Many old time country crafts have faded away but one which is still very much alive and well is thatching. Market Lavington has a number of thatched properties still, although many had their thatch exchanged for some other more permanent roofing material during the 20th century. Meadow Cottage which featured here in these pages is a case in point.

Today we look at a hand written page about Mr Jacob Hiscock who was a thatcher. This document was written in 1953 by one of Jacob’s descendants.

Hand written note about Jacob Hiscock, Thatcher. This was written in about 1953 by a descendant of Jacob and is now in Market Lavington Museum

This tells us something of the way of life of a country craftsman in times past. But Jacob’s past is a bit more complex than the writer says.

Jacob was born in Rowde in about 1832. We can find him in 1851 living with mother and stepfather at the Dunkirk end of Rowde. Later that year Jacob married his wife, Caroline Arter.

In 1861 the Hiscock family lived in Devizes and in 1871 the family were in Potterne.

We first find this Hiscock family in Lavington in 1881. In fact they lived in Fiddington Clay, which technically was in West Lavington although now it is Market Lavington.

In 1891 Jacob and family lived at The Sands, Easterton. They were still there in 1901. Thatching must have been a reasonable job for money, for the Hiscocks had a servant, who also assisted with the thatching, living with them.

Caroline died in 1908 but Jacob was still in Easterton for the 1911 census although he died later that year.

Albert Hiscock, mentioned on the document was born about 1872 and he moved to Great Cheverell.

Any further information about these Hiscocks would be appreciated. Do leave a reply on the blog or contact the curator by email.


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7 Responses to “Thatching”

  1. John Burgess Says:

    The Hiscocks, when I was young, lived on the corner of White Street and Lavington Hill in the cottage on the left as you exit the White House. As I remember there was Arthur and Mrs Hiscock and a son named George who was deaf and dumb as they called it then. This cottage was thatched at one time by the family.
    If memory serves me the Haywards of Lavington Hill were relatives of the Hiscocks.

  2. Lynn Hiscott Says:

    I was quite excited to find this page on internet. Jacob Hiscock is in fact my ggggrandfather. He was born Nov. 15, 1830 in Rowde.I recently found out he was the illegitimate son of Sarah Hiscock of Rowde and Jesse Stone of Urchfont or Lydeway.

    There were in fact 9 children, 5 boys and 4 girls. My gggrandfather Daniel b 1856 emigrated to Burlington, Ontario Canada.

  3. marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

    Lovely to hear from you and thanks for comments.

    We’ll have to see what else we can find out about the Hiscocks.

    Rog (curator)

  4. The thatcher – a newspaper cutting « Market Lavington Museum Says:

    […] we look at Mr Hiscock, the thatcher. We did look at this thatching family back in November, at which time our curator said, ‘We’ll see what else we can find out about […]

  5. Whither now the Thatcher? « Market Lavington Museum Says:

    […] long term Market Lavington thatcher. We have read about him a couple of times on this blog. (Click here and here). Albert and his wife lived at Hillside at the bottom of Lavington Hill.  One of the […]

  6. Alan Martin Says:

    My grandfather was James Leonard Hiscock of Devises (Etchilhampton) and I believe related to Albert. I was told as a boy that the peacocks you see on thatch roofs in the area were a signature of the Hiscock thatchers.

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