Henry & Judith Becher of Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire

Henry Becher was the eldest son of Henry Becher and Alice Heron. He is thought to have been born in about 1542, probably in London. In 1541 his father is recorded in the Subsidiary Roll for Walbroke Warde in the Parish of St Swithins. A 1543 will written by William Becher records the same address. By 1559 the family is living in the Mansion House known as The Worm on the Hoop, next door to St Christopher Le Stocks, Broad Street [know Threadneedle St]. In 1580 Henry sold The Worm om the Hoop to Peter Tryden of the Dutch Church. He apparently moved to the Parish of St Mildred and St Mary Wolchurch, London.
Henry was a Haberdasher and a London Alderman like his father. On the 16th of May 1566 at St Christopher Le Stocks he married Judith Riche, the daughter of John Riche of Deptford and Anne Kelke. The first seven of their children were baptised at St Christopher Le Stocks between 1572-1589 and the final child baptised 1n 1590 at Southill, Bedfordshire. In 1597 Henry Becher bought land and the College, Rectory & Mansion house at Fotheringhay from Gamaliel Cruys. This property stayed in the family until it was sold in 1629 to John Browne.
An inventory and list of rooms at Fotheringhay was written after Henry's death on the 1st March 1608 & survives in the Bedfordshire Archives. It can be seen that it must have been a large and impressive house! The Hall. The Best Parlour. The Chamber over the Parlour. The Gallery. The Chamber at the end of the Gallery. The Green Chamber. The Chamber over the Green Chamber. The Parlour. The Chamber over the Little Parlour. The Chamber within that. Another Chamber within that. Little Chamber beyond that. The Chamber next to that. The Chamber over the Churchyard Gate. The Corner Chamber in the Cloister. The Chamber within that. The Higher Corner Cloister Chamber. The Inner Chamber within that. Another High Chamber in the Cloister. THe Chamber Next that. The Chamber at end of the Cloister. Kitchen. Brewhouse. Buttery and Pantry. Cellars and Dairy. Listed contents include a Court Cupboard, crimson velvet cushions embroidered with gold, green velvet cushions, gold taffeta, a 33 yard painted cloth of the Prodigal Son [quite probably the same one listed in his father's inventory], coverlets, curtains, carpets and a painting of Queen Elizabeth.
Judith died in 1615 and they are both buried at Fotheringhay.

Henry BECHER married 16 May 1566 at St Christopher Le Stocks to Judith RICHE. They had 8 known children;
1. Jane BECHER
b. Baptised 23 November 1572 St Christopher Le Stocks
d. Buried at 16 August 1575 St Christopher Le Stocks
2. [Sir] William BECHER
b. Baptised 12 September 1574 St Christopher Le Stocks
d. Buried 22 December 1640 at Renhold, Bedfordshire, England
Sir William Becher married Elizabeth ST JOHN [daughter of Lord Oliver St John & Lady Dorothy Read of Bletsoe on 25th February 1594 at Southill, Bedfordshire. She was buried 15 September at Renhold, Bedfordshire, England. William and Elizabeth Becher had 17 children. From 1603 they were resident at Howbury Hall, although it was not purchased from Edward Gostwick until 1624. They also owned Fotheringhay until 1629. William Becher was Knighted at Kirby in 1619 [it is not known what he did to earn this honour].
3. Edward BECHER
b. Baptised 3 August 1577 St Christopher Le Stocks
d. About 1658. His will was dated 18 March 1655 and probated 15 October 1658.
Was of Peterborough and Longthorpe and did not marry. He was mentioned in his father's will in 1613 and brother William's will in 1640. He matriculated from Peterhouse College Cambridge in 1592 & was admitted to Lincoln's Inn 10 Feb 1595/6.
4. Elizabeth BECHER
b. Baptised 6 July 1580 St Christopher Le Stocks
d. Buried 19 September 1652 at Great Barford, Bedfordshire, England
Elizabeth married on 17th August 1602 at Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire to Thomas ANCSELL/ANSELL of Barford. They had at least 4 children [Thomas, Marie, Henry, Mary ]
5. Frauncis BECHER
b. Baptised 14 April 1583 at St Christopher Le Stocks.
I haven't been able to find out anything further about Frauncis.
6. George BECHER
b. Baptised 17 April 1587 at St Christopher Le Stocks
d. Alive in 1613 as mentioned in mother's will. Mentioned in brother William's will in 1640.
Said to be of Clavering, Co Essex.
Married on 2nd September 1618 at St Mary, Battersea, London to Elizabeth WHYTNEY/WHITNEY. She is said to be the daughter of John WHYTNEY & baptised at Ashdon, Essex on 9th July 1598 [I need to verify this]. They had at least 4 children; Elizabeth [married a Mr Elliott or Mallcott], Dorothy, Henry [married Barbara Nevy & Elizabeth Cox] & George.
7. Ursula BECHER
b. Baptised 5 January 1589 at St Christopher Le Stocks
d. After 1640 as mentioned in the will of Sir William Becher.
Married 26th February 1608 at Fotheringhay, Bedfordshire, England to Matthew ROBINSON of Longthorpe, Peterborough.
8. Dorothy BECHER
b. Baptised 25 October 1590 at Southill, Bedfordshire
d. After 1640 as mentioned in the will of Sir William Becher.
Married 27th November 1610 at Fotheringhay, Northampton to  George KIMPTON/KYMPTON of Weston, Hertfordshire. In 1650 George Kympton settled Howells Farm on Henry Becher [nephew of his wife] & his wife Barbara

Sources: Parish Registers, "The Bechers Through Twelve Generations" by Eve Becher, Newspaper Collections, The Culleton Collection notes on the Becher family [LDS film]



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