Family of John Bridge of Headcorn, ca.1630-1680...
date location record name description note
John is likely to have been the son of Henry and born around 1620. For a discussion of this and the other relationships proposed on this page click here.
1641 Headcorn Poor Rate John Bredge first entry acreage blank
The Headcorn Poor rate records start in 1637; after 1641 there is a gap until 1650
30 Jun 1646 Staplehurst Poor Rate John Bredge also 15 Dec
but nothing after
£5 rent
The Staplehurst Overseers records start in 1646 and then continue without break.
8 May 1650 Headcorn Poor Rate John Bredge 22 ac.
29 Apr 1651 Headcorn Poor Rate John Bredge "or the occupier" 21 ac.
This could indicate that John Bredge has died, to be replaced by his son, also John Bridge. However, it could also be that John moved away for a few months and then returned. Possibly he might have served in the Parliamentarian army, resisting the invasion by Charles II.

Note that Henry of Egerton died about this date (last mentioned in the Smarden Poor law assessments 5 Oct 1652, with a note "the other occupiers"). If he was John's father, it could give a further reason for John to be absent.

6 Jul 1651 Headcorn Baptism Gilbert Bridge son of John & Mildred
There are no further references to John and Mildred, so she may have died (in childbirth?) and John remarried. This could also explain the break in occupancy. It is not surprising that the death and (re)marriage have not been found since this is in the middle of the civil war period when record-keeping was very irregular.
10 Nov 1652 Headcorn Poor rate John Bridge 21 ac.
4 Sep 1653 Headcorn Baptism Robert Bridge son of John & Thomasin
4 Mar 1656 Headcorn Baptism Meary Bridge dau. of John & Thomasin
1656,7 Headcorn records John Bridge churchwarden signed accounts
21 Apr 1657 Headcorn Poor rate John Bridge last record 16 ac.
The reduction from 22 to 21 and then to 16 acres may tie in with the will of William Bridge (1658) which refers to a "little messuage" purchased from John Bridge of Staplehurst and left to William's younger son, John, born 1637. There are no poor rate records for 1653-6 nor for the years after 1657 and when they resume in 1668, the first ones are quite badly damaged. However, the name John Bridge does not appear again.
1659 Headcorn Church wardens' accounts "paid to C Ottaway for tacking John Bredg"
"paid for six warrants about John Bredg" 3s
Fascinating! "Tacking" most likely means "attaching", i.e. distraining his property. What had he done?
4 Nov 1662 Staplehurst Poor Rate John Bredge also 1 Jun 63 £18 rent
Another brief stay, for a single year
20 Sep 1663 Headcorn Baptism Jacob Bridge son of John & Thomasin
20 Sep 1663 Headcorn Baptism Nathaniel Bridge son of John & Thomasin
27 Feb 1664 Headcorn Burial Nathaniel Bridge son of John
1664 Eyhorne Hundred Hearth Tax John Bridge Townborough
(in Headcorn parish)
1 hearth, not chargeable

This is most probably William's son, now aged 27 and come into his inheritance (though he does not show in the Poor rates when the records resume in 1668). The maps in Hasted show that Eyhorne hundred included Headcorn village and "Stone stile", mentioned in William's will.

There was also a John Bridges in Holynes borough in Barclay hundred, centred on Biddenden; this does not appear to match up with John Bridge "of Staplehurst". Hearth tax was levied on the property, to be paid by the occupant, so there may have been a third man of the same name.

8 Feb 1667 Staplehurst Baptism Elicabet Bridg dau. of John
3 Oct 1668... Staplehurst Poor Rate John Bredge first reference £4 rent
Possibly Stephen was the last son, born about 1671.
8 Mar 1673 Staplehurst Burial Elizabeth Bridges dau. of John & Thomasine
2 Aug 1676 Staplehurst Poor Rate John Bridge "or the occupier" £4 rent
Staplehurst parish lies on the western border of Headcorn, Egerton is on the east.
21 Apr 1676 Egerton Poor Rate John Breagde for all Mr. Crips land £8 rent
These are the earliest surviving accounts for Egerton so we cannot tell if John has just taken up residence, but the rapid evolution in the spelling of his name suggests that he was a newcomer.
27 Oct 1676... Egerton Poor Rate John Bredge for all Mr. Crips land £8 rent
14 Nov 1679 Egerton Poor Rate John Bridge for Mr. Crisps land £8 rent
? Sep 1680 Egerton BT Burial Thomazin Bridge probably John's wife
5 Nov 1680 Egerton Poor Rate Henry Bridge for Mr. Grinhills land £8 rent
John seems to have moved again, to Smarden, possibly because of Thomazin's death. The list of rate payers is presented in the same order each year, presumably because the churchwardens compiling the accounts worked from the previous account, making such changes as needed. Henry appears instead of John and may be the first son of John and Mildred.
13 Oct 1680 Smarden Poor Rate John Bridge new occupier £6 rent
The name is written in over the entries for Moses Milles and Edward Milles (£4 and £2), both of whose entries are marked "or the occupier" and bracketed together. A line was drawn from the bracket to the name John Bridge.
26 Oct 1681... Smarden Poor Rate James Gurr new entry £3 rent
13 Nov 1685... Smarden Poor Rate James Gurr tenant of John Bridges heirs £3
This is the property that is eventually inherited by Stephen. Landlords were not shown until 1685 but James Gurr presumably held the same tenancy from 1681. One would expect a will in this situation, but I cannot trace one. John may have died intestate, in which case there might be an act of administration, but again I have not been able to find it.
Family of Gilbert Bridge of Goudhurst, 1651-1702
date location record name description note
6 Jul 1651 Headcorn Baptism Gilbert Bridge son of John & Mildred
9 Jul 1682 Goudhurst Marriage Gilbert Bridge & Hannah Austen GB of Cranbrook
At this date Henry Bridge was living in Cranbrook (which adjoins Goudhurst); Gilbert could have been living with him. This fits in with the notion that Gilbert was younger brother to Henry.
There was also another Bridge family based in Goudhurst: Thomas shows in the poor rates from 1682 to '87 and his will (PRC 11/388, 1687) names six brothers but does not mention Gilbert.
13 Aug 1683 Goudhurst Poor rate Gilbert Bridge to 26 May 1698, when records break off £8 rent
11 Nov 1684 Goudhurst Baptism Gilbert Bridge son of Gilbert & Hannah
10 Jul 1687 Goudhurst Baptism Joseph Bridge son of Gilbert & Hannah
24 May 1690 Goudhurst Baptism Hannah Bridge dau. of Gilbert & Hannah
2 Feb 1703 Archdeaconry Court of Canterbury Will Gilbert Bridge Benenden
Hanna wife
Gilbert son
John son
Hannah daughter
8 Feb 1703 Benenden Burial Gilbert Bridge householder
Family of Robert Bridge of Egerton, 1653-1697
date location record name description note
4 Sep 1653 Headcorn Baptism Robert Bridge son of John & Thomasin
4 May 1687... Egerton Poor Rate Robert Bredge for Robert Tildens land £3 rent
Robert seems to have taken this land over from Henry Bridge.
16 Apr 1689 Ulcombe Marriage Robert Bridg & Mary Hope of Egerton, Ulcombe
9 Oct 1689... Egerton Poor Rate Robert Bridge for Mrs. Lambs (land) £16 rent
4 Mar 1690 Egerton Baptism Henry Bredge son of Robert & Mary
28 Nov 1691 Egerton Baptism Mary Bredge dau. of Robert & Mary
14 Dec 1694 Egerton Baptism Thomazin Bridge dau. of Robert & Mary
The use of this fairly unusual name is evidence that Robert can be identified with the son of John & Thomasin
7 Mar 1696 Egerton Baptism Robert Bridge son of Robert & Mary
5 Apr 1697 Egerton Burial Robert Bridge yeoman
24 Oct 1697 Egerton Marriage Richard Record & Mary Bridge widow
21 Dec 1698 Egerton Burial Robert Bridge child
15 Jan 1699 Egerton Baptism Stephen Record son of Stephen & Mary
13 Feb 1743 Consistory Court of Canterbury Will Thomasin Bridges of Fryds Forstall in Egerton single woman
Henry Bridges brother, shopkeeper of Stalesfield 1s
Mary Roberts sister, wife of William Roberts, husbandman of Egerton 10s
Mary Roberts niece £5
Stephen Record brother, husbandman of Egerton £5
Robert Bridges cousin, grasier of Barham, now living with me dwelling, for life
7 Sep 1761 CCC64, f366 Probate Thomasin Bridges Robert Bridge executor total less than £20
Robert is presumably the third son of Henry & Margaret, implying that Henry was (half-)brother to Thomasin's father Robert.
28 May 1754 Stalisfield Burial Elizabeth Bridges presumably the wife of Henry. There are no other Bridge(s) records at all, so it seems that they had no children.
21 Feb 1767 Stalisfield Burial Henry Bridges