Revisiting the Collins family of Epping

In the previous post I declared my intention to revisit the life of my 5 x great grandmother Elizabeth Gibson (1733 – 1759), and particularly her connection with the Collins family of Epping in Essex. Elizabeth’s first husband, whom she married in 1753 in what may have been a clandestine ceremony, was John Collins of Epping. John died some ten years later and I’m intrigued to discover how Elizabeth then came to marry her second husband, Joseph Holdsworth of South Weald. I have an inkling that understanding more about the Collins family might help me in this quest, and in this post I want to summarise what we know about them.

The ancient parish church of All Saints, Epping Upland

The ancient parish church of All Saints, Epping Upland

John Collins was baptised in Epping on 14th January 1733. He was the son of local landowner Richard Collins and his wife Jane. Born in Epping in 1693, Richard was the son of another Richard Collins, also of Epping, and he in turn was the son of another John Collins. This is the first of three generations of the Collins family that we know about.

First generation 

Richard Collins (1), the son of John Collins (1) was baptised on 7th June 1656 in Epping. Richard married Sarah Cowdlie on 31st December 1683 at the church of St Botolph, Aldgate, in London. Interestingly, this was the parish church of the Gibson family, and of Elizabeth Gibson’s Byne and Forrest forebears. In fact, for some reason, and despite their deep roots in Epping, the Collins family seem to have made a habit of marrying in London churches.

Richard and Sarah Collins had four children that we know of: John (2) (1686), Sarah (1688), Richard (2)(1693) and Elizabeth (1697).

Second generation

Sarah Collins married Henry Small in 1708. They had six children: Mary (died 1710), Richard (born 1711), Sarah (1713), Henry (1718), John (born and died 1721) and Joshua (1722).

John Collins (2) married Mary Archer in 1722. They had a son named Richard. John Collins died in 1742.

Richard Collins (2) married Jane Stoker in 1727. They had seven children: Richard (3) (1730), John (3) (1733), Sarah (1735), Elizabeth (1737), William (1739), David (1740) and Jane (date of birth unknown). Richard Collins died in 1748 and his wife Jane in 1740.

Elizabeth Collins did not marry. She died in 1761.

Third generation: the children of Richard Collins (2) 

Richard Collins (3) married Ann Champain in 1747. They had two children: a son named Champain (date unknown) and a daughter named Ann (1757). Richard Collins died in 1770 and his wife Ann in 1775.

John Collins (2) married Elizabeth Gibson in 1753. They had a daughter named Frances (1759). John Collins died before 1763, when his widow Elizabeth married Joseph Holdsworth.

Sarah Collins married a man with the surname Dilworth: he may be the George Thomas Dilworth who married a Sarah Collins in 1758.

Nothing more is known about the lives of the four younger children of Richard and Jane Collins.

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Revisiting the life of Elizabeth Gibson (1733 – 1809)

I continue to be fascinated by the life of my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Elizabeth Holdsworth, formerly Collins, née Gibson. Born at Tower Hill, London, in 1733, Elizabeth was the daughter of coal factor John Gibson and his wife Mary Greene, and the granddaughter on her mother’s side of goldsmith Joseph Greene and his wife Mary Byne. Her great-grandparents included Sussex-born London stationer John Byne and his wife Alice Forrest, and Captain William Greene of Ratcliffe, who served as Warden of Trinity House under Samuel Pepys.

Woodredon House, now an equestrian centre

Woodredon House, now an equestrian centre

When Elizabeth Gibson was five years old her parents acquired the manor of Woodredon at Waltham Abbey in Essex, a gift from Elizabeth’s maternal grandmother Mary Greene, widow of Joseph. I assume that Elizabeth spent much of her childhood at Woodredon, and that was how she came to meet her first husband, John Collins, the son of a landowner from nearby Epping. In 1753, when they were both twenty years old, Elizabeth and John were married at St George’s Chapel, Mayfair, a church notorious for clandestine weddings.

We know very little about this first marriage of Elizabeth’s, and still less about her first husband John Collins, since he appears to have left no will and the date and cause of his early death remain a mystery. The only thing we know for sure is that the couple had a daughter named Frances, born in Darby Street, London, in 1759 and baptised at the church of St Botolph, Aldgate. Frances Collins would later marry John Godfrey Schwartz, who was probably her first cousin and almost certainly the son of Elizabeth’s sister Anne and her husband Charles Gottfried Schwartz.

John Collins must have died by 1763, when Elizabeth married for a second time. Her second husband, and my 5 x great grandfather, was Yorkshire-born farmer Joseph Holdsworth, who lived in the village of South Weald, Essex. I’ve often wondered how Elizabeth and Joseph met, but I’ve begun to think the answer might lie with Elizabeth’s relations from her first marriage to John Collins. For this reason, I want to spend some time, in forthcoming posts, revisiting the story of the Collins family, and the families whose lives intersected with theirs in the middle decades of the eighteenth century.

Posted in Byne, Collins, Forrest, Gibson, Greene, Holdsworth, Schwartz | Leave a comment

A confusion of Collibees

I’ve been trying to understand the connections between the Bushell and Collibee families of Bath, both of whom supplied the city with mayors and aldermen in the first half of the eighteenth century. There are so many references to members of the two families in each other’s wills that working out exactly how they were related to each other can be quite taxing. However, I think I’m beginning to make some progress.

I’m interested in these families because of their connection with Major Peter Boulton, the London gunsmith who died in Bath in 1743. He was the son of William Boulton and Alice Forrest, the latter being (I believe) the sister of my 9 x great grandfather, London haberdasher Thomas Forrest. Peter was married twice: first to Elizabeth Bushell, and secondly to Posthuma Landick, whose mother Elizabeth had been born a Bushell. Peter must also have been instrumental in arranging the marriage of his great niece Elizabeth Jemblin to Edward Bushell Collibee, an apothecary and sometime mayor of Bath. So how were the Bushells and Collibees connected, and how does Edward Bushell Collibee fit into this picture?

An apothecary in his shop (early 18th century)

An apothecary in his shop (early 18th century)

Edward Bushell the elder of Bath mentions five surviving children in his will of 1701. John Bushell married Ann Matravers in 1689. They had a son named Richard. John died in 1703 and his son Richard died in 1715. Edward Bushell the younger married a woman named Mary. They appear not to have had any surviving children at the time of Edward’s death in 1724. Elizabeth Bushell married David Landick. Their daughter Posthuma, who was born in 1676, was the second wife of Peter Boulton. Frances Bushell and Ann Bushell were unmarried at the time of their father’s death.

John Bushell’s will of 1703 refers to his sister-in-law Mary Collibee, his brother-in-law William Collibee and his nephew George Collibee. John also appoints William Collibee joint guardian, with his own brother Edward Bushell the younger, of his son Richard.

The Mary Collibee mentioned in John Bushell’s will is probably the person of that name who made her own will in 1725. She certainly had a son named George, as well as other sons named Richard, Benjamin, William, Anthony and Edward, and daughters named Ann, and Mary Lewis, a widow. Mary Collibee also mentions her sister Anne Bushell, a widow: presumably she was the wife of John Bushell. If she is using the word ‘sister’ literally, to mean a sibling rather than an in-law, then it means that Anne Bushell and Mary Collibee must have had the same maiden name.

We know that Anne Bushell’s surname was Matravers when she married John Bushell in 1689. The 1717 will of William Matravers of Norton St Philip, about seven miles south of Bath, mentions ‘my cousin William Collibee apothecary’ as well as ‘my sister Mary Collibee and…her son Richard Collibee’, and ‘my sister Ann Bushell’. The clear implication here is that William Matravers, Anne Bushell and Mary Collibee were siblings, all born with the surname Matravers. I assume that the William Collibee mentioned here was Mary’s son, rather than her husband, and that therefore he was William Matravers’ nephew rather than his cousin.

To sum up: the Bushell and Collibee families were connected by virtue of the fact that two Matravers sisters, Anne and Mary, married a Bushell (John) and a Collibee (respectively).

However, this was by no means the only link between the two families. In his will of 1724, Edward Bushell the younger (John Bushell’s brother) mentions his two sisters Elizabeth Landick and Ann Collibee, the latter described in the ‘probatum’ appended to the will as the widow of William Collibee. Ann Collibee née Bushell is probably the person of that name who died in 1729, her will mentioning her son Edward Bushell Collibee. We know from other sources that Edward Bushell Collibee, who was himself an apothecary, was the son of William Collibee, also an apothecary, and that he was born in about 1707.

So Anne Bushell, daughter of Edward Bushell the elder, must have married William Collibee the younger some time between her father’s death in 1701 and the birth of her son Edward Bushell Collibee in about 1707. The will of Ann Collibee née Bushell described Peter Boulton as a cousin. By his second marriage to Posthuma Boulton, Anne’s niece (the daughter of her sister Elizabeth Landick), he was strictly speaking a nephew, or rather a nephew-in-law.

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

Another Bushell will

I’ve found another early eighteenth-century will by a member of the Bushell family of Bath, containing further valuable revelations about the family’s connection with Major Peter Boulton. In 1715 Richard Bushell made his will. He was the son of John Bushell who died in 1703 and the grandson of Edward Bushell the elder who died in 1701. Richard Bushell’s will is usefully packed with references to members of both the Bushell and Collibee families. He mentions his uncle Edward Bushell the younger (his father’s brother), and his cousins Richard, William, George, Benjamin and Anne Collibee, the children of his aunt Mary Collibee. Richard also refers to his mother Ann Bushell, the main beneficiary of his will, his uncle William Matravers and his cousin Richard Matravers, thus providing confirmation that the John Bushell who married Ann Matravers at Bath Abbey in 1689 was in fact Richard’s father.

Thomas Hearne, 'View of Bath from Spring Gardens', mid-18th century via

Thomas Hearne, ‘View of Bath from Spring Gardens’, mid-18th century via

However, for our purposes, the most significant sentence in Richard Bushell’s will is the one that refers to his aunt Landick and her son-in-law Peter Boulton, as well as the latter’s wife Posthuma and their children Alice and Peter. I had already discovered from other family wills that Elizabeth, the sister of Richard Bushell’s father John, had married into the Landick family, but I was unclear about the relationship between Elizabeth Landick née Bushell and Posthuma Landick who married Peter Boulton. This reference reveals that Posthuma was Elizabeth Landick’s daughter. I already knew that Posthuma was born in 1676 and that her father David Landick died just before she was born (does this explain her odd Christian name?). Now I know that her mother Elizabeth was born a Bushell: she was the daughter of Edward Bushell the elder and the sister of (among others) John Bushell, father of Richard. This would explain how Peter Boulton came to meet his second wife, since his first wife was another Elizabeth Bushell, though her precise relationship with the family of Edward Bushell the elder remains unclear.

The reference to Peter Boulton’s family in this will is also interesting because it mentions Peter’s two children, Peter and Alice. I already knew from other wills that Alice, the only surviving child of Peter’s first marriage, was still alive in the early decades of the century, but this is the first reference in a family document to Peter Boulton the younger. As I’ve noted before, Peter Boulton, son of Peter Boulton, a gentleman of All Hallow Barking, London, matriculated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, in 1725. He was 15 at the time, meaning he was born in about 1710, five years before Richard Bushell wrote his will. I’ve found no further records of Peter Boulton junior and he isn’t mentioned in his father’s will of 1741, suggesting that he didn’t survive.

Richard Bushell’s will is also a useful resource for understanding the connections between the Bushell and Collibee families of Bath. I’ll explore these in another post.

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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

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

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

The Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire (via

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

Fladbury church and mill (via

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

Parish church, Framfield (via

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