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Bosbury in Annals of the Harford Family, 1909

These extracts are taken from from the ANNALS OF THE HARFORD FAMILY edited by ALICE HARFORD, published in London by THE WESTMINSTER PRESS, 411A Harrow Road, W. 1909. Alice Mary Elizabeth Harford was the daughter of John Battersby-Harford, born 28th November 1929, and Mary Charlotte Elizabeth de Bunsen who was born in 1930 in Rome, Italy. They married in 1850 in London and their daughter, Alice, was born in 1852 at Stoke Bishop in Gloucestershire. Her father is recorded in 1871 as a landowner, magistrate and barrister not in practice, living with his family at Pant-y-Curyll (Falcondale) near Lampeter in Cardiganshire. Nearly five years of illness followed and he died at Cimiez, near Nice in southern France on 11th February 1875 confirmed by consular records. The family continued to live at Falcondale until after 1891 and then moved to the Blaise Castle estate at Henbury near Bristol where Alice lived with her widowed mother and two younger sisters, Charlotte Louisa and Agnes Clementine. She would have been in her fifties when she wrote her book. The death of a person named Alice M.E.Harford aged 75 was registered at Bath in 1927.


“THERE is no doubt that the history of a family, which can proudly point to even one scion raised above the crowd by great gifts or great deeds, or even a conspicuous crime, may be worth recording, but the tragedy or comedy of uneventful lives is apt to escape eyes which do not look beyond the surface. May not such lives, however, slowly form a rich and fruitful soil from which may spring men and women who shall be the crown and the perfect blossom of the race?

I desire to record for my own family the scattered notes and clues gathered from old books, old papers, old letters, in the hope that they may one day be used as straw for someone else’s bricks. Horace Walpole wrote in 1775 “I am the first Antiquary of my race. People don’t know how entertaining a study it is. ‘Who begot whom?’ is a most amusing kind of hunting. One recovers a grandfather instead of breaking one’s own neck, and then one grows so pious to the memory of a thousand persons one never heard of before. One finds how a Christian name came into a family, with a world of other delectable erudition.”

Family tradition held that we were lineally descended from John Harford of Bosbury, who, in the reign of Henry VIII, flashes out of obscurity into riches and importance by dint of acquiring spoils from the dissolved Abbeys, but in the third generation his male descendants are blotted out, and his line appears to have ended in Mary Harford, ancestress of the family of Jones-Brydges of Boultibrooke, Co. Radnor, the male line of which is now extinct.

Our ancestors, in good faith, used the Bosbury coat-of-arms, although the Heralds’ College refused to sanction it until the descent could be clearly proved. In the sixties, Frederick Kill Harford printed a pedigree, two links of which — connecting Henry Harford of Bosbury and Charles Harford of Marshfield — were unsound. Further researches showed him serious discrepancies. He laid the evidence before my father, as head of the family, and convinced him, however reluctantly, that the Bosbury descent was disproved. But his own father refused to examine the proofs, or to admit that there could be any discrepancy. For the sake of peace, his son let the matter rest. A letter from Sir Harford Jones of Boultibrooke in 1823 to J. S. Harford, shows that the same tradition of cousinhood between the Harfords of Bosbury and the Harfords of Marshfield existed among the descendants of Mary Harford. Most traditions have grown round a small kernel of truth, and two branches from an original stem seems a possible solution. Marshfield is only a few miles from Castlecombe, the home of Anne Scrope, wife of the first Harford of Bosbury.

Thickly scattered over parts of Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire, in a lesser degree over the Marches of Wales, and as far west as Plymouth, the name of Herford, Harford, or Harvord belonged during the Tudor reigns to a race of yeomen, hardy, prolific, and long-lived. The name, in richly-varied spelling, is apparently derived from the county and town of Hereford in the days when a man’s designation came from the place of his origin. Camden suggests that the city of Hereford took its present name from the Saxon Heer, a host or multitude, crossing a ford; he says the common people called it Hartford. Instances of Harford being written for Hereford frequently occur.

In a treaty between Maud and Stephen, Earl Roger de Hereford is also called Rogerus Harfordie. Walter de Hereford is designated as Walter Harfford [ref. Perrett’s Pedigree].

1372. — Walter Harford, magister de la Elyanore de Bristoll, whose pay was 60 shillings, commanded one of a fleet of 400 vessels sent out by Edward III.

1391. — Richard Harford, Vicar of All Saints, Hereford, established and dedicated a Chantry to the Holy Rood and St. James.[Storer’s Delineation of Glo’stershire]

1415. — In the Roll of Agincourt John Hareford is an Esquire in the train of Sir John Grey [Nicholas’ History of the Battle of Agincourt]

1463. — Will of Robertus Hareforde or Herforde, rector of Newchurch in Romney Marsh, mentions Dom John Hertforde and Dom Reg. Hayreforde. [Doctors Commons]

1511. — Inscription over gateway of Thornbury Castle: This Gate was begun in the Yere of Our Lorde 1511 . . . by me Edward duc of Buckinham erlle of Harforde Stafforde and Northampton. [Rudder’s Glo’stershire]

1520. — To King Henry VIII from John Herford customer [collector of dues and customs] of ye Porte of Plymouth, information concerning movements of ye Emperor’s [Charles V] fleete.

1538. — Philip Harford, a young monk of Evesham, was made Abbot for the purpose of surrendering the Abbey, which he accomplished January 1539-40, receiving in lieu thereof a yearly pension of £240, and the “almnerie” with the buildings and grounds appertaining. He is also called Philip Hawford, alias Ballard, and Ph. Haforde and Hafforde. Bishop Latimer wrote to Cromwell that he would find Harford a true friend. In 1543 he was incumbent of Elmley Lovett, and afterwards became Dean of Worcester. [Gasquet’s Henry VIII. and the English Monasteries, Nash’s Worcestershire, Gairdner’s fitters and Papers of Henry VIII., vol. 14]


Reprinted from Archaeologia Cambrensis, vol. 35, Sixth Series.
published in London by THE WESTMINSTER PRESS, 411A Harrow Road, W. 1909

The Harfords of Bosbury.

DURING the period of storm and upheaval that preceded and accompanied the Reformation, John Harford sided with Henry VIII, and rose to prosperity through the acquisition of Church lands after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Born in 1502-4, his immediate parentage is uncertain, but he was clearly of gentle birth, as he married, circa 1525, Anne, daughter of Sir John Scrope of Castlecombe, Wilts,* and his wife Margaret Wrottesley. Anne had been previously married to Henry Viner or Veinor, who left her a young widow.** In 1558 their son, Henry Viner, was granted the following coat of arms containing the Scrope bearings***: Azure, a bend or, on a chief argent a saltire engrailed gules between two Cornish choughs proper.

* Visitation of Hereford, No. 1442, p. 3.
** Anthony Scrope, her brother, m. Anne Viner; both buried at Colwall. Anne, dau. of Richard Scrope, who d. 1572, niece of Anne Harford, m. Thomas Harford of Castlecombe.
*** Visitation of Wilts.

The name of Harford appears to be a variant of Hereford, which is indifferently spelt Hertford, Hartford, Hariford, Hareford, and Harford, in early chronicles and inscriptions. Camden suggests that the city of Hereford may derive its present name from the Saxon Heer, an army, fording a stream.

John Harford’s arms were admitted by Tonge, Norroy King of Arms (1522 to 1534). The date is not given, but it was probably on the occasion of his marriage, when he received permission to charge his wife’s arms. The coat was, therefore, sable, two bends argent (Harford), on a canton azure, a bend or (Scrope); crest, a demi-eagle or, winged azure, breathing and issuing out of flames, proper.

In 1540 “John Harford of Worcester” rented a pasture called Fforlett, and ten years later the Manor of Bosbury, belonging to the Bishop of Hereford, from that time making his home there. In 1549 he bought of the Protector Somerset two messuages in the city of Hereford belonging to the Church of All Saints. This church had four chantries, one of which, dedicated to the Holy Rood and St. James, had been established by Richard Harford in 1391. [Storer’s Delineation of Gloucestershire]

Other religious foundations, acquired either in his own name or in conjunction with John Farley, were the chantries of Kentish Burcote, of St. Martin’s, and of St. Peter’s churches in Hereford, the Rectory of Tarrington, [Duncumb’s History of Herefordshire] and lands at Bishop’s Frome originally given to maintain a priest. To these must be added the tithes of Avenbury, and the Abbot’s barn belonging to the Cistercian foundation of Abbey Dore. It was built of stone and was not pulled down until 1760.[In the 7th year of Edward VI he acquired Canon Frome and Hampton Bishop]

The Bosbury property was mainly leasehold; the last remnant, New Court, was sold in 1691 [C. J. Robinson’s Mansions and Manors of Herefordshire] to Francis Brydges by Elizabeth, widow of John’s great-grandson, Bridstock Harford, M.P., herself a Brydges by birth.

Twenty-two years later all the male descendants of John Harford and Anne Scrope were either extinct or living in such obscurity that they have not been traced, and the family portraits and heirlooms were inherited by Mary Harford on the death of her half-brother Bridstock in 1713.

For one hundred and fifty years Bosbury remained the home-nucleus and abiding-place of the Harfords. Still a black and white Tudor village, fallen now from the importance it once possessed, and stranded far apart from main roads and modern hurry, it lies hidden in green undulating country among small pastures cut by narrow twisting lanes shadowed by immemorial black-green yews, flowering thorns, and apple-orchards. There are miniature heights and hollows filled with leafage near the scattered cottages, white-plastered, black-timbered, roofed with brown thatch or red weather-stained tiles. Far to the west rise the hills of Wales, and to the east the high sweeping curves of the Malvern range, their uplifted ridges taking marvellous tints of amethyst light and sapphire gloom from the afternoon clouds and sunshine. Separate from the church and south of it stands the square massive tower, more like a fortress than a belfry. Slightly west of the tower, on rough stone steps, is a small St. Cuthbert’s cross of red granite, surmounting a tall shaft. When Cromwell’s soldiers would have destroyed the cross, the Vicar of Bosbury and his parishioners interceded for it, and the cross was spared on the condition that these words, still partly legible, should be cut on it: “Honour not the Cross but honour God for Christ.”

The church is Transitional Norman, and dates, as does the font, from the twelfth century. In the chancel are the early Renaissance tombs of John Harford and Richard Harford by an Italian workman, who cut an inscription on the canopy of the former monument: “I John Guido, of Hereford, made this Tombe with myne own handes.” Slabs in the flooring marked the resting-places of Anne Harford and her grandson Richard, son of Henry.

Five sons and four daughters were born to John Harford, and in 1559 he died. His stone effigy still lies, uninjured, with folded hands, showing a strong shaven profile, eagle nose, and firmly-moulded mouth and chin. He made his will in 1551, leaving his property to his sons, Richard, John, Anthony, omitting Nathaniel and Henry, who were both in holy orders, although Henry was to succeed if his elder brothers’ issue failed. A life interest was left to the widow, and he charges her “to find my said sonne Richard and Kateryn his wieff honest and convenient horse-meate and man’s meate and allso meate and drinke for all his children and one man servante and one woman servante”

Anne Harford survived her husband fourteen years, dying in 1573. In that year Richard Harford caused his father’s elaborate tomb to be made, while his mother lies apart from her husband under a plain slab. The inscription runs:

ANNO . DOMINI . 1573

The four daughters were: Mary, wife of John Webbe of Shakingford; Jane, wife of William Scudamore of Thruxton; [C.J.R.] Martha, and Anne.

Martha Harford was married November 20th, 1559, to Thomas Cave of Moreton-upon-Lugge, at Bosbury, where their infant daughter Anne was christened the following year. Martha Cave’s grandson, Edward Cave of Larport, died 1657, leaving four daughters.

Anne Harford married John Aberford, and lived at Colwall, two miles from Bosbury, as did her brother Anthony. Her baby Anne was baptised in August, 1560, and a year later she herself was buried. A note in the Colwall Register explains: “This Anne was daughter of John Harford of Bosbury and his wife Anne, daughter of Sir J. Scrope.” Anne Aberford grew up and was married at Bosbury, December 31st, 1579, to Edmund Foxe of Leighton Court. An altar tomb at Much Cowarne shows their recumbent effigies, with their offspring depicted round the sides — three sons and seven daughters. The sons were Charles Foxe of Treworgan, Edward and Edmund Foxe of Leighton. [C.J/R.]

As Richard Harford was born in 1526 he must in 1551 have been newly married to his first wife, Katherine Purefoy, [daughter of William Purefoy, co. Northampton] who died childless at Bosbury in July, 1570. The following year Richard married Martha, daughter of Charles Foxe of Brimfield, Co. Salop. She brought him a large dowry, which rendered him independent of the meagre bounty prescribed by his father’s will, and set him free to indulge his taste for architecture and decoration.

Richard Harford 1567
Richard’s portrait at Boultibrooke, dated 1567, shows a dignified Elizabethan figure in black velvet cloak and doublet, the wide outstanding collar trebly wound with a golden chain. Reddish sandy hair, moustache, and beard frame a characteristic self-contained countenance, not lacking in shrewdness. His name and age, forty-one, are inscribed on the canvas. The coat of arms must have been added later, as it impales the arms of Martha Foxe.

In 1566 Richard Harford and his father, then dead, were jointly accused of concealing the advowson of a living from Queen Elizabeth.

The Bishops of Hereford had a summer palace at Bosbury, in which they held great state. It was partly demolished by Bishop Scory (1559-1586), but the arched gateway of red sandstone still exists among farm buildings close to the churchyard. The site was leased to Richard Harford, Steward of the Manor, who undertook to build a new house, though not on the same spot. The next Bishop [Westfaling, 1586-1602] disapproved of what had been done, complaining of the new building “that though it might fit a good Knight or Gentleman, yet it came short of a Bishop.” Richard built his dwelling-house at the end of the village, from which it is divided by a deep slowly-winding stream edged with bushes. It is now the “Crown Inn,” and contains a long panelled room of his building. It is carefully preserved, much as he left it, from the stone-mullioned Tudor window and the thick beams across the ceiling to the square panelling of black oak which covers the walls. Above the great fireplace the oak is carved into arcades and pillars, and bears the initials R. H. and M. H., with the date of 1571; the same date is also cut on the long oaken table.

[The beautiful oak table is in The Old House Museum in Hereford, 2020. It was bequeathed to the County of Hereford by Philip Baylis Esquire of Ledbury and came to the Museum in 1929.]

Harford oak table 1571 Harford oak table 1571
Four carved shields, painted with armorial bearings, were placed within arches over the mantelpiece; the first, now vanished, held the arms of Harford; next in order came those of Scrope, Wrottesley, Foxe. Armorial bearings were also cut on bosses at the intersection of the roof-beams: again, one is missing; that of Harford. Probably both boss and shield were removed when the house was given up or sold.

In 1575 Richard Harford died, leaving no issue, [Will proved March 26th, 1576] and three years later his widow erected a canopied tomb north of the altar in Bosbury Church, facing that of his father, and evidently designed by John Guido. Richard’s longer, narrower head with pointed beard, shows no likeness to his father’s effigy, and he probably resembled the Scropes. He lies on his right side, in a long gown, small ruff, and flat cap, gazing across the chancel, while Martha’s figure is oddly poised above him, as if she were determined to be seen. She is lying on her back, level with his left shoulder, holding an open book; a clear-cut oval face with a coif on her small head.

Martha, who appreciated matrimony, took a second, and then a third husband. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth she brought a chancery suit against the family of her second husband, Michael Hopton of Canon Frome, regarding her jointure, being then the wife of John Berrow of Awre, Co. Gloucester. [Harl. MS. 6726]

[On 1st June, 1588, Martha Harford, widow, Co. Hereford, contributed £25 to the fund for defence against the Spanish Armada.]

Canon Frome was acquired by John Harford, and having been settled on Richard’s widow at his decease, may have been retained by the heirs of her second husband.
[A contemporary Richard Harford may have been a cousin, but there is no proof to support such a theory. The elder Richard took his B.A. degree at Merton in 1544 (Fasti Oxonienses), and between 1545 and 1551 he held three Prebends in Hereford Cathedral (Rev. F. Havergal). He subsequently became Archdeacon of St. David’s, and at his death left lands near Tewkesbury to Merton College.]

Nathaniel, the second son of John and Anne Harford, became a priest and lived a quiet, blameless life during six reigns, in the crowded years and the ferment of minds that mark this brilliant, stormy period. He held the Prebend of Putston Major in Hereford Cathedral in 1559, the year of his father’s death, and again in 1581. Born in 1527 and dying in December, 1632, the Vicar of Bosbury wrote of him in the church register: “Senex et venerandus presbyter agens aetatis suae annum sextum super centesimum dormivit in Domino.” [An old and venerated priest, in his hundred and sixth year, slept in the Lord]

John, the third or fourth son, may have gone abroad, for the only glimmer of light on his history comes from a letter written “from Otforde in Kent this xxiii of Maye 1552,” by the Duke of Northumberland to Sir William Cecil, Secretary of State:

“Whereas the bearer, John Harford, hath a sonne which he hath allwayes keppt at Scolle and is very handsomly lernyd, and is nowe most desyrous to send him over sea as well to see the trade of lernynge in those partes as obtayne knowledge of other tongues, he requireth lysence of the Kynge Majestie that hys said sonne may for the space of too or thre years apply his tyme as well in Parys and Orleans as at padwaye (Padua) and other places . . .

“Your loveinge ffriend


There is no certainty whether this licence was granted, as the request occurred at a time when there was a gap in the records, but it is extremely probable, for towards the end of Edward VI’s reign the Duke was all powerful.

Henry, the third or fourth son of John Harford, was born in 1531. He took holy orders, and held the Prebend of Moreton Magna in Hereford Cathedral from 1561 to 1565, when he resigned it and moved to Boyton, near Warminster, Wilts. His Bible, printed in 1581, still exists; the blank pages contain entries of family events, and autographs of his descendants for three generations, ending with Mary Harford the sole survivor. Over margins and title-pages in firm square Elizabethan script runs the oft-repeated motto : “Hope . helpeth . heavye . Hartes . sayth . Henry . Harforde”; hinting at a life of many sorrows in which a great hope upheld and comforted him.

family tree

The page of registers is as follows :

Henrye Harforde was marryed to Katerin my Wyfe at Stoghton (Stockton), in the Countye of Wiltes upon a mundaye, being ye tenthe daye of Januarye in the yeare of our lorde God one thousande fyve hundred threescore and eyghte and had by her thease children following:

Richard Harforde myne eldeste sonne was borne at Boyton in the Countye of Wiltes upon a frydaye being Saynct Katerine’s daye, and the twenty-fifth day of November about fouer of the clock in the morning in the yeare of our lorde God one thousand fyve hundred threescore and nyne whose Godfathers weare S[i]r Richarde fflynte, parson of Shavington, Richard potticarye of Stoghton, clothier, and Joane Mumpesson the wyfe of Thomas Mumpesson of Corton, and he dyed the fourthe daye of December in the yeare of our lorde God aforesayd, and lyeth buryde in the parrisshe churchyarde of Boyton aforesaid.

Barborowe Harforde my daughter was borne at Boyton aforesaid upon a wensday about twoo of the clock in the morninge, being the seconde daye of Maye in the yeare of our lorde God one thousande fyve hundred threescore and (eleven), whose godfather was Roberte Mowen of Boyton.

“Elizabeth Harford her boo(ke.)
This is Henrye Harford’s booke.
Bradstoke Harford his bocke. Amen
Bridstocke Harforde his booke,
    hand, and pen. Amen.
Mary Harford her Boock,
The Lord in heven uppon her loock.”

A second Richard must have followed Barborowe, for his tombstone at Bosbury records his father’s cry of grief across three centuries.

Solum Superest Sepulchrum.
[The tomb alone remains]


Hope . Helpeth . Heavye . Hartes . Sayth . Henrye . Harforde."
[From a rubbing by F. K. Harford]

The Prebendary probably remained some years in Herefordshire, marrying secondly Alice Bradstock, or Bridstock, whose son, born in 1607, bore that name. Eventually he returned to Wiltshire, where he died.

Two sons of the first marriage born at Warminster are not mentioned in the Bible record: Henry, baptised May 7th, 1579, who must have died as an infant, and a second Henry, baptised December 26th, 1551. Of him little is known except that he survived his father and was living in 1634. Old Henry’s will, made in February, 1614-15, [Proved November 15th, 1615] left his elder son an annuity of £10 charged on his property in the Counties of Hereford and Gloucester, payable by Alice, his widow, and the heirs of his and her marriage. Anne, Henry junior’s daughter, would get a legacy if she should live to the age of twenty-one, and any of her brothers or sisters the same. Bridstock Harford made out a pedigree in 1634 for the Heralds’ College, in which there is no mention of his half-brother Henry’s descendants, therefore the aforesaid Anne must have died in childhood and had no successors. In 1626 Henry Harward or Harvord held land in Southwick and North Bradley, Wilts; and in 1637 messuages at Draycot Cerne and Langley Burrell were held by Jeremie or Jeronimus Harford, John Harford, and Henry Harford.

The name at that period was so widely spread over parts of Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Wilts, that it would seem hardly possible to prove their descent from the old Prebendary.

He himself was buried at Warminster on April 6th, 1615, having died at Boreham. Alice Harford proved his will in London and eventually settled at Hereford with her little son.

Bradstock or Bridstock Harford matriculated at Lincoln College, Oxford, in his seventeenth year (1624), and ten years later took his degree as Bachelor of Physic. During the Civil War he was violently in favour of the Parliament, and probably used his influence to protect the family monuments and property at Bosbury. In a secret meeeting of Cromwell’s adherents held at Leeds after the Restoration, the Bridstock Harfords, father and son, were named as “faithful to the good cause.” A report, sent to Charles II’s government of a projected rising in 1663, describes their late conduct as having been highly suspicious and themselves as being implacable enemies of the King. The father is accused of having betrayed many things to the Parliamentary side when Hereford was garrisoned by the Royal troops, and of having held office during the Commonwealth. A portrait, at Boultibrooke, of a dark, impetuous, determined young fellow, represents Bridstock Harford at that period.

The old physician lived to be eighty-eight, and saw William and Mary on the throne. Honoured and respected, his hot blood cooled down, and all his interests centred in the City of Hereford. A tablet over Williams’ Hospital, rebuilt in 1675, bore the inscription.

HAEC TRIA SUNT OMNIA. [These Three are All-in-All]

He and all his family were buried in the Cathedral. Three seventeenth century brasses are in the south aisle of the choir. In 1842, when the arch from the south transept to aisle was being taken down, it was found to retain signs of fresco-painting, Eleven coats of arms were placed at intervals, and they were carefully copied by one of the Canons. The third shield was described as: Argent, two bends or, an impossible coat, and it was considered probable that the arms were those of Harford of Bosbury: sable, two bends argent, on a canton azure a bend or. [Havergal’s Fasti Herefordenses]

Dr. Harford’s first wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Hereford of Sufton, a picturesque timbered mansion still existing as a farm-house. She bore him a son in 1634, christened Bridstock after his father in the characteristic Harford way. Dying on February 23rd, 1699, her brass thus describes her:

“A grave tender-hearted Matron here doth lie,
Who to God and Christ made her own Elegie.
Death thought to have surprised her pious cries,
But was deceaved, for first she praid, after dies.”

Joyce, her successor, died January 19th, 1680, and her epitaph is still less poetical:

“Here lies she who’s Soul to Heav’n’s fled, yet her grave,
That is entrusted with her sacred Reliques shall have
This true Inscription, that it contains the dust
Of one that was Vertuous, Pious, Chaste, and Just.”

Elizabeth, “daughter of Bridstocke Harford,” who married John, son of Henry Hyett of The Broom, Eardisland, in 1688, must have been daughter or granddaughter of the old man. Dr. Harford died in 1695, and his monument in the south transept bore the inscription :

[No garden grows a herb
against the power of Death]

His only son, Bridstock, became a barrister-at-law, and with Paul Foley represented the City of Hereford in Parliament in the 19th year of Charles II’s reign. Dying in his father’s lifetime (1683), [Will proved June 3rd, 1686] he was under fifty, but had found leisure to marry three wives. The first was Catherine, “second sister to Sir Compton Reade of Shipton in ye county of Oxon, baronet,” as her epitaph explains. The Cathedral poet wrote a verse in her honour, March, 1665:

A pure Chaste wife under this Marble lyes,
Whose Vertues live although her Bodie dies;
Farewell, farewell now (oh happy Soule),
Sith none but God above can death controule."

She left two sons, Bridstock Harford, third and last of the name, and John, who matriculated at St. John’s, Oxford, on March 18th, 1658. The Chancellor’s letter, read in Convocation, October 3rd, 1673, on behalf of John Harford, M.A., asks that he may have leave to accumulate the degrees in Physic. There is no record of his having done so, but his tombstone described him as “professor of medicine.” A slab, formerly let into the pavement of St. Catherine’s aisle in Hereford Cathedral, recorded the death of John Harford, November 21st, 1681, with the motto:

[His soul he gave to God : the husk alone is here]

The Oxford document has a curious note on its reverse side, confusing him with his ancestor, John Harford of Bosbury:
“This John Harford purchased much of the monasteries dissolved by Henry VIII. He married Anne, daughter of Sir John Scroop of Castlecombe, third in descent from Richard, Lord Scroop of Upsall; he had issue four sons and four daughters, and died 1559.”

After the death of Catherine Reade, Bridstock Harford, M.P., married Dorothy Davies of Monachty, Co. Radnor, widow of John Vaughan of Hergest, and when she died without issue he contracted a third marriage with Elizabeth Brydges (widow of John Dannet of Bosbury), who survived him. [Will proved May 31st, 1742] Her only child, Mary Harford, was born in 1681.

The third Bridstock Harford, Mary’s half-brother, died a bachelor in 1713 at the age of sixty. That was not entirely his fault, for in January, 1678, Bridstock Harford, of the City of Hereford, and Frances Bright of the same place, spinster, jointly applied to the Vicar- General of Canterbury for a special licence enabling them to get married either at St. Martin’s, Hereford, or at Dormington or Weobley. Both ages were given as “"about thirty-one,” which, at all events, was true of the expectant bridegroom. Whether one or both drew back at the last moment is a mystery, but the application was cancelled. Perhaps this ill-fated attempt prejudiced Bridstock against matrimony, contrary to the practice of his ancestors. In 1702 he dwelt in a house in St. Owen’s Street, and was described as Bachelor of Physic. [Mayor of Hereford, 1697] Tradition relates that he founded almshouses in the same street in 1699. [Quoted by J.C.R.] With his death ended the male line of Henry Harford of Bosbury.

Mary Harford married, as his third wife, Lieutenant-Colonel James Jones, son of Griffith Jones, of Trewern. He fought at Blenheim and received a sword of honour from Queen Anne. From this marriage the late Sir Harford James Jones-Brydges, Bt., was descended, and with his death in 1891 Mary Harford’s male line became extinct. She herself died in 1755. After her husband’s death in 1713, Mary married Dr. Broughton, of Kington, by whom she had two daughters. Neither of them left issue. Edward Lucas-Scudamore, of Kentchurch, is her present representative through his grandmother, Sarah Laura Jones-Brydges.

HENRY HARFORD, 1531-1615, will proved, London, 10 Nov., 1615 ; bur. at Warminster; M. i. Stockton, 1568, Katherine ......., and had issue a; M. ii. Alice Bradstock, or Bridstock, who survived him, and had issue b :

a. RICHARD HARFORD, B. and D. 1569.
    RICHARD HARFORD, B. 157- ; Buried at Bosbury, 1601.
    HENRY HARFORD, B. and D. 1579.
    HENRY HARFORD, B. 1581 ; living 1634 ; issue, ANNE HARFORD, B. before 1615.

b. BRIDSTOCK HARFORD, M.D., 1607-1695 ; M. i. Elizabeth, dau. of Richard Hereford of Sufton, D. 23 Feb., 1669; M. ii. Joyce , D. 19 Jan., 1686, and had by the former:

    BRIDSTOCK HARFORD, M.P., 1634-1683 ; M. i. Catherine Reade, D. 1665, and had issue a; M. ii. Dorothy Davies, j. p. ; M. iii. 1680, Elizabeth Brydges, widow of Thomas Dannett of Bosbury, and had issue b:

        a. BRIDSTOCK HARFORD, 1654-1713, s. p.
           JOHN HARFORD, M.D., D. 1681, s. p.

        b. MARY HARFORD, 1681-1755 > M i. Lt.-Col. James Jones, D. 1713, and had issue Harford Jones, whom see later; M. ii. Dr. Boughton, D. 1765, and had two daughters, of whom Mrs. Kinsey was the survivor. Neither left issue.

another family tree

There only remains Anthony, youngest son of John Harford, of whose life little is known. A fine brass in Old Colwall Church, where he was buried in 1590, represents him in armour, with his wife, Elinor Drewe, [Called Elizabeth on her monument, but Elinor in the register] who died the previous year in childbirth. Anthony Scrope, brother of Anne Harford, and his wife, Anne Scrope, were apparently also living at Colwall, as they were buried there in 1558 and 1559 respectively. Old Colwall Church is built of red sandstone, partly modern, but the south aisle is Transitional Norman. A fine yew, of great antiquity, grows near the west wall of the tower. Anthony and Elinor left five children, three of whom grew up: Richard, Anthony, Mary, who married a Wright; John, baptised November, 1586, and Elinor in June, 1589.

Richard, the eldest son, went to Holmer, near Hereford, and afterwards to Bosbury, thence during the Civil War to Somersetshire. [F. K. Harford’s Notes] Mary, his wife, survived him; she was buried at Pipe in 1649, and her will proved December 2nd of the same year. They had three daughters: Magdalen, married at Bosbury in 1629 to Brian Acton, of Lyde; Mary, wife of Thomas Seaborne, and Elizabeth, living at her mother’s death. To the fate of John, like that of his uncle and namesake, there is no clue.

Anthony Harford, second of the name, settled at Bosbury, and married Eleanor Stafford of Broadfield, Berks, widow of Francis Welsburne. She died in October, 1631, greatly beloved.

[As a vapour, life is fleeting, Think how brief thine own may be.}

George Wall, Vicar of Bosbury, made a Latin entry in the register to the effect that “she was, by me and all her neighbours, deservedly remembered.” She left two sons.

Anthony Harford, third of the name, left Bosbury, and took holy orders. Like all his family, he strongly upheld the Parliamentary side, and felt the new wine stirring in the old bottles. In 1631 a remark of his, in a sermon preached in Dorsetshire, came to the ears of the Privy Council, and he was haled before that august body, but failed to explain it to their satisfaction. It ran thus:— “Juvenile consilium, privatum commodum is a coat fit cut for this kingdom.” It may be a dark allusion to the fate of King Rehoboam, who lost his crown through the counsels of young men. That is the opinion of a learned divine, who says that a Jewish proverb counted “consilium juvenile” as one of the four evil things. He sees a political application of the phrase in the conduct of Charles I, who entrusted power to such a man as Buckingham, and refused to redress popular grievances, which might be regarded as a proof that the King and his Counsellors sought their own advantage instead of the good of the people. The explanations of “Master Anthony Harford, Curate and Preacher of Beaminster,” were possibly more disloyal than the original sermon, for he was sentenced to remain in custody until further order. [Reg. Council. Car. I, vol. viii, p. 199]

He died at Dartmouth in 1655, and was buried at St. Saviour’s, having made his will in August of that year.[Proved May, 1656] He left his son Daniel “lands in Ireland, purchased of the Parliament.” This Daniel Harford matriculated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, November 7th, 1651. [Fasti Oxonieneses] He probably settled on the Irish property, and his son was loyal to the last Stuart King, for in 1698, among a list of the officers of ten regiments broken in Ireland by order of William III, appears the name of Cornet Daniel Harford, Brigadier W. Wolseley’s Regiment of Horse, in the service of James II. The elder Daniel’s brother John matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford, November 19th, 1651, and the portion bequeathed him by his father consisted of “the moneys I lent the Parliament.” He is said to have married Blanche Kyrle — a Herefordshire name. The Rev. Anthony’s will also alludes to a third son, Nathaniel; his daughters, Maria and Elizabeth; and his son-in-law, William Baylie. His brother Richard, who is also mentioned, had a son, Emanuel Harford, who matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford, June 15th, 1657, and two daughters, Hannah and Anstice.

[Emanuel Harford, ejected incumbent of Upton Noble, Co. Somerset, died at Taunton in 1706, aet. 66. His age tallies with that of Emanuel Harford who went to Oxford in 1657, great great grandson of John Harford, of Bosbury - Nonconformist Memorials Saml. Palmer, 1803]

last family tree

Transcribed by Barry Sharples, 2013