Rankin House, Ware
Roberta Hall (nmh1 @t look.ca) of Canada has asked for information about the origins of Rankin House, Ware, and its name.
[This is a question where I would welcome comments from someone with first hand knowledge of the town of Ware - if you know about Rankin House please tell me and I will update this page with due acknowledgement.]
Rankin House is in West Street (number 8) and West Street in the oldest part of the town near to the church. It is a Grade II listed building and one of its features is an 18th century staircase with finely moulded, slender balusters. (Information from the www.eastherts.gov.uk site). Unfortunately information on listed buildings can be hard to find and the house is not mentioned in the description of the older buildings in Ware in Pevsner's The Buildings of England: Hertfordshire (or at least not in the 1953 edition that I have). I also drew a blank for both the house and anyone called Rankin in The Victoria County History of Hertfordshire, Cussans' History of Hertfordshire, Arthur Jones' Hertfordshire 1731-1800 as recorded in the Gentleman's Magazine, or Edith Hunt's The History of Ware (although the limited index means it is hard to be certain about a negative). There are also no relevant entries on the Hertfordshire Sessional Records CD (see archiveCDbooks). I sampled a random selection Ware entries on 19th and early 20th century county trade directories without success. It is also impossible to identify the house in the 1881 census.
However there was one "positive" in that a John and Mary Rankin had children John and Thomas who were born in Ware in 1746 and 1747. However more work will be needed to determine whether they lived in the house and why the house is called Rankin House.
If you can add to the information given above tell me.
Page updated April 2005