Edward Allcock of Little Wenlock

Edward Allcock, a gentleman of Little Wenlock in Shropshire died and left a will with probate date 25 Nov 1606.

He names his wife as Lucy and his son-in-law as William Hayward. He appears to only have one daughter Margaret and expresses a desire that she marry William with an incentive of an extra £200 to promote the union.

This apparent conundrum is resolved by an examination of the will of William Hayward, gent of Little Wenlock of 1602. This William Hayward leaves a son and heir William Hayward and a widow Lucy. The simple implication is that Edward Allcock marries the widow, Lucy, some time about 1603, and wishes his newly acquired stepson or son-in-law to marry his only daughter.

When William Hayward himself dies in 1639 his will indicates that his wife is indeed called Margaret and they have two sons George Hayward and William Hayward, the latter still under 21. Either George or William, it is postulated, is the father of William Hayward who was born in about 1642 and is buried in Little Wenlock in 1708.

That Edward Allcock is the ancestor of this branch of the Hayward family is borne out by further wills.

Edward names a number of  his brothers-in-law in the will. Bannister and Harwell seem to be married to his wive’s sisters, one presumes, but his brother-in-law Richard Slaney would appear to be the brother of his first wife and therefore uncle to Margaret Allcock the putative grandmother of William Hayward (d 1708).

Richard Slaney, who also witnesses the will, is the holder of an estate in Hem, Shropshire and leaves a will probate 1620. This ties him to two further brothers Mr John Slaney and Mr Humfrey Slaney both London Merchants in the cloth trade.

When John Slaney dies in London in 1632, he mentions both Margaret Hayward and her husband William. His will would also indicate that this family was closely related to Sir Stephen Slaney, a former Lord Mayor of London. Sir Stephen had no surviving male descendant but his will mentions a brother Henry. Either Henry or another putative brother Humphrey would most likely be the father of the siblings Richard Slaney, John Slaney, Humphrey Slaney and Margaret(?) Allcock (Snr). The latter would have died some time before 1602.

William Hayward himself is likely to be related to another Lord Mayor of London Sir Rowland Hayward. However, the precise nature of this relation must go further back and is only hinted at by some land ownership and the fact that William Hayward seems to have inherited or bought the advowson of Little Wenlock church from Sir Rowland’s sons in about 1625.

The parish register of Little Wenlock does not exist for this period so further information is difficult to glean but the Haywards, Allcocks and Slaneys appear to be the preeminent families in Little Wenlock of the period.

Sources and Notes

  • Will of Edward Allcock, Gentleman of Little Wenlock, Probate 25 Nov 1606, PCC
  • Will of William Hayward, Probate 1 Apr 1602, PCC (Second wife’s first husband)
  • Will of William Hayward, Probate 21 Nov 1639, PCC (Stepson)
  • Will of Richard Slaney, Probate 20 Jul 1620, PCC (Brother-in-law)
  • Will of John Slaney, Citizen and Merchant Taylor, Probate 26 Apr 1632, PCC (Brother-in-law)
  • British History Online (BHO): A history of the County of Shropshire: Vol 11 Telford – Little Wenlock: Church, Manor and Economic History pp 80-91
  • Parish Register of Holy Cross Shrewsbury gives two marriages:
    • 3 Feb 1576 Elinor Bucknell and Alan Bannister
    • 7 Feb 1584 Lucy Bucknell and William Hayward
  • Edward Harwell would appear to be married to a Slaney as John Slaney (will 1632) refers to his sister Harwell
  • Corporation Minute Book of the Town and Liberty of Much Wenlock (1495-1658) held at Shropshire Archives in Shrewsbury:
    • would indicate William Hayward gent was bailiff until 1602
    • he was succeeded by Richard Slaney in about 1615
    • in turn succeded by William Hayward (jnr) in 1616 and later
    • Edward Allcock is not mentioned even as a Burgess of the Liberty
    • Edward Harwell the brother-in-law mentioned in Edward Allcock’s will also holds posts