Monday, April 8, 2013

Will of Lydia Blake, Spinster, Cookham Berkshire - The National Archives PROB 11/2168/394, probated 28 Mar 1853

Lydia Blake is the Testator and she lives at Cookham, Berkshire. Lydia Blake baptized 25 Nov 1804 at Cookham, Berkshire daughter of William Blake. Is William the father mentioned in the will. Lydia would be 43 when she wrote her will. Her niece and nephew are under 21 years which would seem appropriate to this age for Lydia.

Using Family Search I found the following baptisms for William Blake and Lydia's children at Cookham, Berkshire:

Sarah baptized 8 Jan 1797
Phoebe baptized 26 May 1799
John baptized 15 Feb 1801
William baptized 13 Feb 1803
Lydia baptized 25 Nov 1804
Fanny baptized 30 Aug 1807
Mary baptized 14 May 1809

Lydia mentions siblings Fanny living at Reading, John, Mary and Martha.

There is a Martha on the 1841 census living at Cookham and her date of birth is given as 1816. This does bring up a family grouping at Cookham Village which includes:

William Blake, male, 70, 1771, not born in Berkshire
Lydia Blake, female, 65, 1776, not born in Berkshire
Lydia Blake, female, 35, 1806, born in Berkshire
Fanny Blake, female, 30, 1811, born in Berkshire
Mary Blake, female, 30, 1811, born in Berkshire
Martha Blake, female, 25, 1816, born in Berkshire
John Blake, male, 9, 1832, not born in Berkshire
Sarah Blake, female, 6, 1835, not born in Berkshire.

This would appear to be the family that is also on Family Search with the children that are missing being namely Sarah, Phoebe, John and William. Since Sarah, Phoebe and William are not mentioned in the will they have perhaps died. John and his wife are not listed in this census. The children mentioned in the will as the children of John are named John William and Lydia and they were not born in Berkshire. Sarah aged 6 must be another daughter who did not survive.

Looking for a marriage of William and Lydia circa 1795-1796 and there is a marriage for William Blake and Lydia Thompson 24 Jan 1795 at Cookham Berkshire, England (M00865-1, Family Search).

There are two possibilities for John William Blake:

John William Blake, born 8 May 1832 and baptized 10 Jun 1832 at Trevor chapel, Arthur Street Independent, Westminster, London with parents John Blake and Betsy Gurney

John William Blake, baptized 13 Oct 1833 at Saint Michael Paternoster, London with parents John Blake and Emma.

Marriage of John Blake and Emma Colvin took place 10 Oct 1831 at Spitalfields Christ Church, Stepney, London. I could not locate a marriage for John Blake and Betsy Gurney. There is also a marriage at Reading Berkshire for a John Blake and Elizabeth Hill 26 Feb 1831 by banns with witnesses Isaac Margetts, Mary Hill.

There is a birth for Lydia Blake daughter of John and Elizabeth Blake baptized 24 Jan 1847 at Cheriton Hampshire. The only other Lydia in Family Search fitting the criteria was baptized 15 Feb 1847 (or 1846) at Minstead Hampshire and the daughter of John and Lydia Blake. 

With William and Lydia marrying at Cookham there aren't any clues pointing to a birthplace for William Blake. Family Search presents 7658 results for a William blake born in England between 1765 and 1775.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 8 Apr 2013
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/2168/394
Testator:  Lydia Blake, Spinster
Place: Cookham, Berkshire, England
Type of Record: Will
Date of document: 26 Mar 1847, probated 28 Mar 1853
Read: Electronic copy images
Condition: 19th century English, legible copy

[Margin]: Lydia
[Margin]: Blake
[Margin]: 13

1    This is the Will of me Lydia Blake of
2    Cookham in the County of Berks Spinster I desire to be buried at the
3    Parish Church of Cookham with plainness and privacy I appoint Mr
4    Robert Walker of Maidenhead Berkshire Druggist Executor and
5    Trustee of this my Will I devise my freehold dwelling house and premises
6    at Cookham aforesaid which I purchased of the Trustees of my late Father
7    and all other my real Estate (if any) unto and to the use of the said Robert
8    Walker his heirs and assigns Upon trust as soon as conveniently may be
9    after my decease to sell my said freehold premises and my other real estate
10    or any part thereof together or in parcels by public auction or private con-
11    tract and to do all such acts requisite for effecting or facilitating any sale
12    pursuant to this trust I bequeath My Personal Estate and Effects
13    of every kind unto the said Robert Walker his executors administrators
14    and assigns Upon trust to convert into money get in and receive so much
15    thereof as shall not consist of ready money or of such investments in
16    stocks funds or securities as he or they shall think it desirable to continue
17    And I direct the said Robert Walker or other my trustee or trustees for the
18    time being to receive the money to arise from the execution of the trusts
19    hereinbefore declared concerning my real and personal estates and any
20    rents or profits which may arise from my real estate before a sale thereof
21    and stand possessed thereof together with the stocks funds and securities to
22    be continued as last aforesaid Upon trust in the first place to pay and
23    discharge thereout my just debts and funeral and testamentary expences
24    and in the next place to retain or pay thereout to the respective persons
25    hereinafter named the respective Legacies or sums of money following
26    (that is to say) To himself the said Robert Walker the sum of Five
27    pounds as an acknowledgement for the trouble of executing the trusts of
28    this my Will To my sister Fanny Blake of Reading Twenty pounds
30    To my brother John Blake Fifty pounds to my nephew John William
31    Blake and my Niece Lydia Blake the children of my said brother John
32    Fifty pounds to be equally divided between them and the share of each
    [Page 2]
33    to be vested in and payable to him or her at the age of twenty one years
34    But in case either of them should happen to die in my lifetime or should
35    survive me and die under the age of twenty one years then I direct that
36    the whole of the said sum of fifty pounds or such part thereof as shall
37    not have been applied for their benefit during minority by my trustee or
38    trustees under the power hereinafter given shall be paid to the survivor
39    of the said children on his or her attaining twenty one And upon further
40    trust to pay or divide the surplus which after satisfying the said debts and
41    legacies and all expences incident to the execution of the trusts hereby
42    created shall remain in the hands of my trustee or trustees of the said
43    trust monies stocks funds and securities unto and equally between my
44    sisters Mary Blake and Martha Blake their executors administrators
45    or assigns the share of each of my said sisters to be enioyed and disposed of
46    by her as separate property free from the control of any future husband
47    and her receipt to be a sufficient discharge to my trustee or trustees for the
48    same I direct that the legacy hereinbefore given to each of the children of
49    my brother John shall not carry interest during his or her minority
50    but I authorize my trustee or trustees in his or their discretion to apply
51    the whole or any part of the legacy of each such child and the interest
52    and accumulations arising from any investment thereof for the main-
53    tenance education and advancement in life or otherwise for the benefit
54    of the same child during minority in such manner as my trustee or
55    trustees shall think proper I empower the trustee or trustees for the
56    time being of this my Will to give receipts for all moneys and effects to be
57    paid or delivered to him or them by virtue of my Will and declare that
58    such receipts shall exonerate the person taking the same from liability
59    to see to the application or disposition of the money or effects therein
60    mentioned I declare that if the said Robert Walker or any person or
61    persons to be appointed a trustee or trustees of my Will under this clause
62    shall die or be unwilling or incompetent to execute the trusts of this
63    my Will it shall be lawful for my said sisters Mary and Martha
64    during their ioint lives and after the death of either of them for the survi-
65    vor her executors or administrators to substitute by any writing under
66    their or her hands or hand any fit person or persons in whom alone or
67    as the case may be iointly with the surviving or continuing trustee
68    or trustees my trust estate shall be vested and who shall have and may
69    exercise all the powers and trusts of this my Will as if he or they had been
70    herein nominated instead of the said Robert Walker And I exempt
71    every Trustee of my Will from liability for losses occurring without his
72    own wilful default and authorize him to retain and allow to his Co-
73    trustee (if any) all expences incidental to the trusteeship Lastly I revoke
74    all other Wills and declare this only to be my Will In witness whereof
75    I have hereto set my hand the twenty sixth day of March one thousand
76    eight hundred and forty seven Lydia Blake
77    Signed and declared by the testatrix Lydia Blake as her Will in the
78    presence of us (both present at the same time) who in her presence at her
79    request and in the presence of each other have hereto subscribed our
80    names as witnesses Fay Toutlane Maidenhead Berks
81    Mary Bix Cockham Berks
82    Proved at London 28th March 1853 before the Worshipful
83    Frederic Thomas Pratt Doctor of Laws and Surrogate by the oath of
84    Robert Walker the said Executor to whom admon was granted having
85    been first sworn duly to administer

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