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).
   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. 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); 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 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 Aylesbury when she made her will in 1755.
   m1. 1714 at Northampton: Henry Langley of Leighton Buzzard, gentleman, d. before 1724; he already had 3 daughters; Jane's will mentions her granddaughter Hannah Foster of London who was probably the child of one of them.
   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. 1713-14 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; 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
      1f.vi. 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 there is no record of him being actively involved there.
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
Children:

   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.

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 probably the son of the Baptist William Norman of Steeple Claydon.
Children:

   3a. Samuel Norman d.1718 (mentioned in his grandfather's will, 1702)
   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 named Elizabeth.
      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, later Ryder
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.

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.1702-3: 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; 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.
   4c. Nathaniel Griffin inherited his father's house in Wokingham; 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, Samuel and Mary are all mentioned in their father's will, but not in any Gyles family wills. Mary Griffin (perhaps the person of the same name who witnessed her grandmother Mary Gyles' will) married Philip Sanderson at Wokingham in 1707.

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, 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. She was the mother of (at least) William (5a) and Daniel (5b). 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
Children:

   5a. William Gyles b.c.1692; 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. 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. He must have died before 1774. 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 d.1749; presumably Sarah was the sister mentioned in the will of Elizabeth Gyles nee Perkins (1a); mentioned in the will of Martha Norman (3), 1741; buried at Tingewick 1749. Children:
      5a.i. Daniel Gyles: mentioned in the will of Martha Norman (3), 1741; ?apprenticed in London, 1739
      ?5a.ii. Mary Gyles: buried at Tingewick, 1750

   5b. Daniel Gyles junior b.c.1700. 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.

   5d. 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"

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 26 October, 2017