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Family History Jottings

This site is not so much a "Family History Website", more of a notebook - a Work in Progress.

If you'd like to make contact, click on the blue pencil above to reply to this post - comments are screened (hidden) to protect your privacy - or contact me via Ancestry.co.uk, where I'm kjt127.

Notes and Essays from my Research

Individual Narratives - "The Life of..."

Wills & Testaments, Administrations

"The Wimborne Project" - an analysis of the Tilsed family in Wimborne Minster, Dorset

Overseers of the Poor:

William ANDREW b1793 - Settlement Examination 1823

William ANDREW b1793 - Removal Order 1823

Family Tree Diagrams:

Matilda OXFORD b1853


COWANs of Dundee

kjthistory [userpic]

Chapter 2 - Dating James Tilsed’s Arrival in Wimborne

January 25th, 2018 (05:06 pm)

Unless otherwise stated, everything I post is based on my own research, from original documents where available - either in archives or online images - or from indices and various archives' online catalogue entries. (I realise that I should be more diligent in stating my exact sources, but at present I'm concentrating on getting as much of my research as possible out there to share, and hopefully discuss, with others researching the same families.)

11th March 2018 - This chapter has now been updated: Information marked (1) has been gleaned from the Churchwardens' Accounts of Wimborne Minster 1581 - 1636 [PE/WM/CW/1/41] and 1640 - 1696 [PE/WM/CW/1/42]. These accounts, held by the Dorset History Centre, are not currently available online in any form and I am hugely grateful to Charles Cornish-Dale for his generosity in allowing me to use both his detailed transcripts of the Churchwardens' Accounts and his Index of Wimborne Parishioners, which he has built up over years of research.

Having identified 1602 James Tilsed of Bere Regis, son of Roger and Christian, as the man appointed a Churchwarden in Wimborne for the church year 1630 to 1631, the next question is - at what point in his life did James move from Bere Regis to Wimborne?

All we actually know for certain of James’ childhood location is that on 25th July 1602 he was in Bere Regis being christened.

Normal practice was to christen children in the parish of their parents’ residence at the time of the christening, whether or not that was where they were born. A notable exception was for the first child, where it was not uncommon for the young mother to go home to her own mother to have the baby. If it was normal practice for the time and place to christen the baby in the first week or two of life - or if this was deemed necessary in the particular circumstances - the christening might therefore take place in the parish of the baby’s maternal grandmother, which was not necessarily that of its parents.

We will probably never know for sure whether Christian’s mother was living in Bere Regis in 1602, but there were plenty of Goulds in Bere Regis at the time, including a couple I have tentatively identified as Christian’s parents - John Gould, Carpenter, and his wife Edith. However, we do know that Bere Regis was Roger’s home parish and thus James’s: Roger’s father stated in his 1581 will that he was “of Southbrook in the parish of Bere Regis”, and at Roger’s death in 1614 Christian gave money to the church of Bere Regis in his memory.

So we have Bere Regis as likely James’ home parish, not simply where he was christened, and there is plenty of evidence that most of his family continued to live in the village until at least 1640. For example two of James’ sisters married in Bere Regis, in 1615 and 1626; his mother was buried there in 1628 (and was described as “of Bere Regis” in the probate of her will); his older brother Lewis was paying rates in Bere Regis in 1614. Lewis was a Churchwarden in Bere Regis in 1632 and continued to pay rates in the village for some years afterwards. So it would seem that whenever it was that James moved to Wimborne, it was for his own reasons and not because the whole family moved.

In general when people move to a different area, they overwhelmingly move for one reason - work. With the exception of the modern phenomenon of “getting away from it all”, this is as true today as it was in 1620. Other reasons to move at the time would include marriage (mainly for women), and for men, inheritance. But women only moved to the husband’s home parish because he had work or settlement there, while the settlement laws also ensured that men could only move for an inheritance if there was money or work attached or at least available nearby.

Nowadays, the main reason for people moving away from their home town at a relatively early age is to go to University, which in this context may reasonably be considered a subset of “work”. In the 1620s, however, only a tiny proportion of the population went to University, with those that did almost invariably ending up as lawyers, doctors or ministers of the church. For everyone else, the route into secure work was an apprenticeship, and this may be the key to the timing of James’ move out of Bere Regis and towards Wimborne.

Assuming for now that work or apprenticeship was James’ primary reason for leaving Bere Regis and for settling in Wimborne, there are some key dates to look at:

In 1613, James would have been at least 11 years old - a common time for the commencement of a parish apprenticeship. But it is clear from Wills and from the social status of the family (as described in Chapter 1), that the family had enough resources for this not to be a very likely outcome for James.

However, things would possibly have changed considerably in 1614 with the death of James’ father Roger. At this point James was about 12 years old, and given that his elder brother Lewis held the lands in Bere Regis this event would be an obvious catalyst for James to take up an apprenticeship, whether it had been previously planned or not.

I have not yet discovered whether apprenticeship records exist for this period in Dorset, so we may never know where and with whom James undertook his apprenticeship. Perhaps he stayed in Bere Regis; possibly he was bound to the haberdasher Richard Bushrode of Dorchester, whose son John later married James's sister Mary; he might have joined John Dale, a Clothier in the same town, who was to be John Bushrode's apprentice master ten years later. However, the most likely scenario seems to be that James was apprenticed to his uncle William Gould the Wimborne Linen Draper, with the expectation that he would take over the business after William’s death.

If William Gould ever had a wife or children to leave his business to, I have found no evidence of them and they were not mentioned in William’s will. While we must always be wary of assuming that a person not mentioned in the will does not exist, William bequeathed both his home and his business to a nephew rather than a son or daughter, so this seems to be a reasonable assumption here. Even without Roger Tilsed’s (presumably early) death, this would give William a very good reason to take his nephew as apprentice.

The normal time for boys to start an apprenticeship - when they had a family member to pay the premium - was at the age of 14. From his christening date we can calculate that James would reach his 21st birthday no later than 25th July 1623, so the latest date for him to commence a seven-year apprenticeship would be 25th July 1616.

We know from the Churchwardens’ Accounts that William Gould was resident in Wimborne by 1616: at some point in the church year 1615-16 William Gould and his sister Luce took over the seats in the Minster previously occupied by one Anthony Wayte and his wife Jane(1), and in the same year William Gould commenced paying rent to the churchwardens for a property rented until the previous year by Anthony Wayte(1).

Whichever apprenticeship James served, whenever he started it, and wherever and with whom he served it, he would have been a time-served free man by 25th July 1623 at the very latest. His uncle William Gould “being sicke in bodie” wrote his will, leaving home and business to James, on 1st February that year. At that date James was at the very least approaching his majority and the end of his apprenticeship, and the will contains no request to the Overseers in respect of James’ inheritance, nor does it say “when he shall come to the age of one and twenty years” as it does for various of his cousins. On 10th May 1624, fifteen months after writing his will, William Gould added a codicil, wherein he again described himself as being of Wimborne Minster, and he died barely a week later.

Despite requesting burial within the Minster church of Wimborne, and leaving a legacy to be paid specifically under that condition, William was in fact buried in Bere Regis. Perhaps he had gone home for one last visit, expecting to have more time, or perhaps his request for burial in the Minster was turned down. We do at least know - because the Bere Regis churchwardens had to chase Lewis for the money - that William was buried inside the church at Bere Regis.

Lewis Tilsed proved his uncle’s will at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 7th June 1624, and this can reasonably be considered the date at which James officially become the owner of the house and shop in Wimborne. However, it seems likely that, with his uncle ill, James as the successor to the business would have already been in place by the time William died.

With the change in ownership, we would expect James to take over paying rent to the churchwardens after William’s death, and this is exactly what happened. William died early in the church year, and so it seems that the responsibility fell to James during that same year: he is first recorded as paying rent for William’s property in the church year 1624-25(1). James continued to pay this rent every year until his death, after which his widow took over the payments(1).

Obviously James wouldn’t necessarily move from Bere Regis to Wimborne simply because he was left a property there - he could have rented it out, for example - but the fact that we have a James Tilsed in a position of social responsibility in Wimborne only six years later suggests that he did. Being a Churchwarden was a hands-on job with daily responsibilities, and it seems unlikely that he could have been elected to the position if he wasn’t already living in the town.

Finally, we know from the Churchwardens’ Disbursements that Anthony Wayte (1611-12), William Gould (1615-16) and James Tilsed (1635-36) all supplied the churchwardens with holland (a type of cloth), generally to be used for surplices(1). This adds to the probability that James Tilsed took over not only William Gould’s house and shop but also his Linen Drapery business.

Considering all the above, I believe James left Bere Regis at some point between the death of his father in 1614 and the end of his apprenticeship, taking up residence in Wimborne by July 1624 at the latest. It seems most likely that James was apprenticed to his uncle William Gould in Wimborne in 1616, once he was fourteen and his uncle was settled in his new property.

kjthistory [userpic]

The Wimborne Project - Contents

January 24th, 2018 (10:53 pm)


[0] Introduction

[1] Identifying the first Tilsed in Wimborne

[2] Dating the Arrival of James Tilsed in Wimborne

kjthistory [userpic]

Chapter 1 - Identifying the first Tilsed in Wimborne Minster

January 24th, 2018 (10:49 pm)

The earliest Tilsed “life event” - ie christening, marriage, burial - so far found in the parish registers of Wimborne Minster is the burial of Thomas Tilsed, son of James, on 28th September 1639. However, the Wimborne Registers do not survive before 1635 and they contain gaps and unreadable pages for many years after, so it is not possible to be confident that this really was the first Tilsed event in the Register. There is certainly no good reason to suppose that this was the first Tilsed event of any type in the town.

In fact, the earliest reference I have so far found to a Tilsed in Wimborne occurs in the church year Easter 1630 to Easter 1631, when a James Tilsed appears as a Churchwarden , alongside one William Rolles.

Records originating in Wimborne - particularly wills - give us a reasonable amount of information on the life and social status of James Tilsed: he married Giles Boulton between 1621 and 1631; he had at least two sons, named James and William; he witnessed the wills of his father-in-law William Boulton, Clothier, in 1631 and of his mother-in-law Lucy Boulton in 1641; he was appointed an Overseer in the 1639 will of Nicholas Ancketill, Gentleman; he died in or before 1663. Further details of these events will be found in subsequent chapters.

Given the late start of the Wimborne Registers, it was not possible to use them to discover how far back the Tilsed name goes in Wimborne. However, coincidentally, separate research based on the village of Bere Regis about fifteen miles away had already uncovered a James Tilsed with a very good reason to move to Wimborne:

In 1623 one William Gould, Lynnen Draper of Wimborne, left “my house wherein I now dwell” and “my shopp and two roomes over head” (both leasehold) to his “cozen” James Tilsed, son of William’s sister Christian in Bere Regis and her husband, currently thought to be Roger Tilsed.

So could the 1630 Wimborne Churchwarden and the Bere Regis son of Christian Tilsed née Gould be the same man? We will compare various parameters to consider whether this is possible and likely.

(a) Social Status:

Because of the responsibilities churchwardens carried, they were generally of the solidly middle class, but because of the actual hands-on work they tended not to be higher up the social ladder than that. Wimborne James was a Churchwarden and was also of sufficient social standing to be appointed an Overseer in the will of a Gentleman.

In William Gould, Bere Regis James had an uncle who had himself been a Churchwarden in Wimborne and also a Governor’s Receiver, and who had a number of properties to bequeath. Also - unusually - William Gould’s will specified payments to the bell-ringers in no fewer than four parishes when they should ring his knell. Moreover, James’ sister Mary married a son of the Member of Parliament for Dorchester, while his brother Lewis - probably the oldest son - is known to have been the Constable for Bere Regis in 1624. Lewis Tilsed paid poor rates in Bere Regis (rather than receiving them); he paid church rates for several properties and he sat on a jury.

The two individuals therefore seem reasonably well matched in social and financial terms.

(b) Age Considerations:

We have no direct information on the age of Wimborne James nor of his wife Giles Boulton. However, we know that they were old enough to be married with two children by 1631 and so it seems reasonable to suggest that they were born by 1610 at the latest. We also know that although James had died by 1663, Giles survived until 1685. She therefore seems unlikely to have been born much before 1600.

William Gould appointed overseers in his 1623 will, but did not charge them with any responsibilities in respect of James and his property inheritance. This would seem to suggest that Bere Regis James was at the very least approaching 21 by this time. The Bere Regis registers begin in 1585 - although again there are missing and unreadable portions - and the only James Tilsed found in the register was christened in 1602 .

It is therefore entirely possible, based on the little age information we have, for the two Jameses to be the same man.

(c) Timing

Wimborne James was a Churchwarden in 1630, and had married at some point during the previous nine years, while Bere Regis James had taken ownership of his uncle’s Wimborne properties in June 1624.

(d) Family Links

In addition to the link between Christian Tilsed née Gould in Bere Regis and her brother William in Wimborne, we know from William Gould’s will that he and Christian had another sister, Luce - who was married to William Boulton, father of Giles.

Finally, it is of course possible that two entirely separate groups of Tilseds moved to Wimborne at the same time, from different villages, but overall it seems more likely that the first-known Tilsed in Wimborne is the man of the same name who we know had a good reason to be there at precisely that time.

It is therefore my contention that the first known Tilsed in Wimborne - the James Tilsed who was a Churchwarden in 1630 - was the 1602-christened son of Roger Tilsed and Christian Gould of Bere Regis, that he married his first cousin Giles Boulton and moved to Wimborne at some point before 1630.

kjthistory [userpic]

Introduction to "The Wimborne Project"

January 24th, 2018 (10:43 pm)

The Tilsed surname is nowadays found around the world, but the heartland remains in Dorset, specifically Poole. The first-known Tilsed event in Poole was the arrival of a parish apprentice from Wimborne Minster in 1696, and the earliest Tilsed event I have so far identified anywhere is in Bere Regis in 1566 when one Lewis Tylsed witnessed the will of Edward Wolfrey. My research on Tilsed events in Bere Regis will be posted separately; this document concentrates on the family in Wimborne.

Having spent a number of years tracking down as many Tilsed references in Wimborne Minster as I could find, my family tree project file contained far too many disjointed “bits” of families. Some of them I felt had to be duplicates, but it was all too confusing to work out which. The original point of the exercise was to work out which were my own ancestors, but there were just too many undifferentiated Williams, Thomases and Johns to understand how everything fitted together.

(There are of course almost as many undifferentiated Marys, Elizabeths and Anns, but as the objective of this project is to follow back my own Tilsed line, in general it is the male Tilseds who are the ancestors.)

Eventually I decided to look at things from the other direction - to start at the beginning and work forwards. My thinking was that if I knew exactly who was living in Wimborne at a particular time, I might be better able to judge, for example, which James christened a son called William in 1657 and which Thomas got married in 1658.

Starting at the beginning involved identifying the very first Tilsed in Wimborne. That identification forms chapter 1 of this project; analysis of when that first Tilsed might have arrived in Wimborne forms chapter 2 which will be posted soon, while a consideration of which other Tilseds may have moved to Wimborne will be posted in chapter 3.

The project is unfortunately taking a very long time: for every event there may be four, six, even eight candidates, and my approach has been to document my thinking in great detail, firstly so that others can check my logic, and secondly so that any new information found can be assessed in terms of its impact on conclusions already made.

So far my research has been restricted to what is available online; I am aware that there are many documents at the Dorset History Centre (formerly Dorset County Record Office) which may contain relevant information, but so far I have not had the opportunity to visit. I do keep a close eye on the online catalogue and order a copy of the occasional document when I can afford it.

If anyone has anything they want to add or discuss - whether that be new information, new sources, or you want to query, or argue with, any of my assumptions or conclusions - I will be genuinely delighted to hear about it. You can contact me by commenting on this post, or via my Twitter account , or at Ancestry.co.uk where I'm kjt127.

kjthistory [userpic]

(no subject)

January 24th, 2018 (05:11 pm)

William HARVEY (1632-1707) and Gresham UNKNOWN (xxxx - 1713)

My interest in William and Gresham is that their daughter Ann Harvey married a Roger Tilsed. I’m never going to have the time or the money to investigate every will ever written in Wimborne, so I am grateful to Jill Floyd for posting transcripts of William’s and Gresham’s wills for others to find.


William’s memorial inscription states that he was 75 at his death in August 1707, giving him a date of birth in about 1632, which is before the start of the parish registers for Wimborne Minster. He may of course have been born elsewhere but so far there is no clue as to where we should be looking.

It is possible that William Harvey was brother to the John Harvey who married Dorothy Bessant, daughter of Ambrose, in Wimborne on 18th January 1652/63.


Gresham’s known children were christened between 1662 and 1683, a fairly normal span of eleven children over 21 years. If we assume she was 15 to 25 at the birth of her first-known child, and 45 to 55 at the last, then she was born between 1628 and 1647, with 1637-38 possibly the most likely. This would make her five years younger than William, and 75 at her death.


William was a Tanner which means he must have served an apprenticeship. If his parents were alive to place him and pay the premium, he would have been 14 to 21 during his apprenticeship, ie 1646 to 1653.


I haven’t yet found a marriage record for William and Gresham. Parts of the Wimborne Registers are very difficult to read at this period, and of course they may have married elsewhere. Assuming William finished his apprenticeship in 1653 he may have married immediately - for example if Gresham was daughter to his master - or he may have waited five years or so until he was established in his business. Gresham’s estimated date of birth puts her at the age of 21 in 1658, so for now I am guessing that they married outside of Wimborne between 1658 and 1660 and that their so-far-unknown first child was born, and christened, in Gresham’s home village.


Elizabeth was christened on 13 July 1662 in Dorset. Traditionally the first daughter would have been named for the mother’s mother, but as explained above, there may have been a child before this one, so any attempt at working with naming patterns - knowing neither the parents of William and Gresham nor the full list of their children - is compromised from the outset.

No burial has yet been found for this Elizabeth, but she presumably died before the end of 1664 because although it was common in the 16th century for families to have two children with the same name at the same time, by the mid-17th century it was very rare. I have so far only found one example around this time.


The naming of a second daughter Elizabeth after the presumed death of the first suggests that either William or Gresham, or of course both, had a mother named Elizabeth. Elizabeth[2] was christened during February 1664/65 in Dorset; because of the condition of the Register it is not possible to read the exact date.

Elizabeth married Richard Reekes before 1697 and had two known children - Richard and Elizabeth - with him. William Harvey left her two parcels of land near the Julian Bridge in his will, but she died only three years after her father and was buried on 19th February 1710/11.


Mary was christened in Wimborne on 6 January 1666/67. She married John Costin, a Mercer, at some point before Easter 1706. There is only one known child of the marriage, Mary Costin, who was “delivered of a bastard child, and Richard Fabian the reputed father"  in 1701. The younger Mary is not mentioned in the wills of her Harvey grandparents.

At some point during the church year Easter 1705 to Easter 1706, Mary took over her mother’s place in church, in the 9th seat in the Scholars’ Alley. There is no information regarding a new seat for Gresham, so possibly Gresham stopped attending church at this time, being too ill.

Mary received the “Estate called ?Kans? ?Rane? at Leigh” in her father’s will. She was widowed in 1723 and died in January 1728/29, being buried on the 24th.  John Costin, a native of Scotland, left a charitable donation towards the support of four poor tradesmen in Wimborne. Perhaps he himself had found life difficult when first starting out in business.               


I haven’t yet found a christening for the younger Gresham, but it is possible she was born before 20th May 1668, when her father took a lease on a cottage. The catalogue entry for the lease does not give the Lives involved, but for the renewal in 1698 the former lease is quoted - including the Lives, which are given as “the said William Harvy, Gresham Harvy his daughter, and Benjamin Harvy his son”. Gresham married William Reekes in Canford Magna on 9th October 1683 so my thinking at present is that the Lives given in the 1698 lease are being quoted from the 1668 lease.

I have not yet found a burial for Gresham, but she was mentioned in her mother’s 1713 will as being still alive. She had at least one child, a son named William.


On 20 May 1668 William Harvey, Tanner, leased a cottage from Sir William Hanham.


In 1669, " William Harvey, Gresham Harvey his wife and another" were involved as defendants in a court case (Fisher vs Harvey). The case is tagged at the National Archives "money matters" and "Hampshire", ref C 5/60/23. I have no further information at present.


Although Benjamin wasn’t christened until 26th February 1668/69, it is possible he was born before 20th May 1668. (See notes for sister Gresham above). Benjamin married Sara Coock in Westbury, Wiltshire, in 1695 and died in Wimborne in 1701. I have found no evidence yet that he had any children.


John[1] was christened in Wimborne on 23rd March 1670/71. I have not yet found his burial, but he presumably died before John[2] was christened in 1680.


Ann Harvey was christened in Wimborne between 7th March 1674/75 and 29th March 1675; the dates are obscured for part of the page. I have not yet found her marriage, but her future husband, Roger Tilsed, a tailor, was christened in 1671 so might be expected to have finished his apprenticeship by 1692 and married between 1692 and about 1696, when he would have been 25.

The oldest-known son of Roger and Ann, William Tilsed, a Tanner, was married by 1714. If we assume he too married at 21 to 25 years old, then his estimated date of birth is around 1689 - 1893. We may therefore guess, for now, that Roger Tilsed and Ann Harvey married around 1692 to 1693.

I have not yet had the opportunity to look at the Churchwardens’ Accounts before Easter 1698, and the first mention of Ann I have so far is during the church year 1706 to 1707 when she swapped seats in the Minster, leaving her place in the South Alley, south side, 1st seat,  to sit in the Scholars’ Alley, 8th seat, near her sister Mary Costin.

William Harvey left Ann a “Messuage or tenement at Leigh neare or adjoining to Eastbrook Bridge” which may have been her home - the will states that it was then in the possession of Roger Tilsed - for the remainder of the term. He also left her a “Messuage at Tatnam in the parish of Great Canford” which after her death was to be passed on to her children for the remainder of the (presumably longer) term.

Ann died in February 1733/34 and was buried on the 19th. The hearse and pulpit cloth were used for her funeral at a cost of 4s and the Great Bell was rung, for which the charge was 2s 6d. Ann was not buried within the Minster itself but presumably in the churchyard.


I have not yet found a christening for Jane; she married William Pottle in Wimborne on 12th May 1702 and died in August 1704. Her only known child, her daughter Elizabeth Pottle, was christened in December 1703, so it is possible that Jane died during her second pregnancy.


Susannah Harvey was christened in Wimborne on 14th July 1677. So far I have no further information on her, other than that she was not mentioned in her parents’ wills so presumably died before 7th August 1707. I have not yet been able to find a marriage or burial for her.


The second John was christened between 10th and 21st July 1680; the dates are obscured on that part of the register page. As yet I have no further information on him, John Harvey being too common a name to be certain about which one is which. However, he was not mentioned in his parents’ wills so presumably died before 7th August 1707.


Gresham Harvey married William Reekes at Canford Magna on 9 Oct 1683.


Deed found at www.dorsetforyou.com, CANFORD ESTATE ARCHIVE / D-WIM/JO-114 3 Oct 1683. Release (further to Lease).  1) Anne Fisher of Great Canford, widow, executrix of will of Gyles Rooke of Great Canford, yeoman, deceased
2) William Humfrey of Little Canford, Hampreston, gent and William Harvey of Wimborne Minster, tanner. Tenement, garden and premises, Canford Magna.

Mentioned: Thomas Bishapp, junior of Great Canford, husbandman, and Margrett, his wife. Witnesses: Thomas Rolles, Martin Verlin, William Humfrey. (We know from Gresham’s will that Margaret, wife of Thomas Bishop junior, was her sister.)


Katherine was christened on 22 December 1683 in Dorset and married Thomas Willis on 2nd September 1701. In her father’s will she received £20, and £10 each for her two (surviving) daughters Mary and Jane, but no property. She was left £50 in her mother’s will. I have not yet found her burial.


12 Nov 1687 : D-WIM/JO-136A Lease. 1) Sir John Webb of Great Canford, baronet 2) Harry Newhooke of Woodlands, yeoman. Messuage at Tottenham, Longfleet tithing, and lands, Oakley, Long Close, Dry Close, Great Combe, Little Combes, Meadhayes, Knighton Mead, Claypitt Close at Thickfurze, etc, Canford Magna. Mentioned: James Hawkins, Martin Mudge deceased, William and John Newhooke, sons of 2). Witnesses: Henry Lewen, Robert Middlemore, John Tatershall. Endorsed 9 --- 1692: Assignment by 2) to William Harvey of Wimborne Minster. Witnessed: George Filleter, Joshua Barker.


To Sarah Coock, at Westbury in Wiltshire, on 29 Dec 1695. The marriage record states that the groom is of Wimborne.


In 1697 William was a defendant in the court case of Jerrard v Harvey regarding “lands and personal estate of the deceased John Jerrard, in Wimborne Minster, Dorset”.

The list of six plaintiffs, “Anne Jerrard, Alexander Jerrard, Eleanor Jerrard, Elizabeth Jerrard, Mary Jerrard and Peter Jerrard”, corresponds exactly with the list of “my younger children” given in the 1692 will of John Jerrard, Tailor of Wimborne. The wording in the catalogue entry suggests that the case was brought on their behalf by one John Lane.

(It is presumably purely coincidental that John Lane’s wife’s brother was married to William Harvey’s wife’s sister, indicating merely the natural inter-marrying of a very small lower middle class in a small town.)

At present I have no information as to what the case was about, but John Jerrard’s will left everything to his executors and bade them “rayse out of my estate by sale thereof or otherwise at their discretion the summe of forty pounds of lawfull English money to be paid or secured to be paid unto my [six] younger children” (as listed above). To my reading, the will is ambiguous as to whether this is forty pounds each or to be shared between the six, so this is a possible reason for litigation.

The list of eight defendants includes the three men named in John Jerrard’s will as “my loveing freinds and executors in Trust” - Peter Jerrard, Thomas Morren and William Snelgar. The other five defendants are William Harvey, Richard Reekes (William Harvey’s son-in-law), John Castle, John Jerrard and William Candy.

Possibly the other five defendants are men who bought some of John Jerrard’s property, for a price felt to be unfair or insufficient to pay the necessary legacies. Given the peripheral nature of my interest in William Harvey it’s not likely I will pursue this myself, but if anyone has further information on this case I should be very pleased to know of it.

The property mentioned in the deed noted below is interesting, as eight of the first nine names on the list of former owners correspond with the eight defendants in the case above.

"D/GLY:B/T109  1691-1798 : Abstract of title (1767) of Thomas Lewis to closes called Hogman's Hill and Grange (20 acres) and close adjoining (2 acres), 1691-1766, with deeds 1691-1708; these deeds also concern Barne Tenement at or near Colehill Lane, 4 acre close near Holman (or Helming) Stubb, Slades Close in St. Catherine's field, dwelling house, garden and orchard in Leigh, Colehill, with 3 acres of arable adjoining and 3 closes of meadow between bridges called East Brook with stable, garden and orchard. Also 3 deeds of 1798 which refer to this property as Champions (Jerrard, Harvey, Castle, Morren, Snelgar, Parsons, Ansty, Reeks, Candy, Wareham, Champion, Glyn, Lewis, Cockram)."


Deed no. 78. Sir John Hanham, Bart. to William Harvy. Lease of messuage and land in Wimbome Minster for 99 years.

This Indenture made 29th of September, 10 William III, 1698, between Sir John Hanham of Wimborne Minster, Dorset, Barronett of the one part and William Harvy of Wimbome Minster, tanner of the other part, Witnesseth that the said Sir John Hanham in consideration of the surrender of the former ease dated 20 May, 1668, made between Sir William Hanham Bart., father of the said Sir John Hanham of the one part and the said William Harvey of the other part & also of £10 hath granted the said William Harvy

all that messuage with garden and one plot of meadow ground containing one yard adjoining situate in the tything of Leigh in the Parish of Wimbome Minster between the two bridges called Eastbrook Bridges, having the King's Highway on the South thereof,

which premises are now in the tenure of the said William Harvy and were late in the tenure of the said William Harvy & Elizabeth Holmer widow. To have & to hold the same unto the said William Harvy for 99 years if the said William Harvy, Gresham Harvy his daughter, and Benjamin Harvy his son shall live so long, at the yearly rent of 1 3/4 payable at the Annunciation & Michaelmas. Clauses for re-entry, maintenance of property and for suited Court.


This property would seem to be the "dwelling house in Leigh between the two Eastbrook bridges" which William left to his wife and thence to their grandson William Reekes.


Katherine Harvey married Thomas Willis at Canford Magna on 2nd September 1701. It is possible that Catherine Willis Tilsed, christened in 1721 as daughter of a William Tilsed, was named for her, but I have not yet found any evidence for or against this.


Benjamin made his will nuncupatively (ie he spoke it) to William Fabian, Alice Fabian, Frances Meering “and diverse other credible witnesses” on 1st December. In it he described himself as a Tanner, and left everything to his wife Sarah. Benjamin died at his home shortly after making his will and was buried on 3rd December. The burial register describes him as “Benjamin son of William Harvey”, which is an interesting lesson in NOT assuming that anyone described as “son of” or “daughter of” is a child. 2s 6d was paid for the use of the hearse and pulpit cloth for Benjamin Harvey.

Given that he was obviously seriously ill, although only in his early thirties, it is presumably a coincidence that Benjamin made his will on the same day his Aunt Margaret Bishop’s mother-in-law remarried.

Probate of Benjamin’s Will was granted, presumably to Sarah, by the Archdeaconry Court of Dorset of the late Diocese of Bristol on 9 December 1701.


Jane married William Pottle in Wimborne on 12 May 1702.


On 26th May 1703 William took as Apprentice one Nicholas Freeborne. This would seem likely to be the Nicholas, son of Stephen, who was christened in Wimborne on 28th April 1690.

1703 : LEASE

On 10th November 1703 a lease (D-FRY/1153) was signed between Sir John Hanham and William Harvey, Tanner. The lease refers to “a Dwelling house in Leigh between the two Eastbrook bridges”, which seems to be the same property as above as the 1698 lease. I haven’t seen the document, but possibly in view of the premature death of Benjamin, William had requested permission to add another Life.


Jane was buried in Wimborne on 29th August 1704; from the Churchwardens' accounts for Easter 1704 to Easter 1705, the Great Bell was rung for “Jane the wife of William Pottell” at a cost of 2s 6d. The hearse and pulpit cloths were hired for her at a cost of 4s, and she was buried inside the church, at a cost of 6s 8d.

At some point in the same churchwardens' year, "the seat where Jane Pottell sat in the Scholars Alley" - ie in the same part of the church as her mother’s seat - was sold to "Elizabeth Warham the daughter of Anthony Warham" for 8s.


Gresham owned a place in the 9th seat in the Scholars Alley, but at some point during the church year Easter 1705 to Easter 1706, the churchwardens "Exchanged the life of Gresham Harvey and put in the life of Mary the wife of John Costin in the 9th seat in the Scholars Alley." Perhaps at this point Gresham stopped attending church; if her daughter Mary Costin had a seat previously she had presumably arranged it before Easter 1698.


William signed his will on 7 Aug 1707. In it he referred to himself a Tanner of Wimborne. He left detailed legacies of property and cash, but no household goods, these being for the use of his wife and for distribution amongst his daughters after Gresham’s death.

William specifically mentions his daughter Ann, her husband Roger Tilsed, a Tailor, and his grandson William Tilsed, who I currently believe to have been the oldest son of Roger and Ann.


According to his memorial inscription, William died on 10th  August 1707. He was buried on 13th August (grave reference A6) and the MI states that he was 75.

The Churchwardens’ Accounts for the two-year period Easter 1707 to Easter 1709 show the hearse and pulpit cloth were hired for a William Harvey at a cost of 4s, and the Great Bell was rung for him at a cost of 2s 6d.

Probate was granted to Gresham on 3 Sep 1707, giving her (leasehold) ownership for her lifetime of the “dwelling house in Leigh between the two Eastbrook bridges” and all the household goods.


Daughter Elizabeth, the wife of Richard Reekes, was buried on 19th Feb 1710/11. She left at least two children - Richard and Elizabeth - and it is possible that Gresham’s unattributed “grandson John Reekes” was also a son of Elizabeth.


Gresham signed her will on 12th May 1713 in Dorset. The witnesses, as well as I can read the clerk’s handwriting, were 'J. Lane, A Prince, Dah Durant, Ann Burt' . The first is presumably John Lane, mentioned above, and the last would seem to be the servant named as a minor legatee, but I currently have no idea who the other two might be.

Gresham specifically mentioned her daughter Ann, her son-in-law Roger Tilsed, her grandsons William, James, Thomas and Anthony Tilsed and her grand-daughter Elizabeth Tilsed. She also mentioned all her other surviving daughters and sons-in-law, including the widowed Richard Reekes and William Pottle, with the exception of her daughter-in-law Sarah, widow of Benjamin. Possibly Sarah had died, remarried or moved back to Wiltshire by this time.

Interestingly, although Gresham was left all of the household goods to distribute amongst her daughters, these are - unusually - not mentioned in the will. Possibly she trusted them to be able to divide things up fairly with no argument. She named as her executors Christopher Mackerell, Mr Henry Haynes of Wimborne aforesaid and John Warland of Oakley.

Gresham was buried in Wimborne on 13th July 1713. The hearse and pulpit cloth were used, for the significantly higher price of 6s, and the Great Bell was rung, at a charge of 2s 6d.

Probate of Gresham’s Will was granted at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 22 October 1713, to the three executors named in the will.

# # #

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Will of Lucie Bolton of Wimborne Minster 1641

October 7th, 2017 (09:39 pm)

11th March 1641

Memorandum That Lucie Bolton late while she lived of Wimborne Minster in the county of Dorset widow deceased

being about three or foure dayes before her death of perfect mind and memory and being asked to whom she would give her goods or estate she then replyed and sayd that she had none other to whome she should give it but her daughter Jane the wife of Anthony Ancketill1

and then being of perfect mind and memory made and declared her last will and testament nuncupative or by word of mouth in manner and forme following vizt she gave all her goods and estate whatsoever unto her sayd daughter Jane Ancketill in the presence of John Carleton and James Tilsed and others.

Probate 9 Oct 1641 to Jane Ancketill

1Presumably at this time Lucie possessed nothing in her own right except the "household stuffe" she originally brought to her marriage, which was returned to her in the 1631 Will of her husband William Boulton. It is definite that Jane's older sister Giles (married to James Tilsed) was still alive at this time. However, Giles had been married for at least ten years by this time, while the much younger Jane had been married barely three months and was thus probably more in need of "household stuffe".

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Will of William Boulton of Wimborne Minster, Clothier

October 7th, 2017 (09:16 pm)

21st March 1630 [presumably 1630/31]

In the name of God Amen I William Bolton of the parish of Wimborne Minster in the countie of Dorset Clothier

being of perfect minde and memory, thankes be to God, though sicke in body, doe make this my last will and Testament in manner and forme followinge

Imprimis I commend my Soule into the hands of my mercifull God expecting salvacion xxx noe other but by the meanes and in the name of Jesus Christ who by his meritorious death and passion hath paid the full ransome of all my sinnes

As for my body, I committ it to the Earth of which it was made, to be buried according to the discrecion of my Executor either in the Church or Churchyard of the parish church of Wimborne aforesaid

And as for my wordly goods I dispose them as followeth:

Imprimis I give to my lovinge wife Lucy all the household stuffe which she brought with her together with fower of my best xxxx

Item I give to my daughter Jane fowerscore pounds beside the twentie given her by her uncle Gold, to be paid at the tyme of her marriage or the age of one and twentie yeares by my Executor who in the meane tyme shall pay her Eight pounds per annum in way of interest towards her maintenance.

But if it happen that she dy before she be married, or be come to the age of one and twentie yeares aforesaid my will is that the fowerscore pound of my gift1 shall be devided equallie amongst my other children John, Giles, and Mary or they being dead amongst the eldest children.

Item I give my daughter Giles Tilsedd twentie pounds to be paid within a yeare after my death

Item I give to my said daughters two sonnes William and James ten pounds apeece to be paid as abovesaid

Item I give to my daughter Marie Charleton twentie pounds to be paid as abovesaid

Item I give to Margarett and William the children of my sonne John Bolton tenne pounds apeece to be paid as abovesaid

Item I give to my cozen Matthew Trim twentie shillings to be paid as abovesaid

Item I give to my cozen Richard Barnes twentie shillings to be paid as abovesaid

Item I give my sixe silver spoones to my three daughters to be devided as equallie as maie be amongst them

Item I give to the parish church ?Clerk? of Wimborne Minster aforesaid tenne shillings

Item I make my sonne John Bolton full and whole Executor of all my other goods and chattells

And I doe intreat my lovinge friends Gundry Brown Christopher Ansell and William Aynes to be Overseers of this my last will and Testament, to every one of whom I give three shillings fower pence and a pledge of my love In witness whereof this to be my last will and Testament I sett to my hand & seale the daie and year abovewritten

Memorandum the word goods to be blotted out in the thirteenth line by the Testator's direccon himself and the word household stuffe to be added2

The signe of mee William Bolton signed and sealed in the presence of

Walter fflay [parish clerk?]
John Charleton
James Tilsedd

Probatum fuit testamentum suprascriptum apud London coram venerabilit viro domino Henrico Marten milite legum ... [16 July 1632] ... Johannies Bolton fili dicti defuncti

1The Will of Jane's uncle William Gould or Gold specified that under these circumstances the ten pounds he left her was to go to the next child down if there was one, or to Jane's mother Luce. Luce Boulton née Gould was sister to William Gould and Christian Tilsed née Gould.

2The change of wording here perhaps suggests that Luce Gould brought "goods" to the marriage that were not to be returned to her, or were no longer available to be returned.

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Will of William Bolton / Boulton of Wimborne

October 7th, 2017 (08:45 pm)

In the name of god amen ye xxith day of June anno dni 1597 I William Bolton of Lighe within the parish of Wimborne Minster in the county of Dorset

being sicke in body but of good perfect mynde & remembrance (god be thanked) do make & ordayne this my last will and testament in manner and forme following, that is to saye, first & principally I give & bequeath my soule unto almyghty god my maker & redeemer & my body to be buried in the parish churchyarde of Wimborne Mynster aforesaid

Item I give unto the pooremans boxe xiid

Item I give unto my daughter Agnes Trimme xiid & to everyone of her children xijd apece

Item I give unto my sonne Nicolas Bolton xijd

all the rest of my goods moveable & unmoveable I give & bequeth unto my sonne William Bolton Mary Bolton & Christian Bolton my daughters whom I make whole executors joyntlye to be devided betweene them equally according to the xxxx meaning hereof

Also I do appoynt my wellbeloved in Christ Richard King & Richard ?Golsanye? my ?overseers? to se this my will performed according to the xxxx meaning hereof & for theire paynes I give unto eche of them xxd apece

Witness unto this will Thomas Toogood writer hereof
& Richard Colfanye & William Bolton the yonger

Also a list of debtors including several items for William Gold / Gould.

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Will of John Harris of Trowbridge, Retired Police Superintendent

March 10th, 2017 (08:40 pm)

This is the last Will of me John Harris of number 2 Wesley Villas Studley Trowbridge Wilts Retired police superintendent

I appoint my friend Fred Milsom Garlick of Trowbridge aforesaid Butcher sole Executor hereof and I bequeath unto him ten guineas (duty free) for trouble.

I devise all that freehold piece of land situate in the Tything of Studley in the Parish of Trowbridge aforesaid being part of a close of ground called Lower Pilewell and all that dwellinghouse and outbuildings on the said piece of land or on some part therefore known as number 2 Wesley Villas formerly in the occupation of George Andrews but now in my own and all other my real estate (if any) unto my natural son John Wheeler otherwise Harris of Bradford Wilts Blacksmith. To hold the same hereditaments unto him the said John Wheeler otherwise Harris his heirs and assigns forever.

I give as follows (that is to say)

To my brother Henry Tilsed Harris* living in the Bay of Islands Saint John's Newfoundland North America five hundred and forty pounds (duty free). But should the said Henry Tilsed Harris die in my lifetime then such legacy of five hundred and forty pounds (duty free) to all his children then living equally.

To my sister Susan Rumble* of 68 Ossery Road, Old Kent Road, Surrey London Widow five hundred and forty pounds (duty free) but should she die in my lifetime then such sum (duty free) to all her children then living equally.

To John Rumble a son of the said Susan Rumble my gold watch and appendages.

To my sister Louisa Beckett* now living with me my linen china books pictures furniture and other household effects in and about my house wherein I reside and five hundred pounds (all duty free). But should the said Louisa Beckett die in my lifetime then such pecuniary legacy of five hundred pounds (duty free) to all her children living at her death equally.

To my nephew Harvey Harris one hundred and fifty pounds (duty free) but should he die in my lifetime then such legacy (duty free) to my nephew Walter Pavey Harris.

To the said Walter Pavey Harris one hundred and fifty pounds (duty free) but should he die in my lifetime then such legacy (duty free) to the said Harvey Harris which said Harvey Harris and Walter Pavey Harris are the two sons of my brother Joseph Harris supposed dead

All the rest and residue of my money and personal Estate of whatever description (including my clothes and wearing apparel) I give to my natural son the said John Wheeler otherwise Harris.

But subject to the payment of my just debts funeral and testamentary expences I direct that the said John Wheeler otherwise Harris shall suffer the said Louisa Beckett to occupy the said house and premises number 2 Wesley Villas aforesaid for a period of six calendar months after my decease without any charge for rent or otherwise In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this twenty seventh day of June one thousand eight hundred and eighty eight.

John Harris

Signed and acknowledged by the said John Harris the testator as and for his last and only will in the presence of us who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses.

Jacob Taylor Trowbridge Gentleman.

John William Culverhouse, Photographer, 7a The Parade Trowbridge.

~ ~ ~
BE IT KNOWN, that at the date hereunder written, the last Will and Testament of John Harris, late of No 2 Wesley Villas Studley Trowbridge in the County of Wilts Retired Police Superintendent deceased, who died on the 8th day of June 1890 at No 2 Wesley Villas aforesaid was proved and registered in the Principal Probate Registry of Her Majesty's High Court of Justice, and that administration of the personal estate of the said deceased was granted by the aforesaid Court to Fred Milsom Garlick of Trowbridge aforesaid Butcher the sole Executor named in the said Will, he having been first sworn well and faithfully to administer the same.

Probate dated the 1st day of August 1890. Gross value of Personal Estate £2418 7s 0d

~ ~ ~

*Susan Harris married Henry Sayer Rumble 8th December 1839 in Newington, London. Her brother Anthony Tilsed Harris was one of the witnesses.

* Louisa Harris married Erastus Beckett 19th August 1855 at St Pancras, Liverpool Street, London. In 1877 Erastus abandoned her and went to the USA, where he settled in Connecticut and died in 1916.

*Henry Tilsed Harris, born 1825 in Christchurch, Hampshire, England, seems a good fit for Henry T Harris born England, died Newfoundland 3rd March 1910 aged 86. (Research Ron Feniak, information from ngb.chebucto.org) He married Olivia Noel 16th Nov 1854 and their known children are George Apsey Harris b1855, Elizabeth Agnes Harris b1856, Louisa Harris b1858, William Tree Harris b1860, Eliza Harris b1871 and Priscilla Harris b1875. It seems likely that the Henry T Tilsed (born about 1864) who married Caroline Whalen 9th January 1888 is also theirs, as he fits into the ten-year gap between William and Eliza.

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