William Collier Blanket maker

Discussion in 'Oxfordshire' started by peter cameron, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. peter cameron

    peter cameron Member

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    Hi Derek, No relation of any Colliers - it is just a research project for which I am trying to piece some parts of the family together. I have, as I said, found them to be an interesting family.
    I have recently, by the way, looked at the will of John Collier -who left money to the poor of Taynton. It helps a little in piecing together that part of the family. This John Collier, who died in 1726 [PROB 11/608/211] was a prosperous brewer and property owner in Southwark. He was another son of Robert Collier of Taynton, although I am not sure whether by the first of Robert's wives, or Margery, the second, who was mother of Timothy Collier of Burford and Brize Norton. At any rate, he mentions all three of the other sons of Robert Collier in his will. John Collier of Southwark had an unmarried daughter, Martha, died 1741 [Will PROB 11/711/166, 'Martha Collier, Spinster of Saint George the Martyr, Surrey'], and a son, Wharton, who died intestate in 1773. From these wills it is clear that of John's brothers: William [who died in fact in 1667 leaving his estate administered by a widow, Ann] had a son also named William [and he would seem to have been alive at the time of the writing of John's will in July 1725]; the brother Robert - who had taken his step-mother, Margery, to court - had a son, Thomas [the pewterer perhaps?]; and Timothy had four sons [Timothy, Robert, George and John - the last of these became a carpenter in Burford and was still apparently alive in 1756]. There is no mention of Robert Collier the master of the Blanket Hall, who died in 1723 or of his various children, so the relationship between this Robert and the Colliers of Taynton remains unproven still.
     
  2. D Collier

    D Collier Member

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    OK Peter but what a challenge you have brought on yourself!!! The more you get into them the harder it becomes. Not sure if this will help but it is from the Albourne church records. I think I have it that John and Frances are really from Brize Norton rather than Witney. I'm sure John was a son of Timothy.

    Brize Norton 1740. John owns the freehold of messuages and tenements on the North side of Corn Street; died 1741. To Frances wife of John until her death, then to son John if he attain the age of twenty one. (John born 1722) If he died then it was to be sheared between Sarah, Ann and Robert Piercy, children of the late White Piercy; and Elizabeth and Sarah Shayler, daughters of the late John Shayler.

    John Collier junior died in August 1754, while his mother Frances died in September 1755. This meant that Grange Farm and the Corn Street property went to the Piercy and Shayler children.

    Aldbourne Parish Registers 1637 - 1925
    Wiltshire

    COLLIER Family
    28-Jul-1731 C
    Sarah COLLIER, daughter of John and Frances COLLIER of Witney, Com[itates] Oxon [Oxfordshire] [date & place]

    9-Sep-1731 B
    Sarah COLLIER, the daughter of John & Frances Collier of Witney, Oxon [Aff't Rec'd]
     
  3. D Collier

    D Collier Member

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    Have you got this one Peter?
    John Collier, born Brize Norton in 1758/9; served at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. He was an ordinary seaman on board HMS Defiance, and may have been one of the 17 killed on Board during the battle.
     
  4. D Collier

    D Collier Member

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    Hello Peter.
    I forgot to ask what you intend to do with you project. I can’t say when you have finished as it could go on for ever, but I will say when you had had enough of it.
     
  5. peter cameron

    peter cameron Member

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    Thanks Derek. I would disagree about John, whose will you mention, being the son of Timothy. I am clear that the John that you refer to as of Witney and who died in 1741 was the son of Robert Collier, Clothier and Blanket weaver of Witney [died 1723]. His will is 20 May 1741 PROB 11/709/350. Sarah, Ann and Robert Piercy, children of White Piercy, were thus his nieces and nephews. Elizabeth and Sarah Shayler, daughters of John Shayler, were also nieces - John Shayler had married Ann, [see Oxfordshire Archdeacon's Bonds] who was John's sister [and therefore sister also of Elizabeth who had married White Piercy]. The wife of John, whose will you refer to was indeed Frances - but so also was the wife of John, of Brize Norton, whose line of descent was different. You will, of course, have seen the memorial stone to this John Collier in the church at Brize Norton. I think that the likely wife of John Collier whose will you refer to was Frances Hitchins [by licence 1725 Burford] and the other John Collier married Frances Bunce. For this latter marriage see archdeacon's bonds: 1707 Collier, John, of Brisenorton, to Bunce, Fras., of Bampton. Both these John Colliers died within a short time of each other but they were, I am sure, of different lines of descent.
    Moving a little earlier, there was another Robert Collyer, ironmonger of London, who died in 1665 [PROB 11/318/516] who states in his will that he was born in Burford and leaves £5 to the poor of that town. He refers to his father in law Richard Veysey - so yet another link between the various Colliers and members of the Veysey family.
     
  6. peter cameron

    peter cameron Member

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    Sorry Derek, missed your last message. The project is simply for a short essay that I will attach to a website. I have no plan to piece together the whole Collier tree, impossible as that would be, but I would like to work through some of the connections between the Colliers of the Witney area and the Colliers, sons of the above, who moved to work in London. In that sense the project is quite specific. I am much interested in families like the Cripps family, to whom the Colliers were also apparently connected [see will of Jane Rogers], the Gilpin family etc etc. They all contributed hugely to the history of London.
     
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  7. D Collier

    D Collier Member

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    OK Peter. You can see I’m now getting very muddled with them all.
     
  8. peter cameron

    peter cameron Member

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    I will, when I get to a determination that I can't easily go further with my attempts to work out the relationships, plot out a family tree as I see it and then attach it either to a reply on this forum or as part of a message to you. You and any others interested can then say what you think and either add or take away as you have the facts! All criticism will be useful.
    I did look very briefly, by the way, at a court case William Collier of South Leigh, yeoman, versus Horne [Nat archives C 5/419/97] in 1675. The script is difficult, being in a spidery court hand, but concerns land bought in Cogges. I saw that it did not relate closely to my researches and so didn't spend more time on it. It might, however, be useful in relation to the Colliers of South Leigh.
    I have yet to view the Collier tree in the Witney museum because it has not been open when I have been in the area. How accurate or inaccurate that proves to be will be interesting. It was Euryalus who suggested that I use this website and I have found it and the contributors very helpful.
     
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  9. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    What a fascinating project, Peter. I very much look forward to reading your essay!

    Two Witney families which I've researched extensively are that of Henry Box (founder of the Witney Grammar School) and the Earlys, and both trees have many London connections. With so many London records now online, I am getting more and more examples of Witney people with London links. Now that the PCC wills are more accessible, I am sure my list will keep growing!
     
  10. peter cameron

    peter cameron Member

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    My focus for the essay is narrower than I have specified, being on metalworking in London and the Collier/Phipps connections in particular. My interest, however, is more general. I have a theory, which may be disproved, that the Witney area [i.e. Witney and the surrounding area including Burford, Brize Norton, Taynton, Ducklington etc.] had a strong relationship with London, largely because of the Cloth/Blanket trade. I think that this area contributed a disproportionate number of sons to London trade apprenticeships. It is, as you say, an area of research that will become easier now that the Livery Company apprenticeships are being slowly digitised, as are the wills proved in many of the ecclesiastical courts, especially the PCC.
    With regard to William Collier [died 1667], the son of Robert Collier of Taynton [died 1673], there is a fragment of an inventory at the National archives, which records a debt due to Collier from John Freeman, Citizen and Packer of London. Most 'packers', so far as I can see, were members of the Clothworkers Company and this would suggest that William Collier was, like his brother, Robert, a clothworker. William's widow was called 'Anne' and this would also strengthen the possibility that this is the William referred to in the lease SL17/5/D1-2 at the Oxfordshire Record Office, which you mentioned in an earlier message.
     
  11. D Collier

    D Collier Member

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    Hi Peter.

    What I need for my simple uneducated mind is a multi layered computer program that lets you see a family tree in 3D. I don’t know if there is one, but it certainly would help when it comes to my Collier family. With something like that you could lay one family onto another, but also show them as a separate lines. From my own research I think I can see at least 3 branches of Colliers in Witney in the 18th century. There is the Corn Street branch which brings in Crawley Mill etc. There’s the Woodford (Witney) Mill branch that takes in John Payne Collier and his side of the family from Thomas of 1686. And then there is Robert of the Blanket Hall. As yet I can’t see a direct connection with him and the Edward Collier’s on my side, but I am sure there is one in some way. Maybe you know a computer programmer who could devise a program to help me?
     
  12. peter cameron

    peter cameron Member

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    Interesting idea. Sadly, I can't help with that. I am more used to trees on a simple two-dimensional vertical plan. Having seen 3D portrayals of molecular structures etc., I am sure that your idea would be possible, however, and there may be someone out there who has achieved it.
    I have made no progress with Edward Collier either. I am sure there was a link of some sort.
     
  13. D Collier

    D Collier Member

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    Not sure if this is of any help
    1741 John husband of Frances, burial. Frances may have re-married to Thomas Combs, both of Witney at Denchworth, 23rd Sept 1741.
     
  14. euryalus

    euryalus Well-Known Member

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    I think that is entirely correct. Witney blanket makers seem to have exported their products mainly via London, rather that (for example) Bristol, and some of the blanket-making firms had warehouses in London.
     
  15. D Collier

    D Collier Member

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    Hi Peter I see I have this for Robert of Burford. Maybe of some help?

    Burford Records.
    1650 Robert Assignment by Edmond Heming, barber surgeon, to Robert Collier of Tainton. Lease of the house or Inn called the Swan next to the Bridge, formerly in the tenure of Richard Norgrave, with a signpost and sign of the Swan standing at the door thereof. Leased on 1 October,23 Charles I (1648), to Edmond Heming, then in his occupation;now let to Robert Collier for 3£ a year and occupied by Richard Willett. Remainder of Heming's lease assigned to Collier, 8£ a year to be paid to the trustees.
    Witnesses : Edmond Heming junior, John Jordan.
     
  16. peter cameron

    peter cameron Member

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    Many thanks, Derek.
    I had a quick look at the lease and release of 1688 [Oxfordshire R.O. SL17/5/D1-2] involving a cottage in Taynton - the parties being Anne Collier, widow of William Collier, late of Witney, Clothier, Robert Collier her son of Witney, Clothier, and Thomas West of Taynton and his wife, Anne. Huncamunca is quite correct: the lease clearly states that Robert Collier is the only son and heir of William Collier. Robert Collier's signatures on this document are distinctly similar to the signatures of Robert Collier as Master of Blanket Hall in 1721. There is, however, a difference: the 1688 signatures are for 'Rob. Collier' and the later signatures are 'Robt. Collier.' Impossible to be certain as to whether these are the early and late signatures of the same man. I did not have time to see if there was a signature on his marriage bond of 1691, so will have to go back to the Record Office. The witnesses to the 1688 lease included a 'John Jordan'.
     
  17. D Collier

    D Collier Member

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    Hi Peter
    To me it looks as if the Robert who married Ann Prior in 1691 is the grandson of William and Ann (Ann burial in Witney Sept. 1692). I see Robert son of a Robert was baptised at Witney in September 1660, so would have been about 31 when he married Ann Prior. (This Robert senior must be the son William and Ann). He I presume is the same Robert who took the lease of the Swan at Tainton in 1650. As for John Jordan, there is a connection as you can see here.
    Tainton Church burial records
    1665 John Jordan, grandchild of John Collier
    1665 Elizabeth Jordaine grandchild of John Collier
    1665 written in margin. John and Sarah Jordan died of ye Plague.
     
  18. peter cameron

    peter cameron Member

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    It seemed to me that the William, son of Robert of Taynton, who married Anne, widowed in 1668 and party to the lease of 1688, was christened 10/02/1632 at Taynton and would have married perhaps in the 1650's. I think it would be unlikely that a grandson would have been born in 1660 but, of course, the Robert, son of Robert Collier of Taynton, who took his step-mother to court, was living in Witney in 1660 as well. It would seem that he had a son named Thomas [pewterer] but he may also have had other children. It would be good to find the marriage of William and Anne and some more detail on the life of the Robert Collier, Clothier of Witney, who took his mother to court! John Collier [of Taynton's] entire family seems to have died of the plague in 1665.
     
  19. peter cameron

    peter cameron Member

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    I notice that Dr. Cavell's history of the Henry Box School suggests that it was Ralph Collier, the son of John Collier, who wrote the pamphlet by 'R. Collier' 'Remarks upon Mr. Goole's answer to the present state of the Free-School at Witney in Oxfordshire' in 1721 and not Robert Collier, the blanket maker [died 1723] as had been thought previously. That seems logical. There was a petition at the time, Dr. Cavell writes, which was signed by 165 people in Witney. Does anyone know if that petition survives? It does not appear to be amongst the archive of the Grocer's Company in London.
     
  20. Huncamunca

    Huncamunca The Knowledgeable One

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    I think I had better confess now, in case you did not know, that 'tis I who wrote that history of the school. Looking at the endnote relating to the paragraph about the petition, c.1718, I would guess the only reference I found was in the third pamphlet . . . but I can't swear to it! My research notes are all packed away now, and not immediately accessible, and my photographs of documents from the Grocers' Company archives are on my old laptop, again not with me at the moment.

    If I can find the answer I'll let you know!
     

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