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Wiltshire Community History

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Question Date :

Monday 4th July 2011 10:07

I have heard it suggested that the name Beaman's Lane, in Wootton Bassett, used to be Bearman's, referring to a performing bear. Is this purely anecdotal?

It is thought the lane got its name from a family who lived there. Tax records for 1697 list two Beaman families: Richard and Elizabeth, and their daughter Elizabeth, living in Beaman's Lane, and Francis and Mary and their daughter Mary elsewhere in the parish.

In 1701, Elizabeth (a widow) is listed at Beaman's Lane, with Henry, who was probably her son. Francis and Mary Beaman were still in the parish, with their children Mary, Jane and Richard.

In 1702, Elizabeth and Henry remained at Beaman's Lane, and Francis and Mary were still in the parish, but by 1705 no Beamans remained in the Lane. Presumably Elizabeth had died. Henry was living elsewhere in the parish, as were Francis and Mary.

The name Beaman is a bit unusual. Could it have been Beaumont originally, possibly of Huguenot extraction?

Dr Alan Stebbens, President of Wootton Bassett Historical Society, answered this enquiry from his study of Wootton Bassett properties and residents over the past three centuries.



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