William Stable of Astlay & Kippax (b. 1599 Swillington, d. 1670 Swillington)
William was baptised at Swillington in 1599, the only surviving son of Thomas and Elizabeth.
In 1617, he married his first wife, Ann Browne of Barwick-in-Elmet, at her parish church and they moved to Kippax. She died the following year, without bearing him any children. It wasn’t unusual at this time for complications during the pregnancy or birth of their first child to lead to the death of the mother.
In 1619, he was re-married to Agnes Rhodes, the daughter of William Rhodes and Agnes Hall of Mirfield. They went on to have nine children and Agnes must have had something in her genes, as she produced one pair of twins and one set of triplets.
Unlike his father and grandfather, William actually owned his own land, and was assessed on the Skyrack Subsidy Roll for 1621 at 40s but just six years later, in 1627, he was assessed at just 20 shillings, an apparent drop in fortunes having occurred in the intervening years.
Agnes’s parents died in the plague at Mirfield in 1631 and it is possible that one of William & Agnes’s daughters, Sarah, also died in the plague there at just five years of age.
Agnes herself died in 1633 and was buried at St. Mary’s Church in Kippax. Wasting no time, William applied for a licence to marry Elisabeth Langfield of Knaresborough that very same year and they were married at St. Mary’s Church, Kippax in June 1634. At this time he was described as a gentleman.
William and Elizabeth had five children, all of them girls, between 1634 and 1642. They were all baptised at Kippax. For some reason, none of these children were mentioned in their grandfather’s will and when William and Agnes’s son, Joshua Stable, made his will in London, he described himself as ‘natural son of William Stable the Elder’, perhaps indicating that William had acquired step-children through one of his marriages.
It is likely that William handed over his wealth and estates to his eldest son, William, when he became too old to run them himself, on the understanding that he would be provided for by his son. Tragically, his son was to die in 1663, leaving the estate in the hands of his 14 year old grandson, William, and his appointed guardian William Heaton, who was William senior's son-in-law.
It would seem that the grandson and guardian were not disposed or willing to take care of William Senior and his wife and, by Easter 1669, William and Elizabeth were living in poverty. Elisabeth was 'laime' and they were 'readie to starve'. William appealed to the court for poor relief, which the court ordered was to be paid by his grandson, William and his guardian William Heaton. They made a single instalment and then 'utterlie refused to pay more'.
Unfortunately, William did not leave a will and there is no record of Elizabeth’s burial in either Swillington or Kippax, perhaps she returned to her home parish of Knaresborough after William’s death.
(Biography courtesy of Michael Chance).
The Will of Agnes Rhodes of Mirfield (Dated 1631)
Agnes Rhodes was William Stable Senior's mother-in-law (from his second wife, also called Agnes Rhodes). She left the couple £10 in her will.
Kindly transcribed by Michael Chance.
Agnes Rhodes 1631
In the name of God amen The ffourth day of October in the yeare of our Lord god 1631, Seeing that noething is more certaine then death and noething more uncertaine then the hower thereof Therefore, I Agnes Rhodes of Northorpp in Mirfeild in the Countie of Yorke Widdowe being old and aged in yeares and sickly in bodie but of good and perfect memorie (praised bee god for the same) doe make and ordeine this my last will and testament in writeing in manner and forme followinge. ffirst and principally I give and Comend my soule into the hands of Allmightie God my Creator assuredly trustinge and faithfully beleeveing have free remission of all my Sinnes by the precious death and bloud shedding of my Saviour And redeemer Jesus Christ the second person in trinity and by him to have life everlastinge amongst the blessed Saints of god And I Committ my bodie to the earth from whence it came in Stedfast hope of a Joyfull resurrection And the same to be buried in Christian buriall. Now my will and mynde is to dispose my goods and Chattells Creditts and debts which did discend and fall upon me by the death of my late husband William Rhodes of Northorpp in Mirfeild afforesaid in the said Countie deceased, in Manner and forme followinge And ffirst my mynde is that all my true and lawfull debts which I shall owe at my death, and alsoe the Charges of my funerall and other Church duties bee paid out of my whole goods which being done my will and mynde is that Agnes my daughter wife of William Stable shal have Tenn pounds in money to bee paid to her or to the said William Stable hir husband within twelve moneths next after my death of and for all their rights and interest to and out of my goods and Chattells by and after my death. Item I give to Hester my daughter wife of Richard Shepley ffiftie pounds to bee paid to her or to the said Richard Shepley her husband within twelve moneths next after my death of and for all their right and interest to and out of my goods and Chattells by and after my death Item I give to Sarah Rhodes my daughter Twentie Pounds to bee paid unto her within twelve moneths next after my death of and for all her right & interest to & out of my goods & chattels by & after my death. Item I give & bequeath unto Godfrey Rhodes one of my sonnes three shillings to bee paid to him the said Godfrey within Twelve moneths next after my death of & for all his right & interest to & out of my goods & Chattells by & after my death for that my late deceased Husband William Rhodes hath sufficiently preferred him with lands. Item I give & bequeath all the residue of my goods Chattells & Creditts & Rights not above herein bequeathed unto Josua Rhodes Jeremy Rhodes & William Rhodes my sonnes to bee equally devided amongst them And I doe make & ordaine the said Josua Rhodes Jeremy Rhodes & William Rhodes my sonnes joynte Executors of this my last will & testamente nothing doubting but they will faithfully execute the same accordinge to my speciall trust in them reposed In testimonie whereof unto this my present Testament & last will I the said Agnes Rhodes have sette my hand the day & yeare first above expressed in the presence of These beinge Witnesses hereof
Sara Rhodes, Barie Grant
The Will of William Rhodes of Mirfield (Dated 1631)
William Rhodes was William Stables Senior's father-in-law (from his second wife, Agnes Rhodes). He left the couple 20/- in his will and released William 'of all such debtes as he doth owe me'.
Kindly transcribed by Michael Chance.
William Rhodes 1631
In the name of God amen The eighteenth day of September in the yeare of our Lord 1631 Seeinge that noethinge is more certaine then death and noethinge more uncertaine then the houre thereof I William Rhodes of Northorpe in Mirfeild in the Countie of Yorke yeoman beinge Old and aged in yeares and sickley in bodie but of good and perfect memorie (Praised bee god for the same) doe ordaine and make this my last will and testament in writeinge in manner and forme followinge ffirst and principallie I give And Commend my soule into the hands of Allmightie God my Creator assuredlie trustinge and faithfullie beleeveinge to have free remission of all my synnes by the precious death and bloodsheddinge of my Saviour and redeemer Jesus Christ the second person in Trinitie and by him to have life everlastinge amongst the blessed Saints of god And I Committ my bodie to the earth from whence it came And the same to bee buried in Christian burial. Now my will and mynde is to dispose my goods and Chattells Creditts and debtes in manner and forme followeinge, And first my mynde is that all my true and lawfull debtes which I shall owe at my death and alsoe the Charges of my funeral and other Church duties bee paid and discharged out of my whole goods which being done my will and mynde is that Agnes now my wife shall have her third pte and right of the residue of my goods and Chattells accordinge to the Lawes of this realme and Custome within the province of yorke Item I give and bequeath unto Sarah Rhodes my daughter the Somme of One hundreth ffourescore and Tenn Pounds of lawfull Englishe money to bee paid to her within twelve moneths next after my death And I doe alsoe give to the said Sarah my daughter One bedd one Cupborde One Table and all other my goods usually standinge in my lower Parlour And I doe soe give the same money and goods to the said Sarah Rhodes in full satisfaction of and for her filiall and Childs porcon. Item I give to Hester my daughter wife of Richard Shepley ffiftie Pounds in money to bee paid to her or to the said Richard Shepley her husband within twelvemoneths next after my death And I doe alsoe give to the said Hester my daughter one bedd in full satisfaction to her and her said husband Richard Shepley of and for the filiall and Childs portion of the said Hester. Item I give and bequeath unto my sonne in Lawe William Stable and Agnes his wife my daughter the somme of Twentie shillings to bee paid within Twelve moneths next after my death, And I doe give and release the said William Stable all such debtes as he doth owe me in full satisfaction to him the said William Stable and agnes his wife of and for all their right and interest to and out of my goods and Chattells by and after my death Item I give and bequeath unto Godfrey Rhodes my sonne ffyve shillings to bee paid to him within twelvemoneths next after my death in full satisfaction of and for his filiall and Childs portion for that I have sufficiently preferred him with lands. Item I give and bequeath to the use of the poore of Mirfeild Tenn Pounds which Tenn Pounds my mynde is shalbee for pu..and the m…st …yed after the eighteene pence .. the pound in a yeare yearly for ever after my death ….. and use thereof to bee paid yearleie to the poore of Mirfeild (that is to say) by my executors dureinge their lives to such poore there as by them shall bee thought meete and needful. And after their death by the Churchwardens and overseers of the poore of Mirfeild and their Successors yearely for ever as by them in their discretions shalbee thought meete and Conveniente Item I give and bequeath all the Residue of goods Chattells Creditts and debtes not above herein bequeathed unto the said Agnes my wife And to Josua Rhodes Jeremie Rhodes and William Rhodes my sonnes to be equally devided amongst them. And I doe make and ordaine the said Agnes my wife and Josuah Rhodes Jeremie Rhodes and William Rhodes my sonnes Joynte Executors of this my last will and Testamente And I doe hereby revoake adnull and make voyde all other wills and Testaments whatsoever heretofore by me made. In wittnes whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale the day and yeare first above written These being wittnesses hereof Thomas Tomson Thomas Crosland