Adrian Heneset of Wartling (1633 - 1682/3)

Adrian, the youngest of Thomas and Tamasin's six sons, was born in Ninfield and baptised on 20 October 1633. His mother died when he was only 5 and his father a year later so he was probably brought up by relatives. He married Susanna Hollands (1639-1702) in Hailsham on 25 January 1665/6 and they had seven children baptised in Wartling:


11 Nov 1666


25 Apr 1669


3 Mar 1671/2


28 Mar 1675


29 Oct 1676


27 Dec 1679


10 Sep 1682

Adrian was presumably a man of some means as the Hearth Tax returns of 1670 show that he paid tax on three hearths. This unpopular tax, first imposed in 1662, was levied on the occupiers of all houses worth not less than twenty shillings per year, and was two shillings per year for each hearth. The fact that there were no iron works near Wartling shows that Adrian could not have followed the family tradition of employment in the iron industry, but there is no direct evidence to show what he did. The will of Adrian's cousin John Honisett of Bexhill in 1682 in which he left £8 to 'Atheven? Honnisett of Wartling, husbandman' suggests that Adrian was a husbandman. The name Adrian (if indeed that is correct!) seems to have given many scribes (or transcribers?) a problem; the 1670 Hearth Tax return for him has been transcribed as Abraham and the will of William Honnisett of Newenden in 1650 which may also refer to him has 'my brother Athewll?'.

He died aged 49 and was buried in a woollen shroud in Wartling on 21 March 1682/3. Coffins were still rare at this date and most people were simply wrapped in a shroud for burial. The Burial in Wool Act of 1678, introduced to encourage prosperity in the wool trade, made it illegal to bury anyone in a shroud which was not made of wool. An affidavit had to be made in the parish registers that the law had been complied with.

After Adrian died Susanna and her young family (Mary was only 6 months old when her father died) moved to Westham. Here she lived for nearly 20 years until she died and was buried there on 25 August 1702, aged 63. She made a will in 1699 in which she left most of her estate, including her house in Westham, to her daughter, Mary Hunnisett, after bequests to her sons Thomas and Richard and to Thomas' children; Thomas, Mary, Jane and Joseph. Strangely, her will makes no mention of her other children, not even David who was married in Westham just a few months before she died.

Extracts from Susanna's will:

...... I Susanna Hunnisett of the parish of Westham in the County of Sussex, widdow ......

...... unto my Daughter Mary Hunnisett the House I now live in with all the Ground & Appurtences thereunto ......

...... unto my Son Richard Hunnisett Ten pounds ...... my best pair of Fine Sheets And Two pewter Dishes ......

...... unto my Son Thomas Hunnisett one pair of Tow Sheets & a pair of Holland pillowcoats. I Also Give unto Thomas the eldest Son of the said Thomas Hunnisett One Silver Spoon And unto Mary, Jane & Joseph, the other three Children of my Sd Son Thomas, to each of them five Shillings ......

...... All the Rest of my Goods & Chattells ...... unto my Daughter Mary Hunnisett ......

...... the thirteenth day of June in the Year of our Lord 1699 ......

Of Adrian's children:

  • Thomas married Jane Glid in 1689 and lived in Westham.
  • John died, a bachelor, and was buried in Westham on 20 June 1699.
  • David married Elizabeth Rhodes in Westham in 1702, lived in Hailsham for a few years, and then moved to Dallington where several generations lived for at least a century.
  • Richard married Anne Nye in 1708 and lived in Herstmonceux.
  • Mary never married and her will of 1733 was long and detailed, leaving money and items to many of her nephews and nieces, but most of the estate, including the house in Westham, she left to her nephew Richard the son of her recently deceased brother Richard. Mary was well educated for the time as she could obviously both read and write. Her possessions included 'the Testament and the Exposition' and she signed her own will.