Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Will of James Blake, Malster, Wiveliscombe, Somerset - The National Archives PROB 11/1073/114, probated 10 Jan 1781

The testator is James Blake, malster, at Wiveliscombe. I find a marriage between James Blake and Betty Hancock 30 Apr 1772 which is likely his son and daughter in law mentioned in the will. Witnesses for that marriage by licence were Thomas and William Hancock. Harriot Blake, mentioned in his will as a grand daughter, married William Webber 3 Sep 1800. Mary Blake married William Honeywell 25 Sep 1777 and Jane Blake married John Hill 11 Feb 1788. Betty Blake married William Shaddack 20 Jul 1760. Another interesting entry is Elizabeth Blake married to James Mays 15 May 1739 and Nathaniel Blake married to Elizabeth Cade 22 Mar 1738 (Nathaniel of Ash Priors and Elizabeth of Stogumber). Judith Blake married Thomas Harris 20 Nov 1623 and Richard Blake married Johan Wood 9 Apr 1685. Francis Blake married Elizabeth Collard 2 Feb 1748. All of these marriages at Wiveliscombe.

James is likely the James Blake buried 25 Nov 1780 from the OPC website for Wiveliscombe. The Ann Blake buried 8 Aug 1783 was a widow.

Protestation Returns for Wiveliscombe reveal no Blake families there in 1641-42. Arthur Blake was there in 1653 when he left his will. Closeby to Wiveliscombe is Halse just four miles away. I am curious if this family at Wiveliscombe in the 1700s is descendant of the Halse Blake family.

Looking at the names mentioned in the will James likely has a sister Elizabeth and a sister Jane as well as his brothers John, William and Francis. These people were all likely born between 1700 and 1720 or earlier.

Names mentioned in the will:
James Blake, Wiveliscombe, testator
John Blake, brother
William Blake, brother
Francis Blake, brother
Francis Mays, kinsman
William Mays, kinsman
James Mays, kinsman
______ Leigh or Ley, daughter of sister Jane
Anne Blake, wife of testator
Harriott Blake, grand daughter
Betty Blake, daughter in law, mother of Harriott (this is likely Betty Hancock married to his son James
Mr William Hancock, son of Mr John Hancock, overseer
Robert Webber, witness
George Hill, witness

JOHN HANCOCK, of Ford, eldest son of Philip Hancock and Mary Mitchell. Born 1712, died at Ford, 1795, married Elizabeth Rich, of Riches Holford. Had seven children.

1. Mary, married Thomas Boucher, of Ford.

2. Dorothy, born 1737, married Wm. Gore, of Wiveliscombe.

3. Philip (III.), born 1739, married Mary Crocker.

4. John, born 1742, married Sarah Hancock, of L. St. Lawrence.

5. Henry, born 1745, married Ann Hancock, of Halse.

6. Betty, born 1749, married James Blake, of Wiveliscombe.

7. William, born 1753, married Jane Chorley.

According to the OPC for Wiveliscombe, Somerset page, Harriot was baptized 26 May 1773 daughter of James and Betty. She appears to be the only child baptized to this couple in the time period.

Are the three Mays mentioned nephews and sons of his possible sister Elizabeth who married James Mays in 1739?

John and Mary Blake baptized a son Francis 21 Aug 1724 at Wiveliscombe and a son William 15 Oct 1719. Are these brothers to the testator? There was a James baptized 22 Jul 1717 to John and Ann (perhaps they brothers did not share the same mother). There isn’t a baptism for John or Elizabeth.

The known Blake family at Wiveliscombe was Arthur Blake son of Humphrey and Elizabeth Blake and married to Jane Tomms. However, in Arthur’s will they had two children only – Elizabeth and Mary. But Arthur had three siblings – John, Humphry and Richard. Humphry in particular had a large family  which included six sons although some are known already through their wills.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 6 Oct 2013
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/1073/114
Testator: James Blake, Malster
Place: Wiveliscombe, Somerset, England
Type of Record: Will
Date of document: 7 May 1776, probated 10 Jan 1781
Condition: 18th century English, legible copy

[Margin]: James
[Margin]: Blake

1    In The Name of God Amen
2    I James Blake of the parish of Wiveliscombe
3    in the County of Somerset Malster being of a sound
4    Mind Memory and Understanding do make and
5    ordain this to be my last Will and Testament in
6    manner and form following that is to say I give
7    and bequeath unto my three Brothers John William
8    and Francis one Guinea apiece and to be paid
9    unto them respectively within one month after my
10    decease by my Executrix hereinafter named
11    or at any time after when demanded and if either
12    of my said brothers should happen to die before
13    me then it is my Will that the children of my
14    deceased brother if more than one shall have
15    the Guines so bequeathed as aforesaid and to be
16    paid unto them equally share and share alike I
17    further give and bequeath unto my three Kinsmen
18    Francis Mays William Mays and James Mays
19    seven shillings apiece and to be paid unto them
20    within one Month after my decease by my
21    Executrix as aforesaid I further give and bequeath
22    unto my Kinswoman __________Leigh or Ley Daughter
23    of my Sister Jane one Guinea and to be paid unto
24    her as aforesaid by my Executrix hereinafter named
25    I give devise and bequeath unto Anne my beloved
26    Wife all my Goods Chattells Monies and Securities
27    of Monies and all other my Effects of what nature
28    or kind soever that I shall die possessed of for her
29    whole and sole use and benefit during her Natural
30    life and after my said Wifes decease it is my will
31    and I do hereby as far as in me lieth give devise
32    and bequeath the same unto my Granddaughter
33    Harriott Blake for her whole and sole use and
34    benefit as I do likewise hereby nominate constitute
35    and appoint the said Anne my beloved Wife to be whole
36    and sole Executrix of this my Will and whereas
37    Mistress Betty Blake my Daughter in law now
38    stands indebted unto me by Virtue of a Note of hand
    [Page 2]
39    bearing date the seventh day of May 1776 in the
40    full Sum of twenty one pounds which said sum of twenty one pounds with its lawfull
41    interest I do hereby give and bequeath the same
42    unto my Granddaughter Harriott Blake when She
43    doth arrive unto the Age of twenty one years And it
44    is my Will that my said Executrix do see that the
45    said Sum of twenty one pounds with its lawfull Interest
46   be paid unto my said Granddaughter accordingly
47    and I desire my good Friend Mr William Hancock
48    son of Mr John Hancock at Ford to be aiding and
49    assisting with my Executrix in the Management
50    of my Business and affairs as much as possibly and
51    conveniently be ran after my decease In Witness
52    whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this
53    twenty ninth day of April in the year of our Lord one
54    thousand seven hundred and eighty James Blake
55    Signed Sealed published and declared by the
56    said James Blake the Testator as and for his
57    last Will and Testament in the presence of us who
58    have subscribed our Names as Witnesses hereunto
59    Robert Webber George Hill
60    This Will was proved at London on the
61    tenth day of January in the Year of our Lord one
62    thousand seven hundred and eighty one before the Right
63    Worshipfull Peter Calvert doctor of Laws Master keeper
64    or Commissary of the prerogative Court of Canterbury
65    lawfully constituted by the Oath of Ann Blake widow
66    the Relict of the deceased and sole Executrix named
67    named in the said Will to whom administration
68    was granted of all and singular the Goods Chattells
69    and Credits of the said deceased she having been
70    first sworn by Commission duly to administer


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