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The Hague Family

This site is being relocated, and the original you have presently reached will be maintained rather infrequently. Before long, when the new site seems pretty stable and is being found by Google, I shall put automatic redirects on each of the pages of this old site. In the meantime, you could click this link to go to the new one: grahamhague.com. Sorry about this!

The Hague Family History

As one gets older, the history of the family and where one originated becomes more interesting. Well, it did with me. I have found out a lot about the Hague family, some from my own research and some where I matched into someone else's web publication. Scaramouche's father always said two things about the family: that we had come from "up north", and that the name originally came over with William the Conqueror. That latter idea is by no means uncommon in families, though rarely can it be proved, and my family is a case in point. I think the family name changed over the years, so tracing it back further than I have done will be very difficult. But it seems his other idea may be grounded in fact, we appear (at the earliest stage in our history I have got back to) to be "Yorkshire folk". There are Hague's still in Bradfield and Sheffield, Yorkshire, who may be very distant cousins.

The data in this section are personal to me, so please do not make any use of them except for your own research. Feel free to e-mail me about anything, especially if you are a close or distant relative (or a solicitor with a huge unclaimed inheritance).

Known rogues:

Though he is not in the Hague line, Mr. Aaron Longhurst, of the immensely powerful and influential Surrey Longhursts, able to trace their line back to 1515, is the cad & bounder who in 1786 seduced a poor, decent, honest serving wench named Elizabeth Thorndale, and thus started a family line of which I am today a member. I suppose I should really be grateful?! As he is a direct ancestor, I must forgive him. Elizabeth is my four greats grandmother, on my mother's side. It seems that although the Longhurst family appear to have acknowledged paternity, they did not agree to a marriage between Aaron and Elizabeth, so I think my interpretation of the situation is likely correct.

I have recently found out that Elizabeth Thorndale was the mother of at least 3 children (including Aaron), all of which bear her surname. If Aaron was illegitemate (which he definitely was), what does that mean for the other two also using their mother's surname? The two possibilities are that (i) they were all illegitemate (!), or (ii) Elizabeth was in fact married to a Thorndale, but that she had a (middle) child fathered by Aaron Longhurst. The latter seems a little awkward, but the former is also somewhat unusual for the eighteenth century, as is, by the way, naming the father. I can't explain it any other way than these two choices.

In 1810, a local Farmer in Swinderby, Lincolnshire, Mr. Joseph Caunt, another Cad and Bounder, seduced (or worse) the daughter of one of his farm labourers. This swine didn't get away scot-free, as a local order in Lincoln against him "Order for maintenance of bastard children" ref "SWINDERBY PAR/13/6/2" shows. Elizabeth Hague (my great-great-great-great-aunt) later married John Johnson in 1820, who seems to have taken on her son Thomas as his own son. Thomas Hague was christened on 21 December 1810 and married Sarah Burrel in 1842 with his step-father as witness. Joseph Caunt had married only a few months before Thomas was conceived. As this so-and-so is not an ancestor of mine, Mr. Joseph Caunt is not forgiven, but his wife was the daughter of a Hague and is a relation. In fact, Elizabeth was Joseph Caunt's wife's cousin. Actually, he lived to a ripe old age, was very wealthy, and later had a number of legitimate children, but seems to have had nothing to do with his first born son. I have been in contact with a gentleman to whom his 6 greats grandparents (via Joseph Caunt's wife) are my 5 great grand parents, so we are 6th cousins, once removed.

Known famous people:

My second cousins (once removed), the famous brother and sister film producers of the 20th Century, Sydney Box (who won an Oscar in 1946/7) and Betty Box, producer of the "Doctor In ..." films and many others, and whose husband Peter Rogers of "Carry On ..." fame died in 2009. More about them in WIT's Epilogue page.

My Hague line

The earliest references to the Hague name can be viewed at this Surname Database site. It reports the spelling as Hague, but in fact, the spelling is Hayge.

I have found quite a bit about our earlier Hague's by linking in an ancestor I had found with an ancestor someone on the web had also found as part of his line. The earliest Hague I had found till then was Robert Hague born 1792 in Swinderby, Lincolnshire.

Presuming our line to have originated (as far back as I have got) in Bradfield, Yorkshire, the on-line Bradfield Register records the earliest instances of our spelling of the name as follows: Marriages (1559-1715): William Ashford and Elizabeth Hague, 4 December 1662; Burials (1559-1715): Anne, wife of Thomas Hague 14 November 1661; Baptisms (1559-1715): Sarah, daughter of Robert Hague, 13 April 1662. I have no idea of the relationships, if any, between these persons.


John Hague (c1660-?)

According to that other person, Stephen Parkhouse, see his web page here for the first John Hague, the first to be sure Hague as part of my male line is John Hague, born c. 1660 in Yorkshire or possibly Lancashire. These counties are where still today the majority of the name are to be found. At some point he married Mary, surname unknown, and a son, also named John was born c.1690, again in either Yorkshire or Lancashire. The birth and death dates of the first John Hague are not known.

In my research, I have found that a John Hague married a Mary Woodcock or Woodcoke in Bradfield Yorkshire on 24 June 1688. This is close to the birth date recorded for the second John Hague (see below), and the wife's name is a match (though it was a very common name). However, I cannot assume it is my ancestor and his child. A number of surnames Hayghe, Haighe, Haughe and similar can be found in the Bradfield Parish Registers from 1559 (available on-line as a pdf on this web page) but beware the download is big, about 24Mb. These are possibly earlier spellings of the family name, but that earlier reference to a Hague in Bradfield in 1589 maybe negates that. Unfortunately, the on-line version of the Bradfield Registers start their marriages at 1650. Even today, there are loads of Hague's in Bradfield. The son John was born c.1693, according to that other webpage. Unfortunately, the Bradfield Registers only record a John Hague born 14th February 1693 as a son of Christopher Hague, so this may not in fact be a valid line. In fact, because of the uncertainty, I am going to assume there is an error in the line on the web page, and that John Hague born c. 1660 is not my ancestor. The Bradfield Registers give me a different line, but I may have to revise this in the future!!


Thomas Hague (c1624-?)

There are two records which might be for Thomas Hague, the start of this line, in the Bradfield Registers, the nearest being Thomas Haigh born 1651 (too young) and Thomas Haughe, son of Raph Haughe, born 1624. This latter is a possible ancestor but cannot be proven. There is no sensible data for Raph, the only record being a Raphe, born 1562 (surely, too early), son of John Haghe.

It is therefore only proper to start my line with either John Hague born c.1660 who had a son John born approximately the right time, or Christopher Hague born 1663 who also had a son John born at the right time. I favour Christopher at this time. Actually, since I know Christopher's grandfather, it starts with him.


Stephen Hague (?-?)

Stephen Hague. No details known, other than one son, Thomas.


Thomas Haigh (?-1694)

Thomas Haigh. Wife Mary Sendus married 22nd August 1654. Surname spelt differently at some stage. Buried 15th July 1694.


Christopher Hague (1663-?)

Christopher Hague was baptized 29 May 1663 in Bradfield Yorkshire. There is no record of a marriage in the town, so presumably his was held at the brides location, as was usual at the time. He had children John (b. 8 Sep 1688, buried 3 Aug 1689), Anne (27 Oct 1689), Thomas (b. 13 Dec 1691, buried 24 Mar 1694), another John (14 Feb 1693), Elizabeth (12 May 1696), another Thomas (13 Mar 1697), William (4 Apr 1701) and finally Sarah (8 Sep 1704).


John Hague (1693-c1741)

The John baptized 14 Feb 1693 probably in Yorkshire was a farmer, and appears in Swinderby in Lincolnshire in around 1710 (but certainly after 1704), possibly with his father. The previous county boundaries makes this a very short move from Yorkshire, so that is the more likely source I think. This second John Hague married Sarah Frith in Swinderby, on 14th November 1715. She had been born in Swinderby in 1686, the daughter of John and Mary Frith. John and Sarah had at least 6 children, one of whom (the only son to survive) was christened John on December 28th 1723 in Swinderby. This second John Hague died around 1741, here is a transcribed pdf copy of his will, written in 1739. You can tell from his signature that he was very ill at the time, and the will was clearly written by someone else. The original was very difficult to read, and is held in Lincolnshire Archives. Sarah was born 1686 and died 1755.


John Hague (1723-1815)

John and Mary Hague

The third John Hague baptized 28 Dec 1723 married Mary Beckett in the village on 24th June 1750. A large number of children were produced, the second son being yet another John, but my line continued with the third male: Samuel, christened 21st August 1756. The third John Hague died on February 28th 1815 and was buried on 3rd March. A very worn but upright gravestone in Swinderby's All Saints Church faintly shows a John Hague died aged 92, so is almost certainly the marker for this man and his wife. I have a pdf copy of a transcript of his will. It was made 17 days before his death. Mary was born 1720 and had died 1783. Reference Lincs to the Past - Burial, Reference Name SWINDERBY PAR/1/7, Date: 1813-1911, Repository: Lincolnshire Archives [057], [page 5] John Hague, Swinderby, 1815 March 3rd, 92, A Chambers Vicar.


Samuel Hague (1756-1836)

Samuel Hague baptized 21 Aug 1756 married Mary Dunn on 12th August 1790. Their eldest son was called Robert and they had a number of other children. Samuel was buried 2nd March 1814, and I think I have identified his prone gravestone in the churchyard. Mary was born 1765 and died 1836.

As stated above, in 1811, Samuel issued a Maintenance Order on behalf of his daughter Elizabeth against Joseph Caunt, Farmer, of Swinderby. I have transcribed the order in this pdf article. She was Scaramouche's great-great-great-great aunt and Joseph Caunt's wife was her cousin. The original is held in Lincolnshire Archives and is so fragile they are not allowing any more reproductions of it. I was lucky that they had a reproduction taken some while ago that I could purchase a copy of. It was very dog-eared which accounts for the gaps in the pdf.

Samuel was at one time a church-warden of Swinderby Church.

Samuel Hague made his will, click for a pdf copy of my transcription. Strangely, it makes no mention of his wife, Mary.


Robert Hague (1791-1864)

Robert and Mary Hague The Hague Font

Robert Hague was born 1791 and married Mary Vickers in c.1820. The only children I know about is Samuel born 1820 and another Robert Hague born 1823. The first Robert died 8th February 1864 aged 73 and his wife Mary died 15th January 1881 aged 87. They are buried together in a grave in Swinderby's All Saints Church with a clearly readable upright stone.


Robert Hague (1823-1871)

Robert and Martha Hague

The second Robert Hague born 1823 is one for whom I have more information than sketchy dates. His precise DOB I don't know, but he married Martha Grundy from North Collingham in Swinderby in June 1846 - the date on the certificate looks like the 18th. She had been born 2nd November 1824, the daughter (among many siblings) of Hugh Grundy and Ann Penell. Robert was a worker on the new Midland Railway soon after its inception, and was a station master at North Hykeham, which really meant he tended the gates. I have tried to find some old photos of the station on the internet, but without success. The family lost a number of children very young, but some did survive to have children of their own. The full list of children I have been able to establish is: John(1848-1850); Elizabeth (1850-1850); William (1851-1909); George (1854-1856); Ann (1856-?); Samuel (1859-1896); Martha (1861-before 1871); Ada Mary (1864-1866); and Robert (1868-?). The father Robert died of cancer on 28th March 1871, just before the census, aged just 48. He is buried in Swinderby's All Saints Churchyard with George and Ada Mary, alongside is the grave of his wife Martha who died 9th May 1891.


William Hague (1851-1909)

William Hague born 1851 joined the railway, and in 1871 became a founding member of the ASRS, the "Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants". This body was one of the earliest organised unions of workers in the country, and the earliest on the railways. A John Hague, quite possibly one of William's cousins, was on the ASRS Nottingham Branch Executive Committee for the years 1874 through 1876. The ASRS was the prime union to join with other railway unions to become the National Union of Railwaymen, subsequently part of the now giant RMT (Rail, Marine and Transport). In 1874 in London, William married Helen Sellwood. They had two children, Ada Mary b.1874 and Charles William b.1878. In 1880, Helen died aged just 26 with the family living in Kettering, Northants. On 22nd November, 1881, William married for a second time, to Elizabeth Ann Coaten from Barnwell. In 1891, William was presented with a writing case by the ASRS, click the link to see more about it.

William became the first of the recent Hague's to move out of Lincolnshire. I believe he must have been stationed as a porter at North Hykeham with his father on the railways for some time for William was born there in 1823, then Islington as a signalman in London where he met and married Helen Sellwood. He moved sometime to Kettering where he boarded with a family, until his second marriage to Elizabeth Ann Coaten and the settling in the town where he died in 1909.


Ernest William Hague (1882-1949)

Ernest William Hague Frances Lucy Keller

William and Elizabeth's eldest son was Ernest William, born 24th November 1882 at 7 Thorngate Street, Kettering, Northants. He worked in the clothing trade for much of his life, and served during the First World War as an anti-aircraft gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery. He fortunately survived the war, but a brother Walter George Hague did not, and certainly one (Harry Keller), possiby two of his wife's brothers also lost their lives in the conflict.

Ernest seems to have decided not to follow his father onto the railways, and indeed, Scaramouche's father always said his father (Ernest) had been very much opposed to his son joining the railways. After leaving school, Ernest entered the booming clothes trade in Kettering, as did most of his family. At some point in his life (before the war) he lost the top joint of his right hand index finger in an accident. This would later be seen as a blessing in disguise. On the 3rd August 1908, Ernest married Frances Lucy Keller, a machinist and probably a co-worker. She had been born in Wellingborough in 1881, the daughter of Alfred and Lucy Keller.

As you might expect, I tend to watch shows like "Who Do You Think You Are?" and an intriguing parallel emerged on the one with the actress Sheila Johnson. She had a grandfather who joined the railways, and it caused a great rift with his parents. She at first thought it due to snobbery, but it turned out the parents had themselves lived in great poverty for many years of their life, as the husband worked for a pittance on the railway. He had late in life broken away, become a pub landlord, then a hotel owner, and had worked his family away from the back street slums that took his first wife and 3 children from tuberculosis. So he would have been appalled to see his eldest surviving son go on the railway and head for the same dreadful living conditions as he had endured and escaped from. In a like manner, I wonder if Ernest saw his father as living in poverty and ill-health from the railway, and was determined not to follow that same path himself, and was equally determined not to permit his son to follow it either. It sounds very plausible.

Ernest and Frances (known as Ern and Lou) had a daughter, Doris Mabel in April 1910. In August 1911, the family were staying at 9 Manor Road Chelmsford with Ernest's brother Arthur Robert and his wife Ellen, when Doris Mabel died aged 16 months of "Acute Infantile Paralysis and Exhaustion". I don't know if the family had gone there in an attempt to improve Doris' health, but Ernest was certainly present. I remember once on a visit to Grannie Hague coming across a newspaper clipping recording the death of a Hague, and my father saying it was his elder sister. I thought he said she had died of influenza during the 1919 epidemic, but that was not Doris Mabel. But I am also sure he said he had two sisters who had died; if so, possibly a younger sister born during or soon after the war may have succumbed, and would have missed appearing on any census. However, there is no BMD record of a female Hague birth/death in Kettering between 1915 and 1920.

For his war service, Ernest received his call up around the end of 1915. His age would have meant that at the start of hostilities, he would not have been needed, but the massive losses of troops particularly in 1915 meant that any able-bodied man, even a 33-year-old, was likely to be called.

Ernest seems to have passed the medical check OK, with that one little problem that I have already mentioned which, fortunately for him I think, meant he could not be an infantry soldier in France. A section of his right index finger was missing, apparently the result of some earlier accident in his working life. The recommendation from the accepting Medical Officer was that he was "Fit for garrison service at home", but this was later crossed through. So he may have served in France at some time. His vision was given as 6/6 in both eyes, i.e. perfect, and maybe this was what governed his wartime service. He was allocated to the Anti-Aircraft Division of the RGA, the Royal Garrison Artillery. His address was given as 3 Hawthorn Road, Kettering, and his occupation "Woollen Warehouseman". His service number was "86265 RGA".

The Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) was an arm of the Royal Artillery that was originally tasked with manning the guns of the British Empire's forts and fortresses, including coastal artillery batteries, the heavy gun batteries attached to each infantry division, and the guns of the siege artillery. From 1914 when the army possessed very little heavy artillery, it grew into a very large component of the British forces on the battlefield, being armed with heavy, large-calibre guns and howitzers that were positioned some way behind the front line and had immense destructive power. The corps name was discontinued during the 1920s, after the RGA was re-amalgamated into the Royal Artillery.

This link: RGA gives an excellent background to this less well-documented division of the army. Ernest joined the 19th AA Company of the RGA, with the rank of Gunner. The AA unit Section consisted of 43 men in total: 2 officers, two gun detachments of 12 men each (of which 1 in each was a Driver of the Army Service Corps), 2 telephonists, 1 linesman, 4 height finders, 4 Wilson-Dalby Detector Operators, 2 Height and Fuze Indicator men, 1 Order Board Setter, 1 Lookout man (Air sentry), 1 orderly and 1 cook, all being RGA unless otherwise indicated. By the last quarter of 1916, there were in all 183 Sections consisting of 367 guns in England. In France, there were 74 Sections, made up of 147 guns. There were also 3 Sections in Egypt, 6 in Salonika and 1 in Mesopotamia. I believe that, though the record is badly damaged and much of it is unreadable, Ernest spent part of his war stationed in France, as he was awarded the "British" and "Victory" medals that needed him to have left these shores for a war theatre abroad.

After signing his papers in December 1915, Ernest was posted to No.1 Depot of the RGA (to Fort Burgoyne at Dover) presumably for training, the rest of his posting record is unreadable. His personal particulars were given as "Height 5' 6"; Girth 35 1/2 "; Girth range 3"; Weight 131 lbs." He was obviously of very slight stature, weighing less than 10 stone. Ernest was "de-mobilised" in February 1919, apparently at South Shields. Fortunately, he had suffered no injury or incapacity during the war.

I should say these details are gleaned from two sets of call up papers; this does not seem to be normal though is not actually uncommon, and I think the first set must have been lost, were officially regenerated (and Ernest signed them again), only for the originals to then surface again later. The data doesn't contradict, but each has more detail in some areas than the other.

Another point to make is that we are lucky the papers survive. About 70% of Army WW1 Service records were destroyed during the Blitz in WW2, and most of those that survived were damaged, which is why much of Ernest's record is unreadable. I have found no records for Walter George Hague, which is a great shame as it would tell us where and when he fell, and it is for sure that all Ernest's younger brothers would have faced call up. I am intending to arrange a visit to the Northamptonshire Regimental Archives later this year, but there is no guarantee this is where they would have served - after all, Ernest didn't!

Ernest retired in 1949 but was already in poor health. Later that year, he died, as I believe, from heart failure, something that had also afflicted his grandfather.

Grannie Hague lived in that same house for many years before infirmity, and the stiffness caused by two broken hips from the steep steps to the back garden and the outside toilet, forced her into a home. I cannot recall when she died, I think it was around 1970. The two houses 31 and 33 were jointly named "Avon Cottages" and were built in 1885.


Leslie Walter Hague (1912-1990)

Leslie Walter Hague Frances Winifred Gray

Leslie Walter Hague was my father, born in 1912 in Kettering, Northamptonshire. He remembered as a youngster watching the R101 go over Kettering on its ill-fated trip to France. He wanted to join the railway like his grandfather William, but his father thought him too intelligent to "waste" his life like that, so he went to Kettering Grammar School. Here, he was a contempory of the famous writer H. E. Bates, though they were in different years. He always said the famous author's writings were not his cup of tea. He was much more impressed by the much later efforts of the Science Master Geoffrey Perry and his interception of 1950s Russian satellite radio signals often before the official British observers had realised the Sputnik had even been launched. He left school to work in the local council offices, the work he did was with the Rates working in the Borough Treasurer's Department and he kept it up all his life, but he always had a deep love for the railways. He was an active member of the Higram Players, an amateur theatrical group in Kettering, but I have been unable to find out much about them. This was before the Second World War, of course.

The house at 31 Hawthorn Road Ketering was, I recall, well populated with photographs of football teams, and Dad was always a fan of the sport. I am sure he said that either he, or his father or maybe an uncle, played goalkeeper for the Kettering Town football team. If it was Dad, it would have been around the 1930s; if his father, I guess around 1900-1910. I think it a great shame all the photos have gone. I have tried to find out if any Hague's played for Kettering, but so far without success. The Kettering Town internet site just ignore my e-mails.

He was called up in about 1941, and was posted to an airfield in Gloucestershire, I always thought he meant RAF Gloucester but there doesn't seem to have ever been one. It must have been one of the many RAF bases in Gloucestershire. He was on ground duties, which he told me involved some secret device located inside the aicraft. He had to load and unload it, and he did tell me the name of it years ago but I have forgotten it. It was here that he met Leading Aircraft Woman (LAC) Frances Winifred Gray, born 1923 in Reigate, Surrey, and whom he married in that town in 1945. The pictures above show them in their wartime RAF uniforms. Demobbed in 1946, he went back to working for his local councils in Fareham and Shoreham By Sea. Both Mum and Dad were active post-war members of the RAFA (Royal Air Force Association), and Dad was for a long time a part-time member of the Royal Observer Corps, which had such an important role in Britain's defence during the cold war. I remember one Saturday morning, early 1960s, he took me to an underground shelter on the downs near Southwick, Sussex. There was a big steel and concrete hatch, and a series of iron ladder rungs going down to a series of rooms below, all filled with monitoring and radio equipment. The bunker seems to be still there, but although the hatch is open, the shaft has been sealed. I wonder if anything remains below. I don't know if he was supposed to take me inside (I was about 13), but nobody that was there seemed to mind my presence. There is a comprehensive article here which seems to show the empty rooms below ground. There may be a modern one nearby in Southwick Tunnel, see this article.

Leslie spent the after war years working in Local Government in Fareham Hampshire, and then Shoreham By Sea in Sussex at 103, Greenways Crescent in the town (where Scaramouche was born). The family moved to 8 Middle Road, Shoreham around 1956/7 and then to 4 Harbour Way on Shoreham Beach in about 1963, from where Leslie became churchwarden at the Church of The Good Shepherd on Shoreham Beach. Scaramouche has vivid memories of the big fire just across the Harbour Way road from us, it may have been Watercraft Boat Builders. It was a large wooden shed that contained wood shavings and sawdust, and it seems a workman tossed a cigarette butt in it: unwise. It will have been the late 1960s or early 1970s sometime. There was another big fire in the road in 1989/1990.

After retirement, my parents spent time at 52, Rookswood, Alton in Hampshire, and then 24 Ashley Close, Winchester. Frances Hague died in Southampton of pancreatic cancer on 6th April, 1986. Leslie died in The John Radford Hospital in Oxford on 17th July, 1990. They were the most wonderful parents a person could ever wish to have.


If any visitor to this site would like to contact me about it, or any of the subjects on it, please do so. I would appreciate any feedback you have, good or bad. I know I can always improve the site, and any help in doing so would be gratefully received. Even the mildest of comments is good to get.