Saturday, 21 March 2009

The Search for George Gibbins

Exeter Cathedral

In the search for George Gibbins we have looked for references to Gibbins in the Bickleigh area around Tiverton.

This is the start of the One Name Study of Gibbins in Devon before 1760. The first was Edward Gibbons:

This document, found by Elizabeth Howard gave us the first lead:

Membrane 47. 12 October 2 Chas. I 1626
Tiverton: Bargin and sale by William Peterson Doctor in Divinity, one of the Cannons Resident of Exeter, to Edward Gibbons of Exeter, Batchellor in Musicke, of the grounds. Landes, pastures etc called Middlehill in Tiverton containing by estimation in the fourth part of the grounds, landes etc called Aishley Parke containing about 1000 acres and all woodes, wastes, waters, rentes, reversions, services etc. belonging to Middlehill which William lately purchased of William Carie of Clovellie Esq. Enrolment 17 October.

Note: Ashley Park is mid way between Tiverton and Bickleigh and in Priors Portion or Pris Quarter near Bickleigh.

Gibbons, Edward (bap. 1568, d. in or before 1650), musician, was baptized at St Mary the Great, Cambridge, on 21 March 1568, son of William Gibbons (c. 1540– 1595), innkeeper and member of the waits, and his wife, Mary (d. 1603), and elder brother of Orlando Gibbons (bap. 1583, d. 1625). Details of his early education are unknown, but it was as 'Mus. Bac from Cambridge' that he was incorporated at Oxford on 7 July 1592. From 1592 to 1598 he was a lay clerk at King's College, Cambridge, and instructor of the choristers, who for a time included Orlando Gibbons.

By 1607 Edward Gibbons was in Exeter. In 1608 he became instructor of the choristers at Exeter Cathedral, a task he often deputed to others. A dispensation gave him a vicar's place in 1609, but he was twice accused of negligence in his duties. His few compositions, vocal and instrumental, were probably written before this; competent, and occasionally moving, they survive in a number of libraries. He was custos of the college of priest-vicars by 1614, and succentor from 1615 to 1627.

When Orlando Gibbons's widow died in 1626 Edward Gibbons assumed responsibility for her children, including Christopher Gibbons (bap. 1615, d. 1676). Edward's wife, Jane, whom he had married by 1596 and with whom he had six children, was buried on 7 April 1628; he afterwards married Mary Bluet. His wives brought him money, and he owned an estate at Dunsford. It is said that during the civil war he and his family were turned out of their home. He last signed the cathedral accounts in 1645, and died before July 1650, when administration of his estate was granted in the prerogative court of Canterbury. He was survived by his wife, Mary, who was buried on 9 January 1664.

ECA book 61 dated 1619 page 201, Edward Gibbons of the Canonton.[Canonteign] in Christow.

DCNQ vol. V111 page 127
Edward Gibbons along with others, accused of selling and letting Custos estates to improve the impoverished custos. Christopher Manwaringe v. Custos & College of Vicars. PRO. Chan. Proc. B & A series ii 1617 - 1621

Edward held a farm called Dandiland at Dunsford and built an oratory there.

PRO E115/172/99 certificate of residence:
These are to certefie you that Eward Gibbons of the parishe of St. Paules within the countie of the cittie of Exon, Gent where he hath made his aboade and dwellinge for manie yeres past is in the said parishe rated and taxed towards the payment of the Third Subsidie of ffive entire Subsidies granted to his Majesty in the late Session of Parliamt, holden att Westm'att Six poundes in landes as well for his estate in Dandiland within the parishe of Dunsford in the hundred of wonford in the countie of Devon as for all his estate elsewhere which att the request of the said Edward Gibbons wee his Majesties commissioners for the said Subsidie with in the said cittie & countie of Exon have thought good to signifie yeven under or handes & Seals the Three & Twentieth daye of September Anno Dm 1628.

Edward Gibbons gent, paid subsidy tax of £6/24s in St.Pauls parish in 1629

He was loyal to the King and gave £1000 to the cause, but when asked for £50 for the Parliamentarians (Roundheads) he refused and was turned from his home and estates, even though he was some 80 years of age along with his aged wife and three of his grandchildren c. 1645.

An account has survived of the treatment metered out to Edward. Writing in 1704 a relative recalled how Gibbons aged about 88 yeares, was summoned before Mr. Adam Bennert, Mr. Richard Crossing. Mr. Richard Saunders and others, Commissioners for the Parliament, and there ordered to pay them £50, which if he refused to pay he must forthwith be carried on shipboard and appeare in London at Goldsmyth's Hall. Gibbons refused and so next day they granted a warrant directed to 3 men to seize all his goods, which they did, not leaving him a bed, nor so much as a dish or a spoone, and turned him and his wife and three grand children and four servants to doore and seized all his estate.

Rose Swanton is described as" nept ex filia". Edward Gibbons seems to have died in 1650. A decree by the PCC granting the admin of his affairs to Rose Swanton, evidently a niece of one of his daughters is dated 17 Jul 1650. Not recorded as being buried in the cathedral, the parish registers of Dunsford are incomplete and too are the BTs.

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