LAVENDER COTTAGE

It can only be suggested that the King family lived in the middle cottage on the upper green for generations, because of a coincidence of name.

In 1580 William King was a strip shareholder in "half acre shortebere breche furlong" but sadly in 1588 it is recorded that Alis Kinge, wife of William of Askot was buried on February 28th, and that in 1601, daughter Ann died also.

Four brothers can be traced in the area at this time, who had families, amongst whom were the six daughters and five sons of brother Thomas Kinge, and his wife Margaret.

The death was recorded of Margaret, widow of Thomas on 20th July 1640, and it can only be proposed that the five sons followed Hampden and perished, leaving their young wives to survive - until 1679, Mary King, widow died, and in 1688 Joane King of Ascot died.

The cottage survived and is next mentioned at the time of the enclosure act of 1830, when it was owned by the churchwardens of Monks Risborough as trustees and overseers of the poor. In the realm of pure conjecture, it is suggested that some descendants of the Kinge family had returned to the area and had been given the old family cottage, as it is recorded that in 1828 William King died aged 86, and his brother Francis was 72 when he died in 1839.

It is presumably daughter-in-law Sarah, described as widow, aged 45, lace maker of Ascott who was married to Thomas Cummings, widower aged 46 in 1840, and went to live at Meadle, leaving nephew John and his wife Margaret alone in the cottage with their little daughter Emma, aged two.

John was a carpenter and used the lean-to shed under the sloping thatch as his workshop. After the census of 1841 the family had a son Stephen, who later married Ann and in 1866 he is registered as a carpenter.

Albert Ayres, who lived in Askett Villa on the Upper Green in front of the cottage, as Parish Councillor, was appointed Trustee of the Poor, and he became in effect, landlord of the messuage. In 1931 he bought all the cottages behind his home for his relations, but when he sold his property in 1940 to Mr Mosedale, the King family of three brothers and two sisters were re-given the tenancy.

Jim King was a policeman, another brother was a tram driver but Alfie was rather crippled, and looked after by his sisters. None of them married, and were all six feet tall and very well fed.

The next inhabitant of the cottage was called a spy! "Olga Poliski" worked at the laboratory in Risborough and was a foreign lady - Miss Ernst - also known as a 'Dr. of Beetles' at the Wood Research Laboratory.

She is recollected as a lady always in a hurry, and wore a long black cloak, which with her long black hair earned her the nickname, and few seem able to recollect her real name - but she is remembered for the all night parties she gave at the cottage in the year she lived there!

Mr and Mrs Hunt next lived at the cottage with their two sons, Denys and David.

Mr Hunt was an architect before he joined the Air Force.

After the war ended, Mrs Govier and her sister Miss Jones lived at the cottage. Miss Jones was a secretary at the Forestry Commission.

In 1967 Mr &. Mrs Deacons bought the cottage and refurbished it inside, with a new staircase.

In 1969 John and Margaret Washington lived there, working in London and returning each night.

In 1978 Emma Cureton came to live at Lavender Cottage, extending the kitchen and re- modelling the cottage garden, and compiling the history of the hamlet.

 

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