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Family of Halle.
John: William: Chrystian
HAVING developed the origin of the name of Halle (in modern orthography, Hall) I must now proceed to give some account of the Family of John Halle. As I write of ancient days, and of a family, which, although of great affluence, was not probably of high origin, I am not enabled to present you, gentle reader, with a long pedigree connected with noble and illustrious names. The Pedigree (so far, as I can clearly ascertain it) embraces only (as to the name) three generations,--the father,the son and daughter, and grand-daughter. In the more early times of the Heralds' College, which was founded by Richard, the Third, in the year 1483, the Heralds were accustomed to make occasional progresses through the several counties, to cite before them all, who claimed
a right to bear arms, and (in those cases, where such right was confirmed) to enrol them, and also to inquire into, and to certify in their records, the pedigrees of such families. The county of Wilts was visited for this purpose by Harvey in the year 1565, and by St. George, and Lennard, in the year 1623. On both those occasions these Heralds sat at Salisbury, and copies of their visitation books are extant in the Heralds' College.
Amongst the manuscripts in the British Museum are also to be found lists of those, whose claims were then rejected by the Heralds. What were the rules they laid down for their guidance we know not, yet it does
appear, that even then there were those, who were actuated by the pride of gentility to make claims, which they could not support. If an authorized Herald could possibly make his appearance amongst us in the present age, it is much to be feared, gentle reader, that he would find “confusion worse confounded !” It happened indeed, that, though the Family of Halle of Salisbury was in existence in the male line at the period of the foundation of the Heralds' College in the year 1483, it was so extinct at the time of the first visitation in the year 1565, and consequently no pedigree is regularly enrolled. There is however (as I am kindly informed by my friend, G. F. Beltz, Esq: Lancaster Herald) in the archives of the College a private, and miscellaneous, collection of pedigrees in alphabet by Vincent, where (No. 10, p. 123) appears the pedigree of Halle of Salisbury, as given in the
sixteenth page. In this pedigree William Walle, the Son, is stated as of Shipton. I have visited that parish, but could not hear of any tradition, nor find any memorials of the family in the church, either on the walls, or in the windows; this did not surprise me, when I reflected, that they moved on the earth upwards of three centuries ago—in times, gentle reader, truly “ auld lang syne." By this short genealogy it will be seen, that the name of that family became extinct by the marriage of Joan, the heiress of tUilliam, the only son of John Halle, with Sir Thomas Wriothesley,(1) Garter principal King of Arms. Whether the family of Halle of Salisbury originated there, or emigrated thither from some other part of the kingdom, it is impossible to say, but I have no good reason to infer, that the latter was the case. ,
Guillim, it is true, in his “ Display of Heraldry” gives the same arms, (which appear in the windows of the halle of John balle, as pertaining to his family) to Hall of Corentry; but I very strongly suspect, that he, or his transcriber, has committed an error, and substituted Coventry for Salisbury. I have made inquiries on this subject from Mr. Thomas Sharpe of Coventry, a gentleman thoroughly conversant with the local history, and antiquities, of Coventry, and the intelligent author of a valuable work on the ancient theatrical representations at that place, “ The Mysteries and Moralities of Coventry.” To my inquiries he saith thus : “ Amongst the merchants, and principal inhabitants of Coventry, who have borne
civic offices &c, the name does not once occur, and, from the minute attention I have paid to the subject, I am enabled to speak with great confidence. In the visitation of 1619 it is also wanting, and yet, as you observe, Guillim gives arms according to your description, which is quite a puzzle to me.” It is remarkable also, that in the windows of the Halls of the ancient Guilds of Coventry, numerous arms are pourtrayed, yet those of Halle no where appear amongst them, and it is yet more confirma
that Dugdale in his accurate genealogical History of Warwickshire" no where gives arms similar to those of Halle of Salisbury, and indeed amongst the many hundred names in his History of that county, only one family of the name of Hall appears, that of John Hall, M. D. of Stratford-upon-avon, who married Susanna, the eldest daughter of Shakspeare, and he bore a different coat. The name of Hall therefore (as one of estimation) appears to have been unknown at that early æra in Coventry. There was also at Bradford in this county a knightly family of the name of Hall, which bore a different coat from that of Halle of Salisbury. We may therefore justly conclude, that this also was a distinct family.
Aubrey, in his Wiltshire Manuscripts, (referred to in the previous Essay) when writing on the family of Halle of Salisbury further adds, “ The Mannour of Laverstock near Salisbury is (1669) yet in the possession of the family, which has a great estate sc:* Hall of High Meadow in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.”
I do not give too confident an opinion, when I say, that Aubrey here must be in error. The family of John Dalle of Salisbury in a direct descent became extinct in name by the marriage of his grand-daughter, Joan, with Sir Thomas Wriothesley; and the family of Hall of High Meadow (whose heiress married the first Viscount Gage, so created in the year 1720,) bore very different arms. Edmondson, in his “ Complete Body of Heraldry," although he allots various arms to various families of the name of Hall, and often the like arms to families of that name in different parts of the kingdom, gives the name of balle of Salisbury alone to those family arms pourtrayed in the windows of the halle of John Halle.
I thus cannot prove the existence of this family in a more early line, nor in a collateral branch, in any other part of the realm, and it only remains to seek for further information from the records of the city of Salisbury. On a reference to the Legers of that Corporation in the reign of Henry, the Sixth, the name of Thomas Halle is to be there found; but I have strong reason to believe, that there were then two persons of that name, Thomas Halle, a member of the Corporation, and Thomas Halle, the third Sergeant, or Mace-bearer, and this inference is, I think, fairly deducible from the following extracts. In the 15th year of Henry, the Sixth, 1436, Thomas Halle is entered as attending a convocation as a member of the Corporation, and