John Church

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ChartsAncestors of Harriet Hanson Robinson
John Church, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born about 1520.1 He died before 20 April 1577,1 when he was buried at Runwell, Essex, England.1

Davis makes these notes regarding John Church:
Much time and money have been spent in trying to identify the wife of that William Reade of Wickford who in his will made in 1603 named his brother Edmund Church. In the parish of North Benfleet, which adjoins Wickford, an Edmund Church was lord of the principal manor, and it seemed probable that William Reade's wife was one of the four sisters of this man, who was the son of a wealthy lawyer, John Church of Maldon, by his second wife, Mary Tyrrell. The records of this Church family were carefully searched over a period of years, without finding proof of a Church-Reade marriage. The chance examination of a will at Somerset House, however, has produced another John Church with a son Edmund and also definite proof of his daughter's marriage to William Reade.

John Church. . . leased the manor of Runwell Hall, in the parish of Runwell, co. Essex, from George White, Esq., sometime in the middle years of the sixteenth century. He had a nephew Francis Church who also lived at Runwell. The parish registers of Runwell begm With the year 1558 but there are no Church entries until the year 1573 when a child of Francis Church was baptized. From this fact and the reference in his will to his lands in the parish of Takeley, in the northern part of the county, it seems probable that the Churches were not natives of Runwell but came there from Takeley or Its neighborhood.

John Church married twice, but the name of his first wife and mother of his children is unknown. His second wife was Margaret (Wiseman) Everard, daughter of Sir John. Wiseman, Kt., and Lady Wiseman (Agnes Josselyn) and wldow of (---) Everard. Sir John Wiseman owned a great estate in the parish.2

John left a will dated 26 February 1577, and proved 10 June 1578 directing:
he be buried in the parish church, to which he bequeaths 13s. 4d. for repairs.
To the poor of the parish, 10s.
To my wife Margaret, £40, ten good kine, thirty good ewes, all such household goods as were hers, my young gelding, my dun mare and her colt and all those houses and lands, both copy and free, which I purchased of William Rogers, lying at Runwell street, for life. My wife shall continue here in my house of Runwell Hall and have one chamber, commonly called Thomas Church's chamber, and meat and drink provided for her at the cost of my executor, so long as she is unmarried and a widow. My wife shall have her kine and sheep well pastured and stored upon my farm at Runwell Hall, upon condition that she pay unto my son Thomas Church £3 : 6 : 8 yearly.
To my son Charles Church, £10, a silver bowl, sixteen good kine and four score good ewes, a gray trotting gelding, the standing bedstead in Thomas Church's chamber, all the houses and lands purchased from William Rogers, after the death of my wife, and that portion of my farm of Runwell Hall called Southlands, yielding to my son Thomas £8 yearly. Also to my son Charles, two pair of sheets, two pillowhears, one table cloth, one dozen of napkins, one towel, a basin
and ewer, a wainscot table standing in the hall, a spit and a pair of cob-irons with thrce feet.
To my son Edmund Church, all my lands in the parish of Takeley called the Great Park, sometime belonging to Colchester Hall, now in the tenure of John Scale, also that tenement of copy hold in Runwell called Princhettes, which I
purchased of one Onge and his wife, also one parcel of my farm of Runwell Hall called Eastfield, yielding therefor £4 to my son Thomas yearly. Also to my son Edmund, twelve good kine, seventy good ewes, a standing bedstead I lie in myself, two pair of sheets, two pillowbears, one tablecloth, one dozen napkins, one towel, one basin and ewer, a wainscot table standing in the hall, a silver bowl, a bay colt three years old, a spit and £10.
To my son Reade, £10.
To Edmund Reade, John Reade and Margaret Reade, my daughter Martha's children, £3: 6 : 8 apicce at the
age of fifteen years, with right of survivorship.
To Francis Greene, two heifer calves.
To every of my men, 5s. apiece.
To every of my maid-servants 2s. 6d. apiece.
To my cousin Francis Church, 20s. and twenty good ewe lambs.
To Charles Fuller, 5s.
Executor and residuary legatee: my son Thomas Church.
Overseer: Mr. George Whitt of Hutton, to whom £3 : 6 : 8 and a bay colt.
Witnesses : Thomas Jolie, parson of Thunderslcy, Howell Griffith, with others.3


  • Charles Church1 d. aft. 26 Feb 1577
  • Edmund Church1 d. aft. 4 Apr 1585
  • Thomas Church1 d. aft. 26 Feb 1577
  • Martha Church+1 b. say 1542, d. bef. 16 Dec 1577
This person was last edited on6 Oct 2016


  1. [S246] Walter Goodwin Davis and Gary Boyd Roberts, Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis (1885-1966): A Reprinting, in Alphabetical Order by Surname, of the Sixteen Multi-ancestor Compendia (Plus Thomas Haley of Winter Harbor and His Descendants), 16 vols. in 3 (1916-1963; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1996), 266, further cited as Davis and Roberts, Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis.
  2. [S246] Davis and Roberts, Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis, 1:266-267 (Church).
  3. [S246] Davis and Roberts, Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis, 1:266-267 (Church), citing Archdeaconry of Essex, 123 Brewer.