These extracts provide useful family and local information about Preston from the
seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.
25 April 1636: That the highway in the parishes of King's Walden and Preston between
Sutefeild (Sootfield) Corner and Sutefeild Green, leading from King's Walden towards
Hitchin is in decay and that the inhabitants of the said parishes ought to repair
30 March 1643: That John Driver, Robert Barker, Dennis Browne and Richard Clifford,
all of Hitchin, in the hamlet of Preston, kept alehouses without licence.
8 April1665: That Thomas Driver of Chesthunt, yeoman, kept an unlicenced alehouse
1662: Order that George Barker of Preston, who was in His Majesty's service and was
wounded in the late wars, be paid £3 for his present relief.
1 September 1667: That a watercourse in the Back Lane in Stevenage is in decay, and
that George Flyndell of Preston ought to repair it.
January 1674/75: That Samuel Hall of Preston, husbandman, Graveley Marshall and Thomas
Serjant, both of Ippollitts, yeomen, assaulted John Carter of Great Wimondley, yeoman.
1 July, 29 1677: For trading as badgers without licence…William Pretts of Preston.
1680s: Complaint by the inhabitants of Preston and Langley, two Hambletts or divisions
within the parish of Hitchin, that ‘time out of mind’ they have had their own overseer,
but that lately differences have arisen between them and the town of Hitchin concerning
the poor rates. Order made that the Hambletts shall, for the future, have their own
overseer, as they are some distance from the town of Hitchin. (Note: This dispute
escalated as can be seen below. It is also featured in this article: Link: Minsden
11 January 1684/85: Complaint to the Court that Lady Sadler refuses to pay the constables'
rate of Preston. Order that .she shall pay it unless she can show good cause to the
12 July 1686: Upon hearing the differences between Langley, Preston and Hitchin concerning
their poor rates, the two former allege that they ought not to be rated with Hitchin,
because they have been severed for about 40 years and Hitchin alleges that for many
years before that time they have been rated together, and produced an order, dated
18 March 1615 whereby it was ordered that they should, he rated together. Order made
that Langley and Preston shall in future be rated with Hitchin towards the relief
of the poor of the whole parish of Hitchin.
12 July 1686: Many complaints have been made against Lady Sadleir of Preston for
refusing to pay the constable’s rate for Ippollitts, and time was allowed to her
to show cause why she should not pay.
1680s: Order that the differences between Preston, Langley and Hitchin concerning
John Everard, overseer of Preston, be referred to certain justices.
On the 12th July, 1686, the Court ordered that the hamlets of Preston and Langley
should in future be rated with the town of Hitchin, and not separately as they have
been, and that the overseers of the hamlets should join with those of Hitchin. The
inhabitants of the hamlets moved the Court on 3rd October 1692 to have a rehearing,
as they were not satisfied, but the parishioners of Hitchin were not ready to defend,
and so it was agreed by all parties to refer the matter to the determination of this
Court. After a full hearing, the Court orders that the first order shall be confirmed.
1680s: Order that the differences between Hitchin and the "Hamlets of Preston cum
Langley within the Chapellry of Minsden" be referred to the next Sessions. In the
meantime, Leonard King is appointed to receive and pay their "collect money" without
any prejudice to the right on either side."
17th century: Indictment of John Arnold, of Preston-cum-Langley, husbandman, for
ploughing up a common footpath in a place called Highfield in Langley, leading thence
to Hill End.
1699: List of copyholders and freeholders with estates worth £10 pa…. John Farr,
Thomas Canfeild, John Hobbs, Jere. Marshall, Leonard King, George Welsh, and Tho.
Eversley, all of Langley hamlet-cum-Preston.
17 October 1700: Order adjourning the appeal of Codicott against a warrant removing
John Killenbeck (Kyllinbeck) and his wife and child from Preston in Hitchin.
14 July 1712: Thomas Feild of Preston for assaulting John Lyle. Fined 5s.
9 January 1715/16: John Sutton of Preston, for trading as a baker without having
been duly apprenticed.
18th century: Certificate by Samuel Noyes, William Gore, and John Essington, justices
of the peace, that they have viewed the accounts of Henry King, and that there is
due to him £7 13s 10d besides £2. 10s. which he has expended in pressing and hiring
of horses and carriages and sending of messengers in conveying the prisoners, who
came from Preston, from St. Alban's to Barnet on their way to London.
5 October 1761: Chalkley Whitbread of Preston in Ippollitts (imprisoned at the suit
of John Cook, alias Lea) be discharged from gaol under the Act for the relief of
insolvent debtors. (Link: Chalkley Whitbread)
30 June 1769: Apprenticeship of James Swain, son of John Swain, of Preston in the
parish of Hitchin, blacksmith, to John Hayward, of the parish of Stevenage, wheelwright,
for seven years.
15 July 1771: Order at Quarter Sessions on the petition of James Swain, apprentice
to John Howard of Stevenage, to be relieved upon certain neglects of his master in
not instructing him in his trade and the ill usage of his master toward his apprentice
by beating him and the master having been summoned to appear to answer the said complaint
and having been heard, it is ordered that James Swain be released from his apprenticeship
and that John Howard pay back to John Swain, father of the apprentice, £6 6/-, part
of the money received by John Howard in consideration for taking the apprentice.
1808: Presentment that there is a highway leading from the town of Hitchin to the
parish of King's Walden, a certain part whereof in the hamlet of Preston commencing
at the south corner of a cottage of Henry Pedder and ending at the place where the
same highway enters the parish of King's Walden, containing in length 780 yards and
in breadth 20 feet, is in decay, and that the inhabitants of the hamlet of Preston
ought to repair the same.
1808: The inhabitants of Preston in Hitchin for not repairing part of the highway
starting with the cottage of Henry Pedder and ending at the boundary of the parish
of Kings Walden. Fined £30.
22 April, 1811: Depositions of Thomas Brown, of Hitchin, surveyor: that he has viewed
the highway in the hamlet of Preston, between Preston Green and the parish of King's
Walden, now under presentment, and is of opinion that it cannot be put into repair
for less than £30.
1826: Henry Bradin of Hitchin, labourer, for stealing 3 bushels of oats, value 7s
from Thomas Oakley of Preston, farmer. Acquitted.
1826: James Humphries of Hitchin, labourer, for uttering a farthing coloured to resemble
a sovereign to William Swain at Preston. Six months hard labour and bound over for
1830s: Mark Waller and George Izzard, both of Hitchin, labourers, for stealing a
hen, value 1s, from Charles Hill of Preston, yeoman. Waller, whipped; Izzard, no