Monday, April 21, 2014

Will of Christopher Blake, Yeoman, Shipton Moyne, Gloucestershire - The National Archives PROB 11/593/333, probated 12 Oct 1723

The Will of Christopher Blake of Shipton Moyne, present testator, is an absolute gem in terms of family associations. Christopher has either never been married or his wife is deceased. He does not mention a wife or children.

Names mentioned in the will:

Christopher Blake, testator, Shipton Moyne
Richard Blake, cousin, Chipping Sodbury, Innholder
John Blake, cousin, Tetbury
William Blake, cousin, Tetbury, deceased
Joseph Blake, cousin, Tetbury
Hester Humphris, cousin, Horsley
Hannah Hide, cousin, Horsley, deceased
Edward Blake, cousin, London
Henry Blake, cousin, London
Arthur Orchard, husband of cousin (sister of John Blake, deceased), deceased
Hester Orchard, daughter of Arthur
Thomas Lydiard, husband of sister
Susannah Lydiard, sister, deceased
William Pritchard, cousin, Tetbury, carryer
Anthony Sharpe, tenant
William Pritchard the elder
Mary Nicholas, servant
Dorothy Battin, Tetbury
Eliz Phillipps, mother of Dorothy Battin
John Woodward, witness
Harry Witts, witness
Elizabeth Browneing, witness

The Richard Blake at Chipping Sodbury is rather interesting and perhaps pertains to the blog post of the memorials for the Blake family in Gloucestershire:

There is a Richard Blake at Chipping Sodbury with brothers Joseph and Samuel. The memorial refers to the father of Richard Blake lived in Bristol (died there in 1771). In 1723 he would have been about 22 years of age. He would be a cousin to the testator Christopher Blake. Knowing that Richard had uncles Joseph and Samuel then Christopher would be the son of one of these men possibly. The Joseph Blake is still living according to the will and the uncle of Richard Blake, Joseph, was buried at Chipping Sodbury in 1715 at 23 years of age.

The Portbury Hundred pages
mention this family and Richard Blake (father of Joseph, Samuel and Richard) married Mary (unknown). The Portbury Hundred website gives Richard who died in Chipping Sodbury 9 Apr 1724 a birth year of 1668 (he was 56 when he died). Neither Joseph nor Samuel are traced down in this site. They both died in 1715 (Joseph 18 May 1715) and Samuel at 23 years of age giving him a year of birth circa 1692. Richard is mentioned as being born in 1700 and died in 1771 and his will is to come).

Richard Blake (1668-1724) was said to be the son of Ambrose Blake and Elizabeth Ruddick. He had brothers Henry (1669 - 1731) and Ambrose. I actually left this part of the website out of the Legacy chart that I produced because I did not agree with the material. However, I did not actually do any research on it so will now see what I can find.

I came across a website that was archived with the Wiltshire Council Record Office namely:
 I will extract a few excerpts from this website to help illustrate the ancestry of the Richard Blake family at Chipping Sodbury. 

The Blake family at Calne Wiltshire acquired Pinhills and several generations of the Blake family lived there prior to Henry Blake who lived there during the Civil War (I will trace the line down to Henry shortly and from Henry down to Christopher the testator hopefully). Henry was married to Abigail Stringer (daughter of one of the footmen to Queen Elizabeth I).
"during the reign of the Stuarts many of the gentry of north Wiltshire became disaffected with the monarchy, largely because of the high-handed way in which taxes were collected.

"When the war finally began between Royalists and Parliamentarians, of the thirty-four Wiltshire M.P.s, twenty-two sided with Parliament, including Colonel Edward Bayntun and Sergeant Robert Nicholas for Devizes and Sir Edward Bayntun and Sir Edward Hungerford for Chippenham. The Blakes, Ernles, Bayntuns and Hungerfords took up commissions in the North Wilts. Militia. Ambrose Blake, who succeeded his father Henry at Pinhills during the war, fortified the family seat against the Royalists by garrisoning the manor house with a body of musketeers."

"On January 4th 1644, Sir Charles Lloyd wrote to Colonel Bennett that on the orders of Prince Rupert he would demolish Blagg’s (Blake’s) house, and on Jan.8th he told Prince Rupert he had ‘made Blake’s house uninhabitable and drained the moat.’ However, from our study it is evident that the house was restored and continued in use based on evidence from map 19 in Bowood archives which apparently shows a large house still standing on the moated site in 1728. The present L-shaped house is said to have been built incorporating some of the materials from the dilapidations of the old manor-house and it is superior to the average farmhouse. Pinhills remained the seat of the Blakes in the years immediately following the Civil War and were finally succeeded by the Bull family probably in the early 18th century. "

"Margaret Parrott for Wiltshire Buildings Record"

The children of Henry Blake and Abigail Stringer are named on the Portbury site as Henry, Roger, Ambrose, Abigail and Lettice. The Blake Pedigree Chart held by the Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office only mentions Henry, Roger and Abigail as children of this couple with Henry being 6 years of age in 1623, Roger 5 years of age in 1623 and Abigail being 1 year of age in 1623. No descendants of these three children are on the chart. This information is taken from the Visitation of Wiltshire 1623. Perhaps Ambrose was born after 1623 and would then have been 20 years or less in age in 1644 when the house was said to be demolished or in 1690 it was simply not advantageous to mention Ambrose.

Another interesting piece of information from the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Volumes 23-24 edited by Edward Hungerford Goddard on page 223 No X mentions a Sundry Memoranda relating to the coronation of King Charles ( 2 Feb 1626; reigned from 27 Mar 1625 to 30 Jan 1649) and his offer of a knighthood to gentlemen of estate; the Blake family did refuse the knighthood and were fined for doing so. Henry Blake, of Pinhills, was fined 10 pounds. In a list of gentry in the Hundred of Calne in Wiltshire on this same page living during the times of Charles I and Charles II can be found the name of Ambrose Blake, Esquire of Pinnels. Interestingly enough Blake and Chivers are the only surnames that appear in both lists and only one Blake in the first list and one in the second list.

I feel this is probably sufficient to show that Ambrose was the heir of Henry Blake and that he was likely his son rather than say a grandson. Henry (son of Henry) is said to have died in 1660 and no date of death is given for Roger on the Portbury website and no children of either of these two men. Ambrose is given a date of birth of 1620 which would have made him three years of age at the time of the Visitation of Wiltshire. His being left off may simply be a political omission (not advantageous at this time to mention the connection of the London family (which requested the College of Arms to create the chart) to the Wiltshire family which had opposed the Stuart line).

Ambrose is said to have married Elizabeth Ruddick and that they had three sons Richard (1668-1724), Henry (1669-1731) and Ambrose. Working down through the chart on the Portbury site Richard married Mary (unknown)  and they have three children Joseph, Samuel and Richard (1700-1771). Henry married Catherine Hungerford and they had the following children Robert (married to Joanna Coombs (this information is on the memorial at Chipping Sodbury), Henry, Abigail, Katherine and Frances. Ambrose is said to have married Mary Ivie and they had one child Elizabeth.

In this will Christopher in 1723 talks about his cousins Richard Blake in Chipping Sodbury, John Blake, William Blake (deceased) and Joseph Blake in Tetbury and Edward Blake, Henry Blake his cousins in London. This accounts for Blake cousins but he also mentions a Humphris and a Hide cousin in Horsley, Arthur Orchard who married the sister of John Blake, Susanna Lydiard, Christopher's sister (deceased), and William Pritchard a cousin in Tetbury.

The Richard Blake he mentions is likely the son of Richard (1668-1724) and this Richard was married to Mary Greenway 1723 according to Boyd's Marriage Index of Marriage Licences. No place was recorded in that index. This does match up with the Portbury Hundred accounting of Admiral Blake's collateral lines but only one son is mentioned William and not the two daughters Susanna and Hannah mentioned in their parent's wills. William is traced down however and more about that when I transcribe his will.

This is still not helping me determine who Christopher Blake is. Henry Blake (1669-1731) brother to Richard (1668-1724) is a possibility. Henry married Catherine Hungerford and their son Robert was born in 1708 (he died in 1790 at 82 years of age). He was married to Joanna Coombs. A second son Henry and there are no further details for either of these two sons (there were also three daughters Abigail, Katherine, and Frances) as mentioned earlier. Looking for a John Blake, William Blake (deceased) and Joseph Blake in Tetbury as cousins. One would think that they would be sons of Henry or Ambrose since they are Richard's (1668-1724) brothers. The interesting part about this line is that they are direct descendants of the Blake family at Calne. Whether or not they are collateral to the Admiral Blake line remains to be proven.

I am thus far unable to determine exactly how this family is associated with the Blake family at Bristol but I now know how Richard Blake married to Anne Augusta Harwood fits into a family and more on that with the will of William Blake (1791) since Richard is his son.

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 12 Apr 2014
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/593/333
Testator:  Christopher Blake, Yeoman
Place: Shipton Moyne, Gloucestershire, England
Type of Record: Will
Date of document: 23 Aug 1723, probated 12 Oct 1723
Condition: 18th century English, legible copy

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

1    In the Name of God Amen
2    I Christopher Blake of Shipton Moyne in the County of Gloucester
3    yeoman being aged but of Sound Mind and good disposing understanding
4    (praised be God) therefore do make this my last Will and Testament
5    in manner and form following Imprimis I commend my Soul into the
6    hands of Almighty God that gave it and my Body to the Earth to be
7    buried in Christian Burial at the discretion of my Executors herein after
8    named And as for my Worldly Estate It hath pleased God to give me
9    I dispose thereof as followeth Item I give and bequeath unto my
10    Cousin Richard Blake of Chipping Sodbury in the County of Gloucester
11    Innholder the Sum[m]e of Forty pounds and unto my Cousin John Blake of
12    Tetbury in the said County of Gloucester the like Sum[m]e of Forty pounds
13    and unto my Cousin William Blakes Children of Tetbury aforesaid the
14    Sum[m]e of Thirty pounds to be equally divided between the said Children
15    Share and Share alike and also unto my Cousin Joseph Blake of
16    Tetbury aforesaid the Sum[m]e of Thirty pounds of lawfull Money of Great
17    Britain to be paid unto them within Six Months next after my decease
18    by my Executors  herein after named It[em] I give and bequeath unto
19    my Cousin Hester Humphris of Horsley in the said County of Glouc[este]r
20    Widow and to her Children now living the Sum[m]e of Twenty pounds to be
21    equally divided between them Share and Share alike and to be also paid
22    them by my Executors within Six Months next after my decease Item I
23    give and bequeath unto the Sons and daughters now living of my Cousin
24    Hannah Hide late of Horsley aforesaid deceased the Sum[m]e of Thirty
25    pounds of lawfull Money of Great Britain and to be equally divided
26    between them Share and Share alike and to be paid within Six Months
27    next after my decease by my Executors herein after named Item I give
28    and bequeath unto my Cousin Edward Blake of London and to his
29    brother Henry Blake the Sum[m]e of Ten pounds of lawfull Money of Great
30    Britain to be equally divided between them and to be paid them
31    within Six Months next after my decease by my Executors hereinafter
32    men[t]ioned in case either of them shall happen to be dead Then my
33    Will is that his Share Shall goe to the Survivor of them and provided
    [Page 2]
34    both of them are dec[eas]ed then the said Legacy of Ten pounds to be
35    equally divided between my said Cousins Richard Blake John
36    Blake William Blake and Joseph Blake or as many of them as Shall
37    be then living Item I give and bequeath unto the Sons and daughters
38    of Arthur Orchard late of Tetbury aforesaid dec[eas]ed which are now
39    living and lawfully begotten by the said Arthur Orchard on the
40    Body of his first Wife who was Sister to the said John Blake the
41    Sum[m]e of Fifteen pounds of Lawfull Money of Great Britain to be
42    equally divided between them and paid them within Six Months
43    next after my decease by my Executors herein after named I likewise
44    give and bequeath unto the said Arthur Orchards daughter Hester
45    begotten as aforesaid one large Brass pan as also one Flock Bed
46    and Bedstead two Sheets Rugg Boulster and Blancketts with the
47    App[ur]tences the rents belonging which said Bed and app[ur]tences is in the
48    Room or Chamber where my Brother John Blake dec[eas]ed used to lay
49    Item I give and bequeath unto the Sons and daughters of Thomas
50    Lydiard lawfully begotten on the Body of my Sister Susannah his Wife
51    dec[eas]ed the Sum[m]e of Fifteen pounds of lawfull Money of Great Britain
52    to be equally divided between them (that are now living) Share and
53    Share alike and to be paid unto them by my Executors herein named
54    within Six Months next after my decease But in Case no such Sons or
55    daughters of the said Tho: Lydiards begotten as aforesaid be now living
56    then my Will is that the said Legacy or Sum[m]e of Fifteen pounds shall
57    be equally divided between my said four Cousins Richard John Wm
58    and Joseph Blake or the Survivors of them Item I give and bequeath
60    unto my Cousin William Pritchard of Tetbury aforesaid Carryer and to
61    his assignes all that my Leasehold Messuage or Tenement with the
62    Garden Backside and outhouses Rights Members and app[ur]tences thereonto
63    belonging and adjoining situate lying and being in Tetbury in the said County
64    of Glouc[este]r aforesaid in a certain Street there called the Ginnstoole Street and
65    now in the pos[es]sion of Anthony Sharpe from and imediately after my decease
66    To hold unto the said Wm Pritchard and his assignes for and during all the
67    rest residue and remainder of a certain terme of years or longer determina[t]ion
68    thereof which shall be then to come and unexpired men[t]ioned in a certain
69    Lease by virtue of which I now hold and enjoy the Same I likewise give
70    and bequeath unto the said Wm Pritchard the Elder the Sum[m]e of Forty
71    pounds of lawful money of Great Britain to be paid unto him within
72    Six Months next after my decease by my Executors herein afternamed
73    Item I give and bequeath unto my Maid Servant Mary Nicholas and
74    her assignes All that my Leasehold Messuage or Tenement Barn Stable
75    outhouses Gardens Orchards Backsides and Closes Lands of Meadow
76    arable or pasture with their and every of their rights Members and
77    app[ur]tences Scituate lying and being in the parish of Shipton Moyne afores[ai]d
78    To hold unto the said Mary Nicholas and her assignes imediately after
79    my decease for and dureing all the rest residue and remainder of a certain
80    term of years or Sooner determina[t]ion thereof which shall be then to come
81    and unexpired men[t]ioned in a certain Lease by virtue of which I now hold
82    and enjoy the same Together with the said Lease and all benefit and
83    advantage thereof I likewise give and bequeath unto the said Mary Nicholas
84    and her assigns all my household Goods both Linnen and Woollen and all
85    other Implements of household of what nature or kind soever and all things
86    to them or any of them belonging which are now or Shall be at the time of
    [Page 3]
87    my decease In the Messuage or Tenement and outhouses where I now
88    dwell (Except what Goods is given by me before to Hester Orchard) as also
89    one other brass pan) which said Goods together with the pos[es]sion of the
90    Messuages or Tenements Lands of Meadow arable or pasture lying and
91    being in the parish of Shipton Moyne aforesaid Shall be deliverd within
92    two days after my decease unto the said Mary Nicholas and her assigns
93    by my Executors herein after named according to the true intent and
94    meaning of this my last Will and Testament It[em] I give and bequeath the
95    Brass pan above Excepted into Dorothy Battin of Tetbury aforesaid
96    Spinster as also to her Mother Eliz Phillips Five pounds to be paid her by my
97    Executors within Six Months after my decease Item all the rest residue and
98    remainder of my Goods and Chattells read and personal Estate of what
99    nature and kind soever and not herein before by me given or disposed off
100    and my debts Legacys herein before given first paid and Funerall Expences
101    discharged I give and bequeath unto my said three Cousins Richard Blake
102    John Blake and Joseph Blake whom I make Joint and Sole Executors of
103    this my last Will and Testament and desire them to See the same performed
104    revokeing all former Wills by me made and this to be taken only as my
105    last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have to this my last Will
106    and Testament Sett my hand and Seal this three and twentieth day of Aug[us]t
107    Anno d[omi]ni 1723 Ch: Blake Signed Sealed published and declared
108    by the said Christopher Blake as his last Will and Testament in the
109    presence of us who Sett our Names in the presence of the Testator John
110    Woodward Harry Witts the mark of Elizabeth Browneing
111    Probatum fuit hujusmodi Testamentum apud London
112    coram venerabili et egregio viro Johanne Bettesworth Legum doctore
113    Curie Prerogative Cantuariensis Magistro Custode sive Commissorio
114    legitime constituto duodecimo die Mensis Octobris anno domini
115    Millesimo Septingentesimo Vicesimo tertio Juramentis Richardi Blake
116    Johannis Blake et Josephi Blake Executorum in dicto Testamento nominat
117    Cuibus commissa fuit administration ominium et singulorum bonorum
118    Jurium et creditorium dicti defuncti de bene et fideliter administrando eadem
119    ad Sancta dei Evangelia (vigore Commissionis) Jurat

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