Bushell, Collibee and Boulton

I’ve been revisiting the Forrest family, a branch of my maternal family tree with roots in London and Worcestershire. Thomas Forrest, a London citizen and haberdasher who died in 1678, was my 9 x great grandfather. His daughter Alice married Sussex-born stationer John Byne (1651 – 1689): they were my 8 x great grandparents. In the last post I reported some new information about the Forrest family and the families that were linked with them by marriage, including the Boultons, a number of whose members were leading lights in the East India Company. I’m fairly certain that both families had their origins in Worcestershire, probably in the area around Fladbury on the River Avon between Evesham and Pershore. I believe that another Alice Forrest, who was almost certainly Thomas Forrest’s sister, married William Boulton, and that they migrated to London some time in the mid-seventeenth century.

Bath Abbey (via Wikipedia): site of many Bushell and Collibee births, marriages and burials

Bath Abbey (via Wikipedia): site of many Bushell and Collibee births, marriages and burials

Since writing the last post, I’ve discovered some more information about Major Peter Boulton, one of the sons of William and Alice Boulton. As reported before, I’m now quite sure that Peter Boulton was married twice. His first marriage was in 1691 to Elizabeth Bushell of Fladbury and they seem to have had two children, Elizabeth and Alice. Elizabeth must have died by 1699 when Peter Boulton married for a second time, to Posthuma Landick of Bath. In the last post I noted my suspicion that Peter’s original connection to Bath, to which he and Posthuma would retire, perhaps some time in the 1730s, was through his first wife Elizabeth Bushell. It was the fact that Peter Boulton’s great niece Elizabeth Jemblin would marry Bath apothecary and sometime mayor of the city Edward Bushell Collibee, that first made me suspect that the Bushells might have a connection with the city, and that this might explain how Peter came to be living there.

Searching for information about the Bushell and Collibee families of Bath, I discovered a large number of wills from the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries. Purely by chance, the first of these wills that I read contained a reference to Peter Boulton. Not only that, but there was also the hint of a link with the Landick family. Edward Bushell the elder, a gentleman of Bath, died in 1701. From his will we learn that he had sons named Edward and John, the latter having a son of his own named Richard. He also had daughters (presumably at this stage unmarried, since they shared their father’s surname) with the names Ann and Frances. Intriguingly, Edward also had a daughter named Elizabeth Landick. He mentions two cousins: Frances and Thomas, the latter being the proprietor of the Three Tunns in Bath.

In his will Edward Bushell also describes Peter Boulton as his ‘cousin’, but their precise relationship remains unclear. By 1701 Peter had been married to Posthuma Landick for two years, so it’s possible that this was his sole connection to Edward: perhaps Posthuma was a sister or cousin of the member of the Landick family who married Elizabeth Bushell, Edward’s daughter? Or perhaps Edward Bushell was already linked to Peter Boulton through the latter’s first wife, another Elizabeth Bushell?

Some credence is given to the latter suggestion by another Bushell will made a few years earlier. In 1696 Samuel Bushell of Bath had made his will. He refers to his wife, yet another Elizabeth Bushell, but there is no mention of any children, so perhaps Samuel was still quite a young man when he died. However, he does bequeath money to ‘my cosen Alice Boulton daughter of my brother-in-law Peter Boulton’. Since this will was made three years before Peter Boulton married Posthuma Landick, it must mean that Samuel was the brother of Peter’s first wife Elizabeth Bushell, thus confirming the connection between the Bushells of Fladbury and those of Bath. The will is also confirmation that Peter and Elizabeth Boulton’s daughter Alice was still alive in 1696, but that her sister Elizabeth, mentioned with her in a London record of the previous year, had probably died, since she is not mentioned in the will. I suspect that the absence of any reference to Peter’s wife, and Samuel’s sister, Elizabeth means that she too had died by this date.

Unfortunately, Samuel Bushell doesn’t mention any siblings or cousins in his will, so his relationship to Edward Bushell the elder is unclear. And of course Edward’s will doesn’t refer to Samuel, since he had been dead for five years when it was written. Perhaps Samuel was a brother or even a cousin of Edward’s, like the Thomas Bushell mentioned in the latter’s will? This was probably the Thomas Bushell who made his own will in 1721. The will mentions Thomas’ daughters Elizabeth and Mary, his nieces Eleanor and Mary Ford, and his sister Frances Purlewent. Perhaps the latter was the wife of Samuel Purlewent who witnessed Peter Boulton’s will in 1743 and who would in 1755, four years before his death, be a party to a case in Chancery involving Edward Bushell Collibee and Peter Boulton’s granddaughter Mary.

The Four Bath Worthies (Anonymous, c. 1735) via buildingofbathcollection.org.uk

The Four Bath Worthies (Anonymous, c. 1735) via buildingofbathcollection.org.uk

For our purposes, the most interesting aspect of the will is that Thomas Boulton leaves one hundred pounds to Eleanor ‘Gospright’ daughter of Peter Boulton of London, gunsmith. I already knew that a daughter of Peter Boulton’s had married Captain Richard Gosfreight, but I had concluded that it must be Alice, since she and Elizabeth were the only two Boulton daughters I knew of. It now appears that there was at least a third Boulton daughter, and it seems likely that she was the product of Peter’s second marriage, to Posthuma Landick. It’s also interesting to learn that, at late as 1721, Peter Boulton was still ‘of London’, despite his connection by marriage with the Bushells and the Landicks of Bath.

That Peter Boulton’s daughter Alice did not marry Richard Gosfreight, and perhaps even remained unmarried, is confirmed by a reference in the will of Edward Bushell the younger, who died in 1724. Edward’s will makes a bequest to Alice Boulton, daughter of Peter Boulton. This will is also useful for throwing light on the connection between the Bushell and Collibee families. Edward mentions two of his sisters – Elizabeth Landick and Ann Collibee, the latter obviously having married since her father made his will 1701. The ‘probatum’ following the will again refers to these two sisters, the former said to be a widow and the latter the wife of William Collibee.

Ann Collibee (née Bushell?) made her will in 1729. The first person she mentions is her cousin Mr Peter Boulton. We also discover that Edward Bushell Collibee was her son – his middle name making sense if she was, indeed, born a Bushell. We know from other sources that Edward Bushell Collibee’s father William was, like him, an apothecary and mayor of Bath. William Collibee was born in 1672 and died in 1728; he was mayor in 1719/20. Edward Bushell Collibee was born in about 1707 and was mayor on a number of occasions between the 1750s and 1780s; he died in 1795.

The will of John Bushell, brother of Ann and of Edward the younger, who died in 1703, just two years after his father Edward Bushell the elder, mentions his wife Anne, his son Richard, his brother Edward and his sisters Frances Bushell and Elizabeth Landick. John also makes reference to his brother-in-law William Collibee and to his nephew George Collibee, son of his sister-in law Mary Collibee. She was almost certainly the Mary Collibee who made her own will in 1725, in which she mentions a daughter named Ann and sons Richard, Benjamin, George, Anthony and William. Mary also refers to her sister Anne Bushell, a widow. If this was the widow of John Bushell, does it actually mean sister-in-law, or was John’s wife born a Collibee, thus creating a double connection between the two families?

The will of Mary Collibee’s son Richard Collibee, who died in 1740, mentions his brothers George and Benjamin Collibee and his sister Ann Collibee. He also refers to his nephew Edward Bushell Collibee, to his aunt Mrs Ann Bushell (John Bushell’s widow?) and to his cousin Richard Bushell, ‘gentleman deceased’. This complicates the emerging Bushell-Collibee family tree still further. It will take further research to untangle the web of relationships between the two families, and to determine the precise nature of their connection with Peter Boulton and his first and second wives.

The history of the Bushell, Collibee and Boulton families in the early eighteenth century is interesting in its own right, and to my knowledge it hasn’t been explored or written about before. However, I also remain hopeful that at some stage it will throw light on the origins of my Forrest ancestors, with whom these families were intimately connected.

Posted in Boulton, Bushell, Byne, Collibee, Forrest, Gosfreigth, Jemblin, Landick | Leave a comment

The Worcestershire connection

I’ve been taking a break from researching my Sussex Byne ancestors, and having another look at the Forrest family. My 8 x great grandfather John Byne (1651 – 1689), who was the son of Magnus Byne (1615 – 1671), rector of Clayton-cum-Keymer in Sussex, moved to London as a young man and worked as a stationer at Tower Hill. It was there, in about 1675, that he met and married Alice Forrest, the daughter of haberdasher Thomas Forrest and his wife Anne.

The Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire (via geograph.org.uk)

The Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire (via geograph.org.uk)

Last year I spent some time exploring the will of Alice Byne née Forrest, who died in 1738, and also the will of William Forrest of Badsey, near Evesham in Worcestershire, who died in 1700. William’s will had bequeathed ‘to my said cozen Alice Bine All my Lands Messuages Tenements and Hereditaments in Badsey’, property which is also mentioned in Alice’s own will. From these wills, and from other evidence, I concluded that William Forrest was almost certainly the brother of Alice’s father Thomas, and therefore her uncle, rather than her ‘cozen’ (a term that, as we have seen in many other instances, was used at this period to describe a variety of family relationships). I also came to the conclusion that the Forrest family had its roots in Worcestershire, and that my 9 x great grandfather Thomas Forrest was probably born there and moved to London as a young man (I’m almost certain that he’s the Thomas Forrest who married Anne Burrowes at St Bartholomew the Great in June 1650). In other words, the experience of the Forrest family of Worcestershire seems to have mirrored that of the Bynes of Sussex: they too were a family of yeoman farmers in the shires, one or more of whose members came to London to be apprenticed to a trade, while retaining a foothold in their county of origin.

William Forrest’s will enabled me to discover the connection between the Forrests and another family with one foot in London and another in Worcestershire: the Boultons, a number of whom would become prominent shipbuilders and members of the East India Company. Briefly, it seems that another Alice Forrest, the sister of William (and probably of my 9 x great grandfather Thomas), married a member of the Boulton family, almost certainly named William, and that they lived in the parish of All Hallows, Barking, in the City of London. William was perhaps a merchant and probably made the same kind of move from his Worcestershire home as did his brother-in-law Thomas Forrest. William and Alice Boulton had a number of children, including Captain Richard Boulton the elder, who died in 1737; Major Peter Boulton, a gunsmith, who retired to Bath and died in 1743; William Boulton junior, whose son Captain Richard Boulton the younger worked for the East India Company and retired to Perdiswell near Worcester, dying there in 1745; Elizabeth Boulton who married naval commissioner Martin Markland; Mary Boulton who married a Mr. Lewes; and another daughter, name unknown, who married Thomas Saunders of Moor, near Fladbury in Worcestershire. Thomas Saunders’ daughter Hester Saunders married Thomas Crabb and had two sons, Henry and Richard, who took the additional surname Boulton on inheriting property from Richard Boulton junior; both of them were leading lights in the East India Company and Henry served as Member of Parliament for Worcester. Another Saunders daughter, Grace, married Jersey-born salter James Jemblin: their eldest son John was described as ‘of Evesham’ in the 1745 will of his cousin, Richard Boulton the younger.

Church of All Hallows Barking, London

Church of All Hallows Barking, London

Researching the interrelated Forrest, Boulton and Saunders families of Worcestershire has often proved difficult, and at times I’ve longed for an equivalent of Walter Renshaw’s history of the Bynes of Sussex: that’s to say, an overview written by somebody who has been able to inspect the parish and other records ‘on the ground’. In the absence of that, I’ve had to search long and hard online for the odd reference to individuals who may or may not have been members of these connected families. However, returning to this branch of my family tree in the past week or so, I’ve succeeded in discovering some new records that may help to fill in the gaps in our knowledge of these families.

Firstly, I think I’ve found some new information about the Saunders family. William Forrest’s will of 1699 bequeaths ‘to William Grace and Hester children of Mr Thomas Saunders of Moore twenty shillings apiece’. We know that Hester Saunders of All Hallows Barking married Thomas Crabb in 1708, and they were the parents of Henry and Richard Crabb who are described as nephews (but were probably his great nephews) in the will of Captain Richard Boulton the elder. There is a reference in the National Archives to Thomas Saunders a ‘gent’ of Moor, whose property was included in a return of ‘papists’ and non jurors’ estates’ drawn up after the Jacobite rising of 1715. Moor is a small hamlet, often mentioned in tandem with its neighbouring settltment Hill (as in ‘Hill and Moor’) close to Fladbury, a village on the banks of the River Avon about five miles north-west of Evesham (Badsey is about three miles to the east of the town). It lies opposite the village of Cropthorne.

Via The Genealogist I managed to find a record of the baptism of Thomas Saunders of Moor, in the parish of Fladbury, on 10th March 1653. Apparently his father’s name was John. I then came across a baptismal record for Hesther Saunders, daughter of Thomas Saunders of Moor, also at Fladbury, on 1st March 1688. About four years previously, on 23rd December 1684, Thomas’ son William had been christened. This would fit with the names in William Forrest’s will, though I’ve yet to find a record of Grace Saunders’ birth or baptism. The record of William Saunders’ baptism notes that his mother’s name was Margaret. As mentioned above, I believe that Thomas Saunders married a daughter of William and Alice Bolton née Forrest. So was her first name Margaret?

Just before the bequest to the Saunders children in William Forrest’s will, there is this sentence: ‘To Richard and Ann sonne and daughter of Richard Haines of Charleton and Jane his wife five pounds apeece’. Also via The Genealogist, I’ve discovered baptismal records for Richard and Ann Haines, the children of another Richard Haines, in 1691 and 1692 respectively, in the parish of Cropthorne, about a mile from the village of Charlton.

But perhaps most significantly, using Family Search I’ve managed to locate a Forrest family living in the Fladbury area in the early seventeenth century. For example, George Forrest had a son named William baptised there on 27th February 1626 and a daughter Alisia christened on 25th October 1629. Could this be William Forrest, later of Badsey, and his sister Alice who married William Boulton? Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to discover whether George Forrest had a son named Thomas, though I did find a Thomas born to a Richard Forrest (perhaps George’s brother?) in Fladbury in 1623. All of these dates fit with what we know about the lives of William, Alice and Thomas Forrest.

Fladbury church and mill (via bbc.co.uk/history/domesday)

Fladbury church and mill (via bbc.co.uk/history/domesday)

I also found out that George Forrest had married Ann Horniblow in Fladbury on 10th August 1625. The following document, dated 1608, from the National Archives, mentions a Thomas Horniblow, as well as Robert, William and Thomas Forest ‘all of Hill in Fladbury, husbandmen’, though these are probably from an earlier generation of the Forest family:

Counterpart of a deed to declare the uses of a fine between Thomas Throckmorton of Coughton, Warws. esq. pl. and John Darby of Fladbury, yeoman, John Marshall of Bishampton, husbandman, Robert Forrest and William Forrest, his son, John Heynes, Thomas Hornyblowe, Richard Horne and Thomas Forrest, all of Hill in Fladbury, husbandmen, of a messuage and lands in Bishampton, in the tenure of John Marshall, a messuage in Hill and lands, some called Lockyers, in Hill and Moor in Fladbury, in the tenure of Robert Forrest, lands (some described) in Hill in Fladbury, in the tenure of John Darby, a messuage in Hill and lands in Hill and Moor in Fladbury, in the tenure of John Heynes, a messuage in Hill and lands in Hill and Moor in Fladbury, in the tenure of Thomas Hornyblowe, a messuage in Hill and lands in Hill and Moor in Fladbury, in the tenure of Richard Horne, and a messuage in Hill called Warrantes and lands in Hill and Moor in Fladbury, in the tenure of Thomas Forrest. To hold to the use of the respective tenants of each of the said properties.

The Thomas Throckmorton mentioned in this record was a member of a prominent Worcestershire family with roots in the village of Throckmorton five miles north-west of Evesham. Throckmorton was a staunch Catholic who had suffered persecution and loss of property during the reign of Elizabeth:

In the time of Sir Robert Throckmorton, and his son and heir Thomas, Coughton became a centre for Catholic recusants. The Tower Room of Coughton Court with its panoramic view for monitoring any approach to the house made it an ideal location for the secret celebration of the Mass, and there was also an ingenious double hiding place built by Nicholas Owen in one of the turrets for the priests in the event of a raid. The Throckmortons not only provided a relatively safe place for people to worship; they also assisted in the underground movements of the priests and established colleges abroad for training English clergy. They were a crucial part of the network of families that enabled Catholicism to remain alive throughout the Reformation.

As for William Forest of Badsey, possible brother of my 9 x great grandfather Thomas Forrest, I’ve found two contemporary documents that mention him. The first is undated:

Henry Chauntrell v. Sheldon Stephens (an infant), by Thos. Tolley his guardian, John Tolley and his wife Mary, William Forrest: Messuage and yard land (lately belonging to Cox Stephens, defendant’s late father), lying in Wyer Piddle, and elsewhere, in the parish of Fladbury (Worcester), and touching the sale of the lands in Badsey belonging to “Chrisogon,” the wife of said Cox Stephens, &c., &c.: Worcester

Secondly, in 1685 William was a witness to the will of Augustine Jarrett of Badsey. One of the other witnesses was Charles Nixon, whom William would appoint as one of the overseers of his own will nine years later. Nixon was the vicar of Badsey from 1677 to 1705.

This confirms that William Forrest was a longstanding (and probably unmarried) Worcestershire resident and did not migrate to London like his brother Thomas and his sister Alice who married William Boulton. It also suggests that the Forrest and Saunders families, and perhaps the Boultons (though their Worcestershire roots are proving more elusive) had their origins in a cluster of villages strung along the River Avon, between Evesham and Pershore.

I’ve also discovered some new records for Major Peter Boulton, the London gunsmith who was one of the sons of William Boulton and Alice Boulton née Forrest. When he died in 1743, Peter Boulton was living in Bath and was married to a woman named Posthuma. However, until this week I’d been unable to find any record of this marriage. Instead, I had located the record of what looked like an earlier marriage, on 26th June 1691 at St James, Westminster, between Peter Boulton of All Saints (i.e. All Hallows) Barking, London, and Elizabeth Bushell of Flatbury (i.e. Fladbury), Worcestershire. It was his bride’s Fladbury connection, in addition to the mention of All Hallows Barking, that made me think this was probably ‘our’ Peter Boulton. Reflecting on this first marriage, I recalled that Peter Boulton’s great niece, Elizabeth Jemblin (the daughter of his niece Grace Jemblin nee Saunders) would marry a man named Edward Bushell Collibee, an apothecary, alderman and sometime mayor of Bath. The Bushells, like the Collibees, seem to have provided a number of Bath’s leading citizens and to be one of the city’s leading families. Was there perhaps a connection between the Bushells of Bath and the Bushells of Fladbury in Worcestershire, some seventy-five miles away? And might this link help to explain how Peter Boulton, a London gun maker whose family originated in Worcestershire, came to be living in Bath in the first place? Did he inherit property there via his first wife Elizabeth Bushell, She was apparently about 21 years old when they married, which means she was born in about 1670. I’ve found records for at least two Elizabeth Bushells born in the Fladbury area, but neither is a close match in terms of chronology.

Bath in the 18th century

Bath in the 18th century

My researches in the London Metropolitan Archives last summer unearthed evidence of a Peter and Elizabeth Boulton living in the parish of All Hallows Barking in 1695, with their two daughters Alice and Elizabeth (it was one of these daughters, probably Alice, who would marry Captain Richard Gosfreight in about 1710). I had assumed that Peter’s wife Elizabeth must have died some time around 1700, but I’ve now found a record of his marriage to his second wife, Posthuma, which took place on 31st December 1699, so Elizabeth Boulton née Bushell must have died before that date, perhaps in childbirth. This second marriage took place at Bath Abbey and we learn that Posthuma’s maiden name was Landick. A child with that name (mistranscribed in the online record as ‘Fostuma’) was christened at Bath Abbey on 23rd January 1676, meaning that she was twenty-three years old when she married Peter Boulton. Posthuma was the daughter of David Landick ‘late deceased’ and his wife Elizabeth. On 24th November 1687 Mrs Elizabeth Landick, presumably Posthuma’s widowed mother, married Robert Hayward, also at Bath Abbey.

The fact that Peter Boulton’s second wife Posthuma was from Bath strengthens my theory that he already owned property there as a result of his first marriage to Elizabeth Bushell. We know that Peter continued to live in the parish of All Hallows Barking after his marriage to Posthuma, because his sons Edward and Peter were born in there in 1703 and 1709 respectively. However, Peter and Posthuma had obviously retired to Bath and regarded it as their main address by the time Peter made his will in 1741.

These new discoveries open up new lines of enquiry that may lead, perhaps indirectly, to identifying more precisely the Worcestershire origins of my Forrest ancestors.

Posted in Boulton, Bushell, Byne, Forrest, Gosfreigth, Jemblin, Landick, Markland, Saunders | Leave a comment

The last will and testament of Magnus Byne of Framfield (died 1647)

An email from my fellow researcher Ed Rydahl Taylor has reminded me that, to date, I haven’t got around to transcribing the will of Magnus Byne of Framfield in Sussex. Magnus was the eldest son of my 11 x great grandfather Edward Byne of Burwash (died 1611) and his wife Agnes (died 1626), and the grandson of Magnus Fowle of Mayfield (died 1595), after whom he was obviously named. He was the older brother of my 10 x great grandfather Stephen Byne (1586 – 1664), and is not to be confused with his namesake, Stephen’s son, Rev. Magnus Byne (1615 – 1671), the rector of Clayton-cum-Keymer and my 9 x great grandfather – nor with any of the other Magnus Bynes in the Byne family tree, including his own son and grandson (see below).

Parish church, Framfield (via wanderinggenealogist.wordpress.com)

Parish church, Framfield (via wanderinggenealogist.wordpress.com)

As I’ve noted before, Magnus Byne of Framfield was married three times: firstly to Elizabeth Polhill, secondly to Bathshua Newington, and thirdly to Elizabeth Manser née Byne, the widow of Abraham Manser of Wenbourne and the daughter of the John Byne of Wadhurst who has been the subject of a number of my recent posts. Magnus died in May 1647 a year after the end of the Civil War, and the absence from his will’s preamble of any mention of the reigning monarch may be an indication of his own political views, or simply a reflection of the confusion of the times.

I’m not sure that Magnus Byne’s will provides us with any startling new information about him or his family. The preamble includes standard Calvinist wording about ‘hoping to have full pardon of all my sinnes through the meritts of Jesus Christ my Redeemer’, probably reflecting the Byne family’s Puritan beliefs and suggesting a shift in religious sympathies from the days of his Catholic-leaning Fowle forebears (a development I plan to explore on another occasion). At the same time, Magnus’ reference to lands in Ringmer and Glynde reflects a kind of continuity with those same ancestors, in that they were inherited from his grandfather Magnus Fowle, who in turn was bequeathed them by his father Gabriel Fowle of Southover (died 1555). Magnus Byne’s appointment as overseer of ‘my trusty and welbeloved Brother Stephen Byne of Burwashe’ (my 10 x great grandfather) is surely an indication of the close bond between the two men.

In the name of God Amen the 7th day of May 1647 I Magnus Byne senior of Framfield in the County of Sussex gent being not well in body but of perfect memory thankes be to god therefore doe make and ordaine this my last will and testament in manner and forme following That is to say I comend my Soule into the handes of Almighty God my maker hoping to have full pardon of all my sinnes through the meritts of Jesus Christ my Redeemer As for my worldly Goodes I dispose of them as followeth. Item I give and bequeath to the poore people of the parish of Framfield fourteen shillinges to be payd within one weeke next after my decease Item I give to the poore people of Burwashe tenn shillinges to be payd within fifteen dayes next after my decease. Item I give to the poor people of Chiddinglie six shillings and eight pence to bee payd by my Executor within fifteen dayes next after my decease Item I give and bequeath to Magnus Byne my sonne five shillinges to be payd within one weeke next after my decease And I doe forgive unto my sonne all such said money and debts as hee doth owe or shall owe mee att the time of my decease. Item I give to Mary his wife one piece of Gold of Twenty shillinges to bee payd within 15 dayes next after my decease. Item I give Magnus Byne the sonn of my sayd sonne one piece of gold called a portigue to bee delivered unto my sayd sonnes wife to the use of her child ymmediately after my decease. Item I give and bequeath unto Mr John Sawfford minister of the parish of Framfield Twenty shillings. Item I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth Byne the daughter of Thomas Byne my sonne ten shillinges and one silver spoone. Item I give and bequeath to Thomas Byne the sonne of Magnus Byne my sonne two silver spoones And my will and mynd ys that the Overseers of this my will shall see the delivery and equally dividing of the sayd spones. All the residue of my goodes chattels and credditts not formerly given and bequeathed by this my will my debts and legacyes being payd the expenses of my funeral discharged and this my ? and last will and Testament performed I give and bequeath wholy to Thomas Byne my sonne whom I make sole Executor of this my will. And as concerning my freehold landes Tennements and hereditaments lyinge in the parishes of Ringmire and Glynde I give and bequeath the same withal and singular th’appurtanances unto Thomas Byne my youngest sonne To have and to hould the sayd freehold landes Tennements and hereditaments with th’appurtenances unto the sayd Thomas Byne his heires and Assignes for ever. And I doe constitute ordaine and appoint my trusty and welbeloved Brother Stephen Byne of Burwashe and Magnus Byne his sonne to bee the Overseers of this my will to whom I give for their paynes tenne shillinges a piece and their necessary expenses to bee borne by my executor when they travel att any time aboute the sayd business. In wittnyse whereof I the sayd Magnus Byne have hereto sett my hand and Seale the day and yeare first abovewrytten fine (?) Magnus Byne Read sealed and published in the presence of John Peckham William Peckham & John Squire

Posted in Byne, Fowle, Manser | Leave a comment

The wife of John Byne of Wadhurst?

The mystery of the identity of John Byne of Wadhurst, Sussex, formerly of Burwash, who died in 1614, may be a step nearer to being solved – thanks to a helpful comment on an earlier post of mine, from Brenden Ashton, who is a descendant of John’s daughter Ellen, who was married to Mark Coney. Brenden suggests that John Byne might be the person of that name who married Helen Ticehurst at Brightling, three or four miles south of Burwash, on 15th September 1578. This date would fit well with Walter Renshaw’s suggestion that John was born in about 1555, and also with the birth of John’s eldest surviving daughter Elizabeth in 1584. The fact that John named his second daughter Ellen or Helen might provide further confirmation that this is the right marriage. Brenden has found the record of a baptism for Helen Ticehurst at Brightling in 1563. She would only have been about fifteen years old when she got married, but this was not unusual at the time.

Parish church, Brightling (via geograph)

Parish church, Brightling (via geograph)

Interestingly, a different John Byne married another member of the Ticehurst family. On 31st May 1602 John Byne, son of Thomas Byne of Ticehurst and grandson of Richard Byne of that village, married Susan Ticehurst. Were she and Helen sisters, perhaps? And if so, does that suggest a close family tie between the John Byne who married Helen and this other branch of the Byne family? All that is needed now is to find a Ticehurst will that mentions Helen and/or Susan, and to see whether it provides us with any further clues as to the identity of the mysterious John Byne.

Mandy Willard’s family history website provides information about a number of members of the Ticehurst family, who seem to have lived in the Ashburnham area for many generations. Unfortunately, there is no mention of either Helen or Susan. However, there are numerous references to members of the Glyd or Glyde family, who seem to have intermarried with the Ticehursts. According to Renshaw, a Thomas Glyd witnessed the 1630 will of the John Byne who married Susan Ticehurst. It should be also noted that Ashburnham and Brightling are very close to Penhurst, where the other John Byne – the subject of our quest – owned land. Perhaps he acquired it in a marriage settlement?

The Vale of Ashburnham by JMW Turner

The Vale of Ashburnham by JMW Turner

My 12 x great grandfather Magnus Fowle, whose daughter Agnes married my 11 x great grandfather Edward Byne of Burwash, bequeathed forty shillings to ‘old John Tysherst his widowe sometime of Brightlinge’ in his will of 1595. This is the same will in which he left ‘Twentie shillings in gold’ to ‘Elynor Ashbourneham the daughter of Mrs Isabell Ashbourneham’, mother and daughter both being noted Catholic recusants.

Posted in Ashburnham, Byne, Fowle | Leave a comment

Byne properties in Burwash

Orchard and oast houses in Burwash, Sussex

Orchard and oast houses in Burwash, Sussex

If ‘follow the money’ is (at least since All The President’s Men) the watchword of investigative journalists, then ‘follow the property’ might be the equivalent in family history research. My fellow researcher Ed Rydahl Taylor has alerted me to the fact that, in 1621, by means of a ‘settlement’, a number of properties in Burwash, Sussex were transferred to the ownership of my 10 x great grandfather Stephen Byne and to William Cruttall of Wadhurst, as detailed in this summary of a document held at the East Sussex Record Office:

Henry Gouldsmyth gent and wife Faintnot of Burwash, Abraham Manser yeoman and wife Elizabeth of Wadhurst, Mark Conny yeoman and wife Helen of Burwash [sisters of Thomas Byne deceased] to Stephen Byne of Burwash yeoman and William Cruttall of Wadhurst yeoman 

1. ‘Hamland’ (5a) in Burwash; two parcels ‘the Dene’ (8a) in Burwash; part of a meadow, ‘Laddes’ or ‘Swanne mead’ now inclosed (6a), all occupied by A[braham] M[anser] 

2. House, kitchen, barn and orchard, together with the other part of ‘Laddes’ or ‘Swanne mead’ (2½a) with longe croft (5a), Rushe croft (2½a) Hoppers Croft (2½a) all in Burwash occupied by H[enry] G[oldsmith] 

3. House, barn, orchard and eleven pieces of land (35a) called Tyle Oste or Strong land and Kembland in Burwash.

Recites a fine levied in Easter term 1621

1 to A[braham] M[anser] and E[lizabeth] M[anser] and their heirs, 2 to H[enry] G[oldsmith] and F[aintnot] G [oldsmith] and their heirs and 3 to M[ark] C[oney] and H[elen] C[oney] and their heirs, remainders to the heirs of the wives

W[itnesses]: Alexander Thomas, Thomas Longly, Richard Plasted

Endorsed ‘for Mark Conny’. 

Faintnot Goldsmith, Elizabeth Manser and Helen Coney were the three elder daughters of John Byne of Wadhurst who died in 1614, and whose identity I’ve been trying to establish in recent posts. Their father left all of his lands to his only son Thomas, who died in 1618, following which his inheritance was divided between his sisters. In addition to the three sisters named here, John Byne had three other daughters: Mary, who married Francis Lucas; Judith, who married John Baker; and Anne, who married Christopher Manser.

Ed Rydahl Taylor also notes that one of the properties transferred in the above settlement, ‘Kembland in Burwash’, is probably the ‘Kemelond’, ‘Kymeland’, or ‘Kembelond’ mentioned in other documents dating back to the mid 15th century. It is usually mentioned in tandem with ‘Mellefield’, ‘Mellefelde’ or ‘Millefeld.’ One document held by the East Sussex Record Office notes that ‘Kemeland and ‘Millfield’ had been acquired by a John Byne by 1540, though unfortunately no reference or date is available. Although we can’t be absolutely certain, this is almost certainly the John Byne who died at Burwash in 1559, was the brother of Richard Byne of Ticehurst who died in 1574, and almost certainly the brother of my 12 x great grandfather William Byne of Burwash, who also died in 1559. This John Byne of Burwash was married to a woman named Joan and they had three sons: Richard, Symon and Henry.

Walter Renshaw’s history of the Byne family provides a brief summary (page 76) of John Byne’s will of 1559. Apparently he bequeathed lands called Kenwardes and Stanlynes in Burwash to his son Symon, and to his son Henry he devised Woodlands and Mattens Crofts, also in Burwash. His son Richard died two years after his father, in 1561, apparently without issue.

I haven’t seen the original will, but I wonder if it’s possible that Renshaw’s ‘Kenwardes’ is a mis-reading of ‘Kemeland’ or similar? If so, what became of it when Symon died, only a year after his father? Symon’s will leaves money to his wife, his son Richard, daughter Margery, and to his brother Richard. He leaves his land and estate to his wife, until his son comes of age. That son, Richard, was baptised in 1559. Renshaw thinks he might be the Richard Byne who graduated from Cambridge in 1608. I can’t find any trace of him after that date, but in any case, his dates are too late to help us follow the trail to John Byne of Wadhurst.

Is it possible that Renshaw got things wrong, and that (perhaps) the original John Byne of Burwash also had another son, John junior, born in the late 1550s, who eventually inherited ‘Kemeland’? We know that John Byne of Wadhurst was of the same generation as John Byne of Burwash’s children, and also that he was probably born in Burwash. If this earlier John Byne was his father, then the later John would have been a first cousin of my 11 x great grandfather Edward Byne, and the uncle of my 10 x great grandfather Stephen Byne. And Stephen would have been a second cousin to John Byne’s daughters, from whom he took over ownership of the properties mentioned in the above transaction, including ‘Kembland’.

There is a slight contradiction between the 1621 record and another document held by the East Sussex Record Office, dated April 1625, which suggests that Mary Lucas, one of the younger daughters of John Byne of Wadhurst, received ‘Keemeland’ as part of her ‘moiety’ on her brother Thomas’ death:

Francis Lucas of Barcombe, yeoman and wife Mary to Goddard Cruttenden of Burwash, butcher 

Keemeland (13a) and 4 pieces of land (18a): E: land of James Picknoll and of the heirs of John Cowper; S: ‘Kingsdowne'; N: the whapple way from Dudwell bridge to the four pieces of land 

Recites a writ of partition of the lands late Thomas Byne by Nicholas Eversfield esq, sheriff [1620], assigning this property to his sister Mary Lucas; deeds to be copied at G[oddard] C[ruttenden]‘s expense

W[itnesses]: Magnus Byne Stephen Byne, Mark Conney, David Lucas

I suspect that what’s needed is a thorough trawl of the earlier Byne family wills, to pursue more closely the trail of properties through three generations.

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Who was John Byne of Wadhurst?

In the last two posts I’ve been exploring the life of John Byne of Wadhurst, Sussex, who died in 1614. This person was obviously related in some ways to my known Byne ancestors, but his precise connection to the Byne family remains unclear.

John Byne’s eldest child, Elizabeth, was baptised at Burwash, about six miles south of Wadhurst, in October 1582. We can therefore deduce that John must have been married by early 1582 at the latest. Since I believe it was usual at this period for men to marry in their early to mid twenties, it seems likely that John Byne was born in the late 1550s or early 1560s.

Graves in Burwash churchyard

Graves in Burwash churchyard

In his history of the Byne family, Walter Renshaw concludes that John Byne was born in 1555, since he identifies him with the John Byne of Burwash, yeoman, aged forty-nine, who was a witness to the boundaries of the parish in May 1604. Moreover, and seemingly on the basis of John’s reference in his will to ‘lands, tenements and hereditaments’ in Penhurst (about six miles south of Burwash), Renshaw suggests that may be the ‘John at Byne’ of Penhurst against whom proceedings in the Archdeaconry Court were taken in July 1585 (Renshaw, page 194).

Whatever the truth or otherwise of these specific claims, it seems likely that John Byne was born sometime between 1555 and 1565, probably in Burwash. As I noted in the previous post, all of John’s seven children (born between 1582 and about 1603) were baptised at the parish church in Burwash, leading me to believe that he moved to Wadhurst quite late in life, perhaps to live with his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Abraham Manser, and probably after the death of his wife.

We can conclude that John Byne was of the same generation as (though probably slightly younger than) my 11 x great grandfather Edward Byne, who was born in 1550 (and who died in the same year as John Byne), the son of William Byne of Burwash. Richard Byne of Ticehurst, who I believe was William’s brother, had a son named John, who married Dionysia Pudland on 10th July 1569. A number of websites and family histories confidently claim that this was, in fact, the John Byne of Wadhurst who died in 1614. However, as I mentioned in an earlier post, Renshaw quotes from the will of this John Byne, which was proved by his widow Dionysia, and it seems clear that he died in 1579 and that he only had one child who survived him, a daughter named Mary.

Countryside near Wadhurst (via morgenguard.com)

Countryside near Wadhurst (via morgenguard.com)

The only other John Bynes that we know of don’t fit the likely dates for John Byne of Wadhurst. The earliest of them is the other likely brother of William and Richard, the John Byne who died at Burwash in 1559. Another was the John Byne who was the son of Thomas Byne, himself another of the sons of Richard Byne of Ticehurst. However, this John was born in 1576, married Susan Ticehurst in 1602, and made his will in 1630.

My 11 x great grandfather Edward Byne had a brother Symon who in 1574 married Elinor Pudland, sister of the Dionysia Pudland who had married his cousin John in 1569. Symon had a son John who was born in 1589 but died in 1590, and another son with the same name. We don’t have any further information about this John Byne, but he must have been born after 1590, so he would be much too young to be the person we’re looking for.

So the search for information about the origins of John Byne of Wadhurst goes on. However, we can be fairly certain that he was related in some way to my Byne ancestors. Renshaw suggests that he may be the ‘John Byne of Burwash Towne’ described as ‘my Couzen’ by my 11 x great grandfather Edward Byne, in his will of 1611. Edward appointed this John Byne as one of the two ‘trusty supervisors and Overseers’ of his will (the other being his brother Symon) and he also seems to have been of its witnesses. Edward Byne’s son, my 10 x great grandfather Stephen Byne, was described as a ‘cousin’ by Henry Goldsmith, husband of John Byne’s daughter Faintnot, when he made his will in 1634; he appointed Stephen as one of its overseers. As mentioned in the previous post, in 1630, in the fifth year of the reign of King Charles I, Stephen purchased a substantial amount of land from another of John Byne’s daughter, Anne – land which she had received when her late brother Thomas’ property was partitioned in 1620.

Anne was, of course, Stephen’s sister-in-law, having married Christopher Manser, brother of Stephen’s wife Mary. The transaction was witnessed by Stephen’s older brother Magnus Byne and his son, Magnus junior. Two years before this transaction took place, Magnus senior had married Anne’s older sister Elizabeth, who (to complicate things further) was the widow of Abraham Manser, who was in turn the uncle of Christopher and Mary Manser. These multiple intermarryings may simply reflect the realities of a small rural community, or they may be an indication of existing bonds of kinship between different branches of the Byne family.

Tower Hill in the late 17th century

Tower Hill in the late 17th century

Some forty-four years after this transaction occurred, and in the very different circumstances of Restoration London, another Stephen Byne made his will and appointed ‘my cosen John Manser’ as one of its overseers. This Stephen, a citizen and upholder or upholsterer of Tower Hill, was the son of another Magnus Byne, rector of Clayton-cum-Keymer in Sussex, and the grandson of Stephen Byne of Burwash. Seven years later, in 1681, the same John Manser would appoint ‘my kinsman Mr John Byne of Tower Hill’ as one of the overseers of his own will. This John Byne, a citizen and stationer, was Stephen’s brother, and my 8 x great grandfather. John Manser, who worked as an apothecary in nearby East Smithfield, was the son of Christopher Manser of Burwash and his wife Anne Byne, the youngest daughter of John Byne of Wadhurst. John Manser was certainly entitled to call John and Stephen Byne of Tower Hill his kinsmen, and to be described by them as a ‘cousin’ (using the term in its loosest, seventeenth-century sense), because his father Christopher was the sister of their grandmother Mary Byne née Manser. But it seems more than possible that he was their kinsman twice over, if his mother Anne Manser née Byne was related in some way to their grandfather Stephen Byne of Burwash.

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The children of John Byne of Wadhurst

In the previous post I shared my transcription of the last will and testament of John Byne of Wadhurst, Sussex, who died in 1614. I’m trying to establish this person’s identity and his relationship with my known Byne ancestors. In this post, I’ll summarise what we know about John Byne’s children, both from his will and from other sources.

Elizabeth Byne

According to Renshaw’s history of the Byne family, John Byne’s daughter Elizabeth was baptised at Burwash, Sussex, on 21st October 1582. On 27th December 1600 she married Abraham Manser or Maunser of Wenbourne (or Wenbans) in Wadhurst at the same church. As I’ve noted before, he was the younger brother of my 11 x great grandfather John Manser, and the uncle of my 10 x great grandmother Mary Byne née Manser, husband of Stephen Byne of Burwash. Since not only Elizabeth, but all of John Byne’s children were baptised at Burwash, and since he expressed a desire to be buried there, and also entrusted the execution of his will and the education of his three youngest daughters (Mary, Judith and Anne) to Abraham, I wonder if John had moved to Wadhurst in order to live with his daughter and son-in-law, perhaps after the death of his wife?

Wenbans, or Wenbourne, in 2008 (via wenbans.com.au/)

Wenbans, or Wenbourne, in 2008 (via wenbans.com.au/)

Abraham and Elizabeth Manser had three daughters of their own – Mary, Ellen and Elizabeth. I’m not sure what became of Mary and Elizabeth, but according to my fellow researcher Ed Rydahl Taylor, Ellen was made a ward of Nicholas Manser of Hightown, presumably after her father Abraham’s death in 1627. Nicholas was the grandson of Robert Maunser and thus Abraham’s nephew, which would mean that Ellen Manser was his first cousin. Ellen married William Cruttall in 1636. Abraham Manser’s widow Elizabeth married Magnus Byne of Framfield, older brother of my 10 x great grandfather Stephen Byne, on 17th June 1628; it was his third marriage.

Ellen Byne

John Byne’s second daughter Ellen, otherwise known as Helen, Elinor or Elinora, was baptised at Burwash on 25th July 1585. On 31st January 1602, when she would have been about seventeen years old, she married Mark Coney, also at Burwash. He was from another old Burwash family, and was probably born there in 1571. Mark Coney died in 1648 and his will provides details of his and Ellen’s children. They had a son named Simon who predeceased his father, leaving a son of his own called John. There was a daughter Elizabeth who married Thomas Jarvis, another daughter Mary who married William Baker, and a third daughter Anne who was married to William Austin.

Faintnot Byne

A third Byne daughter was given the distinctly Puritan name of Faintnot. We don’t have a birth date for her, but it was probably around 1590. Faintnot Byne married Henry Goldsmith before 1611, when their son, Henry junior, was born. Henry Goldsmith senior was a churchwarden at Burwash in 1623. He died in 1634/5 and was buried on 15th January. In his will Henry appointed his son Henry junior as executor, and his brother-in-law Mark Coney and his ‘cousin’ Stephen Byne (my 10 x great grandfather) as overseers. Although, as I’ve often noted before, the word ‘cousin’ tended to be used very loosely at the time, this does suggest a close tie of some kind between Faintnot’s family and my own Byne ancestors. Faintnot Goldsmith remarried on 9th October 1638 at Chiddingly to a 45-year-old yeoman of that parish named Richard Thunder.

Parish church, Chiddingly (via geograph)

Parish church, Chiddingly (via geograph)

Mary Byne

Mary Byne, the fourth daughter of John Byne of Wadhurst, was baptised at Burwash on 20th August 1592. She married Francis Lucas, a yeoman of Barcombe, on 24th April 1617. The marriage took place at Wadhurst, suggesting that (as prescribed by her late father’s will) Mary was living with her older sister Elizabeth Manser and the latter’s husband Abraham at the time. Francis Lucas was one of the three sons (the others were John and Edward) of John Lucas of Barcombe.

Judith Byne

Mary’s younger sister Judith was baptised at Burwash on 23rd May 1602. She married John Baker at Wadhurst on 4th June 1622.

Anne Byne

Renshaw’s account has very little to say about the youngest of John Byne’s daughters Anne, but we know from other sources that she married Christopher Manser. It’s my belief that Christopher was the brother of my 10 x great grandmother Mary Byne née Manser and the son of my 11 x great grandfather John Manser of Wadhurst. The latter bequeathed ‘all my lands lying in Burwashe to my sonn Christofer and to the heires of his body lawfully begotten’ in his will of December 1597. In this land transaction of 1630, Christopher Manser, the husband of Anne, is described as ‘of Burwash’:

Christopher Manser of Burwash, yeoman and his wife Anne to Stephen Byne of Burwash, yeoman

8 pieces of land ‘Woodlandes and Highlandes’ (40a); 6 pieces S: lands of John French gent and lands of Thomas Glyd gent ‘Wiverherst'; N, W: a whapple way from Halton house to ‘William Cruttendens of the greene'; E: land of Herbert Lunsford gent. Other 2 pieces W: land of HL; N: whapple way as before; S: land of TG ‘Wiverherst’, E: lands of John Dawe of Burwash ‘Hickmans’

This land lately occupied by John Byne of Burwash deceased, came to Anne Manser by partition of the property of Thomas Byne her brother by Nicholas Eversfield esq, sheriff [1620]

W: John Dawe, John Stoner, Magnus Byne, William Foster, Magnus Byne junior

Among other things, this confirms that Christopher Manser’s wife Anne was born Anne Byne and was the brother of Thomas (see below) and son of John (interestingly described here as ‘of Burwash’, suggesting that his connection with Wadhurst was probably fairly brief). As I think I’ve mentioned before, if my theory is correct, then the couple’s connection to the Stephen Byne mentioned here would have been a double one, firstly, because I believe Stephen to have been a relation of some kind of Anne’s father John Byne, and secondly and more immediately, because Christopher and Stephen were brothers-in-law, Stephen being married to Christopher’s sister Mary.

And since we learn from John Byne’s will that Anne and her two sisters were to be looked after by Abraham Manser of Wadhurst, what could be more natural than that he would suggest his nephew Christopher, son of his late brother John, as a suitable husband? One source claims that Christopher and Anne were married in 1621. The information I have about their children is gathered from a number of sources and may be of varying reliability. Apparently their daughter Mary was baptised at Burwash on 4th December 1625. I believe their son John was born in the early 1630s; Jane was baptised at Burwash on 29th June 1645; Anne was probably born shortly before or after this, as was their son Nicholas; possibly Deborah was baptised at Burwash on 29th October 1648; and Abraham may have been born in about 1650. Manser and Byne influences can be seen in these Christian names: Mary was perhaps named after her aunt, Christopher’s sister; John after Anne’s late father; Nicholas after Christopher’s nephew, the owner of Hightown; Abraham after Anne’s brother-in-law (and Christopher’s uncle) who acted as her guardian before her marriage.

Mottynsden, Burwash

Mottynsden, Burwash

I’ve written before about the children of Christopher and Anne Manser. Their son John moved to London, where he lived close to his second cousins Stephen and John Byne (the latter being my 8 x great grandfather) and worked as an apothecary. His brother Nicholas appears to have lived at Mottynsden in Burwash and may have inherited this from his father (who in turn may have inherited it from his father John – it could be the ‘lands lying in Burwash’ bequeathed in the latter’s will).

Thomas Byne

John Byne’s only son, and his intended heir, Thomas, was baptised at Burwash on 23rd November 1595. His father died in 1614 when Thomas was not quite 21 and presumably inherited his property a year later. However, Thomas himself only lived a little while longer, being buried at Wadhurst on 5th October 1618. According to Renshaw, letters of administration of his effects were granted to his sister Faintnot Goldsmith. The land transaction record cited above mentions the partitioning of Thomas’ property in 1620.

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