Examination of Witnesses in the dispute between

William Vardon and John Hall, 1843.

Following the death of Edward Hayward of Goldstone in 1827 there appears to have followed many years during which the estate was held in trust for his granddaughter Eliza Rachel Mary Hall, by two trustees who included Edward's cousin William Vardon. Her mother Elizabeth Hannah had died in 1818, leaving Eliza Rachel aged only one. When her grandfather Edward died in 1827, she was only 10 and William Vardon became a guardian to her, as well as a trustee of her intended estate. She died aged 20 in 1837. Later, her father John Hall had a dispute with William that appears to have reached a sudden conclusion at the death of John Hall in 1844. What follows below is the evidence of witnesses for William Vardon, entered into the common pleas. It ultimately was not required, but recorded some very interesting facts about the family, those providing the witnesses statements and Goldstone itself.

It is proposed to support the Case by providing the following Evidence John Lockley of the Hoar Lake in the parish of Hinstock in the county of Salop aged 73 years or thereabouts saith I was born at Ellerton in the county of Salop. When I was about a year and a half old my Parents came to reside at Lockley Wood in the parish of Hinstock and I have lived about there for the last 46 years entirely (viz from the year 1792). I Remember working at Goldstone for Mr Thomas Hayward about 64 years ago and assisting to make Bricks. He lived at the Hall. Since that time I worked off and on for Thomas Hayward and Edward Hayward for nearly fifty years. I have always understood that Mr Thomas Hayward obtained his property from Edward Pegg but I never recollect him [i.e. Edward Pegg], he having died when I was about three years old. I properly recollect Thomas Hayward, but I don’t recollect old Edward Hayward [this may have been Thomas’s brother, whose son Edward Hayward inherited Goldstone from Thomas; Lockley later refers to ‘young Edward’ in relation to Thomas’s nephew]. He died before Thomas as I have been told. I recollect Thomas dying. He died in the year 1782 and was buried at Cheswardine. I helped to make his coffin. I recollect young Edward living at Goldstone, having worked for him nearly 40 years. I recollect him dying at Goldstone. I helped to make his coffin. He died about ten or eleven years ago and was buried at Radford. I recollect Thomas Hayward’s wife. She died a good many years after her Husband and was buried at Cheswardine. Thomas Hayward died without issue.

Edward Hayward had two children. I recollect them very well. Miss Hayward died long before her sister and was buried at Cheswardine. The other married Mr Hall. Her name was Eliza. I was working at Mr Hayward’s the day she was married. Mrs Hall died in London several years ago as I have always understood. I remember her daughter Miss Hall being brought to Goldstone many years ago to be reared by her Grandfather Edward Hayward with whom she continued until his decease. Mr Hall then came to Goldstone and resided there with his second wife and the Heiress Miss Hall and continued there for a few years when he set the Farms and went to live at Great Barr. In the latter end of the year (in October) 1837 Miss Hall died and I remember Mr Beeston and some of the Tenants going to the funeral. She was buried at Radford where her Grandfather was buried – so the Folks said.

I recollect the Farm called Lockley Farm or Over Lockley, but now Mount Pleasant upwards of sixty years. It was then in the holding of Matthias Wilcox. He was then Tenant to Thomas Hayward. I then lived at Lockley Wood with my Father. Matthias Wilcox held all the land in lease from Corbets except what was occupied by my uncle Richard Lockley and James Creswell – Matthias occupied all that is now occupied by John Churn, Richard Matthews, Thomas Beeston and Mrs Ann Lea. The lands now occupied by John Slack, William Lockley and Philip Roster were formerly occupied by my uncle Richard and the cottage and land occupied by Creswell are now occupied by John Taylor. I have always heard these lands called leased lands under the Corbets. The above persons were Tenants to Mr Thomas Hayward and after his death to Mr Edward Hayward [the Lockley Wood-Mount Pleasant land was held under a 500 year lease from the Corbets, which was signed by Edward Pegg in 1748]. The land altogether is upwards of 200 acres, for I have known every Field all my life.

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