Saturday, 18 January 2014

Bequests Relating to Blackmore

An extract from ...
EXTRACTED FROM Calendar of Wills proved and enrolled in the Court of Husting, London.

{A transcription of an article taken from the Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society (now the Essex Society for Archaeology and History), ‘new series’ Volume 13 part 4, published in 1914. Items in curly brackets { } have been added for the convenience of the modern reader on the Internet.  Your feedback on this article would be appreciated, especially if you have referred to it in the course of research.  The full transcription will be published in Spring 2014 on }

ALL now, who are interested in genealogical research, and in the manners, customs and dress of the Middle ages, realise the important light that is thrown upon the subject by the wills of the time. In going through the wills proved and enrolled at the Court of Husting, London, published in two volumes by order of the Corporation of the City, and edited, with an introduction, by Dr. Reginald R. Sharpe, it is very noticeable how many of the citizens, whose wills were enrolled during the latter half of the thirteenth century and the first half of the fourteenth, bore Essex names, i.e., names of towns and villages whence they or their fathers had come. Surnames, as we know them, were then uncommon, and when men were not known by the name of the birthplace or former residence, it was usually by their trade or occupation, such as Draper, Taylor, Baker, Smith, etc. A list of names of places in Essex, used as surnames, will probably not be uninteresting, and will shew how many of the citizens of London were of Essex descent. These wills also contain much matter of interest to the Essex antiquary, such as gifts of plate, ornaments, and books, money for founding chantries in the churches, or for their repair or rebuilding; and bequests to the different religious houses, especially Stratford and Barking, where many of the citizens had daughters or relatives. These bequests help to fix the date of many of the additions to our parish churches, i.e., Bartholomew Denmars, in 1352, leaves money towards the work of the church of South Benfleet; Alice Hongreforth, in 1491, leaves directions to her executors to see that the roof of Blackmore church is "properly seled with Estryche boord "; and John Draper, in 1496, desires his lands and tenements in the parish of Colne (Colne Engaine?) to be sold, and the proceeds to be devoted to the purchase of forty thousand bricks, towards the work of the belfry of the said parish church.

The wills included in this present paper are from the commencement of the calendar in 1258 to 1361-2, dividing those of local interest more equally into two parts, than if the extracts had ended in 1358, with Dr. Sharpe’s first volume.  Some of the notes are by Dr. Sharpe, and others have been added. The Guildhall Library Committee kindly say that they are only too pleased to see the work make some use of, and members living in, and well acquainted with the places mentioned in the wills, may be able to give further information concerning the bequests and testators.


1287. GODFREY ROSAMUND.—To the Prior and Convent of la Blakemore {Blackmore}, five shillings annual rent in the parish of All Hallows de Fancherche, on condition that his name be put in their obituary (martilogio), and his obit kept. (No date.)

1291. WILLIAM HERVI. - To the Prior and Convent of BIakemore {Blackmore}, his shop, so that his servant John hold the same for a term of three years after his decease, rendering to the said prior half a mark for pittance. (No date.) (Afterwards let on lease to Sir Richer de Refham.) 

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