Elizabeth Kelly's Ancestors

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Michael Kelly’s birthdate is unknown, but some researchers estimate it at 1475. He was the son of Henry Kelly and Elizabeth Kimber. He was known as Michael Kelly of Redcliffe, which has also been called Ratcliff, Ratcliffe, Redcliff, Radcliff and Radcliffe, by many researchers. In volume 37 of the Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, it is stated that Redcliffe is now Rutleigh in Northlew. Today Rutleigh, no longer exists, but the small village of Northlew does. On the British Listed Buildings website, there is a Grade II Listed Building in Northlew, Devon called Great Rutleigh. It is described as a farm house, but “originally probably small manor house,” built in the first half of the 16th century “by William Kelly probably the William Kelly who died in 1534 and was responsible for some of the rebuilding of the Church.” Being that this William is Michael’s son, and both Michael and his father were referred to as of Redcliffe, it had to have been built much earlier, and William probably updated it in his time.

In The History of the Part of West Somerset Comprising the Parishes of Luccombe, Selworthy, Stoke Pero, Porlock, Culbone and Oare, author Sir Charles Edward Heley Chadwyck-Healey, lists the rectors as entered in the various registers of the Manor of Oare, which is in the Parish of Oare in Somerset. He calls Oare a, “secluded parish, on the western edge of Somerset.” This manor was in the hands of Michael’s ancestors since 1318, passed down from father to son. Michael was presenting the new rectors in 1504, 1506 and 1510. It should be noted that the next entry in the registers after Michael’s 1510 entry is for 1535-44. (Mouse over the photo right of the Church of St Mary in Oare for more info on it.)

Michael married Alice Kelly of the Southwick Kelly’s and they had at least three children, birth order uncertain — William, the eldest son, married Jane Trecarrell, (daughter and co-heiress of Sir Henry Trecarrell) and died on August 28, 1534; Oliver, the younger son was accused by Sir Henry Trecarrell, of forcibly abducting and ravishing his daughter (and co-heiress) and Oliver’s sister-in-law, Lore Trecarrell, but it seems Lore wasn’t forced and they were legally married, but he never got his hands on her estates, as she outlived him; and ancestor Elizabeth. Alice and Michael both descend from Richard and Dionisia Kelly of the Kelly manor. Alice through their son Martin, her 5th great-grandfather and Michael through their son John, his 8th great-grandfather.

The only court records found for him involve his wife’s inheritance, which is discussed in her bio, and the marriage settlement for his daughter, ancestor Elizabeth’s marriage to John Harris.

It is not known when Michael died. He was alive when he presented William Herre, as rector of the parish church of Oare on June 19, 1510, but dead by 1518, when his wife Alice is listed in court records as being married to someone else.

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Alice Kellys birthdate is unknown. She was the eldest of two daughters born to William and possibly Margery (maiden name unknown) Kelly of Southwick in Devonshire, England. Her name comes from her father’s will, where he calls her my eldest daughter. It is assumed that Margery is Alice’s mother because she is called William’s wife in his will, but she could be a second wife.

Alice married Michael Kelly of Redcliff, and they had at least three children, see his bio for more on them. Alice’s husband died before 1518, as by that year she was married to Richard Coriton. During both of these marriages, a long law suit was going on between Alice, with her sister Margery against their cousin through marriage, Humphrey Calwoodlegh. Alice’s father William had an older brother named Thomas who had a daughter named Edith, who married Calwoodlegh. Unfortunately Calwoodlegh treated Edith badly, keeping a mistress, and held her in contempt. He apparently married her for the property she inherited from her father. Edith died about 1500, without having children, leaving her property to her uncle, ancestor William, Alice’s father. William clearly states in his 1509 will that after Edith died, her property that reverted to him, was to go to his daughters. Humphrey Calwoodlegh, now married to Elizabeth, his second wife, fought against the sisters for Edith’s property. The sisters eventually won and the undated title to their property is printed in full, with the family pedigree in volume seven of Notes & Queries For Somerset and Dorset and begins as follows: “This is the Title of Alice the now wife to Richd Coryton, & Margery now wife to John Carewe to the Manors of Estodeley, Westodeley, Churchill, Alampton, Combe, Mere, Pokersleston, Cove & Hatherlond, as next Cosyns & heirs unto Edith Kelly deceased, late wife of Humphrey Calwodeley. . .” There is an entry in the book, Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII, in the Undated Grants, 14 Hen. VIII - April, 1523, section, that reads, “Ric. Coryton and Alice his wife, and John Carewe and Margery his wife. Livery of the lands of Edith, late wife of Humph. Calwoodlegh, deceased; the said Alice and Margery being her kinswomen and heirs, viz., ds. of Wm. Kelly, s. of Joan, mother of Th. Kelly, Edith’s father. S. B. Pat. p. 1, m. 16.” This seems to be the same text as the title above, which means the title was granted sometime in April of 1523. Even after this title was issued, and Calwoodlegh had died (in 1520), the court battles continued, but seem to intensify in 1528, after Alice’s second husband, Richard died. Thomas Englefield, John Calwoodleigh (assumed a son of Humphrey), and John Kyllygrewe, esq., and Elizabeth his wife (Humphrey’s second wife, married John Kellygrewe), all sued the sisters for property in East and West Stoodleigh and East Mere and Cove.

Alice died in Devonshire, sometime before 1536/7, as two Inquisitions Post Mortems (C 142/58/117 and E 150/175/33) were held for Alice Coriton, sometime between April 22, 1536 and April 21, 1537. Unfortunately, these documents are not readily available. Even after her death, there were legal actions brought by her son Oliver, who petitioned the court about her land in 1537/8, and years later by her grandson John, involving her manors of Southwick.

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Henry Kelly was a younger, probably second, son of Jane Bratton and her husband Richard Kelly. His ancestry is clearly documented in Burkes Commoners, Landed Gentry and the Visitations of Cornwall and Devon. Researchers have estimated his birth in the early 1440’s in Honeychurch, Devon, England, but no documentation exists to support this. In Sidney Arthur Kimber’s book, The Descendants of Thomas Kimber, he states Sir Henry Kelly married Elizabeth Kymbeare “in the county of Cornwall . . . in 1454,” but gives no supporting documentation. If this is correct Henry was probably born in the 1430’s or earlier. It is documented that Henry and Elizabeth were married prior to May 12, 1468, because on that day, his father-in-law, Richard Kymbeare, granted to his daughter and Henry several properties in Cornwall and Devon counties. (Read more about this grant in both Elizabeth and Richard’s bios.)

In Burke’s Commoners it is stated that he was living 32nd Henry VI , which would be between September 1, 1454, and September 1, 1455. It also says, he founded the family of Kelly of Trecarrell. In Landed Gentry, Burke states, he founded the family of Kelly of Wynscot & Trewint.

In an article on the Bidlke family and mill in The Visitation of the County of Devon in the Year 1620, it says, “John Bidlake had a ratificac’on made by Hen. Kelly, son of Rich. Kelly of Kelly, of the graunt made by his auncestor Warren of Sicaville to Rafe of Combe, whose estate the same John Bidlake had in the lands of Wester Bidlake, etc., with warrantise against all men. 32 H. 6, Ao. 1459.” It also mentions some of Henry’s 13th and 14th century ancestors, “ Warren, of Sicaville, whose heire Mr Kellie of Kellie,” and “ John Kelly, son of Sir John Kelly, Knt.

There are court records and other data for his name in the UK National Archives, the Somerset Archive Catalogue, and other sources dated 1460-1465; 1481; two in 1551, where he was called Henry Kelly of Radcliff; and 1578. These can’t all be for the same Henry Kelly.

In The UK National Archives, there are two court records for his name. The first one, is a litigation, dated 1460-1465, in Devon, where Henry Kelly is suing Thomas Wyse, esq. in an “Action of trespass for being present when William Southcote entered into `a place' in Exeter: (petition for writ of `corpus cum causâ’).” Nothing more is known about this court record.

The second court record, dated 1481, is one of the Petitions to the Prince of Wales and/or his Council, and lists him as “Henry Kelly, tenant of the prince in Trematon, Cornwall.” (Mouse over and click on image right to enlarge it in a new window/tab.)  The Nature of request listed on the record reads, “Kelly complains that Fulford has disseised him of the manor of Eggbeer and his unable to pursue the matter by the common law because of the might and authority of Fulford, and he requests that the matter be called before the prince and his council to see that right and equity is done to the petitioner.” So it seems Henry was trying to get the manor back from a very powerful family. In Sophia Lambert’s paper, Mobility and Persistence of Families in Cheriton Bishop, published by the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature and Art, she mentions a Margaret Kelly a few times — as one of the 4 wealthy taxpayers of  “Eggbeare; a member (or the widow of a member) of the Kelly family of Kelly in West Devon who held a number of manors in Devon, including Eggbeer. Her presence in the tything of Eggbeare presumably reflects the handing over of that manor to a junior branch of the family who took up residence there (a branch that appears to have died out by the end of the fifteenth century).”; and “Margaret Kelly, whose family took their name from the village of that name in West Devon).” In Lambert’s GENUKI on line paper, Parish of Cheriton Bishop, Manor of Eggbeer, she states that in 1332, Edward III raised a lay subsidy tax where Margaret Kelly, was from the family that owned the Manor of Eggbeer, paid 3s.4d. Lambert goes on to say, “In early times, Eggbeer belonged to the Kelly family of Kelly in West Devon. But it passed to the Fulfords of Great Fulford during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307).” It should be noted that there was a Margaret who was married to John Kelly in Henry’s ancestry during the 1300’s.

In the Crowcombe Court Manuscripts in the Somerset Archive Catalogue, there is a Devon record for Nicholas Cove against Henry Kelly and others, dated 1578, which deals with, “Exemplification of a fine of 1551 concerning Manors of East and West Stoodleigh, East Mere and Cove.” Nothing more is known about this court record.

Because Henry was only a second son, he did not inherit the Kelly estate from his father. Being that he was called Henry Kelly of Radcliff, Devon, esq. in the two 1551 court records, it is possible to make the assumption that he got the Redcliffe manor from his wife. In Risdon’s Survey of the County of Devon, under the Hundreds of Black Torrington, in the North Lew parish section he mentions “Kembere, and Redcliffe, were the lands of Robert le Brock,” in King Henry I to Edward I time, but no mention of Kelly or Kymbeare. As explained in Henry’s son, Michael’s bio, Redcliffe is now Rutleigh in Northlew, that no longer exists, but ruins of manor/farmhouse called Great Rutleigh do exist and are explained in detail on the British Listed Buildings website.

In Sir Charles Edward Heley Chadwyck-Healey’s, The History of the Part of West Somerset Comprising the Parishes of Luccombe, Selworthy, Stoke Pero, Porlock, Culbone and Oare, he lists the new rectors as entered in the various registers of the Manor of Oare, which is in the Parish of Oare in Somerset. Henry Kelly presented the rectors in 1475, 1477, and 1493. Being that his first 1475 presentation, is before his brother died, he may have inherited the Manor of Oare from his father, as this manor had been passed down from father and son in the Kelly family since 1318.

There is much uncertainty about our Henry, because we have so little hard evidence as to who he was and where he lived. It is not known when or where Henry Kelly died, as an Inquisition Post Mortem or a will can not be found for him. He was alive on April 2, 1493, when he presented Thomas Smyth as the new rector in Oare, and probably deceased by July 22, 1504, when his son presented the next rector. Unfortunately, nothing more is known about him.

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Elizabeth Kymbeare was the daughter and heiress of Richard Kymbeare and his unknown wife. Some researchers say her mother was Agnes or Sarah Agnes, and she was born anywhere from the 1440’s to the 1450’s in Honeychurch, Devon, England, but they give no documentation to support these claims. In Sidney Arthur Kimber’s book, The Descendants of Thomas Kimber, he states Sir Henry Kelly married Elizabeth Kymbeare in the county of Cornwall . . . in 1454, but gives no supporting documentation. If this is correct, the above estimates of her birth are way out of line. What is known about her comes from books. Her marriage and male ancestry is clearly documented in the both the Visitations of Cornwall and Devon. Elizabeth’s marriage to Henry Kelly is also documented in Burkes Commoners, and Landed Gentry. It is documented that she was married prior to May 12, 1468, as on that date, her father granted to her and Henry several properties in Cornwall and Devon counties. (Read more about this grant in Richard’s bio.) In the grant Richard would get the properties back, “should the above Henry and Elizabeth die without issue.” So it seems like they didn’t have children yet, which may indicate that they had married shortly before this grant. It could be that the grant was a wedding present.

Elizabeth and Henry had at least two children together, probably born in Devon — ancestor Michael; and a daughter, Alice who first married Richard Weekes, and after his death, Richard Coplestone (these marriages are documented in the 1620 Visitation of Devon under the Haydon line).

It is not known when Elizabeth Kymbeare Kelly died. Researchers put her death anywhere from 1517 to 1523, but again, without supporting documentation. In the UK National Archives, there are two Inquisition Post Mortems for an Elizabeth Kelly of Devon taken between April 22, 1516 and April 21, 1517, which were described as landed estates litigation. If this is her, she died sometime before these dates. Unfortunately, there is not enough information given to be sure that this is the Elizabeth Kelly who was married to Henry.

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William Kelly was the younger of two known sons born to John Kelly and his wife Joan Austell. Researchers estimate his birth about 1450 in Southwick, Devonshire, England, which was in the administrative district of the Hundred of Lifton, but neither the district or the Southwick manor still exist. Southwick has been referred to as Southwike, Southwyke, Southweek, South Week in Germansweek, and in 1045 it was called Sudwyk. Today all that is left is a forest called Southweek Wood, known for it’s dormice population, that is on the north side of Roadford Lake and is part of the Roadford Lane National Nature Reserve. It must have been a beautiful place to live when William was alive.  (Mouse over the photo right of the entrance gate for more info on it.)

From his will, we know that William married a woman named Margery, but if she is the mother of his two children is unknown. William had two daughters — ancestor Alice; and a younger daughter named Margery, who married John Carew and after his death, James Tyrell. These two sisters were together involved in a land legal battle to gain what was their inheritance-see Alice’s bio for more on this.

William held several other manors including those he inherited from his brother Thomas’ daughter Edith Kelly Calwodelegh-Weststodelegh, Eststodelegh, Cove La Meere, Estmer, Heytherland, Combe and Cheriton Fitzpayne in Devon, and the Manors of Alhampton iuxta Ditcheat and Camerton in Somerset. The manors of the two Stodeleghs, in the Hundred of Witheridge, came down to him from his mother’s side of the family, and eventually came to his daughter Margery.

In William Campbell’s book, Materials for a History of the Reign of Henry VII, William Kelly’s name is mentioned three times as the king’s escheator in the counties of Devon and Cornwall in 1486. On April 26, 1488, there is another entry that reads, “Free pardon to William Kelly, of Southwike, Devon, esq., late escheator in Devonshire and Cornwall, touching accounts and matters connected with his office. Given at Windesor. E. April 27. P. S. No. 41. Pat. p. 2. m. 15 (7).” Unfortunately, nothing more is known about this incident.

William wrote his will on July 21, 1509, and it clearly lays out his relationships to and the names of his brother, niece, wife and daughters. It is printed in volume 7 of Notes & Queries for Somerset and Dorset, as follows:

The Last Will and Testament of Wm. Kelly. 1 Hen. VIII. To all men to wm these Present Writings Tripartite indented shall come, William Kelly of Suthwyke in the County of Devon Esqr sendeth gretyng in our Lord. And whereas I the said William, of most special confidence and trust, by my said Indenture sealed and signed wth my hand, have infeoffed of and in all my Manners, lands, Tenements, rents &c. wthin the Counties of Devon & Cornwall wth their appurtenances, John Erie of Oxford, Robt Drury Kt, Tho. Austell Treasurer of the Cathedral Church of Exeter, John Trelawny & Richd Reygny, to have to ym & to their heirs for ever, to the intent to perform & fulfill my last Will wt the same as by the same Deed appeareth. Know ye that I the said Wm Kelly have made and declared my sd Will in manner & forme following, that is to say.

First, I will that my said Feoffees, and the Over liver of them & his heirs, shall stand & be seised of all the said Maners, lands, &c. to the use of me the said William for term of my life, wthout impeachment of Waste. And after my decease to grant an annuity of eleven Marks by the yere goeing out of all my sd lands & ten' to Margery my wife for term of her life, at + terms of the yere by evyn portions, in and for the name & recompence of her joynture & dower, to her my wife belonging after my death. And for default of such payment, wth a sufficient clause of distress of & upon all my sd manners, lands, &c. for non payment of the same.

And immediately after the decease of me the sd William, they make or cause to be made to John Carew and Margery his wife, second daughter of me the sd William, & to Michael Kelly & Alice his wife, my eldest daughter, & to the heirs of the bodies of the sd Margery & Alice lawfully begotten, a sure & sufficient estate in the law, of all my sd Maners, lands &c. the Remainder thereof to the right heirs of me the sd William for ever. And whereas Humphrey Calwodelegh of Stodeley in the County of Devon Sqyer, in the right of Edith his wife, daughter of Thomas my elder brother, is seised of divers maners, lands, &c. the reversion thereof to me & my heirs appertaining & belonging after the death of the sd Edith, I the sd William will that my sd Feoffees, and every of them, do graunt the premises to me the sd William, for term of my life, wthout impeachment of Waste, the Remainder thereof to the sd John Carew & Margery his wife, Michael Kelly & Alice his wife, & to the heirs of the bodies of the sd Margery & Alice for ever, the Remainder thereof to the right heirs of me the sd William Kelly for ever.

In witness whereof every one of the Parties foreseyd &c. have put their Seals & Signs manuall at Suthwyke foreseyd 21 July, 1° Hen. VIII. In the presence of Rich Reygny, wm Burnby, &c.

William Kelly probably died at Southwick shortly after the will was written. There is an Inquisition Post Mortem taken in 1516/7, for a William Kelly in Devon, but without seeing the text it is unknown if it’s for this William. Unfortunately nothing more is known about him or his wife.

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Richard Kelly was the second son of Thomas Kelly and his wife Elizabeth Talbot. His birth has been estimated by researchers anywhere from 1391 to 1404 (the year his father died). Richard inherited his father’s estate when his older brother Nicholas died without heirs in about 1422. Richard married Jane Bratton and they had three children (see her bio for info on the children).

There is a Plea of covenant document on the Medieval English Genealogy website, dated June 25, 1413, And afterwards April 10, 1418, that mentions a Richard Kelly. It is an agreement where the Lane and Eliet families grant “the homages and all services of William Talbot, knight, Peter Eggecombe, Richard Kelly, . . .” to the Trebell family. This may not be our Richard, but the mention of a Talbot and the manor of Eggbeare seems to indicate that it may be.  (Mouse over and click on the image right to enlarge it in a new window/tab.)

In The History of the Part of West Somerset Comprising the Parishes of Luccombe, Selworthy, Stoke Pero, Porlock, Culbone and Oare, author Sir Charles Edward Heley Chadwyck-Healey, lists the rectors and their presenters as entered in the various registers of the Manor of Oare, which is in the Parish of Oare in Somerset. He calls Oare a, “secluded parish, on the western edge of Somerset.”  This manor was in the hands of the Kelly’s since 1318, passed down from father to son. Richard, exercised the rights of patronage and presented the new rectors in 1420, which is probably about the time his older brother died, 1428, 1433, and 1451.

Three documents for his name and time period can be found in The UK National Archives, as follows: the first is a Chancery pleading dated in the period of 1426-1432, where he is listed as Defendants: Richard Kelly, feoffee, which means he was a trusted investor, involving the Devon Manors of Baketon and Colepitte. The second document is a badly damaged petition to King and Council and is dated 1437. “The petition refers to a dispute between the dean and chapter of Exeter and the mayor, bailiffs and commonalty of Exeter concerning the geographical extent and nature of the liberties of the former beyond the east gate of the city.” Richard Kelly’s name is just one of the many names on it. The last document is a Chancery: Extents for Debts record dated April 17, 1447, but processed on July 29, 1454, after Richard’s death. he is listed as, “Debtor: Richard Kelly, esquire [of Kelly, Lifton Hundred, Devonshire],” with the “Creditor: Henry Fortescue, esquire.” The debt concerned “Richard Kelly held in demesne on the day of the recognisance the Manor of Kelly [Lifton Hundred, Devon.], with the advowson of the church, worth 10m. a year after expenses; and the Manor of Heavitree {Hevytre} [Wonford Hundred, Devon.], worth 5m. after expenses.” In 1454, the sheriff replies to the court “that Richard Kelly was not found in the bailiwick.”

It is not known when or where Richard Kelly died and is buried, but in the History of Parliament, the author, Josiah Clement Wedgwood states he died about 1450. But, Richard was alive on February 19, 1450/1, when he presented John Simondes as the new rector of the Oare church. Taking into account the fact that the sheriff wasn’t able to find him in 1454, it seems he probably died between 1451 and 1454.

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Jane Bratton was the daughter of Joan Sydenham and her husband, Thomas Bratton. It should be noted that Sir William Pole states her father is John Bratton, but all the other sources including the Visitations of Devon, Cornwall, and Burke’s books say it is Thomas. Not much is known about Jane, except that she married Richard Kelly and had at least three children, who are documented in The Visitation of the County of Devon in the Year 1564, and in Thomas Westcote’s A View of Devonshire in MDCXXX — John; a daughter Constance, who we know nothing about; and ancestor Henry. The eldest son, John was the heir, and was a member of Parliament in 1446/7 for the Truro Borough in Cornwall. He married three times, first Julia Wilford, then Jane Palton, and lastly Joan Fortescue, who was the granddaughter of William, who was the brother of ancestor Joane Fortescue who married Thomas Hext.

Unfortunately nothing else is known about her. It is not known when or where Jane Bratton Kelly died and was buried.

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Richard Kymbeare was the son of John Kymbeare and his unknown wife. What is known about him comes from books. His ancestry is clearly documented in the both the Visitations of Cornwall and Devon, but with the named spelled Kimbere. In Burkes’ Commoners, his name is spelled Kimber, and he’s listed as of Trewalward. In Burkes’ Landed Gentry, he is Ricard Kembyar, of Kembyar, co. Cornwall. In Sidney Arthur Kimber’s book, The Descendants of Thomas Kimbere, he is Richard Kimbere, of Trewalward, in the county of Cornwall.

In the Patent Rolls for Edward IV, Henry VI : A.D. 1467-1477, there is an entry dated May 15, 1469, at Westminster, which reads, “Richard Kymbear of the parish of St. Stephen by Saltayssh, co. Cornwall, 'gentilman,’ alas of Saltayssh, for not appearing before the justices of the Bench to answer the warden or dean and canons of the college of St. George within the castle of Wyndesore touching a debt of 100l. Middlesex.” It should be noted that Saltayssh, now called Saltash, was the a town that was in the Liskeard parish, where several of Richard’s properties were located. Wikipedia says that “The parish church of Saltash was, until 1881, St Stephen's by Saltash, one mile from the town. Though of earlier foundation, the structure of the building is largely the 15th century.” It also says that in 1395, there was a private chapel in Trewalward. On the British History Online website, it has the Trewalward manor, listed as Twelvewood. Today, there is a Twelvewood Wood about 17 miles west of Saltash. In the book, A List of Cornish Manors, compiled in 1990 by the Cornwall Record Office, it states that there was a manor called Trevellard in St Stephen by Saltash, and does not list a manor named Trewalward. It just so happens that Trevalnard is the surname of Richard’s grandmother in both Visitations. It seems safe to assume that Trevellard and Trewalward are the same manor.

In The UK National Archives' catalogue there is a Chancery pleading addressed to the Bishop of Bath as Lord Chancellor, called Kymbeare v Trelauny, where the plaintiff is Richard Kymbeare, gentleman, and the defendants are John Trelauny and William Ude. The subject reads as follows, “Moiety of manor of Trevalward and messuages, etc in Tredford and Treffrawell.” The date is uncertain as it is listed as “1433-1443, or more likely 1467-1472.

The most informative record for genealogy can be found in the Close Rolls for Edward IV: 1466-1470. Here, there is a Membrane 8d record # 441, dated May 20, 1468, where Richard granted property to his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Henry Kelly. It also mentions a William Kymbeare, possibly a brother, an uncle, or son to Richard, who may have been ill and not had have long to live. The record reads as follows: “Richard Kymbeare of Trevalward, to Henry Kelly and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of the grantor, their heirs and assigns. Gift of the manors of Trevalwarde and Bryghter co. Cornwall, with dovecotes, mills, rents and services thereto belonging; also West Kymbeare manor with rents of Radeclyve co. Devon after the death of William Kymbeare and half his lands and tenements in the manors of Tredeford, Tregawynek, Tresrowel, Rosemylyon, Tretoyle, Brounwelegh, Styncodde, Trewygot, Curtoyll, Devyok, Westnarth, Treruff, Tregantell, Playshforde, Pensyppel, Pyderwyne and Culglynyen co. Cornwall with dovecotes, mills, rents and services, to be held by the same Henry and Elizabeth and their lawful heirs in capital demesne as of fee etc.: and should the said Elizabeth die without issue, the manors of Trevalwarde, Bryghter and West Kymbeare with a moiety of the grantors other manors are to descend to her next rightful heirs. Witnesses: John Paket, Henry Cornyshe, Richard Hornebroke, Thomas Geffrey, Richard Hamet. Dated Trevalwarde, 20 May, 8 Edward IV.

A year later on May 12, 1469, William is dead and entry # 442 reads as follows, “Richard son of John Kymbeare, to Henry Kelly and Elizabeth his wife, their heirs and assigns. Gift with warranty of all his messuages, rents and services in Radeclyve and Wodeham co. Devon, which he held on the death of William Kymbeare: and should the above Henry and Elizabeth die without issue, the above premises are to revert to the right heirs of the grantor. Witnesses: John Paket, Henry Cornysshe, Richard Hornebroke. Dated 12 May, 9 Edward IV.”

Another year later, on June 15, 1470, a Memorandum of acknowledgment of the foregoing writings is added to the 1469 entry. These entries teach us much about Richard- they confirm John as Richard’s father and Elizabeth who married Henry Kelly as his daughter; that Elizabeth and Henry were married prior to May 20, 1468, but have no children; and lastly it lists all the property Richard and William owned, both in Devon and Cornwall. The majority of the Cornwall properties were in the Liskeard parish, but some were far west of there. A few of them were in Cornwall at the time, but are now in Devon. None of them still have the same names as listed in the grant. The British History Online website has a great index for the Close Rolls, Edward IV: 1466-1470, which gives the old and new names of the properties. The only remaining mystery is, what was the relationship between Richard and William Kymbeare?

Unfortunately, nothing more can be found about Richard Kymbeare, nor it is known when or where he died.

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John Kelly was the son of Thomas Kelly of Southwick and possibly Margaret Moyle. There are no vital records for this period, but his ancestry can be followed in the ownership of manors. John probably was born at Southwick in Germansweek about 1410. In the History of Parliament, 1439-1509, Josiah Clement Wedgwood calls this John, John Kelly of Bodmalgan and lists his parents as above. Bodmalgan which was in the St. Winnow parish in Cornwall, was also called Bosmaugan. Wedgwood states that John was a member of Parliament in 1447, and that he was pardoned on November 1, 1455, for being a Lancastrian. The book, Members of Parliament: Parliaments of England, 1213-1702, lists Johannas de Kelly of Bodmalgan as being summoned to meet at Cambridge, and by fresh Writs at Bury St. Edmunds, 10 February 1446-7, for the county of Cornwall. But there isn’t any documentation that states the John of Bodmalgan is our John. If  Wedgwood is correct then Margaret Moyle is his mother and her ancestry is documented to the 1200’s.  

John married Joan Austell and they had two sons (see her bio for more on the children). His wife brought several estates to the marriage, In his Description of Devonshire, Sir William Pole places John obtaining Cove La Meere, Cheriton and Stodelech from his wife.

In The UK National Archives' catalogue there is a document in the Exchequer records, dated from September 1, 1439, to August 31, 1442, that is described as, “Devon: Account for messuage of John Kelly, late escheator, in Southweek, for failure to account.” This tells us that John was a former escheator, who seems to be in trouble.

In the volume 4 of the Calendar of Patent Rolls for Henry VI, in Membrane 24 of Part 1 for 1445, it is stated that on April 28th at Westminster, “John Fabyan of Tadyport, co. Devon, 'yoman,' for not appearing before the king when impleaded with John Kelle of Southwyke, co. Devon, ‘gentilman,’ and Richard Robyn of Quddern, co. Devon, 'husbondman,' to answer William Wolvedon, touching a trespass. Devon.” This may be referring to the same trouble John has in 1439-1442, as stated above.

There is also a Plea of covenant document dated February 3, 1462, where John Kelly of Southwyke, esquire, is listed as querent, against William Chambernon' and Joan, his wife over “1 messuage, 2 tofts, 1 dove-cot, 100 acres of land, 12 acres of meadow, 4 acres of wood, 80 acres of pasture, 120 acres of furze and heath in Bratton’.” The agreement reached states, “William and Joan have acknowledged the tenements to be the right of John, as those which he has of their gift, and have remised and quitclaimed them from themselves and the heirs of Joan to him and his heirs for ever. For this: John has given them 40 marks of silver.”  (Mouse over and click on this Plea of covenant document image right to enlarge it in a new window/tab.)

Some researchers say that John Kelly died in 1465, just three years after the plea of covenant described above, but give no supporting documentation. In the History of Parliament, Wedgwood states that John Kelly of Bodmalgan died on December 12, 1465, with a footnote of Inq. p.m. 5 Ed. IV, No. 24. There is a UK National Archives undated Inquisitions Post Mortem (IPM) record for his name listed as, Kelly, John Som, Devon, in the time of 5 Edw. IV., which is between March 4, 1465, and March 3, 1466, who most likely is our John. Unfortunately, an abstract of this IPM cannot be found, but there is an entry in volume 4 of the Calendarium Inquisitionum Post Mortem Sive Escaetarum for a Joh’es Kelly, in that same time period. This is not a full abstract, but only a list, in Latin, of the manors which are mentioned in the IPM. It lists all the manors as being in Somerset, even though some are in Devon, as follows — Eftodlegh (Stodelegh); Chiriton Fitzpayn (Cheriton); Alampton (Alhamton); Dicheyate (Dycheyeate); Camelerton (Camerton); and Welles. These seem to be the manors his wife brought to him in their marriage, so it this IPM is most likely our John. Why his Devon holdings are listed as Somerset, is unknown. Of all the records found for him, none mention Bodmalgan, Bosmaugan or the St. Winnow parish in Cornwall. There is however, one record in the Devon Archive Catalogue, that connects John Kelly of Bodmalgan to the Moyles. Alice who was wife of John Moyle of Bodmalgan, was giving Cornwall property to be held by John during her life. But again, there is no proof of connection to our John.

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Joan Austell was the younger daughter of John Austell and his wife Margaret Fitzpayn. Some researchers call her Johanna or Jone, they estimate her birth about 1400, and her marriage to John Kelly of Southwick about 1420. Unfortunately none of these dates can be documented, and it is known that her parents didn’t marry until after 1405 (see her mother’s bio for more on this). She inherited from her mother several estates, including, but not limited to Camerton, Cove La Meere, Cheriton and Stodelegh, which all went to the ownership of her husband. Joan had two half brothers, one an illegitimate son of her father and after her father remarried, another half brother who was the heir. It doesn’t seem as if Joan had a relationship with either of them.

John and Joan had two sons — ancestor William; and his older brother Thomas, who was their heir, but died and left his estate to his daughter Edith, who was married to the scoundrel Humphrey Calwoodlegh (this is discussed in Alice Kelly’s bio).

Unfortunately, nothing else is known about Joan Austell Kelly, including when or where she died and is buried.

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Thomas Kelly was the only known son of John Kelly and his unknown wife.. Thomas married Elizabeth Talbot and they had two sons (see her bio for more on them.) There are not many records for his name, but three are found in the Devon Archive Catalogue:  On December 13, 1390, a Deed of gift to Thomas of all of Richard Combe’s messuages, lands and tenements in Combe and Bradstone. Two days later on the 15th a Letter of attorney was written for the same matter. Then on December 21, 1390, a Deed of gift of the same land as above, from Thomas to Johanna, widow of Richard Combe, for her life and also during the minority of Richard Combe.

In The History of the Part of West Somerset, Sir Charles Edward Heley Chadwyck-Healey states that on September 22, 1402 he presented Thomas Prydell to the church of Oare, which was in the hundred of Carhampton. Wikipedia calls it The Anglican Church of St Mary in Oare. It is interesting that, this was two years prior to the death of his father, but Thomas, not his father did the presentation.

Thomas Kelly died on September 14, 1404, and an Inquisition post Modem was held in Devon on February 6, 1408. An abstract of it is printed in volume 19 of J. L. Kirby’s Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem. It states that “Nicholas his son and next heir was aged 21 years on 8 Jan. last.” Thomas’ three holdings are described as follows: “Heavitree, the manor, of John de Monte Acuto, late earl of Salisbury, of his manor of Wonford by knight service, annual value £4. Wonford is held of the ling in chief by knight service and was taken into the king’s hands on the forfeiture of the earl. Henry Talbot, esquire, has occupied Heavitree since the death of Thomas and taken the profits, title unknown.”

Kelly, the manor, of Edward Courtenay, earl of Devon, by knight service, annual value £6.

Edgeley, 1 messuage and 1 carcucate, also the earl of Devon by knight service, annual value 20s.”

On March 21, 1408, a writ for proof of age for his son Nicholas was set-up, giving Henry Talbot warning that he should attend. It is not known how Henry Talbot is related to this family, but he could have been Thomas’ wife’s brother. On April 23rd, it was proven Nicholas was of age, but it is unknown if Henry Talbot attended.

Then on May 16th of that same year a writ of plenius certiorari (fully informed), was held “as to the estate of the earl of Salisbury in the above manor of Wonford.” A month later on June 6th it was found that the “earl of Salisbury held the manor to himself and the heirs of his body.

In the Calendar of Fine Rolls there is a record dated November 30, 1404, at Coventry, that mentions Thomas and Henry Talbot. It reads, “Commitment (with like clause) to Henry Talbot, esquire, . . . of the keeping of certain parcels of lands in Hevytrewe, co. Devon, which Thomas Kelly on the day of his death held by knight service of John [de] Monte Acuto, late earl of Salisbury, as of his manor of Woneford.” Unfortunately, nothing else is known of this matter or where Thomas Kelly was buried.

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Elizabeth Talbot’s parentage is in question. Most researchers say she was the daughter and co-heir of William and Margaret Talbot, but in Thomas Westcote’s A View of Devonshire in MDCXXX, he states that she was the sister of William and the daughter of Richard and Margaret Talbot. The confusion arises because in the The Visitation of the County of Devon in the Year 1564, she is listed as “d. & coh. of William Talbott & Margaret his wife, d. & h. of Rich. Talbott, of Talbott Wyke, Esq.” This researcher believes she was William’s sister and inherited half of her father, Richard’s estate. To make matters worse, this branch of the Talbot family is not well documented, and no visitations for the area have the Talbot-Wyke branch in them.

Elizabeth married Thomas Kelly, bringing to him half of her father’s estate. In Tristram Risdon’s Survey of the County of Devon he states about the Kelly estate, “whose patrimony was well improved by Elizabeth . . .” meaning she brought much wealth to the marriage. Elizabeth and Thomas had at least two children—ancestor Richard, the second son and their eldest son and heir, Nicholas, who was born on January 8, 1387, and died about 1422, without having children (it is not known if Nicholas ever married).

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Thomas Bratton was the son and heir of Alice (surname unknown) and Peter Bratton. He was born at Bratton, Somerset County, England and baptized in the church of  Mynhede on February 1, 1377/8. (Mouse over the photo left of St Michael's Church of Minehead for more info on it.) Thomas was about 6 ½ years old when his father died. In Sir Henry Charles Maxwell Lyte’s 1931 book, Historical Notes on Some Somerset Manors Formerly Connected with the Honour of Dunster, he states that Thomas became the ward of Lady Mohun, but she soon sold his wardship to his mother who had remarried, so he was probably raised by her second husband. Being that Thomas was the heir, his step father controlled his inheritance, which was used to his step-father’s benefit. In June of 1392, when Thomas was 14 years old, the king appointed the wardship of Thomas to John Aucher, the king’s esquire. In September of 1392, Aucher obtained a separate grant of the marriage of the heir. Thomas’ marriage to Joan Sydenham probably occurred sometime after that date, and they had several children (See her bio for more on the children). A Proof of Age Inquisitions Post Mortem was taken on June 30, 1398, where it was proven he was aged 21 years and more using witnesses that stated his birth/baptism date and place, which allowed him to take control of his full inheritance. The first document found for his name is dated June 1, 1399. It is a Plea of covenant found on the Some Notes on Medieval English Genealogy website, where he is mentioned once in an agreement as follows, “together with the homages and all services of Thomas Bratton', John Dorchestre, Robert Sydenham . . .

In The History of the Part of West Somerset, Sir Charles Edward Heley Chadwyck-Healey states that Thomas presented the new rectors of the Culbone church, otherwise known as Kitnor, at the time located in the Hundred of Carhampton, in the county of Somerset in 1404, 1428, and 1430.

Many records can be found for his name in the Somerset Archives. On March 1, 1408, he is listed as using his seal, as a second party to Sir Hugh Luttrell in a “Deed of homage by Thomas for Bratton manor held of Dunster for a knight's fee.” On December 25, 1409, he is listed along with John Sper chaplain, as the first party in a Dunster Feoffment deed, where it had “Two seals, one an armorial seal of Thomas Bratton.” On April 3, 1410, he is listed as above on a Dunster Quitclaim, using the same seal. On February 29, 1412, his name is mentioned in a “Letter of attorney to deliver possession to Richard Pykenot of land in Carhampton which he had from Thomas Bratton and John Spere,” involving Walter Pernecote. On February 29, 1412, and April 21, 1412, his name is mentioned on two Carhampton deeds. In 1414 and 1415, he is listed as a plaintiff, among others, involving “the manors of Oulknolle; Codecombe and Alyngforde.” On April 28, 1415, he is listed as a defendant, with others, involving the “manors of Wood near Chexton, Devon, and Rowden, Wodeavenant and Nettlecombe, Somerset, and advowson of Nettlecombe church.This document is in more detail on the Medieval English Genealogy website. Also on this website is a Plea of covenant dated October 27, 1439, where Thomas and his son Simon are gifted, for 100 marks of silver, the manors of Lee and Ocle(Mouse over and click on this Plea of covenant document's image right to enlarge it in a new window/tab.)

In the Somerset Archives, on January 13, 1441, he is listed with his son Simon and others on a quitclaim in West and East Gylysworthy, Somerset. Six months later on June 10, 1441, he is listed among others on a Conveyance of land etc in Kentsford and Watchet. On May 4, 1446, he, with John Sydenham and Geoffry Quyk, received as a gift a messuage in Northquarm in hundred of Carhampton. On April 27, 1454, he is listed with several others in a “Letter of attorney of lands in the hamlets of Bishop's Knoyle, Milton and Upton, in the parish of Knoyle, Wiltshire” and a “Feoffment of lands in Knoyle, Wiltshire.” (A messuage was a house and a Feoffment was the deed by which a person was given land in exchange for a pledge of service.)

His name is also found in the Somerset Archives as a witness to many Carhampton Hundred deeds for the years 1402, 1404, 1408, 1411, 1413, 1416, and 1439; specifically on Dunster documents for 1419, 1420, 1423, 1438, 1441, 1448, 1450; and on Minehead deeds in 1420, 1423, 1447, 1450; and on a Timberscombe deed in 1457. It should be noted that Minehead was in the deanery of Dunster, and was controlled by the Mohun family. Dunster is only 2.5 miles south-southeast of Minehead and Timberscombe is 2.5 miles south-west of Dunster, and 5.5 miles south of Minehead. Thomas was also a witness in other areas of Somerset including two in the Williton and Freemanners Hundred, on an East Quantoxhead deed in1426; in a Feoffment document at Nettlecombe in 1453 and 1455. Further away, about 25 miles south of the Minehead-Dunster area, his name appears on a Quitclaim in Cothay in Stawley, near Wellington, in 1429; and in 1432 on a Capton lease, a village near Dartmouth in Devon, about 95 miles south of the Minehead-Dunster area. There are several records in the Somerset Feet of Fines and Feudal Aids that list many of his other properties.

Lyte states that “When over seventy years of age, he made ample provision for his wife, Joan, a daughter of Richard Sydenham and sister of Simon Sydenham, Bishop of Chichester. He died in January 1459.” This seems to say he wrote his will some time after 1448. An Inquisitions Post Mortem for him was taken some time between September 1, 1459 and March 4, 1461. Unfortunately, this researcher can not find a copy or transcript of the will or post mortem. In volume 4 of the Calendarium Inquisitionum Post Mortem Sive Escaetarum, which is written in Latin, the property he held at the time of his death are listed as all being in Somerset as follows: Bratton manor, Bydellefcombe manor, and all the land of Wychehangre, Wydon, Allerford and Puryton.

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Joan Sydenham was the daughter of Joan Delingrige and her husband, Richard Sydenham. She is said to have been born about 1367 in Sydenham, Somerset, England, but no documentation exists to support this. Joan married Thomas Bratton sometime after September of 1392, when a grant of the marriage was obtained for him. They had at least two children — Simon, the heir, died prior to September 29, 1450, which is before his father’s death, so his son, John, by his wife, Katherine Mathew, became the heir; and ancestor Jane. In The Visitations of the County of Somerset, in the Years 1531 and 1573, it is stated that there was a first son named John, but nothing is known about him-no documents can be found. It may be because Thomas’ grandson John became his heir, the writer put him down as a first son. To make it even more confusing, this grandson John, had a son and heir also named John! Some researchers say there was another daughter named Joan, who married John Affeton, because of an error written in Thomas Westcote’s View of Devonshire. She was probably the granddaughter (or possibly the great granddaugher) of Thomas and Joan Sydenham-the daughter of their son (or grandson) John Bratton, as written in Pole’s Collections of Devon.

It is not known when Joan Sydenham Bratton died, but in his book, Historical Notes on Some Somerset Manors Formerly Connected with the Honour of Dunster, Sir Henry Charles Maxwell Lyte states about Thomas that “When over seventy years of age, he made made ample provision for his wife,” so she was alive when he wrote his will, and she probably outlived him.

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John Kymbeare was the son of Elias Kymbeare and his wife Johanna Trevalnard. His parents are clearly documented in the both the Visitations of Cornwall and Devon, but his father’s surname is spelled Kimbere. There are three mentions of him in volume one of the Inquisitions and Assessments Relating to Feudal Aids: Bedford to Devon, but they are in Latin and are difficult to translate, as they use abbreviations not identified in the book. All are listed in the Devon Hundredum de Blaketoriton sections, which is assumed to be the Hundred of Blaktoeyton as listed in Pole’s Collections towards a Description of the County of Devon; and Black Torrington in Risdon’s The Chorographical Description or Survey оf the County of Devon. (Unfortunately, the Kymbeare or Kimbere name is not mentioned in ether of these two books, except for a one line entry in Pole about the Kimbeare coat of arms.) Two of the entries in Feudal Aids are dated in 1346. The first is an “Inquisition taken before John le Deneys on Wednesday on the feast of Pentecost,” where Johannis de Kymbear is listed among several other men as taking part in it. The other entry seems to say that Johannes de Kymbear holds part of the land (scil. in Kymbear), having something to do with “Plimton honor of the fee, which Elyas de Kymbear once held.” This implies that John is Elias’ son, and that either Elias gave John the land or Elias is deceased and John inherited the land. The third entry is dated much later, in 1428, under the Hundreda de Wynklegh et Blaketoriton section. It roughly translates as follows, “Johannes Kymbere holds the three parts of the reciprocally recall, knight 's fee in the Kymbear, which Johannes Kymbear, formerly held in the same place.” Being that our John was an adult in 1346, he could not have been alive in 1428. So it seems probable that Johannes Kymbere, is his son, and our John is the Johannes Kymbear, who is deceased at the time. What is interesting is that it seems to say there is a place or maybe a manor called Kymbear, which has not been found in any other source.

There are three Plea of covenant court records dated from 1420 to 1434 for the names John Kymbere and John Kymbeare, that may be referring to our John in the past. For example on the May to June 1430 record, which involves both Black Torrington and Hatherleigh, part of the agreement states “ . . . the rent, which John Kymbeare, Walter Greya, . . .were accustomed to render to Thomas Bater and Ricarda, to receive each year by the hands of the aforesaid tenants and the heirs of John Kymbeare, . . .

Unfortunately, nothing more can be found about John Kymbeare. Because records don’t exist for this time period, it is not known who he married, nor when or where he died and is buried.

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Thomas Kelly’s name comes from Pole’s Collections towards a Description of the County of Devon, where he is listed under the manor of Southwike as the son of Marget Monye and John Kelly. There is an entry in The Register of Edmund Stafford, which probably is him. It reads as follows, “Kelly,, Thomas, and Margret his wife, in their house at Southwyke, in Germansweek (7 July, 1411),” followed by text in Latin, which is difficult to translate, but seems to be speaking about their worshipping in the parish church on Sundays and festive days, as opposed to their own small chapel. If this is our Thomas, than his wife’s name was Margaret. In the History of Parliament, 1439-1509, Josiah Clement Wedgwood states that she was Margaret Moyle, daughter and heir of John Moyle of Bodmalgan, whose ancestry can be found, documented back to the 1200’s. In The Visitations of Cornwall, in the Moyle of Bake pedigree, her entry reads, Margaret, wife of Kelly of Southweek. So there is no definitive documented proof that Thomas’ wife’s surname was Moyle.

There are at least two Early Chancery Proceedings for the name Thomas Kelly, one dealing with a seizure of a small boat near Guernsey Island, and the other for a Thomas Kelly, of London. Neither sound like our Thomas. There is also a will written in Latin in September of 1457 and probated on February 8, 1458, by a Thomas Kelly, late of Exeter. In it, he mentions a John Kelly, Richard Daber and John Pulford as executors of his will. This seems unlikely to be our Thomas, because they are all from the city of Exeter.

Because there are no other records or documentation for him to be found, and the fact that many Thomas Kelly’s were alive in this time period, nothing else is known about our Thomas. But it can be assumed that Thomas and his wife died in Devon, possibly in the Southwike manor.

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John Austell’s ancestry is unknown. His surname has been spelled several different ways and he has a very common given name, so research into his past is difficult. In John Evelyn Ansell’s book, Ansell; History of the Name, 1086 to about 1600, showing descents from a domesday tenant-in-chief, he speaks to the many variations to this surname. Our John is discussed in the Western Counties section of this book, where the author speaks about many of the available documents pertaining to John, but some of it is difficult to understand.

John married Margaret FitzPayn, prior to June 10, 1430, as they are listed on that date as husband and wife on a Devon Archive document (see her bio for more on this). Ansell, in his book estimates their marriage as, Perhaps about 1410, but it was probably sometime between 1405 and 1410. They had two daughters together, see her bio for more on the children. Because of her inheritances, Margaret brought several estates into the marriage.

John Austell, esquire and Margaret his wife are mentioned in Devon and Somerset documents and in the Feet of Fines for the County of Somerset, from 1430 to 1443 several times. His name alone is also mentioned in the Somerset Feet of Fines from 1440 to 1443, and in the Calendar of Patent Rolls from 1438 to 1461, including as a Somerset Commissioner of Peace from 1439 to 1451. On two of these court records there is mentioned a Stephen Austell, first as a chaplain listed as a querent on the November 12, 1441, document;  (mouse over and click on the image right to enlarge it in a new window/tab)  and second as a clerk who quitclaimed “to John of the Manors of Cheriton Fitzpayne and the advowson in Devon and Churchill, Fitzpayne Cary alias Lytescary and Pekerellston with lands in Axbridge, Banwell, Wells and Sitecote (?Sidcote) in Somerset . . .” in 1443. Unfortunately the relationship between Stephen an John is not mentioned, but he could be a brother, an uncle or even John’s father.

It is known that John’s wife Margaret died and he married a woman named Johanna, surname unknown. But what is unknown is when this happened. John and Johanna had a son named Thomas, who this researcher believes was born about 1444 (see below). John may have remarried soon after his first wife died.

There is a very interesting, well documented article written by Hannes Kleineke called Canonical Books: The Library of John Austell (died 1499) printed in volume 21, #6, of The Ricardian, the historical journal of the Richard III Society, which gives insight into our John’s life. The John this article is about was the illegitimate son of our John. Kleineke states, “John Austell [Jr.] was the illegitimate son of a middling Somerset lawyer [our John]. His synonymous father, who died in 1462, held office as sheriff of Cornwall in 1446-47, and of Somerset and Dorset in 1449-50. He served as a justice of the peace in Somerset from 1439 to 1451, and was a member of parliament for Wells in 1432, for Somerset in 1439 and for Devon in February 1449. Yet, Austell possessed few lands of his own and had acquired the social standing that allowed him to hold these senior county offices in three shires by his marriage to the daughter and ultimate heiresss of the wealthy Somerset landowner Elias Fitzpayn of Churchill.” Kleineke goes on to say more about his two sons, “A second marriage does not appear to have brought Austell any estates of substance, and he thus had to look to the church to provide for his two sons, Thomas, his legitimate son and heir by his second wife, and his bastard, John. Both of these were consequently sent to study at Oxford university: Thomas, by some years the younger, acquired prebends at the cathedrals of Salisbury, Wells and Exeter, and ended his days as treasurer at Exeter cathedral, where he was buried after his death in 1515. Perhaps on account of his illegitimate birth, his half-brother John did not become either as prominent or as wealthy. He had entered Oxford university by 1438, when he was charged with having struck the wife of the manciple of Beke’s Inn over the head with a fire-shovel, but within two years his scholarly and administrative attainments were sufficient for him to be chosen principal of his college, Greek Hall.” The rest of the article is about his extensive book collection, that was “a set of possessions close to his heart, which were disposed of with considerable care at the time of his death.” Both of these sons mention in their wills a sister Emota or Emmote, who was the wife of Thos. Browne. Could this be another daughter of John Sr?

In the book, Members of Parliament: Parliaments of England, 1213-1702, Johannes Austell is listed twice as being summoned to to meet at Westminster, once for the Somerset Wells Borough in 1432-3, and once for the County of Devon in 1448-9. But in Josiah Clement Wedgwood’s, History of Parliament ... 1439-1509: Biographies of the Members of the Commons House, he is listed three times as an M. P., the above two and for Somerset in 1439-40, which in the Members of Parliament book, it states for that meeting, No Returns found. Wedgwood goes on to say in his bio, “Admtd. freeman of Wells, and elected same day, 1432;[4] witnessed a charter of the commonalty of Wells, 1438;[5] J.P. Som., 23 Mar. 1439 to 26 Nov. 1451; comnr., Som. 1438-59 (including Lancastrian comn. of array, 21 Dec. 1459); comnr. Devon 1440, Bristol 1442, 1448, and Wells 1453; sheriff of Cornwall, 1446-7, of Som. and Dorset 20 Dec. 1449-50; pardoned, 1 Dec. 1455; collector of clerical subsidy (Bath & Wells), 1458” Although there is some misinformation in other parts of his bio, the above seems to document what Kleineke had to say.

John Austell Sr. died on June 8, 1462, and an Inquisition Post Mortem (IPM) was taken on Friday, December 3, 1462. The UK National Archives' catalogue has two IPM records for his name. The first is found in “Records created, acquired, and inherited by Chancery, and also of the Wardrobe, Royal Household, Exchequer and various commissions” section, under the name of Anstell, John, esq, of Bagworth Devon, dated 2 Edw IV, which is anytime between March 4, 1462 to March 3, 1463. The second, held by the Somerset Heritage Centre, is a Copy IPM of John Anstell, dated 1462. Neither of these has more information on them. John Batten states in volume 7 of Notes & Queries for Somerset and Dorset, “A copy of an office found upon the death of John Austell, sometime Lord of the Manor of Cove 3 Ed. IV. ex bundello Escactorum de anno regni R. Edwarde IV.” The Latin here seems to say it was found in an exchequers’ bundle, which agrees with the first UK IPM above. He then prints it, in its original Latin and it is extremely difficult to translate, because of the many abbreviations. There is a translation done by John Evelyn Ansell in his book, which is not complete, but gives the pertinent information, however there is a problem with it, as stated below the text:

Inquisition taken at Exeter com. Devon, Friday after the feast of St. Andrew the Evangelist, 3 Edward IV, before Wm. Prideaux by the oath of Jn. Avenel, etc. who say John Austell on the day he died held no lands in chief, but they say J. Fortescue, W. Rodney, J. Tretheke, W. Stevens and Stephen Austell were seized of the manor and adv. of the church of Cheriton-Fitzpayn, And they say Stevens, Tretheke and Thomas Percival were lately seized of the reversion of the manors of Est Studleigh, Mere, Cove and Combe, which Alice the wife of Thos. Beaumont, who was late the wife of Joh. Fitzpayn was tenant for life, with reversion to them, by virtue of a fine levied between them, querents, and Joh. Austell and Margaret def. of the reversion of the said manors, which reversion they the sd. William, etc. by a charter of 27 November, 22 Henry IV (1443), produced in evidence, granted the sd. Joh. Austell, arm. and Margaret his wife in tail, remainder to Joh. and Joan Kelly, etc. And they say the said manors of Mare, Cove and Combe are held of the King as of his manor of Mershewode-Vale, ‘ut de comitatu Marchiae’ by fealty for all services. . . . And that J.A. died 8 June 2 Dni Regis, and that Thomas Austell is son and heir of the said John Austell and Johanna his wife and is aged 8 years and upwards.”

The main problem with this translation involves the age of John’s son Thomas. Batten prints in Latin “Et qd Thomas Austell est filius & hæres propinquior dicti Joh'is Austell & Johannæ Uxoris suæ, et est ætatis octo annorum & amplius,” which translates to, “And Thomas Austell is the son and heir of the said John Austell and Joanna his wife, and he has reached the age of eighteen years or more.” But if you remove the surrounding words, octo annorum, translates to eight years! This is important in figuring out when Margaret died and when John married Joanna. If Thomas was only 8 years-old, why would they use a phrase that indicates Thomas is of age? Also wouldn’t there be a later proof of age inquisition when Thomas was of age? Ansell goes on to say there was a second inquisition, and gives the unconnected notes on it he had taken. He states that it included information on Margaret’s death, but it was too faded to read. He again repeats that it states that Thomas was eight years old. Unfortunately, this researcher has not be able to locate a fully translated abstract of either of these inquisitions. There is also an entry in volume 4 of the Calendarium Inquisitionum Post Mortem Sive Escaetarum for a Johannes Anstell de Bagworth, Armiger, in the second year of Edward IV, the same time period as above. This is not a full abstract, but only a list, in Latin, of the manors which are mentioned in the IPM. It only lists manors in Devon, as follows — Cheriton Fitzpayn; Torritone; Eftodelegh; Bernftaple; Mere; Cove; Combe; Merfhwode Vale; Weftodelegh; Burypomeray; Hederlonde; and Otterton.

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Margaret FitzPayn was the only child of Elias FitzPayn and his wife Margaret, surname unknown. Some researchers say she was the daughter of Thomas, but this is because of confusion due to inheritances. Thomas was Margaret’s uncle, not her father. The confusion arises because she inherited a large estate from her first cousin, John FitzPayn, who was her uncle Thomas’ son. By 1428, Thomas died leaving it all to his son John, who had a son Walter, who died before his father. In the June 10, 1430, Tiverton; Cove: Mandate deed of transfer for “The manors of Pokereleston in Somerset, Est Stondle, Cove, Tiverton, Hederlond, Mere and Combe,” Margaret is called John’s sister, but in parenthesis it says consanguinee which is Latin for cousin. When this John died, the only living FitzPayn in this family was his uncle Elias’ daughter Margaret, but her cousin John made provisions for his wife Alice to hold the estates, until she died. Alice remarried and when she died, all the estates held by her grandparents, John and Eleanor FitzPayn, reverted back to Margaret and her husband John Austell by 1439. There are several court documents that confirm this inheritance, one is shown above in her husband John’s bio and another dated October 6, 1443, shown here, which includes “the advowsons of the church of Weststodeleygh' and the chapel of Hederlond' in the county of Devon.” (An advowson is a “patronage of a religious house or benefice’, with the obligation to defend it and speak for it” which includes “the right to recommend a member of the Anglican clergy for a vacant benefice, or to make such an appointment.”) (Mouse over and click on the image right to enlarge it in a new window/tab.) So Margaret went from being working class to being the heiress of the FitzPayn family.

Margaret was married to the working class lawyer John Austell and they had two daughters — ancestor Joan; and Agnes, who first married Thomas Burton and after he died, she married Nicholas St. Lo (Sayntlo) and had a son.

It is not known when and where Margaret FitzPayn Austell died and was buried. The last we hear of Margaret in the court documents is in late 1443, so she may have died as early as the winter of 1443-44, as her husband has a son with his second wife in about 1444. Unfortunately, this means she didn’t get to enjoy her new found wealth for too long. At least her wealth was enjoyed by her daughters, as after their father died in 1462, both daughters shared in their mother’s inheritance.

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