|The Account Book|
Folio 105 of William Brown's Account Book records that a Mrs Chesterman asked him to let Hastoe House and value some furniture.
William Brown also managed the property affairs for the Rev. James Williams, who lived in Tring Park. Folio 68 shows that in April 1852 the house was advertised to let. In May Mr Chesterman agreed to rent the house at £80 per year and on 16th of June Mr Chesterman brought the furniture in the house for £120. Ubfortunately he died on 1st July, 1852 - so clearly did not have much time to enjoy Hastoe House. William Brown's Account Book shows that the Chesterman executors continued to pay the rent until 1856 so I decided to see what happened to Mrs Hannah Chesterman - only to find that in 1853 she married William Brown's brother James!
I was hooked - and I decided to see what I could find out about the other tenants. This was made possible because all the 19th century editions of the Bucks Herald (published in nearby Aylesbury) are available on the British Newspaper Archive. A certain amount of intelligent deduction was needed - helped by the fact that Hastoe House was the only property in the Hastoe area which was posh enough to employ resident domestic servants.
The many tenants included Baron Rothschild in 1843 (he probably used it as a hunting lodge), the son in law of the Bishop of Chichester, a "retired squatter" (not what you might think), and William Brown's business partner. It seems that another tenant, a William Burns, died shortly after taking the tenancy. The only significant gap between 1841 and 1901 is that I was unable to discover the name of the tenant who was resident at the time of the 1861 census - as only their domestic staff are recorded.
It should be pointed out that it was possible to find so much out, comparatively quickly, because Hastoe House was the only "gentry" accommodation in Hastoe, which itself had a very small population.