Colin and Priscilla Sharp, who have lived in Warwick for 32 years, recently enjoyed an Unlocking Warwick Court House Tour with Paula Fletcher, and told her they had discovered a fascinating document about the nationwide appeal for help after the Great Fire of Warwick in 1694 had destroyed 154 homes. And it revealed an interesting link between Warwick and their family roots in Kent.
For many generations, the Sharp family had lived in the village of Farningham in Kent (near the modern Sevenoaks). While researching family history in the village, Colin and Priscilla found an interesting document that coincidentally connected Farningham with Warwick. Colin has sent us this account.
“In my research, and particularly on examination of the content of the Farningham Parish Chest, I came across the attached list. According to what I learned, some 250 people of Warwick were made homeless [by the Great Fire of September 1694] and there was much deprivation. A cry went out to Parishes across the land for financial support and you will see that the Parishioners of Farningham contributed a total of £2.0.9d [two pounds and ninepence in old money].
My ancestor (my Great Grandfather x 8) contributed 4d (fourpence), a similar sum to the Mrs. Bayley listed immediately above, who was his mother-in-law. The Vestry record shows that this payment was made in May 1695 [8 months after the fire] so the problems caused by the fire were not short lived.
What a coincidence that I should end up in Warwick and indeed have been able to unearth this link with my Farningham ancestors”.