Select Hall Miscellany

Here are some Hall stories and accounts over the years:

The de Aula/Hall Family of Bradford

The family of Hall, prominent in the Wiltshire town of Bradford-upon-Avon from the 14th to the 18th century, took their name from an earlier de Aula family.  

William de Aula, his wife Katherine, and his son Thomas were living there in the early 1300’s in the reign of Edward II.   William, son of John de Aula, was presented in 1350 to the chapel of Barley in Bradford parish. Thomas atte Halle was alive in 1350 and 1360.  He was succeeded by his son Thomas Halle who came of age in 1373.  The name became Hall with Thomas Hall who was alive in 1450. 

John Hall probably built the present Hall mansion in Bradford.   He died in 1631, leaving a son and heir, Thomas. Thomas Hall, later knighted, was a Royalist and forfeited his estates in 1647.  He was succeeded in 1663 by his son John, the last of his line, who died in 1711.

Hall Border Reivers

Among the Hall Border reivers in Redesdale in the late 1500’s, the historian George Fraser mentioned two by name.  Eddie Hall he described as “that famous thief;” and George Hall of Bordupp as “a notorious thief and murderer.”  George had served as a mercenary in the Low Countries and, because of this service, had been allowed to resettle in Redesdale. 

Later, after the Border pacification, there was this report of a Hall, sent to Ireland, who had then returned. 

“John Hall of Elsdon, known as Long Parcies Jocke, was reported to have returned out of Ireland by what passed we know not, a riotous liver, ill reputed and much suspected, having nothing to maintain himself with but by keeping an alehouse.  This information was gleaned from a survey of all notorious, lewd, idle, and misbehaved persons in Redesdale."

George Hall's Seafaring Escapades

George Hall was born in Hull in 1782, the eleventh child of John and Eleanor Hall.  John Hall was evidently a sea captain and George followed him into a seagoing career, becoming a cabin boy at the age of thirteen. 

His early seagoing career coincided with the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and he was detained by the French on at least two occasions. 

When his first ship was captured he was just a cabin boy but he slipped away and eventually got back to Hull by way of a circuitous voyage and by pretending to be an American crew member on a couple of United States ships.  

In 1805 he was on another ship taken by the French.  This time he was held for almost six years.  George managed to escape in 1810 but was soon recaptured.  Later that year he managed to get away once more . After walking across France to the English Channel coast, he obtained passage to England from smugglers, being landed near Rye on New Year’s Day 1811.  

George returned to Hull and rose through the ranks to become a captain He married Grace Williamson, the daughter of a local merchant, in 1817.  The couple had five children - George, Ann, Thomas, John and Grace

The Halls of Narrow Water Castle

In 1670 the Narrow Water estate in county Down came into the possession of Francis Hall.  His family had originated in Holland but had sought sanctuary in England a century before.  With his wife Mary and their four children Francis settled here, building Mount Hall, an Irish long house, that became the Hall residence for the next century and a half.  By astute marriage alliances the Halls later acquired much more land for their estates. 

In 1816 the Newry architect Thomas Duff was commissioned by Roger Hall to design an Elizabethan revival-style house adjoining Mount Hall.  That is still the Hall family home today.  Some building materials were imported by their sailing ships.  Granite from Mullaghglass was also used.  The furniture, panelling and carving was the work of Curran & Sons of Lisburn.  The house took twenty years to complete and Duff did not survive to see it finished. 

Roger Hall died in 1865 and willed his estates to his brother Madden, and on Madden’s death, to his nephew William James Hall.  He was the son of the Rev Savage Hall, rector of Loughgall.  William joined the Royal Artillery and later developed tea plantations in Ceylon, leaving his uncle Madden to look after the estates. 

Roger Toby Hall served and suffered in the Great War and was invalided out to Gibraltar where he met and married Marie Patron.  Their return was to estates much reduced as a result of the Land Acts of those times.  Roger bred horses and greyhounds and enjoyed riding despite his shrapnel and shell-shock wounds. 

At the outbreak of the Second World War the Castle was commandeered for military billets.  Both British and American military personnel were stationed there.  Post-War the Castle for a while functioned as a hotel.  By 1952 it closed and was converted into twelve flats.   Today the castle is a venue for conferences, wedding and the like.

Halls in America by Country of Origin


John Hall and Allegonda Boom in Jamaica

In 1758 John Hall, aged 36, married Allegonda Boom, aged 21, at Port Royal in Jamaica.  John was a tavern keeper in Kingston and this apparently was his second marriage.  Allegonda joined him in Kingston.

They lived in a place and at a time when death rates, due to yellow fever and malaria, were shockingly high. The family only made it through this generation because Allegonda had nine children before dying in 1775 at the young age of 37.  Of these nine, four died in infancy and five survived. 

What happened to John after Allegonda died?  He married again.  And his new wife was also called Allegonda!  John Hall married the widow Allegonda Tweerts in 1789 and their baby daughter, naturally named Allegonda, was born a year later.  John died in 1797 and his second wife Allegonda lived until 1812.

The Halls of Niagara-on-the-Lake - Protestant or Catholic?

John and Jane Hall hailed from Ulster and had arrived in Niagara-on-the-Lake in the 1830's.  Initially their children there were baptized in the Anglican Church. 

That was until one stormy night when John mounted his horse to go from suburban Irishtown to St. Mark’s Rectory to get the rector to come and baptize one of the children, an infant in danger of death.  It was a stormy and forbidding night and the rector refused to go, postponing the trip until the morrow.

Made of sterner stuff and believing in the efficacy of baptism in opening the gates of Heaven, John called upon the Catholic priest.  He without more ado mounted on the horse behind him and rode out into the wild night on an errand that seemed to both of them of vast importance.

From that day John told his wife to bring up the children in the Catholic religion.  He was most severe throughout his life in seeing that the children attended to their religious duties.

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