The Hatley Wills 1528-1800 contains transcriptions (by Ron Hatley) of 145 wills, inventories, etc. relating to the name Hatley. It’s clearly a labour of love and very useful if you are into wills / a particular slice of history – but it has nothing to do with places called Hatley.
One interesting point, though: of the 145 wills listed, the largest number – 50 – are from people living in Cambridgeshire, Harston, Harlton and Haslingfield being their favoured villages.
So how about All about Hatley? It’s certainly a tempting title for residents of the Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire villages which share that name.
But this book is not just about those villages, for the author, Ron Hatley, covers much else besides. He ranges over the meaning of the name, the many individuals who have borne the surname through history, the places overseas where the name has been taken, the memorials that have been erected to dead Hatleys and many other categories.
There are photographs of churches and portraits, drawings of coats of arms and family trees, reproductions of documents and trade tokens of St Neots and extracts from police records. There is even mention of a pirate of the name, about whom a film was once proposed.†
The ‘Hatley family’ has many members, lines that live on and lines that have died out.
The author does not tell us from which line he comes, but you can read this book and try to work it out for yourself.
Put together, these two books make an informative and enjoyable compilation for those who love lists and detective work.
The Hatley Wills 1528-1800 ISBN 0-9544594-0-7, 197 pp, 2003.
All about Hatley ISBN 0-9544594-1-5, 196 pp, 2004.
Each book costs £10.95 plus £3.00 P&P in the UK / £7.00 P&P if you are overseas. US customers should pay $30 which includes shipping charges. These books are only available direct from the author:
45 St Crispians
01323 490 663
† In January 2010, we checked with Ron Hatley whether the film was ever made. He kindly replied by return, saying:
As you probably know, when Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote his Rime of the Ancient Mariner, he based it on a true story.
The sailor who shot the albatross during a bout of depression was a Simon Hatley, who came from the parish of Woodstock in Oxfordshire.
About six years ago I was approached by an Irish film company who were seeking information on this Simon Hatley for a film they were planning on Coleridge’s story.
Unfortunately they never got back to me. I have since checked the web but can find no trace of this film, so probably it was never produced.
First published on the original Hatley website in June 2008; minor changes made on 13th July 2018.