Robert Peel Wakeman.

Wakeman genealogy, 1630-1899 : being a history of the descendants of Samuel Wakeman, of Hartford, Conn., and of John Wakeman, treasurer of New Haven colony, with a few collaterals included online

. (page 2 of 32)
Online LibraryRobert Peel WakemanWakeman genealogy, 1630-1899 : being a history of the descendants of Samuel Wakeman, of Hartford, Conn., and of John Wakeman, treasurer of New Haven colony, with a few collaterals included → online text (page 2 of 32)
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Meantime, what became of John of Drayton, the
father, who left Chaddesley with his wife Joan and his
children, Roger, Anne and John, in or soon after 1557?
Search elsewhere fails to show the presence of such a
family or any clue to it, except at Bewdley, in the
parish of Ribbesford, seven miles from Chaddesley.


Unfortunately the parish register of Ribbesford dates
only from 1574, so that the death of the child Roger,
the marriage of Anne, and the baptism of a son Francis,
assuming them to have taken place at Bewdley, cannot
be proved by any extant record. What we do find is a
record of the burial, March 27, 1587, of "Joan, wife of
John Wakeman, the tanner," neither of them being
mentioned before or afterwards. And we know that
there was not then within many miles of Drayton
another place which John Wakeman could find so ad-
vantageous to a country gentleman's son seeking to bet-
ter himself as this very town of Bewdley close by.

Bewdley — Beau-lieu, " beautiful place " — on the far-
ther bank of the Severn, had been a royal residence in
earlier times, and the palace on the hill was still occa-
sionally visited by the Princess Elizabeth or some other
important personage. Its location at the only bridge
over the great river, and practically at the head of navi-
gation for the boats then in use, made it the chief com-
mercial and industrial town in that part of England,
next of course to Bristol, at the mouth of the same
river, which was then at the height of its prosperity as
the principal seaport of the country. Burton, the his-
torian of Bewdley, says that cap-making alone "at one
time afforded employment to probably 1,000 people in
Bewdley. ... In the time of Elizabeth there were
twelve tanyards in Bewdley, and tanners have been
among its greatest benefactors. . . . The markets
have dwindled by degrees, and instead of thirty-two
butchers holding stalls in the shambles, there are now
only two " On the land side the Wyer forest came
close to the town, affording unusual facilities for the tan-
ning trade.

" John Wakeman, the tanner," of 1587 was so-called
as the master of a tanyard, as employees were then re-
garded as merely servants, their bare names being
entered on the parish register without distinctive


designation. It was no part of the function of a clergy-
man to collect statistics concerning the occupations of ob-
scure individuals, but it was the regular custom of the
rector of Ribbesford to note the callings of masters in
the different trades when entering their names in his
parish register. Ever since 1576, for example, there
were baptisms of children of plain " John Wakeman,"
whom we may distinguish as John of Belbroughton,
because his will indicates that parish as the probable
place of his origin, and who was certainly no near rela-
tive of Francis Wakeman. The latter appears in 1590
or 1 59 1. en the occasion of the baptism of his first child
(he had been married at Eastham in 1589), as " Francis
Wakeman, the tanner." In 1592 plain John of Bel-
broughton has a son baptized Francis, showing close re-
lations, as distinguished from relationship, with Francis
the master tanner. On April 23, 1593, Francis is no
longer noted as "the tanner," on the occasion of the
baptism of his second daughter, while on September 23,
1594, John Wakeman (presumably of Belbroughton),
whose daughter Mary was then buried, was entered as
" the tanner," a designation afterwards repeatedly given
to John of Belbroughton. That is to say, Francis gave
up his tanyard, and John of Belbroughton became
master of it, or of another, about 1593. From the
action of John of Belbroughton in 1592, in naming his
son after Francis, the master tanner, a much younger
man than himself, it seems strongly probable that he
was Francis's employee before becoming his successor
in the Wakeman tan -yard.* Francis's failure as a

*Of seven children of John of Belbroughton baptized at Bewdley, the first
two, before 11=87, and the next three after that date, were noted as children
of plain "John Wakeman," while the last two were of "John Wakeman, the
tanner." Lest any suppose that the rector applied his trade-titles haphaz-
ard, and that the Joan who died in 1587 was merely the first wife of John of
Belbroughton, it may be added that if so, the first wife Joan named a daugh-
ter Elizabeth, and the second wife, Elizabeth, named her first daughter,
Joan. The rector omitted a master's trade now and then, but such omis-
sions were exceptional.


tanner may be excused by his youth and inexperience,
but in view of his youth and inexperience, he could not,
apparently, have stepped into control of such a business
unless he was placed in it by, or succeeded to his own

Francis appears next in Chaddesley, where his son
John was buried in May, 1595. Why he should retire to
Chaddesley, far from his wife's connections, unless be-
cause it was his own family's home, is inconceivable.
His next son also was named John, and his persistence
in naming his sons John accords well with the other
facts which indicate that that was his father's name.
In 1596 he reappears at Bewdley, on the occasion of
another baptism, and at this time, and uniformly until
his death in 1626, he is noted as " the cooper." In his
will he left a legacy to his brother John, of whom no
other trace appears on the records at Bewdley.

One simple explanation fits all the known facts:
Francis was son of John and Joan, of Drayton, and
brother of the younger John, of Drayton; the elder
John being son of Roger and brother of William, who
were successively recognized as the heads of the Wake-
man family.

The following is from Burton's " History of Bewdley. "

" The earliest mention of the modern Bewdley occurs
under its old Saxon name of Wribbenhall — a name still
retained by the adjacent village on the eastern side of
the Severn. In the time of William the Conqueror both
formed part of the great manor of Kidderminster.

"The spelling in 1304 was Beaulieu, changing to
Beaudeley about 1472, and Beaudley about 1539. Cam-
den ( 1 551-1623) gives the same derivation. ' Bewdley,'
says he, ' takes its name from its most pleasant sit-
uation. —

" « Delirium rerum Bellus Locus undique floret
Fronde coronatus Virianae tempora sylvae.'


"Which Bishop Gibson translates thus:

" ' Fair seated Bewdley, a delightful town,
Which Wyre's tall oaks with shady branches crown.'

"Dr. Stukelyin a letter from Bewdley, September 17,
1 7 12, says: ' Were I to choose a country residence for
health and pleasure, it would undoubtedly be on the
west side of the island, not far from this river (Severn),
and where it is most distant from the sea.'

" Leland has left us a descriptive account of the town
as it appeared about 1539:

" 'From Kidderminster to Beaudley two miles by a
fayre downe, but somewhat barren, as the Veyne is
thereabout on every syde of Beaudley for a little com-
passe. I entered into Beaudley, in Schropshire, as
some saye, by a goodly fayre bridge, over Severne of
(five) great arches of stone, being even then in new

' ' ' This bridge is onely on Severne betwixt Beaudley and
Worcester bridge. To this bridge resort many fiatt
long vessels to carry up & downe all manner of mer-
chandize to Beaudley & above Beaudley. The east part
of the bridge at Beaudley and the left Ripe of Severne
be in Worcestershire ; but many say and hould that the
west end of the Bridge and the right Ripe of Severne,
within the towne of Beaudley, be in Schropshire, &
Wyre Forrest in Schropshire, going to the parke at Tet-

" ' The Towne selfe of Beaudley is sett on the side of
an Hill, soe comely, a man cannot wish to see a Towne
better. It riseth from the Severne banke by East upon
the hill by West, soe that a man standing upon a hill
trans pontem by East may discerne almost every house
in the towne, and at the rising of the sunne from East
the whole Towne glittereth (being all of newe Build-
ing), as it were of gould. There be but 3 streets
memorable in the Towne. One from North to South



all along Severne banke. The second is in the market
place, a fayre, large thing and well builded. The third
runneth from North to South on the Hill syde, as the
first doth in the Valley of Severne. The Parish Church
standeth a mile lower at Ripley (Ribbesford in mar-
gin), ut aqua defluit ripa dextra. By the distance of
the Paroch Church I gather that Beaudley is but a very
newe Towne. There was a privilege of Sanctuary given
to this Towne that now is abrogated. '

' ' This description applies to the present site of the
town, and no mention is made of the old part on the
Wyre hill.

' ' Under the Tudors the prosperity of Bewdley was
in full tide. Henry VII. enlarged Ticknell House and
made it into a palace for Arthur, Prince of Wales, who
there resided and held his court. There, too, he was
married to Catherine of Aragon. Henry VIII. granted
three charters to this town, and sent his daughters, the
Princesses Mary and Elizabeth, to reside in it. The
many distinguished persons who were constantly
coming to the town, attended by large retinues, would
give increased employment to the inhabitants. To pre-
vent disputes a special law was made to regulate the
prices to be charged by the innkeepers (1528).

" Manufactures of various kinds were started in the
time of the Tudors, and flourished. The chief of these
was cap-making, which at one time afforded employ-
ment to probably one thousand people in Bewdley.

"In the time of Elizabeth there were twelve tan-
yards in Bewdley, and tanners have been among its
greatest benefactors. The neighboring forests supply
abundance of oak bark, and there is no apparent reason
why this industry should have fallen off. The market
has dwindled by degrees, and instead of thirty-two
butchers holding stalls in the shambles there are now
only two.


"We have seen that as early as 141 2 the men of
Bewdley had become bold watermen and owned large
barges or trows. Latterly a great part of the carrying
trade, both by land and water, came into their hands,
and they had the best boats and best crews on the river.
Merchants from Bristol, then the first seaport in the
kingdom, established depots for their goods in Bewdley
and Wribbenhall. Large storehouses were built and
the wares were conveyed by long trains of pack-horses
to the inland towns, and returned, bringing Manchester,
Sheffield and other goods to be shipped down the Sev-
ern to the seaports and West of England. Many old
houses here have extensive buildings in the rear, now
almost disused.

" In 1620 special mention is made of the ' women's
seats ' in the church, showing that the division of the
sexes is not a modern innovation. In 1632 long ser-
mons were the fashion, and an hour-glass was set up,
so that the preacher might know when to finish his dis-
course. In 1642 the gunpowder was removed from the
chapel into the court house ! The Civil War was, now
beginning, and the Chapel Warden's accounts and Rib-
besford registers contain many allusions to the stirring

The foregoing account by Rev. Mr. Burton shows that
the English home of our ancestors was a place of some
prominence, the great bridge having been built prior to
1539. The picture of it here shown is of the old struc-
ture, and is taken from an illustration in Mr. Burton's
" History of Bewdley."




JOHN Wakeman (of New Haven, Connecticut) was
*-* born in Bewdley, England, a borough, market
town, and Chapelry, in the parish of Ribbesford, and
Union of Kidderminster, locally in the town division of
the hundred of Doddington, and in the Hundred-House
and West divisions of the county of Worcester, fourteen
miles northwest of Worcester. (See Lewis's "Topo-
graphical Dictionary England," vol. I.) John Wake-
man married Elizabeth Hopkins, daughter of William
Hopkins, who married Helen Vickaris in Ribbesford
church, October 30, 1609.

Concerning the Vickaris family, the parish registers
of Bewdley show:

"Bap. 1575, Feb. 20, Robarte, the sonn of John

"1596, Dec. 22, Richard, the father of John Vickreg,
died of the age of 100 yeares and 1 yeare."

No baptism recorded here of Helen. Robert in 16 14
seems to have spelt the name Vicaris.

Burton's "History of Bewdley," appendix p. vii.,
says: "1637. In this year Richard Vickris, merchant,
and then chief Sheriffe of the citie of Bristol, gave a
green Cushion of Plush to be used upon the pulpit in
the Chappell of Bewdley," and also says that he was a
native of Bewdley. The parish church of Ribbesford
of which we give a picture, "is an ancient and curious
structure, standing in a retired situation, surrounded
by wooded heights. " In the Ribbesford parish regis-
ters Mr. William Hopkins is spoken of as "The most


eminent, wise and truly religious Magistrate of Bewd-
ley, and at last, member of the long Parliament."
Again, "William Hopkins, gent, a gracious and able
Christian ; then Burgesse elected for Parliament for the
borough of Bewdley. " He was buried with his wife in
the chancel of Ribbesford church, outside and near the
communion rail, where the chancel floor is raised a step
above the rest of the church, not far from south wall of
chancel on which the following tablet was placed. The
tablet has only lately been removed to the west wall :

" Here lie interred the bodies of
William Hopkins, late of Bewdley,
Gent: who deceased July 19, 1647.
And Helena, his wife, who deceased
Nov. 16, 1656, both in a good old age."

" Ask you in these what virtues were
Needless it is to write them here,
Go ask the rich they know full well,
Or ask the poor for they can tell."
G. H. posuit.

Wood (Athenas Oxoniensis), followed by Burton,
praises highly George Hopkins (G. H. posuit), son of
William, born at Bewdley, April 25, 1620, educated at
the Grammar school, graduated at Oxford, then Rector
of Evesham (where his son William was born, a cele-
brated cleric and antiquarian, buried in Worcester
cathedral). " He was very judicious, godly, modeste,
peaceable, and upright. " He was brother to Elizabeth
Hopkins who married John Wakeman.

Bigland's "Gloucestershire" (introduction, p. ii.
vol. i.), says: "Dr. William Hopkins, born at Eves-
ham, August 28, 1647; his father was a clergyman, and
his grandfather a gentleman of rank and fortune in
Bewdley, for which town he was chosen member of
Parliament, but died before he took his seat."

The following extracts from the Chapel and Bridge-
warden's accounts, of Bewdley, are of interest as


referring to John Wakeman and his father-in-law
William Hopkins:

1616-7 and 1621, William Hopkins, Warden.

£. s. d.

1625 — Received of William Hopkins for a peece

of timber, 00 9 00

1626 — Paid to John Wakeman for three peeces

of timber more to set the clocke upon, 00 2 8

Paid to John Wakeman for five foot of
board to mend the wheel of the great
bell, 00 00 7

1630 — Received for seate in the chapel of John

Wakeman, 00 2 6

1632 — Paid John Wakeman for 500 shingles and

19 foote of boards for the church porch, 00 16 00
(This will refer to Ribbesford church porch, the old timber one,

which is still in existence, and has the date and initials carved

on it.)

!633 — The accompt of Mr. Sares and John Wake-
man, per Mr. Sares, received of my part-
ner, John Wakeman, £2 12s. ood.

1633 — Nov. 22, Autograph signatures to accounts of William Mil-
ton, William Hopkins, John Soley,

^ ;*&.'«■«. ni

Online LibraryRobert Peel WakemanWakeman genealogy, 1630-1899 : being a history of the descendants of Samuel Wakeman, of Hartford, Conn., and of John Wakeman, treasurer of New Haven colony, with a few collaterals included → online text (page 2 of 32)