Thursday, May 17, 2012

Will of Thomas Blake of Finkley, National Archives PROB 11/364 Image Reference 173/168, probated 26 Nov 1680

Thomas Blake left his will in 1680 with only the notation that he was of Finkley. I found only two Finkley references in England. The one is Finkley Street in Tankersley (South Riding Yorkshire (was West Riding Yorkshire)) and the other is located in Andover Registration District along the Roman Road. There is Finkley Manor Farm and Finkley Ho about five miles east of Andover (and Finkley Forest).

From the British History Online: A  History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4 -

Smannell is situated 2½ miles north-east of the town, it contains the hamlets of Woodhouse, East Anton, Little London and Finkley. Finkley House is the seat of the Rev. Robert Finch. The northeastern part of the parish is well wooded, including the southern portion of Doles Wood, which was parcel of Finkley Park or Finkley Forest. A survey of this park, taken by order of the Parliamentary Commissioners in 1652, exists at the Public Record Office.  At that date it contained 841 a. 1 r. 17 p., together with a lodge standing therein. There were 7,149 timber trees and saplings growing in it, and there were also various copses in the park, usually fenced in, and containing 620a. 2r. The 150 deer in the park were valued at £100 and the rabbits at £50. 'The wood and woody ground called the Ridges,'  which was parcel of Finkley Forest, contained 5,120 trees, and the underwoods there were worth £40. Richard Cromwell was then the chief ranger, and William Cooke the keeper. The inhabitants of King's Enham, Knight's Enham and East Anton had certain rights of common of pasture in Finkley Park, and 20s. yearly and 9s. yearly were paid to the ranger and the keeper respectively towards the making of fences by the tenants of King's Enham farm, under Magdalen College, Oxford, who from time immemorial had had common of pasture there for seventy cows and one bull from Mayday to Michaelmas. Four years after his accession Charles II granted Finkley Park to George Duke of Albemarle and his heirs for ever.

In 1680 Charles II is King of England (Date of Restoration 29 May 1660) so Finkley Park belonged to George Duke of Albemarle likely and perhaps the common of pasture was still observed.

The will does make it sound as if Thomas is indebted and Peter his second son is to clear his debts. He mentions three sons Richard, Peter and Charles and three daughters.  It is possible that this is the Peter Blake who married Ann Godfrey 26 Jun 1677 at Penton Mewsey with banns read at Hurstbourne Tarrant (Ann Godfrey was born at Hurstborne Tarrant). Still working on this particular line but Peter and Ann had two children Peter and Ann with Peter marrying Joan (unknown) and their children were Ann, Mary, Peter, Jacob and John. Jacob married Mary Mosdown 20 May 1744 at Penton Mewsey. The other Peter Blake (said to be born at Upper Clatford) married Ann Noyes 26 Jun 1677 at Penton Mewsey (interestingly the same day) and their children were Katheren, Mary and Peter. This family lived at Upper Clatford and their children were baptized at Upper Clatford. Penton Mewsey was another Blake family home area in the 1600s and my line was there. Sorting the Peter Blake lines out is a challenge and this is a forename that goes back to the mid 1500s in the Blake family at Andover.

There is a Charles Blake baptized at Hurstbourne Tarrant, Hampshire 12 Apr 1653 son of Thomas Blake. Charles is not a common Blake forename in this area in this time period. There is a Richard Blake baptized 24 Mar 1650 at Hurstbourne Tarrant. Hurstbourne Tarrant is to the north of Finkley and further away than Andover. However it is interesting to find a Charles and a Richard who would have been 27 and 30 years of age in 1680 when Thomas is writing his will.

A parochial history of St Mary Bourne has a chapter on the Forest of Chute and Finkley. Finkley Forest is bordered along the south by Eastanton which belongs to Mr. W. Blake. This is likely Eastontown where the family of William Blake has lived since the mid 1500s. The William Blake there in 1652 would be the great grandson of William Blake who left his will in 1582 naming himself as William Blake of Eastontown. His son William inherited this property and willed it to his eldest son William in 1607. This William left the property to his son William.

The Blake family at Hurstborne Tarrant is known to me and descendant of Robert Blake brother to Nicholas Blake. Robert's son John Blake the Elder died before 8 Apr 1572 at Knights Enham and he mentions his son John Blake, then a minor, who died before 25 Feb 1605 at Upton, Hurstborne Tarrant. The children of this John Blake, yeoman, Upton, Hurstborne Tarrant and his wife (unknown) had four children Agnes, Christian, Elizabeth and John who was single in 1605 but not listed as underage.

There was a Thomas Blake baptized 30 Sep 1621 at Hurstbourne Tarrant and the son of John Blake. By 1680 this Thomas would have been 59 years of age and could be the Thomas Blake in this will. Why he lists himself at Finkley is a mystery if indeed the children baptized at Hurstbourne Tarrant (Charles and Richard) were indeed the children of the Thomas Blake at Finkley listed in his will.

In the 1841 census of Hurstbourne Tarrant there were nine Blake members listed including John, Edward and Richard. In the 1851 census of Hurstbourne Tarrant there were eight Blake members listed including John Charles, Edward Walter, Richard, Charles Henry, and James. This is one family with John Charles Blake as the head married to Charlotte (John Charles Blake married Charlotte Eyeles in 1831 at Hurstbourne Tarrant according to the LDS website). John Charles Blake was born in 1810 at Hurstbourne Tarrant. In 1861 there were 16 Blake members at Hurstbourne Tarrant but not all were born at Hurstbourne Tarrant. John Charles and Charlotte Blake are still there and there is a new family Thomas Blake married to Susanna Pibworth 3 Jul 1830 Hurstborne Tarrant (she was born at Hurstbourne Tarrant) and this Thomas is a brother to my 2x great grandfather John Blake (both were born/baptized at Upper Clatford).I am ever mindful though that proximity is not a sufficient proof for family relationships. The Blake family that was at Upper Clatford in the 1600s was not directly related to the Blake family (mine) that was at Upper Clatford from the mid 1700s on. Their common ancestor, William Blake of Eastontown, was six generations earlier in the mid 1700s Upper Clatford Blake family. No descendants of the Peter Blake family of Upper Clatford in the 1600s lived at Upper Clatford in the mid 1700s.

Checking the LDS website John Charles Blake (1851 census) was born 8 Oct 1809 and baptized 22 Oct 1809 at Hurstbourne Tarrant and he was the son of Richard and Mary Blake.  There isn't a marriage on the LDS website at Hurstbourne Tarrant for a Richard Blake in the appropriate time frame Although there was a Richard on the 1841 census.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 16 May 2012
Source: The National Archives PROB 11/364 Image Reference 173/168
Place: Finkley, Hampshire, England
Testator: Thomas Blake, Finkley
Type of Record: Will
Dated: 4 Oct 1680, probated 26 Nov 1680
Read: Electronic copy
Condition: image, small script, light text

[In margin] Thomas Blake

1    In the Name of God Amen I
2    Thomas Blake of Finkley being infirm and weak in bodye but of sound and p[er]fect
3    mind and memory doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament in manner
4    and forme following That is to say Imprimis I commend my Soule unto the hands of
5    God Almighty hopeing through the merritts of my Saviour Jesus Christ to receive full
6    pardon from all my Sinns and to Inheritt eternall life And my Body I committ to the Earth
7    to bee decently buried at the discre[t]ion of my Executor hereafter named and as to my temporall
8    estate I dispose of it as followeth / Item I give and bequeath to my Sonne Richard the
9    Summe of twelve pence / Item I make my sonne Peter Blake my Executor / Item I give
10    him all my Lands goods and Chattells to pay all his Engagements that he standeth bound
11    for mee and the overplus for him to devide amongst my Wife and three daughters and my
12    Sonne Charles the marke of Thomas Blake In witnes whereof / I have hereunto sett my
13    hand and Seale The Fourth day of October 1680 in the yeare of  Edward Noyle the mark of
14    Anne Pecke the marke of William Nowell

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