THE WEBLEYS OF EASTNOR


Eastnor is a parish in Herefordshire at the southern end of the Malvern hills.  A history of Eastnor says, "Forty-one people were assessed for hearth tax in 1665; if, as is likely, they were all heads of households, that would suggest a total population in excess of 200, as the list excludes those exempt by poverty...Like much of Herefordshire, Eastnor, although it had an open-field system, was a parish of hamlets and scattered farmsteads." (The Victoria History of Herefordshire: Eastnor)


Eastnor map.


Research in Eastnor can be challenging, due to gaps in the parish register, but it is fortunate that the register exists at all, as seen in the opening page of the Eastnor parish register: "This Register with the one that immediately follows it were picked up on a dung hill in the Town of Upton upon Severn, as I was given to understand, and were brought to me soon after I was instituted to this living (which was in the year 1795) in the same mutitated state which they now are. Jos: Higgins, Rector".


Eastnor open page

First page of the Eastnor parish register


The other major challenge is the number of John Webleys found in the town. Details of all of the Webleys found in the early registers and wills can be found here.




FAMILY GROUP RECORD OF

JOHN AND JOYCE WEBLEY



John Webley was christened 20 October 1672 in  Eastnor, Herefordshire, the son of John Webley and Anne Turner. He married Joyce.


John was a churchwarden in Eastnor in 1694.

John Webley churchwarden

"John Webley, Churchwarden", Eastnor parish register

John and Joyce had the following children:


1. John, christened 9 January 1692 in Eastnor.


*2. Elizabeth, christened 1 September 1695 in Eastnor; married Richard Mason 19 April 1715 in Colwall, Herefordshire.


3. John, christened 17 July 1698 in Eastnor; married Mary Hammond in 1722 in Eastnor.


4. Charles, christened 4 July 1701 in Eastnor.


5. Sarah, christened 26 March 1704 in Eastnor.


6. Susana, christened 1 February 1708 in Eastnor.



SOURCES: Eastnor parish register FHL# 2355808; Eastnor parish register extracts on www.ancestry.co.uk; Ancestry family tree of Philip Perry  https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/31057257/person/13172942954/facts; The Victoria History of Herefordshire: Eastnor, Janet Cooper .
.




FAMILY GROUP RECORD OF
JOHN WEBLEY AND
ANNE TURNER




John Webley was christened 22 February 1640 in Eastnor, the son of John and Elizabeth Webley. He married Anne Turner 7 November 1667 in Eastnor. Anne was christened 25 July 1634 in Eastnor, the daughter of William and Anne Turner.


John and Anne had the following children:


1. Umphrey, christened 3 June 1668 in Eastnor.


2. Mary, christened 24 July 1669 in Eastnor.


3. Samuel, christened 6 February 1669/70 in Eastnor.


4. Catherine, christened 24 December 1671 in Eastnor.


*5. John, christened 20 October 1672 in Eastnor; married Joyce.

John Webley baptism

Baptism record for John Webley in Eastnor: "John the sonne of John Webley and Anne his wife. Octob: ye 20"


6. Charles, christened 16 July 1676 in Eastnor.



SOURCES: Eastnor parish register FHL# 2355808; Eastnor parish register extracts on www.ancestry.co.uk; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/31057257/person/13172942954/facts.




FAMILY GROUP RECORD OF
JOHN AND ELIZABETH WEBLEY



John Webley was christened 21 May 1609 in Eastnor, the son of John Webley and Elizabeth Turnor. John's mother died when he was only six years old. John married Elizabeth. He was a yeoman farmer and carpenter in Eastnor.


A survey of the Manor of Castleditch shows John Webley's cottage: "The cottage appears on surv plan as timber frame building with chimney at one end. The road N from Eastnor to Ledbury is shown as passing close to the E of the cottage, this road now follows a route 30m further E. The cottage is named as John Webley." The house is classified as Post Medieval - 1540 to 1900 AD. (Herefordshire Through Time, www.herefordshire.gov.uk)



John
        Webley Cottage

Manor of Castleditch - John Webley's Cottage

John Webley's
          cottage

This is the current site of John Webley's cottage


A history of Eastnor mentions: "The house of John Weobley, a yeoman and carpenter who died in 1665, was similarly assessed on only one hearth, although it contained an entry or porch with a room over it, and a hall, kitchen and buttery with chambers over them as well as a little buttery." (The Victoria History of Herefordshire: Eastnor; Janet Cooper) William Turner is listed next to John Webley on the 1665 Hearth Tax, both families having one hearth each.


Hearth Tax
        1665

Hearth Tax 1665 for Eastnor


John died in 1665, leaving a will written 1 August 1665, and probated 7 September 1665.


John Webley the elder of Eastnor, yeoman, carpenter, 1665

In the name of God, Amen 1st August 1665 I John Webley of Eastnor in the county of Hereford, yeoman, being of perfect memory and remembrance, praised be God, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, in manner and form following viz. First I bequeath my soul into the hands of Almighty God my maker and redeemer, hoping that through the meritorious death and passion of Jesus Christ my only saviour, to receive free pardon for my sins, and as for my body to be buried in Christian burial. Item I give to my son John one joined bedstead in the chamber over the hall. And also one table board in the hall and a side table, and a chest in the room over the entry and one vessel and a pipe, and all the shelves that are fastened to the house. Item I give to Elizabeth Welland my grandchild all the timber that is down in the meadow by William Baches and all the timber in Goldhills Green to build her a house, and I give to her 19s 6d which John Coats oweth me. And also I give to her all the money which Richard Dicks oweth me, and I give to the said Elizabeth Welland one box (let her take her choice, and all within the box). And as for all the rest of my goods whatsoever and household stuff remaining in the house wherein I now live, I give to my daughter Elizabeth Welland and to my daughter Joan Bridge and to my grandchild Elizabeth Welland to be equally divided amongst them three. Item I give to my said daughters Elizabeth and Joan all my corn on the ground now growing, to be equally divided between them. Item all the rest of my goods, chattels and cattle, unbequeathed, I do give and bequeath unto John Webley, my son, whom I do make my sole executor of this my last will and testament, my debts and legacies paid and discharged out of the same, and my funeral expenses. In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal to this will, the day and year above written.

Signed, published and declared by the testator above named in the presence of John Hall, William Bach, Humphrey Morton, Richard Tomkins.
Probate 7 September 1665


An inventory was created for John's estate:

An inventory indented of all the goods cattle, chattels, debts and credits of John Webley the elder, late of Eastnor in the county of Hereford, carpenter, deceased, truly and indifferently taken, rated and appraised, the 11th August in the 17th year of the reign of our sovereign Lord Charles 2nd by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, by John Hall, Humphrey Morton, John Dugmore and Richard Tomkin as followeth viz.

In the chamber over the buttery: Imprimis the deceased’s wearing apparel and money in his purse, £2
Item 1 joined bedstead, corded and matted, 1 chest, 1 coffer and 1 box, £1
Item 1 old flock bed, 1 feather bolster, 2 old rugs, 1 old blanket, £1 In the chamber over the hall:
Item 1 joined bedstead, corded and matted, I low bedstead matted, 1 coffer, 1 chair and 1 low stool, £1 6s. 8d.
Item 1 feather bed and 1 feather bolster an other feather bed, 1 bolster and 1 coverlet pawned for 20s., £2 5s. 4d.

In the chamber over the kitchen:
Item 1 old frame bed with other trumpery and 1 old coffer, 5s.

In the buttery:
Item 1 joined press, 1 meal trowe [trough], 1 powdering tub [tub in which meat or fish is salted or pickled], a pair of garden shears, 1 “towle”, 1 skeel and 1 barrel, 2 frying pans, 1 search [or searce – a sieve or strainer made of bristles, used in dairy] 1 little “male”, 1 tin watering pot with other trumpery there, £1 7s.

In the little buttery:
Item 1 spinning wheel, 1 bucking cowl, 3 axes, 1 hedge bill, 1 beetle [hammer used in hedging], 2 iron wedges, 1 whip saw [frame-saw with a narrow blade, used esp. for curved work], 1 mustard mill, 1 handsaw, 1 adze, 1 old scythe, 1 hatchet and other trumpery, £1

In the hall:
Item 1 joined table, 1 old table, 2 chairs, 1 still for roses, 2 chairs, £1 10s.
Item 3 brass pots, £1 10s.
Item 3 brass kettles and 1 warming pan, 16s.
Item 5 pewter dishes, 1 brass sconce, 1 smoothing iron, 1 peel [baker’s ladle], 1 corne [a musical instrument, a horn or cornet?] and 1 ribb [flat iron tool used for cleaning flax after the breaking process], 14s.
Item 1 pair of tongs, 1 pair of cobirons, 1 gridiron, 1 spit, 2 wire candlesticks, 2s.
Item 1 little joined box with divers small things therein, £1 Linen
Item 3 pair of hempen and hurden sheets, 1 pillow beere, 1 hempen table cloth, 3 table napkins, 16s.
Item 1 old bag and pair of weights, 1s.
Item 1 spittle [small spade], 1s.

In the outhouses:
Item 3 hogsheads, 1 ‘pike’ and 1 barrel, £1 1 beer barrel and 1 grindstone, 2s. Item corn in the barn newly housed, £1 Item 3 ladders and the head of a bedstead, 6s. Item 1 lease of certain lands in Eastnor for divers years yet to come, £40

Debts owing unto the testator:
William Turner, a couple of capons and 3s. 4d.
Thomas Stone, 6s.
Richard Abrahall, £3
Richard Careles, 4s. 6d.
John Dugmore, for rent arrears, 6s. 8d.
John Webley of the brook, 6s.
Richard Maddocks, 5s. 2d.
John Fishpool, 6s. 9d.
Total £35 9s 9d

Debts owing by the testatator at the time of his decease
Item Owing unto Mr. John Hall of Bullen by speciality, £11 1s.
Item More to the said John Hall upon account, 11s.

John Hall, Humphrey Morton, John Dugmore, Richard Tomkins. Richard Cornewall.


John and Elizabeth had the following children:


*1. John, christened 22 February 1640 in Eastnor; married Anne Turner 7 November 1667 in Eastnor.

John Webley baptism
      1640

Baptism record for John Webley in Eastnor: "John the sonne of John Webley & Elizabeth bapt. Feb 22"


2. Elizabeth, married Mr. Welland; had daughter Elizabeth.


3. Joan, married Mr. Bridge.




SOURCES: Eastnor parish register FHL# 2355808; Will of John Webley of Eastnor, 1665, Ref: Herefs. RO 8/3/14, on www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk, transcribed by VCH volunteers; Cooper, Janet. The Victoria History of Herefordshire: Eastnor, Victoria County History, University of London..



FAMILY GROUP RECORD OF
JOHN WEBLEY AND ELIZABETH TURNOR


John Webley was christened 10 February 1579/80 in Eastnor, the son of John and Elinor Webley. John was a husbandman in Eastnor. He married Elizabeth Turnor 25 June 1608 in Eastnor.


John Webley marriage 1608

Marriage record for John Webley and Elizabeth Turnor in Eastnor:
"John Webley and Elizabeth Turnor were married the 25 of June"


 

Elizabeth died and was buried 6 January 1616 in Eastnor, leaving John with four small children.


Elizabeth
        Webley burial

Burial record for Elizabeth Webley in Eastnor:
"Elyzabeth the wife of John Webly 6th of January"
 

John and Elizabeth had the following children:


*1. John, christened 21 May 1609 in Eastnor; married Elizabeth; died 1665 in Eastnor.

John Webley baptism

Baptism record for John Webley in Eastnor: "John the sonne of John & Elyzabeth Webley baptized the 21 May"


2. George, christened 8 September 1611 in Eastnor; buried 2 February 1635 in Eastnor.

3. Elizabeth, christened 26 December 1613 in Eastnor.

4. Christopher, christened 15 October 1615 in Eastnor.



SOURCES: Eastnor parish register FHL# 2355808.
   



FAMILY GROUP RECORD OF
JOHN AND ELINOR WEBLEY



John Webley was born in about 1550 of Eastnor, the son of John and Alice Welbley. He married Elinor.


John died and was buried 31 August 1614 in Eastnor, leaving a will.


John Webley burial


Burial record for John Webley in Eastnor:

"John Webley householder buried the 31 of August"


John Webley the elder of Eastnor, husbandman, 1614


 In the name of God, Amen, the 28th August in the year of Our Lord God 1614; I John Webley, the elder, of the parish of Eastnor in the county of Hereford, husbandman, being sick and weak in body, but yet of good and perfect remembrance, all laud and praise be given unto Almighty God, calling to mind the frailty of man’s estate, and uncertainty of the time of death, and advisedly minding to bestow, set in order, and dispose myself toward Almighty God, and my goods, cattle and chattels towards the world, by whose grace, bounty and goodness I received the same, do by these presents, make, publish and declare this my present testament containing herein my last will in manner and form following, that is to say: First and principally I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God my maker and redeemer, beseeching of his infinite mercy, and for the merits and passion of his dear son Jesus Christ our alone saviour and redeemer, that he will receive the same into his glory and place it in the company of the heavenly angels and blessed saints, whensoever it shall please his omnipotence to separate my soul and spirit from this mortal body and from this transitory life; and my body I will to be buried in the churchyard of Eastnor aforesaid. And as concerning my funeral expenses and distribution to the poor at the time of my burial, I reserve that to the decision of my executrix hereafter nominated and appointed. And I do hereby renounce and revoke all former wills whatsoever, containing any other gift, legacy or bequest, other than the gifts, legacies and bequests in this my last will and testament contained. Item I do nominate, ordain and make Elinor, my wife, sole executrix of this my last will and testament. Item my will, intent and meaning is that Elinor my wife and my executrix shall have the use and occupation of all my goods, chattels and cattle during her natural life, and that it shall and may be lawful for my said executrix, from time to time, during her natural life to sell (for the maintenance of her corporeal necessity for food and sustenance) any part or parcel of my goods or chattels, provided always and my will, intent and meaning is that Elinor my said wife and executrix shall not sell, give, nor otherwise dispose of any part or parcel of any my goods, chattels or cattle, during her natural life, without the consent and agreement of John Webley thereunto first had and obtained. Item I do give and bequeath unto Elinor my wife and my executrix the use, occupation and profit of all that part of my now dwelling house from the entry or alley southward, together with half the backside and gardens with free ingress, egress and regress into and from the said part of the said dwelling house, backside and gardens, for my said executrix and her assigns during her natural life. In witness whereof I do acknowledge this to be my last will and testament, made and published the day and year aforesaid, in the presence of Thomas Danford, Richard Steward and John Webley.


John's will is mentioned in a history of Eastnor, when William Saintbarbe was the rector: "It was probably during his incumbency that the husbandman John Weobley the elder combined old and new ideas in his will, calling Jesus Christ ‘our alone saviour and redeemer’ but also referring to ‘the company of the heavenly angels and blessed saints’."  (The Victoria History of Herefordshire: Eastnor; Janet Cooper)


Elinor died as a widow and was buried just a few months later on 24 October 1614 in Eastnor.


Elinor Webley burial

Burial record for Elinor Webley in Eastnor: "Eleanor Webley widdowe buried the 24th of October"

John and Elinor had the following children:

*1. John, christened 10 February 1579/80 in Eastnor.



SOURCES: Eastnor parish register FHL# 2355808; Will of John Webley of Eastnor, 1614, Ref: Herefs. RO 64A/2/13, on www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk, transcribed by VCH volunteers.



FAMILY GROUP RECORD OF
JOHN AND ALICE WEBLEY


John Webley was born in about 1520 of Eastnor, the son of Robert Webley. He married Alice.


John died in about 1579, leaving a will:


In the name of God Amen the 23rd day of August I John Webley of Eastnor in the county of Hereford do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say: First I bequeath my soul unto Almighty God my maker and redeemer, and my body to be buried in the parish churchyard of Eastnor aforesaid. Item I give and bequeath unto the poor men’s box there 4d. Item I give and bequeath unto my six daughters £5 of current English money, to be paid unto them by equal portions within 3 years next after my decease; and if either of my said daughters do depart before the time above specified, that part to remain among the rest. Item I give unto Alice my wife the one half of all my household stuff, the best canvas and 20 s. of money, to be paid her within a year and a half after my decease. Item I give unto Thomas my son 20 s. to be paid him within one year after my decease. Item I do appoint continually to remain stander[d]s as cupboards [‘cubberd boards’], two ‘styles’, forms and painted clothes. Item I give unto John my son the second best canvas. Item all my other goods ungiven and bequeathed I give unto John my son whom I make my whole executor, and I do appoint Richard Grey my overseer and I do give him for his pains 3s. 4d. on the condition that he shall see this my will executed accordingly; and I utterly revoke and annul all other wills, legacies, bequests, executors and overseers by me in any wise before this time made, named, willed or bequeathed. In witness at the making hereof: William Clinton parson there, Richard Grey, William Pyford, John Leythe with others. Proved 19th October 1579. (Will of John Webley of Eastnor, 1579, Ref: Herefs. RO 44/2/46 , on www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk, transcribed by VCH volunteers)


Alice was buried 13 February 1603 in Eastnor.

Alice Webley burial

Burial record for Alice Webley in Eastnor:
"Alice Webley [buried] 13th of ffebruary"

John and Alice had the following children:

*1. John, born in about 1550 of Eastnor; married Elinor; buried 31 August 1614 in Eastnor.

2. Thomas

They also had six daughters, not named in the will.


SOURCES: Eastnor parish register FHL# 2355808; will of John Webley of Eastnor, 1579.


FAMILY GROUP RECORD OF
ROBERT WEBLEY



Robert Webley was born in about 1500 of Eastnor.

A muster list of men of an age to provide defense of the town was held in 1539, and listed John, William and Robert Webley. John, William and Robert are also listed in the 1542 muster list.


Muster
        roll

Muster for Eastnor, 1539
(The Herefordshire Musters of 1539 and 1542 by MA Faraday)



Robert died in 1549, leaving a will listing his sons as William, Thomas and John. Robert's will mentions his grandson, Robert, the son of Thomas, so Robert must have been of an age to be a grandfather in 1549. It is likely that he was born in about 1500. Robert's son John was of an age to be listed in the muster list of 1539, so was probably born by 1523. Note that Robert owned more weaponry than William or John, with a gleive (lance), sword and dagger. William owned no weaponry at that point. John had a bow and sheaf of 24 arrows.


Robert died in 1549, leaving a will written 18 July 1549. His will is mentioned in the Victoria County History for Eastnor: "In 1549, Robert Webley made a clearly Protestant expression of faith, his 'soul to Almighty God the father of heaven, trusting through his great mercy and by the merits of the passion and blood shedding of his only son my saviour and redeemer Jesus Christ to have remission and forgiveness of all my sins' and made no bequests overtly for the benefit of his soul, although he did leave 12d to the 'poor men's box'." (https://www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk/explore/items/eastnor-probate-material-1541-1560)


Robert Webley of Eastnor, 1549


In the name of God Amen the 18th day of July in the year of Our Lord God 1549 And in the 3rd year of the reign of our sovereign lord Edward VI by the grace of God king of England, France and Ireland defender of the faith, and in earth of the Church of England and Ireland supreme head, I Robert Webley of Eastnor in the diocese of Hereford sick in my body and, lauded be God, of good and whole mind and perfect remembrance make my testament and last will in form following: First and above all things I commend my soul to Almighty God the father of heaven, trusting through his great mercy and by the merits of the passion and blood shedding of his only son my saviour and redeemer Jesus Christ to have remission and forgiveness of all my sins; my body to be buried where shall it please God to call for me, by the discretion of mine executors. And as touching my worldly goods, I give and bequeath to the poor men’s box of Eastnor 12d. Also I give to Alice, the daughter of William Webley, a cow. Item I give to John, the son of the said William, one heifer. Item I give to Robert Webley, the son of Thomas Webley my son, one heifer. Item I give to Thomas Coke, my servant, one heifer in consideration of his service. The rest of all my goods and cattle not given nor bequeathed, my debts and funerals chiefly paid and discharged, I give to William, John and Thomas, my three sons, and to Alice, my daughter, between them to be equally distributed, whom I make and constitute my executors. These persons being witnesses: Thomas Clinton esquire, Thomas Caroe, yeoman, Thomas Hyde, with others more.



Robert and his wife had the following children:


1. William, born in about 1520; married Mabel; mentioned in father's will of 1549; had children John, Alice, Anne, William, Margery, Walter, Thomas, and Robert. William is mentioned in a history of Eastnor: "The bishop of Hereford held courts for his manors at Hereford and at Ledbury, and the free tenants in Eastnor owed suit to (that is were obliged to attend) both courts...Proceedings in 1555 included two cases of fighting or ‘affray’, a complaint of an unscoured ditch between the rector’s land and that of William Weobley, and a report of two unclaimed stray sheep". The Victoria History of Herefordshire: Eastnor, by Janet Cooper)  The same history records: "The small modern village between the church and the castle, earlier called Church End, was not recorded until 1578 when William Weobley held a ‘built messuage’ there." (The Victoria History of Herefordshire: Eastnor, by Janet Cooper)  William Webley is mentioned in the will of William Clifton of Eastnor, shoemaker in 1565, as owing his a debt of 21 1/2 d. In 1572, William is mentioned in the will of Robert Aston of Eastnor: "Imprimis William Webley and his wife oweth me 24s. 4d", but Robert owed William 6 shillings.


*2. John, mentioned in father's will of 1549; left a will dated 1579, mentioning son Thomas, son John, and wife Alice. Alice was buried 13 February 1603 in Eastnor.


3. Thomas, mentioned in father's will of 1549; buried 8 November 1564 in Eastnor; left a will dated 1564, mentioning son William, son Robert, daughter Alice, daughter Elizabeth, and possibly daughter Joan.

In Dei nomini [In the name of God] Amen, the 4th day of November in the 6th year of the reign of our sovereign lady Elizabeth, by the grace of God queen of England, France and Ireland, defender of the faith etc., I Thomas Webley of Eastnor in the county of Hereford, husbandman, being sick in body but of good and perfect remembrance, praise be given to God the father through Jesus Christ his son our redeemer and lord, make my last will and testament in manner and form following, viz. First I bequeath my soul to Almighty God my maker and my body to be buried in the parish church yard of Eastnor. Item I give and bequeath to my elder son William three sheep. Item I give and bequeath to my younger son Robert one cow and four sheep. Item I give and bequeath to my daughter Alice one ewe and one lamb. Item I give and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth one ewe. Item I give and bequeath Joan one lamb. Also my will is that my wife do give among my said daughters one cow, when she shall see time. All my other goods, my debts and legacies and the funerals discharged, I give and bequeath them to my wife, whom I make my sole executrix. In the presence of [illegible] Webley and John Webley of Eastnor. (Will of Thomas Webley of Eastnor, 1564, Ref: herefs.RO 44/2/26 1564 on www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk, transcribed by VCH volunteers).


4. Alice, mentioned in father's will of 1549.



SOURCE: Will of Robert Webley of Eastnor, 1549, Ref: Heref. RO 44/2/10, on www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk, transcribed by VCH volunteers.



An earlier will is recorded for Thomas Webbeley of Eastnor in 1481. The will was probated 3 April 1481, and mentioned his mother Joan.    
 
"Thomas Webbeley of Eastnor, 1481

At a court held in Ledbury on 3 April 1481 the will of Thomas Webbeley of ‘Estenor’ was proved. Executor: Joan his mother"

Notes taken from: Calendar of Probate and Administration Acts 1407-1541 and Abstracts of Wills 1541-1581 in the Court Books of the Bishop of Hereford, edited by M.A. Faraday and E.J.L. Coles with introduction and index compiled by M.A. Faraday, British Record Society, London, 1989, p. 79 Reference: 80/123 f112v