2020-06-30 19:19:26 UTC
My many postings on the two ironworking John Giffords, father and son, of Dean Forest, Gloucestershire, and New England, eventually petered out in an attempt to connect them both to John Gifford, gent., who built the brick house or mansion at Wiveton, Norfolk, in 1652/53 (those years, along with the initials "J G F" are carved on the facade of the house, which survives). Specifically I thought that the Norfolk house builder might be identical to "Capt." John Gifford or Giffard, the father, who might be suspected to have abandoned the Gloucestershire ironworks after his (possible) son, John of New England, assumed control of another money-making ironworking project, at Lynn, just north of Boston in New England, ca. 1651.
In addition to the abrupt shut-down of the Dean Forest iron industry (sustainability issues, too many trees were being consumed) around 1650, just prior to the appearance of one John Gifford in New England and another on the seacoast of Norfolk, there was a surviving contemporary document, dated March 1651, stating the buyer of the land at Wiveton, Norfolk, was "John Gifford the younger, of Gloucester, Gent." (see a modern account of Wiveton Hall published in _Country Life_, v. 38, 1915 [pp. 712-13]).
While we might expect the Gloucestershire ironmaster to continue identifying as "Capt. John Gifford," at least two brief publications by him were under another name, "John Gifford, Gentleman," which was a title he might have returned to after the temporary military upheavals of the 1640s (he was only "Capt." by virtue of having raised, in middle age, a troop of horse for Parliament).
An inspection of the 1658 (proved 1661) will of John Giffard of Wiveton somewhat dashed my hopes: no son John was mentioned. The will named his son Thomas, to whom the Norfolk properties were to pass, a daughter Frances, apparently under age, and his married daughter Margaret Allen, wife of John Allen. Frances, his widow, was also named. For one of the copies of the will, see ...
While one child (Margaret) was old enough to be married in 1658 -- hence born, say, by 1635 -- the daughter Frances was under seventeen in 1658. I later discovered that the son Thomas was probably also a minor in the year 1658:
GUIFFARD, Thomas. Adm. pens. at CLARE, Apr. 22, 1672. Of Wiveton, Norfolk. Matric. 1672 (_Alumni Cantabrigienses_, Part 1, vol. 2, p. 213)
Assuming age 16 at the start of his university career, Thomas "Guiffard of Wiveton" might have been born around 1655/6 (i.e., he would have been very young at his father's death).
While avoiding any mention of a son John in New England, Nick Poyntz adopted my suggestion linking Capt. John of Dean Forest to the John Gifford who built Wiveton Hall a few years later. His article, "The attack on Lord Chandos: popular politics in Cirencester in 1642," also specifically endorsed my suggestion that Capt. John came to Dean from an earlier career as a government saltpetreman at and around Cirencester, another location within Gloucestershire.
Some comments by Nick Poyntz on John Gifford of Cirencester and Dean Forest (? and Wiveton) follow:
"Giffard owned property in Cirencester at this time that was near to the site of the confrontation with Chandos. In the royalist siege of Cirencester in 1643, a house known as ‘the Barton House, then called Giffard’s’ formed part of the garrison’s defensive lines. During the siege, ‘the Barton farme with very much buildings in it, and all the corne, hay, and other goods and cattle of one gentleman’s, which amounted to three thousand pounds and upwards, was burnt to the ground’. Giffard subsequently pressed for compensation of £3,000 for losses in the siege, suggesting the house was his.
In the same year as the abortive election [at Cirencester], Giffard leased from Colonel Edward Massey iron works in the Forest of Dean which had been confiscated from the royalist Sir John Wintour. Gifford’s operation seems to have destroyed significant amounts of timber earmarked for shipbuilding. At the end of 1649, Giffard’s former ally Isaac Bromwich reported him to the Council of State, and on 1 January 1650 the Commons ordered that the works be pulled down. Giffard petitioned the Commons for compensation, prompting a short-lived pamphlet exchange between Giffard, Bromwich, and a number of Commons-appointed preservators of the Forest. Giffard’s lobbying was to no avail, leaving his iron works suppressed and relationships with erstwhile friends in tatters.
It was the probably the fallout from this incident that prompted Giffard’s decision in the early 1650s to move to Norfolk, where he bought an estate at Wiveton from Edmund Britiffe. In his will, Giffard left this estate to his wife Frances. She seems to have been Frances Poyntz, daughter of Sir John Poyntz by his fourth wife Grissell Roberts, who married a Giffard in Gloucester around 1624. This ties Giffard to Gloucestershire in the 1620s, when a man of the same name was beginning to take on commissions from the Admiralty for extracting saltpetre from Gloucestershire and a number of other counties in the south-west. By 1629, for example, he was in charge of production in Gloucestershire, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire. One of the major saltpetre works for the south-west was at Thornbury, five miles north-west of the seat of Sir John Poyntz at Iron Acton. On balance, it seems plausible that the John Giffard who was present in Cirencester in 1642 and the saltpetre man of the 1620s and 1630s were one and the same.
One of the ties between the Gloucestershire man and the Norfolk man was a wife called Frances, speculated by Nick Poyntz to have been Frances Poyntz of a well-known Gloucestershire family.
I was the first one to speculate about a marriage of Capt. John Gifford to Frances Poyntz, something I now think rather unlikely (the source of the confusion lies in the fact that Sir John Poyntz, her father, had an older daughter who, after a first marriage to Peny/ Penny, remarried to a Gifford).
From subsequent research, it seems clear that the wife Frances, surviving widow of John Gifford of Wiveton, was nee Frances Tracy (of another Gloucestershire gentry family).
There is no surviving record for the marriage of John Giffard and Frances Tracy, daughter of Sir John Tracy; the way around this impasse is the second marriage record of Frances (Tracy) Giffard, which is extant. As Nick Poyntz wrote in an email to me, he had found that "[o]n 13 November 1662, a Frances Gifford marries Edmund Day in Blakeney. Blakeney is no more than a mile west of Wiveton. Day was the parish's rector." Nick thought this Frances was the daughter of the testator of 1658, but it turns out it was the mother Frances who was remarrying in 1662.
This is proved by the following lawsuit:
Reference: C 5/28/54
Short title: Gifford v Bishop of Norwich. Plaintiffs: Thomas Gifford and Frances Day, widow. Defendants:...
Court of Chancery: Six Clerks Office: Pleadings before 1714, Whittington. Short title: Gifford v Bishop of Norwich.
Plaintiffs: Thomas Gifford and Frances Day, widow.
Defendants: Edward [Reynolds] Bishop of Norwich, Robert Jermy, Robert Jermy, Cloudesley Jenkinson. Subject
Held by: The National Archives, Kew - Chancery, the Wardrobe, Royal Household, Exchequer and various commissions
Reference: C 10/175/65
In early 2019, Nat Taylor kindly ordered this document from TNA. It concerns property at Wiveton, and specifically mentions Thomas Gifford, "an infant of 16 or 17 years," and his mother and guardian, Frances Day, widow. While it was a bit suprising to find Thomas as young as 16 in 1674 after having matriculated at Cambridge in 1672, it seemed clear this was the same person and family.
So .... Frances Day of 1674 was the remarried widow of John Gifford of Wiveton who had died in late 1658. She remarried in 1662 to Rev. Edmund Day, the rector of the adjoining village.
Fortunately, the second volume of _The Visitation of Norfolk Anno Domini 1664_ (Harleian Society, vol. 86) shows who Frances was before her marriage(s). It does not mention her first marriage to John Gifford, perhaps because it was taken two years after the secpmd marriage to Rev. Edmond Day.
From snippets, I can see that Sir John Tracy and his wife Elizabeth Allington had numerous daughters, including one recorded in 1664 as "Frances [Tracy] mar. .... Day." Possibly the following link will work ...
I checked Sir John Tracy's will at one point and found it very illegible, with no mention of his daughter Frances (but someone may wish to verify).
The real "proof" (or perhaps we should say, _almost_ proof) of the connection comes from records of other lawsuits between Frances, both as a Gifford and a Day, her son Thomas, and various children of Sir John Tracy and his wife Elizabeth Allington.
First, I should list the other Tracy daughters I'm able to see in the snippet views of the 1664 Norfolk Visitation. In addition to Frances Day, there are:
--Katherine, mar. Thomas Borrett, clerk
--Elizabeth, mar. .... Britton
--Susanna, mar. John Carnsen [sic; this is really Carnsew, see below]
--Dorothy, mar. 1 Butts Bacon; 2 Francis Rookwood
The most important lawsuit is the following (not seen yet):
Short Title: Allen v. Giffard
Reference: C 8/137/4
Short title: Allen v Giffard.
Plaintiffs: John Allen and Margaret Allen his wife.
Defendants: Frances Giffard, widow, Thomas Giffard and Frances Giffard [the daughter], Sir John Tracy kt, Dame Elizabeth Tracy his wife, Butts Bacon, Dorothy Bacon his wife, [unknown] Godfry and wife.
Subject: property in Wiveton, Norfolk.
Document type: bill and three answers
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Margaret, wife of John Allen, was the daughter mentioned almost as an afterthought at the end of the will of John Gifford of Wiveton. I presume she was only a step-daughter of the widow Frances, and believed Frances and the other Tracys had mis-handled her inheritance.
In fact, Frances Tracy was most likely too young to be the mother of John Gifford's daughter Margaret who married John Allen. Frances' mother, Elizabeth Allington (a Cecil, Neville, and Somerset descendant) had three marriage, with Sir John Tracy as her last husband. Muskett's _Evidences of the Winthrops of Groton, co. Suffolk_ sub Clopton (the family of her second husband) states she "mar. at Horsheath, 3 Oct. 15 Jas. [I], Sir John Tracy, Kt., 3d husb."
See another source, which gives the Oct. 1617 date, mentioned above, as her second (Clopton) marriage, with the second husband not dying until early 1619:
So the marriage of Elizabeth Allington to Sir John Tracy occurred in late 1617 (or possibly 1619 or after), and Frances Tracy was listed last of the many Tracy children in the 1664 Norfolk Visitation.
Young Thomas Gifford sued his aunt Susan (Tracy) (Eure) Carnsew in 1682 over money matters pertaining to co. Norfolk; so he was still alive at that point (I haven't located a will for Thomas).
The proof of identity of Susan Carnsew consists of a number of things, including her identification as "Susanna Carnsen" in the Norfolk Visitation of 1664.
Also important are:
--1. _Notes and Queries_ ser.6, v.5 (1882), p. 49, a note by Arthur Jewers, which shows that John Eure, son of Sir Sampson Eure of Gateley or Yateley Park, Herefordshire, "married, Sept. 26, 1661, Susan, daughter and co-heir of Sir John Tracy, of Stanhow, co. Norfolk ..."
--2. By Feb. 1670/71, John Eure of Gateley [Gatley] Park was dead, and his wife Susan remarried to one Carnsew, detailed below:
Marriage between Carneswe and Eure now held and consummated.
Now Consideration. Indenture of even date, by which Susan Carnsewe releases to Seyntanbin, Anthony Chinoweth and Thomas Carnsewe, lands called Trewoone and Traverna, and payment of £500 by Susan to Seyntabin, Chinoweth and Carnsewe.
Releases all claim to Manor of Leinthall Starkes, Gatley Park and other lands.
[Note most of the lands are Cornish, but "Gatley Park" is also mentioned.]
--3. Another brief article states the marriage of John Eure, son of Sampson Eure, and Susan Tracy was actually at Stanhow, Norfolk:
--4. A Dec. 1670 marriage license exists for "Susan Ewer, widow" and John Carnsew of the Inner Temple, Esq., Bachelor, [aged] 37:
I think it should be clear that the Susan Carnsew sued by Thomas Gifford of Norfolk was his aunt, the sister to Frances (Tracy) (Gifford) Day.
Part of Nick Poyntz's confidence in linking John Gifford of the Gloucestershire Ironworks to the Norfolk man was the apparent marriage into a Gloucestershire family, Poyntz. Even though I no longer believe in the Poyntz marriage, the linkage to another Gloucestershire family (TRACY) could equally help support the identification. John Tracy of Stanhoe/ Stanhow was obviously connected to the Gloucestershire Tracys, and was descended from other Gloucs. families such as Throckmorton and Bruges/ Brydges/ Chandos.
If John Gifford of New England was a son of the Wiveton man, we need to explain why he was not mentioned in the will of 1658. Gifford of New England was born ca. 1623/4 per several sources which give his age, and so would have been about the same age (or older than) Frances Tracy (his possible step-mother). Perhaps that, and his residence in far-off New England, goes part of the way to explaining why he wasn't in the will of 1658. Perhaps, also, he wasn't a son, but some other agnate relation of the Wiveton man.