Hardy Family

Very Selective Hardy Family Tree

Around 1830, Francis Hardy comes onto our radar, employed by Sir John Dashwood King and living in the rectory. [1] How does that come about?

In 1831 Francis married Ann Bonus in St James Piccadilly and is described as a Gentleman, they have a daughter Louisa in the same year. Louisa is born in Kensington, Middlesex.

By 1841, Francis and Louisa are living in the Fishing House (We still haven't found out what happened to Ann). He is described as a Fisherman (which in this case means water bailiff and responsible for stocking the reservoir with fish) and Louisa as a Dressmaker.

1851 Francis seems to get really busy.

1853 Francis is getting a lot of national publicity for "Mr. Hardy's Subscription Waters"

        Louisa marries Robert Dixon Callcot, of Wendover. 

1853 Baron Lionel Rothschild buys Halton House.

1855 Francis marries Lucy Billington (whose nephew Charles Billington, works for Francis) Charles Billington is paid to look after boats and fishing parties. [4] In 1854, Charles was a witness to a night poaching prosecution relating to the "preserves" of Sir Anthony de Rothschild.

Golden Perch seems to be very successful, hosting major events. Francis Hardy is descibed as the perfect host "and if they want company and a social pipe, Mr. Hardy, the proprietor; is the man for them. "

Robert and Louisa emigrate and are recorded at Ellis Island. (Louisa must have been pregnant with Caroline who was born 11 Aug 1855)

1861 Louisa re-appears at the Golden Perch with her American children, no mention of her husband and there is no evidence (so far) of him returning to England. It looks very possible Louisa escaped the civil war while her husband enrolled in the Union Army (24 Sep 1861) only to desert (2 Oct 1861)....there is no father named on her youngest son Frank H Hardy's birth certificate?

1862 Francis dies and his belongings sold off at auction.

"Golden Perch destroyed by fire, rebuilt as Perch Cottage by Lionel Rosthchild".[11] or "Taken down and a sizeable house "The Perch", was built"[12]

1868 Charles Billington displays a stuffed rare "Crested cormorant" at the Halton Industrial Exhibition. [3] Could that have been the one Francis Hardy shot, stuffed and displayed in 1851?

From Field Magazine 29 Jan 1853

The promotional leaflets, posters, advertisements and articles relating to “Hardy’s Subscription Waters”[1]  provide us with the only images of the reservoir prior to the 20th Century.