An Old Blencowe Document

John Blencowe Calligraphy

Spectacular calligraphy on this John Blencowe Junior Vellum dated 16th May 1732

This indenture for the sale of lands mostly in Helmdon by John Blencowe Junior of MSL to Richard Flowers, was purchased by Douglas Bain of Toronto, Canada due to the attractiveness of the 1732 vellum. Douglas had the document professionally photographed and saved onto CD before sending the original to our Blencowe archives. He has provided copies of this CD to our newsletter distributors. Mike Walton has transcribed the lengthy document and if you would like a CD plus the transcription please contact Peter, Allen or Anne. Thank you to Douglas and Mike for making this possible.

Initially, I presumed that John Junior was either the son of Sir John Blencowe, but more probably the grandson — the dates fitted nicely. However, the indenture mentions that John Junior inherited the Helmdon lands of his grandfather, William Lucas, in 1713.


This is what the database had on John Junior and his ancestors. Who were John Seniors' parents?

Not being an expert on legalise of the 1700's, it is hard for me to tell if John Jr. is selling half of his inheritance from William Lucas or if what he inherited was half of the Lucas estate: I am inclined to think the latter. The indenture refers to "All these pieces or parcels of arable meadow and pasture ground with their appurtenances lying and being in the open and common fields of Helmdon". However, what follows is a graphic description of numerous bits and pieces of meadow and other landforms making up the parcel, and often referring to half of. The various parcels appear to have retained the names of their former owners, possibly from whom William Lucas acquired them himself. If any of you have a good knowledge of the area, or are interested in who may have had land there, it makes quite interesting reading. An example of terms being: John Spires South, Akeman's Hill, Henry Saunders West and Horebroad College south field. About a dozen names and locations are included.

John Jr. is described as a farmer of Marston St Lawrence. John's Siblings are of interest with the more unusual names showing obvious links to earlier generations of the MSL family: Thomas, Nathaniel, Crescent, Mary, Anne, William, Faulk and Elizabeth.

William (1704-1777) inherited William Lucas' lands in Marston St Lawrence and Thomas (1703-1739) was left his grandfather's interest in a house at Westrupp, Marston St Lawrence.

Thomas Cherry was a witness to the document. The Cherrys are a prominent Marston St Lawrence family and over time at least 4 Blencowes have married a Cherry. John's sister, Elizabeth B.1710 married in 1730 to John Cherry of Woodford, Halse near Marston St Lawrence.

John Jr. left sister, Anne 1723-1788, the use of his land in Marston St Lawrence for as long as she remained unmarried. However, she died 14 months after him.

In 1807, a Richard Flowers, more probably the son of the one who purchased John's land, married at Radstone near Marston St Lawrence to Temperance Wilkins b.1764, (granddaughter of John Blencowe & Temperance Painter). She was the widow of her cousin - yet another John Blencowe. These Johns do descend from the early squire of Marston St Lawrence, John and Mary (nee Whaleston). I would suggest that there is a good chance our John Jr. does likewise if not the generation before; John and Margaret (nee Saunders}.

The value to a genealogist of these documents can lie in names and connections they include. It would be interesting to hear if any of you have connection to John Junior's family.