The origin of this branch has caused more headaches than any other part of this history and considering that there may be no continuity has been hardly worth it.
It all hinges around the Richards of that period so we will devote most of this section to them.
First we start looking for a Richard born after 1600 and find Richard, son of Richard and Ann Watkins, born 1614 (godfather William Willaston). He became a draper in London and had a wife Dorothy. Strangely enough he died in the same year as Richard son of Hugh who, also a draper, had the "Golden Lion" in Cornhill.
Richard and Ann had moved to London where Ann died at Wandsworth in 1635. Son Richard having gone into the drapery business with several others had the contract for supplying clothing for the army in Ireland, and claiming £40,055-18-8 in 1643.
In this same year Richard applied for a Puritan preacher for St. Peters, Cornhill.
In 1646 they made further claims for supplying army uniforms, this time £43,000 and £37,000 of which they collected £2000 and £59,904-3-10¾. Two years later when Richard died his wife Dorothy with the others was claiming £26,000, so it was evidently a profitable business.
As neither of these Richards could have had sons after 1650, we return to our search, and find Richard, son of Walter, born at Bishop's Castle in 1619, and as there is no record of his death as a child he has left no record in the family tree which is strange, because the family is otherwise traced in some detail. Having found one Richard there has to be another, and I can only assume that he may have come from the Northants. family.
Earlier writers of the family history have assumed that there was one Richard, but it appears there must be two. Firstly there is Richard, Captain in the Army in 1643, a Major in 1646, member of a court martial. In 1653, the year of Cromwell's coming to power, Major Richard Wollaston commenced buying properties taken from the Royalists - Duston Manor in Northants., houses in Newton and Melbourne parishes, manors in Baggrave and Castle Donnington. a mill and other properties in Leicestershire and lead mines in Dovegang Wirksworth, Derbyshire together with cottages and the offices of Barmaster and Farmer of Lot and Cope. All these were bought from the Trustees, for the sale of lands forfeited for treason, who were responsible to the Commission of Compounding.
Although it is stated that Col. William Mitchell transferred in 1654 the Office of Barmaster and Farmer of Lot and Cope of Dovegang, it is also stated that Richard purchased the office from the widow of Sir John Coke, a previous holder.
The Barmaster was a judge among miners - an officer of the barmote, a court held in Derbyshire to settle disputes among miners. As Farmer of Lot and Cope he, as Lord of the Field, was responsible for the tribute payable to the Crown.
Richard took over these offices at an unfortunate time for about 5 months later there were senous riots at Dovegang by the miners of Wirksworth and he had to seek assistance to quell them. He received payment as commission on the lead produced, for at the beginning of the following year he was paid £87-14-6 for the Lot ore and Cope of Dovegang from the county committee out of sequestration money in his hands.
Now for Richard number two whom we must draw out of a hat. The family tree suggests he was the son of Henry of Newgate who married Frances born 1602 and started having a family at the age of 50, and is credited with at least a family of 2 sons.
This Richard who is confused with the previous Major, served in a man-of-war receiving a gunner's certificate in 1650, and in the same year he is described as a Master Gunner when he drew 5 barrels of gunpowder for a display at a Parliamentary launching of 2 frigates at Deptford. Richard has been described as Cromwell's gun founder; he obviously held a high position in the Ordnance Department and was responsible to the Ordnance Commission.
In all the references to this Richard he is described as Mr. Wollaston or Richard Master Gunner, and whilst Major Richard was buying properties and assuming the offices at Dovegang, the Master Gunner was inspecting ordnance for ships in Scotland, claiming travelling expenses (£44-6-8) and visiting ships at Sandilands and asking for £20 "for pains and disbursements on the day of thanksgiving." He was also inspecting 144 pieces of iron ordnance on Tower Wharf, In the same year this was going on Major Richard Wollaston was trying to cope with the Dovegang riots.
When asked about salary the Master Gunner said he would leave that to the gentlemen of the Navy, whilst pointing out that though other officers were paid quarterly he was only paid yearly and that he neglected to take perquisites. Asked by the Admiralty Commissioners to state his arrears, he was paid £472 in January 1656 by the Admiralty. Although I have been endeavouring to show that the Major and Master Gunner are different Richards, on 25th June 1660 Richard Master Gunner says "you ordered me (i.e. the Admiralty and Navy Courts) £171 for my salary I being to leave theplace. I beg it may be assigned on the excise for the town and county of Derby with £6 travelling charges."
This is a month after the restoration of the monarchy of Charles II, and when lands and offices were once more being restored to previous owners, and this might be a reference to Barmaster and possibly other acquisitions.
It was at this time that the Master Gunner purchased from Richard Wollaston for £300 a ten foot strip of land and small yard to allow access to a shed built for the artillery' which had established a new artillery range ai Moorefields not far away; however this room 63'x24' was soon given up to a preacher named Knollis for services as "it seeming unfit that H. Maties (Majesty's) Stores of that nature should lye outside the Tower."
As 1660 is the last time Cromwell's gun founder is mentioned it seems probable that King Charles had no further use for him.
All this doesn't help us much to find the Richard who purchased Loseby possibly about this time. There was the Major buying up land and houses which no doubt he lost at the Restoration, the Master Gunner, and the Richard who sold a piece of his land for £300 and probably had money. Both the Richards who had been doing well as drapers had been dead for some years.
What we do know is that Richard had two sons Josiah and John, and that in 1669 they purchased from Thomas Johnson the house at Wormley. Herts, in which their father Richard was living. In the same year John bought the Manor of Ponsbourne which had earlier been held by Sir Thomas Seymour. Lord Admiral of England.
In 1673 Richard purchased a moiety of Wormley which descended to his son John (d.1692) and then to John's son Richard who in 1692 completed the purchase of the estate with the exception of the Manor House of Wormley Bury.
In 168S Richard Senior bequeathed a moietv of 2 farms in Essex to charity and at his death in 1691 he left land valued at £100 to the poor forever. £20 for clothing the poor in the parish of Woolmer, £30 for the parish of Whitchurch and £50 for 6 parishes in Leicester.
Josiah and John were holding Loseby in Leicester until Josiah's death before his father. Josiah married Elizabeth, sister of Sir Edward Lawrence of the Manor of St. Ives, and usher to Queen Anne. John inherited the estates in Hants, and Herts, and Isaac. Josiah's second son, Loseby. There must have been some reason why the eldest son Josiah 1670-1757 did not inherit because he is described as of Loseby at his death. Isaac was sheriff of Leicester in 1697.
Isaac's son Isaac succeeded to the baronetcy of his uncle Sir Edward through the special provisions of the patent, but died without male heir so the title became extinct (his only son died a child).
Perhaps one day the problem of Richard will be solved, but it seems strange that someone owning large estates in Leicester, Hants, and Herts, should have in 1669 been living in a rented house which his sons bought.
In 1690 a year before his death he made application for £10.000 he lent William when Prince of Orange. From the Treasury Books - "£140 paid to John Wollaston for the use of his father Richard on a/c of £10000 part of £20000 lent the: King," and a further £50 on a/c of Poll Tax. Both these were Secret Service payments.
Richard (c.1678-1728). son of John, married Faith Brown and was an M.P. for Whitchurch, Hants. 1695-1708. He was expelled from the House in 1698. In 1697 he became Receiver General of Taxes for county Herts, on securities of £25,000 and in the same year was appointed Receiver for Births, Marriags and Houses on further security of £12,000.
The following year John was appointed Receiver General of Land Taxes for Herts, with a surety of £16,000 and we can only assume that this was Richard's brother - he did have another brother named Jonathan.
On Richard's expulsion from the House he was superseded by John who gave the King's Remembrancer in 1699 securities "for Rcr General of Duties in loco of Richard."
Probably the reason for this was that Thomas Richards, late Receiver General for Herts., was claiming against Richard Wollaston and John Gape, late Receivers, but before a missing memorial was found Richards had absconded, so Richard was reinstated because in 1701 John and Richard, Receivers of Duties, were being proceeded against.
In 1702 Richard and John were to get Secret Service payments on account of the money their grandfather had lent the King, although I have seen no definite record of its having ever been paid, but frequent references were made authorising its payment. Richard became a Deputy Lieutenant for Herts, in 1705. There is no further reference to John as a Receiver but Richard seemed to have been restored to that position, also to his seat in Parliament.
In 1710 Richard was in trouble again over collectors who did not exist and claiming arrears when none were due.
He had obtained his offices through his friendship with the Lord Chancellor, but in spite of his opportunities he was singularly inept, if not dishonest. He had in the meantime run out his estates and probably had lost his job as Receiver.
In 1714 Richard, who for 14 years was M.P. for Whitchurch and described as a Court Whig, was having trouble with Elizabeth Preston, who evidently had friends at Court, and was seeking a "scite" of the Monastery of Furness "of which Richard Wollaston had obtained a lease 3 years since claiming it was part of the Duchy of Lancester." and in the following year he received a caveat in his favour against the passing of any grant of scite of the dissolved Monastery of Furness, Lancashire.
Richard's respite was however to be shortlived, because in the following year he petitioned King George II as follows:- His grandfather obtained a lease of the lead mines of Wirksworth (Derby). Petitioner prayed the late Queen to grant a new lease of them. Mr. Cooke H.M. Chamberlain and others demanded the same thing. The lease was granted Mr. Cooke. Her Majesty promising petitioner an equivalent. Upon this encouragement the petitioner asked for a reversion of the revenues of the Abbey of Furness of which "Demoiselle" Preston was then in possession. Petitioner obtained a lease therein under the seal of the Duchy of Lancaster for 29½ years. The lease was not worth one-third of that of the lead mines. The Demoiselle Preston produced a lease under the Great Seal for 15 years commencing the same time as that of the petitioner. She established her claim and obtained a decree of the Court of the Exchequer. The petitioner hoped that at the expiration of this lease he would be admitted without contest for the rest of his term of 29 years, wih a new lease of 15 years more; but finds that the Demoiselle Preston on payment of £1000 has obtained an order from the King for a lease of 31 years by which time his term is entirely absorbed. Prays the order may be revoked and for a grant of a new lease to the petitioner so that he may enjoy the term of 14½ years which remains to be run with the addition of 6½ years.
Accompanied by the memorial he sets forth his services amongst which he says he lent £10.000 to the Prince of Orange. He served in Parliament for 14 years, etc.
The memorial states he was chosen as M.P. for Whitchurch (Hants.) in 1696, served till Lord Oxford dissolved the Ministry and the Queen the Parliament until "Mr. Tilny and Mr. Vernon spent £7.000 to turn Mr. Wollaston out," who had for above 14 years kept up an honest interest at incredible expense. He always brought a friend in, particularly General Shrimpton when he was abroad in the army at the usual time of the elections and was not only at expenses there but at several boroughs and counties at every new election to bring in honest gentlemen, and though he did not stand himself in this Parliament he spared no effort or pains to get those chosen that were attached to H.M.'s interest in several counties and boroughs. He went on to say that he had 23 children and neither he nor any of them has had the least place under the Government. My Lord's order case to be heard.
The case heard was before the Chancellor Sir William St. Quinton, Lord Torringtion and Mr. Edcombe - case to rest with Chancellor.
In the Bounty-Minute Book Richard appears to have received money - undated but perhaps 1725 the year of his death.
Richard became Secretary of the Commission of Peace. Here again he seemed to be in trouble. Complaints were made against him for putting out a J.P. because he had suppressed plays and shows, and also he had been borrowing money from justices. Several letters among these documents in the Panshanger collection are from Richard refuting these charges and telling of his sons gaining exhibitions at Wadham College, Oxford. There is another letter from John Dennis complaining that Mr. Wollaston has been obtaining money by tricks. If Richard had all the children he claimed there should surely be some survivors as no doubt there are.
Of all the children of Richard, I have no record excepting that one became a clergyman and another is George of whom Henry Wollaston writes, though it would appear his "tricks" were different from those of his father.
His dislike of his schoolmaster's wife led George to unnail the boards in the lavatory floor. His timing was successful for it was the lady who evoked his displeasure who was the first entrant and on stepping on the boards she was precipitated into the river beneath. As he had been sent to Bishop Stortford to school it must have been the River Stort that acted as the town sewer. George trained with a solicitor at Lincoln's Inn and became a J.P.. but was struck off the list by the Lord Chancellor for improper conduct. He got into debt and joined a cavalry regiment at 6d. a day. He served at the Battle of Preston without distinction. He went to Spain in an expedition against the Spaniards, was taken prisoner on a marauding escapade, thrown into gaol and later joined the Spanish army but his drinking habits continued to impede any advancement he might have made in any theatre of war.
After deserting from the Spanish army he tried faith-healing as a pilgrim, and when that proved unsuccessful he tried being a doctor. Between these professions he made periodic visits to the Spanish gaols, finally enlisting with the Spanish Artillery from which he was ultimately rescued by his father. Returning to England he had acquired enough material to write "The Life and History of a Pilgrim."
Israel (1701-1765), son of Jonathan, married Sarah Waldo and had 20 children who all died in infancy. Sarah walked her dog in Lincoln's Inn Gardens and provided for him in her will.