Now look, I’m really going out on a limb here. First I [EJW] made a page on Anne Amelia Cleeve just because I liked her monument in the churchyard. And now, just because she happened to come from near where Bourchier Cleeve lived, I’m making a page on him.
Bourchier Cleeve probably never heard of Eversholt, almost certainly never visited, and didn’t even own it, unlike quite a bit of Kent and Surrey. He became very rich in a short lifetime. Indeed, how he came by his money is quite a mystery. He was a pewterer – a seller of pewter – and seems to have made a vast amount very quickly. There is a story still to be told there.
I am trying to find out how Amelia Anne came by her wealth, and how someone from her family came to be living in Eversholt about 1825. When Amelia Anne made her will in 1820, she was living in Shooter’s Hill, Kent. Bourchier Cleeve owned much land around Foots Cray, Kent, within walking distance of Shooter’s Hill. Were they related? The answer’s not obvious.
Bourchier’s life itself is obscure, because there are two competing tales of his family. One is that his wife and daughter were both named Elizabeth. The other is that his wife was Mary and his daughter was Ann. Astonishingly, both of these tales can be found printed in the current Dictionary of National Biography, here and here (login required, free via Beds Library login). His wikipedia page has always favoured Elizabeths, ever since its first creation. But, his will, from the National Archives, seems to show that’s wrong.
Here’s a transcript of the will. Blame Emrys Williams for all the mistakes, although the weird and variant spelling of some of the words is in the original.
I Bourchier Cleeve of Foots Cray Place in the County of Kent Esquire being of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding and considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof do therefore make and declare this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following (that is to say)
As to my funeral I leave the ordering thereof entirely to the discretion of my Executrix hereinafter named only desiring that it may be performed with as little pomp and as much frugality as may be consistent with decency.
And as touching such temporal estate as it hath pleased and shall please the Divine Bounty to bestow on me at the time of my decease I give devise and dispose of the same as followeth. Viz:
I give devise and bequeath to my trusty and worthy friends Mr Neighbour Frith of North Cray in the said county of Kent and Mr James Walton of Cornhill in the city of London Linnen Draper All those my Mannors Messuages Farms Lands Tenements and Hereditaments situate lying and being in Limpsfield in the County of Surrey with all and singular their Rights Members and Appurtenances to hold the same unto them the said Neighbour Frith and James Walton their Executors Administrators and assigns for and during and unto the full end and term of twenty one years if my beloved wife Mary Cleeve shall happen so long to live upon the Trusts and subject to the Proviso hereinafter mentioned and expressed of and concerning the same.
And from and after the expiration or sooner determination of the said term and subject thereto I give and devise all and singular the said Mannors Messuages Farms Lands Tenements and and Hereditaments with the appurtenances unto her my said Wife Mary Cleeve and her Assigns for and during the term of her natural Life.
And from and after her decease unto my daughter Ann Cleeve and the heirs of her body issuing. But in case she my said daughter shall happen to dye in the lifetime of her my said Wife without leaving such issue of her body as aforesaid then living then I give and devise all and singular the said Mannors Messuages Farms Lands Tenements Hereditaments and Premises unto her my said Wife Mary Cleeve her heirs and assigns for ever.
And as to touching and concerning and ?? the said term of twenty one years hereinbefore created and limitted to them the said Neighbour Frith and James Walton their Executors Administrators and Assigns determinable as aforesaid the same is so created and limitted to them upon Trust that they said Neighbour Frith and James Walton or the survivor of them his Executors Administrators or Assigns do and shall in the Winter next after my decease or in case of my death before the beginning of the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty two not till the Month of March one thousand seven hundred and sixty three set out and mark or cause and procure to be set out and marked with the letters A.C. six thousand two hundred of my best Oak Timber Trees now growing on my said Manours Farms Woodlands and Premises at Limpsfield aforesaid. Viz:
fifty timber trees thereof on Grants and Suttons Farms
three thousand nine hundred thereof in Stafford Wood
Seventeen thereof in Alder Wood
three hundred and twenty five thereof in Cravit Wood
fifty two thereof in Loom Pit Wood
thirty nine thereof in Old Saw Wood
four hundred twenty six thereof in Drovers Wood
two hundred thirty six thereof in Parish Croft Wood
and one thousand one hundred fifty five thereof in ?? Wood
and at the same time do and shall cause and procure the said Timber Trees to be measured and valued by two proper persons to be by them the said Trustees their Executors Administrators or Assigns chosen well skilled in that Branch of Business attended by Burley of Limpsfield aforesaid my Bailiff if then living.
And upon further trust that they the said Trustees their Executors Administrators and Assigns do and shall permit and suffer at any time after she my said daughter shall have attended her age of twenty one years or day of Marriage but not before at her Request fell cut down sell and dispose of the aforesaid six thousand two hundred Oak Timber Trees for the most Money and best advantage they can get or procure for the same and pay the Moneys arising of or by such sale and disposal of the said Timber Trees unto her my said daughter for her own use and Benefit.
And it is my Will Intent and Meaning that in case of any Deficiency happening of or in any of the ?? numbers of such Oak Trees as aforesaid in any of the Woods before mentioned such deficiency shal be made good by Oak Trees on the Waste or Commons or in any of the Woods at Limpsfield aforesaid.
And upon further Trust that they the said Trustees their Executives Administrators and Assigns do and shall permit and suffer her my said Wife and her Assigns to receive the Rents and Profits of the Premises until the said six thousand two hundred Oak Timber Trees shall be had cut down sold and disposed of as aforesaid. Provided always and it is my express Will that when all the said Oak Timber Trees shall be had cut down sold and disposed of as aforesaid and all costs and charges in and about the said trust reimbursed paid and satisfied out of the Rents and Profits of the Premises to them the said Trustees their Executors Administrators or Assigns or in case of the death of my said daughter unmarried before her attainment of the said Age of twenty one years then and from thenceforth the said term of twenty one years hereinbefore created and limitted shall cease determine and be wholly void anything aforesaid to the contrary notwithstanding.
I give and devise unto her my said Wife Mary Cleeve All and singular my freehold Messuages Lands Tenements and Estates lying and being in the Parishes of Farmingham and Eynsford in the said County of Kent with all and singular their Appurtenances to hold the same unto her my said Wife her Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns for ever or according to my right and interest therein.
I give and devise all and singular my Messuages or Tenements Lands and hereditaments with their and every of their Rights Members and Appurtenances situate lying and being at or in Foots Cray North Cray Bexly Chislehurst and Sidcup in the said county of Kent unto her my said wife Mary Cleeve and her Assigns for and during the Term of her natural life and from and after her decease unto her my said daughter Ann Cleeve and the Heirs of her Body lawfully issuing.
But in case she said daughter shall happen to dye in the Life time of her my said Wife without leaving such Issue of her Body as aforesaid then living the I give and devise the said last mentioned Messuages Tenements Lands Hereditaments and Premises unto her my said Wife Mary he Heirs and Assigns for ever.
I give and bequeath unto her my said Wife Mary All and singular my coach equipages Carriages Carts Waggons and Horses with their Harnesses and Appurtenances and all other my cattle and livestock whatsoever and also all my Plate ?? household Goods and Furniture both in my House in Foots Cray and my House in Spring Garden Charing Cross all my Books and furniture of my Library at Foots Cray excepted.
And I will that all my Books and Furniture of my Library at Foots Cray be ?? to my said House at Foots Cray together with the accustomed Fixtures of Houses in General and that the said Books Furniture and Fixtures shall be had and held with my said House at Foots Cray and descend and go along with the freehold and Inheritance thereof as Heir Looms and belonging thereto.
And as my said Wife hath not much Taste for Pictures I give and bequeath all and singular my Pictures and Paintings at my said House at Foots Cray aforesaid unto the said Neighbour Frith and James Walton upon Trust nevertheless to permit and suffer the same to remain in and go along with the said House at Foots Cray unless my said Wife shall think fit to have them sold and disposed of in which case upon her Request I will that hey the said Trustees do and shall sell and dispose of the said Pictures and Paintings in the manner following and not otherwise (that is to say)
I will that an exact catalogue or inventory be taken thereof as soon as conveniently may be after my decease and signed by the said Trustees and left with my said Wife they keeping each of them a copy thereof. And in case my said Wife shall at any time after my decease request the said Trustees by writing under her Hand to sell the said Pictures and Paintings I will that the same same shall not be sold by auction but to some person of quality Rank or Fortune whom they my said Trustees may think likely to keep them for Posterity and in such case I will that the same be not sold for a less Sum than seven thousand Guineas and to be taken away at the Buyers Charge and Risk. And upon Trust that they the said Trustees do and shall lay out & invest the moneys arising and to be had of or by such sale in the Purchase of Freehold Lands of Inheritance either in England or Scotland to be conveyed and settled to them the said Trustees and their Heirs to the use of her my said Wife and her Assigns for and during the Term of her natural Life. And from and after her decease to the use of her my said daughter and the Heirs of her Body lawfully issuing.
But in case she my said daughter shall happen to dye in the Lifetime of my said Wife without leaving such Issue of her Body as aforesaid then living then to the use of her my said Wife her Heirs and Assigns for ever.
I give and devise all that my Messuage or Tenement with the Appurtenances in Cornhill London unto her my said Wife and her Assigns for and during the Term of her natural life and from and after her decease unto my Brother Richard Cleeve his Heirs and Assigns for ever.
As to all other my freehold copyhold and leasehold Messuages Lands and Tenements and the Rest Residue and Remainder of all my Estate both real and personal whatsoever and wheresoever I give devise and bequeath the same unto my said Wife Mary Cleeve her Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns for ever or according to my Right and Interest therein.
Provided always and it is my express Will and ?? I do hereby declare that all and whatsoeverI have herein and hereby given devised and bequeathed unto her my said Wife as aforesaid was and is so given devised and bequeathed to her upon this express condition and to the Intent and Purpose that she my said Wife at the time of making such ?? of the said six thousand two hundred Oak Timber Trees at Limpsfield as aforesaid do and shall give her Bond of a sufficient Penalty to the said Neighbour Frith and John Randal for Payment unto my said daughter when she shall attain her Age of twenty one years or be married which shall first happen of so much money as together with the money which the said Timber Trees shall be valued at shall amount unto and make up the full and just sum of twenty thousand Pounds for the Portion of her my said daughter but such Bond to bear no Interest in Consideration of my said Wife’s maintaining cloathing and educating my said daughter in the mean time and upon this further Condition that she my said Wife do and shall pay the following Legacies which I give to the following Persons (that is to say)
the Sum of one thousand Pounds to my Brothers and Sisters Viz:
the Reverend John Cleeve
and Elizabeth Evans equally to be divided between them or such of them as shall be living at the time of my decease
to my said Trustees the said Neighbour Frith and James Walton the sum of one hundred Pounds apiece
to my Friends Mr Samuel ?? of Fleet Market and Mr Giles Jones of Newton St. Loo near Bath the sum of Fifty Pounds apiece
To Mr Stretton my Clerk at Fleet Market if in my service at the time of my decease the sum of forty Pounds
to all my Menial Servants boarding and lodging in my House and in my service at the time of my decease one years wages apiece besides their wages then due and to the Poor of the Parish of Foots Cray aforesaid I give the Sum of ten Pounds
And I do hereby make constitute and appoint her my said Wife Mary Cleeve full and sole Executrix of this my Will.
And it is my Will and Mind and I do hereby direct that in case any difference or controversy shall happen to arise touching this my Will or any devise Legacy Article or Clause therein or the true Intent Constitution or meaning thereof the Parties in difference shall refer the same to and abide by and acquiesce in the Judgement Award and determination of three indifferent Persons or any two of them whereof each of such Parties in difference to chuse one and the third Person to be chosen by such two first nominated
And lastly I do hereby revoke ?? and make void all former Wills and Testaments by me at any time heretofore made and do make and declare this only to be my last Will and Testament and none other or otherwise
In Witness whereof I the said Bourchier Cleeve the Testator have to this present Writing and to another of the same Tenor and date have with each purporting to be my last Will and Testament set my Hand and Seal this twelfth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty nine and in the thirty third year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King George the Second over Great Britain.
Signed Sealed Published and declared by within named Bourchier Cleeve the testator for and as his last Will and Testament in the Presence of us who athis Request have subscribed our names as Witness hereto in his Presence and in Presence of each other.
James Thorpe at the Crown Tavern behind the ??
John Ellis ?? behind the ??
Michael White Cl. to Mr Ellis
The within Will was republished by Mr Cleeve this twenty sixth day of February 1760 after the name James Walton was wrote upon an Erasure in the Presence of us.
A Codicil to be annexed unto and taken as Part of the within written Will of me Bourchier Cleeve
Whereas in and by my Will within written I have declared that whatsoever I have therein diven devised and bequeathed unto my Wife was upon condition that she should at the time of making the Valuation of the six thousand two hundred Oak Trees within mentioned give her bond to the within named Trustees for Payment unto my daughter when she should attain the Age of twenty one years or be married of so much money as with the Value of the said Trees shall make up the Sum of twenty thousand Pounds for my said daughters Portion ?? I do hereby declare that she my said Wife shall in lieu of the said Bond give and execute unto the same Trustees a Bond in the Penal Sum of ten thousand Pounds renditioned for Payment of five thousand Pounds and no more unto my said daughter at her Age of twenty one years or within two years after her Marriage first happening with Interest at three Pounds ten Shillings per cent from the day of such her Age of Marriage which five thousand Pounds together with the Moneys arising by Sale of the said six thousand two hundred Oak Trees shall be my daughters Portion whether the said Trees produce a greater or lesser Sum thatn fifteen thousand Pounds Provided also and it is my express Will and desire that my said daughter do and shall take the consent of approbation of her Mother in he Marriage and in case she shall marry without such consent or to her Disparagement that then the Fortune which I have given to me daughter shall not go to such husband but be vested in Trustees and settled in such manner as that she may have ?? and take all the Interest and Produce thereof to and for her own separate and peculiar use exclusive of such husband during her Life and after her decease unto and upon her child or children in such manner as she shall appoint and in case she dye without children then to such other Person as she shall think fit to give or leave the same
I revoke the Legacy of fifty Pounds within given to Mr Samuel ?? and subject to those alterations I confirm my Will within written.
In Witness whereof I the said Burthier Cleeve have now unto set my Hand and Seal the twenty sixth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty.
Signed Sealed Published and declared by Bouchier Cleeve Esqr as a Codicil to be annexed to and taken as Part of his Will in the Presence of us who signed our names in the Presence of the said Testator and of each other.
I revoke all the Legacies given by the within written Will to my servants and in lieu thereof do hereby bequeath to each of my Domestic Servants the Sum of five Pounds apiece for Mourning
This Will was proved at London with two codicils the seventeenth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty before the worshipful Arthur Collier Doctor of Laws and Surrogate of the Right Worshipful Edward Simpson also Doctor of LawsMaster Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted by the oath of Mary Cleeve Widow the ?? of the Deceased and sole Executrix named in the said Will to whom Administration was granted of all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the said deceased she having been first sworn duly to administer.
So Bourchier Cleeve’s wife was Mary and his daughter Ann.
I’m not getting a very nice impression of Bourchier from his will.
Ancestry shows that Mary gave birth to two sons who were christened. presumably they died, leaving Ann. If Ann really did marry George Yonge, as the DNB suggests (but has the wrong name), and had no children, then Anne Amelia Cleeve cannot be a descendant of Bourchier Cleeve. However, Anne Amelia could be a descendant of one of Bourchier Cleeve’s siblings. Maybe.
Bouchier Cleeve had a lot of money. A History of the County of Surrey says
On 28 December 1750 the trustees sold the manor of Limpsfield, with all titular manors thereto appendant, the tenements called New Hall and Court Lodge, the Lodge Farm, Grants, Park Farm and the woods called Limpsfield Chart and Limpsfield Common, to Bourchier Cleeve of London, and later of Foot’s Cray Place, Kent, and his heirs, for the sum of £15,800. (fn. 44) By his will dated 12 September 1759, Bourchier Cleeve devised Limpsfield to Neighbour Frith of North Cray and James Walton of Cornhill in trust for his wife Mary, and after her death to his daughter Ann Cleeve, and desired his trustees to mark 6,200 of the best timber trees on the estate, to be cut down and sold for her benefit either on her marriage or when she reached the age of twenty-one. (fn. 45) In 1765 Ann married Sir George Yonge, bart., (fn. 46) M.P. for Honiton, and later Secretary of State for War and Governor of the Cape of Good Hope. (fn. 47) The manor, however, did not remain long in their possession, as three years after their marriage it was advertised for sale as the ‘manor of Limpsfield, containing the Royalties of Prinkham, Limpsfield and Crowhurst, with a Court Leet and Court Baron, demesne lands in several farms containing upwards of 1,000 acres, with near 900 acres of wood and waste land, let at an old rent of £508 19s., Quit-rents £23 11s. 11½d.’
So Bourchier bought the manor of Limpsfield, with farms over 1000 acres, plus woods over 900 acres, for £15800. He estimated curring down 6200 trees would bring in £15000 profit. And then he’d still have the freeholds and the rents.
Foots Cray Place was sold by George Yonge in 1765 for £14500.
Bourchier thought it easy for his wife to provide an extra £5000 cash for his daughter’s dowry.
He demanded his art collection be sold for more than £7000.
Plus he had another house in London, plus various lands around Kent.
All this comes to at least £50000 at his death.
Where did it come from?