Caleb Lovejoy 1603-1677

Part 1

Mary Alexander

Caleb’s life and an overview of the Charity.

Caleb Lovejoy was born in 1603, the son of Philip, a shoemaker, and his wife Catherine. He was probably the last child of the family, though the St. Nicholas parish registers are damaged and sometimes illegible. The first Lovejoy child in the register was William in 1586, followed by (possibly) James in 1588, Thomas in 1591, Ann in 1593, Philip in 1595, Robert in 1598 and Susan in 1600. The 1588 entry is damaged, and the boy’s name is missing, but James Lovejoy, the son of Philip and Catherine, was buried in 1594 so it may have been him. Philip had married Catherine Mongar of Wonersh on 30th October 1585, and following the usual pattern, they had a child roughly every two years. James is the only child known to have died young. The Lovejoys were the only family with that name in Guildford before and after Philip and Catherine’s family.

Catherine’s name was spelled with a ‘K’ in the marriage register and when James was buried, which was the normal English spelling at the time, but the name in the parish registers was more often spelled with a ‘C’.

William and Robert were baptised in St. Nicholas’, according to the parish register, but Thomas and Philip were baptised in St. Mary’s. James was buried at St. Mary’s, Susan and Ann were baptised in Holy Trinity and Caleb’s baptism appears in the registers for both St. Nicolas and Holy Trinity. It is not very likely that the family kept moving house; it is more likely that for some reason baptisms were recorded in the registers of the different churches. Possibly the same rector was serving two churches in the early 17th century. There is a gap in the St. Nicholas register from 1592-98, which partly explains the baptisms in other churches.

According to the brass plate in St. Nicholas, Caleb attended the Free School, now the Royal Grammar School, which was indeed founded as a free school. He would have had to have been able to read and write, and may have been taught by his mother, or by the local clergy or by a neighbour. There is a possibility that Caleb went first to Thomas Baker’s charity school founded by a deed of 1579 but not taking effect until his wife died in 1598. Possibly Caleb had some difficulty in these early years which led him to make provision for the teaching of poor peoples’ children in his will. However, his father was probably not a poor man. He is likely to have been a tradesman of the middling sort, since his occupation is recorded in the parish registers, and he had his own pew in the church. The family home was, apparently, almost on the site of Caleb’s almshouses.

Caleb was apprenticed in London to a member of the Merchant Taylors’ Company, and became a freeman of the Company in due course, and a citizen of London. The brass plaque refers rather oddly to Caleb being sent to London before he was fifteen, where he spent almost four times fifteen years. This seems to be a rather literary (and heavy-handed) way of putting things: he died at the age of 73, so if he went to London when he was fourteen (before he was 15) he spent 59 years there, almost 60, or 4 x 15.

Fourteen would be a normal age to be apprenticed, probably for seven years. He would live in his master’s house, sharing a room with other apprentices and household servants, and being fed and clothed by the family. The Merchant Taylors’ Company was one of the twelve major livery companies of the City of London, which regulated the different trades. By the 17th century members were not necessarily working tailors: they could be wealthy merchants dealing in various goods.

One of the few things known about Caleb locally is that he was a contractor for waggons to Cromwell’s army during the Civil Wars in the 1640s. Until recently there was only one reference to this, in a book by G.C. Williamson, who is often unreliable.

Caleb was in fact the ‘Carriage Master’ in Sir William Constable’s Regiment. It would be interesting to know whether Williamson was writing from a local tradition, or if he knew the book of army lists. Sir William was from Yorkshire, and a keen supporter of Parliament. He raised a foot regiment which operated in the south of England, which is presumably the one Caleb worked for. (There was a horse regiment in the north.) Sir William was on the Army Council which discussed the execution of Charles I, and he signed his death warrant. Supplying transport would not necessarily mean that Caleb supported parliament, but being part of the regiment shows that he must have done. Sir William resigned his command in 1645 as part of the Self-Denying Ordinance, which ruled that MPs could not also serve as army officers: he was an MP. As the Army List in which Caleb appears includes Sir William as the colonel, it must date before 1645. We do not know if Caleb continued in it, but the major fighting ended in 1645, and he probably went back to civilian life.

Caleb may have started out as a merchant tailor, but it looks as if he turned to other ways of earning a living. When he wrote his will he described himself as ‘citizen and merchant taylor of London’ but that was probably to show his honoured place in society. Being a citizen and a member of a livery company were important privileges.

Caleb lived in the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, at least from 1640-1659 when the sources are available. In 1630 a source lists him and Philip Lovejoy living together in London. This might have been his older brother Philip, born in 1595. Later Caleb moved to St. Olave’s, Southwark.

He mentions a wife called Mary in the will, in connection with a legal deed about his properties. The marriage does not appear to have been happy and the date is unknown. The only other reference to Mary is a hope that his estate will be kept intact to carry out his charity ‘there being enough in the remaining part of my estate to satisfy any claim my wife can make for thirty pounds paid after my decease during her life.’ He also mentions a ‘deed of Uses when a fine was levied between us’ in about 1658. This might imply that he had already settled some property on her, but the meaning is not clear. There is no mention of children.

Mary may have been Caleb’s second wife. In 1639 Thomas Lovejoy, the son of Caleb and Grace, was baptised in St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London, followed in 1642 by Caleb. There may also have been a daughter Sarah but no date is available for her baptism. Then in 1661 Mary, daughter of Caleb Lovejoy, gentleman, was baptised at St. Olave’s, Bermondsey, Southwark. She was buried there a year later. In 1666 Caleb Lovejoy was married in Little Laver, Essex – his spouse is not given in the source. This may have been Caleb’s son: there is no way to distinguish them, though it is very likely to be out Lovejoy family, since it is an unusual name. No records survive for Caleb senior’s marriages. In 1688 one Mary Lovejoy was buried at St. Martin’s. If this is Caleb’s widow she may have returned to the parish, or maybe she had stayed there while Caleb moved south of the river.

Nothing more is known about these children, who may have died young. It is possible that the daughter Mary born in 1661 was born to Caleb and his second wife Mary. It was common to name children after their parents, and there was already a son called Caleb. If so, the second wife must have been a lot younger than Caleb. Caleb junior may have emigrated to America: one Caleb Lovejoy died in Massachusetts.

Caleb certainly prospered, and when he made his will in 1676 he owned several properties in Southwark, where he lived in the parish of St. Olave’s: we don’t know when he moved to Southwark. One of the properties was the Walnut Tree inn. A book on Southwark inns said that he bought it and ejected the king’s tenants, but that should not be relied upon. A book on the Surrey Quarter Sessions 1659-1661 mentions Caleb, as an inn-holder, along with some others, who had been sent an order to appear before the justices to make sure they were keeping to the rules during Lent. This was standard practice. The Surrey Quarter Sessions would be dealing with Southwark, but it does not necessarily mean that Caleb lived there at that point, only that he owned the inn.

Caleb suffered a loss by fire. We don’t know exactly what, but he got permission to send a brief round to all the parish churches asking for donations. This was normal in the case of a big loss. Two of the returns survive: 1s 6d from Edburton in Sussex, and 14s 6½d from St. Christopher le Stocks in London.

When he made his will he owned fourteen properties in Walnut Alley, alias Carter Lane, in St. Olave’s parish. This was a turning off Tooley Street, opposite St. Olave’s. The properties were given to the Merchant Tailors’ Company in trust, to use the income from them for the purposes of Caleb’s charity. They were:

  • 2 little houses of 2 rooms
  • 3 high houses of 5 rooms, all 5 in back yard of the Walnut Tree
  • 4 high houses in the foreyard of the Walnut Tree, 3 with 5 rooms one over another, the 4th being a double house
  • All 9 houses were lately new built by Thomas Charman carpenter, deceased, now in possession of Charman’s widow
  • 2 little tenements next adjoining the aforesaid houses in the foreyard, each 5 rooms one over another, built by Nicholas Butterfield bricklayer deceased
  • 1 large workhouse, on a brick wall next to a churchyard in the occupation of Thomas Barfoot joiner
  • 2 other new brick houses on the same wall, also built by Butterfield

All fourteen had about 45 years to run on their leases, except for Barfoot’s which had about 15 years. The will then set out very detailed instructions for the charity, which was mainly about education for poor children, and housing for the aged poor. There were also instructions for keeping accounts, and an annual inspection by the Company. These were carried out, except for the housing, because there was not enough money. However, in 1833 the land in Southwark was purchased for improving the approaches to London Bridge, and in 1841 the almshouses were built.

The first duty of the trustees listed in the will was to have an annual sermon preached by the minister (rector) of St. Nicholas, or another minister, on the anniversary of Caleb’s funeral, which was on 1st February. This shows Caleb’s puritan tendency, both wanting the sermon and calling the priest a minister. Both of the parishes he lived in had puritan ministers, who refused to join the re-established Church of England in 1662, but many London parishes were puritan.

After the sermon the minister, the overseers of his will and the churchwardens were to have a dinner, costing 20 shillings. In those days the person making the will appointed an executor and overseers, usually two or more, who would make sure that the bequests were carried out.

Caleb’s executor was his nephew Thomas Preston, the son of Caleb’s sister Susan. She had married William Preston in St. Nicholas’ in 1623. They had four boys: William, Thomas, Philip and Caleb – all family names. Philip died in 1655, Caleb in 1659, and William in 1667, leaving only Thomas. Susan had died in 1633, three years after her husband. Caleb left money to her grand-daughter Susan Preston, and asked Thomas to look after her two brothers. These were the children of William. He was a tailor in Farnham, where his three children Susanna, Thomas and William were born in the 1660s. They were aged two, three and seven when their father died, so they would need protection. Their mother Eleanor was still alive.

When Caleb’s sister Susan died her children were only nine, seven, six, and three. William may have been sent to Farnham, or elsewhere, as an apprentice then or soon after, but Philip and Caleb Preston, the youngest, were looked after by one John King. He may have been the weaver of St. Nicholas who made his will in 1677.

The funeral memorial service would have been attended by other people from the town. The rector at this time was Giles Thornburgh, who died in 1679 and was succeeded by his son, also Giles. At the dinner was also the ‘Register’ or the registrar or clerk who made up the accounts. He was also to be the writing master for the educational charity. Every second year two gentlemen from the Merchant Taylors’ Company were to come to Guildford to hear the sermon, to dine and to look over the accounts. If they were not available, two Guildford men who were members were to attend, or others appointed by them. Each of the two were to be given 20s for their expenses. If the Londoners came 40s was to be spent on the meal.

The Register was given detailed instructions to write the accounts up in a ‘waste’ or rough book, and enter them into ‘a fair book of parchment’ every second year, when the livery men came down. He was to write in it in his own hand, and no-one else was to write in it. He would be given 10s on the occasion. The bell-ringers were to have 2s for ringing the bells and the parish clerk was to have 2s 6d for attending. Caleb clearly envisaged a special occasion.

Caleb’s will then deals with his educational charity. This part begins with an interesting and unusual section, discussing how God had given man ‘an intellectual nature whereby he is made capable of knowing God and seeking after him’. Caleb thought it would be ‘the highest sacrilege’ to rob God ‘by employing mind and understanding’ except in his service. We are born ‘not with habits but with faculties, and God knows they are naked ones’ and it is our duty to improve them. Caleb could think of no better method than ‘to train up young children in good literature … the greatest oak came of a little acorn … I shall, God assisting me, not only advise with my pen but help with my hand’. So, he was giving £6 a year from the income for ‘teaching of poor people’s children their letters until they can read their testament, which shall be done by some honest poor women’, one to teach ‘in the street of St. Nicholas’ meaning the part within the borough boundary, ‘others at Katherine Hill, Littleton, or where my overseers shall think most convenient’. It is interesting that there must have been enough poor women who were literate.

As well as this, Caleb directed that three poor boys born in St. Nicholas parish who had ‘been kept some time at the free school’ until they were ten, eleven or twelve, should be chosen by the overseers of the will to ‘be taught to write two or three fair hands, with arithmetic to such a degree as he may thereby be able to keep merchants’ accounts’. The free school would normally mean the grammar school, but perhaps Caleb meant his teachers, or Baker’s charity school which taught poor children a basic education, until they were ready to go to the grammar school or be apprenticed. The writing master was to be paid four nobles a year for teaching each boy. (A noble was a gold coin worth 6s 8d.) There were several different styles of writing, used for different purposes, such as legal affairs, accounts, letters etc. Caleb was thus giving the boys a range of skills.

After the boys had been learning writing for two to three years they were to be apprenticed and given £5. (Caleb was very particular – he specified ‘two years or two and one half none exceeding three years’.) Then the overseers and churchwardens were to choose other boys in their place. The £5 was very useful. A boy’s parents usually had to pay a sum to the master to take the boy as an apprentice, which many poor parents could not afford.

Later in the will Caleb had some more ideas. He added £3 to the £6 for teaching the boys for buying books for them, and for new books for those who had finished their schooling, to encourage them ‘to keep what they have gotten’. He also added two more boys ‘chosen by the town of Guildford’ to be taught writing and arithmetic – one from Holy Trinity (or St. Trinity as he called it) and one from St. Mary’s parish. He increased the writing master’s salary to 30s pa for each boy, which would amount to £7 10s, for the five boys. When the boys were apprenticed they were to have £2 to buy clothes, and £5 to give to their master. This sounds as if it was in addition to the £5 the boy was to be given. (Caleb seems to have written the will himself, and occasionally repeated himself.)

Caleb hoped that when his will took effect ‘if Mr Richard Noble be then living that he be desired (if he shall think fit)’ to teach the young boys. Caleb continued that if, after they had learned their trade ‘if they like not to follow [it] as all do not’ their education will fit them for ‘many other employments to profit themselves and to serve their generation’. This seems unexpectedly broad-minded. Perhaps Caleb’s long life in trade, and his time in the army, had given him a wider perspective on life.

The next part of the will dealt with housing for the poor. Caleb hoped that after the forty-five years of the leases on his property had expired, in two or three years there would be enough money ‘in bank as will build four convenient little houses each containing two rooms one over the other for aged poor, who were either born or have lived in the parish at least fifty years, I mean only such aged poor who live without the liberty of the said town’. Caleb meant that the charity was for people who lived outside the borough boundary. St. Nicholas parish is rather unusual. St. Nicholas is the parish church of the small part of Guildford borough over the river, and also of Artington, a big rural parish. Caleb wanted to help poor people who lived at St. Catherine’s, Artington or Littleton, as he had specified for teaching poor boys. Abbot’s Hospital catered for the aged poor within the borough.

Caleb allocated £28 pa for the old people. Each was to have £5 a year, paid quarterly, and £1 pa for buying fuel in winter. This came to £24. In the first year the other £4 was to be used to buy ‘each of them a blue home-made cloth gown, with a badge of red cloth set on the breast of each gown cut in those two letters CL’. Whatever was left over of the £4 was to be spent ‘on stockings, shoes or what else shall be found by the overseers most necessary’. The gowns were to last for two years, so the next year the £4 was to be spent on linen hoods, stockings or whatever else was needed.

Caleb does not specify men or women, so the gown was probably a warm coat or outer garment, rather than a dress, similar to those worn by the residents of Abbot’s Hospital. The red letters sewn to the gown were common in almshouses or other charities. At Abbot’s Hospital there was a silver badge of an archbishop’s mitre. The poor of St. Mary’s at this period had to wear a badge with the letters H.S. for Henry Smith, who bought the Poyle land for the benefit of the poor of Guildford. The blue gown and the letters would mark out the residents when they went out, and some people resented being singled out like that. However, this part of the charity was not put into action because the almshouses were not built until 1841, when badges for the poor were no longer used.

Caleb gave detailed instructions about the sort of people to be admitted. The overseers had to make sure they were ‘persons of good report, fearing God, not swearers, drunkards or disturbing of their neighbours peace, but of godly pious conversation’. Again, this was typical of almshouse regulations. If the overseers or churchwardens had been mistaken in their choice ‘as it possible may be’ and a resident proved to be ‘troublesome, scandalous and disorderly’ and did not improve after a first warning, their next quarter’s money would be withheld. If they still did not behave they were to be turned out.

Caleb hoped that when there was enough money, after the leases had expired, £4 was to be spent on the annual dinner, and if two or three gentlemen came from London they were to have 20s each, though he seems to have already said that earlier. In addition, 20s more was to be given to the poor of the parish after the sermon, whoever came to have it. It was not unusual for money to be given to the poor at funerals.

Caleb then appointed the overseers of his will, who became, in effect, trustees of the charity together with the churchwardens at the time. The overseers were John Wight esq. of Braboeuf, Recorder of the town of Guildford (a legal position), Thomas Bradfold and George Bambrook, all of them living in St. Nicholas parish. (Although Bambrook is spelled thus, it was normally written ‘Benbrick’.) When one died, the others were to choose a replacement. If this was not done the Merchant Tailors were to choose trustees.

Caleb appointed his nephew Thomas Preston as his executor. He was the son of his sister Susan.

The will ends here, dated 15th November 1676. Caleb died the next year and was buried in St. Nicholas on 1st February 1677. His burial was also recorded in the register of St. Olave’s Southwark. Both give the year as 1676 because the year began on March 25th in those days. We don’t know the exact date of his death but it would have been shortly before his burial. It would take a day to bring the body to Guildford.

Caleb asked to be buried in St. Nicholas. It cost extra to be buried in the church (rather than the churchyard) and was a privilege of the wealthy, because the floor of the church had to be taken up for the burial. In the will he left his body ‘to the dust whence it came desiring to be buried in the north aisle of the parish church of St. Nicholas in Guildford at the pew door where Philip Lovejoy my father in his lifetime sat, and to have a stone laid upon my grave with such inscription as I shall appoint. There to rest until I shall rise again in the Resurrection of the Just, to be taken into everlasting glory’.

The inscription reads:

Caleb Lovejoy here I lye, yet not I

My Body being dead

My Soul is fled unto Eternitye

There to injoye that everlasting Blisse

Which Jesus Christ my Lord

Who’s gon before, prepared hath for his;

Wherefore my body rest in hope till then

When He shall joyne thee to thy Soul agen

And bring thee unto that most glorious Vision

There to enjoy thy God in full Fruition

These verses were of his own inditeing

Nowe set in Brass are by his own apoynting.

Who was here buried I of February MDCLXXVI aged LXXIII (1676; 73)

Lord make us fit by Likeness while we continue here

To meet our blessed Jesus when he shall apeare.

John Wight: Ere (Esquire)

Mr. Robert Berry



There is also a brass plaque on the north wall with details of his youth in Guildford and his charity. It says that the properties produce £20 pa ground rent and will yield £80 pa when the leases have expired. So the plaque must have been put up soon after his death, though it took eleven years to install the plaque above.


We have met Caleb’s parents and siblings, but little is known about them. His father Philp appears in Guildford out of nowhere, it seems (though this is just because of a lack of records). It was fairly common for families to come and go, and in Guildford it was normal for boys to go to London to find work or be apprenticed.

When Philip made his will in 1630 he only mentions his sons William, Philip and Caleb and his daughter Susan. They were each given 1s, a token sum. Everything else went to his wife Catherine. Philip died soon after making the will, and his wife died in 1633. Wills were usually made on the death bed. Philip’s overseers were Henry Snelling, and William Preston, Susan’s husband. Snelling was a shearman, who finished off woollen cloth.

Caleb’s brother William wrote his will in 1641, or rather spoke it. He must have been taken ill suddenly, with no time to fetch a scribe. He left Caleb 1s and the rest of his estate to Susan’s children Philip and Caleb who were living at John King’s. The witnesses were three men who are described as ‘Curators’ of the two boys, Philip’s next-of-kin and minors. None of the witnesses were Lovejoys.

The Prestons

William Preston, Susan’s husband, died in 1630.  They had married in St. Nicholas in 1623, and had four boys: William in 1624, Thomas in 1626, Philip in 1627 and Caleb in 1630.  These were all family names.  Further children were prevented by William’s death.  When Susan died in 1633 the children were very young: nine, seven, six and three.  Their uncle William was still alive but perhaps not in a position to take them in.  He, Philip and Caleb were the only sons mentioned in their father’s will of 1630, so presumably Thomas Lovejoy and Robert had died, as well as their sister Ann.  One Ann Lovejoy was buried in Godalming in 1611.  She had been a servant to Mrs. Barber. As the surname is unusual she may well be Caleb’s sister.

Susan’s son William emerges later as a tailor of Farnham.  Perhaps he was apprenticed young, or lived with John King, or a relative.  Nothing is known of Thomas Preston, nor of Philip and Caleb after William Lovejoy made provision for them in his will. However, they survived for a time.  Philip Preston died in 1655 and Caleb in 1659, both in St. Nicholas parish. The St. Nicholas registers are damaged so we may have lost several entries about the family.  It seems that by the time Caleb was making his will he was the only survivor of his generation of the family.  All but one of his nephews had died.  Thomas was the survivor and Caleb made him his executor.  He must have been living in Guildford.

William Preston junior had done well, like his uncle Caleb.  When he died in 1677 he left his son Thomas his house in Guildford when he was 21 (and was old enough to inherit property).  He left his daughter Susanna one of his houses in Farnham when her brother William was 21.  His wife Eleanor was his executor.  Thomas was born in 1664 so was thirteen when his father died.  Susanna was born in 1660 and William in 1665.  It is possible that the house in Guildford had been Philip Lovejoy’s, but we don’t know whether he owned or rented his house.

Richard Noble

The man whom Caleb wanted as the writing master does not seem to have been born in Guildford. He may have come from London and possibly knew Caleb there, but there is no definite evidence. In 1676 John Staples of St. Nicholas, gent., left to ‘my friend Mr Richard Noble writing master my buckskin gloves’. Mr Noble was also one of the witnesses of the will. He was mentioned in wills of 1685 and 1686. In the latter, he was a ‘friend and neighbour’ in Stoke next Guildford. In 1683 he was a trustee along with several others for George Benbrick to hold a field which was to give his sister an income. George Benbrick was one of Caleb’s trustees under the name Bambrooke. In 1671 a widow called Christiana Dawes asked to be buried in Holy Trinity ‘at the foot of old Mrs Noble’s grave’. ‘Mrs Noble widow’ had been buried in 1669 and may have been Richard’s mother. At this date ‘Mrs.’ meant ‘Mistress’ and was only used for wealthier people. Richard himself was buried in Holy Trinity in 1687, described as Richard Noble of Stoke gent. In his will he left his house to his nephew. The house was in Stoke parish, but it was in the Upper High Street just beyond Holy Trinity’s parish boundary. A lot of people who lived in the Upper High Street went to Holy Trinity as it was much closer than Stoke church. They would have considered themselves are residents of Guildford, not Stoke, which was a very small village. Noble’s house was described as ‘adjoining or lying near to the Grammar School and Grammar School Close’. The Close was a large field or garden behind the school, so Noble’s house must have been next door to the school on the east. The borough and parish boundary ended at the school, so the house was technically in Stoke parish. The house would have been where Somerset House is now, built by Edmund Graile in 1699. (Noble gave Edmund’s brother John a small bequest.) Noble had been married because he mentions his late wife’s family in the will, but no children of his own. Perhaps ‘old Mrs Noble’ was his wife. He was very keen for the family name to continue and made a provision in his will that whoever inherited his house was to take the surname Noble.

Richard’s overseers were his friends Morgan Randyll esq of Chilworth and Edward Bray of Shere, gent. They were both landowning gentry, and it is strange that a writing master, who would normally be a rather lowly figure, should be a gentleman. He left houses in Ripley and Send in his will as well as the house in Guildford which he lived in.

The Trustees

Caleb must have sounded out the trustees before he made his will, perhaps by letter or perhaps by visiting Guildford. He clearly kept in touch with his birth-place to some extent. Charities were founded very simply in those days, by including them in a will.

John Wight

John Wight was one of the overseers of Caleb’s will, and in effect, a trustee of the charity. He lived at Braboeuf, near St. Catherine’s. The Wights inherited Braboeuf through a cousin in about 1560. John Wight was born in 1632 and succeeded to the estate in 1656. He married in 1668 while he was studying at the Middle Temple, and had nine children between 1670 and 1686, with his wife Cornelia. So he was in his forties when he became a trustee, and lived until 1708. As was usual, he witnessed neighbours’ wills, perhaps because of his legal training, and he was the Recorder of Guildford, a salaried position, advising the corporation on legal matters. He was also a trustee of the Poyle charity. As we have seen, in 1688 he was a churchwarden of St. Nicholas, when the plaque to Caleb was put up.

Thomas Bradfold

Not much is known about Thomas. He was one of the more important men in Guildford, it seems, as he was overseer or executor for several of the wealthier merchants in the town, including George Benbrick, a fellow trustee, who also made him a trustee of his own charity. Thomas was a clothier – a man who controlled the making of cloth. There were Bradfolds in the 1540s in St. Mary’s parish, then there seems to be a gap until the 1660s. Thomas (of Guildford) married Elizabeth King of Ashtead in Great Bookham church in 1665. Their children were William, Elizabeth, Thomas, Ann, Hannah and Benjamin, born between 1669 and 1681, all born in St. Nicholas parish. Thomas died in 1697.

George Benbrick

George Benbrick was probably born in 1631 in Godalming. His father Edmund was probably the son of Raffe Banbrick of Farnham, born in 1567. Raffe was probably the brother of Edmund Benbrick of Frimley who died in 1593. He was a yeoman who was made a keeper of the part of Windsor Forest near his house in 1575. (The Forest was divided into ‘walks’, one of which was Frimley Walk.) George’s parents Edmund and Joan moved to Guildford in about 1633 where Robert and Jacob were born in 1634 and 1638.

Edmund was a felt-maker, as we know from his will of 1665. The children mentioned in his will were Jacob, John, George and Joan. His other children listed in the parish registers were Ann, Edmund, Sara and Robert. (Edmund and Sara both had namesakes who died as infants not long before their births: they were clearly named for the dead children.)

John, George, Robert and Jacob all became felt-makers. George was a nonconformist for at least part of his life, and his brother Jacob married a Quaker. George himself founded a charity in his will of 1683, for poor freemen of Guildford or their widows. His trustees included Richard Noble and Thomas Bradfold gents.

Mary Alexander May 2020

1. I have not found Catherine’s baptism.

2. Lovejoys are found mainly in Berkshire, Bucks., Herts. and London but it has not been possible to trace Philip’s baptism on nor

3. VCH III p.6 says that this is noted in the parish register, but I have not found it. (Victoria County History)

4. Enquiries to the National Army Museum and the Cromwell Museum turned up little which was useful, but Google was very helpful.

5. The Army Lists of the Roundheads and Cavaliers 1863, ed. Edward Peacock, p.40

6. website of the British Civil Wars Project.

7. Westminster Ratebooks, seen on Find My Past, 14/04/20

8. Boyd’s Inhabitants of London 1200-1907, Find My Past, 14/04/20


10. accessed 14/04/20

11. The Inns of old Southwark and their Associations 1880, Rendle and Norman, p.94.

12. Index to the Registers of Edburton Sussex 1558-1673, 1884, Frederick Crisp, p. 65; The Register Book of the Parish of St. Christopher Le Stocks 1882, Rixon and Arnold.

13. Victoria County History of Surrey, Vol. IV, 1912, p. 125-135.

14. SHC 8374/1/2 (Surrey History Centre)

15. William Lovejoy’s will 1641

16. Taken from Guildford Charities by G. C. Williamson, pp.34-5

17. The name Benbrick appears in several forms in the parish registers, such as Berrick or Barrick.

18. SHC 6729/3/87, 88.