Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet


Portland, Oregon (USA) to Bures, 2017
Francis Hart travels to Bures (UK) to search for the ancestral homes
of the "de-Vere and Harlakenden" Family


During late July, I was contacted by Francis Hart from Portland, USA, who was researching the
De-Vere and Harlakenden families, which were her descendants.

Through my web site, Francis asked if I could assist in a viewing of Gt Bevills and other properties in the local area, associated with these two families.

Francis arrived in the UK on August 4th for a 6 week holiday.
that time, she visited the Orkney Isles down to Stonehenge ans Salisbury, all by means of public transport.

The final leg of her journey was over to East Anglia, to view the ancestral homes of her long lost relatives.

Consequently on September 13th, Francis arrived by train at Bures where I had arranged a tour of
the local area.

Francis Timeline from the Magna Carta to the present

Magna Carta Barons of 1215 to Hart Line
William the Marshal, 1st Earl Pembroke, Regent of England, Knight Templar served Plantagenet Kings Henry II, Richard I 'Lionheart' and John 'Lackland' I, advising the latter to sign Magna Carta at Runnymede where he served as witness.

WILLIAM the MARSHAL (d1219)-Witness, Magna Carta Baron ROGER BIGOD (d1221) - 1215 Surety, Magna Carta
Maud Marshall ( d1248) m. Baron HUGH BIGOD, elder (d1225) - 1215 Surety, Magna Carta
(their descendants):
Hugh Bigod, younger (d1266) Chief Justice of England
Sir John Bigod (d c.1300)
Sir Roger Bigod, (d 1362) of Settrington, Yorkshire
Joan Bigod & Sir William Chauncey of Stepney
John I Chauncey (d1455) of Skirpenbeck, Yorkshire
John II Chauncey (d1479) of Skirpenbeck, Yorkshire
John III Chauncey (d1510) of Gilston, Hertfordshire
William Chauncey of Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire
Henry Chauncey (d1558) of Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire
Elizabeth Chauncey (d1579) m. Richard Huberd
Edward Hubberd, Esq., (d1602) of Essex/ London (Rec-Gen. for Earl of Oxford; Chancery Clerk , QE I)
Margaret Hubberd (d1632) of London m. Richard Harlakenden of Earls Colne, Essex (their fathers were lawyers involved with Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford aka possibly the real Shakespeare)

Mabel Harlakenden (Haynes) b. 1614(Essex, England)- d.1655(CT), m. Gov. John Haynes CT Colony
Ruth Haynes 1639-1688 of CT Colony m. Samuel Wyllys (son of Gov George Wyllys)
Mehitable Wyllys (d1698) m. Rev. Timothy Woodbridge, Sr.
Rev. Timothy Woodbridge, Jr. (d1742)
Haynes Woodbridge (d1754)
Dorothy Woodbridge (d1792) m. Lt. Col. Thomas Phelps III - Revolutionary .War
Col. Thomas W. Phelps (d1838) - War of 1812

Peter Phelps (1813-1882) m. Ann Whitney
Ann E. Phelps (d1918) m. Capt. William M. Lewis (d1912) - Civil War veteran; both died in CA
Henry B. Lewis (1862-1942) reporter, Sino-Japanese War m. Marie 'Isabel' Willits
Enid Lewis (theater critic, Pasadena) m. Frank Hart, Sr. (prof'l pianist & music store mgr)

Frank Hart, Jr. (1923-2007)-. Lt.,WWII/Europe, founder/director Wildlife Safari, Oregon 1973.
Frances Hart, Portland Oregon.

First call was at Gt Bevills to see Geoffrey Probert, who was a direct descendant of the Harlakenden family at Earls Colne.

Geoffrey father, Richard Harlackenden Carwardine Probert was named after his forbears who were the squires of Earls Colne from the late 16thc, when an earlier Richard Harlackenden then agent of the de Veres Earls of Oxford bought the estate from the spendthrift 17th Earl.
The 18thc descendants of the Harlackendens' at Earls Colne were Carwardines who twice married the Proberts and Richard subsequently inherited both family names.




St Stephens Chapel, where we could view the effigies of the de-Vere`s, which had been transferred from Earls Colne Priory in the 1930`s, before it fell into ruin.

Now, nobody could leave the Chapel without seeing the Bures Dragon.

Francis was extremely keen to see the Chapel,
but little did she know there was a Dragon lurking outside.

Smallbridge, the home of the Waldegrave family.

Herbert Pelham (Ferriers) married 13 Oct. 1626, to Jemima Waldegrave (Smallbridge)

Both travelled to the New World on the Winthrop Fleet, but sadly Jemima passed way within weeks of arriving.
Herbert soon married again to the young widow Elizabeth Bosville (1617-1659), daughter Godfey Bosville of Yorkshire and widow of Lt Col Roger Harlakenden, Esq. ( previously of Earls Colne)

This is the link between the Waldegraves, Pelhams and Harlakendens

St Marys Church
Here we could view the Pelham Memorial Stones set in the Church Floor, together with the magnificent Waldegrave Memorial

Ferriers, Home of Herbert Pelham and Jemima Waldegrave

Hedingham Castle
The Manor of Hedingham was awarded to Aubrey de Vere I, by William the Conqueror by 1086. The castle was constructed by the de Veres in the late 11th to early 12th century and the keep in the 1130s and 1140s.

The castle was held by the de Vere family until 1625. Among the more famous earls are Robert de Vere, 3rd Earl of Oxford; Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford; John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford; and Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.

Colne Priory at Earls Colne, was a Benedictine Priory, initially a dependent cell of Abingdon Abbey in Oxfordshire. It was founded by Aubrey de Vere I and his wife Beatrice in or before 1111.

About 1112 Aubrey de Vere retired to the priory, joined by his youngest son, William de Vere, both of whom died there shortly thereafter.

In 1583 Edward de Vere sold the manor of Earls Colne to Roger Harlackenden, his steward and nine years later he sold the priory to Richard Harlackenden. Gradually the monastery buildings fell in to ruin, and most of the remains were progressively swept away when the present house was built in 1826.


This was a memorable trip for Francis, to see so much in the short time was well beyond her expectations.

I hope this visit to Bures, will give Francis memories that she will treasure for a good many years.

Alan Beales