HICKEY, Hertford/Hoddesdon area, 1868-1882

May 2001






PLEASE NOTE: When this question was asked the amount of information available online was very restricted and the only census available (on a CD) was the 1881 census. The answer given below should be carefully checked using the additional information now readily available online.

Noreen (noreen @t iinet.net.au) of Western Australia asked "When Edmund Hickey married in 1868 he gave his place of residence as Henly Hall, Hertford where he worked as a farm bailiff. Has anyone heard of this place, please? He married Harriet Slade and they lived in the High Street in Hoddesdon. Unfortunately Edmund died in 1877."

You don't say where the marriage took place - but I guess somewhere near Hoddesdon or Hertford - and "Henly Hall" is unlikely to be anywhere far away. If you have the original certificate (passed down through the family and the writing is clear) your reading is probably correct. However if you ordered a modern copy it may have been from a hand written copy of a hand written copy of a hand written copy - see "A Comedy of Errors" - so you need to look at variations.

I don't personally know of a "Henly Hall" but between Hoddesden and Hertford is "Hailey" which includes Hailey Farm and is close to the Haileybury College - which is a large public school. These are marked as "Haly" and "Haly Hall" on Dury's map of 1766. You should be able to find Hailey or Haileybury on multimap or old-maps.

However to the west of Hoddesdon on modern maps "High Leigh Farm" and "High Leigh Hall" which gives further grounds for confusion.

I note from the 1882 Kelly's Trade Directory that a Henry Charles Heard was landowner and farmer at Hailey Hall, Great Amwell (not under Hertford) - which may be where your Edmund Hickey had been employed. Also a Mrs H Hickey was a shopkeeper in Hoddesdon High Street.

If you are near one of the Western Australian LDS Family History Centres (see familysearch) you should order the 1871 census microfilm that covers Hailey/Haileybury. I suspect it will be the one that covers the parish of Great Amwell. This could well show the family living at the farm. In addition the birth certificates of any children born between the marriage and Edmund's death could provide further information (available from HALS). The 1870, 1874 and 1878 trade Directories for Hertfordshire have an index for farm bailiffs and may be available on microfilm from the LDS. However when getting married one often gave a posher occupation than reality - and if he was merely a farm foreman he would not have been listed. (In general you would expect the bailiff to be living on the farm - so if he was actually living in Hoddesdon High Street at the time he was probably not the bailiff.)

Noreen (noreen @t iinet.net.au) replied Many thanks for your extremely useful reply to my question.

Edmund HICKEY and Harriet SLADE married in The Tabernacle, Praed St, Kensington, Middlesex.  I only have a copy of the certificate so it is more than likely that it is wrongly copied.  I feel very inclined to think that Hailey Hall is a most likely choice.

In 1871 Edmund and Harriet lived in St Margaret's which, I gather, is even closer to Hailey Hall.  As you say, it is surprising that they were, apparently, not living at the Hall. By October 1877 their daughter was born in Hoddeson and Edmund is described as a Pensioner & Greengrocer and on his death certificate (he died a few days after his daughter's birth) he is Pensioner 5th Fusiliers and greengrocer. He was born in Ireland (don't know which part) so I have little chance of finding his birth.

Anyway, thank you so much for suggesting Hailey Hall as the place of work. I will look for a Will and see if that gives me more clues. Thank you for a great website.

While Irish research is difficult - due to the destruction of many of the key records, which were used to build barricades during the uprising shortly before independence, the fact that Edmund had been in the 5th Fusiliers could give some important leads. I am not an expert on this class of military record but there should be some very valuable information in the records held at the Public Records Office at Kew. This may well include information about where he enrolled (perhaps near his place of birth) and other information such as his military service, and even such personal details as height, colour of eyes, which is impossible to get from conventional sources. The trouble, particularly living where you do, is accessing the records, and it may be necessary to employ a paid researcher.