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Research Comments
from Stemmata Shirleiana page 334-335

Hutchins, in his History of Dorsetshire, (*1) makes the following mention of a family of Shirley seated at Bagbere, in the parish of Sturminster Newton, in that county:--

Of late years the Joyces and Shirleys have, by degrees, purchased all or the greater part of this hamlet. The Shirleys have been long seated here; 36th Henry VIII. William Peter, of Milton, co. Hants, sold thirty-eight acres of land here to William Shirley of Bagbere, whose descendants acquired a pretty considerable estate here, and and in these parts, now (1774) possessed by _____Shirley , esq. No pedigree of these two last-mentioned families occurs in the visitation book of this county. The Shirleys are said to have purchased Bagbere from the Stork family in the reign of Henry VIII. It appears by and inquisition on the death of William Shirley, (*2) that he died on the 14th of September, 1545, possessed of "Bagbere," and of this family was no doubt William Shirley, of Christ Church, Oxford, a very learned divine, born at Blandford, "perentibus probris et claris," rector of Huish Combflower, in the diocese of Wells, and incumbent of Shapwick, in Dorsetshire; author of "The Episcopal Government," set forth in a sermon at the Visitation of Blandford, anno 1640. 4to. London, 1662. He died August 31, 1658, aetatis suae 57, and was buried at Shapwick, where there is a mural monument to his memory.

There are no sepulchral inscriptions for the Shirleys of Bagbere, now supposed to be extinct, in the parish church of Sturminster Newton, nor are they noticed in the registers before 1690.

The old mansion at Bagbere, where the family resided, is about a mile and a half north-west from the town of Sturminster, on the other side of the river Stour; it stands on the side of a retired lane, and appears to have been rebuilt about the reign of Charles II. and altered about Queen Anne's time. On a tablet above the door is the coat of Shirley, Paly of six, a canton ermine; impaling, quarterly; 1 and 4, a bed; 2. Or, two bear's jambs erased in chevron; 3. Three pales, on a chief three roundels; crest, a Saracen's head, full-faced, wreathed about the temples. The house is now (1841) much gone to decay, and inhabited by a farmer. On one side are the remains of an old-fashioned garden, with a yew hedge; a farm of 160 acres of rich land, with right of common, belongs to the house, in 1841 the property of Mr. William Henning of Dorchester, by purchase from a Mr. Lewis, who bought it from the Shirleys.

*1. Vol ii. p. 411
*2. In the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Kent Co. is a will preserved of Thomas Shirley of Clements Inn, gent. proved 1564/5. He was of this family as he mentions a lease of lands he held in Dorset County, kept in Castle of Sturminister Newton. His children were: Thomas, William, Nicholas and Joan. This is wrong. They are Thomas' brothers and sisters.

Outline of Wills and Abstracts

1. William Sherley - PM Inq 1545 "of Bagbere" - Likely father of 2nd generation below

2. Thomas Sherley of Clements Inn London and Lyndlynch- Will 1565

    1565 Sherley, Thomas, gent, Clementes Inne, London; Lydlynche, Dorset
    Thomas Sherley of Clements Inn London gent Last Will and Testament. To brother William Sherley in the farme called Long Tuchill in the countie of Dorset of Sturminster Newton, and farme called Muskatte to William within the parish of Lydlynche in Dorset, to my brother Nicholas, land lyinge in Drome within the countie of Somerset, to my sister Joan, brother William executor. Dated 5 Dec 1564. Signed in the presence of Michaell Henrsane Thomas Hoxton Stephen Brente, Thomas Handwicke, Thomas Yorke, Frances Clibery, Thomas Harte. Proven by William Sherley 1565 PCC 11/48 p 206

2. William Sherley " of Haselbere Bryan" brother. Inherited Lyndlynch from brother Thos. Involved in dispute over land at Lydlynch 1609

2. Nicholas Sherley "of Bagbere" brother (need Will)

1562/3 1) 5th year of Eliz. (Folio 447) - William Loveday v. Nicholas Cherley.-Lands at Bagber in Sturmyster Newton Castell.

1576/7 - 18 Apr, 19 Eliz, Nicholas Sharly of Bagbour in Parish of Sturminster Dorset yeoman to Wm Younge of same place Yeoman - Merchant Bond

1617 Shorley, Nicholas: Dorset; Post Mortem Inquisitions 15 James I. C 142/649/86; tenements in Sturminster Newton in Dorset, Drome, Bagber and Cera Porham [mentions Wiltshire and Salisbury, Cranborne]. William Sherley, son and heir.

3. William Shirley - (named in Joan's Will) - of Bagbere m. Mary - Will 1619. Owned Haselbere Bryan.

SHERLIE, William m. Marie ____ 6 Aug 1582 at Hazelbury Bryan

      1619 Sherlie, William Bagber, (Sturminster Newton), Dorset
      LW&T of William Sherlie of Bagber 14 July 1618, to be buried in the churchyard near my father, to poor of Sturminster Newton, Mary Sherlie my wife lease of tenament in Haselber Brian, to William Sherley my son, daughter Dorothy, out of my lands in Bagber within parish of Sturminster aforesaid, son William executor, friends Jonadab Sherlie and John Sherlie my bretheren to be overseers. Proven by son William Sherlie 1619. PCC 11/133 p 256

4. William Shirley (possibly below)

        22 Sep 1629 William Shirley Bagbere Dorset gent to relict Mary Shirley. bef Milchisadeck Waltham and Ric Swayne clks 12 aug 1630 Dorset Administrations


4. Dorothy Shirley

3. Leonard Shirley (son of Nicholas -per Joan's Will)
3. Thomas Shirley (son of Nicholas -per Joan's Will)
3. Jonadab Shirley (son of Nicholas -per Joan's Will

      married Elizabeth Pitt (b about 1565), dau of John Pitt by Joan, dau of John Swayne of Blandford Dorset. Hampshire Visitation. Sister of Sir William Pitt whose descendants became the Lord Rivers and of whose family later became Earls Chatham (Prime Minister of Great Britain)
      On 15 November 1605, just days after Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up Parliament, Blandford received the charter of incorporation from King James I. ...The charter also states that the bailiff and chief citizen was Edward Machem, and the capital burgesses and councillors were Edward Machem, John Rawlinson, Robert Keynel, John Cleaves, Christopher Cornage, John Pitt, Jonadab Sherley, John Gawler, George Harbin, Robert Swaine and Thomas Pitt.
      Endnotes: Jehonadab Sherlye (p 128, 1.5) was one of Blandford's most prominent citizens between 1590 and 1630. Like John Cleeves, one of those responsible for the ales of the early 1590s that were held to raise money for the new Blandford guildhall, he was steward in 1598-9, 1599-1600, 1600-1, and 1601-2 and - judging by the sum paid him for his expenses - he was one of the more important organizers of the celebrations surrounding the races in 1603-4 (p 132, 1.13) He was bailiff in 1604-5, chamberlain in 1606-7, bailiff in 1611-12, and chamberlain again in 1616-17. On 30 May 1615 Blandford's bailifff placed town money in Sherlye's hands; Sherlye was to pay for the use of the money to benefit the poor in Blandford's almshouse.

Bailiffs of Blandford Forum (note: early parish records for Blandford destroyed by fire)

1631 Jonadab Sherley
1638 Jonadab Sherley
1639 Ezra Sherley
1647 Ezra Sherley

4. Ezra Shirley of Blandford of Blandford Forum woolen draper - Will 1648 (son Ezra named as nephew to William Shirley of Blandford making him his brother)

        1648 Last Will and Testament of Ezra Sherley of Blandford in county of Dorset woolen draper to be buried in church in Blandford. To daughter Maria Sherley, to daughter Elizabeth Sherley and Mabell Shirley, wife Maria executrix, to son Ezra Sherley, to my servant Anne Oliver, lands in parish of great Sunford and Blandford, lands of Kingston, wife's furniture, upon death of my mother, loving brother Mr. William Savage and Mr. William Sherley of Shapwicke, Mr Richard Savage of Doneligh overseers, to poor of Blandford. Dated 31 Oct 1648. Signed in presence of William Sherley, Augustine Drake. Proven by Maria Sherley 1649. PCC 11/207 p 66

married Mary Savage 20 Sept 1625 at Bloxworth Dorset

        1674 Shirley, Mary of Compton Valance, Dorset (original will)
        Dated 5 Feb 1673. Widow. To grandson Robert Pelham goods in house of son in law Robert Pelham of Compton. To grandaughter Mabel Still, Grdau Mary Pelham, Grdau Eliz Pelham, Grdau Mabel Pelham, Grdau Mary Pelham.
        5. Ezra Shirley- son of Ezra Shirley Sr. (also named in 1657 Will of William Shirley) - died before 1666 (the date of his aunt Jane Shirley's death, widow of uncle William Shirley of Blandford). Sisters Maria Pelham, Mable Shirley and Elizabeth Shirley named as co-heirs in Chancery suit regarding the estate of uncle William Shirley of Blandford.
        5. Maria Shirley - heir of father Ezra Shirley of Blandford Forum gent. She was buried 23 Jun 1710 married Robert Pelham of Compton Valence esq bur 12 Nov 1682.
        Note: Grandfather of Robert Pelham was Herbert Pelham of Sussex who married Elizabeth West, sister of Lord de la Warr who in turn married Cecily Sherley of Wiston Sussex
        Chancery Court Pleadings
        C/6/54/83 Sherley vs. Pelham. Jane Sherley, Roger Heigham, William Major, and Jonadab Savage vs. Robert Pelham, Mary Pelham and Mary Sherley. Blandford Dorset - no date. (this is involving the estate of William Sherley 1657)
        6. Robert Pelham - named in grandmother Mary Shirley's 1674 will
        6. Mary Pelham - named in grandmother Mary Shirley's 1674 will
        6. Elizabeth Pelham - named in grandmother Mary Shirley's 1674 will
        6. Mabel Pelham - named in grandmother Mary Shirley's 1674 will

5. Elizabeth Shirley 1655 Will. Named in father's 1649 Will

          Will of Elizabeth Sherley late of Blandford Forum Dorset spinster, memorandum dated 2 Mar 1655. Last Will and Testament by word of mouth, to sister Mabel Sherley executrix, Mary Shirley daughter of her sister Pelham. Signed Agnes Short. Proven 30 May 1655 by Sister Mabel Sherley. PCC 11/245 [Quire 119]

5. Mabel Shirley -1st wife of John Still of Shaston St James of Dorset esq; He age 33 in 1677; sheriff in 1689

4. Jane Shirley - unmarried as of 1657. Likely married ______Major, , as son William Major was a party to the suit in 1670 Chancery regarding William Shirley's estate. Jane was not named.

5. William Major of London, Mercer. Identified as "nephew" to William Shirley of Blandford in Chancery suit of 1670

4. sister m. William Savage (named in 1657 Will of William Shirley)

A Ridout family pedigree says Ann Shirley d/o Jonadab Shirley m. George Savage, gent of Blandford Forum. Their daughter Ann m. John Ridout, grocer of Blandford Forum

5. Jonadab Savage (named in 1657 Will of William Shirley); Plaintiff in 1670 chancery suit compelling his cousins and heirs of Ezra Shirley, dec'd to sell land of William Shirley of Blandford, dec'd

5. Elizabeth Savage (named in 1657 Will of William Shirley)

4. William Shirley born 1602. He lived at Shapwick and Blandford . Buried 3 September 1657 at Shapwick Dorset (another register 31 August 1657)

married Jane________

        1657 Shirley, William clerk of Shapwick Dorset
        LW & T of William Shirley, wife to be executrix, sell land at Blandford, my three nephews William Mason [Major?], Ezra Shirley, and Jonadab Savage, to cosen Rober Heigham, my sister Jhaion, to cosen Elizabeth Carpender, to neice Elizabeth Savage, to church deacons, sermons noted and written locked in my study, to Thomas Pitt and my cosen Walter Ryddout, to poor of Shapwick, to Walter Garvey, to my servant Thomas Lacey, to wives servants Margaret Coxe and Hester Turner, to Nicholas Gerrard. Will dated 15 Aug 1657 in presence of Thomas Gerrard, Frederick Sagestany. Proven by Jane Shirley relict and executrix Oct 1657. PCC 11/268 p 270
        Oxford University Matriculations
        William Sherley of Dorset, gent. Christ Church, matric May 19, 1620, aged 18; B.A. Jan 22, 1620-1. M.A. June 26, 1623. B.D. Trinity Term 1631; rector of Steepleton Iwerne 1630, vicar of Shapwick 1633, rector of Huish Champflower (all in Somerset) 1637.
        [See full Chancery lawsuit at bottom of page]
        Married Jane Haskett
        1668 Will of Sherley, Jane of ____ 32 in Archdeconry Court. Died 1666 (per Chancery suit of 1670)
        668 Sherley, Jane of Shapwicke (original will)
        To sister Martha Haskett. Money for a monument for my husband deceased. To Poor of Blandford Forum. To Thomas Haskett son of my brother Roger Haskett. Cousin Roger Jones son of my sister Christian Jones. Cousin Richard Harris son of my sister Harriet Deneifed. Cousin Roger Heigham. My seal ring the Shirleys names to my cousin Mabel Sherley. Silver pouring well was my mother Sherleys.


3. Nicholas Shirley (son of Nicholas -per Joan's Will)

Post Mortem Inquisition -1617/18 - Nicholas Shirley of Dorset 649/86

3. John Shirley (brother of William - per his 1619 Will)

2. Elizabeth Sherley - (named in Joan's Will) married John Shorte

3. John Shorte
3. William Shorte
3. Edye Shorte

2. Joan Sherley sister d 1567

1567 Will of Joane Sherleys of Bagbere in the parish of Sturminster Newton Castle [Dorset] , to the churche of Sturmister, to poor of Bagber, to my brother Nicholas, my brother William, To William Sherlye Leonard and Thoamas the sonnes of my brother Nicholas, and to Jonadab and Nicholas their brothers, to my sister Elizabeth Shorte, to John Shorte and William the sonnes of my brother John Shorte and to Edye their sister, children of my cozen William Russell, cozyns Steven Hurrle and Joane his sister, to my brothers Nicholas, William and John Shorte. Dated 22 Jan 1567. Proven 1567 at Blandford. Abstracted in Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries "Dorset Wills in the Archives of the Dean and Chapter of Bristol xxiv, 51, 89, 112

April 12 1544 - Feb 15 1547 Henry WYNTER, Anne his wife, and Joan SHORLEY, v. John BLATHET.: Detention of deeds relating to messuages and land in Blandford Forum late of William Shorley, yeoman, deceased, father of the female complainants.: DORSET PRO - C 1/1168/102

Note: the only Blathet (or Blathat) family to be found is one of St. Edmunds, Salisbury, Wiltshire. John Blathett was churchwarden of St. Edmunds in 1533 and Blathetts are christened in the church over time.

2. Ann Sherley - sister. Married Henry Wynter

----------------UNKNOWN GAPS-----------------

Bagber Shirleys (continued)

4. Andrew Sherley of Bagber - died before 1646

"The Childhood of Sir Jas Thornhill" (famous decorative art painter) of Woodland" - Andrew Shirly, Sussanah Highmore of Purse Caundle late husband, had owned property at "Bagber". In one document Edward Thornhill who Susana married next, was "of Bagber"

m. Sussanah Highmore; she m. 2 Edward Thornhill 1646 Hazelbury Bryan Parish

5.(i) Susannah Sherley - mentioned as child of Susannah in 1667 lawsuit of Edward Thornhill esq vs Andrew Sherley

5.(ii) Elizabeth Sherley - mentioned as child of Susannah in 1667 lawsuit of Edward Thornhill esq vs Andrew Sherley

5.(iii) Andrew Sherley - named as child of Susannah defendant in 1667 lawsuit of Edward Thornhill esq. The lawsuit concerned activities surrounding his apprenticeship to William Smyth

Andrew Shirley, son in law of Edward Thornhill of Dorset to William Smith mercer for 7 years indenture and enrolled Sep 1655.

see 1667 abstract

4. Andrew Sherley of Bagber, Sturminster Newton

1677 Will Of Sherley, Andrew of Bagber in Sturminster Newton, Admon in Archdeconry Court

m. Mary Randall, sister of Ambrose Randall of Sturminster Newton and North Cheriton, Somerset

children mentioned in the will of Ambrose Randall

5.i Andrew Sherley Jun.

5.ii Thomas Sherley

5.iii Mary Sherley

5.iv Benjamin Sherley chr 9 Feb 1666 at North Cheriton, Somerset, "son of Andrew Shorly"

Note: 28 Apr 1711 - A Nicholas Sherley gent of Bagber Dorset was named as a trustee of the estate of Benjamin Randall of North Cheriton, Somerset, gent - with William Watson and Robert Randall (the father).

A Nicholas Shirley married Ruth Morris on 8 August 1681 at Manston Parish, Dorset, dau of William and Hannah Morris.

Nicholas Shorley buried 18 March 1710 at Sturminster Newton


5. Andrew Shirley buried 8 April 1720 at Sturminster Newton Parish

1720 PCC Will - Will of Andrew Shirley. To be buried in yard of Sturminster Newton Castle. To uncle Thornhull and to my uncle Edward Thornhill morning coats apiece of each kind; To my cousin Robert Thornhull, my cousin Sydenham Thornhull, my cousin Francis Thornhull, my cousin Edward Thornhull and my cousin [ ]ace a gold mourning ring of twenty shillings value a peice and I forgot to give to my siad two uncles the like rings which now I do. I give to my cousin Highmores of Ibberton, a ring a piece of the ____. Also I give to Mr [ ]acy Minister of Shereborne, to Mr Cooke and his wife the like ring a piece . And as to mourning and rings for my sister Shirley and cousin Shirley and his wife I leave that to him; and I had almost forgott rings to my three cousins Burbidges which I now give to each of the like value; All other my lands tenements goods chattles and real and personal estate after my debts and legacys are paid and dicharged and also my funeral expences I give and bequeath to my loving cousin Shirley of Bagbere in the County of Dorsett his heirs executors admininstrators and assigns and for his and their use Dated March 23 1719. Wit: Samuel Boys, Jno King, Thos Garhell. Proven 1720 by his residual legatee, Andrew Shirley (PCC 573/29 sig 94)

5. Sister


(The following lineage may be from some "cousin of Bagbere" mentioned in 1720 Will of Andrew Shirley)

6. Andrew Shirley of Bagbere -- Will 1747 (is this the same? Innholders Apprentices: Shurley, Andrew son of Andrew of St James Middlesex gent to Richard Stockall 9 Aug 1718). Likely the residual legatee of Andrew Shirley of Sherborn and Sturminster Newton who died in 1720. Buried 15 February 1746 at Sturminster Newton.

      1747 Will of Andrew Shirley of Bagbere in parish of Sturminster Newton Castle Dorset gent. Dated 11 Jan 1740. To son Thomas Shirley. To daughters Betty Shirley, Mary Shirley. Messuages in Wiltshire. To Henry Thornhill of Holland in Dorset. Rev. Morris Goddard, son John Shirley. Wit: Anna Maria Close, James Jeames, Dinah Adams, Proven by son John Shirley 1747 (PCC 11/753 sig 83)

married 1) Dinah ________ She is named in son Andrew Shirley's christening record

married 2) Mary Rose on 20 February 1718 at Netherbury Dorset. She is named in son Thomas Shirley's christening record. (It is odd that Andrew was christened at 1720, with mother Dinah)


7. Andrew Shirley christened 13 April 1720 at Sturminster Newton (son of Andrew and Dinah, SIC)

      7. Betty Shirley christened 30 August 1723 at Sturminster Newton. She married Mathew Merefield/Merryfield on 28 March 1751 at Woolland Dorset

7.Thomas Shirley, christened 8 April 1726 at Sturminster Newton parish (son of Andrew and Mary) Apothecary of Woolland parish, and then of St James Dorset. Buried 31 July 1753 at Sturminster Newton.

        Burial Sturminster Newton 31 Jul 1753 Mr Thomas SHIRLEY
        1753 Will of Thomas Shirley gent of [illeg] St James Dorset. Dated 2 Apr 1753. To brother John Shirley , to two sisters Betty the wife of Mr Mathew Merefield/Werefield and to Mary Shirley spinster. My 2 sisters executors. Wit: William Baro. Arch: Oram
        1750 Date of bill (or first document): Shirley v Shirley. Plaintiffs: Thomas Shirley, apothecary of Woolland, Dorset and Bettey Shirley and Mary Shirley an infant aged 20 years (by said Thomas Shirley). Defendants: John Shirley, William Churchill and Peter Morris Goddard. C 11/2564/28 [note: Woolland parish is 7 miles west of Blandford]
        Eighteenth Century Medics (Soc of Gen. Library)
        30 June 1744 (Apprentice) Shirley, Thomas (s of Andrew), Surgeon etc, , Nathaniel Poole
        30 June 1744 (Parent) Shirley, Andrew, , Bagbar, Dorset, Thomas Shirley

7. Mary Shirley christened 9 November 1729 at Sturminster Newton. A Mary Shirley (maybe the mother?) was buried on 20 November 1729 at Sturminster Newton.

7. Mary Shirley born about 1730, spinster. She was alive in 1764 at time of brother John Shirley's will and then living in Salisbury Wilts in 1808 at time of her neice Eleanor Shirley's will. A Mary Shirley was buried 23 July 1762 at Sturminster Newton.

7. John Shirley, esq of Bagbere (apprenticed to a mariner 1737). Buried 18 June 1765 at Sturminster Newton parish.

Burial Sturminster Newton 18 Jun 1765 John, Esq. SHIRLEY

        1764 Will of John Shirley Dated 16 Feb 1764. Land at Burkland Newton Dorset to son Andrew Shirley, all my copyholds in Dorset to son Robert Shirley, freeholds in North Wooton Long Burton and Holden to sons Andrew and Robert, to daughter Elenore Shirley and Elizabeth Shirley, Remainder to my oldest son John Burbidge Shirley made previous to my marriage with Elizabeth my wife. Sister Mary Shirley spinster. Wit: Martha Best John Hoddinst. [PROB 11/918 157]

married 1) _______ She apparently died before 1749

married 2) Elizabeth Frampton on 19 February 1749 at Cann parish, Dorset. Named in the will of her son John Shirley , d/o Robert Frampton of Buckland Newton. His will proven 1757 naming his dau Elizabeth wife of John Shirley, esq. She is likely the Elizabeth Shirley buried 1 August 1785 at Buckland-Newton parish, Dorset.

Cann Parish Marriage Record - 1749; 19-Feb; John; Shirley; of Bagber; esq; by Licence m. Elizabeth; Frampton; Buckland; Rev. Goddard;


8. Rev. Andrew Shirley born 1753 christened 7 Mar 1755 at Sturminster Newton parish, Oxford Wadham College, matric. May 19, 1771, aged 18; B.A. 1774, brother of John 1770. Nominated as curate of Stockwood Dorset in 1776 and 1785 (Wilts and Swindon archive)

          Burial Sturminster Newton 20 Nov 1787 Andrew SHIRLEY
          1788 Will of Rev. Andrew Shirley clerk of Yetminster Dorset. To friend George Baker esq, Thomas Allainbridge gent messuages, dwelling house etc lying in Burkland Newton Dorset. To Brother Robert, sister Elanor and Elizabeth and to servant Betty Collier and William Downten. To Nephew Andrew Shirley son of my late brother John Shirley dec'd until he is 20 years my messuage in St James Dorset in possession of Mrs Muddlestone land in North Wooton Dorset in possession of farmer Rawlings Dated 18 Oct 1787. Wit: Henry Clapper, Thomas Daidge, John Besant. [PROB 11/1162 97]

8. Robert Shirley- christened 26 June 1759 Sturminster Newton. named in father's Will, alive in 1788. He is alive in 1808, administering estate of sister Eleanor Shirley.

          1794 Letter from Robert Shirley at Shaston [Shaftesbury] to Gentleman's Magazine
          Oct 22, Mr Urban, I have inclosed a good impression of an ancient and valuable seal which is of red cornelian set in gold. It is in the possession of the Rev. Mr Cooper vicar of Yetminster near Sherborne, Dorset....Yours, etc Rob. Shirley

8. Elenore Shirley - christened 7 Mar 1755 Sturminster Newton -named in father's Will. She lived at St Martin in the Field London, and Yetminster Dorset. She died 1808 while living in Devon

          Devon 04 October 1808 PROB 11/1487 - Eleanor Shirley late of Yetminster in the county of Dorset after of the Strand in the parish of Saint Martin in the Fields in the co of MDX but now residing in the West Teignmouth co Devon, spinster 12 Feb 1808. To my aunt Mrs Mary Shirley of the city of Salisbury spinster. to John Adcock of Albion Str London snuff box. To Mrs Mary Gibbs the dau of Cleares Gibbs of Dovizes Wilts surgeon my gold watch. To Mrs Mary Allaunbridge of Yetminster widow. To Mrs Elizabeth Ffrappell widow after teh decease of my sd aunt Mrs Mary Shirley. To my nephew Andrew Shirley fifteen hundred pounds stock in the three percent bank annuities after the death of Mrs Shirley. To Miss Elizabeth Adcock dau of John Adcock all leasehold messuages land houseslying in the parish of Ryme Instrinseca (this is confirmed) Dorset. To my servant Elizabeth Oliver. To my brother Mr Robert Shirley remainder, and sole executor. Wit. John Chappell Tozer, John Chappell Tozer Junr. Proven by brother Robert Shirley

8. Elizabeth Shirley - christened 26 Jun 1759 Sturminster Newton - named in father's Will.

8. John Burbidge Shirley - born 1752, christened 7 Mar 1755 Sturminster Newton. Oxford Queen's College, matric. April 3, 1770 aged 18; brother of Andrew 1771, and father of Robert 1796

          1785 Will of John Burbidge Shirley late of Bagbere now of City of London gent. Son and heir of John Shirley late of Bagber esq by Elizabeth Frampton his wife. Land at Bagber and S[illeg] Wiltshire use by Rev. Andrew Bellamy and William Cluett to sell off. Any unsold real estate to my son Andrew Shirley at age 21, to sister Elanore Shirley. Dated 14 Feb 1785. Wit: John Adcock. C. Templeman John Curtis [PROB 11/1135 575

m. Rebecca____? Rebecca Shirley was buried 1775 at Sturminster Newton

          9. Robert Shirley - b1771, Oxford Wadham College, matric. Oct 20, 1796, aged 25. Not mentioned in his father's 1785 will, but certainly alive.

          9. Andrew Shirley - christened 9 August 1771 at Sturminster Newton [to John and Rebecca] named in father's Will, named in uncle Andrew Shirley's 1788 Will. Likely the Andrew Shirley, nephew mentioned in the will of Eleanor Shirley in 1808.
          possibly also the following ?infants
          Burial at Sturminster Newton
          5 May 1773 John SHIRLY
          23 Jun 1774 John SHIRLEY

Chancery Lawsuit: Pit con. Pelham.
19 Car. 2, f. 875; 21 & 22 [1667-68].
Construction of a Will.

The Case is, That William Shirley in 1650, being seised in Fee-simple of Lands, upon his Marriage with Jane Hecked for her Jointure, settled the said Premisses to the Use of himself and Jane, and the Heirs of their two Bodies ; and for Want of such issue, to the right Heirs of the said William for ever. That in 1657, the said William having no Issue made his Will, and as to so much thereof as concerns the Matter in Question, devises in these Words (viz.), I appoint my dear Wife my sole Executrix, my Land at Blandford, which is my Wife's Jointure, I do confirm unto her, and after her Decease I do appoint it to be sold, and the Money that [284] is made thereof to be divided by equal Portions, amongst these four, namely, one Part to be disposed of by my Wife, the other three Parts are my Nephews, William Major, Ezra Shirley, and Jonadab Savage; I give to my Cousin Roger Higham £20, and in Case any of my three above-named Nephews shall die before the Decease of my Wife, that then my Cousin Roger Higham shall have that Portion of Money, which upon the Selling of the Land at Blandford should have fallen to that Nephew. And the said Will. Shirley, five Days after the said Will made, died without Issue, and Jane his Wife proved the said Will and possessed the said Premisses, and afterwards demised the same to the Plaintiff Pit, and the said Ezra Shirley died in the Life-time of the said Jane, and the said William Major in 1664, for £125 sold the said Premisses and his Right and Interest therein, and all his Part and Share of Money, which he, his Executors, &c., might claim, or have out of the said Money to be raised by such Sale by Virtue of the said Will or otherwise, and covenanted for further Assurance ; and the said Jonadab in like Manner sold his Interest to the said Pit, and the said Roger Higham, being intitled to a fourth Part of the Premisses by the Death of the said Ezra Shirley, sold in like Manner all his Interest to the said Plaintiff [285] Pit, and with like Covenants as the said other Plaintiffs had done, and the said Jane for £300, secured to her by the said Plaintiff Pit payable after her Death, sold all her Interest in the said fourth Part of the Inheritance of the said Lands expectant after her Death, and her Share of what Money should be raised by the Sale thereof, and covenanted for further Assurance; and in 1666, the said Jane died having made her Will, and the said Roger Higham and one Harris Executors, who proved the said Will, and received the said £300, so that according to the said Will. Shirley's Will, the said Lands ought to be sold, there being a Trust raised thereupon for the Benefit of the said Major, Savage and Higham, and the Assignee of the said Jane ; and thereupon the Plaintiff Pit, who is a Purchaser of all the other Plaintiffs Interest as aforesaid, and is also Assignee of the said Jane, seeks to have the Defendant Pelham and Mary his Wife, and Mabel Shirley (which said Mary and Mabel are Sisters and Co-heirs of the said Ezra Shirley, who was the Son and Heir of Ezra Shirley, Brother and Heir of the said William Shirley), to convey the said Premisses to the Plaintiff Pit and his Heirs, the other Plaintiffs offering to join with them therein.

[286] But the Defendants insist, that if such Will was made, yet the said Defendants Co-heirs, not being therein appointed to sell or convey the said Premisses, nor any Person by the said Will- appointed particularly to sell the same, and the Lands not devised by the Will, but appointed to be sold ; therefore the said Lands are well descended to the said Co-heirs, and they are neither in Law or Equity obliged to sell or convey the same, and submitted to the Judgment of this Court to do as this Court shall direct, in Case the Will be a good Will; and also insisted, that there was as good Equity in this Case for the Heir, as for the Devisees, and these Lands being descended on the Defendants as Heirs, they hope this Court will not compel them to disinherit themselves, and that the Plaintiffs Purchase was after a Suit commenced depending in this Court for the same Thing.

The Plaintiffs insisted, that the Will was a good Will at the Death of the said W. Shirley, and that the Lands were charged with a Trust to be sold, and that no Act since can invalidate the same, and that the said former Bill was only to preserve Testimony for proving the said Will, and the Plaintiff Pit being a real Purchaser in the Lifetime of the said Jane, he hath a proper and equitable Suit in this Court [287]to have the said Will performed and the Trust executed.

This Court ordered a Case to be made upon the said Will, taking this to be a Case of great Consequence and Weight in the Precedence of it.and admitting the said William Shirley was seised in Fee, and made such Will, and that the said Ezra Shirley, Brother of the Defendants Mary and Mabel, died in the Life-time of the said Jane, and that the Plaintiff Pit made such Purchases, as aforesaid.

This Court having perused Precedents in this Case, and advised with the Judges thereupon, declared his Opinion to be for the better Clearing of the Cause for his Determination, and ordered, that a Trial should be had at Law in a feigned Action by Wager, Whether Jane the Relict and Executrix of the said Will. Shirley had Power, and could by the Will have made Sale of the Lands in Question ; and also in the next place, whether a Sale by her Executors (admitting such Sale to be actually made) be a good Sale. And in Pursuance thereof a Trial hath been had upon the Point aforesaid, and a Special Verdict thereon found, and several solemn Arguments and Debates thereof have been before the Judges of the Common Pleas, who have given Judgment therein for the Defendants, and the Cause coming again to [288] be heard on the Equity reserved before the Lord Keeper assisted with the Judges, and they having considered of the Precedents offered by the Plaintiff, and compared the same with the Case in Question, find great Difference between them and this Case, upon the Circumstances thereof.

This Court upon the whole Matter, the Will in Question being adjudged void in Law in the very Constitution thereof, saw no Cause or Colour to make good the same in Equity, and dismiss'd the Plaintiff's Bill; but declared this should not be a Precedent.

The Plaintiff appealed to the Lords in Parliament, who adjudg'd and resolv'd, that the Plaintiffs ought to be relieved, and ordered the Lord Keeper to set aside the said Dismission, and adjudged the Defendants, the Heirs at Law, to convey the said Premisses to the Plaintiff Pit and his Heirs : Which this Court, in Obedience to the said Order, ordered accordingly.

Note; Purchasers are^to be favoured in Equity. See [l] Eq. Abr. 353, 354, 355.

Bagbere House
With Shirley family coat of arms on the front of the house



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