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Disinheritance

Farmer BullshotRobert Tatton, the heir to the Wythenshawe estate in Cheshire, was disinherited by his father, William. But what had Robert done to deserve this?


For background information it is recommended that you read Tatton v Stubbes before reading this.


It seems to me a little harsh to disinherit your only son and pass your estate to your grandson instead, but this is what William Tatton of Wythenshawe did in his will of 1606. His only son, Robert – the father of William who inherited the estate – is not mentioned at all.

About 1605 Robert eloped with Susan Stubbes, the daughter of William Stubbes and Hester Harington – who was due to be married to another man a few days later – and married her against the wishes of her parents, as shown in Tatton v Stubbes, however it seems unlikely that this is the reason that he was disowned.

But this is not all that happened about this time.

There are two other documents dated 1603 in the National Archives relating to charges made against Robert Tatton that was heard before the star chamber and instigated by William Tatton, Robert’s father.

Rob[er]t Tatton of Marybone in the County of Midd[lesex] gent[leman] sworne &c

We have both the deposition of Robert, in answer to the charges, and the inquisition document itself, the title on its own making interesting reading:

Sale of tithes and mortgage in Bowdon, conspiracy to murder, land in The Poole, Lancashire.

Conspiracy to murder?

This is certainly a pretty good reason for being disinherited, but just what did Robert get involved in, and who was to be murdered?


Robert Tatton


Robert Tatton 1566I am still not quite sure whether Robert was a charming, but devious man, intent on getting his hands on his inheritance (and anything else he wanted), or was just sensitive and kind and ill-used by his friends and relations – and anyone else he met.

William Stubbes, his father-in-law, certainly held a poor opinion of Robert’s character due to the way that he believed his daughter, Susan, and her children were treated by Robert.

But this may be due to his disinheritance and the subsequent large amounts of money that Robert borrowed – mainly from William’s friends and family.

Apart from being disinherited, I do not think that there were any other consequences following these charges, unless you count the sad expression that he has in his portrait – painted just before he died in January 1624.


The Charges


Interrogatories to be ministred unto Robert Tatton gentleman defendant upon the Informacion of Edward Coke Esquire Attorney general to our late soveraigne Ladye Queene Elizabeth deceased at & by the Relation of William Tatton Esquire as followeth:

John Warren-1The first items are related to the mortgage on the rectory of Bowdon taken out by William Tatton. The sums of £600 and  £800 are mentioned as well as the names of Sir Edward Warren and his father John Warren, of Poynton who died in 1587.

It seems that Robert had obtained the statute for £800 that his father had taken out on his properties from John Warren, and were now held by his son Sir Edward Warren.

… and by that meanes to have gotten the possession from your father of & in his Capitall howses of Wythenshawe & Peele and his demeasne Landes & goodes there into your owen handes & to your owen use.

Sir Edward Warren-1Robert – along with Edward – is accused of “practising to extend his fathers landes”, as well as the supply of “meate drinke and weapons” to those who would hold the landes of his father.

To this Robert replies that …

… he was pryvye that the said Sir Edward Warren dyd purpose and intende to extende the landes of this defendants said father & knoweth that parte therof was extended by the said Sir Edward.

Howbeit he this defendant dyd not by himself or by any others at any tyme perswade or practyce with the said Sir Edward to extende the same: but confesseth that he dyd trethe the said Sir Edward Warren – beinge his wyves brother & suche as were in the said Sir Edwards Company & before possession against his father – with meat dryncke and lodging.

And he thincketh that somme of them dyd to keepe the said possession taken somme wepons owt of this defendants howse.

Robert says also that he:

… bought the estate and interest of the said statute of £800 for the better securing [of himself] concerning certen articles of agreement formerly made betwixt this deffendants said father and [himself].

This earlier agreement – held by Manchester University – was made in October 1592 and concerns various properties in the possession of his father.

There is a note attached to the document that says that it was also exhibited in a suit dated 16 April 1605, two years after this inquisition.

Articles of Agreament Indented had made & Concluded upon betwene William Tatton of Wythinshawe within the Countie of Chester Esquier upon th’one partye And Roberte Tatton gentleman son & heire apparant of the saide William upon th’other partye by the mediacion of dyvers their good & loving [original damaged] frendes

One of these properties, the rectory at Bowden is also mentioned in this inquisition.

That the saide Roberte Tatton shall & maie proceade with George Bouthe of Dunham in the saide Countie of Chester Esquier for the Reobteyninge and Repurchasinge of the Rcorye [Rectory] and tythes of Bowdon in the saide Countie of Chester …

If anyone can provide a good definition of “extending lands” then I would be grateful. From the way the interrogations are worded it cannot be a good thing – at least not for Robert’s father.


Arrested


Robert also denies another accusation that he attempted to have his father arrested.

Neyther dyd he come to his fathers said howse in Companye with the sheriffe of the sayd Countie uppon purpose to have entred and kepte possession there or to have mayneteyned and furthered the same against his father.

Neyther hathe he at any tyme layd plottes with Sheriffe Baylyeffe or with anye other to take arreste and attache his fathers boddye intendinge or myndinge to have him imprisoned as in this Interrogatory is supposed But the defendant dyd many tymes doe his best endevor to keepe his said father from beinge arrested or imprisoned.

It seems that it was after this that Robert was forced into an agreement to end the controversies and disagreements between him and his father, and that he was advised that if he did not stand by such agreement that his father would disinherit him.

… that there was an agreement made and sett downe in wrytinge by certen Knightes & gentlemen for the fynall endinge of all controversies and disagrements betwixt this defendants father & this defendant But this defendant doth not remember that anye boddy dyd advise him to stande to such said agreement least his father would disinherytt him or that hee this defendant dyd make anye suche undutifull & unrespective agrement as in this Interrogatory ys mencioned.


Private Conversation


It seems that Robert’s father, William, was suffering from syphilis and being treated by a surgeon named Plante – William would have been nearly 70 years old and this was a serious condition.

wythenshaw built by Robert Tatton (1650)Robert is accused of sending one Peter Warren to visit the surgeon Plante at his father’s house [Wythenshawe] to arrange a meeting with him in private, but without the knowledge of any of his father’s servants, leading to suspicions about the purpose of the meeting.

Robert does say that he did have a private conversation with Plante, but this was at his father’s house …

… in or neare a chamber at the said howse called the Gatehowse Chamber, the [purpose] of which speche was to understand what disease his said father had, & to desire the said Plante to take greate care to cure the same

This meeting was arranged through Sir George Leycester – whose daughter was to marry Robert’s eldest son – and who was travelling between Robert and his father in order to work a reconcilement between them.

Based on this conversation it is accused that Robert did …

… move or perswade hime the said Plant to use or laye somthinge to your fathers Sore or some other parte & place of his Bodye whereby to swell & Corrupte his said Bodye & take awaye his Liefe sayeinge further to the saide Plant that if your father did Amende & recover his healthe of that disease It would be to your undoeinge, for that yow sayde yow muste paye greate summes of money for hime.

Robert replies that that he …

… dyd not crave or perswade the sayd Plante to use or laye any thing to his fathers sore or anye other parte or place of his fathers boddy whereby to make the same to swell & to corrupte his boddy & to take awaye his lyef as is supposed neither dyd he this defendant utter suche speches to the said Plante as in this Interrogatory  are mencioned or any speches to anye such effecte.

From the above accusation it seems that he owed a great amount of money, which, perhaps, he was hoping would be covered by the death of his father and his inheritance.

Plante does seem to have made the accusation himself about Robert who, of course, denies anything other than trying to obtain the best possible care for his father, and making sensible arrangements should he die.

To that end he is accused of asking Peter Warren to send him word when his father died, in the expectation that it would be soon.

Did yow tell the said Peter Warren that yow muste Comit truste unto hime touchinge matter wherein he muste use greate secresie tellinge hime that he was of your wyves fleshe & bloudde & that frendes muste holde together, and whether did yow tell the said Warren that yow did knowe your father colde not live fower dayes, and therefore desired hime that presently upon your fathers deathe he woulde come unto yow or send yow worde thereof.

Perhaps he was expecting this, considering the poor health and old age of his father, but it seems to have been taken to mean that he was expecting news of his father’s death because he had something to do with it, especially because of the conspiratorial nature of the conversation with Peter Warren.

Peter was probably a younger brother of his wife, but may also have been in the service of Robert’s father so was in a position to be able to get a message to Robert [presumably in London] quickly.


Misdemeanors & Offences


Robert is next questioned as to whether he had …

…. of late come to your fathers Howse havinge a dagge or Pystoll charged aboute yow and at the same tyme sent unto your father & desired to see hime, and whether did yow tell any person & whome, that yow weare Counselled or Intended to Kyll one John Bellers whoe (being deposed) was thoughte (as yow sayde) colde accuse yow of manye lewde undutifull & trecherous dealinges misdemeanors & Offences by yow Committed & doene or used againste the said William Tatton your Father.

John Bellers is likely to have been a trusted servant of his father.


dagger-pistolWhat Robert was carrying was probably a Dagger Pistol, which was, as the name suggests, a combination of a dagger and a pistol, but is not really the sort of personal defence that a gentleman might carry.


Robert replies to this charge …

… that hee dyd of late ryde from London allone to his fathers howse, having about him for his necessary defence a dagg or pistoll charged. 

And when he came to the owter gate of the said howse he desired one of his fathers men to goe & tell his father that hee was come thither to crave his blessinge & with an intent in all dutifull manner to satisfye his said father concerning any matters that he should objecte against him if he this defendant might be admytted to his presenc.

But this defendant dyd not tell any boddy that he was councelled or intended to kill anie John Bellers in this Interrogatory mencioned for any cause whatsoever neyther dyd this defendant intende any such thing nor was councelled by any boddy to doe any suche thinge.


Accusations


Robert says that he was informed about the accusations made by Plante by Mr Davenporte & John Makepeace who told him that:

… Plant had accused him this defendant unto them that he had practized with him to laye some plaster or other infectious thing to his fathers sore which might swell upp into his boddy & take away his lief.

The only reason that I can see for Plante making up this story is if William had died, and wanted to blame someone else, or Robert had refused to pay his fees – assuming it was his responsibility in the first place. As far as I can tell neither of these happened.

But Robert denies trying to persuade Plante to change his story saying that all he wanted was for Plante to tell the truth. He also says that he did not:

… gyve over in speches that this defendants said father had or was infected with the frenche pockes or with any other odious diseases but rather allwayes desired to conceale his said fathers infyrmities & diseases.


Farmer BullshotRoberts responses seem quite reasonable but his replies also seem to strengthen the opinion that William Stubbes had of him, as a skilled and believable orator.

… by the fayer and flatteringe speches of the complainant …

… uppon the faithfull promises and earnest protestacions made by the said complainant …

It is possible that Robert did not have any reason to want his father dead and this was all a terrible misunderstanding. But there seems overwhelming evidence that the opposite was true – certainly his father believed that Robert wanted him dead.

One other scenario is that William simply did not trust his son with the estate, and made up the accusations so that he could disown him and pass the estate to his grandson, William. He would have needed the support of the surgeon Plante and several other of the characters in this story and is not impossible that he did this, however I think it unlikely.

When William wrote his will in 1606 there is no mention of Robert at all and everything is passed to his grandson, William, Robert’s eldest son.


speech50Some records attribute the portrait of Robert Tatton to his grandson, also named Robert (1606-1669), but this cannot be correct.

A copy of the portrait held in the Manchester City Art Galleries is signed by the artist – Cornelius Johnson – and dated 1625, the year after Robert died and when his grandson would have only been 19 years old.

Robert Tatton 1566But the most significant clue is the wedding ring on the chain around the sitter’s neck. The younger Robert died in 1669 a year before his wife, Anne Brereton, so this would have been inappropriate

On the other hand the elder Robert’s wife, Eleanor Warren, died about 1605, or perhaps before, and Robert remarried Susan Stubbes before 1608 – although this evidence for the second marriage is hidden by Robert’s left hand being in his pocket. page

Having your portrait painted, yet alone to this standard, was not cheap and I am not sure who paid for this, given Robert’s history with money!


Some background information


Poole, which is now in Cheshire, was owned by the Leycester family. Katherine Leycester married William Tatton, the eldest son of Robert, and heir to the Wythenshawe estates, who drowned crossing the Mersey in 1616. In 1602 George Leycester, of Toft, was High Sherriff of Cheshire and he was also involved in negotiating between Robert and his father.

The Elcock or Elcocke family held the manor of White-Poole, which included Poole Farm, from around 1600, and this is the site of the later Poole Hall. The Leycester family probably held another of the three manors. In 1601, Poole had a watermill at Poole Bridge.


Wythenshawe Hall 1837Wythenshawe Hall was built by Robert Tatton, the grand-father of this Robert, in about 1540 and was in the same family until 1926, when it was sold to pay debts and death duties. The property was bought by Lord and Lady Simon and donated to the city of Manchester for the use of the public.

The hall has been used by the local council as an art gallery and is now being opened to the public by the Friends of Wythenshawe Hall.


speech50In his deposition, dated 18th May 1603, Robert refers to his wife’s brother which indicates that his first wife, Eleanor Warren, may still have been alive or, at least, he had not yet married Susan Stubbes, which I suspect was around this time when she would have been 21 years old.

S[i]r Edward Warren – beinge his wyves brother

Perhaps Susan was older than 21 when she was due to be married? They were married before 1608 so perhaps 1605 is a more realistic estimate of Susan’s marriage at the age of 23 – especially if Robert’s first wife, Eleanor, was still alive in 1603.

Eleanor must, however, have died shortly after this – she would have been about 40 years old and possibly died in child birth  – but there is no record of her death.


speech50There is another document in the National Archives dated 1603-1625 which mentions both Robert Tatton and his son, another Robert.

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

Katherine [Leycester] would have been the widow of Robert’s eldest son William (and heir of Wythenshawe) who drowned crossing the Mersey in 1616.

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

The same would also be true of Robert, the son of William and grandson of Robert who was born in 1606. This Robert would eventually inherit Wythenshaw from his deceased father, but was too young at the time and had been made a ward of court, so is unlikely to be the younger Robert mentioned.

In the articles of agreement document of 1593, Robert is said to have at least two sons – presumably William and Robert – and several daughters, although none are specifically named.


Chris Sidney 2015


 

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


 

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