Rt Rev Dr Francis HARE 
- Born: 1 Nov 1671
- Partnership (1): Margaret (Mary) ALSTON  in Apr 1728
- Marriage (2): Bethia NAYLOR  in 1709
- Died: 26 Apr 1740, The Vatche nr Chalfont St Giles aged 68
- Buried: Chalfont St Giles
Francis Hare was noted churchman.
Francis Hare, (whose son Francis (born May 14, 1713) succeeded to the Hurstmonceaux estates, on the death of his cousin) in 1709 enjoyed in addition to the Chaplaincy of the Duke of Marlborough, and the office of Chaplain 1704 General of the Forces, a royal chaplaincy, given by Queen Anne, a fellowship at Eton, a canonry at St. Pauls and the Rectory of Barnes, in Surrey. Thus when he married Bethaia he was already well provided for. In 1715, he received in addition, the Deanery of Worcester. In 1722 he was appointed Usher of the Exchequer which brought him another thousand a year, by Henry Pelham the younger brother of Lady Grace. In October 1726 upon the resignation of Dr. Godolphin, he exchanged Worcester for the richer Deanery of St. Pauls; and in the same year, was advanced to to the episcopal Mitre (without resigning St. Pauls which he held to his death) being on the 17th December 1727 consecrated Bishop of St. Asaph, where he sate for barely 4 years.
This double elevation was the more remarkable because during the latter part of the reign of George I. he had fallen into disgrace on the strength of party prejudrce ; together with Dr. Shirlock and Dr. Mass. and in 1718 had been dismissed from his royal Chaplaincy, But on the accession of George II., he was restored to Court favour, and Queen Caroline had already intended to have nominated him to the See of Bath and Wells but yielded to the remonstrances of the ministry who alleged that it would disoblige the whole bench of Bishops to let the newly consecrated ones into the best preferment at once.
That Bishop Hare was considered one of the famous preachers of his time, we learn from the verses of Pope:- "Still break the benches, Henley with thy strain While Kennet, Hare, and Gibson preach in vain." After his son came of age Bishop Hare never returned to Hurstmonceaux. While visiting his paternal estate of Skulthorpe, near Fakenham he had become acquainted with the family of Mr. Joseph Alston, of Edwardstone, whose wife was Laurentia Trumbull, niece of Sir William Trumbull the Secretrary of State, Minister Plenipotentiary in Turkey in the reign of William III, and the great friend and patron of Pope, who wrote his Epitaph in Easthampstead Church, Berks.
Joseph Alston's eldest daughter Margaret, was married to Bishop Hare April 1728, and brought him a large fortune in the estate of Newhouse, in Suffolk, and the Vatche, near Chalfont St. Giles, in Buckinghamshire, where they always resided in the later years of his life. This property had descended to Margaret Alston through the Claytons; who in their turn, derived it from the Fleetwoods, through whom the Bishop's second wife was related to Oliver Cromwell, of whom she possessed a valuable portrait. The Vatche took its name from the Vache a dairy farm of King John. The estate was a rich one, and the house in the Bishop's time was a fine old residence standing on high ground, surrounded by noble trees, It was approached by a long lime avenue from the picturesque village of Chalfont well known to lovers of great men as having once been the residence of Milton who took refuge there from the plague in 1665 and wrote his Paradise Lost in a gable-ended cottage, built by one of the Fleetwoods, which still exists. The comparative economy of the Vatche, and its nearness to London made it a far more popular residence with the Bishop than Hurstmonceaux. He fitted up a desecrated chapel in the grounds for divine service, which was performed by one of his chaplains, and having a gallery a hundred and fifty feet in length, with the portraits of his ancestors, (Straham's Hist. of Bucks. pp. 822, 833)
At the Vatche, the 7 children of his second marriage were born four of these lived to grow up, Robert, the eldest son, Laurentia who died 1760 aged 31, Anne who died 1816 aged 81, and Francis who died in the East Indies 1771.
The Bishop's eldest son Francis Naylor engaged himself to his stepmother's younger sister, Carlotta Alston, who was penniless though beautiful, the Bishop prevented their marriage in his life time but it took place after his death when they went to live permanently at Little Thurlow, in Suffolk with the 3rd Miss Alston who was married to a Mr. Stephen Soame, leaving Hurstmonceaux to the rats and mice.
In 1731 Bishop Hare was translated from the See of St. Asaph to that of Chichester. In 1736 he narrowly escaped Elevation to the primacy. Bishop Hare died at the Vatche on the 26th April 1740 and was buried in a mausoleum which he had built for his family adjoining the church of Chalfont St. Giles,
Upon the death of Francis Naylor in 1775 the Hurstmonceaux property devolved upon his half brother Robert son of the Bishop by Margaret Alston.
Memoires of a quiet life by Augustus Hare - Brighton March 4th 1875.
Ref Page 288 Alstoniana
The Hare Family.
Chalfont St Giles
The Hare family are important in the history of Chalfont St Giles because they owned The Vache estate and manor for 43 years from 1734 to 1777.
(Because there are so many people with the same Christian name each has been given a number to distinguish between them).
Francis (1) Hare was born in London in 1671 the son of Richard Hare of Leigh Essex and Sarah Naylor. He went to Eton and then in 1688 to King's College Cambridge. He gained his B.A. in 1692-3; his M.A. in 1696; D.D. in 1708, and became a Fellow in 1692. His first post was as Tutor to the Marquis of Blandford. He then became Chaplain General to the army in Flanders in 1704. He was appointed a Prebendary of St Paul's, 1707-40.
In 1709 aged 38 he married his cousin Bethia Naylor, daughter of his mothers brother George Naylor. They had one child Francis(2) b 1713.
Hare was a long time friend of the Prime Minister Robert Walpole having been to school together. He had a rapid rise within the ecclesiastical establishment being appointed Rector of Barnes, Surrey, 1713-23. He became Chaplain to George I, 1715-8. and was also appointed Dean of Worcester, 1715-26. He was then appointed Dean of St Paul's in 1726, a position he retained for the rest of his life.
In 1727 he was made Bishop of St Asaph (North Wales) which position he occupied until 1731.
Bethia died c1726. In 1728 Francis (1) Hare married again to Margaret Mary Alston when he is 57 and she is 27. (The Hare family is very interlinked with the Alston family who are described on a separate page ).
In early 1730 they have a son Robert (1) on whom Sir Robert Walpole settled the sinecure of the Office of "Sweeper of Gravesend" as a christening present. (Said to be worth £400 per year). (Source HARE 1972).
George Naylor, the brother of Bethia Hare and who had a estate based on Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex, died in 1730 and left the castle and estate to Bishop Francis (1), and after his death to Francis (2) the son of Bishop Francis (1) and Bethia. He also left young Francis (2) £5000 on condition he added Naylor to his surname. (Herstmonceux became the site of the Royal Greenwich Observatory when it moved from Greenwich in 1960.)
In 1731 Bishop Francis (1) Hare is promoted to become Bishop of Chichester. He had hoped to have been made Archbishop of Canterbury but too many people were against him for his outspoken views.
Although he lived at Herstmonceux Castle for the next four years until 1734 at which time his son Francis (2) was 21 and took over Herstmonceux, Bishop Francis (1) had never liked it, complaining it was unpleasant and a very expensive estate to run.
Meanwhile over in Chalfont St Giles, Mary Clayton (nee Alston) of the Vache died in 1730. James Clayton, Marys husband had died in 1714 and without having any children. Her difficult will and her extensive debts caused problems for her executors and heirs,who were her nephew Joseph Alston of Newhouse Edwardstone Suffolk (1671-1736) and his son, and they had to get a special Act of Parliament, passed in 1731, to allow the Vache to be sold. Mary Clayton was the Great Aunt of Margaret Mary Hare but contrary to all published histories she did not leave the Vache to Margaret Mary but to her nephew and Margaret's father, Joseph Alston (See Alston family page for more details)
In March 1734. Bishop Francis (1) Hare bought the Vache from his father in law Joseph Alston (1671-1736).
In June 1734 Bishop Francis (1) settled Herstmonceux and £11,000 on his son, who had now taken the name Francis (2) Naylor Hare, and moved to the Vache.
In 1736 Joseph Alston died leaving to his daughter Margaret Mary Hare all his extensive real estate in Suffolk and Norfolk.. To his other daughters Charlotte and Anne he only left pecuniary legacies of £1000 each.
Bishop Francis (1) Hare died Apr. 26, 1740, at the Vache, Chalfont St Giles, Bucks. and is buried at the parish church where there is a monument to the family. In his Will, he left the Vache to his Widow, Margaret Mary for life and then to their son Robert Hare who was only 10 at that time.
In June 1743 Francis (2) Naylor Hare married Charlotte Alston the sister of Margaret Mary Hare his stepmother.
In 1752 Robert (1) Hare became 21 and his mother settled The Vache and all her other estate on to him (D 234/1/17). He expanded the estate by buying Stonewells in Chalfont St Giles in 1755 and other property in Chesham.
In the same year Robert (1) married Sarah Selman, daughter of Lister Selman of Chalfont Park, Chalfont St Peter, with whom he had three children, Francis (3), Robert (2) and Ann.
Robert (1) who had been to Oriel College Oxford to obtain his divinity degree was ordained and appointed a curate at Little Missenden in 1755 .
Sarah his wife died aged 29 in 1763 and is buried in the parish church of Chalfont St Giles.
Two years later in 1765 Robert (1) married again, to a Henrietta Henkel the daughter of a prosperous merchant. She was disliked by most who knew her and is said to have forced her husband to sell much property to keep up appearances.
In 1768 Robert(1) was appointed Rector of Michilmersh, a parish north of Romsey in Hampshire.
In 1769 he leased Rookley house in King Samborne near Winchester from the Dowager Lady Arundell, a house he retained certainly until 1777 (Wilts Archives 2667/1/29/15)
Then in 1777 we come to an eventful year for Robert (1).
His stepbrother Francis (2) Naylor Hare died but having no children he left Herstmonceux and its estates to Robert (1). (Although Francis (2) wife Charlotte lived on until 1784.)
Robert, who now owned the Vache, Herstmonceux, and lands in Berks, Bucks, Suffolk and Norfolk, was appointed a Prebendary Canon of Winchester Cathedral.
Robert (1) Hare was now probably keen and probably also pushed by his wife to sell the Vache having just inherited Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex and which was much closer to Winchester Cathedral and more prestigious.
So in July 1777 he sold the Vache estate to Admiral Sir Hugh Palliser (except for Pollards Wood) for £7700 and with some additional land adjoining for a further £1500. He also sold Stonewells farm to Mary Buckmaster and presumably the land in Chesham. From the land tax returns (CBS Q/RPL 4/x) we know Robert (1) retained Pollards Wood until some time between 1784 and 1789 when it was all sold to John Lefevre the husband of Robert's (1) first wife's sister, Helena.
Margaret Mary Hare died in 1784 and is buried in Chalfont St Giles Church. She left bequests to her two grandsons , who were the children of Robert (1) by Sarah his first wife but the majority of her estate she left to her daughter Anne. She originally left £1000 to her son Robert (1) but to his wife, who she referred to as Mrs Hare, she only left a mourning ring. Then a few months before she died she made a codicil to her will "Circumstances having materially changed since I made my will I revoke the £1000 I left to my son Robert".
It is clear from the book by Augustus Hare, Robert (1) grandson, (HARE 1872) that Robert (1) Hare did not get on well with either of his parents and that Margaret Mary did not like Henrietta Henkel her daughter in law who was said to dominate her husband and had him sell large parts of his inherited property.
After the sale of Pollards Wood there was no further link by any of the Hare family with Chalfont St Giles except that Robert (1) who died in 1797 was buried in the family vault.
The story of the Hare family is told in much detail by Augustus John Cuthbert Hare in his book about his mother's life "Memorials of a Quiet Life" and it has to be said the family continued to have more than a normal number of eccentric or even dysfunctional members. (HARE 1872)
Hare, Augustus J C 1872. "Memorials of a Quiet Life."
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. (F Hare Index Number 101012298)
The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540-1835.
National Probate Registry for wills.
1. Agreement: Soame Hare Alston Dickenson & others, 1737. This is the final agreement made in the Court of our Sovereign Lord the King at Westminster from Easter day in 15 days in the 10th year of the reign of George II (1737) by the grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King defender of the faith etc before John Willis Alexander's Denton John Collins and John Fortescue Alan? Justices of our Lord the King and others then and there present between Charles Longueville Esq and Marshe Dickenson plaintiffs and Francis Lord Bishop of Chichester and Margaret his wife Stephen Soame Esq and Ann his wife and Charlot Alston defendants. Of 7 Messuages 7 garden 7 orchards 600 acres of land 100 acres of pasture 20 acres of wood, common of pasture for all cattle and liberty of holdage with the appurtenances in Edwardstone Groton Great Waldingfield Little Waldingfield Elmset Whitlesham Aldham Boxford Polstead and Hadley in the County of Suffolk and of 2 Messuages 2 gardens 2 orchards 220 acres of land 30 acres of pasture liberty of holding and common of pasture with the appurtenances in Sculthorpe in the County of Norfolk whereupon a plea of Coverture? was summoned between them in the same court that is to say that the aforesaid Bishop and Margaret, Stephen and Ann and Charlot have acknowledged the aforesaid tenements common of pasture and liberty with the appurtenances to be the right of him the said Charles as these is? The said Charles and Marshe have of the gift of the aforesaid Bishop and Margaret Stephen and Ann and Charlotte and those they have ? and quit claimed from them the said Bishop and Margaret Stephen and Ann and Charlot and their heirs to the aforesaid Charles and Marshe and the heirs of the said Charles for ever and moreover the said Bishop and Margaret have granted for them and the heirs of the said Margaret that they will warrant to the aforesaid Charles and Marshe and the heirs of the said Charles the aforesaid tenements common of pasture and liberty with the appurtenances aggregating them the said Bishop and Margaret and the heirs of the said Margaret for ever and further the said Stephen and Ann have granted for them and the heirs of the said Ann that they will warrant to the aforesaid Charles and Marshe and the heirs of the said Charles the aforesaid tenements common of pasture and liberty with the appurtenances aggregating to them the said Stephen and Ann and the heirs of the said Ann for ever and also the said Charlotte have guaranteed for her and her heirs that they will warrant to the aforesaid Charles and Marsh and the heirs of the said Charles the aforesaid tenements common of pasture and liberty with the appurtenances aggregating her the said Charles and her heirs for ever and for this acknowledgement ? Quit claim warranty fine and ? The said Charles and Marshe have given to the aforesaid Bishop and Margaret Stephen and Ann and Charlotte L960 Stirling
Francis had a relationship with Margaret (Mary) ALSTON  [MRIN: 1204], daughter of Joseph ALSTON of New House  and Laurentia TRUMBULL , in Apr 1728. (Margaret (Mary) ALSTON  was christened on 1 Jul 1701 in Hadleigh SFK, died in Dec 1784 and was buried in Chalfont St Giles.)
Francis spouse unknown Bethia NAYLOR  [MRIN: 1208], daughter of Francis NAYLOR  and Bethia BEDNALL , in 1709. (Bethia NAYLOR  was born in 1671 in London and was christened on 16 Dec 1671 in St Andrew Holborn.)