A 4th Hatch founder in Kent?

Dickon Love dickon at iBCwXIoVifw1a34sbxzPN7FbTQspIAmpepZEWVge_VwwQgljfBxQXs6CjwaJuUbU51JE801xBio.yahoo.invalid
Wed Feb 10 10:58:15 GMT 2010

I came across a very interesting reference in a will published in the Kent Archaeology archives.  It comes from the Will of John Leche, 25 August 1509, Proved 10th October 1509 by Alice relict, Thomas Polyll, Wm. Ade and John Plomer.  It says:

JOHN LECHE of Maydeston [Maidstone], draper, 25th August 1509. To be buried in churchyarde of the parishe church of Alhalowen in Maydeston 
 I bequeth to Thomas Hatwiche 5 marc of my stuff. Toward the costs of the new bell late bought for the said church 6s. 8d.

This suggests that All Saints Maidstone had a new bell cast (or maybe recast) in 1508 or 1509 or so.  Now the Hatch family is a famous family of bellfounders in the 16th and 17th Centuries.  There were three:

Thomas Hatch (earliest reference 1581 at Cranbrook, latest 1599 at Langley)
Joseph Hatch (really very prolific, earliest 1602 at Egerton, latest 1638 at Stourmouth)
William Hatch (earliest 1639 at Trottiscliffe, latest 1663 at Minster in Sheppey)

However if there was a Thomas Hatch casting in 1508, this implies that the family might have gone back further and the foundry might be older than originally thought.

Of course, it is possible that "Hatwiche" doesn't mean "Hatch" at all, or indeed that Hatwiche wasn't the name of the founder, so more research is needed, but the implications of this are interesting.



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