Skip to main content

YARDLEY - Badsey top ten 1500s

The name Yardley, or its occasional variant Yardlie or Yardeley, first appears in a will of 1531 and in Badsey parish records from 1540.  The last incidence is in 1594, so there were Yardleys living in Aldington or Badsey throughout the 16th century.  There are no incidences of the name Yardley in Wickhamford records.

Richard Yardley lived at “Awnton” (Aldington) and made his will in January 1531.  This pre-dates parish records, but it is likely to assume that he died soon afterwards.  Amongst the bequests were those to his children, John (?-1543), Margaret and Robert (?-1557), and his wife, Joan. The Mother Church of Evesham was to receive 2 shillings, Badsey Church a strike of wheat, Wickhamford Church a strike of barley, and the chapel at Aldington one hog, one strike of wheat and one strike of barley (the location of the “chapel at Awnton” remains a mystery).  He requested that his body be buried in the churchyard of Our Lady and St Egwin, Evesham.  After his death, his widow continued to donate money to the church.  In the Churchwardens’ Accounts of Badsey with Aldington, 1525-1571, an entry for 1532-1533 says, “received of Joan Yardeley to ye bells, 4d”; and in 1535-1536 Joan gave 18d.  Joan died in 1548 and the church accounts for that year reveal that she left a bequest of 8d.

  • John Yardley (?-1743) died at Aldington in 1543.  The Churchwardens’ Accounts reveal that he left a bequest of 12d.  He may have been married to Eleanor who had left a bequest of 20d in 1537-1538.
  • Robert Yardley is thought to have had four sons and four daughters:  Richard (c1537-1571), Robert (1540), Agnes (1542-1542), Agnes (1544), Elizabeth (1546), William (1550), John (1551) and Joan (c1552).  Robert died in 1557 and Alice in 1584.
    • Richard Yardley (c1537-1571), thought to be the eldest son of Robert, but born before parish registers began, married Alice.  They had one son and four daughters:  Katherine (1560), Joan (1562), Frances (1565), John (1567-1567) and Agnes (1570).  His only son died at birth, so the name Yardley did not continue along this line.  Richard was churchwarden in the year 1566-1567.
    • John Yardley (1551), the youngest son of Robert, had two sons and three daughters:  Agnes (1582), Elizabeth (1584-1584), John (1587), Margaret (1591) and Robert (1594).  Robert’s baptism is the last incidence of the name Yardley in Badsey parish registers.  It is assumed that the family left the village some time after this.  John Yardley was churchwarden representing Aldington on four occasions, 1573-1574, 1581-1582, 1588-1589 and 1595-1596.


  • Position in League Table:              10 (Badsey in the 1500s)
  • Name variants:  Yardley, Yardeley, Yardlie
  • Name origin:  Locational, from any of various places in England called Yardley in Essex, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire (with Warwickshire being the most likely contender given its proximity to Worcestershire).  The name derives from the Olde English 'gerd' or 'gyrd' meaning a holding of thirty acres and 'leah' a wood or clearing, and may be translated as “one who dwelled in a cleared area of land suitable for agriculture”.
  • Total number of Badsey baptism records:             16
  • Total number of Badsey marriage records:             2
  • Total number of Badsey burial records:                   8

Mentioned in Publications

Maureen Spinks, May 2019