Sunday, May 11, 2014

Will of Martin Blake, Singing man, Minister, Gloucestershire - The National Archives PROB 11/33/402, probated 5 Nov 1550

The testator is Martin Blake, singingman, Minister, Gloucestershire. The Martin Blake in this time frame of whom I am aware is living in Winchcomb and married to Catherine Vaughan. He is the son of William Blake of Lacock Wiltshire and Margaret Brown of Wablyn.

This Martin Blake does not appear to be related to Martin Blake B.D., Vicar of Barnstaple and Preendary of Exeter Cathedral (1593 – 1673). His grandfather having been William Blake a son of Nicholas Blake (born 1552) of Plymouth. I blogged the will of Nicholas Blake earlier:

The other confusing part is where in Gloucester is this Minster. Is it Minsterworth which is just four miles south west of Gloucester itself or is it Whitminster also known as Wheatenhurst which is seven miles south of Gloucester? Given the closeness of the two it is probably not necessary at this point to distinguish. But there is also a Mnister Lovell in Oxfordshire.

Martin Blake is a forename often found in the Galway Blake family which I shall keep tucked in the back of my mind but I still have the Blake Pedigree Chart held at the Swindon and Wiltshire Record Office.

The chart has Martin Blake living in Winchcomb and married to Catherine Vaughan (daughter of George Vaughan of Herefordshire). Martin has a brother John who was said to be the ancestor of Lord High Admiral Robert Blake. Timewise that would make him the father of Humphrey Blake of Overstowey. This still to be proven although again keep it in the back of my mind as a possibility. The parents of Martin and John are said to be William Blake of Lacock and Margaret daughter of William Browne of Wablyn. I have not been able to find Wablyn and wonder if it is the name of a manor house. Could it be the parish of Whaddon which is 3 miles NE of Trowbridge and 4.9 miles SSW of Lacock? Winchcomb is 38 miles north of Lacock just to give a picture of these places. The Vaughan family is an ancient Welsh/Herefordshire family about whom there is some material but I could not access it at the moment. There is an interesting article: but it doesn’t help me with Catherine. But set that aside and we see that William (father of Martin) has a brother John said to be Abbot of Cirencester. This abbey is located in Gloucestershire and written up on British History online:

John Blake is listed as the Abbot circa 1522 and he is the last Abbot listed of this particular abbey. In 1539 the abbey was surrendered to the royal commissioners. He is an uncle to Martin and if this was Martin leaving his will in 1550 a possibility that I have located the correct Martin and the correct family. The parents of John and William are named as David Blake married to Joane daughter of (unknown) Mallet. The coat of arms of the Mallet family is a blue backgrtound with three shells facing downwards (top at the top and one at the bottom).  Then back to John Black and Margaret Dyncham/Dinham/Denham with this John said to be the second son of Robert Blake and Avis Wallop. It is known that John when he left his will in 1504 does not mention a son David.

When you find some accuracies on a published tree from over three hundred years ago you must in all honesty search out all of the material rather than discard any of it on the basis of one item. Is it possible that John was married twice and did not know of the existence of a son David? I continue to search for other pieces of information to verify this chart. Also having John brother of Martin said to be the ancestor of General/High Admiral Robert Blake is also quite fascinating as timewise he could be a father to Humphrey Blake of Overstowey for whom the father is not yet known. That they all used the same coat of arms is quite fascinating.

Names mentioned in the will:
Martin Blake, testator, singingman, Minster
Johane [Blake], daughter
William [Blake], son, under 21 years
Richard [Blake], son, under 21 years
Thomas [Blake], son, under 21 years
Magre [Blake], mother [the chart has Margaret as his mother]
Walter [Blake], brother
Roger [Blake], brother
Thomas Coxdall, witness

He does not have a surname attached to the names of his brothers Walter and Roger, his mother, his daughter or his sons. I would think that his mother, daughter and sons are all Blake but what about  his brothers; could they be brothers in law? He is a long way from Lacock!

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 12 Apr 2014
Source: The National Archives, PROB 11/33/402
Testator:  Martin Blake, Singingman
Place: Minister, Gloucestershire, England
Type of Record: Will
Date of document: 22 Oct 1550, probated 5 Nov 1550
Condition: 16th century English, legible copy

[Margin]: T[estament] Martin
[Margin]: Blake

1    In the Name of God Amen The xxij th daye of October in the yere of our lord
2    god a thousand five hundredth and fyftie in the fourthe yere of the Reigne of o[u]r sov[er]aigne
3    Lorde king Edward the sixte I Marteyne Blake of the Mynster of Gloster singing
4    man being of hole and p[er]fect mynde and Remembrance Laude and prayse be given to almyghtie
5    god do make ordeyn and declare this my present testament and last will in maner and forme
6    following that is to saye First and before all erthely thyngs I comende my soule unto th[e ]andes
7    of Almightie god my onely Savio[u]r and redeemer and my bodie to be buried in Christien burial when yt
8    shall please god and myne Executors Item I give to Johane my doughter one Frock of Russell
9    A worsted kyrtell a red peticote the bygest brasse panne three greate platters of pewter
10    a chaffing dishe of latten a saltseaver of pewter two candelsticks my best flocke bed a bolster
11    and pillowe a payre of blankets a cov[er]let the best I have The Residue of all my goods cattalls
12    and debtes my debts first paide and my funerals paide and discharged I holy and frealy gyve
13    and bequeathe to and among my three boyes that is to saye William Richarde and Thomas
14    to be delyv[er]ed to them at their lawfull ages And if any of them happen to dye before he shall
15    com to his lawfull age that then he or they lyvyng to enjoie his or their parte so deceased
16    Item I give and bequeath to my Mother Magre of fyne shets drawen with silke a payre of
17    fyne pilloweberes a little sprewce box And I make and ordeyne my brother Walter and my
18    brother Roger myne Executors whom I will shall have the custodye of the goods of my saide
19    Three boyes till suche tyme they shall come to their lawfull ages And for their paynes that
20    they shall have and take in that behalf I give and bequeathe between them five marks In
21    witness whereof to this my p[rese]nt testament and last will I the same Marteyne Blake have sett
22    my hande and Seale theron the daye and yere abovesaide in the presens of this p[er]sones hereafter
23    Thomas Coxdall and dyvers other
24    Probatum fuit hmoi testum coram dno Cant archipo apud London quinto die mens
25    Novembris Anno dm millmo sinugentesimo ququagisimo Juramento Executoru in humoi
26    testament noiato ombus comssa fuit eadem admstraro omn bonoru etc dei defuncti pfat ect de bene
27    crediter admstrando eadem etc de pleno Juam etc phibend de sancta dei Evangelia Jurat

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