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Old Stratford and Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire
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Among the early Combes of Warwickshire, the most well-known were undoubtedly the Combes of Old Stratford and Stratford on Avon, close associates of William SHAKESPEARE.
Their relationships to the BARNES, PALMER, SMITH & WHITE Families indicate a remotely possible relationship to the Archdale-Combs Families of London. Their relationships with the RAINSFORD and BOUGHTON Families indicate a highly probable relationship to the Hertfordshire Combs, and their two brothers both named John continue to be crazy-making.
See Also Combs-Associated Families of Warwickshire, which includes additional data in regard to both land holdings and yet more Combs relationships.
Source for all references to Middle Temple is Combs &c. of the Middle Temple.
Except where otherwise noted, source for all references to Visitations is Combs &c. Visitations.
Combe Family, Visitation (1), Warwickshire, 1619 (Page 291) (1 of 2)
Arms- Ermine, three lions passant in pale gules.
Crest- a dexter hand and arm embowed in armour sable, garnished or, holding a broken tilting spear of the last and wreathed about the arm gules and argent.
1 Johannes COMBE de Ashley* in Com. War.
.2 Johannes COMBE de Ashley* in Com. Worc.
. .3 John COMBE de olde Stratford in Comitat. War.
. .+ ...filia BLOUNT in Com. Worcest.
. ..4 Edw. COMBE fil. et haer. Duxit Anna' filiam Steph' i HALES de Newland* in Com. Warw [LO: there is an Elizabetha under Edw. but I cannot tell if it is written as his wife or daughter]
. ..4 Thomas COMBE fil. 2 et. haeres fratis per entaile de Old Stratford.
. . ..+ Maria filia....SAUAGE [SAVAGE] de Elmeley* in Com. Wore.
. . ..5 Willm's COMBE de olde Stratford aetat. 31 8 die Decemb. 1619.
. . . . .+ Katherina fil. Edw. BOUGHTON.
. . . . .6 Maria filia unica aetat. decem menses 1619.
. . . .5 Thomas COMBE 2 fil. aetat 28.
. . . .5 Maria uxor Edri LANE de Bridgtown* in Com. War.
. . . .5 Jocosa uxor Edri BOUGHTON de Cawson* in Com. Warr.
. . .4 John COMBE 3 fil. ob. s.p.
. . .4 George 4 filius.
*No Ashley has been located as yet in either Warwickshire or Worcester. Newland was in Coventry Parish, Warwickshire (See Below). The parishes of Elmley Castle and Elmley Lovett are found in Worcestershire, early seat of the Lovett Family whose desendants also married Combs (Lovett Memorials ) Bridgtown was in the parish of Alveston, Warw. (See below). No Cawson has been located as yet. The entail records have not yet been read, but are also referred to in several wills (See below).
Combe Family Visitation (2), Warwickshire, 1619 (Page 23) (2 of 2)
1 John COMBE
.2 Tho. COMBE de Stretford.[nb: a small line with three branches under it, possibly indicating other lines off of Tho. that are also listed in the book since the index also has COMBE, Thomas 231, 291, 307]
.2 Edwardus COMBE de Wasperto' [Wasperton Parish, Warw.]
. .+ Anna filia Stephi HALES de Newland in Com. Ciutatis Courntriae [Coventry, Warw.]
. 3 Jocosa fil. et Coh. nupta Francisco CORNWALL de Berferd [Burford] in Com' Salop
. . 3 Anna fil. et Coh Edri COMBE de Wasperton in Com. War.
. . .+ Rob'tus DECONS de Wasperton in Com. War. fil. et heares iam super-stes 1619.
. . .4 Tho. DECONS fil. primogenitusaet. 14 ann' 1619.
. . .4 Edwardus
. . .4 Robertus
. . .4 Elinora
. . .4 Anna
. . .4 Maria
Notes: It appears (not yet known) that "3 John COMBE de olde Stratford in Comitat. War." of the 1st Visitation was the same as "1 John COMBE;" however, the wills collected thus far don't seem to "quite agree" with either of the Visitations (See Below) Wasperton, home of Edward Combs, is not mentioned in either will, was a parish in the Warwick division of Kingston Hundred, Warwickshire, abt 4 mi. from Stratford. (A Topographical Dictionary of England, Samuel Lewis, S. Lewis and Company, London, 1831, Vol. IV, p. 406 (excerpted)) However, see also reference to Edward COMBE of Barford, Warwickshire in regard to the Manor of Clifford (and see below). See also HALES/HALLES (HALL?) Family Visitation. Note also that CORNWALL was a.k.a. CORNWELL and possibly same as CORNELL & CORNHILL. Question: Is CORNWALLIS too big a stretch?
The Lane Family, Visitations of Warwickshire 1619 ( 307):
1 Nicholas LANE de Bridgetowne in parochia de Alueston [Alveston*] in Com. War.
+ ....filia....de Com. Wigorn [Worcester]
..2 Joh'es LANE 2 filius
.+ Francisca filia Tho. NASH de Olde Stratford in Com. Warr.
..2 Ric'us LANE de Bridgetowne in Com. War
.+ Johanna fil. Henrici WHITNEY de Micham in Com. Surrey
.3 Edwardus LANE fil. et haeres Aetat. 30 annoru' 1619.
.+ Maria fil. Thomae COMBES de Old Stratford in Com. War.
.3 Maria nupta Ric'o BISHOP de Cholsey in Com. Berks
(Transcribed by Combs Researcher Leslie Owens)
*Alveston Parish was less than 3 mi. from Stratford.
The Hales Family, Warwickshire, 1619 (2 of 2)
1 Stephanus HALES de Newland in the County of the Citty of Couentry [Coventry, Warw.] Armig
.+ Anna filia Ricardi MORISON de Com. Buck
.2 Anna nupta Edw. COMBE de Stretford in Com. War.
.2 Katherine ux. Edw. BUGGES de Com. Essex.
.2 Rob'tus ob. sine prole
.2 Maria nupta Joh'i BUGGES fratri Edwardi BUGGES.
.2 Timotheus HALES filius 2 de Exall in Comitatu' Couentrie [Exhall of Coventry, Warw.]
. .+ Elizab. fil. Thomae ASTLEY de Woluey [Wolvey] in Com. War.
. .3 Johannes HALES filius at haeres
. .3 Carolus 2 filius
.2 Carolus HALES de Newland miles one of his Mates Councell in the North ob. 1618
. .+ Elizab. filia Walteri FISH de London.
. .3 Stephanus HALES de Newland filius et haeres sup'stes 1619.
. . .+ Abigall 4 filia Wilmi WALTER de Wimbleton [Wimbledon] in Com. Surrey Ar.
. . .4 Elizabeth 13
. . .4 Katherina 9
. . .4 Abigall 3
. . .4 Anna 2
. . .4 Carolus HALES fil. at heares aet. 16, 1619
. . .4 Walterus aet. 12
. . .4 Bartholmeus 10
. . .4 Stephanus 1
. . .4 Stephanus ob. s.p.
. .3 Joh'es HALES miles filius 2 gentleman Pentioner to Kinge James.
Notes: Also note that the will of a Thomas STACEY, Mercer of London, dated 23 June, 1559, was witnessed by a Stephen HALES. (P.C.C. 18 Mellershe.) Were ASHLEY and ASTLEY possibly the same? HALE and HALL?
1537. Warwickshire. John COMBE (s/o John COMBE of Ashley, Crowle, Worcestershire) leases Clifford Manor: "William CLOPTON the purchaser of the manor, or his son, made a grant of the manor house and lands to Sir Edward GREVILLE of Milcote, who died holding it of William CLOPTON in 1528, having settled it on trustees to raise 1,000 marks for the male heir, when one should be born, of his son John and Eleanor his wife. John GREVILLE, who succeeded him, was knighted 1547 and died in 1565. In 1537 he had leased the manor place of Clifford to John COMBE for 60 years at a reserved rent L9 10s. In 1565 COMBE'S son, also John, obtained a fresh lease for 60 years at L40 rent, which led to litigation. John COMBE died, holding the capital messuage of Ruin Clifford and a watermill there in 1588 and his son Edward COMBE of Barford (d.1597), entailed the property on his brother Thomas, who died in 1609; and from him it passed to his son William, who died in 1667." (1)
1537 Welcombe, Old Stratford, Warwickshire. The same year above John COMBE also leases Welcombe (part of the chief manor of Old Stratford in the surveys of c.1182,1252,1299, and 1590) for 99 years, includes 3 messuages and a 2-3/4 virgates, from the Bishop of Worcester. (1)
The original manor house is no longer standing; however, it is described as located (on the route from Leamington to Stratford through Warwick) as: "At nine miles, on the right, is Welcombe Lodge, a mansion erected by Mr. Mark PHILIPS, in 1869, in the Elizabethan style, on the site of a house which was formerly the residence of William COMBE, nephew of John COMBE [d1614], and a friend of SHAKESPEARE." (2)
May 15, 1561 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Christopherus filius Johannis COMBES (3, pg. 6)
Notes: The above is the earliest record located thus far in the Parish Register of Stratford on Avon, home to Holy Trinity Church (there may be earlier - research incomplete). This church later became home to the monuments of both William Shakespeare and his close associate, John COMBE, as well as others:
"On the north wall, next to Shakespeare's monument, is a monument with two busts in white marble, one of Richard COMBE, and the other of Judith COMBE, his intended wife, who died August 11th, 1649, and is commemorated by a pathetic epitaph. On the north side of the altar, under an arch supported by Corinthian columns, is the effigy of John COMBE [d 1614], the friend of SHAKESPEARE, habited in a long gown, with a book in his hand. The inscription records his death on the 10th July, 1614, and a list of his charitable bequests; the monument being also the work of Gerard JOHNSON... On the other side is a monument by RYSBRACK, with a bust of James KENDALL, a gentleman of Stratford, who died October 19th, 1751, and a medallion profile of his wife. On the south wall, is a monument to the memory of William COMBE (nephew of John COMBE), who died January 30th, 1666, and of his wife and five children." (2)
1561 Avgvst 27. Stratford on Avon. Married: Johannes COMBES genosus et Rosa CLOPTONNE. (4, p. 2)
Mar. 10,1562 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Johannes filius Johannis COMBES eodem die qo natus. (3, pg 8)
Sept. 29, 1563 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Rogerus [blank] servus Mri COMBES pg. 12 (3, pg 8)
1569. Warwickshire. John COMBE (s/o John of Ashley, Crowle, Worcestershire) purchases College, which stood on the west side of College Lane, and was anciently the residence of the priests of the church. John made it his principal residence, and it later passed by marriage to the CLOPTON Family, and from them to Sir William KEYTE of Ebrington, and thence to the families of KENDALL and FULLERTON. It was finally sold in 1796 to Edmund BATTERSBEE who pulled it down in 1799. (Abstracted from extract by Combs Researcher Judy Elkins from "Shakespeare's Land" subtitled "Being a Description of Central and Southern Warwickshire" by C. J. Ripton-Turner (No copyright or publisher's date, but the preface is dated March, 1893), p. 100)
Oct 19, 1571 (Middle Temple Records Admissions) William COMBES, late of New Inn [London], gent., second son of John C., late of Stratford on Avon. esq. decd. Called 9 Feb., 1578-9
April 4, 1573 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Jone filia Johannis COMBES (3, pg 22)
April 8, 1575 Stratford on Avon. Christened: Francis COMBES, son of John COMBS (7) (3, pg 24) SW: Francis
April 8, 1575 Stratford on Avon. Buried: ffrancis COMBES (3, pg 24) SW: Francis
June 11, 1576 Stratford on Avon. Buried: ffrancis sonne [to] Mr. John COMBES (3, pg 25) SW: Francis
Oct. 14, 1579 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Mres Rose wife to Mr. John COMBES (3, pg 29) [neè CLOPTON]
May 24, 1584 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Mrs. Elizabeth wife to Mr. John COMBES (3, pg 36)
Notes: Said by some researchers (source?) to have been neè KINNERSLEY, she m John COMBES d 1614 (s/o John & Joyce BLOUNT Combe).
Feb. 2, 1584 Stratford on Avon. Buried: William sonne to Mr. John COMBES (3, pg 37)
1586 Januari 10. Stratford on Avon. Married: Mr Thomas COMBES to Mres Mary YOUNG. (4, p. 12)
Notes: Mary BONNER (d/o Anthony & Bridget SAVAGE Bonner) m (1) William YOUNG (by whom Bridget); m (2) Thomas COMBE (s/o John & Joyce BLOUNT Combe) who had m 1st Mary SAVAGE (ancestry?)
Dec. 29, 1587 Stratford on Avon. Buried: An infant of Mr. Thomas COMBES (3, pg 42)
July 31, 1596 Stratford on Avon. Buried: An infant of Mr. Thomas COMBES (3, pg 55)
1597 Edward COMBES of Barford, Warwickshire (eldest s/o John & Joyce BLOUNT Combes) d testate, but without male issue, and the manor of Clifford passed to his brother, Thomas (d 1608)
Notes: This will still needed.
1602 Stratford on Avon William SHAKESPEARE purchased 107 acres from William and John COMBE, and in 1610, 20 acres more. (New England Historical & Genealogical Register 1899, pp. 217-224, extracted by Combs Researcher Vince Griffin). (New England Historical & Genealogical Register 1899, pp. 217-224, extracted by Combs Researcher Vince Griffin)
Oct. 17, 1602 (Middle Temple Records Admissions) William COMBES, son and heir of Thomas C., of Stratford super Avan Warwicks, esq. [s/o Thomas & Mary SAVAGE Combes]
Nov. 14, 1608 (Middle Temple Records Admissions) Thomas COMBES, second son of Thomas C., of Stratford super Avon, Warwicks., esq. [s/o Thomas & Mary SAVAGE Combes]
22 Dec 1608 - 10 Feb 1608/9 The will of Thomas COMBE the elder of Old Stratford Esquire, made in the presence of Henry RAYNSFORD knight, William BARNES Esquire, John COMBE gent. ffrauneys COLLYNS gents and others the XXIIth day of December 1608, proved 10 February 1608:
My will and meaning is and my desire at the hands of my uncle William COMBE and my brother John COMBE of Stratford is that whereas I with them two stand jointly seized unto us, for the lives of my two sons William and Thomas and for the life of my brother John COMBE the younger, of and in the rectory or parsonage of South Cerney in the County of Gloucester, with all houses, glebe lands, tithes, oblations and other appurtenances to the said rectory or parsonage belonging, but in true intent and meaning to mine own use and interest and to be disposed at my will and pleasure. Then follows disposition of the same. A customary messuage and tenement, parcel of the manor of Alvechurch, in the county of Wigorn (Worcester). A deed made by my said uncle William COMBE bearing date 10 May. Portions severally willed and intended unto my several daughters Mary and Joyce COMBE. My daughter in law Bridget YOUNGE for her maintenance, I do will, give and bequeath unto Mary my well beloved wife the house I dwell in called the Colledge house and the "ortyarde," gardens and other appurtenances therewith to me by our late Soveraign Lady Queen Elizabeth demised, to have and to hold unto her for and during the term of thirty years from the date of this my last will &c. To son Thomas (among other things) my silver jug with two ears and my silver tankard with the cover thereof. To my wife one silver cup, one silver bell and a gilt casting bottle. The residue of my plate and silver spoons I give and bequeath unto my said son William. To my godson Henry RAYNESFORD a gold ring worth forty shillings, with the arms of the RAINESFORDES there to be engraven. To my said uncle William COMBE a piece of plate of five pounds value. My son William to assure unto my brother George COMBE, for and during his natural life, one annuity or yearly rent of three pounds thirteen shillings four pence. (Dorset, 13, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1897, H. F. Waters)
The above is an incomplete abstract, as evidenced by the following later transcription/publicationof that part of the above will which relates to Bridget YOUNGE:
"And to my daughter Brigett YOUNGE the yearly rent of six pounds, thirteen shillings, fouer pence, to be payed to her yearly for her mayntenance until the portion to her hereafter is this my will to her bequeathed, shall be payed her, or ought by my meaning hereafter expressed, to be paid her, if the estate in the said Rectory or parsonage shall so long continue undetermined."
"Item. I will, give and bequeath unto my said daughter in law Brigett YOUNGE in satisfaction of all demands to be made by her, or any other for her, or to her use for or by reason of any bond, heretofore made by me, or otherwise howsoever and of my bounty to her, for her well deserving at my hands, the sum of two hundred and fiftie pounds to be payed unto her in manner following, and upon the condition hereafter expressed, namely, one hundred pounds thereof to be paid within one year after my decease and the other hundred and fifty pounds residue, within one year after the marriage of the said Brigett, and in the meanwhile the same hundred and fiftie pounds to be lett fourth for the better mayntenance of the said Brigett.
"And my further meaning is, that if my said daughter in law shall happen to depart this life before marriage, then I will the same Legacy as touching the said hundred and fifty pounds shall cease, determine, and be void as to her, and shall be and go unto my said two daughters Mary and Joyce to be equally divided between them.
"Provided and upon condition, bee the aforesaid legacies and bequests (to) my said wife and my said daughter Brigett.
"That if all the bonds by me at any time heretofore made, to or for, the benefit, use, or behoof, of them, or either of them be not delivered up to my executors to be cancelled within one month after my decease, that these the several legacies by me to them before bequeathed, and my bequest to them hereby made, shall be utterly frustrate and void to all intents and purposes (anything in my will contained to the contrary notwithstanding)." (New England Historical & Genealogical Register 1899, pp. 217-224)
Important: This will is still incomplete, although to what extent is not known. Among the missing segments is one in which Thomas COMBE bequeathed to his son, William, the "best bed," and to his wife, the second-best, and remaining household goods. (5)
The deceased was Thomas COMBE the Elder (s/o John & Joyce BLOUNT Combe); married (1) Mary SAVAGE (Visitation of Warwickshire, ibid.); and (2) 10 Jan 1586/7, Mary BONNER, d/o Anthony & Bridget SAVAGE Bonner, and widow of William YONGE, by whom she had issue, the above Bridget YONGE (The ancestry of Mary SAVAGE has not yet been determined) who later married George WYLLYS, future Governor of Hartford, Conecticut (See Combs-Associated Families of Warwickshire for additional re Bonner-Savage-Willis-Young).
Also Note that based on the above, Thomas COMBE the Elder apparently had two brothers named John Combe, one of Old Stratford, Warwickshire and the other, John COMBE the Younger, at that time of South Cerney, Gloucestershire where we also find William Combs of Cheltenham whose daughter, Margaret, m Richard STRATFORD. Did his father have two sons named John COMBE, one by each wie? Or was one a son-in-law (m a Combes daughter)?
The order of Thomas' bequests also confirm the statement in Visitations that, George was the youngest brother. (See Also Worcestershire)
Thomas COMBE the elder gives no indication of the ages of his children, but according to the NEHGS source, Thomas COMBE the younger was abt 25 years of age when William SHAKESPEARE died in 1616, thus born ca 1591 [agrees with visitation]; yet, it is stated both that Thomas COMBE the younger was the son of Mary SAVAGE; and that Thomas COMBE the elder had married Mary BONNER (Young) by 1589 - obviously "facts" in conflict. Presumably Thomas was at least 20 years of age by the time of his admission to the Middle Temple in 1608 (assuming he had come to the Temple from University), thus born bef 1588, and an IGI extract indicates he was christened 9 Feb 1688 [1688/9?] at Stratford-on-Avon (Not researched). The mention of Sir Henry RAYNESFORD indicates a strong connection between the Stratford Combs and those of Hemel Hempstead, Herts where the 1634 Visitation indicates that Francis Combs m Barbara EWER whose sister, Mary, m Sir Francis RAINSFORD of Clifford, Warwickshire. See Combs-Willis Connections and George WILLIS Letters mentioning the Combs a number of times.
1613 December 11. Stratford on Avon. Married: Ed. LANE gent to Mary COMSB gent. (4, p. 26, nb: there are tildes above the t's in both gents) [d/o Thomas & Mary SAVAGE Combes])
10 Jan 1612/3 - 10 Nov 1615 Will of John COMBE of Oldstretford in the County of Warr. [Warwick], gent., dated January 10th James, 1612, and proved 10 November 1615. My body to be buried in the parish church of Stretford upon Avon in the said county, near to the place where my mother was buried, and my will is that a convenient tomb of value or three score pounds, shall be set over me. My cousin Sir Henry CLARE, knight, and Frances CLARE his daughter. To my brother John COMBE all that messuage &c. wherein William CAWDREY als COOKE now dwelleth, situated in Warwick in the said county and adjoining to the Gable there, my brother to hold this for term of his natural life and after his decease the reversion and remainder therof to be to the use and behoof of the heirs male of the body of the said John COMBE lawfully begotten and to be begotten and, for want of such heirs, to the heirs male &c. to my nephew William COMBE Esq. and the heirs of his body &c. and, for default of such heirs, to the use and behoof of my nephew THOMAS COME gent. &c. &c., next to my brother George COMBE &c., and lastly to my right heirs forever. To the children of my brother John three hundred pounds, to be equally divided amongst such of them as shall be living at his decease, the profit to be paid yearly to my said brother John during his life to his own use and towards the bringing up of his children. To the said William COMBE (certain closes) in the parish of Bishop's Hampton als Hampton Lucy, to his and to his heirs male, with remainder to my nephew Thomas COMBE &c., next to my brother George COMBE for life and after his decease to my nephew John COMBE son of the said George, next to my brother John &c. and lastly to my right heirs. To said nephew Thomas COMBE (certain lands) in Hampton aforesaid (with provisions for entail). To my brother George COMBE all those closes or grounds &c., called or known by the name of Parsons Cloase als Shacksperes close, lying and being in Hampton aforesaid, to hold for life, and after his decease to my said nephew John COMBE (with provisions for entail). Thomas RAYNOLDES son of Thomas RAYNOLDS of old Stretford, gentleman. My cousin Margaret wife of the said Thomas RAYNOLDES the elder. The children of Jane FEATHERSTON daughter of the said Thomas RAYNOLDES the elder. Margaret RAYNOLDES another daughter. The rest of my cousin Thomas RAYNOLDES' children. My sister HYETT and her children. My nieces Mary and Joyce COMBE daughters of my brother Thomas deceased. My brother George's two daughters. To my cousin Margaret RAYNOLDES wife of the said Thomas RAYNOLDES the Elder all my right and title I have to those grounds called Samon Tayle, in the parish of Stretford upon Avon, for life and then to her son William REYNOLDES, with remainder to her son Thomas REYNOLDES &c. next to her son Walter REYNOLDES and lastly to her right heirs forever. I give her all my plate and household stuff (except my apparell). Sundry servants named. John FEATHERSTON. My Uncle John BLUNTE. My cousin Anne DICKENS. My goddaughter GARDENER and her sister. One hundred pounds for a fund to lend to fifteen poor or young tradesmen, occupiers or handicraftsmen dwelling within the Borough of Stretford upon Avon, vizt. To every one of them twenty nobles apiece for the term of three years, every one of them paying yearly three shillings and four pence; at the end of the said three years to fifteen others for three years (at same rate) and so on; which said yearly several sums of three shillings and four pence shall be and forever remain to the use of the almsfolks of Stretford. To the poor of Stretford twenty pounds, to the poor of Warwick five pounds and to the poor of Alcester five pounds. I give unto William WHITE forty shillings which he oweth me by bond, if he be living at my decease, and the same bond to be cancelled, to Mr. William SHACKSPERE five pounds and to my landlord John DAVIES forty shillings. To Frauncis COLLINES the elder of the borough of Warwick ten pounds and to my godson John COLLEUS [sic], his son, other ten pounds within one year after my decease and if either of them die before that the survivor to have all, if both happen to die before the time appointed for payment then I bequeath both their legacies to Suzanna COLLENS, wife of the said Francis, and to the eldest son of the said Francis equally betwixt them. I give to the said Susanna COLLENS six pounds thirteen shillings four pence and to Mr. Henry WALKER twenty shillings. To my cousin Thomas REYNOLDES the elder and MARGARET his wife my team of oxen, things belonging to a team and forty marks of money. To Sir Francis SMITH, knight, five pounds to buy him a hawk and to the lady Anne his wife forty pounds to buy her a bason and ewer and to Mrs. PALMER the wife of John PALMER Esq. Forty shillings to buy her a ring. To my cousin Thomas COMBE all my meadow ground in Shottery meadows, he to pay a learned preacher twenty shillings a year to make a sermon twice a year at Stretford church and also every year to give and deliver to ten poor people within the borough of Stretford upon Avon, such as shall be yearly appointed and elected by the Bayliff and chief Alderman for the time being and two of the "auntientist" Aldermen there, ten black gowns, every one of them worth thirteen shillings four pence apiece. I give and bequeath to every one of my good and just debtors, for every twenty pounds that any man oweth me, twenty shillings, and so after this rate for a greater or lesser debt to be delivered back unto them by my executors when they pay in their debts. And all the residue of my goods &c. I give and bequeath unto my said nephew Thomas COMBE; and I do make and ordain the said Thomas COMBE, Sir Richard VERNEY, knight, and Bartholomew HALES esq. Executors and do nominate and appoint Sir Edward BLUNTE, knight, Sir Henry RAINSFORD, knight, Sir Francis SMITH, knight and John PALMER of Compton Esq. to be overseers of this my will. (Rudd, 118, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1897, 28)
10 Jul 1614. Stratford on Avon Church, Warwickshire. Tombstone inscription: "Here lyeth interred ye body of John COMBE esqr who departed this life ye 10 day of July A Dni 1614 bequeathed by his last will and testament to pious and charitable uses these sums inoving anually to be paied for ever viz XXs for two sermons to be preached in this church six poundes XIIIs and 4 pence to but ten goundes for ten poor people within yo borrough of Stratford & one hundred poundes to be lent unto 15 poore tradesmen of ye same borrough from 3 yeares to 3 yeares changing ye pties every third yeare at ye rate of fiftie shillinges p. anum wch increase he appointed to be distributed toward the reliefe of the almes people theire. More he gave to the poore o Stratford twenty....." (Provided to Combs Researcher Barbara Jones by Walter Crow, "Courtesy of Rector and Churchwardens of Holy Trinity Church Stratford-upon-Avon''')
Extracted by Combs Researcher Judy Elkins from "Shakespeare's Land" subtitled "Being a Description of Central and Southern Warwickshire" by C. J. Ripton-Turner (No copyright or publisher's date, but the preface is dated March, 1893), p. 100, describing the Shakespeare Memorial in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford:
[John] COMBE lived at the College, which he had purchased, and a very dubious tradition chronicles that SHAKESPEARE, suspecting him of usurious practices, composed the following satirical epitaph on him some years before his death:
"Ten in the hundred lies here engraved,
Tis a hundred to ten his soul is not saved,
If any man ask, who lieth in this tomb,
Ho ! ho ! quoth the devil, 'tis my John-a-Combe."
nb: A footnote explains that Ho ! ho ! was the cry of ancient Moralities and early stage entertainments that heralded the Devil's appearance on the scene. Also note that references to Combs' "usury" imply that he was a money lender, further reinforced by his Shakespearean epitaph since the phrase "ten in the hundred" refers to a ten percent interest rate.
"[SHAKESPEAR] spent some years before his Death at his native Stratford. His pleasurable Wit, and good Nature, engag'd him in the Acquaintance, and entitled him to the Friendship of the Gentlemen of the Neighborhood. Amongst them it is a Story almost still remember'd in that Country, that he had a particular Intimacy with Mr. COMBE, an old Gentleman noted thereabouts for his Wealth and Usary: It happen'd, that in a pleasant Conversation amongst their common Friends, Mr. COMBE told SHAKESPEAR in a laughing manner, that he fancy'd he intended to write his Epitaph, if he happen's to out live him; and since he could not know what might be said of him when he was dead, he desir'd it might be done immediately. Upon which SHAKESPEAR gave him these four Verses [above]." (6)
Notes: The deceased was s/o John COMBE (by Joyce BLOUNT?) We have not yet determined how John COMBE and his brother, John COMBE, were kin to each other; i.e., through intermarriage, or perhaps half-brothers (same father, different mothers), but it appears that the still-living John COMBE was probably John COMBE the Younger who was of South Cerney, Gloucestershire in 1608 when their brother, Thomas' will was written. It also appears that John the Younger had issue as of 1612, and that his children were still minors. We have not yet identified the relationships of many of the above family members; however, note that in Berkshire, the 1620 will of a Phillipe COMBE named as overseer a Thomas REYNOLDS, and had as a witness, Thomas COMBE (probably his named brother). Likewise, the relationship or identities of the PALMERS has not yet been determined; including whether he was kin "somehow" to the Archdale-Combs-Palmer Family (See also below).
In the meantime, we continue to seek to determine not only the above relationships, but also those of the Combes to: cousin Sir Henry CLARE; cousin Margaret, wife of Thomas REYNOLDS; uncle, John BLUNT; sister HYETT; cousin Anne DICKENS; Mrs. PALMER, wife of John PALMER (See Barbara ARCHDALE Palmer (Ayloffe), sister of Margaret ARCHDALE Combs (See Archdale-Combs Families); Sir Francis SMITH (See John SMITH of Nibley, Bristol, with whom one Thomas Combs (perhaps Thomas, son of Thomas?) corresponded during the 1630s re the Virginia Company.
Also note that in Water's footnotes re the above will, he makes the following statement:
"From the fact that the testator refers to an uncle John BLUNTE one might infer that this John COMBE was related somehow to Thomas WILLIS of Isleworth (England) and Lynn (Mass.), whose daughter Elizabeth was the wife of our Rev. John KNEELS of Watertown, but I fail to see in this will any evidence of a relationship with the Connecticut line of the WYLLYS or WILLIS family; and yet Thomas COMBE, a nephew of the above testator, calls George WYLLYS (the younger) a kinsman, and the latter, in a letter written in 1639 (to some one in Hartford), speaks of the death of a cousin Ann COMBES. H.F.W."
George WYLLYS (WILLIS) married 2 Nov 1609 in Holy Trinity, Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire, Bridget YONGE, d/o William & Mary BONNER Yonge, the latter having married next, Thomas Combs who d in 1609 in Warwickshire. George WILLIS the Younger was the son of George & Bridget YONGE Willis the Elder (who later removed to CT where he became Governor of that state). Bridget YONGE Willis was buried at Fenny Compton, Warwickshire, EN, 29 Mar 1629, and her husband married next, bef 1632, Mary SMITH, widow of Alexander BYSBIE, and daughter of Francis and Alice SMITH of Stratford-on-Avon. (New England Historical & Genealogical Register 1899, pp. 217-224) Possibly the Francis SMITH named above? The Ann COMBES who is mentioned in the 1639 letter may have been the same as Anna COMBE, d/o William, who was buried August 24, 1639 (See above) See more about the Combs-Willis-Young Families and Bonner-Combs-Savage Families under Combs-Associated Families of Warwickshire. We would, of course, be interested also in learning more about the BLUNT-WILLIS connection (including to BLUNT-RICH &c.). The only place name of Isleworth located thus far is the parish in Middlesex, and may indicate a connection due to the Combs-Palmers of Twickenham Parish.
Sept. 13, 1614 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Robertus FFLECHER [FLETCHER] de Welcomb (3, pg 86)
23 Apr 1616 Stratford, Co Warwick, William SHAKESPEARE died testate, and among the bequests was one to "Mr. Thomas COMBE my sword." (New England Historical & Genealogical Register 1899, pp. 217-224)
This Thomas Combe, the s/o Thomas & Mary SAVAGE Combe, d 1656/7 with no mention of the sword (in his possibly "over-abstracted" will).
Jan 1617/8 - 16 Oct 1620 (SOAME, FOL. 93-4; 1096; pg 364-365) The will of Sir William KINGESMILL of Sidmountaine, Southhampton, Kt. included the following: " hous. in Fleet St.; lease unto Sir Anthony PALMER, Sir Thos. BAKER and Sir Thos. LUCY, Kts., dat. 23 Aug., 14 Jas. I.; lease dat. 22 June, 35 Eliz., made by me and my wife to Wm. COOMBE and Thos. HILMAN, both decd., concerning 1ds. in Hodnell als. Hodenhall, Ascott als. Asconicette, Hookes, Whittington, Radborne and St. Helen's, Warwickshire.; deeds poll dat. 24 Feb., 11 Jas. I., and 22 Aug., 14 Jas. I ."(Abstracts of Wills in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury at Somerset House, London, England; Register SOAME 1620 by J. Henry Lea, 1904) (See Also Southampton EN)
It is not yet known if all the above-named lands leased to Wm. COOMBE & Thos. HILMAN were in Warwickshire, nor has William COOMBE been identified as yet. Likewise, we do not yet know if Sir Anthony PALMER was kin to either William PALMER, h/o Barbara ARCHDALE, sister of Margaret ARCHDALE Combes (See Archdale-Combs Families), or to the Mrs. PALMER wife of John PALMER named in the 1612 will of John COMBE of Old Stratford above.
April 5, 1617 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Mris Mary Combs (3, pg 92) [neè BONNER, w/o Thomas]
10 May 1626 (Middle Temple Records Admissions) Edward PALMER, son and heir of John P. of Compton Scorfin, Warwicks. esq.
June 30, 1629 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Edward COMBER (3, pg 115)
05 Nov 1629 (Middle Temple Records Admissions) John PALMER, second son of John P. of Compton Scorphin, Warwickshire, esq.
October 12, 1632 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Constance filia Mri Will'mi COMBE (3, pg 121)
August 5, 1634 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Elizabetha filia Mri Will'mi COMBE (3, pg 124)
1636 Nov. 26. Stratford on Avon. Married: Mr Thomas WAGSTAFFE et Mra Maria COMBE (4, p. 36)
Note: Mary, d/o William and Katherine BOUGHTON Combe. According to an IGI extract, Maria COMB m 26 Nov 1636, Bishop's Tachbrook, Warwickshire. Spouse's name not given (IGI, F#184102, P#189, O#6775, source not read). Not known if marriage recorded in both locations, but apparently the births of their children were later recorded there (See Below)
August 24, 1639 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Anna COMBE filia Mri Will'mi COMBE (3, , pg 135)
Sept. 8, 1640 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Elizabetha filla Will'mi COMBE, Esq'. (3, pg 137)
Aug. 24, 1648 [sic] Stratford on Avon. Buried: Mrs. Judith COMBE (3, pg 147)
July 31, 1652 Stratford on Avon. Buried: Kathren uxor William COMBE, Gent (3, pg 152) [neè BOUGHTON]
20 Jun 1656 - 14 Jul 1657 The Will of Thomas COMBE of Old Stratford in the County of Warwick Esq., dated 20 June 1656, and proved 14 July 1657, stated that he was to be buried in the chancel of the parish church of Old Stratford and makes bequests to: the poor of the Borough of Stratford upon Avon twenty pounds and to the poor of the parish of Old Stratford ten pounds. My servants William and Henry GALE. Other servants. My cousin Anne BIRCH wife of Francis BIRCH of Allchurch in the county of Worcester. George BECK and his sister Mary BECK the children of my servant Emberie BECK. My well beloved friends Mr. John BROOKS and Mr. Richard HUNT of the Borough of Stratford upon Avon. To Anthony BONNER eldest son of my cousin Anthony BONNER of Quinton in the County of Gloucester, gent, fifty pounds, to be delivered into the hands of my trusty and much respected friends Michael RUTTER of Quinton &c. Esq., George WILLIS of Fenny Compton gent and Edward WAGSTAFFE of Bridgetown, Warwick, gent, for the best benefit and advantage of the said Anthony BONNER the younger. Thomas BONNER, his brother. To my much respected and esteemed friend Edward WAGSTAFFE (as above) ten pounds to buy him one silver can with my name and arms engraven upon it. Sarah CALE of the borough of Stratford upon Avon, daughter of my cousin Humfrey CRANE of the borough of Warwick. To my cousin William COMBE all that the water and river of Avon and the ground and soil usually covered with the said river and also all that the several and free fishing of and in the said river of Avon, from a place or stone in the Home near the riverside four and forty yards distant from the Wash meadow ditch up the river to a place called Hatton Stile. Mr. Nathaniel FOX of Pointington in the County of Somerset clerk. My "auntient" acquaintance and trusty friend Mr. John WASHINGTON of Shottery in the County of Warwick gent. My said cousin William COMBE, his heirs and assigns, to pay yearly fifty shillings out of the tithes of Dreyton to the Bayliff of Stratford upon Avon for the findint and providing of a dinner yearly for the said Bayliff and Burgesses of the said Borough at or upon every tenth day of June. John CHARNOCK of the same borough blacksmith. John Lord Bishop of Worcester by Indenture made 26 December 21st of our late Sovereign Lord James set over (to certain persons) a messuage and the parcels of lands called the Wastells als Wastehills in Allchurch Worcestershire to hold during the natural lives of Thomas COMBE, Mary COMBE daughter of William COMBE, brother of the said Thomas, and Mary BOUGHTON daughter of Edward BOUGHTON Gent, brother in law of the said Thomas. Recitation of other similar indenture. My cousin William COMBE son and heir of John COMBE of Allchurch &c. Gent. at age of one and twenty. Thomas COMBE second son of the said John COMBE. John COMBE third son &c. Reference to alms men and women in Stratford such as wore gowns by my Uncle John COMBE'S bequest. A learned preacher to make two sermons yearly in the parish church of Stratford, one upon every 10th day of June and the other every 25th day of December. My cousin Thomas CRANE of the borough of Warwick, mercer. My cousin William BOUGHTON of Cawson in the County of Warwick Esq. My brother William COMBE of old Stratford Esq. (who hath no issue male living). His two daughters Mary and Katherine (married). My cousin Combe WAGSTAFFE and Mary his sister and Thomas STEPHENS, grandchildren to my said brother. I give and bequeath unto my faithful loving Kinsman George WILLIS of Fennie Compton in the County of Warwick gent fifty pounds over and above and besides the legacy of one hundred marks hereinafter bequeathed him if he take on him my executorship. My loving nieces Mrs. Mary ROUSE wife of John ROUSE of Tachbrooke Esq. and Mrs. Katherine STEPHENS Wife of Thomas STEPHENS of Sadbury Esq. [sic] My loving friend Thomas RAWLINS of Stratford upon Avon Esq. Counsellor at Law. I do constitute and ordain my said cousin William COMBE, son of my cousin John COMBE of Alchurch &c. gent., the said George WILLIS of Fennie Compton gent., Henry SMITH of old Stratford gent and Thomas CRANE of the borough of Warwick, mercer, executors. (Witnesses, if any, not listed) (Ruthen, 282., New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1889)
Important! It appears that Waters edited Thomas COMBE'S will (and possibly the earlier ones) heavily. It will probably be necessary to order copies of all 3 wills (plus locate that of Edward d 1597) in order to study the land before being able to make determinations to at least some of the above relationships. Ditto for the entails made by eldest brother, Edward Combs, and the 1667 will of William Combs.
The deceased was Thomas COMBE, son of Thomas & Mary SAVAGE Combe, and died without issue. See also Bishops Tachbrook below, and also note that the will of one Thomas Combs, "departing for England, carpenter," dated 13 Mar 1675/6, and proved in Barbados on 13 Jun 1676 (Barbados Records), mentions money owed him by Maj. Thomas ROUSE. One of the witnesses was a James SCOTT, and on 17 Apr 1677 in Old Rappa. Co VA, Archdale Combs witnessed a deed between Francis TRIPLETT and Samuel BOWIN, which refers to "land that belongeth to James SCOTT." (Old Rappa. Records, 1677-1682, Part 1:167) See Also BURROUGHS-CALE-SAVAGE-SCOTT-STEPHENS-VASSALL-WILLIS of Old Rappahannock Co VA, some of which surnames also found with ARCHDALE and Combs Families of Barbados. Also note that this Thomas COMBE (d 1656/7) may have been the same who was a shareholder in the Virginia Company (See Earliest Combs to Virginia)
Nov. 28, 1661 Middle Temple, London. Admissions: William COMBE, of Stratford On Avon, Warwicks., esq.
Bishop's Tachbrook & Tachbrook-Mallory were a little over 3 miles SE of Warwick in Warwickshire; Hampton-Lucy, a.k.a. Bishop's Hampton was a parish in Warwickshire abt 4½ mi. from Stratford upon Avon. (A Topographical Dictionary of England, Samuel Lewis, S. Lewis and Company, London, 1831) Katherine Combs, d/o William and Katherine BOUGHTON Combs, m Thomas STEPHENS, s/o Edward and Anne CREWE Stephens of Little Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England, the latter the d/o Thomas CREWE of Northampton who appears to have been probable "somehow kin" to Mr. Arthur CREWE who m Elizabeth Combs of Soulbury, Bucks and Sparsholt, Berks, d/o John & Elizabeth LOVETT Combs and and granddaughter of John and Margaret ARCHDALE Combs.
Further clarifying relationships is the description in "Shakespeare's Land" (p.. 308) of the Church of Bishop's Tachbrook, south of Leamington:
"In the chancel are some interesting marble memorials of the WAGSTAFFE family, formerly lords of the manor. On the north wall is a monument enclosed by Corinthian columns, topped by a pediment, to Combe WAGSTAFFE (died 1667), and another to Walter BAGOT, who was drowned in the Avon underneath Warwick Castle in 1800. On the south wall is a florid monument to John WAGSTAFFE (died 1681) and Alice, his wife, and another with classical columns, surmounted by a pediment and a weeping cherub on each side to Sir Thomas WAGSTAFFE, the last of the name (died 1708), and Frances, his wife (died 1706). On the north wall of the north aisle is a tablet to John ROUS, who died November 6th, 1670, having married Mary, eldest daughter of William COMBE, of Stratford, and widow of Thomas WAGSTAFFE, Member of the Restoration Parliament and High Sheriff of the County."
Selected Bishop's Tachbrook IGI extracts
17 Jul 1568. Bishops Tachbrook, Warwickshire, EN. Married: Margaret LOVETT and Willm TRENTAM (IGI, Ba: E039912, So: 428978, film not yet read)
27 Nov 1580. Bishops Tachbrook, Warwickshire. Christened: Anna COMBES, daughter of Edwardi and Anne [HALES] Combs. (IGI entry, Ba: C039912, So: 548391, film not yet read)
09 Nov 1584. Bishops Tachbrook, Warwickshire, EN. Married: Marie LOVITT and Willm OLNEY. (IGI, Ba: E039912, So: 428978, source not read)
05 Nov 1637. Teachbrook, Warwickshire. Christened: Comb WAGSTAFF, female. (IGI [Parish Extract?], F#: 183437, @, Rel: Wm. WAGSTAFF, P#: 125, no parents listed) SP: Pre-1970, O#: 4482)
Notes: Presumably the above refers to Bishops Tachbrook Parish (film not read). Sir Combe WAGSTAFF, s/o Thomas & Mary Combs Wagstaff (Rouse) who m Nov 1636, Stratford on Avon. Also note: Since the LOVETT and Combs records are from different sources, either or both may be other than parish extracts. No mention of either of the above LOVETT marriages has been located in records pertaining to the Combs-Lovett Families.
Notes: Who was Thomas' cousin, Ann BIRCH, wife of Francis of Allchurch in Worcestershire? His kinship to Anthony BONNER was by way of his father's marriage to Mary BONNER, d/o Anthony BONNER & Bridget SAVAGE, and sister of Anthony BONNER who was both the father and grandfather to two Anthony BONNERS (See Bonner-Combs-Savage Families under Combs-Associated Families of Warwickshire). As noted above, George WILLIS was the son of his step sister, Bridget YONGE and her husband George WILLIS who married 02 Nov 1609 in Holy Trinity, Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire, EN. But how was Thomas kin to Humphrey CRANE? Was Thomas CRANE the son of Humphrey CRANE, and whom did Sarah CRANE Cale marry? (See will of Robert BECKINGHAM of Lancaster Co VA whose 1675 will named his sister, Elizabeth, w/o John CUMBE, and his wife, Elizabeth, who was widow of Thomas STEPHENS by whom she had Elizabeth who m Giles CALE of Richmond Co VA. Is there any possibility that John WASHINGTON above was kin to the WASHINGTONS of Westmoreland & Old Rappahannock Co VA who were near neighbors of the Combs & UNDERWOODS?
According to the Warwickshire Visitation of 1619, William Combs, s/o Thomas & Mary SAVAGE Combs, m Katherine BOUGHTON, d/o Edward BOUGHTON; and Jocosa (Joyce) Combs, d/o Thomas & Mary SAVAGE Combs, m an Edward BOUGHTON. See also Edward BOUGHTON of Hertfordshire and Edward BOUGHTON, brother in law of John FLEET, and Henry FLEET whose land was adjacent to that of the (Archdale?) Combs of Old Rappahannock Co VA. Was Henry SMITH kin to Sir Francis SMITH of Thomas' Uncle John COMBE'S will?
1. Excerpted by Combs Researchers Denise Mortorff and Joe Kendalll from Salzman, L.F. ed., THE VICTORIA HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF WARWICK. London. V.3. pub. by A. Constable. 1904, p. 264.
2. Extracted by Combs Researcher Judy Elkins from "Shakespeare's Land" subtitled "Being a Description of Central and Southern Warwickshire" by C. J. Ripton-Turner (No copyright or publisher's date, but the preface is dated March, 1893), p. 100
3. Extracted by Combs Researcher Leslie Owens from "The Registers of Stratford on Avon, in the country of Warwick Burials, 1558-1623," London, privately published for the Parish Register Society 1905.
4. Extracted by Combs Researcher Leslie Owens from "The Registers of Stratford on Avon, Marriages 1558-1812, Co. Warwick," issued by the Parish Register Society (XVI)
5. Extracted by Combs Researcher Brenda Daniels from "Shakespeare of London" by Marchette Chute, 1949 (170 Selected bibliographys were used to write this book), pp. 243-4, 298, 300, 313-319
6. Introduction to the first publication of the works of Shakespear by Nicholas Rowls (Shakespear's first editor and biographer), published in 1709 and entitled "Some Account of the Life Etc. of Mr. William Shakespear"
7. Index to British Parish records, FamilySearch.Org
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