Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Will of Walter Blake, husbandman, Highbray, Devon - The National Archives PROB 11/94/334, probated 31 Oct 1599

The testator Walter Blake has named his wife and son joint executors but by the time of the probate both his wife and son have also died. He named Henri Rew and his son Richard and Johan Mole as acquaintances. The other names mentioned are his servants and his overseers namely John Tincombe (clerk) and John Yelland. I found the reference to Tincombe interesting as my other one name study is Pincombe. A few people have asked me if I would consider that surname a variant of Pincombe but to this point in time I have not added this surname as a variant.

High Bray where the testator lives is six miles north west of South Molton and 4 miles north west of North Molton.

Looking at the Blake family in North Molton in this time period of the late 1500s there isn’t an entry for a Walter Blake – two families are at North Molton – Michael and Agnes Blake who married in 1558 and Richard and Johane Blake who married in 1563. Neither of them have a son Walter. Mine you he could be a brother to these two men or otherwise related. The records do not go back far enough. There was a Thomas Blake buried there 8 May 1542 and a John Blake buried there 5 Dec 1546. Again the Manor Records for North Molton are a future endeavor on my part.

Protestation Returns were a topic in my emails yesterday and I note that I actually haven’t put into a blog the material that I have thus far transcribed for Blake families in Protestation Returns.


Hundred    Parish    Surname    Forename    Suffix    Standing
Fremington    Great Torrington    Blak    Richard       
South Molton    North Molton    Blake    Christopher       
Fremington    Great Torrington    Blake    Christopher       
South Molton    East Anstey    Blake    Elias        Rector
South Molton    East Anstey    Blake    George       
South Molton    East Anstey    Blake    George        Overseer
Witheridge    Chulmleigh    Blake    James       
Fremington    Great Torrington    Blake    John       
Witheridge    Meashaw    Blake    Jonas       
Braunton    Barnstaple    Blake    Martin        Minister
South Molton    Chittlehampton    Blake    Robert        Clerk
South Molton    Chittlehampton    Blake    William       
South Molton    North Molton    Blake    William       
At North Molton in 1641-42 Christopher Blake signed and William Blake signed the Protestation Returns.

Although I have begun the Wiltshire Protestation Returns, I have not yet done a Parish in which there is a Blake signing the oath.


Hundred    Parish    Unit    Surname    Forename    Standing   
Carhampton    Carhampton        Blake    Gregory       
Carhampton    Carhampton        Blake    John       
Carhampton    Cutcombe        Blake    John       
Carhampton    Dunster        Blake    Andrew       
Carhampton    Dunster        Blake    Francis    senior   
Carhampton    Dunster        Blake    Francis    junior   
Carhampton    Dunster        Blake    James       
Carhampton    Dunster        Blake    Richard       
Carhampton    Dunster        Blake    Robert       
Carhampton    Dunster        Blake    William       
Carhampton    Luxborough        Blake    Nicholas       
North Petherton    Bridgwater        Blak    William       
North Petherton    Bridgwater        Blake    Benjamin       
North Petherton    Bridgwater        Blake    Francis       
North Petherton    Bridgwater        Blake    Richard       
North Petherton    Bridgwater        Blake    Humphrey    Mayor
South Petherton    Bradford        Blake    William       
Taunton Dean    Kingston St Mary    Blake    John       
Taunton Dean    Pitminster    Blagdon Tithing    Blake    John       
Taunton Dean    Pitminster    Blagdon Tithing    Blake    Richard       
Taunton Dean    Pitminster    Blagdon Tithing    Blake    William    aged   
Taunton Dean    Pitminster    Fulford Tithing    Blake    Arthur       
Taunton Dean    Ruishton        Blake    Richard       
Taunton Dean    Taunton        Blake    John       
Whitstone    Batcombe        Blake    Nicholas       
Whitstone    North Wootton        Blake    Henry       
Williton and Freemanors    Halse        Blake    Robert       
Williton and Freemanors    Old Cleeve        Blake    Francis       
Williton and Freemanors    Sampford Brett        Blake    James        Churchwarden
Williton and Freemanors    Stogumber        Blake    James       
Williton and Freemanors    Stogumber        Blake    John       
Williton and Freemanors    Stogumber        Blake    William       
Williton and Freemanors    Stogumber        Blake    William     junior   
Williton and Freemanors    Nether Stowey        Blacke    John       
Williton and Freemanors    Nether Stowey        Blake    Edmund        Overseer
Williton and Freemanors    Over Stowey        Blake    Humphrey    senior   
Williton and Freemanors            Blake    Humphrey    junior   
Williton and Freemanors            Blake    John       
Williton and Freemanors    Watchet    St Decumans    Blake    John       
Williton and Freemanors    Watchet, St Decumans    Blake    Richard       

Having now drawn out this information I should seriously look at the Somerset family with regard to the wills that I have been publishing but I think it will wait until I actually do the Somerset Wills for Blake somewhat later in the year or in the new year as I have 57 wills to transcribe for the Blake families in Somerset. But I can see that working on the Protestation Returns for Wiltshire should also join my priority list of items.

My last set of protestation returns (these are complete for Eskdale Ward in Cumberland) shows only one Blake signing the oath – George Blake at Arthuret. There is also a Robert Blacke at Arthuret. In general though I do not make note of the Black family unless it is a misspelling of Blake by the priest in the Parish Register. I think they are a distinctly different family with Black referring possibly to dark hair whereas Blac/Blak from the gaelic refers to fair haired individuals. The other side of the coin is that Blake is already large enough for me to look at and I suspect Black may be just as large or larger!

No sign of a Walter in these records but I do note the large number of Blake in Somerset but my returns for Devon are only for the North Devon area and there are probably Blake families in South Devon in this time frame judging by the wills discussions of the past few days. At some point I shall collect that information as well – probably on our next trip to Salt Lake City.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 19 Aug 2013
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/94/334
Testator: Walter Blake, husbandman
Place: Highbray, Devon, England
Type of Record: Will
Date of document: 16 Jul 1599, probated 31 Oct 1599
Condition: 16th century English, legible copy

[Margin]: T[estament] Walteri
[Margin]: Blake

1    In the Name of God Amen The sixteenthe
2    daye of Julie in the yeare of our Lord god one Thousand Fyve hundred Nyntie and Nyne And in the
3    one and Fortieth yeare of the raigne of our most gracious soveraigne ladie Elizabeth by the grace of
4    god Queene of England Fraunce and Ireland defender of the faith etc: I Walter Blake of the p[ar]ish
5    of Highe Braye in the countie of devon and diocs of Exon husbandman beinge sicke of bodie but thanks
6    be to god of perfecte memorie doe make and ordaine this my last will and Testament in manner and
7    forme following First I bequeath my sowle to Almightie god my maker and redeemer And my bodie
8    to Christian buryall As for my temporall goodes I gyve and bequeath as followeth First I gyve and
9    bequeath unto the poore of the parishe of Highbraye six shillings Eight pence to be distributed
10    by the discretion of my Rulers, Item I gyve to the reparation of the Church of Highbray three
11    shillings four pence, Item I gyve and bequeath unto Richard Rewe sonne of henrie Rewe a newe coate
12    a newe shrite and a new paire of hose and shoes, Item I gyve and bequeath unto Johan Mole one sheep
13    Item I gyve to my servaunt willi[a]m Gybbs a shepe, Item I gyve and bequeath unto Katherine Marke
14    my servant one yeares wages, Item I gyve unto my other three serva[u]ntes one Man, and two maydes
15    everie of them twelve pence, All the rest of my goods not before geven nor bequeathed I gyve and
16    bequeath unto Johan my wife and John my sonne whome I make my Whole Executors to fulfill my
17    Legacies to pay my debts and to discharge my funerals Provided always and my Will is that if
18    My sayd wife Joane doe marrie agayne after my decease, Then then my will is that she shall
19    leave unto my Sonne John all the dead stuffe belonging to my howse otherwise to have the halfe
    [Page 2]
20    of yt duringe her life, And by virtue here of I make and ordaine John Tingcomb Clerke and John
21    Yellannd to be my Rulers or overseers to see all things parformed Accordinge to the true meaning
22    hereof And to have for theire paines everie of them three shillings and Fowre pence, witness to
23    theise presents John Tyngcombe clerke John Mott Richard Harris and John Yolland

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