William Hayward of Little Wenlock, died 1639

William Hayward of Little Wenlock died in 1639 and left a will. He was the son of William Hayward, who had died in 1602. William was the father of two sons, George and William Hayward. It is clear he was also the grandfather of a fourth generation, William Hayward  (1642-1708), who married Mary Pudsey in Trysull, Staffs in 1665. It is less clear whether the son, George, or the son William, is the father of this fourth William.

After his father died in 1602, William’s mother remarried Edward Allcock. In Edward’s will, four years later, there is a desire expressed that his daughter Margaret Allcock should marry William, strengthened by a £200 incentive should the marriage go ahead.

William must have been born about 1585 and the marriage with Margaret would have taken place between 1607 and 1612. However, there are no church records to substantiate those dates.

He was first admitted a burgess of the Corporation of Much Wenlock in 1607 and Bailiff, like his father, in 1613.

The continuity of the generations is demonstrated most particularly by the inheritance of the advowson of the local church St Lawrence in Little Wenlock. This was controlled by the Hayward family from at least 1602 when it was bought from Walter Pigot, the son-in-law of Sir Walter Leveson.

It is recorded, that in 1608 William Hayward (then about 23) and Maurice Wright appointed George Baxter as Rector of Little Wenlock. George Baxter was a radical preacher of a strong Puritan persuasion and he was to stay in office for nearly 54 years, until his death in 1662. Indeed his radical beliefs and some of the turmoil that it created in the Civil War, when he was arrested and imprisoned in Shrewsbury, may explain the lack of church records under his stewardship. One can imagine that William Hayward, in appointing such a man, shared some if not all of these religious views.

By 1639 George Hayward, the older son is already married to a Sarah but the two younger children William and Lucy would seem to be under the age of 21. Both William’s wife Margaret (née Allcock) and his mother Lucy (née Bucknell) are still alive.

He also mentions his brother Richard Hayward and his two sisters who would be Elizabeth and Marie.

The overseers of the will are named as firstly John Slaney, Merchant of London. He is probably the son of Richard Slaney, his wife’s uncle. The second overseer is Thomas Jennens, Citizen and Grocer of London, who is described as a cousin. This Jennens family were originally from Welbourne, Salop.

Sources and Notes

  • Will of William Hayward, Probate 21 Nov 1639, PCC
  • Will of William Hayward, Probate 1 Apr 1602, PCC (Father)
  • The Marriage of William Hayward and Lucy Bucknall, William’s parents, is recorded in the Holy Trinity, Shrewsbury register for 7 Feb 1584.
  • There is a marriage of George Hayward and Sarah Carswell on 7 Jun 1638 in Wellington, Salop
  • Shropshire Archives WB/F/2/2/23/9/5 would indicate that George Hayward, Gent died about 1650 and his widow Sarah was acting as administratrix  (Eldest son – no will)
  • Shropshire Archives MI3410/1 states that William Hayward, Gent, of Little Wenlock was granted arms, 26 Jun 1637 – perhaps indicating a degree of loyalty to the King,  
  • There is another slightly older William Hayward, possibly a cousin, who marries Jane Morrice on 24 Jan 1603, Rushbury. It is assumed he is the father of Morrice Hayward who is a witness to our William’s will.
  • Another witness to the will is Henry Wightwicke, clerk. He is possibly later the Master of Pembroke College, co-founded by a Richard Wightwicke.