Select Daft Miscellany

Here are some Daft stories and accounts over the years:

Hickling in Nottinghamshire

Hickling is a small village and parish situated on the now disused Grantham canal in the most southernmost part of Nottinghamshire that abuts the Leicestershire border.  It lies in the Vale of Belvoir about 12 miles southeast of Nottingham.  In 1771, a farmer whilst ploughing near the village, found an urn containing about 200 Roman silver coins and medals, most of them of "the age of Vespasian."  This discovery seems to confirm the view that there had once been a Roman station there.

In 1853 the village contained 613 inhabitants and 2,663 acres of land.  The principal landowners were the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln, Mr Marshall, Mr Collishaw, Mr Eaton, Mr Robert Hardyard and Mr Mason, with Earl Manvers the lord paramount.  St. Luke's church in Hickling dates from the 14th century and its parish records from 1646.

By 1931 the population of the village had fallen to 394, a 35 percent drop.

Richard Daft the Cricketer

Richard Daft, born at Radcliffe on Trent in Nottinghamshire in 1835, was one of the best batsmen of his day, the peak of his career being the 1860's and early 1870's.  It was written of him: "Not a big hitter, but he played a thoroughly sound and at the same time graceful game."  At the end of his cricketing career he ran a shop in Nottingham and then retired to Radcliffe on Trent where he kept a small brewery.  He wrote his cricket reminiscences, Kings of Cricket, that were published in 1893.

His brother Charles, his sons Harry and Richard, and his father-in-law Butler Parr also played cricket at a first-class level.  His great-grandson Robin Butler served as the British Cabinet Secretary in the 1990's.

Daft UK Surname Distribution

In a survey undertaken in the late 1980's, 163 Dafts were found in UK telephone directories.  The table below shows their distribution.



Thomas Daft to America

Thomas Daft, born in Nottingham in 1812, had followed the life of a farmer in England but became convinced that America offered better chances for advancement.  He therefore left his wife and children back home and headed there in 1846.  He obtained work in a store in Canton, Illinois and within six months had saved enough money to bring his family over.  Thomas clerked for a while and then bought land in Farmington township to farm.  He was killed accidentally in 1865 when a load of hay tipped over him.

His eldest son William headed west a few years later and became a farmer and pig breeder in Jasper county, Iowa. 

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