Bednalls of Leicester
The Bednall Archive 

Last updated: 20/01/2010


The Badnalls/ Bednalls of Leicester
The earliest references to Badnalls / Bednalls etc, so far found in Leicestershire occur in the reign of Edward III when Richard Leverich was Mayor of Leicester and one Robert de Bedenhale  was listed as a  freeman of the town (1343-1345) [1]. At or about the same time a chaplain, John de Bedenhale, one of the Foreign men of Leicester,  paid 1s. 3d rent in connection with wools "granted to the Lord King"[2].  Some 7 or 8 years later, Richard de Bodenhale is recorded as a freeman of the borough on the Merchant Guild Roll of Leicester and he may be the baker of the same name who paid 1s 6d tallage in Leicester at or about this time [3][4].

St. Mary de Castro, Leicester about 1900.After these limited references nothing more is heard of Badnalls/Bednalls etc, in Leicestershire until January 1498/9 when the  will of William Bydnall of Leicester St. Marys was proved at Leicester by his unnamed wife and Dominus Hugh Laweton [5]. Unfortunately this will does not seem to survive and it has so far been impossible to identify William. However, he may be the man or a descendant of the man whose  name occurs in Lichfield, Staffordshire in the period from 1415 to 1428 [6].  Almost 300 years later, in 1796, another Bednall name is entered in the records of the Borough of Leicester - that of Joseph Bednell who was involved in the prosecution of one Anne Deakin and it is from this point onwards that Bednall families can be identified and their histories traced, in Leicestershire [7].

Joseph Bednall and his brother Thomas moved from Hanbury in Staffordshire to Leicester in the 1790s and established families there [8][9].  They were followed, almost half a century later, by their nephew, John, who moved from Norbury in Derbyshire into Leicestershire prior to 1841 when a census enumerator found him living as a (farm) servant in the house in Ab Kettleby  where his future wife (then just 15 years old) was also a servant [10]. From these roots the family eventually spread to other parts of England and to Australia where those with Leicestershire ancestors currently form the largest group of Australian Badnalls/Bednalls.  The Leicester Bednalls and their descendents  include in their number farmers, butchers, cheese makers, at least one transported convict, a soldier whose portrait hangs in the Royal Collection, a a highly regarded conchologist and a distinguished 2nd World War Sunderland Squadron commander and nowadays journalists, lawyers etc.

This Bednall family tree consists of 3 parts representing the descendents of the above Joseph, Thomas and John Bednall respectively   Like family histories, this one is simply a framework for further research to fill out and understand the lives of the individuals concerned but this work we will, by and large, have to leave to the descendants of those Leicestershire Badnall/ Bednall etc, families. [See the Family Chart?]

NB.1: The direct paternal line is supported by documentary evidence back to William Badnall of Hanbury who died in Uttoxeter in 1700. As yet references to the sources used have not been included though they will be, later.  For the most part dates of births, marriages and deaths were obtained from parish records and the IGI. Other sources used included the Census Returns, wills, the Registrar General's Index of Probates and the General Registry of Births, Marriages & Deaths.  We may have more information on particular individuals than is given on this site and will provide what we can in answer to requests.

NB. 2: The "Bednalls of Leicester " family tree has been complied with the aid of cousins whose 19th and early 20th century ancestors in the lived in Leicestershire.

Still under development : Comments, corrections or additions welcome!

Introduction Sources

[1] Robert de Bedenhale was a freeman of the Leicester in the time Richard Leverich was mayor.(1343-1345)
Register Of The Freemen Of Leicester Vol. I, 1196 To 1770, Henry Hartopp, Page 38

[2]  Rents of Foreign men of Leicester for wools granted to the Lord King..... Date uncertain John de Bedenhale, capellanus 1s. 3d.  Records Of The Borough Of Leicester, Mary Bateson, Vol. II, 1327 To 1509, London: C. J. Clay & Sons. 1901. Page 71.

[3] 25/26 Edward Ill, Richard de Bodenhale. Freeman, Wm. Le Goldsmith Mayor. Leicester. Register Of The Freemen Of Leicester Vol. I, 1196 To 1770, Henry Hartopp.  Page 41.(1351/52)

[4] Tallage of one tenth imposed upon the town of Leicester. Richard de Bedenhale, baker, freeman, assessed at 1s. 6d. Records Of The Borough Of Leicester, Mary Bateson, Vol. II, 1327 To 1509, London: C. J. Clay & Sons. 1901.  Page 95. Merchant Guild Roll of Leicester :

Robert de Bedenhale...freeman. Records Of The Borough Of Leicester, Mary Bateson, Vol. II, 1327 To 1309, London: C. J. Clay & Sons. 1901,  Page 50.

[5] 21st January 1498/9 The will of William Bydnall of Leicester St. Marys was proved at Leicester by his wife (unnamed) and dom. Hugh Laweton. Letter From Lincolnshire Records Office 17 March 1982 with reference to the Visitation Book For The Leicester Archdeaconry 1498/9,Viv/4, Leicester Uncalendared Wills 1489-1538.

[6] "mia ij d Johes Cha1loner pa se p~ ij s detenis versus Williu Bedenhale ad dampn pleg Willi Preston" Lichfield Court Rolls, Portmot 1413-1537, Staffordshire Record Office, D 1734/2/1/597.  See also  Extracts From The Plea Rolls, Coram Rege Mich. 6 Henry VI. Collections For A History Of Staffordshire, Vol. III, NS. Page 125, Wm. Salt Archaeological Society.

[7] "Borough of Leicester, vol. VII (Judicial and Allied Records, 16891835). G. A. Chinnery, Leicester: Leicester Univ. Press 1974. page.



[10] Census return for Ab Kettleby, Leicestershire. Census of England & Wales, 1841. PRO RG 107/ 587 / 1a folio    pg 16 



A.W.Bednall, Macclesfield 1990-2010

Created 1 Jan 2010 by EasyTree, from Generations