Author Topic: Lookup - St Marys Woodford churchyard - vault of William Hunt  (Read 352 times)

Offline jonw65

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Offline clontarf

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Re: Lookup - St Marys Woodford churchyard - vault of William Hunt
« Reply #10 on: Sunday 17 June 18 04:20 BST (UK) »
Wow!  I wake up and find a flood of answers to my query!  Thank you, all.

Unfortunately, it does look as though there are only three inscriptions on the vault.  I don't suppose anyone has seen the book referred to in the WHS article - St Mary’ s Church, Woodford, Essex by J W S Litton and F R Clark (Passmore Edwards Museum 1977)?

I have had another look through the reconstructed registers and can find no Hunt baptisms or marriages pre 1750 (but there is a large gap 1712-25).  Which makes me think the four burials are related to William Hunt.

If he is a relative, then I think Henry may have been another brother of William Hunt the builder of the vault.  I may have identified his will - a Henry Hunt, mariner, signed on 2 Nov 1720, but not proved until 16 Oct 1739 by his brother William Hunt.  This will leaves legacies to his brothers William and Thomas, sister Mary Hunt and parents William and Mary Hunt.  If the identification is correct then the sister Mary did not marry William Haskins until 1728.

I have the wills of William Hunt 1767, Thomas Hunt 1769, William Haskins 1737, Richard Hunt Micklefield 1798, his wife Honor 1802, William Hunt Micklefield 1826, his wife Catherine 1842 but none them offer any clues to the original William's wives or possible children (other than the hints about the wives surnames in his will).

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Offline jonw65

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Re: Lookup - St Marys Woodford churchyard - vault of William Hunt
« Reply #11 on: Sunday 17 June 18 21:10 BST (UK) »
Hi
I'll see if I can get hold of the book.
You seem to be doing pretty well with the Hunts! But, yes, the identity of William's second wife is proving a problem.
There are PCC wills of a Matthew Nash and a widowed Frances Nash (husband was Matthew). But I'm not sure if they are going to be very helpful, even if they are the right couple.
John

Offline clontarf

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Re: Lookup - St Marys Woodford churchyard - vault of William Hunt
« Reply #12 on: Monday 18 June 18 04:08 BST (UK) »
Thank you John.

Since you brought them up I might as well deal with the Nash wills - it is a little off topic (the Woodford inscriptions) but is related to the purpose which is to identify William Hunt's wives, and there is a faint (very) clue in them.

I have the two Nash wills, plus those of Frances's father Robert Southwood 1750 and her "brother" John March 1771.   Robert Southwood leaves his estate to his daughter Frances Nash wife of Matthew Nash and 500 pounds to Elizabeth Marsh wife of John Marsh, printer of Tower Hill.  No wife  mentioned so presumably Robert's wife (or wives) are dead.  Frances Nash 1775, among an enormous number of bequests, leaves money/property to John March nephew of her late brother John March of Tower Hill and makes him executor, and to her cousin Elizabeth Rose widow and her daughter Elizabeth Crofts (the clue).   John March 1771, printer of Tower Hill, leaves money to his nephew John March, brothers Richard and Thomas March, an array of nieces and nephews, and to his "good friend Matthew Nash and Frances Nash his wife" (but he does not call Frances his sister), and Mrs Elizabeth Rose.  Nephew John March and Matthew Nash are the executors.  Matthew Nash's will doesn't add much to the story, leaving an annuity to an Elizabeth Reading spinster and the rest to his wife Frances who is sole executor.

John March/Marsh married Elizabeth Tyees in 1743 at St Anne and St Agnes, Aldersgate where Frances Southwood and her brother Robert were born and her parents were buried.  Frances's mother died in 1734, so it is quite possible her father remarried a widow March, mother of John making him Frances's step-brother.

Four tightly interconnected wills, making the marriage in 1728 between Matthew Nash and Frances Southwood almost certainly that of the will makers. This date makes them good candidates to be the brother and sister in law of William Hunt.  I have been unable to find any other marriage Matthew Nash and Frances in the correct time-frame, but that could be due to missing registers or the eccentric results of the search engines of those sites that contain copies or transcripts of parish registers.

IF this is the couple in William Hunt's will, then that would seem to eliminate the possibility that Frances is William's sister, which in turn means that IF "brother and sister in law" is literally true then either Matthew or Frances are a sibling of William's second wife.

There is a potential complication from the faint clue in Frances Nash's will - her cousin Elizabeth Crofts.  William Hunt's first wife Mary Cutts had an aunt who married a Crofts and produced at least two children.  IF (there is lot of them!) this is not just a coincidence then it suggests William Hunt's wives may have been related in some way ("cousin" is a very elastic term).

I have not found any sisters for Frances Southwood (usual caveats apply) so Nash is the favourite to be the name of William Hunt's second wife - but it is not a strong case.


Offline clontarf

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Re: Lookup - St Marys Woodford churchyard - vault of William Hunt
« Reply #13 on: Monday 18 June 18 06:47 BST (UK) »
Getting back to the Hunt vault - when was it built?  Are there any experts on 18th century tomb style out there? 

From the small photo in the WHS article it looks to me to be more elaborate than the tombs close to the road on the east side of the church.  Could one tell from the style whether it was built shortly before William Hunt signed his will in 1750 or earlier in 1734 the potential death of his first wife, or even earlier for some other family member?  Is it more Baroque or Palladian than Rococo?

William says in his will he wants to be "buried in the Vault which I built for my Family in the Churchyard of Woodford".  He doesn't say "built for myself".  He lived another 17 years after he signed his will and died at age 82, so must have been reasonably healthy.  It would make sense that the inspiration to build the vault was the death of a member of his family.  The most obvious event would be the death of his first wife, but you expect in that case there would be an inscription (unless it has weathered away).  Another possibility would be the death of his parents.  If Henry the mariner is his brother then we know their parents were still alive in 1720.