Friday, November 16, 2012

Will of Humphrey Blake, gentleman of Saint Giles without Cripplegate - National Archives PROB 11/360/154, probated 9 Jul 1679

Humphrey Blake of St Giles without Cripplegate in Middlesex is a descendant of the Over Stowey Somerset family. His parents were Humphrey Blake and Sarah Williams and his eldest brother was Robert Lord High Admiral during the Commonwealth period of English History. He was the second son of this family and married Sarah Sealy 10 Apr 1632 at Bridgwater Somerset (this from the Portbury Blake website mentioned below). They had five children: Robert, Anne, William, Sarah and Humphrey according to this website. I think there is a problem with this information and perhaps it will ferret itself out later. Watch for the will of Susanna Blake which was published 16 Nov 2013. I have come back to this will to add this new information.

Humphrey Blake and Sarah Williams (the testator's parents) had twelve children of whom two died as infants with their names being reused by the next in line (George and Benjamin). Humphrey was the eldest son of Robert Blake and Margaret Symonds with their other children being Anstice married to Robert Bockinge and William. Robert was the second eldest son of Humphrey Blake and Ann. This Humphrey buried at Overstowey Somerset 28 Dec 1558 and leaving his will which can be found on the following website:

(Archdeaconry of Taunton) 1559.

HUMPHREY BLAKE of  OVER STOWEY, Somerset, Gent. Will dated Nov. 19 1 Eliz. proved May 11th 1559.       

To be buried in the parish church of Over Stowey, with such orisons and prayers, to be said and done for me at my burial and in the days of my anniversary as shall be thought most mete by my Executors, etc. To the Parson of Aisholt to pray for me 10s-. To Anstice Blake, one of the daughters of Robert Blake, for her advancement in marriage, £6 . 6 . 8. To John Blake, the elder, my son, £100. To Robert Blake, my son, £100. The Manor of Tuxwell, Somerset, to my son Robert Blake and his heirs, etc., then to Thomas, my son, then to John Blake, the younger, my son. To John Blake the elder, my son, and his heirs, lands, etc., in Bishops Lydiard. Residue to Anne my wife, and my son, John Blake the younger, Exors.

This places the present testator into his ancestral line. But it is at Humphrey that there is no clearly established parentage for him. The Blake Pedigree chart indicates that John Blake son of William Blake of Lacock and Margaret Browne of Wablyn was the ancestor of Robert Blake Lord High Admiral. William Blake was the son of David Blake and Joane Mallet. The line then continues back to John Blake and Margaret Dyncham/Dinham/Denham first wife of John who was a son of Robert Blake and Avis Wallop. This David is not mentioned in the will of his father John and the citation is often made that this John did not have any male heirs of his name with his heirs in his will being his step son Richard Dauntsey and his daughter Jane Wroughtone nee Blake.  A confusing item that I hope to work on when next we are in England. Working out the timeline the John (son of William Blake of Lacock and Margaret Browne of Wablyn) would be the father of Humphrey Blake buried at Overstowey in 1558. No will has been discovered at this time for this John Blake.

An interesting bit of history from British History Online which has information on the property where Humphrey Blake (the testator) lived:
MILKHOUSE BRIDGE and Birding Bush fields and Crabtree and Three Acre closes formed a 27-a. estate in the north-west. (fn. 99) A 99-year lease was assigned in 1651 by Thomas Dunstervile, haberdasher, to Edward Trussell and in 1654 by Trussell to Humphrey Blake. (fn. 1) In 1680 Blake's children Robert and Ann, wife of Christopher Todd, sold the lease to James Smithsby, woollen draper of Westminster, who bought the freehold from the Wentworths in 1681. Smithsby was soon succeeded by his daughters Margaret, wife of Sir Francis Head, and Ann, wife of Sir Hans Hamilton, Bt., whose portion, the easternmost, was in 1703 'Hambletons land'. (fn. 2) Ann's daughter Ann (d. 1771), wife of James Campbell, left her moiety to Margaret's descendants. Margaret (d. 1732) was succeeded by her son Sir John Head (d. 1769), whose moiety passed to his widow Jane and then to the daughters of his sister Ann Egerton, Charlotte (d. 1770), wife of William Hammond, and Jemima, wife of Edward Brydges, who inherited Ann Campbell's portion. Some 6½ a. were sold to John Allport in 1789 but most of the estate was still held in fractions by members of the Hammond and Brydges families in 1848, when they gave the site for St. Thomas's church in Nova Scotia Gardens. (fn. 3)

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 9 Nov 2012
Source: The National Archives PROB 11/360/154
Testator: Humphrey Blake, gentleman of Saint Giles without Cripplegate
Place: Middlesex, England
Type of Record: Will
Dated: 8 Jun 1679, probated 9 Jul 1679
Read: Electronic copy images
Condition: middle English writing legible, copy a little smudged

[Margin]: Humphrus Blake

1    Know all men by these presents that
2    I Humphery Blake the elder of this parish of St Giles without Cripplegate in the County of
3    Middlesex gent being sick and weake in Body but of perfect mind and memory
4    (Praised to God) yet considering with myselfe the Certainity of death and
5    the uncertainty of the hour of its approach doe therefore (for the Better
6    Composing of my mind and disposing of my Estate) make and declare this my
7    last Will and Testament in manner and forme following First and
8    principally And Before all Earthly Concernements I Committ my soule to
9    God that gave it And my body to the Earth when God shall please to call
10    mee home hopeing in the mercy of God through Jesus Christ to enjoy a
11    Joyfull Resurrection att the last day Item I doe give and bequeath unto my
12    sonne and daughter Robert Blake and Anne Blake All and Singuler my
13    leases houses messuages or Tenements with their appurten[an]ces goods and Chattells
14    whatsoever and wheresoever Equally betweene them share and share alike And
15    I doe hereby name make and ordaine my aforesaid Sonne and daughter
16    Robert Blake and Anne Blake Joynt Executors of this my last will and
17    Testament And doe hereby utterly renounce revoake and Annulatate all former
18    other wills and testaments wh[at]soever by me at any time heretofore made
19    spoken of before the date hereof And none of them to stand in force But this
20    my
    [Page 2]
21    Last Will and Testament onely In witnessesse therefore I the said humphery Blake
22    the Testator have hereunto sett my hand and seale Dated the Eighth day of June
23    Anno D[o]m[ini] 1679 And in the one and thirtieth yeare of the Reigne of King
24    Charles the Second of England etc humefry Blake Signed sealed published
25    pronounced declared and delivered by the said humphery Blake as Testator at his
26    date and declared as and for his very last will and Testament in the presence of us (after
27    twice overe writing the word humphrey and twice interlining the word Robert in
28    the stead thereof Law: Hackett Henry Chandler Ambrose Wade
29    Item I doe give and bequith unto my sonne William Blake and unto my
30    daughter Sarah the summe of Tenn shillings a peece for Rings And declare and
31    appoint this to be part of my will Witnes my hand and Seale the Tenth of June
32    1679 The marke of the said humphrey Blake Witnesses hereunto Law: Hackett
33    Elizabeth Speltsweth and the said Ambrose Wade

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