Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Will of Elizabeth Blake, spinster, Piddletown, Dorset - The National Archives PROB 11/1016/85, probated 8 Feb 1776

Elizabeth Blake, spinster, is the executrix of this will written in Pidleton, Dorset.

She mentions Sarah the wife of William Fowler who is a Corn chandler. From Webster’s 1828 English dictionary a Corn Chandler is a dealer in corn. Merriam-Webster gives the definition as a retailer of grain and allied products. World English Dictionary in its obsolete British meaning – a retailer of grocery provisions; shopkeeper.

There is a marriage of William Fowler and Sarah Blake 19 Feb 1771 at Saint James, Westminster, London (Family Search M14751-8). 

The other person mentioned is Mary married to Joseph Way.

There are two marriages for a Joseph Way and Mary Blake at Piddletown, Dorset –

Joseph Way married Mary Blake 12 Jan 1750 (Family Search M15989-1)
Joseph Way married Mary Blake 12 Jan 1775 (Family Search M00444-7)

Children baptized at Piddletown to Joseph and Mary Way

Joseph Way baptized 29 Mar 1750

Maria Way baptized 28 Jul 1786
Sarah Way baptized 5 Apr 1778
Betty Way baptized 7 Feb 1781
James Way baptized 3 Mar 1783
Betsy Way baptized 21 Apr 1784

There are two baptisms for Mary Blake 24 Apr 1739 (father Joseph Blake) at Wimborne Minster and 19 Jun 1722 at Melbury-Abbas (parents Robert and Rebecca Blake, Family Search Patron Entry, verified with parish register scan).

There is an Elizabeth Blake baptized 24 Jul 1727 at Melbury-Abbas (parents Robert and Rebecca Blake, Family Search Patron Entry, verified with parish register scan).

Looking at Genuki for Melbury Abbas and it is 18 miles north east of Piddletown although it is quite a direct route through Blandford Forum.

Robert and Rebecca Blake have two more children

Anabella Blake baptized at Melbury-Abbas 14 Aug 1718 (Family Search Patron Entry, verified with parish register scan)
William Blake baptized at Melbury-Abbas 21 Jul 1720 (Family Search Patron Entry, verified with parish register scan)

Looking at Wills proven at Blandford (see OPC Dorset website) by people living in Melbury-Abbas – Robert Blake 1705, Annabella Blake 1723

The OPC Dorset website is a valuable tool as, in the case of my records for Winterborne Clenstone, records are transcribed from the original records. There are no Blake baptisms or marriages  after 1731 at Melbury Abbas. There are however burials with Robert Blake buried 4 Dec 1764 (entry has 4 Dec 1764 Robert Blake buried) and Rebecca Blaker buried 21 Jan 1744 (is this an error and should be Blake?). Will try to investigate that with the Ancestry scans of Dorset.

Robert Blake of Melbury Abbas married Rebeccah Parrot 23 May 1708 at Shaftesbury. There is a period of ten years before there is a child baptized in the records found thus far checking as well on Ancestry for all of the Dorset records that they have listed. I also found on the OPC Dorset site that 23 Mar 1706/1707 Robert Blake of Melbury Abbas married Rebekah Upjohn of Shaftesbury St Rumbold. Working my way through Blandford St Mary I found Hannah Blake of Melbury Abbas married Mathew Pitman of Motcombe 14 Sep 1710. Thomas Blake of Melbury Abbas married Elizabeth Shipman of Melbury Abbas 14 Sep 1719.

An interesting item on Robert Blake of Melbury Abbas. From The Registers of Wadham College, Oxford Part I from 1613 to 1719 edited with biographical notes by the Rev Robert Barlow Gardiner, MA, FSA, published London: George Bell and Sons, York Street, Covent Garden. 1889.:

Robert Blake Commoner 17 Oct 1661 (Dorchester) Caution Money received 22 Oct 1661 repaid by Bursar Bury. Possibly Robert Blake of Melbury Abbas, died 1705 (Hutchins, III. 565). He does not appear to have been admitted; does not appear to have received a degree at any time.

In another book held by the University of Illinois library (Admissions to Trinity College, Cambriodge Vol. III, 1701 to 1800, Edited by W W Rouse Ball and J A Venn, MacMillan and Co., Limited. St. Martin’s Street, London. 1911) and in text loose on the web I found this entry:

Blake, John. Son of Robert Blake of Melbury Abbas, Dorsetshire. School, Shaftesbury, Dorsetshire (Mr Gwin). Age 18. Subsizar, July 14, 1702. Tutor, Mr Cressar. Matriculated, 1702; Bromley Sizar, 1704; B.A. 1706. This under Trinity College admissions 1702.

Another entry also under Trinity College Admissions but 1759. William, Blake. Son of Benjamin Blake of Jamaica. School, Abingdon, Berkshire (Dr Abbot). Age 18. Pensioner, October 6, 1759. Tutor, Mr Backhouse. Matriculated, 1759. Did not graduate.

A third entry for Trinity College Admissions 1788. Blake, William. Son of William Blake of London. School, Charterhouse, London (Dr Berdmore)., Age 14. Pensioner, July 21`, 1788. Tutor, Mr Collier. Matriculated 1789; scholar 1791, BA 1793; Fellow 1795; MA 1796.

The question at hand is, of course, who is Robert Blake at Melbury Abbas? He has a son John born in 1684 and he himself having applied to Trinity in 1661 likely around 16 years of age plus or minus 2 years giving him a year of birth of 1645.

Melbury Abbas is just two miles south east of Shaftesbury, Dorset. But also it is 16 miles south west of South Newton where there is a large Blake family. 

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 28 Aug 2013
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/1016/85
Testator: Elizabeth Blake, spinster
Place: Pidleton, Dorset, England
Type of Record: Will
Date of document: 7 Jul 1775, probated 8 Feb 1776
Condition: 18th century English, legible copy

[Margin]: Elizabeth
[Margin]: Blake

1    This is the last Will
2    and Testament of me Elizabeth Blake of Pidletown
3    in the County of Dorset Spinster made and published
4    this seventh day of July in the year of our Lord
5    one thousand seven hundred and seventy five in
6    manner and form following that is to say First I give and
7    bequeath unto Sarah the wife of William Fowler of
8    Swallow Street in the parish of Saint James Westminster
9    Corn Chandler the Sum of Fifty pounds to be paid
10    at the end of six months next after my decease
11    by my Executrix herein after named All the Rest
12    Residue and Remainder of my Chattels Real and
13    personal Estate Monies Securities for moneys and debts
14    of what nature or kind soever or wherersoever lying
15    or being I give and bequeath the same unto
16    Mary the Wife of Joseph Way of Pidletown afores[ai]d
17    Blacksmith and I do hereby constitute and appoint
18    her the said Mary Way Executrix of this my Will
19    Revoking all former Wills by me at any time
20    heretofore made The Mark of Elizabeth Blake
21    Signed sealed published and declared by the said
22    testatrix as and for her last will and Testament who
23    her presence at her request and in presence of each
24    other have subscribed our Names as Witnesses Robt
25    Stickland, James Boswell
26    This Will was proved at London the
27    eighth day of February in the Year of our Lord one
28    thousand seven hundred and seventy six before the
29    Right Worshipful Sir George Hay Knight doctor of
30    Laws Master Keeper or Commissary of the prerogative
31    Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the Oath
32    of Mary Way (Wife of Joseph Way) the Executrix
33    named in the said Will to whom administration of
34    all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of
35    the deceased was granted having been first Sworn by
36    Commission duly to administer.

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