CHAPTER 6 – Henry GEE of Alston Lee Farm

I am including this poem here, although I don’t know if this is the same Henry Gee. Here is a poem dated 1606 transcribed by Sonia Addis-Smith, Bedford, England entitled:

“IN MEMORIAM HENRICIC GEE”

H – – HE WHOSE GOOD GUIFTS AND CHARITABLE WILL
E – – ENRICHT THE POOR LET HIM BE THOUGHT ON STILL
N – – NEW BENEFACTORS NOW TOO FEW WEE SEE
R – – REMEMBER THEN THE OLD OLD HENRY GEE
I – – IN THAT HE ADDED TO THE SCHOOLS AND POOR
E – – ECH YEARE TEN POUNDS FOREVER TO ENDURE

G – – GEVE DUE REMEMBERANCE FOR HIS KIND ADDICON
E – – ELS TWERE INGRATITUDE AND FOULE OMISSION:
E – – ENROLD HIS WILL ITH ARCHES MAY BE SEEN
– – – PROUD ANNO SIXTEENE HUNDRED AND SIX
– – – WHICH HERE AS HE DESIRD DECLARD YE SEE
– – – LEST IT IN FUTURE SHOULD FORGOTON BE

(The British Pound Sterling was originally an actual pound weight of silver of 5760 grams of a certain standard of fineness (925 in 1000). The name pound was used as early as 1158 and the pound (in weight) of sterling silver was originally coined into 240 pennies).

In possession of Mr. John Smith of Wirksworth, England, the above acrostic [an acrostic is a composition usually in verse in which sets of letters (as the initial or final letters of the lines) taken in order form a word or phrase or a regular sequence of letters of the alphabet] engraved in lead, about 8 or 9 inches square, the original being all in capitals. Copied and Examined this 27th day of July 1827, with the original tablet by me, Thomas Norris Ince, (solicitor and genealogist).

Taken from the book Ince’s Pedigrees.

ALSTON LEE FARM:

Alston Lee Farm (other names All Stone Lee, Allston Lee, Austen Lee) is another small farm that has a very early history, dating back to the Court Rolls about 1222.

Richard de Aston Leigh is mentioned in the Court Rolls of 1222. Around 1250, Alston Lee was still waste or pasture land but was subject to tithes (which were a levy or payment of the tenth part of all a man’s possessions used for the maintenance for the Bishops and Clergy).

Prior to 1616, this farm had many owners, some of those being Allens, Mortens, Radcliffes, Wilds and Nightingales of Lea Hurst. Florence Nightingale had a life interest in it under her father’s will in 1868.

However, prior 1659, part of Alston Lee was sold to Henry Deane (Dain). Henry GEE was a tenant from approximately 1616 to 1626. Henry Gee was married to a woman whose name was Johan. Circa 1619, a quaint agreement was made Between Henry Gee, of Allstone Lee, husbandman (one that plows and cultivates land) and Charles Kirke of Shireoaks, Yeoman.

In consideration of a marriage between Robert (whose Aunt was Johan Gee) and Anne, Charles Kirke’s daughter, the agreement read; (a question in my mind, Angela Ludwig, is why did Charles indenture his daughter and his son in law to Henry Gee, an apparently poor man compared to himself?) before the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Christ next” and of sixty pounds paid to Robert by Charles Kirke, the said Henry “shall not only within the space of one week after the marriage take and receive into his house as children the said Robert and Anne and maintain them with meate, drink, lodging and other necessaries fit for their calling so long as they can agree and live together in the house with said Henry, they doing the work and labor for the said Henry for his best profit to their utmost endeavor.

But also in case they cannot agree and like to live together in the house with said Henry, then on six months notice, given by either of them of such their likes or disagreements, Henry shall give up the lease of half his farm to Robert and Anne.

But also (Henry) shall assign his interest in the other moiety (one of two equal parts) of the farm on the death of himself and his wife; together with all his bedding, household stuff, husbandry ware and all his dead goods whatsoever without fraud or collusion.

Also that not only Henry shall not marry any other wife to bring unto the said farm without the free consent of Robert first obtained and had, but also that he shall give security for all sums he owes to Robert. (Indentured?)

Charles Kirke agrees to make all his daughters co-heiresses of all his property at Shireoaks if his son Charles “fortune to die without lawful issue (children)” and will on the said marriage provide the said Anne “with raiment (word from 15th century English – short for arrayment, as in clothing or garments) and apparel both for bed and back fit for her calling at his own liking and pleasure”.

The lease in 1626 tells us that Henry Gee was in possession of Alston Lee up to that time. So we are left wondering if they had “agreed and liked to live together in house” all the intervening years, or if Henry wanted to marry again without Roberts consent or if as we may hope, he had reached a ripe old age and wished to give up farming.

(Reprinted from the publications of William Braylesford-Bunting – 1940).

WILL OF CHARLES KYRKE 0F SHIREOAKS:Glossop 26 July 1589 – Dated 14 June 1589

IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN ye xiiijth day of June Ano Dom 1589 I Charles KYRKE of ye Sheroakes sicke in body but of perfect remembrance praised be God do make this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following FIRST I COMMIT my soul unto ye hands of Almighty God my maker and redeemer confirminge through the merits of Christes passion to be one of Gods elect MY BODY TO YE earth to be buried in ye Chancell of the Church of ye Chappell in le Frith and all my goods to ye world as hereafter followeth I WILL YT [that] ALL suche debts and duties as I owe of right to anie person or persons be well and truelie paid by mine Executors hereafter named of my whole goods ALSO MY WILL IS YT [that] John SHEPLEY and Elizabeth SHEPLEY [ ] CRESWELL Raphe CRESWELL and Anne CRESWELL Grace KYRKE and Elizabeth KYRKE and my childrens children aforesaid and every one an Ewe lamb or its within one yeare after my decease ALSOE I MAKE AN assignment of ye lease which I have of ye tithe of the right honorable George EARLE of Shewsburie unto my sone Charles and my will it that Charles shall p[ ] Elizabeth his mother to enjoy the comoditie of the moiety or one half of it so long as she shall have ye comoditie of ye one half of the farm according to the provisions which shea shall hath AND AFTER MY DEBTS PAID by my funerall expenses performed of my whole goodes and the above paid legacies discharged then my will is ye residue of my goodes cattels and debts be equallie divided in two equall parts whereof there half is by my former deed given to my said son Charles and his assignes AND THE OTHER HALF I give to Elizabeth now my wife and my two daughters Elizabeth and Anne to be devyded among them three ALSO RALPH CRESWELL and Grace his wife Richard SHEPLEY and Jane his wife have had all I promised them or anie of the… ALSO IN THIS MY last will and Testament I make Elizabeth my wife and Charles my sone mine Executors OVERSEERS HEREOF Anthonie BARBAR the elder and George MELLOR Clarke.

WINTESSES hereof
John Lingard William Oliver Raphe Creswell Thomas Kyrke

Debts yt [that] I owe:

Imprimis Anthonie BARBAR the elder xxxvijs
Item George MELLOR Clarke iiij£
Item Henrie KYRKE de Courses xxijs iiijd
Item the Executor of Otiwell KYRKE xxs

A true and perfect inventorie of all the goods and cattels yt [that] were Charles KIRKS of ye Sheroakes [Shireoaks] within ye parish of Glossop latelie deceased Vd [valued] and prised [appraised] by us. Anthonie BARBAR the elder; John CARENTON [Carrington]; Raphe CRESWELL de ma[branse] the v[5] daie of June Ano Dom 1589. (not transcribed.)

I have included this will here because this Charles KYRKE is the father of the Charles Kirk mentioned in the previous story of Allstone Lee farm. The Kirks owned Shireoaks for close to two hundred of years, as found in wills dating to Mary Kirk’s of Shireoaks Will dated 8 October 1757.

1701: – Grace KYRKE (Kirk) was apprenticed to Henry Gee (The Thomas Marshall Charity) This Grace Kirk appears to have married a LINGARD. It is possible that Grace was his niece.

1702: – On 21 April 1702, the will of Charles KYRKE of Shireoakes (whose wife was Ann) Ralph GEE was a witness to this will. It is possible that Ralph GEE and Henry GEE were brothers. It is also strongly possible that one of their sisters married the above Charles Kirk.

1709: – 14 October 1709 Ann GEE married Ralph KYRKE of Glossop at St Thomas A Becket Church in Chapel en le Frith.


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