EDMUND SYMONS the First

Born 1572, christened at Hardwicke Church on 26th April, 1573.
Died 1655.
Married Marie Hobcroft on May 30th, 1602, at Hardwicke Church.
Edmund and Marie had five children as follows:

  • Helena Symons, born in 1605, still unmarried in the 1670's.
  • Marie Symons, born about 1607, married John Mead at Hardwicke on March 20th 1639;
  • infant, buried 17th December 1609;
  • Dorothea Symons, born 1611, married John Bowden on May 31st, 1640;
  • Nicholas, born 1614, Christened at Hardwick 24th October 1614, married Francisca Collett 3rd June 1644 at Ivinghoe, died 5th December 1682

The already strengthened family estate improved considerably under the hand of Edmund and his spirited wife, Marie. It may be noted that his Christian name is variously spelled as Edward or Edmund, however it is most probable that he was called Ned, as this was the commonly used abbreviation for either Christian name.

Within the family history, it is of interest to note that only once, and that was between 1806 and 1808, was there ever a period after 1572 when the family lacked an EDMUND Seamons, until the death of Edmund Seamons in New Zealand, early in the twentieth century. The use of this Christian name survived in the female line even until the 1990s, e.g., Edmund Ralph Bates.

Very little is known of Edmund. From the records available, it appears that he was a stolid law-abiding yeoman, who plodded on and left a better inheritance for his only son, than that which he had received himself. Certainly, he did not delay in making "Loves" secure for his son, Nicholas. Towards the end of his long life in 1654, he surrendered the copyhold in favour of his son; at no other time, did a living member of the family see his son in possession of the family holding. Probably the way was easier for Edmund than for all others. His father needed to hold on in order to make provision for the widowhood of Isabel, Edmund’s mother. His son also needed to hold on to make a provision for his wife. But Edmund was a widower living elsewhere, and Nicholas was a married man for whom the tenancy would be an advantage. Edmund had known what it was to wait until he was fifty-four before he was admitted to the family estate. Nicholas did not have to wait to the last possible moment. In 1654 Edmund appeared in Court and surrendered all right to the property, so that his son could have possession, and his grandson be admitted to the first reversion. Edmund was then eighty-two years old, and his son was thirty-nine. It is unclear how much longer Edmund lived after this act. There is no record of his death, and an assumption has been made that he died around 1655, at the age of 83 years.

With the passing of Edmund the opening of the Semans story in Weedon in 1493 suddenly becomes remote. Edmund and his father together covered a span of one hundred and twenty years out of the one hundred and sixty one which had passed since the first John entered his copyhold as a tenant of New College. So long as Edmund lived, there was one who could tell stories of the head of the line (John the First) which he had received first-hand, as personal memories, from his father Nicholas. The second Nicholas however, could not even remember his own grandfather, and the head of the line, a great-great grandfather may have faded so far from the scene as to be no more than a name, and possibly not even that.