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Old 10-04-22, 15:09
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Default The Blackmores

I am indebted to Grace Blackmore for this. She was a cousin of my Hele family: her mother and Athur Hele’s wife were sisters. Grace was an orphan, taken in by the childless Arthur Hele and brought up as a daughter in Diptford, Devon. Having been ignored by the Blackmore family, when her Uncle Abraham Blackmore died in Exeter and left her an inheritance, she suddenly became a young woman of importance. Her Uncle Thomas Blackmore, a mercer from London, offered to take her up: clearly intending to use her s a marriageable asset to cement a business relationship.
Grace died, she left her money to her cousin Hele, and that was that.
But I was curious about Thomas, such a nasty man, and decided to investigate.
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Old 10-04-22, 15:14
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Part One: Thomas Blackmore senior

Thomas was apprenticed to Robert Ware in 1657 and his father was named as Mark Blackmore of Bowewood Devon: https://www.londonroll.org/event/?co...ent_id=MCML466
Bowewood might be Boyd, near Sidmouth.


There is this entry, to the burial of a Marke Blackmore IN 1651/2 on FMP: https://www.findmypast.co.uk/transcr...812%2F00017829
Source City of London Burials 1538-1812 Vol.1
Burial date 02 Feb 1652
Occupation Gentleman, clerk to sir p. ball, one of the masters of the bench of the middle temple
Address Harpford, Devon
Relationship Son of marke blackmore of harpford in the county of devon, gentleman
Burial place In the Temple Church, in the Round Walk on the Middle Temple Side, under the Black Marble Stone under the Corner of the Monuments


Mark was baptised in Ottery St Mary in 1628, presumably as the eldest son.

A Matthew, also son of Mark was baptised in Harpford in 1640, but the register there only starts in the late 1630s, so the baptisms of Abraham, Joseph (Grace’s father) and Thomas (as well as any daughters) do not survive.


Thomas obtained his freedom by servitude in 1658/9. Since this is only two years later, one suspects that money may have speeded the process. He was obviously on excellent terms with Robert Ware as he married Elizabeth Meredith, the daughter of one of Robert’s friends. They procured a licence, where he stated that he was 30 and she was 21, and married at St Mary Aldermanbury on 30th September 1662.


The couple may have had daughters, but Elizabeth predeceased him and he mentions only sons and his six grandchildren in his will. (Though there is a legacy to his daughter's maid Mary)

The object of a sensible father is to provide careers for his children, so they consolidate their wealth.
Thomas, bp 1666, became a mercer like his father, and is helpfully called Thomas junior in most records
Humphrey, bp 1670 is mentioned as in Aleppo in his father’s will. He had been granted a licence to trade there in 1704 http://www.levantineheritage.com/pdf...4-D-Wilson.pdf and he presumably died there.
Abraham went to Trinity College, Cambridge University in 1692/3 aged 15. He had previously attended Sherborne School, and went on to join the Inner Temple in 1694, where he is described as the third son of Thomas. https://archives.innertemple.org.uk/...c-f8f7c70d2cd2

He pays tax in Westminster, having inherited a property there from his father.

According to Musgrave’s Obituary, he killed himself, in Fleet prion in 1732. https://archive.org/details/obituary...up?q=blakemore There may be further information in The Gentleman’s Magazine, but unfortunately I cannot find online copies prior to 1736.


After the death of his first wife, Thomas remarried, to Mrs Margaret Webster. She also predeceased him. Thomas’ six grandchildren: Raymond, John, Charles, Henry, Elizabeth and Ann were all the children of his son Thomas. His will original consisted of nine sheets of paper, and included a bequest to the poor of Harpford, and another towards the building of the new hospital at Greenwich. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageview...ce5&pId=754149


If you search Discovery, there are masses of court cases involving Thomas. It's a project for several spare hours, since in at least two cases he is joined with a brother in a dispute.

TBC
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Last edited by Phoenix; 10-04-22 at 15:19. Reason: punctuation
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Old 10-04-22, 17:30
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I forgot to say that that the reason I villify Thomas Blackmore is that after Grace's death, he tried to argue that she didn't know what she was doing when she made her will and he, as next of kin, was entitled to her money. The witnesses in the ensuing court case smartly disabused him of this.


She had been sent to school, so though she could not write, she was perfectly capable of reading, and she had frequently said that she wished she had a fortune she could bestow on Arthur Hele, as he was the only member of her family who had ever cared whether she lived or died. To add insult to injury, the money would mean a great deal to a farming family in rural Devon, while it would represent a pittance to Thomas, with his coach, and his properties all over the place.
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Old 12-04-22, 14:53
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Default The grandchildren - part 1

There is little to discover online about Thomas junior, though plenty if I investigate court cases at TNA. Like his father, he looked to set up his children with good trades, but he probably could not see the point in wasting money on a fancy will. Unlike his father’s, hIs will is brief, mentioning the boys (and not the girls!)but only leaving them a token amount, passing the responsibility for their welfare by implication onto his wife Ann nee Raymond. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageview...3b4&pId=332179



Thomas wrote the will himself and got two women and a family friend to witness it. It was dated 13 March 1720/1 and proved 22 September 1722.



At the distance of tree hundred years, little can be gleaned of Ann. She was born in 1699, and wrote her will 13 Feb 1721/2 at Hammersmith, being “not well in body”. She left two London properties and £1200 to her honoured mother, a further £1000 to be divided between her siblings Raymond, John and Elizabeth, £100 for her funeral, various small legacies and £1 each to her brothers Henry and Charles. As she revoked all former wills, this suggests something had happened to split the younger boys from the rest of the family. Her will was proved 14 December 1723.

Charles, b 1696 was put apprentice to George Martyn, a brewer of Westminster in 1713/4 for a large premium. He is not mentioned in his mother’s will, so I assume he predeceased her. At the same time, there is a Charles who is a weaver, and a Charles who is a carpenter, but neither really fit the bill, and Charles the carpenter lives into old age in Southwark. There is a burial at Westminster in 1723 which may well be him.



Both George Martin and his brother Leonard died in the 1720s. Leoanard’s will, dated 3 January 1722/3 has a memorandum “security be given to Mr Charles Blackmore for the same sum as it was at first given to me to him for securing the payment of his annuity”. It looks horribly as if illness swept away both members of the Martin family and Charles Blackmore.


Their mother Ann does not appear to have been softened by the death of two of her children. If anything, it seems to have made her more implacable. Her will was made 8th May 1724 in Beenham, Berkshire and proved 1 February 1725. Raymond got her jointure under the terms of her marriage settlement, John and Elizabeth divvied up everything else and “my youngest son Henry MARRIED WITHOUT MY CONSENT AND TO THE DISHONOUR OF HIS FAMILY, for which reason I give him ten pounds and no more”


Note that according to the parish records and BTs, she was buried in December 20 1723. This date is too early for the mother and too late for the daughter!


On 16th September 1724, Elizabeth Blackmore of Beenham Berks married William Fullerton of St Christophers London by Licence in Croydon Parish Church. This is an unlikely scenario, but it is possible that the Archbishop, William Wake, was in residence in Croydon at the time. William Fullerton was a Doctor of Physic in Cloak Lane, St Barts. Their first known child was William in 1731, and on the birth of their second son, Philip in 1734, Elizabeth died. Her husband could not save her, and indeed died himself in 1737 when the family, as is usual amongst such characters, got entangled in a law suit to protect the orpaned boys.


TBC
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Old 13-04-22, 09:33
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Default The granchildren part 2 - Raymond

In 1740, just three of the grandsons were left alive



Raymond b 1692, was the eldest. Under his parents’ marriage settlement, he was entitled to his mother’s jointure. He was apprenticed to Edward Lascelles of the Grocer’s company, then in 1720, he was admitted to the Inner Temple. In December of the following year, he acquired Bayley Park in Heathfield, a hugely impressive Queen Anne style house, for which he paid £2,400.



In addition, he held masses of property in Hertfordshire, which he leased to his brother John.


It would be fascinating to know what sort of lifestyle he led. His name appears as a subscriber to a variety of publications. In 1732, he was Sheriff of Sussex. Clearly he had more than enough money to please himself. #


By 1740 he was not in the best of health, and on 29 March 1740, in Grays Inn Chapel, he married Elizabeth Treegood of St Andrews Holborn. I have only a printed volume as evidence for this, and suspect her surname may be mistranscribed. https://search.findmypast.co.uk/reco...%2F0038520%2F1



The reason for this extremely late marriage (had they been enjoying an agreeable connection for years beforehand?) was made abundantly clear by his will, written 6 April 1740. He revokes all former wills (they would have been made void by his marriage anyway, but he is underlining the point) and leaves everything to his dear wife (of eight days!) Elizabeth: Baily Park and property in North Mimms, all to Elizabeth. He is “very infirm of body, but of sound mind and memory” and no doubt but memories were rankling. He had previously made a Deed of Gift of the Fee Farm, North Mimms, to his brother John Blackmore for the term of his natural life, but now he leaves the reversion to Elizabeth and “I give to my said Brother John Blackmore in consideration of his extraordinary Ingratitude towards me the sum of one shilling” and his brother Henry, for the said reason also got only one shilling. It is notable that wereas earlier members of his family had made small legacies to friends and servants, the only people he even considers are the members of his immediate family.



Alas for such plans! Elizabeth was buried 16 November 1740. It looks as if some epidemic swept through North Mimms. William Parker, Gent, had also died, as well as several servants. Raymond was buried on 26th December 1740. https://search.findmypast.co.uk/reco...2F72392429%2F1



Of course, had Raymond died first, as he fully expected to, things would have been very different, but it must have given John Blackmore a certain grim sense of satisfaction, as his brother’s natural heir, to prove the will and obtain the assets his brother had striven so vainly to keep from him. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageview...095?pId=168490
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Old 13-04-22, 16:02
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Default The grandchildren part 4 - John

Just two years younger than his brother, John Blackmore, born in 1694 and baptised at St Martin Pomeroy. He was treated equally with his brothers under his father’s will, and shared the residue of his mother’s estate, including property in Fenchurch Street and the Old Jewry, equally with his sister Elizabeth.


In June 1726, Raymond leased a huge number of fee farm rents in Hertfordshire to John: https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...4-a045-56fff13



Also in 1726, John was appointed executor of his aunt Elizabeth Loder’s estate: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageview...55c&pId=693679



Her daughter Ann had died, leaving three small children. Around 1729, (then living in Chelsea) he brought a court case on behalf of her surviving grandchildren, Philip and Charlotte Whitley, against their father Thomas Whitley and various members of the Loder family: https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ls/r/C10463957



On 16 Feb 1731, Raymond Blackmore granted Fee Farm Rents in Hertfordshire to John for life: https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...2-35cec1c228f4



On 14 May 1732, William Bedcott, a wax chandler of Pall Mall named John (then of Sudbury in Harrow, Middlesex) as executor of his will, and left him all he had. This William was a family friend, having witnessed, together with his then wife Penelope, Anne Blackmore senior’s will.


Since so many people chose John as an executor, I assume that he was a trustworthy and diligent administrator. Goodness knows what perceived slight caused Raymond to attempt to cut him off with a shilling? All I can say is that he does not appear to have a taste for such stylised grandeur as Bailey Park: certainly his name does not appear to be connected with Sussex.


I have yet to discover what happened to John after his brother’s death. He was clearly in touch with his youngest and only surviving brother, Henry, for it is to Henry that I am indebted for the news of John’s death: https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...4-ed349aefe366



John was buried at Stamford All Saints, Lincolnshire on 30th May 1747: https://search.findmypast.co.uk/reco...BUR%2F01250537


I can find no evidence of a will. Did he die before he had time to make one? Or had he spent lavishly, and left nothing behind? That sexton's receipt, which surely should be dated 14 June 1747, not 1748, suggest that there may have been few to mourn him in Stamford.
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Old 13-04-22, 23:02
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Default The grandchildren - final part - Henry

Henry Blackmore of Lincolns Inn was only 18 when he married Margaret Shaw of St Andrew Holborn on 16 April 1719. https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageview...49?pId=5683979

We don’t know what his father thought, since Thomas junior treated all his four sons equally in his will dated 13 March 1720/1, leaving them one shilling each and all decision making to his wife: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/imageview...048?pId=332179



The party line was, however, clear. His sister Ann in her will dated 13 February 1721/2 left him one pound. His mother Ann said “my youngest son Henry MARRIED WITHOUT MY CONSENT AND TO THE DISHONOUR OF HIS FAMILY, for which reason I give him ten pounds and no more” Even Raymond, by 1740 only left him a nominal amount.

So, who was Margaret, and how on earth had she upset the family to such a degree? Margaret was either the daughter or niece of Benjamin Robertshaw, Headmaster of Burnley Grammar School. Benjamin’s son Benjamin, born 1679, says in his will “my sister Mary Shaw of Church near Blackburn in Lancashire the daughter of my late brother Jonas Robertshaw which daughter now lives or did lately live with her aunt Margaret Blackmore/at Fulledge near Burnley in Lancashire and the daughter of my said sister Margaret Blackmore/whose name is now Mary Hargreaves” I assume that we have three beneficiaries here: sister Mary Shaw, an unnamed Robertshaw niece and Mary Hargreaves nee Shaw (who married Jeremiah Hargreaves in 1736)
A Margaret Robertshaw of Burnley married a John Shaw of Accrington in 1713. So Margaret was a widow, and probably at least five years older than Henry Blackmore. And she came to the marriage with a daughter, Mary Shaw.
Is it coincidence that a John Shaw, victualler of Chancery Lane made a will dated 2 March 1718/9 naming a daughter Mary (but no mention of a wife). It was proved on the day he was buried – 14th April 1719. Henry Blackmore married Margaret on 16th April 1719. Is it possible that Margaret did lose no time whatsoever in remarrying? Certainly, she and this John Shaw both came from St Andrew’s Holborn.


Her brother Benjamin Robertshaw was a colourful and contentious churchman, Vicar of Penn at the time of Henry’s marriage: https://www.pennchurch.uk/1-rev-benjamin-robertshaw/ His politics were firmly Jacobite, his fortune non-existent, not at all the sort of person to appeal to Ann Blackmore.


Henry and his wife lost no opportunity in moving away from the sphere of his mother’s influence. According to Wikipedia, Henry sank the first pit in the Fulledge Colliery in or about 1720. According to an article in the Burnley Express, https://www.burnleyexpress.net/sport...urnley-2742169 he bought the Fulledge estate in 1721 for £2200. His grandfather had left him property in Old Jewry, various annuities and £500 in 1709. It sounds as if all of this was sunk into Fulledge.


Henry spent the rest of his days in Burnley. After Margaret died, he married Betty Holt, the daughter of William Holt, an apothecary. Eventually, he transferred the colliery business over to his new father in law.



Henry was buried in Burnley on 13 November 1764: https://search.findmypast.co.uk/reco...BUR%2F00715073
His will was proved in the Archdeaconry court of Chester in December 1764.



Of all the grandchildren, Henry seems the most engaging. He was involved in local society, being a churchwarden at the local church. A memorandum book of his survives, with details of payments to servants. I would love to see that will, to find out whether he was in truth more warm hearted than his siblings!
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Old 14-04-22, 08:29
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Default Epilogue

Thomas Blackmore had six grandchildren at his death in 1709. All were by his son Thomas, and there is no evidence of any more. Thomas, for all his six children, appears to have only had two: William and Philip Fullerton. There is no trace of Philip after his apprenticeship to an Armourer. William sailed to Antigua, where he died, leaving his fortune to his half sister. By 1773, that entire branch of the Blackmore tree had fizzled out, and even the Hele tree was failing on the male line, with Jacob Bickford Hele, the last of the male line eschewing marriage, leaving just two illegitimate and unacknowledged daughters beind him when he finally died in 1834
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