Select Hicks Miscellany

Here are some Hicks stories and accounts over the years:

Sir Ellis Hicks

Not that much is known about Sir Ellis Hicks.  He was born in 1315, possibly in Gloucestershire.  In 1356 he was fighting in France at the Battle of Poitiers where he was knighted by Edward the Black Prince for his bravery in capturing a set of colors from the French.  The following is a second-hand account of this incident:

“Ellis Hicks fought under the Black Prince's banner on the sloping land at Poitiers, with the windmill on the hill behind him and the French host in front.  From the vantage ground between the windmill walls the English king watched the battle and his son's hard passage of arms serenely for he could see that all went well.  

Perhaps he could see quite plainly too Ellis Hicks' great deed and the desperation of the "energy" which made him the possessor of the French banners.  We are led to believe that when the battle was over Ellis Hicks was knighted there and then, kneeling on the ground in the shade of the windmill sails.”  

Ellis died in 1390 when he was 75 years old

Sir Baptist Hicks' Monument

Sir Baptist Hicks, Lord Campden, died in 1629 and was buried at Campden church in Gloucestershire beneath a stately monument erected by his widow.  The inscription read: 

“Dearest and deceased husband, Lord Hicks, Viscount Campden, born of a worthy family in the City of London; who by the blessing of God on his ingenuous endeavors arose to an ample estate and to the foresaid degrees of honor; and out of those blessings disposed to charitable uses in his lifetime a large portion to the value of £10,000; who lived religiously, virtuously, and generously, to the age of seventy eight years and died on October the 18th, 1629."  

She died in 1643 and the following was added to the inscription: 

“Reader, know, whoe'er thou be, here lie Faith, Hope, and Charity;  
Faith true, Hope firm, Charity free; Baptist Lord Campden was these three.  
Faith in God, Charity to brother, Hope for himself; what ought he other?  
Faith is no more; Charity is crowned; 'tis only Hope is underground.

The Hicks at Silton Hall

Silton Hall was to be found in the village of Nether Silton in the Hambleton district of north Yorkshire.  In 1765 Squire Hicks erected a seven foot high stone in its grounds with a cryptic inscription that may have referred to his former home.   Only the first word of each letter was inscribed.  The following is thought to be its interpretation:

"Here The Grand Old Manor Stood
The Black Beams Were Oak, The Great Walls Were Good.
The Walls At The East Wing Are Hidden Here
A Thatched Cottage Like A Barn Was Erected
Year AD 1765
A Wide Porch Spans A Yard And Above."

The stone was his idea to mark the spot where the Hickes medieval manor had once stood.

In 1838 Colonel Hicks added an octagonal tower with Gothic windows to Silton Hall.  Hicks had been in the Light Dragoons and fought at the Battle of Waterloo.

John Hicks' Divorce

John Hicks had married his wife Harwood in London but they had a difficult time together during their time in Rhode Island.  In 1643 Harwood complained to the court that her husband was beating her.  John retaliated by demanding a divorce.  This the Governor refused, stating that there was no divorce law in Rhode Island.  John Hicks promptly abandoned his wife and departed for Long Island. 

In Dutch New York John Hicks finally got his divorce, although it took ten years.  Governor Peter Stuyvesant granted this divorce on June 1, 1655. 

“We the councillors of New Netherland having seen and read the request of John Hicks sheriff on Long Island in which he remonstrates and presents that his wife Harwood Longh had ran away from him about nine years ago with someone else with whom she has been married and had by him five or six children. His wife having therefore broken the bond of marriage (without him having given any reason thereto) he asks to be qualified and given permission to marry again an honorable young girl or a widow (in accordance with political and ecclesiastical ordinances).  

The above mentioned councilors, having taken notice of the above request and in addition of the affidavits and declarations attached thereto made by trustworthy inhabitants of this Province, they find that this request cannot be refused and that they therefore have given him letters of divorce.” 

He did marry Florence Carman, a widow, later that year, but the couple had no children.  After she died in 1661, he married a third time, to Rachel Starr.  His sole male descent Thomas, born around 1640, was through his first wife Harwood.

Reader Feedback - William Hicks of Long Island or Elsewhere

My last name is Hicks.  I’m in California but my dad and his brothers were born in Houston. I have everything verified as best I can over the last year but I have a missing connection with William Hicks. 

In your post it says he may have come from Long Island but family tradition says from England.  I had thought he was son of Judge Thomas Hicks of Flushing Long Island, born in 1678 and died in 1710.  I have found nothing about Judge Thomas’ son, just that he had a son William in his will. 

I have, however, found a William Hicks son of Thomas in a Christening record in Warwickshire England born 1678 and an iffy immigration passenger list.  

Bobby Hicks (

Captain Robert Hicks and Hicks' Ford

Captain Robert Hicks the Indian trader was famous in his time and his life was much embroidered by fiction and folklore. 

According to the old tales, he was a British officer who had come up the James from Jamestown and up the Appomattox river.  He then followed the Indian trail southward through the wilderness toward Carolina.  He journeyed forty miles, far beyond the outermost white settlements until he came to the Meherrin river deep in the southern forest.

Here he set down his stakes.  He managed to win the confidence of the Meherrin Indians who were numerous and had many settlements in the area.

One day when Vnuntsquero, the chief of the Meherrins, saw Hicks wearing a fine silk hat with a plume, he said to him,  

"Last night I had a dream." 
"And what did you dream?" asked Hicks. 
"I dreamed you gave me your hat," said the chieftain.  

Robert Hicks, knowing the Indians placed great significance on their dreams and expected them to come true, and also remembering that it was their custom when receiving a gift to return one of equal or even greater value, seized the opportunity to improve his position among them. Taking the hat from his head, be graciously presented it to the chieftain who received it with apparent delight. 

A few weeks later Robert hicks came upon Vnuntsquero and said:   

"I had a dream last night." 
"And what did you dream," asked the Indian. 
"I dreamed you gave me all the land for twenty miles along the river," Hicks replied quickly. 

The chieftain hesitated for a moment, then solemnly said:  "The land is yours, White Man, but go and dream no more!" 

And so it was, according to the legend, that Robert Hicks came to be rich in lands and spent the rest of his days near the river crossing which became known as Hicks' Ford and after a long time became Emporia.

Reader Feedback - Hicks of Spotsylvania County, Virginia

My Hicks family has been in the county of Spotsylvania, Virginia since 1725 or so when it became an official county in the colony.  I have a great grandfather who is James Hicks.  But I know more beginning with his son Peter.  They lived in Caroline county and Spotsylvania from the early 1700s.  There were several brothers and one had been sheriff for many years, Thomas Hicks. 

One of the first listings in the oldest Spotsylvania Order Book is that of a Sarah Hicks in 1727.  After some research, I found she was in Northumbria, Virginia.  Her husband William Hicks owned much land in Maryland across from Virginia on the Potomac River.  He seems to have been a merchant from Whitehaven, UK in Cumbria perhaps? 

Many of my deceased relatives tried to link James Hicks of Caroline/Spotsylvania, Virginia to Robert or Robin Hicks of Hicksford in Brunswick, Virginia on the border near North Carolina.  There are a couple of missing generations that make me think that this isn’t our line. 

I had my 96 yr old Dad’s DNA taken with about 10 years ago.  When names with our DNA were sent, nobody had the name of Hicks.  I was confused.  I took 23 and ME in December. 

What can I do to continue searching?  I’m not sure if we came through Plymouth, with Rev Robert Hicks, or through Jamestown, or even as a Quaker in Philadelphia.  I do know my line has been in the same area and.same county for 300 years.  We’ve thrived as gentlemen farmers and solicitor/attorneys, as well as law enforcement and politicians.  

Carole Hicks (

James Hicks of the Northern Illawarra

James Hicks, born in 1810, was the son of two convicts, Richard James Hicks and Margaret White nee Howe.  In 1830 he applied for a land grant at Russell Vale after his stepfather Thomas White had died in the shipwreck of the Foxhound off Coalcliff beach. 

He and his wife Margaret raised thirteen children, first at Russell Vale and then at the Northern Illawarra where he was one of its early settlers.  He died there in 1895, a father and grandfather many times over.

Return to Top of Page
Return to Hicks Main Page