Descendents of John Hassard and Thomasine Perrot
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There are many conflicting accounts of the Hassards of Lyme Regis, each of them with glaring errors, the precise details may never be known. This is just an attempt to unravel what we can.  

        /|\ John Hassard|
b.1531 Bridport|
|Thomasine Perrot

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at sea|


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to           - to Fermanagh - -                                                  





Prior to this generation consideration has been given to the different genealogies produced by Sir Edward Burke in what later became 'Burke's Peerage', and the accounts by Short and Swanzy below. However Rev. Henry Short had sight of the Will of John Hassard 1531-1612 in which, we are told, he named all his children and grandchildren.

Whilst Short/Swnzy appear to have the parentage of this John Hassard wrong, there can be no doubt about the next two generations. Burke had a completely different version which was clearly shown to be wrong. We therefore continue just with Short and Swanzy:

Some account of the family of Hassard, with a list of descendants in England and Ireland - By the Rev Henry Biddall Swanzy MA, 1903 (link to full text on

The first section of this, about the Hassards in England, is adpated from Outlines of the History and Genealogy of the Hassards and their Connections (link to original book - PDF 9.4mb, 76 pages) - Rev Henry Short, 1858. - but Swanzy makes it shorter and more readable, so he is quoted below:

The youngest son:-

Mayor of Lyme, 1567, 1572, 1578, 1582, 1588, 1601, M.P. for Lyme Regis 1584, 1586 and 25 Feb 1603-4, was b. 1531 at Bridport. He married Thomasine dau. of John Parrot [elsewhere Perrot]. He was left by his father sole to all his landed property in Bridport, Waldish and Lyme. He also became by purchase, on the part of himself or his father lord of the Manor of Beer in the county of Devon. "This manor belonged before the Conquest to the Abbey of Horton which in 1122 was annexed, with all its lands to Sherborne Abbey. After the Dissolution it was in jointure to Queen Catherine Parr. The manor was afterward purchsed by the family of Hassard of Lyme, and sold by them before 1630, and is now the property of Lord Rolle. A moiety of the manor had been for some time in in the Poles family, having been purchsed of the Hassards by Sir William Pole's father." (Lyson's Magna Britannica, Devonshire.) On Mr. Hassards resignation of his seat in Parliament (in 1587 or 1588) his cousin Mr. Robert Hassard was immediately appointed in his place. A few extracts from the Borough archives will be interersting :

"John Hassard Esq., Burgess of Parliament, worked for the town with great diligence in 1584.
Paid for the expenses of the Burgess, the first Parliament, 1584 before Christmas . . . £8 15s. 0d.
Second Parliament after Christmas, all that Parliament time him and his man, and for riding charge up and down . . . £12 8s. 0d.
Expenses for the lower house for passing a bill . . . £8 10s. 0d.
Higher . . . £16 9s. 0d.
His charge the first Parliament, 57 days, and riding up and down, and fees to the huse and sergeant . . . £12 13s. 4d.

Another interesting acount is given in 1586, on a single sheet of foolscap, in the archives of Lyme, from which the following is extracted:-

" For my charges to London 144 miles . . . 11s. 6d.
Item. Riding to the Court at Windsor at diverse times, and once with a man to attend me . . . 18s 6d.
Pd. for horse meat during my beeing in London 33s. 11d.
Pd. Mrs. Beymes for my table (i.e board during this time . . . 50s. 0d.
Pd for boat hire, breakfast and for wine at my meals and for fire . . . 21s. 7d.
Item Pd. for washing for my shirts 0s. 20d.
Given to the two maids of the house . . . 0s. 12d.
Do. to Humphrey and ot John for dressing my horse . . . 0s. 12d.
Pd to Simon Fry for the hire of his mare and for shoeing her . . . 11s. 0d.
Pd for my charge from London . . . 16s. 4d.

In 1603 Mr Hassard once more summoned up courage to ride his 144 miles and take his seat in Parliament. The House of Commons - Journals Vo.l i., p.392, 1609 have the following notice:- "Hassard - 69, incureable - bed ridd - a new writ." If the number refers to Mr Hassard's age, it is a manifest error; but the extract shows that he was coming towards the end of his long and useful life.

When in his eightieth year he built at his own expense a handsome gallery in the church at Lyme . . . (see The Will of John Hassard 1531-1612 for the next section of text).

Mr Hassard left three sons and three daughters :-
I JOHN of whom presently
II Robert Hassard who left a daughter Anne Hassard
III Richard Hassard
I Susan Hassard m. Hardye. She had two sons Walter and George Hardye
II Anna Hassard - m. Torker
III Thomasine Hassard

The eldest son:-
JOHN HASSARD of Lyme and Beer inherited from his father lands in Lyme Regis, also in Great Bridport, Allington, Charmouth, Axminster, Waldich, and Parsons Holme near Lyme. He was a Burgess of Lyme, and Mayor 1594. Mr Short says he was M.P. for Lyme 1616, of which a record remains in the account books of Lyme : "Mr John Hassard paid the rest of his accts. of Parliament, £2 1s. 4d."

He left five sons by his wife Josespine

I JOHN of whom presently (this diverts for some time to the 'Short-Hassard line in London etc., which Burke ignored)

[given the number of Robert Hassards in LYme at this time, the is no certainly that any of this is about the right one...] :
II Robert Hassard MP for Lyme 5 Feb 1623-4, the last member of the family to represent that town in Parliament. In the borough archives we find - "Allowed Mr Robert Hassard at his going to London to be a Burgess in Parliament, £6 13s. 4d." Again - "Item for provision made for Mr Robert Hassard, our burgess, when he came from the parliament 10s." "Item paid to Mr Robert Hassard for a box to return up the writ. 12d." "Item a collation to Sir John Drake and Mr Robt. Hassard, when they returneed home from the parliament 10s." Before the end of 1624, we find his death incidentally recorded thus :- "Entertaining Mr. John Drake and his Company coming to Town for a Burgess' place upon the death of Mr Robt. Hassard." George Hassard his brother had now been some years in Ireland and from his success had most probably drawn away some at least of his relations to try their fortunes in that country, [gives details of Hassards in Ireland who, or may not, be related] so we need not wonder that after 1665 no member of the family is recorded as resident at Lyme. Robert Hassard married (if the will regIstered in the Court of Probate as late as 1626 be his); his wife's name was Agnes and he left his property to his two sons :-
1 Joseph Hassard
2 Peter Hassard, whose wilI is mentioned in the Inedxe at Doctors Commons but is not forthcoming.

III Samuel Hassard, engaged by the Hon Company of Merchants Trading to the East Indies part owner of the ship Clour. In his will date 1616 he left to his wife Thomasine his share in the vessel; £5 to be made into siIver plates for his father and mother £1 for rings. two siIver bowls, and the rest of his property to his brother George. He died at sea in 1617, will proved in London same year. In his will the name is spelled variously - Hazard, Hasard, and Hassard.

IV George Hassard, went to Ireland a Capt. in Sir William Cole's regt. at Enniskillen, and was ancestor of the Irish branch, the Hassards of Carne, Garden Hill Waterford, Skea, and Mount Hassard, see Chapters II and III.

V Matthew Hassard
- curiously neither Short nor Swanzy made any comment at all about Matthew, even a note that nothing was known, as they often did with others. Did they know he became a radical puritan preacher, thus deliberately ignoring him?
- we now have the Will of Matthew Hassard, 1671, which names a sister, Thomasine Swift, who has been added above.

The eldest son:-
JOHN HASSARD b. about 1580, owner of Beer and other property left by his wife Joan, two sons and two daus. :-
I. JOHN his heir
II. Robert Hassard b. about 1627 m. Elizabeth dau. of Peter Peter Clark of Suffolk. [this marriage is nonsense the wedding was in 1577!! - just another wrong Robert....]
1. Mary Hassard, m Roger Hill of Poundsford, Co. Sommerset. [more nonsense, this wedding was in March 1568!!]
11. Alice Hassard, m. Alexander Hill second brother of Roger. [and this the bride this one was b.1554!]

- we are now one generation down from the Will of John Hassard b.1531 - the only reliable evidence they had, and Short/Swanzy are back to guessing again. Even if they got the names right, the marriages are absurd. Nothing further is said of the three younger children, the text the follows the eldest son to the Short-Hassard family in London and beyond.


The Hassards came to Fermagh [this was being written by Swany in Northern Ireland, 1903] from Lyme with the Cole family. Lord Belmore, on p.13 of his Parliamentary Memoirs of Fermanagh, says :- Sir WiIliam (Cole) having performed military service in Holland in the reign of Queen Elizabeth raised a regiment of horse in Devonshire, towards the close of that Queene's reign, from the neighbourhood of Axminster, Honiton and Lyme Regis, for service in Ireland. This regiment comprised amongst the men names still known in Fermanagh, as Willis, Walmsley, Coalter, and Frith. The Hassard family also came from Lyme Regis. Sir William Cole received a patent dated May, 1607, by which he was appointed Captain of the long boats and barges at Ballyshannon and Lough Earne with a fee of three shillings and four pence a day for himself and eight pence a piece, a day for his men; and he settled at Enniskillen on the 10th September following. (Vide Arhdall's Lodge's Peerage)"

Mr Short in his History of the Hassards pp.18,19 says that the ancestor who accompanied Cole to Ireland was George Hassard, 4th son of John Hassard M.P. of Lyme Regis. . . .and that this George was father of Jason Hassard, ancestor of the Garden Garden Hill line and of William whose son Jason was ancestor of the the Skea line.

An account of the Hazards of Fearmanagh written in 1718-19 and contained in a manuscript history of Fearmanagh, formerly belonging to Sir William Benthamy is preserved at Thirlestane House, Chelteham in the Library of Mr Fenwick. The title is "History of the Co. Fermanagh, with the antient families of the the same".


The fourth son of John Hassard of Lyme M.P. was GEORGE HASSARD who came to Ireland with Sir William Cole early in the 17th century. He settled in Fermanagh, according to Hassard Short, who says he was Jason's father. Granting this, he had the following issue (mentioned in the will of Jason Hassard, 1690) :-

I. JASON of whom presently

II. William Hassard father of :-
Jason Hassard junior, of Mullymesker and Skea, ancestor of the Hassards of Skea, see Chapter III., p 59.

III Robert Hassard, who, by Margaret his wife had a son:-
John Hassard, mentioned in his uncle Jason's will. James
Hassrd son of John and Anne, was bapt. at Enniskillen 17 March 1701. Possibly the James Hassard who was City Sword-Bearer of Dublin, 1746.

I Margaret Hassard m. Nixon and had a son :-
Robert Nixon a legatee of his uncle Jason Hassard, in 1690.

II Jane Hassard, m. Thomson, and was buried at Enniskillen 3 June 1703 leaving two sons:-
1 Samuel Thomson 2. John Thomson - both both legatees of their uncle Jason.

- - -

At this point the interest of this website is primarily with those Hassards/Hazards who remained in Devon, Dorset and Somerset. Particularly Matthew Hazzard on this page. Further details of those who moved to London and East Anglia (Short-Hassards) and to Northern ireland can be found in:

A genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry - by Sir Bernard Burke, Fourth Edition, 1862 (link to the full Hassards of Lyme text on this website - with corrections)

Outlines of the History and Genealogy of the Hassards and their Connections (link to original book - PDF 9.4mb, 76 pages) - Rev Henry Short, 1858

Some account of the family of Hassard, with a list of descendants in England and Ireland - By the Rev Henry Biddall Swanzy MA, 1903 (link to full text on
[The first section of this, about the Hassards in England, is adpated from Short, above. - but Swanzy makes it shorter and more readable.]

The family coats of arms below are from Swanzy who copied them from Short:

Some time after the death of Catherine Parr in 1548 the Hassard family bought:-
The Manor House of Bovey stands in a unique position at the head of a long coombe which reaches the sea, and in whose mouth nestles the village of Beer. After the dissolution [1536-1541] the King [Henry VIII, 1491-1547] included it in the dowry of Catherine Parr [1512-1548] and ... later the Manor was possessed by the Hassard family of Lyme Regis.

From: 'Parishes: Salcombe Regis - Silverton', Magna Britannia: volume 6: Devonshire (1822), pp. 430-451 :
The manor of Beer belonged, before the Conquest, to the abbey of Horton, which in 1122 was annexed, with all its lands, to Sherbourne Abbey. After the dissolution, it was in jointure to Queen Catherine Parr. The manor was afterwards purchased by the family of Hassard of Lyme, and the demesnes by Mr. John Starr. The whole, before 1630, became, by purchase, the property of a branch of the Walronds, settled at Bovey, in this parish. A moiety of the manor had been for some time in the Poles, having been purchased of the Hassards by Sir William Pole's father, and sold by himself to Walrond.

click on photos for larger images of Bovey House as it is today:

It is not clear exactly when the house was bought. It may have been bought by John b.1531 or by his father.

from: Records of Early English Drama :
A member of one of the borough's [Lyme Regis] most influential families, John Hassard, merchant, served as mayor for terms beginning in 1567, 1572, 1578, 1582, 1588, and 1594 (refers to John b.1531 other records say he was Mayor 7 times with some confusion about the dates).


This collection consists mainly of deed material relating to the Manor of Tintinhull which was purchased by Thomas Napper from Sir Francis Petre and Edward Herrys in 1669. . .
. . Release, Manor or reputed manor of Lyme Abbotts, alias Shyborn Holme in the Borough of Lyme Regis, (formerly part of the possessions of Sherborne Abbey then of Thomas Godwyne, John Hassard, Rob. Hassard, John Drake of Ash, Devon). Messuages and lands (detailed) all in Lyme Regis. (1 doc.) 110 1654 1. Gabriell Burgh of Staple Fitzpaine, gent. 2. John Shave of Uplyme, Devon, yeo.

The History and Antiquities of the Borough of Lyme Regis and Charmouth By George Roberts 1834 :

In the 36 Henry VIII [1545]., a burgage and garden belonging to Ford abbey, and another to Neweham abbey, were granted to John Pope; also lands in the parish of Lyme Abbots, alias Sherborne Holme, a parcel of Sherborne abbey, value 3l. 16s., were granted to Thomas Goodwin, who has licence to alienate John Hassard and heirs.

1 Elizabeth [1558] John Hassard held four messuages in Lyme Abbots.

Charter of Elizabeth, made 33rd year of her reign [1591 - a new charter for Lyme Regis] . . . William Ellesdon to be mayor for the year ensuing, John Hassard, the elder, . . . to be the first eleven capital burgesses, and so to continue for their lives . . .

The mayor, burgesses, and free-men, elected Robert Hassard to be member of parliament, 29th Jan., 1593-4,

Old Orders Touching the Cobb, confimerd by John Hassard, Mayor, &c. 1594.

1589 - Robert Hassard MP
1593 - Robert Hassard MP
from :
Hassard, Robert, Mayor of Lyme Regis, Accommpt of the Towne Mill, 1601, 86 179-181 - which Robert...?

from Duke Law Journal (PDF) :
During Elizabeth’s reign, the House of Commons began successfully to assert exclusive jurisdiction to determine questions about its own composition, including jurisdiction to determine whether a member would be permitted to resign. The House, however, proved no more willing to excuse its members from service than the Crown had—it allowed resignations only for sickness or other public service, and sometimes not even for those. In November 1605, two members sought leave to resign. John Hassard, a member for Lyme Regis, insisted that he was unable to serve “by Reason of the Gout.” The Committee of Privileges reported that Hassard came before them and that he “walked in Fear only.” The committee nevertheless recommended “[t]hat he should serve still,” and the House agreed. (The precise reasons for refusing to allow Hassard to leave the House at this point are unclear, but the committee may have concluded that he simply was not sick enough to get out of his obligations.) Indeed, he remained in the House until 1609, when his constituents petitioned the House to allow him to resign. The committee found that he was “incurable—bed-rid,” and he was finally allowed to leave the House.

From: 'House of Commons Journal Volume 1: 09 November 1605', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 1: 1547-1629 (1802), pp. 257:

'House of Commons Journal Volume 1: 05 November 1605'
Martis, 5o Novembris, 1605
Penal Statutes.
1. Reading -
AN Act for the better Execution of Statutes.
Absence of a Member by Sickness.
Sir Geo. Somers, One of the Burgesses for Lyme Regis, bringeth in Certificate of the Sickness of the Gout of one John Hassard, the other Burgess, and desireth to have him discharged.

'House of Commons Journal Volume 1: 09 November 1605'
Saturni, 9o Novembris
Committee of Privileges.
THE Names of the Committee for Returns and Privileges read ; and they retire into the Committee Chamber; and, returning to the House, make Report by Sir Geo. Moore.
Cases Four:
1 . Lyme Regis: - The Burgess Hassard not able to serve, by Reason of the Gout. - He came unto them, walked in Fear only. - Resolved, That he should serve still.
Q. Whether Hassard shall stand, and serve ? -
Resolved, He shall not be removed.

Lyme Regis Church History
St Michael the Archangel, Lyme Regis Parish Church
The church is fortunate to possess two fine examples of Jacobean wood carving in the pulpit and the west gallery. . . The west gallery was given by John Hassard and carries the inscription "John Hassard built this to the glory of almighty God in the eightieth year of his age Anno Domini 1611". The additional words "seven times Mayor'; have unfortunately been lost.

[ as presumably has DECEASED THE SEVENTH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 1612. - quoted by Swanzy in 1903]

- the photo shows the inscription on the beam, click for a larger version:

1612 - death of John Hassard b.1531 at age 81.
- Extracts from his Will

from: Records of Early English Drama :

. . ."Given the inclusion of Robert Hassard and John Viney among the confederates of this libellous action, this case may well have had a religious aspect as well; Hassard and Viney were deprived of their magistracy by an order of the town council in October 1608 in part because they were supporters and special favourites of John Geare an 'unbeneficed Preacher who hath bin a cause of great factions & devisions amongst us. . . by such libells is often infringed, but unlawfully Combyning, Conspiring and Confederating with divers and sundry other lewd and ill disposed persons and namelie one Susan Harvey wife of the said Richard Harvey, Milicent Tompson, Robert Hassard thelder, John Hassard, and Ann Hassard his wife, . . . '

. . . John Geare, for some time an unlicensed Puritan preacher, (c.1610). . . With the backing of some influential burgesses of the town such as Robert Hassard, Geare succeeded where many might have failed.

. . . Robert Hassard, Sr, had been mayor in 1601-2, John Hassard would be in 1615-16,

". . .Mayors ... John Hassard, Jr (1624-5), "

from: 'Diary of Walter Yonge esq. Justice of the Peace and M.P. for Honiton from 1604 to 1628'

Robert Hassard held a moiety of the manor of Seaton. He was one of a family settled as merchants at Lyme in the reign of Henry VIII. The first prepositus of Bristol in the reign of Henry III [1207-1272] was Rainold Hassard. Several of the family represented Lyme in parliament. The family removed about 1650 to the county of Fermanagh, in Ireland, where they have a seat, called Garden Hill.

Robert Hassard was a great supporter of the Puritan minister, and vicar of Lyme Regis, named Geare, who licence to preach had been withdrawn. This caused great divisions in the borough, engaging in which Mr. Robert Hassard was Star-Chambered, and expelled from the corporation.

from : The city of Exeter: Letters and other papers : The Bodley Lectureship :

. . . Nov., 1615, John Periam, John Prouz and 14 others write to the Bishop [William Cotton] nominating Mr. John Hazard as Bodley preacher,

. . . Jan. 16, 1616, the Chamber agree to nominate and appoynt Mr. John Hassard, minister, to be lecturer accordynge to the will of Doctor Bodley

. . .April 5, 1616." The report is given in the form of a dialogue between H. (i.e. Hazard) and B. (the Bishop of Exeter):—

. . . B.: You have preached false doctrine [but would not shew me wherein, because I know he could not]. And beside (sayth he) you have been a companion with Trasque.—H.: My lord, ytt is not so, for I can bringe good testimony that I have twise publickly in two severall sermons att Lyme confuted the erroneous fancyes of Trasque, beside my brief notes I have yett to shew and I refere you to Mr. Knowles his testimony of the truth of this the whole towne of Lyme can wittnes the same.

B.: Where are you letters demissory?—H.: My lord, I brought you an ample certificate from Lyme, where I have last made my aboade, and beside I have my lord of Canterbury's approbation.

. . . (ffinis.) John Hassarde.

. . . May 21, 1617, it is agreed to have a Divine from the Universitie to supplie the place of Mr. Hasard in reading the Sabbathe Day's lecture founded by Mr. Doctor Bodlighe, late deceased,

It appears that John Hazard/Hassard/Hassarde/Hasard did not get the job, but...

from: Ancestors of David Kipp Conover

Rev. Peter Maverick was born circa 1550 at Awliscombe, Devonshire, England. He married Dorothy Tucke on 7-Nov-1577 at Awliscombe. Rev. Peter Maverick died before 3-Feb-1616/17 at England, This is the date when John Hassard was instituted Vicar of Awliscombe in his stead. We know that The Reverend Peter died a “violent death”. It is noted thus in the Intitution Books of Exeter, 1573-1630, in which the replacement of Peter Maverick by John Hassard is noted via the former’s death per necem - indicating that the former had suffered a violent death.
- Awliscombe is not far from Colyton. This looks like the same John Hassard.

1630 - the Hassard family had sold Bovey House by this time.

There is a record of John HASSARD, clerk, Awliscombe, made a Will in 1638

- - - -

Burke says that Jason Hassard, b.1617 and family heir, was Mayor and MP some time before he removed the family seat, and coat of arms, to Fermanagh in the 1660s.

from a email group 2002:
The 2nd Hassard family motto of the Hassard Family of Gardenville, Co. Fermanagh Ireland "Fortuna viam ducit" beneath the shield was assumed when, between 1660 and 1671, King Charles II granted large tracts of land to Jason and George Hassard for raising troops in South England on King Charles behalf.

"There are several intermarriages between the Nixon and Hassard families in Fermanagh in the 17th century. Jason Hassard of Mullymesker (Later becoming 'Nixon Hall'), High Sheriff Co. Fermanagh, 1676, in his will dated 21 October 1690, proved 25 April 1692, mentions his nephew Robert Nixon, his sister Margaret Nixon* otherwise Hassard, and Rebecca Hassard, otherwise Nixon. Margaret had married Archibald Nixon, of Rossory, Co. Fermanagh, who had d. intestate, admon. granted 20 Aug. 1673 to Margaret Nixon, als. Hassard, the widow, James Auckinleck, and Samuel Thompson. Admon. of the estate of Thomas Nixon, of Rossory, was granted 20 Dec. 1679, to Janet Nixon, otherwise Armstrong. ...

"* Mrs. (Margaret) Nixon was also sister to William Hassard, who had two sons, Capt. Jason Hassard of Skea, High Sheriff, Co. Fermanagh, 1695, and Rev. Robert Hassard who entered Trinity College, Dublin, 6 July 1671, aged about 17, Scholar 1673, no record of a degree, induced Rector and Vicar of Killeshandra, Co. Cavan, 20 Dec. 1678. His successor induced 20 July 1682."

It would appear that Jason Hassard supported the Royalists during the Civil War (1640s) whilst other Hassards were linked to puritan preachers and would have supported Cromwell. After the restoration, about 1660, the Royalists were rewarded with large estates in Fermanagh, whilst the puritans were subjected to persecution. There is no evidence of any Hassards in Lyme after the war, they seem to have scattered, mainly around the area S&E of Taunton, with some extended family around Brixham.

Colours suggestedby one website selling these things, but there may be variations...