A Selection of Burial Records 1600-1657

From Thomas Hassall's Parish Register of Amwell

By Charlotte Jordan

Amwell Church in 1793
Hertfordshire Record Office
The Parish of Great Amwell in the 17th Century
Hertfordshire Records Office
The First Entries into the Amwell Register, (1599-1600)
Hertfordshire Record Office
Amwell Church in the late 18th Century
Hertfordshire Record Office
Extract from the Parish Register illustrating the plague of 1625
Hertfordshire Record Office
Amwell Church in the late 18th Century
Hertfordshire Record Office

Thomas Hassall was the Vicar of the Parish of Amwell. The Parish is around 20 miles from London and it is surrounded by Hartford, Stansted, Ware and Hodsdon. The Parish is around 2500 acres square, and is situated in the angle created by the River Lea and bisected by the Parish of St Margarets Thele.

Thomas Hassall had excellent schooling when he was younger, enabling him to attend Trinity College Cambridge as a sizar. It is thought that he was ordained in 1598, (before becoming a domestic chaplin to John Skinner, the son of the former mayor Thomas Skinner.) He was instituted into the Benefice of Great Amwell on 4th Feburary 1600 by Richard Bancroft, Bishop of London, being presented by Dr. William Hutchinson who acted as Skinner’s deputy.

Burial Records

There are some interesting Burial Records within the Parish of Amwell’s Parish Register from various years. Here is a selection of those Records, from the Hertfordshire Record Publications’ “The Parish Register and Tithing Book of Thomas Hassall of Amwell” :


  • George Soveraigne, an owld man, a bagpipe player of no certayne dwellinge, dyed at Ware End and was burried the viijth of Maye.


  • Nicholas Thurgood of Amwell, a man of the age of threescore yeares and uppeward, beeinge of good accoumpt and estimation both amongest his neigbours and others, was drowned by casuallty in a shallow ditch betwixt Walltham and Chesshunt the xvth daye of September and buried in Amwell church the xvijth daye of the same moneth betwixt the great stone and chauncell doore in the chauncell.


  • Robert Lewes, an impotent owld man that begged at Amwell Hill, was buried the xvth daye of June.
  • Jhon [sic] Wallis, an impotent owld man taken vagrant at Harrow-on-the Hill in Middlesex and sent toward Barfold in southfolke, died by the way at Hodson within the parish of Amwell and was brought in a cart and buried the xxijth of June.

Buried in all this years 41, of the plague 19

Thys fatall and fearefull yeare was the yeare wearin our Queen Elizabeth of famosew memory left her life and raigne in England, beeinge the first yeare of King James (whose life God longe continue) beeinge the yeare of the greatest and most generall plague in this realme that fell within the remembrance of man, whereof many died within this parrish, which I have noted with a starre * to distinguish them from the rest. I buried 6 in one daye.

God in mercye turne this and all other plagues from us.

By mee, Thomas Hassall vicarius 


  • Mr. John Goodman, a cownseller and a justuce of the peace, died at his howse in Hodsden End within our parrish of Amwell the 5th of August and was buried the 8th day at night; his funeralls weare sollemly kept the xvth day followinge. Hee lyeth in the chauncell under the communion table next to the grave of owld Hale’s wife new covered with paving tiles underneath a part of the bourdes.


  • Memorandum: the ixth daye of Aprill an owlde woeman, wife of William Newman of Hodsden End, dijinge at her house within our parrish, was by the instance of her friends carried to Broxburne and theare buried.


  • Joane Camper a poore orphany kept in the almeshowses at Hodsdon died there and was buried heere June the vijth.
  • Benjamin Stamford himselfe was buried the vth of August who, before his death, bequeathed all his goods to the poore of Amwell.


  • Mr. William Warner, a man of good teares and of honest reputation, by his profession an atturnye at the Common Plese, author of Albion’s England, who dijinge suddanly in the night in his bedde without any former complaynt or sicknesse on Thursday night, beeing the 9th daye of March was buried the Satturday following and lyeth in the church at the upper end under the stone of Gwalter Fader.


  • Mr. Christofer Meade, gentleman, dwellinge at Ware End in a howse caled the Peacock, dijinge full of troubles was buried the 24th dat of September late in the night and lieth in the bodye of the church betwixt the grave of Edward Smyth and the end of the seates towards the bellfrye not so farre as the south doore.


  • Gehesye of Thomas Gissy, aged foure score and seaven years, an honest and uppright man who all his life had binne a servant to the church of Amwell, died the 11th day of November and was buried the 12th of the same. Mamoris justi benedicta. (Translation: “The remembrance of the just is blessed.”)


  • Marye the wife of Symon Kingsland of London (a woeman too well deserving, too dearely beloved to bee soone forgotten) dijinge at her howse in London of a fevar was (according to her desyre) brought downe and buried at Amwell the 19th of August. Shee lieth uppon the upper part of the chauncell as neere as may bee to the north-east walle uppon the stepps, awaitinge the resurrecton of the just.


  • Philippe Winchly of Ware, an owld notorius bedlam roge, died suddanly in the fields within our parish as hee travelled alonge, and was buried with us the xijth of October.


  • Thomas the sonne of Mr. Walkar of London (a pritty ingenious and hopefull child) of some x years of age, being at Symon Addams his howse in Amwell, died and was buried the xxvjth of September. Hee lyeth in the body of the church neere to the funte [?fonte] second seate.


  • Robert Thomson of Hoddsdon End, the most antiant of our inhabitants of Amwell, a man aged above an hundred years, was buried July the xth.


  • Thomas Grangman beinge slayne with the falle of earth cumminge forth of a pitte at the lymekell was burried November xth.


  • Robert Shacock, of the Hundred of Hooe in St. Mary in Kent, travelling by the way, died and was buried at Amwell September the 7th, 1622.
  • Philippe Mills of Amwell Hill, a man aged four score years and uppwards, who had binne for many yeares my tenent, a man of a civil life and good conversation, was buried the second of October 1622. Sic acquiescit a laboribus. (Translation: “So he rests from his labours.”)


  • January 6th, a poore youth travelling and falinge sick by the way died at Haly, a grave beinge made to bury him, [and] one Isabell Conart, a widdowe travelling by the way died at Ware End and was by the cunstables brought and layd in that grave, so they were both buried the same daye.
  • George Halfhead, a bargeman, beinge drowned in the river of Lea betwixt Ware and Amwell, was buried December iiijth.


  • Margaret the wife of William Downes a stranger buried from Ware End September xxijth. It is said shee was the wife of one Oliver Gayner through shee lived not now with him.
  • Joane Briggs, a mayden dijinge at the Blavk Lyon in Hodsdon, givinge in the tyme of her sicknes admirable testimonye of her love and fayth to Jhesus Christ, which made the whole towne to honner her funerall with theire cumpanye, was buried at Amwell (according to her desyre) October the 17th day, 1624.


  • William the sonne of Samuell Deards of Ware End, the first that died of the plague and was buried the xxiijth of Julye. Lord have mercy uppon us and turne thy judgment from us for Jesus Christ his sake. Amen.
  • John Sanders himselfe cumming sick from London and goinge to his wife’s mother’s howse in Ware, was forced out of his bed by the inhabitants of Ware and sent into our parish to Samuel Deards his Howse, where he died of the plague, buried August xvijth.


  • Edward Swan, a yeoman dwellinge about Barkway, beinge persued for some missedemeanor with a warrant from the Lord Cheefe Justice, leaped into the River of Lea to make an escape about Kimberwells neere to the Rye, and so was there drowned on Tuesday the ixth of May, beinge buried with us May xijth.
  • Thomas Collop and Mary his wife swellinge in a howse at Ware End caled the Peacock, havinge lived together allmost forty yeares and gathere by great industry and frugality a great estate, both sickened together within feawe dayes and so dyed leacinge no children behind them. Hee was buryed the eleveth daye of October and she the twelvth of the same, lyinge both together, according to there desyre, in the church yard of Amwell under the sowthe walle neere to the porche.


  • Elizabeth the wife of Richard Hale of Halye, a woman of a good report and in trueth well deservinge, havinge allso had the smalle poxe, fell into a burninge fever and so dies, buried October xxijth.


  • Mistress Izabell Goodman of Hodsdon, widdowe, wife sometyme to Mr. John Goodman whose relict shee lived 24 years, beinge sodenlye taken with an apoplexye as shee was wrightinge a letter, February 23 1628remayned speechlesse above 12 howers then died and was buried the 25th daye of the same moneth, beinge layed by her husband in the chancell at the upper end of the east windowe there to sleape still untill the generall Resurrection.


  • William Pedlye of Hodsdon, draper, a man in the strength of his yearsand flower of his fortunes, beinge high cunstable of Hartford Hundred, dijinge of a burninge feaver was buried the fourth of June late at night, and his funerall kept the next daye at Hodsdon chapell. His bodye was layd in the chancell at Amwell at the entrance therin betwixt the threshold and the preist’s stone, the grave where Nicholas Thorowgood was buried before in Anno 1601. Statutum est omnibus mori semel. (Translation: “It is appointed onto all once to die.”)


  • George Brayne, a sorrye younge fellowe, began and ended the worlde all in one yeare: he was married January 26th, 1629, became a father Maye 29, 1630, was buried January 11th, 1630.


  • William Larkin, a man of allmost score yeares of age, died suddenly after he had eaten his supper uppon New Year’s night and was buried January the second.
  • Elizabeth Willkinson by byrth, Elizabeth Sheafe by marriage, Elizabeth Davis by common fame, Elizabeth Chandler by usuall appellation, neyther mayde wife nor widdowe, after an unquiet lyfe, a languishing sicknesse and a desyred deathe was buried from Hodsdon where for halfe a yeare shee lived and so longe was in dijinge the nyneth of Julye 1632.


  • Marye thw wife of William Kimpton of Hodsdon, a woman of good years, was taken with a sudden apoplexi, whereof languishinge allmost three yeares died and was buried Marche xiijth.
  • Elizabeth Huett, a poore orphant about x yeares of age, put apprenitce to one Anthony Rule of Amwell, died suddenly not without some suspition of violence, and was buried December xxixth, but by command from the coroner the bodye was taken up agayne the last daye of December and searched by an inquest of sworne men, who found no apparent signe of murder, so it was agayne interred.


  • Margarett the daughter of Richard Seabrooke of Hodsdon, a girle about sixe yeares of age, casually drowned in the New River about the Rye, buried July the thrid.
  • John Allen, one of the antient inhabitants of Amwell, aged above foure score yeares, a labouringe man and of good and honest reputation, a pentioner to the Newe River to clense and keepe the head, an old servant to the church to guarde the chappell doore, to controle unrulye boyes and correct intrudinge doggs, livinge allways poorelye but never miserably, died and was buried from Hodsdon December jo.


  • Edward Shadbolt of Amwell, a laboring man of above threescore and ten yeares of age, allwayes a good laborer, no spender, without children, selldome eate good meate or dranke good drinke or wore good cloathes, yet lived and dyed very poore and miserable, buried Maye the xxiijth, 1635.


  • Marye the daughter of Mr. Henrye Northcliffe of Geddings, suddenly changinge, was baptized in the night and dyed presently after and was buried March the xvjth. Shee lyeth in the churche at the west end of the stone of Walter Fader.


  • A mayden childe of Leonard Battle of Ware End, unbaptized, buried in the church by the uppermost women’s seate July 3 1654 [in margin], and a still borne childe of the same man’s buried by the uppermost men’s seate, 1652.


  • Elizabeth the wife of Thomas Hassall, vicar of Amwell, aged 78 yeares and eight moneths, married to hr husband 46 yeares and foure moneths, departed this life Sunday media nocte (Translation: “In the middle of the night”) August 30 and was buried on the South side of the communion table, Tuesday September 1, 1657. Requiescat in pace.
  • Thomas Hassall, vicar of this parish of Amwell where hee had continued resident 57 yeares 7 moneths and 16 dayes in the reigns of Queen Elizabeth, King James and King Charles, departed this life September 24 Thursday and was buried September 26 Saturday, 1657. His body was laiid in the chancell of this church under the preist’s or marble stone.

Non erat ante nec erit post to similis. (Translation: “There was no one previously like thee, nor will there be hereafter.”)

And here shall end the register for the burialls during his dayes.

Edmund Hassall.

This page was added on 10/08/2011.

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  • i’ll certainly consider coming by during a pilgrimage vacation to the UK, and Europe.
    but, for now, i’m on the far end of the States.
    any further information about these Newmans would be most appreciated.

    By kevin newman (11/04/2018)
  • Hello Kevin,
    If you are interested in research using some of HALS resources you can always contact Hertfordshire Archives and make an enquiry https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/libraries-and-archives/hertfordshire-archives-and-local-studies/order-a-document-or-search/order-a-document-or-search.aspx

    By Emma Pearce (30/05/2018)
  • Hello Kevin,
    You will be able to see the record if you come to Hertfordshire Archives at County Hall.

    By Geoff Cordingley (11/04/2018)
  • the “old woman”, wife of William Newman, who died in 1606, may by my kin.
    i would like to review the complete transcript of that record, pertaining to Newman kin.
    i’m having a heck of a time establishing lineage in this time period.

    By kevin newman (09/04/2018)