John Spencer, Sr., of Edworth

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John Spencer, Sr., of Edworth

Also Known As: "John ll Spencer"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: South Mylles, Bedfordshire, England
Death: before June 9, 1558
Edworth, Bedfordshire, England
Place of Burial: Edworth, Central Bedfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of John Spencer, of South Mylles and Christian Dale, widow Spencer
Husband of Anne “Agness” Spencer
Father of John Spencer, III; Michael Spencer and Gerard Spencer
Brother of William Spencer; Elizabeth Vincent; Robert Spencer and Gerard Spencer
Half brother of Elizabeth Slade; Rose Spencer and Thomas Spencer, Esq.

Occupation: yeoman, Chief Burgess of St. Albans 1553
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Spencer, Sr., of Edworth

John Spencer

  • Born say 1505 in South Mills, Bedfordshire, England
  • Son of John Spencer and his wife Christian
  • Name styled as “Senior” and as “of Edworth”
  • Husband of Anne, perhaps Merrill, married 9 Jun 1528 in Edworth, Bedfordshire, England Anne “Agness” Spencer
  • Father of Michael Spencer, John Spencer, Gerard Spencer (named in widow Anne Spencer’s will)
  • Died 9 Jun 1558 in Edworth, Bedfordshire, England
  • not the same as John Spencer, of London who married Anne Clarke in London in 1530

——-

John Spencer, born probably within a few years after 1500, buried at Edworth, co. Bedford, 9 June 1558, as John Spencer senior.; married Anne, perhaps Merrill, who was buried at Edworth, 16 June 1560[8] John Spencer left no will, but his widow did.

See: Link to Donald Lines Jacobus article in The American Genealogist (1951). “The Four Spencer Brothers: Their Ancestors and Descendants.”

——

Notes

This John Spencer (b. 1511 at South Mylls/Mills, Bedfordshire, England, d. 9 June 1558 at Edworth, Bedfordshire, England) appears to be the son of John Spencer of St. Albans, South Mylls/Mills, Bedfordshire, England (b. 1486, d. 5 February 1531/32) and Christiana Etheldreia Baker (b. 1492, d. 13 June 1560). See discussion below.

John was clearly married to a woman named Ann/Anne, though her surname has been posited as Merrill, Gerrard and possibly Clarke.

"John was one of the chief Burgesses or Aldermen of St. Albans, Hertfordshire. He was named in the Royal Charter Edward VI granted to the town in 1553. The Visitation of St. Albans (1572) recorded the Spencer Arms: Quarterly or and gules, in the second and third quarters a fret of the first, over all a bend sable charged with three fleur-de-lis argent. The crest out of a ducal coronet argent, gemmed gules, a demi-griffin of the first, beaked and eared of the second, collared per pale of the second and or, winded of the third, on each wing and on the breast a fleur-de-lis sable. John moved to St. George Parish, Edworth, Bedfordshire where he leased 600 acres from Robert Parrys of Ellington the Lord of the Manor. Robert Parrys had married Elizabeth Spencer a daughter of Thomas Spencer and Anne Bulkley of Cople. The lease was to expire c. 1575. Edworth is situated half way between Baldock and Biggleswade. There were only two large farms in Edworth together comprising 1122 acres. John Spencer had the lease of one. The family resided at The Hall." (Source unclear--from Spencers of Badby Project on Geni)

Some genealogical accounts have this John as married to Anne Clarke, b. 1511 in London and married 1530 in London. It is not clear if this is the same John Spencer or a totally different man. They are credited with having the following children:

Children

  • William Spencer b. 1531
  • Mary Spencer b. 1533
  • Christian Spencer b. 1535
  • Margaret Spencer b. 1539
  • Jane Spencer b. 1539
=============

Rev. John Halding, Vicar of Stotfold, co. Bedford, published "The Spencers of Bedfordshire " 1903. F.G Emmison in "Bedfordshire Parish Register Series" published the complete register of Stotfold and Edworth. Jacobus feels John the 1st can establish as certain ancestors of the Spencers of America.

At the burial of Ann Spencer, widow, it was said of her: the good hospitality keeper, and she did give to the township of Edworth 2 of her best beasts to be left to 2 pore foies in town for 3 shillings, a cow, and the poor and Church warders to have the taking of them and the distributing of the money to the poore and to see the stock maintained each of them to hav e 4 pence of the 6 shillings for there paynes to see they truly done according to her last will." The will was dated 13 Jun 1560 and proved 24 Apr 1651. Calls her widow in Edworth, beds. and names son Gerard age 17, son Michael to have the chest that was his brother John 's. John Spencer, son of Michael's child to have £20, Elizabeth lymer to have £4 at marriage. Alice Aystin to have a calf, servants to have some, for the mending of the "London Brygg Waye" 10 shillings. Brother Edward's children to have £1, he borrowed from her and the barley he gave her sons to his children. Nicholas Merryil and John Meryll, his brother to have the barley their father gave her sons and the poor of Edworth to have the gift already mentioned. Michael Spencer was a witness. So from this seems of yoeman class, better off than average. The above two Merrylls indicates that she was probably a Merrill. (See Jacobus, "The Four Spencer Brothers - Their Ancestors and Descendants, TAG, April 1951).

  • ______________________
  • John Spencer
  • M, #26299, b. 1505, d. 9 June 1558
  • Father John Spencer b. c 1482, d. b 5 Feb 1532
  • Mother Ann Gerrard b. c 1480
  • John Spencer married Anne Clark at of London, Middlesex, England. John Spencer was born in 1505 at of South Mills, Oxfordshire, England. He married Ann (Agnes) Merrill on 9 June 1528 at Edworth, Bedfordshire, England. John Spencer died on 9 June 1558 at Edworth, Bedfordshire, England.
  • Family 1 Ann (Agnes) Merrill b. c 1505, d. 10 Jun 1560
  • Child
    • Michael Spencer+ b. c 1530, d. 18 Nov 1599
  • Family 2 Anne Clark b. c 1511
  • Child
    • Margaret Spencer+ b. c 1530
  • From: http://our-royal-titled-noble-and-commoner-ancestors.com/p876.htm#i26299
  • ____________
  • Our New England ancestors and their descendants, 1620-1900: historical ... By Henry Whittemore
  • http://archive.org/details/ournewenglandanc00whit
    • Spencer and Allied Families
  • Pg. 49-84
  • http://archive.org/stream/ournewenglandanc00whit#page/104/mode/1up
  • Pg. 53
  • Prof. Ray T. Spencer while making researches in his own line, discovered among the church records of St. George's Parish, Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England. much interesting data, concerning the line of Gerrard Spencer, the father of William, Thomas, Michael and Gerrard the emigrants, from which it appears that the above named Gerrard was the son of Michael who also had a brother Gerrard, and they were the sons of John. Thus three generations preceding the emigrants are definitely established. The church records of St. George's Parish, above referred to, show that "June 9, 1558, John Spencer, Sen., was buried."
  • There is evidence to show that this John was the father of Michael and of the first Gerrard mentioned.
    • FROM NOTES OF GEO. T. SPENCER.
  • The ancestry of Gerard Spencer and his brothers William, Thomas and Michael Spencer, appears from the parish registers of Edworth and Stotfield in Bedfordshire, Eng., and other contemporaneous documents.
  • Jan. 25, 1555, Michael Spencer and Annis Liuur were married (the last name of Annis is so poorly written in the record that is cannot be definitely determined.)
  • April 20, 1557, John, son of Michael Spencer baptized.
  • May 27, 1558, was baptized Michael, son of Michael Spencer.
  • April 15, 1560, buried Michael, son of Michael Spencer.
  • 23 Feb. 1561, Annis, the wife of Michael Spencer, was buried.
  • 20 Aug., 1564, Joan, the daughter of Michael Spencer, was baptized.
  • 30 Aug., 1566, Alice, daughter of Michael Spencer, was baptized. }Twins.
  • 30 Aug., 1566, Michael Spencer, was baptized,} Twins
  • 24 July, 156?, Ann, daughter of Michael Spencer baptized.
  • 30 July, 1568, Jarratt Spencer and Ellen Whitson were married, whose will was proved at London, 20 May, 1577; he was brother of Michael the elder.
  • http://archive.org/stream/ournewenglandanc00whit#page/106/mode/1up
  • Pg. 54
  • 12 March, 1571, Thomas, son of Michael Spencer was baptized.
  • 20 May, 1576, Gerat Spencer, son of Michael Spencer, and Elizabeth his wife, baptized.
  • 9 July, 1580, Richard, son of Michael and Elizabeth Spencer, baptized.
  • 18 Nov., 1599, Elizabeth, wife of Michael Spencer, was buried.
  • It is quite probable that Michael Spencer of Edworth, and Gerrard Spencer of Biggleswade, were sons of John Spencer, Senior, and Ann Spencer who burials are recorded in Edworth register, the former June 9, 1558, and the later June 16, 1569: Nothing more is known of them than what is disclosed by these records .... etc.
  • ________________________

Some duplication is in the following, but it contains more information (from http://tangledwood.com/getperson.php?personID=I2552&tree=tree1, with spelling corrections in the narrative) :

Text: The American Genealogist Vol. 27 Text: The American Genealogist 1951 His will was proved 21 April 1561 Edworth, co. Bedford, England.

REF: The Descendents of Henry G. Spencer George Spencer http://worldconnect.genealogy.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=george

John was called "senior" at burial. The recorder in entering the burial of Ann Spencer, widow, paid her respect by the following tribute: "the good hospitality keeper; and she did give to the township of Edworth ii of her best beasts, to be let to the pore folks in the town for iii s. a cow and the parson and church warden to have the letting of them and the distributing of the money to the poor and to see the stock maintained each of them to have iiii d. of the vi s. for their pains to see this truly done according to her last will." Her will dated 13 June 1560, proved 21 April 1561, calls her Widow, in Edworth, Bedfordshire and names her Gerard (age 17); son Michael, to have the chest that was his brothers John's; John Spencer, son Michaels child, to have 20 Marks, Elizabeth Lymer, to have 4 Marks at marriage; Alice Aystin, to have a callf; servants; for the mending of "London Brygge Waye" 10s.; brother Edward's children, to have the 1 Mark that he borrowed of her; Nicholas Merrll and John Meryll his brother, to have the barley their father gave her sons; and the poor of Edworth, to have the gift already mentined. Michael Spencer was a witness.

From this will we gain the impression that our Spencer family at the period was of the yeoman class, and somewhat better off than the average village family of the time and place. Whether they were in origin a younger branch of an older gentry family, or a more humble clan which by industry and good fortune had improved its lot, we are not in a position to affirm. It would be necessary to prove the parentage and more remote ancestry of John Spencer, Sr, by documentary evidence, before claiming any specific connection with any other Spencer family in England.

From the terms of the will, it would seem that Anne's brother was Edward Merryll or Merrill and that this was her maiden name. A search of Merrill wills might confirm this conjecture.

The above was taken from: The American Genealogist, Whole Nr. 105, Vol 27, Nr. 1, Jan. 1951

  • **Additional notes**** According to Mr. Holding, John was a son of John Spencer of South Mylls. From an extensive search of records in Bedfordshire Mr Holding ascertained to his satisfaction that John Spencer, the 18th in descent from Robert the steward of King William, was the John Spencer who resided at St.Albans, England in the 1553, and who later moved to Kempton and Edworth, Bedfordshire, and is the ancestor of the Massachusetts and Connecticut Spencers.

In the year 1553 a Royal charter was given to the town of St. Albans by Edward VI. One of the chief burgesses or alderman was John Spencer. Shortly afterwards he moved to Edworth, where he died a few years later, in 1558, and where his family resided. He was buried at Edworth. In the parish register is this entry: John Spencer, Senior Buried June 9,1558 Anne Spencer died June 16, 1560. She left a will bequeathing her property to her children, and to certain public charities. The Will is set forth at length in the brochure of the Rev. John Holding. He says: "There is every indication that previous to his advent at Edworth. John resided at St.Albans, where he was held in such high esteem as to be chosen one of the first chief burgesses of that town, and as such is named in the Royal charter granted to that town by King Edward VI in 1533."

From research made by Mr. Holding it appears that John Spencer occupied a farm of about 600 acres at Edworth, as lessee of Robert Parry of Ellington, who was then lord of the Manor. Writing of the Will of Anne Spencer, Mr Holding says: "It is interesting as showing the position in life she occupied, and her kindly, thought nature. The enumeration of stock and chattels, and her bequests certainly show that the family was at least that of a prosperous gentleman." "She nowhere makes mention of land or tenements belonging to her. There is only the lease of the farm which evidently refers to the ones of which she was then the tenent, and which is handed on to her oldest son Michael."

Regarding the Edworth farm Mr Holding says: "Edworth is a parish on the borders of Hertfordshire, and is situated half way between Baldock and Biggleswade. There have always been two large farms in Edworth, comprising really the whole land in the parish, with the exception of about 8 acres glebeland attached to the rectory, giving a total of about 1122 acres." "So that the Spencer farm would cover about 600 acres in extent, a large farm even at that present time, and gave employment to half the laboring poor of the place. The Hall, where the Spencers resided, is still standing, although much modernized. It is now occupied a gentleman named 'Smyth'."

In 1923, H.R. Spencer, author of The Spencers of East Haddam, visited Edworth. The old church is still standing, in the same shape as when John and Anne Spencer worshipped there. The old Baptismal font is still in use--the same font at which the Spencer children were christened. The church register is still in a good state of preservation, and dates back several hundred years prior to the time when John and Anne Spencer resided there. Original entries show the dates of christening the Spencer children, and the date of the death of both John and Anne Spencer. There is nothing in the churchyard to indicated at what precise spot John and his wife are buried. On the interior wall of the church H.R. Spencer placed a brass tablet containing the words: In Memoriam John and Anne Spencer 1558-1560

BIRTH & DEATH & MARRIAGE: Title: The Four Spencer Brothers Their Ancestors and Descendants Author: Jacobus, Donald Lines Date: 1951 Text: p. 80

  • _______________

Alternate birth location: Stotfold, Central Bedfordshire, England, United Kingdom

  • _________________
  • Links
  • http://www.dickcoveney.us/Chris'%20Ancestry/Chris'%20Ancestry-p/p147.htm#i7146
  • http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~lzrslong/b3786.htm#P202770
  • ______________________________
  • Our New England ancestors and their descendants, 1620-1900: historical ... By Henry Whittemore
  • http://archive.org/details/ournewenglandanc00whit
    • Spencer and Allied Families
  • Pg. 49-84
  • http://archive.org/stream/ournewenglandanc00whit#page/104/mode/1up
  • Pg. 53
  • Prof. Ray T. Spencer while making researches in his own line, discovered among the church records of St. George's Parish, Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England. much interesting data, concerning the line of Gerrard Spencer, the father of William, Thomas, Michael and Gerrard the emigrants, from which it appears that the above named Gerrard was the son of Michael who also had a brother Gerrard, and they were the sons of John. Thus three generations preceding the emigrants are definitely established. The church records of St. George's Parish, above referred to, show that "June 9, 1558, John Spencer, Sen., was buried."
  • There is evidence to show that this John was the father of Michael and of the first Gerrard mentioned.
    • FROM NOTES OF GEO. T. SPENCER.
  • The ancestry of Gerard Spencer and his brothers William, Thomas and Michael Spencer, appears from the parish registers of Edworth and Stotfield in Bedfordshire, Eng., and other contemporaneous documents.
  • Jan. 25, 1555, Michael Spencer and Annis Liuur were married (the last name of Annis is so poorly written in the record that is cannot be definitely determined.)
  • April 20, 1557, John, son of Michael Spencer baptized.
  • May 27, 1558, was baptized Michael, son of Michael Spencer.
  • April 15, 1560, buried Michael, son of Michael Spencer.
  • 23 Feb. 1561, Annis, the wife of Michael Spencer, was buried.
  • 20 Aug., 1564, Joan, the daughter of Michael Spencer, was baptized.
  • 30 Aug., 1566, Alice, daughter of Michael Spencer, was baptized. }Twins.
  • 30 Aug., 1566, Michael Spencer, was baptized,} Twins
  • 24 July, 156?, Ann, daughter of Michael Spencer baptized.
  • 30 July, 1568, Jarratt Spencer and Ellen Whitson were married, whose will was proved at London, 20 May, 1577; he was brother of Michael the elder.
  • http://archive.org/stream/ournewenglandanc00whit#page/106/mode/1up
  • Pg. 54
  • 12 March, 1571, Thomas, son of Michael Spencer was baptized.
  • 20 May, 1576, Gerat Spencer, son of Michael Spencer, and Elizabeth his wife, baptized.
  • 9 July, 1580, Richard, son of Michael and Elizabeth Spencer, baptized.
  • 18 Nov., 1599, Elizabeth, wife of Michael Spencer, was buried.
  • It is quite probable that Michael Spencer of Edworth, and Gerrard Spencer of Biggleswade, were sons of John Spencer, Senior, and Ann Spencer who burials are recorded in Edworth register, the former June 9, 1558, and the later June 16, 1569: Nothing more is known of them than what is disclosed by these records .... etc.
  • ________________________
John Spencer, II MP

Place of Burial: St. George's Parish Birth: circa 1502 Edworth, Bedfordshire, England Death: June 9, 1558 (52-60) Edworth, Bedfordshire, England Immediate Family:

Son of Sir John de Spencer Husband of Anne Agnes Merrill Father of John Spencer, III; Margaret Greene; Gerard Spencer; William Spencer; William Spencer and 3 others Brother of William SPENCER and Robert SPENCER

John Spencer, Sr., of Edworth

____________________________________

he Spencers were a numerous and an important family and being founded by four brothers their history is the equivalent of four separate genealogies. But in fairness to those subscribers who are not interested in this surname, we cannot accord them, in magazine publication, an inordinate amount of space. It is planned to publish chapters from time to time, but not in every issue, until the earlier generations have been covered. On most branches we cannot plan to bring the history much this side of 1750. However, it may be possible to make arrangements with interested descendants for the printing of additional pages in some issues, so that the Spencer genealogy can be extended without impinging on the amount of space which the editors feel should be reserved for other families and localities. Herewith we present the English ancestry. Mr. Torrey has collected a great deal of material on the interesting Whitbred family to which the mother of the four brothers belonged. This maternal ancestry, we hope, will be ready for a later chapter.

1. John Spencer, born probably within a few years after 1500, buried at Edworth, co. Bedford, 9 June 1558; married Anne, perhaps Merrill, who was buried at Edworth, 16 June 1560. John was called "senior" at burial. The recorder in entering the burial of Ann Spencer, widow, paid her respect by the following tribute: "the good hospitality keeper; and she did give to the towneship of Edworth ii of her best bease [beasts] to be lett to ii pore folks in the towns for iii s. a cow & the parson & churchwarden to have the letting of them & the distributing of the money to the poor & to se the stock maintained etch of them to have iii d. of the vi s. for the panes to se this truly done acording to her last will." Her will, dated 13 June 1560, proved 21 Apr 1561, calls her Widow, in Edworth, Beds., and names her son Gerard (aged 17); son Michael, to have the chest that was his brother John's; John Spencer, son Michael's child, to have œ20; Elisabeth Lymer, to have œ4 at marriage; Alice Aystin, to have a calf; servants; for the mending of "London Brygge waye," 10 s.; brother Edward's children, to have the œ1 that he borrowed of her, and the barley he gave her sons to his children; Nicholas Merryll and John Merryll his brother, to have the barley their father gave her sons; and the poor of Edworth, to have the gift already mentioned. Michael Spencer was a witness. From this will we gain the impression that our Spencer family at that period was of the yeoman class, and somewhat better off than the average village family of the time and place. Whether they were in origin a younger branch of an older gentry family, or a more humble clan which by industry and good fortune had improved its lot, we are not in a position to affirm. It would be necessary to prove the parentage and more remote ancestry of John Spencer, Sr., by documentary evidence, before claiming any specific connection with any other Spencer family in England. From the terms of the will, it would seem that Anne's brother was Edward Merryll or Merrill, and that this was her maiden name. A search of Merrill wills might confirm this conjecture.

http://www.tarheel24.com/genealogy/text/spentag.txt

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John Spencer, Sr., of Edworth's Timeline

1505
1505
South Mylles, Bedfordshire, England
1505
Of, Edworth, Bedford, Eng
1526
1526
Age 21
Edworth, Bedfordshire, England
1530
May 27, 1530
Age 25
Edworth, Bedfordshire, England
1543
1543
Age 38
Edworth, Bedfordshire, , England
1558
June 9, 1558
Age 53
Edworth, Bedfordshire, England
June 9, 1558
Age 53
Edworth, Central Bedfordshire, England, United Kingdom
1926
April 19, 1926
Age 53
April 19, 1926
Age 53