|Becher of Howbury|
|Fotheringhay College: the buildings as shown on a 16th century estate map.|
Howbury Hall, Renhold, Bedfordshire
|Howbury Hall: watercolour by Thomas Fisher, c.1815, showing the Jacobean house. Image: Cheffins Fine Art.|
|Howbury Hall: engraving of 1851 showing the house with only one wing.|
|Howbury Hall: the entrance front today|
Becher family of Howbury Hall
(1.1) Elizabeth Becher (c.1542-1612), born about 1542; married 1st, 5 October 1560 at St Christopher-le-Stocks, London, Clement Kelk (1523-93) of London, haberdasher and merchant adventurer; married 2nd, 7 January 1594 at St Helen, Bishopsgate, London, as his third wife, Thomas Harrison (1530-1602) of Finchampstead (Berks), surveyor of the staple; apparently died without issue and was buried at Finchampstead, 10 September 1612; will proved 1612;
(1.2) Henry Becher (c.1544-1608) (q.v.);(1.3) Edward Becher (c.1545-1607?), of Allhallows, London; said to have been an esquire of the body to Queen Elizabeth I; possibly the man of this name admitted to Lincoln's Inn, 1595/6; married, 1580 (licence 5 October), the Hon. Frances (b. 1549), daughter of William Brooke, 10th Baron Cobham, and widow of Thomas Coppinger (d. 1580) of Davington (Kent), and had issue three sons; said to have died at Finchampstead, 1607;(1.4) Phane Becher (c.1546-92) [for whom see my post on the Becher family of Aughadown and Hollybrook](1.5) Mary Becher (c.1549-1600); married, 4 September 1569 at St Christopher-le-Stocks, London, Chideock Wardour (1542-1611) of Plaitford (Hants), Clerk of the Pells in the Exchequer and MP for Stockbridge (Hants), 1589 and Ludgershall (Wilts), 1593, and had issue one son and three daughters; died 19 September 1600 and was buried at Chiswick (Middx), where she and her husband are commemorated by a monument;(1.6) Margaret Becher (c.1551-1621); married, 23 July 1571 at Stratfield Saye (Hants), Sir Thomas Dabridgecourt (c.1546-1614), kt., of Stratfield Saye, eldest son of George Dabridgecourt (and whose sister Susan married her brother Phane), and had issue at least three sons and two daughters; buried at Stratfield Saye, 30 October 1621; her will was proved 29 November 1622;(1.7) Mabel Becher (b. c.1553); married, 3 February 1575/6 at East Tisted (Hants), Sir Richard Norton (c.1552-1611) of Tisted (Hants) (who m2, after 1598, Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Capell of Rudgwick (Sussex) and widow of Humphrey Adderley (1511/2-98) of Weddington Hall (Northants)), and had issue three sons and two daughters; died about 1590-95;(1.8) William Becher (c.1554-1631), born about 1554 (aged 16 in 1571); made free of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, 1577; admitted to the Inner Temple, 1597; married, 14 April 1578 at Islington (Middx), Judith (c.1561-1630), daughter of John Quarles of London, and had issue four sons and six daughters (including Sir William Becher (1581-1651), kt., MP, Clerk of the Privy Council and diplomat); buried at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster (Middx), 21 October 1631;(1.9) Dorothy Becher (c.1555-58), born about 1555; died young and was buried at St Christopher-le-Stocks, London, 8 April 1558;(1.10) Bartholomew Becher (b. c.1556), born about 1556; educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge (matriculated 1572) and Middle Temple (admitted 1573; called to bar, 1589); barrister-at-law; married Alice Miller; living in 1592 but death not traced.
(1) Jane Becher (1572-75), baptised at St Christopher-le-Stocks, London, 23 November 1572; died young and was buried in the same church, 16 August 1575;(2) Sir William Becher (1574-1640), kt. (q.v.);(3) Edward Becher (1577-c.1658), baptised at St Christopher-le-Stocks, London, 3 August 1577; educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge (matriculated 1592) and Lincoln's Inn (admitted 1596); died unmarried and was buried at Fotheringhay, 24 September 1658; will proved in the PCC, 15 October 1658;(4) Elizabeth Becher (1580-1652), baptised at St. Christopher-le-Stocks, London, 28 August 1580; inherited her father's property at Huntspill (Som.); married, 17 August 1602 at Fotheringhay, as his second wife, Thomas Anscell (d. 1623) of Great Barford (Beds), and had issue at least three sons and two daughters; lived latterly at Kempston (Beds); buried at Great Barford, 19 September 1652; will proved in the PCC, 7 May 1653;(5) George Becher (b. 1587; fl. 1640), baptised at St. Christopher-le-Stocks, London, 17 April 1587; lived at Clavering (Essex); married, 2 September 1618 at Battersea (Surrey), Elizabeth Whitney, and had issue at least two sons and two daughters; living in 1640 but death not traced;(6) Ursula Becher (b. 1589; fl. 1640), baptised at St. Christopher-le-Stocks, London, 5 January 1589; married, 26 February 1608/9 at Fotheringhay, Matthew Robinson (fl. 1647) of Longthorpe (Hunts), and had issue at least one son and two daughters; living in 1640;(7) Dorothy Becher (1590-1651), baptised at Southill (Beds), 25 October 1590; married, 27 November 1610 at Fotheringhay, George Kimpton (d. 1656) of Weston (Herts); buried at Weston, 9 June 1651.
(1) Olive Becher (b. 1596), baptised at St Christopher-le-Stocks, London, 23 May 1596;(2) Oliver Becher (1598-c.1659) (q.v.);(3) twin, Dorothy Becher (1600-59?), baptised at Bletsoe, 15 April 1600; married 1st, 16 January 1626/7 at Fotheringhay, as his second wife, William Conyers (d. 1639) of Walthamstow (Essex), serjeant-at-law and 2nd, 8 August 1654 at Walthamstow, Stephen Harvey of London; probably the woman of this name buried at Toppesfield (Essex), 29 October 1659;(4) twin, Judith Becher (b. & d. 1600), baptised at Bletsoe, 15 April 1600; died in infancy and was buried at Bletsoe, 5 August 1600;(5) Henry Becher (1602-c.1660), baptised at Fotheringhay, 2 May 1602; married, 31 July 1623 at St Margaret, Westminster (Middx), Anne Silvester (fl. 1666), and had issue one son and six daughters; died between 1657 (when he was named in the will of an uncle) and 1666 (when his brother Francis' will says he was deceased);(6) Anne Becher (1603-59), baptised at Renhold, 9 October 1603; married, 26 August 1625 at Fotheringhay, Edmund Harding of Aspley Guise (Beds); buried at Aspley Guise, 10 August 1659;(7) Elizabeth Becher (1606-c.1655), baptised at Renhold, 9 March 1605/6; died unmarried and was described as 'lately deceased' in the will of her uncle Edward Becher in March 1655/6;(8) William Becher (b. & d. 1607), baptised at Renhold, 26 July 1607; died in infancy and was buried at Renhold, 17 November 1607;(9) Rev. William Becher (1608-61), baptised at Renhold, 20 November 1608; possibly educated at Oxford University; ordained 1636; rector of Woodford (Northants), 1638-61, and probably a Puritan as the owner of the advowson held Puritan views; died, probably unmarried, about September 1661;(10) Edward Becher (1610-c.1635), baptised at Renhold, 5 August 1610; educated at St John's College, Cambridge (matriculated 1628; BA 1631); said to have died in Germany before 1640;(11) St. John Becher (1611-59), baptised at Renhold, 14 November 1611; probably the man of this name buried at Renhold, 20 April 1659;(12) Judith Becher (b. 1612), baptised at Renhold, 29 November 1612; died unmarried;(13) Francis Becher (1614-97) [for whom see below];(14) Fane Becher (1615-c.1619), baptised at Fotheringhay, 21 December 1615; died aged about four years;(15) Katherine Becher (b. 1618), baptised at Renhold, 23 December 1618; living unmarried in 1655/6;(16) Howard Becher (1620-95), baptised at Fotheringhay, 29 June 1620; educated at Emmanuel College and Peterhouse, Cambridge (matriculated 1637; BA 1639; MA 1643); intruded as a Presbyterian Fellow of Peterhouse, 1644 and was one of the Taxors of the University, 1646, but was one of three Fellows ejected by the visitors in 1650; he transferred to Oxford, where he was incorporated in 1655; and died unmarried at the house of Samuel Clark in Oxford; will proved 16 March 1694/5.(17) John Becher (b. 1622), baptised at Fotheringhay, 9 May 1622; living in 1695, when he was executor of his brother Howard's will.
(1) Sir William Becher (1628-94) (q.v.);(2) Oliver Becher (1629-80), born 4 July and baptised at Fotheringhay, 16 July 1629; educated at Middle Temple (admitted 1666); lived at Brill (Bucks) and later at West Lynn (Norfk); married, 15 December 1670, Sarah Wyan (b. c.1640) of London, but apparently had no issue; buried at Renhold, 16 October or 12 November 1680*;(3) Edward Becher (1630-35), baptised at Fotheringhay, 25 October 1630; died young, 13 December 1635 and was buried at Hardingstone (Northants);(4) Elizabeth Becher (1632-80), born 14 March and baptised at Renhold, 22 March 1631/2; died unmarried at the home of her brother-in-law, Oliver Williams, and was buried at St Faith by St Paul's, London, 25 April 1680;(5) John Becher (1633-34), born 30 July and baptised at Renhold, 20 August 1633; died in infancy, 28 February and was buried at Renhold, 1 March 1633/4;(6) Francis Becher (1634-97), born 2 August and baptised at Renhold, 10 August 1634; died unmarried, 3 January and was buried at Renhold, 12 January 1696/7;(7) Mary Becher (1635-59), born 12 September and baptised at Renhold, 13 September 1635; died unmarried and was buried at Renhold, 11 May 1659;(8) Judith Becher (1636-55), born 14 October 1636; died unmarried and was buried at St. Bartholomew the Great, London, 17 December 1655 'from the house of the Countess of Bolingbroke';(9) St. John Becher (b. 1637), born at Howbury, 8 November 1637; possibly the man of this name who married, 17 November 1670 at St Alphage, London Wall, London, Elizabeth Hunton, and had issue one son;(10) Catherine Becher (1640-1704), born 8 August and baptised at Renhold, 17 August 1640; married 1st, 6 April 1680, Oliver Williams (d. 1693) of London, apothecary, and 2nd, 8 April 1695 at St Dunstan, Stepney (Middx), Richard Becher (c.1653-1701) [for whom see below]; she died without issue and was buried at St Faith by St Paul's, London, 3 November 1704; her will was proved 6 November 1704.
(1.1) Arabella Becher (1657-1700), born 17 January and baptised at Renhold, 30 January 1656/7; married, 1684 (licence 14 June), Thomas Huxley (c.1638-94), of North Mimms (Herts), the brother of her father's second wife, and had issue at least two daughters; buried at Renhold, 13 October 1700;(1.2) St. John Becher (1658-85), born 2 August and baptised at Renhold, 17 August 1658; educated at Queens' College, Cambridge (matriculated 1677) and Inner Temple (admitted 1678); died unmarried and was buried at Renhold, 17 March 1684/5;(2.1) William Becher (1661-1724) (q.v.);(2.2) Elizabeth Becher (1663-1701), born 4 March and baptised at Renhold, 12 March 1662/3; died unmarried, of smallpox, 17 April, and was buried at Renhold, 22 April 1701, where she is commemorated by monument attributed to Edward Stanton;(2.3) John Becher (1664-73), born 22 June and baptised at Renhold, 21 July 1664; died young and was buried at Renhold, 11 May 1673;(2.4) George Becher (1667-1740), born 28 October and baptised at Renhold, 11 November 1667; apprenticed to an attorney and educated at Inner Temple (admitted 1688); a member of the South Sea Company; lived at Stepney and Hammersmith (Middx) but latterly in London; died unmarried and was buried at Renhold, 12 November 1740; his will was proved 21 November 1740.
(1.1) William Becher (1697-1751) (q.v.);(2.1) Jane Rachel Becher (1700-70), born 12 July and baptised at Kensington (Middx), 3 August 1700; married, 28 January 1719/20 at St James Piccadilly, Westminster (Middx), as his third wife, Thomas Lewis (1685-1732) of St. Pierre (Mon.), MP for Monmouthshire, 1713, 1715-22, and had issue two sons and five daughters; buried at St George-the-Martyr, London, 25 June 1770; will proved in the PCC, 26 June 1770;(2.2) Mary Becher (1702-03), born 3 July 1702; died of convulsions in infancy, 13 January, and was buried at Renhold, 17 January 1702/3.
(1) Elizabeth Becher (c.1650-85), born about 1650; died unmarried and was buried in the family vault at St Stephen Walbrook, London, 7 March 1684/5; will proved 15 January 1686/7;(2) Richard Becher (c.1653-1701); grocer and druggist of London; married, 1st, 30 October 1676 at St Mary Woolnoth, London, Lydia (1653-94), daughter of William Marston of London, and 2nd, 1695 (licence 8 April), Catherine, daughter of Oliver Becher and widow of Oliver Williams, and had issue six sons and three daughters; buried at St Stephen, Walbrook, London, 30 December 1701;(3) Edward Becher (c.1654-1711) (q.v.)
(1) Francis Becher (c.1681-82), born about 1681; died in infancy and was buried at St Botolph Bishopsgate, London, 10 July 1682;(2) Sir Edward Becher (1682-1732), kt., baptised at St Botolph, Bishopsgate, London, 2 March 1681/2; citizen and draper of London; Master of the Draper's Company, 1719-20; a director of the South Sea Company, 1724-32; common councilman for Bishopsgate Without Ward, 1711-18, and alderman, 1718-32 (sheriff, 1721-22; Lord Mayor, 1727-28); knighted, 8 May 1722; married, 6 May 1707 at St Saviour, Southwark (Surrey), Ann (b. 1684)*, daughter of James Becher, and had issue two sons and three daughters; died 2 September and was buried at St Botolph, Bishopsgate, London, 10 September 1732; administration of his goods granted 26 September 1732;(3) John Becher (1683-1744) (q.v.);(4) Mary Becher (1687-1766), baptised at St Botolph, Bishopsgate, London, 30 December 1687; married, 7 February 1709/10 at St Stephen, Coleman St., London, Richard Samborne (1684-1758) of New Inn and later of Hatfield, and had issue one son and one daughter; buried at Hatfield (Herts), 13 February 1766;(5) Unnamed son (c.1688-89), probably born in December 1688; died in infancy and was buried at St Botolph Bishopsgate, 1 January 1689;(6) Elizabeth Becher (1692-1746), baptised at St Botolph Bishopsgate, London, 25 February 1691/2; married, 14 April 1713 at St Anne & St Agnes, Aldersgate, London, Thomas Ange (d. 1733), and had issue one daughter; buried at Wanstead (Essex), 10 February 1745/6;(7) George Becher (b. 1693), baptised at St Botolph Bishopsgate, London, 17 October 1693; living in 1711, but no further reference found.
(1) Jane Becher (1708-99), born and baptised at St Augustine, Watling St., London, 7 September 1708; said to have died unmarried, 6 November 1799;(2) Robert Becher (b. 1709), born and baptised at St Augustine, Watling St., London, 11 August 1709; apparently living in 1750 but died before 1766;(3) John Becher (1711-c.1779) (q.v.);(4) Edward Becher (1713-48), baptised at St Augustine, Watling St., London, 1 April 1713; said to have died in 1748;(5) Anne Becher (b. 1715), born and baptised at St Augustine, Watling St., London, 2 May 1715;(6) Mary Becher (1717-76), baptised at St Augustine, Watling St., London, 21 January 1716/7; died 31 December 1776;(7) William Becher (b. 1720), born 14 March and baptised at St Augustine, Watling St., London, 18 March 1719/20; died before 1748;(8) Richard Becher (1721-82) (q.v.).
(1) Jane Harriot Becher (1745-51), born at Livorno, 25 November 1745; died young, 29 January 1751 and was buried in the English Cemetery at Livorno;(2) John Becher (b. 1747), born at Livorno, 1747 but died in infancy;(3) William Becher (b. 1748), born at Livorno, 2 June 1748; engaged with his father in business activities in Livorno by 1775; an officer in the Bedfordshire militia (Capt.), who ran up substantial gambling debts, paying off which may have cost his uncle the Howbury estate; he was living in France by 1790 and emigrated eventually to the West Indies, having married, 30 November 1778 at St Marylebone (Middx), Martha, eldest daughter of John Ford of London, by whom he had one son and one daughter; his death was erroneously reported in the press in 1770 but he was really dead by the time of his daughter's marriage in 1809;(4) A daughter (b. & d. 1749), born at Livorno (Italy), 2 September 1749 but died the same day;(5) Jane Harriot Becher (b. & d. 1751), born at Livorno, 20 June 1751; died in infancy, 28 August 1751.
(1.1) Charlotte Becher (1754-56), baptised at Calcutta, 3 July 1754; died in infancy, 20 November 1756 at Fultah (India);(2.1) Richard Stephens Becher (1764-1846), born prior to the marriage of his parents, 15 March and baptised at St Andrew, Holborn, 17 March 1764; an official in the Bengal Civil Service (writer, 1781; commercial resident at Commercolly, 1790 and Bareilly, 1802; third member of the Board of Trade, 1805; salt agent at Tumlook, 1809; retired 1815); married, 12 August 1815 at St Marylebone, Frances Wyatt (1773-1855), but had no issue; however, he had four sons and three daughters born in India before his marriage whose mother(s) are unknown; died in Brighton, 9 April and was buried at St Nicholas, Brighton, 16 April 1846; will proved in the PCC, 1846;(2.2) twin, John Stephens Becher (1765-1830), born prior to the marriage of his parents, 21 June 1765; an official in the Bengal Civil Service (writer, 1781; paymaster of troops in Bengal presidency, 1791; judge at Moorshedabad, 1797; judge of court of appeal, 1804; retired 1805); after retirement he settled at Chancellor House, Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells (Kent); he was unmarried, but had five illegitimate sons in India between 1790 and 1803, possibly by Jane, daughter of Major Thomas Reed, for whom he made provision in his will; died at Speldhurst (Kent), 28 March 1830; will proved in the PCC, 13 April 1830;(2.3) twin, Robert Stephens Becher (1765-1818), born prior to the marriage of his parents, 21 June 1765; an officer in the service of the East India Company, 1781-92 (Cadet, 1781; Ensign, 1781; Lieutenant, 1782); indigo manufacturer and merchant in Cawnpore, 1782-1808, when his production facilities were seized by Almas Ali Khan, the principal Amaldar of the Nawab Wazir of Oudh; married, 10 April 1801 at St Marylebone (Middx), Louisa (1781-1847), eldest daughter of Charles John Purling, and had issue six sons and two daughters; died at sea while returning to England, 8 August 1818;(2.4) Charlotte Becher (1767-1837), born 2 August and baptised at Calcutta, 8 September 1767; married, 31 October 1783 at Epsom (Surrey), Maj. Charles Marsack (1736-1820) of Caversham Park (Oxon), reputedly the illegitimate son of HRH Frederick, Prince of Wales by his mistress Margaret, Countess of Marsac, and had issue seven sons and four daughters; died at Caversham, 26 January 1837, and was buried at Speldhurst (Kent);(2.5) William Augustus Becher (1772-78), born in India, 26 September 1772; died young, 28 March 1778;(2.6) Charles Grant Becher (1777-1842), born 5 February and baptised at St Marylebone (Middx), 7 March 1777; joined the East India Company's service, initially in the military branch (Cadet, 1793; Cornet, 1794; resigned 1795), but transferred to Bengal Civil Service (Writer, 1795; Salt Agent for Cuttack, 1795-1826, when he was removed for corruption, possibly unjustly; Commercial Resident at Rungpore from 1826); married 1st, 9 January 1800 at Berhampore (India), Mary Penneck (d. 1805), daughter of Lt. Henry Reid, and had issue two daughters; married 2nd, 10 January 1807 at Calcutta, Charlotte (1790-1816), daughter of Richard Humfrays, and had further issue three sons and three daughters; died at Nice (France), 16 July 1842;(2.7) Sophia Becher (1779-83?), born 4 August and baptised at St. Marylebone, 14 August 1779; died young and was probably the child of this name buried at Putney (Surrey), 17 August 1783;(2.8) George Becher (1780-1837), born 1 September and baptised at Godstone (Surrey), 10 October 1780; an officer in the East India Company's army (Cadet, 1794; Cornet, 1795; Lt. 1800; Capt-Lt., 1805; Capt. 1812; Maj. 1818; Lt-Col., 1824; Colonel, 1829); married, 10 August 1807 at Dinapore (India), Harriet Geldart (1784-1870), daughter of John Barclay of Tain (Ross & Cromarty), and had issue ten sons and one daughter; died at sea while returning to England on furlough, 15 November 1837.
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- Can anyone provide photographs or portraits of the people whose names appear in bold above, for whom no image is currently shown?
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