Ancestry of Edward Wales Blake and Clarissa Matilda Glidden

Source:  Edith Bartlett Sumner, Ancestry of Edward Wales Blake and Clarissa Matilda Glidden with Ninety Allied Families (Los Angeles: published by the author, 1948).  [WorldCat]

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ARMS of the Wiltshire BLAKEs:

Argent, a chevron between three garbs sable.

CREST: On a chapeau gules, turned up ermine, a martlett, argent.

This coat of arms was borne by Admiral Robert BLAKE on his ships, as his personal arms.

The BLAKE family of Wiltshire, England, took its name from Blakeland, a parish in that county. Francis E. BLAKE in “Increase BLAKE and his Descendants” says: “For several year the writer has had a very pleasant correspondence with Edward J. BLAKE, Esq, of Crewkerne, Somerset, [a descendant of John BLAKE, a brother of our William BLAKE of Pitminster] who in his endeavors to trace his own ancestry has made extensive and apparently exhaustive research…. He believes with many others that there is sufficient substantial evidence to indicate that they were from Over-Stowey, not many miles distant from Pitminster.”

The first recorded mention of the family is in 1286:

ROBERTI DE BLAKELAND was assessed on the Wiltshire Roll of Subsidies granted in 1286 to King EDWARD I. His son or grandson:

ROBERTII DE BLAKELAND had a residence in Calne, Wiltshire. He was assessed on the Wiltshire Subsidy Rolls in

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1347 for a large amount to meet the requirements of EDWARD III. By his wife Anne, daughter of William COLE, he had:

HENRYIII BLAKE, who dropped the “de” from his name, and the termination “land.” He married a daughter of Mr. Edward DURANT. They had a son:

WILLIAMIV BLAKE, who married Elizabeth, the daughter and heiress of Mr. Thomas POWER.  Their son:

HENRYV BLAKE, of Calne, married Margaret, daughter of “Mr” BILETT. (The title Mr. denoted gentry.) Son:

ROBERTVI BLAKE, of Calne and Quemberford, married Avice, daughter and heiress of John WALLOP, Esq. of Southampton, Hampshire, and acquired by her large estates in that county. (“Esquire” indicated the next higher rank to “Mr.”) Avice died on 10-29-1474, and she and Robert are buried inside the church at Calne, where in stained glass windows he is represented as habited in armor, with a surcoat charged with his armorial bearings.  Avice appears in a long robe with a scarf embroidered with the arms of her family: Gules, on a chevron argent, two crescents. Chil.:

  • 1 Gilbertvii. D. unm.
  • 2 Alexander, D. unm.
  • 3 John, 1434-1504. Inherited the est. Bur. in church at Nether Wallop. Will of 2-24-1504 proved 4-24-1504.
  • 4 Robert. Succeeded John to Wiltshire estates. D.1515. M. Margaret, dau. of Sir Thomas ENGLEFIELD.
  • 5 William. See below.
  • 6 Alice.
  • 7 Joan.

WILLIAMVII BLAKE lived in White Parish, Wiltshire, and died in 1471. After his death the widow and two sons removed to Hampshire and settled in Andover on the estate called Eastontown, formerly part of the estate of her husband’s mother Avice WALLOP.

  • 1 Williamviii, eldest son and heir. See below.
  • 2 Robert, of West Enham in Andover. M. _______ SNELL.

WILLIAMVIII BLAKE lived in Andover, White Parish, in Old Hall in Eastontown. He also had lands and tenements in Knights Enham (occupied by his brother Robert in 1504). He married Mary, a daughter of Humphrey COLES of Somerset. His will was probated on 6-20-1547. Children:

  • 1 Nicholasix, of Old Hall. Will, 1547, names wife Margaret; sons William, Edmund; daus. Alice, Elizabeth.
  • 2 Humphrey. See below.
  • 3 Alice. M. _______ CABULL.

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HUMPHREYix BLAKE lived in Somersetshire in the early part of the sixteenth century. He purchased large estates in Over-Stowey, Somerset, where he became Lord of the Manor of Plainfield, and patron of the churches at Over-Stowey and Aisholt. Plainfield Manor was owned in a large part by the BLAKE family for over two hundred years. “Pleasantly situated on the east side of Quantock Hills, it consists of four hamlets in Marsh Hills: Adiscombe, Ely Green, and Plainfield. The manor house at Plainfield, a mile from the church, has the BLAKE arms over the fireplace in the great hall.” In 1910 it was occupied by a farmer tenant of the Earl of Egmont. In 1555 Humphrey BLAKE added the adjoining manor of Tuxwell, which he bought of George SYDENHAM. He was buried in Over-Stowey on 12-28-1558. His will, made on 11-19-1558, was probated on 5-11-1559. Among the bequests were twelve pence for each priest attending his funeral, and a sum for repairs to the church. Agnes BLAKE, his widow, was buried on 6-24-1585.

From the fact that there were two sons named John, it is thought that Humphrey may have had two wives.

Children of Humphrey [and Agnes?], order not known:

  • 1 Johnx, “the elder,” 1521. See below.
  • 2 Robert. Of the Manor of Tuxwell. D.1592. M. Margaret SYMONDS (Her will proved 1600.)  Children:
    • 1 Williamxi, of Tuxwell in 1600.
    • 2 Anstice. M. Robert BOCKINGE.
    • 3 Humphrey. Twice mayor of Bridgewater, Eng. D.1625. M. Sarah2 (Humphrey1) WILLIAMS.  Had 10 or 12 chil., among whom were: (S.C.Hist.& Gen.Mag.,39:103; 40:42)
      • 1 Robertxii, 1599. D.1657, unmar. M.P. for Bridgewater, 1640-5. Famous admiral.  Bore coat of arms of Wiltshire BLAKEs on his ships as personal arms.
      • 2 Benjamin, 1614. D.c1689. Went to W.I. with Adm. Sir William PENN.  Commanded ship at Santa Cruz in 1657. Received large grants of land in South Carolina. Clerk of the Crown and Peace for South Carolina in 1687, etc.  Probably the only son:
        • 1 Josephxiii, b. Eng. D., S.C., 1700. Deputy Landgrave and twice Gov. of S.C.  “A man of property; devoted much of his fortune to the cause of immigration, and brought over to Charlestown, S.C., 1660, a company of men who ranked with the best in the land.” (Burke: Prominent Fams.of U.S.A., pp. 79-81.) M.1698, Elizabeth2 (Daniel1) AXTELL.
          • 1 Rebeccaxiv, 1699. D.,1719. M., 1717, George2 (Gov. Thomas1) SMITH.
          • 2 Joseph, 1700. D.,1751. M.,1720, Sarah2 (Daniel1) LINDREY; 5 chil.
  • 3 Thomas. Inher. Tuxwell Manor. M.1569, Agnes CASTLEMAN.
  • 4 John, “the younger.” M.1558, Christian JUGG.
  • 5 Agnes. M. _______ MANNING.
  • 6 Eleanor. M. _______ LANGHAM.
  • 7 Alice. M. George SLOCOMBE. Had dau. Joane.

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JOHNX BLAKE “the elder” was born in 1521 and died in 1576. The name of his wife was Jane, who died in 1595.

He succeeded to the manor of Plainfield and to other estates. He received by will the patronage of the church at Aisholt, County Somerset. In his will of 11-26-1576 he bequeathed to his son Richard the advowson of the Over-Stowey church. John was buried on 12-10-1576, and Jane, his widow, was buried on 6-17-1595, both in the chancel of the church at Over-Stowey.

Children of John and (presumably) Jane:

  • 1 Humphreyxi. M.1578, Agnes JAMES.
  • 2 William. See below.
  • 3 Alice. M.1569, James RICHARDS.
  • 4 Anne. M.1573, Thomas SAUNDERS.
  • 5 Elizabeth. M. 1571, Robert SELLICK, son of Vicar SELLICK of Over-Stowey.
  • 6 Richard, bap. 1-1-1563. (M.1589, Grace NAPCOTT?) Son was Vicar of Over-Stowey in 1611. Bur. in chancel.
  • 7 Robert, bap. 5-12-1566. No further record found.

WILLIAMXI BLAKE received by his father’s will, Plainfield in Over-Stowey, Bishops Lydiard, and Padnoller in Spaxton Parish. No subsequent trace of him is found on the Over-Stowey parish registers. The Taunton, Somersetshire, manor rolls show that a William BLAKE bought lands in Pitminster, Somerset, in 1586, which would correspond, perhaps, with his marriage. The Pitminster parish registers begin in 1544 and are very well preserved, yet there is not a single BLAKE entry until 1588, when Grace BLAKE was baptized. The logical inference is that there were no BLAKEs in Pitminster before 1588, and that this William BLAKE who appears in Pitminster for the first time in that year is the same man whose name disappeared from the Overton-Stowey registers.

A William BLAKE was buried in Pitminster, 6-13-1642. A widow Anne BLAKE was buried there on 8-14-1644.

Children, as written in Pitminster parish registers:

  • 1 Robertxii BLAKE (perhaps a son). M., Pitminster, 1617, Sara WICHAM.
  • 2 Grace, d. of Willm BLAKE, bapt. 9 day of February 1588.
  • 3 Eme, d. of William BLAKE, bapt. 3rd of December 1592.
  • 4 William BLACK, son of William BLAKE, Bap. Xth Day of July, 1594. This is the immigrant WILLIAM1 BLAKE.
  • 5 John BLACK, son of William BLACKE, was Bap. the XIXth day of June, 1597. (D.1645. Grandfather of famous Rev. Malachi BLAKE who was in Monmouth’s Rebellion.)
  • 6 Añe BLAAK, daughter of William BLAAK was baptized the sixteenth day of October 1600. (She m.1628, Thomas BIDGOOD.)
  • 7 Richard BLAAK, son of William BLAAK, was baptized seventeenth day of Aprill, 1603.

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The account in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1857, Vol.11:181, giving the parents of Mr. William BLAKE of Dorchester, Mass., as Giles and Dorothy [TWEEDY] BLAKE, of Little Baddow, Essex, England, was corrected in Vol. 45:35, but has unfortunately been accepted by many compilers of this line of BLAKEs.

WILLIAM1 BLAKE, the immigrant to America, was the son of William and Anne BLAKE of Pitminster, County Somerset, England, born according to one writer on 6-5-1594. He was baptized in Pitminster, 7-10-1594.  The Pitminster register states: “William BLAKE was married to Agnis BAND, widow, the XXIJth day of September, 1617.”  She may have been a daughter of Hugh THORNE, and the widow of Richard BAND of Batherford. William BLAKE died 10-25-1663, and his widow, Agnes, died 7-22-1678, both in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

The years between 1624 and 1636 are unaccounted for. During that time his son Edward was born, but where is not at present known. Search of the records of the church at Aisholt, in which his grandfather John BLAKE had an interest, might reveal much. It might also be pointed out that his second cousin, the famous Admiral Robert BLAKE, was a contemporary of his – perhaps William sailed with him before deciding on New England as his future home.

It has been asserted that the BLAKE family came with the Winthrop Fleet, in the Mary and John, but they are not on the passenger list. The Cleveland Genealogy, without giving the authority, says William sold a house at Aisholt in January 1630, and then sailed for New England. At any rate, William BLAKE had the first allotment of land granted in Dorchester, Mass., on 5-14-1636. He joined Dorchester First Church before 3-14-1639, the date on which he was accepted a Freeman of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Only proprietors and church members could become Freemen, with the privilege of the franchise, and eligible to hold office.

Specimens of his writing and fac simile of his will may be found in “Increase BLAKE, His Ancestors and Descendants,” which says this about him: “There is no record in Pitminster, or evidence of his residence between the year 1624, when his son James was baptized, and 1636, when he was found in America. There is no foundation whatever for the assertion that he came in 1630 in the Mary and John… Considering the prominent position which he subsequently occupied in Dorchester, it does not seem plausible that he could have joined any settlement in this country without so making his worth known to his associates that his name would appear upon its records. In the absence of the positive evidence it is reasonable to suppose that he came to New England in the fall of 1635 or the early months of 1636, and remained at Dorchester or Roxbury, making the acquaintance of Mr. PYNCHON in May 1636, when they … drew up and

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signed the articles of association at Agawam, now Springfield, Mass., which agreement is still preserved…. There can be no doubt that he was a man of integrity, and above the average intelligence of his neighbors. He served the town in various capacities: Constable, 1641; on the committee to build the new meeting house, 1645; Selectman 1645 to 1647, also 1651; and he was one of five men who were given authority to make assignments of lots and manage affairs of the settlement in general.”

The Springfield agreement stipulated: “William BLAKE shall have sixteen polls in bredth for his home lott, and all the marsh in breadth abuttinge at the end of it to the next high land, and three acrs more in some other place.”

In Dorchester he served as Clerk of the Militia, and in 1646 was a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts — unless this was his son William, of Milton, Mass., who was then twenty-six.  In 1656 he was chosen Dorchester’s first Recorder, for which he received twenty shillings per year, and was rate free.

His will was dated 9-3-1661, one of the bequests being: “Unto the Towne of Dorchester twenty shillings to be bestowed for repairing of the buring place, soe swine and other vermine may not añoy the graues of the saints, provided it be repaired within one yeare after my decease.” (In 1664 a committee of Selectmen was appointed “to gett the burying place well and sufficiently to be fenced in, and to demand of John BLAKE twenty shillings given by his father in his last will … to that end and vse.”) Half his estate was to go to his beloved wife; the other half to be divided equally among his five children — “not that I disrespect my eldest sonne, as he hath ben and is soe dutiful a child vnto me as any of my children, but because he hath least need of it, and he hath no charge.”  (See John-2.)

His great-grandson James-4 BLAKE wrote in his Annals of Dorchester: “This year died Mr. William BLAKE who had been clerk of the Writs for the County of Suffolk and Recorder for the Town in 1656, and continued in office about eight years. He was also Clerk of the Training Band. He died the 25th of the 8th mo.:
1663, in his 69th year…”

Soon after his death his widow, Agnes BLAKE, removed to Boston, probably to live with her son John, or perhaps with her only daughter Anne, already the widow of Jacob LEAGER. The Dorchester church record of 2-6-1670 states: “Sister Agnes BLAKE (the wife of William BLAKE, deceased), she having removed her dwelling to Boston, was dismissed to Joyne to the theird Church in Boston.”

Quotation from Symonds’ “History of South Boston” : “This family of BLAKEs in all their generations have been distinguished for their piety, for their great accuracy in matters of fact. Many of them have held important offices of honor and trust in the community, and no records of past events are more reliable than those kept by them. The Annals of Dorchester, written by James BLAKE, are historical documents of the first importance, and no surveys and plans are more complete and accurate than his.”

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Children of William and Agnes, as given in the Pitminster parish registers:

  • 1 John2. “1618: John BLAKE, sonne of William BLAKE, and Ane BLAKE daughter of William BLAKE was baptised xxxth of August.” D.,Boston, 1-25-1689. He left his houses and lands in Boston to John3 (James2) BLAKE. Joined Anc. & Hon. Artillery Co., Boston, 1642. Exec. of Gov. John WINTHROP’s will, 1676. M., Boston, 1654, “age 36,” Mary2 (Nathaniel1) SOUTHER, widow of Jospeh2 (Abraham1) SHAW; 1 dau., Hannah, 1757-1759. TORREY-BLAKE Gen. says: “Probably m. dau. of Edward BRECK of Dorchester, c1640; she d.1645, leaving chil.”
  • 2 Anne. Bap., 1618, w. John, above. D.1681, “ae 63.” Her tombstone now in possession of the Bostonian Society, having been taken from the Granary Burying Ground. M. 1st, bef.1651 (as 3d wife), Jacob LEAGER of Boston (1603-1663). M.2nd, [William?] HALLOWELL.
    • 1 Bethiah LEAGER, 1651. B. in William BLAKE Sr.’s house in Dorchester. M. Fearnot SHAW; 3 chil.
    • 2 Hannah LEAGER, 1655. M.1st, John WALKER. M.2nd, Thomas PHILLIPS; 1 dau.
  • 3 William, “sonne of William BLAKE was baptised 6th of September 1620.” D., Milton, Mass., 1703.  Kept an inn in Milton, Mass. (Joined Anc. & Hon. Artillery Co., 1646?) M.c1649, Anne —— (alive 1680); 11 chil. See Americana, Vol. 31, for descendants. M.2nd,1693, Hannah2 (Thomas1) TOLMAN (1640-1729), (the widow of George LYON); no chil. Overseer, James’ will, 1700.
  • 4 James, “sonne of William BLAKE was baptised 27th April 1624.”
  • 5 Edward, c1625. Prob. youngest, but baptism not found. John2 BLAKE called him brother in will, 1689.  D.Milton, Mass., 1692. M.,c1653, Patience2 (John1) POPE, (d.1690); 6 chil. See Bangor, Me., Hist. Magazine, Vol. 2:1-18, and N.E. Register, Vol. 89:284, for descendants.

JAMES2 BLAKE was baptized in Pitminster, County Somerset, England, 4-27-1624. He married in Dorchester, Mass., “about the first of January, 1652,” Elizabeth, daughter of Edward CLAPP of Dorchester. She was born in Dorchester, in 1634, and died there on 1-16-1695, “in her 61st year.” (See CLAPP.) James married again, on 9-17-1695, Mrs Elizabeth HUNT of Rehoboth, Mass. Mrs. HUNT was the daughter of Henry SMITH from Norfolk County, England, and had married Peter HUNT in 1646. James died on 6-28-1700 in Dorchester.  James came to America with his parents about 1636, but the first record found is his marriage in 1652.  The next year he was made Freeman. He is said to have built the first house in Dorchester Neck, in 1650, which was of such a substantial character that in 1669 the town voted to build for its minister “such a house as James BLAKE’s house, namely 38 foote in length and 20 foote wide and 16 foote between its joists….”

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