Winter hasn’t been so bad. Lots of biting frosts, giving way to sunny calm days where it’s rather pleasant to be outside, and no great worry of sunburn.
This weekend we helped our friend Jane to move into a small property in our area. The catch was that she has a long thin driveway edged with sharp rocks that look like shark’s teeth.
The removal van couldn’t get down the driveway, and the ground was too soft to come in any other way. So they had to carry all her gear down the driveway to the house — in fact to the garages at the other end of the house, because the outgoing owners had put back settlement as they were late moving out and cleaning up.
I and my son Owen gave the removalists a hand, lugging boxes and furniture for a couple of hours. That’s my workout for the week! Rather sore and sorry at the end.
Later, I had the back out the driveway because the previous owners were coming the other way, and I managed to blow a tyre on the aforementioned teeth. Bugger!
Apart from that, my energies have been going into managing the Goulburn Club, and pursuing my other hobby of family history.
The latter is driving me crazy right now. I feel like I’m some miles into a wild goose chase.
My family were originally Hewets, which family included the Lord Mayor of London, Sir William Hewet. His father was supposedly Edmund or Edward, but there’s no sign of him in the records in Yorkshire where he’s meant to have lived.
I’ve wondered for a while whether the Hewets were related to the de Haut family of Kent, who have pretty good records back to the Norman Conquest in 1066.
I have seen an eighteenth-century book which said the Hewets originally came from Kent, and the Lord Mayor married an heiress from Kent.
The two families have very similar patterns of boys’ names. And names were sticky at this time; you always named your sons after your father, yourself, your brothers, and your father-in-law if you ended up with his estates.
The Haut/Haute/Hawte family were close relatives of Elizabeth Woodville, queen of Edward IV, and her family got the lion’s share of royal largesse during Edward’s reign.
This was during the Wars of the Roses. When the Lancastrians got the upper hand again, the Woodvilles and Hauts and Greys were persecuted and their estates seized at the first excuse. Spelling was wildly variable at this time, so maybe some branches of the family chose to de-emphasise their links to the Hauts of Kent. The Hauts came somewhat back into favour when Henry Tudor seized power.
Sir William Hawte was a minor renaissance composer, and his son Thomas was knighted at the wedding of Prince Arthur (the younger brother of Henry VIII, who died soon after his wedding). Sir Thomas Haute himself died the next year (1502), leaving young children. His wife’s father was appointed as the ward of the children, and they seem to have lived to her family’s seat of South Mimms in Hertfordshire.
The heralds’ records say that these Haute estates went to Sir Thomas’ son, another Sir William, and that his son Edmund died young so his estates were divided between his daughters. There is no record of other children; the heralds didn’t always record younger sons as they would have no lands and were expected to drop out of the gentry.
I have wills of a Thomas Hewet of South Mimms, and a Robert who is clearly his brother who ended up in Bedfordshire. These look like additional children of Sir Thomas who died in 1502. Another brother called Edmund would fit in very neatly there — I just can’t find such a link. I have lots of things that imply the connection, and nothing that actually excludes it, but at this stage it’s still a hypothesis.
Much more fun than cryptic crosswords, and no guarantee of a solution…