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A Headache from Start to Finish
by Kevin Herridge

Part Six

In the notes on families in the “History of Bucklebury,” A. L. HUMPHREYS says of HEADACHE:
“This is the name of one of the most ancient Bucklebury families. As early as 1337, John HEADACHE (ate HATCHE) is mentioned in the Court Rolls by the ale-tasters. Nearly a hundred years later we find Thomas HYDHACCHE in the Roll of 1407, and it occurs in most of the later records, in the register books it is found as early as 1551, in which year John HEADACHE was baptized. The name is not confined to Bucklebury, but appears in Bradfield and in Sulham, where in 1552, Rychard HEDACHE was churchwarden. It seems that Bucklebury was peculiarly their home. HATCH is an early form of gate, and they took their name from the position of their home. Mr. WOODMAN, who has given much time to investigating the history of this family, has a note of a John HYDACHE and Joan, his wife, of Hawkerygge, defending a plea of trespass in 1430. He sends me in tabulated form as much as he can discover of the Bucklebury HEADACHE family.”

    An “ale-conner” was someone that tested the beer. This testing was accomplished by pouring some beer onto a wooden bench and then sitting in it, wearing moleskin breeches. If the breeches did not stick, it was regarded as a weak brew. Fellow researcher Vernon HERRIDGE confirmed this as he told me that his mother-in-law’s mother used to work in a pub in Somerset. In her youth she remembered that men used to test beer by pouring some onto a bench and then sit in it wearing leather breeches. If the bench stuck to the breeches it was good beer but if not, they reckoned it had been watered down!

    It is interesting to note the spelling variations of HEADACH and Bucklebury as we work our way back through the Court Rolls. On a roll of Views of Frankpledge held at “Julianlond” for “Thacham and other places on Wednesday the 4th day of…9 Henry IV (1407-8) for Burghulbury – Also that Stephen HYDE, who was in the service of Robert HERTRYIG, has moved himself out of the lordship; therefore the said Robert is charged, as several times before, to drive him and have him here at the next court, under a pain of 10s.” In the same roll was “John THOMAS called HYDHACHE took from the lord a messuage and a quarter virgate of land called Halydays, which Richard THOMAS, his father, now holds, paying 12d a year rent, and for the customary works and services 5s; and he shall find a man to do one boonwork (as above). Fine 6s 8d and two capons. Surety for the fine: John YDACHE, the elder. And he shall do suit to the court held at Julianlond; and a heriot shall be payment on his death, if he survives his father. And he shall store all the grain grown on the said messuage on the said land.” In the same year we find “John QUERENDON of  the younger took 16 acres of arable land, four of which lie in Querendonsfeld of Rammeslond, two acres of the said Rammeslond in Sandfield, four acres in Sandfield of the demesne land, and six acres of demesne land in Stanfordefeld, which Richard HYDACHE now holds; to hold for term of his life immediately after the death of the said Richard, at a rent of 4s. Fine: 2 capons.”

    A Grant dated at Burghildebury, April 20th, 1400 1 Henry IV, by “Walter QUORUNDON of that place, to William GODDARD and Alice his wife, daughter of Walter, of a field in Burghyldebury called Stanputcroft, and land near the rentor’s tenement called Quorunden’s, 2 acres of meadow with all the water belonging to the same” found Richard HYDEHACCHER among the witnesses.

    One of the most interesting finds was in the Coroner’s Roll of 1379 concerning the Inquisition on the body of Roger HAKFELD. “Inquisition taken at Burghildebury before John GOODRYCH, the King’s coroner of the Liberty, on Thursday after St. Lucy (December 15th), 3 Richard II. Of the view of the body of Roger HAKFELD found dead in his house called Hyde in that place by the oath of John HOBBES, John STRODE, Thomas GYDEALE, Stephen WEBBE, Simon POYS, Stephen DOM, Thomas LACCHERE, Richard HOLPOUK, William ALBRAY, John SMART, John atte FELD and William DOM, who say that on Friday after the Conception of the Blessed Mary last, strange men came and slew him on the above said day in the said house with a bill, striking him a mortal blow on the head with the said bill, which is worth 4d. The first to find him was Roger SKOTLAND of Burgh, who was mainperned by the tithing. On the Saturday after St. Valentine following John HAKFELD of Burghidebury, brother of the dead man, came to Reading before the said coroner, and appealed Robert HYDACH of his brother’s death. Pledges for the prosecution of the appeal: Thomas atte WELLE and John HALMAN of Burghildebury.”

    In the View of Frankpledge, held at Julianelond, on the Monday after the Nativity of St. John…30 Edward III 1356 – Burghildebur – in both Tithings, members of the family were presented for breaches of the assize of ale. John HIDHACCHE was presented before Richard TRUSSEHARE, the ale-conner and William atte HACHE before John HAMMOND. John HAMMOND also gave 3d to be discharged from the office of tithingman. In the 12th century the village was known as Burhildebur and earlier still in the 11th century as Borchedeberie. The village was named after the Anglo-Saxon princess Burghild and was built close to the River Pang. This frequently flooded and most villagers built their houses on higher ground.

    The beautiful church of St. Mary the Virgin was recorded in the Doomsday Survey. The entry in “The Doomsday Book – England’s Heritage, Then and Now” by Thomas HINDE states:
“Bucklebury – BOCHE/BORGE/BORCHE(L)DEBERIE: King’s land; Count of Evreux; Walter FITZOTHERE; Hugolin and Steersman. Mill, church. Church with Norman carvings.”

    In the “History of St. Mary the Virgin, Bucklebury and Marlston Chapel” by Keith POOLE, Hon. F. H. S., he states:
“The church has stood on the same site ever since the 11th century, and the manor was held by Edward the Confessor until his death in 1066. After the Norman Conquest the Royal manor was held by the King, as part of the property of the Crown. In the ancient manuscript known as the Testa de Nevill there is a brief entry recording the gift by Henry I of his estate here, which included the advowson of the church, to the Abbot and Convent of Reading.
“ The church appears to have been given to the Priory of Wallingford, a cell of St. Albans. Prior Nicholas, with the consent of his superior, gave it to the Abbey of Reading between 1151 and 1154. An annual rent of two marks was preserved to the church of Wallingford, this payment ceasing in 1291. Abbot Hugh of reading gave the church to the Hospital of St. John, which he founded about 1190 outside the Counter gate of the abbey.
“Some time between the years 1173 and 1180 the Abbot Joseph presented the Rectory, as it was then called, to Bartholomew, its first recorded Chaplain. Bartholomew was educated at the famous abbey, which was renowned as a seat of learning. The dedication of the church to St. Mary the Virgin was the same invocation as the great abbey itself.
“Abbot Hugh, who succeeded Abbot Joseph, almost at once began a fierce dispute with Bartholomew, causing him to surrender his benefice for a pension to him and his monks of thirty shillings a year, a considerable sum of money in those days. The Papal officials, however, intervened and the church was once more restored to Bartholomew. In 1191 Pope Clement the Third issued a Bull confirming this appointment and final arrangements.
“The vicarage, which was not instituted until about 1220, had the chapelry on Marlston annexed to it in the year 1270, this joint living remaining right down to the present day.
“Between 1536 and 1540 Henry VIII procured the dissolution of all the monasteries of England. Abbot Hugh, of Reading, would not surrender his abbey to the King, and after imprisonment in the Tower of London, he was executed outside his own Abbey on November 15th, 1539. The King thereafter sold the Manor of Bucklebury together with the advowson and the Vicarage to John WINCHCOMBE, the son of the celebrated Jack of Newbury, for the sum of two thousand, six hundred and nineteen pounds, thirteen shillings and fourpence. The advowson attached to the King’s service as a confidential messenger of Miles COVERDALE, one of the great translators of the Bible, who commended WINCHCOMBE for “his true heart towards the King.”
“John WINCHCOMBE at once pulled down the country residence of the abbots of Reading, who owned most of the land in the Kennet valley, and built a splendid manor house on the site in 1550. In the year 1830 the greater part of this was demolished by fire, the only parts left being the huge fireplace, brewhouse, fishponds and the stables dated 1626.
“The WINCHCOMBE family were short lived, less than two hundred years, and the lordship of the manor under their name lasted only from 1540 until 1703, when the second Sir Henry WINCHCOMBE died.

It was just after this date (1705) that John HERRIDGE married and my branch of the HEADACH/HERRIDGEs moved out of the village. Jack of Newbury was a famous clothier and Newbury had been a wool center. Fulling mills, used to wash the wool, had been built in Bucklebury in the 14th century. Queen Elizabeth I was thought to have been entertained at the manor house in Bucklebury. Bucklebury church was extensively restored in the 19th century but still retains its Norman doorway and holy-water stoup. It also contains a 14th century bell cast by Peter de WESTON of London.

    If A. L. HUMPHREYS was correct in thinking the HEADACHE surname originated from “atte HATCHE” and the family took their name from the position of their home – at the gate – then there were several references to the name HATCH in the Court Rolls, maps, etc. In 1583 “Richard UNDERWOODE has not scoured out the ditch in a close called Hatch Croft.” In 1604 “The Hatch Gate is in decay by default of Master PARKINS.” A reference in 1671 tells of “Stephen REMNANT to amend the Common nuisance from the watercourse in Hatch Lane.” In 1714 “The Surveyor of Highways of East End to put a footbridge in Hatch Lane.” Robert BEDDING, the diarist, lived in a small cottage called Avenue Cottage, between the Blade Bone Inn and Hatch gate in 1796. This was situated in the part of the village called Chapel Row. The Blade Bone Inn was named after the bladebone of a mammoth that was found in the Kennet valley in the 17th century. It is encased in a copper case. Two other references were in 1810: Stephen CLARGO to put Hatch Lane Gate in repair” and Hatch Lane Ground was mentioned on the 1840 Tithe map. So, was this finally the family seat? Or did the name originate even earlier? Was Michael YOUNG’s theory about Hawkridge correct? The earliest reference was in A.D. 956 in a Grant by King Eadwig where it was referred to as Heafochrycg and later Haukerugge. Then again, with all the spelling variations I have encountered, King EADWIG could be another variant of HEADACHE! Now that would be a nice start to a Family Tree! “King Kevin” has a certain ring to it! A little to the west of Marlston House is the site of Grimsbury Castle (Camp) attached to which are the sites of two “Gateways”. Perhaps this was where the family originally lived. Near Gillingham, Dorset, another HEDDITCH/HERRIDGE stronghold, there was an ancient fort. Perhaps they too gained their name from living near the entrance to it. Who knows?

    The surname has lived on though. In 1608 there was  ‘HEADACHES Meade’ in Tidmarsh. In the Tithe Award of 1841 there were references to “HERRIDGES Moor – meadow 6a 0r 17p,” “HERRIDGES pightle – arable 4a 2r 8p” and “HERRIDGES Wood – 15a 1r 6p” in Pangbourne. Just south west of Purley Hall there is still a HERRIDGE Copse (I have yet to walk through it), which is probably the same place. I received a letter from a lady in Australia a few years ago who was interested in another shared family name and as a “p.s.” she added that there was a Rob HERRIDGE living near her that owned a farm in Northam, Western Australia and on it was a large lake called HERRIDGE Lake where she used to take her cub pack. I wrote to him but received no reply. It’s good to see the HERRIDGEs have made their mark on maps in both hemispheres.

    Now, in 2002, many HERRIDGE references can be found on the Internet. Just use the ‘Google’ search engine and type in Kevin HERRIDGE and before you can blink, you will know almost as much about me as I do…well, almost. Through all the time and effort spent in research, my family history really has been a HEADACHE from start to finish!

Kevin Herridge


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