Monday, October 15, 2012

Will of Hercules Blake, Yeoman, Enham - The National Archives, probated 2 Sep 1656

Hercules Blake is the testator of this next will and he was buried 26 May 1656 at Andover and said to be of Enham. Being of Enham has an enormous significance to me as this is the home of Nicholas Blake and my ancestral line. Enham was not a big place but also Robert Blake brother to Nicholas lived at Enham. Was he descendant of Robert brother to Nicholas? When we are talking about the sons of Robert they were all born before 1542 when Robert died living his will. This is more than 100 years before Hercules died so I am looking at at least three generations since Robert and possibly four generations. He has a brother William Blake with a number of children but no ideas on where this brother lives.

Ancestry had a clue for Hercules Blake of Knights Enham husbandman with a marriage record with Catherine Douse of Knights Enham spinster married at Knights Enham 6 Jul 1609. This is interesting and she must have died as his named wife in the will is Rebecca. If this is the correct Hercules Blake then he was probably born by or before 1588 (he could have been a minor and hence the reason for the licence). This would make him at least 68 when he was buried in 1656 which is not an unreasonable age.

However, when you get into the will it actually says that he is of Kings Enham and one could ask what is the difference between Kings Enham and Knights Enham where Nicholas and Robert lived? I pursued this thought reading through a number of websites and I do understand Knights Enham - from the map looking across the top of the city of Andover you can see from right to left East Anton, then Knights Enham then Charlton then Foxcotte then Penton Mewsey. There are two other places called Enham - Upper Enham and Enham Alamein which are more or less to the north of Knights Enham. On the gazeteer for Genuki Knights Enham is listed as 2.2 miles north east of Knights Enham with Enham Alamein also being 2.2 miles north east and Upper Enham being 2.5 miles north east. Interestingly Genuki Andover page described Kings Enham as a hamlet in the parish and hundred of Andover, 2 miles north of Andover.

There was a Lease for 21 years performed for Thomas Golding and Hercules Blake of Kings Enham which was for a coppice and croft of ground called Hethcroft, containing 3 acres, and the drove of land containing about a yard of ground executed 15 Nov 1624 (Finding No 87M87/94 at the Hampshire Record Office, Winchester).  The end of this lease would have been 1645.

Hercules mentions his cousin Jane Blake daughter of Henry Blake late of Andover. Henry Blake baptized a son John Blake 4 May 1622 at Andover but no sign of a daughter Jone being baptized at Andover. I do not know which Blake family Henry fits into at Andover. But his other cousin Robert Blake mentioned is of Salisbury and a third cousin Margaret Pewsey living at Chute. A kinswoman Mary Blackman at Collingbourne and all of these last places in Wiltshire. Perhaps this line is descendant of the Wiltshire Blake family arriving at Andover later than my line.

An interesting will that I shall come back to later when I look at the Blake families of Andover with respect to the wills that I have now transcribed.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 13 Oct 2012
Source:  The National Archives, PROB 11/1829/430
Name of testator: Hercules Blake, Yeoman
Place: Andover, Hampshire, England
Type of Record: Will
Dated:25 Sep 1647, probated 2 Sep 1656
Read: Electronic file images
Condition: middle English, 17th century, tiny writing, fairly clear copy
[In margin] Hercules Blake

1    In the name of God Amen
2    I Hercules Blake of Kings Enham in the Parish of
3    Andever in the County of Southampton yeoman being weake
4    in body but of good and perfect memory I thanke the Lord
5    God for the same doe here make and ordayne this my last
6    will and Testament in manner and forme following
7    That is to say Imprimis I give and bequeath my soule into
8    the hands of Allmighty God my heavenly father hopeing
9    to be saved by the onely meritts and mercyes of Christ Jesus
10    my alone Saviour, and Redeemer, and my body to the earth
11    from whence it was taken and to be buryed in Christian
12    buriall in a comely, and decent order; Item I give, and
13    bequeath unto my brother William Blake if he be living
14    at the tyme of my decease five shillings, and to as many
15    Children of his which shall be liveing lykewise at the tyme
16    of my decease Twelve pence a peice to be paid unto them
17    within one whole yeare next after my decease if they
18    or any of them shall make demand thereof Item I give
19    and bequeath unto Joane Walker the wife of Anthony
20    Walker my kinswoman twelve pence. Item I give, and
21    bequeath unto her sonne five shillings Item I give, and
22    bequeath unto my Cosen Jane Blake daughter of Henry
23    Blake late of Andever deceased Twelve pence. Item
24    I give and bequeath unto the Parish of Andever two shillings. Item
25    I give and bequeath unto all the Children of my Cosen Robert Blake
26    of Salsbury and to each of them liveing at the tyme of my decease Twelve
27    pence a peice. Item I give and bequeath unto my Cosen Margaret
28    Pewsey Chute five shillings. Item I give and bequeath unto Mary
29    Blackman my kinswoman of Kollingborne five shillings, All the
30    rest of my goods Cattells, Chattells, money, plate, debts due unto mee
31    goods, household stuffe whatsoever unbequeathed my debts being paid
32    and funerall expences discharged I give and bequeath unto Rebecca
33    my wife whom I make sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament
34    And my will is that all the said Legacies before mentioned shall be
35    paid by my said Executrix within one whole yeare next after my
36    decease And I doe order, ordayne and make my loveing freinds
37    William Palmer of Andever, and William Leggatt of Charleton
38    Overseers of this my last Will and Testament and I give unto
39    either of them for theire paines Ten shillings a peice In Witnesse
40    whereof I have hereunto putt my hand and Seale, This five and
41    twentith day of September in the three and Twentith yeare of
42    the raigne of our Soveraigne Lord King Charles over England
43    et c[eter]a One Thousand six hundred fourty seaven, The marke of
44    the said Hercules Blake Signed and sealed by the s[ai]d Testator
45    and by him acknowledged to be his last Will and Testament
46    and Published in the p[re]sence of William Palmer, William
47    Legatt, William Culley his marke The marke of Thomas Smith esq[uir]e
48    This will was proved at London the second day of September
49    One Thousand six hundred fifty six. Before the Judges for
50    Probate of wills and granting Administrations lawfully
51    authorized by the oath of Rebecca Blake the relicte sole executrix
52    named in the said will. To whom Administration of all singuler
53    the goods Chattells, and Debts of the said deceased was comitted, she
54    being first by Commission sworne truely to Administer ye same.

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