John Edwin Cussans Recollections

Mr Byde of Ware Park

By Ian Fisher

Note accompanying an engraving of Ware Park, published in 1812 in The Beauties of England and Wales  

The father of the late Thomas Hope Byde was not remarkable for his morality. There was a bargeman of Ware who had a very pretty young wife. Byde took her to Ware Park, where she lived with him many years as his wife, and by whom he had several children, among others the late Reverend John Hope Byde. The bargeman was paid a weekly allowance, and was allowed to sleep with his wife at Ware Park one night a week. After a time the bargeman got tired of this arrangement and asked old Mr Byde if he might get married again. He told him he might, and he accordingly married another wife at Ware. This narration I had from old Stephen Austin of Hertford, who knew Byde well, and all the facts connected with the case, as indeed did everyone in the neighbourhood.

This page was added on 09/03/2012.

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  • Anyone who as information about Thomas Plumer Byde could please get in touch with me? I am the curator at Strawberry Hill House and Garden (the Horace Walpole Collection) and I need to discover whether Thomas PB had a collection at Ware Park or not

    By silvia. Davoli (22/04/2021)
  • I have plenty of information about the Byde family connections predating Ware Park and would be delighted to know more about more recent times – specially the matters surrounding Thomas Plumer Byde’s departure to Naples etc and his ( unanswered ) appeal to Benjamin Franklin for employment ! If Daianne Wild can tell me how to get in touch ?

    By john davies (18/06/2013)
  • This story intrigues me as I have been researching the Byde family for many years,does anyone know where I can find out more about this story. Have traced our family back to the Bydes of Ware park so would love to investigate further.

    By Dianne Wild (01/06/2013)
  • Byde was married to Eleanor nee Hope so I understand – where was she during this time ? sharing Ware Park ? and was Thomas Hope Byde, the heir to Ware Park, a legitimate son ? a son of the bargeman’s wife and TPB or possibly a Friday night job – and a son of the river Lea and not a Byde at all ! I really would be interested to hear.

    By john davies (20/11/2012)