The History of Ilmington - Chapter 7

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Two family studies - ROSE and ARCHER

The persistence of certain surnames in the village records as shown at the end of chapter 4 prompted some family study.  The two families chosen were the Roses and Archers.  This was an arbitrary choice.  It might equally well have been the Coldicotts and Hurlestones or the Edens.  The study covers the period from 1588 when the extant parish registers begin, to the early years of the 19th century.  The data comes from a variety of sources but the most important have been the parish registers, scattered deeds and a certain number of wills.  Wills and inventories dealt with in the previous chapter have elucidated certain relationships.

Approximately 24 families of Roses have been found during this period.  The baptisms of just over 50 sons and 30 daughters were recorded.  The burials of only 30 men were recorded and these include some of the older men whose baptisms would have taken place before the extant records began.  This reinforces a point which emerges through the family studies, that a number of the men establish themselves in other communities.  Others come to the village, for not all those of an age to be baptised here were in fact recorded.  An example of this is Nathaniel Rose with a brother William Rose in Burmington.  It has not been possible to study in detail registers other than those of Ilmington.

A very striking and most confusing aspect of the Rose family is the repetition of christian names.  Among the 50 sons, there were twelve Williams, nine Richards, eight Johns and six Thomases.  There were three Christophers, two Roberts, also Edward, Samuel, Nicholas, James, Joseph and Walter.

A sad fact, less marked in the Rose than in the Archer family, is the terrible mortality of the children in certain families and with this goes the repetition of christian names, the new baby often being given the name of a child already lost. 

Among the Roses this is illustrated on one of the altar tombstones in the churchyard.  Two of these belong to the family of William Rose 'Gent', the only member of the family to be so described.  On one is inscribed 'Near this tomb lyeth Bodies of John and William Rose Two sons of William and Frances Rose Aged 5 years each.  John was buried 27th Novem: 1687.  William was buried 12th of May 1690.  Also here lyeth William Rose a third son of William and Frances Rose who was Buried Octobre 4th 1704.  Age 10 years'.  The despair of the parents, seems to speak through this epitaph; it must also have been experienced by so many others.  Their oldest child was a daughter who survived her parents and established a charity going by the name of her mother.  The numerous deaths of children in some families may have resulted from economic status but that was not the case for this particular family.

Another feature to emerge from the numerous deeds examined is the importance of the women.  Very often the transaction is made by the husband and his wife.  It is usual for the tenure of the land whether by lease or copyhold to continue in the name of the widow, who if her son is a minor, often sublets the land.

Many of the members of this family were of the yeoman class.  A certain William Rose in 1698 (1) appears to have conveyed to the Earl of Essex two separate holdings of a messuage and two yard lands, and a messuage and one yard land.  The messuage and two yard lands had been in the tenure of a William Rose in 1615 (2) and land holding by a William Rose is mentioned as early as 1600 (3).  These were of a size held by only a minority of the Ilmington farmers.  A William Rose was churchwarden in 1682, '83, '99 and 1702, as was Nathaniel Rose in 1674.  As has been already stated, a William Rose and Southern paid £33 rent for a quarry on the Alford rent rolls.  This would probably be an older William than the one who was churchwarden at these dates.  It is likely that in the 1630s a considerable amount of rebuilding was going on in Ilmington and the quarry must have been of some importance.  One of the Roses was a mason, another was a laborer, a John Rose of Beckford was a mercer and an Edward Rose of Stretton a yeoman.  A John Rose in a will leaves his lands in Borton(?) to his brother Christopher.  All of these are likely to be Ilmington born men.  Only two Roses are mentioned as paupers and this at a date when the family had almost disappeared from this village, i.e. in 1737 and 1773.  The tombstones of the churchyard today revealed none to Roses other than the two already mentioned, but Harvey Bloom's record of tombstones (4) gives in addition John Rose 1680 and his wife Alice 1698, and another John Rose 1611 and his wife Alice 1626 and a William Rose and his wife Elizabeth, both of whom died in 1654.  None of the Roses, so far as is known, appear on lists of recusants.  Not all were always law-abiding and the names of some appear in the chapter on Law and Order.

The William Rose described as gentleman lived at Blackwell in 1690, but for how long is not known.  His wife Frances was the sister of a Thomas Cooke of Covent Garden.  In 1703 he was ordered with two others to appear at the Quarter sessions so that one of the three might be sworn as High Constable of the Kington Hundred, but there is no record that he was the one so sworn.  The deeds of what is now 'Puddocks' at the end of Frog Lane suggest that when this was sold in 1811 it was part of a larger house which had stood on the site and which had been known as Rose House.  It had been sold by Frances Rose in 1726 two years after her husband had died.  The only surviving child of this marriage married John Green.  In 1781 at the time of the Enclosure a John Green is shown at what is now termed the Dower House.  However the charity which Sarah Green named after her mother Frances was secured on the house close of a much smaller farm and is described in the section on Ilmington charities.

Nathaniel Rose, probably originating from Burmington appears from his land transactions to have been one of the less successful members of the family, and he figures in the quarter sessions more than once.

The disappearance of the name Rose from the records is fairly sudden and remains unexplained.  There are none in the Enclosure Award of 1781.

It has been possible with a fair degree of probability to draw up the following tables.  They include only a proportion of the families, the others remaining as single generations which are not given here.

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Though not strictly relevant the following extract from churchwardens' presentments when William Rose was churchwarden in 1683, may perhaps be allowed to close this study of the Rose family.

'Our minister is a man of studious, sober, peacable and exemplary life and conversation.  We have no Hereticks nor Seismatics in our parish neither do any of our parish work upon Sundays or Holy days.

Churchwardens. William Rose John Gray. Oct. 1683.' Abraham Swanne was rector.

Perhaps he wrote the presentment for them.

The Archer family extends over a longer period of time than the Rose family in those records which have been found.  The first is a record of Nicholas Archer already quoted for the 14th century and the latest is one of a John Archer in 1867.  Because they have a much greater variety of christian names it is easier to construct family tables.  The number of baptisms exceeds the number of burials suggesting that a number left this village for neighbouring ones, and others whose baptisms cannot be found must have come to the village.  The numbers of sons and daughters baptised in the period intensively studied from the registers is respectively 56 and 52, a more equal sex ratio than that found for the Roses.  In a few of the families infant mortality is very high and there is more than one instance of the coincidence of the burial of a child and the wife in the same year.  This may mean the mother's death at child birth, but here the months have not been determined.  As with the Rose family one of the Archers is once termed 'gentleman' but it has not been possible to identify him.  Many were termed yeoman, some husbandman and at least one and probably more were laborers.  Some were craftsmen and tradesmen.  There was a carpenter, a shoemaker and a tailor.  Some appear in the Quarter sessions and one, a yeoman, sadly, was in gaol.

It has been possible to fit together information to form the following table from the parish registers, scattered deeds, the hearth tax and a will for one Joseph Archer and his son Joseph 'the younger'.  His name is marked with an asterisk.

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In 1615 (5) a Nicholas Archer was in occupation of a messuage, a close called the paddock and one and a half yard lands with meadow and pasture.  This was probably the first Nicholas who died in 1633.  In 1698 (6) Joseph Archer senior was said to have lately occupied woods and coppice on Ilmington Hill, but more important, in a separate deed he is said to hold a messuage and one and a half yard lands (7).  Other references show this to have been held from at least 1684 (8).  In the Hearth tax Joseph Archer, occupies one of the three hearth houses, young Joseph being then twelve.  The will of the elder Joseph who died in 1702 gives detail of the rooms in this three hearth messuage.  There was a hall, a chamber over the hall, the other chamber, the lower chamber, the Buttery and the kitchen.  The buttery was not a dairy but more like a butler's pantry.  Joseph Archer was a substantial yeoman, and left goods to the value of £154.14.0.  One yeoman of a comparable date had goods valued at £25.  His will was proved in October and his crops had been harvested.  He had Wheate worth £10, Barley £15, Pease £4, Fitches £3.4, Oates £8, three ricks of hay £11.  He also had 26 lands sown to the winter wheat crop valued at £12.  His farm was well stocked with 4 mares and 2 colts, 4 cows and 2 heifers, 2 calves, 5 pigs and 60 sheep and lambs.  The contents of the rooms were valued as a whole so that the furniture was not itemised.  But he had ten paires of sheets, two table cloths, and napkins, and brass and pewter, to the value of £6.10.  He also had one hundred and a half of cheese.  He left his house and land to his wife Martha for her life and then to his son Joseph.  To his daughter Mary he left £5 a year and two rooms in his house.  Mary at thirty seven was evidently likely to remain a spinster.

In about 1696 Joseph Archer the younger, then a bachelor over thirty, married Hannah Rose, a widow with a young son Richard.  They appear to have had no children by this marriage.  Hannah had a messuage and one yardland (9) which she assigned on the death of her first husband to Edward Rose of Stretton and John Rose of Beckford.  When her son came of age he soon mortgaged this to a William Powell of Borton on the Hill (10).

Joseph Archer the younger does not appear to have inherited his father's ability.  In 1706 (11) he raised a mortgage from Isaac Snow of Moreton, who often appeared as a financier in Ilmington, for £480 and interest, giving as security his messuage and one and a half yardlands.  In 1710 (12) there is a record concerning one yard land bought of Joseph Archer by Thomas Proctor.

The case of Job Archer is an interesting one though the family is incomplete.  His baptism in Ilmington is not recorded nor is that of his eldest son Daniel.  He also appears to have had a second wife, Anne.

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In 1698 (13) the Earl of Essex granted to Job Archer, Ann, his wife, and Elizabeth, his daughter, for £10 the cottage with appurtenances and all that well and pump lately dug on the waste of the manor now in occupation of Job by a lease from Lord Capell.  This is probably the Job whose family is given above.  There had been an earlier case of the inhabitants refusing to allow an Archer to build on the waste even though the lord of the manor had agreed.

In 1710 (14) Job Archer, yeoman, now of Worcester, granted to Daniel Archer, yeoman of Ilmington, his eldest son and heir, of his natural love and affection, and for providing for his father in prison, all that cottage and appurtenances with two cow commons now inhabited by Daniel and Anne the wife of Job.

In 1715 (15) John Archer, a tailor, apprenticed his son James to Daniel Foster, a carpenter.  In 1732 (16) James Archer, a carpenter, leased from Loggin and Searle of London three cottages, for a rent of 5/- a year, the landlords to be responsible for repair.  He also owed suite at Court Baron if required.  One cottage had recently become vacant by the death of the occupant, the second was inhabited by James, and William Archer, a tailor, lived in the third.  Much later in 1779 (17) Canning leased to a James Archer aged 26, a shoemaker, and Ann aged 24, his wife, and James, their son age 6, three cottages now in his occupation for 7/6 a year.  This James was to be responsible for his own repairs.  He was probably the son of the previous James.  His wife Anne was the daughter of the Foxcote gardener.  He married young and his family appears to have been as shown below.

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He was a Catholic, as was the next James who married Sarah Jones of Southfield.

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Finally the descendants of Robert who died in 1652 and held fourteen lands, i.e. strips, and pasture for one cow appear to be as shown below.

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On the whole, the men of the Archer family married young and were prolific!

In the Inclosure Award for 1781 Job Archer was to continue to pay to the rector in lieu of tithe 2¾d.  This was for a messuage and garden of 14 perch.  He paid 1d towards the cost of the award.  Thomas Archer also paid ¼d to the rector in lieu of tithe on a messuage and garden of two perch.  He was not required to contribute towards the costs of the award.

Edmund Archer, possibly the Edward Archer, only son of Sara Archer given above, inherited one of the two cottages, discussed at the end of chapter 12, in 1811 when his mother died, and bought the other in 1837.  He was a cord wainer and sold the cottages in 1845 at a considerable profit.

  1. Warwick Record Office CR 1306.

  2. Birmingham Local Studies Library No. 193157.

  3. Warwick Record Office CR 229/3/3.

  4. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, J.H. Bloom M.S. 86.

  5. Birmingham Local Studies Library No. 193157.

  6. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust ER 10/2.

  7. Warwick Record Office CR 1306.

  8. Birmingham Local Studies Library No. 86030.

  9. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust ER 3/4423.

  10. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust ER 3/4424.

  11. Birmingham Local Studies Library No. 86355.

  12. Warwick Record Office CR 1306.

  13. Warwick Record Office L3/327.

14. Warwick Record Office L3/329.

15. Warwick Record Office CR 1379 Box 1.

16. Warwick Record Office CR 1379 Box 2.

17. Warwick Record Office CR 1379 Box 2.