Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Will of Peter Blake of the Inner Temple - National Archives PROB 11/144/56, probated 7 Jul 1624

This Peter Blake testator of the following will is well known to me in terms of his family line. He is on the Blake Pedigree Chart held at the Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office and was the son of William Blake and Avice Ripley. On this chart he was listed as the third son with John being the eldest and William the second son. They have one sister Agnes married to Roger Hyde according to the chart. His initial reference to Arthur, Roberte, Francis, William and Richard Blake is helpful in placing him as well as they are the grandsons of his brother John married to Margaret Blake. His nephew (and the eldest son of John and Margaret) was married to Eleanor Hall. I think he is actually the brother of Margaret and that John is the son of William Blake and Elizabeth also of Eastontown. Because of the marriage of John and Margaret I do not feel that these two William Blakes (both listed as being at Eastontown) are the same person - I just feel strongly that there were two Blake families at Eastontown.

The reference to his cousins William Blake and William Rolfe is also interesting Sarah was the eldest and only daughter of John and Margaret Blake and she married William Rolfe son of Thomas Rolfe of Enford, Wiltshire. Confusion arises because Peter refers to William as his cousin instead of his nephew in law. The William Blake he refers to as cousin appears to be William Blake of Halehouse and from the Visitation of Middlesex (1634, 1663) this William is said to be the son of John and Margaret Blake (he married Mary Beverley) and was a Justice of the peace in Middlesex County. This visitation is unsigned with no dating so it is difficult to use with respect to establishing a time line. William son of John and Margaret would be a nephew to the testator. Why he refers to these two men as his cousins and the children of Thomas as the children of his nephew is perhaps just a measure of the time. Peter in 1624 is probably fairly old. Two of his great nephews are old enough to be executors (so 21 years of age or more) and that is Arthur and Robert. Trying to put an age to Peter is helpful at this point in time.

Moving to the Visitation of Surrey 1662-68 the youngest son of Thomas and Eleanor Blake is the respondent and signer for this visitation. He has a daughter 10 months old in 1662 and he is Captain of the Trained Bands in the County of Middlesex. Putting his age around 30 years would give him a date of birth of 1632 which is incorrect as he is listed as one of the legatees in his great Uncle's will (present testator Peter Blake) and so was born at least by 1624 and hence at least 38 years of age in 1662. He is the sixth child in that family and giving two years difference in age approximate between children would see the eldest Sara being born by 1612 or earlier and hence the marriage of her parents in 1611 or earlier. Giving her father the age of 25 at marriage would place his date of birth around 1586 or earlier which brings us back to John and Margaret Blake and Thomas was their eldest son with a likely older daughter Frances and thus John and Margaret were likely married by 1583 or earlier which then takes us back to William Blake who left his will in 1582 and did not mention any grandchildren which may just be a clue with regard to ages. If John was 25 when he married Margaret he would have been born by 1558 and all of the children of William Blake leaving his will in 1582 were adults. John was the eldest child of ten children and estimate two years between children and John was likely born by 1540. Perhaps one can understand why William was so precise in stating that the property which he was passing to John should then pass on to the next son and then the next son and all five sons are mentioned since none of them at this point appear to have any children!

One other clue may be helpful and that is from the Oxford University Alumni 1500 - 1886 on Ancestry which lists a Peter Blake being awarded his BA 10 Oct 1564. The average age was 18 to 20 for full matriculation but could be as low as 14 which would give a date of birth for Peter of 1544 - 1546. and would make him 78 years old when his will was written and probated. There are not enough details though in the Oxford Alumnus to determine that this is the Peter Blake of the Inner Temple who left his will in 1624.

His comment that Thomas Blake of Eastenton was Thomas Blake the elder is also interesting. None of Thomas' sons were called Thomas (Arthur, Robert, Francis, William and Richard). There was another Thomas Blake at Eastontown and he was the son of  William Blake and Elizabeth (unknown) the parents I believe of John Blake married to Margaret Blake who was I believe a sister to Peter Blake. However, that Thomas would have been older than this Thomas. Another Thomas at Eastontown was the son of William (next oldest brother to John)' son. These were the children of William Blake and Anne Tutt namely Nicholas, Thomas, Sara, Anne and Mary. The only problem with that is this William is also not the son of William Blake and Avis Ripley but rather the son of William and Elizabeth Blake at Eastontown although does appear to be so on the Pedigree Chart. The William brother to Peter Blake does not have any information on the Visitation for Middlesex other than Willm. Blake vide Southampton which literally means William Blake "see" or "refer to" Southampton.  Could this be a William Blake who lives at Southampton the city? That thought has just occurred to me. I have the Hearth Tax for 1665 which is 41 years later but there are two William Blakes living in Southampton one at St Lawrence and the other at All Saints (within the bar). Unfortunately these William Blakes did not leave any wills maintained at The National Archives.There are wills for William Blake held by the Hampshire Record Office in the period following 1665 but not for the Southampton area (meaning City not county).

There was also a Peter Blake son of William and Elizabeth Blake about whom I have no other information than that he was still living in 1682 when his father's will was written and probated. He does not appear to be mentioned by his brother's in their wills but for the most part they do not mention siblings. Some researchers believe that the Peter Blake testator in this will is the son of William and Elizabeth rather than the son of William Blake and Avis Ripley as shown on the Blake Pedigree Chart. His relationship to John Blake and Margaret Blake remains quite similar in that he is a brother/brother in law to them. 

One might think that the other Blake families descendant of William and Margaret Blake at Eastontown might mention this Peter in their wills if they were related but they do not plus William brother to this Peter lived in Middlesex at Hale's House whereas the William son of William and Elizabeth Blake lived in the Andover area. Hence I do continue to believe that there are two distinct William Blake families at Eastontown (three farms are shown at Eastontown on the old maps) and that they may or may not be related. They become related indirectly through the marriage of John Blake and Margaret Blake.

The dating of this will and the date of probate are a bit strange but that is how they read. It could be that there was a transcription error in the will and it should have been June instead of July. Impossible to tell that nearly four hundred years later!

Transcription: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 26th October 2010
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/144/56
Testator: Peter Blake
Place: Inner Temple, London, England
Type of Record: Will
Dated: 22 Jul 1624, Probated 7 Jul 1624
Read: Electronic copy
Condition: scan, smudges, old English writing good, light, 17th century

T[estator] Petri Blake

1    In the name of God Amen
2    The two and twentieth daie of July in the two and twentieth yeare of the Raigne of our Soveraigne
3    Lord Kinge James etc Anno D[o]m[in]i one thousand six hundred twentie foure. I Peter Blake of the Inner
4    Temple London Esq[uire] being sick in bodie but of perfect memorie thanks bee therefore given unto
5    God doe therefore make and ordaine this my last will and testament in manner followinge
6    (That is to saie First and principallie I commend my soule unto Almightie God and my heavenly
7    Father Trusting through Jesus Christ my Redeemer to receive remission of sinnes and life everlasting
8    And my bodie to the earth from whence I came to be buried in Christian Buriall, thereto remaine
9    untill the resurrection of all fleshe which I believe and expecte. And as touching my Temporall
10    estate First I give and devise unto Arthure Blake Roberte Blake Francis Blake William Blake
11    and Richard Blake sonnes of my nephew Mr. Thomas Blake the elder of Eastenton in the Countie of
12    South[amp]ton, and to their heires All my Messuages Lands tenements rents and hereditaments whatsoev[er]
13    with their appurtenances in Andover in the County of South[ampto]n (except hereafter excepted)
14    And my will and meaning is That if and of the said parties before named shall dye before hee
15    attaines to the age of one and twentie yeares. That then the said lands and premisses shall whollie
16    remaine and bee unto and amongst the survivor and survivors of them in equall parts provided
17    alwaies that the yearlie somme and paiement, or rent charge, of six pounds of currant Englishe
18    monie shal[l ]be issuing and paieable out of the premisses yearlie for the releife of the poore of the
19    severall parishes of Andever S[ain]te Dunstane in the west, London, and Ludgershill in Wiltesh[ire] Whereof
20    the more parte to bestowed on the poore of Andever in such wise in particular as I have related
21    to my cosen Rolfe in the severall cradies of bread weaite and monie Provided that it shal[l ]be lawfull
22    to the severall Churchwardens of eavery of the said parishes for the time beinge for not payment
23    of the said yearlie sommes to them intended by this my will at the feast of Th[e ]annunciation yearly
24    to distraine upon the said lands and premisses for the same as the lawe will permitt Provided
25    alwaies and my will and meaning is That my Cozen William Blake Esq[uire] and William Rolfe
26    and the survivor of them, during the minoritie of the said Legatees and of everie of them shall have
27    the whole disposition and manageing of the rents and profitts of the premisses respectively
28    to the use of the said to be accomptable when they shall severallie come to the age of one
29    and twentie yeares, Item I give to the poore of S[ain]te Dustone twentie shillings to be delivered
30    att the Churche doore of the Temple on my funerall daie where I desire to bee buried Item I
31    give to my cozen William Blake the elder of Halehouse, and to the heires males of his bodie and
32    ye remainder to my executors and their heires my towne house in Andever in the tenure of one
33    Binsen and Hitchcock with the appurtenances upon condition, That the same be nowe
34    built acording to the covenants betwene me and Barnard Calverte Item my will and meaning
35    is that the said somme or yearlie paiement, by me intended to the said poore of Andever, shal[l ]be
36    distributed to them, of the poorest sorte, such as shal[l ]be thought fitt by the Bayliffe and
37    Churchwardens there, Item I give to the said Arthure Roberte William Francis and Richard
    [Page 2]
38    Blake all my goodes and chattells whatsoever, to be disposed as aforesaid during their minority
39    and I doe hereby name and ordaine them the said Arthure Roberte Francis William and Richard
40    Blake executors of this my last will and testament, And my said Cozens William Blake and
41    William Rolfe to be overseers In Witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale the daie
42    and yeare above said. The mark of P. Blake Sealed, published and declared the daie and
43    yeare within written as the last will and testament of the said Peter Blake in the presence
44    of Will: Rolfe Hen: Carswall The marke of Margaret Johnson

No comments: