Friday, 17 October 2014

The Farriner family of the Great Fire

It was in the Farriner's bakery on Pudding Lane that on the morning of the 2nd September 1666 that the Great Fire of London began. Farriner was appointed Conduct of the King's Bakehouse and was the provider of bread for the Royal Navy during the Anglo-Dutch war that was being fought at the time.

Marriage record of Thomas Farriner and Hanna Matthews, 1637

The baker, Thomas Farriner, a widower, lived there with  his three children; Thomas (d.1677), Hanna (1643-71) and Mary. Thomas (1615-70) had married on the 9th July 1637 to Hanna Matthews, who had died the year before in 1665.
During the fire, although Thomas and his three children escaped from the house that was then alight, their housemaid was too afraid and perished in the flames. After the Great Fire, Thomas Farriner rebuilt his house and bakery, and returned to work as a respected baker. Thomas Farriner, his son Thomas and daughter Hanna were signatories on the Bill against Robert Hubert, the man accused of starting the Great Fire in their bakery. Hubert was hanged at Tyburn on 27th October 1666 for his crime of arson.
When Thomas Farriner died on the 20th December 1670, he left one hundred pounds to be paid over four years to each of his daughters, and with exception of a few small bequests, the remainder of his estate was left to his son and heir Thomas.

Hanna married on the 18th July 1667 to Nicholas Day (d.1695), a baker. The couple had the following children;
+ Thomas Day (1668-9)
+ Hanna Day (b.1670)
+ Thomas Day (b.1671)
Hanna died shortly after giving birth to her third child on the 13th August 1671. Nicholas Day later remarried.

Marriage record of Thomas Farriner and Martha Towse, 1671

Thomas Farriner, the younger, married Martha Towse on the 30th November 1671.
It appears that Thomas and Martha had no surviving children at the time of Thomas' death in December 1677.
Thomas had been an apprentice baker to his father, and later inherited the bakery to run himself. In his Will of 1677 Thomas left his baking and residential premises to firstly his wife Martha, and after her death they were to pass to his sister Mary Halford. As well as this, he left Mary one hundred pounds which was owed to him from the Marquis of Dorset, and also five pounds for Mary and her husband Thomas to buy mourning clothing.
It would appear that there was a disagreement over the Will of Thomas Farriner, as in 1677 Martha, now a widow, took Mary and Thomas Halford to the Chancery Court.

Mary Farriner also married a baker, Thomas Halford (d.1705) early in 1666 and was therefore not living with her father at the time of the Great Fire.
Mary and Thomas had the following children;
+ Thomas Halford (b.1672)
+ Hanna Halford (b.1673) m. John Willett (a baker)
                                           + Hanna Willett
                                           + Mary Willett m. Walter Reily
                                           + Martha Willett
+ John Halford (1676-81)
+ Martha Halford (1678-1682)
+ Thomas Halford (b&d.1681)
+ Thomas Halford (b.1683)

Mary died before 1695, and her husband Thomas remarried.


  1. Fascinating study of the family. So was Hubert the French protestant, thought to be deranged and almost certainly innocent? It was in Tom's interest to blame someone else...
    PS Word verification is very irritating!

    1. Methinks the answer is 'yes'. My confusion is that research I've done names Thomas seniors wife as Elizabeth and not Hanna Matthews ?

  2. Well, in a past life regression of edgar Casey was written I carried a debt of karma for the act of saving my drunken uncle and myself not alerting some 30 families who perished in the great fire and during to the guilt and blame took my life. Was told he was drunk pasted out knocked candle over so curious hi ok w many died in the great fire of London. In my other past lives was left tied to tree and that if I escaped before death was a witch. Instead burned at steak was tied to one. Other was I was a atlantien descended from star race and drowned from that life. Karmic debt would explain my sufferabke existance.