Barley. Andrew Willett

Colin Wilson

‘For the use of the poor’ is an inexact description. It usually means that the property would be let, with the income distributed among the poor. Occasionally there is the extra wording ‘where they could live rent free’, which would indicate almshouse provision. Cussans notes that Andrew Wilet DD gave a house and half acre of land for the benefit of the poor, suggesting no almshouses provision was made.

There is an 1890 photograph of Willett’s cottage in Wilkerson’s book. It shows a plain thatched single storey building, with rough-cast walls. There are three small windows and a door. It has not been ascertained if it was an almshouse.

A possible candidate is Andree Willett or Andrew Willett. The Ancestry website has an entry for Andree who was clerk (i.e. priest) in Barley who died in about 1622. There is a death record for Rev Andrew Willett who was born in Cambridgeshire in 1562, and was buried in St Margaret of Antioch churchyard, Barley, in December 1621. The Find a Grave website has an image of him. This does not confirm he is the donor, of course, and his will does not seem to mention any such gift.


History of Hertfordshire, by John Edwin Cussans
Page 19
Originally published Stephen Austin & Sons 1870-81
Republished E P Publishing in collaboration with Hertfordshire County Library 1972

Barley: an English Village’, pub J C Wilkerson
Page 7
Printed S G Hales & Son, Royston

Find a Grave website

Ancestry website

This page was added on 18/01/2022.

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