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Caveat:

The history of ownership and occupation of the properties at the southern end of the east side of High Street (modern numbers 66-93) is very speculative.
Records are sketchy, and confusing. This page is the current "best attempt" to clarify the history of these properties, but much further work still needs to be done. It is possible that the historic boundaries do not match the modern ones.

Summary:

Earliest information: 1573
Original estate: Chantry of the Holy Trinity
Common Rights? Yes (87 & 88 HS - frontage 45ft; each 1 horse or 2 cows)
Date of current building:
Listed? No

Thumbnail History:

QR=8d. Browne -> Farmer -> Cheyney -> Simkins -> Poffley

Description of property:

Photo Gallery:

p3030912
p3030912 p3030912

- 87-88 High Street, Feb 2007

Timeline:

1573 (NH) Occupied by Edmund Browne, and had 2 acres of land in the common fields belonging to it – one acre in the Breach and one acre in Pidden. It paid an annual quit rent of 8d, the full burgage rate for an individual property.

1591 (NH) Edmund Browne.

1598 (NH) Robert Browne, who was still alive in 1606.

1609 (NH) Widow Browne. The quit rent has dropped to 4d, the rate for a half burgage, so it is possible that the building had by that date been divided into two houses. Alternatively, the roll has become muddled at this point.

1676 (NH) Thomas Farmer q.r. 8d. [The 1680 Hungerford Court Book has Thomas Farmer, a commoner, but he is not a freesuitor. The link with Turton may be in the marriage of Zachary Turton in 1681 with ..?.. Farmer (see over). Elizabeth Farmer, w/o Thomas Farmer, buried 1665. Thomas Farmer married Mary Wirge 1669 Thomas Farmer died Jan 1698/99. Dec 1698 burial of Mary, w/o Zachary Turton. In the will of John Dicks 1683 Zachary Turton is described as blacksmith.]

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1753 (NH QR) William Cheyney is in possession of a house "late Turton's", the quit rent being 8d. William Cheyney was brutally murdered in 1762 but not in this house. In 1742 William Cheyney had three houses insured on east side (volume 63).

1753-61 (QR) ???Thomas Woodroffe for his house, q.r. 8d.

18th century deed (NH) Following Cheyney's death the house was owned by Bridget Simkins.

1774-1790 (QR) Francis Stockbridge [amended to] Thomas Poffley for a house late Simkin's, q.r. 8d

1777 (NH CL) Francis Stockbridge

1778 (NH CL) Francis Stockbridge

1781 (CL) Francis Stockbridge

1786 (NH CL) Francis Stockbridge

1795 (NH) Thomas Poffley. In 1761 Francis Poffley was one of those presented at the April Court Leet for "digging and undermining the bank and not repairing the mounds upon the same bank between their several gardens and the Breach, whereby the King's liege are in great danger of their lives", and they were ordered to repair the bank and fences. (Berks R.O. H/M2 – Hungerford Court Leet Presentments 16 April 1761).

The (DCW 1792) will of Francis Poffley (of Hungerford, Berkshire, husbandman, 29 June 1791) in 1792 makes a specific disposition of this property: "Whereas I am possessed of a certain messuage, burgae, or tenement on the east side of the High Street, with backside, garden etc late in the occupation of my son-in-law Francis Stockbridge, and now of William Ferris, which I hold of a lease granted by the late Mrs Bridget Simkins deceased, for a term of years determinable on the death of Francis Stockbridge and Elizabeth his wife (late Elizabeth Poffley my daughter) and my son Thomas Poffley, at a yearly reserved rent of 2s and 6d, now I give the leasehold messuage to my son Thomas for the remained of its term."[And whereas Francis Stockbridge now is in debt to me for arrears in rent during all the time he has occupied it, now I give the arrears and residue of my estate to my son Thomas. Executor: Son, Thomas. Witnesses G.W. Buckley, cleark to W. Townsend, attorney; Thomas Hawkins; Jehosphophat York. Probate 2nd July 1792].

This bequest illustrates clearly the complications involved in searching the past names attributed to particular properties. Here it would seem that the chief landlord had been widow Simkins who granted a lease to Francis Poffley. Poffley in turn granted occupation of the property first to his son-in-law and then to William Ferris. He now bequeaths the remainder of his lease to his son Thomas. At the termination of the lease, however, the property would revert to the heirs of Mrs Simkins.

The will of Francis Poffley is of interest in other points also. The "reserved" rent of 2s 6d p.a. – payable to Mrs Simkins – had probably been frozen at that figure since the days when the property belonged to the Chantry. Where the difference in many values occurred would have been in the sum needed to purchase the leasehold. Indeed Francis Poughley had not bothered to collect the sum of 2s 6d annually from his son-in-law for he goes on in his will to say "and whereas Francis Stockbridge now is in debt to me for arrears in rent during all the time he has occupied it, now I give the arrears (and residue of my estate) to my son Thomas".

1795-1804 (QR) Thomas Pofley for a house late Francis Stockbridge, q.r. 8d.

1795 (NH QR) Thomas Poffley. In the 1796 Berkshire Poll Book Thomas Poughley is listed as entitled to vote for a Knight of the Shire by virtue of a messuage and lands occupied by himself and another.

1805-17 (QR) Thomas Pofley for a house late Francis Stockbridge, q.r. 8d.

1818-23 (QR) Thomas Poffley for a house late Francis Stockbridge, q.r. 8d.

1819 (NH EA) The garden of this building (marked "Poffley" on the 1819 Enclosure Award Map) extended to the common field called the Breach. The boundary of the Breach was marked by a mound or bank of earth, and the termination of Poffley's garden was (or should have been) marked by a fence. But by digging into the bank, a few more feet in length of garden were obtained. There was a path running along the backside (shown in the Enclosure Map) and this presumably ran as a grass path along the surface of the bank. Digging into the bank would be dangerous for those using the path, which since it lef to the common fields was in regular use by man and probably by beast also. The other two defendants were John Lanne(?) and Thomas Looker(?) – probably tenents of neighbouring ex-chantry tenements.

Among claims made under the Enclosure Act of 1811 (Berks R.O D/P T1 28/6) was one (no. 71) by Thomas Poffley for 1a 2r 4p in the Breach – lifehold under Richard Townsend. It was possibly access to this land of his in the Breach which his father had been trying to create by "undermining" the bank in 1761. Poffley claims Common rights (2 horses and 4 cows) for a tenement in the occupation of himself and Richard Cope. Possibly, therefore, the building had been divided into two separate dwellings by this date, one of which was sub-leased to Richard Cope. The 1 acre in the Breach still attached in 1811 derives from that same 1 acre which appertained to the property as far back as 1573. The additional 1 acre in Pidden may or may not have remained appurtenant. The messuage in 1811 is further described as "1 messuage or burgage now in 2 tenements on the east of High Street – with back side and garden adjoining 380 feet long by 12 feet wide, the middle 24½ feet in the occupation of R. Cope". From Richard Townsend the over lease probably descended to Rev. J.C. Townsend who was holding it (together with several other ex-chantry leases) in 1861.

1818-23 (QR) Thomas Poffley for a house late Francis Stockbridge, q.r. 8d.

1832 (QR) Thomas Poffley for a house late Francis Stockbridge, q.r. 8d.

1836 (QR) Thomas Poffley for a house late Francis Stockbridge, q.r. 8d.

1847 (CL) Rev J.C. Townsend (own); George White and another (occ)

1851 (CS) George White (60), bricklayer, emp 4 men.

1861 (NH) The property, like several former chantry-owned rentals, had passed to Rev. J.C. Townsend by 1861, but it now has two separate tenancies:

(Note: It is unclear when the ownership of 87-88 High Street split)

87 High Street:

1861 (CL) Rev J.C. Townsend (own); Mrs White (occ)

1896 (CL) William Hoare

1902 (T&M Register) Devisees of William Hoare (owners)
1903 (T&M Register) Elizabeth Hoare (occupier until ?1917)

1914 (CL) ??Walter Barnard (own); William Henry Belcher (occ)

c.1920 (NH).

1918 (T&M Register) Emily Gosling (owner & occupier until ?1940)

1932 (QR) Mrs Gosling "House formerly F. Stockbridges then Thos Poffley's then Rev'd J.B. Townsend", q.r. 8d.

1938 (Campbells) Three cottages demolished – Dobbins built.

1939 (Blacket's) Mrs E. Gosling, general stores

1941 (T&M Register) Paul Yannedis (owner & occupier until ?1967)

1947 (CL) Paul C. Yannedis

1952 (CL) Lilian Yannedis

1956 (CL) Void

1963 (CL) Sarah Annie Hewitt

1968-1976 (CL) Harriett Louise Amelia Sanders (mother of Mrs Audrey Pallett)
1968 (T&M Register) Harriet Louise Amelia Sanders (owner & occupier until 1995)

1983 (CL) Void

1984 (CL) Charles Victor Bellerio Ambler Stead
1985 (CL) Charles Victor Bellerio Ambler Stead

1996 (T&M Register) Gordon Grant Campbell (occupier)
2000 (CL) George Gordon Grant Campbell
2009 Gordon & Anita Campbell [live in 87, rent 88]
2011 (CL) George Gordon Grant Campbell
2016 (CL) George Gordon Grant Campbell

88 High Street:

1861 (CL) Rev J.C. Townsend (own); G. Smith (occ)

1896 (CL) William Hoare (own); Edward Hoare (occ)

1902 (T&M Register) Devisees of William Hoare (owners)
1903 (T&M Register) Edward Hoare (occupier until ?1909)
1910 (T&M Register) Albert Edward Hoare (occupier until ?1921)

1914 (CL) Devisees of William Hoare (own); Mrs Hoare (occ)

Undated ?1918 (T&M Register) Emily Gosling (owner)

1922 (T&M Register) Charles James Wilkins (occupier until ?1926)
1927 (T&M Register) Emily Gosling (occupier until ?1928)

1929 (T&M Register) Francis Henry Easton (occupier until ?1938)

1932 (QR) Mrs Gosling "House formerly F. Stockbridges then Thos Poffley's then Rev'd J.B. Townsend", q.r. 8d.

1938 (Campbells) Three cottages demolished – Dobbins built.

1939 (Blacket's) F. Easton
1939 (T&M Register) Emily Gosling (occupier until ?1940)

Undated ?1941 (T&M Register) W J Simmons (owner, & occupier until ?1943)

1944 (T&M Register) Sidney Almor (occupier)

1947-1956 (CL) Sidney James Amor

1968-1983 (CL) Dorothy Rose Kittel
1968 (T&M Register) Dorothy Rose Kittel (owner & occupier))
1984 (CL) Dorothy Rose Kittel
1985 (CL) Dorothy Rose Kittel

2000 (CL) Anita Campbell
2005 (CL) George Gordon Grant Campbell

2009 Gordon & Anita Campbell (own). Nearby cycle shop manager (occ)

2011 (CL) Void
2016 (CL) Void

From Norman Hidden papers:

There was originally a house on this site, the rent of which belonged to the Chantry of the Holy Trinity.

In 1573 it was occupied by Edmund Browne, and had 2 acres of land in the common fields belonging to it – one acre in the Breach and one acre in Pidden. It paid an annual quit rent of 8d, the full burgage rate for an individual property. In 1591 the same property was in the same occupation.

By 1598 it was being occupied by Robert Browne, who was still alive in 1606. But in 1609 it is recorded as occupied by widow Browne. The quit rent has dropped to 4d, the rate for a half burgage, so it is possible that the building had by that date been divided into two houses. Alternatively, the roll has become muddled at this point.

In 1676 the occupant who paid a quit rent was most probably Thomas Farmer q.r. 8d.

There is then a big gap in the quit rent rolls until 1753 when William Cheyney is in possession of a house "late Turton's", the quit rent being 8d.

William Cheyney was brutally murdered in 1762 but not in this house.

An 18th century deed indicates that following Cheyney's death the house was owned by ..?.. Simkins. By 1774 the quit rent was paid by Francis Stockbridge, and in 1795 and onwards by Thomas Poffley.

The (DCW 1792) will of Francis Poffley (of Hungerford, Berkshire, husbandman, 29 June 1791) in 1792 makes a specific disposition of this property: "Whereas I am possessed of a certain messuage, burgae, or tenement on the east side of the High Street, with backside, garden etc late in the occupation of my son-in-law Francis Stockbridge, and now of William Ferris, which I hold of a lease granted by the late Mrs Bridget Simkins deceased, for a term of years determinable on the death of Francis Stockbridge and Elizabeth his wife (late Elizabeth Poffley my daughter) and my son Thomas Poffley, at a yearly reserved rent of 2s and 6d, now I give the leasehold messuage to my son Thomas for the remained of its term."

[And whereas Francis Stockbridge now is in debt to me for arrears in rent during all the time he has occupied it, now I give the arrears and residue of my estate to my son Thomas. Executor: Son, Thomas. Witnesses G.W. Buckley, cleark to W. Townsend, attorney; Thomas Hawkins; Jehosphophat York. Probate 2nd July 1792]

This bequest illustrates clearly the complications involved in searching the past names attributed to particular properties. Here it would seem that the chief landlord had been widow Simkins who granted a lease to Francis Poffley. Poffley in turn granted occupation of the property first to his son-in-law and then to WilliamFerris. He now bequeaths the remainder of his lease to his son Thomas. At the termination of the lease, however, the property would revert to the heirs of Mrs Simkins.

The will of Francis Poffley is of interest in other points also. The "reserved" rent of 2s 6d p.a. – payable to Mrs Simkins – had probably been frozen at that figure since the days when the property belonged to the Chantry. Where the difference in many values occurred would have been in the sum needed to purchase the leasehold.

Indeed Francis Poughley had not bothered to collect the sum of 2s 6d annually from his son-in-law for he goes on in his will to say "and whereas Francis Stockbridge now is in debt to me for arrears in rent during all the time he has occupied it, now I give the arrears (and residue of my estate) to my son Thomas".

Commoners Lists 1777, 1778, 1781 and 1786 show Francis Stockbridge as being in occupation, but in the 1795 quit rent roll the occupant is Thomas Poffley. In the 1796 Berkshire Poll Book Thomas Poughley is listed as entitled to vote for a Knight of the Shire by virtue of a messuage and lands occupied by himself and another.

A Bridget Simkins was the wife of James Simkins, having daughters baptised in 1712 and 1714. In the 1753 quit rent roll she has property on west side of High Street.

Thomas Poughley was baptised 1752, son of Francis and Sarah Poffley.

William Ferris was baptised 1743, and a son William baptised 1780.

The property, like several former chantry-owned rentals, had passed to Rev. J.C. Townsend by 1861, and by c.1920 was held by Mrs Gosling.

In 1742 William Cheyney had three houses insured on east side (volume 63).

The 1774-1780 quit rent roll has Francis Stockbridge deleted, and Thomas Poffley over-written, for house "late Simkins" q.r.8d.

In 1676 quit rent roll the house is listed as Thomas Farmer, q.r. 8d., and in 1753 it is probably William Cheyney's, late Turton's.

The 1680 Hungerford Court Book has Thomas Farmer, a commoner, but he is not a freesuitor.

The link with Turton may be in the marriage of Zachary Turton in 1681 with ..?.. Farmer (see over).

Elizabeth Farmer, w/o Thomas Farmer, buried 1665.

Thomas Farmer married Mary Wirge 1669

Thomas Farmer died Jan 1698/99.

Dec 1698 burial of Mary, w/o Zachary Turton.

In the will of John Dicks 1683 Zachary Turton is described as blacksmith.

In 1761 Francis Poffley was one of those presented at the April Court Leet for "digging and undermining the bank and not repairing the mounds upon the same bank between their several gardens and the Breach, whereby the King's liege are in great danger of their lives", and they were ordered to repair the bank and fences. (Berks R.O. H/M2 – Hungerford Court Leet Presentments 16 April 1761).

The garden of this building (marked "Poffley" on the 1819 Enclosure Award Map) extended to the common field called the Breach. The boundary of the Breach was marked by a mound or bank of earth, and the termination of Poffley's garden was (or should have been) marked by a fence. But by digging into the bank, a few more feet in length of garden were obtained. There was a path running along the backside (shown in the Enclosure Map) and this presumably ran as a grass path along the surface of the bank. Digging into the bank would be dangerous for those using the path, which since it lef to the common fields was in regular use by man and probably by beast also. The other two defendants were John Lanne(?) and Thomas Looker(?) – probably tenents of neighbouring ex-chantry tenements.

Among claims made under the Enclosure Act of 1811 (Berks R.O D/P T1 28/6) was one (no. 71) by Thomas Poffley for 1a 2r 4p in the Breach – lifehold under Richard Townsend. It was possibly access to this land of his in the Breach which his father had been trying to create by "undermining" the bank in 1761. Poffley claims Common rights (2 horses and 4 cows) for a tenement in the occupation of himself and Richard Cope. Possibly, therefore, the building had been divided into two separate dwellings by this date, one of which was sub-leased to Richard Cope.

The 1 acre in the Breach still attached in 1811 derives from that same 1 acre which appertained to the property as far back as 1573. The additional 1 acre in Pidden may or may not have remained appurtenant.

The messuage in 1811 is further described as "1 messuage or burgage now in 2 tenements on the east of High Street – with back side and garden adjoining 380 feet long by 12 feet wide, the middle 24½ feet in the occupation of R. Cope".

From Richard Townsend the over lease probably descended to Rev. J.C. Townsend who was holding it (together with several other ex-chantry leases) in 1861.

Sun Fire Insurance, vol 256, no 382949, 14th April 1777: Francis Stockbridge, baker, on his house only in two tenements, are in tenure of William Tubb, the other empty. Thatched.

[Vol 208, no 402547 14th September 1778: Francis Stockbridge, yeoman, on his utensils and stock in a barn… etc]

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Separate paper, unsure yet to which property it links:

The Parish Register of Baptisms contains an entry for 31st May 1646: baptised Alice, daughter of Thomas and Alice Curre of the Pond. This is the town pond, towards the southern end of the town, which at one time was surrounded by railings and trees, but was filled in in …..? There were several major branches of the Curr(e) family, and most of the males seemed to be named Thomas or John. To distinguish them, the Parish Register frequently refers to their place of abode – John Curr of Stubb Wood (1638/9); Thomas Curr of Sanham (1628) and John Curr of the Green (1622) etc. A third branch lived in town, and the 1609 survery records a John Curre holding a tenement with backside and close, together with 15½ acres, quit rent 8d p.a., part of the block of properties formerly the possession of one of the dissolved local chantries. He held this leasehold in 1591, paying for it (in addition to the quit rent) an annual rent of 18/-. In 1573 the lease had been held by Nicholas Marshall and the 15½ acresare specified as Breach 3a, Pidden 8a, Homefield 2a, Middle Field 2½a. In 1581 Thomas Curre had married Alice Marshall and this suggests that the lease granted to Nicholas may have been transferred to Thomas Curre at a date prior to 1591.

In 1609 the ex-chantry rents were formed by Nicholas Curteys; it is not known to whom they later may have passed, and it becomes difficult to trace the descendants of the leaseholding. It would seem that it was still in the Curre family in 1646, but it is not clear who held it when the 1676 QRR was drawn up.

It could well be the same as the 2 tenements "near the Town Pond", left by Abiam Tubb in his will dated 1777.