Broadfield Hall

Broadfield Hall 004

‘Sketch of Old Broadfield Hall’ (formerly hanging there). By an unknown hand. Reproduced in Hine (1951), between pp. 26, 27.

Broadfield Hall 002

From the plate made by John Savage for Henry Chauncy, Historical Antiquities of Hertfordshire (1700), reproduced in Hine (1951), between pp. 10-11. This image shows the house begun by Arthur Pulter and completed by James Forester.

Arthur Pulter inherited the Broadfield estate in April 1626 on the death of his grandfather, Edward Pulter. According to the local historian Henry Chauncy, when Arthur retired from public employment at the onset of the English Civil Wars he, ‘thro’ the Importunity of his Wife … began a very fair House of Brick upon this Mannor’ (Chauncy (1700), 1.145). It was here that Hester Pulter apparently spend most of her life and where she composed much of her poetry. Upon Arthur’s death in 1689 the house was unfinished and it was left to James Forester, his grandson and heir, to complete the work.

Poems by Pulter that refer to Broadfield Hall include “2. The Invitation Into the Country, To My D.[ear] D.[aughters] M.[argaret] P.[ulter], P.[enelope] P.[ulter], 1647, When His Sacred Majesty Was At Unhappy [Holmby]“, l. 91, and “38. To My Dear J.[ane] P.[ulter], M.[argaret] P.[ulter], P.[enelope] P.[ulter], they Being at London, I at Broadfield.”