Humphrey Blake1

M, b. circa 1494, d. before 28 December 1558
     Humphrey was born circa 1494. He established his seat at Plainfield in the parish of Over Stowey, Somersetshire. Here he built a manor house with architecture of the day. Over his fireplace in the great hall he hung the sculptured arms of his ancestors from Wiltshire and Hampshire. The manor stands about a mile from the church of St. Peter and St Paul. The hamlet was a centre of weaving and pottery during the time the Blakes maintained the manor. Humphrey married Agnes (?) circa 1520 in Somersetshire, England. Humphrey made his will on 19 November 1558.

To be buried in the parish church of Overstowey, with such orisons & prayers to be said & done for me at my Buriall, months mind & in the daye of my annyversarie as shall be thought mete by my Exors [executors], &c. To the Parson of Aissheholt to pray for me, 10s. To Anstice Blake, one of the daughters of Robert Blake, for her advancement in marriage, £6. 6/8. To Jone Slocombe, daughter of George Slocumbe, 20s. To Agnes Mannynge, my daughter, £4. To Catherine Cabull, 6/8. To Alice Cabull, my sister, 6/8. To John Blake the elder, my son, £100. To Robert Blake, my son, £100. To Thomas Blake, my son, £20. To Eleanor Langham, my daughter, 10s. To Alice Slocombe, my daughter, 6/8. Manor of Tuxwell, Somerset, to my son Robert Blake & his heirs, &c., then to Thomas, my son. then to John Blake, the younger, my son. To John Blake, the elder, my son. & his heirs, lands. &c., in Bishops Lydiard. My friend, Humphrey Coles, esq., £5, to see my will performed, &c. Residue to Anne my wife, & son John Blake the younger, Exors. Overseers. John Blake the elder, Robert Blake, William Luker.2

Humphrey departed this life in the parish of Over Stowey. He was buried there in St. Peter & St. Paul Church on Sunday, 28 December 1558.3 His will was probated on 11 May 1559.


Agnes (?) d. b 24 Jun 1585


  1. [S1195] Clifford L. Stott, Humphrey Blake & His Descendants in New England & South Carolina, pages 73-74 - The arms of Admiral Robert Blake, the great-grandson of Humphrey Blake, are found in the Harleian Collection in the British Library. The shield is quartered with the arms of Dorrant, Billett, and Williams. As shown above, Robert's mother was Sarah, daughter and coheiress of John Williams. The Blake arms in the upper left quarter are identical to the arms of Blake of Wiltshire, suggesting that the Somerset Blakes are a branch of the earlier Wiltshire Blake family.
    The much earlier Blake pedigree published in Sir Thomas Phillipps' collection of Wiltshire pedigrees includes among its earliest generations Henry Blake, who married an unnamed Dorant heiress, and their grandson, also named Henry, who married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Walter Bellet.1375] These are obviously the families whose quartering are in the arms of Robert Blake. Hence, it is clear that they are the ancestors not only of the Wiltshire Blakes, but also the Blakes of Over Stowey, Somerset. The difficulty is to determine how Humphrey Blake of Over Stowey descends from the Wiltshire Blake family. As already mentioned, Horatio G. Somerby fraudulently linked Humphrey Blake of Over Stowey to this earlier pedigree. Somerby found it necessary to create two fictitious ancestors: William, father of Humphrey, and another William identified as the grandfather of Humphrey. He then made the earlier William Blake into a son of Robert Blake, who was a proven son of Henry Blake and his wife Margaret Bellett. Somerby's work was published in 1881 by William H. Whitmore in A Record of the Blakes of Somersetshire Especially in the Line of William Blake of Dorchester, Mass., the Emigrant to New England, from the Notes of the Late Horatio G. Somerby (Boston: privately printed, 1881), cited earlier in note 136.
    Vivian H. King later identified Humphrey Blake as the son of John Blake, whose burial on 18 August 1558 appears in Over Stowey parish registers. While this is possible, there seems to be no evidence that John Blake (buried 1558) was the father of anyone. Paul C. Reed, FASO, and Robin Bush, former assistant archivist in the Somerset Record Office, have both tried unsuccessfully to identify Humphrey Blake's parents. Nevertheless, the arms of Admiral Robert Blake and the 1623 visitation provide at least some insight into the Wiltshire origins of the family.
  2. [S1198] Clifford L. Stott, Humphrey Blake & His Descendants in New England & South Carolina, page 87 - Will of Humphrey Blake dated: 19 November 1558 & probated: 11 May 1559.
  3. [S1198] Clifford L. Stott, Humphrey Blake & His Descendants in New England & South Carolina, page 87.