Monday, September 23, 2013

Will of Andrew Blake, Butcher of Dunster, Somerset - The National Archives PROB 11/259/415, probated 24 Nov 1656

Andrew Blake is the testator. He is the son of Alice whose will was transcribed several days ago:

His wife is perhaps young as she is pregnant at the time of the writing of the will 5 February 1655/56 and the will is probated 24 Nov 1656 which is ten months later so likely delivered of the child by the time of probate. That gives me a slightly different perspective on ages unless Andrew married very late or a second time. His sisters must have been somewhat older than him perhaps as one of them has a daughter old enough to be married perhaps or she has married a second time. The other sister is possibly deceased as only the children are mentioned. His brother William is perhaps the younger in that Andrew was executor of his mother’s will.

Protestation Returns for Dunster, 1641-42

Andrew Blake
Francis Blake, senior
Francis Blake, junior
James Blake
Richard Blake
Robert Blake
William Blake

Are Andrew Blake and William Blake listed on the Protestation Returns for Dunster just 14 years earlier from the date of Andrew’s will the sons of Alice? In general males were 18 years of age or older who signed the Protestation Return making Andrew about 34 years of age and William perhaps 32.

The other five Blake males at Dunster are very very interesting.

At Bridgwater (where one would expect to find Nicholas Blake married to Jone Question) the protestation returns indicate:

William Blak
Benjamin Blake
Francis Blake
Richard Blake

There is a Nicholas Blake at Batcombe and at Luxborough as mentioned in the blog on the will of Alice Blake. Batcombe is 24 miles east of Pitminister near the Dorset border and would seem quite far away for Nicholas Blake son of Humphrey Blake of Bridgwater. Luxborough is 20 miles west of Pitminster. In this time period it is possible that Nicholas was in the West Indes. Certainly Robert (his eldest brother and the Admiral) isn’t at Bridgwater either in this time period nor is Humphrey or George or Samuel. Francis Blake and Richard Blake at Bridgwater are a mystery at the moment as well. 

Nicholas Blake, married to Jone Question was born circa 1610/1611 and so would have been around 30 years of age at the time of the Protestation Returns. Where was he at this time? It is possible he is back and forth to the West Indies as he spent time there.

The will is in parts difficult to read as it is quite faint.

Again the mention of my Question family is always rather interesting. He doesn’t state kinship as his mother did. Wherein lies that relationship? Perhaps more reading of wills will help to settle that question. Certainly not knowing the surname of John Question’s wife Elizabeth does lead one to think about the possibility that Alice is related to Elizabeth or Elizabeth is related to the husband of Alice also unknown. The name Andrew in the Question family and in this Blake family may or may not also be significant.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 20 Sep 2013
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/259/415
Testator: Andrew Blake, Butcher
Place: Dunster, Somerset, England
Type of Record: Will
Date of document: 5 Feb 1655/56, probated 24 Nov 1656
Condition: 17th century English, legible copy

[Margin]: T[estato]r
[Margin]: Andrew
[Margin]: Blake

1    In the name of God Amen The
2    fifth day of February in the yeare of our Lord one thousand sixe hundred fiftie and
3    five I Andrew Blake of Dunster in the countie of Somersett Butcher being
4    sicke and weake in body but in perfect minde and memorie (Thankes be to Almightie
5    God) doe hereby make and ordaine my last will and Testament in manner and forme
6    following (That is to say) First I bequeath my soule to God my maker and creator Jesus
7    Christ my Redeemer And my body to the earth whence it came to be interred at the
8    discretion of myne Executor hereunder named If it could be possible by my late deceased
9    mother in the Churchyard of Dunster in the County aforesaid Alsoe I give and bequeath
10    unto my sonne Robert Blake Fower acres of ground called by the river all named of Ma=
11    lrud Avill and greenscote lyinge within the parish of Dunster aforesaid And
12    if it shall please God in his mercie to deliver my wife from me of the burdene in her body
13    be it eyther Child or Children and lustilive Then my mind is that the said Fowre acres
14    of ground and surroundings of _______ and profits thereof to bequeath divided betweene my said
15    sonne Robert and him her or them which shall be borne and the survivor of either of them
16    to have and to hould the same fowre acres of ground duringe (____ of my Brother William
17    Blake
    [Page 2]
18    Blake of Dunster aforesaid Boutcher But if my sonne Robert or such Childe or Children
19    unborne when borne and live and after happen to dye before the said Robert, they or any or eyther
20    of them shall accomplishe the age of one and twentie yeares Then the fower acres of ground soe
21    bequeathed to remayne unto my wife Joane accordingly or other wife if my wife Joane afore
22    said att any tyme shall depart this life liveinge the said Robert and the said Child or Children
23    unborne when borne Then my Will is that all my goods and Chattells whatsoever they be to remaine
24    to the use and behoofe of my said Sonne Robert or such Child or Children unborne when borne if they
25    or eyther of them shall happen soe longe to live And as for all the rest of my goods and Chattells
26    more than already bequeathed and other grounds which I hould for terme of my said brother William
27    Blake life I doe give unto my Wife Joane Blake whom I doe hereby make and ordaine my sole
28    executrix And for execution and due performance of this my last will I doe hereby make
29    John Question of Dunster aforesaid gent and Augustine Question his sonne and Trusty
30    friends my Overseers according to the true meanings of these presents In Witnes whereof
31    I the said Andrew Blake here hereunto set my hand and seale the day and yeare first above
32    written Andrew Blake Signed sealed and delivered in presence of us for the use of
33    the said Overseers John Vox; Geo: Ashe; George Delbridge
34    This will was proved at London before the Judges for probate
35    of wills and grantings Administrations lawfully authorized the foure and twentieth
36    day of November in the yeare of our lord God One Thousand sixe hundred fiftie and
37    sixe by the oath of Joane Blake widdowe the Relict and sole Executrix of the said deceased
38    named in the said will To whom Administration of all and singular the goods Chattells
39    and debts of the said deceased was committed Shee being first by Commission sworne
40    truly to administer the same

No comments: