This post gives a short summary of the children of Thomas Blechenden and Margaret Lynch – some of whom I will follow up later. The image below shows the children of Thomas and Margaret in the Blechenden family tree:
Thomas and Margaret’s eldest child Elizabeth Blechenden is baptised on the 14 November 1659 in Woodnesborough, in Kent. She marries Paul Loftie from Smeeth, in Kent, on 18 October 1680 but is not mentioned in her father’s will and this is because she dies in May 1681. Paul Loftie remarries to Eleanor Turner and whilst there is a monument to Paul and Eleanor in Smeeth parish church, sadly there is no mention of his first wife Elizabeth. Paul and Eleanor have a number of children and I understand that they are the 5xgreat grandparents of Alan Turing the WWII code-breaker and father of modern computing.
Grace Blechenden is baptised on 10 December 1660 in Woodnesborough, in Kent, and marries George Hussey on 19 October 1680 just one day after her elder sister’s marriage to Paul Loftie. It seems odd to me that Grace and her sister did not marry on the same day and in the same location – that would have saved a lot of time and effort! However, Grace’s father Thomas Blechenden secures his daughters future by paying George “700” as Grace’s marriage portion. In return George sold the manor of Sutton Court near Dover to Thomas for just 5 shillings on the basis that it was retained for the use of George and Grace for their use as long as they lived:
Parties: George Hussey of Sutton near Dover on the one part, and Thomas Blechynden of Aldington and Grace Blechynden, his daughter, on the other part. Thomas will pay George 700 for Grace’s marriage portion. George has bargained and sold the manor and mansion house to Thomas, retaining for himself and his wife their use for their lives.details of their marriage settlement dated 16 October 1680. Held by the Kent History and Library Centre
George and Grace have one child, a daughter also called Grace who is born in 1691. Interestingly, George Hussey’s mother is Anne Crayford to whom the Blechenden’s are related by marriage, although quite distantly by this time. This earlier post explored some of the connections to the Crayfords: Tudor Crispes, Crayfords and Blechendens.
John Blechenden, the eldest son, is baptised on 1 January 1662 in Woodnesborough in Kent. John marries Ann Lane in 1690 and they have nine children together before he dies in 1709. John is the intended main beneficiary of his father’s will but only after the death of his mother. However, because he pre-deceased his mother the family property and lands at Simnells and in Stonested, both in Aldington, passed to his eldest son, Thomas, on the death of Margaret Blechenden. Ann is pregnant when John dies and she baptises the son he never saw Benoni Blechenden. I understand that, in Hebrew, Benoni means “son of my sorrow”. Thomas Blechenden died with some debts owing – I am not sure to what extent but this perhaps helps to explain why John’s son Thomas, when he interited Simnells on the death of Margaret, sold the estate in 1715.
Thomas and Margaret Blechenden
I mentioned in my earlier blog the two children, Thomas and Margaret, who were born/baptised in Harrietsham and presumably named after their parents. Thomas was baptised on 8 May 1664 and Margaret on 27 March 1666 and they are both named in their father’s will dated 1681 so we know they survived infancy and would have lived in Aldington, but I haven’t yet been able to establish spouses, children or death records for either.
Edward Tookey Blechenden
The first son to be baptised following Thomas and Margaret’s move to Aldington is Edward Tookey Blechenden on 2 June 1668. Edward marries Elizabeth Lancefield in Sevington on 12 March 1695 and they have at least 11 children. I have puzzled over why Edward is Edward Tookey Blechenden. Usually the middle name would be a family one and often from the mother’s line. But I cannot see a Tookey in the family tree – at least not until Edward’s daughter Mary marries Bartholomew Tookey in 1729 (Mary at this point is a widow having first married John Carey in 1725). Mary Blechynden/Carey/Tookey is a formidable character and gets quite the mention in History of Parliament Online which I will pick up in a future post.
The mystery of Edward Tookey Blechenden deepens further when you read his father Thomas Blechenden’s last will and testament – in that Thomas names “my loving son George Tooky gent. overseer and desire my executers to council and advise with him in the management of the executorship and I do give unto him the said George Tooky a ring of a mark...”. I haven’t been able to identify George Tooky – he isn’t the natural son of Thomas (unless he was “baseborn”) and he isn’t the husband of one of his daughters. I also can’t find any suggestion that Margaret Lynch married a Tookey and had children before she married Thomas Blechenden. I did wonder if the will had been mistranscribed and instead of George Tooky it should read George Hussey. Perhaps, but that doesn’t help understand the naming of Edward Tookey Blechenden! If anyone can identify George Tooky please do get in touch!
Aylmer Blechenden (although I think this is spelled Elmor on the baptism record) is baptised in Aldington on 26 April 1670. Aylmer is a family name and he could either be named for his mother’s uncle the Rev Aylmer Lynch or perhaps down from his mother’s great grandfather John Aylmer, the Bishop of London. Aylmer marries three times, firstly to Jane Stowe (Stone?) on 16 July 1694, in Bekesbourne, Kent; secondly to Mary Saffory on 16 March 1696/7 in Deal, Kent, then thirdly to Mary Eastes on 25 March 1708, also in Deal. Aylmer and Mary Saffory had a number of children, including Margaret (1697), Thomas (1699), Jane (1702), Aylmer (1703), Margaret (1705), Savory (1707) and Elizabeth (1708).
We know that Aylmer was involved in the trade of cotton, woolen and/or silk as in 1709 he was declared bankrupt and described as a “chapman”. A chapman was another word for a merchant in the 1700s and 1800s, before the advent of factories, who would invest in raw materials and put out the work to spinners and weavers at home on piece-rates, and – in theory -sell the product for profit:
WHereas a Commission of Bankrupt is awarded against Aylmer Blechenden of Deal, in the County of Kent, Chapman, and he being declared a Bankrupt, is required to surrender himself to the Commissioners on the 12th and 19th Instant, and on the 8th of June next, at the Irish-chamber in Guildhall London, at the 8th of Afternoon; at the first of which Sittings the Creditors are to Come prepared to prove their Debts, pay Contribution-mony, and chuse Assignees.https://www.londonlives.org/browse.jsp?id=LMSMPS50106_n83-52&div=LMSMPS50106PS501060012#highlight
Gratian Blechenden is the youngest son of Thomas and Margaret and is named after Margaret’s brother Gratian Lynch. He was baptised on 10 December 1672 in Aldington in Kent. Gratian gets a mention in Thomas White’s last will and testament- when he is given a conditional bequest of ten pounds. Gratian would have been about 18 when Thomas White wrote his will and perhaps felt a sense of obligation to help some of his cousins. The will indicates that Gratian’s father Thomas was in debt when he died and Thomas White was prepared to help, up to a point:
Item I give and bequeath to Gratian Blechynden (the son of Thomas Blechynden of Symnells of Aldington lately deceased) the sum of ten pounds provided he be bound forth an apprentice and his brother John Blechynden doe pay the arrears of his rent for Giggers Green which as Michmas next amount to above ninety pounds and discharge the arrears of Cophurst in his father’s hands when he dyed or therefore I give him nothing.Extract from the will of Thomas White, Bishop of Peterborough
Gratian marries Ann Robinson on 09 Dec 1700 at All Hallows Bread Street and St John the Evangelist in London. It’s unclear why they were married in London given that both Gratian and Ann are from Charing in Kent: “Gratian Blechynden, Excise-man of Charing, Kent, & Ann Robinson of ye same par., singlewoman“. They have at least one child, Elizabeth, who is baptised on 12 Feb 1702 in Folkestone.
I have found some records online which suggest that Gratian Blechenden knew an Edward Gurney, son of Thomas Gurney and entered into a mortage arrangement: “28 Sept. 1704 Mortgage from Edward Gurney, son of Thomas Gurney to Gratian Blechynden, Gent., to secure £55 plus interest.” In the same records it is clear that Edward Gurney, as executor of his father Thomas Gurney’s will, pays £60 to an Isaac Brisenden to discharge a legacy in the will. Isaac was married to Joane Gurney in 1697 but she died one year later in 1698. Given the link to the Gurney family I wonder if Gratian and Isaac are related in some way?
Ann Blechenden, the youngest child, is baptised on the 19 May 1676 in Aldington in Kent. Like her siblings Margaret, Thomas, Edward-Tooky, Aylmer and Gratian, her father leaves her £50 in his will to be paid when each reaches the age of 21. Thomas dies a few years after making his will when Ann is just 14 years old but she likely would have stayed with her mother at Simnells until her marriage or death. I haven’t been able to ascribe with certainty a marriage for Ann – one possibility is with Thomas Colfe of Canterbury in 1708 or possibly John Rumfield, Grocer of Wye, in 1710. Either of these would mean that Ann did not marry until she was in her 30s.