Reading a Will made some 300 years ago, is rather like having a letter from a friend one has not seen for a very long time. How interesting are the items mentioned and those who were to receive them!
ANN BEARD, the daughter of JOHN BEARD of Woodmancote, was baptised there in 1613. She was married at Woodmancote on the 30th September 1641 to a certain JOHN LINDFIELD. And now, at the age of 62 – and from the Land Tax Records we know her to be a widow – she is making her Will. She may be already ill and in need of nursing, for the Will is witnessed by two women, one is ELIZABETH DOVE and the other is SUSAN AVERY, the eldest daughter of NATHANIEL AND SUSAN AVERY of Knowl’s Tooth, a very old farm house still standing in Langton Lane, Hurstpierpoint.
From the Will it appears that Ann’s family consisted of three daughters and a son. The eldest daughter Ann, is married to William Stone of The Nunnery, Rusper. Mary, who may later have married John Tilley, and Sarah, also there is a son, John Lindfield. This son was not the eldest child, therefore would have been contemporary in age with Susan Avery. It does seem likely that he was the John Lindfield whom Sarah Avery married – perhaps after the death of his mother?
Ann, who married William Stone, had a daughter Elizabeth, who became Mrs. Thomas Marchant of Little Park Farm, Hurstpierpoint. Thomas Marchant wrote an amusing and informative Diary, which is reproduced in the Sussex Archaeological Collections Vol. 25. It throws much light on the goings and comings of these local families and the name Lindfield is frequently mentioned.
But, to return to Susan Avery now, the wife of John Lindfield, after the birth of their son John Lindfield in 1676, Susan became a widow and Letters of Administration were granted to her on January 28th 1681/2. In 1680, on 27th August, is recorded the burial ofone John Lindfield at Hurstpierpoint. In 1684, on August 27th Susan married at All Saint’s, Lewes, Samuel Savage of Biggs, Cuckfield.
Susan’s mother, Susan Avery, refers in her Will dated 1689, to “the five children of Samuel Savage“. Whether they are all Susan’s or whether Samuel had been married before, I do not know. Susan Savage, in her own Will in 1718, refers only to one Sarah, who was baptised at Hurstpierpoint on 2,4th September 1686 and who married on February 1 Oth 1711 to John Stapley of Hickstead Place – thereby linking in again yet another notable family. John Stapley also kept a Diary and in it he mentions many points of interest which happened among our Ancestors in this locality.
- The Avery Connection Longshot Vol. 3.1