Sunday, October 20, 2013

Will of Mary Blake, widow, Bridgwater, Somerset - The National Archives PROB 11/615/251, probated 15 May 1727

There are five Mary Blake wills in this set for Somerset. The current Mary Blake is listed as widow of Bridgwater. She was Mary Sellick married to William Blake (and the suggested date is 1694) and she kindly mentions her husband’s name in her will although he is deceased. Always a bonus when that happens.

The other four wills are for Mary Blake of Bath 1785, Mary Blake, Spinster of Bath 1807, Mary Blake, Spinster of  Walcot, 1831 and Mary Blake, widow of Taunton 1844. The wills, particularly of spinsters, can be very very helpful in sorting out families.

There is a will for Thomas Menheire, Merchant of Exeter, Devon which was probated 19 Jan 1694, PROB 11/418/178 which I may purchase in order to more fully understand the will below. It is just a two page will but could prove interesting. I suspect this is the first husband of Mary, testatrix, in the will below. Generally this has been transcribed as Thomas Minturne in various sources. The will might help to clarify that in my mind since I have transcribed it differently.

Mary Sellick was married to William Blake who was a son of Humphrey Blake and Sara Sealy. They married 10 Apr 1632 at Bridgwater. This Humphrey was the brother of Admiral Robert Blake. So William was a nephew of the Admiral.

The other question to mind is whether or not Mary Selleck is also a descendant of the Blake family of Overstowey given that Elizabeth/Isabel Blake daughter of John Blake the elder (son of Humphrey Blake of Over Stowey) married Robert Selleck 9 Oct 1571 in Over Stowey. They had five sons and Robert their middle son is the one for whom the best records exist as it is this line where one of the sons emigrated to the American colonies namely David Selleck who is said to have emigrated around 1637. West Monkton where Henry Selleck, executor of the will below, lived is seven miles from Bridgwater. The Selleck family lived initially at Tolland which is 11 miles from West Monkton. There is a will for Henry Selleck, Gentleman of West Monkton probated 20 Jul 1741 which I shall also consider purchasing in order to add to the information for this family. Wells Cathedral: its monumental inscriptions and heraldry. 127 on yields this interesting piece of information. A Licence was granted 12 Mar 1713 for Henry Sellick, gent., junior, of West Monkton to marry Mary Bere, spinster; John Bere, gent., being bondsman. There is more information on the Sellick family around this entry but nothing specific to link Henry to any specific line.

Mary and William had one daughter as far as I can tell – Sarah who married John Chapman and this family is also mentioned in the will below.

Mary remembers many members of the Sealy family. Was this perhaps something her husband had asked her to do in his will which was not probated at the PCC unfortunately. They would have been related to her mother in law I suspect as the sisters of William, namely Ann married the Reverend John Norman and Sarah married a Mr. Doble.

Names mentioned in the will:

Mary Blake, widow, testatrix (married to William Blake, merchant, Bridgwater)
Thomas Menheire, first husband of Mary Blake, deceased
William Chapman
John Chapman, father of William, mercer, Chard, deceased
John Sealy, Bridgwater, merchant
John Sealy, son of John Sealy
Frances Sealy, daughter of John Sealy
Mary Sealy, daughter of John Sealy
Thomas Chapman, apothecary, Ilminster
John Moore, clerk, Bridgwater
Henry Sellick, junior, West Monkton, gentleman
John Balch, witness
Richard Codrington, witness
John Armstrong, witness

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 19 Oct 2013
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/615/251
Testator: Mary Blake, widow
Place: Bridgwater, Somerset, England
Type of Record: Will
Date of document: 20 Jan 1725, probated 15 May 1727
Condition: 18th century English, legible copy

[Margin]: T[esta]m[ent]
[Margin]: Marie Blake

1    In the Name of God Amen
2    I Mary Blake of Bridgewater in the County of Somersett widow doe
3    make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament in manner and forme following
4    First I commend my Soule into the hands of Almighty God hopeing through
5    the merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour to obteine Everlasting life and my Body
6    I committ to the Earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executor
7    hereinafter named And my desire is that my Executor hereinafter named
8    do cause my body to be interred in the parish Church of Bridgewater
9    aforesaid in the Grave wherein the body of my late husband William Blake
10    of Bridgewater aforesaid Merchant deceased doth lye And as touching
11    my worldly Estate I give and dispose of the same as follows Imprimis I
12    give and devise all my lands in the Kingdome of Ireland which were given to
13    me by the Will of Thomas Menheire my first husband deceased unto
14    William Chapman son of John Chapman late of Chard Mercer deceased his
15    heires and assignes forever Item I give unto John Sealy of Bridgewater
16    aforesaid Merchant Thirty pounds Item I give unto John Sealy son of
17    the aforesaid John Sealy Tenn pounds Item I give unto Frances Sealy
18    daughter of the aforesaid John Sealy my Gold Watch and Gold Chaine
19    and Hooke belong there unto Item I give unto Mary Sealy daughter
20    of the aforesaid John Sealy my Gold Chaine for the Neck and my Gold
21    Ring with a Stone and diamond sparks Item I give unto Thomas
22    Chapman of Ilminster Apothecary the Tenn pounds which he oweth
23    me on his note and my will is that the said Note be forth delivered upp
24    to be cancelled Item I give unto John Moore of Bridgewater aforesaid
25    Clerke Five pounds Item I give unto Henry Selleck Junior of
26    Westmuncton Gentleman Twenty pounds Item all the rest and residue
27    of my goods and chattels remaining unbequeathed (my debts
28    Funerall Expences and legacies being first paid and discharged) I
29    give and bequeath unto the said Henry Selleck Junior whome I make
30    sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament In witness whereof I
31    have hereunto sett my hand and seale this Twentyeth day of January
32    one thousand seaven hundred and Twenty Five Mary Blake signed
33    sealed and published by the above named Testatrix for and as her last
34    Will and Testament in presence of us who also subscribed our names
35    as witnesses in the presence of the said Testatrix and at her request
36    John Balch Rich[ar]d Codrington John Armstrong

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