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A Headache from Start to Finish
by Kevin Herridge

Part Five

Hampstead Norris was recorded in the Doomsday Book as Hanstede and has a partly Norman church. Iron Age coins have been found in the village so its history goes back some distance. In the 13th century it was known as Hamsted Sifrewast and by 1667 had become known as Hamstead Ferrers. In 1450 the village had become part of the estate of Sir John NORREYS of Yattendon and therefore became known as Hampstead Norris or Norreys.

    Through the I.G.I., parish records and his mother’s Will, I was able to piece together the life story of Richard. He was baptized in Yattendon, as HEADACK, on July 25th, 1720, the sixth child of John and Elizabeth. His mother’s Will (the widow Elizabeth), of January 14th, 1745, left him and his sister Mary BRYANT “all goods and chattels and 1/- each to her sons Thomas and James and daughter Elizabeth MAINE.” As there was no Executor to the Will, letters of Administration were granted and “all goods and chattels to Richard, her son” on May 24th, 1745. Richard HEADACH married Frances LEWINGTON, the daughter of John and Mary, by licence at Speen, May 24th, 1725, in Ashampstead.

    Ashampstead church was recorded as early as 1086 but the present church of St. Clement dates from the 12th century. The village was known as Esshamstede during the 13th and 14th centuries.

    Richard and Frances returned to Ashampstead where their first daughter, Elizabeth HEADACHE, was baptized on August 30th, 1747. Their other children’s baptisms were: Richard HEDEACH, January 15th, James HEDEACH, September 23rd, 1750; William HEADACK, April 18th, 1754; Fanny HEADACK, November 9th, 1757; John HEADACH, May 4th, 1760 and Moses HEADACH, January 15th, 1764, all in Yattendon.

    Richard’s son James HEADACH married Ann PISSEY on October 21st, 1770 Yattendon; son William possibly married Rachel HARDING in Pangbourne on December 22nd, 1772; daughter Elizabeth HEADACH married Benjamin YOUNG in Yattendon on January 10th, 1780 and son John HERRIDGE possibly married Dinah DAVIS in Burghfield on November 26th, 1786. His son Moses HEADACH was buried in Yattendon on July 10th, 1788. Richard HEADACH (their father) was buried in Yattendon on March 7th, 1790.

    Using the I.G.I., parish records and Elizabeth’s HEADACH’s Will of 1745, it was fairly straightforward working back another generation. Richard’s parents, John HERRIDGE and Elizabeth STEVENS, were married by licence at Speen on April 8th, 1705. John was given as being from Stanford Dingley and Elizabeth from Bradfield. Elizabeth was baptized in Bradfield on January 14th, 1683, the daughter of William and Elizabeth. John and Elizabeth’s first child was baptized John HEDDITCH on January 6th, 1706, in Stanford Dingley. John’s occupation was given as “tanner”. This would prove to be a useful piece of information when trying to trace back further. Another child, Elizabeth HEADEACH, was baptized in Stanford Dingley on September 7th, 1708, before the family moved to Yattendon. Further children included: William HEDDAGE, September 6th, 1711; Thomas HEADACH, April 25th, 1714; Mary HEADACH, July 2nd, 1717; Richard HEADACK, July 25th, 1720 and James HEADACK, June 15th, 1724, were all baptized in Yattendon. I could find no marriage of Elizabeth marrying a MAINE (as indicated in her mother’s Will) in Berkshire so broadened my search area and located the marriage in London. Elizabeth HEDDIGE married George MAINE at St. Benet, Paul’s Wharf, in the City of London on May 30th, 1733. Daughter Mary HEADACH married Joseph BRYANT, in Speen on October 29th, 1743.

    Yattendon and Stanford Dingley are both beautiful villages. Yattendon was recorded in the Doomsday Book Etingedene and Bronze Age implements have been found there. The village was once a market town. The main street has a fine group of old buildings – the Manor, the Grange, the church of St. Peter and St. Paul (built in about 1450 on an earlier foundation), the Rectory, and the Malt House. The church in Stanford Dingley is named after St. Denys and legend has it that he was beheaded in Paris in the 13th century. After being beheaded, he is said to have picked up the severed head and walked off with it. A church was built to his memory where he stopped and put it down. He was also buried on the site. A Saxon church stood in Stanford Dingley before the Norman Conquest. At the time of the Doomsday Book the village was known as Stanworde. There is also a wonderful 15th century inn – the “Bull.”

    I now had to decide which baptism was the one for John. There were three to choose from: April 1st, 1675, son of John and Mary, at Hampstead Norris; December 1st, 1678, son of Joseph and Joan or January 8th, 1687, son of John and Ann, both at Bucklebury. The second was eliminated immediately as he was buried on September 15th, 1675. Working on the assumption that John was the son of John and Ann, I consulted the Will of John HEADACH of Marlestone, Bucklebury, dated June 13th, 1702. In it he mentions his brothers Richard and William, sisters Mary SADGROVE and Sarah DEAN and “my well beloved son John.” He goes on to say that his “brother William HEADACH, Anthony WEBBE…and Giles CARTER of Stanford Dingley in ye said county, tanner” shall look after his “moneys, goods and chattels until my said sonn shall attain ye age of four and twenty years.” At the time of the Will, John the “sonn,” would have been fifteen years old and probably apprenticed to Giles CARTER mentioned in the Will as at the baptism of his first child his occupation was given as “tanner from Stanford Dingley.” William, John’s brother mentioned in his Will, also left a Will dated January 5th, 1712. He was a “husbandman of Hawkridge” and mentioned his nephew John HEADEACH. In his “History of Bucklebury,” A. L. HUMPHREYS stated that “a branch of the IREMONGER family carried on an extensive tannery business at Stanford Dingley.” Unfortunately, he does not give dates.

    Convinced my John was the son of John and Ann, I enlisted the help of fellow society member Barbara YOUNG to find out all she could from the Bucklebury parish registers and any other relevant documents. By this time I had purchased all the Berkshire HEADACH/HERRIDGE Wills, which were proving very useful in determining family relationships and for constructing family trees.

    Armed with Barbara’s information and the wonderful “History of Bucklebury,” there was no stopping me now! Then I suddenly stopped and thought. My ancestors were from Bucklebury? That name rang a bell. Having read “Lord of the Rings” some years earlier, I remembered Bucklebury was the name of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins’ village in Middle Earth! Were my ancestors Hobbits? Nothing would surprise me!

    John HEADACH married Ann SMITH in Hampstead Norris on November 5th, 1670. He had been baptized as HEADACH in Bucklebury on March 23rd, 1644/5, the fourth child of Richard and Rachel. He was mentioned in the Court Baron of October 18th, 1681 – “they present that John HEADACHE has carried soil out of the pond on the Lord’s waste and laid it on Mr. LYFORD’s land.” His brother Richard HEADACHE was ‘constable’ of Bucklebury. On October 18th, 1686, Richard HEADACH had “overstinted the common; if he offend again he shall forfeit 12d to the Lord for every beast every time.” Richard gets three other mentions in the Court Rolls: on September 3rd, 1690 – “officer and tithingman of East End,” the same entry on September 3rd, 1690 and on October 10th, 1692 he was mentioned as “officer – constable” of Bucklebury. So, John’s brother was a fairly important person in the village.

    From this point in the family’s history I refer mostly to A. L. HUMPHREY’s book and Court Rolls. Richard HEADACHE, Jr. and Rachel DEANE were married in Bucklebury on November 12th, 1632. Richard HEADACHE had been baptized on August 21st, 1603 in Bucklebury, the son of Richard and Agnes. As yet I have found no marriage for his parents. Richard and Agnes’ children’s baptisms were all in Bucklebury: William, March 7th, 1633/4; Richard, March 13th, 1635/6; Mary, June 13th, 1641; John, March 23rd, 1644/5 and Sarah, who was born on January 10th, 1654. Richard was included in the Homage several times between 1646 and 1662 for Tidmarsh, Hawkridge and Bucklebury. On October 6th, 1654 he was “chosen and sworn as Tithingman” for Hawkridge and in 1662 was mentioned in the ‘Rental of Manors.’ A Will dated October 10th, 1659 (not located as yet) was mentioned in the Admon. of Richard HEDEDG/HEDDAGE, Gent. of Tidmarsh, dated February 14th, 1665. ‘Richard the younger’ is mentioned in this document.

    This brings us to the beginning of the Family Tree. Richard, Sr. was born about 1550/60 in Bucklebury, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth (formerly LOWE?). Richard and Agnes had at least four children baptised in Bucklebury: Elizabeth, September 15th, 1587; Thomas, September 10th, 1590; Agnes, August 10th, 1595 and Richard, August 21st, 1603. There were possibly two others, John and William, but no baptism dates were found. On November 26th, 1617, Richard’s daughter Elizabeth married John SMITH, who was stated as being “of Hawkridge” in 1619. His son(?) John married Elizabeth AWBRY on February 25th, 1622/3. Both these marriages were in Bucklebury as were all events from here on. Richard’s wife, Elizabeth, was buried on March 3rd, 1626/7. On May 31st, 1630, his son(?) William married Joan HALL. Richard was mentioned in the Church Terriers as a witness – “the marke of Richard HEADACHE an olde man” – on September 2nd, 1634 and buried a few months later on February 7th, 1635.

    Richard’s father, Thomas, was mentioned in the Court Rolls on June 20th, 1564 as ‘a free tenant,’ was a witness to a Will on May 2nd, 1565 and in the Court Baron – Essoin – (HEDATCH) on June 6th, 1583. Baptisms of other possible children of Thomas and Elizabeth were: John, November 22nd, 1549; Thomas, December 25th, 1549 (buried September 25th, 1578) and Katherine, December 27th, 1551 and buried July 20th, 1552.

    Thomas was probably the son of Richard, buried September 2nd, 1556, and Jane/Joan, buried August 9th, 1558. Other probable children of Richard and Jane were Margaret who married John HUMFRYE on November 20th, 1541; Jone who married Edward FISHER on June 14th, 1548 and Richard, baptized July 10th, 1539. Thomas’ father, Richard, had a mention in the Lay Subsidy Roll of 1524/5: “Assessment of the Hundreds of Redyng and Theles, Co. Berks., to the second payment of the subsidy granted 16 Henry VII Bukelbury: Richard HEDDYCHE, wages – valour 20s subsidy 4d.”

Part Six


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