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The family tomb in St Lawrence's Churchyard:

140 JOHN BEARD died August 27th 1864 aged 75 / ALTHEA wife of above died December 6th 1867 aged 76 / ANN dau. of the above died October 29th 1840 aged 30 / EDWARD son of above died December 3rd 1855 aged 41 / CHARLOTTE MARIA wife of EDWARD August 24th 1876 aged 71 / *HENRY JOHN died November 16th 1899 aged 64 / MARY ELLEN wife of HENRY JOHN died January 28th 1918 aged 70. (Flat stone with ironwork surround) *Obituary in Parish Magazine December 1899

Berkshire Family History Society Burial Index for Berkshire includes the following entries with the surname Beard:

Alethea 10 Dec 1867 (76) Hungerford
Ann 4 Nov 1847 (31) Hungerford
Charlotte Maria 29 Aug 1876 (71) Froxfield)
Clara Alice 12 Jan 1933 (72) Bridge St
Edward 7 Dec 1854 (40) Hungerford
Eugenie Alethea Jane 4 Nov 1939 (81) 7 Church Lane
Florence Blanche 6 May 1947 (66) 8 Charnham Street
Henry John 20 Nov 1899 (64) Hungerford
John 1 Sep 1864 (75) Hungerford
Louis Edward Henry 15 Aug 1930 Bridge St
Mary Ellen 31 Jan 1918 (79) Bridge St

Photo Gallery:

Beard Family
Beard Family Beard Family
Beard Family
Beard Family Beard Family
Louis Beard
Louis Beard Louis Beard
Roger Beard
Roger Beard Roger Beard

- Wedding photo of John and Annie Beard ("The Duchess")

- Further photo of John and Annie Beard

- Roger Beard mowing the grass at the Cricket Club, 2017 (sent by Dr Jimmy Whittaker, Jan 2018)

- Louis Beard's memorial stone in St Saviour's churchyard, 2017. (Sent by Dr Jimmy Whittaker, Jan 2018)

Serving Hungerford for 4 Generations – The Beards

The following article is based on material sent by Dr Jimmy Whittaker, Jan 2018:

In a previous article I wrote about Edward Bushnell who rose from being an orphan to being a Hungerford stalwart and the inscription dedicated to him by The Town and Manor of Hungerford.

In my research I have come across another character namely Louis Edward Henry Beard who was similarly honoured by the Town and Manor of Hungerford .His gravestone inscription (in St Saviour's churchyard) reads as follows:

In Memory of

Who died on 12th August 1930
Aged 74

Constable of the Town and Manor of Hungerford 1918-1920

This memorial erected by The Town and Manor.

There are many references to the Beard family to be found on the Hungerford Virtual website and in this article, I add further information about Henry John Beard and Louis Edward Henry Beard.

Both of these gentlemen had been Constables of the Town and Manor of Hungerford.

Henry John Beard:

Henry John Beard was born in 1835 in Semington near Melksham. He was baptised on 25 Oct 1835 in Semington. He was the son of Edward and Charlotte Maria Beard. In the census of 1841 Edward Beard was recorded as a labourer working on the Kennet and Avon Canal and living in The Lock House Semington, together with a number of other employees. Henry Beard also had two brothers - Henry and Edward - and two sisters named Ann and Mary.

In 1851 Henry Beard, aged 15, arrived in Hungerford and was living in 128 High Street with the Keen family, who were chemists and druggists. Henry was an apprentice chemist and druggist.

In 1855, whilst only 19 years of age, he married Mary Ellen Rawlings at Marlborough.

Interestingly the records of the GRO show and those of The Church of the Latter Day Saints (The Mormons) reveal that Eugenie Alethea Jane Beard born in 1858, was the first Beard to be born in Hungerford! However her brother Louis E.H Beard who was born in Cherhill near Calne, Wiltshire was the first Beard to be christened in Hungerford - on 29 Aug 1856.

Six years later in 1861, Henry Beard is no longer an apprentice chemist and druggist but a clerk to a coal merchants, and he is living at Freeman Mount with his wife, three children (James E.H., Emma A.J. and Agnes A,) and his mother Elizabeth M. Beard. [The transcription from a well-known genealogical website shows how easy it is to get details wrong. The transcription reads James E.H.Beard rather than Louis E.H.Beard.]

By 1871 Henry Beard was living at 16 Bridge Street and was a firmly established Hungerford stalwart. He was presumably quite a wealthy man being both a coal merchant and a farmer employing 5 men and 5 boys .His farm land consisting of 250 acres around Membury. (This farm land was eventually used to build RAF Membury in 1942, when it was used by both British and American air forces during WW2 for three main activities which were combat duties, supplies distribution and a maintenance depot. After the war it functioned as a private airport before being shut in the late sixties to make way for the construction of the M4.Motorway. There are few remains today of the old runways, the area now forming part of the Membury Business Park.)

Henry's brother Edward was innkeeper in Foxfield in 1871, probably the landlord of the Pelican Inn, as the census of 1881 includes his son Howard as the inn keeper of the Pelican.

Henry Beard was Constable of the Town and Manor of Hungerford from 1872 to 1875.

In 1881 the Beards were still living in Bridge Street and working for the family business, with the exception of the youngest John William who is serving an apprenticeship as an engineer.

In 1889 Louis E Beard married Clara Alice Ponting in Barton Regis and had bought a house in the High Street

In 1889 Henry Beard died. Presumably the business passed on to his two sons.

In 1901 Henry Beard died, John William Beard was unmarried and a coal merchant and was still living with his mother. His sister was a spinster (similar in 1911).

His brother Louis E Beard and his wife were living in the High Street with his son Louis (b.1891) and his daughter Gwen (b.1893) were described as a coal merchant and farmer, just like his father was.

Both of his children were working for the Post Office - his son Louis Jnr being a clerk and his daughter Gwen Agnes being a telegraphist.

From 1919 to 1920 Louise Beard was Constable of the Town and Manor of Hungerford. In 1929 he married Ada M Couling in Newbury and they had three children.
Ann E b.1931; Janet M b.1935 and (Timothy ) Roger J. b.1943 Newbury.

Roger married Ted Levy’s daughter Jean in 1965. Following in the family tradition, Roger has served the town in many organisations, over many years, such as Hungerford Cricket Club, the Town and Manor as a trustee, a member of War Memorial Committee and as the vice-chairman of the governors of The John O’Gaunt School.

In 2014, Roger was awarded the Freedom of the Town of Hungerford for being a stalwart of Hungerford Club for over a half a century serving in roles as player and club captain, chairman and president. Even today although now a septuagenarian, he still cuts the grass for the club and can be seen riding his mower at the cricket ground.

See also:

- Obituary of J W Beard (with thanks to Ken Staplin) 

- Further family history research is being carried out by Anne Rafferty, Cheshire (Feb 2013).