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Tatton v Stubbes

Farmer BullshotThere is an interesting, if slightly damaged, document in the National archives concerning Robert Tatton and William Stubbes and some money supposedly owed by William to Robert.


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.


C 2_Jasl_T4_9 (WIDTH-1000)The Tatton v Stubbes document is quite large and faded in places, with a significant chunk missing, but there is enough information in the remaining text to tell an interesting story about the relationships between Robert and William.

This is only the answer of the defendant, William Stubbes of Watchfield, so we don’t get to hear the actual complaint by Robert Tatton, but some of it is repeated in the answer giving us a flavour of what was said.

Thanks to Linda at Transcription Services for her efforts in extracting all of the information out of the document that could be read.


The Tale of Robert Tatton


Once upon a time William Stubbes of Watchfield, Berkshire and his wife, Hester, had three daughters.

Anne, the eldest, married Robert Codrington of Gloucestershire in 1595; Theophilia, the youngest daughter, married Thomas Garrard of Inkpen, Berkshire and Susan Stubbes married Robert Tatton, from the Tatton family of Wythenshawe in Cheshire. page

But this was not what was supposed to have happened.

Robert Tatton had “by various practises, intised & gotten away” with their daughter Susan and married her a few days before she was supposed to marry someone else.

 … [without the] knowledge of this deffendant or of her mother this defendantes wife, even about a day or Two before that shee should have ben maryed, unto A gentleman of great worth & reputacion.

According to William, in his answer to the complaint, Robert’s father had disowned him after he married Susan and it was following this that Robert began borrowing money from William, his family and friends, which resulted in this court case.

This deffendant by the fayer and flatteringe speches of the complainant, and partly in hope that the Complainant would have Delt the better with this deffendantes daughter the Complainant’s Promise […] to bee made […] portions of money to [be sat__] [hole in document] setled uppon such children, as he had or should have by his said wife.

And partly uppon the faithfull promises and earnest protestacions made by the said complainant to this deffendant   f___ […] this Deffendandt […] did undertake the payment of diveres somes of mony so borrowed by the Complainant as is aforesaid.


Marriage


I had associated the marriage of Susan Stubbes with Robert Tatton, the second son of Robert Tatton of Wythenshawe [1566-1623], according to the pedigree published in the Visitation of Cheshire.

Robert was born about 1586 and it was his elder brother, William, who inheriting the Wythenshawe estate and passed it to his young son, another Robert. [i]

William the elder (1544-1611)  = Mary Fitton

    Robert the elder (1566-1624)  = Eleanor Warren

        William the younger (1585-1616)  = Katherine Leycester

            Robert (1606-1669) = Anne Brereton

        Robert the younger (b.1586)  = Susan Stubbes

According to some sources Robert’s elder brother, William, was born in 1581, the same year his parents married, so Robert could have been born as early as 1582 and would be the same age as Susan.

Other sources, including the family pedigree in the visitation, say that William was born 1585 therefore Robert would have been about 5 years younger than his wife, which is unusual for the period.

[i] This Robert inherited Wythenshawe from his father, William, at the age of 10, his father having drowned crossing the Mersey, and is known for his spirited defence of Wythenshawe during the civil war.


But this may not be entirely correct – there is more useful information in the document!

And this Defendant [William Stubbes] further sha[ll] sayth that the said complainant [Robert Tatton] is so furr from makeing [provision] for his said wife & children, That of late (As this deffendant is credibly informed) the said complainant, & his sone and heir apparant by a former wife, have so handled the matter betwen them, that all the inheritance of the land sometymes in the father of the complainant is setled & stated in his said son, & noe provision made either for the Joynture of this Deffendantes daughter, nor any portions provided for her children, as this Deffendant hath credibly heard & doeth verily beleave yea & that which is more the said complainant doth threaten to turne [return] her his said wife to this Deffendant her father, & will not allowe her such […]ong as is fitting for a woman of her estate & calling.

The key part of this is that William accuses both Robert and his son and heir of contriving together to settle an inheritance from his father only on his eldest [unnamed] son, with no provision for Susan or their children.

His father, also Robert, died in January 1624 and was still alive at this time, so what was this inheritance?

The document is not dated so I have estimated, based on other dates mentioned, that it was between 1615 and 1620 – it was certainly before 1624 as Susan had died by then. William Stubbes mentions a date of 1608 when he and his wife went to visit Robert in Cheshire, so he would have been married to Susan by then.

There is also a reference to an event in 1615, so I would estimate that this document is about 1618 when a son of Robert the younger would have been “of age” at about 16 – assuming that Robert himself was married at the age of 16 in 1602, or was older.

But I can find no marriage records for Robert the younger – either to his first wife or to Susan – and no birth record for a son about the time he would have been married previously.


Farmer BullshotSo perhaps there is another possibility? Perhaps Robert was not the second son of Robert Tatton of Wythenshawe, but Robert of Wythenshawe himself!


Robert Tatton 1566This actually seems possible – even likely – having investigated this in more detail, and there is certainly a better fit with the known facts than to his son Robert, who may not have made it past childhood.

Robert Tatton of Wythenshawe had a son and heir, William, from his previous marriage to Eleanor Warren who would have been old enough to have entered into a contrivance over inheritance – he would have been about 26.

Robert’s father, William Tatton the elder, died in 1611 so there would have been an inheritance during the period covered by this document – the same was not true if this was the younger Robert as his father died later.

Some other sources also mention that Robert the elder [for some reason] transferred the titles and inheritance of his father, William the elder, to his son William the younger.

This summary of a Cheshire record, relating to William, shows that this may have some merit.

They say that William Tatton, the younger, late son & heir apparent of the said Robert, had taken all the profits &c. from the time of the death of the said William Tatton esq. […]

The children of Robert the elder and Eleanor were born between 1585 and 1589, the youngest being George who died a year later in 1590. The pedigree of the Tatton family shows that two sons Robert and Philip were alive in 1611 – the date of the death of William Tatton the elder – so they may have been mentioned in the inquisition following his death [they are not mentioned in his will].

There is a record for another son, also named George, being born in Cheshire in 1612, which seems a little late for Eleanor to be the mother – she would be nearly 50 by this date. It has been suggested that she died giving birth, but this is more likely to be the child of Susan than Eleanor as they were married by then, or he is from another branch of the family.

Eleanor had probably died shortly after the birth of youngest son George in 1590, or perhaps even in childbirth – I have no record for her death so this is not certain. In the portrait of Robert Tatton he is shown with a wedding ring on a chain around his neck, so this is likely from his marriage to Eleanor – Susan was still alive, although she died the same year.

A commentary attached to the portrait of Robert, painted shortly before his death, indicates that the transfer of the Wythenshawe estates to his son William, may be due to the loss of his wife. page

This loss may help to explain why Robert handed over the management and probably even formal ownership of his Wythenshawe estate to his own son William, who subsequently drowned accidentally in 1616.

But it does not appear that this was the case and probably had little to do with it. page


Inheritance


The son and heir of Robert mentioned in the document would be William Tatton and the inheritance mentioned is from Robert’s father, William Tatton the elder, who died in 1611.

According to William Stubbes in the answer to Robert’s complaint, Robert’s father had disowned him and there are indications that the inheritance of his father was passed directly to his grandson, William Tatton the younger.

The said complainant […] cast off by his father

This has also been suggested by other sources but they do not know why this happened – this story may resolve that.

But perhaps there was no actual contrivance between Robert and his son William.

If he had fallen out with his father then Robert would have had little money to pass to Susan and her children. Perhaps it was his father, William, that did not want to convey any family interests to Robert’s new wife and children and instead passed the estate directly to his eldest grandson?

William Stubbes seems to have believed that there had been a reconciliation and Robert had been heir apparent at his father’s death, but the document is badly damaged at this point.

By that meanes & other […] ben A reconciliac[i]on betwen the complainant & his said father.

Robert is still shown, in some documents, as being son and heir when his father, William, died.

The said William Tatton died, seised of the aforesaid manors & lands, 19 May , [1611], at Withenshawe & Robert Tatton is his son & heir & is now aged 40 years & more.

If William Stubbes was correct, and there had been some sort of reconciliation between Robert and his father, then Robert passed the estate to his son soon after his father died. This is probably what William Stubbes saw as a deliberate attempt to avoid passing anything to his daughter, Susan, and her children.

Other records [Cheshire Inquisitions Post Mortem, 1603-1660] seem to tell a slightly different story; that Robert was overlooked by his father.

So being seised, the said William Tatton esq. died 19 May , 9 James 1st [1611] at Withenshawe, after whose death William Tatton gent., the younger, entered into the said manors & lands

Robert did have some property as he passed land in Flintshire to his son Robert, but he ended his days in Southwark, London instead of the family estates in Cheshire.

His eldest son William who had inherited Wythenshawe, died a few years later, drowned trying to cross the river Mersey, with his son, Robert, who inherited at the age of 10, becoming a ward of the crown.


William Tatton


The will of William Tatton of Withenshaw, Robert’s father, was written 7th April 1606.

In the will he leaves just about everything to his grandchild, William and his wife Katherine Leycester. Robert, who was his son and heir in a document of 1592, is not mentioned, although another [probably illegitimate] son, John Tatton alias Manley is left £100.

And for all my temporall landes tenementes and hereditamentes, and my goodes Cattels, Chattles, and Debtes whatsoever and wheresoever they lye and be within the Kings Majesties Realme of England I give and bequeath unto William Tatton my Grandchilde.

No other grandsons or granddaughters are mentioned and it is curious that he uses grandchild in the will. This indicates that either there were no other children of Robert, or that they had also died before the will was written in 1606.

If there was a reconciliation between Robert and his father he did not update his will of 1606, and William died some years later in 1611 so there was time to do so.


Elopement


For whatever reason, and under whatever circumstances, Robert had stolen Susan Stubbes away from her parents and her arranged marriage, probably about 1603 when Susan would have been 21. [more likely later, but before 1608]

Robert Tatton the elder would have been about 16 years older than Susan, so not as much of an age gap as you might expect, and this was not unusual at the time, for arranged marriages anyway.

Perhaps Susan did not want to marry the man that her parents had chosen for her [whoever that was] and was enticed away by the mature, and smooth-talking Robert?

But it hardly seems to have been a love match considering how poorly William Stubbes thinks that his daughter and her children appear to have been treated.

Or perhaps we are just seeing one side of the story?

Maybe it was the other way around and it was Susan who enticed Robert so that she did not have to marry whoever it was that her parents had chosen for her? After being disinherited he then resorted to borrowing money from his father-in-law William Stubbes, who had no love for Robert – having messed up his arrangements – but was devoted to his daughter, as shown in his will of 1628.

… that my body maye be buryed in a dece[nt] and orderly manner in the Chauncell of the parish Church of Shrevenham, neare to the place wheare my loveing daughter was lately buryed …

Of course as a devoted father, William would never have believed that his daughter could have had anything to do with the affair and blamed Robert entirely – perhaps, though, more to save his reputation?

Poor Robert may just have been vulnerable, middle-aged man who had a mad moment with a younger woman which he may have regretted for the rest of his life? Or maybe they were just in love?


speech50There seems plenty of evidence that Susan married the elder Robert Tatton and that his son, Robert, may have died in childhood – or was alive, but was not the suitor of Susan.

Other than the pedigree showing him as second son, there do not seem to be any other records for his marriage or any children. His date of birth also makes it difficult for him to have been married [at the age of 16] and to have had a child before marrying Susan in 1603.

On the other hand Robert the elder would have been under forty years old when he married Susan, so he was not an old man and there is no reason for him not to remarry – however unwisely.

Robert sat for his portrait shortly before his death in Southwark, 10 Jan 1623/4, and Susan died later the same year.

In our portrait, Johnson has captured in great detail the essence of our care-worn sitter: very much in his crepuscular [twilight] years he appears rather uneasy and tousled with receding hair and a ruddy complexion.

Perhaps by hiding his left hand in the portrait he was trying to show his regret at marrying Susan, for whatever reason, perhaps just because it didn’t work out well for him.


The Children of Susan and Robert


There is a significant period after the marriage before the first known child of Susan and Robert was born, so perhaps there are other children – possibly born in Cheshire, or elsewhere – that were daughters, and not mentioned in the will of Susan’s mother, Hester Stubbes?

Perhaps Susan married later than I have suggested, but she and Robert were certainly married by 1608 as this date is mentioned in the document.

There is a record in the Tatton pedigree for Philip, also known to have been alive in 1611 [along with Robert] so perhaps this was another son of Robert and Eleanor, or an earlier son of Susan and Robert? Philip is not mentioned in the wills of either William or Hester, so if he was an older sibling of George and Thomas then he had died young.

Neither Philip or Robert, or any other grand children are mentioned in the will of grandfather William Tatton so they could both have been born after 1606.

Robert = Eleanor Warren (m. 1581)

William 1585-1616
Robert b.1586
Elizabeth b.1587
George 1589-1590

Robert = Susan Stubbes (m.1603?)

Philip ?
Robert d.1638
George 1612-1642
Thomas 1614-1646

Both George and Thomas Tatton were signatories to the will of William Stubbes in 1628, and it seems that Susan did eventually return to the family home in Watchfield, as she is buried in nearby Shrivenham church.

Robert, shown above as the son of Robert and Susan may actually be Robert Tatton from the previous marriage, and he could have been born later than suggested. If he was the second son of Robert Tatton and Eleanor then his birth would still have been before the birth of George in 1589.

Robert the younger would have been about 50 years old when he died and much older than Thomas and George, which is perhaps indicated by his relationship with the widow Ralph Beeling in his will. This would also explain why he wasn’t the heir of William Stubbes, as eldest grandson.

He died in 1638 and had some land that he had inherited from his father in Flintshire, which it seems he passed to his younger brother Thomas. George died in 1642 and Thomas, when he died a few years later, passed his inheritance – including the properties in Flintshire – to his nephews, the sons of brother George.


speech50There is another document in the National Archives dated during the reign of James I [1603-1625] which mentions both Robert Tatton and his son Robert.

It also mentions Katherine [Leycester] who was the widow of Robert’s eldest son William – the heir of Wythenshawe – who drowned crossing the Mersey in 1616, which dates this document to some time after this event.

Robert Tatton the elder, Robert Tatton the younger and Katherine Tatton, widow

If Robert the younger was the son of Susan Stubbes then he would probably have been too young to have been mentioned in a legal document of 1616 or shortly afterwards, therefore he is much more likely to have been the second son from his first marriage to Eleanor Warren, as suspected.


Neither Thomas or Robert seem to have had any children. I am not sure why it was Thomas and his wife that inherited Watchfield instead of brother George, as Thomas seems to have been the youngest of the siblings.

The birth record for George in Cheshire, 1612 may belong to another George and perhaps he was born after Thomas, which would make more sense. Also if Robert was from the first marriage then it also makes sense for Thomas to have inherited Watchfield and not Robert.

The wills of both Thomas and Robert, and the relationship between all three brothers, are investigated elsewhere. page


But who was the man that Susan was supposed to have married?

A gentleman of great worth & reputacion

I doubt if he was one of those who then lent money to Robert, but he may have lent money to William.

Richard Denham seems to be mentioned several times, usually in association with George Stubbes but also with John Stocker and, in several places, William as well.

… that this Deffendant, & the said Richard Denham subtilly and Craftely practeseing & intending the utter undoing of the complainant & to deceive him of the said 400li [£50,000] did combine themselves together for any such purport as in the said bill is alledged.

Both men would certainly have had reason to want to “undo” the complainant, if Richard was supposed to have married Susan. But this is just William repeating what Robert had said in the complaint and we may never know the identity of Susan’s intended intended!

Richard Denham is also mentioned in another document with Bartholomew Stubbes, so he is certainly a close associate of the Stubbes family.


Hester Harington


This document unintentionally provides additional proof that Hester, the wife of William Stubbes, was the daughter of Awdrey Malte and John Harrington, something I have been trying to prove [beyond doubt] for a while now.

There is a long list of people involved in the financial affairs of William Stubbes and Robert Tatton, but one of them that is mentioned several times is Sir John Harington.

… this Deffendant & [the] said Sir John Harrington, this Deffendantes Brother in lawe, …

Sir John Harington was the eldest son of John Harington of Stepney with his second wife Isabella Markham and was therefore Hester’s half-brother and Williams’ brother-in-law. page

Sir John Harrington defendants brother in law

I think this finally proves that Hester, who married William Stubbes, can only be the daughter of Awdrey Malte – supposed daughter of Henry VIII – and John Harrington, and proves that they did actually have a daughter and that Hester did not die in 1568, or simply disappear after that date.

If Hester was the daughter of John Harington and second wife Isabella then she could not have been born before 1560 [they married in 1559] and would have been too young to have been involved in a recovery as the owner of Watchfield at the age of just eight years.

If only similar proof could be found to confirm the identity of Awdrey’s father as King Henry VIII.


speech50It is also likely that there are two paintings out there – somewhere in a private collection – showing Awdrey and her daughter Hester, that I would really like to have a look at.

Especially if the daughter has tudor-red hair, as suggested by Kate Emerson.


 Additional


Several other people are mentioned in the document and some of them are related.

John Carrington

He appears to be a tenant of the Tatton family in Cheshire and acting as receiver for him.

The said Robert, the father, demised to John Carrington certain lands & the said William Tatton junior acquiesced therein & also permitted his father to occupy the lands …

It also appears that Robert needed the permission of his son to do this!

John Stocker (1560-1612)

John is related to both the Harington and Codrington families through the marriage of his grand-children and was also married to Margaret, the daughter of Anthony Scutt, the only child of John Scutt [Queen’s tailor] and Bridget Malte, sister to Awdrey.

John Scutt was much older than Bridget when they married and he died not long after – he was about the same age as her father, John Malte [King’s Tailor] who died in 1546. page

Mary, daughter of Anthony Stocker and Margaret Cappell, married Benjamin Harington, nephew of Sir John Harington [although later than the period covered by this document]. Benjamin’s father, Francis was another half-brother of Hester.

Her sister, Katherine was married to John Codrington, the eldest son and heir of Robert Codrington and Anne Stubbes, eldest daughter of William and Hester. She was only 7 years old at the time of the arrangement in 1617 [shortly before the death of Robert Codrington in 1618] and their only child, Anne, was born in 1629 when Katherine probably died in childbirth.

The executors of John Stocker are also mentioned and further investigation indicates that he died about 1612 or 1615. The burial record for a John Stocker in 1647 is probably for his nephew.

Bartholomew Stubbes

Perhaps born 1580 in Congleton he is likely to be a cousin of William Stubbes although this is still being investigated.

George Stubbes

Relationship not known at the moment but possibly a brother or cousin of William.

Richard Denham

Seems to be a friend of George Stubbes, but also accused with William …

… that this Deffendant [William Stubbes], & the said Richard Denham subtilly and Craftely practeseing & intending the utter undoing of the complainant & to deceive him of the said 400li did combine themselves together for any such purport as in the said bill is alledged.

Perhaps this case is not all as one-sided as it seemed with William being the wronged party an there were deceptions on both sides of the bill?

Or perhaps Richard Denham was the one who was supposed to have married William’s daughter Susan?

He is also mentioned in another document with Bartholomew Stubbes of London.

Alice Owen

A bond of £100 between Alice and [possibly] Robert Tatton, William Stubbes and Richard Foxwell.

Richard Foxwell

This may be the father of Richard Foxwell, possibly a tailor, of Wandsworth London who emigrated to America in 1631 and died 1676 in Barnstaple, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Richard and daughter, Margaret [a minor], are mentioned in the will of John Gardener, Cutler of Wandsworthe in 1608.

He also appears in a Jury list from 1615

Richard Foxwell of St. Clement Danes.

William Rowden

Seems to have been involved as a receiver for one of the parties as had John Carrington (above). But he also sued William for £200 at one point.

Ferdinando Baude, William Beecher, George Ognel etc.

Possibly these were judges in a former case between Robert and William.

… since which tyme, that is to say the 25th day of August in the yeare of our lord god, 1615, the said complainant & this Deffendant, by ther mutuall consentes, did [submit] themsealves to the award of Ferdin[a]ndo Baude Will[ia]m Beecher & George Ognell ets[etera].

 George Solme & Gilbert Dethick

William borrowed money from these gentlemen and this is where Sir John Harington got involved as surety for the loan. It also appears that this financial mess had put strains on their relationship:

… and freindship which formerly he had & receaved at the handes of Sir John & his freindes.


Chris Sidney 2015


 

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The King and Me

Farmer BullshotIf you are lucky enough to have a gateway ancestor in your family tree, then you can probably trace a connection back to William the Conqueror and beyond.


A gateway ancestor opens up connections to the noble, rich – and well documented – families of England and calculations have shown that just about everyone alive today can probably claim a connection to King John, over 20 generations ago. page

But how many can claim to be related to King Henry VIII?

Having spend a lot of time investigating this possibility, I think that it is now likely that my family can make that claim, having proved a link back to one of his, supposed, illegitimate children – Awdrey or Etheldreda Malte.


Gateway


In my family that gateway ancestor is my grandmother, Emily Codrington, who was the daughter of Robert William Codrington a butcher and owner of the  Lamb Inn at Iron Acton in Gloucestershire. Robert was a direct male descendant of John Codrington , standard-bearer to King Henry V at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, and a member of the senior branch of the Codrington family. page

The definitive guide to The Codrington family was written in 1898 by Robert Henry Codrington (RHC), an Anglican priest and anthropologist who died in 1922. His work is based on notes made by the historian Sir John Maclean who had intended to follow his Memoirs of the Poyntz and Guise family with one about the Codringtons, but passed his notes to Robert following an illness. page

There are two main branches of the family descended from two of the sons of Sir John Codrington; John and his brother Thomas who married into the Poyntz family. The senior branch lived at Codrington and Didmarton in Gloucestershire and the junior branch of Frampton-on-Severn and later Dodington before selling this property to Christopher Codrington from the senior branch in 1700 – Christopher had made a fortune from the sugar trade in the West Indies.

From marriages made into other families by the senior branch, I can trace my genes back to royal families in England, Scotland, Wales and other European countries – as can most people who have a gateway ancestor. Mathematically everyone who is alive today is probably related to someone in the Plantagenet dynasty – if only they could find the link.

King John seems to be a key figure in my pedigree and I am related to him through at least three of his children as either 21st or 22nd great-grandfather.

Codrington MemorialIn Bristol Cathedral there is a memorial to Robert Codrington, who died in 1618, that shows the arms of some of the most significant marriages within the main branch of the family.

Thomas Codrington & Mary Kellaway (m.1535) page

Robert Codrington & Anne Stubbes (m.1595) page

Robert Codrington & Agnes Samwell (m.1674)

The arms of the Samwell family were added some time after the memorial was erected, as were those of the Bethell-Codrington family – descendants of Christopher Codrington – who restored the memorial in 1840. The pedigree of both the Samwell and Kellaway families are well documented, but the Stubbes family is a bit of a mystery and I have concentrated my research in this area, with some success.


Arms


In his 1898 Memoir of the Family of Codrington of Codrington, Didmarton, Frampton-on-Severn and Dodington page Robert Henry Codrington identified Anne Stubbes, wife of Robert, only as an Heiress and of a Norfolk family. page

Stubbes-HarringtonRecords exist of the arrangement for Robert’s marriage to Anne Stubbes and the quartering of the Stubbes family Sa. on a bend between three pheons or, as many buckles gu. are clearly visible on the memorial. From this design it is likely that the Norfolk connection is assumed – the arms are used by other branches of the family – but on the memorial these are quartered with another, unidentified design.

I.M. Roper in his 1903 Effigies of Bristol page identifies the unknown arms only by their armorial description – lozengy arg. and Sable – black diamonds on a silver background, and Robert Henry does not offer any further insight.

After much research it appears that the design on the memorial itself is incorrect – either it was added that way or repainted badly when the memorial was restored – and is that of the Harington family.

The arms shown on the memorial represent a fretty design, which was used by an older branch of the Harington family. But they should have been a fret – a single stylised knot which may have been tricky to incorporate into the quartering, as granted to John Harington of Stepney forty years earlier.

Why such a significant marriage should have been forgotten to Codrington family history is very strange, whatever the pedigree.


Anne


Anne Stubbes and Robert Codrington married in Shrivenham, Berkshire in May 1595; arrangements having been made several years earlier between their fathers Simon Codrington and William Stubbes. Nothing in this document identifies who William Stubbes was or where he came from and there has been much speculation about the pedigree of his daughter Anne, many showing her to be from the Gloucestershire branch of the family.

The location of the marriage is significant as William Stubbes and his wife Hester lived in the smaller, nearby manor of Watchfield  which did not have it’s own church. As well as Anne and Robert’s marriage, two daughters – Francis and Susan – were baptised in Shrivenham, as was customary at the time, but I cannot find a baptism for the eldest daughter Anne.

Records show that William and Hester, were living at West Mill, Watchfield page from about 1593, just before the marriage of Robert and Anne. Inventories of their property are attached to their wills from 1630 and 1639 and these match the layout of that property as it was at the time [the property has been altered but still exists]. The manor of Watchfield did not have a traditional manor house, having been owned by the nearby Abbey of Abingdon until the dissolution, so was probably managed from West Mill farm.


Watchfield


After they married in 1574 William and Hester lived in Westminster, London – which indicates that William may have been lawyer, as was Robert Codrington – and later lived in Stepney, where William Stubbes of Ratcliffe – perhaps a relation – had a business near the river. Possibly William was working with William of Ratcliffe for a while until he moved his business interests to Boston in Lincolnshire where he is recorded in 1594 – at about the same time William and Hester moved to Watchfield. There are also connections to Cheshire.

Eldest daughter Anne was born a year after they married and there were two other surviving daughters – Susan and Theophilia page – who had good marriages into the Tatton and Garrard families. A son “Harrington” born in 1578 seems to have died in infancy and two other daughters, Hester and Francis had also died and are not mentioned in the will of Hester. William only mentions his daughter [Susan] who had died a few years before he wrote his will but doesn’t name her specifically, or any members of his immediate family.

watchfieldWatchfield was a property inherited by William’s wife, Hester Harington page and passed to William on their marriage. In 1568 Hester is recorded with her father, John Harington, in a Common Recovery page against Watchfield manor, so that the property could be used as a dowry – a restriction placed on the property meant that it could only be passed to Hester.

In this recovery Hester is shown as the owner or Vouchee of the property having inherited it from her mother. A recovery was a legal way of removing entailments (restrictions imposed by conditions of inheritance) on a property, and was in use for several hundred years. In this case the entailment was imposed on Watchfield by her grand-father John Malte, when he passed the property to his daughter, Awdrey, in his will.

As both the Harington and Stubbes families had connections to Stepney it is likely that they knew each other and the marriage was arranged several years before Hester and William actually married in 1573. This is similar to the arrangement of their daughter Anne when she married Robert Codrington. Robert was a lawyer and his marriage to Anne Stubbes seems to have been fitted around the end of his legal training.

All accounts of Hester that I have found say that she died in 1568 or some time after – or had never existed. The pedigree of the family shows she was last know to be alive in 1568, which would have been when she was involved in the recovery of Watchfield with her father. I’m not sure anyone really looked too hard for her as she was clearly still alive – although married – and owned, or lived in the manor until her death in 1639.


William Stubbes


The will of William written in 1628, does not mention Watchfield, but he was too ill even two years before he died to sign his name and it is likely he had already transferred the manor to his grandson Thomas Tatton, son of Robert Tatton and daughter Susan. This fits with records showing Thomas and his wife Margaret were the owners about this time. page

The husband of William’s eldest daughter Anne – Robert Codrington – had died in 1618, but it is not clear why his son John did not inherit the manor. There were however some properties mentioned in Shrivenham and Watchfield in the agreement for his first marriage to Katherine Stocker, probably given by William or his parents at the time of his marriage in 1617.

William’s daughter Susan Tatton and his son-in-laws Robert Tatton and Thomas Garrard had already died by 1628 so the Witnesses to his will were his grandsons William Garrard, George and Thomas Tatton and [his servant] Johane Jay .


speech50Recent information regarding Robert Tatton makes it unlikely that William passed Watchfield to Robert and would have passed it directly to grand-son Thomas.

Robert had enticed William’s daughter Susan and married her just a few days before she was to marry another [unnamed] gentleman of great worth and reputation. Robert already had an heir from a previous marriage and William believes that Robert was not treated Susan and the children from their marriage as well as he could. page

Robert then borrowed “and embezzled” money from William, his friends and family eventually ending up in court where some of the story is told by William in his answer to the complaint.

This is essentially a case bought by Robert about money that was due to him, or promised by William that was not received, but it does give William a chance to present his own side of the story.

This deffendant [William Stubbes] by the fayer and flatteringe speches of the complainant, [Robert Tatton] and partly in hope that the Complainant would have Delt the better with this deffendantes daughter the Complainant’s Promise […] to bee made […] portions of money to [be sat__] [hole in document] setled uppon such children, as he had or should have by his said wife [Susan].

By mentioning other family members in the case, this document has also unintentionally proved that Hester Harington, William’s wife really was the daughter of John Harington and Awdrey Malte, by confirming the relationship between Hester and her [half] brother Sir John Harington of Kelson.

… this Deffendant & [the] said Sir John Harrington, this Deffendantes Brother in lawe

This seems to be the final proof that Hester is the daughter of John Harington of Stepney and Awdrey Malte.


John Malte


John Malte page was Royal tailor to King Henry VIII and a member of the Company of Merchant Tailors, so was probably quite a rich man. It seems that he received several grants of property from the king, one of these properties being the manor of Watchfield in 1541, but more significantly some of the grants were given specifically to him and his bastard daughter Awdrey.

This has led to speculation that Awdrey is more likely to be the illegitimate daughter of the king and Joanne Dingley a royal laundress, than John Malte, and that some arrangement was made between them for John to adopt Awdrey. In his will John leaves money to several good causes – including poor prisoners, maidens and road repairs – and to a foundling child left on his doorstep, so it seems unlikely that, due to his good nature, he would have refused such a request.

For the same reason I think he is unlikely to have been the father of a bastard child – despite leaving money to Awdrey’s mother, Joanne Dingley in his will. The King, however, was well known for his activities in this area.

If my estimation of the birth of Awdrey as 23 June 1532 is correct, then John could have been her father. He was appointed as King’s Tailor in October 1531 and this is about the time that Awdrey would have been conceived – but perhaps this was just one of the reasons why he was involved in this deception.

John Malte. Grant of the office of King’s tailor, with fees of 12d. a day, as enjoyed by Stephen Jasper, John Apparys, and William Hylton. Greenwich, 18 Oct. 23 Hen. VIII. [1531]

John Malte wrote his will while the king was still alive so it is thought that the wording and conditions in his will were there more to satisfy the king than anything else.

my bastard daughter begotten upon the body of Johane Dyngley”

Awdrey is specifically left the manors of Watchfield in Berkshire and Nylands in Somerset in the will of John Malte, as well as others defined in an agreement between John Malte and Sir Richard Southwell.

The manors of Kelston and St Catherine’s in Somerset – which were the only grants in which Awdrey is specifically named – were not granted until after the will was written. According to a report written about the property, the Llewellyns – the King’s tenants of St Catherine – had their lease taken away and the land granted instead to Malte.

But it is through the ownership of Watchfield manor that I have been able to confirm that Hester Harrington, who married William Stubbes, was the daughter of John Harington and Awdrey Malte. page

John Malte died in December 1546 just a month before the King and was quickly replaced as royal tailor, but his will was not proved until some time later on 7 June the following year.

John Brydgys, the King’s servant. To be the King’s tailor, vice John Malte, dec, with 12d. a day, payable from Michaelmas last. Westm., 23 Dec. 38 Hen. VIII.

Details of his burial were probably lost during the great fire in 1666 that destroyed St Augustine’s church and his actual death and burial was probably several days before the date in the court records.


It appears that John also held a second position as tailor in the Great Wardrobe. This would have brought him more business that just being the King’s tailor alone – and another 6d a day.

John Malte. To be yeoman tailor in the Great Wardrobe, vice Richard Gybson, deceased; with 6d. a day and livery. Westm., 12 Nov. 26 Hen.VIII. [1534]


The King’s Lands


On 23rd September 1546 the King granted to John Malte, and his bastard daughter, lands in Somerset perhaps as a reward for following the king’s wishes and confirming that he was Awdrey’s father in his will written two weeks earlier.

The description of Awdrey in the grant is very similar to John’s will, so could have been agreed between them so as to leave little doubt. It is very unusual for a daughter to be mentioned in a grant, especially as she also had two other sisters who are not named.

Maybe Henry suspected that he didn’t have long to live and wanted to protect his daughter from the chaos of succession following his death, so chose to disown her? His only son Edward was not a healthy child and his other – slightly more legitimate – daughters had no love for each other.

Perhaps this was prophetic considering the fate of Lady Jane Grey?

Or maybe he suspected Sir Richard Southwell of not having the best intentions for Awdrey once she was married to his illegitimate son, Richard Darcy. No doubt Henry had agreed to the marriage of Richard’s son, Richard Darcy, but perhaps he was now having second thoughts?

For whatever reason the lands were granted to John and his daughter, using the more formal version of her name Etheldreda.

John Malte, tailor, and Etheldreda Malte alias Dyngley, bastard daughter of the said John by Joan Dyngley alias Dobson. Grant, for 1,311l. 2d., of the lordship and manor of Kevelston, Soms., […]; the lordship and manor of Eston and Kateryn, Soms., the chief messuage called Katernscourte […] 400 ewes called “le yowe flocke of Charmerdon, […]. To hold to the said John Malte and Etheldreda and the heirs of the body of the said Etheldreda, with remainder to the right heirs of the said John. Del. Westm., 23 Sept. 38 Hen. VIII. [1546]

This grants the manor of Kelveston [Kelston] and the Manor of Eston and Kateryn with it’s manor house Katenscourte [St. Catherines Court] and flock of sheep for the sum of £1,311 2d [about £318,000]. page

Previously in 1544 several other Manors had been granted to Malte as a gratuity for his failtful service – Doulting, Middleton and Nyland [Andersey] in Somerset. The Malte and Harington family were also associated with the manor of Batcombe. page

John Malte, the King’s servant. Grant, in fee, for 1,824l. 16s. 8d., of the manor of Andresey alias Nylonde, Soms., which belonged to Glastonbury abbey, and all appurtenances in Batcombe beside Andresey, and all possessions of Glastonbury there; the rectory of Andresey alias Nylond, which belonged to Glastonbury mon.; all lands in Westbury, Soms., which belonged to Brewton mon.; the manor of Myddelton alias Mylton Pydymore alias Podymore Mylton, Soms., and the advowson of the rectory there, the manor of Doaltyng, Soms., and lands leased with it to Benedict Kyllygrew, now dec., by pat. 28 July 32 Hen. VIII., the rectory of Doulting, and the hamlet of Stoke, Soms., all which belonged to Glastonbury mon.; with all possessions of that mon. in Andresey alias Nylond, Batcomb juxta Andresey, Myddelton alias Mylton Pydymore alias Podymore Mylton, Doulting, Fermecombe, Boddon, Prestley, Waterlipp, Charleton, Chevelynche, Estbraddon, Heydon, Dychefurlong, and Stoke, Som. Also the advowsons of the vicarages of Andreysey alias Nylond and Doultynge, and a grove of wood within the common of Stoke, which belonged to Glastonbury. Del. Westm., 14 July 36 Hen. VIII. [1544] —S.B. (injured, signed by Westminster, Petre, Bakere, Sir Robt. Southwell, North, Moyle, Wriothesley, St. John, Ryche, Sir Ric. Southwell, Stamford and Bacon). Pat. p. 15, m. 1. page

Middleton [Milton Pudimore] and Doulton were passed to his daughter Muriel [who died shortly after her father] and her husband John Horner. Nyland [Andersey] was passed to Awdrey along with Watchfield and other manors specifically given to her and her father mentioned above.

The last entry for John in royal documents is on 17 Jan 1546/7 Lands sold by the Crown which follows on from the grant by the king the previous year.

John Malte, tailor, and Awdrye his base daughter 1,312l. 12d.

Watchfield [Wachenfelde], Uffington [Offyngton] and other properties in Berkshire were granted earlier than this on 18 May 1541

John Malt. Grant, in fee, of the reversion and rent reserved upon a 21 years’ Crown lease to Alex. Umpton, 12 March 29 Hen. VIII., of tithes of the rectory of Offyngton, Berks, which belonged to A bendon mon. Also the lordships and manors of Offyngton and Wacchenfeld, Berks, with appurtenances in Offyngton, Wacchenfelde, Blakynge alias Balkynge and Wolston, Berks, the rectory and church of Offyngton, Berks, and the rectory of the church or chapel of Wolston and the chapel of Blakynge or Balkynge; and all tithes in Offyngton, Wolston, and Blakinge, and in the manor of Hardewell, Berks, which belonged to the said monastery; the advowsons of the vicarage of Offyngton, the parish church of Wolston and the chapels of Wolston and Blakynge alias Balkinge; all which belonged to Abendon.
Also a messuage in Wacchenfelde, Berks, which belonged to Cirencester mon., and another which belonged to Braddenstok mon. Rent of 10l. 16s. 9d., with liberty to the grantee to convert to his own uses the said rectories, churches, and chapels. Subject to certain reprises. Greenwich, 9 May 33 Hen. VIII. [1541]  page

Uffington was passed to his daughter Bridget [Scutt] and Watchfield to Awdrey and other properties to Muriel and grandson John Horner.

John Malte to John Horner, jun. All his lands in Westbury, Soms., which belonged to Bruton abbey. (20th.) P. 15, m. 18. page

John seems to have done well under the king and probably made a lot of money from his position as Royal Tailor, which he seems to have invested in land and property. One of his bills is for a rather large sum of money!

John Malte for 1,824l. 16s. 4d. [£443,000]… Provided that these bills are first signed by three of the commissioners named in the said commission of 1 March 35 Hen. VIII. [1543/4]

Calculate at a rate of £1 in 1550 = £243 today page


Joanne


It has been speculated that Joanne, the mother of Awdrey, was a minor noble down on her luck and she could have been the widow of James Dyngley – and therefore the daughter of Sir John Moore – or the daughter of Sir Thomas Dyngley. page But if this was the case I would have expected her to have been married off to another minor noble, and there would be no need for Awdrey to be adopted.

Although there is no specific evidence of her being a laundress [apparently there are laundry lists] she is likely to have been a domestic servant of some sort who did not have the resources to bring up the bastard child of the king. She was married off to someone named Dobson, possibly a minor palace official, but perhaps a better match than she could have otherwise expected.

It is not know how long Awdrey lived with her mother. Possibly she made the birth known to royal officials and she was married off so that she could look after the child? It may have been several years before Awdrey was “adopted” by John Malte – but likely to have been some time before he wrote his will claiming her as his child.

There was no way for the king to have passed any lands to Awdrey through her mother, Joanne, without raising suspicion so having her adopted by Malte was a good plan – he was a rich man and could afford to buy the properties made available by the king and targeted at Awdrey. This also made it possible for Awdrey to have a much better marriage than she could have otherwise had as the daughter of a servant.

Joanne is left £20 [about £5000] in the will of John Malte, maybe as some sort of compensation from the King, but I doubt very much that John had ever met Joanne Dingley.


Awdrey


Awdrey was probably born on St. Etheldreda’s day, 23 June – Etheldreda being the Latin version of her name. In the will of John Malte in September 1546 she was not yet 15 years old so was most likely born in 1532, a period when King Henry had tired of his first wife and was courting Anne Boleyn.

If this is the correct date then she was conceived about September 1531 – where was the king at this time? Wherever he was this is likely to be where Joanne Dingley worked and Awdrey was born. This could have been Greenwich or Windsor or any other of the royal households.

And where was John Malte? He was appointed King’s Tailor in October of 1531, so it is not impossible that he is Awdrey’s father based on her estimated birth, but the timing would be tight.

There is no evidence that Awdrey had distinctive red [Tudor] hair or resembled her younger half-sister Elizabeth, but if she was the daughter of Henry VIII then this is a possibility – why not? There is supposedly a portrait of her [and one of daughter Hester] held by the Harington family for several generations, but now in a private collection, that would have proved this theory. [isn’t there always?]


In 1546 – when John Malte wrote his will – Awdrey was betrothed to Richard Darcy, the illegitimate son of Sir Richard Southwell page, but this arrangement was broken sometime after her father’s death later that year.

Sir Richard SouthwellIn the will his trustye and welbeloved frende sir Richard Sothewell was charged by Malte to look after Awdrey’s financial affairs until she was fifteen. Maybe this is the reason that the will was not proven until June of 1547 – 6 months after John died – as this meant that Sir Richard Southwell never got a chance to be involved in Awdreys financial affairs and perhaps, for this reason he broke off the engagement between Awdrey and his son Richard.

But more likely this was because the was King now dead and had publicly declared – through John Malte’s will and the grant of lands – that Awdrey was not his daughter. Richard Southwell had been privy to the large land grants awarded to John Malte so he may have guessed that things were not quite what they seemed and had other plans for Awdrey.

Both documents are very clearly worded as to the pedigree of Awdrey and this was probably devised by some trusted court official and agreed between John and the King, with a sum of money being paid to Joanne by John Malte in his will – a payment directly from the King may have given the wrong impression.

Etheldreda Malte alias Dyngley, bastard daughter of the said John by Joan Dyngley alias Dobson

Audrey Malte my bastard daughter begotten upon the body of Johane Dyngley and now wife of one Dobson

Some additional properties were granted two weeks after the will was written, and only Awdrey could inherit them. These are probably the best of the manors – Kelston and St Katherine’s Court near Bath in Somerset – where Awdrey and John Harington and their descendants actually lived – and possibly where Awdrey died.

But were these properties intended for the Southwell family? Were they part of an unofficial marriage agreement and the reason why they were specifically aimed at Awdrey after the will had been written?


Some sources say that Henry had declared Awdrey as his daughter – or at least had not denied it – and the agreement between Henry and John Malte was a very public way of correcting that mistake, assuming that he had good reasons for not wanting it to be known that Awdrey was his daughter.

Alison Weir in her book Anne Boleyn:the Great and Infamous Whore talks about Awdrey and the rumours and quotes the following:

In 1656 Jonathon lesley, Deputy Clerk, wrote to a descendant of [John] Harington describing how “the great King Henry the VIIIth matched his darling daughter to John Harington, and though a bastard, dowered her with the rich lands of Bath Priory” he added that his information came from Sir Andrew Markham, a descendant of Harington’s second wife.

This cannot be true as, at the time of his death, King Henry would have been aware that Awdrey was due to marry the son of his friend Sir Richard Southwell. Perhaps the lands he had granted to Awdrey and her father were intended for the Southwell family and not John Harington, who she married instead?

John Malte died in December of 1546 and Henry VIII early the following year leaving Awdrey without a father – one way or another. She probably lived with her mother or elder sister Bridget and husband John Scutt – who were the executors of the will – until she married.


John Harington


John Harington page was born in Stepney, the son of Alexander, in about 1525 [some say 1517] but little is known of his immediate family.

The Tudor Place website has a birth date of either 1525 or 1529 and a christening date of 21st April in either of those years – I think the earlier is more likely. However this website also associates John of Stepney much too closely with his cousin Sir John Harington of Exton, the term cousin not being quite as precise as we use it today.

In 1568 John of Stepney applied for a confirmation of arms which was granted, but this only confirms that he is descended from a younger son of the Harington’s of Brierley – possibly James before he took holy orders. This confirmation led to later attempts to regain property and titles by John’s son, Sir John Harington page, that ultimately failed.

Why – and under what circumstances – social climber John Harington married the daughter of a tailor and a servant is still unclear but he would have certainly seen the benefits of the match as far as her dowry was concerned. His branch of the Harington family had been impoverished after the wars of the roses and John was crawling his way back into royal favour.

John had studied music composition under Thomas Tallis and his work “Black Sanctus” probably brought him to the attention of the king, although none of his work survives. In her novel Royal Inheritance, about the life of Awdrey, author Kate Emerson casts John as her music teacher.

John was a poet and musician and was, for a period, in the Chapel Royal where he was organist. Later he became servant to Sir Thomas Seymour which put him in the heart of royal politics at the time of Lady Jane Grey, and he was imprisoned in the Tower of London for his supposed involvement. He was devoted to princess Elizabeth and when she became Queen he was back in favour – Elizabeth becoming godmother to his son John from his second wife Isabella Markham.

Awdrey and John Harington probably married late in 1547 but it is not known exactly where or when this happened. Awdrey’s local church was St Awstyn’s besides Powles gate where her father was buried, but all records were lost in the great fire of London in 1666. [i]

[i] Leading out of St. Paul’s Churchyard at the south-east corner to Watling Street, St Augustine’s besides St Paul’s gate burnt down in the Fire and was not rebuilt, although for many years after the entrance into the churchyard at this point was still known by this name. page


speech50John Harington of Stepney is known as The Poet or Treasurer. However it appears that this second soubriquet is incorrect and he was never treasurer to the king’s camps and buildings  – that post was filled by his distant cousin Sir John Harington of Exton, with whom he is often confused.

John of Stepney would have been too young to have held such a position under Henry VIII and he had no background in the skills required of a treasurer. On the other hand John Bradford was a skilled auditor and much has been written about him as a reformer and martyr, but in all the accounts I have seen he is employed by Sir John Harington of Exton, treasurer to the king’s camps and buildings – even Wikipedia says this, but then incorrectly links to John Harington of Stepney!

This position is confirmed in official court papers, although the job title varies.

Sir John Haryngton, treasurer of the wars, that Counsell should deliver him 6,000l. towards payments by Hertford’s warrant [11 April 1546]

His grandson and great-grandson were also named John – first and second Barons Exton – and they all share a common ancestor with John Harington of Stepney:

Robert Harington of Badsworth (1458-1497).

Robert was the grandfather of Sir John of Exton and the great-grandfather of John Harington of Stepney. page

John Harington of Stepney, The Poet (1525?-1582)

Sir John Harington of Kelston, The Writer (1561-1612)

Sir John Harington of Exton, (Treasurer) (1503-1589)

Sir John Harington of Kelston was the son of John of Stepney, author of nugae antiquae and inventer of the first flushing toilet.


The Seymours


King Henry VIII died on 28 January 1547 and was succeeded by his sickly nine year old son, Edward VI who was the son of Henry and his third wife Jane Seymour. Two of Edward’s uncles, Thomas and Edward Seymour, were on the council of regency, although it was Edward, duke of Somerset who was made protector of the young king, much to the annoyance of his younger brother.

Thomas, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley married the King’s widow, Catherine Parr, in April or May of 1547 – just a few months after Henry had died. This made him an extremely rich man – even more so after the death of his wife in child-birth a few years later.

Arrangements had been made for Richard Darcy, the illegitimate son of Richard Southwell, to marry Awdrey Malte and this was probably arranged between the King and Richard, who was close to the king [he was left £200 in his will] and an ambitious man. He may even have been privy to who she was – officially or unofficially – having been at several meeting where land was granted to her father, John Malte.

After the death of Henry, the Southwell fortunes changed as the Seymour family took charge of the young King Edward – it seems there was little love lost between the families. If the Seymours were aware that Awdrey was the daughter of Henry then they may have wanted to keep their options open and marry her to someone of their choosing. Or at least remove Awdrey, and her property, from the Southwell’s influence – maybe out of spite if nothing else.

The delay in publishing John Malte’s will may have been to ensure that Richard Southwell had no claims on Awdrey’s finances – as detailed in the will – and to find an alternative suitor. Thomas Seymour may have suggested his young servant John Harington perhaps as a reward for his loyal service [he would gain a lot of property from the arrangement] but also because Thomas trusted him. It is possible that John and Awdrey had never met at this point, but once the Southwells were out of the picture things could be put in motion.

The will was proved in June 1547 when either Awdrey was fifteen or the Southwells had pulled out of the marriage arrangement. John Harington bought two manors in Gloucestershire in exchange for an annuity [possibly these were Thornbury Park and Oldebury, but these have been associated with James Harington, of Rutland] in September so he would not come to the marriage totally empty handed and it is likely they married later the same year.

It was about this time that John Harington first appeared in parliament representing Pembroke, which, it appears, he never visited. The History of Parliament is in little doubt that this appointment was due to his links with the Seymours.

It is possible that as joint chancellor of North Wales the earl had obtained for him his annuity out of the lordship of Denbigh: as the Protector Somerset [Edward Seymour] the earl favoured his purchase of two Gloucestershire manors. This connexion with Seymour and the Protector doubtless explains Harington’s first known appearance in Parliament, at the beginning of Edward VI’s reign. page

The marriage was probably more of a political arrangement than a love match and several years later John began writing poems to Isabella Markham, another of princess Elizabeth’s attendants, who would later become his second wife. John and Awdrey did have one daughter, Hester but Awdrey became ill afterwards and there were no more children. She may have died in early 1559 having first witnessed the coronation of Queen Elizabeth but it may have been earlier – even in childbirth – possibly in St Catherine’s Court in Somerset or the couple’s property in London.


Hester


Both John and Awdrey were in the Tower of London in 1554 – John for his part in the Lady Jane Grey affair  [or the Wyatt rebellion] and Awdrey as an attendant to Queen Elizabeth during her confinement there by her sister Mary.

I do not think that Hester was born until after her parents were released from the tower, but she could have been conceived there. I estimate Hester to have been born late 1554 based on her being about 21 when she married and being 14 when she was involved in the recovery of Watchfield, and this fits with the period when either one or both of her parents were in the tower of London.

Her birth could have been as late as 1556 is she married at 18, but then she would only have been 12 during the recovery of Watchfield and could not have been presented as the owner [Vouchee] of the property – fourteen being the age of adulthood at that time.

The date of the recovery is Michaelmas 10-11 Eliz [1568] so would have been some time between September and December of that year. If Hester was conceived early in 1554, then she would have been born by the end of that year and  therefore could legally be the owner of Watchfield during the Michaelmas period of 1568.

It has been speculated that Awdrey was placed as an attendant to princess Elizabeth, by their half-sister Mary, when Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower in  March 1554 but I have not yet found any evidence of this.

As the bastard daughter of a tailor and a servant there is no reason at all for Awdrey to have been included in Elizabeth’s retinue – a position usually given to those of noble birth. This is perhaps a equally compelling reason to believe that Awdrey was the daughter of Henry VIII along with the grants of property that were aimed at her through her father.

There is plenty of evidence to show that Hester is the daughter of John Harington and Awdrey Malte through documents and wills relating to the inheritance of the manor of Watchfield, and whether Awdrey was the daughter of King Henry VIII may one day be proved either way using DNA. There is certainly some evidence to support this theory and several historians believe it to be more likely than not.

If this is true then members of the Codrington, Tatton and Garrard families can claim to be descended from the Tudor dynasty and Henry would be my 12th great grandfather. There also seems little doubt that we are also related to Joanne Dingley – whoever she was.


speech50Having investigated the pedigree of Hester for some time now, I am now fairly convinced that her mother, Awdrey Malte, is the daughter of Henry VIII.

John Malte was appointed King’s Tailor in October of 1531 and, if Awdrey was born in June the following year, he could possibly be her father. Perhaps this is one of the reasons – other than his good nature – that he was involved in this deception – if he could be proved to be somewhere else it would not be believable?

I think it unlikely that the first thing he did after taking up his new post was to go looking for a young laundress! I also think that if he was the father of Awdrey he would simply have called her his daughter and not mentioned her being a bastard, and probably no need to mention her mother or her change of name.

The similarities of the wording in John’s will and the grant of lands are too obvious to ignore. The inclusion of the “disclaimer” in both documents seems to be more indicative of a hidden truth than anything else.

It is also interesting that Awdrey is specifically granted property [jointly with her father] in the first place. But this does seem like a good way of declaring the details of her parentage in official court documents without actually making a specific declaration.

It would be even more difficult – in my option – to explain some of these events if she was proved not to be the daughter of King Henry VIII.


Connections


King Henry VIII (1491-1547) = Joanne Dingley = John Malte (d.1546)

    Awdrey “Etheldreda” Malte (1532-1559) = John Harington (1525-1582)

        Hester Harington (1554-1639) = William Stubbes (1550-1630)

           Anne Stubbes (1574-1650) = Robert Codrington (1574-1618)

           Susan Stubbes (1582-1624) = Robert Tatton (1586-1636)

           Theophilia Stubbes (1584-1643) = Thomas Garrard (1575-1617)

Robert Tatton was related to the Tatton family of Wythenshaw in Cheshire and Thomas Garrard was of Inkpen in Berkshire, descended from the Garrard family of Lambourn, Berkshire.


Why John Malte?


Why did the King choose John Malte to adopt his illegitimate daughter?

To start with John was married with several daughters and step-daughters in his household, so another one would not be too out of place.

He was appointed to his position as Royal tailor at just about the right time to potentially be Awdrey’s father.

He was probably quite close to the King, even counted as a friend, and would probably have had ample opportunity to discuss the arrangements in private.

The king would have know of John’s good nature – as shown in his will where he leaves money to several good causes and a foundling child – and may have taken advantage of this.

He was quite a rich man in his own right – certainly after being Royal tailor – and the grant of lands would not be too out of place, although the number of grants may have raised a few eyebrows.

All things considered he was the perfect candidate.

But there are also questions.

Why was there so much effort to deny that Awdrey was Henry’s daughter, or at least for John Malte to claim her as his?

There was no real need to add the statement about Awdrey’s illegitimacy or the name of her mother in either the will or the later grant of land?

The King had claimed at least one other bastard child – although this was a boy, the daughter of Elizabeth Blount – so what was so different about Awdrey?


Succession


Considering that both Mary and Elizabeth were, at one time or other, declared illegitimate, why would Awdrey not also be in line to the throne? Well probably because she was genuinely a bastard and not declared so legally for the convenience of others. And perhaps simply because she was the daughter of a servant and not from a noble family like the Boleyns.

The Harington and Stubbes family were both from Stepney so the marriage of Awdrey’s daughter, Hester to William Stubbes was likely to have been a simple arrangement between two local families. But the Stubbes family also had connections to Sir Francis Walsingham page, Queen Elizabeth’s principal secretary and spymaster, and maybe the marriage was arranged between William and Hester in order for Walsingham to maintain control of a potential heir to the throne, the grand-daughter of King Henry – especially as Elizabeth appeared unwilling to marry.

Walsingham became principal secretary in December 1573 and William and Hester married a year later, but of course this is probably just a coincidence. page


Notes


This document is a summary of my investigation into a small part of my family tree and is likely to change as more information becomes available. I am still awaiting documents from the National archives but for now the pedigree of William Stubbes of Watchfield continues to be a mystery – if anything I have too much information!

As the arms on the memorial to Robert Codrington were used by the Stubbes families of both London and Norfolk it is likely that there is a connection to the Norfolk family somewhere, but so far I have not found one despite rebuilding the Stubbes of Norfolk page family tree. At the moment it is looking more likely that William’s father [William of Congleton, I think] was from Cheshire although he also lived in Berkshire.

Most of the information in this document can be found in more detail in other posts.


speech50I have used the modern spelling of Harington – with one R – as much as possible, however many of the original documents or transcriptions I have referenced use Harrington.


Chris Sidney 2015


 

 

 

 

Signs of Recovery

Farmer BullshotSo just what is a recovery and why are there four people involved? And what has this got to do with Hester Harington and the Manor of Watchfield?


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.


Recovery


After much searching I have finally found an clear explanation – once I knew what I was looking for.

A Recovery or “Common Recovery” is simply a way of transferring property without having to go through a long and expensive court process – it is a fake legal document which allows restrictions on a property’s ownership to be broken.

Common recoveries were used to break entails (conditions stipulated in wills or settlements which limited the descent of freehold land to certain individuals) and transfer land.

[More information from the University of Nottingham]


How the procedure works

There are four players involved:

  • The owner of the property often called the vouchee.
  • The purchaser.
  • The tenant, a trusted friend of the owner.
  • The common vouchee who’s job is simply not to appear at court.

If I have understood correctly then this is how it works.

1. The owner conveys the property to the tenant.

2. The purchaser then sues the tenant claiming that he owns the property.

3. The tenant calls the owner to court to prove his entitlement.

4. The owner claims that he acquired the land from a third-party – the common vouchee.

5. The common vouchee appears in court but then leaves and the claim of the purchaser is upheld due to the contempt of court by the common vouchee.

Effectively the purchaser has “recovered” the property that he claimed was his originally.

Quite often the property was simply conveyed back to the original owner, but without the previous restrictions applied by entailment, thus making it easier to sell or pass to another person – or, perhaps more importantly if you are short of money, mortgaged.


Watchfield


watchfieldI had been confused about Hester’s involvement with Watchfield, but it now seems clear she is not the recipient of the property in 1568 but the owner, and this means that she is much more likely to be the daughter of Awdrey Malte and John Harrington than I previously thought.

Recov. R. Mich. 10 & 11 Eliz. m. 656. Hester (Hesterus) Harrington is the vouchee in this recovery.

Many of the properties owned by John Malte, were left to his bastard daughter Awdrey and the “heirs of her body” so it seems clear why John Harrington would want to break these terms – he would inherit practically nothing from his marriage to Awdrey, and a recovery action was a simple way of achieving this.

So this is how it worked, after Hester had conveyed the manor to her father …

Thomas Markham and Nicholas Blimston claim against John Harrington the manor of  Watchfield.

Thomas is likely to be related to John’s second wife Isabella and a trusted participant in this action.

John Harrington [the tenant] vouched to warrant Hester [the owner] and she vouched John Howell [the common vouchee] who failed to appear.

The property was transferred this way to avoid any problems with the ownership of the Manor due to the will of John Malte, but there were other consequences.

Therefore Judgment was  given that Markham and Blimston should recover against John H., who should receive of the lands of Hester in recompense, and Hester should receive of the lands of Howell [the man of straw]. [1]

Hester would have originally conveyed Watchfield to her father [as the tenant] against the terms of her grandfather’s will, but this doesn’t seem to matter.

MISCELLANEA GENEALOGICA ET HERALDICA. New Edition Vol 4 1884


The important thing here is not so much the sale of Watchfield but the compensation given to John Harrington, as this allows the transfer of other properties that were tied to the will of John Malte and for the entailment on them to be removed.

What happens to the Manor after this is unclear, but it would almost certainly have been transferred back to Hester, having been used only as a means to transferring other property and removing the inheritance restrictions.

And it also means that the property could be transferred to her husband, William Stubbes, as part of a dowry.


In 1556, when she was perhaps quite ill, Awdrey had transferred most of her property to her husband “and his heirs” despite some properties being left specifically to Hester, her only child and heir.

Feet of Fines, Michaelmas, 2 and 3 Philip and Mary, [1555/6] Berkshire. Fine between Thomas Harryngton and Thomas Thurgood, Plaintiffs, and John Harryngton, Esq., and Etheldreda, his wife, Deforciants, touching the manor of Watchyngfelde alias Wachenfelde alias Watchfelde, and lands, messuages, etc., there. To hold to Etheldreda for one month, and after that to John Harryngton and his heirs, [Precisely similar to a Fine in Somerset of the same date, affecting the Somersetshire estates derived from Etheldreda.]

Perhaps John had to wait until Hester was old enough to sell her property in order to get his hands on the rest of the property he was expecting from the marriage.

Hester, although giving up the manor in the recovery, must have retained substantial property in Watchfield and may have regained the manor later.

I almost feel sorry for Watchfield having been used and abused this way.

In 1630 a case between Hester and Richard Tomlyns – regarding a missing document following the death of her husband, William Stubbes – identified her property as being worth £200 a year and the missing document related to her ownership of land in Watchfield.

[See More about Hester]

 [1] A straw man is a figure not intended to have a genuine beneficial interest in a property, to whom such property is nevertheless conveyed in order to facilitate a transaction.


speech50This new information – to me anyway – regarding Watchfield has meant me having to (once again) reassess my relationship with the Stubbes and Harrington family.


From the documents in Miscellanea it seems clear that Hester is the owner of Watchfield and must be the daughter of John and Awdrey – but whether Awdrey is also the daughter of Henry VIII is still conjecture.

Hester is said to have been alive in 1568 – because of the recovery document – but is generally thought to have died some time after because there are no further records of her.

But there are several documents regarding Hester Stubbes, including the one relating to the missing document, that says she inherited her property in Watchfield from her ancestors.

I don’t believe in coincidences and I am convinced that the same Hester Harrington who was involved in the recovery was the same Hester who married William Stubbes and lived happily ever after in Watchfield, Berkshire.


Chris Sidney 2015


More about Hester

Farmer BullshotThe will of Hester Stubbes gives valuable information about her children but very little about herself. Was Hester really the daughter of John Harington and Awdrey Malte?


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.


The Story


Awdrey [Etheldreda] was the illegitimate daughter of King Henry VIII and Joanne Dingley, a launderess, adopted by the King’s Tailor, John Malte, and the recipient of several grants of land by the king.

Awdrey married John Harington of Stepney and they had a daughter, Hester, who inherited the manor of Watchfield from her mother, married William Stubbes and lived at Watchfield until she died in 1639.

At least that is the story, but how much is actually true is unclear.


Some accounts say that Awdrey died childless and others that she died in labour.

Others that she lived to see Queen Elizabeth on the throne in 1559, but died soon afterwards, allowing her husband, John Harington, to marry Isabella Markham within a few months.

The pedigree of the Harrington family shows a daughter, Hester, alive in 1568 so it makes sense that the same Hester that owned the manor of Watchfield is the one who married William Stubbes a few years later.

But was the pedigree based on actual information from the family or on other records?


St Catherines CourtOnly some of the lands granted to Awdrey and her father John Malte were directed specifically at Awdrey and the heirs of her bodie possibly as a dowry for her marriage.

St Katherines Court “Katerncourte” was one of those that was actually granted by the king to Awdrey and her father, but it is unlikely that she ever lived here as her father died a few weeks after the land was granted.

John Mault Taylor and to Ethelreda Mault also Dyngley bastarde daughter – and to the heirs of the body of Ethelreda.

Many other properties – including Uffington and Watchfield – appear to have been granted to Malte, who was quite a rich man in his own right.

Watchfield, in particular, was passed to Awdrey by her father in his will, just before her arranged marriage to Richard Southwell.

In 1541 it [Watchfield] was granted to John Malt, citizen and merchant of London, who settled it in 1546 upon his illegitimate daughter Awdrey, who by the contract then made between John Malt and Sir Richard Southwell was to marry Richard [Darcy] Southwell, bastard son of the latter.

The marriage never happened so perhaps Richard Southwell called off the marriage, after the death of the king, because she would not longer be as important or useful?

John Harington seems to have inherited most of the land from Awdrey and this has lead to the belief that his daughter Hester had died – or never existed – but perhaps it was simply that little of the land was actually given directly to Awdrey “and the heirs of her bodie” in the first place?


The Will of John Malte from 10 September 1546 shows that Awdrey was not yet 15 so she was probably born about 1532 and not as early as 1528 – or 10 Nov 1518 as shown in some family trees – and probably didn’t marry until 1547.

Also I will that my trustye and welbeloved frende sir Richard Sothewell knight shall from and after my deceas take p[er]ceyve receyve and Levye toward[es] the bringing upp of the said Awdrey Malte the yerely Rent[es] Revercions Issues and profit[es] of and in all the said Manors Londes Ten[emen]t[es] and other the premisses which I have by any meanes or con-veyannce appoynted and gevyn to the said Awdrey in forme aforsaid unto suche tyme as the said Awdrey shall com[m]e to the age of Fyvetene yeres

As John Malte died a few moths later he may not have been in good health and the age of Awdrey is likely to be fairly accurate if he was expecting to die soon.


Who is Hester?


Another suggestion is that Awdrey died childless and that Hester was a niece of John Harrington.

Hester married William Stubbes in 1574 and the record we have of Hester as “vouchee” in 1568 was a recovery action against the manor of Watchfield probably in preparation for her marriage, but more likely to enable other properties to be passed to her father.

This was the record that was used in the Harington pedigree as proof that Hester – as the daughter of John and Awdrey – was alive at this time, and this does appear to be the case.

Other investigations have now shown that Hester was the daughter of John and Awdrey and not a niece.

[See Signs of Recovery]


ratcliffeThe Stubbes and Harington families both owned properties in Stepney, London so would have known each other, and there were also other connections through Sir Francis Walsingham.

William Stubbes of Ratcliffe – who appears to be a merchant – seems to be related to William Stubbes of Watchfield, if not his father then perhaps an uncle.

But I would have thought that John Harington – a social climber – would have gone for a much higher profile match for his daughter than William Stubbes.

[See The Fittleton Manor Mystery]


The will of Hester


West Mill Farm HouseThe probate record and inventory for Hester is held in Reading at the Berkshire records office.

I now have a transcription of her will and although it gives useful information about her children it reveals nothing about her pedigree.

She was still living at West Mill in Watchfield when she died but no longer owned the manor which was transferred to Thomas Tatton, her grandson, after the death of William in 1630, or possibly before.

She confirms her eldest daughter as Anne Marshe widow, which shows that Anne’s second husband Ralph Marshe was deceased by 1639 – her first husband was Robert Codrington, who died in 1618.

I give and bequethe unto my eldest daughter Anne Marshe widowe the som[m]e of twelve pence and to each of her Children twelve pence a peece.

Youngest daughter Theophilia first married Thomas Garrard of Inkpen, Berkshire and her children from that marriage are identified in the will – he died in 1617.

She remarried “Cowper” at some point – as she is named in the will – but I can find no record of the marriage or any further children.

I give & bequeathe unto my daughter Cowper one Fether bed, one payre of sheetes, one Rugg & my laste made gowne, and to her sonne Will[ia]m Garrard twelve pence, to her sonne Roger Garrard tenn powndes to her daughter Marye tenn powndes and to her sonne John five powndes, & I will that my daughter Cowper shall have all those garment[es] & Clothes w[hi]ch are in her owne truncke w[hi]ch standeth att my bed[es] feete.

Susan married Robert Tatton and had at least two sons, Thomas and George.

I give unto everye one of my daughter Tattons Children twelve pence a peece.

[See The Will of Thomas Tatton]


Hester


Initially I had Hester’s birth as about 1548 but I do not think this is correct having now seen the will and other evidence.

John Malte died in December 1546 shortly after writing his will, and there is no mention of Awdrey being married at this time. She was betrothed to Richard the illegitimate son of Richard Southwell, but this arrangement was formally broken sometime after December 1546 when John died.

Why John Harington married the daughter of a tailor and a laundress is still a bit a mystery, unless he was aware of who she really was – or how much property she was endowed with.

His branch of the Harington family had been impoverished after the wars of the roses and John was crawling his way back into favour – and had done a pretty good job so far under Henry and in the service of Sir Thomas Seymour. But he was a poet and a romantic – and quite often in trouble – and perhaps he was in love with Awdrey, at least for a while.

And after all she was an attendant to princess Elizabeth – a position for which she had no real credentials – and would be in good standing when Elizabeth became queen.


If Hester’s birth was as early as 1548 then she would then have been 20 years old when she is known to have been alive in 1568. This seems a little old to be sorting out property for a dowry and it is more likely that she was about 15 – as her mother had been when she was engaged – and therefore born after 1553.

This means she would have married at the much more reasonable age of 21 [and not 26].

In March 1554 Awdrey was in the Tower of London with Elizabeth and I think Hester was born sometime after this period. Her husband, John was also in the tower – in relation to the Lady Jane Grey affair – and wrote about his wife saying:

My wife is her servant, and doth but rejoice in this our misery, when we look with whom we are holden in bondage.

Hester is likely to have been born after Elizabeth was released from the tower – possibly as late as 1556 if she was only 18 when she married – but then she would have only been 12 during the recovery of Watchfield in 1568 – it doesn’t seem likely.

Awdrey does not seem to have been an attendant of Elizabeth’s before the Tower (or after) and it is suggested by Kate Emerson that she was placed there by her other half-sister, Mary but I doubt this would have been the case if she was pregnant or just given birth.

On the 19th May 1554, the future Elizabeth I was released from the Tower and escorted to Woodstock, where she was put under house-arrest so it is possible that Awdrey may also have been with Elizabeth as late as October 1554, during her period of house arrest.

John Harington, was held in the tower until January of the following year and if Awdrey was pregnant this would explain why she is not recorded as an attendant of the Queen after this period.


The portrait of Hester as a young child seems to have existed, but is now in a private collection and it is not possible to investigate if this is indeed genuine.

Some excellent detective work was done on a portrait thought to be of princess Elizabeth which was later proved to be Mary Rogers, the wife of John Harington’s son, Sir John (the writer) so we cannot take the identity of the sitter for granted.

http://www.somegreymatter.com/haringtonportrait.htm


speech50Another piece of new evidence regarding Watchfield comes from a document of complaint between Hester Stubbes and Richard Tomelyns dated 1630.


This was shortly after the death of her husband William Stubbes, but refers to other documents dating from 1612 and 1617 – even mentioning Robert Codrington (Hester’s son in law) who died in 1618.

Hester is the complainant in this case and in response Richard replies:

… that he Conceiveth it to be true that the Complainent is Seased of some estate of inheritance to her owne use by discent from her anncestors of and in the said Manor of Watchfeild in the said bill of Complaint mencioned …

This is all about a missing document, but it does indicates that Hester inherited land in Watchfield from her ancestors rather than it being purchased or given to her.

Linda, from Transcription Services has kindly provided the following interpretation:

The bill of complaint seems to concern the conveyance document for property ‘of and in’ the manor of Watchfield, (valued at £200 per year, so a significant property), which was given amongst other papers to the safe keeping of Richard Tomlyns at some time in the past.  Richard delivered back to Hester’s husband all the other paperwork, but later sent the conveyance to her son in law, Richard [Robert] Codringon, to be given to William.  Hester would appear to not have this document, which would be necessary to prove her ownership of the manor property, and the dispute is whether Tomlyns/Codrington or William Stubbes had it in their possession.

Robert Codrington died early in 1618 so the documents may have been misplaced at this time.


The following is an extract from Neil Maw’s excellent Watchfield Chronicles and shows more about the ownership of the manor.

The first document in what I have called the ‘Luker Papers’ is dated 17 April, 1649. It is an indenture made between Sir Humphrey Forster, Baronet of Aldermaston, Berks, and William Weekes, a Yeoman of Watchfield. There are others mentioned within the document such as William Fairthorne, Thomas Joyner, Robert Weekes the elder and Robert Weekes the younger, concerning property and land within Watchfield. The document also includes an indemnity to the new occupiers against whatever Thomas Tatton or Mrs Hester Stubbs may have agreed to previously. So, we now know that Sir Humphrey Forster was holding the Manor in 1649. Two more documents from the Luker Papers show that he was still holding it in 1650.

From this extract it seems certain that both Thomas Tatton and Hester were previously owners of the Manor, despite not being mentioned in either of their wills and of Hester “losing” ownership in a Common Recovery action of 1568.

Hester may have transferred the manor to Thomas – her grandson – sometime after the death of her husband in 1630 – probably about 1635 or earlier. Because it was not mentioned in the will of William, nine years earlier, it is possible that Hester still owned the manor in her own right – or that the manor have been transferred before the death of her husband.

Maybe the missing document [mentioned above] was what she needed in order to convey the property and that was why it took so long after her husbands death for the property to be passed to Thomas.

Thomas Tatton wrote his will in 1653 and had already sold the manor to Humphrey Forster by then, possibly due to the death of his wife, Margaret.


speech50There is little doubt that Joanne Dyngley was the mother of Awdrey Malte – and therefore my 12x great-grandmother – whoever was her father.


She has been identified as a laundress [or other servant] working in the Royal Household or possibly a minor noble down on her luck.

Some family trees assign a birth of 1472, based on a death record for a Joanne Dingley in 1567, but this cannot be correct as she would have died as Joanne Dobson, and would be far too old to have had a daughter in 1532 or to be attractive to the King (or John Malte) at the age of 60.

She could be the widow of James Dyngley (daughter of Sir John Moore) or the daughter of Sir Thomas Dyngley, but if this was the case then I would have expected her to have been married off to another minor noble, and there would be no need for Awdrey to be adopted.

Of course if Awdrey was simply the daughter of John Malte then it may have been more convenient to both parties for John to take charge of their daughter. If Joanne was just a servant – which I suspect she was – then she would probably not have the time and resources to care for a bastard daughter. John, on the other hand, was a very rich man – and a very benevolent one.

In his will he leaves provision for a foundling boy left on his doorstep and many other good causes, such as poor prisoners, and repairing the roads, and perhaps it was this good nature that made the king look to him to care for his daughter?

Joanne was married off to someone named Dobson, possibly a minor palace official, but perhaps a better match than she could have otherwise expected as a laundress.


speech50My personal observation, based on his will, is that John does not seem to have been the sort of person to have considered an affair with a servant, whereas the king’s habits in this area are quite well documented.

If John Malte was actually the father of Awdrey then I am quite proud of him even if he isn’t royalty.


Farmer BullshotI have recently found a document in the National Archives, Tatton v Stubbes page. This document is quite badly damaged and feint but it is important as it confirms the identify of Hester.

The document is between William Stubbes, Hester’s husband and son in law Robert Tatton and a large part of it is legible. Most of it is regarding money loans but it also drags other family members into the document including Bartholomew and George Stubbes and, most importantly, the reference below:

this Deffendant & [the] said Sir John Harrington, this Deffendants Brother in lawe

C 2_Jasl_T4_9 (WIDTH-1000)William is the defendant in this case and this document proves that Hester is therefore the daughter of John Harington and Awdrey Malte, and the half-sister of Sir John Harington, his son by his second wife Isabella Markham.

She could also be the grand-daughter of King Henry VIII

18 June 2015


 Chris Sidney 2015


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