Gene Surfing

Adventures in Family History

The Will of Thomas Tatton

Farmer BullshotThomas Tatton was the grandson of William Stubbes of Watchfield and his gifts to family members in his will have been extremely useful in confirming some relationships.


This document is related to research into my family tree, in particular the pedigree of Anne Stubbes, who married Robert Codrington in 1595.  For background information please read An Heiress and of a Norfolk Family otherwise things may seem a bit confusing.


Thomas Tatton


Thomas [1614-1647] was the son of Susan Stubbes and Robert Tatton and the grandson of William Stubbes and Hester [Harington].

He leaves most of his estate to the three sons of his brother George, who was deceased when the will was written, and also mentions Anne, his sister in law, the widow of brother George and several other members of his extended family.

I believe that it was this Thomas, with his wife Margaret [White], who were the owners of Watchfield Manor from about 1635 following the death of his grandfather William Stubbes in 1630.

His grandmother, Hester, continued to live in property in Watchfield until her death in 1639 – likely to be West Mill farmhouse – and had some agreement with Thomas Tatton regarding this, as mentioned in later documents about the manor.

The document also includes an indemnity to the new occupiers against whatever Thomas Tatton or Mrs Hester Stubbs may have agreed to previously.

[See More about Hester]

There is no mention of a wife or children in the will of Thomas Tatton so it appears that Margaret had died by 1643.

As Thomas was from Twyning in Gloucestershire rather than Watchfield it seems he had already sold the manor, possibly after the death of his wife – there is no specific mention of the manor in his will but he did seem to have a lot of money [for which he was grateful].

By 1649 Watchfield was in the hands of  Henry Forster, Baronet.

http://www.whereitis.co.uk/watchfield.chronicle/key-page/the-17th-century.html


Thomas seems to be quite a rich man and he distributed his wealth to other family members and friends, leaving most of his estate to his nephews.

There are two copies of the will in the PCC register of wills, the only difference being the year that they were signed and sealed – one has 1643 and the other 1642 – so one has been copied incorrectly.

PCC wills 1644-1654 piece 199, page 514 (dated 1643)
PCC wills 1644-1654 piece 199, page 719/720 (dated 1642)

Both documents are dated second July and probate granted on 11 Feb 1646/7 however one is followed by a Probatum record and the other by a Primo record.

Thomas Tatton probate 1

There is another – much shorter – will for Thomas Tatton dated 18th June 1643 which is quite confusing, but it does appear to be related to the same person.

Thomas Tatton probate 2

If the date of the longer of the [Twyning] will is 1643 then there is only a month between them [the Swindon will being earlier], whereas the earlier date of 1642 would mean that Thomas had removed a significant number of beneficiaries – including two of his nephews – from the shorter [Swindon] will, and I do not think this likely.

I therefore believe that the longer and more comprehensive [Twyning] will is the latest one, but in either case it still helps identify his relationships with other family members and some of his financial affairs.

The will with the earlier date [1642] is recorded in the PCC registry after the copy with the later date and the shorter [Swindon] will much earlier than either of the other two.

[more on this later]


speech50As with other wills of single gentlemen this is much more useful to a genealogist than someone who just passes all their property to their eldest son!


First I give and bequeath unto my Aunt Anne Cotherington twenty pounds.

Anne Stubbes was his aunt and the eldest daughter of William Stubbes and Hester [Harrington] and married first Robert Codrington and later Ralph Marshe.

[see An Heiress and of a Norfolk Family]

So she should have been referred to as Anne Marshe (widow) as she was in the will of her mother, Hester.

[see More about Hester]


To my kinswoman Frances Earnly thirty pounds.

Frances was the daughter of Robert Codrington and Anne [Stubbes].

She married Edward Earnley against the wishes of her father.

[see The Children of Robert Codrington].

This document shows that she was alive in 1643 and not a widow.


To my kinsman Samuel Cotherington gent twenty pounds.

Samuel was the youngest son of Robert Codrington and Anne [Stubbes].

Born about 1617 he would have been contemporary with Thomas (1614).

But I have found little information about Samuel – this reference is the only mention of him that I have found other than the court records regarding his inheritance following the marriage of his mother to Ralph Marshe.


To my kinsman Bartholomew Stubbe twenty pounds.

Bartholemew is most likely a cousin but I have found no record of any Bartholemew from about the same period – the only record being one Bartholomew Stubbes from Cheshire born in 1580.

Perhaps the Stubbes family did have connections with Cheshire and not Norfolk?

There is one reference to Bartholemew and this is in the pedigree of the Garrard family [visitation of Berkshire 1664-6] that shows Bartholomew as the father of Theophilia Stubbes instead of William.

garrard of inkpen 2

I believe that the information for this Garrard pedigree probably came partly from Thomas’ will and identified kinsman Bartholomew with a reference to his grandfather  [William] Stubbes who is not specifically named.

Also a statute of four thousand pounds with assignment from my grandfather stubbes …


speech50Another record is held in the National Archives regarding a property in London. The date of this is a bit vague (1603-1625, being the reign of James I) but this is more likely to be the correct Bartholomew.


Short title: Stubbes v Denham.

Plaintiffs: Bartholomew Stubbes, Isabel Stubbes his wife, John Stubbes and Mary Stubbes.

Defendants: Richard Denham and Thomas Ockould.

Subject: messuage called the Herne [the Heron inn ?] in the parish of St Clement Danes, Middlesex.


To my cousin William Garrett of Inkpen in the county of Berks, gent ten pounds

William was his cousin, the son of Thomas Garrard and Theophilia [Stubbes]

He was probably a lawyer as several important documents are “in his hands”, in particular one relating to a statute of four thousand pounds from his [Thomas’] grandfather.


To Anne Tatton, widow my sister in law fifty pounds

Anne was the widow of his brother George.


I give and bequeath unto Theophilia Cooper widow the sum of twenty pounds.

Theophilia [Stubbes] was his aunt, the daughter of William Stubbes and Hester [Harington] and the mother of William Garrard from her first marriage to Robert Garrard.

Her first husband had died by 1617 and she had remarried and was referred to as my daughter Cowper in the will of Hester Stubbes in 1639.

However in this will she was once again a widow.


The Swindon Will


This older – and much shorter – will was written on 17 June 1643 and showed Thomas Tatton to be of Swindon, Wiltshire.

 PCC wills 1644-1654 piece 197 page 41.

Possibly this will was ignored in favour of the later version and it does appear that this is the will of the same Thomas Tatton – but both wills were granted probate, which is most unusual.

Some of the same people are mentioned – his nephew George “sonne of my brother George Tatton late of Swindon” being the main beneficiary, but no mention of his other two nephews.

William Garrard is also mentioned in relation to a bond and articles of agreement:

…  being in William Garrets hand of Inkpen in the countie of berkshire

Also mentioned are Richard Franklin and John Fisher, his overseers & executors, who are left five pounds each in both wills.

Perhaps this first will was hastily written following the death of his brother George, and he had more time later for a more comprehensive version, after moving to Gloucestershire?

There is no indication that he was particularly ill, as seen in some other wills.

I can find no birth record of his nephew John Tatton, but the youngest nephew Thomas was born in April 1642 and eldest George in 1635.


Fower Thousand poundes


This sum of money is mentioned in both wills although in a slightly different context.

In the longer will it is mentioned in relationship to Thomas’ grandfather William Stubbes.

Also a Statute of Fowre Thousand Pounds with Assignement from my Grandfather Stubbes to my Lord of Dorsett in trust for my benefitt doth remayne in the hands of John Bramsted of Fullers Rents neere Grayes Inn London with other writeings concerninge lands in Flyntshyre.

But in the shorter version the name of Humphrey Forster is associated with this amount.

He was the next owner of Watchfield so it seems this money is related in one way or another to the sale of the manor.

There is a bond of Fower Thousand poundes and Arti[c]les of agreement betweene Sir Humfry Foster and my selfe lyeing in William Garretts hand of Inkpen in the Countie of Berks gent[leman] All other writings lyeth in John Bumsteds handes in Fullers Rent[es] in London …

One of these documents is saved with William Garret [Thomas’ cousin] while the other is with John Bramsted – perhaps one of the wills is in error as to who had which document?

William Garrett of Inkpen, and John Bramsted of Gray’s Inn are mentioned in both wills – with varying spellings – but clearly they are the same two gentlemen.

Today the equivalent amount would be about £480,000 [i] and I think this amount can only be directly related to Watchfield Manor, and that both wills are talking about the same document.

[i] Calculate at a rate of £1 in 1625 = £120 today.


Three Thousand Pounds


Another amount of £3000 is only mentioned in the Twyning will.

The bond and articles whereby the three thousand pounds with that parte of the interest is due unto mee by the said Mr Alexander, and Mr Hugh Popham doth nowe remayne in the hands of the within named William Garrett.

There is a document in the National Archives relating to William Stubbes and Sir Francis Popham that may shed some more light on this – Alexander was the son and heir of Sir Francis.

Plaintiffs: William Stubbes.
Defendants: Sir Francis Popham kt.
Subject: manor of Wanborough, Axford, Chilton, Wiltshire.

The History of Parliament has a biography of Sir Francis Popham who died in 1644.

Administration of his estate was granted to his son, Alexander, on 24 Apr. 1647.

This debt is not mentioned specifically in the shorter Swindon will.


speech50It would be tempting to assign the shorter will to an older Thomas, who also had a brother George [who had died] and a nephew named George.

The Swindon will does not mention William Stubbes in relation to the £4000 but implies a direct connection with the money: betweene Sir Humfry Foster and my selfe.

Sir Humphrey Foster purchased the Manor of Watchfield from Thomas.

If Thomas of Swindon was the father of Thomas of Twyning then why is his son not mentioned in the will and money left to his nephew George?

And if he is unrelated or a cousin why are there so many similarities?

Having an earlier and shorter will is not a problem – what is a problem is that both of them seemed to have been granted Probate.

Administration was granted to Anne Tatton [widow of brother George] for the Swindon will on 1st July 1646 and eight months later for the Twyning will.

On 11 Feb 1646/7 administrator was granted to William Turberville the named executor.


Robert Tatton


Robert was probably the elder brother of Thomas and wrote his will on 1st Sep 1638

… being sick and weake of body but of good and perfect mind and memory …

Probate was granted just a few day later on the 7th September.

PCC wills 1624-1643 piece 177, page 945 (dated 1638)

In this will, available in the National Archives, he leaves property in Flintshire, inherited from his father [also Robert] who probably died 1624 in Southwark, London.

Flintshire is also mentioned in the will of Thomas in 1643 as a document held by John Bramsted, and no sons or grandsons are mentioned, so we can assume, for the moment, that this is the same Thomas mentioned in the will and Robert is therefore also the son of Robert and Susan.

… in the hands of John Bramsted of Fullers Rents neere Grayes Inn London with other writeings concerninge lands in Flyntshyre.

As Thomas is the only brother mentioned in the will it appears that George had died before it was written in 1638 but we also know that the youngest son of George was born in 1642 so this cannot be correct.


Robert was not married, or at least does not mention a wife, and had no children and the only other name mentioned in his will is Ralph Beeling.

One Ralph Beeling died in 15 Oct 1645 in St. Andrew, Holborn, London.

It appears, however, that Ralph was a woman …

Ralph Beling burial record

Ralph Beling alias Hatton [perhaps Tatton] a woman died in Mary Pecke’s house Widow in Cussitory Alley in Chancery Lane on 12th buried 15th.

In his will Robert says he is …. indebted to Ralph Beeling of London, widdow …

So perhaps she was house-keeper or a nurse as Robert was a sick man?

But her burial notice indicates she may have been more than that if she was using the name Tatton at some point.


Wythenshawe Connection


Because of the connection to Flintshire it is possible that Robert, the father of Thomas and wife of Susan Stubbes, was from the Wythenshawe Tatton family.

He would have been born in Northenden [now part of Manchester] the second son of Robert Tatton and Eleanor Warren – elder brother William inheriting the Wythenshawe estate and titles.

[see Tatton v Stubbes for updated information]

Robert is shown to be alive in 9 James I [1611] in the pedigree of the Tatton family, and no other conflicting information provided so he could easily have been the Robert who was married to Susan Stubbes.

He was probably born in 1586 with elder brother William born September 1585 [there is a baptism record for this] – his parents were married 22 October 1581 [see below] so records of William being born in the same year may be incorrect as this is dated 15 September 1581.

So being seised, the said William, by indenture bearing date 22 Oct , 23 Elizabeth, on the marriage of his son & heir apparent, Robert Tatton, with Eleanor daughter of John Warren of Poynton.

It does seem that there is a few years between the marriage and the baptism of William in 1585, so possibly this record is either incorrect or the first William had died. The first daughter Elizabeth was born 1587 so Robert can only have been born in 1586 or after 1587 which seems a little late. But if we assume the earlier date for William then he could have been born as early as 1582 – which is the same year as Susan, otherwise she would have been several years older.

Another pedigree from the History of the County of Cheshire shows a different baptism date in the family tree for William, but no marriage date for his father, Robert and Eleanor Warren.

tatton of Withenshaw

Another investigation is looking at other possibilities.


Chris Sidney 2015


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