William Potter was born in about 1540 of Claverley, Shropshire, the son of Thomas and Annys Potter. William married Alese.

William and his neighbors in Claverley were listed in estate records in 1583, when they took wood from Queen Elizabeth's Forest of Morfe:

"A list of the Quenes tennants within the manor and the Forest of Morfe. 21st January in the 15th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1583
Burcott: Harrey ? Harvey Marrall - 3s Richard Felton - 3s William Felton - 3s John Walker - 3s

The names of all those who felled or cropped oaks within the Forest of Morfe from the Feast of St Michael in the 8th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1565 to the Feast of Christ’s Nativity in the 14th year of her reign 1571 Francis Gatacre gent for falling of one timber tree within Mr Hadnolls office the which he taketh as a fee tree for keeping the swalymente. Present Hugh Grenowes underkeeper for delivering one load of wood to Thomas Adams Present 2 hollow stube oaks sold to John Haynes of Bridgnorth by William Brooke or Hugh Grenowes his underkeeper. Present Hugh Grenowes for selling one green stub oak to John Walton of Swancote. Present one hollow oak fallen beside the Lodge and sold by William Broke or Hugh Grenowes. Present William Gatacre his servant for cropping of custom wood against the feast of the Nativity of our Lord. Present the servant of Mistress Dorothy Barker widow for the like default. Present that a number of the parishioners of Claverley to have fallen and carried away wood against Christmas the which they claim as custom wood, viz Francis Perrye, William Clyotts, Francis Hawes, William Potter, Richard Hatton, Thomas Garbett, Robert Gravenor, Henry Gravenor, John Wyllote, Roger Hubbowld, Humphrey Pyke, Thomas Whitmore, William Frekelton, John Rudge, Christopher Potter, John Potter, William Pyke."

William died and was buried 19 January 1594 in Claverley.

William Potter

Burial record for William Potter in Claverley:
"Wyll Potter Senior was buryed xixth of January Ano dom 1594"

Alese was buried 18 January 1609 in Claverley.

Alice Potter burial

Burial record for Alese Potter in Claverley:
"Alese Potter wydowe was buried the xviijth daye of Januarye anno per dicto"

William and Alese had the following children:

1. William, born in about 1565 of Claverley; married Margaret; buried 20 August 1612 in Claverley.

*2. Joan, born about 1569 in Claverley; married Thomas Hawes 6 May 1588 in Claverley; buried 2 April 1628 in Claverley.

3. Agnes, christened 6 December 1570 in Claverley; buried 2 May 1571 in Claverley.

4. John, christened 5 December 1574 in Claverley; married Margery. .

5. Anne, christened 1 February 1576 in Claverley; buried 21 August 1645 in Claverley.

6. Margaret, christened 10 February 1578 in Claverley; married Richard Sylee 2 December 1600 in Claverley..

7. Elnor, christened 27 April 1581 in Claverley; married John Bower 31 August 1607 in Claverley..

8. Richard; buried 13 January 1581 in Claverley.

9. Elizabeth, christened 1 September 1587 in Claverley.

Other Potters having children in Claverley at the same time were:


Another earlier Potter is found in the Lichfield Will Index:

Thomas Potter of Claverley left a will probated 19 October 1558. This entry in Latin mentions "William Potter filius" (son) as the executor of the will.

Thomas Potter will index

Thomas was born about 1510 of Claverley.  He married Annys in about 1535.

The will of Thomas Potter of Claverley was written 22 August 1557.

Thomas Potter will

Will of Thomas Potter of Claverley, 1557

In the name of God Amen in the yere of Lord God 1557 in the xxii daye of August I Thomas Potter of the paryshe of Claverley and with in the dyces of Lechfeld of good and pfect memory thanks be unto the Lord make my last wyll and testament in thys forme and manner as foloyth first and pryncypaly I bequeath my sole unto Almyghtgy God my maker and Redemer and unto the suffering and preyerse of my blessyd lade Saynt Mare the vyrgyn and unto all the hole and blessyd company wyche be in hevyn to pray for me and all that dye in the feyth of Chryste and my body to be buryd in the churche yarde of All Sayntts in Claverley churche when hyt shall plese God: I bequeath unto the heye alter in Claverley church xd. Item I bequeath to the heye crosse in the same church xd.

Item, I bequeath unto John Potter my son fowre pounds to be payd to hym with in ij yeres after my buryall. Item I bequeath to Ryc Potter my son fowre pounds to be payd with in ij yeres after my buryall. Item I bequeath unto Wyllm Potter my son after the desese of me and his mother all my husbandrye stoffe that belongeth to my teme bothe iryn stofe and wood stofe and won pott the best candylsteke and a puter basen more and hyt ys my wyll that my son Wyllm shall have after the desese of me and hys mother all my lands and the taking for the yere to end. Item I bequeth to Francys my dahthtyr xiijl xjs viijd and hur a baye and hur chanleys such  as may be honest and to be payd in the day of marage the last ther off. Item I bequeth to Joyse Rudge ij ewe schepe. Item I bequeth to Humfrey Potter my son won schepe and a puter dyshe. Item I bequeth to John Browne won schepe. I bequeth to Elyzabeth my servand won schepe. And hyt ys my wyll that and hyt plese God to call a way any of my thre children before ther legace be payd to them that then hys pte of the pte shall remayne among the others whyll any of them do leve that ys John Ryc and Francys and the sayd lecace to be devyded and eny won in lyvethe myche by the cownsell and syrth of my overseer of my wyll and testament. All the resedue of my goods and catells moveable and inmoveable my detts payd and I brought again and my wyll fulfyllyd with all ordinary charges dyschargyd I geve and bequeth to Annys my wyffe whom I ordene and make my sole executrix to see thys my last wyll and testament tryly pformyd and yf hyt so forten that God call away the sayd Annys my wyffe before the probacyon of thys my last wyll and testmet: that then hyt ys my wyll that Wyllm Potter my son shall be my executor to see thys my last wyll and testmet truly pformyd and Thomas Stoke to be my overseer to see thys my last wyll truly pformyd whom I geve for hys paynys takyn sjl xiijd and hys costs when he talkyth payne ther in: Thes beying wytnessys to thys psent testmet.

An inventory was created for Thomas, taken by Robert Foxsall of Farncote, Thomas Rudge of Wondwall, Francys Hawys, and Humfrey Hall of Claverley.

Thomas Potter inventory

Inventory for Thomas Potter of Claverley

Thomas and Annys had the following children:

*1. William, born in about 1535 of Claverley; married Alese; buried 19 January 1594 in Claverley.

2. Humfrey

3. John

4. Rychard

5. Francys

The Potters are listed in the Lay Subsidy for 1524 in Claverley. This was a tax on persons based on the value of their estate.

Thomas Potter iii.Li - xviii
William Potter iii.LI -ii.s

Since our Thomas was about 14 year old in 1524, he would not be listed on on the Lay Subsidy. It is likely that either Thomas or William was his father. It is also possible that Thomas' estimated birthdate is earlier than calculated, and he is the Thomas listed in the Lay Subsidy, and William his father.

In the Lay Subsidy for 1525, these Potters are shown in Claverley:

Thomas Potter xl.s-xii.d
In the village of Wondewalld (Woundale) in Claverly parish:

William Potter iiii.Li - ii.s

In A List of Families in the Archdeaconry of Stafford, 1532-3, no Potters are listed in Claverley. This fact is mentioned in The History of Claverley: "This contains a full list of names of whole families, including the names of two or even three wives, and seems to indicate that the return contains the names of those alive and the dead, for whom mass was being said. No mention is made of Draycott, Aston, Ludstone or Sutton, ... there is no mention of the Potters, who owned Chyknell at that time." This is a census taken in 1532-3, which lists each head of household, his current and past wives (uxor eius - his wife), his children, and sometimes his parents (parentes). The words "cum pueris" means with children, and is often used when all of the children are not listed.

All of the listed Potters in A List of Families in the Archdeaconry of Stafford, 1532-3 are found in the parish of Alveley, about eight miles from Claverley. It is not known if the Alveley Potters and the Claverley Potters are related.

Land records in Alveley show that Humphrey, John (married to Margaret), Henry, and James Potter (married to Margaret) were brothers.

“John Arden and John Holloway of the parish of Alveley Yeoman, by their deed dated 2 April Elizabeth 1576 demised granted let and to farm let, by the assent of six honest men of the lordship of Alveley unto Thomas Arden of the said parish of Alveley, Tailor, and Margaret his wife and Nicholas Arden their son, all that messuage or tenement with the appurtenances in the lordship of Alveley, aforesaid, commonly called or known by the name of Juker’s tenement, now or late in the tenure of Humphry Grove and Humphry Potter which lie at a place commonly called Tyrley Green with all commons to the same belonging to have and to hold unto the said Thomas Arden Margaret and Nicholas from 26 March 1540 for three score years if the said Thomas, Margaret and Nicholas or any of them shall so long live, paying yearly 20 shillings at the feasts of St. Michael the Archangel and the annunciation of the blessed Mary, by equal portions, with permission for the tenants to take housebote, heybote and firebote. They also paying upon the decease of any of them dying tenants twelve pence in the name of an heriot and two shillings yearly to the lord of the fee, and also one years rent of the said land if need require and to keep the premised in repair.”

"Humphry Lowe of Alveley Gent, and John Longley of the same parish yeoman, by deed dated 18 March 1 Elizabeth 1558 demised granted and to farm let to Humphry Potter of Tyrley Green singer and his assigns, one messuage and one nook of land called Jocekeis, land and other nook of land called Okes’s with the appurts. situate in Tyrley Green within the lordship of Alveley, then in the tenure of Humphry Potter and his assigns from the date thereof for the term of 21 years, paying yearly ten shillings at the feasts of the Annunciation of Our Ldy and St. Michael the Archangel and twelve pence at the death of each tenant dying in possession as an heriot.”

“Humphry Elcock of the parish of Alveley, by his deed dated the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel in 28 Henry VIII (1537) demised granted set and to farm let, to Humphrey Potter and his assigns all those messes, lands and tenements in Alveley for years.”

Humphry Potter of the parish of Alveley by his deed dated 1 January 33 Henry VIII (1542) assigned demised and released to John Potter his brother, half of the said meases lands, tenements, meadows with the appurtenances, to have, hold and occupy, half of the said meases, lands and tenements, with other appurtenances to the said John Potter and Margaret his wife, his father and mother to the end of the year as shall fortune to be behind and not come up paying yearly half of the rent and other out charges.”

John Potter late of Alveley, by his deed dated 10 March 37 Henry VIII 1545 for three pecuniary pounds paid, gave granted and assigned to Henry Potter his brother, the whole of the residue of a term of years in certain tenements, lying at Tyrley Green in the parish of Alveley, which he purchased from Humphry Potter his brother, to have and to hold to the said Henry Potter his brother, to have and to hold to the said Henry Potter and his assigns, immediately after the death of quitting of James Potter and Margaret his wife, paying a moiety of the rent and other extra burthens to the said tenement belonging.” (The King's Ley, Gladys Howard Thompson)

The Potters are mentioned in Burke's Landed Gentry, in discussing Chyknell Manor: "His progenitor, Edward Farmer, obtained Chyknell in marriage with Elizabeth, dau. and co-heir of John Potter, 6th in descent from John Potter, proprietor of estates in the same neighbourhood, 19 Richard II (1396), and whose wife was of the family of Chyknell, the inheritors of that place during several preceding reigns." (A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, Bernard Burke)

SOURCES: Claverley parish register; Lichfield Will Index on; A List of Families in the Archdeaconry of Stafford, 1532-3; The Lay Subsidy for Shropshire 1524-7; The King's Ley, Gladys Howard Thompson, 1951; will of Thomas Potter of Claverley, 1557,; The History of Claverley, W.H. Dawkes; A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, Bernard Burke.



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