Yesterday I posted my transcription of the will of Richard Lucke of Wadhurst, Sussex, who died in 1593. I’m interested in Richard because there’s a possibility that he might be my 13 x great grandfather. But that’s only if I can prove that he was the father of Alice Fowle, my 12 x great grandmother.

What do we learn about Richard Lucke of Wadhurst and his family from his will of 1590? We read that Richard had a brother called Edward and that his wife’s name was Joan. He had four surviving sons: Richard, Thomas, John and Christopher. I assume that the latter was the eldest, since he is to inherit the greater part of his father’s property.

We discover that Richard Lucke had three daughters who were unmarried at the time of his death: Dorothy, Joan and Mary. There were also four married daughters: Margaret, who was married to John Barham; Elizabeth, who was married to John Kingwood (or Kingward); Anne, who was married to Thomas Stapley; and Katherine, who was married to a man whose Christian name is difficult to decipher, but whose surname seems to be Buson or similar. Richard’s godson, named here as Richard Kenward, might be a relative of John Kingwood or Kingward – perhaps his son, and therefore Richard’s grandson as well as his godson?

18th century map of area around Wadhurst, Sussex

18th century map of area around Wadhurst, Sussex

According to one online pedigree, John Barham, who married Margaret Lucke, was born in Wadhurst in 1556 and was the son of William Barham (1525 – 1589) and his wife Anne Lorkyn (born 1527). He had three siblings: William, Nicholas and Elizabeth. John Barham probably married Margaret Lucke, shortly before Margaret’s father Richard made his will. They had four children: William (1591 – 1648), Richard (born 1593), Margaret (born 1595) and Nicholas (born 1598). John Barham died in 1597.

The Sussex Post-Mortem Inquisitions archive includes a reference to Thomas Lucke, yeoman, who died on 8th March 1639. His heir was his nephew John, son of his older brother John Lucke. In his will of 1627 Thomas also left property to his brother Christopher and his brother-in-law John Kingwood.

According to some sources Thomas Stapley married Anne Lucke at Mayfield in 1573, and they had five children: John, Anne, Joan, Anthony and Elizabeth. One source claims that Thomas, who had been born in 1540, was from the Rotherfield branch of the Stapley family, and that Anne was his second wife. He seems to have been the brother of the John Stapley who married Barbara Fowle, in 1561, brother of Nicholas Fowle of Wadhurst and daughter of William and Margaret Fowle.

As I’ve noted before, Richard Lucke’s will makes no mention of a daughter named Alice, her husband Magnus, or any of their children. There’s still a possibility that Alice Fowle was the daughter of this Richard Lucke, but firm evidence is still lacking, and there’s a chance that Alice’s father was a different person bearing the same name.