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17TH CENTURY RECORDS OF THE GENT FAMILY AT LEEK

 

1600 William Gent taxed £6 8s 10d


Administration of Thomas Gent of Leek, 26th July, 1631

 

A trew and iust Inventorie of all the goodes Chattles and Cattells of Thomas Gent of Leeke latelie deceased taken and prysed the 23rd July by John Hulme Thomas Jolley and Henrie Stevenson Annº Domini 1631


1640 Thomas Gent of Leek Esquire Commissioner for raising money for the parliamentary troops

[Is this Major Thomas Gent, living 1685?]


1641 Will of Thomas Gent of Leek, dated 16th February 1640/1, proved 6th March 1640/1

 

Leaves to executors messuage an tenement to raise £44. To Ann Gent my mother £5, to Ralph Gent brother £4, Gervase brother £5, to Mary sister £5. My wife Dorothy to enter on half of estate till son John 21 for maintenance and education of children then Dorothy to have half for her natural life. My will is that half the said messuages be for Sarah and Mary my daughters and another child or children if God be pleased that Dorothy my wife may bring forth the same by me until John be 21. If John does not live then to other child or children. If John live till 21 and no more are born he to enter on [possession of] the half. To son John table in house and in lower parlour. Rest to Dorothy .

Executors Dorothy (wife), Timothy and William brothers.

Thomas Gent

Witnesses:

Hugh Blincome

Thomas Bently

 

Inventory £40 (about 6 rooms)

Signed by Thomas Brindley, John Lees, Richard Slater

Kitchen pewter, pair of virginalls, 2 sacks, mats, 3 chains, 1 stool, boards, frame and formes

Probate to Timothy Gent, brother, mercer of Leek, one of the executors to manage for John, Sarah and Mary. Granted by Carolus Twygden

Timothy Gent

Randle Johnson


1642 November Royalist Sir Francis Wortley left Derbyshire, had 20 men taken at Leek

1643 January Stafford Royalist garrison

1643 February Leek men attacked Stafford; troops quartered at Leek

1643 May Stafford taken

1643 November Leek almost taken by Royalists

1644 January Sir Wm Brereton and Sir Thomas Fairfax go to Leek to join forces to relieve Nantwich

Siege of Biddulph Grange

 

1644 License granted for William Gent to stay in town, notwithstanding the proclamation CDSP

[I cannot sort this one out. It is not in the Calendar of Domestic State Papers. I believe the quote was taken by my gt grandfather from a volume of the William Salt Society which gave all Staffs references from printed public records&emdash;see 1654: SHC 1915, p.409 for example. Nor can I trace the proclamation, without a more precise date. This must be Captain Gent, not his kinsman Major Thomas Gent. He was a roundhead and presbyterian. What proclamation might exclude him, and why should he be exempted?]

 

1654 Commissioners for ejecting clergy

William Gent, gent, member

[SHC 1915, p.409]

This must be the Triers and Ejectors Ordinance, of August 1654, when local county committees were appointed to check on suitability of clergy. William Gent must have been a very prominent presbyterian, which may explain the almost total absence of records of him and his family from the parish registers, even though we know from other sources that they were buried in the churchyard (monument and will). The preamble to his will makes his Calvinism clear too. Was this the cause of the row with his brother Timothy? &emdash;his will has no religious preamble. As for ejecting clergy, I looked at Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, 1714. Hardly a single clergyman was ejected in Staffordshire, except from the cathedral (bishoprics were abolished), which suggests the committee wasn't particularly virulent, compared with a county like Devon.


Will of Timothy Gent, mercer, of Leek. Proved 13th July, 1655

 

T.[estamentum] Timothy Gent

I Timothie Gent of Leeke in the county of Stafford Mercer doe make this my last will and testament in forme and manner following

I give bequeath and devise into my sonne Thomas Gent and his heires for ever all my lands rents monies goods cattells chattells and my whole estate by what name soever named Provided that if my sonne Thomas Gent die leaving noe issue Then I give bequeath and devise my whole Estate aforesaid unto my Brothers and theire children for ever (That is to say)

unto William Gent my Brother and his children one sixth part wanting Tenn pounds

unto Ralph Gent and his children one third part and Tenn pounds more I give unto Thomas Gent his sonne

unto Gervase Gent I give one third part unto the children of my late brother Thomas Gent one third part and Tenn poundes more and out of the parte aforesaid I give and bequeath unto my wife Mary Gent fifty pounds and unto my Sister Mary Hulme Tenn pounds and if she have child or children I give unto them Tenn pounds [^each?] and unto Dorothie Horsley and her fower children five pounds Provided alwaies my debts funerall expenses and the rest of my will following be first fully performed paid satisfied and discharged.

I give bequeath and devise unto my wife Mary Gent fifteene pounds a yeare to keepe herselfe and my sonne Thomas upon until such time as she marry againe and then I dispose of my child unto my executors And in case she marry againe then I give unto the same Mary Gent my wife one hundreth and fiftie poundes

I give and bequeath unto my brother William and his children twentie shillings

I give and bequeath unto my brother Ralph Gent and his children three pounds

I give and bequeath unto my brother Gervase Gent and his children twentie shillings

I give and bequeath unto my sister Mary Hulme twenty shillings

I give and bequeath unto John Gent sonne to my late brother Thomas Gent my shop and seller and the shelves in the seller all my time therein and all my time in my house which I hould of Thomas Jolley of Croxton Abbey he paying for the use of my sonne Thomas Gent twenty shillings a yeare an to Thomas Jolly aforesaid fortie shillings a yeare during my time therein and in case John Gent aforesaid refuse the shopp and house aforesaid Then I give unto him Tenn pounds

I give and bequeath unto Mary Gent sister to the aforesaid John Gent the payment of all taxes since I receaved anie monie of hers and twentie shillings and if she refuse this then I am content only to pay interest for her monie during the time I have had it

I give and bequeath unto my sister in law Dorothie Horsley and her fower children twenty six shillings

I give unto my kinsman John Lee of Knewall Tenn shillings

I give unto my kinswoman Margaret Dampurt six shilings eight pence

I give and bequeath unto John Bountsby two shillings six pence

I give and bequeath unto Ann Walker my servant five shillings

I give and bequeath unto W[illia]m Watson my servant tenn shillings

and unto others I give according to a scedule hereunto annexed

My minde and Will is that all Controversies betweene my brother William Gent and myselfe be wholie referred unto Master William Jolly Esquire Major Thomas Gent Esquire and my brother Gervase Gent I leave all other matters to be wholly disposed and ordered by the direction of my executors I nominate appoynte and make my executors Master Thomas Saxon my father in lawe Gervase Gent my brother and John Gent sonne of my late brother Thomas Gent

I desire my Wife and my brother William Gent to afford their counsell and advise and to be overseers

I renounce and disown all former wills and declare this to be my last will and testament

Dated this [ ] of January One thousand six hundred fiftie fower

In Witness whereof I have hereunto putt my hand and Seale

Timothie Gent

Witnesses hereof William Gent Mary Gent John Sharman

 

A Scedule anexed to my Will

I give and bequeath unto theise persons following as followeth that is to say

unto Jane Smith five shillings

unto John Sharman five shillings

unto Elizabeth Charlesworth three shillings fower pence

unto Jone Nicolas three shillings fower pence

unto Andrew Norton two shillings six pence

unto Edward Seale two shillings and six pence

unto Robert Hornesby two shillings

unto William Hulme two shillings

unto Common Poor penny [?olt li 1 li]

unto my Father Saxon a payre of gloves

unto Master Jodrell a payre of gloves

unto Major Gent a payre of gloves

unto my sister Sarah Gent a payre of gloves

unto Thomas Hinney a payre of gloves

 

The will was proved at London the thirteenth day of Julie in the year of our Lord God One thousand six hundred fiftie and five…


1659 SHC 1920/22 p.111

(Staffs Tory politics after Civil War)

 

'…when Sir George Booth rose for King Charles in Cheshire in August 1659, immediately "Major Gent and 1,000 Moorlanders rose spontaneously for Parliament"; and the Mercurius Politicus of 11 August 1659 reports "those who immediately armed for Parliament were, Colonel Crompton, Major Thomas Gent, Captain Backhouse, Captain Adney and Major Robert Smith."


SHC IV ii p.62 List of Active Parliamentarians 1662

Uttoxeter Ralph Gent

 

p.58

Item a list of soldiers under the command of Lieutenant Collonel Gent (Stafford)

Thomas GENT Lieutenant Collonel

 

Ranks in Army: Lieutenant Colonel: Major: Captain


1664 Bond of William Gent and two others for £300 for his good and loyal behaviour and appearance before a secretary when required


1663 Captain Gent paid Hearth Tax for six fires


c.1664 William Dugdale, Staffordshire Pedigrees

'Withinall: the Will yate in Leek parish., another sister married to Captain Gent of Leek'


1666 Gervase Gent of Tideswell witness to a deed


1666 Token: John Gent {Grocers' Arms}/In Leeke, 1666, his halfpenny


Hearth Tax 1666

 

Wall grange

William Gent not chargeable

 

Leek

William Gent 8

John Gent 5

 

Leek Frith William Gent 4

Tettesworth

Mr Thomas Gent 3

 

Uttoxeter

Nicholas Gent not chargeable

 

Alton

William Gent 1

 

Rocester

John Gent 1


Robert Plot's map '…seems to have owed much to Gregory King, who by 1667 was eking out a pittance which he earned as a herald by "designing" a map of Staffordshire with the assistance of a surveyor named William Gent.'

Notes:

1. Burne, S.A.H. Occasional Papers (Stafford 1961), 32&endash;4

2. Burne, S.A.H. A Note of the Plot map, 1965

3. SHC 1919, 194, 251, 274, 283

4. Northants record office I.L. 3131_46, 3163&endash;92

5. Plott Staffs, 300, 361

6. Gunther, Early Science xii 220


1668 William Gent excommunicated in Visitation records for being a Quaker


1670 William Gent one of original trustees of Old Almshouses, Leek in laws given by Mrs Elizabeth Ash


Sleigh p.97

Churchwarden's Accounts

 

1671 Captain Gent for oyl and pack-thread 0 2 0

1675 Spent with Captain Gent and Cornett Davenport 0 0 6

 

1671 Captain Gent paid accounts for Meerbrook Church


Staffordshire pedigrees William Dugdale:

Withinall: Ye Will yate in Leek parish

another sister married to Captain Gent of Leek

 

Henshaw: Michael Henshaw (son of Whiston Henshaw) of Cheadle Grange (Co. Stafford) if not gentleman aet. circ. 20 an. married Lidia dau of Captain William Gent of Leek (Co. Stafford) and sister of Thomas Gent and has issue two daughters Mary Henshaw and Ann. [The words 'Q if not gentleman' are underlined in the original]


1673 Hearth Tax Captain Gent 6


1675 Thomas Gent son of William of Leek, Staffs pleb St John's College matric. 18th June, 1675 aged 17. Barrister at law Middle Temple 1683. See Foster's 'Judges and Barristers' [never published]


c.1680 Thomas Gent gave Dr Plot prehistoric hand axe


1681 Thomas Gent in the year 1681 married Elizabeth daughter of Robert Carrier. She died in 1717 and was buried at Bonsall, Derbyshire. Her sister Janet was married in the same year to Thomas Parker, who was Lord Chancellor of England and created Earl of Macclesfield, and her eldest sister Isabella married in 1686 William Anson at Wirksworth, Derbyshire and their son was Admiral Anson and created Baron Anson of Goberton. These three ladies were the granddaughters of Jeannette Parker who had married in 1613 Richard Carrier MA Vicar of Wirksworth. Pedigree of Parker of Browsholme, Yorkshire, Sleigh, William History of Leek See Burke's Armory under the name of Carrier.


1685 13th August PCC proved will William Gent, grocer of Leek, "servant Thomas Bagnall" Thomas Bagnall witnessed wills of his brother Gervase in 1690 and son Thomas in 1695.


Will of William Gent, grocer, of Leek. Proved 13th August, 1685 [PCC]

 

Testamentum Willi'mi Gent

In the name of God Amen

The Nine and Twentyeth day of May in the six and thirtyeth yeare of the reigne of our Sovereigne Lord Charles the second by the grace of God of England Scotland France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith etc Annoque Domini One thousand sixe hundred eighty foure

I William Gent of Leeke in the County of Stafford Grocer being sick and distempered in body but of sound and perfect mind and memory praised be God for the same Doe make this my last Will and Testament in manner followinge revoking all former wills by me made

And first and principally I commend my soule into the hands of Almighty God my Creator assuredly believing I shall have my sins remitted and my soule saved by the alone merits of Jesus Christ my Redeemer

And my Body I committ to the earth to be decently interred in Leeke Churchyard as neare to my deare sonne William Gent as conveniently I may

And as for and concerninge such temporall estate as God of his mercy hath bestowed upon me I give devise and bequeath the same in manner following

Imprimis I desire my Debts and funeral expenses may be paid and discharged immediately after my decease

Item in the next place my mind and will is that my Executor hereafter named shall pay and dispose of the Interest of Forty pounds during the joynt lives of my Sister Mary Hulme and her Husband and of the saide summe of Forty pounds afterwards to such use intent and purpose and to such person and persons as my said Sister shall from time to time direct limit or appoint with or without the consent of her Husband and not otherwise for tis my mind and will her Husband shall not have any benefitt thereby or intermeddle or be concerned therein

Item I give to my daughter Herks all those peices of silver Plate I formerly lent her and which shee now hath in possession and three pounds apeice in Edward money To her two daughters alsoe I give to my daughter Henshaw's child three pounds in Edward money which three last menconed legacies to my said daughter's children I desire may be paid to their fathers imediately after my decease whose acquittances for the same shall be sufficient discharges to my executors for the same legacies

Item my mind and will further is that with all convenient speed after my decease my executor shall sett forth or [otherwise soe] much of my money at interest as will yearly raise the summe of twenty pounds of lawfull English money without any deduction or abatement during the life of my loving wife which said yearly summe of twenty pounds I desire may be paid to my said wife quarterly after my death by equal portions the first payment thereof to be paid to her within one moneth next after my decease for her present support and maintenance

item I give to my said wife my silver possett cup and six of my best silver spoones and all such household goods as I had with her to dispose of as shee pleaseth And if any of them be lost or made away my mind and will is my executor shall buy her others in liew thereof of as good value or give her money for the same All which legacies before given to my said wife I doe hereby declare are by me intended to be in liew of her joynture and dower and in full satisfaction of all such summe and summes of money and other provision as I am engaged to make for my said wife or for her use in and by certaine Articles of agreement before my intermarriage with her bearing date on or about the sixth day of February One Thousand six hundred fifty one and made between me and Tymothy and Gervas Gent my two brothers on the one parte and John Clowes and Samuel Clowes brothers to my said wife on the other part And my mind and will is that my said wife and her trustees upon the sufficient securing to her the legacies given to her by this my will shall grant or release all their right to my reall estate and discharge my executor of and from all summes of money and other provision made for her by the said articles or in default thereof my mind and will is my executor shall make such provision for my said wife as is contained in the said articles but then the legacies given to her by this my will shall be void

Item I give and bequeath to my daughter Hannah Gent my little silver tankard and three hundred pounds in money to be paid to her when shee attaines her age of one and twenty yeares

And I give to my sons in law Mr Michael Henshawe and Mr Michael Kerks each of them a gold ring

Alsoe I give to my loving brother in law Samuel Clowes and to my loving friends Mr John Needham and Mr William Mills each of them a gold ring and I desire my said sonnes in law and my said brother Samuel Clowes and my said friends Mr John Needham and Mr Mills to be aiding and assisting to my executor in what they can and my mind further is that my executor from the time of my decease shall pay to my said daughter Hannah the yearly sum of twelve pounds for her maintenance quarterly by even portions the first quarters payment to be given her within one moneth next after my decease for her support till the said three hundred pounds be paid her according to the tenor of this my will

Item I give to my servant Thomas Bagnall in money and cloaths to the value of forty shillings

And as for and concerning my shop and warehouse in Leeke aforesaid my tenement and houses in Stockwell street and all the rest residue and remainder of my reall and personal estate whatsoever and wheresoever I give devise and bequeath the same to my deare and loving sonne Thomas Gent his heirs executors administrators and assignes

And if my wife will keepe house after my decease I desire my sonne Thomas and daughter Hannah may board with her And if any disservice shall happen or arise amongst them I desire the same may be heard and determined by some of my loving friends and neighbours that there may no suits continue amongst them

And I doe nominate and appoint my said sonne Thomas Gent sole executor of this my last will and testament not doubting but hee will well and faithfully execute and performe the same

In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand and seale the day and yeare above written

William Gent

Sealed signed and published by the said testator and by him declared to be his last will and testament in the presence of us Wm Mills Edw Henshawe Thomas Bagnald

Proved… 13 August 1685


1689[/90?] 7th January Gervase Gent buried at Basford (Cheddleton P. R.)

 

Will of Gervase Gent of Leek, proved 4th April, 1690

 

Tho Gent

Tho Gent

Samuel Stretch

Inventory of Goods £20

 

I Gervase Gent yeoman etc etc give my body to be buried among people called Quakers. To the poor of Ashford Meeting 10s monthly. 20s to the poor of Leek by my son Thomas Gent Esq. To grandchild William Hulme 20s Latin bible etc etc to daughter Christian Bagshaw my lands in America and my tenement at Wigan Wall [?] in Alstonfield in possession of William Warrington to [mome?] at the death of Elizabeth Warrington formerly Elizabeth Johnson which tenant right I bought of Thomas Johnson. I give to my daughter Joyever Gent shops, chambers, plate, jewels Stockwell Street now in possession of my sister Mary Hulme and John Hulme, taylor, Joseph Malkin, butcher… if Charity and Joyever die without issue then to grandchildren Edward and Gervase Bagshaw; to my sister Mary Hulme John Hulme's house… To Charity and Joyever lands bought from Robert Wood at Tideswell now in possession of son-in-law Thomas Bagshaw.

Gervase Gent

Witnesses:

Thos Gent

Thos Bagnall

Edward Henshawe

[Ashford=Ashford in the Water 4 miles SE of Tideswell?]

 

[Add his burial at parish church, Cheddleton]

 


Will of Thomas Gent of Congleton, 19th October, 1693, proved 16th December 1695 [Cheshire Record Office]

 

In the name of God Amen I Thomas Gent of Congleton in the county of Chester Esquire being well in body and of good mind and memory (praised be God for the same) do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following First I bequeath my soul to God and my body in hopes of a joyful resurrection through the merits and the mediation of Jesus Christ to commit to the earth and as for such temporal estate as it hath pleased almighty God to bestow upon me I dispose of the same as followeth after my debts and funeral expenses justly discharged I give to my dear and loving wife five Jacobus twenty shillings pieces of gold my best bed in the chamber with all the furniture thereunto belonging the chairs and window curtains in the same chamber and all such goods as were her own before marriage or since given to her by her mother Mrs Blackbourne. I likewise give bequeath and devise to my said wife all that my estate or tenement called the Golden Hill the house and land therewith occupied and enjoyed as also my shop in Leek near the Cross for her life provided always and upon this condition that she make no claim or tithe to any other of my houses lands or tenements in respect of dower or otherwise but utterly release and relinquish the same. And whereas I am engaged to William Parker of Parkhall Esquire in the sum of six hundred pounds for payment of three hundred pounds and interest being properly my said wife's debt, and whereas my mother-in-law Mrs Elizabeth Blackbourne hath given me bond for payment of one hundred pounds being properly due to my said wife and whereas a small tenement lying in Matlock or Bonsall wherein one William Cragg or Scragg inhabits is conveyed to me by the said Mrs Blackbourne my will and pleasure is that upon payment or other discharging of the said three hundred pounds and interest by my said wife the said bond of five hundred pounds given to me by the said Mrs Blackbourne be delivered assigned to my said wife and that the said tenement wherein the said Cragg or Scragg dwells or hold be conveyed over by my heir or heirs unto my said wife her heirs and assigns for ever.

I give and bequeath to my good mother-in-law Mrs Elizabeth Blackbourne, my two sisters Mrs Henshaw and Mrs Kirks my three brothers-in-law Mr Anson Mr Parker and Mr Kirks to every of the said persons a gold ring of twelve shillings value.

Item I give and bequeath to my old friend Mr William Mills the sum of five pounds of lawful English money and do make him overseer of this my last will and testament And as to all the rest and residue of my personal estate I give and bequeath the same to my dear mother Mrs Sarah Gent wishing her at her decease to dispose of the same to the younger children of my said sisters Mrs Kirks and Mrs Henshaw And lastly I make and ordain my said mother Mrs Sarah Gent executrix of this my last will and testament requiring her in the name of God justly and truly to perform the same. In witness whereof I have hereunto put my hand and seal the nineteenth day of October Annº domini 1693

Published and declared to be his last will and testament in the presence of

William Mills Thomas Gent

William Blackburne

Thomas Bagnall

 

Was this family presbyterian? 1664 item suggests this (Five Mile Act?) But his son Thomas went to Oxford. Did they conform? It must have been before 1675 when Thomas went to St John's College.


Tablet in Leek Church

Here lieth the bodies of William Gent the younger grocer buried in February 1680

and of Samuel his brother buried 3rd August, 1683

and of William Gent the elder grocer buried 7th March 1684

and of Hannah daughter of the said William Gent the elder buried 4th June, 1685

and of Thomas Gent Esquire son of the said William Gent the elder buried the 14th October, 1695

Sarah relict of William Gent the elder and mother of these children and of Sarah and Lydia their two other daughters was here interred 8th May, 1707 aged 80.

Lydia only surviving.

 

Tablet in Leek Church with Coat of Arms to Michael Henshaw who married Lydia Gent in 1681

Here lies the body of Michael Henshaw senior gentleman together with his wife brother son and daughters and likewise his son wife and daughter

Ann second daughter February 1686

Mary first daughter September 1687

Michael senior January 1692

Sarah fourth daughter March 1694

Edward brother January 1694

Frances wife of Michael junior November 1717

Lydia daughter of Michael junior December 1717

Lydia daughter of Michael senior and wife of Francis Cripps Excise Officer November 1718

Michael junior November 1718

Lydia wife of Michael senior September 1722


1694, March 26th

Quakers purchased land at Overton Bank, Leek, for meeting House, from Christian, Joyever and Charity, daughters of Gervase Gent


Will of Sarah Gent of Leek, dated 12th January 1706/7, proved 9th October 1707

 

I give to my brother Clows 5s. To Thomas Sutton of Leek, gentleman, my son-in-law 1 broad piece of gold. To Hannah Hicks and Lydia Hicks my grandchildren each one of the beds in my chamber with all fittings etc and half my plate, pewter, linnen etc Whereas by assignment of 18th April 1699 between my daughter Lydia Sutton by the then name of Lydia Henshaw, widow, of the first part and Sarah Gent of the other part, said Lydia did grant to me and my heirs £200 and all concerning the same and property at Thorncliff or elsewhere in Leek as security that I should by my will bequeath the same to Lydia Henshawe my grandchild, daughter of my said daughter Sutton and her heirs and for want of such issue to Michael Henshawe my grandchild, brother to said Lydia, and his heirs… so leave to Lydia and her heirs or Michael and his heirs and for want of such to Lydia Sutton her heirs and assigns for ever and as in said indenture there is a shop and house etc in Market Place of Leek which is left in same way.

Sarah Gent

Thomas Pratts, sole executor

Mary Johnson

Thomas Sutton

Na Sutton

Hicks=Kirks? (see Thomas Gent's will, 1695)


1708 Susannah Ashe of Tideswell and others conveyed to Charity Gent spinster of Tideswell a cottage in consideration of £6.


He also declared that his name was Thomas Gent, as well as mine; that his own father, Ralph, once a creditable baker at Uttoxeter, came up to London after his mother deceased, and died at his house, the sign of the Unicorn, in Kent street, Southwark; was own brother to my dear father in Ireland, who, long since, had visited his English relations, with his daughter, Rebekah [Life of Thomas Gent]


 

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