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Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 4 months ago

Richard Edsall, Potter of Cove, died 1641


Page prepared by Peter Tipton


There is very little information about the Edsall family in the Yateley Society database, but what is there leaves me wishing there was more. No wills have been found. Elizabeth Lewis sums up more or less all that was known of him until the present research:


A few of the potters had servants who were remembered in their wills: Robert Wright‘s servant Richard Edsoll worked in the pottery and inherited some equipment; his death is recorded in the Farnborough parish register in 1641....'Richard Edsall of Cove buried'


If Richard Edsall was an apprentice in his mid teens when he was working for Robert Wright in Cove then he would have been born about 1580 and about 60 when he died. Richard might therefore have been a son of Thomas Edsall of Yateley who died aged 85 in 1642, having been born before 1560.


The burial of Robert Edsall of Cove was recorded in the parish records of Yateley, but the burial was in Farnborough. Robert‘s burial was on 20 Dec 1662 four days after his wife‘s burial also by Rev Robert Scott of Yateley in Farnborough. Something tragic happened there. Robert and his wife had been producing a family between 1637 and 1645, so Robert could well have been the son of Richard the potter and grandson of Thomas the octogenarian.


However there were other members of the Edsall family in Yateley. Henry Edsall intriguingly enters the list of those paying lay subsidy for 1598 and 1600 but disappears by the subsidy for 1603. A 'Henry Hedsall' appraised the inventory of John Smith of Yateley in 1567. His fellow appraisers were William Heather and Richard Porter. Three year later Richard Porter and 'Harry Edsall' appraised the inventory of Gillian Stevens of Cove. This time they were joined by John Silvester. In 1600 Steven Watts of Yateley bequeathed "a lamb when it is weanable" to Steven Edsall, his godson.


The first record which I have found of an Edsall being mentioned as a tenant of Crondall Manor was at a manorial court held on 27 March 1599. Henry Edsall and Edward Heele presented to the court the surrender to them out of court by James May of a small parcel of meadow consisting of one and a half acres since the last court‘.


There were apparently no Edsalls in Hampshire recorded in the 1586 subsidy (Hampshire Record Series Vol 4) but there were Exolls in the Aldershot subsidy and in Odiham, where the parish registers later record Edsalls. Farther back there are two John Exolls, father and son, recorded by Baigent as having copyholdings in Aldershot in the 1567 customary, but there are no Edsalls or Exolls recorded as copyholders in Yateley inner tithing or Hawley. Henry Edsall paid subsidy in the inner tihing of Yateley parish, but all the other Edsalls appear to have lived in Cove. The fact that Richard Edsall was 'the servant' of Robert Wright, may mean that he was the first Edsall to enter the pottery industry.


The last entry of an Edsall in the Yateley registers is dated 25 Oct 1663, less than a year after the death of Robert and his wife: Anne the daughter of Richard Edsall, tobacco pipe-maker, was baptised.


This patchwork of disparate records gives us no coherent story nevertherless it suggests how an Elizabethan family joined the local pottery industry as it grew to its peak then left it again for an allied trade after the Restoration, and as that industry began to decline.


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