Sunday, April 29, 2012

Willl of Mary Blake, widow of Reading, National Archives PROB 11/666, Image Reference 12/11, probated 2 Jul 1734

The wills of the Blake family of Berkshire at the PCC in the oldest time period are my next interest. The first of these wills was written by Mary Blake widow and she mentions that her husband was Robert Blake and that they lived at Reading. The will was written 13 May 1733.

 The History and Antiquities of Reading by Charles Coates (St. Laurence's Church) mentions the memorial stone for Mary and her family: Here lyeth the body of Robert Blake, gent. twice mayor of this borough [Reading], who departed this life March 26, 1727, aged 65. Here also lie the bodies of Ann and Mary, daughters of the said Robert and Mary his wife, who departed this life Sept. 21, 1732, aged 24. Here also lieth the body of Mary, the wife of the aforesaid Mr. Robert Blake, who departed this life the 25th day of June, A.D. 1734, aged 65 years. Close by can be found: Here lie the bodies of John and Richard Wilder, late of this parish, 1727. Here lieth the body of Richard Wilder, coach-harness maker, citizen of London, and freeman, late of the parish of St James in the liberty of Westminster, who departed this life the 17th day of December, 1735, aged 47 years. Also John Wilder and Deborah, his father and mother. Also to the memory of William Wilder, who died Dec. 11, 1731. Richard Wilder is mentioned as a brother to Mary Blake, widow in the will below.

Robert Blake was mayor of Reading in 1710 and 1720 and William Wilder was mayor of Reading in 1703 and 1714. Robert's will is the next one to transcribe. He had at least two sisters one married to a Mr. Bird and the other to a Mr. Peach. He is likely the son of John Blake clothier and Burgess of Reading who was Mayor of Reading in 1671 and 1683. John chose not to have his pedigree in the 1665 Visitation of Berkshire. To the best of my knowledge no one has researched the Blake family at Reading. There is a Blake family at Reading into the 1800s appearing on the census there. There are over 140 Blake marriages in Reading between 1837 and 1951 although this amounts to less than one per year. In total 753 Blake marriages in Berkshire for the time period 1837 to 1951. Compare that to Hampshire where 2715 Blake marriages took place in a similar time period. I do wonder if the Blake family in Berkshire is descendant of the Hampshire or Wiltshire Blake family although the first will at the PCC was written in 1552 by William Blake, Yeoman of Speen, Berkshire. Speen being located 15 miles from Andover, Hampshire, 17 miles from Reading, Berkshire and 21 miles from Swindon, Wiltshire. William Blake at Speen is unlikely to be descendant of the Blake family at Andover but I would not cast that in stone as I am still learning about the Blake family there in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 28 Apr 2012
Source:  The National Archives PROB11/666, Image Reference 12/11  (images by me)
Name of testator: Mary Blake, widow of Robert Blake
Place: Reading, Berkshire, England
Type of Record: Will
Dated: 13 May 1733, probated 2 Jul 1734
Read: Electronic file
Condition: well formed letters, 18th century, bold copy

[In margin] T  Mary
[In margin] Blake

1    In the Name of God Amen
2    The thirteenth day of May in the year of our Lord God one
3    Thousand seven hundred and Thirty and Three. I Mary Blake of
4    Reading in the County of Berks[hire] the widow and Executrix of the last
5    Will and Testament of my late dear husband Robert Blake late of
6    Reading aforesaid Gent deceased and who am also intituled in Law
    [Page 2]
7    or Equity to the effects and personal estate of my late dear daughters Anne
8    Blake and Mary Blake late of Reading aforesaid Spinsters deceased.
9    Being of sound mind and memory praise be Almighty God therefore
10    doe make and declare my last Will and Testament in manner following
11    my soul I  recommend to God who gave it and my body to the Earth
12    to be decently buried in the Grave where my said two daughters lie,
13    interred, at the discretion of my Executor William Greenaway the
14    Elder of Reading aforesaid, Barge Master (being my particular
15    friend and by me appointed my Executor as hereinafter named)
16    And my desire is that no wine or anything else be drank by my
17    Relations and friends at the time of my burial and as to my Goods
18    Chattels and personal Estate whatsoever whereunto I am or shall be
19    in any wise intituled my will is as followeth Imprimis I do order
20    my Executor to lay out any sume of money (not exceeding in the whole
21    Thirty pounds) on the charge of my Funerall Item I give the sume
22    of five pounds to be paid to the churchwardens and overseers of the
23    parish of St Gyles in Reading aforesaid to be by them distributed
24    within one month next after my death by Twelve pence a peice to
25    one hundred poor widows of the same parish and do also give the
26    like sume of five pounds to the churchwardens and overseers of
27    the parish of St Lawrence in Reading aforesaid to be by them
28    distributed within one month next after my death by twelve pence
29    a peice to one hundred poor widows of the same parish But if
30    there should not be so many poor widows in each parish Then to
31    give so many of the Twelve pnces as in each respective parish shall
32    remain undispossed To such other poor people in each parish as they shall
33    think fit objects of charity Item I do order my said Executor forthwith
34    after my death to deduct and take out of my Effects the sume of Ten
35    pounds which I do hereby give unto him as some recompence for
36    his trouble in the Execution of the Trusts hereby in him reposed The
37    severall sumes aforesaid to be paid without any deduction or abatement
38    whatsoever Item I give to Richard Bird William Bird and Mary Bird Nephews
39    and Neice of my said husband Robert Blake the sume of Twenty
40    pounds a peice Item I give to my kinsman John Peach Nephew
41    to my said late husband the sume of Twenty pounds and also I
42    give unto him the said John Peach my said late husbands Coatch
43    Item I give to my Nephew William Truss one of the sons of my
44    sister Ann Truss the sume of Thirty pounds Item I give to my
45    Nephew Charles Truss one other of the sons of my said sister Ann
46    Truss the sume of thirty pounds Item I give to my Brother
47    Richard Wilder the sume of Sixty pounds Item I give to my said
48    sister Ann Truss Ten pounds Item I give to my sister Sarah Parker
49    the sume of fifty pounds and also all my wearing apparell as
50    well Linnen as Woollen Item I give to my Nephew Jacob
51    Parker son of my said sister Sarah Parker the sume of Twenty
52    pounds Item I give to my Neice Elizabeth Cross daughter of my
53    said Brother Richard the sume of five pounds Item I give to
54    my neice Sarah Smith the wife of William Smith the sume of Ten
55    pounds to be paid unto her by my Executor into her own proper
56    hands and for her own Seperate use exclusive of her said husband
57    and her own receipt for the same shall be a sufficient discharge to
58    my Executor notwithstanding her coverture Item I give to my
    [Page 3]
59    Nephew John Wilder one of the sons of my late Brother John Wilder
60    deceased the sume of Ten pounds Item I give unto my Neice Sarah Wilder
61    one of the daughters of my said late Brother John Wilder the sume of
62    five pounds All and Singular which before mentioned Legacies which I
63    have before given to my Relations my Will is shall be paid with[in] one year
64    next after my death And in case by any unforeseen accidents and deficiency
65    shall happen in my Estate Then my will is that such deficiency shall be
66    born by my said Relations proportionably share and share alike
67    according to their aforesaid respective Legacies And as to the Legacy
68    of Sixty pounds above given to my said Brother Richard Wilder my
69    intent and will is that the same or any part thereof shall not be
70    Subject to the payment of any of the debts now owing by my said
71    Brother Richard but be a provision for buying him bread in his old
72    age and therefore my will is that untill my said Brother Richard shall
73    be sufficiently discharged from all his Creditors That the said sixty
74    pounds (Subject in case of deficiency to the aforesaid deduction) shall
75    remain in the hands of my said Executor for and towards the maintenance
76    of my said Brother Richard And my will is that if my said sister
77    Ann Truss shall die either before me or before her said Legacy shall
78    become payable Then I give her said Legacy of Ten pounds equally
79    to her said Two sons Item all and singular the rest and residue of
80    my Goods Chattels and personall Estate whereof or whereunto I
81    now am or shall be intituled (my debts Legacys Funerall and
82    Testamentary expences and all charges and Expences which shall be
83    Sustained by my Executor paid and discharged) I give devise
84    and bequeath to the said William Greenaway and I do make and
85    ordain the said William Greenaway full and sole Executor of this
86    my last Will and Testament In Trust nevertheless That if after
87    payment and discharge of my debts Legacies Funerall and
88    Testamentary Expences and all charges and expences which shall
89    be sustained by him my said Executor There shall be any overplus
90    of my personal Estate then remaining in his hands Then I do
91    hereby order and appoint and give such ovrplus to my said
92    Brother Richard Wilder and my said sisters Ann Truss and Sarah
93    Parker their respective Executors or Administrators equally share
94    and share alike. But that the share of such overplus as to my
95    said Brother Richard (if any there be) shall be subject to such
96    Restrictions in respett of his overplus thereof as are above men[t]ioned
97    in relation to his said Legacy of sixty pounds Item I do hereby
98    declare that what I have hereby given to my said Relations Is by
99    me meant and intended in full of all claims and demands which
100    they any or either of them my said Relations may have or pretend
101    to have forth of the personal Estates of my said late husband or self or
102    my said daughters or any or either of us and do enjoyn them my
103    said Relations or any of them to give such Releases and Discharges
104    accordingly as my said Executor shall require before payment of their
105    any or either of their respective Legacies which if they or any or
106    either of them refuse to do then the Legacy or Legacies of such of
107    them so respectively refusing shall become void and remain to my
108    said Executor for his own use and benefit And Lastly I do hereby revoke
109    all Wills and Testaments by me heretofore made and do publish and
110    declare this to be my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I
    [Page 4]
111    have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year first above written
112    Mary Blake. Signed Sealed published and declared by the said
113    Mary Blake (the Testatrix) as and for her last Will and Testament in the
114    presence of us who subscribed our names as witnesses hereto at the request
115    and in the presence of the said Testatrix, Ann House [signed] Eliz: Greenaway [signed]
116    Margarett Cane [signed] Jno Phipps [signed]
117    The Will was proved at London the second day of
118    July in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven hundred and thirty four
119    before the worshipfull Edward Rinaston Doctor of Laws and Surrogate
120    to the Right Worshipfull John Bettesworth Doctor also of Laws
121    aster Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury
122    lawfully constituted by the oath of William Greenaway the sole Executor
123    named in the said Will To whom Administration was granted of the Goods
124    Chattels and Credits of the said deceased he being first Sworne duly to
125    Administer

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