Richard Hawksworth of Alveston

and his descendents

Richard Hawksworth 2017-06-07T18:56:30+00:00

This branch of the Hawksworth family originated in Thornbury but moved away to live in Alveston and then Bristol.  They retained an interest in property in Thornbury.  

Richard Hawksworth (1656 – 1696)

Richard was born in 1656, the son of Richard Hawksworth and his wife, Christian Haynes and grandson of Peter Hawksworth and his wife, Dorothy (nee Harris).  Click here to read more about the Hawksworths

Richard married Sarah Clement in Olveston on 28th April 1680.  They were Quakers.  At the time of the marriage Richard Hawksworth was living in Alveston.  He had inherited from his father property in Castle Street which had originally been three houses which his father had converted into one house and a malthouse.  These properties were on the site of the houses now known as 32 – 42 Castle Street.

Richard and Sarah had eight children:

  • Richard – the eldest son and heir (see below)
  • Walter who married Elizabeth Coysgarne in Bristol in 1710.  They had a daughter Elizabeth who died in 1715 and a son John Clement born in 1719.  Then Walter’s wife died in 1719 and he married again.  His second wife was Rachel Lloyd whom he married in Frenchay on 6th November 1727.  They had a son Abraham Richard (see below) born in 1729.  Walter inherited the property in Castle Street Thornbury – we think it likely that he inherited this from his brother Richard who died in 1752 as in that year Walter sold the property to John Stone.   Rachel died in 1759 and Walter died in 1762.  In his will, and that of his son, Walter was described as a merchant of Bristol.
  • Sarah who remained a spinster.  She died in 1771.
  • Mary died in October 1755.
  • Ann died in November 1761.
  • They also had three children who died young and were buried in the old Alveston Church: John in 1686, Sarah in 1687 and another John in 1688.

Richard had interests in a lot of properties in Alveston, Latteridge, Olveston and Tockington.  The 1696 Tithe Terrier shows that he had also acquired the property in Thornbury described:

  1. Item the Customary Lands sometimes of John Gilbert deceased now in the possession of Richard Hawksworth consisting of the Home Close the Tan House meadow, the two closes behind the house, Rugged Hill and Gilberts…There were several other entries in the Tithe Terrier all showing that Richard Hawksworth owned several plots of land around the junction of the road from Thornbury to Alveston and Filnore Lane (which is now known as Vilner Lane).

This property became known as ‘Gilberts’ and as such was listed in Manor Court Rent Rolls and Land Tax and Poor Assessment records for Kington all showing it continued to be owned by Richard Hawksworth.  Click here to read abut the property which became known as Thornbury Farm and is now called Thornbury Grange.

Within a year of the Tithe Terrier Richard had died in 1696.  He was buried in the old Alveston church (situated in Rudgeway).  A book available on the Internet ‘The Goldney Family: A Bristol Merchant Dynasty’ tells us more about the Hawksworths.  Following Richard’s death, the children were still minors.  They became the wards of a Quaker, Thomas Goldney II.  He was initially a Bristol grocer but went on to gain fame and fortune as a successful merchant and to build the house in Clifton known as Goldney House.  Thomas got into financial difficulties and in 1708 invested in the privateering voyage involving two frigates ‘The Duke’ and ‘The Duchess’ led by Captain Woodes Rogers.  This expedition took three years and became one of the most fruitful privateering voyage covering the South Atlantic and into the Pacific.

 

Richard Hawksworth (circa 1681 – 1752)

Richard was the eldest son of Richard Hawksworth and his wife, Sarah (see above).  We haven’t traced his birth or baptism record but we’re guessing that he was born about 1681 shortly after his parents’ marriage.

In 1697 Richard was still a minor when he attended the Manor Court with Thomas Goldney as his guardian.  He attended the Court to take over the ownership of his father’s property in Thornbury following the death of his father in 1696 without leaving a will.

Richard was a linen draper in the area of the Castle Precincts in Bristol.  He married Elizabeth Corsely on 4th July 1707.  The property in Thornbury was included in a marriage settlement agreed between Richard and Elizabeth.  It was described as : ‘Customary messuage in tithing of Kington, with stable, orchard, garden and lands called Barnclose (2 acres), the Cowleaze (8 acres), Oxmeade (8 acres), Tannhouse Meade (8 acres), Rugged Hill (19 acres) and Littlemeade (2½ acres)’.

Richard and his brother-in-law John Corsely joined with Thomas Goldney in investing in the Woodes Rogers privateering voyage.  Richard invested £256.  The expedition lasted three years, sailing along the coast of Peru as far as the Galapagos Islands.  The purpose was to attack and capture ships owned by the French and Spanish purely for profit.  They also attacked Guayaquil, a port in Ecuador, for no other reason than to plunder.  Most controversially of all one of the ships whose cargo they acquired was the ‘Ascension’ which had on board 74 slaves.

Thomas Goldney, like Richard Hawksworth, was a Quaker and the Society of Friends monthly meeting in Bristol discussed and censured their fellow Quakers taking part in a “voyage carrying commission to fight and force”.

The voyage also received great attention because it picked up an additional crew member and later as master of a ship, Alexander Selkirk, whose four years as a castaway on an island made him the basis of the novel Robinson Crusoe.

The expedition was said to be the most successful privateering voyage ever to leave England and the profits were estimated between £800,000 and three million, unimaginable wealth at that time.  It is known that the chief investor Thomas Goldney made £6826 1s.  We are not sure how much Richard Hawksworth made, but judging from the overall prize money he must have done well.  Richard, and his brother Walter were also involved with other privateering galleys sailing from Bristol in 1708 and 1710.

We think Richard’s wife, Elizabeth, died young and was buried in 16th February 1719 and we don’t think that they had any children.  Richard was buried in 1752 in the Quaker’s Burial Ground at Redcliffe.

 

Abraham Richard Hawksworth ( 1729 – 1768)

The property called ‘Gilberts’ in Thornbury was owned by Abraham Richard Hawksworth when he wrote his will in 1752.   Abraham was born in 1729, the son of Walter Hawksworth and his second wife, Rachel (nee Lloyd).  He was described as a merchant in Bristol.  We cannot explain why Richard Hawksworth left the property to his nephew rather than to his brother Walter who did not die until 1762.

Abraham wrote his will in 1752 when he was still a young man aged about 22.  He might have been prompted into writing the will because he had just acquired the property called ‘Gilberts’, presumably following the death of his uncle, Richard.  In the will Abraham left his property in Thornbury to his father, Walter.

We don’t think that Abraham ever lived in Thornbury, but we know from a later abstract of title that Abraham added to his lands in Thornbury by purchasing at least two closes near his other land.  Two of these were called Townsend and Townsend Leaze and two others were called The Lower Close and The Upper Close..

Abraham married Lydia Wareing in Alton, Hampshire on 27th February 1768, but he died within months of the marriage and before he made a new will.  His father had died in 1762 so Abraham’s widow Lydia was granted administration of Abraham’s will in December 1768.  His property in Thornbury was left to Abraham’s aunt (his father’s sister), Sarah Hawksworth (see below).

Lydia, was allowed ‘the use’ of the property during her lifetime which we assume meant Lydia was entitled to the rents of the property.  As a member of the Society of Friends, Lydia travelled around the country attending meetings in most counties.  She died of dropsy in London and she was buried in Alton in 1788. 

Gloucester Archives has a ‘book of poems by several hands inscribed in memory of Abraham Richard Hawksworth, late treasurer to the Bristol Royal Infirmary, and one of the people called Quakers wherein is exhibited a view of his life as a model worthy of universal imitation’.

 

Sarah Hawksworth

Sarah was the sister of Walter and Richard Hawksworth, children of Richard Hawksworth and his wife, Sarah (nee Clement).  She never married and lived in Bristol.

In her will signed in 1770 Sarah left ‘her expectation’ of the property in Thornbury following the death of Lydia Hawksworth (then in the occupation of Robert Shipway as tenant) to Christopher and Joseph Haynes, the sons of Thomas Haynes of Wick and Abson esquire and their heirs as tenants in common.

We have not found a close connection between the Haynes and Hawksworth families which might explain the bequest of the property.  The only confirmed link is that Sarah Hawksworth’s grandfather, Richard Hawksworth (the son of Peter Hawksworth) married Christian Haynes.  Click here to read about these Hawksworths

Click here to read about the Haynes family

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