Information re the Hannell (or Hannil) Family of Westwick Row (17th-18th centuries)

(N.B. brief notes often denote catalogue entries only so far.)

28th March 1631/2 - Robert Laseby sold for £78 to Richard Hannell, a blacksmith from Bedmond Pond, 2 tenements under one roof and 3 acres of land at Westwick. I suspect that this may have been what is now Westwick Cottage as the map which accompanied the survey for Westwick Row Farm in 1696 showed the patch of land around Westwick Cottage as belonging to someone other than the Grimston's and Hannell later acquired neighbouring land in the area known as Black Readings. (This was an area of land which stretched between Westwick Row and the Hemel Hempstead Road and which virtually surrounded the area of Westwick Cottage) - see entry for 4th July 1654.  Hannell was the new landlord, the actual tenants living in the cottages being another blacksmith, Thomas Cogdell, and a wheelwright, Matthew Partridge.  Partridge and Cogdell presumably being the wheelwright and smithy for the residents of Westwick Row and the Leverstock Green area.  For a full transcription of the Indenture, see separate appendix. [HALS IM26]

"TO ALL THOSE TO WHOSE  this present writings shall come or it shall hear sit or trade I ROBERT LASEBYE of Westwyke in the parishe of St. Michaells in the Countie of Hertford Yeoman sendeth greetinge in the Lord God everlastinge KNOWE WE NOWE that the said Robert Lasbye as well for and in  consideracion of the somme of Threescore and eighteen pounds of good and lawfull money of England to me in hand paid before the Ensealinge and delyverie hereof of Richard Hannell of Bedmond Pond in the parish of Abbotts Langley in the saide Countie of Hertford Blacksmyth whereof and wherewith I the said Robert Lasbye doe acknowledge the Receipt and thereof and of any parte and parcell doth Clearely  aquite release and discharge the saide Richard Hannell his Heires Executors Administrators and assignes and every of them sowever by theis presents As also for dyvers other good Causes and Consideracions herein specially movinge  HAVE given grannted intrusted and by this my present writings Confirmed unto the said Richard Hannell All those my two Tennaments beinge under one roof  nowe in he severall  terms or occupacions of Matthew Partridge wheeler and Thomas Cogdell Blacksmyth situate lyeing and being in Westwick aforesaid Together with the Howsinges, Edifices, buildings, barnes, stables, Orchards, gardens, hagdes and backsides to the same belonginge or in  anywise appertteyninge Together also with a parcell of Land lyinge in the Common feild called Black Reddings conteyninge by estimacion Three acres be it more or less TO HAVE HOLDE AND ENJOYE  the foresaid two tennements with all and singular the aforemencioned premisses with all and singular the Appertenances unto the  sede Richard Hannell his hires and assignes forever. TO THE only and proper use and behoose of the saide Richarde Hannell his heires and assignes forever.  TO BE  holden of the Cheife Lord or Lordes of the fee or fees  by the Rent and services thereso doe and acoustomed.  WHICH said premisses I the saide Robert Lasbye Late had to..ent my Heires and assignes of the same guifts and grannts of Richarde Lasebye my father Late of Westwick aforesaid Yeoman deceased  As by his  Pacte therof made unto me beoringe date the Eighth and Twentieth daye of October in the fivth yeare of the reign of our Late soveraigne Lord King James  whereunto be had Relacion must let lardge it doth and maye appeaze  AND I THE SAIDE Roberte Lasbye and my heires all and singular the Two Tennements aforesaid and all other the above bargayne and sold premisses with all and singular their Apperenances unto the said Richard Hannell his heires and assignes  againste me and my Heires shall warrannt and forever defende by these present IN WITNES  wherof I the said Robert Lasbye to theis my present writinge Have with my hande and Seale the xxviii daye of Marche 1631 in the Seaventh yere of the reigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles by the grace of God Kinge of England Scotland France and Ireland defendor of the Faith.

              The seal of

             Robert Lasbye.

4th July 1654 -  Richard Hannell leased 4.5 acres of land in the Blackreadings area from John Dell. Hannell was noted as being a blacksmith.  Later, in 1668 Richard Hannell appeared to purchase the property and other neighbourning lands from his son James, who was a grocer in Redbourne. In total Richard Hannell paid his son over £300 for the various properties. He was still noted as being a blacksmith.  As the 1655 Rental showed Hannell to be dwelling in his freehold property in Westwick, it seems likely that he now operated his smithy from the premises. From the various descriptions, together with the fact that the property was held freehold, it would seem likely that this refered to what we now call Westwick Cottage, together with some of its adjoining land. [HALS IA45, IM26, IM37 & 37a, IM42, 42a & 42b]  See also entries for 28th March 1631, and March 1655. It is interesting to note that more than a century later (1768) another Richard Hannell was the copyhold owner of Dell Cottage in Westwick Row along with 9 acres of land. As the estate survey  which gives us this information failed to give information on freehold property, it is interesting to speculate as to whether the same family also still held adjoining or nearly adjoining land, and if so, whether or not they still practiced as Blacksmiths.  The latter is unlikely as we know that another Blacksmith now operated in what has become known as Blacksmith's Row. [HALS D/EV M39]

Extracts from Herts. Rec. Office Doc IA45 - being a Rental  for the Manor of Gorhambury, March 1655:

Copy Rol an. 1652Mathew Hannell sonne of Richard Hannell for one
                     close or pightle of earrable land lyinge in
                     Westwicke conteyninge by estimacon one acre and
                     a halfe abbuttinge upon a lane called Blacks 00=00=08
                     Lane on the part of the West and upon the land
                     of  John Branch south east laste Thomas
                     Hawgoods rent viiid

Copy Roll 21st 8berRichard Hannell for two closes of earrable land
                   the one abbuttinge upon the way called Whites
                     Lane on the part of the east called Middlefeild00=03=?
his sonne was     conteyninge four acres, the other adjouneth to
called with him    the sayd way & called by the name of Upper
                     Feild and Conteyninge three acres rent

free      x             The same for a freehold Messuage wherein ye
one other cottage by fealty     sayd Richard Hannell dwelleth situate in 00=00=06
& ap epy situate at WestwickeWestwicke  aforesayd rent

             Richard Hannell for one close of freehold land
                     called Blake Reddinge conteyninge foure acres 00=01=?
                     which hee late purchased of John Dell as
                     appeares by the rolle of 8th April 1656 rent

[N.B. Presumably the above mentioned entry re Richard Hannell was entered later as it was dated 1656 not 1655.]

Coppy & HerriotableJohn Branch in the right of Elizabeth his wife
Roll 18 July 1639     one of the daughters and Coheyers of Robert Dell
                    for a pightle of land abuttinge upon Whites
                     Lane south east of a cottage part of an orchard 00=00=02
Christopher Longepart of two barnes and part and upon Westwick this       Row South West of one parcel of land
                     conteyninge three roods rent
                     Hannell tenent

1st June 1657 - "Thomas Fletcher quit claims for ever to Richard Hannell 2 closes called Black Reddings next to lands which said Hannell lately bought of John Dell senior" [HALS IM37a - Cat. desciption]

1668 -see cat. for IM42, 42a and 42b James Hannell grocer from Redbourne sells his father property in Westwick for £200; James H. sells  an orchard and a house in Westwick for £45.
Also there is a mortgage between James, his father and Henry Wells of Ab. Langley


Catalogue description:

Mortgage by Henry Wells of Abbotts Langley, Weaver, & Elizabeth his wife to  Richard Hannell of Westwick St. Michaels blacksmith, of property in Abbotts  Langley.   Fine recited between the above parties & James Hannel of  Redbourne, chandler of property in Abbots Langley & Westwick.

On the outside of the document was the following:

30 day of Dec
-----------of Charles II

Counterpart of the mortgage from Henry Welles & Elizabeth his wife for the  security of Eighty Five pounds + Inter---

The Counterpart of the mortgage to Richard Hannell

Recalled and delivered by the within named Richard Hannell in the presence of                                          Joshua Lomax
                                       John Dagnall

Sealed and delivered by the within named James Hannell in the presence of                                          Joshua Lomax
                                       George Bigg
                                       John Dagnall

From the main document:

".......All that messuage & tenement with the houses edifices buildings barnes  stables yards and orchards gardens and appertenances therunto belonging  And  also all that parcell of land conteyning by estimacon two Acres and a halfe  more or lesse parcell of a close called Middle Lyes One other close or  parcell of land called Further Lyes conteyning by estimacon fyve Acres and a  halfe more or lesse  And also one close or parcell of Meadow called Stony  mead conteyning one Acre and a halfe and four and twenty pole more or lesse  with their appertenances.  All which sayd Messuage lands and premises are  situate and lying and being in the parish of Abbotts Langley in the county of  Hertford and now are or late were in the tennure of the said Henry Wells or  of his assignes...............the sayd James Hannell did in the towne of St.  Michaell last part acknowledge & levy before the Kings' Majesties' Justices  att  the Court of Common Pleas at Westminster unto the sayd Richard Hannell  his heires one fyne sins recognazance de droit & copy as well of one Messuage  and two Acres of land with the appertenances situate and being in Westwick  aforesaid which the said James Hannell hath bargained and sould by the name  or names of two Messuages two gardens two orchards eleven Acres of land & two  Acres of Meadow with appertenances in Abbotts Langley Westwick and the parish  of St. Michaell nere the towne of St. Albans...."

14th April 1669 IM 51a Matthew Hannel dead leaving brother & Heir James H. Surrenders to Joseph Hannell (cat. des. only)

22nd September 1682 - Richard Hannell (or Hannill), a Blacksmith who lived and worked from what I asume was the present day Westwick Cottage in Westwick Row, and who also held the copyhold on today's Dell Cottage made his will as he lay on his death-bed:

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN  I RICHARD Hanill of the parish of St.Michaells in the County if Hertford Blacksmith being sicke and Weake of Body But in perfect Sense and memory (Praised be to God for it) Doe ordaine this my last Will and Testament in the manner  and forme following First I Commende my Soule into the hands of Almighty God my Maker Trusting for Salvation through Jesus Christ my Saviour and Redeemer My Body I commend to the ground from whence it was taken to be Decently buryed by my Executors hereafter named As for that Worldly Estate which it hath pleased Almighty God to bless me withall I Doe give as followeth I give and bequeath the house which I dwell in To my Sonne Joseph Hanill his Heires and Assignes for ever with the orchard and Three Closes of Land adjoining to the same and the appertenances thereunto belonging  I doe give the House which my sonne Joseph now dwelleth in To my Wife for Terme of her naturall life And after her Decease To my sonne Joseph Hannill his Heires and assigns for ever. I Doe give and bequeath To my sonne Jonah Hanill my house at Hemstead Which Francis Smith now liveth in with the appertenances thereunto belonging I Doe give to my daughter Ketherine Hannill my Two Tenements at St. Michaels Street which Joseph Carpenter and Robert Eles now dwell in with the appertenances and forty pounds which Lyeth uppon Surrender of Christopher Babetts House.  I give her fourteene and five pounds which Lyeth uppon Henry Welles house in the parish of Abbotts Langley I give her Twenty pounds which Lyeth in John Peases (? spelling) of Studham upon Bond I doe give and bequethe to my Daughter Ann Hannill Fourteene and Ten pounds which lyeth uppon Richard Haring's house and Land in the parish of Kings Langley I give her fifty pounds which Lyeth uppon Bond in Nicholas Ludgates hands in the Parish of St. Peters I give her Twenty pounds which Lyeth in Robert Charkley's Hands in the parish  of Totteridge I give her Ten pounds which Lyeth uppon Bond in Mr. John Cokes hands I give her Thirty pounds which Lyeth uppon Bond in the hands of John James Lattemer in the parish of  St. Peters I give and bequeathe to my Wife Twenty pounds which Lyeth uppon dede upon Robert Rumford's House in St. Albanes  I give her Twenty pound which Lyeth in Thomas Knithe's Hand in the Parish of St. Peters upon Bod I give and bequeath unto Thomas Alin's children the sommme of Sixteene pounds To be paid by my Executors after their Mother's decease and the Interest to bee paid to my Daughter soe long as she lives and then to be equally Devided amongst the Children I doe give to my sonne James Hannil a Bond of Tennpound which hee oweth to mee I doe give to my Daughter Bury's Children the sume of Thirty pound to be paid by my Executors  after my Daughter's decease to bee equally devided  amongst soe many of them as shall be then living and teh Interest to be paid to my Daughter Bury soe long as she lives AND ALL THE REST of  my Bills Bonds Goods and Chattles unbequeathed I doe give to my sonnes Joseph Hannil and Jonah Hannil And I doe ordaine and appoint Joseph Hannil mu Sonne and Jonah Hannil to be my full and hole Executors of this my last Will and Testemant This Two and Twentyeth Day of September in the yearre of Our Lord one Thousand Six Hundred  Eighty and Two Witness my hand and seale this 22nd day of September 1682 The mark of Richard Hanill Sealed and delivered to my hand in the presence of Wiliam Howe John Munn John How." [HALS IM48]

It is interesting to note from this will that Richard Hannill was obviously quite well off, although an artisan -he was a Blacksmith.  He owned the freehold of the property in Westwick Row (we know that it was freehold at this time from various other documents), and at least the copyhold of four other properties, i.e. a house in Hemel Hempstead, the house in which his son Joseph  was living and two tenements in St. Michael's Street.  He was also sufficiently well endowed with surplus cash that he was able to act as banker to many, as witnessed by the various loans/mortgages, and to leave these various bonds, together with the interest they generated to his various children and grandchildren.  The total value of the various monies he speciffically bequeathed exceeding £300.  In addition to this £300 and the various properties, were the goods and chatels and additional bonds etc. which he left to be divided between two of his sons Joseph and Jonah. It would be interesting to know why his other son, James, whom we know to have been a Grocer in Redbourne, and who according to the documents dated 1668 was Richard's son and heir (i.e. his eldest son), should only have his debt of £10 cleared. [HALS IM48, IM42a,b & c]

It is also interesting to speculate on the possiblity of Richard Hannil being a non-conformist.  The wording of his testamemt at the begining of the document leaves the burial of his body to the discression of his executors. This form of words often indicated the preference for the person concerned to be buried in a non-conformist graveyard, or at the very least, not specifically in the parish churchyard. The wording prior to this, i.e. "I Commende my Soule into the hands of Almighty God my Maker Trusting for Salvation through Jesus Christ my Saviour and Redeemer." This also implies a reliance on the simpler and more direct forms of worship rather than a request to the Virgin Mary, or others of the saints, to interviene on the person's behest. [Newsletter of the Hertfordshire Record Society, May 1997]

27th April 1697 - Joseph Hannel, Westwick Row's Blacksmith, was sick and made his will.  The will was proved nearly a year later on 14th March 1698, his wife being formerly admitted to the property on 9th December 1698. It is interesting to note that like his father's will before him, the wording suggests that the family may well be non-conformists.  It is also interesting to note that his father Richard, was unable to write, and could only sign his mark, whereas Joseph was obviously able to write.

"IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN I JOSEPH Hannell of the parish of St.Michaels in the County of Hertford Blacksmith being sick and weake in Body but in Sound and perfect Memory I Praise God for the same. Doe make and ordaine this my last will and Testament in manner and forme following  I Committ and commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God my maker trusting assuredly for Salvation by the alone merritts of jesus Christ my Saviour and Redeemer  And my body I committ to the Earth to be decently Buryed at the discretion of my Executrix hereafter named.  And as for that Estate that it hath pleased God to bless me with I give and bequeathe as followeth I haveing formerly Surrendered all my Coppy hold Lands within the Mannor of Gorhambury to the use of my Last Will.  I give and bequeathe to my loveing wife Ann Hannell both my houses with the appertenances to them belonging or in any wise appertaineing.  And all my Lands both Coppy hold and free to them belonging for and dureing the terme of her naturall Life.  And after my saide wife's Decease I doe give and bequeathe my two houses with the appertenances to them belonging with the Orchards and Gardens and three Closes of freehold Land one pightle of Copyhold adjoyneing to the way next the houses to my fower Sonnes Joseph Hannell John Hannell William Hannell and Michael Hannell to be equally devided betweene them And these I doe give to my foure Sonnes and to them and their heires and assignes for Ever.  And my Mind is that when it is devided my Sonne Joseph shall have the first Choice And my Mind and will is that if any of my saide Sonnes shall happen to Dye before they shall accomplish the age of one and twenty yeares and that the part or parts to them belonging to be equally devided between the Surviving of them.  I give and bequeathe to my foure Daughters Ann Hanell Mary Hanill Sarah Hanell and Elizabeth Hannell two closes of Coppy hold land with a Dell of wood ground to them belonging containing by estimation Eight acres more or Lesse and these I doe give to my foure Daughters and to their heires and assignes for ever to be equally devided betweene them.  And my Mind and Will is that if any  of my said Daughters shall happen to Dye before they shall accomplish the age of one and twenty yeares That the part or parts to them belonging to be equally devided betweene the survivors of them.  And all the Rest of my goods and Chattells and Cattell I doe give to my Loveing wife Ann Hannell Whome I ordaine and appoint to be the full and Sole Executrix of this my Last Will and Testament.  In Witness whereof I have here unto Sett my hande and Seale this present twenty seventh day of April in the Yeare of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred Ninety and Seven 1697.  Joseph Hannell. Sealed Subscribed and acknowlwedged to be the Last Will and Testament of the testator in the presence of Henry Proctor John How the marke of William Hodsonn." [HALS IM50]

9th Dec 1698 Joseph Hannell dead, wife admitted [IM 51] (cat. des.)
9th May 1711 - Joseph's widow and children grant lands in Westwick on a mortgage to Mathew Graves [IM53a -see cat desc. see also various listings in cat and their doc. relating to? the property and descendants of the HANNELLS.

12th June 1718  - Ann Hannell, widow, Joseph & Jophn Hannell sell (lease & release) property to Robert Crowfoot for £230.

8th October 1718 - Joseph Hannell is dead, his children admitted, surrendered to Robert Crowfoot - surrendered in trust for Visc. Grimston

Extracts from the Militia Lists, 18th Century:

There were numerous mentions of various members of the Hannell family in the Militia lists for St. Michaels and Hemel Hempstead. It is almost certain that the entries between 1758 and 1769 for Richard Hannell, Farmer, refered to the Richard Hannell who was tenant at Dell Cottage (see below). Other entries for Francis Hannell both Junior and Senior are also numerous, but may not refer to members of the family based in Westwick Row since the 1630's.  Entries were as follows:

1758- Richard Hannell, St. Michaels Farmer
- Francis Hannell. St. Michaels Higgler
- John Hannell, High St. Side
- William Hannell, High Street Side
1759- Richard Hannell, St. Michaels Farmer
- Francis Hannell. St. Michaels Labourer
- John Hannell, High St. Side
1760- Francis Hannell. St. Michaels Higgler
- Richard Hannell, St. Michaels Farmer
- John Hannell, Bennetts End Labourer
- Joseph Hannell, Bennetts End Labourer
1761- Francis Hannell. St. Michaels Higgler
- Richard Hannell, St. Michaels Farmer
- John Hannell, High St. Side Labourer
1762 F- Francis Hannell. St. Michaels Labourer
- Richard Hannell, St. Michaels Farmer
- John Hannell, High St. Side Labourer
- Joseph Hannell, High St. Side Labourer
- William Hannell, High Street Side Labourer
1762 J- Francis Hannell. St. Michaels Higgler
- Richard Hannell, St. Michaels Farmer
- John Hannell, High St. Side Labourer
1763- Francis Hannell. St. Michaels Higgler
- Richard Hannell, St. Michaels Farmer
- John Hannell, High Street Side Publican
1764- Francis Hannell. St. Michaels Higgler
- Richard Hannell, St. Michaels Farmer
1765- Francis Hannell. St. Michaels Higgler
- Richard Hannell, St. Michaels Farmer
- John Hannell, Hempstead Towne Publican
- Joseph Hannell, Hempstead Towne Ploughman
1768- Richard Hannell, St. Michaels Farmer
- Joseph Hannell High Street Side Servant
- William Hannell, High Street Green Labourer

Extract from Herts. Record Office Doc. D/EV M39 - Being a the survey to accompany the map of the Gorhambury Estate dated 1768:


N.B. From examining the map, this small-holding included what is now called Dell Cottage, the three long thin fields immediately behind the cottage, and forming a strip between Westwick Row and The Berkhamstead Way (A4147); the field next to Dell Cottage to the South of Westwick Row ( i.e where Westwind is now built); and the field immediately opposite Dell Cottage, on the other side of Westwick Row.

NoField nameFormer Field NameQuantity ArableQuantity Pasture
1House Yard & Orchard00.2.12
2Field Opposite the house01.3.17
3Lower Field next Long Readings02.1.20
4Field above the Orchard02.0.06
5Further Field02.0.25


N.B. This was the land which in the Tithe Survey of 1840 was occupied by John Kiffs, the cottage being known as Kiffs Farm until the latter part of this century.  It is now known as Dell Cottage.

Further Extracts from the Militia Lists, 18th Century:

1769- Francis Hannell, St. Michaels Carrier
- Richard Hannell, St. Michaels Farmer
- John Hannell, High St. Green Victualler
1772- John Hannell, High Street Side Publican
1773- Francis Hannell, St. Michaels Higgler
1778- Francis Hannell, St. Michaels Labourer
- Francis Hannell, St. MichaelsPetty Constable
1778D- Joseph Hannell Hobbetts Labourer 4 children
1778?- Francis Hannell Junior, St. Michaels Labourer
1778?- Francis Hannell Senior, St. Michaels Labourer
1779- Francis Hannell, St. Michaels
1781- Joseph Hannell High St. Green Labourer4 children
1782- Francis Hannell Junior, St. Michaels
- Joseph Hannell Piccotts Endpoor 5 children
1783- Richard Hannell, St. Michaels FarmerConstable
(signed His X Mark)
- Francis Hannell Junior, St. Michaels
1784- Francis Hannell. St. Michaels Labourer
1785- Francis Hannell Junior, St. Michaels  Higgler

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