The Badnalls/Bednalls Etc Of London

The Bednall Archive

Last updated 03/07/2010



(See note on Family Files below)


13th to 15th Centuries 
The earliest references to Badnalls/Bednalls etc in the London area relate to people whose origins lay, like most Londoners in those times, elsewhere.   The first concerns a member of the Knights Templar, William de Badenhale, preceptor of the Church of New Temple, London, who witnessed a grant of land by the Templars to the Canons of St. Mary Overie, Southwark, in 1249[1]. Nothing more is known about this man who seems likely to have been either a Staffordshire or Worcestershire man.


Of the two 14th century references known, one is to a cleric, Thomas de Bedenhale,  who was one of the executors of John De Delves (Steward of the Black Prince, Deputy Justice of North Wales and of the county of Merioneth) [2] and is known to be a junior member of the Sandbach family of Sandbach, Cheshire. His association with London was a transitory one connected with his role as Delves' executor.  The second person referred to was Reynold de Bedenhale against whom the King’s Warrant for arrest had been issued to the Sheriff of London. Fortunately for the trio, friends petitioned the King in 1376 to obtain a writ staying execution of the arrest warrant. The names of Bedenhale’s companions suggest that they might have been a group of Staffordshire men though the name of the injured party, William Mildenhale, suggests otherwise.  It is equally possible, however,  either that the man took his name from Bethnal Green or that his name is a mistranscription of Mildenhalel or Redenhale, a mistake that is known to have occurred in connection with a 14th century London will[3].  No evidence has yet been found that any of these Badnalls/Bednalls left descendants either in London or elsewhere in the country.

More references to Bedenhales occur in the 15th century and the earliest of these (1419, 1428 and 1430) concern John de Bedenhale “citizen and dyer of London” who married Agnes widow and executrix of Thomas Derby late of Southwark, dyer[4].  Again nothing is known of John’s origins nor of any family the couple may have had[5].[6]  However, there is perhaps more hope of finding descendants of the couple referred to 27 years later, William Bodnyll and his wife Elizabeth, who were involved in a property transaction concerning premises in Enfield, Middlesex in 1456/57 [7].

St Georges Chapel & Castle of Windsor, UK  about 1903.Another 15th century reference concerns Matthew Bednall, a lay clerk of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, from 1485 until at least 1504. The records show that he was also an organist and he may be the man admitted to the Bede Roll of the Fraternity of St Nicholas, London in 1477. It is also possible that he was related to (perhaps the husband of) Alice Bednale who was also admitted to the Bede Roll 3 years later[8] [9]

16th & 17th Centuries
References to Badnall/Bednalls etc become much more numerous in the 16th century thanks chiefly to records of baptisms, marriages and deaths in parish registers.  Contrariwise, the earliest (1525) concerns the sequestration of John Bidnale’s effects but further research is needed to determine who he was and why his effects were sequestered.[11]   

The next reference is to the marriage of William Bedannell to Elizabeth Wright at St. Botolphs, Bishopgate on 6 March 1574, the first of many to be found in London parish registers e.g. those for St. Andrew in the Wardrobe; All Hallows London Wall; St. Ann, Blackfriars; Holborn St. Andrew; St. James, Clerkenwell; St.Dunstan in the East; Christchurch Greyfriars ,Newgate; St.Giles, Cripplegate; St.Benet, St. Pauls Wharf; St. Sepulchre; St. Martins in the Fields; St. Margarets, Westminster; St. Vedast, Foster Lane & St. Michael le Querce; St. Marylebone, St. Mary; St. Catherine, Coleman; St. Olave, Bermondsey; St. Georges, Hanover Square; St. Pancras Old Church; St. Mary Woolnoth; Christchurch, Southwark. [See amongst others IGI Records]   

Allowances paid to people who helped to put out a fire in Whitehall sometime prior to February 1618 reveal that a Nicholas Bednall received 20s for his efforts. Who he was or in which parish he lived is, unfortunately, not stated[12].

18th Century
The registers for London parishes allow several Badnall etc, families to be identified. Some are known to have had their roots in Oxfordshire or Berkshire and others can be linked to Northumberland, Shropshire and Yorkshire but for most  further research will be necessary to identify the origins and descendents of the individuals concerned.  A good example of the Oxfordshire connection is provided by a list of freemen who voted in the 1802 election of Oxford 's parliamentary representatives, which includes
James Badnall, a tailor, of 81 Berwick Street, Soho Square, London and William Badnall
, a whitesmith, of Jermyn Street, St. James, London. The list also includes 3 Oxford freemen, most of them tailors who may well be relatives of James and William.[13]


The Family Files

Currently (March 2010) we only have a limited number of  Family Files for London  Badnalls/Bednalls/Beadnells etc, but hope to add more  in future as and when the information becomes available and time permits.   
Thus London Badnalls are represented solely by the  Family File of Soho tailor and his wife, James and Hannah Badnall  and the London Beadnells by  the banking family whose name is forever linked to that of Charles Dickens through his unrequited love for the daughter of one of them.


[1] One of the manors of Addington was given in the middle of the 13th century (1241), to the Knights Templar and in 1249 Robert de Saunford, the Master, received on their behalf a gift of land there, so the following charter can be approximately dated:(13) Robert de Saunford, minister of the Knights Templars of England, Ratification of a Grant of William, son of Philip, to Walter de Jakegle and afterwards to Canons of St. Mary Overie, Southwark of three acres of land on Adinthon, Witnesses: Maurice Prior of the Church of New Temple, William de Badenhale, preceptor of the said house of New Temple, and others. Addington Charters of St. Mary Overie, Southwark. Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. XXXI, pages 131 to 132, Surrey Archaeological Society.  London 1918.
Payment of a recognisance for £896 17s. 8d. by Fulke de Horwode to John de Delves, knight, cancelled and acknowledged by John Scolehall and Thomas de Bedenhale, executors of the said John de Delves. 30 April 1369. Westminster. Public Record Office, Calendar Of Close Rolls, Vol. XIII, 1369- 1374, Page 81:

Feb.12th 1376.  To the Sheriff of London by mainprise of Thomas Bukyngham, Hugh Sulgrave, Amery Wymondham and John Ellesworth of the City of London to stay execution of the King’s late warrant de judicto ordering the sheriff to arrest Robert Swynesheved, Reynold Bedenhale and John Ambreston, if found in their balliwick, and keep in safe custody so as to have their bodies before the King in the Quinzine of Easter to answer William Mildenhale for alleged trespass and order to set the said defendents free from prison by that mainprise taken by that virtue of that writ bringing this writ before the King, as on behalf of the defendents petition is now made to the King for aid showing they are ready to answer the said William, and stand to right in all things, and said Thomas and others have mainperned in Chancery under pain of £10 to have the defendents before the King at the aforesaid day. a later section of the Close Rolls reference is made to Thomas Buckyngham and Hugh Sulgrave ‘of Northamptonshire’ and Amery Wymondham’s name occurs with reference to a transaction in Ely. Calendar Of Close Rolls, Vol. Xiv, L374-1377, Edward III, Page 336, Public Record Office: 

Masters of Mysteries Sworn, John Bedenhale, dyer, 11 October 1419. Calendar Of The City Of London Letter Books, Book I, Page 215 

February 12th 1428.  John Fullere of Kershalton, co. Surrey, husbandman, for not appearing before Robert Hulle and his fellow Justices for the bench of Henry V, to answer William Moyle and Clement Bysshop, executors of Thomas Derby, late of Southwark, and John Bedenhall, citizen and dyer of London, and Agnes his wife and executorix and late wife of the same Thomas Derby, touching a plea that he the said John Fullere, tender 64s. Calendar Of Patent Rolls, Henry VI, Vol. I, 1422-1429, Public Record Office:

July 6th 1430 Westminster. John Payne of Westerham, co. Kent, husbandman, for not appearing before Robert Hulle and his fellow justices for the bench of Henry V, to answer William Moyle and Clement Bysshop, executors of Thomas Derby, late of Southwark, and John Bedenhall, citizen and dyer of Landon, and Agnes his wife and excecutorix and late wife of the same Thomas Derby, touching a plea that he, the said John Payne, tender 64s, London. Calendar Of Patent Rolls, Henry VI, Vol. II, 1429-1436, Public Record Office

Feet of Fines 174: Thomas Ayleward the Elder, Thomas Ayleward, Roger Humfrey and William Hammond and William Bodnyll and Elizabeth his wife –re premises in Enfield, Middlesex Anno 35 Henry VI.
Calendar Of Feet Of Fines: London And Middlesex, Richard I-II, Vol. I, 200 Public Record Office

[8] The Bede Roll of the Fraternity of St. Nicholas, by N.W.James, Guildhall Library, London, London Record Society 2004  page 301.

[9]Organists and Choristers of St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle by Edmund Horace Fellowes, Published for the Dean and Canons of St. George's Chapel, Windsor by the Society For The Promotion Of Christian Knowledge 1939. page 10.

[10] Bednall, [Mr.]. English musician. 148(9)-9(3): Clerk of St Georges Chapel (Windsor). 148(9)-9(3): Joint organist of St Georges Chapel (Windsor). "Early Renaissance 1420-1461 The Age of Dunstable",  and "Cathedral College Organists: The Queen’s Free Chapel of St. George, Windsor Castle.1489"  Tuke, Bell, Bowyer, Bednall and Rede (acted jointly) 

[11]John Bidnale, St.Peters Cor. effects sequestered; Reg 7, 132 v, 133V, 134v 136
Testamentary Records In The Commissary Court Of London, Vol. II, 1489-1570, Marc Fitch, Historic Manuscripts Commission

[12] By Order dated 26th of February 1618. Allowances for putting out the fire at Whitehall 27th of March 1619  Order Book of James I, 1619. Issues of the Exchequer-King James I, John Rodwell, London 1836

[13] Poll Of Freemen Of The City Of Oxford For Two Parliamentary Representatives Taken in the Town Hall, Tuesday to Friday, 6-9th July 1802. Richard Weston,  mayor Candidates: Francis Burton; John Atkyns Wright; John Ingram Lockhart


©A.W.Bednall, Macclesfield 1986-2010