Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Will of William Blake, Yeoman of Speen, Berkshire, National Archives PROB 11/35, Imae Reference 261/220, probated 28 Jul 1552

Completely unexpected to find references to Knights Enham in the will of William Blake, yeoman of Speen, Berkshire. William lives at Benham which is a largish property in the Parish of Speen Berkshire. He is married to Ellen Boswell (first marriage surname is unknown) and Robert Boswell is referred to as the father in law of William. William mentions that Ellen has children from a first marriage and that the property which she brought with her should be returned to her in the same value. This was a difficult will and there are some blanks in it that I will work away at over the next little while.

Amazingly though he mentions William Blake of Knights Enham (and this is likely the son of Nicholas Blake and my ancestor) and that William has been working the testator's land for a price at Knights Enham. He does not mention if William is related to him but does mention his brother John and his brother Richard. This time period of 1552 when he is writing his will is significant. Nicholas' will was probated in 1547 and William is now on his land at Knights Enham. William has a brother Robert who is also at Knights Enham but that is the limit of their family other than Elizabeth (married to a Mr. Mylne). Up until now I have postulated that there was another William Blake in the area and this proves to be correct but again he is not the William I am expecting. He does not fit into the Blake Pedigree chart held by the Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office. We have another family which consists of William (with son Anthony), and brothers John and Richard Blake. Is this the children of Robert Blake brother of William Blake (sons of Nicholas Blake)? No this does not fit into the wills of that family. William was married to Agnes and he died prior to 1607 at Perwell in Andover. But definitely Robert had sons Robert, John the elder, Thomas, William, Richard and John the younger.

Does this will imply a relationship between the two Williams at Enham? No, no relationship is stated other than that of an owner/tenant.

This is also not the William Blake married to Avis Ripley and said to be a son of Roger Blake and Mary Baynard.

Once again I have to refer to our yDNA study ( as being the only means to really look at the Blake family in general and specifically at the Blake families in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Somerset, Berkshire, Devon and Oxford. Thus far we do not have anyone with a paper trail back to Wiltshire, Somerset, Berkshire, Devon or Oxford. My own line was born in Upper Clatford and then back to Andover and Nicholas who left his will in 1547 is the furtherest back that I have traced thus far.

By 1582 William Blake son of Nicholas is living at Eastontown with his brother Robert still living at Knights Enham.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 1 May 2012
Source:  The National Archives PROB11/35, Image Reference 261/220  (images by me)
Name of testator: William Blake, Yeoman of Speen
Place: Speen, Berkshire, England
Type of Record: Will
Dated:, 10 Jun 1552, probated 28 Jul 1552
Read: Electronic file
Condition: old writing, 16th century, firm copy
[In margin] T  Will[ia]m Blake

1    In the Name of God Amen In the yere or o[u]r Lord god A
2    Thousande fyve hundred fyftie and two Last feaste daie of June in the sixe yere
3    of the Reigne of our Soveraigne Lorde Edwarde the Syxe by the grace of god
4    of England France and Ireland kinge defender of the fayth and ymmediatelie next
5    under Christe supreme head of the churche of England and also of Irelande / I
6    William Blake of Benham in the p[ar]ishe of Spyne and in the countie of Barksher
7    yomane beinge sicke of bodie but of good and perfyct memorye (thanks be to god) ___
8    ordayne that my last will and testament in manner and forme folowinge / First I bequeathe
9    my soule to Almyghtie god and to all the blessed company of heaven / and my bodye to be
10    buryed in the churche Lyttynne of Spyne / Item I give and bequeathe to the poor yomane boys
11    xij d / Item I give and bequeath to the p[ar]ishe  of Enham xij d / Item I give and
12    bequeathe to the p[ar]ishe churche of And[ov]er xij d / Item I give and bequeathe to Ellyne
13    Blake my wief all the proper goodes and cattall that she had when that I dyd marrie
14    with her nothinge to be demynisshed / Item I give and bequeathe to the said Ellyne my
15    wief Thirtie quarters of malte / And fortie shillings in redye money by the yere by
16    that parte of five yeres next comhing / Item I give and bequeathe to every one of my
17    wiefs children one quarter of malte / Item I give and bequeathe amonge all my
18    chyldren to be equally devided / all my shepe and cattell that ys going upon the
19    com[m]ons of Ando[ve]r Enh[a]m and Benh[a]m / Item I give and bequeathe anie of my said
20    cheldren all the graynes that is unthresened and there ofe in the barnes of my holde in Knights
21    Enh[a]m _cells in anye other of my houses then to be equally devided / Item I give and
22    bequeathe amonge my said children all the profytts of my tenement in Knights Enh[a]m
23    whiche William Blake of Knights Enh[a]m doth tyll for me for the somme of fyve pounds to be
24    equally devyded / Item I give and bequeathe to Anthony Blake my sonne the Sixe
25    houses with the ploughe and all th[e ]appurtenances there belonging now in the custody
26    of William Blake with the leasse of my Tenements in Knights Enh[a]m / Item I will that
27    all my goodes and cattalls whiche was removed from Enh[a]m to Benh[a]m to be Removed
28    back agayne to Enh[a]m into the custodye of Robert Boswell my father in lawe
29    Immediatley after my death
    [Page 2]
30    Immediatlie after my death without anie lot or w[i]th exception of Ellyne Blake my wief
31    And that the Goodes to be equally devided amonge my children / Item I will that
32    Isabell Goldinge soe to be at the delyver  unto of my houshold stuff as being when that
33    yt shal[l ]be Removed and she soe to have for her paynes / And yf it so found that any of
34    my children soe to departe oute of this world ______ close and withoute yssue / I will
35    then their parts soe to be equally devided amonge the rest of them / Item I give and bequeathe
36    to John Blake my brother my best gowne and best doublet / Item I geve and bequeath
37    to Richard Blake my brother my Russet gowne and my Ol[d ]lynnen[ dou]blet and Robe
38    Item I bequeath to Marryen my wyffs servante one quarter of malte / Item I give
39    and bequeath to evere one of my servants vij d / Item I give and bequeath among
40    my chyldren fourtie shillings nyne for the spaceof fyve yeres next folowing to be
41    equally devided / The residue of my goods moveable and unmoveable I geve
42    bequeath to Anthony Blake my sonne whome I make and ordeyn to be my executor
43    of this my last willl and testament / Item I make and ordeyne Robert Boswell mye
44    father in lawe and William Fletewood overseers of this my last will and testament to
45    see all the _heests in yt to be p[er]formed and fulfilled / And to se the saide goodes and cattell
46    to be equally devided amonge my children by their discre[t]ions for the profytt and
47    mayneteyance of my said children / And every of them soe to have for the paynes one
48    quarter of barley / Thes bearing witnes William Fletewood John Blake John Boswell
49    Richard Estmonts John Alder John Mathew and Robert Smytton with other mo[r]e

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