William Teye of Leyre Breton, Essex, esq?

+4 votes
No parish is given for the dwelling place of William Tey, just Essex. Could this be the same person?

The defendant in this Common Pleas case, Hilary term 1498, is William Teye, of Leyrebreton / Layer Breton, Essex, esquire.

Last entry, end of third line:
WikiTree profile: William Tey
in Genealogy Help by Vance Mead G2G6 Mach 1 (14.2k points)
edited by Traci Thiessen

2 Answers

+4 votes

His IPM is summarized here so maybe that helps https://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/series2-vol2/pp380-411

Was the Manor of Leyr del Hay the same as Layer Breton? I guess it probably wasn't.

by Andrew Lancaster G2G6 Pilot (108k points)

Layer de la Hay is a mile or two away from Layer Breton. A translation and transcription of his will is linked below. PCC (William Tay in TNA Discovery)

Made 22 May 1500, proved 26 October 1500
Bequests to churches of Layer de la Hay and Aldeham, Copford and Easthorp, to Bryche (Birch), high altars of Layer Bryton (Layer Breton) and of Goutherst. Two priests to celebrate for me in the University of Cambridge. Wife Elizabeth and son Thomas to be executors. "My wife to have the profits of all my purchased lands, till my younger sons come to full age, for the bringing up of my younger children; the residue to be applied to the marriage of my daughters. "

In IPM: Thomas Tey is his son and heir.

Looks like a pretty good match.

Well, they certainly look related, but those two Layers are not the same property are they? Also the one with the IPM died 8 June, 17 Henry VII which is in 1501, after the will you've found was proved, and his wife was named Isabel. On the other hand Elizabeth and Isabel were occasionally mixed up, and the wife is associated Aldeham. To me Aldeham is the biggest thing in favour of an equation, but it is a bit strange that other things don't line up quite right.

I do think you are on to something, but I'm going to try to find that PCC will on Ancestry :)

The date of death given in this profile is Died before 27 Oct 1500 in Essex, England.


A couple more Common Pleas cases:

This one in 1498:
William Taye, of Leyre de la Hay, Essex, esq, being sued for debt by William Nightinghale of London, draper.

And a Common Pleas case in 1489 gives more information about his wife, Isabel, daughter of Robert Basset:

The plaintiffs in the third entry:
William Teye & Isabel his wife, who was the wife of Robert Forster, daughter of Robert Basset, salter of London, executrix of Robert Basset, salter and alderman of London.


Vance yes the PCC testament and will are on Ancestry but I struggled so far to extract a probate date. I would honestly never trust the Ancestry.com transcription for something like this, in this period. They are almost always wrong.
Maybe someone with fresh eyes can check that PCC will for us or see something to resolve the issues.
Bit more squinting and yes the probate appears to have been done 26 October 1500, as in the ESAH article. Or at least I can see the words which should say this, and parts of them match. It is not an easy read. The Ancestry transcriber has been tricked by the "x" which looks like a bit like a modern idea of a "p". This still does not match the IPM, so it would be good to get more people looking at this.

TNA Discovery has the date 27 October 1500.

Maybe the weakest link is the IPM on BHO. The will was written 22 May 1500, he died in June, and probate in October. Somewhere along the line the IPM got the year wrong.

Or perhaps the transcription?
The date of probate looks like TNA got it right: vicesimo septimo day of October anno domino millimo quingentesimo. I haven't gone through the transcription/abstract word for word, but it looks reasonably accurate.
Is it septimo or sextimo, like the ESAH version? X was typically written in one movement with a loop on the right. P is typically done in at least two moves, with a line on the left and a distinct loop.
The letter p occurs twice in the word superscriptum to the left, with a loop and a straight downstroke. The letter x is in the word executrice two lines farther down and has a fishhook as the downstroke. The letter here, between the letters e and t, has a straight downstroke without the fishhook. The letter is squeezed in between the e and t and the downstroke goes down into the next line.

But it is immaterial whether probate was granted on the 26th or the 27th. The issue is whether this is the will of the person under discussion, or were there two William Teys living at the same time and place, both with a son and heir named Thomas?
+2 votes

Thanks, Vance. My eyes these days are not up to reading script of this period. The two further common pleas cases you have identified in response to Andrew Lancaster were already referred to on William Tey's profile. Does the 1498 one you refer to in your original question also relate to William Nightingale?

On the profile of William Tey, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Tey-8 I have added a link to the ESAH blogpost which gives an abstract of the will - thanks for that - and expanded what is said about his will. The will makes bequests to the churches of both Layer de la Haye and Layer Breton, with the former receiving a larger legacy, suggesting that, not surprisingly, the testator was likely to have had interests in the two closely neighbouring places.

As you and Andrew Lancaster will know, Elizabeth and Isabel were still quite often alternate forms of the same name in this period.

Unless clear evidence emerges to the contrary, I would myself be confident that all three cases you give links to relate to the same William Tey and that this was the person who made the 1500 will. I agree that there seems to be a mistake about his death year in either the IPM, or its transcript on British History Online.

by Michael Cayley G2G6 Pilot (123k points)
edited by Michael Cayley

Sorry, but I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the ipm information as incorrect.  I prefer the printed version (although it is still a transcription at least it is one less remove from the original) and all the dates line up.

Died 8 June 17 Henry VII (1502), writ issued 14 June 17 Henry VII and inquisition 15 Oct 18 Henry VII (still 1502)

Also his son and heir Thomas is aged 13 and I would have thought that would be too young to be named as an Executor?

A minor could be an executor if there was an administrator to act on his or her behalf. For example in a Common Pleas case from 1571, the defendants are:

William Pepper, of Richmond, Yorks, gent, administrator of Arthur Johnson during minority of Ralph Johnson, William Johnson & Anthony Johnson, executors of Arthur Johnson.


So I suppose Isabel, as executor, could also be the administratrix on behalf of her son. 

Also, the marriage of William Teye and Isabel can be pushed back to before 1489, as shown here, in 
Hilary term 1489:
William Teye & Isabel his wife, who was the wife of Robert Forster, daughter of Robert Basset, salter of London, executrix of Robert Basset, salter and alderman of London.


Incidentally this shows the name of Isabel's first husband, Robert Forster.

William’s will appoints his wife and his son Thomas as joint executors, and also makes it explicit that Thomas was not of age: lands were left to him when he became of full age. So there is no difficulty about his being a minor. As Vance has said, there was no legal impediment to a minor being named as executor in a will, though they would not be allowed to act themselves as executor until they became of full age.

As an aside, the position now in English law is not very different. The current legal position is that, if a named executor is under 18, it is the adult named executors who handle the estate - with special arrangements made in some circumstances to protect the interests of the minor, and with the minor becoming able to act as an executor if the estate is still being administered when they reach 18.
Looking at the provisions of the will, as set out in the abstract of the Essex Society for Archaeology and History, I can easily see why it would have made sense for William Tey to have named his oldest son Thomas as executor even though Thomas was under age. The will includes provisions for William's younger sons during their minority, and for his daughters’ marriages, and when Thomas reached full age he would be able, in his role as executor, to help ensure those provisions were carried out.

The History of Parliament article for the son Thomas Tey, does mention the discrepancy between the date of the probate and the ipm of his father, but doesn't appear to come to any conclusion over which is correct and has two different birth dates for Thomas.

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