The first Hyett who settled in Painswick was a Charles Hyett, who built the center of the house from which I am writing, in 1728-30. He was a large land-owner, and he had two sons, Benjamin and Nicholas, who successively succeeded him. The former left no children, but Nicholas left one son, Benjamin, who inherited his estate. He married a Miss Adams, and alleging that he had no relations of his own name, he left his property to his wife's nearest relative, who was my father, and who took the name of Hyatt in lieu of that of Adams.
The Hyetts of Painswick are, to the best of my belief (there
is one weak link in the chain), descended from the Hyetts of
Sydney, in the Forest of Dean, who were certainly descended from
a James Hyett who was Constable of St. Briavel's Castle - an
important post that was often held by distinguished noblemen.
This was conferred on him by King Edward IV on March 10, 1461,
and in the following year he gave him the Manor ( ? ) of Lideswick
( ? ) in Staffordshire. The arms of the Painswick and Sydney
Hyetts are the same (Argent, a lion rampant and a chief
The first bearer of the name mentioned in any old document was a John Hyot, who was appointed incumbent of the bury of Lanhamlagh, in Wales, in 1388.
The name is spelt in a variety of ways. Between 1342 and
1601 I have instances of it spelt in 27 different ways. They
had their origin in that part of Gloucestershire which is known
as the Forest of Dean, where it is still a common name among
the poorer classes, but it is not common
The place of the origin of the family also points to the origin of the name. Dean Forest was for centuries a royal hunting ground, in which there were two enclosures, each of which was called a "Hega", "haigh", or'"haie", in which there must have been gates, known to the Forest as "yats". The words "haie" and "yat" still linger in the Forest. The lodge-keeper of one of these enclosures (if christened John) would certainly have been known as "John of the ? Gate" or John of the . . -? Gate". "John of Haie Yat" might easily in course of time pass into "John Hyatt". I merely throw this out as a not improbably explanation. If correct, the first Hyett was the King's game-keeper.
There was a junior branch of the Hyetts of Sydney who settled
at "The New Place", Bodley (?), in the Forest of Dean,
whose pedigree is printed in the Gloucestershire Visitation of
1682-3, edited by T. Fitz-Roy Fenwick (?) and Walter Metcalf,
which was printed by P. Ward (?) of Exetor in1884. It is possible
that your relations are connected with this branch.