Monday, 15 February 2010
To Balsham - home of Sue's ancient ancestors
Balsham means a lot to my wife and I. Sue's gggggg grandmother, Mary Wakefield (1724 - 1792), was born there and married John Chambers (1711 - 1765), of Woodditton. I have done business with Balsham Buildings (see their work above) and the old KNS company. And Jim Golightly, who was head teacher at the Meadow School, taught my daughter and son when he was head at Swaffham Bulbeck.
As well as the Mary Wakefield link, Sue's gggggggg uncle, Thomas Wakefield (1700 - 1770), who was born at West Wickham and is buried there, left a fascinating Will that mentions Balsham property and the Will told me, as a family historian, much of what I needed to know about that part of Sue's ancestry.
The Will reads as follows:
"I Thomas Wakefield of West Wickham in the County of Cambridge Gentleman being of Sound and Disposing Mind Memory and Understanding Praised be God Do make Publish and Declare this my last Will and Testament in manner following (that is to say) First I Give and Devise unto my Nephew John Cole Son of my late Sister Mary Cole All and every my Meƒsuages Lands Tenements Hereditts and Premiƒses whatsoever Situate lying and being in Balsham in the said County of Cambridge together with all rent and arrears of Rent which will be due to me at the time of my decease for the same Premiƒses To hold the same and every part thereof unto him my said Nephew John Cole his Heirs and Aƒsigns for ever Subject nevertheleƒs to and charged and chargeable with the Payment of the Sum of Three hundred pounds unto my Nephew Thomas Cole Brother of the said John Cole within Twelve Calendar Months next after my Decease And also with the Payment of the Sum of One hundred pounds unto my Sister Margaret Purkis Widow within Twelve Months next after my Decease And in Case my said Nephew John Cole or his Heirs shall neglect or refuse to Pay the said Sum of Three hundred pounds unto his said Brother or the said Sum of One hundred pounds unto my said Sister Margaret or either of them in manner aforesaid or any part or parts thereof I do Will and Direct that it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Thomas Cole my Nephew and the said Margaret my Sister or either of them which shall be unpaid as aforesaid to enter into and upon the said Estate and Premiƒses by me hereby Devised to the said John Cole and his Heirs and the same to have hold and Enjoy until he or she shall be paid their respective Legacy or Sum of money or such part or parts thereof as shall be behind and unpaid as aforesaid together with all Costs and Charges that shall be Occasioned by making such Entry or Entrys as aforesaid shall be fully satisfied and paid Also I Give and Devise unto my said Sister Margaret Purkis all and every my Meƒsuages Lands Tenements Hereditts and Premiƒses whatsoever Situate lying and being in Sturmer in the County of Eƒsex and now in the Tenure or Occupation of Joseph Purkis or his Aƒsigns To hold the same and every part thereof unto her my said Sister Margaret and her Aƒsigns for and during the Term of her natural life And Immediately from and after Decease I Give and Devise all my said Estate and Premiƒses in Sturmer aforesaid unto my Nephew Robert Purkis one of the Sons of my said Sister Margaret and his Heirs for ever Also all those my three Meƒsuages Tenements or Cottages with the yards Buildings and Appurts thereunto belonging Situate lying and being in Horseheath in the said County of Cambridge now in the Tenure or Occupation of John Webb John ƒƒoreman and ƒƒlack (in the margin: 'orig. so') or their Aƒsignee or Aƒsigns I Give and Devise unto my Nephew William Purkis and his Heirs and Aƒsigns Also I Give and Devise unto my said Nephew Thomas Purkis and his Heirs and Aƒsigns All those my three Meƒsuages Tenements or Cottages with the yards Buildings Rights Members and Appurts thereunto belonging Situate lying and being in West Wickham aforesaid and now in the Tenure or Occupation of John Whitby David Willows and John King or their Aƒsignee or Aƒsigns Also I Give and bequeath unto my said Sister Margaret Purkis One hundred pounds Tom my said Nephew Thomas Purkis the like Sum of One hundred pounds To my said Nephew William Purkis the Sum of One hundred pounds To my Nephew John Purkis the like Sum of One hundred pounds To my Nephew Robert Purkis the like Sum of One hundred pounds To my Niece Ann Purkis the like Sum of One hundred pounds To my Niece Mary Chambers* the like Sum of One hundred pounds And to my Niece Ann Peachey the like Sum of One hundred pounds all which said several Legacys or Sums of Money amounting together to the Sum of Eight hundred pounds I Will Order and Direct shall be paid unto my said Sister and my said Several Nephews and Nieces by my Executors hereinafter named within twelve months next after my Decease Also all the rest residue and remainder of my Goods Chattels Rights Credits and Personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever and of what nature or kind soever the same be after Payment of my Just Debts ƒƒuneral Expences Charges incident to the Execution of this my Will and the above mentioned Several Legacies or Sums of Money above by me Directed to be paid by my Executors I Give and bequeath unto my said Nephews John Cole and Thomas Purkis Share and Share alike to be Divided between them as soon as Conveniently may be after my Decease And Lastly I do hereby Nominate Constitute and Appoint them the said John Cole and Thomas Purkis Executors of this my last Will and Testament In Witneƒs whereof I the said Thomas Wakefield have to this my said last Will and Testament contained in two Sheets of Paper to the first of them set my hand and to this the last my hand and Seal this ƒƒirst Day of September One thousand Seven hundred and Seventy - Tho. Wakefield - Signed Sealed Published and Declared by the said Thomas Wakefield the Testator as and for his last Will and Testament in the Presence of us who have Subscribed our names Witneƒses - Thereto in the Presence of and at the request of him the said Testator - John Adkins - Peter Lofts - Tho. Tebbit -
I the within named Thomas Wakefield Do hereby request my Executors within names to Distribute to and amongst the Poor People of the Parish of West Wickham the Sum of ƒƒive pounds in Bread, viz. ƒƒifty Shillings Worth at the time of my Decease and the other ƒƒifty Shillings Worth upon St. Thomas's Day next happening after my Decease - Tho. Wakefield - Witneƒs - Tho. Tebbit -
This Will was proved at London (with a Codicil) the thirtieth Day of May in the Year of our Lord One thousand Seven hundred and Seventy one before the Right Worshipful George Long Doctor of Laws Master Keeper of Commiƒsary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully Constituted by the Oaths of John Cole and Thomas Purkis the Executors named in the said Will to whom Administration was Granted of all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the deceased they having been first Sworn by Commiƒsion duly to Administer &c."
*'my Niece Mary Chambers' was Sue's gggggg grandmother, as mentioned above.
This is super stuff for a family history buff - or nut!
The picture below is of Sue at West Wickham Church and was taken in the Spring a year or so back. Her mother was born at Manor Farm, West Wickham, in 1911, and baptised at St. Mary's Church.