Found my first titled ancestor!

+7 votes

I've been hoping to find someone in the tree with a title. May I present Sir Edward Toye (1498-1558) who was the vicar of Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire.

Nothing is know about his father, but I believe the title must have been hereditary, and extinguished at his death due to lack of heirs.

He was the brother of London book publisher Robert Toye, of whom a great deal more is known.

WikiTree profile: Edward Toye
in The Tree House by Rob Judd G2G6 Mach 9 (96.8k points)
Ahem - If he did not have any heirs, then technically he cannot be your ancestor. He would actually be a relative.

I assume you are descended from one of his siblings, since he did have several siblings.
Well yes, I'm a descendant of his brother. I knew some pedant would say that. :)
To be fair, it's not pedantic to note the difference between an ancestor and a blood relative, like an uncle, here in a genealogical forum where the words are expected to mean something.
To be fair, you're contributing to the pedantry.
I'm an editor. Someone has to stand up for accuracy :)

2 Answers

+5 votes

"Sir" is the title used to designate the bearer of an honorary knighthood and in this instance, was probably bestowed by a bishop or other member the church hierarchy for services rendered to the church, not a monarch. In other words, not likely to be a hereditary title. 

You can read more here.

by Deb Durham G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
Well thank you, I didn't know that. Makes sense given the era.
+3 votes

I don't think it was a knighthood. Sir was a common 'title' used by  parish priests in this period. This suggests that it was used by those with BAs but not MAs who were called Master.

(edit, Eamon Duffy, in Voices of Morebath says the term was used for non graduate priests.)

It was a hugely difficult time  for many parish priests  and parishioners with all the turmoil. There was the introduction of the new prayer book, abandonment of Latin, throwing out of statues, lights , altar guilds and many of the activities associated with the church.Then it was  all reversed  for the reign of Mary;  until- all change again under Elizabeth.  Your man died in the year she came to the throne so he missed the last changes.

(If you're interested in finding out more;  a good book which describes these changes from the point of view of a vicar unhappy with the 'reform' is  'Voices of Morebath'. It's based upon a set of accounts compiled by the vicar Sir Christopher Trikay.A transcript of his account book is on archive but it's hard for the non specialist to interpret it

by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (349k points)
edited by Helen Ford

Edward wasn't vicar for long. Instituted in March1552/3  (still saw change from Edward's reign to Mary's.

Edit But though he wasn't vicar of the church for long, he was a Chantry priest at St Nicholas long before that 

Gill, Sylvia May (2010). Managing change in the English Reformation: the 1548 dissolution of the chantries and clergy of the Midland county surveys. University of Birmingham. Ph.D. 

pdf  (though I've copied all that mentions him)

"Edward Toye, chantry priest of St Nicholas in Cleobery Mortimer from 1532, was still there in 1552 when he witnessed a local will, appointed vicar in March 1553, he died there in 1558."


 Toye was appointed as chantry priest in Cleobury on, 20.1.1531/32, Hamilton Thompson, ‘Shropshire Chantry Certificates-Notes’ pp. 127-128. He also occurs as a witness (and possible scribe) of a local will, see Faraday, MA and Cole, E J L Hereford Probates, Administrations and Wills 1407- 1581 (London: British Record Society, 1989), ref 552/39 - Will of John Seward of Chaterton, Cleobury, 10.12.1552 - witness Edward Toye, clerk. As Vicar see TNA E334/4 f93r Composition Book 11.3.1553 and Toye’s own will is in HRO ref: 41/2/15 dated 15.4.1558. Toye’s replacement in Cleobury was appointed on 10.5.1558. 

Thanks Helen, I had been looking for some church history. I'll try to integrate some of that in his profile.

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