I have come across a reference to William Bettles in a book: On the Banks of the Nene, by Ernest Leech, published in 1911 (Northamptonshire Printing & Publishing Co, Kettering).
On page 3, he says, referring to his visit to Little Harrowden Church, that he “would pause at a moss-grown tombstone, in close proximity to the porch, and heard … the tragic story of my kinsman. With a cheery ‘Good Morning’ he had gone forth … and two hours later the sudden collapse of a barn he was assisting to demolish had in a moment deprived him of life. Squire Young caused a memorial to be placed above his tomb. ‘Tis graven on the stone where William Bettles … rests from his labours.”
Ernest Leech was the illegitimate son of Emma Leech, the daughter of John Leech and Hannah Leech (née Bettles).She in turn was the daughter of Humphrey Bettles.
Ernest Leech does not give his relationship to William Bettles, other than ‘kinsman’, but at the very least, William has to be a relation of his maternal grandmother, and could possibly be his cousin, or nephew.
Bearing in mind the interesting and sudden circumstances of William’s death, does anyone know more of him, or of the date of his demise. If so, is it too much to hope that they may know of the position of Ernest Leech in his family as well.
I do have more on this family’s line, if there is the possibility that others may have an interest in this particular line.