Richard Darby

#11869, (circa 1780-circa 9 February 1851)
FatherRichard Darby (c 1752-)
MotherAnne Brett (c 1750-)
ChartsBrett Family - descendants
Darby Family - descendants
Descendents of Richard Darby
Last Edited30 Apr 2022
WikiTree ID:
     (For a brief history and context on the Darby family see this page)

NOTE: The information on this page is my research to date and is subject to change as I become better informed. I very much welcome any corrections or additional info you might have - my email address is at the bottom of this page. Whilst historical facts are not copyright, my writing about these facts are. If you wish to use any text from this site on Ancestry or on any other website, please ask me first - Tim Hill.
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Richard Darby was born circa 1780.1 He was the son of Richard Darby and Anne Brett. Richard Darby was baptised at St. Peter's on Sunday, 27 August 1780 at Roydon, Essex.2 The church has walls of flint and rubble, and probably dates back to at least 1260. Historically, Roydon was a parish of scattered farms and cottages, with open fields and common meadows. There were 105 ratepayers named in 1734, and the population was 667 in 1801. On the north and west, rivers form the parish and county boundaries.3

Richard lived in June 1809 at Greensted-juxta-Ongar, Essex.4 Greensted is situated in a large natural clearing in Epping forest. The Ongar road is mentioned in The Caturbury Tales. The village was part of the area under Danish law, and in 1801 had a population of 102. In 1839 it was estimated to have 289 acres of arable land and 325 acres of meadows and pasture.5

He married Letitia White, daughter of Humphrey White and Mary Hutchin, in a Church of England ceremony at St. Andrew's on Sunday, 4 June 1809 at Greensted-juxta-Ongar, Essex. The were married on the same day their first child was born. The wedding certificate was also signed by William Baker and Hannah White. Brothers and sisters who may have attended include George Darby. Letitia and Richard went on to have six children together..6,4 Greensted Church has been situated in its idyllic setting for nearly 1,200 years; St. Andrews is the oldest wooden church in the world, and perhaps the oldest wooden building in Europe. It is also said to have been the resting place of unknown early crusader who is said to have arrived, badly wounded, at the church and died there.7

He was recorded in the poll book / electoral register 1832.8 The village lies off the main road in the valley of the Beane on the road to Watton. It is fairly large and somewhat straggling, the church, rectory and school, and Walkern Place, a 17th-century farm-house of timber and plaster lying at the north end. Nearby is a small castle of the mount and bailey type, thrown up possibly by Hamo de St. Clare in the reign of Stephen.9

He was recorded as head of household in the 1841 census with Letitia White (which other records indicate is his spouse) at Holmes Farm, Walkern, Hertfordshire. The 1841 census only recorded adult ages rounded down to the nearest 5 years; his approximate age was recorded as 55 years old. Also in the household were three of their children.10

He made a will on 30 September 1850. The estate consisted of 'farming stock goods chattels and personal estate' and a small amount of cash; overall, it was valued at less than three hundred pounds.. Letitia White and Thomas Playl were named as executors. (an unknown value.)11

Richard died circa 9 February 1851 of pneumonia.11,12,4 He was buried on 15 February 1851 at St. Mary the Virgin, Walkern, Hertfordshire.4 The church of St. Mary The Virgin stands to the north-east of the village on the east bank of the River Beane. It is built of flint rubble with dressings of Barnack stone and clunch. The original church consisted probably of a chancel and nave. The former has been wholly rebuilt, and the earliest part of the existing church is the nave, which dates from the 11th century and is probably part of the pre-Conquest church.9

Richard's will was probated on 25 March 1851.11 More than 3 years after his death, his property 'with about 15a of Arable and Pasture Land' at Roydon, Essex, was to be sold at auction.13


1780BaptismSt. Peter's, Roydon, Essex2
1809ResidenceGreensted-juxta-Ongar, Essex4
1809MarriageSt. Andrew's, Greensted-juxta-Ongar, Essex6,4
1832Note memo onlyWalkern, Hertfordshire8
1841Census (Eng) 1841Holmes Farm, Walkern, Hertfordshire10
1851BurialSt. Mary the Virgin, Walkern, Hertfordshire4


Letitia White (1789-c Jun 1870)


  1. [S549] E-mails from Eve Mintern to Tim Hill, 2012- 19:44 19th Oct 2012.
  2. [S549] E-mails from Eve Mintern to Tim Hill, 2012- 15th Oct 2012.
  3. [S582] W. R.(editor) Powell A History of the County of Essex: Volume 4
  4. [S549] E-mails from Eve Mintern to Tim Hill, 2012- 26 Sep 2012.
  5. [S582] W. R.(editor) Powell A History of the County of Essex: Volume 4
  6. [S338], ( batch/film number:K073011 serial/sheet 0165.
  7. [S415] Wikipedia (
  8. [S578] Poll Book / Electoral Register for United Kingdom, 1538-1893 UK, Poll Books and Electoral Registers, 1538-1893 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. (
  9. [S581] William Page A History of the County of Hertford: Volume 3
  10. [S397] National Census for England, 1841 (online image) County of Herfordshire, Parish of Walkern, District 10 (
  11. [S576] Hertfordshire Names Online Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, (…) Richard Darby, 1851, Walkern Holmes Farm, yeoman, filed will Ref: 36HW27.
  12. [S903] E-mails from David Spencer to Tim Hill, 2016- 'Darby family' - 9 February 2016 at 22:50 (for cause of death).
  13. [S540] The Herts Guardian, Agricultural Journal and General Advertiser, Hertford, Hertfordshire, England, 29th Jul 1854 p.4.
  14. [S392] National Census for England, 1851 (online image) Class: HO107; Piece: 1711; Folio: 66; Page: 34; GSU roll: 193619 (Class: HO107; Piece: 1711; Folio: 66; Page: 34; GSU roll: 193619).