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Combs-Clopton-Shakespeare-Stephens-Wagstaffe of Welcombe and more…

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:

"Welcombe is included in the chief manor of Old Stratford in the surveys of c.1182,1252,1299, and 1590. In Shakespeare's time the COMBES had a considerable estate here, the history of which seems to begin with a 99 years' lease of 3 messuages and a 2 3/4 virgates from the Bishop of Worcester to John COMBE in 1537. In 1590 this, with other lands in Welcombe, was held by John COMBE, grandson of the original lesee and bailiff of the manor under Earl of Warwick. He was the money-lender whose doggerel epitaph, said to have been fastened on his tomb in Stratford Church, has, by an ancient tradition, been ascribed to Shakespeare. He died without issue in 1614 and his Welcombe property passed to his nephew, William, whose attempt to inclose the common fields here involved him in a dispute with the corporation of Stratford. William's younger brother, Thomas, a beneficiary under Shakespeare's will and recorded of Stratford 1648-57, seems to have lived at Welcombe until his death in the latter year. William COMBE left three daughters, Mary, Katherine, and Martha, married respectively to Thomas WAGSTAFFE of Tachbrooke, Sir Thomas STEPHENS of Little Sodbury, and Edward CLOPTON. In 1663, four years before his death, he settled his estate, including the College and a capital messuage at Welcombe, on his grandson, Sir Combe WAGSTAFFE, who dies in 1668. Ultimately, both Welcombe and the College property came to CLOPTONS."

(Excerpted from Salzman, L.F. ed., THE VICTORIA HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF WARWICK. London. V.3. pub. by A. Constable. 1904, p. 264, by Combs Researchers Denise Mortorff and Joe Kendalll who note:

"An estate described as the 'Manor' of Welcombe is the subject of a series of conveyances dating between 1736 and 1794. and from 1760 to 1768 it appears as divided into three parts. The local poet, John JORDAN, describes his patron, John LLOYD of Snitterfield, as 'proprietor of the estate at Welcombe' at the time of his death in 1777. His son George LLOYD, who lived at Welcombe House and is several times referred to as lord of the manor, died in 1831. From his son, John Gamaliel LLOYD, the estate had passed by 1842 to Mark PHILIPS, a Manchester cotton manufacturer, who died in 1873 and is commemorated by the Obelisk, a prominent landmark on the Welcombe Hills, erected by his brother and heir, Robert Needham PHILIPS in 1876. The marriage of Robert's daughter Caroline brought Welcombe, with Snitterfield and Wolverton (q.v.) to the TREVELYANS. The present Welcombe House, built by Mark PHILIPS in 1869,was bought by the L.M.S. Railway Co. in 1931 and is now a hotel." [nb: In the preceding portion of this write-up is a picture of the shield of Combe. It is described as "Combe. Ermine three lions passant gules."]

ibid., p. 267, a discussion of the disputed inclosure by the principal landowner of Welcombe, William COMBE:

".....COMBE estimated that after inclosurre it would be worth L250: nor was oppostition conciliated by his confessed intention to sell at a profit.

On 9 January, William WALFORD and William CHANDLER, two of the aldermen who were also commoners, 'went together in peaceable manner to restrain the 'said digging and diggers'. But they were assaulted and thrown to the ground while 'the said Mr. COMBE for a long space together sate laughing on horseback and said they were very good footeball players and badd the dyggers get on for those that did sett them on worke would bere them out'. Nevertheless to avoid further disorders, the parties agreed on the following day to a compromise by which the rights of way stopped up were to be restored and there was to be no further ditching and no ploughing on the commons until Lady Day. But while the agreement was being signed, women and children came out from Stratford and Bishopton and filled the ditches already made. The corporation petitioned the judges at the Lent assizes, where, on 27 March 1615, Sir Edward COKE issue an order by which any inclosure or ploughing up of ancient greensward was prohibited until good cause had been shown.

MAINWARING had by this time abandoned the project and William COMBE, who had at first kept in the background, appears henceforth as the sole promoter. Through REPLONGHAM and other agents he acquired estates in Welcombe or short leases of common rights, under colour of which an inclosure might be rushed through. By March 1615 an inclosure of 400 acres of arable and pasture was 'almost fully finished'; and in the course of the following year he 'paled and stopped upp the common streate leadying thoroughe the Towne of Welcombe' and he was said to have depopulated the whole place. He was also during 1615 attempting to negotiate with Sir Arthur INGRAM for the whole manor of Stratford."

The subject of the disputed enclosure is discussed in further detail in "Shakespeare of London" by Marchette Chute, 1949 (170 Selected bibliographys were used to write this book), pp. 243-4, 298, 300, 313-319, extracted by Combs Researcher Brenda Daniels:

"...SHAKESPEARE received the conveyance [property William had bought] from UNDERHILL during Michaelmas Term 1602, and by that time he had made a new and even more extensive purchase of Stanford real estate. On the first of May he bought a hundred and seven acres of land and had become one of the largest property holders in the district. The owners from whom Shakespeare bought this large acreage was a prominent local family named COMBE. At one time or another Shakespeare had dealings with several members of the family, but the two men who were involved in this particular transaction were a distinguished Warwick lawyer named William COMBE and his nephew John, who was a wealthy bachelor and lived near Stratford in the village of Welcombe. William COMBE had invested in the property only nine years earlier, and it was typical of the purchase that had made the COMBE family such properous and influential members of the local gentry.

"SHAKESPEARE'S purchase from the COMBES consisted of over three hundred of these farming strips, and he bought them in a single cash payment of three hundred and twenty pounds. Since Shakespeare was not in Stanford his brother Gilbert handled the transaction for him , and the document was signed and delivered to Gilbert in the presence of witnesses. The document itself was vitally important, since in this case Shakespeare had no other proof of legal ownership. Since the deed was not recorded in the manor court, clear title was guaranteed in the deed itself in an impressive tangle of legal verbiage; but SHAKESPEARE took the further precaution, when he bought twenty more acres from the COMBES nine years later, of having his title to the original acreage confirmed.

"There were three such endowments by 1614, and the same year John COMBE died and left provision in his will for a fourth. (page 298)

"In 1611 he bought the twenty more acres of pasture land from the COMBES, and had a special legal document drawn in Trinity Term to confirm his title to the acreage he had bought from the Combes nine years earlier, so that there could be no possible question of his legal ownership of the land. The same sence of caution made him join with some of the other owners of the lease on the tithes to present a bill of complaint to the Lord Chancellor. An annual fee to Henry BARKER was being paid by forty-two people, of whom SHAKESPEARE was one, and if any of them failed to contribute his share BARKER could theoretically forclose on the whole property. The suit was really a friendly one to get apportionment on a businesslike basis, and its chief target was Shakespeare's good friend William COMBE, who owned the lease on the other half of Shakepeare's special group of tithes. SHAKESPEARE was joined in the suit by Richard LANE, who had the largest single holding, and by Thomas GREENE, who had a reversionary interest in the COMBE'S part of the tithes. William COMBE answered the bill complaint by saying he was already paying five pounds a year to BARKER but was willing to increase his contribution slightly, and he joined SHAKESPEARE and the two others in the requesting the court to make a fairer distribution of the costs among the holders of the tithes. The suit was a friendly one and SHAKESPEARE remained on good terms with the COMBES. He knew three generations of the family, starting with Old William COMBE, who had become High Sheriff before he died. It was William and his nephew, John COMBE, who sold Shakespeare the acreage in 1602, and when John COMBE died twelve years later he remembered Shakespeare with a substantial bequest in his will. In turn, Shakespeare remembered Thomas COMBE, John's nephew, in his own will. He must have known him very well, for he left Thomas COMBE his sword, an intimate piece of personal property that would of gone to Shakespeare's own son if he had lived. (page 300)

"t about the same time[1614], SHAKESPEARE was obliged to take action to protect another of his investments-the tithes. He had already gone to law to have a revision made in the annual payments, but now the very source of the income was being threatened. William COMBE had some farming land at Welcombe that he wanted to convert into pasture for cattle, and this meant that the tenant farmers who had been renting the land would pay no more tithes. COMBE hoped to annoy no one by enclosing his own land for cattle, impractical as this hope turned out to be, and he was ready to make a financial adjustment with everyone who was involved in the ownership of the tithes. William REPLINGHAM, who seems to have been acting as COMBE'S agent, approached both SHAKESPEARE and Thomas GREENE in the matter. GREENE had acquired the other half of the SHAKESPEARE section of the tithes one year earlier and both men would have been involved in an equal loss of income if COMBE'S plan went through. REPLINGHAM entered into an agreement with them both on the 28th of October 1614, in which they were guaranteed against any financial loss because of the proposed enclosure. COMBE was prepared to do the same with the Stratford corporation, which was receiving an annual fee from each holder of the tithes and would own the whole property when the lease expired in 1636, for he was sincerely anxious to have everyone in a good mood before he started putting a ditch around his property and turning the cattle in. The town of Stanford reacted with the utmost violence to COMBE'S proposal. The members of the Stratford Council felt they would be traitors to their unborned children if they permitted it, and not even the three fires that had ravaged Stratford in the past twenty years would be as destructive as the plan to enclose the common fields at Welcombe. Eventually the whole matter became a town cause and the money to fight William COMBE in the courts was voted out of town revenues, with the men of Stratford in such a fury that they must have seen themselves as a modern reincarnation of St. George with William COMBE as the dragon. (Page 313)

"COMBE had stated repeatedly that the town would not lose money by the enclosures and might even make an actual profit; but the root of the difficulty was not financial but emotional. For more than a generation, any proposal to enclose land in Warwickshire had aroused an almost hysterical opposition, and seven years earlier there had been an actual crusade of three thousand men women and children who went through the country destroying whatever enclosures they could find, filling ditches and cutting down the hedges. To the average villager, the word "enclosure" meant that some grasping landlord was taking bread out of the mouths of innocent people by turning into pasture the little strips of communal farm land that had been theirs to rent since time immemorial. The medieval system was hopelessly impractical, since the ground could not be maintained in good condition or the breed of cattle improved as long as everything was handled communally; but this was considered beside the point, and there were many sympathetic readers for a "ballad of God's judgement showed upon a covetous encloser of common pasture" who was trodden to death by his own cattle. The War of the enclosures put Thomas GREENE in a difficult position. Like SHAKESPEARE, he had signed the agreement with REPLINGHAM, but unlike SHAKESPEARE, he was closely involved with the interests of Stratford and was in fact the town's legal adviser. When GREENE was in London on the 17th of November, 1614 he went to see Shakespeare, who had arrived in London the day before, and talked the matter over with him. SHAKESPEARE said he thought COMBE did not mean to enclose beyond Gospel Bush and would not begin surveying before the following April, and GREENE added the hopeful notation in his diary, "He and Mr. HALL say they think there wll be nothing done at all." (p. 314 )

"The Stratford Council thought otherwise. At a general meeting held on the 23rd of December they drafted two letters,one to Shakespeare and one to Arther MAINWARING, REPLINGHAM'S cousin, who was also working with COMBE.

"The letter to SHAKESPEARE is not extant, but it was probably not unlike the one that was sent MAINWARING. In it the Council listed all the tragedies that would result if the enclosure were successful, since Stratford had to support seven hundred poor out of the income from the tithes and would be utterly ruined unless "Christian meditations" caused the recipient of the letter to change his mind. GREENE also sent a letter of his own to SHAKESPEARE, giving a full account of the meeting and reinforcing the various points that had been made in the official communication. SHAKESPEARE seems to have ignored both letters. He took no special interest in the controversy, and since the enclosure would not hurt the town financially he probably hoped that the whole thing would blow over. Instead, tempers grew steadily worse. William COMBE'S brother Thomas had already told a Stratford delegation they were "curs" [it was Thomas to whom Shakespeare willed his sword*] and by January William COMBE himself was in a "great passion." He started ditching his property, and thr Stratford Council went out and filled the ditches up again, and the harried owner of the property said they were all Puritan knaves. The case was fought out in the London courts by the Privy Council that William COMBE must pay a heavy fine and put the land back as it was. It was a final triumph for medievalism, but even the most determined town council could not banish the principles of the modern farming forever. (Page 315)

*Thomas's son perhaps since Thomas had been dead since 1609.

"March 1616 The will was a rough draft, full of corrections, and it has been suggested it was left in that state because SHAKESPEARE was so ill there was no time to make a fair copy. But the lawyer in the case was Francis COLLINS of Worcester, and COLLINS was not in the habit of always making a fair copy of the wills he drew for his clients. He was an experienced lawyer who knew exactly what would stand in court, and the nine-page will he made for John COMBE, two years earlier, is also full of deletions and corrections. (Page 316 & 317)

Shakespeare Will- Thomas COMBE got SHAKESPEARE Sword. (Page 318)

"SHAKESPEARE left his wife the second-best bed, which was probably the family one since the best bed was usually kept for visitors. When old Thomas COMBE made his will, eight years earlier, he left his son William the best bed and his wife the second-best, but Mrs. COMBE got the rest of the household goods and Anne SHAKESPEARE did not." (Page 319)

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Background: Thomas COMBS (s/o John & Joyce BLUNT Combs), b bef 1560, d 1608/9, Warwickshire; m (1) bef 1580, Mary SAVAGE, d bef 1587; m (2) 10 Jan 1586/7, Mary BONNER (d/o Anthony and Bridget SAVAGE Bonner; gd/o Christopher & Anne LIGON Savage, b bef 1565, d 1617; widow of William YOUNGE (YOUNG), whom she m bef 1580, and who d bef 1587. By William YOUNGE, Mary BONNER had daughter, Bridget YOUNG, b 1580, d 11 Mar 1629, Fenny Compton, Warwickshire; m George WILLIS (s/o Richard & Hester CHAMBERS Willis, and gs/o Ambrose & Amy COLLES Willis, b 1580-9, probably in Fenny Compton, Warwickshire, d 09 Mar 1649/50, New Haven, CT; who m (2) aft 1629, Mary SMITH (d/o Francis & Alice FERNELEY Smith, and widow of Alexander BISBY), b bef 1614, d aft ??

Extracted by Combs Researcher Judy Elkins from "Shakespeare's Land" subtitled "Being a Description of Central and Southern Warwickshire" by C. J.Ripton-Turner (although no copyright or publisher's date, the preface is dated March, 1893), p. 292, describing the church in Fenny Compton, Warwickshire:

"On the south side of the altar is a brass with the following inscription:--"Here lyeth bvried the bodie of Richard WILLIS of Fenny Compton in the covntye of Warwicke gent, sonne of Ambrose WILLIS deceased which said Richard had by Hester his wife five children that is to say George William Richard Judithe and Marie all now lyvinge who deceased the tenth day of June 1597." The family subsequently migrated to America, and numbered among its descendants Nathaniel Parker WILLIS (1806-1867), the author of "Pencillings by the Way," and numerous other graceful compositions."

Transcribed and Abstracted by Combs Researcher Denise K. Mortorff from "Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, Vol XXI, 1924, "THE WYLLYS PAPERS -- Correspondence and Documents Chiefly of Descendants of Gov. George WYLLYS of Connecticut--1590-1796", Hartford Connecticut Historical Society, 1924, no copyright. DKM Note: The following items were somewhat edited in the original publication and have been more heavily edited herein, with emphasis on the ongoing association of George WYLLIS with the Combs Family of Warwickshire. See also Combs Research Archives, Year: 1998.

Background: The original papers of Gov. George WYLLYS were provided by descendants to the Connecticut Historical Society from which transcriptions were made for the publication of his records, as well as photostats that should be on file there. There is mention of utilizing a few records from Yale University and there may have also been some selectivity in what was included or more importantly, not included of the existing records. It appears that great care was taken to include what members of the CHS thought was of greatest value. Each section of the book is titled, but not chaptered.


Governor George WYLLYS was one of the wealthier of the "Gentlemen of religion" who settled New England. He was born at Fenny Compton, Warwickshire, where he and his ancestors were "lords of the manour of Fenny Compton" for several generations. Camden, in his Visitation of Warwickshire, gives his age as twenty-nine years; he was accordingly born 1589-90. He was the son of Richard WILLIS, and Hester, daughter of George CHAMBRE of Williamscote, Oxfordshire, and grandson of Ambrose WILLIS, and Amye, daughter of Richard COLLES of Little Preston in Northamptonshire. The inscription upon his father's tomb is in the chancel of the church at Fenny Compton. Dugdale's Warwickshire gives the inscriptions on the tombs of his father, grandfather and great grandfather. Preserved among the WYLLYS papers is an old parchment, the oldest writing of which is in fourteenth century hand, which was continued after a number of generations by a later hand in 1591, and by another hand at a still later date, which gives earlier generations of the family, and which is published in this volume.

The value of Gov. WYLLYS'S estate in England is stated in old family papers to have equalled 500 pounds per annum. English writers of some years ago state that it is necessary to multiply such a sum by six in order to ascertain the worth of such an income in England in the latter half of the last century. The picture of his house at Fenny Compton shows it to have benn a substantial building, and he owned lands and houses in other places, such as Napton and in or near Statford-on-Avon, at Old Stratford, Clopton, Welcombe, Hodnel and Bishopton. The manor house is no longer standing.

Gov. WYLLYS was closely associated with Stratford-on-Avon, which is about fifteen mi. from Fenny Compton, and can scarcely have helped knowing SHAKESPEARE, for his first wife was a member of the celebrated COMBE family of Stratford, the friends of Shakespeare. His marriage to "Brigett YONG, gen," on November 2, 1609, is recorded in the register of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-on-Avon. Bridget YOUNG was the stepdaughter of Thomas COMBE, the elder, and lived for a time in his home. Thomas COMBE'S brother, John COMBE left by his will 5 pounds to SHAKESPEARE. Mrs. WYLLYS was the stepsister of William COMBE and Thomas COMBE, the younger. To the latter SHAKESPEARE made the following bequest: "To Mr. Thomas COMBE my sword." Thomas COMBE, the younger, refers in his will to Gov. WYLLYS's son, George, as his faithful loving kinsman.(1) Gov. WYLLYS refers to William and Thomas COMBE as his brothers, and his son, George, refers to them as his uncles. William COMBE is celebrated for his unsuccessful attempt to enclose the commons at Welcombe. The biographers of SHAKESPEARE represent William COMBE, who was twice sheriff, as a very headstrong man and well to do, but George WYLLYS, Jr's. letters indicate that he was of doubtful credit and much debt in later life. Bridget (YOUNG) Wyllys was buried at Fenny Compton, March 11, 1629, according to the parish register of that place. She left her surviving, besides her husband, three children, George, Hester and Amy, who will be mentioned later.

Within two years after his first wife's death Gov. WYLLYS married another Stratford lady, Mary, widow of Alexander BISBEY, and daughter of Francis and Alcie (FERNELEY) Smith, of Stratford-on-Avon. Her father had been bailiff of Mayor of Stratford..... [DKM: This discussion continues re: Francis SMITH and Gov. WYLLYS property acquisitions in Stratford-on-Avon]

In the first part of the seventeenth century the Puritan element in Warwickshire had become strong. Even during SHAKESPEARE'S lifetime the corporation of Stratford-on-Avon had forbidden the performance of plays or interludes in the Guild-hall or court, etc. and a preacher in 1614 was entertained at New Place. His son-in-law, Dr. John HALL, was a Puritan. William COMBE had called his fellow townsmen "Puritan Knaves." COMBE himself was subsequently described as a "recussant." Rev. John TRAPP......The most distinguished Puritans in this part of England, however, were the Earl of Warwick [Robert RICHE, great-uncle of Warwick CAMMOCK of Old Rappa Co VA], who was President of the Council, of New England, and Lord SAY and SELE---a zealous one and much interested in New England affairs---whose seat was at Banbury in Oxfordshire, just over the border from Warwickshire, and very near Fenny Compton..... [DKM: Discussion continues as to how patents were acquired in what is now known as New Hampshire, naming the persons who shared in the purchase: SAY and SELE,BROOK, SALTONSTALL, HASELRIGG, BOSVILLE, Mr. George WYLLYS, WHITING, HUIT, HOLYOKE and others. They are referenced as "Puritan Purchasers". A patent is mentioned dated March 12, 1629.....]
A Capt. Hezekiah WYLLYS, grandson of the Governor, writes in 1729 that his grandfather left his affairs in England with James FIENNES, Esq., Nathaniel FIENNES, Esq. (of the family of Lord Say and Sele), Richard WYLLYS, gent., and William SPRIGG, gent. Col. WYLLYS states that his ancestor sailed from Bristol and arrived in Boston [Massachusetts] in the beginning of 1638, and at Hartford [Connecticut] the same year. A receipt signed by Thomas MAKEPEACE, September 17, 1638, refers to George WYLLYS as being of Hartford [CT] at that date...... "Gov. WYLLYS, his wife and his four children come over to Connecticut. It has been generally stated that his oldest son George, remained in England, but the letter to him published herewith proves that he came to Connecticut and returned to England...and remained in England until his death in 1670."

DKM: There is a continuation of the accomplishments of Gov. George WYLLYS and that like his son, who there is reference to him further in the book as being a member of the Inner Temple, the Gov, is thought to have studied law based on his judging of civil and criminal cases in the colony. Further discussion is regarding indian uprisings. There is also mention of a Thomas TOMSON [THOMPSON?], who was a brother of a London stationer acting as scrivener or secretary for Gov. WYLLYS. His will is dated December 14, 1644 and mentions the names son George, son Samuel, daughter Hester, daughter Amy, estate in Fenny Compton, lands in Wethersfield, and surnames: FENWICK, HAYNES, HOPKINS, WELLES, WEBSTER, WHITING, MASON, HOOKER, STONE and WAREHAM. He died March 9, 1644. The next section of this part of the book includes a discussion of the children of Gov. George WYLLYS.--

By his first wife:
George married about 1655, Susannah CLARK, daughter of Charles CLARK, Esq. of Croton in Northamptonshire and had two daughters Bridget and Elkana Bredon. He lived at Fenny Compton.

Hester married Capt, Robert HARDING. Although married in Hartford, in 1645, Capt. HARDING went to England in 1646 and in 1651 is noted as a London merchant.

Amy, married in 1645 Col. John PYNCHON of Springfield [Hampden Co], Mass. and they had 5 children.

By his 2nd wife:

Samuel, graduated from Harvard, married about 1654 to Ruth HAYNES, daughter of Gov. John HAYNES. [DKM: The remainder of this section of the book is a history of Fenny Compton in England.]


Loving Father
I daily pray for & hope of yor, my mothers and sisters, brothers, & other of or friends with you both lives & welfare although it hath pleased God to take to himselfe by death here many of or christian friends & acquaintances viz my uncle Rich: WILLYS & my ant, Mr WATTS of Northend & old Mrs. GRINILL, Mr KNIGHTLEY of Preston, Mr. WHEATLEY of Banbury, two of my uncle COMBES yonger daughters, Oliver my uncle GILDER sonne, Will GIBBINS his owne father, old Mr SMITH, Mm MEATHCOTE(?) with divers others of our neighbors. The times are so ill & things so unsettled in ye commonwealth that I have not nor as yet cannot (although I endeavor it) sell any land except for an extreame under value; but ye parliament wch is to begin the 13th of Aprill gives many hopes(?) of better times & through a settlement of a peace with the Scotts. For there were never more religious and worthy gentlemen choosen in every county (…..) corporation neere (…..):: my uncle COMBE is one of the Knights of the shire for ye county of Warr: of whom I have received 200 l of yr moneyes wherewith I have payd your two bills of exchange & 54 l to Joh: BROOKES for those stockings you ordered when I was with you & were not payd for by my uncle. The other 200 l my uncle hath pmised to pay it (wch yet I much doubt) at May Day next; wch if he do I have engaged my selfe to pay Viz: HUNT an 100 l for Mr WHIT (…..) use in satisfaction of that you have already received. My uncle denyes to pay interest for he pleads yt it was left arbitrary to his owne choice: I by reason of yor occasions(?) tooke ye principal as I was advised & left satisfaction for ye forbearance to his owne consernes; otherwise I must have gone to law for it wch I thought inconvenient' If interest be due you may be pleased to nootify so much to me & remember my uncle of his agreement. Mr HALSEAD(?) goes (…..) his sute for tiths at Haverhill & yt putts men of from buying (…..…..…..) will leave, or if I force hir to stope there, wch pbably(?) I may by sute of law, she will set ym at though she loose 10 l P anno in yt so that unles I can meete with some shopman that will give the same rent before Assumption Day next when hir yeere ends I think it will be the best course & so I am advised to stock ym agayne....... [DKM: continues on at length mentioning the following persons, things or places] "…my uncle Will WILLYS", "my uncle RICH:", Goodman WAKEMA and the ship Fellowship(?)], goods consigned to Mr. NORRIS, John BROOKES re: Gov. WYLLY'S house and shop at Stratford, John WAST(?), Goodwife ROBERTS, Goodwife FAUX(?), Matabesett(?) Plantation, Mr COTTON, Will VAGHAN a taylor being sent to Gov. WYLLYS from England, Mr. SUTTON, ye wives Goodman FILLER(?) DODER(?) FREEMAN ...Thus with remembrance of my humble duty to you & my mother, & love to my brother and sisters Will & all other frends as named I remitt you & yrs all to the gratious dispose & safe ptection of the Almighty and rest
…..…..…..…..…..…..…..…..yor ever durifull sonn
Brystoll. 8th Aprill 1640 …..George WILLYS

".....I have sent you by the ship yt comes to New hauen [New Haven, CT] 15 firkins of suet & 15 firkins of butter mrkt G R W & numbered from 1 to 30: my hast of going to Bristow would not giue me leaue to stay to see them shipt nor paid for but left both to mr EUANCE [EVANS? EWINGS?] his care who pmist to do it for me and what money he recaued of my vncle BISBY (in whose hands I left fifty pounds) to giue you an account of. I haue pd in all 550 l to mr EUANCE: an 150 l yt you returnd & 400 l more I haue returnd by him to you & taken his bonds for the paymt of his bills returnd vpo mr GRIGSON:

My vncle COMBE hath not as yet paid me the 200 l he owes wch I am willing to receaue & leaue the interest for forbearance to his own conscience; he pmist me to pay it about may day and when he heard yt I would come to him about it, as I suppose, went from home on purpose, then to be out of the way: If the ship stay as long & if it wilbe of Validity I intend to get a writing drawne for the assignment of the morgage to my selfe
Yor euer obedient Sonn
Bristow. 6th May 1641
[Indorsed] Letter G: W Junr to G:WYLLYS May 6th 1641

pp's 27, 28


[1]The recepts for[ ] fathers vse since I came into England.
Imprms rec of my vncle Wm COMBE 200 l 00 s 00 d

[3] The receipts for my fathers vse since I came into England.
It rec of my vncle Mr COMBE in part of sat-
isfaction of a morgage for
my mothers vse 100 l 00 s 00 d

It rec more of my vncle Mr COMBE in part
of satisfaction of a morgage for
my mothers vse 050 l 00 s 00 d
(These records could date from March 1639/40 when George WYLLYS is believed to have returned from New England to old England.)

pp.77 & 78
".....And now having answered yor letter & acquainted you wth my desire of yor coming hither I would haue you set thinges in order as well as you can concerning Compton for me & yorselfe & mother regards concerninge my brother mr william COMBE his mony he oweth me, & by aduise & prayer get a good wife & hasten to us as soone as may be the sooner the better I & yor mother & other frindes shall pray that god would prosp you in that waighty busines, as he did abrahams servant for Isaacke & giue you a godly loving meet yokefellow to yor & all or reioycinges if you now come not being pvided for meanes as before written & so pvided for when you come hither I shall haue cause to say what I would not./......."
Your ever lovinge ffather
(The letter continues although it appears to be closed, it is not.)
"I intended to write to you how.....
Comend my loue & wiues to my Cosin TRAPPE & Cosin DUGARDE & Cosin DEANE & cosin SMITH & their wiues & to my cosin william deAne [DEAN?] his sonne I should be glad he would come along wth you he shalbe welcome to my howse till he be pvided of a fit place if he please and commend me to my brother COMBES both of them & all my Cosins as named & pray my brother COMBE to pay in that mony I would haue writ vnto him if i could haue had time & desire to heare of his welfare my sister & Cosins by a letter from himselfe & comend my loue to my brother Eldred & his wife, & my My cosins.....(also mentions "my brother Ekins", "my sister" and "Captain Hawkins"..........



" may pceave by letters of myne heretofore sent to my father, and since I have receaved no money either of my Vncle COMBE or mr St. NICHOLAS......"
yor evr loving &respectfull Sonne
in law George WYLLYS
London 9th May 1646
I thanke you for yor token.
[Superscribed] For the vertuous and his very loving Mother
Mrs WYLLYS at ther house in Hartford vpon the River of Kanecticott [Connecticut]
these New England.


"....I have as yet receaued no moneys either of my uncle COMBE or mr St. NICHOLAS ....."
Yor eur louing & respectfull
Sonne in Law
Warwicke 12th June 1646.
[Superscribed] ffor his louing Mother Mrs. Mary WILLYS at
Hartford in New-England this.
[Indorsed] Letter G: WYLLYS to Mary WYLLYS June 12th 1646


"....If this Latter tender please you not I shall reserve my interest in ffenny Compton, and am content for the debt you challenge of 401 lb., not only to release my clayme to the 3d part of your marriage portion but for the preserving of peace and love betwixt us adde thereunto the 100 lb due from my brother COMBE by giving you a full interest therein. and will satisfye you your disbursements out of the money you have received of mine I doe also accept of what you propound that what I may clayme [ ] I hope you wull find these propositions soe reasonable that there will be occasion of no further debates about these matters, but that we shall readily express that respect each to other which relation wherein we stand calls for"
(no signature, date or place)


" I cannot gett any money of my vncle COMBES: Hee is extreamly in debt & therrfore I will do what possibly I can to gett it in.".....
…..…..…..…..Your Louing and respectfull Sonne
…..…..…..… Law. George WILLYS.
Warwicke. 26 March 1647.
(added endorsements, etc.)

p.105 & 106
"...My Uncle COMBE is much in debt & I cannot gett any money of him...."
…..…..…..Your respectfull sonne in law
…..…..…..…..George WILLYS
Warwicke, May 18th 1647

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Bonner-Savage-Young and more…

Excerpted by Combs Researcher Vince Griffin from "New England Historical & Genealogical Register," 1899, pg 222 (Willys Family of Connecticut):

The wills of COMBE and Anthony BONNER, the COMBE and WILLYS pedigrees and the "Visitation of Warwickshire" suggest the following tabular pedigree:

1. Anthony BONNER Gent. of Camden, co. Glouc., Will dated 1579, proved 1580, married Bridget [SAVAGE ?]
…..11. Anthony BONNER married ?
…..12. George BONNER
…..13. Anna BONNER
…..14. Johan BONNER
…..15. Elizabeth BONNER
…..16. Mary BONNER married (1) Wm. YOUNG (whose 1st wife was Anna SNEAD); married (2) Thos. COMBE (will 1608) of Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire (whose 1st wife was Mary SAVAGE per Visitation of Warwickshire)

…..…..111. Anthony BONNER
…..…..112. Thomas BONNER
…..…..161. Bridget YOUNG, 1st wife, ob. 1620 married George WILLYS, ob. Mcnt, 1644- 5, ad.55 (his second wife was Mary SMITH, widow Alex. BYSBIE and dau. of Francis SMITH
…..…..…..1611. George WILLYS married Susannah
…..…..…..1612. Hester WILLYS married Capt. Robt. HARDING
…..…..…..1613. Amy WILLYS married Maj. John PYNCHON

1. Thos. COMBE & Mary SAVAGE
…..11. William COMBE
…..12. Thomas COMBE (will 1656), legatee of Shakespeare's sword
…..13. Mary COMBE
…..14. Joyce COMBE

1. George WILLYS & Mary SMITH
…..11. Samuel WILLYS bap. 1631, married Ruth HAYNES, dau. Gov. HAYNES

Extracted by Combs Researcher Vince Griffin from "Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700," Frederick Lewis Weis, 1950, pg 63 & 64, "Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor:"

Line 57 (Line restored by research of Claude W. Faulkner)

28. Roger De QUINCY (53-28); m Helen of Galloway (38-27).

29. Margaret De QUINCY, d. ca. 12 Mar. 1280/1; m. ca. 1238, William de FERRERS (127- 30), Earl of Derby, bur. 31 Mar. 1254. (CP II 128, IV 197, V 340, chart betw. pp. 320-321; SP III 142).

30. Robert de FERRERS, Earl of Derby, b. 1239, d. 1279; m. 26 June 1269 Alianore de BOHUN (68-30), d. 20 Feb. 1313/4. (CP IV 198-202, V 340, chart, cit.)

31. Sir John de FERRERS, b. Cardiff, 20 June 1271, d. Gascony, Aug. 1312, of Southoe and Keyston, first Lord Ferrers of Chartley, co. Stafford; m. bef. 1300, Hawise de Muscegros (189-5) of Charlton, b. 21 Dec. 1276, d. after June 1340, by Dec. 1350. (See 61-31 for male line continuation). (CP IV 205, V chart, cit).

32. Eleanor de FERRERS, m. bef. 21 May 1329, Sir Thomas de LATHOM of Lathom and Knowsley, co. Lancaster, b. 1300, d. 17 sept. 1370, son of Sir Robert de LATHOM of Lathom, and Katherine, dau. of Thomas de KNOWSLEY. (CP IV 205, V chart, cit.).

33. Sir Thomas de LATHOM, Knt., of Lathom, co. Lancaster, d. bef. 20 Mar. 1381/2; m. Joan VENABLES, dau. of Sir Hugh VENABLES, of Kinderton, co. Chester, d. 1353, by his wife Katherine HOUGHTON. (CP IV 205).

34. Isabel de LATHOM, d. 26 Oct. 1414 (Inq.p.m.); m. ca. 1385, sir John STANLEY, K.G., b. 1350, d. Ardee, Ireland, 6 Jan. 1413/4, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1385, Constable of Rokesbergh, Scotland; Constable of Windsor Castle, Steward of the King's Household, K.G., 1413, son of William STANLEY, of Storeton in Wirral, d. 1360, and Alice, dau. of Hugh MASSEY of Timperley, co. Chester. (CP IV 205, XII (1) 247-249; Collins III 59; DNB 54:75-76; Weever 651).

35. Sir John STANLEY, Knt., of Knowsley and Lathom, co. Lancaster, b. ca. 1386, d. 1437, Knight of the Shire of Lancaster 1415, Justice of Chester 1426-1427, sheriff of Anglesey, Constable of Caernarvon Castle 1427; m. Isabel HARINGTON (40-35). (CP XII (1) 250-251, gives him another wife, but see Chetham Soc. XXX 3rd Ser. "The Stanleys" p. 2, footnote 1, and p. 6; Collins III 54-55; DNB 54:76. Generations 32-35: Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica (London, 1841), III 1-21, article "Lathom").

36. Sir Thomas STANLEY, K.G., b. 1406, d. 20 Feb. 1459, Lord STANLEY of Lathom and Knowsley, M.P. 1432, K.G. 1456, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; m. Joan GOUSHILL (20-33), liv. 1460, dau. of Sir Robert GOUSHILL of Hoveringham. (CP IV 205; Collins III 56; DNB 54:75; VCH Lanc. I 345-349; Visit. Cheshire (1580), pp. 9, 201, 203-4; Visit. Gloucs. (1623), pp. 144-145).

37. Katharine STANLEY, m. Sir John SAVAGE, K.G. (233-37), of Clifton & Rocksavage, b. ca. 1422, d. 22 Nov. 1495, son of Sir John SAVAGE and Eleanor BRERETON.

38. Sir Christopher SAVAGE, lord of manors of Aston Subedge, Camden, Burlington and Westington, co. Gloucester, d. 1513; m. Anne STANLEY, dau. of Sir John STANLEY of Elford, co. Warwick, his cousin.

39. Christopher SAVAGE, s. and h., d. 1546; m. Anne LYGON, dau. of sir Richard and Margaret (GREVELL) Lygon *84-36) of arle Court, co. Worcester.

40. Bridget SAVAGE, of Elmley, b. prob. ca. 1540, d. by May 1609; m. ca. 1557-60, Anthony BONNER, gent., of Camden, Burlington and Wetington, d. 1580, son of Thomas and Joan (SKINNER) Bonner.

41. Mary BONNER of Camden, b. ca. 1560, d. 5 Apr. 1617 at Stratford-on-Avon, co. Warwick; m. (1) by 1 Nov. 1579, William YONGE, gent., d. Dec. 1583, son of John and Mathilda (BILL) Yonge of Caynton and Tiberton, co. Salop; m. (2) 10 Jan. 158- Thomas COMBE, gent., of Stratford, will dtd 22 Dec. 1608, pro. 10 Feb. 1608/9/

42. Bridget YONGE of Caynton and Stratford, b. 1580, bur. at Fenny Compton, co. Worcester, 11 Mar. 1629; m. Holy Trinity, Stratford, 2 Nov. 1609, George WYLLYS, of manor of Fenny Compton, went to Hartford, Conn. 1638, Gov. Of Conn. 1642, d. 9 Mar. 1645. All his children returned to or remained in England except

43. Amy WYLLYS, b. ca. 1625, to America with father, d. Springfield, Mass., 9 Jan. 1698'0; m. Hartford, 6 Nov. 1645, Maj John PYNCHON, b. ca. 1625, d. 17 Jan. 1702/3, son of William and Anne (ANDREW) Pynchon. (Line from Gen. 36-43, see TAG 39:88-89; D.L. Jacobus, Bulkeley Gen.; Currier-Briggs, English Wills of Colonial Families 2-8, and ancestral fan.).

Extracted by Combs Researcher Vince Griffin from "Burke's Family Records," Ashworth P. Burke, 1897, p 530, 559, 560, & 616:

Henry SAVAGE, of Ardkeen, co. Down, High Sheriff, 1634, b. 22 Feb. 1588, m. 1st, about 1628, Ellis (Alice) Ny NEILE, dau. of one of the chiefs of the O'NEILLS and widow of Con O'NEill, Lord of Claneboy and Great Ards; and 2ndly, Elizabeth (who survived him), dau. of Thomas NEVIN, laird of Monkroddin, and d. 1655, leaving issue by the latter,
I. John, of whom presently.
II. Hugh, of Iristown and Balligolnye.
III. James.
IV. Richard.
I. Joan, m. Lieut.-Col. Hugh Cochrane, of Ferguslie, near Paisley, brother of William, Earl of Dundonald, and had issue.
II. Elizabeth, living 1655.
The eldest son,
John SAVAGE, of Ardkeen, co. Down, High Sheriff, 1663, m. the dau. of Thomas CLARKE, of Dromantine, co. Down, eldest son of Sir Thomas CLARKE, Knt., of that place, and d. 1699, leaving issue,
I. Hugh, of whom presently.
II. John.
I. Sarah, m. Patrick SAVAGE, of Ballygalget.

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