Discussion:
Old age in medieval times
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Peter Cockerill
2019-08-20 19:52:28 UTC
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Dear Friends

I have a number of ancsetors who seemed to have lived from the mid late 1300s to mid 1400s which if my chronology is corrrect means they made it to their mid eighties. Is this likely?

I know the average age at death was a lot younger but this figure is badly distorted by very high child death rates.

What would the average age of death be for those who were alive at age 50? How much longer could they expect to go on living for 'on average'?

Many thanks

Peter
j***@gmail.com
2019-08-20 20:32:15 UTC
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Mid 80s would have been a great old age at the time. Anyone over 60 would have been considered "old". it would have been rare but certainly not unheard of for people to live this long in this time period though.

A life free of hard labor and lifetime access to good food and some good genes would have been key.
Joe Cook
j***@gmail.com
2019-08-20 20:37:38 UTC
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I should add that the maximum human lifespan has not really changed that much over millennia.
Numbers I have seen go about like this:
Age 50 : 20 more years
Age 60 : 15 more years on average
Age 70 : 10 more years on average.

Local conditions of course can have a huge effect...1350 wasn't a great time for Europe, and the 30-year War wiped out most of Central Europe...

Joe cook
Ian Goddard
2019-08-21 13:24:36 UTC
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Post by Peter Cockerill
Dear Friends
I have a number of ancsetors who seemed to have lived from the mid late 1300s to mid 1400s which if my chronology is corrrect means they made it to their mid eighties. Is this likely?
It's a century or so later but the early records of Almondbury have a
number of instances where the ages of death of the very old or very
young are given. The old start in the mid-60s but run up to the 90s or
even 100. However the proportion of round numbers, especially 80, is
suspiciously great so maybe the ages were not always reckoned exactly.
Probably many would have been "'e mun 'a' been eighty if 'e worr a day".

Ian
Jan Wolfe
2019-08-22 00:00:13 UTC
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Post by Ian Goddard
Post by Peter Cockerill
Dear Friends
I have a number of ancsetors who seemed to have lived from the mid late 1300s to mid 1400s which if my chronology is corrrect means they made it to their mid eighties. Is this likely?
It's a century or so later but the early records of Almondbury have a
number of instances where the ages of death of the very old or very
young are given. The old start in the mid-60s but run up to the 90s or
even 100. However the proportion of round numbers, especially 80, is
suspiciously great so maybe the ages were not always reckoned exactly.
Probably many would have been "'e mun 'a' been eighty if 'e worr a day".
Ian
Also about a century later, Walter Roberts of Cranbrook is said (in family pedigrees drawn in 1592 and 1629) to have been above 80 years when he wrote his will in 1522. Other evidence suggest that a birth year about 1442 is plausible.
wjhonson
2019-08-21 19:10:06 UTC
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The most likely solution is that someone, in one of your trees you are copying, made a grandfather-grandson relationship, into a father-son one, simply because we are missing the name of the intermediate person.

It would help were you to post a specific case, so we can show you were the error lies.
Peter Cockerill
2019-08-22 16:17:35 UTC
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Post by Peter Cockerill
Dear Friends
I have a number of ancsetors who seemed to have lived from the mid late 1300s to mid 1400s which if my chronology is corrrect means they made it to their mid eighties. Is this likely?
I know the average age at death was a lot younger but this figure is badly distorted by very high child death rates.
What would the average age of death be for those who were alive at age 50? How much longer could they expect to go on living for 'on average'?
Many thanks
Peter
My thanks for these responses and in response to Wjohnson's request herewith the details of my dilemma.

Thomas Pek’s will was probably proved sometime in April 1411 from its position in the register between two wills dated 2nd and 21st April 1411. The will itself was made on 04.12.1410

[Borthwick Institute: MS ref: Abp Reg 18, Folio 348 recto Thomas Pek. see also Halifax Wills]

In his will Thomas states ‘I Thomas Pek Chaplain’. Assuming a Chaplain is also an ordained priest then Thomas must have been at least 25 years old at the time of his death as Canon Law sets this as the minimum age for priesthood.

[A Companion to Priesthood and Holy Orders in the Middle Ages
edited by Greg Peters, C. Colt Anderson pp 15 & 16]

Based on this Thomas must have been born at least on or before 1386

Further in his will Thomas requests his body be buried at Thornhill.

In the will of John de Thornhill rector of Thornhill dated 01.05.1402 he says ‘I bequeath to Thomas Pek Chaplain xxs.’ It would seem extremely likely that this Thomas Pek Chaplain is one and the same person.

Based on this Thomas must have been born at least on or before 1377 assuming he is a priest etc etc.

Assuming Thomas Pek is the third son of Richrad Pek of Wakefield and Margaret Haselden (per the Visitations and other references in his Will) then Richard and Margaret must have been married say 1371 and born say 1350.

There is evidence that Richard Pek was alive in 1438 making him circa 88 years old.

Best wishes
Peter
Hans Vogels
2019-08-22 19:47:43 UTC
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What is the evidence that Richard who made his will in 1438 is the same person as the Richard the supposed father of Thomas the priest?

Hans Vogels
Post by Peter Cockerill
Post by Peter Cockerill
Dear Friends
I have a number of ancsetors who seemed to have lived from the mid late 1300s to mid 1400s which if my chronology is corrrect means they made it to their mid eighties. Is this likely?
I know the average age at death was a lot younger but this figure is badly distorted by very high child death rates.
What would the average age of death be for those who were alive at age 50? How much longer could they expect to go on living for 'on average'?
Many thanks
Peter
My thanks for these responses and in response to Wjohnson's request herewith the details of my dilemma.
Thomas Pek’s will was probably proved sometime in April 1411 from its position in the register between two wills dated 2nd and 21st April 1411. The will itself was made on 04.12.1410
[Borthwick Institute: MS ref: Abp Reg 18, Folio 348 recto Thomas Pek. see also Halifax Wills]
In his will Thomas states ‘I Thomas Pek Chaplain’. Assuming a Chaplain is also an ordained priest then Thomas must have been at least 25 years old at the time of his death as Canon Law sets this as the minimum age for priesthood.
[A Companion to Priesthood and Holy Orders in the Middle Ages
edited by Greg Peters, C. Colt Anderson pp 15 & 16]
Based on this Thomas must have been born at least on or before 1386
Further in his will Thomas requests his body be buried at Thornhill.
In the will of John de Thornhill rector of Thornhill dated 01.05.1402 he says ‘I bequeath to Thomas Pek Chaplain xxs.’ It would seem extremely likely that this Thomas Pek Chaplain is one and the same person.
Based on this Thomas must have been born at least on or before 1377 assuming he is a priest etc etc.
Assuming Thomas Pek is the third son of Richrad Pek of Wakefield and Margaret Haselden (per the Visitations and other references in his Will) then Richard and Margaret must have been married say 1371 and born say 1350.
There is evidence that Richard Pek was alive in 1438 making him circa 88 years old.
Best wishes
Peter
Peter Cockerill
2019-08-22 17:05:27 UTC
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Post by Peter Cockerill
Dear Friends
I have a number of ancsetors who seemed to have lived from the mid late 1300s to mid 1400s which if my chronology is corrrect means they made it to their mid eighties. Is this likely?
I know the average age at death was a lot younger but this figure is badly distorted by very high child death rates.
What would the average age of death be for those who were alive at age 50? How much longer could they expect to go on living for 'on average'?
Many thanks
Peter
Error Thomas Pek’s will was probably proved sometime in April 1411 - it was proved 04.01.1410/11
Peter Cockerill
2019-08-22 20:38:39 UTC
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Post by Peter Cockerill
Dear Friends
I have a number of ancsetors who seemed to have lived from the mid late 1300s to mid 1400s which if my chronology is corrrect means they made it to their mid eighties. Is this likely?
I know the average age at death was a lot younger but this figure is badly distorted by very high child death rates.
What would the average age of death be for those who were alive at age 50? How much longer could they expect to go on living for 'on average'?
Many thanks
Peter
Hans I have the IPM below (IPMs DL 7/2 from Duchy of Lancaster) for John Sayvile, Knt. 21 March, 12 Hen. VIII. (1520/1) which cites as trustees John Leventhorpe esquire {died 1435] and John King vicar of halifax, died 18.05.1438 and that Richard Peck was last survining trustee]



Inquisition post mortem of Sir John Sayvile


Inquisition, indented, taken at Lancaster, Lancs, on the 21st day of March in the 12th year of the reign of King Henry VIII, before James Worseley, esquire, escheator of the said lord king in the aforesaid county, by virtue of a writ of the same lord king about inquiring better after the death of Sir John Sayvile, knight, directed to the same escheator and attached to this inquisition, by the oath of Thomas Langton, esquire, Nicholas Tempest, esquire, Thomas Singleton of Brockholls, esquire, sworn, etc. Who say upon their oath that a certain Thomas Sayvile, great-grandfather of the aforesaid John Sayvile, knight, named in the said writ, a long time before his death was seised in his demesne as of fee of the manor of Folrigge in the aforesaid county with all its members and appurtenances. And also of 20 messuages, 10 cottages, 400 acres of land, 600 acres of meadow, 2,000 acres of pasture, 3,000 acres of moor and £9 13s ½d of free rent with appurtenances in Folrigge, Rachedale, Milnehowse, Incchefeld, Gankholme and Todmerden in the same county. And being so seised, by his certain charter, dated at Folrigge, aforesaid, on Monday on the feast of St Hilary in the 8th year of the reign of King Henry V after the conquest, shown in evidence to the aforesaid jurors upon the taking of this inquisition, he thereupon enfeoffed John Leventhorpe, esquire, Henry Sayvile of Copley, esquire, John Kinge, vicar of the church of Hallifax, and Richard Peke. To have to them and their heirs forever, to the use of the aforesaid Thomas Sayvile and his heirs male to be lawfully begotten. By virtue of which same feoffment the same John Leventhorpe, Henry Saivile, John Kinge and Richard Peke were thereupon seised in their demesne as of fee to the aforesaid use. And afterwards the aforesaid John Leventhorpe, Henry Saivile and John Kinge died. And the aforesaid Richard Peke survived them and kept himself inside by jus accrescendi [right of survivorship], and was thereupon seised alone in his demesne as of fee to the aforesaid use. And afterwards the aforesaid Richard Peke died thereupon seised. After whose death the aforesaid manor, lands, tenements and other premises with all and singular their appurtenances descended to John Peke, now alive, as kinsman and heir of the aforesaid Richard Peke, viz son of Richard, son of Richard, son of John, son of the aforesaid Richard Peke. By virtue of which the aforesaid John Peke entered into the manor, lands, tenements and other premises with all and singular their appurtenances, and was and still is thereupon seised in his demesne as of fee to the aforesaid use. And the aforesaid jurors say that the aforesaid manor, lands and tenements and other premises with all and singular their appurtenances are held of the lord king as of his duchy of Lancaster by the eighth part of one knight’s fee and the rent of £8 20d a year for all services. And they are worth per annum in all issues beyond reprises £28 5s ½d. And in addition the aforesaid jurors say that the aforesaid John Sayvile, knight, named in the said writ, died on the 20th day of March in the 20th year of the reign of Henry VII, late king of England. And that Henry Saivile, esquire, is the son and next heir male of the aforesaid John Saivile, knight, his father, and kinsman and next heir male of the body of the aforesaid Thomas Saivile, viz son of John, son of John, son of John, son of the aforesaid Thomas, lawfully begotten of his body. And he was aged at the time of the taking of this inquisition 22 years and more. And the aforesaid jurors say further that a certain George Becansall, esquire, late escheator in the aforesaid county, by reason of his office from the time of the death of the aforesaid John Saivile, knight, until the fifth day of November in the second year of the said now lord king had and received all the issues and profits of the aforesaid manor and other premises, on which same 5th day of November in the second year of the said now lord king, the same lord king, out of his special grace and from his certain knowledge and pure motivation, by his letters patent, dated at Westminster on the same fifth day of November in the second year of his reign, gave and granted and by his same letters patent gave and granted to a certain Richard Hastinges, knight, the wardship and marriage of Henry Saivile, son and heir of the aforesaid John Saivile, knight, then deceased. And also the custody of all and singular lordships, manors, lands, tenements, rents, services, knights’ fees and other hereditaments whatsoever, which were late of the aforesaid John Saivile or any of his ancestors during the minority of the aforesaid Henry Savile. The lord king also granted by the same letters patent to the same Richard all and all kinds of issues, rents, reversions and profits of all and singular lordships, manors and other premises without any account or doing or paying anything to the said lord king or his heirs, by reason of which the same Richard Hastinges and a certain George, earl of Shrewsbury had and received all the issues and profits of the lordships, manors and other premises. In testimony of which to this inquisition, indented, both the aforesaid escheator and the aforesaid jurors have affixed their seal, the day, year and place, aforesaid.

[See also The Genealogical Magazine May 1899- April 1900 Vol III Number XXV Page 29 which gives an abreviated version of the IPM]
Peter Cockerill
2019-08-22 20:52:14 UTC
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Post by Peter Cockerill
Dear Friends
I have a number of ancsetors who seemed to have lived from the mid late 1300s to mid 1400s which if my chronology is corrrect means they made it to their mid eighties. Is this likely?
I know the average age at death was a lot younger but this figure is badly distorted by very high child death rates.
What would the average age of death be for those who were alive at age 50? How much longer could they expect to go on living for 'on average'?
Many thanks
Peter
Further to Hans' enquiry The link between Thomas Pek and Ricahrd Pek the son of Richard and Margaert Haselden is I agree tenuous!

Thomas's will says 'I bequeath to my eight nephews xjs. Also to Richard pek vj silver spoons and half a dozen bowls and one dish'

In 1439 a Richard Peck [brother of Thomas?] in his will stated 'I bequeath to the seven children of John Pek my brother viz. Isabella, Margt., Thomas, Katherine, Robert, Johan, and John to each of them xx marcs......Item to Richard Peke son of the said john Pek vj silver spoons.....

The names of the nephews and nieces mentioned in Richard son of Richard's will coincide with those of the Visitations I think [need to double check]

Peter
Peter Cockerill
2019-08-22 21:05:14 UTC
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Post by Peter Cockerill
Dear Friends
I have a number of ancsetors who seemed to have lived from the mid late 1300s to mid 1400s which if my chronology is corrrect means they made it to their mid eighties. Is this likely?
I know the average age at death was a lot younger but this figure is badly distorted by very high child death rates.
What would the average age of death be for those who were alive at age 50? How much longer could they expect to go on living for 'on average'?
Many thanks
Peter
A further clarification - There were it seems three genrations of Richard Peks (Pecks) living at the same time,

Richard who married Margeteret Haselden

Richard son of Richard & Margeret Haselden who had no children hence in his Will 1439 bequeathing all to nephews an nieces[maybe?]

Richard son of John (who married Lacy) son of Richard and Margaret Haselden and brother of Richard with no children.

Please also note the linneage in the middle of the Saville IPM which follows the Visitations generation for generation.

Peter
Peter Cockerill
2019-08-23 09:20:53 UTC
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Post by Peter Cockerill
Dear Friends
I have a number of ancsetors who seemed to have lived from the mid late 1300s to mid 1400s which if my chronology is corrrect means they made it to their mid eighties. Is this likely?
I know the average age at death was a lot younger but this figure is badly distorted by very high child death rates.
What would the average age of death be for those who were alive at age 50? How much longer could they expect to go on living for 'on average'?
Many thanks
Peter
Nephews & Nieces of Richard Peck mentioned in the Visitations & his 1439 Will;

1530: Richard, Thomas, Robert, Kateren, Jane, Margaret

1563: ditto 1530

1567: ditto 1530 but no Thomas

1585: Ditto 1530 but no Robert

Richards 1439 Will: Children of John Pek my brother: Ditto 1530 plus Isabella and John

Best wishes
Peter
Peter Cockerill
2019-08-23 09:26:57 UTC
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Post by Peter Cockerill
Dear Friends
I have a number of ancsetors who seemed to have lived from the mid late 1300s to mid 1400s which if my chronology is corrrect means they made it to their mid eighties. Is this likely?
I know the average age at death was a lot younger but this figure is badly distorted by very high child death rates.
What would the average age of death be for those who were alive at age 50? How much longer could they expect to go on living for 'on average'?
Many thanks
Peter
The original Harleian MS 1394 in British Library has a 'Robt' for the 1585 visitation omitted from Fosters printed pedigree.
Jan Wolfe
2019-08-24 02:35:29 UTC
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I looked in my family tree file for a well-documented octogenarian who lived in the 1300s. I found one.
Isabel de Combemartin was born before 6 May 1318. She was named in the will of her father who died before 6 May 1318 (Close Rolls 1313-1318, p. 540, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015034983158?urlappend=%3Bnum=540%3Bu=1). Isabel died 28 or 30 Apr 1401 (CIPM, vol. 18, p. 124, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/vol18/pp112-125). Thus her age at death was at least 82 years, 11 months, and 25 days. Isabel's son, Giles St. John, was born about April 1330 (IPM of his father, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/njp.32101073590695?urlappend=%3Bnum=252%3Bu=1), and Isabel was the second of three daughters named in her father's will (Court of Hustings, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015011270967?urlappend=%3Bnum=276%3Bu=1). Thus she may well have been age 85 or more when she died.
Peter Cockerill
2019-08-24 08:45:15 UTC
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Post by Peter Cockerill
Dear Friends
I have a number of ancsetors who seemed to have lived from the mid late 1300s to mid 1400s which if my chronology is corrrect means they made it to their mid eighties. Is this likely?
I know the average age at death was a lot younger but this figure is badly distorted by very high child death rates.
What would the average age of death be for those who were alive at age 50? How much longer could they expect to go on living for 'on average'?
Many thanks
Peter
Thank you Jan that is really helpful

Herewith some further 'evidence' for the proposition that Thomas Pek priest is the brother of Richard Pek.

The Law Quarterly Review Vol 38 October 1922 By WA Peck page 464ff

'John Pek hys Border marrd Isabell Lacye dowghtter of John Lacy of Cromwell bothom and had usshewe wtt her fowre sons Rychard, Robartt Thomas & John & the same John Pek dyed att Halyfax byfoe Rychard Pek hys brother ytt was ye man of law God hayfe mercy on hys sowle. And Thomas Pek thayre brothe was a prest.'

Yorkshire Pedigrees, Harleian Society Volume 95
Part II (G-S) page 307

'Thomas Peck priest of Thornhill' shown as brother of Richard and John. John shown to have seven children same as named by his brother Richard in his will except no Isabella in pedigree version.

To summarise the argument to date in deciding the age of Richard Peck father of Thomas the priest.

The wills of Thomas and his brother Richard Peck, the pedigrees, the linneage of five generations of Peck shown in the Sayvile IPM and the Law Quarterly Review article all 'fit' together to give a reasonable degree of certainty that the info in each of these documents reflect the 'facts'.

These 'facts' point to Richard father of Thomas the priest being born circa 1350 based on the estimated birth date of his son Thomas. The same Richard, father of Thomas the priest, was 'the last surviving trustee' of Folirigge manor, John King his last co trustee having died 1438. Therefore Richard father of Thomas the priest was circa 88 years old when he died.

Peter

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