Briginshaw One- Name Study

Founded 1984


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Newsletter No 4




DATE May 1990



  1. Editorial

  2. Article 1 Shoppenhangers Manor and Farm - by Jack Saunders

  3. Article 2 The Briginshaw Origins - The Other End of the Line - by Geoffrey Briginshaw

  4. Additional Editorial A Dictionary of British Surnames - Entry for Briginshaw

  5. Article 3 Heraldry Today and the Period 1500-1700 - by Jack Saunders



Let me start by thanking all family members who were kind enough to write to me

expressing their appreciation of the last Newsletter. Before coming to the main contents of this issue I must update Newsletter No 3.At the time I wrote page 14, with its references to John and Mary Maria Briginshaw and their connection with 'Shoppenhangers Farm' I had also written to Maidenhead Library, enquiring if they could help with any information, but by the time published the Newsletter I had not had a reply. Later I received an apology for the delay; as usual they had gone to a lot of trouble in trying to obtain details for me and I acknowledge, with thanks, the help of Mrs P M Curtis (Reference Library).This help was in the form of photocopies of pages from old issues of the Maidenhead Advertiser. Articles in a 1937 edition on the history of 'Shoppenhangers Manor' and it's surroundings (interesting as they are) are far too long to reproduce here in full but they did indicate that the Manor certainly existed as far back as 1204 and that there would have always been a farmhouse, no doubt, rebuilt several times. The first farmhouse shown is on a plan drawn up in 1771. However, extracts from reminiscences which appeared in the issue of Wednesday 15th December 1937 under the initials IF.J.B.1 are worth reproducing:

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When most of us old stagers over 65 years of age first remember the farm Mr Richard Webster was the farmer. Then the old farm house had much the same appearance it has in the illustration herewith and which it retained until after the Great War.


Earlier in the Reign of Queen Victoria the farm was in the hands of a Mr John Brigenshaw, who besides being a farmer had a Butcher's business in the Maidenhead High Street - the name is not now known, he has not left a trace behind of his progeny (Ed. He had not heard of family history research!).


Mr Webster did not follow his (Mr Brigenshaw's) lead in a town business, but he did a little business in retail farm produce at certain times of the year with some of his town associates or customers. To the writers knowledge and youthful pleasure as a lad, on several occasions, both at Michaelmas and Christmas, my elder brother and myself would be sent up to 'ShoppenhangersFarm' to fetch the seasonable goose


Whilst Mr R Webster was at 'Shoppenhangers' he was twice awarded the Prince Consort's Silver Challenge Cup, namely in 1869 and 1873 for the best cultivated farm within the area covered by the Royal East Berks Agricultural Association. This cup was presented by the late Queen Victoria. Those of us who remember the acres and acres of golden corn and the fresh and healthy looking root crops will agree that the late Mr Webster deserved his award....





The mention of the Butcher's Business ties in with the 1851 Census Returns showing two of John and Mary Maria's sons running the same:


Maidenhead High Street 1851


Richard Briginshaw Head 23 Unmarried 'Butcher Born Bray

Thomas Briginshaw Brother 19 Unmarried 'Butcher Born Bray

James Wells Servant 28 Unmarried 'Butcher Born Cookham

Mark Andrews Servant 16 Unmarried 'Butcher Born Bray

Ann White Servant 22 Unmarried House Servant Shinfield


To-day most of those same fertile farmlands of 'Shoppenhangers' are covered by modern housing, a golf course and a motel. Let us dwell for a few moments on a brief outline of the history of the manor. It first emerged by sub-infeudation or division of lands by Norman Kings. Nothing is known of the first manor house which would have been a timber framed one and which would have been altered or rebuilt over the next few centuries. The first known one was a 17th century brick building pictured on the title of an 1810 document. It is believed that this was demolished in tile 19th century when in the hands of the Grenfell family. The present building, a replica of a 16th century merchants house "was built on the foundations of the original manor house during the 1914-18 war by Walter George Thornton-Smith, a very wealthy antiques dealer and art collector. A wing was added some years later and he filled the house with art treasures from all over the world. In 1931 a fire caused considerable damage to the first floor and roof.15,000 was spent on 'restoration. Thornton-Smith died in 1963 and in 1965 it was sold to Esso Petroleum and a three day's auction of the contents took place. A new Esso Motel was built on the site of our old farmhouse and the manor house was converted into a palatial restaurant reached by a separate drive, or a short walk through the surrounding gardens. In 1973 tile motel was taken over by the Crest Hotel Group and so this is what stands to-day on the site of the original manor house, the farmhouse and the rich farmlands from which John and Mary Maria obtained their living and where they walked in fields unspoilt by bricks and mortar. Some of the old farm buildings, covered in ivy and creeper, still stand between the motel and the restaurant, forming an attractive screen and hiding the rather ugly exterior of the motel, from the restaurant and gardens.


I recently visited the motel and spent some time looking over its surroundings set in 18 acres of grounds. The motel is beautifully appointed to to-day's best standards with every facility, including swimming pool and restaurant, but for tilat special occasion there is the magnificent and unique restaurant which the old manor house provides - with menue and prices to match! 1 resisted the temptation to lunch there at around 54 a head!


The quite extensive farm buildings include a timber framed archway with room over, which might have been a coach house and entrance to the farm, and to-day provides a delightful exit from the back of the motel into the gardens and a path leading to the Manor House Restaurant. These buildings, whilst obviously barns, do have features that are unusual. I understand that during the restoration of the Manor House after the fire some of these buildings were converted into work rooms and it is possible that odd bits of decorative material were added by the workmen, to enhance the appearance from the manor, as most of them are on the side facing, the manor while the backs are quite rough.





Ever since producing the first Newsletter I have appealed for short articles or just odd items of interest from family members, for inclusion in these publications, so I was delighted when, recently, Geoffrey responded in magnificent fashion with a contribution on the origins of the Briginshaw name. We must all be grateful to him for this invaluable article. In his own words 'It can hardly be described as short' but it is far too important to our research for me to do other than reproduce it herein full. 1 hope, too, that it will be an inspiration to others to write something for future issues. It need not be long - perhaps reminisances of days gone by, family anecdotes, or in the case of those branches who sought a new life abroad, something of the conditions they met and the struggles of those early years.


Geoffrey's article on the origins of the family name covers the 13th and 14th centuries and is mostly pre the first recorded appearance of the name Brigenshaw so far found in Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire around 1488. There is, as yet, no direct evidence of the migration of our family South which must have taken place, but Geoffrey speculates on possible reasons. Many of us had, for a long time, suspected that with the name ending of 'shawl an origin in Yorkshire or thereabouts but, like Geoffrey, had previously found no reference to the family name in any of the many publications on the origins of English Surnames. It is interesting, at this point, to recall that Anthony Wagner, Garter King of Arms, made tile following observations in a letter to Richard in 1975:


'I am going to chance my arm with an indicationof what seems to me the probability. -I shouldguess that the family originated from a place,possibly a small farm of the name, in the North, possibly the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the14th century, and may have come South then or inthe i5th century in circumstances in which it could'be possible to discover since much work has been done quite lately on trends of this kind.'

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By Geoffrey F Briginshaw (Mississauga Ontario Canada)




I am sure that all readers of 'The Briginshaw One-Name Study' Newsletters will agree that Jack Saunders has been performing a magnificent labour of love in dedicating so much time and effort in investigating, discovering, co-ordinating and writing up the family history.


This is in response to his appeal in the last paragraph of page 1 of Newsletter NO 3.


Let me briefly introduce myself. I'm the scion of the Briginshaw dynasty mentioned in Newsletter NO 3 page 1 paragraph 4; born in Dulwich Village, London, England December 20 1921, only son of Frank Frederick (born 1888 and one of the pioneers of mechanical refrigeration in the first decades of the century) and Ethel, ne'e Pinhorn,(,born 1892, an accountant at a time when women were not exactly welcomed in the business world, and one of whose great-uncles fought at the Battle of Waterloo with the 52nd Regiment, later the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry).


After attending Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, Qualifying as a Chartered/@ofessional Engineer, working 14 years with the Aero Engine Division of Rolls-Royce and 21 years as an Anti-Aircraft Battery Gun Control Officer in the Second World War, the rigours of post-war Britain became just too much to tolerate. Canada exerted a positive pull and in April 1952 I emigrated with my new wife Betty, n'ee Rabley, but without a job to go to. However, we established ourselves in short order, raised a family:


I retired in January 1987 after 15 years with Ontario Hydro, the third largest (after CEGB in Britain and TVA in the United States) electrical power utility in the world, with 23,000 employees, sales of over $6 billion and assets of over $30 billion.


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The Buckinghamshire Briginshaws


During our last few years of permanent residence in England, my parents, my then - fiancee and I had followed up a lead to Taplow from my paternal grandfather George, born 1847, and in 1950 we unearthed (literally) the gravestones described on pages 7 to 10 of Newsletter NO 3. With the help of Taplow Church records graciously provided by Robert, Bishop of Buckingham, we were able to track back to 1700.


Of necessity, further research lapsed when we were involved in our establishment in Canada and the start of another generation. But interest was revived in 1956 when an article in a British magazine caught our eye, featuring a young genealogist, Rosemary anches, who had worked with the College of Arms as assistant to Sir John Reaton Armstrong, the Cheater Herald, before starting her own business 'Heraldry Today in Chelsea, London. Her researches during the following year got us back two more centuries when the economic law of diminishing returns began to take effect - those old documents are both difficult to discover and to decipher!


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The Yorkshire Briginshaws


Further activities remained in a state of suspended animation until the dormant project was, fortuitously, revived in 1962, when I was in Halifax, Nova Scotia on business.


One Saturday morning I took refuge in the Public Library from.the wind and pouring ra:Ln of the tail-end of Hurricane Daisy which had ravaged the Caribbean. . There.I found a copy of P H Reaney's *A Dictionary of British Surnames' ('Routledge & Kegan Paul, London 1958). Most of us have checked similar volumes for our unusual and elusive surname, with negative results, but lo! and behold, a listing under 'Birkenshaw (West Riding, Yorks) with no less than 22 other spelling variations including our Briginshaw and the earliest mention "William de Birkenschawe - 1274--- Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield"


Our 1970 visit to England provided the opportunity to pursue personally the trail in Yorkshire. The apparently-logical start was the City of York as the supposed 'county seat' where records would be available but, after 18 years in Canada, we had forgotten that the county had been divided into "thridings" (ridings) for the previous 1100 years and were advised, very tactfully, that almost all the records of the West Riding were located in Leeds. On arrival in that city, we found no central records office as such; the City Library had an archives section but nothing prior to 1600 and the helpful staff referred us to the Yorkshire Archaeological Society.


The Society's work is by no means limited to digging holes in the ground. Since 1885 it has produced many publications on all aspects of life in the county. Our 'cause' was helped considerably by David J H Michelmore, B.A., then Librarian and Chairman of the Court Rolls Series, who turned out to be the nephew of one of my contemporaries at Charterhouse School. I was then able to review existing transcripts of the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield, joined the Society and since then have obtained further transcripts. Excerpts from 1274 to 1351 are appended.


Some Background Highlights


- The name (de) Birkens(c)haw(e)- is a place-name from Birken (a birch tree) and Schawe (a copse/coppice, grove or small wood - from Old English scaga or sceaga) hence Birchwood.


- Wakefield - The Manor was one of the great lordships of Yorkshire from Anglo-Saxon times until the present century. It was originally a Saxon settlement known as Plegwyk; 'Wackefeld' was the manor owned by Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) - 'Wake' comes e'ither from the personal name 'Waca' or Old English 'Wacu'; 'Feld' is Old English for field or,open land. Unfortunately the Domesday Survey gives little information about agriculture in Yorkshire because the results of the great devastation of 1069 were still very evident in 1066 when the recovery of the land had not proceeded very far. Not until the late 13th century can any major document be produced which is comprehensive enough; between the llth and 13th centuries there are many scattered sources such as monastic registers, feet of fines and inquisitions but the information is local and diverse. Fortunately we have the Wakefield Court Rolls.


The Manor occupied most of the Wapentakes which were the equivalent in Danelaw of the 'hundreds' subdivisions of a shire imposed between 900 and 939, based on groups of estates adding up to one hundred - to called from the 'weapon-grasping' or 'weapon-shaking' by which representatives signified their assent to decisions reached at public assemblies - of Agbrigg and Morley. It stretched from Eccleshill in the north to Hobdirth in the south, from Normanton in the east to the Ioancashire border in the west (see maps pages 17 & 18). It contained 36 sub-manors and was divided into 13 graveships or prepositura (each had a prepositus called a grave or reeve, from Old English 'gerefa').


One of these is Alverthorp(e) where our ancestors were living from at least 1274. 'Thorp' derives from the Danish lporpl meaning a settlement or outlying farm and indicates a place which is dependent upon a neighbouring village e.g. in Derbyshire, Staveley Netherthorpe and Staveley Woodthorp belonged to Staveley (closer to 'home' in Buckinghamshire, Stoke Mandeville and Stoke Poges relate to Stoke). I visited Alverthorp - as well as Wakefield of which it is now effectively a part - in 1970 but the church$ St Paulle was only built in 1822 (and closed) and was not likely to be a fruitful source of early data anyway.


After the Conquest in 1066, the Wakefield complex became Crown Land. By the end of the llth century it was in the possession of one of the leading aristocratic families, the Earls of Warenne. By the 1270's Yorkshire was 'a land of feudal and ecclesiastical land-ownership and manorialization' and Wakefield was thoroughly organized on lines which had stood the test of time. John, the eighth and last Earl (also Earl of Surrey and Sussex) was born in 1286 and died - without (legitimate) heirs - on June 30, 1347 leaving a widow, Joan of Bar(r), the granddaughter of King Edward I from whom he had been separated for over 30 years. The Countess held dower rights in some of Wakefield until June 30, 1359 when she accepted 120 per year in exchange.


On August 6, 1347 King Edward III granted the Earl's to North-Trentine lands to his own son, Edmund of Langley - then a child of six - with the remainder going to John of Gaunt and, failing these lines, to Lionel of Antwerp. Because of Edmund's minority, the custody - and profits - of the earl's lands were vested in Queen Philippa. Specifically, the first eight graveships (see. manor map page 17 )were administered by the Countess and the other four (warley had not yet been added) by the Queen, presumably reflecting the territorial separation of the dower land.


Since the earliest times, the lord had hunting rights in their chases and parks, as well as control over the exploitation of the forest. Foresters preserved these rights in the Old and New Parks in the Wakefield and Stanley areas north of the town, in Holmfirth south of Huddersfield and in Sowerby towards the western extremity of Wakefield lands where Erringden Park was also located. Queen Philippa had a chief forester, Peter de Routhe, who paid 20 to farm agistments of the Old and New Parks for a year in 1350.


The courts whose activities for the B ... family were of two kinds:


- Courts Baron - were held three-weekly at Wakefield, usually on Fridays with free weeks at Christmas and Easter (17 courts/Year). They generally dealt with land transactions, property inheritance, tenurial matters and civil pleas. The first after Michaelms and Easter were called 'great courts' or helmotes which all free tenants were expected to attend. The suitor might appear in person or send a representative. If he had a valid excuse for absence, he 'essoined'; when he simply defaulted, he was fined, the amount being noted by the clerk and determined by status. Free tenants might also be required to attend the lesser courts as jurors; their duty was to testify as to the customs of the manor and as to whether any land transfers were in violation of these customs.


- Tourne or Leets - were held twice yearly on the Saturday after Michaelmas and Easter at Wakefield, Halifax on the following Monday, Brighouse in Hipperholme on the Tuesday, Bastrick and Kirkburton on the Wednesday. They generally dealt with criminal cases and breaches of commercial regulations. The most common of the offences were the drawing of blood, raising of the hue justly and unjustly, making -of nuisances and other anti-social behaviour. Apart from routine entries $for the trespass of drawing blood', one of which was termed 'with violence', there is only one serious felony, that of a theft of 20 shillings which resulted in the hanging of a thief, Richard del Rode, in June 1333 (it was later suggested that this was an example of a man being hanged because he was caught red-handed and not in consequence of a judgement).


Wakefield would appear to have been an island of calm in a (14th) century which was prone to violence. True falonies of course were crown pleas and should not have occurred In the Wakefield courts; indeed, crimes committed at Wakefield in these years would have found their way into the royal courts. The gaol delivery records of York Castle show several entries in the period 1317-1327 for Wakefield residents, including the acquittal of Roger de la Rode (relative of Richard above) who had been. indicted for a death at Wakefield


Fines and Amercements were the two broad categories of payments among the lord's fiscal per quisites:

- Fines were 'offered' by his tenants.for favours at his discretion, such as marrying off a daughter or leaving the manor.

- Amercements were exacted for offences-committed within his jurisdiction such as services omitted, affray, trespasses, escapes of cattle and removal of vert or dry wood.


Nicholas de Birkinschawe (sic) is not mentioned in the Wakefield Court Rolls but does appear in Yorkshire Inquisitions (Postmortems) 'Theobald le Boteler and Joan his wife - extent of lands and assignment of dower. Writ directed to Thomas de Normanville dated at Westminster 5 Jan, 1286 by Nicholas de Birkeinschawe. who say by their oath that Theobald held of the king in chief at Scheple (modern Shepley?) a messuage worth by the year 2s.'


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The 'Interregnum'(between the reigns sounds better than 'vacuum')


The two-century gap after Yorkshire in 1351 is tenuous and we may never know how 'our' Briginshaws (gradually?) moved southwards over 100 miles and five counties to Buckinghamshire at a time when most people lived, worked and died within a few miles of their birth-place, and long-distanoe travel was unusual and hazardous.


It's possible that male Briginshaw a went into battle during the Hundred Years, War (1337-1453) but it is far more likely that they left as a result of the Black Death. There were three Great Plagues ('pestilenoias') during the reign of King Edward III;


- May 31 - September 29, 1349

- August 15, 1361 - May 3, 1362

- July 2 - September 30, 1369


The national death rate in the first is believed to have been between 30% and 45% (it carried off the first Vicar of Wakefield, Thomas de Drayton, within a month of his institution June 21, 1349). There are no specific references to plague in the Court Rolls but there are signs of an abnormally high mortality such as increased land transfers. The effects were so drastic that yeoman farmers and small landowners, like our ancestors, were able to move on and command higher incomes from labour services as free men.


Other events which occurred at this time and which could be relevant are:


1381 The Peasants' Revolt-or Wat Tyler's Rebellion.

The January 1381 Poll Tax was intended to extract from every adult in the land the sum of three groats (about one shilling) before June 1381 at a time when a free labourer was earning 2d or 3d a day. Local disturbances took place as far York but local forces soon rallied against the rebels.


1455 - 1485& The Wars of the Roses between Yorkists and Lancastrians left this region of the north of England with a weakened nobility. Between 1450 and 1550,,.nearly 3000 villages are known to have disappeared when the arable land was turned over to grass for (mainly) sheep and (some) cattle because the squire found that these were more profitable to him. The population drifted away to find other employment.


1529 - 1534t The Dissolution


1536 The Pilgrimage of Grace

These two events are connected, In 1529, King Henry VIII began hie series) of measures to replace the Pope as the head of the Church of England, including the dissolution of the monasteries which was not popular with the people of the north. The opposition found an outlet in a rising known as the Pilgrimage of Grace which, in a few short weeks, took York, Pontefract, Hull and Doncaster and the whole north-east from Lincolnshire to the Scottish border. It was unsuccessful; its leader, lawyer Robert Asks and 216 rebels and sympathizers were put to death.


A Footnote although it occurred after our direct ancestors were established in Buckinghamshire another plague reached York in 1604 and the Assizes were transferred to Wakefield. Here, Elizabeth Birkinshaye and Ann Brigg of Calverley were 'arraigned by the vicar and five parishioners of the place as being vehemently inspected of the devillish art of witchcraft'. We don't know if they were found guilty but 23 prisoners were condemned to death and all were executed on Westgate moor.


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Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield


Excerpts from 1274 to 1351 made by Geoffrey F Briginshaw between 1970 and 1987.


-Court at Rastrik on the Monday after the feast of St. Edmund of Pontigny (Nov 22) in the said year (1274):


Soursby - The inquisition touching the evildoers in the Forest of Bouresby. - WM del B.. who say on their oath that John of Migeley who is charged with taking a stag is quit thereof because he took nothing but is in all things a good and true man towards the Earl and others....


Court there on the morrow of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Sep 14) in the first .year of King Edward, son of King Edward (1307):


Alverthorpe - John Thorold v. Robert the Carpenter of Wakefield for trespass. Pledge Geoffrey de Birkynschawe.

- Alice wife of Roger v. Alice de Birkynschawe... for trespass.

Pledge: Richard a of Broun. Alice wife of Roger 6d. for false claim against Alice de Birkynschawe


-Tourn at 'Wakefield on Friday the Morrow of St Clement the Pope (Nov 23) in the year aforesaid (1307),

- Nalle de Birkenschagh has disturbed the township of Alverthorpe in their common in her croft, where they were accustomed and ought to have it, as they say in open time. She is to be attached.


-Court held at Wakefield on the Friday night after the Annunciation BVM (Mar 25) in the year above said (1308):


Alverthorpe - Quenilda de Alverthorpe v. Henry del Bothem for trespass. Pledge Geoffrey de Birkenschawe.


-Court at Wakefeld on Friday before the Pentecost (May 31) 1308


Alverthorpe - Adam Gerbode is amerced 3d. for unjustly detaining 8d. from. Geoffrey de Birkenschawe


-Court at Wakefield on Friday before the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24) 1308


Geoffrey de B.. v. Adam Gerbode for debt. Pledge Wm. Taillour.


-Tourn at Halifax on Sunday after the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist (Oct 18) 1313:

- Juliana, wife of Adam de Birkinschagh drew blood from Margery d. of Thomas a. of Vilbert - 6d.


-Court at Wakefield on Friday after the Feast of St. Ambrose (Apr 1) 1314;


- Alice de Birkinschagh ~ -,sues Alice Gerbot for trespass.


-Tourn at Wakefield on Friday after the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist (Oct 18) 1315:


Alverthorpe - William a. of Walter sues Richard Bunny for seizing a cow. Surety: William de Birkynchaye


-Court at Wakefeld on Friday after the Feast of the Epiphany (Jan 6) 1316.


Alverthorp - William de Birkinschagh gives 12d. to take an acre of land the meadow in Alverthorp from Alice d. of Gerbot.

(Dec 6) 1315

John Swan gives 6d. for leave to take 1/2 rood land in Alverthorp from Geoffrey de Birkenschawe .and Juliana his wife and his heirs, doing the services thereon.


Geoffrey de Birkenschawe. gives 18d. for leave to take 1 acre of land in Alverthorp of Quenilda daughter of Hugh to himself and his heirs.....

Geoffrey de Birkenschawe complain of Christiana of Alv. in regard to many trespassee. Pledge of prosecution Richard of Colloy


Morrow of Circumcision of Our Lord 1315/16


Geoffrey de Birkenschawe plaintiff and Christiana,; of Alverthorp have leave to -make 'a concord,In a plea -of trespass Said. Christiana puts herself.....Pledge: Henry of.the Bothem 12d.


(Jan 22) 1316

Geoffrey de Birkenschawe sues John Swan on a plea of trespass. Pledge of prosecution Adam of Flansowe. Found by inquisition of jurors that John Swan made an assult on Geoffrey de Birkenschawe , therefore it is decided that he make satisfaction and that he be amerced 3d.


(Nov 6) 1316

Adam of the Schagh for buying stocks (cows) from the fencer? (Stouros de Paliciar) 40d. Henry Tytyng, Geoffrey de Birkenschawe and Robert Tytyng for selling such stocks 40d.


(Nov 16) 1316

Geoffrey Ruddok to be taken for stealing 12 sheaves of oats belonging to William de B


(April 10) 1317

Richard Withenoundes, John of Hall, Geoffrey de Birkenschawe John of Craven, Henry Tyting and Robert his brother and William of Thornes 3s 6d. because they were fighting together at night, they unjustly raised the hue upon one another, to the terror of the people.


(July 7) 1317

Peter Spynk sues Geoffrey de Birkenschawe and Alice his mother for debt. Pledge a John SibbeBone


(May 13) 1323

Alverthorp - Geoffrey de Birkenschagh gives 12d. as a heriot on a toft and 7 acres in Alverthorp after the death of Alice de B... his mother.


(Aug 24) 1323

William de Byrkynschagh,sues Geoffrey de B... his brother for mowing a meadow belongin to plaintiff while he was ill, carrying away grass worth 5s. Geoffrey sues said William for 6 3/4 acres in Alv. as his inheritance after his father's death, which land his father acquired from Alice his mother before they were married and Geoffrey is her heir. William says their father had no rights therein, excepting marriage with their mother whose inheridance was...


John Torald and Edusa his wife sues Geoffrey de B... for closing up the pathway they were accustomed to have through his courtyard. G. cross-charge trampling corn.


(May 6) 1324

William de B... sues Geoffrey de B... for trespass.


(July 13) 1324

Inquisition finds Geoffrey de B. carried away two cartloads of hay belonging to Alice, after said Alice's death, to the damage of William her executor, 3d. Fine 2d.and 2d for detaining two cows, value 18d. from said William.


(Oct 28) 1324

Stanneley - John Attebarre sues Richard Colloy and William de Birkinschagh for debt.


(Dec 6) 1324

(Re Oct 28) Debt 14s. 4d. acknowledged. Fine 2d.


(June 7) 1325

Thomas Broun sues Richard Withoundes, John Atbarre and William de Birkynschagh for 13s. for a horse sold to Richard de.Colley for whom they were surety; they acknowledge the debt fine 6d.


Christian widow of Adam de Flansnou sues Henry Tashe for trespass. Surety

Geoffrey de B...


(July 5) 1325

Stanneley.- Inquisition taken by the oaths of the 12 jurors of the graveships of Horbiry, Alvirthorp, Thornes and Osset ...... (including) Geoffrey de B...


(Oct 10) 1:326

Alvirthorp - Inquisition finds that Henry de Swyllington-had a right to impound the cattle of-Geoffrey and William de B... in a place called Brounrode.- fined-4d. each for false claim - also that Henry did not impede Geoffrey access to his land in


Brounrode - G. fined 4d. for false claim and Henry fined 4d. for false claim against Geoffrey.


(Nov 1) 1326

Alice daughter of William de B... raised the hue with cause on Henry de Gardiner who fined 12d.

(blay 26) 1327


Geoffrey de B... sues Thomas Thore for assault at Wodhall


(June 24) 1327

Geoffrey de B... sues German Bell for assault at Wodhall. William de B...acknowledges he broke a cattle fence at Wyrunthorp - Surety: Geoffrey his brother for fine 3d.

Geoffrey in mercy under an inquisition for false claim against Thomas Thore.


(Nov 6) 1330

Geoffrey de B... complains that on a certain day Richard Withoundes entered complainant house and beat his wife, his son and his serving maid to his damage. Richard acknowledges the fact - damage 2d., fine 3d.


(May 17) 1331

Robert Malyn, complainant offers himself against William de B... William is a born bondman and does not come when summoned - fine 4d.


(June 8) 1331

Inquisition whether William de B... undertook the custody of 22 sheep belonging to Robert Malyn and that72 sheep worth 5s. died by his default.


(july 13) 1331

(Re June 8) Malyn fined 4d. for false claim against William de B...



October 18 Order given to attach-Simon servant of Thomas le Roller to answer Geoffrey de B... and Alice his wife in a plea of trespass.


November 8 (as above) and


November 8 Geoffrey de B... for escape of a pig 1d. For escape of cattle Richard de Colloy, Roger Dunning, William de B..., Geoffrey de B, John Swan,..John Gerbod, 2d., each.


November 29 Simon, servant of Thomas le Roller, defendant essoins for the first time by William Castelford against Geoffrey de B... and Alice his wife in a plea of trespass; pledge, William de Lockewode. And because Geoffrey and Alice offer themselves, therefore etc.


December 15 Geoffrey de B ... :and Alice his wife plaintiffs do not prosecute against Simon servant of Thomas Roller in a plea of trespass; therefore amerced 2d.




February 21 For vert: William de B... 3d.


June 5 Inquisition to come to enquire regarding the concealment of Amabilla de Reton, thief (received as a guest) by Geoffrey de B... and of the chattels of the same, that is 4 sheep taken by the same Amabilla.

June 26 (as above)


September 18 Geoffrey de B... sues Alice formerly the wife of John de Wragby in a plea respecting an agreement, and because Alice has not yet been summoned, therefore summon.


October 16 Geoffrey de B... plaintiff offers himself against Alice'formerly the wife of John de Wraggeby in a plea respecting-an agreement. And because Alice, summoned, does..not come, resummon. Claim of Court.




October 23. Geoffrey de B... plaintiff (who does not prosecute)-Offers himself against Alice formerly the wife of John de Wraggeby in a plea respecting an agreement. And because Alice, resummoned, does not come,-distraint.


November 13 Geoffrey de B... plaintiff does not prosecute against the wife of John de Wragby in a plea respecting an a plea respecting an agreement; therefore amerced 4d.




April 9 John Gerbot and Matilda his wife and Cecily and Alice sisters of the same Matilda sue Geoffrey de B... for the surrender of half a rood of meadow which should fall to them of the tenements which belonged to Adam de Alvirthorp, grand-father of the said Matilda, Cecily and Alice as their reasonable share etc Geoffrey says that he is not deforcing the plaintiffs for any meadow. An inquisition.


April 23 An inquisition of 12 jurors, that is Robert Hode, William de Ouchethrol Robert Malyn, William de B.... John Swan, John Isbell, Robert Peger, William son of Thomas de Thornes, William Attetounend and Robert Lepar, finds by assent of the parties who say on oath that (Geoffrey de B...)ia not deforcing the plaintiff from the meadowland. Therefore he is to take nothing by his suit and is amerced 6d for false claim.


May 14 John Gerbot and Matilda his wife and Alice Torald sue Geoffrey de B... in a plea of trespass; pledge, the grave. Inquisition.


May 21 Alice the wife of Geoffrey de B... drew blood from Amabilla daughter of Agnes Prestdoghter, 12d.


June & Geoffrey de B... and Alice his wife sue John Gerbot and Matilda his wife and Alice his sister, charging that they stole a mazer cup from the house of John Robson to his damage, 12d. John, Matilda.and Alice say that they are not guilty; therefore inquisition.


June 25 An inquisition finds that Matilda wife of John Gerbot and Alice her sister defamed the wife of Geoffrey de B... to her damage 3d. Therefore satisfaction is to be made and they are amerced 2d, afterwards the parties were prohibited from slandering one another under pain of 5s. And thereupon Matilda comes and charges the said Geoffrey's wife with stealing a cup; Matilda amerced 12d.


June 25 Geoffrey de B... sues Margery daughter of Henry Mariot in a plea of debt. Order is given to summon ('distraint').


July 16 Order is given to distrain the son of Henry Mariot to answer Geoffrey de a plea of debt.


August 6 Order is repeated to dietrain Margery daughter of Henry Mariot to answer Geoffrey de B... in a plea of debt.


August 27 Geoffrey de B... and Alice his wife sue Hugh de Dissheford in a plea of trespass; pledge for the prosecution, Robert de Mora.


September 17 Geoffrey de B... and Alice his wife offer themselves against Margery daughter of Henry Mariot in a plea respecting an agreement. They complain that they hired Margery to serve them and she did not do so, to their damage etc. Margery comes and says that it was not her fault and asks for an inquisition therefore an inquisition Is to come.


September 17 Geoffrey de B... and Alice his wife sue Hugh de Dissheford for assaulting them at Woodkirk on Wednesday the Nativity of Mary in the seventh year (September 8, 1333), wounding and ill-treating them and inflicting other enormities to their damage 20s. Hugh says that he is not guilty therefore an inquisition.,



April 25 William de B... on first inquisition between Henry Bcounsmith and Christiana his wife and Thomas Torald who later withdraws suit.



Whitsun Week Alice de B... sues Robert Salman for debt.


July 3 Robert Salman fined 4d for not coming to answer Alice de B... to be distrained.


August 10 Alice de B... complainant and Robert Salman (2d) compromise for debt.



April 12 Beatrice de B... fined 6d for brewing.



October 21 Robert Malyn and others his neighbours present that Geoffroy de B..held his land by the rod, so order' is given that it be taken into the lord's hand and to distrain Thomas. Geoffrey's to be at.the next court to show how he holds the tenement.


November 18 Order is given to distrain Thomas son of Geoffrey de B*.* (respite) to show how and by what services he holds land which was Geoffrey's in Alverthorpe because it is presented by Robert Malyn and other neighbours that the said land is villein.


December 9 Thomas son of Geoffrey de B... to show by what services he holds lands which were Geoffrey's in Alverthorpe, because Robert Malyn and other neighbours present that the land is villein.



January 20 William de Donnom essoins of common suit the first time by Thomas Erl, John de Mora of Thornes the second time by J. Hode, John Drak and Thomas de B.... the first time by John del Raghe, Robert de Grotton by William Cussing. (The entries are bracketed 'pledge faith and have day').


March 3 William de B... of Henry Stut (summons)........ Order is given to distrain William de B... to answer William Wright of Middleton in a plea of debt.


May 26 An inquiry of six jurors finds that William de B... unjustly detains from William Wright of Middleton 2 carts of hay which he promised to him with Alice his sister to damages taxed at 3s. He is to satisfy and is amerced 3d.


July 14 William son of William de B... who recently died held of the lord 12 acres of land and meadow with buildings in Alverthorpe, after whose death Beatrix, daughter of Adam son of Jordan, relative and heir of William, took the tenement to hold for herself and her heirs according to the custom of the manor for services, heriot 5s.


November 10 Thomas de B... essoins of common suit the first time by Peter Whitlof, John de Mora by the bailiff, John de Sayvill the second time by J. de Fery.


December 22 Alice de B.,. plaintiff and Adam Judson are reconciled in a plea of dower. Adam puts himself in mercy 2d.



January 12 Thomas de B... essoins of common suit the first time by Peter Whitlof, Thomas de-Birstall by the bailiff. (The two essions are bracketed 'pledge faith and a day is given')


February 9 Brian de Thornhill knight gives the lord 2s. fine for respite of suit until Michaelmas next, Richard son of John de Steyncliff and Thomas de B... 6d. each for the same....


April 9 John son of John Gerbot gives the lord 38 4d for licence to take all the lands and tenements which William son of William de B... had in Alverthorpe, of William, to hold to himself and hie heirs until the term of twenty years next following fully completed, on this form and condition, that John sustain Beatrix daughter of Adam Judson, William's heir, reasonably in food and clothing through the period, and also maintain all the buildings on the tenement, and cultivate the lands, and demise them at the end of the term in as good a state as when he first received them without doing any waste; pledges Thomas son of Ralph Bate and Robert de Hiperom.


June 11 Thomas de B... complains of John Gerbot that he unjustly deforces him of a messuage and 12 acres of land and meadow in Alverthorpe, which he claims is his right after the death-of Beatrix daughter of Adam Judson his relative, whose heir he is etc., and in which John has no entry except by the demise which William son of William de B.,,made to him while under age. John says that at the time of the demise of the tenements William was of full age and he seeks an inquiry of the four graveships concerning this. 'The other similarly. Order is given to the four graves to make an inquiry come from their bailiwicks at the next court.


July 2 Adam Judson cannot deny that he unjustly detains from Alice de B... a' table worth 4d and l/2d for lentils. He is to satisfy and is amerced ld for unjust detention. Adam is amerced.ld for false claim against Alice.


The inquiry on which Thomas de B... petitioner and John Gerbot defendant put themselves at the last court finds that William de B ... was under age when he demised his tenements in Alverthorpe to John for a term of twenty years, the which Thomas claims to be his by hereditary rights as in the preceding court. Thomas is to recover against John all the tenements and John is amerced 4d for deforcement. Thomas gives 5s for heriot.


Richard de Southwod takes here in court an acre in Alverthorpe which came into the lord's hand as escheat after the death of Alice daughter of William de B..., bastard, who died without heirs of the body, to hold to himself and his heirs according to the custom of the manor for the customary services; entry fine 2s 6d.


August 13 Thomas de B... gives the lord 40d fine for licence to have custody of Beatrix daughter of Adam Judson and her lands and tenements in Alverthorpe until she comes of age, so that he makes no waste or destruction therein.


September 10 (Anota daughter of William Sparowe gives the lord 3d for licence to heriot on a cottage in Flanshaw after the death of William her father to hold likewise). Thomas de B... gives likewise 4s for the same on a messuage and 12 acres in Alverthorpe after the death of Beatrix daughter of Adam Judson his relative, whose heir he is, to hold likewise.



March-5 Thomas de B... and Margery his wife,examined, surrender in court the reversion of half a bovate in Horbure which Margery del Grene holds for the term of her life. This reversion is granted to Robert del Grene to hold (etc) by the aforesaid service; and he gives ? ? for entry.











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A Dictionary of British Surnames Entry for Briginshaw

The full entry from P H Reaney's 'A Dictionary of British Surnames' reads:


Birkenshaw, Birkinshaw Bircumshaw, Birtenshaw, Berkenshaw, Burkenshaw, Burkinshaw, Burkinshear, Burkimsher, Burtinshaw Burtonshaw, Buttanshaw, Buttenshaw, Buttonshaw, Brigenshaw, Briggenshaw, Briginshaw, Brigginshaw, Brockenshaw, Brokenshaw, Brokenshire, Bruckshaw: William dcl Birkenschawe 1274 Wak (Y); Roger Birchynshawe 1408 LLB I; Richard Brekynshaw, Burtenshaw 1500, 1637 PN Sx 314; Leodard Byrkenshay, Byrtynschaw, Byrkynshay 1542-58 Rothwell PR (Y); Thomas Birkenshire 1739 FrY.: From Birkenshaw (WRYorks). 1



Wak (Y) - Ct Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield,

LLB I - Calendar of.letter books of the City of London,

PN Sx - Place Name of Sussex, FrY - Register of freemen of the City of York,

WRYorkE; - West Riding of Yorks,

Rothwell PR (y) Rothwell Parish Registers (York)


Other variants that I have so far come across in my research are Bregynshaw, Brickenshall, Brickenshaw, Briganshier, Briginshier, Brigynshaw, Brinkenshawe, Brychinshaw, Brykynshaw, Byrkynschaw and perhaps the most amusing - BrigandShaw!

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The Map of the Manor of Wakefield

manor of wakefield

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In the last Newsletter I referred briefly to what I considered to be the most exciting development in our family history i.e. a pedigree purporting to take us back from our John Briginshaw of Taplow (born 1707 Halton) to the marriage of one William Briginshaw with Ann Sharp in 1564 at Aston Clinton. You have already read, in the introduction to Geoffrey's article on the origins of the family, the circumstances under which this pedigree was produced for him by Heraldry Today. Geoffrey originally sent a copy of this pedigree to John in Tasmania and in turn John kindly sent me a copy. I then communicated direct with Geoffrey and he sent me copies of other notes and correspondence from Heraldry Today.


Our family history research can now be divided very roughly into three periods:


1. Pre 1500

2. 1500-1700

3. Post 1700


All that is so far known of the first period is contained in Geoffrey's article 'The Briginshaw Origins - The Other end of the Line'.


A small part of the third period has been covered in detail in my Newsletters to date with much remaining to be featured in future issues.


The second period is to be looked at in part in this Newsletter. It is going to differ from other articles in that it will contain a much greater degree of speculation than hitherto and must be considered to be no more than a preliminary look at the material so far available.


At first I was reluctant to publish anything until I had been able to carry out considerably more research. It has always been my policy to do my best to see that anything published in my Newsletters has been thoroughly researched and authenticated as far as possible. However, I soon realized that this would certainly result in a very long delay. I asked myself if it was fair to hold back information from family members when they could also enjoy the chase! 'The excitement of research as new evidence is unearthed! - The disappointments as brick walls are met!


It is interesting that many of the copy documents, letters, wills and notes that make up my collection of those early years has come to me from many sources besides my own research. There may well be further record in the hands of members that I have not yet seen. There is no doubt that keen interest in their family roots by so many individuals over many years has resulted in these records being photo-copied and redistributed time and time again. In many cases I no longer know who first found them. They have gone round the world and come back again! There are some copy documents that come to me that I recognise before I read them: I am sure family members will forgive me if I sometimes quote their own work! As Jenny said to me in a recent letters


'It never fails to amaze me how many of the family are, and have been,'not only interested in their roots, but have actively researched them.'


Much of the material used by Heraldry Today, in producing their pedigree, is already known to us but has, perhaps, been put together in better chronological order than any of us had attempted.


I propose to approach an examination of this period by firstly reproducing on page 20 a copy of Heraldry Today's pedigree as it first came to me but after some minor adjustments and additions which I was able to make from material already in my hands. There seemed little purpose in producing the pedigree twice in show these differences which, in the main, added to the work already done rather than altering it.



Before taking a closer look at the pedigree it would be only fair to record two paragraphs from letters written by Rosemary Pinches when carrying out the research


'There is one further point on the pedigree about which I may be wrong, and that is whether the William who died in 1646 in fact had two wives or whether there were two Williams, one of whose baptisms was not entered. As the second marriage took place five months after Margaret Kene's death I thought it more likely that it was one man. I was slightly worried, however, by the fact that he apparently had a son William by his first wife and another William by his second, but it is quite possible that the William baptised in 1600 died young. Unfortunately these Parish Registers are never complete......


'Going backwards in the pedigree our one weak link - and I doubt if we shall ever be able to prove it more definitely - is the Thomas Brigginshaw buried 1683 against whom I have put a question mark. As you may know during the Commonwealth period the Churches went through a very difficult time and were in fact not allowed to keep a record of baptisms etc. In a very few cases one finds records of births, but as a general rule, and Aston Clinton is no exception, there are only one or two odd entries between about 1640 and 1660. Thomas is likely to have been born at this time and we will not be able to find a record of his birth or baptism


One must appreciate, too, that only a limited amount of time was spent by her on this research and that leaves a tremendous amount of work that can still be done. Only time and dedicated research will show how far we can get.


I am not going to deal with the whole of the pedigree in this Newsletter. Eventually this will probably take many issues. I am going to confine myself to five items and only the first of these has a direct connection with Heraldry Today's pedigree. The other four cover just one additional line of descent.


1. The will of William Brigginshaw proved 22.2.1609

2, Richard Brigginshaw proved 18.1.1661

3. Richard Briggenshaw proved 4.1.1675/,86

4. Robert Brigginshaw proved 26.2.1717

5. Boyd's Inhabitants of London


These five records seem to connect four generations and cover the origin of at least one line who became Cutlers in the City of London. Sundry other records with probable connection add interest.


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The Will of William Brigginshaw 1609

Whilst I cannot say definitely that the William Brigginshaw and his wife Ann whom he married 23.10.1564 at Aston Clinton are not the correct couple to head the pedigree produced by Heraldry Today, I would suggest that it is highly unlikely that he was the William who was buried Aston Clinton 23.1.1609 and whose will was proved 22.2.1609.


My reasons for this assertion are based on the relationships shown by the contents of this will. However, I accept that it would be possible if William married twice but in that case the children attributed to him by Heraldry Today would be wrong.


The will of 1609 gives us:


will 1609

There is some indication in the will that Joan was in fact a second wife for William makes small bequests to five of his children i.e. Richard, Silvester, Parnell, Elizabeth and Mary stating that they are all under 21 years of age.


Richard is serving an apprenticeship and provision is made for Silvester to do the same. In leaving articles to his wife, Joan, he specifies certain items that 'she brought'. In leaving other items to his sons Thomas, William and Robert he refers to lone fine sheet which was his mother's' in the case of Robert. He left silver. spoons to Thomas, William and Robert and all the rest of his goods to William who is made sole executor.


I have not yet found the marriage of William with Joan or the baptism of most of the children.


It is quite possible for Ann Sharp to have been his first wife as it would seem that she died in 1597, giving 12 years before Williamls death, and during which he could have been remarried to Joan and she could have given him a further five children. It is unlikely that any of the five youngest could have belonged to Ann, for to be under 21 in 1609 as indicated by William, even the eldest of the five could not have been born earlier than 1588 or 24 years after the marriage of William with Ann in 1564.


There is an alternative and that is that Joan brought these younger children with her from a previous marriage. In fact there are pointers to this possibility; Note the names Parnell and Silvester - not usual Briginshaw names. They were Baldwin names (another prolific local family) and we see from the Parish Registers and the Pedigree that there was at least one marriage between these families (Thomas Briginshaw with Jane Baldwin 1643), then Parnell married William Rolphe 29.4.1611 at Aston Clinton so she must have been born before Ann died in 1597 and yet, as we have seen, if she was under 21 in 1609 she was unlikely to be Annls child.


In passing it is interesting to note that the book 'Hilltop Villages of the Chilterns' by David and Joan Hay, tells us:


'Dunridge (one of the Manors connected with Aston Clinton) was bought in 1544 from the King by Sir John Baldwin, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, but the identity of name with that of the tenents may be accidental extensive research has failed to find any connection between the eminent branch of the family and the humbler yeoman of our village who remained in possession'


Or was there perhaps some connection? 'The Victoria County History for Buckinghamshire' says that Sir John Baldwin's youngest daughter (who married a Borleas and bore a son John) was named Parnell! Or was our Parnell just named after her for prestige purposes?


I now need to find the marriage of William with Joan which might also give her maiden name or previous married name. Then the baptisms of the children could be sought and perhaps the mystery solved.


Of course, the possibility must not be overlooked that the William who married Joan was another William who has no connection with the pedigree produced by Heraldry Today, the,only certainty being that he was the one whose will was proved in 1609. Such are the problems of research! In future Newsletters I shall deal with evidence prior to 1564 that would indicate the probability of many other lines from which this descent might have originated


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The Will of Richard Brigginshaw 1661

The next helpful will is that of Richard Brigginshaw, Gentlemnn of Hayes, made 20.11.1661 and proved in PCC 18.1.1661. It seems almost certain that he waa, Richard the son of William who had apprenticed him. There are earlier references to Briginshaws who were Cutlers in the City of London so it.seems likely that he was apprenticed to an older member of the family already established in the trade. Perhaps'the strongest clue that we have the right Richard who became a Citizen and Cutler of the City of London is a reference in his will to his 'sister Rolphel (Parnell married William Rolphe as we have already seen). Richard made bequests to daughter Ann Hackett widow (20) and Richard her son.300 to son Christopher. Gave tenements etc., in Lyme Street City of London to son Richard, also Citizen and Cutler of London, and his issue reserving 1/3 of rents for Ann his wife. Gave sister Rolphe annuity which, after her death, was to go to her daughter Mary Witham. Gave goods to wife, and to his son William, 40/- for a ring. If Richard his son had no issue then tenements to go to William and his issue in default. Made Richard sole executor and his brother-in-law, Peter Sparks, Overseer.


This will gives us:


Rbriginshaw will 1661


We can look at his children and enlarge upon this outline:




The Parish Registers of St @y's Woolnorth gives us her marriage:'Cuthbard Hackett of Mildred Poultry married Ann Briginshaw 7.5.1645.




Tile Parish Registers of St @y's Hayes gives us the baptism of his children'Children of Christopher and Ann Briginshaw: Anne 5.1.1671, Charles 4.3.1673 and William 8.5.1676'




There are two marriage licences issued by the Faculty Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury:


A. 1665 21st July Richard Brigginshaw of Hayes Middlesex Gentleman Batchelor 35 and Elizabeth Justice Spinster 17 daughter of William Justice Eaq of St Lawrence Jewry London who consents at Stoke Newington Middx.


B. 1667 31st December Richard Brigginshaw of Hayes Middlesex Gentleman Batchelor 35 and Mary Dunkan Spinster 20 daughter of William Dunkan of St Botolph Aldersgate London who consents at St Botolph.


It rather looks as if the first marriage did not take place. The second application shows Richard to be, still be a batchelor.

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The Will of Richard Briggenshaw 1675/6

At present I only have a photocopy of notes made from a translation of the next will which is that of Richard Briggenshaw, the son of Richard who died in 1661. Describing himself as Citizen and Cutler of London it is dated 8.1.1674/5 and proved in PCC,4.1.1675/6 by Richard Bayley Executor. Letters of Administration were later granted (30.3.1776) to Mary Briggenshaw, widow, on death of.Executor.



The will:


1. Secured 200 pa to Mary his wife out of all his real estate

2. Secured payment of 500 owing to Richard Bayley

3. All freehold and copyhold for his eldest son Richard, paying above 200 per annum to mother

4. Bond of 500 from his father Dunker to his daughter Mary and 1000 in addition on marriage or attaining 21 years

5. 1500 to son Robert at 21 years

6. Appoints Richard Bayley Executor and his father Dunker Overseer and Guardian of his three children

7. All household goods, plate, jewels and pearls to wife Mary during widowhood

8. To Richard Bayley and Mr Dunker 50 each for mourning


I think the 'father Dunker' is a translation error and refers to his father-in-law William Dunkan or Duncan. I must extract the original will.


This will gives us:



R briginshaw chart2

Again we can enlarge upon this outline:


The Parish Registers of St Mary's Hayes show the following baptisms as sons of Richard Briginshaw Gent and Mary:


Richard 23.11.1671 born 6 Nov)

Robert 16. 2.1672 {born 30 Jan)


The Burial Register of the same Parish shows a Richard Briginshaw (son of Richard, deceased) was buried 18.8.1685. We have no proof at present that it was the above eldest son but it seems likely.


Before coming to the next generation we will look at three other items affecting this branch.


There is a sword displayed in the London Museum and listed in their catalogue 'Arms and Armour in Tudor and Stuart London'


'Broadsword dated 1636 made at Hounslow by Johann Hoppie for Richard Briginshaw'


It seems likely that this was Richard Briginshaw who died in 1661. I will see if more details can be obtained.


After the death of his son Richard in 1675 his wife Mary remarried. We have the Marriage Allegation dated 5.5.1679 'John Mould of Inner Temple Gent Widower, about 35 and Mrs Mary Brigginshaw of Hayes Widow, about 28 in the Charter-House Chapel -and the marriage is recorded 6.5.1679 at Charter House Chapel Finsbury.


Then'The College of Heralds In their letter to Richard, and referred to already on page 6,, expressed the opinion that 'Richard who died 1661 and owned property in Lime Street was the same man whose pedigree and claim to arms,were recorded at the Heralds Visitation of the County of Middlesex in 1663. He claimed arms of-a fees counter embattled ermine between three lions passant (tinctures unspecified) with' crest; in a mural crown a demi lion. The claim was not allowed immediately but was respited to London and no more seems to have been done in the matter. The eldest son of this Richard is described in the visitation record as of Earles Court Worcestershire'.


I am a little unhappy that this Richard died in 1661 whereas the Heralds Visitation took place in 1663 and wondered if it was not perhaps the son but on the other hand maybe the claim was made before his death and 1663 was the earliest the Heralds could deal with the matter and could it be that the respite was on account of his death? I must see if anything further can be unearthed here.


I am not an expert in either Latin or Heraldry but taking the above description of the claim to arms I drew up the following achievement:


It is only an approximation and must not be accepted as anything other than that.

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The Will of Robert Brigginshaw 1717/1718

Now to continue with the next generation. Knowing from a copy of a report by the Charity Commissioners that one Robert Brigginshaw was buried in Hillingdon Churchyard I recently paid a visit to the Parish Church of St John the Baptist Hillingdon and with the kind assistance of John Shepherd, one of the Churchwardens whom I was lucky enough to find in the Church,we located the tomb of Robert.


After the passage of 273 years the tomb is, of course, well weathered and the inscription, in Latin, very difficult to read. However it is fortunate that, those monumental inscriptions still legible, have been recorded by West Middlesex Family History Society and the copy deposited with the Church was produced for me by John Shepherd in the vestry and solved this little difficulty.


Hic Jacet Robertus Brigginshaw

Generoaus qui natus erat in parochia

de Heese in Comitatu Middledexiae

Tricessimo Januarii Anno Domini 1672

Obiitq Vicesimo Sexto die Mensis

Januarii Anno Domini 1717


(with Coat of Arms)


Tomb No 268



This I translate as:


Here lies Robert Brigginshaw

Gentleman who was born in the Parish

Of Hayes in the County of Middlesex

30th January in the year of our Lord 1672

He died the 26th day of the Month of

January in the year of our Lord 1717






The.tomb, shown below, is a table tomb with the inscription carved on the top surface and the exciting thing was that, although very badly eroded, enough of the achievement could still be seen to show that it was very near to the one I had drawn up a few days before. So whether the claim to arms by Richard was ever granted or not it seems that his grandson Robert, or those who erected his tomb, used it.

Tomb of R Briginshaw (large file, click here to view picture)

Achievement on Tomb (large file, click here to view picture)


No mention of a coat of arms appears in Robert's will, although he dictates in detail the inscription to be carved on his tomb.


4. I then extracted the will of Robert Brigginshaw proved in PCC 26.2.1717.


This will, a long one, proved to be most interesting. Drawn UP 17.10.1715 with a codicil added 21.1.1717 it showed Robert Brigginshaw to be of Heese (Hayes) in the County of Middlesex with property there and Lyme Street in the City of London.


Born 30.1.1672 he died at the age of 45 and apparently never married. He left most of his estate to his sister, Mary, wife of Mr Perris.


After the decease of his sister his estates in Hayes and the City of London to go to her issue, or in the case of want of such issue, same to go to his kinsman Timothy Brigginshaw of Barles Court in Gloucestershire and in turn to his issue, or in the case of want of such issue,.to Robert Brigginshaw, son of Charles Brigginshaw, and his heirs.


So here is Earles Court cropping up again. It is not clear who Timothy was but Robert, son of Charles, could have been grandson of Christopher. I must next examine the parish registers covering Earles Court and see if I can sort out these cousins.


We have already seen that Mary, the wife of Richard and mother of Robert, remarried one John Mould. It would seem that she produced at least four daughters by that union. Robert mentions four sisters-in-law, daughters of his late mother, Mary Mould. The title 'sister.,-in-law' for a half sister was often used at that period. I prefer the other expression sometimes used sister of the half blood'.


Robert left to these four girls, Beatrice, Deborah, Hannah and Martha Mould an annual annuity of 20 each to be charged against his property in Lyme Street, City of London.


He bequeathed to his friend Mathew Williams of Sarrat in the County of Hertfordshire, Gentleman, the summe of ten pounds to be merry with.


He also made a bequest of ten pounds to the rather strange 'Brigginshaw Brownjohn' if alive at my decease'. It is quite clear - 'Brigginshaw Brownjohnl. One of the witnesses to his will was ffrancis Brownjohn. I do not know the answer to this.


He appointed William Entwisle of London, Gentleman, and Mathew Nicholas of Botwell in the Parish of Heese, Yeoman, as his executors, leaving them 50.each for this duty.



Then on 21.1.1717 he added a lengthy codicil to his will.


He revoked his appointment of William Entwisle (who had died) as an executor and replaced him with Henry Perris.


He revoked the demise of the remainder of his estates to Robert Brigginshaw, son of Charles Brigginshaw, in default of his sister Mary or his kinsman Timothy having issue and replaced him with his kinsman William Brigginshaw of (Southall?) in the parish of Heese in his stead.


He then directed that his corps be interred in the Churchyard belonging to the Parish of Hillingdon in the County of Middx between the style and the yew tree and ordered that the stonecutter Captain William Tuffnoll should direct and order the place for digging of his grave and that he 'doe make and errect a handsome monument and cause the same to be placed over my grave and that there be no other inscription than this


(Hic Jacet Robertis Brigginshaw

Generoaus qui natus erat in Parochia

Tricesimo Jannuary anno domini

............. . die mensis

. Anno Domini


For which he was to be paid 100.


He continued:


'and it is my will and pleasure that my corps be removed to the Crown Inne in Uxbridge and from thence be carried to the Churchyard at Hillingdon there to be interred'


He names six Pall Bearers and continues:


'I doe direct and appoint my said executors to provide a handsome dinner and other entertainment at the Crown Inne in Uxbridge aforesaid for the said Pall Bearers and such other persons they shall think fit to invite to my funeral strictly charging and forbidding them to invite any other parishioners of Heese (Hayes) or person living in the said Parish to my funeral or to the said entertainment'


He left to the Charity of the Poor of the Parish of'Hillingdon yearly the sum of thirty shillings to be distributed amongst such poor decayed housekeepers who do not receive alms from the Parish either in money or bread.


It appears that his half sister Beatrice Mould was living with him at this time, and in his will, makes provision to protect her from any claims in respect of charges for lodging and gives her liberty to continue to reside in his house for a year free of all costs. Gave her 50 for mourning and many household items which were itimised and included:


'The black cabbinet in the parlor, bedds with furniture and bedding belonging thereto, six cane chairs, half the household linen, a dousen plates, seven silver spoons, six each of knives, forks, teacups and sawcers, brasse tea kettle and lamp, looking glass, two sawcepanns, pewtor dishes and the great porridgepot'


He gave his gray mare to John Walker of Hillingdon -and his brown colt to William White. To Anne, his servantmaid and Richard, his Gardener, both now living with him 5 each to buy them mourning. Makes various other bequests including 50 to his kinsman William Brigginshaw

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Boyd's Inhabitants of London

'Boyds Inhabitants of London', held by the Society of Genealogists, seem to have listed only one Briginshaw - a William baptised 16.5.1647. This gives details of his lineage as follows


boyds chart


It may be possible to obtain further confirmation but there seems little doubt that this entry fits into our family tree and with the wills I have listed helps to extend it as follows on the next page.


Interesting as these connections are they do not help very much with the continuation of the Aston Clinton lines but they do establish pretty clearly one line which came to reside in Hayes and were Cutlers in the City of London.


I hope to devote the whole of Newsletter NO 5 to one Richard Briginshaw (born circa 1805 and as yet unidentified on the family tree) who emigrated' to Van Dieman's Land at the expense of His Majesty!! John first stumbled upon record of him in Tasmania and further reaearch is proving very interesting.


Then in Newsletter No 6 I hope to return to the 1500-1700 period and deal with further evidence already possessed or to be unearthed by research.

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