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A Brind family history, written by Paul Eustace in 1985.
NIL SINE LABORE
(Nothing Without Labour)
Surnames can often gives clues to the origins of a family and their mediaeval history.
Certain names give clues to previous occupations as in the case of Tyler or Fletcher. Some to places of habitation as in Atwood (at a wood) or Heath (by a heath). Nicknames also feature as in Small or Lightfoot, but names derived from a previous chequered history are most colourful and Brind, by a majority verdict of the sources consulted falls within this category.
P H Reeney's classic work "The Origin of English Surnames" describes Brent and Brind as being derived from "sufferers of penalties imposed by mediaeval law". It was customary in Mediaeval times, in dealing with minor criminals, to sentence offenders to branding of either head or hands thus burnt of branded became transposed into recognisable names.
An example quoted by Reeney is that of Brendhand recorded at Barnwell in 1295 which traces through to the modern surname of Brennan.
Further examples quoted from the Register of Freemen of York for the period 1272-1338 are Simon del Brend and later Richard del Brynd. Ancestors of both these men would have suffered the punishment of branding.
The only dissenting theory is that of Ernest Weekley who records Brind as deriving from "the brow of a hill".
The Arms shown are those which were detailed by the Brind family of Wanborough at the time of the 1623 Visitation.
Left from Vincent's Ordinary 446 Arms of Bren (coat A). Right Arms of Brend or Brand of Lincolnshire (coat B). Argent, on a chevron sable, between 3 sinister hands of the second, 3 spear heads of the field.
Crest: A dexter arm erect holding a spear head, all proper.
Motto: NIL SINE LABORE. (Nothing without labour.)
For further details see sources.
|The heraldic description of the coat is:--
"Argent, a chevron between three sinister hands sable; a crescent for a difference."
The actual colours are three black left hands on a silver background cut by a chevron. At the visitation it was recorded that this was "a coat produced but to be better proved".
The account, later of the early history of the Wanborough Brind family refers to the arms as being those of a second son. It is the crescent at the top which signifies that this was held by a junior branch of the family but the senior branch has yet to be found.
The crest detailed is interesting as this is also a hand which contains the "sinister hand" thread from the Wanborough arms.
The crest, described as: "a dexter orbit arm erect holding the head of a spear all perpendicular" is recorded as that of Frederick William Brind of Court Lodge, Chelsfield, Kent, and to be found in Fairbairn's "Book of Crests".
It is not yet known how Frederick William fits into the Brind story but the repetition of the hand sinister may indicate that he may be a descendant of the Wanborough family.
Apart from London, concentration of the Brind family name is greatest in modern day Wiltshire and Berkshire. In researching the history of the name the concentration in Wiltshire increases as records become older and centres in east Wiltshire around Swindon in the mid sixteenth century.
From this concentration a further investigation into the Wanborough family was undertaken and flesh was put on the bones of theory viz:--
A study of the Wiltshire taxation lists showed that for contributions to the "benevolence" of 1545 Thomas Brind was second only to Thomas Hinton of Earlscourt (the local dignitary) in amount of contribution. From this it is evident that the Brind family had built up considerable wealth by this time and the Wiltshire Victorian County History confirms this by pointing out that they had become substantial tenants within the Wanborough parish to the main lord of the manor. The V.C.H. reports that by 1547 Thomas and his family were paying £9.00 per annum for freehold and copyhold properties which amounted to a quarter of the manor's total annual revenue from lands.
The V.C.H. records that by the middle of the sixteenth century the family had taken residence in Hall Place, an old medieval house previously the home of the Poulton family, which was situated a little to the east of lower Wanborough. The house is now destroyed but was still occupied by a Thomas Brind in 1633.
The Calendar of Patent Rolls for 1549 records that Thomas Brind bought a mill and fishery from a Thomas Yate (whose family had held them since 1502) for a sum of £340 and the family retained their interested until 1577 when it "passed" to Alexander Staples. The variety of the family's business interests was witnessed by the records of the estates Bursary of Magdalen College, Oxford, (who held the manor of Wanborough) which noted that on the death of Thomas Brind senior in 1559 he was farming the whole of the lands of Warnage Manor within Wanborough and that after his death this tenancy passed to his son Thomas.
This Thomas senior was somewhat of a colourful character as, according to the "Calendar of State Papers Domestic" for 1550 he claimed to have grazing for 252 sheep on the "Lord's Down" a claim which was challenged by the Lord of the Manor, the holder of the "Lord's Down". It is not recorded what the outcome of the dispute was. A possible indication of economic trouble during the reign of "Bloody Mary" may be that by his will of 1559 Thomas left only 200 sheep and the fact that they were "on the east field on the hill" may indicate that he lost the dispute with the Lord of the Manor in 1550!
As testified by the Magdalen College records Thomas was succeeded by his son Thomas and this was confirmed by the 1623 Wiltshire Visitation. This same Thomas junior headed the subsidy list of 1576 with an assessment (for taxation) of over £11 per annum and brother Anthony was assessed at over £8 per annum.
The Victoria County History tells that the family were still in Wanborough in the early twentieth century and their continued influence in the village is confirmed in 1653 when the will of Thomas Brind was proved viz:-- Thomas Brynd senior, gentleman, Wanborough 1653.
This may be the Thomas who was shown as "of London" on the 1623 Wiltshire visitation family tree and the fact that at his death he was "senior" indicates that he had offspring.
This account of one early family is by no means the origin of the Brind story. Rather, as a Catherine wheel throws off sparks, so a family disperses younger sons to surrounding villages to form their own dynasties and so family members are subsequently to be found in Liddington and (particularly) Aldbourne and further east to Western Berkshire, Reading and into the capital itself.
This process, however, has been happening for many years before the Wanborough family became established, particularly as the arms previously detailed are those of a second son. It is likely, though, that the origins of this family were local and clues to its forebears may be found in the various wills proven locally. A short distance away in Watchfield (Shrivenham) where the will of Adryan Brinde was proved in 1564 and two at Marlston, that of Edmund Brynd, 1543, and Joahane Brynd, 1557, and it may be that these indicate a relationship.
Further research is necessary to unravel this complicated genealogy although definite conclusions are unlikely as those mentioned would have been born before 1534 when parish registers began.
The family tree detailed within gives the full relationships of those whose history follows.
The census return for 1841 for East Garston, Berkshire, shows details of the remainder of Robert and Jane's family viz:--
1841 Census at East Garston, Berkshire
The 1841 census gives ages (over 15 years) to the nearest five years multiple, hence the birth dates of Robert and Jane are only approximate.
The name of daughter Louisa actually reads Lovesia on the census form, however this may be due to the poor handwriting of the enumerator and the name has been assumed as Louisa.
Robert's occupation of seedsman is hardly surprising as East Garston is in the heart of agricultural Berks/Wilts.
This complete family unit has yet to be traced in subsequent census returns.
Further census details of some of the family have been unearthed at Baydon for 1851:--
1851 Census at Baydon, Berkshire
These were two of the daughters of Robert and Jane Brind. The whereabouts of Robert and Jane in 1851 are still unknown. The exact nature of Elizabeth's invalidity is not known.
The search for Robert has been a lengthy one. The 1841 census above recorded that he was born within the county of Berks and his age was rounded up (or down) to 50 by the enumerator indicating that he was born around 1790. None of the freely available records (Mormons etc.) indicated any possible births which might have been this Robert. Rather than searching endlessly through parish registers in ever increasing circles, it was decided to search the 1851 census returns for the area around Garston in the hope of uncovering the relevant entry for this family.
Before this search commenced an opportunity arose to consult the St Catherine's House births, marriages and death indices. The deaths index revealed that a Robert Brind had died in the Hungerford Registration district in 1850 and if this was the Robert in question it might explain why the family had moved on from East Garston (Garston being within the Hungerford Registration District).
As an alternative to purchasing a copy death certificate which may not be relevant it was decided to concentrate on the 1851 census sweep in the area between Hungerford and Garston. Some nineteen hours in total were spent searching the census microfilms and whilst the particular family unit in question has still not been discovered no less than four heads of Brind family gave their places of birth as Beedon (a village just west of the A34 and some 11 miles to the east of East Garston). The family heads concerned gave ages which would have made them younger brothers of Robert if indeed proved to be of their family.
The next stage in the research was a trip to the new Berkshire hall to consult the original Beedon parish registers. The following baptismal entries were discovered:--
All children were born to Zebulon and Elizabeth Brind.
If the Robert born in 1799 is the man we are looking for, it calls into question the age recorded in the 1841 census. The age given may be incorrect for three reasons:--
1) It was rounded to the nearest tenth year.
2) Robert himself (or his wife if she gave the information) may have been unsure of his own age-- not an uncommon phenomenon in the days of little or no education.
3) The enumerator (early censuses were conducted by personal interview) may have misheard or misunderstood.
The author feels that these two Roberts are one and the same. Zebulon and the rest of his family were agricultural labourers and their standard of education would have been limited. It therefore seems likely that the age given in the census return of 1841 is inaccurate for one of the reasons stated.
Further clues to this family are evident in the Beedon registers:--
Richard Maskell of West Ilsley and Rachel Brind of this parish were married 12th July 1834. Wit: James Curtis and Ann Maria Weston. Neither bride nor groom could write and so both placed their "X" on the register.
Elijah Brind of this parish and Sarah Martin were married 4th June 1836 wit: James Curtis and Rachel Maskell. On this occasion Rachel was able to sign her own name. Elijah was clearly closely related to Rachel and later census returns confirm his birth in Beedon in approximately 1813. As the parish registers viewed ended in 1812 it is likely that he was also a brother.
The subsequent families of this generation are shown on the family tree and have been compiled using the census returns referred to.
The practice of naming sons after fathers, brothers or grandfathers is often a good clue to descent. As Zebulon himself called his first son Zebulon, it was no surprise to discover other (and older) Zebulons in the area.
In fact, if this theory proves to be correct, the name Zebulon could be the link with the Wiltshire families previously reported.
Zebulon of Beedon in the 1841 census reported the fact that he was not born in Berkshire. His approximate age was given as 70 meaning he would have been born around 1771. His wife Elizabeth gave her age as 65 and a later census confirmed that she was born in 1776. Zebulon, although dead by 1851, would have been slightly older than her. Given that Zebulon was not born in Berkshire, the obvious place to look for his birth is Wiltshire and it was in Aldbourne, some 17 miles west of Beedon that the following was discovered.
Zebulon Brind married Mary Ventham 17th October, 1774.
It may be that the Beedon Zebulon is a son of Zebulon and Mary or perhaps a nephew. The next step for research is clear.
Moving towards the present day the census return for 1861 for St Helens, Abingdon, details the family of Thomas & Hannah Brind:--
Wife Hannah was born at Warwick in 1827/1828. From the birth of daughter Margaret J at Leamington it would seem likely that Thomas and Hannah were married in this area and later moved south. Robert is shown as having the initial W but family tradition records that his second name was Hedley. This W initial is probably just a mistake on the part of the enumerator.
Thomas's occupation of stationer and fancy bazaar is unusual and was probably an early version of W H Smith.
Family tradition recalls that Thomas and Hannah died in a plague in Oxford in the 1870s. Thomas's sister Emily was living with him at the time of the census (April 1861) but this was probably only a short stay as visitors were usually included thus. Hannah Whitehead, wife of Thomas Brind, born at Warwick, has the following parentage:--
Hannah daughter of Robert and Margaret Whitehead, bapt. 23 Nov, 1826, at Warwick Brook Street Chapel (formerly Cow Lane Independent Chapel).
The family being of the Methodist persuasion may make tracing more difficult as non-conformist records are not as complete as those of the Church of England. For the present, the following appear to be of the same family:--
Thomas Whitehead bapt. 30th Sept, 1824 at Warwick Brook St.
Eleanor Whitehead bapt. 14th Aug, 1812, at Birmingham St. Martin
James Bridgman Brind married Sarah Elizabeth Habgood at Inkpen, Berkshire, in 1885 and their early family were born in this area. The premature death of their eldest daughter is attested in the church yard at Inkpen. The following is to the east of the church:--
James and Elizabeth later moved north to Boston, Lincolnshire, and their subsequent family were brought up there. Robert and the remainder of his generation stayed in the Abingdon area and it was William, the son of Harry, who began the Brind-Gillingham company which has, alas, now disappeared. The descendants of this branch remain in the area to this day.
FAMOUS SONS AND DAUGHTERS
Each generation in any family produces those who leave their mark on both the local and national communities. So it has proved with the Brind family.
The Dictionary of National Biography has only scant details of the career of Richard Brind who was the organist at St Paul's Cathedral from 1707-1718. He first appears at St Paul's as a chorister under Jeremiah Clarke and it was after Clarke's death that he took over as organist. Richard is recorded as having written two thanksgiving anthems, the records of which have regrettably been lost. To his detriment, however, Hawkins in his History of Music of 1853 comments:--
"Brind seems to have been no very remarkable performer."
Irrespective of Hawkins opinion it is very interesting to reflect that it was during Richard's time that Handel frequently took his place at the organ at St Paul's. Richard died in March 1718 and was buried in the vaults of the cathedral on the 18th of that month and the thought that he died at an early age is rather confirmed by the fact that administration of his estate was granted to his father, also Richard, on the 7th April, 1718.
A useful genealogical source is the "Register of Wiltshire endowed charities" which was published in 1908. This publication continues the Wanborough thread as Margaret Brind, by her will of 1747, left a sum of £100 to the poor of Wanborough. The interest of this was to be given too poor widows.
As younger sons left the ancestral village, new dynasties were created and the "Wiltshire endowed charities" records two further family philanthropists. Margaret Brind of Swindon by her will of 1740 left £100, the interest of which was to be paid annually on July 20th to the parish poor. The fund was combined in 1757 with one left by Mary Broadway and was used to buy land in Stratton St Margaret. The land was sold in 1884 and raised £1171 for the poor and £203 for widows. The annual income of the fund in 1903 was £15.
William Brind of Liddington by his will of 1876 left £100 in trust, the income of which was to be used to provide an evening school for boys employed as farm labourers. The income was, in fact, used to maintain a reading room for boys until the charity was extended in 1887 to buy books for a lending library for the boys. The annual income of the fund in 1968 was some £2 per annum.
No doubt there are other family members equally deserving of their place in history and research is continuing to ensure that this rightful place is filled.
This paper was produced by the husband of one of the nieces of Peter Brind of 54 Acaster Lane, Bishopthorpe, York YO2 1SG, in 1986.