Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Will of George Blake, Gentleman, Plymstock - The National Archives PROB 11/244/607, probated 16 Aug 1655

Will of George Blake and this is the third of 25 Devon wills that I will be transcribing over the next month or so. I know of three Blake lines in Devon; I do not know if they are related although it is possible that one is descendant of the Somerset Blake family and one of the Hampshire Blake family. Were they related? That is one of the many reasons for the yDNA study of the Blake family and as it slowly grows we are on a voyage of discovery trying to learn more about the deep ancestry of this very interesting British Isles family. 

As mentioned in the will of Ferdinando Blake, George is the first cousin once removed of the testator Ferdinand Blake whose will was probated last:

From the Visitation of Devon 1620 and signed by John Blake the father of this George the testator, John Blake father of George married Dorithie Wood and they had four sons and three daughters namely: John (bc 1608), George, Nicholas and Edward and Suzan, Elizabeth and Jane. George is born before 1620 and probably closer to 1608 so is probably in his 40s when he died. George’s father and Ferdinand were half brothers in that Ferdinand was the son of John Blake and Mary Fortescue and John was the son of John Blake and Elizabeth Slannig (John was actually married a third time to Grace Cock). John the father of John (eldest) and Ferdinand 2nd son was himself the son of John Blake and Stivolla Weeke and in turn this John was the son of John Blake also of Comb and Elizabeth Lugar. Using a somewhat arbitrary scale of 25 years to a generation and knowing that George’s brother was 12 at the taking of the Visitation then his father John was born circa 1583, his father John was born circa 1558 and his father John would be born circa 1533. Investigating the Parish Registers for Combe may be a good next step to look at this particular Blake family. They married primarily into Devon families.

Always nice to link families together and indeed as mentioned in the will of Ferdinand his son Ferdinand sold the property at Combe in 1663/64. The Blake family in Devon can be found at Combe and at North Molton but also in the Plymouth area as likely founding families (although they could have migrated to Devon from elsewhere).

The marriage of William Coram and Jana Blake was celebrated 28 Oct 1639 at Buckland Monachorum, Devon. There was a William Coram son of William baptized 7 Mar 1644 at Ottery St Mary. This Jana Blake is a sister to George the testator and is presumably Jane.

There are references at the beginning and the end of the will in the margin possibly referring to land dealings with respect to Combe in 1666 noting that the eventual inheritor of the land was to be the son of Ferdinand - Ferdinand and that in 1663/64 Ferdinand and his wife Ruth sold the property. There were apparently court cases involving this particular piece of property for a number of years following the sale of the property to the Fortescue family (noting that the grandmother of the seller (mother of Ferdinand the testator in the will published earlier) was Mary Fortescue.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 24 Jun 2013
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/244/607
Testator: George Blake, Gentleman
Place: Plymstock, Devon, England
Type of Record: Will
Date of document: 20 May 1654, probated 16 Aug 1655
Condition: 17th century English, legible copy

[Margin]: T[estament] Georij
[Margin]: Blake
[Margin]: ______________________ 1666

1    In the Name of God Amen
2    I George Blake of Combe within the parishe of
3    of Plymstock in the Countie of Devon gent beinge sicke of
4    bodie but perfect of minde and sound of memorie Thanks
5    be unto God and knowinge it is appointed that all men
6    might dye and nothinge more certaine then death but
7    The tyme when where and howe most uncertaine
8    therefore whiles God hath given me time and life I
9    doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Testamewnt
10    in manner and forme following First I commend my
11    Sowle into the hands of the Everliving God my Creator And my
12    Bodie to the Earth the mother of all mankind Trusting assuredly
13    that through the merits and bloudy passion of Jesus Christ
14    myne onely Saviour and Redeemer both Sowle and bodye shall
15    at the general day of resurrection be againe reunited and enioy
16    everlasting blessedness in his heavenly kingdome for evermore
17    And touching my reall and personal estate which God in his
18    great mercie hath blessed me withal I doe thereof dispose and
19    bequeath the same as followeth First I give unto the poore
20    people of Plymstocke aforesaid Twenty shillings to be distributed
21    amongst them by myne Executrix hereafter named in suich
22    manner as she shall thincke fit And whereas my beloved wife
23    Johan Blake
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24    Johan Blake is to have an enioye one annuitye or yearelie rent
25    charge of Fiftie poundes to be issuing and payeable unto her
26    after my death dureing her life out of all that my Capitall messuage
27    Barton Farme lands and Tenements commonly called or knowne by the
28    name of Combe otherwise Combe Pryors and Lower Combe situate
29    lyinge within the said parishe of Plymstock and nowe in the tenure
30    possession or occupant[i]on of me the said George Blake mine Under-
31    tenants or assignes I doe nowe in recompence of her love and
32    faithfulness towards me and for her better preferment and livelihood
33    give devise and bequeath unto the said Johane my loveinge wife
34    All the said Capitall messuage Barton Farme Tenements
35    and all houses edifices buildinges courtledges gardens
36    orchards lands meadowes leasows pasture woods underwoodes
37    wasts ways pathes waters watercourses easements priviledges
38    profits commodityes and hereditaments with thappurtenancs to
39    the said Capitall messuage Barton and farme or to any or
40    either of them incident belonging or in any wise apperteyninge
41    To have and to hould the same unto my said loveinge wife
42    ymmediately from and after my death for and dureing the tearms
43    of her life Provided it shalbe lawfull for the said Johane to get
44    the same premises or any yt thereof to any person or persons for the terme of twentie years lease
45    or under at her pleasure And after her death my Will and meaning
46    is and I doe hereby give and devise all the said Capitall messuage
47    Barton and Farme of Combe otherwise called Combe Pryors
48    and Lower Combe and all other thaforesaid premises and every
49    part and parcel thereof with thappurtenancs to my nephew
50    William Corham sonne of my sister Joane late the wife of
51    William Corham deceased To have and to hould the same
52    unto my said nephew William Corham his Executors
53    administrators and Assignes ymediatelie from and after the death
54    of the said Johane my wife for and duringe the tenure of
55    fower score and nyneteene yeares then next ensueinge fullie
56    to be complete and ended if the said William Corham my
57    nephew and such women as shalbe his wife at the time of his
58    death and his eldest child w[hi]ch shalbe liveinge at the time of
59    his death or any or either of them soe longe shall happen to live
60    they yeildinge and paying then therefore yearelie unto such as
61    shalbe myne heires and assignes thereof the annuall rent of
62    fower poundes lawfull money of England at fower the most
63    usuall Feastes in the yeare (that is to saie) The feasts of the
64    Nativitie of St John the Baptist St Michaell Tharkangell
65    the birth of our Lord God and thann[un]cia[t]ion of the blessed Virgin
66    Mary by even and equall por[t]tions to be paid dureing the saide
67    terme The first payment thereof to commence and begin at such
68    of the said feasts as shall first happen next after the death of
69    the said Johane my wife and alsoe repayringe and mainteyninge
70    the said premises and every part thereof in all needful and
71    necessarie reparactions when and as often as neede shalbe And
72    towards the reparations thereof it shall and may be lawfull
73    to and for my said nephew his Executors and Assignes to have
74    and take sufficient and necessarie houseboote and great timber
75    plougheboote, fireboote, hayboote, hedgeboote Frith and stukey
76    of the Trees woodes and underwoodes in and upon the premises
77    growing or hereafter to be growing when and as often as
78    neede shalbe without delivery doeing noe voluntarie wast Alsoe
    [Page 3]
79    I give and bequeath unto my neece Joane Corham sister of the said
80    William Corham Fiftie poundes lawfull money of England To be
81    paid unto her out of the profits and issues of the said Brixton
82    Farme and lands of Combe by the said William Corham her
83    brother his Executors or Assignes within twoe yeares next after
84    the Comencement of the estate and terme to him hereby devised of
85    and in the said Capitall messuage Barton and Farme called Combe
86    otherwise Combe Pryors as above said And lastlie I give and devise
87    unto my Cosen Ferdinando Blake of Brixton sonne and heire of
88    Ferdinando Blake deceased this heritance and rever[s]ion of all the
89    Said Capitall messuage Barton and Farme called Combe otherwise
90    Combe Pryor and Lower Combe and all houses edifices buildings
91    courtledges gardens orchards lands Tenements meadowes leasues pastures woods
92    underwoods rents wasts commons ways pathes waters waterroutes
93    easements profits comodityes and hereditaments with thappurten[an]cs
94    to the said Capitall messuage Barton and Farme in any wise
95    incident belonginge to apperteyninge To have and to hould the
96    Same unto the said Ferdinando Blake his heires and Assignes
97    for ever Provided always and upon Condicion nevertheless That if
98    the said Ferdinando Blake his heires and Assignes or any of them
99    doe or shall at any time hereafter question or make any entrie
100    clayme title or demand whatsoever in or to any messuages lands or
101    tenements wherefor or wherein John Blake grandfather of me the
102    Said George nowe deceased had any estate at the time of his deathe
103    or Concerne or presente or consent to the comencinge or p[er]secutings
104    of any action or suite either in lawe or equitie of or touching the
105    Same messuages lands or Tenements or any part thereof That
106    then and from thenceforth this my gifte and devise of the said
107    Capitall messuage Barton and Farme called Combe otherwise
108    Combe Pryor and Lower Combe and of all other the premises thereunto
109    belonging unto the said Ferdinando Blake and his heires and
110    assignes by this my last Will and Testament shalbe voyd and
111    of nowe effect to allow any intention purpose And that then and
112    from thenceforth thinheritance and reversion in Force of the said
113    Capitall messuage Barton and Farme called Combe and of all other the said
114    landes and premises thereunto belonging shall remaine come and
115    be to my right heires for ever and that is shalbe lawfull for of them into
116    they owne to enter and do possesse and enioye the same to them and them having
117    forever allowing thestates hereby devised unto my said wife and
118    nephew William Corham dureing the continuances thereof All
119    the residue of my goodes and chattels not hereby formerly given
120    or bequeathed (my debtes beinge paid) I give and bequeath unto
121    the said Johane Blake my beloved wife whome I make and
122    ordaine my whole and sole Executrix of this my last Will and
123    Testament desireing her to give and allowe unto her and my
124    kinswoman Pricilla Pearse meate drincke and lodging in house
125    with her untill she the said Pricilla bee marryed if my said wife
126    live soe longe And I doe nominate and desire my goode friends
127    Mr Thomas Riche Mr Thomas Gale James Mynge and John
128    Candishe to be myne Overseers of this  my last Will and to be
129    aydinge and assisting unto her in the performance thereof
130    In wittnes whereof I have putt my hand and seale hereunto
131    and have published the same to be my last Will and Testament
132    upon the twentieth day of May in the yeare of our Lord
133    according to the Computation of the Church of England one
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134    thousand sixe hundred fiftie and fower in the presence of us after
135    counterlyinge above writing between the sixteenth seaventeenth
136    lynes Geo: Blake Tho Riche Thomas Prynn Silvester Prynn
137    This will was proved at London
138    before the Judges for probate of Wills and granting administra[t]ions
139    the sixteenth day of August in the yeare of our Lord God one thousand
140    sixe hundred fiftie five by the oathe of Joane Blake the Relict
141    and sole Executrix named in the last Will and Testament of the
142    said deceased To whome administra[t]ion was permitted She
143    beinge sworne by Commission truly and faithfullie to administer
144    10 July 1666 _______________________ Geo: Gaell

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