Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Will of Humphrey Blake, of Bridgwater, National Archives PROB 11/148 Image Reference 426/359, probated 4 Feb 1626

Humphrey Blake did not date his will but it was probated 4 Feb 1626. For probate date I am using the date which appears on the National Archives website and it is new style. I hadn't actually noted that previously. I found it was quite easy to think in Old Style up to the end of December 1752 and then switch to New Style with January of 1753. I didn't want to put a slash second double digit year ending on every record affected. I have made copious notes on this in my own work so hopefully it will be noted if someone else picks up my work one day.

As I move more and more into one name studies my other lines are slowly receding in importance in my mind although when I see a reference to one of those surnames my interest does perk up but I was spending a lot of hours working on some of these lines where no work has been done before. I have in many cases taken the family lines back several generations and will now let someone else run with the effort of uncovering more information which generally involves visiting the individual record centres. I have discovered when it is your personal surname then there is more incentive to following it back as far as possible :)  .

Humphrey Blake of Bridgwater whose will was probated 4 Feb 1626 was the son of Robert Blake and Margaret Symonds and hence traces back to the progenitor of this Blake line Humphrey Blake whose will was probated in 1559 at Over Stowey. Robert was buried 15 Oct 1592 at Bridgewater and Margaret left her will which was probated 7 Nov 1600 and a transcription appears in an earlier blog ( Humphrey had one brother William and one sister Anstice who lived to adulthood. He was also the father of Lord High Admiral Robert Blake who, although he served under the Commonwealth (Oliver Cromwell), is still considered to be one of England's greatest Admirals. At the time of the Restoration of King Charles II he was not to receive such high consideration he has returned to his place of honour amongst the great heroes of England.

His wife was Sara Williams (widow, first husband was (unknown) Smithers) and they lived at Bridgwater. Their home is now preserved as a Museum to the great Admiral Blake. They had nine children still living at the time of writing: Robert, Humphrey, William, George, Nicholas, Samuel, Benjamin, Bridgett and Alexander. George is not mentioned in the will which is surprising perhaps. However, George was in the Navy already and living in Plymouth (Devon) possibly he married without consent. However his brothers do remember his children in their wills. Humphrey and Sarah had twelve children in total (1st George and 1st Benjamin died as infants, Edward perhaps died before his father's will) but eight of the nine children are mentioned as adults in the will of Humphrey Blake below.

yDNA studies will tell us so much about the Blake families that I encourage everyone who is interested in discovering more about their deep ancestry in the Blake line to join the Blake yDNA study at FT DNA:

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 24 Apr 2012
Source:  The National Archives PROB11/148, Image Reference 426/359  (images by me)
Name of testator: Humphrey Blake
Place: Bridgwater, Somerset, England
Type of Record: Will
Dated: undated, probated 4 Feb 1626
Read: Electronic file
Condition: smudges, cramped writing, 17th century, bold copy
[In margin] T  Humphrey
[In margin] Blake

1    In the name of God Amen I Humffery Blake
2    of Bridgwater within the dioces of Bathe and Welles beinge at the writinge hereof in
3    good health and perfecte memorie I praise god for it doe make and ordaine this my last
4    will and testament written with myne owne hande as followeth Revokinge all former wills
5    by me at anie tyme heretofore made And first I bequeath my soule unto Allmightie god
6    confidentlie beleevinge that through his aboundant mercyes and the merritts of Christ Jesus
7    my Redeemer and Saviour all my sinns to be freelie pardoned and washed awaie in his most precious
8    Bloudsheddinge, and to be covered with his most perfect Robe of righteoussnes in the great daie of his
9    appearance, when and ever I trust through his unspeakable mercyes to have my por[t]ion of full blisse
10    with his Ellect ones in the Celestiall Jerusalem My bodie I bequeath to the Earth whence it came
11    Item I give to the Cathedrall Church of Wells Five shillinges Item I give to the Church of Bridgwater
12    Fortie shillinges and to the Church of Pawlett twentie shillings Item I give to the poore of Bridgwater
13    Five poundes to be destributed unto them by the discre[t]ion of my Overseers hereafter named and Executors Item
14    I give and grannte unto my sonne Robert and his heires All that my mannor and Lordshipp of Puryton and
15    Crandon with all the landes Tenements Messuages Arrable meadow and Pasture thereonto  belonginge with
16    the appurtenances in the Countie of Som[m]ersett Also one double guilt silver Salt, two silver beere Bowles, two
17    silver Wyne Bowles and one dozen of silver spoones with Lions heads Item I give unto my sonne Humffrey
18    One hundreth poundes to be paide unto him iwthin one yeare next after my decease Item I give unto my sonne
19    William one Chattell Lease of Fouer and twentie Acres or thereaboute ofe Land Meadowe and pasture w[hi]ch
20    I hould of the landes of Mr Lottisham in Puriton aforesaide and hun[n]spill togeather with all my estate terme
21    of yeares and interrest I have therin towardes his Educa[ti]on and defrayinge his charges in Oxenford, The
22    Lease thereof fourthwith to be delivered unto him, And Fortie poundes within one yeare next after my decease
23    Item I give unto my sonne Nicholas one hundreth poundes to be bestowed on him for his better Educa[t]ion
24    within twoe yeares next after my decease Item I give unto my sonne Samuell twentie poundes to bestowe in
25    cattell or Sheepe Item I give unto my sonne Beniamyne One hundreth poundes to be imployed for him
26    within three yeares next after my decease And alsoe those twentie and one yeares which I have in Rever[c]ion ofe
27    Symon Venicom in Nyne Acres of Meadowe and pasture within the Mannor ofe Hampe neere Bridgwater
28    aforesaide Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Bridgett two hundreth poundes, one silver partt guilt
29    Beaker halfe a dozen ofe silver spoones and one double guilt Wine bowle Item I give unto my sonne Hummfrey
30    my silver Tankerd double guilt and to my sonne William one Silver Wyne Bowle and fouer silver spoones
31    Item I give and gran[n]te unto my sonnes Robert and Humffrey and to theire heires for ever my dwellinge house
32    and the Garden thereonto belonginge with the appurtenances Neverthelesse my Will is that Sara my
    [page 2]
33    Wiefe shall have her dwellinge and aboade in parte of the saide house and use of parte of the saide Garden
34    duringe onelie her widdowho[o]d and noe longer Item I give and bequeath unto my son Alexander One hundreth
35    poundes to be imployed for his best benefitt within two Yeares next after my decease Item I give unto Mr George
36    Wotton Clarke twentie shillinges. The residue of all my goodes and Chattells not herein before given and
37    bequeathed my debts funeralls and legacyes discharged I give and bequeath unto Sara my wief and Humfrey
38    my sonne whom I make my Executors of this my last Will and Testament Humffrey Blake [signed] Sealed and
39    declared in the presence of George Wotton Clarke, George Graye.

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