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Family History from England

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:10 pm
by Admin
This topic is reserved for additional information regarding the history of Worcesters in England before Rev. William emigrated to the United States.

Re: Family History from England

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:37 pm
by Admin
The following was received from David Worcester in 2005 when our old bulletin board was operational. Unfortunately the bulletin board became full of spam and it had to be taken down. I add David's research here so it can be used by anyone interested in our family history before Rev. William emigrated to the United States.

More Family History from England
Posted by David Worcester on May 8, 2005

 New documents concerning Rev. William's family in England have been found. They are summarized here. Questions are welcome.

1. The will of Elizabeth Ward of West Haddon (1625). She names as executor Joseph Worceter my brother". This could mean brother-in-law, but in either case she is Rev. William's aunt. The will is from the Northamptonshire Record Office (NRO), ref. MW28-f261. Elizabeth was married to Adrian Ward, who made his will in 1615 (also obtained).Adrian and Elizabeth had children Adrian, Elizabeth and Lettice, all named in the wills. Lettice married Samuel Denton, Vicar of West Haddon 1587-1605. The marriage was 25 June, 1594 at West Haddon according to "Northamptonshire and Rutland Clergy". Samuel Denton was born 1562, by age given in court depositions. He matriculated to St. John's College, Cambridge, Easter term 1580 according to Alumni Cantabridgiensis. He obtained degrees BA 1583/4 and MA 1587. After 1605 he became Rector of Charwelton, then Vicar of Spratton near West Haddon (1613-1626) and died at Great Creaton 1626.
Samuel and Lettice had son Adrian Denton who matriculated pensioner at St John's College, Cambridge, Easter term 1623. This is just after Rev. William finished his studies at St John's College.Because Rev. William and Lettice were first cousins and Samuel Denton was Vicar of West Haddon and graduate of St. John's College, it seems a good possibility that Samuel was important in the family. His death in 1626 could have resulted in Rev. William naming his first son Samuel. The name Samuel does not appear in the family before this time. Rev. William's cousin Peter (Merchant Taylor) also named a son Samuel, who died young and cousin Thomas named a son Samuel.

Adrian and Elizabeth's son Adrian had died by 1625 but was survived by wife Mary and children Sara, Lettice, Mary and Adrian (who was under 21 in 1625). Adrian and Elizabeth's daughter Elizabeth married William Wilson and had children Aron, Anna and Sara. We could consider Sara Ward and Sara Wilson to be possibilities for Rev. William's wife Sara. They were second cousins to Rev. William. I posted a message earlier about the possibility that Sara Acton of West Haddon was Rev. William's wife. Sara is still an unsolved question in the family history.

2. A document by Rev. William's grandfather Richard Worceter of West Haddon has been found. It is erroneously filed at NRO as the will of Richard Walker of West Haddon (1604, ref. MW19-f19). The document is more of a deed than a will and reads like a legal document, not like any will I have seen. It is signed 18 January, 1599/1600 and Probated 6 November, 1604. Son Joseph is beneficiary to have use of tenement in West Haddon for one year after Richard's death. Joseph is also executor and asked to handle Richard's diverse and sundrie debt's. Also mentioned is an Indenture bearing date 15 Feb., 1593/4 between Richard and son Joseph of 1st part, William Watkin of Watford and John Capill of Murcott of 2nd part and William Worcetter late of Watford, clarke, deceased of the 3rd part. A deed feofeement is mentioned bearing date 13 December, 1577 granting lands to Peter Worceter. William and Peter are not specified as sons but Joseph is. Witnesses are Richard Ringrose and Richard Murcott.No other persons are named, which is disappointing because son Thomas was probably still living and the possibilities of daughters Emme Markham and Elizabeth Ward (+ others'?) need more evidence. Nevertheless this is a good addition to the early family documents. It's possible that this document is in fact a deed, filed by mistake as a will (it was certainly indexed with wrong name) and Richard's will may be among other NRO documents.

3. The Guildhall Library in London holds the records of the Guild of Merchant Taylors. In July, 2001 they were filmed by the Salt Lake City Family History Center. Searching through them has been rewarding. and reveals that in addition to Peter Worcester and Ralph Pavier (husband of Peter's and Rev. William's cousin Bridget), two other first cousins of Rev. William became Merchant Taylors.

 Apprenticeship details and dates admitted as Freemen of the Company are given. The main items found thus far are presented here.

 A). Peter Worcester (Wister) son of William Wister of Watford in Co. Northampton, clerk, deceased, apprenticed 22 April, 1605 to Joseph Royce of St. Swithin's Lane. Peter became Freeman 1 1 October, 1613.

 B). William Woster son of William Woster of Watford, Co. Northampton, yeoman, apprenticed to Phillipe or William Bonamy (both names are given) of Bath Lane, 2 September, 1611. Note that this must be Peter's brother, born Oct. 1595, although William Woster of Watford is not specified as clerk, deceased as for Peter. As found in a much earlier message I posted, William married Sybilla hayfield 2 February, 161 8/9 at St. Dionis Backchurch. So this was shortly after becoming Freeman of the Merchant Taylor's Compony. Sybilla is mentioned in the will of Peter's wife Dorothy.

C). Thomas Worsister son of Thomas Worsister of West Haddon in Co. Northampton, yeoman, apprenticed to Peter Worcester of St. Michael's Lane 7 May, 1617. Thomas became Freeman 20 Sept., 1624. Thomas Worsister the father is probably the brother of the Vicar of Watford and Joseph, Rev. William's father.C). Thomas Worsister son of Thomas Worsister of West Haddon in Co. Northampton, yeoman, apprenticed to Peter Worcester of St. Michael's Lane 7 May, 1617. Thomas became Freeman 20 Sept., 1624. Thomas Worsister the father is probably the brother of the Vicar of Watford and Joseph, Rev. William's father.

It is likely that Thomas, Merchant Taylor, did not stay in London, but that this is the Thomas Worsetter of West Haddon who married Sara Newitt at Crick 3 July, 1624. Three children Mary Thomas, Samuel) were christened at Crick before the family moved to West Haddon about 1631. A Thomas Worcester is in the Savoy division of lands at West Haddon in 1634. Thomas was deceased by 1655, his wife Sara died 1661, daughter Mabell died 1655 and son Samuel died 1658 (West Haddon Register, begins 1655). Evidence that Thomas, Merchant Taylor, did not stay in London is that Peter, William and Ralph Pavier accepted apprentices (Merchant Taylor Records) but none have been found for Thomas.

D). Ralph Pavier, son of William Pavier of Tong, County Shropshire, agriculturalist, apprenticed to Thomas Brett of St. Swithins Lane, 19 April, 1613. Ralph became Freeman 26 April, 1620. An earlier message ("Rev. William's Aunt Emme") reported that Ralph married Bridget Markham (1st cousin of Rev. Williaml) 23 March, 1617. Normally apprentices were not allowed to marry during the seven years of their apprenticeship, but permission to marry may have been possible.

Ralph was surety for Rev. Williams presentation as Vicar of Olney, 1624. Shortly thereafter the story takes a tragic turn, as an outbreak of plague hit London in 1625 and we find Ralph, Bridget and son Richard buried at St. Stephens, Coleman Street in the space of 12 days, Sept., 1625. The parish register for this time has page after page of burials.

Son Thomas Pavier survived however. The Merchant Taylor records give Thomas Pavier, son of Ralph (Radulphi in Latin) of London, deceased, apprenticed for 12 years to William Worcester of the Old Swarm. Thomas was born 22 May 1621, so was age 1 1 at apprenticeship, about 5 years younger than normal. it's possible that William and Sybilla cared for Thomas after his parents' deaths and arranged his apprenticeship as soon as possible. Thomas is not in the index of Freeman and his apprenticeship is the last information found. The Old Swarm is listed in "inhabitants of London in 1638'' as being in St. Martin Orgar parish. At this time (1638) William Worster is listed in the same parish as living in St. Martin's Lane.

E). John Worcester, son of Peter Worcester, Merchant Taylor, became Freeman 27 August, 1656. John was not apprenticed to anyone, but became Freeman by patrimony, one of the three ways to become Freeman (apprenticeship, patrimony or redemption). Apprenticeship was most common. Recall that Peter's will was dated 12 Aug. 1656 and was probated in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 28 Aug. 1656.

There may be more information about John as Merchant Taylor. Peter's son-in-law Major Robert Cobbett appears frequently in the State Papers Domestic, Commonwealth Period 1649-1660. He is handling government payments to tradesmen for soldiers' coats up through 1659.

There are some apprentices to Peter and William in the records. I won't list them here and am continuing the search, now completed only through 1635. Later findings may give some indication of when William died. However the outbreak of the civil war in 1641 may complicate things.

Some comment is needed on all these Merchant Taylors in the family. There was certainly a family crisis at West Haddon in the early 1600s and it's of special interest because in its general nature it is modern and laminar to many. The death of the Vicar of Watford about 1596 left several young children without a father, including Peter and William. The Savoy case redistributed lands and tenements that the family had relied on for many years. On top of this there were more general changes underway. Landowners in many parishes were enclosing the open fields which had been the agricultural system for centuries. Enclosure was attractive for conversion to sheep farming, which had become financially very attractive. It required much less labor than crops, so livelihoods were jeopardized and depopulation of villages scoured. Many left for London where rapid growth offered work. But country life suffered. The “Midland's Uprising of 1607'' that resulted from enclosures and high food prices is well known in English history. Although enclosure at West Haddon was much later, there were nearby enclosures and the pressure on crop farming certainly crossed parish boundaries.

The family appears to have responded to the crisis by seeing the problems as opportunities and some joined the growing wool trade by means of the Merchant Taylors Guild. This benefited more than just those who left for London because the Guild used methods like "outsourcing'' to fill orders. Thus members were in contact with people outside of London who could help with the work to fill orders. For Peter and William, many were probably in West Haddon. We may speculate also that later, many were in Salisbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony.