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The White Hart

The following items are extracts taken from the deeds and papers appertaining to the White Hart and its attached land.

White Hart - believed to be about 1895 with Sally Lawes. Mr Bailey is standing by the trap

The earliest date that is mentioned is 1741. Edward Hobbs of Hanslope was a gardener by trade, but either by inheritance or by hard work became the owner of the White Hart, and sold the property to Richard Clare in 1741, for the sum of £56 15s 6d.

Richard Clare (1) was a married man with one son, named Richard (2) after himself, and a wife named Elizabeth. Richard (the son) also was married and he had a son named Richard (3) after himself. When Richard Clare (1) made his will on the 1st August 1757, he left the White Hart to his son Richard (2), and then in due course to his grandson Richard (3), but not to Elizabeth his wife.

In 1770 there is reference to the burial books of Sherington, these are the extracts:

          "From Lady Day 1770, to Lady Day 1771"
          (the period that the book covers)

Buried, Wm. son of Richard and Elizth. Clare, Dec. ye 31st.

Then again in 1793:

Elizabeth, widow of Richard Clare, June 6.
Ann Clare, April ye 3 1781.

This document was signed by the Rev Pretyman, Rector of Sherington.

Documents like this were obtained to prove that the owners of property had indeed died, there being no government documents to prove a death had taken place. The death certificate had not been invented.

On the 28th May 1784 Richard Clare (2) made his will and his executors were Elizabeth Clare and Richard Clare (3).
It is not clear whether there was by this time another Elizabeth Clare but his grandmother was still alive. The will was drawn up by Thomas Bever Doctor of Laws, and witnessed by the Rev. Luke Hoslop (sic) and B.D.Clork (sic). This will was proved on June 14th 1784.

For some reason unknown, Elizabeth had herself proven as Richards relict by Joseph Burnham, a notary public.

The William referred to above was in fact Richard (2) as he did die on December 31st 1793.

It now appears that The White Hart passed out of the hands of the Clare family, after some 70 years of ownership 1741 – 1811.

Dated August 10th 1811, Richard Clare of Sherrington (sic) victualer, brother at law of the late William Clare (Richard 2 ) and William Borton victualer, of Castlethorpe & William Foster (who was a nominated trustee) purchased the White Hart for the sum of £485-0-0 or £250-0-0, both sums are mentioned, William Richard Clare may have died before the sale had been concluded as there is reference to the Inn being sold by his executors John & Joseph Morris.

Before he bought the property William Borton had leased the Inn for 5/- for one year. So it appears to have been bought by Borton but not sold by Clare & Foster, although they had attempted to sell, and had the papers drawn up.

White HartIn 1817 new names appear, the White Hart was leased to Peregrine Nash and George Peregrine Nash, for the sum of 5/- for one year. This would have been prior to the pub being sold to the said P. Nash and his son G.P.Nash for the sum of £360-00. (there appears to have been something strange here, because it states that The Nash’s paid Clare’s executors £485 for the property) The contract was drawn up and signed between Joseph Morris and John Morris(deceased) of Ampthill & the late William Borton of Castlethorpe & Sherington, and The Nash’s of Bedford for £500-00. William Smith had died in 1815.

How he fits into the picture is not known. Probably another executor.

1829, May 26th. This may have nothing to do with the White Hart, but the will of William Smith, who died on March 19th 1829 was a grazier of Bedford. His wife was Frances Smith & his daughter was Frances Thomas (nee Smith) her Husband was William Thomas, Frances & William were W.Smith’s executors. His will was made on February 3rd 1823. & the witnesses were Thos, Ann & Benjamin Kilpin. William Smith also had Samuel Edwards as a tenant.

There next follows an extract from the burial book of the Parish of St. Cuthberts, Bedford, for the year 1834. This is important for proof of the death of Peregrine Nash. He could only be proved dead by a sworn affidavit from the incumbent of the church where he was buried, there being no such thing as death certificates until 1837.

Peregrine Nash, St. Cuthberts, December 5th, (87 years)
signed W.H.Bone Officiating minister.
Mary Nash, St. Cuthberts, July 11th, (87 years)
signed John Wing Officiating minister

Signed by Henry Tatton, Rector.

1841, 2nd January. New names appear. A covenant was drawn up between G. P. Nash, Joseph Nash & George P Nash the sons of G.P.Nash as well as noted past owners Richard Borton, Richard Clare, John Simcoe & Charles Chester.

1844, June 18th. George Peregrine Nash, died.

1845, There is an abstract of deeds dated for this year.

1872, In November of this year, Sherington had its "Shocking Murder" and the Coroners Court was held in the bar of the White Hart. James Sharp, a farm worker from Emberton, killed James Boon a road worker from Sherington. (To find out more about the murder, click here.)

1816, June 24th. Noted are the extracts from the will of John Morris

1876, April 27th. Another new name, this time an old Sherington family. Frederick John Field made his will on this date. He died on May 10th 1878 & on June 21st his will was proved.
F. J. Field of Sherington, farmer and maltster, sold to Henry Hill for the sum of £1,000 The White Hart, and brewhouse, stable, hovel, yards, outbuildings and appurtenances, occupied by William Borton, John Simco and H. G. Brown. The cottage on the south side was occupied by Elizabeth Brook and the cottage on the west side by George Cupps. All for £1,000-00.

The outbuildings of the White Hart just after work started to convert them into Bed and Breakfast accommodation

1896, April 29th. This is a property conveyance. The trustees of John Field, deceased, conveyed to Mr.Henry Hill, dated September 2? 1896. The contract between Robert Battams of Snelsdon, Lavendon, farmer & Thomas Tandy Coles of Olney, grocer and wine merchant, Henry Hill, Innkeeper of Chicheley. (R.Battams and T.T.Coles would have been J. Field's executors.)

1902, April 23rd, Henry Hill, Innkeeper of Chicheley died, his will was dated November 14th 1899. His executors were David Feasey (deceased), Frederick Wingrave, and David Feasey(son ?). Eliza Hill inherited The White Hart, but it seems that one Sarah Lawes, Henry Hill's niece became land-lady at this time, on a yearly tenancy.

1914, June 23rd. Upon the death of Eliza Hill, the White Hart was sold at auction for £850-00 by the surviving executor Frederick Wingrave, of Woburn Sands, who was a grocer by trade. The other executor, David Feasey, had died on January 31st, 1912. The premises were sold to Messrs, Hopcroft & Norris of Brackley, brewers of wines and spirits. Then it appears that the White Hart was immediately sold on to The Brewery & Commercial Investment Trust. It also appears that later, Sarah Lawes received £290-00 compensation from the brewers Hopcroft & Norris and also £90-00 from the Brewery & Commercial Co. on October 6th 1914, probably as payment for vacating the premises before her lease expired.

It is not clear now what happened to the White Hart, but it would appear that along with other land it passed into the hands of the Chester family, of Chicheley, probably in 1926. There is a reference to that date and a deed concerning Mary Durnford, (a member of the Chester family) dated 6th December 1926.

White Hart 1947, September 26th. Harold William Whitton, the Chester Estate manager, enabled a deed to be drawn up, referring to a parcel of land, 29 poles in area attached to the White Hart, which was part of the Chester Chicheley estates, owned jointly by Anthony James Bagot Chester and Dorothy Mary Durnford. This parcel to be sold to the Chesham & Brackley Breweries Ltd. Price undisclosed.

1959, October 31st. The Chesham & Brackley Breweries Ltd. conveyance to Phipps Northampton Brewery Co. Ltd., shown in a catalogue under the heading of Sherington, that land near the White Lion (sic) (probably a printing error) was conveyed from A. J. B. Chester and trustees to Phipps on November 17th 1947. The tenant's name at that time was A. A. Wise and the land was let along with the public house, which had a full licence with a rent of £20-00 per annum.

1882 - 1946. There is an abstract of title covering this period.

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Latest Revision: 8 February 2008