In 1652, the Commonwealth requiring funds for their navy, the House of Commons resolved “that Greenwich House, park, and lands should be immediately sold for ready money”.   However, although a survey was made, most of the land remained unsold and was eventually ‘appropriated’ by the Lord Protector as a residence.  At the Restoration the grounds returned to the monarch, but by this time many of the buildings were in a poor state of repair and Charles II spent little time and less money on them. He ordered the building of a new palace, one wing of which was completed and this now forms part of the Old Royal Naval College. 

James II proposed building a Royal Naval Hospital at Greenwich although he did not see its completion.  William, who was asthmatic, and Mary preferred their other residences to Greenwich and spent little time there, although Mary did oversee the completion of the  palace as a hospital for disabled seamen. But lack of official oversight provided the opportunity for marginal land at the edge of the Park to be acquired without much opposition. As a consequence there were several properties which were ‘illegal’ constructions. In one of these Thornhill may have lodged when he was decorating the Painted Hall.

Much of the land was owned at one time by the courtier family of Compton but was acquired by Sir Thomas Lake (1561 – 1630).  Sir Thomas, knighted by James I, had three sons, Arthur (died 1633),Thomas (died 1653) and Lancelot (1609 – 1680) who was knighted by Charles II.  Sir Thomas may have lived in The Grange, (now 52) Crooms Hill, but also owned considerable land elsewhere.  The Grange  was once called “Paternoster Croft” and later “Grove House”.  The house now looks 17th century but probably has a much older core – 18 inch timbers inside have been shown to be 12th century. The house is mentioned in a schedule of Ghent Abbey in 1281 and was restored in 1268. 

Thomas Lake has been named as one of the first developers of the area.  He was MP for Malmesbury and Lancelot, after a career tinged with scandal, became MP for Middlesex in 1660. However, by 1664 he is no longer named in the hearth tax returns.  At this time The Grange was home to the Lanier family. They were a family of musicians. 

Lanier’s family originally came from Rouen in France but, as Huguenots, fled to England due to the Protestant persecutions. The older Nicholas arrived in 1561 and served in Queen Elizabeth’s court.  He married the daughter of another Italian musician, Anthony Bassano.  They prospered and were able to buy property in Greenwich.  

Their son, Jerome (1589 – 1659), had been a servant in the Tudor court.  With the Civil War the family were all out of work, a fact which is referred to in Jerome’s will where he mentions his “poor little estate,” and were owed large sums of money by the crown.  In lieu they were allowed to take some of the pictures originally owned by the crown but disposed of by Cromwell in order to raise money.  These included a print of a portrait of Queen Elizabeth which John Evelyn mentions in his diary. The pictures were later restored to Charles II.

Nicholas’s grandson, or possibly nephew, Nicholas (1588 -1666) was baptised and buried in Greenwich.  He was the son of John Lanier who was also a musician and composer and wrote music for some of the masques which were very popular at the time.   Nicholas was the first to hold the title Master of the King’s Music and had his portrait painted by Van Dyck in 1628.  It is said that, on the strength of this, he persuaded Charles I to invite Van Dyck to come to England. As an amateur painter himself Nicholas is said to have been responsible for advising the King on some of his purchases.

Mrs Mary Lanier, listed as having 5 hearths, died in 1676.  She was unmarried, the title Mrs., at the time, not necessarily indicating married status.  Contemporary paintings of Greenwich, such as that by Vorsterman (below), show a number of houses on Croom’s Hill.  It is probable that number 16 and 18, which was originally one house, known as Lanier’s, and divided in 1780, was the home of one of the Lanier family. Thomas Lanier paid hearth tax on 8 hearths.

In 1664 The Grange, with 23 hearths, some of them very elaborate, was bought by Sir William Hooker (1612 – 1697)who was a wealthy city merchant and Sheriff of London, later to become Lord Mayor. He married twice, his first wife was Laetitia and on her death he married Susan(na) daughter of Sir Thomas Bendish.  Hooker and his family were escaping the plague in central London and he appears to have enlarged the property, building stabling for eight horses and planting fruit orchards and a walnut tree court.  Hooker also built a gazebo, probably designed by Robert Hooke, at the end of his garden, possibly so that he could look over the wall into the park.  The gazebo still exists.

Pepys tells of an event in 1665 when Alderman Hooker, as he was then, prevailed upon  him to allow a child who was the only survivor of a family in Gracious Street in London, to be taken to Greenwich for safety.  Although later the same year Pepys describes Hooker as ‘a plain, ordinary, silly man, but rich’ and said he kept ‘the poorest mean dirty table in a dirty house that ever I did see any sheriff of London’.  

Sir William Hooker made a number of bequests during his life, including providing an annuity for poor widows of Greenwich and an endowment to John Roan school.  He owned property in Greenwich including ‘three tenements and gardens’ in Crooms Hill and some houses at the foot of the hill on the waste ground called ‘The Butts’.  He also paid rent of £1.1s for land at the top of the hill on which he had ‘erected a house’ and had property in London Street. 

Hooker was buried in his vault, now destroyed, at St Alfege and a handsome monument was placed in the south aisle, of white marble surmounted by a figure dressed in alderman’s robes. His portrait shows him wearing the robes and chain of office of a Lord Mayor of London.

There is some evidence that the house was almost completely demolished in 1784 and rebuilt two years later using some of the original materials.

Sir William Boreman ( 1612 – 1686) may also have lived, or lodged, at The Grange.  He was Clerk Comptroller of the King’s Household and was largely responsible for overseeing the implementation of Le Notre’s design for Greenwich Park, for which he was paid £888.  Le Notre probably never came to England despite his commission from Charles II in 1662, to redesign the park.  In 1664 John Evelyn notes in his diary that elms were being planted in Greenwich Park.

After the death of Charles II Sir William was identified as having felled and sold timber from the park. ‘How the  money arising thereby was accounted for or whether Sir William had any warrant for so doing…appears not.”

Sir William certainly had property in East Lane East where he is listed as having 11 hearths.  In 1672 he founded a school,  Greencoats, for the education, maintenance, and clothing of twenty poor boys of this parish; who are to be instructed in writing, accounts, and navigation, and in his will bequeathed this and surrounding land to the Drapers’ Company.  This endowment, now worth £80,000 annually, still exists and supports young people in Greenwich.  His will also provides evidence of his ownership of “All that upland and marsh land in East Greenwich which I bought of Sir Lancelot Lake now or late in the tenure or occupation of Thomas Patmore together with all those several parcels of land in Greenwich Marsh now occupied by Thomas Smith, John Borrell, John Heath. John Beris, Roger Raby, and Thomas Collins.”  There are possible matches with hearth tax records only in the case of Thomas Smith (6 hearths in Dock and Taverne Row) and John Heath ( 3 hearths in High Street East). Boreman also owned the King’s Arms in East Lane.  By 1709 the annual income from rents on properties in Greenwich alone amounted to £37.0.0.  Sir William is buried in Greenwich churchyard. 

Another large and distinctive house on Crooms Hill was that of Mark Cottell/Cottle, with 23 hearths.  It is known to have existed in 1638 and was owned by the family between 1655 and 1719.  Both Pepys and Evelyn visited the Cottles and admired the views from the roof where there was a distinctive turret. It was demolished in  1837.

Mark Cottell  (died 1681)was a wealthy lawyer and Registrar of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. He also paid hearth tax on 10 hearths in St Bride’s Precinct and 4 hearths in St Gregory’sAccording to Pepys he lived in a ‘very pretty house and a fine turret at the top and the finest prospect I know all about Greenwich’.  It was called The Belvedere and had 23 hearths. On one occasion Pepys mentions a dinner he attended at the Cottell’s house where he was hoping ‘to get Mrs Knipp to us’, having written her a note signed Dapper Dicky,  but she did not come and he had a ‘melancholy dinner’. 

Mark Cottle (sic) married Frances Garrard in 1647.  Cottell is listed in 1661 as Gentleman Pensioner in extraordinary.  This was an honorary and ceremonial  position with an annual salary of £100 p.a.  As well as representing his clients Mark Cottell seems to have been litigious in his own right.  He had a case brought against him by Mary Tempest who claimed that he had misappropriated a chest of ‘plate and jewels’ that was left in his care on her behalf.

Cottell owned other property in Greenwich including 9 houses on the east side of Crooms Hill (probably near Stockwell Street) on which he paid an annual rent of six pounds. He is recorded as having left considerable sums to charity including £40 to Greenwich alms houses or schools.

Heathgate House , which still stands, was built by William Smith in 1625.  It was the home of the Mason family from 1634. Robert Mason had a chequered career.  He trained as a civil lawyer and then in the early 1620s, became secretary to the King’s favourite, George Villiers,  Duke of Buckingham.  Mason stood for parliament in 1626 but failed to get elected. He was Chancellor to several Bishops of Winchester and Judge of the Admiralty Court on the Isle of Wight.  In May 1643 he may have been attached to the Court at Oxford.  During the Civil War, Robert Mason was a member of His Lordship’s regiment of horse.  He was knighted in 1661 and married Judith Buckle of Banstead.  They had at least two sons, Robert and Christopher and four daughters.  He owned property around Greenwich, although John Evelyn in 1652, described the house as ‘wretched’.   Robert died in 1662 in Bath where he had gone to ‘take the waters’.  On inheriting, the younger Robert gambled away his fortune and the house had to be sold.  Judith was permitted to live there by her son’s creditors until her death in 1675/6. Captain Christopher Mason, born about 1634, was commander of HMS Oxford.  His commission was signed by Charles II and Samuel Pepys.  Judith Mason paid tax on 29 hearths. She also had a sister or sister-in-law, Mary.  In December 1667 the parish register records that ‘Mr Mason’s child died at Dr. Primrose’s.’  

Primrose is an ancient Scottish family where they paid hearth tax, but there is no record of Francis. A Francis Primrose is recorded on Ancestry as having died in 1684, buried in St. Giles in the Field, Holborn and living in ‘Cromes Garden’.  He was probably related to Frederick Primrose, doctor of ‘physick’, of East Greenwich.  Frederick owned property including a barn, a garden and a wash-house in East Gate Street, but does not appear on the 1664 record. 

Justice Abraham Harrison who was present at the trial of Titus Oates in 1685, is known to have lived in Crooms Hill. He is listed in rate books from 1703 but does not appear on the hearth tax records. The house, at the bottom of Crooms Hill, was earlier occupied by Sir Algernon May (died 1704) but his name does not appear on hearth tax records either.

Arthur Art may have been a haberdasher who died in 1685.

Stephen Boyer may have had a son, Stephen, baptised in 1661. There was a Stephen Bowyer who died and was buried in 1666.

A possible relation of Thomas Brewer, Dorothy Brewer, gifted a large silver baptismal bowl to St Alfege’s in 1708.  

A Thomas Brimington had a son, Joseph, who was baptised in 1662. 

A William Colson died in 1742 and was buried in Woolwich.

A butcher named Thomas Cooke died in 1666. He may have fathered a daughter in 1661.

John Culling may have been a son of Christopher.  He married Martha Pearle in 1673. 

A Richard Fisher, gardener, married Mary Brewer at St Alfege’s in June 1665. The burial of Richard Fisher’s wife is recorded in 1666.

Nathaniel Hilles was baptised at St Alphege’s in 1625.  He may have been the same Nathaniel Hills who served as a Captain in Charles II army.  By 1671 his widow is recorded as having paid hearth tax. John, Stephen and Thomas, all paid hearth tax on properties in East Greenwich.

In 1660 James Langrach/Langrick, mariner, of East Greenwich, married Elizabeth Phillipps, daughter of John, a tallow chandler. There is a record of a son, Percy and a daughter, Mary being baptised in 1664 and 1667.  So the James Langrick who died in 1665 might have been their father.

Thomas Potter is recorded as having a son in 1661.

 In 1665 a William Renolds married Elizabeth at St Alfege’s.  

A Mrs. Rooper was buried in 1666.

A widow Rushin died in 1666. Zucary Ruthin (sic) is recorded in the 1641 tax records as paying a levy on a Crooms Hill property.

In 1666 Mathias Smyth was married by license in St. Alfege’s church or the record  may refer to Mathew Smyth whohad a daughter Katherine in 62, another daughter, Mary, in 63 and a son, Roger, in 1664 and may have died in 1666.

There are a number of properties shown on the Travers map which were ‘encroachments’ and liable for rent.  They include some waste land belonging to Charles Mason, two tenements belonging to William Hooker and a house and garden of Abraham Dry. The Dry family owned several properties around East Greenwich, including a cottage, one hearth, towards the top of Crooms Hill. 

 In 1695 a property was ‘encroached’ by George Scott but it had previously been the residence of Thomas Audry who died in 1650 but whose son, also Thomas, paid hearth tax on a house in High Street East.  Thomas senior was a park keeper and tax collector. The Travers’ map also marks conduits of which the one at the top of Crooms Hill still exists. 

Sources;  Documents 

Aslet, C (1999) The story of Greenwich

Barker, F  (1993)Greenwich and Blackheath Past

Bowle, J (1981) John Evelyn and his world

Hamilton, O and N (1969) Royal Greenwich

Hasted (1778) History of Kent

Kimbell, J (1816 ) An account of the legacies, gifts, rents, fees et c. appertaining to the county of Kent

Platts, B (1973) History of Greenwich 

Rhind, N and Watson, J (2013) Greenwich Revealed

Tomalin, C  (2002) Samuel Pepys, the unequalled self

Withington, L (1980) Virginia Gleanings in England




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The Greenwich Hearth Tax: High Street East and the King’s Barne.

Between January and June 2018, a shared learning project was run with the University of the Third Age in Greenwich. As with the London and Middlesex SLP, the team was charged with using the hearth tax returns as a starting point and following their interest to reveal stories of Greenwich and the people who lived there in the late seventeenth century. In this post, Michael Zell and Jackie Davies investigate the people that lived in the High Street East and King’s Barn areas of Greenwich.

Greenwich, 1664: High Street East – either 68 or 69 households

(Michael Zell)

On the map below there is a yellow ring around the area which may be described in the Hearth Tax return as High Street East and West. The map comes from the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, as can be seen from the watermark, and is available online:  is a link to the map made by Samuel Travers, Surveyor General in 1695, of the King’s lordship or manor of East Greenwich.   

The actual extent of High Street East (and West) – to which no fewer than 126 taxable households were assigned in the 1664 Hearth Tax assessment – is still not clear to me. In the 1695 map of the lordship of Greenwich it is labelled as High Street or Church Street; yet the 1664 Hearth Tax return has a separate ‘Church Wall’ to which it assigns 33 taxable households. ‘High Street’ doesn’t even appear in the 1746 Laroque map, which labels all that space as ‘Church Street’, all the way up to Stockwell Street. My guess is that most of that distance was known as High Street in 1664, in the rough proportion as the numbers of taxed households [126 to 33]. It was one of the wealthier roads in Greenwich – measured in terms of the proportion of houses with 3 or more hearths: more than 80% of households in Crooms Hill had 3 or more hearths; in East Lane West it was 78.5%, next was Dock and Tavern Row (74%); then East Lane East (67%), and finally High Street East with 59% having 3 or more hearths.  But such descriptions of Greenwich roads as ‘wealthy’ or ‘poor’ rest on weak foundations. We don’t know in which roads the 96 not chargeable households were located; nor do we know the location of the 39 empty but chargeable households (only 4 of those 39 had fewer than 3 hearths).

The two parts of the ‘High Street’ constituted the most populous road in Greenwich – as counted by the hearth tax collectors in 1664; followed by East Lane (East & West) with 100 taxed households. 

High Street East:

Mean household size = 3.8 hearths Median = 3 hearths

% of houses with 3 or more hearths = 59% (40/68)

% of houses with 4 or more hearths = 41% (28/68)

Houses with 8 or more hearths = 4

Houses with 6 or more hearths = 17

Houses with 5 or more hearths = 21

Houses with 1 hearth = 2

Houses with 2 hearths = 26

% of female headed households = 13% (9/68)

Here are the taxable householders:

Allen, John, 2 hearths [Jn, son of Jn A bap. May 1665; earlier bap of a Jn, son Jn A, bap at G, 1638; another Jn A in Kings Barn, with 5 hearths; a Jn A marr Mary Clark in G, 1652; a Jn A, joiner, marr Bridget Boreman alias Jones, in G, 1662]

Audry, Thomas, 3 [a Thos Audry bap in Whitechapel, 1622; Thos, son of Thos A, bap 12/1662 and da Kath bap 3/1665]

Ball, Richard, 2. [?relative of Eliz Ball, in Dock & Tavern Row; bap of Ric, son of Ric B, in G, 10/1660; Edm, son of Ric, bap 10/1663; bur of ‘widow Ball’, 11/1666; bur of Ric Ball’s mother, 4/1670]

Barney, Joan, 2 [in transcript there are 2 entries for Joan Barney, both w/2 hearths; no baptisms; a Hen B bur 8/1661]

Bates, Roger, 6 [Petty constable in 1664 Hearth Tax; bap of Jas, son of Roger B, 1/1663;  of da Mary, bap 10/1665; of da Eliz, bap 1/1668;  – Bates bur 1/1666; a ‘Robt’ Bates bur. 12/1666]

Beaman, Henry, 2 [Ann, da of Hen B, bap 5/1667; Hen, son of Hen Beaman, bur Greenwich, 1656]

Beckley, Thomas, 3 [da Letitia bap. 7/1661; da Mary bap. 10/1663; son Thos bap 11/1666; a Thos B bur in G, 5/1669]

Bines, John, 1 [Isaac, son of John Byne of G, cordwainer, bound to Andrew Robinson, vintner, Feb 1664, in Cliff Webb, London Livery Co Apprenticeship Registers; Wm Bines of G, waterman marr Susannah Callaway, Feb. 1664; no baptisms]

Blundell, Ralph, 3  [Ralph B was a churchwarden of G in 1679; his kinsman, John B, lived in High Street West, 4 hearths; neither the 1653 will of Mary Blundell, wid of Greenwich (PROB 11/227/34), nor the 1655 will of John Blundell, gent of Greenwich (PROB 11/247/601) mention this Ralph B. Parish register entries for Ralph B: he marr Ann Baker in G, 8/1655; bap of Ralph, son of Ralph B, 3/1657, but bur 4/1658; baps of da Mary, 1/1661; son Wm  6/1663; son Ralph 1/1665; da Mary 7/1666; son Thos 2/1668; da Kath 4/1669;  ‘a maid at Ralph Blundell’s bur. 9/1669; Ralph B marr Ann Baker, in G, 8/1665; bap of Ralph, son of Ralph B, 3/1657, but bur 4/1658; later 2 das of Ralph B were bur in 1678 and 1679 and a son Thos bur in 1679. A Ralph B was bur in Woolwich, in May 1704, and a Mr Ralph B, ‘grocer’ was bur in G in Feb 1704, but neither of these may be our Ralph B.]

Bretian, George, 2  [?try Britain??] [‘Goodman Brittaine’ bur 7/1676]

Brierton, Mr James, 5 [Marr of Jas Bryerton of G to Susannah Bates of G, Jan 1663;   Eliz, da of Jas B, bap 12/1663; ‘a child from Jas Bryerton’s’ bur. 11/1665]

Bunce, Sir James, 12. [Sheriff of London, 1643-4; but discharged in1649 as a royalist. His lands may have been confiscated by the Republic, but were restored in 1660, and he was knighted. Gent of Privy Chamber, 1667; and Bt. He was well known to Samuel Pepys, who he chided in1665 for his former attachment to the Cromwellian regime (diary 15/12/1665). Son of Jas, MP London 1628; no children of Jas B bap in Greenwich, but PCC will refers to his sons Jn and Steph. He died in 1670 in the house of a friend, Fabian Phillipps, Esq, in Middx. Nuncupative will just names son Jn and Phillipps as execs. He was ‘of Greenwich’, and died of ‘the sickness’. PROB 11/344/361, will proved 1674. In 1670s a Dr Bunce, physician, lived in G: a child of his was bur in 1678]

Chapman, Margaret, 4 [bap of Eliz, da of Hen C, 8/1661; and of Hen, son of Hen, 2/1664; bur of 2 Hen Chapmans –  6/1666 and  11/1667; bur of a ‘Mrs Chapman’, 4/1665; and of ‘widow Chapman’, of Queen’s College, 4/1669]

Cheese, William, 2 [bap of Wm, son of Wm, 3/1663; of da Ann, 4/1666; of da   Millicent, 10/1668; bur of son Edw, 7/1673]

Clarriage, John, 6 [Jn Claridg of G, ‘glazier’ marr Ann Lewis at G, May 1661; but no     baptisms for a Claridge in G, 1661-9; burial of Jn Claridge’s wife in 8/1661 in G, and of Jn C in 12/1668; another Jn C bur 10/1673]

Elton, Anthony, 2  [Baps of And, son of Ant, 6/1661; of da Eliz, 12/1664; of son Wm, 7/1667; of da Joan, 9/1669]

Fiffee, Mr David, 10  [Bur of Mr David Fiffee, 10/1670, ‘in the church’. Nothing else in G; it’s a mystery who he is. There’s a bap of a David, son of David Fiffe, in Whitechapel, London, Feb 1677; a David Fife bur in Shadwell, Middx, Sept 1686; other Fifes in London area]

Firebarne, Robert, 2 [Drawn a complete blank on this man. He doesn’t turn up in Greenwich registers] Should I be looking at Fairbarnes?

Fisher, William, 6 [baps of das Fras, 7/1661 and Martha, 7/1666; a Wm Fisher bur 4/1669 in G; baps to both a John and Ric F in Greenwich]

Fortune, Thomas, 2  [Bap of  Wm, son of Thos F, 2/1655; bap of Thos, son of      Thos F, 1/1657; bur 1658; baps of another son Wm, 11/1662; of son Thos, 8/1665; marr to a Joyce Bridges, 4/1656, in G; bur of a Thos F in G, 8/1690]

Franck, Mr Thomas, 4 [Two of Mr Frank’s scholars bur in Greenwich, 7/1666; baps only of children of a Hen Franke; Mr Hen F, gent, marr Ann Needum, 8/1663]

French, John, 2  [Bap of a Jn F in Deptford, Aug 1646, son of Wm F; also bap of Jn

    F, son of Jn F, in G, 1658; bap of Eliz, da of Jn F, 10/1663]

Fuller, Jn, 2 [Jn Fuller, ‘mercer of G’, was a wealthy man when he died in 1678. His will (PROB 11/357/422) asks that he be buried in Greenwich churchyard ‘as near to the bodies of my first wife and my brother ‘[Geo F] ‘as conveniently may be’. He held property in St Clements Danes [London] , left to his eldest son Jn; a messuage and lands in Westerham, Kent, left to younger sons Geo & Thos; and dwelling messuage in G, left to 2nd wife Ann, on condition that she pays £150 to son Jn at age 21. Wife is sole executrix, and must pay £200 portions to Jn’s 5 das. Earlier will of Geo Fuller of G, chandler (1660: PROB 11/300/427), refers to brother Jn. Jn F had children bap in G in 1660s: da Eliz, 9/1661; a  child, bap 1/1663; son Ant, 5/1664; da Ann, 1/1668; da Sarah, 1/1669; bur of a Thos F in G, 6/1665; bur of Eliz, (first) wife of Jn F, 7/1665]. One might not guess at Fuller’s prosperity on the basis of his 2 hearth house of 1664.

Gardner, Avery, 5 [1695 case shows Thos Wigsell holding lands late Avery

Gardner’s: Kimbell, item nos. 190, 234; bur of ‘Goody’ Gardiner, 9/1666; bur of Mr Jn Gardiner’s man, 9/1661, and of a ‘poor man’ from Avery G’s, 5/1674; bur of a da of Avery G, 7/1665, and of a ‘child’ of Avery G, 9/1677]

Garrett, William, 4 [Bap of son Gabriel, 1/1665; of da Mary, 8/1668; Bur of Wm Garret in G, 6/1668; bur of ‘Goodman Garret’s wife’, 9/1665] 

Goding, Robert, 2 [no baps, 1661-9; bur of a Robt ‘Goddin’ in G, 5/1667; bur of Jane, wife of Wm Gooding, 3/1666]

Groves, Mrs Sarah, 5  [no baps, 1661-9; bur of ‘Mrs Groves’, in G, 7/1669]

Hart, John, 2 [bap of Fras, son of Jn H, gardener, 6/1661; bap of da Mary, 1/1664; bur of Jn H’s wife, 5/1664; bur of Thos H’s wife, 8/1664]

Heath, John, 3  [no baptisms, 1661-9]

Higgeson, Mr Francis, 6  [no baptisms, 1661-9; ?relation to Col. Humph Higginson, with 3 children bap in G, 1662-5

Holland, Robert, 4  [Not exactly clear who this Robt H was. A 1653 PCC will (PROB 11/230/646) of an older Robt H brings out the strong ties betw Greenwich and London: that Robt H called himself ‘of Greenwich’ as well as ‘Citizen and Ironmonger of London’, and asked to be buried in Greenwich church, next to his wife. He refers to a younger brother Ric H, and his exec was his son Ric H. Refers to a ‘kinsman’ Robt H, and left £3 to Greenwich poor. There were no baps in G, 1661-9 for Robt H, but see bap of a child of Jn H, in G, 2/1667]

Lambert, Capt James, 8. [Lambert was killed in action, 1665; had been Capt of D of York’s yacht, 1662; his will, as ‘mariner of Greenwich’, was written in1664, as he set off on a voyage for the King, and ‘not knowing how God will dispose of him’.  The will (PROB 11/317/634, proved Sept 1665) refers to his 3 unmarried das, to whom he left several shares of named ships, and his wife Mary, who was left the revenues coming from Crown Quay, a wharf at Milton next Sittingbourne, Kent. Execs were to be Lambert’s wife and his friend, Mr Ric Raynes of G. Lambert knew Pepys. G register records bap of Barbara, da of Capt Jas L, 3/1662; a da of Mr Thos Lambert, bur 10/1662]

Lord, Margaret, 6 [no Lord baps in G, 1661-9; a Jas L marr Eliz Stephens, wid,10/1659]

Marshall, Edward, 2 [bap of da Kath, 11/1661; wife of a Geo M, bur 11/1666 in G]

Marshall, William, 2 [no baps for a Wm M, 1661-9; but for children of Edw, Geo, Phil and Robt M in G, 1661-9]

Marten, Elizabeth, 2  [baps for Eliz and Jn, children of Jn M, 1666, 1669]

Maruin, Sarah, 2 [Bur of ‘Mrs Maruin’, 2/1665, ‘in the church’; bap of Sarah, da of 

   Thos Maruin at St Kath by the Tower, July 1642]

Mowe, John, 4 [Bap of Jn, son of Thos Mew, at G, Dec 1635; bap of Amy, da of Jn Mowe, 12/1661; of Jas, son of Jn, 3/1666; of Eliz, da of Jn, 11/1667; PCC will for

    Jn Mew, mariner of St Olave,1687; occasionally written Mew instead of Mowe]

Mowe, John, jun, 2 [no identified baps, 1661-9]

Muckleston, Hugh, 4 [bap of son Jn, 7/1668; of da Mary, 9/1669; bur of child of Hugh M, 7/1673]

Nicholas, Thomas, 2 [no baps for a Nicholas, 1661-9]

Patteson, Thomas, 3 [?son of Jn Patteson, vintner in G, who took Edw Domelaw as 

     apprentice in 1646/7 (Webb, p. 89). Bap of Avery, son of Thos P, 8/1662; of da Susan, 1/1664]

Peacock, Robert, 1 [a Jn Peacock had 5 children bap in G, 1662-1668]

Phillips, John, 7 [Bap of Joseph, son of Jn P, 3/1668; bur ‘in the church’, 1/1672; Will for Jn Phillips of G, tallow chandler, proved 1672 (PROB 11/338/328): leaves a house in G, rented out, to wife Mary. Sons Thos, Jn (£5) and Wm (£50), and das Eliz and Mary ‘Langrack’ (£5 each); Wife and son Thos = execs. Witness: Edw Turner.  N.B another Jn Phillips in 2 hearth house in Fisher Lane; a ‘widow Phillips bur 1/1669, and a ‘child of Jn Phillips’ bur 12/1677]

Phillips, Richard, 3 [no baps for a Ric P, 1661-9; a ‘widow Phillips’ bur in G in 1/1669]

Pitcher, John, 3  [no baps, 1661-9; a Robt P had 4 baps betw 1661-1668; a Robt P bur in 4/1668]

Ratford, William, 2 [a Fras Ratford, wid of G, married Jn Clements of G, mariner, in G, Sept 1664; a Chas ‘Radford’ bur in G in 1/1664]

Ratford, William, 3 [no Ratford baps 1661-9 in Greenwich]

Richardson, William, 3 [Bur Sept 1678 as apothecary and churchwarden; PCC will (PROB 11/357/492) as Wm R, apothecary of G, 1678: exec = wife Kath R; to da Eliz Hide, £50 plus reversion of all lands; to Greenwich poor, £5; refers to brothers Joseph & Matt R; brother-in-law Jn Abram; to Mary, da of Ric Smyth, £5; to sister Mary Phillips, £2; no Richardson baps 1661-9; he was involved in setting up Jn Roane school in 1677]

Rickman, Edward, 2  [Bap of Edw, son of Edw R, at Greenwich, 1641; 2 das of an Edw R bap in G, 9/1667 and 12/1668; Edw R, brickmaker, marr Eliz Davison, 6/1666; bur of ‘child’ of Edw R in 8/1675 and 10/1675; Eliz, da of Edw R bur 8/1680]

Robertson, Andrew, 3 [no Robertson baps in G, 1661-9; but an Andrew ‘Robinson’ had children bap in G, 11/1661, 1/1663, 3/1664, 3/1666, 2/1667 and 3/1668]

Robertson, Margaret, 5

Rochford, Mr John, 6  [a Jas R bur in G in 3/1662; no Roachford baps, 1661-9]

Ryly, Nathaniel, 6 [Bap of Jn, son of Nath R at G in 3/1642, and bap of Mary, da of Nath Ryly, 3/1659 in G; but no Ryly baps, 1661-9; bur of Wm R in 9/1667 and Jn R in 11/1667]

Saltmarsh, Mr Edward, 3 [no Saltmarsh baps, 1661-9]

Silstall, William, 2 [no Silstall baps, 1661-9]

Silverside, Thomas, 2 [Bap of 2 das of a Thos S, in G, in Oct 1637 and Aug 1641; no baps in G, 1661-9]

Sims, Francis, 2  [Bap of Rachel, da of Fras Sims, in G, Aug 1654; of da Eliz, 5/1661]

Smyth, William, 2  [bap of Wm, son of Wm S, 1/1669; many other Smyth baps; bur of a Wm Smyth’s wife in G in 7/1667; a ‘Wm Smyth’ bur 12/1677, but there were several of them. See also Wm Smyth w/10 hearth house in Dock & Tavern Row, and who owned Blue Boar tavern in 1668]

Swann, Humphrey, 3 [no Swann baps in G, 1661-9; bur of Humph S’s wife in G, 7/1666; may be churchwarden, and involved w/John Roane school]

Tarsell, Mr James, 7 [Bap of son Thos, 6/1664; of da Mary, 2/1668; Bur of Thos, son of Mr Tarsell, in the church, 3/1665; bur of the wife of Mr Jas T, 2/1668; bur of Mary T, in the church, 7/1667]

Thompson, William, 2  [bur of a Mrs Tompson, 11/1669; baps of 3 children of Ric T, 1663-1668]

Turner, Mr Edward, 11 [Bap and bur of Edw, son of Edw Turner, in G, 1654 & 1655; Edw Turner was witness to will of Thos Smyth in 1671 (PROB11/337/230) and will of Jn Phillips,1671 (PROB 11/338/328);  bur of Mr Edw T, 5/1672. Three baps for a Jn T, 1662-1665]

Upchurch, Henry, 6 [Bap of son Joseph, 11/1665; of son Hen, 1/1668; of da Sarah, 7/1669; marriage of Hen U in Greenwich, Oct 1666, to Sarah Churchman; Hen U married Edy Canton, in G, March 1664; bur of Hen U, sen, in 3/1667; called ‘cordwainer’ in 1666 marriage entry]

Webby, Richard, 7  [No baps for a Webby, 1661-9; baps for children of Jn and Wm Webbe in 1661-9; bur of a Mr Chas Webb, in the church, 4/1665]

Wethers, Elinor, 4 [Many Wethers living and marrying in Deptford, 1640s-50s; also

    a Hen Withers w/da bap in G, 1659; a Robt Withers w/da bap in G, 1654; and a Humph Withers w/da bap in G in 6/1661; wife of Humph Withers bur  9/1661

Whinnard [Whinyard], Elinor, 1 [In 1620s-1630s several children bap in Greenwich, of fathers Ric and Thos Whyniard of G; but not an Elinor. Bap of a da and a son of Ric Whinyard in G, in 1662 and 1667; bur of Ric Whinyard in 4/1665; and Wm Whinyard in 12/1669. NB Thos Whinard was exempt in a 2 hearth house]

Wood, John, 6 [Note: baps of children of a Ric Wood in G in 1661, 1664 & 1665; ?bur of a Jn Wood in G, 2/1669; and another in 12/1690] 

King’s Barne (Jackie Davies) 

Items from Travers 1695 survey referencing to the King’s Barns

51 George Creed  holdeth three messuages, new build, and a toft of waste land against
the King’s barns, late Smith’s, having the land of widow Beller’s west, north, and south,
and the waste against the King’s barns east and payeth yearly ……………………………………. 0 0 2

68 Samuel Willson holdeth six tenements and — acres of garden ground, have the
Ship Tavern north, Friars Road East, the King’s Barns west, Long Turnpin Lane
south and payeth yearly …………………………………………………………………………………………. 0 0 9

69 …. Bellers, widow, holdeth divers tenements, late Thomas Smith’s,  having the land
of Jonah Dodsworth north, Turnpin Lane south, the King’s Barns east, Church Street
west and payeth yearly ……………………………………………………………………………………………0 0 4

A George Creed is listed on London Street in 1664, the late Thomas Smith referred to in 51 could be Captain Thomas Smith 4 hearths The King’s Barne.  There is a (nuncupative) will for a fisherman in East Greenwich called Thomas Smith died 1665 and left a will. 

 Smyth, Thomas, Captain 4 hearths     

Elizabeth, daughter of Captain Thomas Smyth was baptised in 1663. There is a PCC will for a Thomas Smith, ‘Fisherman’ of Greenwich Nov 1665 (PROB 11/318/552.   Thomas Smith dies 27th September and his wife Iana (Jane) dies 2 days later on 29th September 1665.  The short will(s) are nuncupative.  Thomas calls Jane, his wife, to his bedside, and freely gives to her all his chattels… witness Margaret Taylor, Joan Philpott, August Rochford and Peter Devitt.   Two days later Jane leaves her goods to her sister Katherine Jacobs (possibly wife of Jacob Jacobs?)   The burial of Thomas Smith’s wife in October 1665 is listed in the burials above.  There are two Thomas Smith.  Captain in KB and Mr in D&T.  The wills are for a fisherman and a butcher. The fisherman is more likely to be ‘Captain’.  

There is also a second will for a Thomas Smith of East Greenwich 30/9/1671, butcher who leaves his estate in the hands of a wife Elizabeth to divide in to three between Tho Smith’s daughter once 18, Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s son  (hard to read, but think that’s what is meant).  If a dispute, to be settled by John Mann, Royal Official Master of His Majesty’s Barge.  Witnesses Henry Morris [5 hearths, church wall] and Edward  Turner [11 hearths High Street East] (PROB 11/337/230). 

In the burials transcribed by MZ there is a reference to Thomas Smith’s wife in 10/1665, but none to Thomas 

Smith, Giles, ‘drowned’ (11/1663)

Smith, Matthias  (8/1666)

Smith, Robt’s wife, in the church (08/1664)

Smith, Thos’ wife (10/1665)

Smith, widow ‘of the Queen’s College’ (03/1663)

Smyth, Ant  (4/1668)

Smyth, Robt, in the church (10/1668)

Smyth, Robt, in the church (10/1669)

Smyth, Thos, of the Lord’s College (5/1661)

Smyth, Wm’s wife  (7/1667) [listed above]

Smyth, Joseph, Mr.  4 Hearths  

Amongst the Travers 1695 items are:    

67 —- Peachey holdeth — acres of land with their appurtenances, late Joseph Smith’s
bounded on the south by the highway, next the park wall, on the north by the long
Turnpin Lane, East by Friars Road, and west by the Back Lane, alias King Street and
payeth yearly  ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 0 0 7 ½ 

Foster, Thomas,  1 hearth 

Underneath the items in Travers 1695 survey, on page 210 in Kimbell, is a heading ‘ The Manor, or Reputed Manor of the Old Courts’   In this section is a reference to Thomas Foster. 

Two tenements, consisting of about five or six rooms, adjoining at the east end of the aforesaid messuage or parsonage house: formerly in the occupation of John Browne and Thomas Foster, now in the possession of John Willbee

Burials with the name Foster include 

Foster, Dan  (9/1666)

Foster, Mary, Thos Foster’s sister  (01/1664)

Foster, widow  (7/1666)

Foster: ‘the Lady F from East Lane’  (11/1665)

Stewart, Ric, ‘a nurse child’ with Eliz Foster (12/1678)

Willoby, Thomas 2 hearths,  John Willbee mentioned above could be related to Thomas Willoby.  There is a burial for Jn Wilby’s wife 08/1662, and also for Rick Wilbie 11/1668. John Boreman’s will in 1684 leaves tenements to his wife Margaret, including 1 tenement now or late in the occupation of Colonel Wilbys. Wm Willoughby is mentioned in later documents. 

Malum, Richard,  8 hearths Mallum: ‘Mrs Mallum’s child, in the church’ (9/1666)

Pitcher, John, 2 hearths John Pitcher bap St Nicholas 1/1621.  Only burial at St Alfege: Robt Pitchar (4/1668)

Bap for John Pitcher, Greenwich :  St Nicholas     (01/1621)  

Burials for Pitch* at St Alfege       :  Pitchar, Robt  (04/1668)

John Pitcher is mentioned several times in Kimbell. There seems to be a John Pitcher and a John Pitcher Senior in 1695.  The 1664 JP is likely to be the senior

238 John Pitcher, Sen, holdeth two messuages and gardens, having the lands
of Sir William Hooker north and west , the highway east and payeth yearly          0 0 7

In 1691 John Pitcher is named as a feoffee on William Hooker’s annuity deed for poor widows of Greenwich.  (p 122 of Kimbell)

Waterman, John, 2 hearths. John Waterman bur. 8/1666

Allin, John, Mr., 5 hearths   June 1652, John Allin marries at St Alfege to Mary Clarke.  August 1662 John Allin (Joiner) married to Bridgett Boreman, alias Jones at the same parish, spinster. at St Alfege, Greenwich.     MZ suggests that Allin and Allen are interchangeable and the John Allen 3 hearths.

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The Hearth Tax and Church Wall, East Greenwich.

Between January and June 2018, a shared learning project was run with the University of the Third Age in Greenwich. As with the London and Middlesex SLP, the team was charged with using the hearth tax returns as a starting point and following their interest to reveal stories of Greenwich and the people who lived there in the late seventeenth century. In this post, Carolyn Heathcote shows continuity in the exempt status of some people living in the Church Wall area of East Greenwich and finds references in the parish registers to people possibly connected with those living in Church Wall (who were listed in the hearth tax return).

Greenwich and Maidstone editions  1664 (Carolyn Heathcote)  

One of our first thoughts when taking on this project was to see whether the Hearth Tax returns for Greenwich contained any further information apart from the householders’ names and the number of hearths they owned. We were aware that in some areas the tax collectors had added information to their lists e.g. giving details of how some people reacted to being asked to pay this tax. Visits were therefore paid to the National Archives in Kew which holds a copy of the Kent Hearth Tax and to Maidstone to the Kent History and Library Centre which also had its own copy. The Greenwich Hearth Tax returns at Kew are in reasonable condition but vary as to how readable they are.  Church Wall is quite readable but when the same section of the tax in the Maidstone edition is compared with the Kew version one can see the difference. Unfortunately none of the tax collectors remarks have been recorded in Greenwich so no additional information was available. However there is another document at the National Archives E179 which is a list from Lady Day 1674 of those exempt the tax for various reasons. This document is more difficult to read as it is not in such good condition but we have transcribed this list to the best of our abilities. Many of those who are “non chargeable” are widows and the beginning of the document sets out the parameters for those who are to be exempted from the tax (see below).

Church Wall returns compared:


It was signed off on Lady Day 1674 by:                    

Thos. Plume vicar

John Wotton     ) Church

Tho. Sands       ) wardens

Although the second document is ten years later, some names which were in the East Greenwich 1664 non-chargeable list do recur in the 1674 list

Nani Cooke wid may be the relict of Thomas Cooke – now with only one hearth

Mary Dyer may be the same as Widdow Dyer but again with only one hearth

Elizth Benet wid may be the relict of Richard Bennett but with only one hearth

Ann Rogers wid with two hearths may be the relict of John Rogers who also had 2 hearths

Widd Wood with one hearth could be the same person as Susann Wood widd who had two hearths but there is also Jane Wood who had only one hearth in 1664

Wido Ffoster with one hearth could be the relict of Thomas Foster who had two hearths

Widd Jones with one hearth could be the relict of John Jones who had two hearths

Widd Lyon with one hearth could be the relict of Ralph Lyon who had two hearths

Widd Epsom with one hearth could be the relict of Thomas Epsome who had two hearths

Thomas Edwards with one hearth may be the son of Henry Edwards who also had one hearth

Jone Tomlin wid with one hearth may be the relict of Richard Tomling who also had one hearth

Katteryn Mattew with one hearth could be the relict of Edward Mathewes who had two hearths

Simon Ward with one hearth could be the son of Thomas Ward who had two hearths

Rich Hollaman with one hearth could be the same person as Richard Holliman who had two hearths

Widd Phillips with one hearth might be the same person as Joane Phillips with two hearths but it does not say the latter is a widow

Similarly Widd Simons with two hearths could be the same person as Jane Sim(m)ons with two hearths

John Green with two hearths could be the son of Robert Greene who also had two hearths

Mary /Glover wid with one hearth could be the relict of Lancelott Glover who had two hearths


It has not been possible to find a map giving the exact location of Church Wall but it must have been part of what was later described as Church Street. The following maps indicate that there were some buildings quite close to the church.

A survey of the Kings lordship or manor of East Greenwich  – Travers Map of 1695

Some of the houses must have been quite substantial given the number of hearths. Mr William Champlin had 12 hearths, Mr Francis August 10, Mrs Elizabeth Stacy wid and Mr John Bright both had 8 whilst Mr Richard Thomas had 6.  Of the remaining inhabitants:-

 5 had 5 hearths, 2 had 4 hearths, 5 had 3 hearths, 13 had 2 hearths and 3 had only one hearth.

It has been possible to find references in the parish registers to people possibly connected with all those living in Church Wall. Of the 33 householders only two were women – Mrs Elizabeth Stacy and Dorothy Partington – both were widows but neither apparently left any will giving details of their families or circumstances. 


August Francis Mr. (10 hearths) Marriage of Francis August (b) and Sarah Smith (s) St James, Duke’s Place, 8 January 1690/91 There are burials in St. Alfege, Greenwich in September 1668 for Francis August and Mrs. August and burials in the chancel of the church in September 1669 for both Francis and Mrs. August

Baker Thomas (2 hearths) There is a marriage of a Thomas Baker (Mariner –  residence Dover) to a Jane Mannoring at St. Alfege in Greenwich on 12 September 1660 and a will for a Thomas Baker  of East Greenwich who is a Basketmaker proved in 1687in Rochester Archdeaconry Court (Refs Dra/Pwr 2.47 and Dra/Pw 5)

Benton John (2 hearths) There is a burial of a John Bentons in St. Alfege, Greenwich on 15 May 1672

Blesset Mark (senr) (3 hearths)  Marke Blisset the son of Marke Blisset was baptised in Greenwich on 18  July 1659; the will of Mark Blisset, gardener resident in Greenwich was proved in the Rochester Consistery Court in 1679 (Refs. DRb/Pwr 25.371 and DRb/Pw 37)

Black John (2 hearths) There is a baptism of a John Black, son of John Black in St.Alfege, Greenwich on 25 December 1646

Bright John Mr. (8 hearths) There is a Mr. John Bright buried in St. Nicholas, Deptford on 14th March1670 which would seem to be likely to be the one with a residence in Church Wall but although there are more Brights in Southwark it is not possible to tie these in with the Greenwich Bright.

Buttler Robert (2 hearths) There is a burial of a Robert Buttler, son of Robert Buttler on 10 January 1685/6 at St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey. There is also a marriage of a Robert Buttler to Edith Bennett in the same church on 14 April 1617 but whether these are the Buttlers with hearths is Greenwich is questionable.

Champlin William Mr. (12 hearths) There is a William Champlin  hisabandman buried in Boughton-under-Beane in Kent ion 21 April 1668

Coales William (3 hearths)  William Coale, a potter was buried in St. Alfege on March 1st 1665

Dawes John (5 hearths) There is a Jane Dawes, the daughter of John Dawes, baptised in St. Alfege, Greenwich on 5th December 1664, born the 23rd November and the burial of Dawes, Jn, son of John Dawes mariner in September 1678 plus the burial of a John Dawes on 10th February 1679 and another on 21st  July 1679

Delton James (2 hearths)  James the son of James Delton was baptised on 19th April 1657 in St. Alfege, Greenwich and there is a burial of a Jone Delton on 4th April 1679.(wife of James?)

Dry Abraham (3 hearths) Abraham Drye, the son of Abraham Drye was baptised on 14 December 1651 and Rebeccah Drye the daughter of Abraham Drye was haptised on19 April 1657 in St. Alfege, Greenwich

Notes from Marine Lives on Abraham Dry

ï  Abraham Dry. Possibly Abraham Dry (b. ?, d. ca. 1700), gardener (PROB 5/1216 DRY, Abraham, sen, of Greenwich, Kent, gardener (account only) [Administration act: PROB 6/76] 1700; plus PROB 5/1217, PROB 5/1218, PROB 5/1219, PROB 5/1220, and PROB 5/2914 (all dated 1700); ‘Lease of a tenement in Churchfields, East Greenwich, late in the occupation of Abraham Dry, gardener (Includes a coloured plan showing the garden ground and ‘Captain Stratton’s House’),’ LMA/4442/01/01/02/009 1747 – 1764; ‘Counterpart lease of a tenement and garden in Brooks Marsh, Churchfields, East Greenwich, formerly in the occupation of Abraham Dry, junior,’ LMA/4442/01/01/02/010 1746; LMA: PAPERS MARKED ‘USELESS’ AND ORIGINALLY NUMBERED ‘ROAN C’ IN 1780 LMA/4442/01/01/03 [n.d.]: Draft notes concerning the leases of Mr Dry alias Drye, Thomas Phillips and Joseph Hatch LMA/4442/01/01/03/005 1679) 

Ellot John (5 hearths) There is a marriage for a John Elliott in February 1665 in St. Nicholas Deptford to a Margrett (no surname given) and a burial for a John Ellett on 27 September 1665 in St. Alfege, Greenwich which says he is from Deptford  plus a further burial in St. Alfege of a John Ellot at Deptford Bridge on 31st December 1667.and another marriage for a John Eliot on 9 July 1674 in St. Mary Magdalene, Woolwich to a Dorcas Wright. It is not possible to say how these relate to each other.

Foster Thomas – (1 hearth) There is a Thomas Foster, the son of Thomas Ffoster baptised on 9 October 1656 in St. Alfege, Greenwich and a further son Thomas Foster, baptised on 23 March 1662 in St. Alfege, Greenwich. There is also a burial of Mary Foster, the sister of Thos. Foster in January 1664

George Jeremy (2 hearths) A Jeremiah George got married on 27 May 1662 to Mary Bedford in St. Giles, Camberwell, Southwark and there is a burial in St. Alfege on 13th June 1665 of Jeremy George’s wife

Hatree Thomas (5 hearths)  There is a marriage for a Thomas Hatree and Hannah Russell in February 1665 at St. Nicholas, Deptford and a burial of a Thomas Hatree on 14th April 1671 in St. Nicholas, Deptford plus a will for a Thomas Hawtree dated 10th April 1671 although this was not proved (in accordance with his wishes) until  January 1674 .In this will be mentions his sons Thomas Hawtree, John Hawtree, William Hawtree and his daughters Jone Higgins, Ellen Crispp (?), Mary Mitchell, Jane Greene and  Mary Hawtree and his wife Mary Hawtree. There is also a baptism of a son Thomas to Thomas Hatree baptised on 22nd March 1667/8 (presumably the one who got married in 1665).

Hinsbey William (2 hearths) There is a baptism of an Ann Hinsbey the daughter of John Hinsbey in May 1663 in St.Alfege, Greenwich

Hollyman John (1 hearth) There is a burial of a Jone(?) Holliman on 21st September 1664 in St. Nicholas Deptford

Lock William (2 hearths) There is a Mr William Lock getting married to Mary Michell in February 1664 in St. Giles Camberwell but this seems unlikely to be the one registered for Hearth Tax in Greenwich.

Morris Henry (5 hearths) There is a son Henry son of Henery Meris baptised in St. Alfege, Greenwich on 17th October 1647

Ogam William (4 hearths)  Will Ougham is married to Elizabeth Backford on 2nd June 1656 at St. Alfege, Greenwich and a son William is christened in the same church on 8th November 1657

Page John (5 hearths)  There is a marriage for a John Page to Ruth Browne on 28th April 1638 at St. Nicholas, Deptford and a PCC will for a John Page or Deptford on 1st July 1674 (in Latin!) and  a London Apprenticeship for a Richard Page, son of John Page of Deptford  shipwright, (deceased) in 1692

Partington Dorothy (wid) (2 hearths) Hannah Partington, the daughter of John Partington was haptised on 3rd January 1654 in St. Alfege, Greenwich 

Priddeth Barnabus (3 hearths) Barnaass Preedeth was married to Joanna Jackson on 3rd November 1631 in St. Alfege, Greenwich and a Barnaby Predeth was buried on 10th March 1667/68 in St. Alfege, Greenwich

Sparkes Thomas (2 hearths)  There is a baptism of a Thomas Sparkes, the son of Thomas Sparkes on 24th July 1625 in Greenwich and a marriage of a Thomas Sparkes to Susan Chapman on 17th  February 1651 in Greenwich, plus the baptism of Thomas Sparkes, the son of Thomas Sparkes in Greenwich on 3rd April 1653.There also appears to be the burial of Thomas Sparkes on 5th September 1665 and of Thomas Sparkes child on 27th September 1665

Stacy (Mrs) Elizabeth wid (8 hearths) ~There is a marriage of a William Stacy to a Sarah Hill on 17th October 1665 in St. Nicholas, Deptford and the burial of an Elizabeth Stacy on 3rd September 1668 the daughter of William Stacy iin St. Nicholas Deptford. This latter might be the granddaughter of the Mrs Elizabeth Stacy but there is little information about Mrs Stacy despite her having a house with 8 hearths.

Thomas Richard (6 hearths) Richard Thomas married Margarett Kibbell on the 11th February 1640 in St. Alfege, Greenwich and baptised a son Richard on 20th September 1640 which might indicate that it was a “shotgun” wedding”!

Whitehead John (2 hearths) A John Whitehead married Mary Harts in St. Nicholas Deptford on 27th October 1655 and a son John Whitehead was baptised in St. Alfege, Greenwich on 20th May 1658 and a John Whitehead married Mary Whitehead on 28th October 1662 in St. Alfege, Greenwich A son John Whitehead was buried on 14th August 1664 in St Nicholas Deptford and a son John Whitehead was baptised in  St/ Nicholas Deptford on 24th April 1665. A Mary Whitehead was buried on 4th July 1665 in St. Nicholas Deptford. Interestingly on 26th of the same month the vicar or churchwarden of St. Nicholas, Deptford started to record which of those buried died of the plague but Mary Whitehead appears not to have died of the plague. Whether this is one or two families is impossible to establish without further information.

Wilshire Thomas (4 hearths) Thomas Wilshire (as spelled like this) does not come up on any of the genealogical websites. However, there is a record of the burial of a wife of Thos  Willsheire, (02/1663) in St. Alfege ‘s register in February 1662 and with this and similar spellings a whole family appears! There is the marriage of a Thomas Willseire to a Mary Sherlock in March 1662 in St. Alfege, Greenwich (could this be the one whose wife died the previous month?!) Then the baptism of a son Thomas Willsher on 30th May 1664 in St. Alfege followed by the burial of Jon son of Thomas Wilshire (a child)  on 19th July 1666 and the burial of a Thomas Wilshiere on 16th November 1667 on St. Alfege. There is also a marriage of a Mr. Thos Wilsheire to Mary Wild on 3rd February 1666/67 in St. Nicholas, Deptford and a burial of Tho. Willshier on 5th July 1674 in St. Alfege, Greenwich.

Wood Richard (2 hearths) There is a marriage for a Richard Wood  to Sarah Malin on 29th June 1641 in St. Alfege, Greenwich and a marriage of a Richard Wood to Jane Holt on29th August 1658 in S. Nicholas Deptford and also a marriage of a Richard Wood  to Frances Griffith on 31st March 1681 in St. Alfege, Greenwich

Woodnutt Phillip (2 hearths) There is a baptism on 7th January 1637 of a Phillip Woodnutt, son of George Woodnutt  in St. Alfege, Greenwich and the burial of a Phill Woodnut on 4th March 1669 in St, Alfege, Greenwich

Youngly William (3 hearths) There is the baptism of William the son of William Youngley on 23rd August1657 in St. Alfege, Greenwich and the burial of a daughter of Willilam Youngley on 3rd November 1665 in St. Alfege, Greenwich.

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The Greenwich Hearth Tax Project Blog Series

Between January and June 2018, a shared learning project was run with the University of the Third Age in Greenwich. As with the London and Middlesex SLP, the team was charged with using the hearth tax returns as a starting point and following their interest to reveal stories of Greenwich and the people who lived there in the late seventeenth century. Over the next few weeks, we will share their work through the blog. In this post, Michael Zell, Hazel Beale and Margaret Gravelle introduce the area and the Hearth Tax for Lady Day 1664. 

Greenwich Hearth Tax return for Lady Day, 1664 (Michael Zell)

Our U3A group worked on the printed transcription of the Hearth Tax listing for the parish of (East) Greenwich, made for the ‘Lady Day’ (25 March) collection of the Hearth Tax in 1664, one of two collections per year. The Hearth Tax was introduced by Parliament and the government of Charles II in 1662, as a new tax that would better represent the wealth of English taxpayers, and supplement the traditional Parliamentary ‘subsidies’, whose values had become fossilized and no longer represented the wealth of the nation’s middle and upper classes. The hearth tax was meant to be a progressive tax: it assessed taxpayers on the value of the homes they occupied – based on the not unreasonable assumption that the wealthier lived in larger houses, as measured by the number of fireplaces their houses contained. The tax was levied on occupiers, rather than on owners, although the tax on medium and larger houses that were empty at the time of the assessment was levied on their owners.

There were provisions in the act to exempt from the hearth tax the poor – who usually occupied house with just 1 or 2 hearths – and it was left to parochial officials to interpret the rules governing tax exemption.  Adults who were not householders were not rated for the Hearth Tax, but the number of exempt ‘poor’ householders could vary significantly from one tax assessment to another. For example, the hearth tax assessment for Greenwich in 1662 listed more than twice as many ‘exempt’ householders than the assessment for 1664 which our group has been using as the basis of our investigations.

We are using the 1664 assessment because it was chosen by the Hearth Tax Project as the ‘best’ hearth tax listing for the county of Kent, and in the case of the return for Greenwich, the householders rated as taxable were assigned to named streets in Greenwich by the local assessors – which adds another dimension to our study of Greenwich in the 1660s. Unfortunately, of the roughly 625 households listed in the 1664 assessment, neither the exempt householders (just under 100) nor the unoccupied but chargeable households (about 40) were assigned to named roads in the tax listing. So our efforts to compare the wealth of different roads in Greenwich is not underpinned by complete information: we don’t know where the exempt poor lived in Greenwich.  But we can identify which roads had a higher proportion of larger houses than other roads. Today, we can stroll around Greenwich and walk along some of the roads listed in the 1664 listing – including  Crooms Hill, Church Street or Crane Street  [Crane South in the 1664 tax return] – but other roads where 1664 taxpayers lived have gone forever  – such as Dock and Tavern Row [which lies beneath the ‘Cutty Sark’]. Whichever tax return you consider, Greenwich was a densely-populated urban parish by the 1660s.  The 1662 hearth tax return, which is partly damaged, lists about 800 households, while the 1664 assessment has 625.  These numbers imply a parish population of between 2,800 and 3,600 people. Greenwich was probably the third largest town in late seventeenth-century Kent (after Canterbury and Deptford).


The town of Greenwich is now part of the London Borough of Greenwich, which was formed in 1965 by merging the former metropolitan boroughs of Greenwich and Woolwich. Greenwich Heritage Centre, which contains material on the Hearth Tax, particularly for Blackheath Hundred, is based in Woolwich. Maritime Greenwich, now classed as a World Heritage Site, includes the Royal Observatory and Meridian Line, the Old Royal Naval College, National Maritime Museum and Cutty Sark. Apart from the Queen’s House of 1616, most of the buildings which make up Greenwich’s tourist attractions date from the late 1600s or 1700s. For instance the present St Alphege’s church building by Nicholas Hawksmoor dates from 1712-14.

The current layout of streets in Greenwich also dates from the 1700s or later. Therefore it is often difficult to correlate current street names and configurations with names recorded on the Hearth Tax records of 1664. For instance the configuration of ‘High Street’ has changed over the years, and ‘Church Wall’ no longer exists. At the time of the Hearth Tax of 1664 the present town of Greenwich was called East Greenwich to distinguish it from West Greenwich or Deptford Strand to the west.

Greenwich and Deptford had two ‘golden ages’ – in the 16th century, when the palace of Placentia in Greenwich Park was the favourite resort of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and Deptford became a Royal Navy shipyard, and then again in the 18th century, when Deptford’s Royal Navy Victualling Yard became the largest food processing operation in Britain, if not in Europe

Going back to the origins of the town of Greenwich, the name is first mentioned in a Saxon charter of 918 AD, where it is referred to as Gronewic. In 964 it is recorded as Grenewic, and in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 1013 as Grenewic. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it is referred to as Grenviz, and as Grenewych in the Taxatio Ecclesiastica of 1291. ‘Wic’ or ‘wych’ means a settlement, so this was simply the Green Settlement.2

There is evidence of Roman occupation in Greenwich Park. There is also evidence of a Bronze Age settlement in the area and in the 9th century the Danes moored in the Thames off Greenwich while attacking Kent. The Domesday Book records Grenviz as being in the possession of Bishop Odo of Bayeux, half brother of William the Conqueror.

Henry VII gave Greenwich its ‘royal lustre’, according to Charles Jennings (Charles Jennings, Greenwich, Little, Brown and Co, 1999, p.9.). Henry VII made Greenwich his main residence. It was the birthplace of both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. It was Elizabeth I’s favourite summer residence, and the principal royal palace until Whitehall Palace was built in the 1530s. Elizabeth’s Spanish Armada Council planned their campaign at Greenwich palace in 1588.

Screen Shot 2020-09-22 at 14.09.55

View of Greenwich in 1632 by Adriaen van Stalbemt

James I granted the manor to his wife Queen Anne of Denmark, who in 1616 commissioned Inigo Jones to build the Queen’s House in the park, straddling the main road, which was later moved further north to what is now Romney Road (Olive and Nigel Hamilton, Royal Greenwich, The Greenwich Bookshop, 1969, p.1-2.). The Queen’s House was completed for Charles I’s wife Henrietta Maria. The palace and park were seized by Cromwell in the Interregnum. By the time of the Restoration in 1660 the Palace of Placentia had fallen into disrepair and was pulled down. Charles II had a new palace built (this was the King Charles block in the four buildings that later made up the Royal Naval Hospital).

Deptford started off as a settlement on the site of a Celtic trackway, later paved by the Romans and named Watling street. Deptford Strand began as a fishing village on the Thames and was the site of the royal docks, built under Henry VIII in 1513. Trinity House, which governs navigation rules around the British Isles, was set up in Deptford in 1514, named after the church of Holy Trinity and St Clement which was next to the dockyard. Elizabeth I visited the royal dockyard in 1581 to knight Francis Drake after his circumnavigation of the globe. The East India Company had a yard in Deptford from 1607.  John Hawkins the slave trader (1532 – 1595) used Deptford as a base for his operations.

In the 1500s – 1700s, several generations of shipbuilders, the Pett family, were associated with Deptford, as well as with the shipyards of Wapping, Limehouse and Chatham. Peter Pett, baptised in St Nicholas’ church in 1630, was knighted in 1661 and became an MP in the Irish parliament. He became one of the first Fellows of the Royal Society in 1663, and in 1664 he was called to the bar at Middle Temple. An alternative spelling of Pett was Pate, as used by a branch of the family in America in the 1600s. They gave their name to Patetown in North Carolina.

In Nathan Dews’ words: ‘The names of Pett, Shish, Addey, Gasker etc occupy a place of pre-eminence in the annals of naval architecture during the 16th and 17th centuries, of which Deptford may be justly proud, and most of these men were born and lived in the riverside portion of the parish, which at the present day is so much despised”. (Nathan Dews, History of Deptford, Simpkin Marshall, 1884 – 1971 edition, p.253)

John Evelyn the diarist (1620-1706) lived at Sayes Court in Deptford from 1652. He introduced Grinling Gibbons, the wood sculptor, to Christopher Wren. Peter the Great of Russia stayed at Sayes Court in 1698 while studying shipbuilding in the dockyard. Nothing remains of Evelyn’s mansion today, except a small park (Sayes Court Park – opened in 1886) on the site where the mansion stood.

Evelyn’s memory lives on in the name of the main road (Evelyn Road), a sculpture in the form of a quill pen by the roadside, and the John Evelyn primary school, Deptford. A map of 1623 annotated by John Evelyn shows Sayes Court with its surrounding land and houses.

Samuel Pepys, who travelled a lot by boat, coach and on foot to and from and the City, frequently mentioned places such as Redriffe (now Rotherhithe), and Deptford with its thriving dockyards in his diary. He visited Woolwich because of its all-important Rope Yard and Greenwich to catch up with friends and acquaintances, to eat, drink, listen to music and be merry. In Redriffe he experienced considerable pleasure visiting Cherry Gardens and taking some cherries home. In his Diary he wrote:

“… by water to Greenwich and up to the top of the hill, and there played upon the ground at cards. And so to the Cherry Garden, and then by water singing finely to the Bridge and there landed, and so took boat again, and to Somersett House”. (15/6/64)

In the following year the Plague arrived, ruining and disrupting the lives of many Londoners and those living in Deptford and Greenwich.  Pepys seems to have remained surprisingly unscathed by the presence of the Plague, continuing his journeys up and down the river, visiting his friends and continuing his dalliances with women. However, his diary entries give a vivid account of such turbulent times.

Pepys’ entry for August 1665 states:

Thus the month ends, with great sadness upon the public, through the greatness of the plague. In the City died this week 7,496; and of them 6,102 of the plague. But it is feared that the true number of the dead this week is near 10,000 – partly from the poor that cannot be taken notice of through the greatness of the number, and partly from Quakers and others that will not have any bell rung for them (Robert Latham, Diary of Samuel Pepys, p,519)

This quote shows that even at the time of the plague there was a lack of precise information. The diaries of both Evelyn and Pepys have widely varying statistics regarding the plague, and little information regarding the poorer sections of the population. It is not surprising, therefore, that we struggle today to build up a clear picture of the families living in the streets of Greenwich and Deptford.


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Connecting to Secondary Schools: Hearth Tax Document Handling Workshops.

Between January and March 2020, as part of the Centre for Hearth Tax Research’s impact and outreach work, Aaron Columbus visited three secondary schools in London: Esher Sixth Form College in Surrey, Acland Burghley in Tufnell Park in north London and Alleyn’s School in Dulwich. These visits were organised as part of the Centre’s strategy to connect with secondary schools and help sixth form students enhance their understanding and confidence with primary sources. Students were provided with the opportunity to engage with and handle hearth tax sources and draw conclusions on wealth distribution in London on the eve of the Great Fire. Harry Crawshaw and William Bateson of Esher College reflected on their experience for this blog.

Harry Crawshaw:

Even as a history student, working with and assessing primary sources from a period about which I knew very little was quite a daunting prospect. However, it soon became clear that not only were the resources far more insightful than we may’ve first thought, but that the session was incredibly accessible even to an absolute beginner. As a group, we were introduced to the wider context surrounding the hearth tax concisely but effectively and soon felt that we had enough understanding of the period to tackle the primary sources put in front of us. We were clearly taught of new perspectives on how to approach a primary source, from never discounting the seemingly minutest number or detail to continually assessing the provenance and limitations regarding the sources (tax collection records from the eastern parish of St Botolph Aldgate).

While the hearth tax initially appeared to make sense as a way of staggering taxation based on wealth in a similar way to the later window tax, one of the most interesting aspects of the workshop was seeing the resentment with which it was embraced by those who were seemingly amongst the poorest in restoration London, those who by the very nature of the tax had to pay the least. This illustrated the state of poverty in the city in the 17th century, people so poor that they (in many cases) couldn’t pay tax on their one solitary chimney. Yet what perhaps said more was when on further examination it became apparent that in the same parish, often the same street as these simple one hearth homes were properties boasting as many as 20-30 chimneys, sometimes more. Great poverty juxtaposed in agonising proximity with great affluence and wealth, in many ways it’s become a story for the ages. Perhaps the recent Grenfell tower tragedy in the classically desirable Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea shows that even though the Hearth Tax sources are hundreds of years old, the observations and situations they reflect aren’t unfamiliar, even to the contemporary Londoner.

History has always appealed greatly to me as a subject, and this taster of a different side of history, one which further study may have to offer and it has only cemented my interest in studying the subject at a higher level. Be it out of a curiosity for the period or to learn how 17th century London relates to the modern city, I would urge anyone to make use of the Hearth Tax Digital Website. The sources are easily accessible, easy to engage with and I have been left with little doubt of their importance to greater understanding and appreciating the history of London.

William Bateson:

Before the workshop I had never thought so much detail could be learned from documents from the time through interpretation, from tax records stating both the financial situation of an area as well as its character and the feelings of the people toward the Hearth Tax. The detail that has remained from the documents and the interpretations which can be taken from them surprises me. Tax collectors would use their own notes and would use their own perception to decide if anything was worth taking or not.

I found working with the sources very enjoyable and I leant much about London and the UK in the given period that I otherwise would not have known. I found the fact that they would be copied by a collector and thereafter would be rewritten as records leading to other administrative workings fascinating.

I found the tasks with other students good and we had the chance to meet students from different history classes, which was highly engaging. Overall, I found that the information explained by Aaron about the Hearth Tax, what led up to it and its aftermath as well as other explained historical information was very useful as he pointed out many inferences that I wouldn’t have otherwise have noticed. I therefore found the workshops highly beneficial.

I found the hearth tax very insightful and much more human, with names and reactions of people towards tax collection as well as seeing the socio-economic stance of the given area and how people lived there, compared with today’s more artificial methods which do not involve the same practices as those used in the 17th century as more efficient tax collection methods are in place.

I’ve always wanted to study either History or Geography at university, as I have never done an analysis workshop in 17th century Britain. I feel that it has furthered my interests in pursuing and studying History later on.

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Thomas Padnall and the ‘Sunne’ inn, St Margaret New Fish Street in 1666.

This latest blog in our series from the work of University of the Third Age members participating in the Shared Learning Project with the British Academy Hearth Tax Project, Centre for Hearth Tax Research, is by Barbara Sanders. Using the hearth tax returns from the City of London and Middlesex as a starting point, Barbara reveals the life of Thomas Padnall, resident in the intramural parish of St Margaret New Fish Street in 1666. This builds on her earlier blogs, where the parish itself was detailed and the life of David Barton was revealed.

The 1666 Hearth Tax  shows Thomas Padnall living at the “Sunne” on Fish Street Hill, East Side, in the parish of  St Margaret, New Fish Street, in the City of London. His occupation is vintner and he has 13 hearths.

He appears in records variously as Padnall, Padnell, Padnoll and Padnol. He is referred to here as Thomas Padnall except where making a drect quote from a record.


His birth family

On 15 July 1611 Thomas Padnoll was baptised at Colchester St Mary at the Walls, Essex. His sister Em [Emma] was baptised there in 1614. Their father John Padnoll and their mother Lois, née Wilkinson, were both of Colchester. [Boyd]


It was probably his apprenticeship that brought Thomas to London, the thriving capital and a magnet for young men looking for opportunities. Thomas Padnall was apprenticed on 7 June 1626 to William Longe of the Vintners’ Company; such an apprenticeship was typically for seven years. Longe himself had been apprenticed in 1613, his family from Essex too. Finding a suitable master was often through business or family connections. Padnall in due course would train his own apprentices, the first one in 1637, the last shortly before his death. [See Appendix 2] The boys were not only sons of London citizens but from around the country. It is interesting to note that the sons of a haberdasher, grocer, tailor, butcher, fishmonger, and scrivener were not following in their fathers’ footsteps as would have been likely in previous times.

In 1660 Thomas took on his own son Robert.

The Artillery Company

A Thomas Padnell was a member of the volunteer Artillery Company(later to be known as the Honourable Artillery Company and still going strong). In the list “A Remembrance of Legacies and Gifts given to this Societie by divers well disposed Gent. of this Companie and others since ye reviving thereof, Anno 1611”, there is an entry in 1627 for Mr Thomas Padnell, a gift of £6 13s 4d. At this time our Thomas was only a year into his apprenticeship so unlikely to be wealthy enough; it could have been paid on his behalf by a benefactor such as a family member. I have found no evidence of a second Thomas Padnell at this time, but records of many sorts were lost in the upheavals of the Civil War and the later Fire of London.

The Fraternity or Guild of Artillery of Longbows, Crossbows and Handguns had been incorporated by Royal Charter in 1537 by Henry VIII for “The better increase of the Defence of this our Realm and maintenance of the Science and Feat of shooting Long Bows, Cross Bows and Hand Guns”. The Guild became known as “The Gentlemen of the Artillery Garden”, named after its practice ground. “Artillery” described archery and other missile weapons, while guns were known as “great artillery”. Its members did not commit to either side in the Civil War. I have found no evidence of Thomas’ part, if any, in the Civil War.

Marriage and Family

Apprentices were generally not free to marry until they had served their time. Thomas Padnol married Elizabeth Jackson on 16 February 1636 at St Dionis Backchurch in the City of London. [Boyd]

They had nine surviving children. Their two sons were Thomas (born 1637) and Robert (born 1642), who were educated at the Merchant Taylor’s School, admitted in 1646 and 1653 respectively. Their seven daughters were Barbara, Lois, Emma, Mary, Elizabeth, Anne and Rhoda. [Boyd]

The Sunne or Sun Inn

The inns on Fish St Hill were designed to cater for passing trade as well as local residents. At the bottom of the Hill was the approach to London Bridge, London’s only bridge across the Thames. It lead south to the roads through Kent and Surrey as far as the south coast. Travellers arriving via London Bridge from the south would need to pass up the steep Fish Street Hill on the way to their London destination or to the old city gates and beyond to the rest of the country. Later, debris from the Great Fire would be used as landfill to level out the steep incline of the street.

Travelling was an exhausting actvity whether by coach, by horse or on foot. Carriers were always busy moving goods to and from the wharves along the Thames. Coaches were as yet mostly unsprung and turnpike roads were yet to come. City streets generally were rough and narrow, often poorly maintained, being the responsibility of each parish they passed through; London streets were congested, with no rules of the road. Journeys around the country which now in the 21st century take just hours would take days, and necessitated stops for rest and refreshment for passengers, drivers and horses. Consequently the inns on Fish Street Hill did a roaring trade. They had multiple guest rooms and catering to accommodate travellers and business visitors, plus yards and stables to accommodate coaches and horses.

In the 1666 Hearth Tax one of these inns was run by Thomas Padnall, vintner, of the “Sunne”, the property listed as having 13 hearths, so clearly offering accommodation. This was not the largest inn on the Hill: Robert Whitborne, “Inhoulder” of the “Starr” had 29 hearths. The “Miter” had 12 but was “empty”; the plague had been at its peak in 1665, the previous year, but had not completely faded, so some properties were still deserted by their residents, either by death or, for the more fortunate, escape to a healthier place. The Kings Head, lower down the hill in the parish of St Magnus the Martyr, had 14 hearths.

By 1666 Thomas Padnall had been at the Sunne for nearly three decades. In 1638 he was already established at the “Sunn”, a Tavern, value £30, Fish Street the East Side [Inhabitants of London in 1638].  Again, as drawn up on 10 May 1640, Thomas Padnall, “vintener” was there in the list of  The Principal Inhabitants of London, those regarded as wealthy enough to contribute money to the cash-strapped King Charles I. In 1660 he is recorded as a Warden of the Vintners company [The Rulers of London 1660-1689]

The Churchwardens’ Accounts of St Margaret New Fish Street show frequent meetings, including food and drink, held at the Sunne, chargeable to the parish, though the Starr and the Mitre had their fair share too. A remarkable entry for “Holy Thursday” 1663 is for 16s 6d spent at the King’s Head followed by £1 1s  spent at the Sunne – remarkable because this is Maundy Thursday, the day of preparation for the solemnity of Good Friday, when leaders of the church traditionally wash the feet of the poor to signify humility.

Samuel Pepys in his diary of 1660 to 1669 makes several mentions of the Sunne, though not of its landlord. Pepys sees this as a place to entertain and be entertained, often in the company of senior men in the Navy or contractors for Navy supplies. Once even his long-suffering wife.  “Fine” and “merry” are typical adjectives he uses to describe the food and jovial atmosphere. The Sunne being on New Fish Street and close to the Fishmongers’ Hall and Billingsgate, it is hardly surprising that most of the food on offer is fish. Perhaps more surprising is that diners could take along fish bought elsewhere and have it cooked on the premises.

Appendix 1 shows Samuel Pepys’ quotes about the Sun.

The Padnall Bottle Seal or Token?

The illustration (right) is from the book “Treasure in the Thames” by Ivor Noel Hume (published 1956), where it is described as “a bottle seal”, found close to London Bridge. The sun motif and the initials T.P. clearly associate it with Thomas Padnall of the Sunne inn.

Padnell seal

I first assumed that it seemed more likely that this was not a bottle seal but a trader’s token, used instead of conventional coins. Wrong!  Thanks to Stephen Freeth of the Vintners’ Company I have discovered the following.

In the 17th century wine was imported in casks then bottled locally or sold straight from the barrel.  Vintners (and others) would often have personalised bottles made for them. During manufacture the bottles would be finished, before the glass cooled, with a disc of glass with an impressed stamp to identify the merchant or owner.

Thomas’ Status

Thomas was a man of substance.  In 1647 and probably other years, he was a churchwarden at his parish church of St Margaret’s New Fish Street.

He was elected a Warden of the Vintners Company, part of the governing body under the Master.  The Court Minutes are extant up to 1659 then missing until they resume in 1669. Unfortunately Thomas was elected in 1660 and died in 1668, so records of his period in office are entirely lost. It is likely that this gap in records is due to the Fire of London and the immediate aftermath.

The Court of Common Council was and is still the governing body of the City of London Corporation; Thomas was an elected Common Councilman for Bridge Ward in 1660, 1663 and 1666.

 Deaths of Thomas and Elizabeth

Thomas and Elizabeth survived the Great Fire in September 1666 but did not survive for long after. On 12th of June 1667 Elizabeth was buried in the nearby parish of St Andrew Undershaft. In little over a year later, Thomas too was dead.

The will of Thomas Padnoll, Vintner of London was proved 11 September 1668 (TNA  ref  PROB 11/328/38), just two years after the Fire . He provided for his sister Elizabeth Clarke and female cousin Elizabeth Tilley and there was a generous bequest to each of his children and to the grandchildren who were alive at his decease.

The Sunne was only yards away from Thomas Farriner’s bakery where the Great Fire broke out on 2 September 1666. There was virtually no insurance at this time so the sudden devastation of Thomas’ home and main business, earliest victims of the Fire with no time for a salvage plan, would have been a massive loss. He also owned a larger tavern with 14 public rooms in Leadenhall Street (as recorded in The Rulers of London), but this too would soon have been consumed. He clearly had other interests and survived financially, but the deaths of both Thomas and Elizabeth within 2 years suggest that they may have been damaged by the physical or mental trauma.

Thomas appears to own land and property elsewhere, so maybe he had taken his family to a place of safety; the public”s fear of mixing and travelling would have severely cut back his business even without the Fire.

It may be that Thomas, after living through civil war, plague and fire in a crowded and insanitary city did well to survive to 57 years. Elizabeth’s age is not known, but she, in additional to everything else, survived at least 9 pregnancies. They did well to live to see their grandchildren, as so many did not.


  • The Hearth Tax records for St Margaret’s New Fish Street
  • Margaret’s New Fish Street – Churchwarden’s Accounts and Vestry Minutes (manuscripts). London Metropolitan Archives
  • The Rulers of London 1660-1689: A Biographical Record of the Aldermen and Common Councilment of the City of London by J R Woodhead (London, 1966)
  • Genealogy websites: Family Search, Ancestry, Find My Past (especially Boyd’s records)
  • The Honorable Artillery Company website:
  • London Livery Company Apprenticeship Registers, Vol.43, Vintners’ Company 1609-1800, ed.Cliff Webb
  • A register of the scholars admitted into Merchant Taylors’ School : from A. D. 1562 to 1874 by Robinson, Charles John, Rev., 1833-1898, published 1882
  • Inhabitants of London in 1638: St. Margaret’s, New Fish Street (British History Online)
  • Treasure in the Thames by Ivor Noel Hume, published 1956.
  • Society for Historical Archeology (USA) website:
  • The Will of Thomas Padnoll, Vintner of London, 11 September 1668 (TNA  ref,  PROB 11/328/38)
  • The Diary of Samuel Pepys websites:
  1. a) indexed by date or person:
  2. b) Searchable plain text:



Thanks to Stephen Freeth, Archivist of the Vintners’ Company, for advice.

Appendix 1

References in The Diary of Samuel Pepys to the Sun(ne) Tavern

1660    Mar 10

I went with the rest to the Sun tavern on Fish Street Hill, where Mr. Hill, Stevens and Mr. Hater of the Navy Office had invited me, where we had good discourse and a fine breakfast of Mr. Hater.

1660    Mar 15

So into London by water, and in Fish Street my wife and I bought a bit of salmon for 8d. and went to the Sun Tavern and ate it, where I did promise to give her all that I have in the world but my books, in case I should die at sea.

1660    Aug 1

I took boat and homewards went, and in Fish Street bought a Lobster, and as I had bought it I met with Winter and Mr. Delabarr, and there with a piece of sturgeon of theirs we went to the Sun Tavern in the street and ate them.

1660    Dec 22

At noon I went to the Sun tavern; on Fish Street hill, to a dinner of Captn. Teddimans, where was my Lord Inchiquin (who seems to be a very fine person), Sir W. Pen, Captn. Cuttance, and one Mr. Lawrence (a fine gentleman now going to Algiers), and other good company, where we had a very fine dinner, good musique, and a great deal of wine.

1661    Nov 6

Going forth this morning I met Mr. Davenport and a friend of his, one Mr. Furbisher, to drink their morning draft with me, and I did give it them in good wine, and anchovies, and pickled oysters, and took them to the Sun in Fish Street, there did give them a barrel of good ones, and a great deal of wine, and sent for Mr. W. Bernard (Sir Robert’s son), a grocer thereabouts, and were very merry, and cost me a good deal of money,

1661    Nov 8

Thence to Westminster Hall (it being Term time) and there met with Commissioner Pett, and so at noon he and I by appointment to the Sun in New Fish Street, where Sir J. Minnes, Sir W. Batten, and we all were to dine, at an invitation of Captain Stoaks and Captain Clerk, and were very merry, and by discourse I found Sir J. Minnes a fine gentleman and a very good scholler.

1661    Nov 14

At noon I went by appointment to the Sun in Fish Street to a dinner of young Mr. Bernard’s for myself, Mr. Phillips, Davenport, Weaver, &c., where we had a most excellent dinner, but a pie of such pleasant variety of good things, as in all my life I never tasted.

1666    Apr 5

At noon would have avoided, but could not, dining with my Lord Bruncker and his mistresse with Captain Cocke at the Sun Taverne in Fish Streete, where a good dinner, but the woman do tire me . . .

 Appendix 2

 Apprentices to Thomas Padnall, Vintner

Date Surname Forename Father of Occupation
20 Nov 1637 Marden Thomas Nicholas Blechingley, Surrey husbandman
4 Dec 1638 Jeophrys Thomas      
4 Feb 1639/40 Churchman Robert      
1 Dec 1640 Chatman * Robert William Blechingley Surrey butcher
3 Feb 1640/1 Tabor Thomas Thomas Baddow Essex yeoman
1 Mar 1641/2 Banister Vincent Richard Shawbury Shropshire gentleman (deceased)
7 Jun 1642 Hudson John John Bishops Hatfield, Hertfordshire yeoman
7 Mar 1642/3 Downes William William Greenwich, Kent scrivener
6 Jun 1643 Walker Thomas John   citizen and fishmonger
4 Jun 1644 Booke Mathew John   citizen and haberdasher


4 Jun 1644 Sharp Alexander Thomas Rochester, Kent grocer
1 Aug 1648 Bennett William William   citizen and dyer
3 Apr 1649 Burton Tobias Tobias Windsor, Berkshire gentleman
7 Jun 1653 Preston Graveley Richard Graveley, Hertfordshire yeoman
6 Dec 1653 Padnall John John Dover, Kent tailor
7 Aug 1655 Cawthorn John Henry Clare, Suffolk yeoman
8 Jan 1655/6 Blower Lewis William Edmonton, Middlesex yeoman
2 Feb 1657/8 Smith Thomas Thomas Croydon, Surrey yeoman
7 Feb 1659/60 Padnoll Robert Thomas   his father
5 Feb 1660/1 Jackson William Adam Nottingham, Nottinghamshire maltster
6 Sep 1664 Bruton John Robert Wymondley, Hertfordshire yeoman
4 Apr 1665 Rayley Henry James Woodmancote Sussex  yeoman (deceased)
25 Jan 1665/6 Webb Josiah Richard Hartlepool Durham gentleman

* in Wardens’ Accounts “Chapman”

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The Hearth Tax and and the minister David Barton of St Margaret New Fish Street

This latest blog in our series from the work of University of the Third Age members participating in the Shared Learning Project with the British Academy Hearth Tax Project, Centre for Hearth Tax Research, is by Barbara Sanders. Using the hearth tax returns from the City of London and Middlesex as a starting point, Barbara revealed the life of the minister David Barton, resident in the intramural parish of St Margaret New Fish Street in 1666. This builds on her earlier blog, where the parish itself was detailed, and is the first in a series of two lives for the parish that we will  publish to the blog over the next week or so.

David Barton, Minister (1622 – 1683)

The 1666 Hearth Tax entry names him as just “Barton” with no Christian name. He lived on Fish Street Hill, East Side in the parish of  St Margaret, New Fish Street, in the City of London. His occupation was “Minister” and he had 7 hearths.


David Barton’s Timeline

c. 1622 Born, son of John Barton, “gent”, of Southampton, Hampshire.
26 Jan 1637/8 matriculated (enrolled) at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, at the age of 15.
18 Nov 1641 awarded his B.A
17 Apr 1651 ordained as priest by Bishop Robert Skinner of Oxford.
7 April 1656 married Katharine Heywod at Nursling (a small Hampshire village 4 miles from Southampton).
7 Aug 1660 received his M.A.
7 Aug 1660 appointed  Rector of St. Margaret New Fish Street, City of London
19 Aug 1662 subscribed to the 1662 Act of Uniformity[1]
17 Oct 1662 listed at the rectory of St Margaret Pattens.
1664 recorded Rector, St Margaret, New Fish Street (Liber Cleri)
25 Mar 1666  (Lady Day) 1666 Hearth Tax:  “Barton”, “Minister” (Christian name blank) has 7 hearths on Fish Street Hill, East Side in the parish of  St Margaret, New Fish Street.
 2/3 Sept 1666 the Great Fire of London destroyed his church and adjacent home.
17 Sept 1666 Barton was granted sequestration of the vicarage of Boughton under Blean, a village between Canterbury and Faversham, Kent.
1667-1669 Curate of Bromley, Kent
31 Jan 1670 appointed Rector of “Chiselherst”, by the Bishop of  Rochester, John Dolben
13/14 Feb 1670  collation and induction at Chislehurst took place.
23 Sep 1678 letter extant from David Barton, rector of Chislehurst, to the Dean and Chapter of Rochester[2]
2 Feb 1683 died, and was buried at Chislehurst.


Unless otherwise specified, details of David Barton’s career are found in:

The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540-1835 (CCEd)

The Guildhall Library

Lambeth Palace Library

Barton’s Story:

David Barton was ordained in 1651 by Bishop Robert Skinner. Skinner had had a controversial career. He had been chaplain to King Charles I and in 1641 had been appointed Bishop of Oxford, but as a committed supporter of Archbishop William Laud he joined a protest by bishops in 1641 to support the Episcopy, in opposition to Parliament. For this he was imprisoned in the Tower and deprived of his parish. He was released on bail and continued to ordain ministers in secret, including Barton, in spite of the ban on the Church of England. The Restoration of Charles II  brought a change of fortunes, as  Skinner became one of the King’s Commissioners of Oxford University, and was appointed Bishop of Worcester in 1663, where he died in 1670.

When in 1662 Barton was appointed Rector of St. Margaret’s, New Fish Street in the City of London, he succeeded Robert Porey. Porey (Porie or Pory) had also been a rebel against the Parliamentary regime. Following the outbreak of the First English Civil War he was deprived of the living. The parliamentary order against him (23 March 1643) asserts [3]:

“Robert Pory, Parson of the Parish Church of St. Margaretts New Fishstreet, London, hath endeavoured, in his Preaching, to corrupt his Parishioners with the Leaven of Arminian Doctrine . . . affirming a Puritan to be a Limb of the Devil, abusing our Brethren the Scotts, publicly affirming them to be damned Rogues, . . . and hath expressed his Malignancy against the Power and Proceedings of Parliament, refusing to read the Declarations and Ordinances of Parliament required to be read by him; and, when the same was read by another, flung out of the Church, calling such as he met to go out with him, and not to stay to hear (as he called it) a Kind of bibble-babble Things, to no Purpose at all; and hath not officiated in his said Cure for the Space of Five Months last past”

Instead eight worthy parishioners were appointed to take over the practical duties of St Margaret’s.  Two of these, William Wybird and Nicholas Haughton, may be related to John Wybeard and Widow Houghton who appear in the 1666 Hearth Tax returns  An approved preacher, Thomas Froysell, “a Godly, Learned, and Orthodox Divine” was “to preach every Lords-day” and officiate as parson until further notice.

The Restoration of the King in 1660 also restored Porey’s fortunes, he was reinstated at St Margaret’s, and also acquired  several other appointments. However, he soon resigned from St Margaret’s, leaving the vacancy for David Barton.

Barton subscribed to the 1662 Act of Uniformity which enforced strict standards in public worship throughout the Church of England, in particular, to use the Book of Common Prayer. In so doing, he was accepting the terms of the King and his Parliament.

There is an apparent anomaly in finding Barton listed on 17 October 1662 at the rectory of St Margaret Pattens, a nearby parish. According to the CCED Barton was both Preacher and Rector at St Margaret’s in 1662. Maybe he was not living in his own vicarage. It was possible in the Church of England for a rector to hold more than one parish at a time, appointing a curate for the everyday duties. In the list of clergy of St Margaret’s, a George Smallwood is listed for 1662 then vacates in the same year. Barton reappears in this list in 1664, apparently maintaining his post until 1670. A rather vague statement in a 1715 book by Richard Newcourt, that “David Barton, I suppose, continu’d Rector S. Margaret . . . here till his Church was burnt down in 1666.”[4]

Why did the Lady Day (25th March) 1666 Hearth Tax enumerator not record Barton’s Christian name? Maybe the Minister was absent that day, and only known to his parishioners as “The Reverend” or “Mister” Barton. If absent, for what timescale was this?  One day away? Or was he avoiding the plague that was still endemic in London, maybe back in the family home in Hampshire?

The Fire in 1666:

The Great Fire of London started in the early hours of Sunday 2nd of September 1666 in the combined bakeshop and home of Thomas Farriner in Pudding Lane. These buildings were very close neighbours of Barton’s church of St Margaret New Fish Street and its vicarage.

The streets were narrow. The houses were built mainly of wood, often multi-occupied and with shops or workshops on the ground floor. Thatched roofs had been banned since medieval times, but in the absence of any planning control, properties were “jettied”, built with as many as six- or seven-stories, successively expanded until they practically met across the street thus becoming bridges for flames to leap across across.

Fires were common in the City of London at that time and were usually put out quickly, though they had been more serious in previous years, notably in 1633 when houses on London Bridge and in nearby Thames Street had been destroyed. Fire fighting equipment was rudimentary –  leather buckets, ladders, metal fire hooks and hand-held water syringes. There was a water supply in this area, but it ran through wooden pipes, supplied from the Thames.

On the night of 2nd  September the tide was at its lowest and there had been a prolonged drought; the weather was hot and a strong east wind was blowing. Thus the fire swept almost immediately into the church and vicarage of David Barton. Ironically the church, being one of the few stone buildings, housed the local fire fighting equipment (from the Churchwardens’ Accounts we know that men had been paid to maintain it) but that was soon consumed too. Fortunately for future researchers someone had the presence of mind to rescue the parish records.

After the Fire:

David Barton’s church would not be restored.  John Stow in his Survey of London  (1603) had been rather dismissive, describing “the parish church of St Margaret on Fish street hill, a proper church, but monuments it hath none”. So, being unremarkable and lacking wealthy parishioners, the fate of St. Margaret’s was sealed. The Monument[5], completed in 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire, was built on its site. The nearby church of St Magnus the Martyr offered accommodation, though it too had suffered disastrously in the fire. The parish of St. Margaret New Fish Street was united with that of St. Magnus the Martyr, but the two parishes retained separate vestries and churchwardens. Parish clerks continued to be appointed for both of the parishes, and St. Margaret’s continued to operate independently the various parish functions and accounts, such as administering relief of the poor.

David Barton’s future was to be in Kent.

Just a fortnight later, on 17 Sept 1666, remarkably soon after his church was lost to the Fire, Barton was granted sequestration of the vicarage of Boughton (or Bocton) under Blean, a village between Canterbury and Faversham, Kent. This was following the death of Vicar Percivall Radcliffe, the previous incumbent. Barton “having been rector of St. Margaretts New Fishstreete in London, which by the late lamentable fire in London is burnt downe and consumed,  Barton being well known and approved.” [6]

From 1667 to 1669 he was Curate of Bromley, Kent.

On 1 Jan 1670 there was a “Dispensation to hold St. Margaret’s New Fish Street, City of London, with Chislehurst, Kent”[7] So Barton was to keep his old living as well as  the new.  Up to 29 January 1670 Barton had been Chaplain to John Dolben, Bishop of Rochester[8]. Then on 31 Jan 1670 the Bishop appointed him Rector of Chislehurst following the death of the previous incumbent Richard Edward. On 13 and 14 Feb 1670 his collation and induction at Chislehurst took place, conducted by Dolben.

This was to be David Barton’s last appointment. On 2 Feb 1683 he died, and was buried at Chislehurst.

What can we make of David Barton?

David Barton was ordained in April 1651 less than two years after the execution of Charles I in January 1649 and during the period of Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth.  On 17 April 1651 the controversial Bishop Robert Skinner of Oxford ordained him as priest, without the authority to do so. I have not found any record of his activities in the years between his graduation and appointment at St Margaret’s. Possibly he was in the Southampton area where he had been born and married.  Wherever he was, he would have experienced a time of political, religious and social ferment.

His appointment to St Margaret New Fish Street in the City of London in 1662 was just two years after the Restoration of King Charles II. At this time many conflicts were still unresolved. The King was not universally popular, and many people resented paying taxes, including the Hearth Tax, granted by Parliament to fund the Stuart monarchy. Convictions and emotions  ran high. Was it right to speak out, or wise to go quietly with the flow, waiting till better times might arrive? I get the impression that David Barton took the latter view.

The evidence so far suggests he was not an activist, in fact his name rarely appears in the St Margaret’s parish records suggesting that he may not even have been physically present much of the time. 1 June 1663 was his first appearance in the St Margaret’s Vestry minutes as  “David Barton, Rector) [9].

Did he find some respite in his move to a country living from the politics and calamities of the past two decades?

There is a letter extant from David Barton, rector of Chislehurst, to the Dean and Chapter of Rochester, dated 23 Sep 1678 relating to a pension dispute. He regrets he could not come himself because of a violent headache which “hath seased on mee for a week together . . .”.  He pleads that he is not responsible for pensions unpaid before he accepted the living [10]. Of course, one letter is just a snapshot in time, but rather than portraying him as ineffectual this could well indicate that Barton suffered from what we would now call post traumatic stress disorder.

It seems that Barton and Dolben were close in their philosophy, and that both had interests in the City of London, Barton being allowed to retain St Margaret’s and Dolben, as Bishop of Rochester, being one of the signatories in 1674 to the commissioning of the rebuilding of St Paul’s Cathedral [Lambeth Palace Library]. There can be no doubt that Barton was a committed Royalist.


 – and thank you to Dr Brodie Waddell for helping me to start unravelling the complexities of the religious politics of the mid 17th century!

[1]     Agreed to use the Book of Common Prayer, compulsory in religious services.

[2]     Medway Archives Centre, Kent

[3]     Journal of the House of Lords: Volume 5, 1642-1643; Die Jovis, videlicet, 23 die Martii. (British History Online)

[4]     “Repertorium ecclesiasticum parochiale londinense”, Newcourt, Richard (d. 1716)

[5]     The Monument, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, is 202 feet (61 metres) high, said to be equal to its distance eastward from the site to the house of the Thomas Farriner’s bakery in Pudding Lane.

[6]     Lambeth Palace Library

[7]     Lambeth Palace Library

[8]     John Dolben, Bishop of Rochester (1666-1683; archbishop of York from 1683-86).

[9]     London Metropolitan Archives

[10]   Medway Archives Centre

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The Hearth Tax and a series of lives at All Hallows Staining

This latest blog in our series from the work of University of the Third Age members participating in the Shared Learning Project with the British Academy Hearth Tax Project, Centre for Hearth Tax Research, is derived from a series of lives that Joan Hardinges researched at the north-eastern intramural parish of All Hallows Staining. Using the hearth tax returns from the City of London and Middlesex as a starting point, Joan revealed the wider lives of three quite different individuals making the parish home in 1666. 

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Paid tax on 27 hearths on the north side of Fenchurch Street, All Hallows
Staining parish.  He was born in 1596 and baptised on the 20th February at All Hallows Barking by the Tower, first son of Sir John Wolstenholme of St. Olave Hart Street (the wealthiest Merchant in the City)  and Catherine daughter of John Fanshaw of Dronfield, Derbys.   He was educated at Grays Inn 1611, Sidney Sussex Cambs 1613. Travelled abroad 1616, Inner Temple 1646. He was married by 1619 to Anne daughter of Sir Roger Dallison of Laughton. Lincs. She died on the 25 November 1661.  He was knighted on the 8 May 1633 by King Charles I. Succeeded his father in 1639.  He sat in the House of Commons in 1640. Created Baronet on 10th January 1665 (The History of Parliament). 

Wolstenholme and his wife, Anne,  had twelve children, seven of whom died young including Henry who died at Marston Moor (Boyd’s Inhabitants of London). 

In April 1640, Wolstenholme was elected Member of Parliament for Queenborough in the Short Parliament.  He supported the king in the Civil War, selling property and incurring debts to provide finance for the Royalist cause. As a result, he was then fined by parliament. He and his father’s partners in the customs farming business were required to pay £150,000 which led to the sale of his estates. His son Henry and brother in law Sir Thomas Dallison were both killed in the Civil War.1  

After the Restoration, he became a farmer of customs again and was given a patent for collecting taxes on outbound goods in the Port of London. He was created a baronet, of London, by King Charles II in 1664.2  

  1. William Betham, The Baronetage of England, or the History of the English Baronets Vol 2  
  1. Willis Browne (1750) Notitia Partliamentaria, Part II. A Series or Lists of the Representatives in the several Parliaments held from the Reformation 1541  to the Restoration 1660. London pp 229-239 

In his will he bequeathed to his grandchild Jane Neville £2,400 at her marriage. To grandchild Sandford Neville £1,000. To grandchild Mrs Elizabeth Hatton £500. To his son, Thomas, all his lands and houses in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and London.  He asked to be buried at Stanmore where his father, dearly beloved wife and several of his children were buried.  This request was honoured and he was buried on the 15th July 1670 at St.John the Evangelist Great Stanmore which church his father had built at his sole expense.  PROB11/333 

John’s son, John, had died the previous year and was buried at All Hallows Staining on the 21st September aged 49.  His youngest son Thomas succeeded him (Boyds Inhabitants of London).    

The original Stanmore church, located on Old Church Lane, was consecrated in the name of St. Mary. It remained the village church until 1632, when it was replaced, and thereafter fell into ruin and was taken down.  

The 1632 church, located nearer to what had become the village centre, was paid for by merchant Sir John Wolstenholme and consecrated by William Laud, then Bishop of London.[3] It is in red brick. 

Peter Matthews (23 March 2017). Who’s Buried Where in London. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 68. ISBN978-1-78442-202-8.  



CITIZEN AND CARPENTER paid tax on three hearths in his property in Blanche Appleton Court on the south side of Fenchurch Street.  He was also an Assistant of the Company and a Master taking on apprentices One was a Michael Mony son of Richard Mony Carpenter of Chingford, Essex, whom he apprenticed on the 24th May 1662.1   

He appeared to be quite wealthy as when he died in 1685 he left a considerable amount of property. Apart from money bequests to friends and relatives, he bequeathed to his daughter Susanna Allen, wife of George Allen, Dyer,  a messuage or tenement and lands with appurtenances in the parish of Edmonton, two messuages or tenements in Fenchurch Street in the Parish of St. Gabriel Fenchurch, lately united to the Parish of St. Margaret Pattens in Eastcheap, and also estate, messuages, tenements and premises he had on lease from the Worshipful Company of Skinners.   

To his dear and loving wife, Elizabeth one annuity or yearly rent charge of £45.  Also freehold messuage, tenements, lands and premises in All Hallows Staining and  Edmonton and the two leasehold messuages in Fenchurch Street above to be enjoyed by his wife.  

Francis daughter, Susanna, was born in 1663.  She married George Allen of St. Saviour Southwark in 1683 at the age of twenty in Stoke Newington when she was living at St. Catherine Coleman Parish, where her father had lived. 

Francis was born in 1629.  The wife, Elizabeth, mentioned in his will was his second wife, Elizabeth Sutton, widow, of St. Giles Cripplegate, whom he married at the age of fifty on the 28th May 1679 at Stoke Newington when he was at St. Catherine Coleman parish.  He had only been married to her for six years when he passed away.  That is probably the reason why he left his property to his daughter.  

NOTE Lime Street on the South Side of Leadenhall Street leads into Fenchurch Street, and is for the generality taken up by Merchants, and Persons of Repute. . Entering into which, on the Left Hand there is a large open square Place, with a Passage to it for Carts, which is called Blanch Appleton Court having pretty good Timber Houses, which are indifferently well inhabited.  

Sources: John Strype’s Survey of  London, Boyd’s Inhabitants of London, Will PROB11/380/218 and Boyd’s Inhabitants of London. 



RECTOR of All Hallows Staining paid tax on five hearths on the west side of Mark Lane.It was whilst he was incumbent that the Church fell down on November 25th 1671.  The tower and that part of the west end of the Church didn’t fall down and it was thought that the foundations were undermined and wrecked by the practice of making graves within and close to the Church.  The Revd WILLIAM HOLLAND made a vigorous effort to obtain funds for raising the tabernacle that had fallen down.  It is recorded that on March 9th 1674 William Holland and Church Wardens went from house to house soliciting subscriptions to rebuild the Church estimated at £1,300.  Mr. Holland promised the Vestry £300 from non-parishioners if they could obtain £1,000 from the inhabitants of the parish and several parishioners contributed £50 each.  

On June 25th 1674 the foundation was laid and William Holland laid the first stone.  The principal workmen  involved in rebuilding the Church were Edward and James Goodman carpenter and bricklayer who may also have been the architects. 

On July 15th 1670 William Holland buried Sir John Wolstenholme and Lady Corbett in one grave at Stanmore.  Lady Letitia Corbett was the daughter of Robert Knowles and Lady Wolstenholme sister of Sir John Wolstenholme married to John Corbett. She was visiting her uncle, fell sick and died (The Annals of All Hallows Staining). 

William Holland died in 1677 aged 57 and was buried at All Hallows Staining on the 9th October. Parish register stated: 

Mr William Holland the worthy Minister of this Parish and a good benefactor to the Church and parsonage house in whose time were rebuilt – buried in the chancel. 

In his will he stated: My estate which is little (nor was I ever ambitious of much) I thus dispose of’ 

He gave to his daughter Bradley 20 shillings. To daughter Ann Berry £50 if she lives to Lady Day 1678. To son Robert £20. To son James £60 and all interest due  from his uncle James Holland for ye £20 given him by his aunt Margaret. To  daughter Mary £70. To daughter Susan £50 to all the interest due from her uncle James Holland for the £20 in his hands given her by her aunt Margaret Holland.. To his wife Elizabeth £150.  If his estate arose to more than £400 the over plus should be divided between his two youngest daughters Mary and Susan (Will handwritten – no reference  Prob 26 Oct 1677). 

Willliam’s wife, Elizabeth, died in 1699 aged 77.   Daughter Susannah died 1704 aged 44. Parish Register. 

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The Aristocracy of St Botolph’s Aldersgate in 1666

This latest blog in our series from the work of University of the Third Age members participating in the Shared Learning Project with the British Academy Hearth Tax Project, Centre for Hearth Tax Research, is derived from the work of Aelwyn Taylor, Jane Harrington and Lisa Vine. Using the hearth tax returns from the City of London and Middlesex as a starting point, they reveal the lives of the aristocratic residents at the northern suburban parish of St Botolph’s Aldersgate.

The Hearth Tax return of Lady Day 1666 includes the Dowager Countess of Thanet and the Dowager Countess of Exeter but embracing nobility was not new for this parish. In his introduction to The Inhabitants of London in 1638 Dale states “The most fashionable parish seems to have been St. Botolph Aldersgate, probably because in that parish there was still plenty of room for gardens and orchards. In that parish lived the Countess of Westmoreland, £30, the Lord Peter (no rent given), the Lady Anne Tufnall, Edward, Lord Gorge, the Countess of Rutland, the Earl of Winchelsea, the Lady Catherine Wentworth, the Countess Humes, the Earl of Thanet, and about half-a-dozen knights or baronets, for none of whom is any rent given.” (T C Dale, ‘Introduction’, in The Inhabitants of London in 1638 (London, 1931), pp. iv-xii. British History Online

By 1666, the residence of Lord Peter or Petre (36 hearths) in Half Moon Alley had become London House and the seat of the Bishop of London after the Restoration. In the Hearth Tax return for Michaelmas 1666, the occupant is shown as Sir Joseph Sheldon who was the nephew of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Gilbert Sheldon. Sir Joseph was an Alderman and Lord Mayor of London 1675-76. He was Master of the Tallow Chandlers Company from 1667-68 and the Draper’s Company from 1676 -77. He is also mentioned in the entry for July 4th 1667 of Samuel Pepys Diary involving the trial of young men who had set fire to part of his house in Aldersgate Street.

In Aldersgate Street, the Countess of Thanet is shown as having 38 hearths. The Countess, born Lady Margaret Sackville, was the daughter of Richard Sackville (1589 -1624), 3rd Earl of Dorset and Lady Anne Clifford (1590-1676).

She was born on July 2nd 1614 at Dorset House London and married John Tufton (1608-1664), 2nd Earl of Thanet on 21st April 1629 at the church of St Bartholomew the Great.

London Metropolitan Archives; London, P69/BAT3/A/001/MS06777/001

The Earl of Thanet was the son of Nicholas Tufton, 1st Earl of Thanet and Lady Frances Cecil. He was a staunch supporter of Charles 1 and suffered from confiscations and sequestrations of his large estates during the English Civil War. His country house was at Hothfield, Kent.,_2nd_Earl_of_Thanet

They had twelve children, six sons and six daughters, eleven of whom survived to adulthood:

  • Nicholas Tufton, 3rd Earl of Thanet (1631–1679)
  • Lady Margaret Tufton (b. 13 July 1636), married George Coventry, 3rd Baron Coventry on 18 July 1653
  • John Tufton, 4th Earl of Thanet (1638–1680)
  • Richard Tufton, 5th Earl of Thanet (1640–1684)
  • Thomas Tufton, 6th Earl of Thanet (1644–1729)
  • Col. Sackville Tufton (c.1647–1721)
  • George Tufton (30 Jun 1650- 12 Dec 1670)
  • Lady Anne Tufton, died young
  • Lady Frances Tufton, married Henry Drax, died without issue
  • Lady Cicely Tufton (2 June 1648 – 30 December 1672), married on 12 February 1667 Christopher Hatton, 1st Viscount Hatton
  • Lady Mary Tufton (d. February 1674), married Sir William Walter, 2nd Baronet (d. 1693)
  • Lady Anne Tufton, married Samuel Grimston

Note that the Dowager Countess had four sons who became the Earl of Thanet in succession as the first three did not have any children.

Less than five months after the 1st Earl of Thanet’s death in 1631, the 2nd Earl paid £5,500 to acquire a residence in Aldersgate Street, London, which became known as Thanet House. The house was redesigned by Inigo Jones in 1844.

The Countess’s mother, Lady Anne Clifford, Countess Dowager of Dorset, Pembroke and Montgomery and 14th Baroness de Clifford was married firstly to the 3rd Earl of Dorset and after his death to Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke and 1st Earl of Montgomery. She is well known as a writer and diarist. Her diaries present an opportunity to learn more about the life of the Countess of Thanet in some detail beginning with her childhood which was largely spent at her father’s country house at Knole in Kent.  The diary of The Years Between 1620-1649 and especially The Kendal Diary 1650-1675, which covered the later years of her life when she had moved to her castles in Yorkshire and Westmorland, include many references to events in the life of her daughter Margaret and her family, Lady Anne’s grandchildren, and also to Thanet House and Aldersgate Street.

The first reference to Aldersgate Street comes in 1644. She writes “About ye beginning of ye yeare of 1643 my eldest Daughter, ye Countesse of Thanett, went over to France to her Lord and their eldest sonne, where she stayed some 17 or 18 months about Paris and Roan [Rouen] and those places, and in April and May 1644 she returned with her Lord to me and four of their younger children, leaving their eldest son behind them. Where she was delivered ye 30th August of her 7th child, Mr Thomas Tufton, at her husband’s house in Aldersgate street in London;”

Lady Anne recorded that on the 18th July 1653, her grandchild Lady Margaret Tufton was married in her father’s house in Aldersgate Street to George Coventry, the son of Thomas, Lord Coventry.

In 1654 the Countess of Thanet gave birth to her last child Lady Anne Tufton at Hothfield House on June 22nd and became a grandmother for the first time about nine weeks later.

The Countess’s eldest son Nicholas was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1655 and again from 1656 to 1658, for allegedly conspiring to capture Charles II. Also in 1655, a daughter Lady Frances Tufton, was sent from Thanet House to Utrecht in Holland to be cured of rickets.

Sackville College in East Grinstead had been founded by the 2nd Earl of Dorset and completed by Lady Anne’s first husband, the 3rd Earl, as an almshouse. However, the latter left large debts when he died and the college trustees sued his son-in-law the Earl of Thanet. As a result, the Earl spent two months in Fleet prison in 1663.

May 7th 1664 Lady Anne said “about 3 a clock in the morning dyed my Sonne in Law John Tufton Earle of Thanet, in his house called Thanet House in Aldersgate Street at London, in those lodgings that look towards the  Street which he had about 20 yeares since built with freestone so magnificently, and my first child Ladie Margaret Countesse of Thanet, and their 5 younger Sonnes and 4 younger Daughters lay in this House when he dyed”. He was 55 years old. She then describes how his body was taken over London Bridge to the church at Raynham where he was buried.

On February 23rd 1665 there is a diary entry noting that Lady Frances Tufton was married in the Chapel at Thanet House to Mr Henry Drax by the Countess of Thanet’s chaplain.

There is reference to the Great Fire on September 2nd 1666. The Countess of Thanet and 3 of her daughters were staying with her mother at Skipton Castle at the time of the fire and the diarist notes her relief that Thanet House escaped damage.

In 1668 Thomas, the fourth son of the Countess became the Member of Parliament for Appleby until 1679. At the latter end of August in 1669, the Countess and her two youngest daughters left Aldersgate Street because smallpox was rife in the area and they went to the country for about two months.

On 8th September 1670 Lady Mary Tufton, the youngest but one child was married to William Walter Esquire at St Botolph’s Aldersgate by Dr Wells, the Minister of the parish.

London Metropolitan Archives; London, England; Reference Number: P69/BOT1/A/001/MS03854/001

Sadly on December 12th 1670, the Countess’ youngest son George died and was buried in Raynham with other members of his family. UK and Ireland, Find A Grave Index, 1300s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

In February 1667 Lady Cicely Tufton the 4th daughter of the family had married Christopher Hatton privately in Sir Charles Littleton’s House in the Minories. Lord Hatton became Governor of Guernsey in 1670 and therefore lived in Castle Cornet as his official residence. On December 30th 1672 lightning struck the castle’s magazine, housed in the keep and exploded. The explosion killed seven people including Lady Cicely and the mother of Lord Hatton, and completely altered the appearance of the upper part of the Castle forever.

On April 17th 1673 the youngest daughter, Lady Anne Tufton was married at St Botolph’s Aldersgate to Mr Samuel Grimston, a widower and son of Sir Harbottle Grimston, Master of the Rolls by Dr Wells.

LMA 69/BOT1/A/001/MS03854/001

Lady Anne Clifford died on March 22nd 1676 and her daughter Margaret died on August 14th 1676 and was buried at Withyham, Sussex.

The diaries relate in detail the travels of the Countess and her children, the journeys to see their mother or grandmother, their frequent commutes to the family home at Hothfield and also information of voyages overseas to Holland, France and Italy. It is clear that the family were often on the move and shows how much time travel took and included the need for servants.

As the children of the Countess of Thanet marry and start their own families, Lady Anne includes the details of their offspring’s births but, sadly, often too their early deaths and so illustrates the reality of the high infant mortality rate of the time which affected even noble families.

Ref: D.J.H Clifford (editor), The Diaries of Lady Anne Clifford, 2003, The History Press, Stroud, England

Also listed in the Hearth Tax return for St Botolph’s Aldersgate is the Dowager Countess of Exeter who is listed as having 24 hearths in Little Brittan. The Countess was born Lady Elizabeth Egerton, daughter of John Egerton, 1st Earl of Bridgewater and Lady Frances Stanley, daughter of the 5th Earl of Derby about 1604. She married David Cecil, the 3rd Earl of Exeter who died in 1643. They had 3 children:

Hon John Cecil, (1628-1678) became 4th Earl of Exeter on his father’s death in 1643

Hon Thomas Cecil (buried 20 May 1641)

Lady Frances Cecil (baptised 14 Aug 1633; died 31 Dec 1652) who married Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury on 15 Apr 1650,_3rd_Earl_of_Exeter

The Dowager Countess died in 1687. She outlived her husband and son so her grandson John Cecil was 5th Earl of Exeter at the time of her death. Her will was proved in 1688 in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. UK, Extracted Probate Records, 1269-1975 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA

It is interesting to note that Bridgewater House, the London home of the Countess’s father’s family, was not far away although just over the parish boundary. In the 1666 Hearth Tax listing the Earl of Bridgewater is shown as having 36 hearths in Barbican North, Three Pigeon Alley in the parish of St Giles (without) Cripplegate. That Earl would have been the Countess’s brother who succeeded to the title in 1649.

Furthermore, Thanet House in Aldersgate Street (mentioned above) was acquired by the Earl of Shaftesbury and became known as Shaftesbury House. Lord Shaftesbury was the son-in-law of the Countess of Exeter and father of her grandson, the 2nd Earl of Shaftesbury.

It was also close to Lauderdale House as described here:

“At the north-east end of this street of noblemen’s houses, not far from Shaftesbury House, stood Lauderdale House, the residence of that cruel and unprincipled minister of Charles II. Lauderdale was one of those five “thorough-going” adherents of Charles II. who formed the “cabal” (Clifford, Ashley, Buckingham, Arlington, and Lauderdale), after Clarendon’s exile, and the death of Southampton and Monk. It was this same unscrupulous inhabitant of Aldersgate Street whom Charles, in 1669, sent to Edinburgh as High Commissioner to the Scottish

Parliament, to put down conventicles with a high hand, to fine Presbyterians, and to hang and shoot field-preachers, severities which eventually led to the rebellion of the Covenanters of 1679. There must have been many a quiet and many a state visit made from Shaftesbury House to Lauderdale House.”

Following the hearth tax collector’s route north along Aldersgate Street, Lauderdale House is the next very large residence and has 22 hearths. It is not being used by the Earl of Lauderdale in 1666. The Lady Day list identifies the resident as Mihill Etger but the Michaelmas list shows it being occupied by Henry Ashurst who was a wealthy and benevolent merchant of London, an Alderman in the City of London and also a prominent non-conformist.

According to his Wikipedia page he was living at Lauderdale House in 1667.

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