Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Freedom of the City of London Blake members

The Blake family in London fits rather nicely into the one name Blake study at the Guild for several reasons. I know that some members of this family were descended from the Eastontown Blake family and hence rather interesting just from my own family point of view but also I might be able to separate them out from the other Blake lines that ended up in London since there is sometimes genealogical information in these records (parent in particular).

I am going to produce a chart of the genealogical information in the documents and put it up on my Blake webpage. This webpage does not yet exist and I am contemplating what it will look like. I think I will head it up with the oldest coat of arms known for the Blake family and that is the Blake family that lived at Calne Wiltshire as early as the late 1200s. Although there are many many other coats of arms for the Blake family this is a section of Blake history that Barrie Blake has greatly excelled at and for a number of years available for the world to look at on his webpages. If you were lucky enough to see his marvelous webpages before they were taken down you will know what I mean.

Gradually over time this Blake webpage will become the repository of Blake information that members of various Blake study groups are collecting. I also want to produce a Blake wiki for people to post information to and ask questions on. I just now have to decide how to set all of this up. It will probably be a month in production since I also want to continue proofreading Bishops Nympton parish registers. I decided that it isn't fair to my one name studies to concentrate days and days on the proofreading especially as I am finding very few errors but before I publish it I want to have proofread it.

The Blake original coat of arms is a simple one and may have been first displayed by Richard Blake in the late 1200s. Just who this Richard Blake is and how he is related to Robert de Blakeland is still somewhat of a mystery. They could be the same person but the difference in forename is somewhat disturbing so I do not make any such conclusion but both lived in the Calne Wiltshire area.
Again I am reproducing this from the Blake Pedigree images which I purchased from the Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office and it is but a taster for the images which they produced of this chart.

The details for the Pedigree Chart at Swindon Wiltshire Record Office:

343/1 c.1786

Pedigree of Blake from Edw. II to 1690, with additions to 1786. Fine illuminated document on parchment roll.

Finding tiny little sketches of this coat of arms on the Visitation attached to the William Blake family at Eastontown in the mid to late 1500s (presumably by the individual creating the Visitations) was my first introduction to coats of arms and the Blake family. Who attached them to the entry and why? Perhaps it was added to the charts as a result of queries by the visiting Procession with regard to just who were the members of the William Blake family at Eastontown. Time has eroded such information and one is left to just surmise possible scenarios that would have resulted in these tiny little drawings mostly added to the charts where a daughter of  William Blake had married (with 5 sons and 5 daughters  - 9 of whom married and had progeny). The number of descendants of William Blake is unknown at this but eventually I hope to trace the lines down of these nine children and my transcription of Andover has aided me in this regard. A few of these children moved away from Andover towards London and it is their fate that is hidden in the Freedom of the City of London Registers.

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