John Honisett (1718 - 1772) Miller of Beckley

John, a son of Thomas and Ann of Stone, was baptised in Udimore on 2 March 1717/8.

In 1747 John Honeysett of Brenzett in Kent was granted a lease on Woodlands in Beckley by Thomas Frewin. The lease was for 21 years at £32. A document concerning the settlement of the Brickwall estate in 1752 refers to 'messuage and 2 parcels of heath land (20a) in Beckley in the occupation of John Honysett'.

John married Ann Dunk in Beckley on 18 May 1751 but she died the following September and a memorial to her has been recorded in Beckley churchyard.

On 30 April 1753 he married Sarah Springet in Beckley and they had the following children baptised:


5 May 1754


19 Sep 1756



Sarah died and was buried on 17 April 1758 leaving John with three small children. He then married Sarah Hays, a widow, on 21 October 1759 and they had a further three children:






8 Apr 1770

John was a miller and apparently a fairly successful one as he made a will in which he left fifty pounds to each of his three sons and twenty five to each of his daughters. His wife was to get the interest for life on a further fifty pounds which upon her death was to be divided between the three youngest children. The remainder of his estate was to be divided equally between all the children or their heirs upon the death or re-marriage of his widow.

John died on 20 August 1772 according to an inscription in Beckley churchyard.

Of their children:

  • Sarah married John Inman in Beckley on 12 July 1774.
  • John may have been apprenticed to George Clarke, a cordwainer of Northiam, in 1774. He married Ann Venner in Brenzett on 11 July 1780 but may have died soon after as Ann appears to have remarried, to Caleb Carter, in 1782.
  • Mary married Samuel Greenfield in Beckley on 21 July 1774.
  • William was apprenticed to Thomas Inman, wheelwright of Beckley, in 1776.
  • David married Frances Beeching in Rye on 30 April 1793.

Extracts from John's will:

This is the last Will and Testament of John Honysett of Beckley in the County of Sussex Miller made this thirteenth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy two .....

...... my three daughters Sarah, Mary and Elizabeth the sum of twenty five pounds apiece of lawful money of Great Britain to be paid them respectively when and as they attain their several age and ages of twenty one years ......

...... my three sons John, William and David the sum of Fifty pounds apiece of like money to be paid to them respectively when and as they severally attain their age and ages of twenty one years .....

...... unto Sarah my wife for her life the Interest and yearly produce of the sum of Fifty pounds of like money and……the said sum of Fifty pounds last mentioned unto my three youngest children William, Elizabeth and David equally to be divided between them share and share alike.

And my mind and will is that my business shall and may be carried on and continued that my four youngest children may be brought up educated and maintained till they are respectively capable of getting their own livings and upon the death or marriage of my said wife ...... the rest residue and remainder of my monies goods chattles effects and personal estate shall and may be equally divided and shared between all my children which shall be then living and the child or children of such of them as shall be then dead ......

...... I make constitute and appoint the said Sarah my wife and my son John and daughter Sarah Executrices and Executor of this my last will and testament and I do constitute and appoint my friends William Whatman and John Noakes both of Beckley aforesaid Yeomen thereof and Guardians of my said children and I give them the said William Whatman and John Noakes one guinea apiece as a small acknowledgement for their care and trouble in the trust committed to their charge.

...... proved the ninth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy three ......