The village of Badsey is the only place of that name anywhere in the world, and it is reasonable to assume that anyone with the surname Badsey had ancestors who originally came from the village. The earliest known reference to the name is in the Worcestershire Lay Subsidy Roll c1280. Listed under “Villata de Evesham” is “Willielmo de Baddeseye” paying 18d and in 'Homburne' (Honeybourne) “Thoma de Badesheye” is listed. In the Register of William Ginsborough, Bishop of Worcester, 1303-1307, “Robert de Baddesey” is mentioned three times: in 1303 when he appeared before the Bishop at Tewkesbury as a subdeacon, later in the year as deacon, then in 1304 as priest. This may have been the same “Robert de Badsey” who stood surety in 1295 for one of the two Evesham burgesses in the Model Parliament.
The National Archives holds a document dated 1326-1327 which refers to "Nicholas de Baddeseye, chaplain, to grant messuages, mill, land, and rent in Evesham, Badsey, North Littleton, and Bretforton to the abbot and convent of Evesham, retaining land in Badsey, Worc."
Two centuries later, the Worcestershire Lay Subsidy Roll for Badsey in 1525 lists Robert Badsey who had goods worth 40s 12d. This pre-dates the start of parish registers by 13 years. Also noted under Bengeworth, there was a Thomas Badsey with goods of 40s and a subsidy to pay of 12d.
The name Badsey first appears in Badsey parish registers in 1542; the last occurrence is in 1682. In Wickhamford, the name first appears in 1546 and the last occurrence is in 1718. There are no monumental inscriptions to Badseys in the churchyard and none of the Badseys left a will, so the following information may be deemed to be “best guess” based on the information available.
Robert Badsey of Badsey and Descendants
Generation 1 – Robert Badsey (?-c1527)
Robert Badsey (assumed to be the person mentioned in the Worcestershire Taxes book) is recorded in the 16th-century Churchwardens’ Accounts as giving corn to the church between the years 1528 and 1536, for which he received payments varying between 5s 8d and 33 shillings. His mother had died in 1527 and left a bequest to the church. Robert’s name last appears in 1536, so it is thought that he may have died shortly after that, just before parish registers began. He was probably married to Elizabeth who gave 20d to the church in 1537 and, after her death in 1549, left a bequest of 20d. Robert and Elizabeth probably had at least one son, Robert.
Generation 2 – Robert Badsey (c1510-?)
Robert Badsey, believed to be the son of the above Robert and Elizabeth, is thought to have been married to Margaret and had at least four sons and four daughters: Agnes (?), Robert (?), Margery (1542), William (1546-1546), Thomas (1547), William (1550), Joan (1552-1552) and Alice (?-1554). Agnes married John Smith in 1561, Margery married William Botte in 1578 and Thomas married Margery Smith in 1572; all are thought to have left the village. William Badsey (1550) may have married Margaret Wyan at Droitwich in 1580. It is not known when Robert Badsey died but Margaret Badsey, widow, died in 1583. The Churchwardens’ Accounts for 1586-1587 record that Margaret Badsey gave 12d to the church of Badsey at her death.
Generation 3 – Robert Badsey (?-1615)
Robert Badsey (?-1615), assumed to be the son of the above Robert and probably born just before parish registers began, was married to Joan and had five sons: Robert (1565-1615), Thomas (1567-1568), Thomas (1570), John (?-1572) and William (1574). Thomas Badsey may have married Katherine Ange at Stratford on Avon in 1597. Joan died in 1612 and Robert in 1615. The National Archives website has details of a document dated 1596-1616 entitled Huggins v Badsey, with the plaintiff being John Huggins and the defendants being Robert Badsey and another. It describes the subject matter as “property in Radsey, Leicestershire”. There is no such place as Radsey, so it is possible this is a mis-reading of Badsey, Worcestershire.
Generation 4 – Robert Badsey (1565-1636)
Robert Badsey (1565-1636), son of Robert, married Anne (?-1613). They had five sons and five daughters: Margaret (1591), Richard (1593-1660), Mary (1595), Ann (1598), Robert (1601-1625), William (1604), Joan (1605-1612), Thomas (1608), John (1612-1664) and Frances (1613-1613). Anne died presumably in childbirth and was buried on 17th September 1613, the same day that her youngest daughter, Frances, was baptised; Frances followed her mother to the grave just 11 days later. Margaret Badsey married Thomas Phillips at Badsey in 1620, Mary married John Perks in 1628. It is thought that Robert, left with a young family after his wife’s death, married again to Margaret. Robert Badsey died in 1636 and was buried at Badsey. Margaret Badsey, widow, died in 1643.
Generation 5 – Richard Badsey (1593-1660)
Richard Badsey (1593-1660), son of Robert and Anne, married Amy and they had five sons and four daughters: Robert (1622-1622), Margaret (1624), Richard (1626), Robert (1628-1636), Ann (1631), Amy (1636-1649), Edward (1639-1649), Elizabeth (1642) and Thomas (1644). Richard Badsey died in 1660 aged 67 and Amy in 1682. Amy was the last Badsey to be mentioned in Badsey parish records.
John Badsey (1612-1664), son of Robert and Anne, married Elizabeth Prescut at Badsey in 1637 and had three sons and four daughters: Maryan (1639), John (1641-1644), Elizabeth (1643), Mary (1645), Ann (1647-1649), John (1650) and Gerard (1653). John died at Badsey in 1664.
Generation 6 – Richard Badsey (1626-?)
Richard Badsey (1626), son of Richard and Amy, married Elizabeth Barber at Badsey in 1651. At The Hive in Worcester, there is a list of deeds relating to the Manor of Badsey which refers to a marriage settlement and conveyance of land, Richard Badger Senior to Richard Badger Junior, on 4th June 1657. There has never been anyone by the name of Badger living in Badsey. It is most likely that this was a misreading of the surname Badsey and a misreading of the year, as we know from the marriage registers that Richard Badsey married Elizabeth Barber at Badsey, on 4th June 1651.
The marriage settlement no longer exists, but it seems that it relates to property on the corner of Mill Lane, Badsey (the houses now known as Vicarage Cottage and Glebe Cottage). Over a hundred years after the marriage, a deed of 1774 relating to an orchard in Badsey on Mill Lane reveals that someone by the name of Elizabeth Badsey once lived in a house adjacent to the orchard: “All that piece or parcel of Ground in Badsey aforesaid called the Orchard belonging adjoining or lying near to a Messuage or tenement in Badsey aforesaid now used as two tenements or Dwelling Houses in one whereof Elizabeth Badsey did heretofore dwell.” The Elizabeth in question was undoubtedly Elizabeth Barber who married Richard Badsey at Badsey in 1651 and who was the subject of the marriage settlement. Although the deed is over a hundred years after the marriage, other names in the deed reveal that the description relates to a much earlier date, as the deed goes on to refer to Robert Hill, Clerk (who died in 1730), and to the Jarretts (who lived in Badsey at the end of the 17th century).
Richard and Elizabeth had a son Robert in 1661 who was the last Badsey to be baptized at Badsey. It is thought that Richard and Elizabeth also had a son, Richard, born in the 1650s. It is also thought that Richard and Elizabeth moved to Cleeve Prior (see “The Missing Link” below). The only person with the name Badsey left in Badsey was Richard’s mother, Amy, but Richard and Elizabeth still had property in the village. The transcription of deeds next notes that, on 27th February 1713, Richard Badsey (though to be the son of Richard and Elizabeth) conveyed a moiety of two houses to William Badsey. Richard’s eldest son was called William, who was born in 1679. On 29th September 1714, there was a deed, William Badsey to Edward Wilson, bond to perform covenants; this ended the Badseys links with Badsey.
The Missing Link
A member of the present-day Badsey family has constructed a family tree of her branch of the Badseys, descending from one Richard Badsey who died at Cleeve Prior in 1721 and raised five sons there. She has been unable to find out where Richard Badsey was born, but it seems quite possible that he may have been the son of Richard Badsey who was born at Badsey in 1626 and who married Elizabeth Barber in 1651. Richard Badsey who lived at Cleeve Prior, then Richard’s eldest son was called William (born 1679).
If this assumption is correct, then we are delighted that Professor Stephen Badsey and his wife, Dr Phylomena Badsey, who are life members of The Badsey Society, are truly descended from the Badseys of Badsey.
The Badseys of Wickhamford
William Badsey (?-1559) had two sons and four daughters baptised at Wickhamford: Jane (1546), Elizabeth (1547), Margery (1549), Thomas (1551), William (1553) and Joan (1557). William died at Wickhamford in 1569. He may have been the son or brother of Robert Badsey mentioned in the Worcestershire Taxes book of 1525.
Thomas Badsey (1551), son of William, had two children baptised at Wickhamford: Alice (1577) and William (1580). In the Quarter Sessions of 24th August 1602: “Alehouse Recognizance before John Hiatt and Walter Savage by Thomas Badsey of Wickhamford and Henry Russell of Dumbleton Gloucestershire for Henry Burrowe.” (Alehouse Recognizances were early public house licences. The licensee and those who stood surety for them had to appear before the licensing justices every year.)Alice Badsey (1577), daughter of Thomas, had an illegitimate daughter, Margaret, baptized at Wickhamford in 1607. It is thought that Alice died in 1638; or she could have been the Alice Badsey who died in 1611.
Margaret Badsey (1607-1664) never married and remained in Wickhamford all her life, dying there in 1664.
Some decades after the last Badsey had disappeared from Wickhamford records, the name reappeared when George Badsey married Elizabeth Baning at Wickhamford in 1718. It is thought that he was born at Cleeve Prior in 1692, the son of Richard and Martha Badsey, and that his father, Richard, was the son of Richard Badsey and Elizabeth Barber who had married at Badsey in 1651 (see above).
Badseys of Northumberland, South Africa and America
In November 2000, Bill Badsey of California contacted the Badsey website. He had been born in Whitley Bay, emigrated with his family to South Africa in 1947, then moved to California in 1982. It was during the 1980s that he created “The Badsey Bullet”, a three-wheeled vehicle powered by a motor-cycle engine which had separate cockpits for the passenger and the driver. Bill’s branch of the family were mariners in Northumberland in the 19th century. Where they came from immediately before that is unknown but, going back through the centuries, they must surely be descended from the Badseys of Badsey?
- Elizabeth Badsey, buried at Badsey in 1549
- Catherine Badsey, married Robert Clye at Wickhamford in 1558
- Sybil Badsey, married John Honyborne at Wickhamford in 1570
- Alice Badsey, illegitimate daughter of Alice Badsey, baptized at Wickhamford in 1577
- Edward Badsey, married Mary Booker at Wickhamford in 1584
- Mary Badsey, married Robert Brassington at Badsey in 1658
- Anne Badsey, married Thomas Baggott at Wickhamford in 1684
- Position in League Table: 7 (Badsey top ten 1600s), 8 (Wickhamford top ten 1500s)
- Name variants: Badsey, Badzy
- Name origin: Locational, from the village of Badsey in the Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire
- Total number of Badsey baptism records: 36
- Total number of Badsey marriage records: 8
- Total number of Badsey burial records: 22
- Total number of Wickhamford baptism records: 10
- Total number of Wickhamford marriage records: 6
- Total number of Wickhamford burial records: 7
- Guild of One-Name Studies: The name Badsey is registered on the Guild’s website
Mentioned in Publications
- A Brief History of Badsey and Aldington – p 17, Badsey in parish registers.
- Peace, War & Remembrance: The Great War in Badsey, Aldington & Wickhamford – pp 7-8, Foreword by Professor Stephen Badsey.
Maureen Spinks, May 2019