Monday, January 7, 2013

Blake Pedigree Chart - Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office

The top entry on the Blake Pedigree Chart held at the Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office includes a notation as follows:

 R[ichard] Blake gave certain Lands in Essex to the Knights Templars in the Regis of King Edw I which  may be seen by the Records in the Tower of London _ilt Esc[h]aetr 31 Ed I no 77

Interestingly I do find a grant of Land in Eastwood by Roger le Blake of Madebrook to the Knights Templars 20 Nov 1302 listed in the holdings of The National Archives (UK). The summary "Roger le Blake of Madebrook to grant land in Eastwood to the master and brethren of the Knights Templars in England, retaining a cottage and land in Thundersley and Eastwood. Essex" C 143/41/23 with date 31 Edward I. Obviously this one is a must as it relates to the Pedigree Chart. It is possible to find Eastwood and Thundersley on Google maps in Essex  and Madebrook is now the name of a pub located in Madeley which is near Telford in Shropshire.The pub looks quite ancient actually and I wonder if a history has ever been done of that pub.

What makes this quite fascinating is the location of a Roger le Blake in Shropshire which is really in the region of the Welsh Marshes where we also find individuals like the Earl of Pembroke in the 1100s. Could this Roger le Blake be a descendant of the Blake who is said to have been with the Earl of Pembroke ( at the time that the King of Leinster (deposed) sought the help of the English to gain back his kingdom in Ireland 1167 - 1170)? I expect that the retainers of the Earl of Pembroke were well reimbursed for their efforts both in Ireland and in England. The land was granted by Roger le Blake in 1302 which is 130 years later and probably as much as four to five generations in the Blake family.

Remembering that this chart was created in 1690 (with additions in the early part of the 1700s) by the College of Arms using the Visitations which only take the Blake family at Calne back to Robert Blake and Avis Wallop the ancestors of Robert would have been by word of mouth and any documents that could be found. Resolving the dilemma of Roger le Blake and Richard Blaake/Blague/Blake who appear by these documents to be the same man as well as Robert de Blakeland who is said to have paid subsidy in 1286 and also be named as the head of this family will be an interesting project. I must purchase the information from the College of Arms on this early part of the family which they hold according to the Pedigree Chart. However there are 68 documents on the Blake family from 1000 to 1400 and these documents are from a number of different areas of England most of them not Wiltshire.

Another interesting find whilst searching British History online - Calne

This set of 33 documents from the 11th to the 19th century is a fascinating read. Blackland has ten pages but the only mention of Blake in these ten pages is a manor at Compton Bassett called Blake's. Is Blacklands the Blakelands referred to by earlier family histories of the Blake family produced by descendants in the United States? It is very close to Calne. Blake's at Compton Bassett was held by John Blake (died 1504 and brother to Robert Blake father of Roger Blake). This property passed into the Dauntsey family (grandson of John Blake by his daughter). It was not called Blake's until later at least by 1557 according to the British History Online writeup.

"In 1500 John Blake (d. 1504) held an estate later called BLAKE'S. His heirs were his daughter Joan Wroughton and his grandson Richard Dauntsey. (fn. 84) Richard held Blake's at his death in 1557 and was succeeded by his son William, (fn. 85) who sold it in 1588 to Francis Shute. (fn. 86) "

"A fulling mill in Quemerford belonged to Robert Blake (d. 1515) (fn. 76) and was on the estate at Quemerford conveyed by Robert's grandson Thomas Blake to Henry Chivers in 1560. A new mill at Quemerford was built in 1594, or perhaps shortly before then, by Roger Chivers, who held the estate conveyed in 1560. (fn. 77) "

Searching for Quemerford in the National Archives does reveal a number of documents but nothing with the Blake name. But it is interesting that Robert Blake had a fulling mill. Very little is known about Robert Blake and his wife Avis Wallop but he did have a coat of arms and the stained glass window produced as a likeness of he and his wife was drawn and this drawing is held by the British Library. The stained glass window was destroyed during a wind storm in the 17th century. The Blake Pedigree Chart also contains two drawings of two different couples - the first drawing is of Robert Blake and Alice Folyot (rather think this is meant to be Wallop) because the caption above talks about this being in the "Chancell of Calne." This chart was produced in 1690 with later additions but was produced after the stained glass window was destroyed. Since they are both under copyright I can not reproduce them here but they can be acquired from the Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office for a very reasonable price as part of the entire Pedigree Chart.

When next we are at the National Archives there is one document that I want to acquire C 241/243/39 18 Aug 1460 and it concerns John Blake of Nether Wallop and Robert Blake of Calne (these two men are brothers). It may prove rather interesting as it is prior to 1504 when Robert becomes seized of Pinhills on the death of his brother John. There is a second document involving Robert Blake in 1460 between Robert Blake of Calne and a John Bridewell C 241/244/5. They are on my wish list and may tell me more about Robert Blake in 1460. 

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