You are in [People] [Constables of Town & Manor]

In many ways, the organisation of the Town and Manor of Hungerford has remained little changed over the past 400 years, since it came under the management of feoffees or trustees in 1617. The chief office holder of the Town and Manor of Hungerford is the Constable, a post whose origins are even earlier, and holders of this important post are known from as early as 1458. We are indebted to the late Norman Hidden for his painstaking research into the early Constables of Hungerford.

Other office holders include the Port-Reeve, Bailiff, four Tutti-men, a number of Water-Bailiffs, several Overseers of the Common (Port Down), three Keepers of the Keys of the Common Coffer, two Ale-Tasters (or 'Testers'), and the Bellman and Assistant Bailiff. Some offices have fallen from usage, including the Searchers and Sealers of Leather, and the Tasters of Flesh and Fish!

Through the medieval period, the duties of Constable included many parochial duties, including tax collector and keeping the peace. It was unpaid, and probably not a popular assignment.

See also:

- Town & Manor

- Town & Manor Today

- Hocktide & Tutti-Day

- Bellmen of Hungerford

Chronological List of Constables:

1458 John Tuckhill (Tukhyll Tukill, Tughill):

The first known Constable of the Town of Hungerford was John Tuckhill (also spelt Tuckill, Tukhyll, Tukill, Tughill and Tuggill). He was Constable in 1458 and 1461 in the reign of Henry VI.

The following information is derived from the speech given by Norman Hidden when he was guest of honour at the Hocktide Lunch in 1989:

The first Constable of Hungerford that we know of existed in 1458. His name was John Tukhill, pronounced Tuggill by the locals. His Reeve was John Haywood and his Bailiff was Richard Lang (or Long).

John Tuckhill had one attribute which probably helped him as Constable. He was a wealthy local merchant. It was not so much that Tuckhill might find himself out of pocket after a year's service to his fellow townsmen, but that having a few money bags stored away it gave him a certain leverage in getting things done.

In 1458 Tuckhill had made enough money from trade to help ransom Sir Robert Hungerford when he has taken prisoner in the French wars. In exchange the Hungerford family gave Tuckhill their Manor of Hopgrass, which in those days included the whole of Charnham Street.

Three years later Tuckhilll was involved in perhaps the most remarkable incident in the town's history of local government. This was the forcible removal from office of all the town officers.

In the year 1461 the Wars of the Roses had resulted in the dethronement of the weak Lancastrian king Henry VI and the accession of the Yorkist monarch Edward IV. This national civil conflict seems to have set the pattern for the locals to do likewise.

At any rate John Tuckhill, still Constable, Thomas Hoskins bailiff, and John Dighton, tithing man, complained to the King that various local personages...

"rebels to our liege lord the King, to the number of four score and more, in the month of September last past entered into the said town of Hungerford and there robbed and spoiled divers persons that owed faith and goodwill to our said liege lord the King and also brake open the common chest of the town and spoiled and bore away such goods as they found therein.
And put the kings officers, your Complainants, forcibly from their offices nor suffered them to occupy [the same] nor to execute the King's laws in their offices as they [had done] beforetime but put in such as were of their [own] affinity and some against their wills who dare do none other for dread of the said rebels but occupy the office or stand in dread of their lives.
And so yet the said rebels continue their riots so that neither justice nor law may be executed nor good rule kept to the great hurt of the well disposed men of the town, and also of the country thereabouts who would resort to their market there and dare not for the said rebels."

Thacker's "Kennet Country" records it as: "John Tuggill, the constable, Thomas Hossekyn, bailiff, John Dighton tithingman and several others besought the Lord Chancellor's  intervention that in the previous September. men named Rothes, Drebe, Ludlow, Tuggill, Jenyn, Barbour with many other of their affynytie entered into the saide Toun of Hungreford and ther robbed and spoyled divers persons, and also brake opyn the common chest and spoyled and bare away such  goodes as they founde therin. And put the king's officers yor  complaynants forseid from their office and put in such as were of their  affynyte and some ayenst their wille which dare none other do but  [?obey] or ellis stande in Jeopardie of their lyffes."

So Tuckhill asked for a royal commission, not to investigate the matter, but to come with armed forces to crack down on the insurrectionists, "so that the King's true liegemen may do their occupations and keep their markets as they have been accustomed [to do] in time past, and your said complainants with their neighbours and all other well disposed persons there shall the more especially pray for your [majesty's] honourable estate in felicity long to endure."

This incident gives us some idea of the problems and pressures which our ancestors faced, whether townsmen or officers. Tuckhill was probably a Lancastrian, if his willingness to help Sir Robert Hungerford is anything to go by, and yet when a Yorkist monarch came to the throne, he realised that the interests of the town were best served by accepting the constitutional position and that local trade and prosperous municipal life could continue only if the King's authority remained firm and extremist factions were subdued.

The complete list of Constables:

1461 John Tuckill

1474/75 Thomas Webbe

1505 Richard Jenyns (Genens)

1525 Januar Kyrton

c1550 Francis Elston

c1556 John Lovelake

1565 ?John Lovelake

1568 Thomas Dolman

1570 Humfrey Alleyne

1571 Thomas Hamblyn

1572 William Butler

1573 Thomas Seymour

1580 John Yewell

1583 Thomas Seymor

1584 Robert Wayte

1585 John Doleman

1586 Thomas Seymor

1587 Edward Collins

1588 Thomas Seymour

1592 John Fawler

1593 Philip Seymor

1594 Humfrey Batte

1595 ?

1596 ?

1597 ?

1598 John Curr

1599 Philip Seymor

1600 John Lucas

1601 Thomas Carpenter

1602-04 Robert Field

1603 Edward Collins

1604 ?

1605 Tristam Dolman

1606 ?

1607 John Curr

1608 Ralph Mackerell

1609-10 Thomas Carpenter

1611 Robert Field

1612-13 Humfrey Batte

1614 Thomas Carpenter

1615 Robert Field

1616 Ralph Mackerell

1617 John Lucas

1618 ?

1619 Rafe Harrold / John Forty

1620 John Burche

1621 Robert Field

1622 John West

1623 William Waite

1624 Benjamin Holton [Houghton]

1625 John Youle

1626 Benjamin Houghton [Holton]

1627 John Curr / John Forty

1628 John Curr senior

1629 William Norcraft

1630 Thomas Garmy [als Cook]

1631 John Birche

1632 John West

1633 Roger Lovelake

1634 Jehosophat Lucas

1635 Richard Sare

1636 Isaac Field

1637 Jehosophat Lucas

1638 Roger Lovelack

1639 Jehosophat Lucas

1640 Thomas Garmy

1641 John Forty junior

1642 John Youle

1643 Jerome Purton

1644 Thomas Mackerell

1645 Benjamin Holton / John Youle

1646 Thomas Toe

1647 Jehosophat Lucas

1648 John Forty

1649 Nicholas Birch

1650 Edmund Stephens

1651 John Curr

1652 John Butler

1653 Jonathan Reade

1654 John Forty

1655 Timothy Lucas

1656 John Butler

1657 John Toe

1658 John Coxhead

1659 Joseph Sare

1660 Joseph Sare

1661 Adrian Pollerne

1662 Jonathan Reade

1663 John Forty

1664 Edmund Stevens

1665 Tobias Pollerne

1666 Henry Whyneatt

1667 Adwin Williams

1668 Thomas Butler

1669 Thomas Oram

1670 Richard Mayle

1671 John Norris

1672 Robert Osmond

1673 Adwin Williams

1674-75 Robert Osmond

1676 John Dicks

1677 Thomas Sare

1678 Jehosophat Stephens

1679 John Toe

1680 Noah Webb

1681 Joseph Butler

1682 Thomas Woodroffe

1683 Thomas Robinson, jnr

1684 John Pinnocke

1685 Richard Cannon

1686 Richard King

1687 John Mabberley

1688 Joseph Butler

1689 Robert Osmond

1690 John Seager

1691 Thomas Woodroffe

1692 Richard Cannon

1693 Edward Lucas

1694 John Hamblen

1695 John Boone

1696 Thomas Robinson

1697 Noah Webb

1698 Thomas Butler

1699 Edward Lucas

1700 Richard Sare

1701 John Toe

1702 Thomas Woodroffe, jnr

1703 Joseph Sare

1704 Thomas Butler

1705 Robert Patient

1706 John Boone

1707 Thomas Sare

1708 John Hamblen

1709 Thomas Robinson

1710 Joseph Sare

1711 William Ryman

1712 Roger Streat

1713 John Mackerell

1714 Richard Sare

1715 John Webb

1716 Thomas Robinson, jnr

1717 John Hamblen

1718 John Robinson

1719 Roger Streat

1720 Thomas Robinson

1721 William Coster

1722 John Robinson

1723 Thomas Robinson

1724 Jonathan Coxhead

1725 William Forty

1726 George White

1727 Edward Lucas

1728 Thomas Sare

1729 Anthony Woodroffe

1730 Edward Hanson

1731 William Cheyney

1732 Thomas Liddiard

1733 James Webb

1734 Thomas Pike

1735 Joseph Povey

1736 John Mackerell

1737 John Toe

1738 Thomas Woodroffe, jnr

1739 William Ryman

1740 Thomas Robinson

1741 Charles Thomas

1742 Edward Playstead

1743 William Litman

1744 Joseph Allen

1745 Thomas Pool

1746 John Lewington

1747 Henry Tuck

1748 John Whyneatt

1749 Thomas Pool

1750 John Forty

1751 Henry Clark

1752 Thomas Pool

1753 John Farrenden

1754 William Allen

1755 Thomas Robinson

1756 Anthony Woodroffe

1757 James Shipton

1758 Anthony Woodroffe

1759 John Toe

1760 Charles Thomas

1761 John Bird

1762 Richard Blissett

1763 Henry Clark

1764 James Shipton

1765 Abraham Hopkins

1766 Thomas Hawkesworth

1767-68 Abiam Tubb

1769 George Church

1770 John Coxhead

1771 Edward Bear

1772 John Coxhead

1773 Robert Jegon

1774 Moses Burche

1775 Francis Stockbridge

1776 William Smith

1777 John Snook

1778 Edward Bear

1779 Thomas Robinson

1780 Thomas Hawkesworth

1781 Robert Smith

1782 John Simmonds

1783 Anthony Woodroffe

1784-85 John Burgess

1786 William Coxhead

1787 John Coxhead

1788 William Webb

1789-90 Anthony Woodroffe

1791-92 Moses Burche

1793 Thomas Viner

1794 James Blake

1795 John Church

1796 Robert Smith

1797 Francis Bear

1798 John Burgess

1799 John Bannister

1800 Thomas Pike

1801-03 Benjamin Salisbury

1804 Thomas Atherton

1805 John Brown

1806-07 John Westall

1808 Thomas Banbury

1809 George Bulpit

1810 George Bathe Cundell

1811 Robert Smith

1812 Thomas Major

1813 John Purdue

1814-15 Thomas Reeves

1816 William Alexander

1817 Thomas Viner

1818 Richard Lye

1819 Charles Salisbury

1820 Richard Barker

1821 John Westall

1822 Jonathan Bird

1823 Robert Lye

1824-25 Thomas Major

1826 Richard Dyer

1827 William Millis

1828-29 William Barnes

1830-33 George Earle

1834 John Westall

1835 Thomas Viner

1836-37 Robert Lye

1838 William Marchment

1839-40 George Bathe Cundell

1841 William Barnes

1842-43 William Alexander

1844-45 Daniel Allen

1846-47 Joseph Townsend Gray

1848 James Bodman

1849 Charles Low

1850 John Beard

1851-52 Richard Hemstead Barker

1853-54 Richard Killick

1855-56 Thomas Wooldridge

1857-60 John Platt

1861-63 George Martin

1864-65 Charles Crook

1866-67 John Walker

1868-71 Thomas Hutchins

1872-75 Henry John Beard

1876 John Matthew

1877 Harry Pike Major

1878 John Adnams

1879-80 Thomas Alexander

1881-88 John Platt, jnr

1889-93 Thomas Fruen

1894-96 Alfred Buckeridge

1897-00 George Platt

1901-02 William Alexander

1903-04 William Taylor

1905-06 Thomas Freeman

1907-08 Thomas Major MD

1909-11 Alfred Allright

1912-13 John Adnams

1914-18 Thomas Alexander

1919 Louis Beard

1920 Walter Dickson MD

1921 John Tyler

1922-26 Alfred Bartholomew

1927-28 Henry Taylor

1929-31 Edward Gingell

1932-35 T.G. Starkey-Smith MD

1936-40 Ernest Munford

1941-44 William Raine

1945-46 Edward Pratt

1947-49 Joseph Alexander

1950-56 Humphrey Fairfax-Harvey

1957-58 Ernest Moore

1958-59 Edwin Philip Spackman

1960-61 Richard Bartholomew

1962-64 Albert Wyatt

1965-66 Humphrey Hope

1967-69 John Pallett

1970-71 Eric (Jim) Davis

1972-74 John Newton

1975-77 Hugh Hassall

1978-80 Robert James

1981-83 John Hathway

1984-85 Roger King

1986-88 Col Donald Macey

1989-90 Dennis Cryer

1991-92 John Newton

1993-95 Stewart Hofgartner

1996-99 Bruce Mayhew

2000-03 Tyrell A.K. Bossom

2003-06 Jonathan C. Roots

2006-07 Robin Tubb

2007-09 Barbara Barr

2010-13 Greg Furr

2013-16 Susan Hofgartner

2016-present Ellie Dickins

See also:

- Town & Manor

- Town & Manor Today

- Hocktide & Tutti-Day

- Hocktide Photo Gallery

- Bellmen of Hungerford

- "Aspects of the Early History of Hungerford", Norman Hidden, 2009