The last will and testament of Henry Kendall, the son an heir of George Kendall, was written on 14 September 1592 and gained probate on 3 November, of the same year. The executors are named as Henry Beaumont of Coleorton, Leicestershire and Alexander Reddish of Reddish, Lancaster. Henry also appoints a supervisor, named as Alexander Barlowe of Barlowe, Lancaster.
This foot of fine, dated 6th June 1456, covers the sale of land in Frisby on the Wreake , Leicestershire by John Kendall of Twycross and his wife, Isabella to John and Thomas Deken. The sale includes four messuages (dwellings with their outbuildings and associated land), four virgates of land (about one hundred and twenty acres), fourteen acres of meadow and rent of ten shillings with appurtenances (both legal privileges and liabilities). The payment for the land was one hundred marks.
(A transcript and copy of the will can be found here.)
Edmond Shepey’s will was written in English on 25 May 1509 and gained probate on 23 November of the same year. There was an inquest post mortem held in 1510 but details of this are yet to be found. The executors of the will were named as Edmond’s wife, Anne, and Sir “Rauff” or Ralph Shirley. Through the various religious devotions and bequests to churches around his lands the will provides insight into not only the property owned by Edmond Shepey but also some of his personal alliances.
Edmond Shepey’s last will and testament was written on 25th May 1509 and probate was granted on 23rd November of the same year. He bequeaths his property to his wife, Anne Shirley, during her lifetime, to revert to his rightful heir on her death. Following an inquest post-mortem Edmond’s manor at Smisby as well as other property passed to the Kendall family through the marriage of his sister, Margaret, to Bartholomew Kendall.
The Kendalls held the manor at Smisby for just over 150 years which spanned nine generations. However, the Kendall’s history while in the possession of the manor is not readily available and inaccuracies in written pedigrees and the passage of time have clouded their story.
The main sources are the pedigrees provided by the visitations of the Heralds as well as those sources which have elaborated on these, such as Nichols and HJB Kendall. Although it is better not to make assumptions and rely only on primary sources of information, in some cases there is a need to apply some reasoning to make sense of the available information. This article is a summary account which addresses the main personalities and some historical anomalies.
During the 16th century, Henry, the heir of George Kendall of Smisby, inherited sizable land and properties from his maternal grandfather. Henry Kendall’s mother is not named in the various pedigrees and neither is her father from whom the Kendalls gained considerable wealth. This article aims to identify this line of descent and provide an identity to Henry’s mother, the daughter of Jennings, and provide information on his grandfather.
Laid into the wall of St James’ Church, Smisby is an alabaster stone memorial to William Kendall and his wife Anne. The memorial is quite damaged and worn, mostly from foot traffic before it was moved from the chancel floor near the choir to its current location. Although there are large cracks in the slab there is also evidence of modern “restoration” which has replaced some of the original alabaster with modern pieces. The church was renovated during 1894 and 1895 and reopened in 1896, at which time the floor was raised to allow for heating channels to be put in and it is at this time the memorial slab was moved and the restoration damage occurred.
Anne Reddish1 was married to William Kendall (1490 – 1547) of Smisby and they had one son, George Kendall (1527-1566). In William Wryley’s 1592 copy of the visitation of Warwickshire 1569 she is recorded as “Ann dau. of Redishe of Redishe, co. lancs.” There is no further information readily available in other pedigree works, such as the Harleian, Nichols or Fletcher. At the time, Reddish was to the south east of Manchester in the County of Lancashire and although there is a pedigree for the family of that name with the armorial bearings of argent a lion rampant gules collared or, there was no obvious candidate for Anne, or mention of the Kendalls in the Reddish pedigree.
Orate pro animabus Thomœ & Ricardi Kendal
St James’s Church, Twycross was used by the Kendalls well into the 18th century. With regard to the church, in his work of 1622, Burton states that “In a South window the portrait of two men, kneeling the one having an arrow fixed in his head; the other, an arrow in the middle of his body; under which is written, Orate pro animabus Thomœ & Ricardi Kendal. The inhabitants report, that these two Kendals were slain with arrows at Bosworth Field, 1485”1.
George Kendall’s will was written in 1566 during the minority of his son and heir, Henry Kendall, by his first wife Joan Jennings the daughter and heiress of William Jennings of Westminster. He was survived by his second wife Mary Repington the daughter of Francis Repington of Amington. She was to remarry Clement Fisher of Great Packington.
George Kendall’s will is contained in the United Kingdom’s National Archives and is in folio 48 of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills in the series PROB 11 which relate to wills from 1384 to 12 January 1858. Probate was granted on 1 November 1566.