Richard & Elizabeth Honysett,
Farmer of Herstmonceux
Richard Honysett, the son of Richard and Ann, was baptised in Herstmonceux on 12 April 1723. His father died when he was only 10 and a year later he inherited a house in Westham from his Aunt Mary. What became of this house is not clear as Richard seems to have lived in Herstmonceux all his life. Perhaps the house was sold despite being willed to him ‘and to his heirs forever’. His mother died in 1744 and he took on the leases of ‘Walland’ and part of ‘The Tongs & Haynes’, two plots of land originally leased to his father.
Elizabeth Edwards, daughter of Henry and Catherine, was baptised in Chalvington, on 8 October 1725.
Richard married Elizabeth Edwards in Herstmonceux on 11 June 1745 where they had seven children baptised:
|Henry||20 Apr 1746|
|Richard||6 Mar 1747/8|
|James||29 Jul 1750|
|William||3 Nov 1753|
|Elizabeth||2 May 1757|
|Anne||13 Jun 1759|
|Sarah||16 Sep 1761|
From 1760 Richard was the tenant of ‘Mables’ which he leased from his father-in-law Henry Edwards who had purchased it for £230 in 1723. Henry’s property, known as ‘Mables Bartons’ and ‘Ponts Bartons’, consisted of a house, a barn, an orchard and other land and possibly became Richard’s family home. In 1780 he purchased it from Catherine Edwards, Henry’s widow, along with marsh called Blackwells at White Dyke in Hailsham and Pevensey. When Richard died the property at White Dyke passed to his son Henry who later sold it shortly before his own death. ‘Mables’ was eventually sold by Richard’s heirs in 1790 for £360.
Richard was buried in Herstmonceux on 28 September 1781 and Elizabeth on 9 August 1802. Neither appears to have left a will.
Of their children:
- Henry married Elizabeth Erray, from Ninfield, in Herstmonceux on 24 April 1770. Henry was a yeoman farmer and lived in Hailsham where he owned ‘Coggers’ and also land in Wartling. He sold some of his land in 1790. They had a number of children baptised, the first two in Herstmonceux, the rest in Hailsham:
Elizabeth 9 Oct 1770 Richard 28 Nov 1771 William 3 May 1773 buried 15 Jun 1781 Henry 4 Jun 1775 Jane 6 Nov 1776 Charles 20 Apr 1778 Fancourt 16 Mar 1780 buried 6 May 1780 Ann 18 May 1781 buried 14 Jul 1781
- Elizabeth married Francis Box, a widower from Speldhurst, Kent, in Hailsham on 18 October 1791.
- Richard became a cooper, married Mary Martin and lived in Frant.
- Henry moved to Chatham in Kent where he worked as a wheelwright and married Ann Winder in Tenterden.
- Charles followed his brother Henry to Chatham where he married Sarah Dyke and also worked as a wheelwright.
- Richard may have married Mary and had a son Thomas in 1769, but neither appears to have survived. He also appears to have had two illegitimate children, Ann and Richard, by Charity Calloway.
Ann 7 May 1775 Herstmonceux Richard 28 Dec 1776 Herstmonceux
In 1782 Richard purchased ‘Yew Tree Cottage’ a 17th century house and garden at Goldings Cross which still existed in 1980. In the same year he became the tenant of 2 acres of land called ‘Iron Croft’ which was more or less adjacent to the cottage.
Richard married Anne Sharood in Herstmonceux on 26 March 1788 and they had two daughters, Ann and Sarah baptised there:
Anne 6 Oct 1788 Herstmonceux Sarah 16 Nov 1796 Herstmonceux
His other investment was in 1799 when he and his brother William purchased ‘Ivy Nook’ a house with 3 acres, all of which they immediately mortgaged back to the vendor, Thomas Studwell. Richard and William ceased to be the owners of this property in 1809 when their interest was sold to Jesse Smith and John Pursglove.
Ann, ‘wife of Richard’, was buried in Herstmonceux on 22 February 1806. Richard, ‘of Marsh Side’, was buried in Herstmonceux on 23 February 1827 ‘aged 81’ and left everything to his two daughters, Ann Hoad and Sarah Rich.
- Richard and his wife Anne lived in Ripe and Laughton.
- Ann married Thomas Hoad by licence in Herstmonceux on 16 September 1806.
- Sarah married George Rich in Herstmonceux on 2 May 1815. One of the witnesses was William Honisett (probably her uncle, Richard’s younger brother).
- James married Mary Miller in 1784 and lived in Westham.
- William became a grocer and seems to have married rather late in life. On 21 April 1799 in Herstmonceux, he married Mary Bicknell, a widow, but did not have any legitimate children. There was earlier an illegitimate daughter Mary, who later became Mary Samway. Her mother was Hannah Tanner, later Hannah Hodge. The Herstmonceux baptism entry reads ‘Mary, illegitimate daughter of Hannah Tanner by William Hunnisett was baptized October 26 1783’.
In 1806 William bought ‘Pernes’, a cottage in Flowers Green, where he must have lived until he died six years later. His widow, Mary, may have continued to live there for some time but by 1839 the cottage was owned by Joseph Samway and an Ann Honeysett was the tenant.
In 1799 William and his brother Richard purchased ‘Ivy Nook’ a house with 3 acres, all of which they immediately mortgaged back to the vendor, Thomas Studwell. Richard and William ceased to be the owners of this property in 1809 when their interest was sold to Jesse Smith and John Pursglove.
William was buried in Herstmonceux on 8 April 1812 aged 58. He left everything to his wife Mary, but upon her death or remarriage it was to pass to Mary Samway and subsequently to her children. His will was proved in Lewes on 10 October 1812 and it was ‘sworn also that the Goods Chattels and credits of the said deceased do not amount in value unto One Thousand Pounds’. As Mary did not remarry and, in fact lived for a further 28 years, it is not clear how much eventually passed to Mary Samway. In fact his wife Mary made her own will in 1836 in which she made many bequests to her sister, various nieces and a nephew, so perhaps the terms of William’s will were conveniently forgotten!
William’s wife Mary died of consumption aged 77 on 31 March 1841 and was buried in Herstmonceux on 5 April.
- Sarah may have married William Hoad of Westham in Herstmonceux on 10 May 1791.