Hayes (Kent) History

Hayes (Kent) History

WARD, Samuel Nevil
1773 – 1850
Merchant, Property Owner

Samuel Nevil Ward moved with his wife Mary and family from Balham Hill to Hayes in 1816.  He took the lease of Hayes Grove owned by Sir Vicary Gibbs and remained there until he purchased Baston Manor in 1823.  

Many of the major houses were owned or tenanted by women who, at the time, were not able to participate in local government and so he was delegated to represent their interests.  He was asked by Miss Williamina Traill of Hayes Place, for example, to be her spokesperson during the discussions which took place over the assessment of tithes following the Tithe Commutation Act in 1836.

He was churchwarden in 1825-26, contributed annually to the fund for poor relief set up by Revd John Till and became an Overseer of the Poor in 1833.  

The baptisms of four of his children Henry (1816), Elizabeth (1818), Charles(1821) and Emmeline (1830) and the marriages in 1835, 1845 and 1850 of his daughters  Lydia, Elizabeth and Mary took place in Hayes Church. 

He purchased Baston Manor, four cottages, 150 acres of land, 50 acres of meadow, 50 acres of pasture, 50 acres of wood and common pasture from James Randell for £12,000.  Desirous of improving the property he employed Decimus Burton, who had worked with Nash in designing Cornwall and Clarence Terraces in Regent’s Park where Samuel owned several leasehold properties.  In his will he allocated 39 of these properties to his four sons and five daughters. At Baston he created a fashionable house with ten bedrooms, a large drawing room and a dining room.

 He was buried in Hayes churchyard on 2 November 1850.  His widow Mary sold Baston Manor and died in 1855 at the age of 71. When alterations were made to Hayes Church his family paid in 1858 for three roundels in the south sanctuary window to be reset ‘in memory of their parents who lived in Baston Manor.