Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Will of Frances Blake, Walton, Lancashire - The National Archives PROB 11/1527, probated 26 Nov 1811

Frances Blake, testatrix, was the daughter of William and Alicia (Hodgson) Blake of Bedford Row, Middlesex who married at St Stephen, Coleman Street, London, England the 11th October 1765.

An online tree at Ancestry (BennettOct15 plus verification with original records) was helpful with putting together a list of the children of William and Alicia Blake. This tree proposes that William Blake (father of Frances) was born at Ravenglass, Cumberland 1 Jan 1733 and baptized 8 Jan 1733 at Muncaster (along with his twin sister Elizabeth). Doing a search of the Cumberland-L Archives revealed a researcher looking for William Blake of Ravenglass, innkeeper, married to Frances N. This couple had a third child Isabelle married to Edward Frears of Ravenglass/Muncaster. This same researcher (Rob Schouten) states: The Family of Blake of Danesbury was a collateral branch of the family of Robert Blake, admiral at sea, of the Blakes of Somerset. However I cannot trace back its roots further then to William Blake, innholder of Ravenglass, Cumberland who died 1748; his widow Frances remarried Ralph Foster.

The children of William and Alicia (Hodgson) Blake:

William Hodgson Blake, born 9 Jul 1767 and baptized 6 Aug 1767 at St Bartholomew the Great, London; buried 13 Sep 1767

Alicia Blake was born 17 Jan 1769, baptized 15 Feb 1769 at St Bartholomew the Great, London and married Thomas Strickland 3 Apr 1800 in London

John Rodolph Blake born 29 Oct 1770 and baptized 31 Oct 1770 at St Bartholomew the Great, London; buried 9 Feb 1774

Frances Blake born 25 Jul 1772 at Chiswick, died by 26 Nov 1811 at Liverpool

William Blake, born 31 Jan 1774 and baptized 27 Feb 1774 at St Bartholomew the Great, London and married Mary Nash 25 Jul 1797 at St Mary le Bone, London

John Blake born 17 Oct 1775, Aldersgate Street, London; died in 1799 at Polygars, S India

Caroline Blake born 13 Apr 1777 at Aldersgate Street, London, baptized 24 Aug 1777 at St Botolph without Aldersgate and married there to John Robley 2 Jul 1799.

An interesting file online concerning the brother of the testatrix caught my interest and it provides a lot of interesting information on this Blake family:


William Blake (brother of the testatrix)
Profile & Legacies Summary
1774 - 1852
Claimant or beneficiary

Brother-in-law and devisee-in-trust of John Robley (q.v.) under his will (dated 1807 but proved with codicils 1824). Caroline Robley (q.v.), John Robley's widow, was the daughter of William and Alicia Blake: this is her brother (born in 1774). A letter in the West Yorkshire Archives Service from James Cunningham in Bristol to William Blake of Portland Place concerning the estate of John Robley confirmed the link. [As does the will of Frances Blake the present testatrix where she mentions William Blake of Portland Place as her brother.]

William Blake the son of William and Alicia Blake was baptised at St Bartholomew 27/02/1774 (born 31/01/1774) while Caroline Blake was baptised at St Botolphs in 1777 and on her marriage to John Robley in 1799 at St Botolph's Aldersgate, at which William Blake was a witness, she was described as 'of this parish'. 

The will of William Blake of Bedford Row whose will was proved 26/11/1810 [will transcribe this will next] specifies legacies to his daughters including Frances [testatrix of this blogged will], Alicia, wife of Thomas Strickland, and Caroline wife of John Robley, and makes his only son William sole executor. A William Blake aged 77 was buried in the North Aisle of St Bartholomew 05/06/1810, as Alicia Blake had been on 08/04/1809. The profession of William Blake of Bedford Row has not been identified: his will refers to property at Chiswick [?] and in Aldersgate, the latter on a long let, but carries no further clues. A William Blake left an insurance partnership in Bristol with John Gresley, James Rogers and others in 1785, but the baptisms of William Blake of Bedford Row's children point to a firm City base in the 1770s. It is conceivable but not demonstrated that William Blake of Bedford Row (d. 1810) was the partner in Sansom, Blake and Postlethwaite, bankers of 65 Lombard Street: if so, William Blake of Bedford Row was partners with the abolitionist Philip Sansom at the same time that his daughter Caroline Blake was marrying into a slave-owning family.

William Blake the son, brother of Caroline Robley, is shown in the 1851 census at 62 Portland Place a widower aged 77 'Landed proprietor, fundholder, barr[ister] not in practice', born St Bartholomew, living with his son William John, also 'barr[ister] not in practice' aged 45, and unmarried daughter Frances aged 47. Will of William Blake of Portland Place proved 22/12/1852.

William Blake the son, brother of Caroline Robley, is the William Blake of Danesbury [Welwyn, Hertfordshire], whose papers are at the Hertfordshire Local Records Office. The papers contain no reference to Caroline Robley but they link William Blake by Portland Place, by the heir William John Blake and the unmarried daughter Frances (Fanny). The introduction to the papers detail William and Mary Blake's inheritance of the Darker estates in England. The sons of William Blake (d. 1852) were: William John Blake, MP for Newport 1837-41 who left £140,000 on his death in 1875; and his brother Henry Wollaston Blake was an eminent engineer. The daughters of William Blake (d. 1852), Ellen, Caroline and Emily married respectively John Alexander Hankey (q.v.), Henry Davidson (q.v.) and Christopher William Puller, suggesting from the first two at least a West Indian mercantile nexus. 

William Blake of Portland Place Middlesex and Danesbury Place [near Welwyn] Hertfordshire (31/01/1774-24//11/1852) 'apparently a landowner in Hertfordshire and was also a barrister, but his father's occupation could not be traced.  His father was apparently in business or in a profession in London, but could not be identified in directories or other sources. In 1883 Arthur Maurice Blake of Danesbury owned 4343 acres worth £7331 p.a., in Hertfordshire, Leicestershire etc.'  In 1823 his address was 'of Hartwell Buckinghamshire' (Alum. Oxon for his son). Father was William Blake of London and Wimbledon. Charterhouse School; Trinity College Cambridge (BA 1793); Fellow of Trinity 1795-7. Barrister Lincoln's Inn (called 1799). Married Mary Nash, daughter of Joseph Nash (at least two sons, including William John Blake (1805-75) the Liberal MP 1837-41).  High Sheriff of Hertfordshire 1836-7.  Art collector (Alum Cantab.)  Left £140,000.

1.    Ancestry.com, London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 [database online]; West Yorkshire Archives Service WYL250/3/4/2/83 [now no longer accessible].
2.    London Gazette, Issue 12714, 03/01/1786, p. 6.
3.    PROB 11/1516/406; Ancestry.com, London, England, Births, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 [database online].
4.    1851 census online; PROB 11/2162.
5.    Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, Estate and family papers of the Blake family of Danesbury, Welwyn 1777-1924, DE/X69 http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=046-dex69&cid=-1#-1 [accessed 16/05/2011]; National Probate Calendar 1875; Obituary of Henry Wollaston Blake http://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/content/issue/imotp/138/1899 (which gives Henry Wollaston Blake's birthplace as 25 Portland Place: it is possible the street as renumbered between his birth in 1815 and the 1851 census).
6.    William D. Rubinstein, Who were the rich? A biographical dictionary of British wealth-holders Volume Two 1840-1859 (London, Social Affairs Unit, 2012) reference 1852/25.

Further Information
Spouse, Mary Nash
Children, William John, Henry Wollaston, Frederic, Mary, Ellen, Caroline, Emily, Fanny

Transcriber: Elizabeth Kipp
Recorded: 10 Jan 2017
Source:  The National Archives, PROB 11/1527
Name of testator: Frances Blake
Place: Elm Grove, Walton, Lancashire, England
Type of Record: Will
Dated 7 Dec 1811, probated 26 Nov 1811
Read: Electronic file images

[In margin] Frances Blake 12

1    This is the last Will and Testament
2    of me Frances Blake late of Bedford Row in the County
3    of Middlesex but now resident at Elm Grove in the parish
4    of Walton in the County of Lancaster and Whereas William
5    Blake of Bedford Row my late Father bequeathed unto me
6    the Executrix the Sum of Three thousand pounds and
7    whereas he also gave devised and bequeathed unto his
8    Son William Blake his heirs Executors and Administrators
9    certain Copyholds and Leaseholds Messuages Tenements
10    or premises at Chiswick in the County of Middlesex
11    and in Aldersgate Street London or elsewhere comprised
12    in a lease bearing date on or about the 8th day of
13    August 1804 from the said William Blake my late
14    Father to Messrs Edward Sage and William Rawdon
15    for a long term of years at the yearly Rent of Five
16    hundred and fifty pounds Upon Trust from time to time
17    during the said time devised by the said lease to
18    pay the said Rent as the same should grow due and
19    be received unto me the Testatrix my Executors Admors
20    and Assigns to whom he gave the same for mine and
21    their absolute use and benefit Now my Will respecting
22    the said Money and the said annuity so left unto me
23    by the Will of my said Father I make publish and
24    declare in manner following that is to say I give
25    unto my Brother William Blake the Sum of One
26    hundred pounds I give unto Miss Maria Neale the
27    Sum of One hundred pounds I give unto my Servant
28    Jane Grey for her great attention during my illness
29    one hundred pounds I give unto my Servants Mary
30    Davis and John Hammond Ten pounds to each and I
31    desire that the said Annuity of Five hundred and Fifty
32    pounds be paid unto my Executor for such a time as
33    shall enable him to pay the above mentioned Legacies
34    and discharge my Funeral Expences and such other
35    costs as may be due and owing from me at the time
36    of my decease I give devise and bequeath unto my
37    Cousin Harriet Hodgson of Chigwell in the County of
38    Essex the Sum of One thousand pounds as a mark
39    of my Gratitude and affection I give devise and bequeath
40    unto my Cousin Emma Hodgson of Chigwell in the
41    County of Essex the Sum of One Thousand pounds as a
42    mark of my Gratitude and affection And after the
43    payment of the abovementioned legacies I give devise
44    and bequeath the residue and remainder of the propert
45    ies left unto me by my said Father unto the Trustees
46    for the time being and at the Marriage Settlement of
47    my Sister Alicia the wife of Thomas Strickland upon
48    Trust to lay out and invest the Remainder of the three
49    thousand pounds as left to me by my said Father
50    in the purchase of Government Stocks or Funds or
51    on real Securities at Interest with full power to alter
52    and transpose this or use at their discretion and to pay
53    the dividends or interest thereof together with the rent
54    or annuity of Five hundred and Fifty pounds
55    (or such part of the said Rent or Annuity as has
56    not been disposed of by my Executor for fulfilling the
57    purposes of my Will) unto my Sister Alicia for her
58    life for her separate use and from and after her
59    decease upon trust to assign transfer and pay the
60    principal of the said dividends and also the said
61    Rent or Annuity unto and amongst all and every
62    or such one or more of the Child or Children of her
63    my said Sister Alicia or their Issue as such shall
64    be living at the time of her decease as she my said
65    Sister Alicia when the survivors or sole survivors notwithstanding
66    her Coverture shall by her last Will and Testament
67    in writing or by any writing purporting to be or
68    in the nature of her last Will to be by her
69    executed in the presence of and attested by two credible
70    witnesses shall direct limit or appoint and in default
71    of such appointment unto and amongst all and every
72    the Child or Children of her my said Sister Alicia
73    which shall be living at her decease share and
74    share alike and the Issue of such of them as shall
75    be then dead such Issue taking the life shares as
76    their deceased parents would have taken though and not
77    otherwise share and share alike and in case my
78    said Sister Alicia should be without having any
79    issue at the time of her decease then I give the
80    Residue of the property so bequeathed unto me by
81    my Father unto my Brother William Blake and
82    my Sister Caroline Robley to be equally divided between
83    them share and share alike I give unto my Sister
84    Caroline Robley all my Jewels and Ornaments and
85    my piano Forte I give devise and bequeath all the
86    Residue and Remainder of my real and personal
87    Estate whatsoever and wheresoever unto my
88    Brother William Blake Esquire of Portland Place
89    and appoint him my Sole Executor of this my Will
90    In witness whereof I the said Testatrix have to this
91    my last Will and Testament set my hand and Seal this
92    eleventh day of December in the year of our Lord
93    One Thousand eight hundred and Ten Frances Blake
94    Signed Sealed publishedand declared in the presence
95    of us W Briggs physician Liverpool C E Gilbert
96    Proved at London the twenty Sixth November
97    One Thousand eight hundred and eleven before the
98    Worshipful John Daubery doctor of Laws and
99    Surrogate by the oath of William Blake Esquire
100    the Brother and sole Executor to whom Admon was
101    Granted having been first sworn duly to administer

No comments: