Bideford, Devon

The following will is that of Anthony Staveley, the grandson of John Staveley of Sidbury and his wife Joan Laplode.  Anthony is the son of Richard Staveley and Ann RICHARDS.

In the name of God Amen: the twentieth day of August 1622 and in the twentieth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James that ? ? I Anthony Staveleigh of Biddifford in the County of Devon gent although sicke of bodye yet perfecte of memory knowing that death is certaine to all earthly creatures and that I must ? ? the ? of all ? but the ? and time ?. I therefore for the better ? and disposinge of all my ? chattells goods moveable and imoveable plate jewells money and househould stuffe whatsoever, and for the paiment of my gifts and legacies herein conteyned, and performance of this my last will and testament make and declare this my last will and testament in manner and form following, ? annihilating and utterly revoking all other wills and testaments whatsoever here to fore made where and whensoever and first I bequeath my soul to almighty God the father the sonne and the holy ghost hopeing and faithfully believing through the merritts and passion of our Saviour Jesus Christ to be forgiven me my sinnes and to inheritt life everlasting. And my body to be buried within in the Parish Church of St. Marye Arches in Exon, in such decent manner without without any ? pompe or ceremonie as my executor shall think fitt and to be covered with a fayre stone there to remayne in hope of the resurrection thereof with the ? of god to the fullness of all ? there to continue for evermore Amen. Imprimis I give and bequeath all my goods chattells revertions moveable and immoveable plate jewells moneye specialties and househould stuffe  whatsoever to my executor to this role and purpose to paye my debts and ? these gifts and legacies herein conteyned to be trulye ? and faithfullie performed. Item I give and bequeath unto to my brother John Staveleigh of West Buckland Ten pounds and do ? forgive the debt of twentie pounds which he owes me. Item unto his sonne Richard Staveleigh my god sonne fortie pounds. Item to George Staveley his son Ten pounds Item to Jane Mericke the daughter of the sayd John Stavelye Ten pounds. Item I give unto Danyell Dyer(?) the sonne of Lewes Dyer Parson of East Buckland fortye pounds. Item I give unto Elizabeth Dyer Lewes Dyer and Grace Dyer the children of the foresayd Parson Dyer three pounds to each of them. Item I give unto Grace Vigures the wife of Emanuell Vigures Thurty pounds, and to remayne in the hands of my cossen and Executor Nicholas Mercer* to them the benifitt thereof may come to her and her children untill security be given for the same to that effect. Item unto Richard Staveleigh, Anthony Staveleigh and John Staveleigh the sonnes of my brother Charles Stavelye deceased ten pounds to each of them. Item to Mr. Arthur Hatch his children six pounds to each of them and further my will is that all these gifts and legacies shall be payed and performed within three years after my decease. Item I do forgive a bond of debt to Lewes Dyer Parson of East Buckland of eighty pounds to be delivered unto to him cancelled and defaced. Item I give unto the poor of the cittie of Exon forty shillings to be distributed at the discretion of my Executor and I do give and bequeath all the residue of my goods revertions chattells specialties and bonds and bill money plate jewells moveable and immoveable whatsoever unto my ? for ? is my loving Cossen Nicholas Mercer of the Cittie of Exon ? In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale this day and year above written. Anthony Staveleigh. Sealed and published this last will and testament in the presence of these underwritten  - Jno. ?, Gilberte Sweete, ? ?

Probatum: fuit testamentatum suprascriptum apud London coram venerabili viro domino Williamo Bird Milite legum doctore Curie Prerogatiue Cantuariensis Magistro Custode siue Comissario legitime constiuto Quinto die mensis Decembris Anno Domini Millesimo sexcentesimo vicesimo secundo Iuramento Nicholas Mercer executoris in huiusmodi testamento nominate Cui Commissa fuit Administracio bonorum irium et Creditorum dicti defuncti de bene et fideliter administrando eadem &c ad sancta dei Evangelia vigore commis sionis coram Thoma Frith ? als in ea parte emanat jurat.


* Note that a Nicholas Mercer married Margaret Staveley on February 5 1615, at St. Mary Arches, Exeter. Margaret is believed to be the daughter of Anthony's brother Charles.

Phillip Staveley was the son of William Staveley and Mary PUMERY, and born in Abbotsham Devon September 1699.  Phillip married Agnes HUNT in Barnstaple Devon on October 16, 1726, and had the following children in Bideford:

William Stanley b. November 19, 1727 Bideford, Devon
John Staveley b. September 18, 1731 Bideford, Devon
Philip Stavelly b. November 18, 1733 Bideford, Devon
Mary Stavelly b. January 4, 1735 Bideford, Devon
Elizabeth Staveley b. November 1, 1739 Bideford, Devon

William married Martha PALMER on October 5, 1753 in Abbotsham, and had the following children in Bideford:

Sarah Stavelly b. January 24, 1755 Bideford, Devon
William Stavelly b. March 20, 1757 Bideford, Devon
John Stavley b. Feb 11, 1759 Bideford, Devon
George Stavely b. March 9, 1766 Bideford, Devon
William Stavely b. August 18, 1771 Bideford, Devon
Matthew Stavely b. February 7, 1773 Bideford, Devon

George Staveley married Gwin WILLIAMS June 19, 1791 in Hartland, Devon. Hartland is located approximately 10 miles west of Bideford.  George's exact parentage has not been determined, but it is likely that he descends from the earlier Abbotsham/Bideford Staveleys, and possibly is the son of William Staveley and Martha PALMER above.  George and Gwin are known to have had the following children in Bideford:

Harriet Staveley b. June, 20, 1792 Bideford, Devon
William Staveley b. October 17, 1793 Bideford, Devon
George Staveley b. March 25, 1795 Bideford, Devon
John Williams Staveley b. October 13, 1796 Bideford, Devon
Edwin Staveley b. March 8 1798 Bideford, Devon
Charles Staveley b. April 10, 1799 Bideford, Devon
Harriet Staveley b. March 27, 1800 Bideford, Devon
Henry Staveley b. August 7, 1801 Bideford, Devon
Charlotte Staveley b. Nov 28, 1804 Bideford, Devon
Charles Staveley b. Aug 12, 1808 Bideford, Devon
Ann Pool Staveley b. Aug 12, 1808 Bideford, Devon

There is a Bideford record of lease for John Williams Staveley dated 1841 "of Bristol, Gent", suggesting John moved to Bristol by that time.  However, there is also the following 1841 census entry for Devon:

1841 London Inn, Bond Street, Withycombe Raleigh, Devon, England

STAVELY John M 40 Commercial Traveller Devon


A will has also been located for John Williams Staveley, "Gentleman, City of London" dated 1850.  John mentions brothers Charles and Henry, but makes no mention of brother William:

I John Williams Staveley of the City of London Gentleman do make this my last will and testament in manner following (that is to say) First I direct that all my just debts funeral expenses and testamentary charges be duly paid and satisfied. I give and bequeath to Emily Maria Stubby of the City of London widow the sum of one hundred pounds I also give and bequeath to Richard Bartlett of Bideford in the County of Devon Esquire the like sum of one hundred pounds and to Rebecca his wife and Ellen Holy their daughter the sum of fifty pounds each. I give and bequeath to Mansah (sp?) Williams of the City of Bristol Gentleman the sum of two hundred pounds and also my gold watch chain and appendages to ? with my gold pencil case and rosewood spirit case I also give and bequeath unto Hester the wife of the said Mansah Williams the sum of fifty pounds and the Reverend Peter Pear her son the like sum of fifty pounds. I likewise give and bequeath unto Richard Harnier (?) of the City of Bristol aforesaid Merchant the like sum of fifty pounds and I also give and bequeath unto my Brothers Henry and Charles Staveley the sum of twenty five pounds each. And as to all the rest residue and remainder of my ? chattles and estate of whatever kind or sort or wheresoever situate I give and bequeath the same and every part thereof unto said Richard Bartlett his heirs and assigns absolutely and I nominate and appoint the said Richard Bartlett and Mansah Williams joint executors of this my last will and testament and I hereby direct that they my said executors shall by and out of my said Estate and effects reimburse themselves respectively all lawful costs and expenses which they shall be at or put unto in the execution of this my will and thereby revoking all former wills I do declare this to be and contain my last will and testament in ? whereof I have hereunto set my hand and a seal this twenty ninth day of January one thousand eight hundred and fifty -- John Williams Staveley -- Signed sealed and published by the said testator John Williams Staveley in the presence of us who his presence have simultaneously subscribed our names as witnesses -- Willm Miller Surgeon 2 King St., St. James Westminster -- Stephen Atlee Lodging House Keeper 26 Bury St., St. James Westminster.

Proved at London the 23rd November 1850 before the worshipful Alfred ? letter of Law and surrogate by the oath of Richard Bartlett esquire the uncle and Mansah Williams the executors to whom admon was granted having been first sworn duly to administer.

George and Gwin's sons Henry and Charles were apparently residing in Sithney, Cornwall just around the time of the 1841 census.

1841: Sithney Trough, Sithney, Cornwall

STEPHENS James M 35 Farmer  Cornwall
STEPHENS James M 12   Cornwall
STEPHENS Jane F 10   Cornwall
STEPHENS Eliza F 8   Cornwall
RICHARDS Mary F 30 Female Servant  Cornwall
STAVELEY Henry M 35 Lodger Outside Census County 
STAVELEY Charles M 30 Lodger Outside Census County 

Son William (b. 1793) married Mary and had a son William Henry Wackerell Staveley who was reportedly born in Camelford, Cornwall.  William subsequently moved to Reading, Berkshire where he married Frances SIMS, and raised his own children.

The 1841 census for Bideford shows an Ann Staveley (b. 1786) as follows:

1841: Medden St., Bideford, Devon, England

STAVELEY   Ann  F  55  Independent  Devon


As yet the identity of Ann has not been determined, and it's not clear if she is a widow or a spinster.

Not much else is known about George and Gwin, except that George was an Ironmonger by trade. 

London and Provincial New Commercial Directory, J. Pigot & Co. (1830)



Staveley George, High St

George died on May 31, 1837, and probate of will was recorded later that year on September 25, 1837.  A copy of George's will has not yet been located.  However, a copy of George's pedigree (descendants only) was located in the National Archives regarding a suit for Sims v. Veale that was brought in the early 1900's after the last of George's apparent descendents died a bachelor and intestate (see Reading, Berkshire).


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