John's house or loft?
|John was an entrepreneur
variously described as a timber merchant, shop-keeper and Inn-holder
(publican). The Inn was probably The Raven, 53 High Street, Ware. The property
referred to in his will, Water Row, (seven tenements, loft and malting) is a narrow lane approached through an
archway in 53 High St. running down to the river Lea. The tenements have gone. The Malting was rebuilt in 1849 and converted to
houses in the 1980's. He also owned tenanted property in Star Lane and
Reunion Wharf consisting of a house, several shops & lofts, a brewhouse, two
yards and a hogstie. Also two cow-houses in Amwell Marsh and six acres
of land in Post Wood field, Amwell.
In 1758 he acquired Thunder Hall on the corner of Baldock St and the Bourne in Ware. The house, described in 1795 as "a mansion house with a large garden, pasture ground, coach house, stables" etc., was originally built around 1600 by John Canon. A wing was added in the early 18thC. and a further gothick extension in early/mid 19thC. By 1828 it had become a boarding academy for boys.
Water Row runs down to the river Lea
|Extract from John's
on line ref 11/1037
In John's will of 1777, he divides his personal and real estate between his brothers, in laws and friends.
"Item: I give and bequeath to my loving wife Ann Usborne all my household linen, a gold watch which she usually wears, the furniture, six silver spoons marked A P (Ann Pryor?), a pint and a half a pint silver mug, my best set of china as compleat as they shall be at my decease, the new bed with all the furniture thereunto belonging, the window curtains being in a large room in the front of Ware Street and the walnut tree chest of drawers which she bought before she was my wife and a large chest of drawers which I bought at Mr. John Robertsí sale in Ware, also the large Tea Japan plate commonly called a tea-board with six silver tea spoons and a pair of silver tea tongs for ever.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my servant who now lives with me, Mary Daniel, twenty pounds".
In the codocil he specifies "my plate, china ware, glass, books, organ, chaise, horses, hops, corn and hay".
Extract from Ann's will (proved Feb.20th 1783) is available on line. ref 11/1101.
I desire to have a plain good coffin and to be decently buried in the grave with my late dear husband and to have such of my relations invited to my funeral as my executors shall think proper. I give all my best wearing apparel household linen to my three nieces, Frances, Susanna and Catherine Pryor. I give to my niece Charlotte Cooper the sum of twenty pounds. I give my silver mugs to my nephew William Pryor. I give to my loving brother James one guinea. I give to my brother John my fruit picture and the sum of five pounds. I give to my said nieces my gold watch and chain, my best set of tea china with two china teapots and china coffee pot and six silver tea spoons and the tongs marked IA and the silver table spoons marked AP and japaned coal scuttle. I give to my said niece Susanna my red bed with the bedding, mattress, feather bed and bolster belonging to it, four pillows, four blankets and a quilt, two silver table spoons marked AP and a japanned plate warmer. Also I give to my said niece Catherine a walnut tree pier glass with a gilt edge and shell and a mahogany droping glass with three drawers both which I bought and my walnut tree chest of drawers with two small and three large drawers also two silver table spoons marked AP and my stone buckles. Also I give to my servant Mary Daniel my old fashioned chest of drawers with all my common cloathes and stays and the sum of five pounds (increased to £10 in later codocil).