Humphrey Wattmer was christened 31 August 1626 in Cleobury Mortimer, the son of Thomas and Johan (Joan) Watmer.

        Wattmore baptism

Baptism record for Humphrey Wattmer in Cleobury Mortimer:
"Humfrey the son of Tomas Wattmor & Johan his wief was baptised the xxxith day of August 1625"

Humphrey married Joyse Newall in Bewdley, Worcestershire, a town about eight miles east of Cleobury Mortimer. There is no christening record for Joyse in Bewdley, but there are christening records for both Joyse and her sister Elizabeth in Cleobury Mortimer. Joyse was christened 21 December 1623 in Cleobury Mortimer, the daughter of Thomas Newall and Margery Cooke.

"The marriages of three of Thomas of Curdale's sons are on record: George and Humphrey married two sisters in Bewdley, Elizabeth and Joyce Newall; John married Elizabeth Nicholls in Cleobury parish church, a kinswoman, no doubt, of Thomas Nicholls, third husband of Joyce Watmore, who married into the Chorley family. Thomas was already married to Alice, perhaps in a distant parish, for the ceremony is not recorded in the few pages of the Cleobury register for the period. The resulting four families carried on the long line of Cleobury Watmores through many vicissitudes until the end of the next century." (Whatmore Panorama)

Humphrey worked as a carter. "Thomas, the eldest son, had stayed on at the farm at Curdale while the others sought out crafts whereby to make their own way. Humphrey, the youngest, was a carter and perhaps a builder, serving on the Manor Court like his eldest brother. George became a nailer, and he and John, the two who most probably served their King as soldiers at arms, seem to have spent much of their lives as poor men; each was below the income required to contribute to the Hearth Tax in 1672." (Whatmore Panorama)

Records of the vicar give information about Humphrey: "A revealing glimpse of the lives of these young men is to be found in the notebook of the methodical Robert Goodwin, a puritan divine who became vicar in 1656, conformed at the Restoration and remained in his benefice until his death in 1691. A man of system and order, the Reverend Goodwin carefully recorded his household purchases, his income from tithes and teaching, and a great many building and farm expenses. Thomas Watmore, the eldest son, worked for the vicar in addition to assisting his father at Curdale. Early in these developments, around 1677, the Reverend Goodwin was much occupied with his own construction work where Humphrey Watmore assisted him with the transport and delivery of materials. The vicar's accounts reveal purchases of timber, doors, hinges, loads of lime, spikes, glazing and thatching; altogether a substantial job which may have been work on the new vicarage, which dates from this period. It was in February when the tracks were deep in mud that Humphrey used the vicar's wain to fetch several loads of timber, a task well worth the 3s 6d he was paid for each load. Payments were made also to the Watmores for nails, where George was probably the supplier and Humphrey helped with the transaction.

Humphrey, the youngest son of Thomas One, who had assisted the Reverend Goodwin with building work, lived in a small house with one hearth and served on the Manor Court with his brothers. As a young man he went courting in Bewdley with his brother George and they married two sisters there, Joyce and Elizabeth Newall. His second wife, Margery Winwood, was also related to this tight-knit clan, a kinswoman of John Winwood, husband of his sister Ales. Two daughters were born first to Humphrey and Joyce, Hester who was to marry John Munday in 1673, and Joyce who wed John Whistons a year later. With the high mortality rate, second and even third marriages were commonplace and it would appear that both Hester and Joyce married widowers. John Munday already had seven children by his first wife, and John Whistons, a forgeman, wed Joyce immediately after the death of his wife Elizabeth. He himself was dead within the year leaving his widow alone to bear their child."  (Whatmore Panorama)

Joyse died and was buried 22 November 1684 in Cleobury Mortimer. Humphrey then married Margery Winwood 7 February 1684/5 in Cleobury Mortimer. Margery died 5 December 1690 in Cleobury Mortimer.

Joyse Wattmer burial

Burial record for Joyse Wattmer in Cleobury Mortimer: "Joyce the wife of Humphrey Watmer was buryed the xxijth day of November"

Humphrey died and was buried 3 January 1709 in Cleobury Mortimer.

Humphrey and Joyse had the following children:

1. Hester, christened 22 April 1650 in Cleobury Mortimer; married John Munday 22 May 1673 in Cleobury Mortimer.

*2. Joyce, christened 8 December 1651 in Cleobury Mortimer; married 1) John Whistons 30 January 1674 in Cleobury Mortimer, 2) Edward Vahon 14 December 1679 in Cleobury Mortimer; buried 18 December 1692 in Cleobury Mortimer.

Joyce Wattmer baptism

Baptism record for Joyce Wattmer in the Cleobury Mortimer parish register: "Joyse the daughter of Humphrey Wattmer of Cleobury was baptized the viijth day of December 1651"

3. Humphrey, christened 17 March 1654 in Cleobury Mortimer; married Mary Cound May 1683 in Cleobury Mortimer. "Following tradition, Humphrey named his only son Humphrey, and he married Mary Cound in 1683. The younger Humphrey died before his father in 1697 and Mary was required to prepare an inventory of his possessions - the only surviving probate record of the Cleobury line. His goods were valued at 18.19.6d and included 1 for brass and pewter and 1.2.0d for working tools (though it is frustrating not to be told what tools they were). It is always a matter for remark, the value of beds and bedding our ancestors left behind them. Bedding is a major item in most inventories and, in the younger Humphrey's case, a generous valuation of 5 was allowed for it. In earlier years families were always careful to distinguish between the superior feather bed, soft and often imported, and the lumpy plebian flock bed for children and servants. Like most villagers of his time Humphrey never strayed far from the land and left two pigs and "tilling on the ground, hay and other things forgotten", valued at 4.2.6d." (Whatmore Panorama)

SOURCES:; Cleobury Mortimer parish register; Whatmore Panorama, Geoffrey Whatmore.


Wattmer Pedigree

Watmore Pedigree from Whatmore Panorama

Thomas Watmore was christened at Michaelmas, 29 September 1586 of Cleobury Mortimer, the son of Thomas Wotmore and Margery Smalman. He married 1) Joan Tomasson 11 May 1612 in Cleobury Mortimer, then 2) married Elizabeth Edgley, widow 3 March 1652 in Cleobury Mortimer. The name has been extracted as Joan Tomasson in Whatmore Panorama, but is extracted as Johan Tonnarton in There are no Tomassons at this time in Cleobury Mortimer, but there are some mentions of Tonarton/Tonantons in the Cleobury Mortimer parish register, and a will. Richard Tonarton, son of Richard Tonarton was buried 23 March 1603 in Cleobury Mortimer; Jane Tonnarton of Curdall was buried in 1625 in Cleobury Mortimer, and John Tonanton was named as an executor for the will of Thomas Kyte of Cleobury Mortimer in 1591.

        Watmore marriage

Marriage record for Thomas Watmore and Joan Thomasson in Cleobury Mortimer:
"Thomas Wattmoore and Johan Tonnarton were maryed the xjth day of May"

Thomas was a yeoman farmer of Curdall or Curdale. "This is a tale of one house, the home of three generations of Watmores, owned by a succession of noble landlords...The house is called Curdale Farm today, lying on the westward road out of Cleobury Mortimer, a half-timbered building which has stood for more than four hundred years. The parish register tells us that it was to this house in 1612 that Thomas Watmore, a yeoman, possibly from Neenton, brought his new wife Joan Tomasson and founded a Cleobury family which continues in Shropshire today. Their descendants in Cleobury, shopkeepers and smallholders, are plain folk like their ancestors. But the farm at Curdale was once connected with more famous families, the Devereux, who hold the Viscountcy of Hereford, and the Knightleys of Fawsley, who worked with Pym and Hampden for the cause of Parliament against the King."  (Whatmore Panorama)

(Whatmore Panorama)

In Whatmore Panorama the farmhouse at Curdale is described: "The farmhouse rises from a slope in the hillside as if it grew there, so close that the entrance is by the way of a gallery from which the house wall falls sheer to the pond below. Though inconspicuous, it was once a fine place, with an oak staircase and, in the living room behind the modern hearth, a larger chimney corner. The frame timbers are pitted with age but the house probably stands on even older foundations, for many of the farms in the district have the names and occupy the locations recorded in the Domesday Book. Already when the Normans came to collect taxes and clear the woods, the land was tilled and the villages were established. Later still, Curdale was Mortimer territory and the home of William de Curdewall, vicar of Cleobury from 1349 to 1362. His ministrations were much needed in the year of his appointment when the Black Death stalked these lands and carried off 158 people from four parishes. Onward by three centuries, the chance preservation in the Shropshire Archives Office of a collection of deeds relating to Curdale (it was called Curdall then) tells more about Thomas Watmore's home and his landlords and neighbours than we know of most of his contemporaries. Because of these deeds, it is the landlords who occupy the centre of the stage, though the dramas and high policies in which they engaged were no doubt the subject of fascinated gossip in the Curdale community." (Whatmore Panorama)


In the 1640s the Watmore family were impacted by the English Civil War: "All social climbing ceased, however, with the coming of Civil War. For nearly thirty years Thomas and Joan Watmore had lived at the farm, bringing up eight children there, watching the establishment of new industries amid the stink of the tan house and the noise and smoke of the forges down the valley. Not oppressed, by any means, they showed a sturdy independence: Thomas was fined in 1613 for staging a play on the Sabbath. As his four sons grew to maturity the family must have been conscious, even in that remote place, of the increasing tensions between the old squires and the new puritans. The Blounts of Mawley were strongly traditional, but some local landowners like Devereux believed that the time was approaching when successful men of the lesser degree, through Parliament, should have a voice in the levying of taxes and the form of their religion. Though we are not informed of the political sympathies of the sons of Thomas Watmore, when war came most of them probably served the Royalists as a matter of course. At the opening of hostilities, the local squire, Sir Walter Blount with his brother and sons recruited for the King a local company which marched away in high excitement and a sense of adventure. Among its members almost certainly, were the Watmores. Thomas, the eldest, was twenty-four years of age, John was twenty-two, George was twenty, Humphrey was seventeen. With four sons of military age and the constant recruiting forays it would have been impossible to keep them all at home."  (Whatmore Panorama)

"Though no local memoirs and few folk tales have survived to tell of it, as the Royalist cause wavered, and Hereford, Hartlebury, Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth and Ludlow all fell to Parliament, things must have gone hard for the tavern keepers and farmers round about Cleobury. Curdale was hidden from the road and may have eluded foragers of either side seeking supplies, but Cleobury must have suffered. Especially in that late stage Royalist and Roundheads alike had little compunction over "requisitioning" whatever provisions were needed, and probably by the end there were few cattle left in the Curdale fields to feed the local population. The villagers did not venture from their homes. The war ended, however, and by whatever means Thomas's sons trickled back to the lanes and fields they grew up in, picking up their lives again". (Whatmore Panorama)

After Joan died, Thomas married the widow Elizabeth Edgley.
"In this increasingly energetic and busy place, Thomas Watmore the Elder carried on his life. When his wife died after her long companionship with him he married again in 1652 to Elizabeth Edgley, a widow. His four sons were taking up trades, marrying and starting families. Their dynasty and the long line of the succeeding generations belongs to the story of Cleobury Mortimer." (Whatmore Panorama)

Thomas Wattmer and Elizabeth
            Edgley marriage

Marriage record for Thomas Watmer and Elizabeth Edgley in Cleobury Mortimer, 1652

Thomas and Joan had the following children:

1. Thomas, buried 8 May 1612 in Cleobury Mortimer.

2. Margaret, christened 17 January 1615 in Cleobury Mortimer.

3. Thomas, christened April 1618 in Cleobury Mortimer; married Alice; occupation: yeoman: buried 8 December 1699 in Cleobury Mortimer.

4. John, christened 3 January 1620 in Cleobury Mortimer; married Elizabeth Nichols 4 April 1652 in Cleobury Mortimer.

5. George, christened 25 January 1622 in Cleobury Mortimer; married Elizabeth Newall in Bewdley; occupation: nayler; buried in 1701 in Cleobury Mortimer.

*6. Humphrey, christened 31 August 1626 in Cleobury Mortimer; married Joyse Newall in Bewdley.

Humphrey Watmer baptism

Baptism record for Humphrey Watmer in Cleobury Mortimer: "Humfrey the son of Thomas Wattmor of Curdall, yeom.
& Johan his wief was baptised the xxxith day of August 1626"

7. Ales, christened 19 February 1629 in Cleobury Mortimer; married John Winwood, yeoman of Curdall, 27 February 1655 in Cleobury Mortimer.

8. Ann, died 1690

SOURCES: Cleobury Mortimer parish register;; Whatmore Panorama, Geoffrey Whatmore; Wat's Brother, Geoffrey Whatmore.


Watmer Pedigree

Pedigree chart of Thomas Wotmare in Whatmore Panorama

Thomas Wotmore was born in about 1550 of Neenton, Shropshire, the son of Thomas Wotmar. He married Margery Smalman 25 September 1575.

Thomas Wotmar marriage

Marriage record for Thomas Wotmar and Margery Smalman in Neenton: "Thomas Wotmar and Margery Smalman were married
the xxvth of September in the yeare aforesaid" 1575.

"The scene shifts now to Neenton, where the Ludlow Bridgnorth road crosses the Rea Brook and where another Thomas Watmore married Margery Smalman in 1575, Neenton has some claim to be the oldest Watmore settlement in Shropshire, rivaling Stottesdon. Thomas Wotmar, who died at Neenton in 1572, must have been a descendant of an early offshoot, perhaps from the  Stottesdon branch, though we cannot identify his precise ancestry. Thomas and Margery formed a link of at least five generations of Thomas Watmores, including Thomas born in 1586, who may have been Thomas Watmore, the yeoman tenant of Curdale, who founded the Cleobury Mortimer dynasty. Also originating in Neenton parish was a line of Edward Watmores, an infrequent baptismal name among the early Shropshire families. The first of the Edwards comes into view in 1575 from the Smalman marriage when Thomas of Neenton wed Margery Smalman and christened their first-born Edward. This superseded the Watmore custom of naming their eldest sons  Thomas, which may say something for the influence of the Smalmans. The first Edward, born in 1576, became Neenton parish constable". (Whatmore Panorama)

The relationship between the Wotmores and Smalman was turbulent: "To return to Neenton: it was here on more than one occasion that the Watmores established a somewhat uncertain relationship with the fractious Smalman family, some successful gentry, others little more than vagabonds, for the snakes and ladders of family fortunes could be cruel to those without preferment or natural abilities. From the Deanery Court records it would appear that some of the Smalmans were recusants, non-comers to church with leanings towards Popery. Incorrigible, they were frequently in trouble and occasionally excommunicated. The precise consequences of excommunication in such a narrow community are unclear. In spite of their relationship by marriage, the Neenton Watmores and Smalmans were quarrelling as early as 1600 when Thomas Watmore and his son Edward complained that Richard Smalman had "made an affray against John Davies and drawn blood" for which he was fined 3s 4d. In other words a rare old set-to took place. Things had not improved ten years later when Edward Watmore, with William Cleeton the constable, reported a the Manor Court that Richard Smalman and his son William were involved in comminatio et vexatio - that is, threatening and scolding, which does not seem so bad. Nevertheless, after due inquiry they were fined twenty shillings."  (Whatmore Panorama)

Thomas died and was buried 22 June 1605 in Neenton.

Thomas Wotmore 1605

Burial record for Thomas Wotmore in Neenton: "Thomas Wotmore the elder was buryed the xxijth of June anno pdicto"1605.

Margery died and was buried 20 December 1614 in Neenton.

Margery Wotmore burial

Burial record for Margery Wotmore in Neenton: "Margery Wotemare the wiffe of Thomas Wotemare was buryed the xxth of December anno p dicto" 1614

Thomas and Margery had the following children:

1. Edward, christened 24 June 1576 in Neenton; married Margaret; occupation: parish constable.

2. Eleanor, christened 14 May 1577 in Neenton.

3. Joan, christened 4 May 1581 in Neenton; died 1607 in Chelmarsh, Shropshire.

4. Thomas, christened 29 September 1586 in Neenton

Thomas Wotmar 1586

Baptism record for Thomas Wotmar in Neenton: "Thomas Wotmar the son of Thomas Wotmar was baptised at Michelmas in the yeare aforesaid" 1586

5. William, christened 1 July 1590 in Neenton; buried 10 September 1591 in Neenton.

SOURCES: Whatmore Panorama, Geoffrey Whatmore; Neenton parish register.


Thomas Wotmar was born in about 1520 of Neenton. He died and was buried 13 May 1572.

Thomas Wotmar 1572

Burial record for Thomas Wotmar in Neenton: "Thomas Wotmar was buried the xiijth of May the yeare aforesaid" 1572

Thomas had the following children:

*1. Thomas, born in about 1550 of Neenton; married Margery Smalman 25 September 1575; buried 22 June 1605 in Neenton.

2. Frances, christened 18 January 1571 in Neenton.

SOURCE: Neenton parish register on; Whatmore Panorama, Geoffrey Whatmore; Wat's Brother, Geoffrey Whatmore.


Other early Watmors:

Willm Watmor is found in The Lay Subsidy for Shropshire 1524-7 in Choreley:

Willm Watmor g. ix-s-xii.d (with the note "of Stottesdon par;. d. 1538"). Stottesden parish is about five miles from Cleobury Mortimer.

SOURCES: The Lay Subsidy for Shropshire 1524-7

If you have additional information about this family, please contact me at

Return to table of contents