Monday, October 8, 2012

Will of James Blake Gentleman, Birchmore, Isle of Wight - PROB 11/1395/214, probated 6 Jul 1803

The testator James Blake is at Birchmore on the Isle of Wight; West Birchmore belonged to his wife's family and she was the heir of her grandfather William Ruffin. James Blake married Elizabeth Ruffin Scott 23 Mar 1759 at Christchurch, Hampshire, England (M14658-1 Family Search). James appears to be the son of John Blake and Susanne de Garis and he was born 27 Nov 1731 in the Guernsey Channel Islands and died/was buried in St George Churchyard at Arreton, Isle of Wight 7 June 1803. Elizabeth Ruffin Scott Blake died/was buried 26 Mar 1790 also in St George Churchyard. James mother Susanne de Garis Blake was born on the Guernsey Channel Islands and died/was buried 26 May 1781 also in St George Churchyard near her son.

Looking at a number of trees on Ancestry this Blake family is purported to have been on the Isle of Wight from at least the mid 1500s on. There is no mention of a Blake family there in British History Online for Shalfleet. However that doesn't preclude the Blake family being there. They simply were not mentioned in the British History Online for Shalfleet.

James father is named as John Blake who was likely born 3 Nov 1696 at Ningwood Isle of Wight (died/buried 29 Apr 1731 at Compton, Isle of Wight). John married Susanne de Garis 6 May 1729 in Brooke, Isle of Wight (and she was his second wife). John (born 1696) was said to be the son of John Blake and Mary Ranier (there is a marriage listed in a set of transcriptions for Shalfleet online showing a marriage between John Blake and Mary Ranear 24 Sep 1691.
This Register begins with 1604 and ends in 1837 and this is the only marriage for a male Blake at Shalfleet (a Mary Blake married Abraham Tricket 1 Jan 1660). However baptisms from the same source show a John Blake son of Georg Blake baptized 10 Sep 1609, Anna Blake daughter of John Blake baptized 10 Mar 1643, Elez Blake daughter of John Blake baptized 24 Jul 1652, David Blake son of John Blake baptized 24 Sep 1694, John Blake (as above) baptized 29 Nov 1696 son of John and Jane Blake (born 10 Nov 1696), James Blake baptized 9 Mar 1698 son of John and Jane Blake (born 11 Feb 1698), Mary Blake daughter of John Blake baptized 20 Jun 1705, John Blake baptized 19 Mar 1729 son of John Blake the younger and no further baptisms to the end of 1799 in this transcription The Burial Register has also been transcribed Edward Blake was buried 15 Mar 1661, Elizabeth Blake was buried 15 Feb 1691 (or 1692), Anne Blake wife of Mr. John Blake was buried 20 Apr 1721, Mr. John Blake was buried 29 Apr 1731 and the website again:

Although John Blake married Jane Ranear at Shalfleet they did not baptize their children there other than David, John, James and Mary according to the online transcriptions (missing would be Sarah, Jane and Elizabeth mentioned in the tree on Ancestry). It would be interesting to see if there is any proof for saying that James Blake born at Guernsey Channel Islands son of John Blake and Susanne de Garis has as his grandparents John Blake and Jane Ranear. James was a posthumous child it would appear which probably accounts for his being born on the Guernsey Islands (his father died/was buried 29 Apr 1731 at Compton Isle of Wight according to the Ancestry tree. Compton Bay is located on the west side of the Isle of Wight. The one linking items is definitely the burial of Susanne Blake 26 May 1781  widow of John Blake close by the burial of her son James Blake (7 Jun 1803). One problem with that is the recording of the memorial stones in the graveyard:
as there is a stone that says buried James Blake (D5 17 Nov 1795) wife of Elizabeth Scott Blake. But by his will we know that he was buried after 1 Feb 1802 and before 6 Jul 1803. Elizabeth is buried next to her parents Mary Scott buried 1 Jan 1766 widow of Joseph Scott.

Elizabeth (daughter of James Blake testator) married Richard Hall Tombs (marriage not yet located). Children of Richard and Elizabeth: Elizabeth Blake Tombs baptized 31 Mar 1783 at St Thomas Winchester, Mary Tombs baptized 23 Mar 1784 at Saint Thomas Winchester (K13675-1 Family Search), for Richard Tombs I did not find his christening at Winchester.

Other Blake memorials from the webpage for St George Churchyard at Arreton Isle of Wight
C 5 Blake, Elizabeth Ruffin 26.3.1790 wife of James Blake
C 6 Scott, Mary 1.1.1766 widow of Joseph Scott
C 7 Blake, Joseph 6.12.1796 son of James Blake
C 26 Blake, James 7.6.1803
C 27 Blake, Susanna 26.5.1781 widow of John Blake

F 94 Blake, James Ruffin Scott 24.10.1905 also wife grace, son William
F 95 Blake, Sarah 8.11.1906 also James her husband
C 49 Blake, Mary April 1852 wife of James Blake
D 4 Blake, Walter Scott 22.9.1872 son of James Blake
D 5 Blake, James 17.11.1795 wife Elizabeth Scott Blake
D 6 Blake, Frances 2.11.1895 James Ruffin Blake
D 17 Blake, Mary 24.7.1831 dau of James Ruffin Blake
D 18 Blake, James Ruffin 18.3.1839 wife Elizabeth
D 19 Blake, Susannah 9.1.1815
D 20 Blake, Benjamin 28.10.1837
D 21 Blake, John 9.1.1826 also Charlotte his wife
D 22 Blake, Charles 17.3.1827 son of John Blake
D 29 Blake, Sussanna 31.7.1818 dau of John Blake
D 30 Blake, William 27.12.1808 son of John Blake
D 32 Blake, Susannah 31.10.1811 burned to death
D 33 Blake, Mary 4.5.1797 wife of henry Blake
D 34 Blake, Henry 22.10.1845 Mary his wife & son Richard
D 35 Blake, Ann 23.9.1845 wife of James Blake
E 23 Blake, Mary 20.7.1808 also Jonathan her husband
F 73 Blake, Julia Groundsell 9.6.1878 dau of James Fred bro of
F 94 Blake, James Ruffin Scott 24.10.1905 also wife grace, son William
F 95 Blake, Sarah 8.11.1906 also James her husband
F 108 Blake, Mary 9.4.1870 Mary (wife) and Jessie
Saunders dau.
F 109 Blake, Henry 29.10.1899 sexton for 40 years
F 148 Blake, James 31.3.1863

Looking at the IGI now for marriages and could not find the 8 Apr 1721 marriage of Joseph Scott and Mary Ruffin however this online tree does have an extracted parish record from Ancestry (Marriage License allegations, Bishop of Winchester 1689 1837) showing Joseph Scott of Christchurch gent marrying Mary Russin spinster at Milton, C., or Sopley 8 Apr 1721. This same site has a date of birth 6 Dec 1700 in Arreton for Mary Ruffin and a date of death 1 Jan 1766 in Arreton which does agree with the burial date shown on the tombstone mentioned earlier in St George Churchyard at Arreton. Elizabeth Ruffin Blake was born/baptized 5 Apr 1739 in Merston Isle of Wight according to the family tree on Ancestry (Betey Roffen Scott was baptized 11 Apr 1739 at Christchurch, Hampshire daughter of Joseph Scott C01763-1 Family Search). An interesting history from British History online:

Birchmore formed part of the early lords' hunting ground, and is referred to in the list of liberties allowed to Isabel de Fortibus, Countess of Albemarle, in 1279. (fn. 12) It lies opposite Stone, a little to the east, and the present house appears to be an early 18thcentury structure. During part of the 16th and 17th centuries it was owned by the yeoman family of Harbert (fn. 13) or Herbert, but in the 18th century by the family of Ruffin. The date stone in the east gable, W.R.S. 1736, evidently refers to a member of the latter family. (fn. 14) In a lease of East Birchmore, 19 May 1753, the holder is described as 'William Ruffin of Birchmore, gentleman.' Elizabeth, granddaughter of William Ruffin, married James Blake, who thus came into possession of Birchmore, which is now administered by the executors of the late Mr. Scott Blake.

It would be interesting to look at this Blake line as it does appear to be the earliest line on the Isle of Wight at least back into the mid 1600s by the Parish Registers at Shalfleet.

James in his will mentions his sons: James Ruffin Blake, John Blake, Henry Blake and Benjamin Blake and his daughters: Elizabeth Tombs, Susanna Blake and Jane Blake. The online tree lists his children as Elizabeth (born/baptized 12 Feb 1760 in Arreton, James Ruffin (born/baptized 2 Jul 1762 at Arreton), John, Susannah (born/baptized 29 Dec 1768 in Arreton), Henry (born baptized 26 Feb 1771 in Arreton), Jane (circa 1771), Benjamin (circa 1772), Jane (circa 1773), and Joseph (circa 1773 died/buried 10 Dec 1796 in Arreton). John one of the sons is found on the Census in 1841 and 1851 at Godshill and he lists his date of birth at 1767 and 1766 which would fit into the above scheme for the children of James. The IGI does not list these baptisms unfortunately (the parish Registers for Arreton are listed as being from 1754 to 1978 so should be able to find these baptisms there).

This family can be traced down into the 1900s through the census. I must admit to a strong curiosity if they are descendant of the Wiltshire Blake family. If indeed James was the son of John baptized 3 Nov 1696 at Ningwood near Shalfleet and he the son of John Blake and Mary Ranear married 24 Sep 1691 at Shalfleet, one wonders how much further back it would be possible to trace this Blake line on the Isle of Wight. Online trees do take this line back further on the Isle of Wight. However by the late 1600s there were a lot of Blake lines in southern Hampshire/Dorset and Wiltshire.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 7 Oct 2012
Source:  The National Archives, PROB 11/1395/214
Name of testator: James Blake, Gentleman
Place: Birchmore, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England
Type of Record: Will
Dated:, 1 Jan 1802, probated 6 Jul 1803
Read: Electronic file images
Condition: middle and modern English, 19th century, smudged but fairly clear copy
[In margin] James
[In margin] Blake

1    This is the last Will
2    and Testament of me James Blake Es[quire]
3    Birchmore in the Isle of Wight in the
4    County of Southampton Gentleman as
5    follows first I Will order and direct that all my
6    just debts funeral expences and be fully paid
7    and satisfied by my Executors hereinafter
8    named and appointed within a convenient
9    time after my decease and I give and Bequeath
10    the Sum of ten pounds unto and amongst
11    the poor of the parish of Arreton for to be
12    laid out in Bread and distributed amongs[t]
13    them within One Month next after my
14    decease at the option of my Executors Also
15    I give and devise all my Estate and Interest
16    of and in a certain Farm and Lands called
17    Hillis situate in the parish of Northwood
18    in the Isle of Wight unto and between my
19    four sons James Ruffin Blake John Blake
20    Henry Blake and Benjamin Blake their heirs
21    and assigns as tenants in common And
22    Whereas my son James Ruffin Blake is
23    intitled to the Capital Messuage Farm Land
24    and Premises with the appurt[enance]s called West
25    Birchmore as heir at Law of his late Mother
26    __ors I do give devise and bequeath all those
27    the great Tithes of the same Farm Land
28    and Premises unto my son James Ruffin
29    Blake his heirs and Assigns forever Also I
30    give devise and Bequeath my Messuage
31    Farm and premises with the app[urtenan]ces called
32    East Birchmore with the proxies (or Great tithes)
33    thereof and also the Great Tithes of
34    Leybrooksfield and Horsecroft and the Great
35    Tithes of the Farm and Lands called
36    Skinners unto my son James Ruffin Blake his
37    heirs and assigns forever upon condition
38    nevertheless that he the said James
39    Ruffin Blake his heirs and assigns do and
40    within twelve Months after my decease
41    pay or raise to be paid unto my Son
42    Benjamin Blake and to my two daughters
43    Susanna and Jane Blake the sum of one
44    thousand pounds apiece of lawful money of Great
45    Britain And I do hereby charge and make
46    chargeable the said Messuage Farm Lands
47    and premises so given and devised to the
48    said James Ruffin Blake to and with the
49    payment of the said three several Legacies of
50    One thousand pounds each And I give
51    and Bequeath to my Son John Blake of
52    Westocott five hundred pounds of lawful
53    money of Great Britain and to my son
    [Page 2]
54    Henry Blake I give and Bequeath the like
55    sum of five hundred pounds of like money
56    Also I give and Bequeath to my Son
57    Benjamin Blake two hundred pounds of
58    like lawful money also I give and bequeath
59    to my daughter Elizabeth Wife of Richard
60    Hall Tombs of the City of Winchester the
61    dividends and Interest of the Sum of thirteen
62    hundred pounds three per cent Reduced Bank
62    Annuities for and during her natural life and
63    from and after her decease I give and bequeath
64    the said thirteen hundred pounds reduced
65    annuities unto my grand daughter Mary Ann
66    Tombs and to my Grand Son Richard Tombs
67    to be equally divided between them share
68    and share alike on their severally attaining
69    the age of twenty One years and in case
70    of the death of either of them my Grand
71    daughter or Grand Son before they had he
72    or she has attained the age of twenty One
73    years unmarried and without leaving any
74    child or children then and in such case I
75    give and Bequeath the whole of the thirteen
76    hundred pounds reduced Annuities to the Survivor
77    of them I give and Bequeath to my daughter
78    Susanna Blake and to my daughter Jane
79    Blake five hundred pounds to each of them of
80    lawful money moneys of Great Britain Also I
81    give and Bequeath to my said daughters
82    Susanna and Jane Blake my Gold Rings and
83    Trinkets to be divided between them I give and
84    Bequeath to my Son James Ruffin Blake my
85    household Goods and Furniture except such part
86    as he shall chose ^ I give and Bequeath
    his Brothers and Sisters also I give and Bequeath to
87    to my said Son James Ruffin Blake my
88    live and dead Stock in husbantry except
89    such part as he shall chose to give and
90    Relinquish to his Brother Benjamin Also
91    I give and Bequeath to my said Son James
92    Ruffin Blake and my said son Benjamin Blake
93    and my said daughters Susanna and Jane
94    Blake my Linnen and China to be divided
95    between them I give and Bequeath to my said
96    Son James Ruffin Blake a pair of Silver
97    candle sticks two large Silver Waiters given by
98    my late Cousin Mary Quail I also give and
99    Bequeath the rest of my Silver plate to and
100    between my said Sons and daughters namely
101    James Ruffin Blake Benjamin Blake Susannah
102    and Jane Blake and likewise between my two Sons
103    John and Henry Blake share and share alike to be
104    divided between them I give and Bequeath unto
105    my daughter Elizabeth Tombs six large Silver table
106    Spoons
    [Page 4]
107    Spoons and six silver tea spoons or ready money in
108    lieu of it at the option of my Executors and I give
109    and Bequeath unto my said Son James Ruffin Blake
110    the sum of forty pounds by me received on
111    sale of a small Estate at Christchurch which
112    was the property of my late Wife and I give to my
113    worthy friend Elizabeth Hawker Spinster of Portsmouth
114    five Guineas for a Ring in reward for her kindly attendance
115    on me in my sickness and I give and Bequeath all
116    the rest residue and Remainder of my money
117    and Securities for money and all my personal
118    Estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever unto
119    and between my four sons namely James Ruffin
120    blake John Blake Henry Blake and Benjamin
121    B lake equally divided between them and I do hereby
122    nominate constitute and appoint my said Sons
123    James Ruffin Blake John Blake and Henry Blake
124    to be Joint Executors of this my Will hereby
125    revoking all former Wills by me at any time
126    heretofore made In Witness whereof I the said
127    Testator James Blake have to this my last Will
128    and Testament containing three sheets of paper
129    to the first and second sheet set my hand and to
130    this third and last sheet my hand and seal the
131    first day of January in the year of Our Lord
132    One thousand eight hundred and two Js Blake [signed]
133    [Seal] Signed sealed published and declared by the said
134    Testator James Blake as and for his last Will and
135    Testament in the presence of us who at his request
136    and in his presence and in the presence of each
137    other have subscribed our names as Witnesses here
138    unto the words in the seventh line of the first
139    sheet interlined is and in the second sheet fifth
140    lines Bank ditto Eleventh lines the death of and
141    in ditto twenty three lines Ruffin Wm Baker [signed]
142    Wm Baker Jr [signed] W Chamberlain [signed]
143    This Will was proved at London On the
144    sixth day of July in the year of Our Lord One
145    thousand eight hundred and three before the Right
146    honorable Sir William Wynne Knight Doctor of Laws
147    and Master Keeper or Commissary of the prerogative
148    Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the Oaths of
149    James Ruffin Blake John Blake and Henry
150    Blake the Sons of the deceased and the Executors
151    named in the said Will to whom Administration was
152    granted of all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits
153    of the deceased having been first sworn duly to
154    Administer by Commission

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