Laslett family history

Richard & Elizabeth Laslett of Hole, Dene, Wingham Well and Appleton Farms

Richard Laslett was born on 15 October 1772 at Ovington Farm, Goodnestone, near Wingham, Kent. He was the eldest son of Richard Laslett, a yeoman of Bossington and Ovington Farms, and his wife Mary Laslett née Gibbs (page 35).

On 19 January 1796 Richard married Miss Elizabeth Denne of Adisham at Goodnestone next Wingham. Elizabeth had been born in 1777.

Elizabeth Denne was little in person while Richard was a muscular strong man of 18 stone exceeding 6 feet in height. Richard Manger Laslett can remember that Richard was always called 'Lacy' by his wife.

As Richard married John Denne's sister, Elizabeth, and his sister, Mary, born 1770, married John Denne, so brother and sister married brother and sister.

In partnership with his father he farmed both Ovington and Bossington Farms in Adisham, Goodnestone and Wingham parishes. About 1800, he took the Hole Farm, Sturry, near Canterbury, which his son George took off him at Michaelmas, 1830.

Hole Farm, now called Vale Farm, lies in the valley west of the foot of Calcott Hill and its original farmhouse is still standing today although its continued existence is threatened. The farmhouse may be dated 1635 by a carved beam and is said to be of special historic interest. In the early 1970s the Mid Kent Water Authority bought the house intending to demolish it and build a reservoir, but the plan was rejected. The farmhouse was left empty and squatters, who claimed to be interested in the farmhouse's preservation, moved in. They carried out some work but were evicted in early 1988. Over the next few months the building was affected by bad weather and also considerably vandalised.

The local council, applying pressure on the water authority, served notice ordering repair of the building and threatening compulsory purchase if the repairs were not carried out. The Mid Kent Water Authority's General Manager, Brian Coleman, agreed that the authority had a responsibility to maintain the property if it was to remain and said that more than £100,000 would need to be spent to make the roof and windows water tight and secure. Coleman said the building would be inspected daily to ensure against vandals but he could give no assurance that it would not eventually be demolished if the proposed reservoir was ever given permission to proceed.

In 1813 Richard took Dene Farm, Wingham Well and Appleton Farms, Wingham. His son Leonard took the two latter in 1844. Richard continued Dene Farm and Hop Grounds until his death on 11 December 1848 and it was then carried on by his executors for the benefit of the family until 1853, when his son Anthony and daughters succeeded, eventually it became Anthony's alone.

Sir Henry Oxenden Bart. in his Recollections published in 1862 says "The old Dene ground of hops had been planted before the recollection of the oldest inhabitant of Wingham, one of the best grounds in the neighbourhood, the superintendence of it was left to the late Mr. Richard Laslett, a most worthy and good man to whom Sir Henry was much attached."

Richard was churchwarden of Wingham parish for three periods, 1818/9, 1829/30 and 1839/40.

Kentish historian Ralph Arnold explains that "there were many more hop gardens . . than there are today or than there have been for many years past. From 1700 to 1750 the price of corn had ruled low, while the prices obtained for hops had been rising. Beer was the ordinary everyday drink of the people and the consequent demand for hops must have been enormous, added to which, in the days before the introduction of chemical sprays, it was generally reckoned that a full crop could only be expected every other year. Hops were grown not only in regular gardens or grounds but also in many cottage plots. In appearance, an eighteenth century hop ground must have been similar to a present day hop garden, though there was no 'stringing' between the poles and the characteristic 'wind shelters' of Lombardy poplars were not introduced until the 1780's or '90's. Often, especially in newly planted grounds, fruit trees - apples, cherries or nuts - were planted between the hop hills.

Richard and Elizabeth’s grave (L) and that of their son Richard and grandson William Gaskin at Wingham

Richard left surviving at his death, at the age of 76 years, a wife, six sons and six daughters. His Will was proven on 9 June 1849, a copy appears on page 222. The Executors to his will were his sons George, John and William. His wife Elizabeth died on 2 October 1849, aged 72, and was buried in the same grave as Richard in St Mary’s churchyard at Wingham.

On 2 August 2000 Michael Laslett wrote: ‘At St Mary’s Church, Wingham I discovered several tomb stones of the family, notably Richard… and his family. Lasletts married into the Elgar family at some point. The Elgards are well represented in the Wingham churchyard and there is still an old established Estate agents and surveyors called Elgar’s in the village.’

Family of Richard and Elizabeth Laslett


GEORGE - born 8 July 1796, at Bossington Farm, Adisham, near Wingham, Kent.

Married Charlotte Manger, spinster, of St Marys Dover by licence at St Marys Dover on 28 April 1831. George died on 31 March 1853. His will, proven 30 July 1853, was dated 14 March 1853. Charlotte died at Hammersmith, London, 19 February 1878, in her 70th year.

See chapter George and Charlotte Laslett of Hole Farm on page 54.

RICHARD - Farmer. Died at Dene, 23 January 1838, aged 38 years, unmarried, buried in St Marys Churchard at Wingham.
JOHN - Cornfactor, Bay House, Ickham, died at Dene, 29 May 1864, aged 63 years, unmarried, buried at Ickham.
WILLIAM - baptised at Sturry on 22 July 1802. Held Houden Farm, Ash, died in London, 31 December 1863, aged 61 years, buried at Nunhead Cemetery. Married Elizabeth Youden, spinster, of St James Dover by licence at St James Dover on 19 November 1829. Elizabeth died on 2 March 1854 and is buried at St. Giles, Camberwell. She was aged 54 years (56 by the census details below). William married a second time in 1857, a Miss Bell, London, who survived him. No family by his second wife. The 1851 Census for Ash (Westmarsh) gives William Laslett Hd M a49 Farmer 135 acres emp. 8 men b. Sturry and Elizabeth Laslett Wf M a53 farmer's wife b. Dover. Charles H. Laslett son U a20 b. Ash; Elizabeth Laslett dau U a 19 b. Ash; William Laslett son U a17 b. Ash; Catherine Laslett dau. U a15 b. Ash and M.M. Marinach visitor U a22 b. London.
Charles Horn - born 1830 in Ash, died 31 December 1852, aged 22 years, unmarried, buried at St. Giles, Camberwell.
William - born 1832 in Ash, went to Canada 1861. Died Montreal 1877 aged 45. Married in Canada.
Laurence a Bank Clerk in Montreal (from letter dated 1910) Is perhaps that William Laurence Laslett b 10 November 1871 in Canada who died in Los Angeles on 31 August 1955 (Cal. Death Records).
Elizabeth Denne - born 26 January 1832 in Ash. Went to Canada 1871 to brother, returned 1878. Died at 99 Ladbroke Road, Nottinghill, London, 29 December 1900, aged 68 years. Unmarried. Buried at Nunhead Cemetery in her father's grave.
Catherine - born 1836 in Ash. Always lived with her sister, went with her and returned with her from Canada. Died 18 March 1902, aged 66 years. Unmarried. Buried in grave with sister and father at Nunhead Cemetery.
Richard - baptised 5 December 1841 at Ash and buried there on 23 June 1843.
THOMAS CHATHAM - baptised 3 June 1805 at Sturry. Married Mary Margaret Catherwood widow, maiden name, Wigzell, who died 2 October 1848, aged 46 years, buried with Thomas in St Nichola Churchyard, Sturry near Canterbury. Thomas Chatham - late Canterbury, married a second time. He died 23 January 1881, aged 77 years.
Charles - died 27 February 1841, aged 7 years. Buried in his parent’s grave.
Louise - married Thomas Bell Watson, 14 August 1866, at Maidstone, Kent. Mr. Watson was a chemist who resided first at Horsham, afterwards at Abiesford in Hampshire, then in London. He died at 60, Plimsoll Road, Finsbury Park, 1 June 1890.
Charlotte, By second wife. Died aged 14 years. There is a Charlotte Laslett died aged 14 years who was buried at Abney Park Cemetery in London on 10 October 1887.
LEONARD - baptised at Wingham in 1816. Took Wingham Well and Appleton Farms off his father in 1844. Married Anne Collard (born 1824) at Wingham in 1847. Anne was the daughter of Robert Collard (born 1783 died 1872) of Brook Farm, Kent and his second wife Hestor Larkin. Leonard was churchwarden of Wingham parish from 1855 to 1857. Wife died 9 June 1871, aged 47 years, buried at Wingham. Took Cornfactor business that his brother John had carried on. He attended the funeral of his brother George's wife, Charlotte, who died 19 February 1878. He died 19 October the same year, in his 62nd year, and is buried at Wingham.
Richard - born at Wingham in 1849 (A memorial in Wingham Chrch Grave Yard records his birth as February 1851). Had Corn Stores at Canterbury, afterwards he went out to South Africa. Died at the Cape on 28 January 1883, unmarried. A fine man. Buried in the English Cemetry, Cape Town.
Robert Collard - baptised at Wingham in 1849. Took to his father's farms, died 16 March 1897 after an operation necessitated from an accident on the cricket field. Unmarried. Buried in his mother's grave, Wingham. The accident occurred some years previously.
Leonard - baptised at Wingham in 1852 and was buried there in 1853.
Harry - baptised at Wingham in 1860 and buried there the same year.
Frederic John born at Wingham in May 1861 and died there in August of the same year. Buried in Wingham Church Grave Yard.
Leonard William - born 1857 and baptised at Wingham. Took to his father's business at Ham Street, near Ashford, Kent. Married in 1903, Miss Charlotte Mayham. No children. Brought up fatherless son and daughter of brother Octavius.
Thomas White Collard - born 1858 and baptised at Wingham. Married Miss East, 29 April 1885, (Florence Mary Eastes reg Dover Jun Q 85 vol 2a page 1469) had four sons and two daughters. Farmed lands several years, afterwards took an old established business of Fly & Carriage proprietor in Dover where he was for some years, but motors coming in use lessened the trade and he went out to Canada. A photograph of Thomas's business in Dover, the 'Antwerp Livery and Bait Stables' appears on page 42 of 'Dover Illustrated' by J.S. Rochard & Co, 1898/9.
Octavius - born 1863 and baptised at Wingham in 1864, married young and died soon from pneumonia, leaving two infants. Their father buried at Littlebourne, Kent. He lived and died at Canterbury.
Annie Maria - baptised at Wingham in 1848 and buried there in 1849.
Elizabeth Esther - born 1854, died an infant.
Louisa Anne - baptised at Wingham in 1855. Never married. For many years Housekeeper to her father when a widower and to her brothers Robert and Leonard.
Emily Charlotte - born 1865. Married to a Doctor Sutton, June 1892, no family.
ANTHONY - born at Bossington Farm house, Wingham, Kent, 30 October 1818. Managed the Farm for his father to his father's death 11 December 1848 then for Executors to 16 November 1852 when he and sisters took the farm. Some years after he paid them out and had it on his own account (his sisters were living in Dover). He spent his whole 78 years on Dene Farm. Anthony was churchwarden of Wingham parish for 1856/7. In 1853, he married Elizabeth Emma at Wingham. Elizabeth was the eldest daughter of the late William Elgar of Dembridge Farm, Wingham, and the niece of George Elgar a Surgeon of Ash. William Elgar had died in 1849 aged 53 years and his widow, Mrs. Anne Elgar, survived him for many years dying at the advanced age of 93 on 29 March 1885. William Elgar had been a gargantuan man of 20 stone. He was the son of Stephen Elgar & Elizabeth Solly of Wingham Court. It is interesting that Elizabeth Solly was probably the daughter of Stephen Solly and Jane Laslett. This would make Anthony & Elizabeth rather distant cousins. Anthony's wife died in 1890, aged 58, and is buried at Wingham. Anthony died 13 September 1896 and is buried at Wingham.
Charles - born 1858, at Dene and baptised at Wingham. Managed the farm with his father. Married to Charlotte Spanton. Locals called him "Lacy" for Laslett. Had one child only. Charles was buried at Wingham in 1930.
Charles - baptised at Wingham in 1896 and was living at Canterbury in 1911.
Elizabeth Anne - born 1854 and baptised at Wingham. On 12 December 1883, at Wingham, married a Frank Court. Took to Bossington Farm.
Charles Frank Court lived at Canterbury.


ELIZABETH - baptised 11 January 1804 at Sturry, married John Chandler, Crixhall Farm, near Wingham, at Wingham in 1839. Elizabeth died in 1848. John died in October 1860. No family.
RACHEL - born 1805, wife of Mr. Gaskin, died a widow, 1862, buried at Finchley, London.
George Gaskin - went to sea. It is supposed he made a home abroad.
William Gaskin - died 22 March 1848, aged 16 years. Buried in St Marys Churchyard at Wingham in the same grave as his Uncle Richard.
Rachel Gaskin - wife of Mr. Bull, farmer and milk business, Chingford near London. Had four sons (three of them in Canada and one, Douglas, at home) and four daughters (two, Clara and Florence married, and two, Rachel and Alice, single).
Douglas Bull
Clara Bull married.
Florence Bull married.
Rachel Bull single.
Alice Bull single.
MARY DENNE - baptised 27 January 1807 at Sturry, unmarried, died at Littlebourne, 15 October 1888, aged 81 years, buried at Wingham.
RACHEL - baptised at Sturry on 9 April 1808. Appears to have died young.
JANE - baptised at Sturry on 20 May 1809, lame, died at Littlebourne, 11 February 1890, aged 79 years, unmarried, buried at Wingham, in her father's grave.
CHARLOTTE - baptised at Sturry on 5 June 1811, died at Littlebourne, 24 February 1890, aged 78 years, buried at Wingham in her father's grave. Unmarried.
ANNE - born 1813, died at Wingham, 8 January 1892, aged 78 years, unmarried, buried at Wingham in her father's grave.
LOUISA - born 1814 and baptised at Wingham in 1815. The parish register records her surname at Lacey. On 14 July 1859 married Henry Homewood Bath at Wingham. He died and was buried at Nunhead near London. She lived after at Bromley, Kent and died 13 April 1892, aged 77 years, buried at Wingham. No family

In 1910 Richard Laslett wrote of his aunts:

After leaving Dene Richard's unmarried daughters lived some years at Dover and latterly resided at Littlebourne Hill, near Wingham. Wherever their residence, it was the home of them all, they dwelt together in unity, the ages they attained testify to their healthy lives and theirs was a long course of usefulness and comfort to others, to which all should strive to be.

Aunt Mary was for very many years her brother John's housekeeper and she remained through life greatly attached to him.

Aunt Charlotte was housekeeper to her brother Leonard before he married a wife. With this event another brother (Thomas) loses a wife and Aunt at once becomes housekeeper to the widower and to his motherless child, in tender years, ministers a maternal care and devotion till the child becomes a woman and marries, nor does it end there, Aunt is still regarded as a second mother in the changed life with advice and counsel while life lasted.

Aunt Jane though lame attended to poultry.

Aunt Anne the cheerful housekeeper to her aged parents . . .

All excelled in household management and were exemplary ladies . . .

It is a matter for observation, you will notice that all seven daughters of Richard and Elizabeth, married or unmarried, left this world in the same order as they entered it.