Christopher Stables of Astlay (d. 1565 Swillington)

Christopher is the earliest confirmed ancestor of the South Yorkshire Stables Line and was a yeoman, which generally means that he owned and farmed his own land. However, we know that at the time of his death he was leasing his land, which was quite common at that time.

Nothing is known of his origins, although there is a Christopher Stable on the 1539 Muster Roll for the township of Rawdon in Guiseley, who is on the list of “billmen, havyng no harnesse; abill persons, footmen”. This could be our Christopher or perhaps his father. There is also a Robert Stable listed for Rawdon as an archer, being horsed and harnessed, who would probably have been a close relative of Christopher, maybe a brother, uncle or even his father.

In 1553, Christopher married Joanna Chamber, the daughter of Richard Chamber of Astlay at the parish church of Swillington.

They had three children:

Agnes Stable,
Margaret Stable,
Thomas Stable (baptised 1562/3 in Swillington).

Of his children, only Thomas seems to have been baptised at Swillington, which could indicate that the family lived elsewhere, and maybe had other children, in the decade between his marriage and the birth of their son.

In 1564, Christopher's father-in-law, Richard Chamber of Astlay, died leaving his house, farm and all appurtenances thereto belonging to Christopher. He obviously thought very highly of Christopher, as he appears to have disinherited his own sons in favour of him.

Christopher wrote his last will and testament in 1565 and died the following year. The lease on his farm was left to his wife until her death or re-marriage, after which it was to pass to his son Thomas. He also bequeathed a buckskin dublet and his best jacket to Arthur Chamber, his brother-in-law.

Two years after the death of Christopher, Joanna did indeed get re-married, to Lancelot Grave of Astley, and had a further six children to him, before her death in 1616.

Lancelot Grave & Johanna Chamber’s daughter, Elizabeth, married Richard Aske, who was descended from Robert Aske, who led the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536.

Special thanks to Michael Chance for writing this biography and deciphering his Will, whose transcript follows:

The Will of Christopher Stable of Astlay (Dated December 25th, 1565).

This is a transcript of the Will of Christopher Stable of Astlay, who died in 1565. The original is held at the Borthwick Institute, York. The will was proved at York on May 2nd, 1566.

In the name of god amen the xv day of december 1565 I xpofer Stable of Astlay in the pishe of Swillington being whole of mynd and pfct of memorie do ordeyne and make this my last will and Testament in manner and forme followinge First I give And comend my soull to god almyghtie my creator and to the mercie of Jesus crist my [redeemer?] and savior and my bodie to be buried in my pishe churche yeard of Swillington before said Item I gyve and bequest to arture chamber my buckskin dublet and my best Jacket Item I will that Jennet my wyf shall have my farmhold duringe hir widowhead and if she shall channce to marie I will that Thomas Stable my sone shall have the same my farmhold imediatelie after her such mariage for all such Tearme unexpired in the same as then shall channce to remayne, and yet neverthelesse if my said wyf doe marye with the good will and assent of my childrens next freinds that then she to remayne in the said farmhold for certayne yeares so that it be thought good by the said freinds to be for the preferment and proffit of my said children or els she not to marrie thither but to goo from the said farmhold and to leave yt to the next freinds of my said Sonne Thomas to his onlie use profit and comoditie as above is said. The rest of all my goods my debtes paid and my funerall expense performed and done I gyve unto the said Jennet my wyf. agnes. margaret and Thomas my children. This being witnesses Arthure Chamber John Shackleton and John Shackleton yonger Thomas Shackleton and others [There are then four lines of Latin which include the word 'Joanne'].

The Will of Richard Chamber of Astlay - Dated 1563

This is a transcript of the Will of Richard Chamber of Astlay, who was Christopher's father-in-law.

This will was very kindly transcribed by Michael Chance.

In nomine dei amen the third day of december in the yeare of or lord god 1563. I Richard Chamber
Husbandman dwellynge in astley in the pishe of Swillington beyng of holle mynd and in good and
perfect remembrance lawd and prayse be unto almyghtie god make and ordayne this my present
testament concernynge herein my last will in maner and forme followinge that is to saye ffirst
I bequeath my soull unto almyghtie god my maker and redeemer and my bodie to beburied in the
church yeard of Swyllington as ne the place where my wyf was buried as shalbe thought conve
nient, Item I bequithe to the use of the churche xijd. Item I bequithe and will that xpofer stable my
sonne in lawe shall have my holle and lawfull intrest in my house and farmhold with the
appurtenances therto belonginge after my deathe, Item I bequithe to the said xpofer stable viili for his wyfs
childs porcon to be paid furthe of my wholle goods and furthermore I bequithe to the above named
xpofer one stepsalt One kilne heire and a lead and to his wyf a brasse pott Item I bequithe Athoure my
sone viili for his childs porcon to be paid hym owte of my goods Item I bequithe to Henrie Chambe
 my sone xxvjs viijd and my best Jacket, Item I bequithe to Thomas Chamber my sone a Jacket clothe
and the rest of the clothe remayninge I gyve to the aforenamed xpofer stable, Item I bequithe to Alice
my doughter xxvjs viijd, Item I bequithe to alice and margaret shawe daughters of Willm Shawe
to either of them vjs viijd, Item I will that Jennet cudworthe my servant have all her goods
that she brought withe her trulie delivered unto her and xs in money yf any thinge be lackinge.
Item I bequithe to Robert Ellismonghe my servant xs. Item I bequithe to agnes bucke my made xijd
Item I bequithe to every one of my godchildren iiijd and of my wyffs gods children iiijd that ys
unpaid Item I bequithe to hilton wyf Edward tawdell Willm Futon John Kechin george store Thomas
taylor, Mathue Stable Willm Taylor, John hall, alice masse, Isabell mantle, Thomas Wilson and
Steven Kechin to everye one thes a pecke of corne against christimas Item I bequithe to Steven Kechin
my browne Jacket, Item I bequithe to George Cale my freise Jacket my wane lether dublet a paire
of hose a harden? sherte and my cappe, the rest of my apperell I gyve to xpofer stable and Thomas
my sone to be equallie devided betwixt them two/ The Residew of all my goods cattells and detts
after my detts paid my funerall expences performed and thes my legacies contented in this my
present testament fulfilled I whollie gyve and bequithe to my thre sones and two doughters above
naymed that is to saye Athoure, Henrye, Thomas, alice, and Jennet whom I make Executors of thi
 my last will, equallie to be devided amongst them This beyng wittnesses Henrie Richardson Clarke
John Shakilton the elder and Steven Kechin Et vicesimo die menfis aprilis anno dm millmo qn
gentisimoSexagesimo quarto dccmis de ______ ___ de appbacone hmoi testi p testis & Commissaqz
fuit asmistraco bonorus eiust Execut noiat inrat & solm cora comistiu qz &
Proved 20th April 1564

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