Back to The Acorn Archive




Almshouse Site, Kingsland Road

Hawks & Beetles Farm


Samuel Harwar, son of Thomas Harwar of Bridgemore in the County of Chester was apprenticed to Randall Harwar in 1644, so was well over 70 when he died in 1704. He was admitted to the freedom in 1651 and was on and off the Livery from 1662 to his date of death.


After election as Warden in 1684, he was dismissed from office and removed from the Livery by King James II, but in 1688 was allowed to return on taking the Oath of Allegiance, and was then re-elected Warden in 1689. He afterwards served as Master for the year 1693-94.


Up to the date of the Fire of London he lived in Threadneedle Street and after, at Shoreditch, described as a Warehouseman. He had a wife Judith, with whose assistance he eventually provided the Company with a Clerk from 1737 to 1773, named Thomas Hardwick.


Samuel Harwar's Will

Samuel Harwar left 1,700 with which to build and support Almshouses and 12 inmates - half men and half women - half from the poor of the Company and half from the Parish in which the Almshouses should be.


He laid the onus of erecting the buildings and purchasing lands upon his Executors, but directed them to convey both to the Company to carry out his trust.


"IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN this twenty eighth day of January Anno Domi one thousand seven hundred and three in the second year of the reign of our Sovereign Lady Anne by the grace of God of England Scotland France and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith &c. I SAMUEL HARWAR Cittizen and Draper of London being aged and Infirm of body but of sound and disposing mind and memory blessed be God for the same do make and ordain my last Will and Testamt. in manner and form following (that is to say) I committ my Soule into the hands of God Almighty my creating assuredly trusting in the meritts of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for the attaining everlasting Life my body I comitt to the earth to be decently buryed according to the direction by me given in a paper under my hand for that purpose and at the discretion of my Executors hereinafter named and as for touching and concerning all such Estate both reall and psonall which it hath pleased God to bless me withall I give devise & bequeath settle order & dispose of the same in manner following (that is to say) ........


ITEM I give & bequeath unto my Extors hereafter named & the survivors or survivor of them & the extors or admirs of such survor the sume of Seaventen hundred pounds of Lawfull money of England In trust that my sd extors & the survivors or survor of them & the extors or admors of such survor shall & will by & with the advice of my Overseers hereafter named or the survor of them as soon as they conveniently can after my decease lay out the sume of one hundred pounds more or less part of the sd sume of Seaventeen hundred pounds in the pchse of the Inhance of a piece of ground upon one of the roads leading to Bow or Ware within a Mile or two of the Citty of London for the erecting and building Twelve Almes house in such manner as & according to the moddall of the Almes houses given by Mr. Pemmel to the Drapers Company which are situate near the turning from Bow rose to Bednall Green. And my Will & mind is that in the building and erecting the twelve Almes houses there shall be expended & laid out by my said exors the sume of four hundred pounds or thereabouts other pt of the sd Seaventeen hundred pounds which sd piece of ground & Almes houses I doe order and direct my Extors or the survors or survor of them or the extors or admors of such survor to convey as Councell shall advise unto the Company of Drapers London & their successors for the dwelling or habitation of three poor men of the Company of Drapers & three poor Women Widows of members of the said Company & three poor men & three poor women of the Pish where the sd Almes houses shall be situated & such persns the Cort of Assistants of the sd Drapers Company for the time being shall nominate & appoint being fifty yeres old at the least. And I do further order & appoint that my sd extors or the survors or survor of them & the extors or admors of such survor shall with the remaindr of the sd sume of Seaventeen hundred pounds by the advise of my Overseers or the survivor of them hereafter named purchase an estate of Inheritance of Sixty pounds per annum or thereabouts within fifty miles of the Citty of London to be conveyed to the sd Drapers Company & their Successors as Councell shall advise for the maintance & support of the six poor men & six poor women in the sd Almes Houses for ever in manner following (that is to say) In Trust that the Cort of Assistants of the sd Company for the time being by & out of the rents and proffitts of the sd Estate to be pchsed shall from time to time monthly by themselves or Agents pay & distribute to the six poor men & six poor women or such number of them as shall be in the sd Almes Houses six shillings a peice & once every yere to each of them a load of good Coales & upon a yearly visitation to each of them one shilling apiece.


ITEM Whereas I have formerly given to St. Thomas Hospitall the sume of thirty pounds I do hereby give to the sd Hospital the sume of One hundred pounds more to be paid by my Extors hereafter named to the Treasurer of the sd Hospitall for the time being for the use of the sd Hospitall within six months after my decease.


ITEM I give & bequeath unto the Corporation Hospitall or Workhouse for employing the poor situate in or near Bishopsgate Street London the sume of One hundred pounds to be paid to the Governor or Treasurer thereof for the time being by my Execrs hereafter named within six months after my decease.


ITEM I give & bequeath unto the Minister & Churchwardens for the time being of Shoreditch Pish & to Mr. Ludgold Mr. Hawkins Mr. Wexham Mr. Harding & Capt. Hardwick the sume of Seaventy five pounds fifty pounds pt thereof to be by them distributed in such manner & proportions as they shall think fitt to & amongst such poor people especially house keepers liveing in the sd Pish of Shoreditch And the remaining twenty five pounds I order to be by them given & distributed to & amongst such poor people especially Housekeepers of the Town of Hogsdon in the sd Parish of Shoreditch where I now dwell as they shall think fitt.


ITEM I give to the sd Thomas Hardwick & Dulcibella his Wife the sume of thirty pounds to buy them & their two sons mourning & whereas the sd Thomas Hardwick Sen is justly indebted to me in the sume of Six hundred & tenn pounds or thereabts principall mony upon bond I do hereby forgive remise & release to the sd Thomas Hardwick the same & every pt thereof And do hereby appoint my sd Execrs or the survivors or survivor of them to deliver the sd Bond to the sd Thomas Hardwick to be cancelled six months after my decease And my Will & mind is that if my sd Grandson Thomas Hardwick shall happen to dye before his sd two Sons John & Thomas shall have respectively attained their ages of three & twenty yeres ten I do ordr & appoint my Execrs or the survivors or survivor of them or the execrs or admirs of such survivor shall think fitt for the respective maintance & education of the sd John & Thomas Hardwick untill they attain their respective ages of three & twenty yeres which sd expences shall be respectively deducted out of the rents and profitts of the Legacies hereinbefore respectively given to them.


In a letter addressed to the Company and entered on the Minutes of the Court of Assistants of 2nd December 1702, the Testator stated his intention to leave money for good purposes with a further considerable benefit to the Company, and as he had observed with great satisfaction their faithful managements of trusts he humbly requested them to accept the one he contemplated.


"To the Right Worshipful the Master, Wardens, and Court of Assistants of the Drapers' Company.


Sirs, I having had the honour to be many years of your Court of Assistants, and observed with great satisfaction the faithful managements of the several trusts reposed in you, therefore do make it my humble request to this court that they will accept of the trust and management of the estate it hath pleased God to bless me withall.


And that you may believe I design a considerable advantage to the Drapers' Company, as well as a security and satisfaction to myself, that the estate I leave will be faithfully disposed of according to my Will, I do intend to give and pay down presently to you seven hundred pounds, which, at the rate of four per cent. interest, is 28. per annum, for the poor of your company, viz., twenty shillings a-piece a-year to 10 poor freemen's widows, to be paid annually for ever, and also 5. a-year to the Clerk of the Company, for keeping the accompts and management, and 3. a-year for a dinner for the auditors of the accompts yearly.


Also, I desire you to believe that I will take care to value my estate with that moderation, as to make it morally certain it shall not only make good my gifts and legacies, but be a further considerable benefit to the Company, which I shall readily make demonstrable, and am,


Your Worships' most affectionate and humble servant,



The Executors finding that the sum of One thousand seven hundred pounds was not near sufficient to buy a piece of ground and to build the Almshouses and to purchase an estate in lands of inheritance to support and endow the same according to the direction and intention of the Testator, caused the money to be placed out at interest and afterwards in or about the year 1707 made a purchase of a certain farm and lands called Hawkeswell and Beetles situate in the parishes of Luddenham and Buckland near Faversham Kent for the endowment of the said Almshouses, when erected.


In March 1710 the two Executors together with Joseph King one of the overseers of the Will, George Hugh Clerk Minister of the Parish of Saint Leonard Shoreditch, Thomas Haines and Mathew Deane, Churchwardens, Thomas Hardwick a Grandson of the said Testator and several other Parishioners subscribed and exhibited a Petition to the Court of Assistants suggesting amongst other things:-


That the said Testator Samuel Harwar had been an inhabitant of the said parish of Shoreditch with his family for near fifty years to the time of his death and had a good esteem for their parish and was a good benefactor to the poor being sensible they were very burthensome and numerous and was about buying a piece of ground in the said parish in his lifetime intending the said Almshouses should be built but died before the same was perfected upon all which accounts the said parish conceived they were better entitled to have the benefit of the said Almshouses than any neighbouring Parish.


That the said Petitioners had lately found out a very suitable piece of ground within their said parish lying next the road leading to Ware whereon to build the said Almshouses which had been surveyed and well approved of by the said Executors and Overseers the inheritance of which they were ready and willing to purchase for the ends aforesaid.


And the said Petitioners did offer to enter in agreement with the Company to be obliged at the sole charges of the said parish to support and repair the said Almshouses and to make such other agreement touching the same as they had already done with the Company in respect to those almshouses that were already built in the said parish and endowed by the Charity of Master John Walter deceased and his family.


The Court, after viewing it, agreed the site, but declared that they would not accept the trust until there should be a sufficiency to endow the Almshouses.


The Executors proceeded to purchase the freehold and inheritance of the said piece of ground and caused to be erected built and finished thereupon twelve very complete and sufficient almshouses for the habitations of three poor men and three poor women of the Drapers Company and three poor men and three poor women of the said parish.


In 1715 the Assistants were informed that the Almshouses had been erected and lands purchased, so a Committee was appointed to view. They reported in 1716, and the Court accepted the trust subject to the same being settled by deed.


By deeds of Lease and Release and Bargain and Sale dated 19th and 20th March, 1717 the Almshouse site and the purchased farm land and all buildings, &c. were conveyed by the Executors to the Company, and by a Deed of even date made between the Company of the one part and The Reverend Giles Pooley Doctor in Divinity of the Parish of Saint Leonard Shoreditch Christopher Priddith and John Cash Churchwardens of the said Parish and Ralph Harwood and several other Parishioners nominated and appointed by a General Vestry of the Parish for and on behalf of themselves and of the rest of the parishioners and inhabitants of the said parish of the other part covenanted and agreed for themselves and their successors minister churchwardens and parishioners of the said parish to and with the Company and their successors from time to time and at all times thereafter within three months after notice to well and sufficiently repair uphold preserve maintain amend and keep all and every the before recited twelve almshouses and the causeway lying before the same to the road together with the walls fences drains privies and wydraughts thereunto belonging in by and with all needful and necessary reparations and amendments whatsoever when where and as often as need should require. Also that the said six poor of the said parish so to be chosen and admitted to the said almshouses should from time to time and at all times (when any vacancy should happen by death or otherwise) by chosen and approved of in a public vestry with the concurrence and good liking of the said Master Thomas Hardwick Grandson of the said testator during his being an inhabitant in the said parish.


ALSO that when any of the poor of the said parish belonging to the said almshouses should happen to die not having or leaving wherewithal to bury them that such poor so dying should be removed and buried at the sole cost of the parish without being inconvenient or burthensome to the said Company or to the said almshouses.


The Executors also made over to the Company 300 Orphan Stock and as the lands had cost 1,365, the Almshouse site 57. 15. 0., and the buildings about 600, the Executors had laid out and paid over 2,328, the difference between this and 1,700 representing, no doubt, accumulated income since the Testator's death, which looks about right.


The Company entered and all worked well for a century. St. Leonards kept the Almshouses in repair and the Company kept the surplus income, when more than enough for the Almspeople's pensions and coals, but in time and of their bounty they materially increased the monthly payments to the inmates, who were freemen of the Company, or their Widows, but did not extend such benefit to those who were not.


At the Charity Commission Enquiry the Company supported their claim to the surplus rents, by reference to the Donor's Will, which expressed certain specific allowances to the Almspeople, and also, by reference to the Donor's intentions as expressed in his letter quoted above, but the Commissioners considered that the point should be determined by a Court of Equity, and therefore certified the case to the Attorney General.


The most prominent Parishioner of St. Leonards, who, with the Parson and Churchwardens, petitioned the Company in 1710, was Thomas Hardwick, and he was the grandson, (or to be more accurate the husband of the then living granddaughter of Samuel Harwar), and when the arrangement was brought to fulfilment, he was given the right to select all the inmates of the six St. Leonards Almshouses during the rest of his life.


The almshouses erected in 1710 at the corner on the east side of Kingsland Road and north side of Harwar Street (now renamed Cremer Street) stood the test of time but by 1877 they had become and were described as being antiquated, inconveniently arranged, wanting in sanitary conveniences and from their construction incapable of improvement without very much larger outlay than the value of the houses would warrant being expended upon them.


Therefore representatives of the Company, Vestry, and Parish Trustees, had a meeting which resulted in an Agreement being signed, which provided that the Almshouses should be demolished, that strips of the site on the west and south sides should be given up to the parish for road widening, that the rest of the site should be leased for building, that the Vestry should provide certain capital monies and that the income of the Charity should in future be devoted to providing pensions of the kinds indicated by the Will of Harwar.


That arrangement was confirmed and regularized by a scheme in usual form sealed by the Charity Commissioners on 12th August 1879, under which the Charity is still operated.


The strips of land were made over to the Vestry of St. Leonards, and the remainder of the site with an area of 14,000 sq. ft. was let by two building leases for 80 years at rents amounting to 230.


Seven houses and shops were erected facing the Kingsland Road, and also a factory building at the southern corner with a yard stables and workshops, extending behind the houses.


Hawkes & Beetles Farm:- By this name became known the lands purchased by the Executors of Harwar for the support of this charity.


Most of the leases and documents relating to the property since the date of purchase, were handed over on its sale in 1926, but the older ones, still in hand, carry back the title to 39 Ed. III, the first of them being a feoffment dated 6th April 1366 by Robert Hughelot to Thomas Betel of a piece of land formerly in the possession of William Herst in the field called Reidon in Morstone.


John Betill feoffed 4 acres of Marsh land in Luddenham in 1420. In 1424 John Betell, senior, enfeoffed Thomas Betill, Senior, of one Virgate of land in Luddenham, and there were other dealings later by Robert Betyll and Stephen Betyll, so there is no doubt as to whence came one half of the name.


Down to 1533 all the documents related to marsh lands in Luddenham, but then came a feoffment of lands in Buckland and Moston as well. The name of Hawkeswell first appears in a feoffment of 1582 relating to 2 messuages called Bettyles and Hawkeswell and six pieces of land, 20 acres of fresh Marsh and a wood containing in the whole 50 acres in Luddenham, Buckland and Marston.


The area of the lands dealt with by the further documents gradually increased down to the date of the purchase by Harwar's executors in 1707 and the property conveyed over by them to the Drapers Company in 1717 is described as:


Fresh marsh lands in the Parish of Luddenham in Kent containing by estimation 57 acres.


One and a half acres of land adjoining thereto.


A close called Mell Field containing 3 acres.


A piece of land in Colvetts field in the Parish of Buckland containing 5 acres.


A parcel of Marsh land containing 8 acres.


A piece of Woodland in Gunters Grove.


Four acres of fresh Marsh in Edingrow Marsh.


Two tenements called Bettles and Hawkswells and three gardens and orchards near to the said marsh.


Six pieces of land containing 30 acres and a wood called Gunters Grove.


Thirty nine of fresh marsh in Luddenham and


A piece of land in Buckland


All being in the Parishes of Buckland Luddenham or Maston or one of them and containing together 118a 2r 5p.


At the date of Hare's report to the Charity Commission (1861) the whole was let together at 200 p.a. but in 1913 the rent was 180.


In July 1926 the Company offered the property for sale by Auction and it was disposed of on the basis of the Auction Particulars at a good price viz 4,350. (F. 131) the conveyance to the purchaser being dated 18th Nov 1926.




Sir William Boreman's first wife was Dulcibella Robinson. She died in 1675. He remarried Sarah (Burgess) and she died. His third wife was Margaret Davis. He died next in 1686. She survived him, and was the Executrix of his Will. She died in 1700. He had no issue by any wife.


Sir John Cremer died in 1639 having had three wives, the last of whom survived him.


Sir William Boreman had an elder brother John, who had a son John, who married Sir John Cremer's Widow, and by her had a daughter Dulcibella born 1674, and a son John born 1677. The daughter was doubtless named after Sir William Boreman's first wife, who was then still living. John the husband of the Lady Widow died in or before 1684.


Sir William Boreman by his Will dated in 1684, amongst other things, gave 1,000 of lawful money, to Dulcibella Boreman the Daughter of his deceased nephew John Boreman to be paid unto her at the date of marriage.


He also gave and bequeathed 200 a year for the maintenance and good education of John Boreman the only surviving son of his said late nephew, until he should attain the age of 24 and appointed John's mother Lady Creamer to be his guardian, and he also entailed various lands and estates on the said John, subject to the prior life interest of his dear Wife, Dame Margaret Boreman, in some of them.


John, the son of the deceased nephew, did attain 24 and married Mary Parker in 1700.


Thomas Hardwick, who was admitted a Freeman of the Drapers' Company in 1662 had two sons, John and Thomas.


The younger son Thomas, was apprenticed in 1688 and married in 1691, Dulcibella Boreman, who is described in the Marriage Certificate as aged 17, daughter of Lady Cremer, alias Boreman. He died at Hoxton in 1722.


Thomas and Dulcibella had two sons, John and Thomas. Thomas the younger, was apprenticed to Samuel Mason in 1712, became an Attorney of the Kings Bench, married Mary Pooley in 1720, became the Clerk of the Drapers' Company in 1737, and died as such in 1773.


Thomas Hardwick the Clerk and Mary Pooley his spouse had a daughter, Dulcibella, who married a Captain Darby in 1751, and they may or may not have bred sons in addition.


Samuel Harwar by his Will of 1703 gave an annuity of 40 to his granddaughter Dulcibella Hardwick Wife of Thomas Hardwick, in case she should survive her husband, then and not otherwise; and he settled various properties on his granddaughter's sons John and Thomas, in case they should attain majority, and he released to the granddaughter's Husband, a debt of 600 owing by him upon a bond.


Dulcibella Hardwick, nee Boreman, daughter of John Boreman and Lady Cremer, was Samuel Harwar's Granddaughter. Therefore, Lady Cremer, alias Boreman, was Samuel Harwar's daughter, and Thomas Hardwick the Clerk to the Drapers' Company, being Dulcibella's son, was a great grandson of Samuel Harwar and a Great Great Nephew of Sir William Boreman.


Sir William Boreman never knew his Great Great Nephew, but he evidently did know all about the Grandmother, Lady Cremer, and probably her father Samuel Harwar, and through her and him, the Drapers' Company.


At the date of the deed of 1717 between the Company and the Inhabitants &c. of St. Leonards Shoreditch, which really constituted the Almshouse Charity, the Parson of the Parish was the Revd. Giles Pooley and he was a party to the Deed.


Thomas Hardwick, the Clerk, married Mary Pooley, Spinster, of St. Leonards Shoreditch, in 1720, so it seems highly probable that she was a daughter of the Parson.


A certain Jane Hardwick, born 1770, had an elder brother John and a younger brother Thomas. Their father's name was John. The Author is descended from Jane, and would love to be able to prove that through John, he is descended from Dulcibella. So far, however, he has not succeeded in finding the missing link. He does not know whether someone else may be able to connect up with Mary and Giles Pooley, but if so, there may be an unexpected connection in a cross direction, which he hopes would not cause annoyance!


Since arriving at the foregoing conclusions as to the Harwar-Boreman-Hardwick interconnection, their accuracy has been established by the discovery of a deed (P.36) dated in 1729, dealing with some of the property settled by the Will of Sir William Boreman upon the great Grandson of his brother John Boreman.


The names of the Vendors are given as follows:-


Mary Hardwick Spinster an Infant cousin and heir of Sir William Boreman late of East Greenwich, to wit, the only daughter and heir of John Hardwick the eldest son and heir of Dulcibella Hardwick late the Wife of Thomas Hardwick late of Hoxton, decd., which said Dulcibella Hardwick was the only sister and heir of John Boreman decd. who was son and heir of John Boreman the son and heir of John Boreman, who was the brother of the said Sir William Boreman.


Thomas Hardwick the younger son and surviving Executor of Thomas Hardwick decd. by the said Dulcibella his Wife, and also administrator of Jane Green, Widow decd.


Hy. Davis.


Hy. Gibbs Administrator of Elizabeth Gibbs his Wife, formerly Elizabeth Davis, which said Hy. and Elizabeth were the joint Executors of Dame Margaret Boreman, Executrix of Sir William Boreman.


Incidentally the descriptions indicate that the Boreman name died out, as the Great Grandson left no issue - that John Hardwick and Thomas the Clerk were Great Great Nephews of Sir William Boreman - and that elder of them, John, left no male issue. Jane Green, of whom Thomas was administrator, was a daughter of Sir William's Brother Edward Boreman. Henry Davis and Elizabeth Gibbs were brother and sister to Dame Margaret Boreman.


Back to The Acorn Archive