The Gyles family

The first reference to a William Gyles of Winslow is in 1547. In 1610 William Gyles held "[One] ancient Cottage"; he was buried in 1615. Margaret Gyles (d.1625) seems to have been his widow. Their son William was baptised in 1586 and married Alice Brodhurst (nee Jackson?) in 1611. She was buried on 29 April 1623, and later that year he married Ann Brewer at Bletchley (if it's the same man, they had daughters called Alice and Mary baptised at Bletchley).

Gyles Close signIn 1638, William Gyles and Ann his wife surrendered a cottage situate in Winslow called the Crowne Corner. In 1662 they gave a messuage in Winslow with a parcel of pasture (after their deaths) to William Gyles jr and Mary his wife and William's heirs in perpetuity. This was presumably the house where William and Mary lived and on whose land the Baptist Meeting House was built in 1695. It was near the Bell and may be the building which became the Old George. It's not known when the family became Baptists, but it is likely to have been in the 1650s if not earlier. More about the Winslow Baptists and the Meeting House.

The family tree below starts with William and Mary Gyles, and goes down to their great-grandchildren. Although they had a large family, their last descendant in the male line left Winslow c.1750, and they seem to have had no direct descendants in Winslow at all after 1818. Please click on "see will" for more information about some of the individuals. The names of their children (and spouses) are in bold, grandchildren in bold italics, and great-grandchildren in italics

William Gyles trade tokenWILLIAM GYLES ?b. before 1623, d.1702 (see will), draper, associate of William Lowndes. The founder of the Baptist Meeting House in Winslow. He produced his own trade tokens (see photo)
m.1653 MARY MONK of Bierton, d.1705 (see will), from one of Bucks' most prominent Baptist families.
Children (the order of birth is partially uncertain as there are no baptism records; years of birth are deduced from age at death):

1. William Gyles b.c.1654-5, d.1713 (see will), linen draper; lived in the Market Square on the site of the Bank; he had draper's shops in Buckingham and Leighton Buzzard as well as Winslow
m. Sarah, daughter of Benjamin Morley b.1655, d.1726 (see will); she seems to have been married before (see below); buried at the Meeting House; Mary Hodgkiss, widow, mentioned in the will of William Gyles (1a) and in Sarah's own will (1724) was her sister; Mary had a son Benjamin Hodgkiss, brazier in London. Benjamin Morley seems to have come from Ravensthorpe near Long Buckby, where he is recorded as a Baptist from 1651; perhaps he followed his daughter to Winslow; he was buried at the Meeting House in 1704.
Memorial plaque of Sarah GylesChildren:

   1a. William Gyles d.1713 (see will), woollen draper and Baptist; he had shops at Stony Stratford, Leighton Buzzard and Winslow. His property in Winslow went to his sisters as the daughters of William Gyles (1). In Feb 1713, a William Gyles (with John Chawke) bought the tithes of Padbury and some property in Leckhampstead and Gawcott from William Baldwin sr & jr, John & Elizabeth Stanley and William & Rebecca Core (National Archives, CP 25/2/909/11ANNEHIL).
   m. Elizabeth Perkins d.1718 (see will). No children.

   1b. Martha Gyles b. before 1683, buried 1714 at the Meeting House (see will)

   1c. Mary ?Gyles; she wasn't one of her brother's heirs but she is mentioned in her mother's will (1724); it's likely that she was Sarah's daughter from a previous marriage.
   m. before 1705: John King of Bovingdon d.1748-9. Executor of the will of Grace Aldridge (1d). The will of John King the elder, gentleman, of Bovingdon was made in 1748 and proved in 1749 (National Archives PROB 11/773/169). He left most of his property to his son John but also mentions sons Zachary and Robinson and daughters Maria and Sarah (wife of John Reeve). By the time he made his will he had a wife named Elizabeth. He wasn't a Baptist as the children had Anglican baptisms, but Brother John King of Bovindon Green figures prominenly in the records of the Chesham Baptists 1712-20. Children:
      1c.i. Maria King (bap. Bovingdon 1706) is mentioned in the will of William Gyles (1); she also received a legacy as "cousin" (i.e. niece) of Martha Gyles (1b), and was under 21 in 1714; she is mentioned as "cousin" of Elizabeth wife of William Gyles (1a) in 1718.
      1c.ii. Sarah King (bap. Bovingdon 1709) received a legacy as "cousin" of Martha Gyles (1b), and was under 10 in 1714; she is mentioned in the will of William Gyles (1a) as "the daughter of my brother John King". Married to John Reeve according to her father's will.
      1c.iii. Joanna King (bap. Bovingdon 1714) is mentioned with her sisters in the will of her grandmother Sarah Gyles (1), 1724. She's not mentioned in her father's will.
      Some sons of John and Mary King were baptised at Bovingdon but weren't mentioned in the wills of their Gyles relatives: John 1705, John 1708, Zachary 1710, Robinson 1711, Thomas 1713.
      1c+. Joanna Morris b.1697-1705 seems to be the daughter of another daughter of Sarah Gyles from a hypothetical first marriage. William Gyles (1) left a bequest to his "granddaughter-in-law" Joanna Morris in 1713. Martha Gyles (1b) left a legacy to her "cousin" Joanna Morris, who was under 21 in 1714; in 1723 Joanna Morris spinster took the oath of allegiance at Winslow which means she was over 18; Sarah Gyles in 1724 left a bequest to her granddaughter Joanna Morris; Martha Burch (3c) mentioned her cousin Joanna Morris in her will 1731; Joanna witnessed the will of Thomas Aldridge, 1732. She disappears from Winslow records after that.

   1d. Grace Gyles d.1742 (see will and inventory); she left her house and land to her sons.
   m.1716 at East Claydon: Thomas Aldridge d.1733 (see will); he was a draper and took over his brother-in-law's business in Winslow; also owned property in Berkhamsted. Children:

      1d.i. Thomas Aldridge b.c.1719, d.1756; apparently over 21 in 1741 according to his mother's will; mentioned in the will of Jane Harding (1e) 1755. Described as woollen draper of Winslow in 1743. Described as silversmith near Fleet Market in the will of William Gyles (2a) 1758.  In c.1743 he held 44 acres of land in Winslow. In 1744 he sold the Upper Bell Close, and a barn and lean-to in Horn Street. Of Fetter Lane when buried at St Andrew Holborn on 10 March 1756.

      1d.ii. Susanna Aldridge b.c.1717; married John Goldsworth, son of the lawyer Peter Goldsworth, in 1737 at Granborough; Susanna, John and their infant son Peter all died in 1738.

Memorial plaque of Grace Aldridge aged 2      1d.iii. William Aldridge b.1723 d.1798. His aunt Jane (1e) made him her main heir and her will (made 1755) describes him as goldsmith of Fetter Lane. She left him The Bull. Described as silversmith near Fleet Market in the will of William Gyles (2a) 1758. He must have inherited his brother's land in Winslow, which he mortgaged in 1760. At Enclosure in 1767, William Aldridge of Holborn, goldsmith, held 9 acres copyhold and 41 acres freehold, replaced by 7a 0r 36p copyhold which he mortgaged along with The Bull in 1767 and 35a 2r 26p freehold. He renewed the mortgage in 1775, then (described as gentleman of Kentish Town, with Ann his wife) sold The Bull in 1776 and mortgaged the land. In 1779 William and Ann sold the copyhold (and presumably the freehold) land. On 13 June 1798, William Aldridge of Kentish Town aged 75 was buried at Bunhill Fields.
William Aldridge the younger of Red Lion Passage Holborn London working goldsmith, presumably William's son, became a trustee of the Meeting House in 1774.
Thomas Aldridge (d.1814) kept the Old Crown from 1810, and could be a member of this family.

      1d.iv. Grace Aldridge b.1725 d.1726/7; buried at the Meeting House

   1e. Jane Gyles d.1761 (see will); living at Old Stratford in 1714. She eventually owned The Bull and 53 acres of land at Winslow. Living at Winslow in 1725, at Berkhamsted in 1728, at Winslow in 1743, at Aylesbury when she made her will in 1755.
   m1. 1714 at Northampton: Henry Langley of Leighton Buzzard, gentleman, d. intestate 20 Sep 1724 (more about him)
       1e.i. Elizabeth Langley, bap. at Leighton Buzzard 1716, d. before 1743
       1e.ii. Sarah Langley, bap. at Leighton Buzzard 1718, d. before 1743
       1e.iii. Hannah Langley, bap. at Leighton Buzzard 1720, d. before 1743, m. (probably as 2nd wife) George Foster (map-seller of St Paul's Churchyard in 1739; he was a Presbyterian). She was the mother of Hannah Foster, 1739-1802, mentioned in Jane's will, and a document of 1743 (she married Daniel Dimond at Clerkenwell, 1760); they also had children called Jane Langley Foster (bap. 1737) and Sarah Foster (bap. 1740) who must have died young. Jane Gyles/Langley brought a case in Chancery on her daughters' behalf in 1725 concerning property in Little Horwood.
      1e.iv. William Giles Langley, bap. at Leighton Buzzard 1723, d.y.
   m2. 1741 at Winslow: Thomas Worrall of Winslow, butcher, d.1742
   m3. 1744 at Little Horwood: John Harding of Aylesbury, gentleman, d.1750

   1f. Sarah Gyles d.1772-3; her father left her an annuity; not mentioned in her mother's will (1724); left Winslow for Chesham after 1757.
   m. ?1719 Thomas Foster b.1685, d.1746 (see will); born at Winslow and had an Anglican baptism; the will of William Gyles (1a) mentions "my brother Foster" of Chesham; he was the executor of William's wife Elizabeth in 1718, still in Chesham (probably his first wife was her sister); tallow-chandler of Winslow when he made his will, with his business at 2A High Street; recorded as pastor of the Winslow Baptists.
Memorial plaque of Saran and Dick Foster      1f.i. John Foster: mentioned 1731 in will of Martha Burch 3c as of Winslow; mentioned in his father's will 1745; said to be overseas in 1746
      1f.ii. Sarah Foster b.1723 d.1728, buried at the Meeting House
      1f.iii. Dick Foster b.1734, d.1736/7, buried at the Meeting House
      1f.iv. Thomas Foster: under 21 in 1739 according to his paternal great-aunt Lydia Collins' will; mentioned in his father's will 1745 as one of his two older children; said to be overseas in 1746
      1f.v. Sarah Foster: mentioned in her father's will 1745; m. 1766 Samuel Hinton, staymaker (both of Chesham); they were executors of her mother's will 1772 George Foster d.1771: mentioned in his father's will 1745. The will of William Gyles (2a) 1758 mentions George Foster, tallow-chandler of Winslow, without specifying the relationship. By 1760 George seems to have taken over his father's premises; recorded as a grocer 1768-71. According to the 1783 manor court, he had 3 daughters: Sarah wife of Robert William Miller of Buckingham gent (bap.1758), Ann Forster (bap.1763) and Rebecca Forster (bap.1767) of Winslow spinsters. Ann married Joseph Turner of Winslow, surgeon, c.1789; they had moved to Brackley by 1818 but Joseph was buried at Winslow in 1825 and Ann in 1835. Rebecca Foster married John Morecraft at Winslow in 1789; he was described as butcher of Winslow in 1790; it's not clear what happened to them afterwards as there were several John Morecrafts.
      1f.vii. Frederick Foster: mentioned in his father's will 1745; breeches-maker of Hounslow in his mother's will 1772.
      1f.viii. Richard Foster: mentioned in his father's will 1745 but not in his mother's.      

2. Joseph Gyles b. c.1659, d. after 1727 (2nd son according to his father's will). Described as a hatter when he took over a house next to the Old Crown from his father in 1690 (he mortgaged it to his brother William in 1700). Overseer of the poor 1691-3; constable 1695. Described as linen draper in 1708; as gentleman when he took the oath of allegiance in 1723. He was a regular juror at the manor court until 1727, when he is last mentioned. He must have died in a year when the court records don't survive. His burial isn't recorded in the parish register, so perhaps he was buried at the Meeting House, but he was not a Baptist in 1708.
m1. Mary: made co-tenant in 1690; d. before 1700
m2. Anne: mentioned in her mother-in-law's will, 1704, and at the manor court 1717, and in the will of Ann Griffin (4) 1727

   2a. William Gyles (see will): mentioned in his grandfather's will, 1702; of London in the will of William Norman (3b), 1741; distiller of London in the firm Ladbroke & Gyles when he made his will in 1758; will proved 1760. He probably married Elizabeth Dallicoat at St Mary Magdalen, Old Fish Street on 16 Jan 1719, but he must have been a very rich, childless widower when he made his will. His will mentions his cousin Mary Ward of Stony Stratford widow and her unnamed daughter now wife of Thomas Ward Jeweller late of Bell Court Saint Martins le Grand. It's not clear where they fit in - they could be related on his mother's side, or through his wife.
   2b. Mary Gyles: mentioned in her grandmother's will, 1704; she is either Mary Steavens in the will of William Norman (3b), 1741 [otherwise this must be the daughter of Ann Griffin] or Mary Williams in the will of Martha Norman (3), 1741. Presumably she predeceased her brother William.
   2c. Elizabeth Gyles d.1744 (if she is the Mrs Collins in the Winslow parish register); mentioned in several wills.
   m. 1736 at Quainton: Francis Collins b.1705 d.1771 (see will), grocer and tallow-chandler, who inherited property in Winslow from his brother-in-law William Gyles (2a) in 1760 and left most of it to his servant Elizabeth Newborn.
   2d. Edmund Gyles, bap. at Winslow parish church in 1708.

Memorial slab of Martha and Samuel Norman3. Martha Gyles b.1663, d.1742 (see will); buried at the Meeting House
m. Samuel Norman b.1659, d.1735 (see will); buried at the Meeting House. He was a grocer and prominent Baptist with extensive property in Winslow. He was the son of the Baptist William Norman of Steeple Claydon (will proved 1701).

   3a. Samuel Norman d.1718 (mentioned in his grandfather's will, 1702; death reported at 1718 manor court)
   3b. William Norman d.1758 (mentioned in his grandfather's will, 1702); inherited his father's property in Winslow and Steeple Claydon; draper of Henley on Thames when he made his will in 1741. His wife was Mary, daughter of Joseph Huse of Wokingham, gent. Provisions were made for their marriage in Dec 1718. She died between 1725 and 1729 according to her father's will and codicil (National Archives, PROB 11/645/82), which refers to £200 due to her and William under the marriage settlement. Joseph Huse left £150 each to his grandchildren Samuel and Mary Norman, £8 to his son William Norman to buy mourning, and a gold ring each to William and his parents. Joseph was probably a Baptist as the will mentions "Mr Meers my pastor".
      3b.i. Samuel Norman d.1792 (see will); mentioned in the will of Martha Burch (3c), 1731; m.1753 Frances Brooksbank, daughter of the Governor of the Bank of England; mercer of Henley in 1761 when he was made trustee of Benjamin Griffin (4a); became a trustee of the Meeting House in 1774 while living at Henley; he became a London gentleman but still had his father's property in Winslow and Steeple Claydon when he made his will; he had 3 daughters
      3b.ii. Mary Norman d.1806 (see will). She married Lomax Ryder of St Andrew Holborn at Henley in 1759. When he made his will in 1772 (he died in 1779) he had a leasehold house at Hatton Garden, Finchley, and a house at The Hay, Herts (National Archives, PROB 11/1058/314).
Memorial slab of Martha Burch   3c. Martha Norman b.1695, d.1731 (see will), m.1719 Thomas Burch of Hemel Hempstead (d.1730). Buried at the Meeting House.
   3d. Susanna Norman (mentioned in the will of her grandfather William Norman, presumably died young)

4. Ann Gyles d.1732 (see will): executrix of her husband's will, and probably had a life interest in his property at Wokingham under a marriage settlement; signed the oath of allegiance at Winslow in 1723; widow of Winslow when she made her will in 1727, with property at Hurst, Berks.
m. before 1683: Benjamin Griffin, d.1703: described as mercer of Wokingham in 1690. There is (or was) a Benjamin Griffin Charity for the support of the minister and payment of general expenses of the Baptist Church of Wokingham. This was set up under Benjamin's will of 1702 (National Archives PROB 11/468/448): 50s a year from some land left to his son Giles. He had inherited property from his uncle Benjamin Griffin. All the children mentioned in the will except Giles were under 21.
   4a. Benjamin Griffin d.1761: of Wokingham when his cousin William Norman (3b) made him guardian of William's daughter, and when his brother Giles (4b) made him overseer of his will; mercer of Wokingham in 1725; wife named Elizabeth in 1741, must have predeceased him and left no children. The will of Benjamin Griffin esq. of Great Marlow (National Archives PROB 11/868/394) was made and proved in 1761. He left his property in trust to his kinsman Samuel Norman of Henley, mercer (3b.i). His will shows that he was a rich man with £10,000 to bequeath as well as property.
   4b. Giles Griffin: mentioned in the will of William Norman (3b), 1741. His father left him inter alia the King's Head in Wokingham. Mercer of Dorking in 1725, and when his will was made in 1746 (proved in 1752, PROB 11/792/286). His brother-in-law Mr William Wakeford of Odgham (Odiham?), Hants, was one of the overseers of his will. His will mentions property in Hurst, Wokingham, Binfield, Dorking, and the following children:
      4b.i. William Griffin
      4b.ii. Hannah Griffin
      4b.iii. Sarah Griffin, d. between 1746 and 1752
   4c. Nathaniel Griffin b. 10 Nov 1703; inherited his father's house in Wokingham; described as mercer of Winslow in 1725 (National Archives, C 11/1779/29); he was executor of his mother's will and the only one of her children mentioned specifically. Will made 1763, proved 1764 (National Archives PROB 11/897/255). He owned extensive property in Wokingham and described himself as "esquire". He left the house he lived in to his wife Hannah (nee James), whom he had married in 1763. His first wife was called Elizabeth.
      4c.i. John Griffin: mentioned in the will of Benjamin Griffin (4a) as Nathaniel's eldest son; Benjamin left him property in Wokingham. Married Elizabeth Doggett at Wokingham in 1763.
      4c.ii. William Griffin: bap. 1727 at Wokingham; mentioned in the wills of William Gyles (2a) and Benjamin Griffin (4a)
   4d. Jacob Griffin. The will of William Gyles (2a) 1758 mentions his cousin Elizabeth Griffin, widow, printseller. The will of Benjamin Griffin (4a) refers to Jacob's widow.
      4d.i. Hester Jackson nee Griffin, bap. 1727 at Wokingham. Mentioned in the wills of William Gyles and Benjamin Griffin. Hester's son Benjamin Griffin Jackson is mentioned in the will of Benjamin Griffin (4a), whose house at Marlow he was to have when he was 21.
   4e. John, William and Samuel and are all mentioned in their father's will, but not in any Gyles family wills.
   4f. Mary Griffin. Mentioned in her father's will. Witnessed her grandmother Mary Gyles' will. Married Philip Sanderson at Wokingham in 1707. In 1719 she married Richard Palmer of Wokingham, wine merchant. He could be the Richard Palmer, wine merchant of St Paul's Covent Garden, who left everything to his wife Mary in his will of 1760 (PROB 11/858/393)

Memorial slab of Daniel Gyles5. Daniel Gyles b.1673, d.1747 (see will); buried at the Meeting House where he set up the original trusteeship in 1722. He isn't mentioned in his father's will because he had already been provided for, but he was his mother's sole executor. Mentioned in the will of his nephew William Norman (3b) along with his 4 children. He served as a juror at the manor court from 1692; overseer of the poor 1698, 1705/6; regularly acted as a mortgagee from 1701. Described as linen draper from 1693; gentleman in 1723; linen draper again in his will. In 1715 he bought 43 acres of land from his nieces; c.1743 he held 56 acres.
m1. 7 Oct 1691 at Woburn: Beatrice Taylor daughter of Simon Taylor, gentleman of Woburn (d. 1677), and of Elizabeth (d.1699 or before); b.1663 (she had an Anglican baptism; she was 10 years older than Daniel if his age at death is correct). At the 1692 manor court Daniel and his wife Beatrice were given the reversion of half of William Gyles' house, presumably as a marriage settlement. According to National Archives E112/779/10 she was the mother of Mary and Beatrice only during her mother Elizabeth's lifetime. Clear (p.84) recorded her gravestone giving her date of death as 7 April 1714 in her 56th year.
m2. before 1722: Mary ?Collier b.1676, d.1734; buried at the Meeting House; sister of Frances Collier (1686-1734), also buried at the Meeting House

        5d. Mary Gyles b.c 1692; with the help (i.e. presumably at the instigation) of her uncle Samuel Norman she brought a case in 1703 aganst her father and others (E112/779/10) about her grandmother Elizabeth's estate = Mary Holmes: mentioned in the will of Martha Norman (3), 1741; received property and goods in her father's will made in 1746; mentioned in the will of Jane Harding (1e) 1755
             5d.i. Samuel Holmes: mentioned in the will of Martha Norman (3), 1741, as "my kinsman"

        5e. Beatrice Gyles; born and died young before 1703.

   5a. William Gyles b.c.1700; of Towcester in the will of his cousin William Norman (3b); In 1741 William Gyles of Towcester, woollen draper, was executor of the will of Grace Aldridge (1d). His father's will (made 1746) says he was already provided for, and in 1747 he inherited a messuage (where his father had lived) and 8 acres in Winslow under his parents' marriage settlement. The manor court roll for 1747 describes him as gentleman of Tingewick; in 1753 he was now of Northampton. He became a trustee of the Meeting House in 1747, and was probably the William Gyles active at the Baptist General Assembly from 1731 until 1742, when he was elected Messenger. In 1749 William Gyles and his wife Sarah sold some property in Tingewick and Hanslope (Centre for Bucks Studies, D/WA/248). In 1753 he sold the property in Winslow he inherited from his father. He must have died before 1774; a William Giles was buried at St Sepulchre, Northampton, in 1758 (and Sarah Giles in 1757). The 1771 manor court refers to a messuage or farmhouse in Great Horn Street and 27 acres of land belonging to William Burrell, late in the occupation of William Gyles, so it's possible that he came back to Winslow. William and his father owned some property in Woburn including the Old Falcon, inherited from William's mother Beatrice (Beds Archives R6/63/3/1, 5/1 9/1&3, 12/1), which they sold between 1720 and 1725; one of the purchasers was James Perkins of Woburn.
   m.1719 at East Claydon: Sarah Perkins; presumably Sarah was the sister mentioned in the will of Elizabeth Gyles nee Perkins (1a); mentioned in the will of Martha Norman (3), 1741; alive in 1753. Children:
      5a.i. Daniel Gyles: mentioned in the will of Martha Norman (3), 1741; ?apprenticed in London, 1739.
In 1752 Daniel Gyles "sojourner at Silveston" married Mary Marriott, widow of John, of Silverstone (Silverstone & Whittlebury BTs). This led to a dispute between Silverstone and Winslow at the 1761 Bucks Quarter Sessions (CBS, Q/SM/4) when Daniel said that he was born at Winslow, and Mary owned a house and land at Silverstone. It's not clear which Daniel Gyles it refers to.
      ?5a.ii. Mary Gyles: buried at Tingewick, 1750
      ?5a.iii. Sarah Gyles: buried at Tingewick, 1749

   5b. Daniel Gyles junior b.c.1702. Trustee of the Meeting House 1722, described as draper of Winslow. His father's will (made 1746) says he was already provided for. In 1747 when the trusteeship was renewed he was of Abbotts Field, Berks (not located), maltster. He and his brother William (5a) sold about 26 acres of land to William Lowndes in 1759. He apparently died before 1774.
m.1731 at Bierton Mary Monk of Bierton (according to a settlement recorded at the manor court which gave them a messuage and 6 acres of land)
      5b.i. Daniel Gyles: mentioned in the will of Martha Norman (3), 1741, "the children of my kinsman Daniel Gyles" [presumably she would have said brother if she meant the previous generation]
      5b.ii. Mary Gyles: mentioned in the will of Martha Norman (3), 1741

   5c. Samuel Gyles: received 8 acres of land from his father in 1744. He was his father's executor and inherited his copyhold property not previously disposed of: 13+ acres. He was living in part of his father's house in 1747. Described as linen draper of Winslow when he became a trustee of the Meeting House in 1747. Draper of Biggleswade when he sold some land at Winslow in 1750, and of Biggleswade when mentioned in the will of William Gyles (2a) 1758. He apparently died before 1774.
   m1. Georgiana: Clear (p.84) copied a gravestone saying that she died 28 May 1736 aged 36.
   m2. Bridget: mentioned in the will of Martha Norman (3), 1741; buried at Biggleswade, 1765.

6. Mary Gyles d.1721/2. She isn't mentioned in her father's will because he had already provided for an annuity of £12. Her mother's will indicates that they were living together.

Copyright 10 January, 2020