John Washbourne, of Bengeworth

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John Washbourne, of Bengeworth

Also Known As: "Wassheburne"
Birthplace: Settled in, Bengeworth, Worcestershire, England
Death: Died in Bengeworth, Worcestershire, England
Place of Burial: Eversham, Worcestershire, England, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of Unknown father of John Washbourne of Bengeworth and Unknown mother of John Washbourne
Husband of Emme Washbourne, of Worcestershire
Father of Robert Washbourne; John Washborne; Alice Marten; William Washborne; Katherine Hide and 2 others

Occupation: husbandman
Managed by: David Embrey
Last Updated:

About John Washbourne, of Bengeworth

John Washborne

  • Birth: before 1500 - location unknown. Settled in Bengeworth, Worcestershire, England
  • Parents: unknown
  • married: Emme
  • Death: before Jan 8 1546/7 - Bengeworth, Worcestershire, England
  • Children: John, William, Alice, Katherine
  • AKA: Wassheburne, Washburn, Washbourne, Washborne

(1) John Washbourne, born about 1500, is the earliest ancestor which can be supported by existing documentation. Although for well over a century, genealogists have claimed he was the son of John Washburn and Joan Mytton of Bengeworth and Wichenford, and thus of royal lineage through his mother, there is no concrete documentation of such a relationship.

From Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists who Came to America Before 1700: The Lineage of Alfred the Great, Charlemagne, Malcolm of Scotland, Robert the Strong, and Some of Their Descendants (Google eBook) - Frederick Lewis Weis, Walter Lee Sheppard, David Faris. Genealogical Publishing Com, Nov 1, 1992. Page 89.

There is no proof that John Washburn No 37 was the son of John Washburn and Joan Mitton. (See TAG 36:63)

From Wichenford Bengeworth Connection Proved 2005

The DNA study proves that the descendants of John Washbourne and Joan Mitton of Wichenford were related to the descendants of John and Emme Washbourne of Bengeworth, but the science is not exact enough to prove that two men who lived contemporaneously 500 years ago were specifically brothers. Similar DNA matching results could be obtained if they were first cousins (sharing the same grandfather), or second cousins (sharing the same great-grandfather.)

The question unanswered is whether there is proof that John Washbourne of Bengeworth was the son specifically of John Washbourne and Joan Mitton of Wichenford. The Wichenford John Washbourne's grandfather, Sir John Washbourne, Knight, had a son John Washbourne in addition to his eldest son Norman Washbourne, who may have been the ancestor of the Bengeworth branch. The resulting DNA matching of both lines would produce similar results. Unfortunately his descendants did not make The "Visitations." Being a younger son, the estates were inherited by Norman Washbourne, the eldest son, and John would not have inherited any of his father's estates. Likewise, Sir John Washbourne himself had a brother William Washbourne whose descendants did not make the "Visitations," so the point is that there were other Washbournes in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire in addition to the Royally descended lines of John and Joan (Mitton) Washbourne in the 15th Century who were certainly related to the Washbournes of Wichenford, but whose families were not traced by Grazebrook's "Healdry of Worcestershire" or Phillimore's "Visitation of Worcestershire." Let's not jump to conclusions that the facts do not warrant.

From Washburn family history on

In 1538, when registration became compulsory, John Washbourne and his wife, Emme, appear recorded as residents of Bengeworth, a suburb of Evesham, six or eight miles northeast from Little Washbourne and about 20 miles southeast of Wichenford in Worcestershire, England. In his will, 1546, John describes himself as “John Wassheburne, husbandman.” He had fields in Bengeworth and a house and buildings in town, enough for the comfortable living of the family but not for luxuries. The arms of the Wichenford Washbournes were blazoned on the south window of the church as benefactors. In his will he directs that his “body be buried in ecclesiastical sepulture of my parish church of Bengeworth and brought to sepulture with solemne dirge and mass for my soul and all Christian souls”. He bequeaths to the church aforesaid two strikes of wheat and two of barley, after which follow bequests of small domestic and farm belongings, of his lands and houses to his eldest son John, of small annuities to the other children, and trifles to his grandchildren. His chattels inventory 26-8-8.

Of John’s wife, Emme, it is only known that she lived with her husband until her death in 1547, bore him children and made a will disposing of her property at her death. Her will reflects more the religious feelings and customs of the times. She says:

“I bequeathe my soul unto Almighty God, the glorious virgin Saynt Mary, to the company of all the blessed Angels and Saynts in hevyn, and my body to be buried within the Churchyard of Bengeworth”.

These were the popular thoughts and expressions in the last two years of Henry VIII, “Defender of the Faith”, and the year of Martin Luther’s death. John and Emme left two married sons and two married daughters, Katherine, wife of Danyell Hide, and Alis, wife of Robert Martin. The sons were John and William. All these names are gleaned from wills, as the Bengeworth registers were non-compulsory, and hence incomplete, until 1538. John’s burial is recorded 8 January 1546 and Emme’s 13 May 1547.

Children (provided by John Maltby):

  1. John (d 1593) (note: other sources have him as 2nd son). Married 1) Jone Bushell 2) Jone Shepey
  2. William, the second son, who married Margaret Harward on 2 October 1541 in Badsey, Worcestershire, which adjoins Bengeworth only a couple of miles to the east, and they settled in Bretforton, which is just on the other side of Badsey in Worcestershire. William Washborne was buried in Bretforton on 21 April 1588. His will and inventory are in folio #55 for 1588 in the Worcester Probate Registry. Margaret was probably the one buried on 3 June 1592 in Bengeworth.
  3. Alice; married Robert Marten, glover, died testate in Bengeworth in 1555, and his will is folio #18 for 1555 in the Worcester Probate Registry. From Emme Washborne's will we learn that Alice had at least three children: John, William, and Margaret Marten.
  4. Katherine, who married Daniel Hide. They had one son by 1546, who was not named in the wills. A Daniel Hyde, who was Vicar of Haselor died testate in 1571, may be the same person.


  1. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bengeworth, in Wychavon and Worcestershire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time. URL: Date accessed: 22nd May 2013

His Will:

In the name of God Amen the xxvii day of December the yere of o'r lord mcccccxlvi, & in the xxxviii yere of the Rayne of o'r Souaygne lord Henry the viii by the grace of God Kynge of Englande fraunce & Ireland Defendor of the faythe and in erthe of the churche of England & also of Irelande the sup'me head. I John Wassheburne husbandman dwellynge in the pishe of bengeworthe w'in the dioces of Worcester beynge sike in body nevrthelesse of good & perfecte mynde & memorie thanks be to God therfore do ordeyne & make this my testament & last will in forme & mannr folowing--first I bequethe my soule unto Almyghty God, & my body to be buryed w'in the eccliasticall sepulture of my pishe church of bengeworthe aforenamed & soche temporall goods as my lord god hathe lente me & to be orderyd & disposed as herafter folowethe to the true execucon wherof I do constitute & make Emme my wiffe my sole Executrixe & Thoms Shreve of Hampton & Willm Wassheburne my sone supvisors or ovrsears to the same. Itm I will my body be honestly brought unto the sepulture wth solempne dirige & masse for my soule & all christen soules. Itm I bequethe unto my pishe churche of bengworthe aforesayde ii strike of whete & ii strike of barley. Itm I bequethe unto Willm my sone my bigger sestarne a carte brydle & a mattocke. Itm I bequethe unto John my sone my lesser sestarne, an ewtinge fatte, a carte bridle & a mattocke. Itm I bequethe unto the ii children of Willm my sone & to the ii children of John my sone evy one of them iis. Itm I bequethe unto the iii children of Robte Marten my sone in lawe & to the one childe of Danyell Hide myne other sone in lawe evy one of them like wisse iis. The Residue of my goods in this testament not bequethed I give & bequethe unto Emme my wiffe and Executrix above named wth all my howses lands & grownds therto belonging lyinge wthin the towe & filde of bengeworthe aforesayd she to have the sayd howses lands & grownds duryng her naturall liffe & aftr her decesse I will John my sone shall inherite & have unto him & his eyre male for evr all my foresayd howses lands & grownds & he or his eyres to pay unto Willm my sone so longe as the sayde Willm shall lyve out of the sayd grownde yerely vis viiid & the sayde Willm my sone shall pay for the same yerely to Alice Marten my daughter duryng theyer ii lyves to gether ii strike of whete to be delived one strike at Christmas & another at Aster and John my sone shall pay unto Katherine Hide my other daughter yerly duryng her naturall life too strike of whete to be delived in like manr & in case that eyther of my sons aforenamed happen to die my ii daughters Aloise & Katheryn being alive then will I that the longer lyvr of my sayd ii sones shall pay unto my ii daughters the hole some of whete aforenamed or iff bothe my sones decesse then they to have the forsayde whete durynge theyer lifes out of my grounde aforenamed and yf it happen that John my sone have no eyer male then I will that after his decesse Willm my sone & his eyre male yf he have any shall inherite the sayde howses lands & grownds for evr & in case that neyther of my sones John nor Willm have eny eyer male then will I that the eldest daughter of John my sone shall inherite the sayd howses lands and grownds afore specified to pay out of the same to the eldest daughter of Willm my sone duryng her naturall liffe yerly halfe the rent of the same wch is viis vid and then the forsayde howses lands & grownds to remayne to the eyer gen'all for evr. This is my full testament & last will written the day & yere above specified. These beyng witnesse Thoms Shreve Thoms Marten Willm Clente & Thoms Trewelove wt other. Pbat' cora dco Comiss die anno et loco pdict' qu' iurat etc. & exhibuit Inventariu ad summa xxviiL viiis viiid.

Extract from "The Genealogical History of the Washburn Family of Northwest Tennessee" by Jeffery T Washburn of Dresden, Tennessee (jeffwashburn AT John Washbourne was the second son of Sir John and Lady Joan Mitton Washbourne. He was born in January 1478.

There was apparently a break in peaceful family relationships after Sir John's (this John's father) marriage to Elizabeth Monington, although the trouble may not have been directly caused by the marriage. When Sir John made his will in 1517, he mentioned only three of his six sons in the will. This son, John, along with the fourth son, Francis, and the fifth son, Anthony, were not mentioned in the will. Francis may have died before the date of the will as there is no evidence that he was alive after the death of his father.

John Washbourne moved from his father's home, Wichenford, by 1538, to Bengeworth, Worchester, England, doubtless because of the break in family relations. Bengeworth lies on the south side of the River Avon, in the southeastern part of the County of Worcester, about eighteen miles from Wichenford, which is in northwestern Worcestershire. It is across the River Avon from Evesham. The Parish of Bengeworth Saint Peter is included in the Borough of Evesham. Located here is the famous Grammar School, where the boys of the Washburn ancestors in England received their education. The Grammar School still exists. Formerly in a window of the chancel of Saint Peter's Church in Bengeworth was the coat of arms of the Washbourne family. The coat of arms was mentioned in the book History and Antiquities of the Abbey and Borough of Evesham, (William Tindal, A.M., 1794) as being located in the west window on the south aisle and listed two benefactors of Saint Peter's Church, "John Washbourne and Richard Cowie." John Washbourne was living in Bengeworth by 1538. He farmed and raised livestock in Bengeworth and was rather well off for the times. He made his Will there on December 27, 1546, and was buried on January 8, 1548. In his Will, he bequeathed his soul to Almighty God and directed that his body be buried in the Church Yard of Bengeworth, after Solemn Mass. He appointed his wife Emme to be sole Executrix and named Thomas Shreve of Hampton and his son, William Washbourne, to act as Overseers of the Will. Legatees were his sons, William and John; the two sons of each of the sons; the three children of Robert Martin, his son-in-law; the child of Daniel Hyde, his son-in-law and husband of his daughter, Katherine; and left the remainder of his estate to his wife, Emme. The maiden-surname of John Washbourne's wife is not known. He called her "Eme" in his Will. However, in her own Will dated May 1, 1547, she is named "Emme." Her baptismal name may have been Emma or Amy. She did not live long after her husband and was buried on May 13, 1547 in Bengeworth. They were possibly married on May 6, 1516, in Bengeworth, England.

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John Washbourne, of Bengeworth's Timeline

Bengeworth, Worcestershire, England
Age 16
Age 17
Bengeworth, Worcestershire, England
Age 20
Bengeworth, Worcestershire, England
Age 20
Bengeworth, Worcestershire , England
Age 22
Bengeworth, Worcester, , England
January 8, 1546
Age 46
Bengeworth, Worcestershire, England
January 8, 1546
Age 46
Eversham, Worcestershire, England, UK
April 22, 1939
Age 46