A village with a big story
Little Holland cottages at top of Green no longer there
Claypits Pond with Horses 1905
Long Melford Coronation fancy dress competition at the British Legion in Cordell road1953
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Additional research by Georgina Southall

The Hayward family were from Clopton in Suffolk, probably Father Robert Hayward (b. c1756), was a farmer.  When we read the Clopton parish records at Ipswich back in the 1970’s the first record of the Hayward family is in 1789, with Lydia’s baptism.  There was no trace of the family before this date and no other Hayward’s living in Clopton.  Of course, we now know that the family probably originated from Tunstall, Suffolk as the first child was born there.

In 1841 Robert senior was 85 years old, living by independent means and living with daughter and son-in-law Lucy & Henry Broom.  Robert Hayward’s death certificate gives the cause of death as “Natural Decay”.  He is buried in Clopton churchyard under a yew tree, the inscription reads: In memory of Robert Hayward died 7th February 1847, aged 91 years. “When I lie deep in dust my flesh shall be thy care these withering limbs with thee I trust to raise them strong and fair”.  I have always had an impression that the Hayward’s were prosperous for the following reasons:  Although father Robert doesn’t appear to have left a will, his son Robert did.  His estate at probate in 1859, (twelve years after the death of his father), was described as under £2,000, if we estimate it as £1,500 although it was probably more; in today’s value this is around £86,000. *

1   Robert Hayward born c1787 – In the 1851 census he is described as a farmer of 140 acres of land employing 7 men at Haywards Farm, Martlesham Road. I couldn’t find conclusive evidence of him in 1841; however, there was a family in Chillesford that could possibly have been them. Although this Robert in Chillesford was described as an Agricultural Labourer, they had a servant working for them which was unusual for agricultural labourers.  Also, his wife is called Lydia and there is a son Samuel roughly the right age. The birth dates are slightly out but this was not uncommon, they were not always sure when they were born. If this is son Robert, his social standing rose greatly from 1841 to 1851 however, Father Robert died in 1847, I suppose it is possible that he may have left his son Robert the wherewithal to start a farm of his own.

Before we look at the fortunes of the other children, it is worth noting the following: When we were researching the Clopton parish records in the 1970’s a Robert Hayward was at one time parish clerk, not sure if this may have been father or son.  However, an important job in the village, not given to any “Tom, Dick or Harry”!

2   Lydia Hayward born c1789 – The next child is Lydia Hayward who married Thomas Ward. Lydia died 2 years before her father.  Lydia’s death certificate gives the cause as Paralysis and that husband Thomas was present at her death.  Her gravestone reads: In Loving Memory of Lydia, wife of Thomas Ward, Wheelwright. Born 13th October 1789, died 13th April 1845. “A loving wife and mother dear a faithful friend is buried here I hope her soul has gone to rest in Jesus Christ we all are blest”.

3   Samuel Hayward – This child was described as a shopkeeper in the 1841census with his wife Mary.  From earlier research we have Samuel as witness at his son William’s wedding to an Elizabeth Mays in August 1841, William was a Wheelwright at Grundisburgh.  Samuel died in Bruisyard and was buried in Clopton graveyard; there is no verse on the stone.  In the 1851 census Mary Hayward was living with David Hayward, Samuel’s younger brother, she was described as his sister-in-law and a widow, this was probably Samuel’s widow.  Samuel died a year before his father in 1846. I could not find evidence of a will for Samuel.  Footnote to this family: the name Mays crops up in another branch of the family, George and Charles Ward grandsons of Samuel’s sister Lydia by her son Richard, married sisters Amelia and Ellen Mays, who were born some ten years after William Hayward’s marriage to Elizabeth.  To date I have been unable to establish if there is a connection between them.  Lydia’s son Samuel Ward had a daughter Jane, who married a Robert Randall Peck.  They in turn had a daughter whom they called Rhoda, born 1879 some 77 years after Rhoda Peck nee Hayward.  Rhoda Peck the one born in 1879 married her first cousin on her father side, a Joseph Peck!  They had a son and named him Joseph!  How strange!

4   Jane Hayward – Jane never married and in both the 1841 & 1851 census she is not under any employment.  In 1841 she is living with her younger sister Susan and in 1851 with her youngest sister and her family, Lucy & Henry Broom.  Jane is described as “assistant to wife” under the occupation heading.  Jane died in 1854 I found no evidence that Jane left a will.

5   Asa Hayward – After Jane came Asa.  At the time of writing, I am in the process of researching a new lead regarding Asa, a transfer of mortgage document held at the Essex Record Office. The name Asa crops up again many years later, one of Lydia Hayward’s grandsons by her son John, was named Asa.  See a separate article on Asa Hayward under Appendix I.

6   David Hayward – was the next born.  David never married and the only census I can find him in was the 1851 census.  Here it states he was unmarried aged 54 and a farmer of 52 acres of land, employing 1 man.  With him at this time was Mary Hayward, widow, his sister-in-law and a nephew Harry Waner aged 11. I cannot account for who young Harry belonged to as none of David’s sisters married anyone by the name of Waner and David didn’t marry.  The sister-in-law I believe was Samuel’s widow as I have previously stated.  Once again, I can find no will for David, but it is clear by his occupation in the 1851 census that he is prosperous and reasonably well off.

7   Susan Hayward – I will speak more about her further on.  Back to Susan Hayward, this new information of course then threw up more questions, as it always does.  It would have been unusual to find a woman set up in business and obviously so prosperous in 1841. Where did Susan get her good fortune from?  It couldn’t have been through the demise of her father, as suspected in the other sibling’s cases, as her father didn’t die until 1847 and Susan was well established it seems in Greenstead by 1841. (At the time of writing further research is being carried out which may shed light on this, see Asa Hayward).

8   Rhoda Hayward – Second from last came Rhoda.  Rhoda married a Joseph Peck.  In the 1841 census they were living in East Bergholt with their family. Joseph’s occupation was recorded as a Carrier. By 1851 they have moved to Pond Farm in Great Baddow Essex, Joseph’s occupation was by then a farmer farming 40 acres and employing 12 men.  They also have a servant living with them. This seems quite an upturn in fortune for Rhoda’s family and once again within the last ten years Rhoda’s father had died so maybe they had inherited some money.  In 1861 they were still living in Great Baddow at 53 Baddow Rd.  Father Joseph was described as a bedstead maker! With them was a grandson, Edgar Brazier aged 7 and a lodger John David Dimmick, 22, who was described as a Primitive Methodist Minister.  Rhoda and Joseph had four children as far as I have been able to find to date.  The three eldest were girls Rhoda, Mary and Lydia, the youngest was a boy called Joseph.  Joseph grew up to become a Primitive Methodist Minister, taking his ministry all around the country including the Channel Islands. His first child was born in the Channel Islands who they called Eleanor Hayward Peck.  I imagine that Mr. Dimmick lodging with mother and father in 1861 was an associate of their son Joseph. However, more of Joseph Peck and his daughter later.  Looking at Rhoda and Joseph in the1871 census, it shows they were running The Three Horseshoes in Felstead Essex, Joseph was 77 and Rhoda was 79, they had three lodgers living with them at the pub.  I’m not sure if this line of business would have gone down too well with their son, the Reverend Joseph Peck!

In conclusion to this branch of the Hayward family, Rhoda and family seemed to have had the wherewithal to change their means of income a few times over 30 years. I could not find any will for Rhoda or Joseph or their son Rev Joseph Peck.  It is interesting to note at this point a coincidence with the names of Rhoda, Joseph and Peck. The names crop up in descendants of this Rhoda Peck’s, (nee Hayward), sister Lydia.

The other nephew Joseph Peck who was also living with her aged 5 in 1841, went on to become a reverend, was he also favoured by Aunt Susan.  It is interesting to note that Joseph named his first born, a girl, Eleanor Hayward Peck, was this in recognition of the kindness shown to him by his aunt? Joseph and his daughter benefited from Susan’s will.  Joseph was left a book “The History of Essex”, silver teaspoons, silver tablespoons, sugar tongs, six silver plated spoons and other books with his name inscribed within them. Also, Joseph was named to receive one third of any monies and the other two thirds were between the rest of the families of Susan’s siblings, thus Joseph received the majority.  Eleanor (Ellen) was left Susan’s gold watch. David Ward was the sole executor of Susan’s will.

Rhoda Peck née Hayward
Joseph Peck son of Rhoda
Joseph Peck in later life

9   Lucy Hayward – Last of the Hayward offspring was Lucy. Lucy married a Henry Broom on 21st January 1828.  The next record we have of them was in the 1841 census living in Clopton.  Henry was described as a farmer and as stated previously Father Robert Hayward was living with them aged 85 years, on independent means.  By the 1851 census they had moved to Rendham.  Henry was described as a farmer but this time it states that he farms 106 acres and employs 2 labourers, they also had a servant.  Living with them was Lucy’s sister Jane, as previously stated. Once again there seems to have been an upturn in fortune in this branch of the family over the previous ten years.   In 1861 they were still in Rendham. Henry by then 60 years old was a farmer farming 108 acres and employing 3 men; they also had a servant, a dairy maid.  Five of their seven children were still at home unmarried, only sons Henry and Robert are absent. By the 1871 census Lucy had died the year before aged 66.  Henry was living with their son John in Rendham and they were both described as agricultural labourers.  Henry died in 1881aged 79 in Clopton; he must have died before the census as he is not recorded.  There is no record of a will for either Henry or Lucy Broom.

Now back to Susan Hayward [see 7 above], first let’s to go forward some 172 years after Susan was born.  In 1972 our ancestor hunt was in its infancy, and we had only really begun to get the main Ward family together which was Thomas and Lydia Ward’s (nee Hayward), family.  We were confident we had recorded all their children until we obtained a copy of Thomas seniors will.  In it he named his sons Thomas, Richard and David as his executors.  Until this point we had no knowledge whatsoever of the existence of a son David. After feeling very settled and organised with this family suddenly there was a son that we had no information on at all.  For the results of further research into the Ward family see Appendix II.

Appendix I

Asa Hayward 1795-1840 by Georgina Southall

Along with the other Hayward children we found Asa’s baptism record in the Clopton Parish records whilst searching during the 1970’s at Ipswich Record Office.  Asa was the third son of Robert & Lydia Hayward, nee Wells. His older sister Lydia was my great, great, great grandmother on my maternal grandmother’s side.  Apart from their first-born Robert who was born in Tunstall Suffolk, all the other children eight in total were born in Clopton & baptized there.  Although over the years we have piece together the lives and fortunes of the other Hayward children, we have always come up against a brick wall with Asa, that is until about a month ago.  After once again researching for him, my son went through the alphabet replacing the “s” in Asa with a different letter every time.  At last, after putting in the letter v making Ava, a result appeared!  It was the entry of Asa Hayward’s death in Greenstead Green, nr Halstead in Essex in the 4th quarter of 1840.  We already had evidence of a family connection with this village through the 1841 census. This was the return that we finally found David Ward working as an iron founder at an iron foundry with his Aunt’s Susan and Jane Hayward, Asa’s unmarried sister’s. See “The Hayward’s” report for further information.  When we found this census return it finally revealed where David Ward had learned his trade and subsequently received the wherewithal to start up his own business in Long Melford.  We found this record in September 2010 and as it stated that Susan Hayward was an iron founder, we thought it was from her David’s good fortune had come. Of course, there was no evidence of Asa ever being there but as we now know he had died a few months prior to the census being taken.  However, we did think it was unusual for a woman to be in such a profession at that time!  When Asa’s death was found, the story began to take shape and we began other searches.

There is a document in the Essex Record Offices regarding a transfer of a mortgage involving Asa’s estate. The index for the record, which is all we have so far to date, (October 2012), includes the names of Susan Hayward, Robert Hayward, (both Asa’s sister & brother, or the Robert could be their father), William Fisher Hobbs and Abraham Rayner both trustees of Asa’s estate, James Cowlin of Romford a carpenter and William Rufle of a freehold messuage called Broomfields in Earls Colne. We hope to view this document soon at the record office as it is too large to copy and send to us.  Also, we have searched the British Newspaper Archives site and it revealed five articles about Asa Hayward.

Three are regarding the sale of the iron foundry business after the death of Asa.  The first giving notice that it is to be sold, describing it as being a long-established concern lately being run by Asa Hayward. This somehow gives the impression that Asa did not have the business long or this may be how wording was presented in such advertisements in 1841. The firm appears sound and quite a concern from the article and requests any interested party to contact the trustees, Mr William Fisher Hobbs of Marks Hall nr Coggeshall or Mr Abraham Rayner of Halsted the trustees or Mr Smoothy, solicitor of Braintree!  The second of the three is notice that a Mr Henry Wright of London has bought the business by private contract.  The final one in this trio is a notice by Mr Henry Wright that he now owns the business and assures all present and future customers of his continuing sincerity in matters of business. It is dated 20th January 1842.

Essex Herald 7.9.1841
Chelmsford Chronicle 4.2.1842

The other two articles are Asa’s obituary and a report of a case at Halsted Petty sessions before Asa’s death. This last article has nothing to do with his death or the business, it is regarding an errant apprentice employed by Asa who was much absent from work and addicted to gambling. The lad named Goodey was sentenced to one-month hard labour!

Halstead Petty Session 6.6.1837 from Chelmsford Chronicle 9.6.1837

The last article is Asa’s obituary which gives a good idea of the man himself or how his contemporaries felt he should be remembered. This is the obituary in full, giving us an insight into Asa’s character:

Essex Herald 5.1.1841

Below is a copy of Asa’s death certificate. It is hard to decipher the cause of death, it looks something like: “Cold when under the influence of mercury”

Death Certificate of Asa Hayward

Questions & further investigations:

  1. Who owned the iron foundry before Asa? This could show how long Asa had been the owner and whether he was apprenticed there or worked there prior to running it.
  2. How did Asa come to be established in this area of Essex? The rest of his family were as far as we know all in Suffolk, certainly in the early years. This scenario has a touch of déjà vu about it; these are the sort of questions we were once asking about his nephew David Ward!
  3. By 1842 Susan Hayward was living at Marks Hall, this is where William Fisher Hobbs one of the trustees’ lives, what if anything was the connection here?
  4. Susan is stated in the 1841 census as an iron founder at the iron foundry at Greenstead Green. Did she live there with Asa, or did she just come there after Asa died in 1840, to care take the home and business until matters were concluded?
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