Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Will of William Blake, Gravesend, Kent - National Archives PROB 11/846/88, probated 2 May 1759

William Blake, the testator names his niece Esther Croome as his executrix. She was seventeen years of age by the 7 Mar 1769 giving her a year of birth 1752. I was not able to locate definitive records for the Croome family. No further information on the testator William Blake was located.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 24 Feb 2020
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/846/88
Testator: William Blake
Place: Gravesend, Kent
Type of Record:    Will
Date of document: 14 Apr 1759, probated 2 May 1759

[Margin]: William Blake

1    In the Name of God Amen
2    I William Blake of the parish of Gravesend in the County of
3    Kent being weak in body but of sound and perfect mind and
4    Memory blessed be Almighty God for the same do make and
5    Ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form
6    Following (that is to say) First and principally I recommend my
7    Soul to Almighty God who gave it And my Body I commit to
8    The Earth to be therein decently Buried and as touching the disposal
9    Of what Worldly Estate it hath pleased Almighty God to bless me with
10    I give and dispose of the same as follows (viz) First of all I Will
11    That all my Just Debts and Funeral Expences and the charges of
12    Proving this my Will be forthwith paid and Satisfied Item I give and
13    Bequeath unto my Cousin Elizabeth Goulding Wife of Thomas
14    Goulding in London the Sum of Four hundred pounds I also Give
15    And bequeath unto Mr Richard Bright of Stepney Causway the
16    Sum of One hundred pounds I also give and bequeath unto my
17    Niece Sarah Croome the Sum of fifty pounds I also give and
18    Bequeath unto Samuel Hazard of Gravesend afore said Malster
19    The Sum of twenty pounds I also Give and bequeath unto
20    Richard Stevenson of Gravesend aforesaid Gardener the sum of
21    Twenty pounds I also give and bequeath unto my Goddaughter
22    Rachael Amey of Gravesend aforesaid Spinster the Sum of
23    Twenty pounds all which said Several Legacies or Sums of Money
24    I Will and Order shall be paid to the said respective Legatees
25    By my Executrix hereinafter named within Twelve Calender
26    Months next and Immediately after my decease I also give
27    And bequeath unto my late Servant James Marshall of Gravesend
28    Aforesaid my Great long Ferry Boat with the Tackle and Furniture
29    Belonging unto her to be delivered unto him Immediately after
30    My decease I also give and bequeath unto George Eglintine
31    Of Gravesend aforesaid my Wash Streat Boat with the Tackle
32    And Furniture belonging unto her to be delivered unto him
33    Immediately after my decease I also give and bequeath unto
34    Herbert Bates of Gravesend aforesaid my little Boat with the
35    Tackle and Furniture belonging unto her to be delivered unto him
36    Immediately after my decease Item all the rest residue and
37    Remainder of my Goods Chattels Ready Money and Securities
38    For money and all other my Personal Estate whatsoever and
39    Wheresoever of what kind quality of nature soever the same are
40    I give and bequesth the same unto my Neice Esther Croome and
41    I do hereby make Ordain Constitute and appoint my said Neice
42    Esther Croome whole and Sole Executrix of this my last Will and
43    Testament And I do hereby Revoke all former Wills by me
44    Heretofore made and Declare this to be my last Will and Testament
45    In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal the
46    Fourteenth day of April In the Thirty Second year of the Reign
47    Of our Sovereign Lord King George the Second And in the year of
48    Our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and fiftynine Wm Blake
49    Signed Sealed Published and Declared by the said William Blake
50    The Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence
51    Of us who at his request and in his presence and in the presence of
52    Each other Subscribed our names as Witnesses thereto Witnesses
53    Jas Terry Thomas Caltinson
54    On the Second day of May in the year of our Lord One thousand
55    Seven hundred and fifty nine Administration with the Will annexed
56    Of all and Singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the William Blake
57    late of Gravesend in the County of Kent deceased was Granted to
58    Stephen Croome the Father and Curator lawfully assigned to
59    Esther Croome Spinster a Minor the Sole Executrix named in the
60    Said Will for the use and benefit of the said Minor until She
61    Shall attain the Age of Seventeen Years he having been first
62    Sworn duly to administer
63    Proved ____ and on the Seventh Day of
64    March 1769 before the Worshipful Thomas Bever Doctor of Laws and
65    Surrogate by the Oath of Esther Croome Spinster the Sole Executrix to
66    Whom Admon was granted having been first sworn duly to administer
67    The Letters of Admon with the Will annexed of the Goods of the said deceased
68    Granted in the Month of May 1759 to Stephen Croome the natural and lawful
69    Father and Curator or Guardian lawfully assigned to the said Esther Croome then a Minor
70    For her use and benefit and until She should attain the age of Seventeen Years
71    Being ceased and expired by reason of her having attained the said age.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Will of Thomas Blake, Midshipman of His Majesty's Ship Conqueror of Saint Mary Parish, Dover, Kent - The National Archives PROB 11/1104/285, probated 14 Jun 1783

Thomas Blake, testator, provides only the name of his mother Ann Blake.

There was a baptism at St Mary the Virgin, Dover Kent 3 Apr 1766 for Thomas Blake son of George and Ann Blake 3 Apr 1766. Interesting enough there was a marriage 19 Aug 1755 between George Blake and Ann Pohill (note one of the witnesses to the will was a W Polhill). The marriage registration states: George Blake and Ann Polhill Spinster both of this Parish were married in this Church by Banns this nineteenth day of August in the year of our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and fifty five by me John Nairn Curate. This Marriage was solemnized between us Geo Blake (signed) Ann Polhill (X her mark) In the presence of Hughes Miner and S Jelly (Source Page 35, #52, Kent Canterbury Archdeaconry Marriages Image, Find My Past, viewed 24 Feb 2020). Of interest, an Indenture was also located with George Blake as Master Cooper.

I did not locate a burial for Thomas Blake the testator.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 16 Feb 2020
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/1104/285
Testator: Thomas Blake, Midshipman of His Majesty’s Ship Conqueror of Saint Mary Parish
Place: Dover, Kent
Type of Record:    Will
Date of document: 6 Nov 1781, probated 14 Jun 1783

[Margin]: Thomas Blake

1    In the Name of God Amen
2    I Thomas Blake Midshipman of his Majesty’s Ship Conqueror
3    and belonging to the parish of Saint Marys in Dover in
4    the County of Kent being of sound and disposing Mind and
5    Memory do hereby make this my last Will and Testament
6    First and principally I recommend my soul into the hands
7    of Almighty God hoping for Remission of all my Sins
8    through the Merits of Jesus Christ my blessed Saviour
9    and Redeemer and my Body to the Earth or Sea as it
10    shall please God And as for such worldly Estate and
11    effects which I shall be possessed of or intitled unto at the
12    time of my decease I give and bequeath the same as
13    followeth that is to say I give and bequeath unto my
14    dearly beloved Mother Ann Blake of Dover in the County
15    of Kent all such Wages Sum and Sums of Money as now
16    or hereafter shall be due to me for my service or otherwise
17    on board the said ship or any other ship or vessel And I do
18    hereby nominate constitute and appoint my dearly beloved
19    Mother of Dover aforesaid Executrix of this my last Will
20    and Testament and I do give and bequeath unto my said
21    Executrix all the Rest and Residue of my Estate whatsoever
22    both real and personal hereby revoking and making void all
23    other and former Wills by me heretofore made And do declare
24    this to be my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I
25    have hereunto set my hand and seal this sixth day of
26    november in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred
27    and eighty one And in the twenty First year of the Reign of
28    Our Soveraine Lord George the third by the Grace of God of
29    Great Britain France and Ireland King defender of the Faith
30    Thomas Blake Signed sealed published and
31    declared by the said Thomas Blake aforesaid as and for his
32    Last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto
33    subscribed our Names as Witnesses in the presence of the said
34    testator Jas Hammond one of his Majesty’s Justices of the
35    Peace Force Thos Boyton W Polhill
36    This Will was proved at London the
37    thirteenth day of June in the Year of our Lord one
38    thousand seven hundred and eighty three before the
39    worshipful George Harris doctor of Laws ans Surrogate
40    of the Right Worshipful Peter Calvert doctor of Laws
41    Master Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court
42    of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the Oath of Ann
43    Blake Widow the Mother of the deceased and sole Executrix
44    named in the said Will to whom administration was
45    granted of all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits
46    of the said deceased having been first sworn duly to
47    administer

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

BLAKE - BLAKE Museum at Bridgwater, Somerset

About 75% of the people who write to me about the BLAKE one-name Study are trying to connect back to the BLAKE family of Bridgwater, Somerset. They tend to have an oral history that includes a relationship (many times great uncle generally) to Robert BLAKE, Lord High Admiral during the Commonwealth period. They also, for the most part, are from American BLAKE families. The yDNA study which Bill BLEAK initiated around 2006 at Family Tree DNA was a bid to try and determine the yDNA line of the BLAKE family at Calne and area, Wiltshire which, by various charts, would include the BLAKE family at Bridgwater. What that yDNA study did uncover was that there are many founding lines for the BLAKE families in the British Isles. The website for the museum is quite extensive: https://www.bridgwatermuseum.org.uk/

Several years ago the museum added an interesting chart to their website and I am including a copy of one page in the chart which leads back to the earliest BLAKE on their chart. I did request permission to insert pages from this chart to my blog. The entire Chart is quite amazing and the details on the Somerset BLAKE family coincide well with the records that I have extracted from the various parish registers. My Question family of Dunster married into the Bridgwater BLAKE family (Jone Question married Nicholas BLAKE) but that is a whole other story!


*Used with permission

On seeing this chart for the first time I was struck by its resemblance to the BLAKE Pedigree Chart produced by the College of Arms for the BLAKE family using material from the Daniel BLAKE family of London, UK in 1690.

Having received permission from the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives I reproduce the similar chart from the BLAKE Pedigree. You can see the area of overlap between the two sections of the Chart. As mentioned it is possible to purchase this chart as eight images from the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office (Reference Number 343/1MS).



I have not been able to ascertain at this time the author of the Chart held by the BLAKE Bridgwater Museum. The relationship of the Andover BLAKE family to the Calne BLAKE family is similar on both charts. The Chart produced by the College of Arms appears to be much older but there is more material on the Bridgwater Museum BLAKE chart.

I am somewhat suspicious that the older chart was used to produce the newer chart with additions. Both Charts appear to have been created in England as far as I am able to determine.

The BLAKE Chart on the Bridgewater Museum webpage does have an ancestor to the Richard BLAKE at the top of the College of Arms BLAKE Pedigree. Namely, Robert le BLAKE :




Robert le BLAKE is said to be "of Quemberford (Co Wiltshire) and named as a juror in an Inquisition postmortem dated 22 Jan 1336 and uncovered among deeds of Hungerford Bar [sp] footnote 1." I did do a search on the National Archives website in the Discovery Catalogue looking for BLAKE and Inquisition Postmortem. In the time period 1300-1399 there are ten records but I wonder if a juror would necessarily be part of the finding aid for a document (surprisingly there was a list of jurors as one of the documents). However there wasn't a record bearing date 1336. Having spent time at Kew they have done a tremendous job of organizing all this material into booklets and numbered appropriately). I am suspicious that perhaps this is in a County Archive (and not yet in the Discovery search engine) and Hungerford is in Wiltshire. Searching on the Wiltshire and Swindon Archival database located 27 records between 1200 and 1400. One particular record caught my attention in 1334 with Reference: 1720/120 and it was a Grant (at Calne) "By John de Fynemore to William Rolf of Blakelonde and Agnes his wife for their lives, of a piece of arable land in the field of Blakelonde (Blackland). Witnessed: John le Chamberleyn, Thomas de Takelberwe, Robert le Blake, William Asser, Adam le Schetere, William de Taseworthe. A second record in 1347 also mentions Robert le BLAKE as witness. Several more records in this time period with Robert BLAKE as witness. A record in 1353 with Reference 1720/148 of a Grant (at Chippenham) "By Richard le Scrivayn of Chippe[n]ham of licence to his tenant Juliana atte Slow, to exchange two acres of arable land at Kemerford (Quemerford in Calne) with Robert le Blake. Witnessed Roger le Tay..., John le Gode, John Waleys, John Bacon, William Cripce." This would seem to prove the presence of Robert le BLAKE in 1336 in the area mentioned.

There are a couple of notes added to this particular crop of the original chart. They appear on Blake_3.pdf in the set of pdf documents for this particular pedigree. 

I copy only the covering Notes, Note 1 and Note 4. 

Notes
Note 1 concerning the Blake Family copied from the "H" manuscripts ____
1690 "The Genealogie of the ancient and worthy Family of Blague or Blake of great antiquity in the County of Wilts where they had large possessions at Quemberford, Calne, Hillcott, with a fair mansion House at Pynhills now the seat of the Family. A younger Branch whereof transplanted themselves into Hampshire and sitting at Easton town were owners of several other Manors"

Note 4 The reference to Rob[er]t le Blake (1336) was discovered by Sir H Farnham _____ (Garter) who considers this link highly probable

The Note implies by the copying of the Title of the College of Arms BLAKE Pedigree that this earlier chart was used to construct the BLAKE Pedigree held by the Bridgwater Museum. I note that the descent of the BLAKE family in Hampshire is shown as a descent from Henry BLAKE and Margaret Bellett. Nicholas BLAKE of Enham (earlier blog in this series) whose will was probated 20 Jun 1547 is on the chart with siblings that are not mentioned in his will and the siblings that are mentioned not included other than Robert who is said to have died d.s.p. which is known to be incorrect from Robert's own will. However interestingly enough this chart does not name a Humphrey BLAKE as a brother which was the real reason that Horatio Somerby Gates used Nicholas BLAKE in his fraudulent genealogy of the BLAKE family in England incorporated into early BLAKE American genealogies. 

One is left to surmise that the Pedigree Chart at Bridgwater Museum has preceded the work of Horatio Somerby Gates and thus dated pre 1870s and Horatio Somerby Gates has utilized some of the information in this chart. It was interesting finding this as the possible source for the fraudulent work of Horatio Somerby Gates. That being said I can only think that the author of this Chart had acquired this material from another and that errors had crept into the BLAKE family at Enham, Hampshire. One notes on the chart below Robert BLAKE of Enham said to be married to unknown Snell with sons William, John, Richard and Robert. The transcription of this Robert's will (in Latin) was published by me as part of this Blogging Challenge:


Robert does mention Thomas BLAKE and Richard BLAKE as sons in his will. There is a William BLAKE and a Robert BLAKE but relationship not clearly established in the will. I did not see a John BLAKE in that will. Not mentioning a child in the will has many reasons as I have discovered so tend to be benevolent in regard to that possibility. A crop of Chart 2 adds some imagery to this discussion.



Chart 2 includes a note which states "The exact connection of the Hampshire Blake with those of Wiltshire is not yet fully established the link here suggested seems the most probable." Possibly the best words of all since the will of Nicholas BLAKE of Enham does clearly show the chart to be inaccurate where he is concerned. I will discuss this particular section of the Chart in another blog at a later date.







Sunday, February 16, 2020

Will of Susanna Blake, spinster of Dover, Kent - The National Archives PROB 11/2109/264, probated 20 Mar 1850

This will links back to the earlier will of the mother of the testatrix, Susanna Blake, and she was named Susannah Blake (late of Sittingbourne):

http://kippeeb.blogspot.com/2020/01/will-of-susanna-blake-widow-of.html

Susanna Blake, present testatrix, adds some more family information. The children of Thomas Blake (her brother) were named: Thomas Blake, George Blake, Richard Turner Blake, Frederick Blake, Francis Blake and Jane Blake. Susanna names her sister Elizabeth King’s daughters :  Eliza King and Emma King. Two nieces Anne Blake and Susan Grant. One more legatee is named Anne Grant Giret.

Again searching on these children did not lead me to this Blake family. It is somewhat of a mystery actually.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 4 Feb 2020
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/2109/264
Testator: Susanna Blake, spinster
Place: Dover, Kent
Type of Record:    Will
Date of document: 16 Oct 1846, probated 20 Mar 1850

[Margin]: Susanna Blake 14

1    This is the last Will and Testament
2    of me Susanna Blake late of Sittingbourne in the County of Kent
3    but now of Dover in the same county spinster whereas my Mother
4    Susannah Blake late of Sittingbourne aforesaid widow deceased by
5    her last will and testament bearing date the thirty first day of May
6    one thousand eight hundred and forty one did give all her personal
7    Estate and Effects unto me the said Susanna Blake her nephew George
8    Blake and Thomas Pain of Dover aforesaid Gentleman their executors
9    administrators and assigns Upon trust for sale as in the said Will is
10    particularly mentioned with a direction that the said trustees should
11    invest a sum of three thousand pounds in their his or her names or
12    name in the purchase of any of the parliamentary Stocks or public
13    funds of Great Britain or at Interest upon Government or real securities
14    in England to be varied for other Stocks funds or securities of the like
15    nature at the direction of the said trustees and that the said Trustees
16    should stand possessed of the said sum of three thousand pounds and
17    the Stocks funds and securities upon which the same should be invested
18    and the interest dividends and annual produce thereof upon such
19    trusts intents and purposes and under and subject to such powers pro
20    visoes and declarations as I the said Susanna Blake should legally
21    Deed or Will appoint and dispose of the same or any part thereof
22    unto or in favor of all or any of the children of my said Mother and
23    their issue in such manner and portions in all respects as I the
24    said Susanna Blake should think proper Now I do hereby by virtue
25    of the said power and authority enabling me in this behalf con
26    tained in the said Will of my said Mother and of every other power
27    or authority in anywise enabling me in this behalf appoint and
28    dispose that immediately after my decease the said sum of three
29    thousand pounds or the Stocks funds and securities upon which
30    the same shall be invested in the manner and proportions after
31    mentioned as to the sum of one thousand pounds part thereof I
32    give unto my cousin the said George Blake his executors and
33    administrators Upon trust to pay the interest dividends and annual
34    produce of such one thousand pounds unto my sister Elizabeth King
35    during her life and from and immediately after her decease upon
36    trust to pay the interest dividends and annual produce thereof unto
37    and equally between her two daughters Eliza King and Emma King
38    for and during and so long as they shall both remain single and in
39    case of the marriage of one of them then the whole of such interest
40    dividends and annual produce thereof to be In trust for such one
41    as shall so remain single and from and after the marriage of both
42    of them the said Eliza King and Emma King then upon trust to
43    pay the said sum of one thousand pounds or the Stocks Funds or secu
44    rities upon which the same shall be invested unto and equally
45    between the said Eliza King and Emma King but if they both shall
46    die single Then I direct the the said sum of one thousand pounds or the
47    Stocks Funds and securities upon which the same shall be invested
48    and the interest dividends and annual produce thereof shall be paid
49    unto and equally between all the brothers and sister of the said Eliza
50    King and Emma King and as to the sum of one thousand pounds
51    further part of the said sum of three thousand pounds Upon trust
52    to the interest dividends and annual produce thereof unto my Sister
53    Ann Smith during her life free from the control of her present or any
54    future husband so that her receipt along shall be a sufficient discharge
55    to my trustee or trustees for the time being for the same and from
56    and immediately after the decease of the said Ann Smith upon trust to
57    pay the said sum of one thousand pounds or the Stocks Funds and secu
58    rities Upon which the same shall be invested unto Anne Grant Giret
59    and as to the sum of five hundred pounds further part of the said sum
60    of three thousand pounds upon trust to pay the same or the Stocks Funds
61    and securities upon which the same shall be invested unto and
62    equally between my five Nephews Thomas Blake, George Blake, Richard
63    Turner Blake, Frederick Blake and Francis Blake and my niece Jane
64    Blake children of my late brother Thomas Blake and as to the sum of
65    five hundred pounds (the remaining part of the said sum of three
66    thousand pounds upon trust to pay the same or the Stocks Funds and
67    Securities upon which the same shall be invested unto and equally
68    between my nieces Susan Grant and Anne Blake and I declare that
69    the receipts of my said trustee or trustees for the time being for all monies
70    Stocks funds and securities as shall be paid or transferred to him or
71    them by virtue of this my Will shall effectually discharge the persons
72    paying or transferring the same from maturity to see to the application
73    thereof and I do declare that my said trustees shall be answerable for
74    their respective acts receipts and defaults only and shall be _____ to retain
75    and to allow to each other out of the monies coming to their hands by
76    virtue of this my Will all expences incurred in the activities of the
77    trust thereof and I declare that on the death refusal or incapacity of
78    the said trustee or of any trustees or trustees to be appointed under this
79    clause it shall be lawful for my said trustee or trustees or the survi
80    vor of them and after the death of such survivor for the capable
81    trustees or trustee if any for the time being of this my Will whether
82    refusing further to act or not of if none for the executors or administrators
83    of  the last deceased trustee to appoint a fit person or persons to supply
84    the place of the deceased refusing or incapable trustees or trustee And I
85    declare that the previous clauses so far as they concern my trustees
86    herein before named shall extend and be applied to the trustees and
87    trustee for the time being of this my Will And I do hereby nominate
88    and appoint my said Cousin George Blake Sole Executor of this my
89    last Will and testament In witness whereof I have to this my last Will
90    and testament in three sheets of paper contained set my hand this
91    sixteenth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight
92    hundred and forty six Susanna Blake Signed by the said
93    testatrix in the presence of us present at the same time who in her
94    presence at her request and in the presence of each other have hereunto
95    subscribed our names as Witnesses the words “so long as” between the
96    second and third lines the word “Sister” between the fourteenth and fif
97    tenth lines and the words “and my niece Jane Blake” between the twenty
98    ninth and thirtieth lines of the second sheet being first severally made
99    and interlined Nic Isaac Notary Public Dover Geo Rose his Clerk
100    Proved at London 20th March 1850 before the Worshipful Robert
101    Joseph Phillimore doctor of Laws and Surrogate by the oath of George
102    Blake the sole Executor to whom Admon limited to the sum of three
103    thousand pounds and the Stocks funds and securities upon which the
104    same hath been invested and the dividends or interest thereof but
105    no which or otherwise was granted having been first Sworn duly
106    to administer Special Admon of rest of goods passed this month
107    On the 1st June 1869 Admon of the rest of the personal estate and effects
108    (in respect of which she is dead intestate) of Susanna Blake Sittingbourne in the
109    County of Kent afterwards of Dover in the said County But late of Boulogne
110    Sur Mer in France deceased who died 14 December 1849 at Boulogne Sur Mer
111    aforesaid a Spinster without a Parent left was administered by Ann Smith (Wife
112    of John Grant Smith) deceased whilst living the natural and lawful Sister and one of
113    the next of kin of the said deceased was granted to Ann Marshall (wife of Robert
114    Marshall) the lawful niece and one of the persons entitled in distribution to the
115    Personal estate and effects of the said deceased All _____ of _____ ______ ______
116    George Blake the natural and lawful Brother and Elizabeth King Widow the natural
117    and lawful Sister also and only Sister next of Kin of the said deceased having _______
118    her interest without having taken upon herself the Letters of Administration of
119    the rest of the personal estate and effects of the said deceased left unadministered
120    as aforesaid

Friday, February 14, 2020

BLAKE - Calendar of Patent Rolls Henry III to Henry VI (1230 - 1452)

The online repository that had the Calendar of Patent Rolls was a freely searchable set of files made available as a project of Professor G.R. Boynton and the University of Iowa Libraries. Thanks to them for making this set of documents available at that time.

I extracted 210 items with the surname le BLAKE, BLAKE, le BLAC, BLAC, and BLAYKE from the Calendar of Patent Rolls with the earliest item being 30 Jan 1230 and the latest item being 16 Jun 1452. The time period covered the reigns of Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, Edward III, Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI. I was able to utilize 207 of these entries (3 entries did not have sufficient data to place the item into a particular location). Most  of the locations were in the Counties of England, a few items in Ireland and Wales and one particularly interesting one from France.

Berkshire 3
Buckinghamshire 3
Cambridgeshire 2
Cheshire 1
Cornwall 4
Cumberland 1
Devonshire 36
Dorsetshire 2
Durham 1
Essex 9
Gloucestershire 5
Hampshire 13
Herefordshire 3
Hertfordshire 11
Kent 9
Leicestershire 4
Lincolnshire 7
London 15
Norfolk 14
Northamptonshire 2
Oxfordshire 6
Shropshire 1
Somersetshire 13
Staffordshire 1
Suffolk 1
Surrey 6
Sussex 3
Warwickshire 1
Wiltshire 5
Worcestershire 12
Yorkshire 5

Ireland  8
Wales 1
France 1

I found a free map online and inserted the numbers into the counties:



The Devon numbers are very large because John BLAKE/BLAK was Clerk of the King's Works during the reign of Richard II and suffered confiscation of his estates so that the number of records directly related to him include 21 of the 36 leaving a substantial number of records nevertheless for Devonshire. There is a clustering around Worcestershire. There are a substantial number of entries in "traditional" BLAKE area across Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire. London has BLAKE entries dating back to 1342. The Blake family was located at Swaffham Norfolk in 1450 with Simon BLAKE being named as keeper of the seal in the town, lordship and warren of Swaffham (28 Henry VI, volume 5, page 329). Hampshire having more entries than Wiltshire rather surprised me and a good number of these were from the Portsmouth/Southampton area.

There is some clustering but it is noticeable that even in this early time period the BLAKE family could be found in many of the counties of England.

The surprise find though was the entry concerning France. I am including it in its entirety because the entry (although only one BLAKE) is from 30 May 1274 and located on membrane 15 in the 24th year of the reign of Edward I, volume 3, page 189. The entry below includes Richard le BLAK of Rouen. Rouen is located in Normandy on the River Seine and is the capital of Upper Normandy in modern times and was the historic capital city of Normandy.

"Licence, until Michaelmas, for Walter le Aketon, merchant of Rouen, to
come to England to trade and to carry his wools and merchandise to the
usual fairs and markets by the public streets and common ways, provided
he do not carry or cause to be carried his wools or merchandise out of the
kingdom, nor deal with the Flemings or others of the power of the countess
of Flanders in the kingdom, or in any way communicate with them, during
the contention between the king and the said countess.
[30 May 1274 Westminster, 2 Edward I, volume 1, pages 51 - 52, Calendar of Patent Rolls]

The like for the following :—
Peter de Bules, merchant of Rouen
William Burnell, merchant of Rouen
Hugh le Coynte, merchant of Rouen
Robert le Balauncer, merchant of Rouen
William de Toftes, merchant of Rouen
Matthew de Walle Richeri, merchant of Rouen
Richard le Mynnot, merchant of Rouen
William de Cryel, merchant of Rouen
Nicholas Veisin, merchant of Rouen
Antonin de Beuvays, merchant of Rouen
Nicholas de Fovill, merchant of Rouen
John de Alneto, merchant of Rouen
6 June [1274 Westminster etc]
Richard le Vilein, merchant of Rouen
Henry Lovet, merchant of Rouen
Walter Peitevin, merchant of Rouen
Hubin de Sancto Martino, of Huy.
John Tafurnawe, of Huy, merchant of Almain.
Henry le Soriz, of Huy, merchant of Almain.
Ralph de Leges, merchant of Leges.
John Henneman, merchant of Leges.
Libert de Leges, merchant of Leges.
John Nicholas, merchant of Deu.
Herewail, merchant of Huy.
Cono Dain, merchant of Huy.
Donrician Daundevale, merchant of Huy.
John Fox, of Brabant, merchant.
John Proppe, merchant of Malins.
John Perewez, of Huy, merchant of Brabant.
John Nicard, merchant of Huy.
Peter de Sauveye, merchant of Rouecestre.
Peter Cosyn, citizen of London.
Reginald de Menachato, merchant of Piacenza.
Conrad Nerbode, merchant of Almain.
Arnold de Dik, merchant of Malyns.
Nicholas Flambard, merchant of Rouen.
John de Torpmimie, merchant of Almain.
Geoffrey Aungevyn, merchant of Rouen.
William Cirurgyen, of Northampton.
William Bek, of London,
Henry Lovet, of Rouen.
Atinus Pruudalis, of Piacenza.
Hugelin Hugelinell, fellow of Nicholas Teste.
Nicholas Teste, fellow of Aldebrand Malagale.
John Winterman, merchant of Almain,
Luke de Lukes, merchant of Lucca.
Gotmar de Lubek, merchant of Almain.
Conrad de Affle, merchant of Almain.
Godschalc le Wyse, merchant of Almain.
Christopher de Munchy, merchant of Beuvays
Robert de Messegewell, merchant of Rouen.
John Donadeu, merchant of Cahors.
Everard de Duncy, merchant of Amiens
James Piket, merchant of Amiens
Warin Piket, merchant of Amiens
Warin Reinevall, merchant of Amiens.
Giles de Mundider, merchant of Amiens
Jacomin de Sancto Fuscencio, merchant of Amiens
Everard le Franceis, merchant of Amiens
Richard le Blak, merchant of Rouen.
Reyner de Furnar', merchant of Florence.
John Weremund, merchant of Caumbrey,
Alan de Sakintot, merchant of Rouen.
John Parwale, merchant of Malines.
Henry de Laghene, merchant of Malines.
Henry de Lewe, merchant of Brabant.
John de Mes, merchant of Amiens.
Walter Aketon, merchant of Fouen,
John Dunadeu, merchant of Cahors.
John de Burgundia, merchant of Amiens
Drogo Malherbe, merchant of Amiens
John Dare, merchant of Amiens
Ingelram Beremere, merchant of Amiens
Gilbert Bonnavel, merchant of Amiens"

The earliest BLAKE entry (prior to the one for Richard le BLAK from Rouen, France) is for Willelmum le BLAKE and he was located in Hertfordshire during the reign of Henry III and the time period is the 30 Jan 1230. The entry is in Latin:

Hertford.—Adam filiis Willelmi, Petrus de Goldinton, Petrus de
Welles et Johannes de Marcham justiciarii ad assisam nove dissaisine
capiendam apud Hertford in octabis clausi [Pasche], quam Radulfus de
Wudiford aramiavit versus Petrum de Essewell, Walterum Coleman,
Augustinum Juvenem, Willelmum le Blake, Walterum filiurn Geroldi,
Ricardurn Stiward et Galfridum de Sandon de tenemento in Eswell;
salvis etc. Teste rege, apud Westmonasterium, xxx die Januarii.[1230]

I believe that it concerns a land dispute and one of these days I will translate it into English but putting it into a translator online:

Hertford.-the sons of Adam, William, Peter de Goldinton, Peter of
Welles and John MARCH of justices of assize of novel restored
taken at Hertford in the octave closed [Easter], which Ralph de
Wudiford aramiavit against Peter de Essewell, Walter Coleman,
Young Augustine, William le Blake, his son Walter Gerold,
Ricardurn Stiward and Geoffrey of Sandon Eswell tenement in;
compliance etc.. Witnessed by the king, at Westminster, on the thirtieth day of January.

The entry for Richard le BLAK merchant at Rouen, France was a rather interesting entry. Many of the BLAKE families in England were involved in the wool trade either as farmers or tradesmen. At this early point in time finding a William le BLAKE already involved in land dealings as early as 1230 and then a Richard le BLAK a merchant from Rouen, France in 1274 were certainly very interesting entries. It does suggest the possible entry into England of BLAKE families over a time period. Have these names been anglicized for entry into the rolls? A lot of questions arise from these Calendar Rolls. If BLAKE came in 1066 would you see such a wide distribution of families in several hundred years? With surnames coming later to the British Isles, can one assume that all of the early members of the le BLAKE, le BLAK families were originally from France? A few interesting queries and I do now wonder if French Archives would add to the information on this family.To add to this is the family head on the Blake Pedigree Chart held at the Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office is named Richard Blaake/Blake/Blague living in the time period of Edward I and Edward II. The Chart does include the note with respect to the property in Essex which was deeded to Knights Templar but the document held by The National Archives has a Roger le Blake in that transaction. Possibly an error in reading the old document at the time that the chart was produced (1690) or a misunderstanding or is Roger related to Richard. I am thinking it is an error and that two distinct Blake lines were confused at the time of the making of the Chart especially as Roger was living in Herefordshire and not Wiltshire whereas it is known that a Robert Blake (married to Avis Wallop) was in Wiltshire  at Quemerford in the late 1400s and early 1500s (buried circa 1515). It is this line that traced back to Richard Blake living during the reigns of Edward I and Edward II.


Searching on the National Archives of the UK site gives three documents for le Blak and 55 for le Blake but none earlier than 1286. Finding the document for Richard le Blak of Rouen, France has given me more pause for thought with regard to the deep origins of the Blake families of the British Isles.

The distinct haplogroups for Blake in the Blake yDNA study are even more interesting with respect to the distribution for Blake/Blak found in an examination of the Calendar of Patent Rolls. More people testing their yDNA for Blake can only lead to a greater understanding of the deep ancestry of the Blake family of the British Isles. 

http://www.familytreedna.com/group-join.aspx?code=A70410&Group=Blake

Along with the other Administrators of the yDNA project, we are slowly revising the headings for the various groupings of the BLAKE family. But definitely BLAKE has arisen in the British Isles from a number of founders given the difference in the haplogroups for lines where more than one individual has tested.