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Among Norman Hidden's papers was the following collection of notes on Farley's Lands. This arose from an entry in the will of Robert Hayward:
"also to my children reading lessons and singing verses at my dirige in the said obits, to each 1d. Also to the clerk 4d. Also to the bellman for his labour 2d. The residue of my said sum I will it to be distributed to poor people in bread and drink for their refreshing...
In case my son William or those to who my houses descend do not keep my obits in the manner aforesaid, then it shall be lawful for the said vicar and chaplains to enter my houses and distrain my goods." William and Lore were executors and the supervisor was to be "my well beloved friend John Hydden".
William did not long survive his father. His will, registered in the Archdeaconry of Berks 8 Feb 1526, was made little over a year following probate of Robert's. In it he confirms a deed of feoffment made to John Lydysdale, to Agnes my wife and to the heirs of the said John for ever more, "giving them all my lands and tenements with their appurtenances in Hungerford aforesaid or elsewhere within the county of Berks." The will was witnessed by William Byrd clerk (chaplain to the Hungerford family), Sir Thomas Wates and Sir Thomas Oxwell, clerks, as well as by January Kyrton, the Constable of Hungerford in that year. Probate was granted on 10 April 1526.
In the light of this bequest the references in the will ojf his father Robert to "other them to whom my houses and lands cometh or shall come hereafter" seems to take on an implicit foreknowledge that after William (who may have been sickly) the estate would pass to John Hydden alias Clydesdale (Lydysdale). Robert's^instruction that his godds should be distrained to pay for his obits, if necessary, might just imply a religious difference between himself and his supervisor.
If we now turn to the will of Lore Hayward, registered with the Archdeacon of Berks and dated 20 March 1529, we find a number of items which link it to the earlier wills. Robert Hayward had owned a draper's shop in Hungerford and he left all the woollen drapery and cloth in the shop to Lore. In Lore's will, gifts of clothes and drapery are a salient feature. The reference to her son Roger is at first puzzling since we have no record of a Roger Hayward and, as we have said, Robert Hayward's will made no suggestion of any other child. A reference in the manor of Hungerford Court Roll makes it clear that John Clydesdale appeared before the court on 22 Nov 1526, paid his fine on taking over William Hayward's tenement, was licensed to sub let, and was admitted. In 1528 the court roll reveals that "John Eden alias John Clydesdale" had leased the tenement to Richard Newport, the very man who is a witness to Lore's will in the following year.
The connection with another witness, January Kyrton, may be a family one, with Robert Kyrton who is given a platter in Lore's will a godson or more probably a grandchild. (January's wife was named Johan). Likewise, a platter is left to William Toghy, who may also be a godchild or a grandchild.
At this point one recollects that Thomas Toghy, who was married to a Lore, left one son, Roger and two daughters. If the two Lore's are one and the same, we then have Roger Toghy as Lore's son and the two daughters Johan and Agnes, who receive the beautiful clothes she so carefully apportions between then in her will are by her first husband, Thomas.
With this connection in mind we may now turn back to the c1470 rental and in particular to two entries:
a) "Robert Tukhyll junior holds 1 burgage and three quarters lately belonging to Sir Walter Hungerford, previously Walter Farley's at a rent per annum = 10d."
b) "John Tukhyll holds certain lands in Sanden called 'Farley's lands' lately belonging to Sir Walter Hungerford at a rent per annum = 6s 8d."
In a further survey in 1552 (DL 42/108) these two properties have become merged into a holding by John Clydesdale of "one tenement with a parcel of land called Farley's lands lately in the tenure of Thomas Togell and now in the tenure of William Cannye. Rent 7s.4d." There seems to be a slight discrepancy in the rent, but this may be due to a transcription error, for in the survey of 1606 this has been corrected to 7s.6d. So the ownership of the "Farley's lands" may be traced from Walter Farley to Sir Walter Hungerford through the Tukhylls to Thomas Toghy and from him via his widow Lore to Robert and then William Hayward; and from the Haywards to the family of Hidden alias Clydesdale. First John Clydesdale in 1526, then his eldest son Thomas in 1550, then his eldest son John some time before 1601. In 1616 the property was conveyed by "John Lydysdale alias Clydysdale alias Eden alias Hidden" to John Ashton (alias Austin) of Shalbourne (Berks Feet of Fines, PRO 25/2273).
This over two centuries, is the history of "Farley's lands". What did the lands consist of and where were they located? The c1470 rental lists Robert Tukhyll's piece under Hungerford and John Tukhyll's under Sanden Fee. The former is therefore correctly described as a burgage, that is 'a holding in an ancient borough which was held of the crown or of the borough'; and the latter, outside the town itself, though of course within the parish, is correctly described as "certain lands in Sanden" .
When the two properties passed to John Clydesdale they were combined in a simple lease as "one tenement and a parcel of land called Farley's lands," and the rent was likewise combined. Physically, however, the two plots of course remained separate. The property appears in various surveys (1552 1573 1591 1606) the most detailed account of the property being contained in the 1591 survey - "one tenement garden backside and orchard and one acre and a half of meadow in Woodmarsh of Lammas ground, half an acre of pasture in the Church croft as the field lyeth and 33 acres of arable land in Sanden Fee. whereof in the Breach 16 acres, in Homefield 5 acres and a half, in Middlefield 5 acres and a half, in Pidden 2 acres, in Westbrookes 4 acres".
There is an 18th century map of Hungerford in J. Roque's "A Topographical Survey of the County of Berks" which indicates the situation of these fields. Homefield lies adjacent to and south of the built up area of the town; it is on the west of Bridge Street. The Breach occupies a similar position on the east of the same street. Immediately south of Homefield is Middlefield, and to the south of Middlefield are Pidden West and Pidden East, these two separated by the Salisbury road which runs between them. Not shown by Roque are Westbrooks which was beyond Smitham Bridge running southwards along the road to North Standen. This accounts for the 33 acres in Sanden Fee. The smaller plot, which agriculturally complements the arable land, consists of 1 acre of pasture in Church Croft, which adjoined the parsonage itself lying close by the churchyard. Woodmarsh was the long strip of meadow land running along the river eastwards from the town, as far as Dun Mill.
Since this freehold was partly within Sanden Fee, its owner enjoyed a valuable privilege, viz the right of common on Helmes Heath. In the survey of 1573 Thomas Hidden is listed as one of those who have such a right (Berks RO H/M5). This right is restricted to about ten freeholdings which can be identified in nearly every case with a tenement or old enclosure situated within the Fee. The same survey gives under the heading Sanden Fee the names of all the tenants in the Fee, but that of Thomas Hidden does not appear. Similarly in the survey of Sanden Fee in l606 (Berks RO H/M6) there is no Hidden listed. Nevertheless, in a Crown survey of timber on Helmes Heath in 1611 (DL 44/887) it is reported that the heath has been divided up and apportioned to the tenants that are rightful commoners. and among the ten allotments there is one allocated to be shared by John Clydesdale and Robert Field. It seems clear that the right of common listed as Thomas Hidden's in 1573 had been inherited by his son John. The explanation of this right seems to be that it appertained to the lands in Sanden known as Farley's lands held successively by three generations of Hidden/Clydesdales. As we have seen, one of the tenements belonging to Farley's lands was not in the Fee and the entire holding was listed under Hungerford in the surveys from 1552 onwards, though this was not so in the c1470 rental.