Laslett family history

Thomas and Mary Laslett of Hoden Farm

Thomas Laslett or Lacelet was born on 2 September 1661 at Woodnesborough, the second son of John Laslett or Lacelet a yeoman of Woodnesborough and Mildred Laslett née Fishenden, his wife (page 15). Thomas farmed lands at Woodnesborough and Ash near Sandwich, Kent. He later purchased Hoden Farm, Ash.

Hoaden farmhouse in Ash is still standing. It is quite a substantial old brick building that appears to have been "improved" in the 18th century as the bricks forming the chimney are much earlier than the bricks in the walls of the building. It was probably a traditional timber framed Kent hall house that was bricked up, as was the fashion, in Georgian times.

His marriage is recorded at Woodnesborough as '23 April 1691 Thomas Lacelet batch and Mary Curling virgin of Ash married by asking'.

In 1707 he became churchwarden of Ash parish and his name is to be seen carved into a beam in the Church. In 1708 he became churchwarden of Staple parish. The eighteenth century office of churchwarden was far more onerous than it is today. To the churchwarden fell the duty of raising and collecting the annual parish revenue by the levying of a church rate that was assessed on the rateable value of the whole parish.

Ralph Arnold in Yeoman of Kent when talking of churchwardens' duties explains that "the first call on their purse was the maintenance of the fabric of the church . . . But over and above this responsibility they had to buy the bread and wine used in Holy Communion; provide . . . refreshment for the bell-ringers (and singers) . . . subscribe to all briefs or nationally sponsored appeals; give gratuities to itinerant beggars, distressed seamen and other poor people who wandered through the village; keep the church bells and the church clock in order; and maintain the village stocks."

Kentish Yeomen were a good deal richer than the general run of yeomen in England. During the eighteenth century yeomen as a class generally tended to diminish in numbers due to alienation of their land to the rising middle class. Whereas in Kent yeomen continued to flourish, able to resist this trend due to their proximity to the ready market for their produce in nearby London which was readily accessible by water.

The Lasletts in Australia have a particular interest in Thomas and Mary Laslett as they were the last ancestors that the two main Australian branches of the family have in common.

Thomas died on 15 April 1739, aged 78. He was buried in Ash churchyard on 18 April 1739. Some years ago Val Hopcraft of Worcester, a descendant of Thomas, visited his grave and recorded the inscription:

Here lieth the body of Thomas Laslett
of this Parish who
left Issue 3 Sons
2 Daughters. He
departed this life April
15th 1739. Aged 78 Years.

His will was dated 25 September 1736 and proven 19 April 1739 (see page 219). Richard his son was sole executor and in the will Thomas bequeathed lands and messuages covering Woodnesborough and Hoden Farm. Specifically he left his daughter Margaret £5 per annum, daughter Mildred £30, grandchildren William and Jane the children of his late son John £10 apiece, son Stephen £100, son Richard Laslett messuage and land in the parish of Woodnesborough and one fourth part of messuages and land Hoden Farm in the parish of Ash, near Sandwich, Kent, to son William Laslett one other fourth part also.

Family of Thomas and Mary Laslett


JOHN - baptised 20 December 1691 at Ash. On 6 October 1717 John married Elizabeth Keble at Ash. John was buried at Ash on 25 April 1722.

See chapter John and Elizabeth Laslett of West Marsh on page 25.

THOMAS - baptised 24 December 1693 at Ash. At Ash on 27 September 1712 married Elizabeth Carter of Ash. They lived at West Marsh. On 18 June 1721 Elizabeth the wife of Thomas Laselet of Wash Marsh was buried at Ash.
Ann - baptised 25 January 1713 O.S. at Ash.
Mary - buried 23 October 1716 at Ash.
Hannah - baptised 23 September 1716 at Ash.
Elizabeth - buried 19 October 1719 at Ash.
WILLIAM - baptised 10 March 1699 O.S. at Ash as William son of Thomas and Mary Lacy. Married Susanna Fright, a widow, on 18 October 1726 at Ash. Mentioned in father's will dated 25 September 1736. William buried at Stratford-on-Avon on 15 March 1777.

See chapter William and Susanna Laslett of Stratford-on-Avon on page 27.

STEPHEN - baptised 11 February 1704 O.S. at Ash, mentioned in father's will.
RICHARD - born 22 September 1707 at Ash. Farmed lands at Woodnesborough and Hoden and grew hops at Ash near Sandwich. On 6 October 1734 Richard Laslett of Ash married Elizabeth Wastall of Staple at Woodnesboro' by Licence. Died 16 April 1784.

See chapter Richard and Elizabeth Laslett of Woodnesborough and of Hoden and Santon Farms on page 29.

JOSEPH - baptised on 15 December 1709 at Ash. Buried at Ash on 22 November 1710. Both records show him as Joseph son of Thomas Lacy.


MARY - baptised 19 January 1696 O.S. at Ash, died 1724, no account of marriage.
MARGARET - baptised 26 February 1698 O.S. at Ash. Married George Keble of Ash on 22 October 1723.
MILDRED - baptised 17 May 1702 at Ash. Wife of John Holloway.