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The CLEEVELYS of Charlton Kings, Gloucestershire, England

The following transcript, being part 1 of 3, is reproduced with tacit approval of the author.
The 3 articles first appeared in Bulletins 11 - 13 of the Charlton Kings Local History Society in 1984.
For further information please write to Charlton Kings Local History Society
M. Southerton, 28 Chase Avenue, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, GL52 6YU, England.

The photographs and diagrams mentioned in the articles have not been introduced into the webpages as my versions are copies.
Two Family Tree Charts to assist you are available - 1585 - 1700's and 1798 - 1900's

There is no known connection to the webmaster, but these articles may be of use to others of the surname  - spelled in so many ways!

PAGE 29 (of the original)




This is an attempt at a family reconstruction covering a period of nearly 500 years for the Cleevelys are one of our really old Charlton families, active here since the early 16th century.  By the 1650s, there were already 5 family units in this parish, with others in Cheltenham, and that (in addition to the inevitable repetition of christian names) makes it difficult to be sure one's pedigree is accurate.  Our earliest register starting in 1538 is not quite complete.  Cheltenham's register starts in 1558 and must not be over­looked, since the town is so near and anyone holding land in Naunton was a Cheltenham parishioner.  We have lists of Charlton tenants in 1557 and 1564 (1) and we know the names of all who contributed to the cost of the 1625 Act to change our manorial custom (1).  We should have a list of all able-bodied men in 1608 (2), but (unless some Cleevelys were physically unfit) it does not appear to be comprehensive.  Cheltenham manor court books start in the late 16th century, and there is the invaluable survey of Cheltenham tenants in 1617 (3); but for Ashley manor we have nothing till 1696.  However, the real problem is that the Cleevelys in the main were craftsmen and small husbandmen, seldom yeomen.  When they held land, it was not their chief source of livelihood.  This makes them particularly interesting to study.

Any lengthy family reconstruction can be of more than genealogical value.  For the historian studying population trends, it provides a case history from which to deduce life expectancy, average age of marriage, tendency to marry within a close group of local families (in this case too, within a close group of allied crafts), number and frequency of offspring (in the Cleevelys, the tendency to twins), child survival rate.  For the economic historian, the study offers a simple gauge of prosperity in Charlton Kings, the narrow gap there was at times between making a living and having a struggle to over­come misfortune or sickness, the greater security that came with Cheltenham's increasing prosperity.  We have an indication of crafts practised in the village - the swing in this particular family, and presumably in others, from weaving to gardening, or the building trades - carpentering, plastering, plumbing, building generally, or to smithing - locksmith, whitesmith, blacksmith.


In the early 1700s, the simple homes of William, James, or Henry Cleevely, and the more up-to-date one of Thomas Cleevely (as evidenced in the hearth-tax roll or in wills and inventories) stand in marked contrast to the solid comforts and conveniences represented by Ivy Cottage in 1778, Thorntonville in 1849, and Hawthorne Villa in 1891.

The manorial historian may note that, though the 1625 Act changed the custom of both manors to make the eldest son rather than the youngest the copyhold heir, Charlton families like the Cleevelys obstinately adhered to the old ways - down to the 19th century, it was nearly always the youngest son who was provided for and to whom the property descended.  A father could ensure this by surrendering his copyhold to a trustee or to uses of his will during his lifetime - he could then dispose of both copyhold and freehold.  There was commonsense as well as conservatism behind this, but it is typical of Charlton people who continued to keep their parish accounts old style till 1800, and have always been noted for a strong (not to say stubborn!) sense of their special identity.

In this paper and those that follow, I have had to guess at some links in the family chain, though there are only two points on which serious doubt remains.  That we can study the family at all is thanks to the hard work already done by members of this Society in transcribing or abstracting parish registers, wills, inventories, and court books.  Without that preliminary labour, none of this would have been possible.

A word of warning is necessary.  One branch of the family now spells the name CLEEVELY and another CLEVELEY.  But this is an accidental development and has no significance.  In the past the name has come out as Cleevely, Cleeveley, Clevely, Clevelie, Cleavley, Clivly, Cleveley, Clevlay and other variations.  It was not till the 19th century that consistency in spelling surnames was considered desirable.


We find our first generation of Cleevelys in Charlton during the 1540s.  I have no evidence for any here before that date.  References in Winchcombe Abbey  - Land-boc sive Registrum ed.   Royce 1892 suggest that they came originally from the Oxfordshire hamlet of Cleveley in the Parish of Enstone, near Chipping Norton.  Enstone belonged to Winchcombe, and this connection could have brought a family from Cleveley into this part of Gloucestershire in the early 16th century.


  • daughter Margery baptised 7 February 1543/4, buried 11 March.

  • wife Alice buried 27 February 1543/4

No need to comment on this double tragedy.  Robert apparently left no offspring, but it is possible that JOHN /3/, with sons called Robert, was a brother.


  • wife Margaret buried 19 October 1544

  • wife Alice, married 15 July 1546, buried 14 June 1548

  • daughter Annes baptised 4 October 1546

Raynould was a Cheltenham manor tenant.  In 1557 he held 10 acres, out of which he was permitted to inclose one acre "at his close end".  By the time the next inclosure was authorized in 1564, Raynould's tenement had been taken over by a John Holder, who was to inclose one acre in the croft (i.e. the one at the close end) and one in Badleton.  Presumably John had married the heiress Annes or Agnes, who would by then have been aged 17-18.  John Holder with land in Battle­down probably lived in Cudnall (as other Holders did); Raynould may have done so too.


/3/ JOHN

  • daughter Margery baptised 25 February 1543/4

  • daughter Alice buried 7 May 1546

  • daughter Agnes baptised 3 May 1546

It looks as though John's first wife may have died in May 1546.

  • wife Joane, married 3 October 1547, buried Cheltenham 28 Sept 1580

  • daughter Jane baptised 16 February 1547/8

  • son Robert buried 19 November 1550

  • daughter Margery baptised 9 March 1550/1, married Nicholas Digason 21 Nov. 1573

  • son ROBERT baptised 5 November 1552

No John Cleevely appears in the list of Charlton tenants for 1557, so he held no land here then, and there is no further reference in the register to him or his son Robert. A Robert Cleevely appears in Cheltenham 20 years later ­his first wife Catherine was buried on 22 September 1573 and on 27 January 1579/80 he married Alice Wood. This couple had a son ROBERT baptised at Cheltenham on 19 June 1581.

I imagine that it was Robert the younger who got himself fined 5s. in 1611 for supporting some players who were trying to stage a play in Cheltenham against the Bailiff's prohibition.  And this tells us something about the Cleevelys we wouldn't otherwise know!

It was presumably the same Robert Clevely who was fined on 10 April 1629 for playing shuffleboard in the house of Robert Gotheridge (4).


  • son THOMAS baptised 30 November 1544

  • daughter Alise baptised 17 October 1546

  • daughter Elizabeth baptised 13 March 1548/9

  • daughter Joane baptised 12 September 1552, buried 18 March 1567

  • daughter Agnes baptised Cheltenham 25 January 1557/8 

  • Thomas Clevely senior buried Cheltenham 31 August 1581

  • Agnes Cleevely widow buried Cheltenham 8 June 1588

In 1545 Thomas Clevelly owed 2s 3d to a Charlton testator Thomas Barne; and his daughter Alice may have been the Alys Clevely to whom "a blacke frockee which (testator) did customarily wear upon Sundays" was left by Margery Taylor alias Ruggdale in 1557 (5).  Thomas's daughter would have been 11 by then and the black, Sunday frock, cut down, would have made her a mourning dress.

Thomas Cleevely held no land in Charlton in 1557, and may have moved into Cheltenham about that time, for a daughter Agnes was baptised there early in 1558.

Several Cleevely girls were married during this period:­

  • Jone married William Jones at Cheltenham, 6 July 1575

  • Agnes married Robert Coxe at Cheltenham, 31 October 1576

  • Agnes married Henrie West at Cheltenham, 4 June 1579

  • Jone married Even Hewes at Cheltenham, 30 January 1579/80

  • Jone married Gruffyn Jones, 17 January 1582/3

  • Alise married Morgan Lewys at Cheltenham, 6 June 1583

  • Jane married John Cox at Charlton Kings, 8 May 1592

  • Agnes married Robert Ible at Cheltenham, 15 August 1597


Some of these may be the daughters of John or of Thomas.  Cambridge population studies have  found that the marriage of girls in their late twenties was normal in this period; parents had to apprentice their sons and set them up in life before they could begin to save dowries for daughters.

THOMAS, baptised at Charlton on 30 November 1544 may be the Thomas who on 17 November 1581 married Agnes Miltone at Cheltenham.  If so, he was waiting for his father's death to give him a home in to which to bring a bride.  The children of this marriage were all baptised at Cheltenham.

  • son Frances, baptised 14 October 1582, married Cheltenham 1608 Jone Hawkins

  • son THOMAS, baptised 2 February 1583/4

  • son John, baptised 18 April 1585

  • son WALTER, baptised 13 June 1586

  • daughter Agnes, baptised 14 January 1589/90

Walter, being the youngest son, was customary heir.  The Miltons held land in Naunton and so did Walter Cleevely. In 1649 he fixed a jointure for his wife Alice and then surrendered the same lands, after his and his wife's deaths, to use of his son WALTER, described as his heir.  Yet THOMAS is said to be his eldest son.  Under the Act of 1625, Thomas inherited another messuage in the same tithing, late Nicholas Bradwayes (6); this messuage may have been Alice's inheritance. Walter Cleevely the second married a Sarah and Thomas, an Elioner; so perhaps this is the Thomas who married Elinor Combe at Seven­hampton in 1651. The court books show that Walter son of Walter Cleevely had inherited both his father's and his uncle's messuages by 1660 (7). A later WALTER married Sarah Collens in Cheltenham in 1712.

/5/ WILLIAM - presumably born about 1570, perhaps a weaver (but not baptised in Charlton or Cheltenham)

  • wife Margaret, buried 5 October 1617

  • daughter Yeadith, baptised 26 May 1596

  • son Richard, baptised 30 June 1601

  • son John, baptised 10 November 1603

William may have been the William Clevelay fined 3s 4d for neglecting (with 9 others) to practise archery in 1597 -he would have been about 27 at the time (8).

This William would be about 38 in 1608, and so may be the William Cleevly weaver listed without any age or description in Men and Armour.  William /9/ son of Henry and Sibill would have been 19 in 1608 and old enough to be enlisted, and he could have learnt weaving from his half-brother John. /7/.  On the other hand, William was heir to all his father's land, and more likely to have worked the holding for him.

William /5/ called one of his sons Richard, an unusual name for a Cleevely.  After his wife's death, William seems to have left the parish, with his family.  His sons would have been 16 and 14, of an age to be or have been apprenticed.

/6/ HENRY - Henry Cleevely, an Ashley manor tenant, was presumably born before our register starts, perhaps about 1535, for he was of age before 1557 when he held a 5 acre tenement.  He was probably living in Cudnall, since he had half an acre 


in the Sladd, the little valley north of Cudnall Bank.  He was allowed to inclose this half acre in 1557 and in 1564 a further quarter acre, giving him "three little closes" in the Sladd.  A five acre small-holding would hardly keep a family, so we may assume that Henry had a trade as well.  He may have been a weaver.

I take the Ashley tenant of 1557 and 1564 to be the Henry Cleevely of the register.

HENRY - born c.1535, buried 27 October 1614

  • wife Katherin Brevell, married 28 June 1568, buried 4 Sept. 1586

  • daughter Alice, baptised 15 November 1569, buried 4 Jan 1587/8

  • son JOHN, baptised 14 March 1571/2

  • daughter Elinor baptised 26 July 1575 married John Robines 22 October 1602

  • son Thomas, baptised 23 March 1577/8

  • wife Sible Reignould, married 26 May 1587

  • son WILLIAM, baptised 15 May 1588, buried 15 Jan 1669/70

  • servant Alice Tuffley buried 18 December 1600

Henry's first wife came from an old Charlton family, here before the mid 15th century rental of Cheltenham manor.  There were several Brevells active in the 16th century, particularly John, son and executor of Jone Brevell widow under her will of 1537 (9).  John was buried on 19 May 1548.  He left a daughter Katherin, baptised on 11 April 1543, so she was 25 when she married Henry Cleevely in 1568.  Her groom must have been about 33; with so little land, he could hardly have afforded to marry sooner.  His wife's portion (in money or land) enabled Henry to add to his holding under Ashley manor.  Henry's second wife Sibill Reignould or Reynoldes was also an heiress.  She was the only child of Thomas Reginoldes or Reynoldes a Cheltenham tenant, and his wife Katherin.  In 1557 William Reynolds held an eleven acre tenement out of which he was allowed to inclose one acre in Caner Croft.  He was presumably the William Raynould who married Alice on 6 February 1543/4; they had an only child Thomas who died young; and Alice herself was buried on 7 November 1560.  There is no record of William's death; but by 1564 his 11 acre tenement had passed to one Richard Reynolds (perhaps a brother), who inclosed one acre of it in Reynoldesmeade.  From Richard the holding passed to Thomas.  He was not married in Charlton or Cheltenham and his daughter was not baptised here, so he may have been nephew rather than son to Richard.  However, he was here by 1587, when his daughter found a husband in Charlton, and he was buried here on 25 May 1591.  His widow was buried here too, on 27 June 1594.  Under the custom of the manor, they could each of them have charged their holding by grants for 12 years from their deaths, but they had not done this and by 1598 the way was clear for Henry Cleevely to claim as husband of Sibill and to be admitted to his father-in-law's messuage and land.  A rent of 2s 4d was payable to the lord (10).

Thus Henry now held land under both manors; and according to custom, his youngest son William was heir to the whole.

If Henry Cleevely were born about 1535, he will have been 52 at the time of his second marriage (which produced only one child) and about 79 when he died in 1614.


PAGE 35 

/7/ JOHN - eldest son of Henry and Katherin

  • baptised 14 March 1571/2, buried 30 November 1649

  • wife Anne Goodriche, married 2 September 1601, buried 27 Sept 1641

  • son Henrie baptised 6 February 1601/2

  • daughter Ann baptised 3 June 1613

There were two John Cleevelys fit to serve in 1608, according to Men and Armour. One was a husbandman, aged about 40, tall and suitable for a pikeman. The other also about 40, was a weaver, short of stature and only fit "to handle a calyver". This second John seems likely to be Henry's eldest son, who as eldest son could not inherit any of his land and would therefore be put to learn a craft. He was born early in 1572 and would in fact have been 36 in 1608. Was he the John Cliveley in trouble for playing unlawful games in 1609? (11)

John made a nuncupative or verbal will in 1649 (G.R.O. 1650/32).  In it he mentioned his brother William Cleevely the elder (i.e. his half-brother William) and William Cleevely the younger (his half-nephew).  They were to oversee his will.  His daughter Anne had married William Okely of Charlton and had 5 children by him who were to receive from their grandfather £5 apiece at the age of 24 or marriage.  We know from our second parish register that these children were Jane (baptised 19 June 1636); Elizabeth (22 September 1639); William (12 June 1643); Deborah (14 May 1646) and Margaret (born 17 October 1654, buried 17 November 1688) - William Okely the father was buried on 20 September 1674.

John's will also speaks of a Henry Cleevely of Prestbury who had made the testator a trustee for £16.13.4 intended for Henry's daughter Anne.  This trust money is covered by a legacy of £21.13s.4d to her, by which she would receive her own with interest.  All the remainder of John's goods were left to Henry Cleevely the testator's grandson, who must be a son of Henry born 1602.  That Henry married Jane Dickerson on 12 June 1630, and seems to have died before his father.  His son Henry, John's grandson and residuary legatee, may be the Henry Cleevely who married Elizabeth Robinson at Edgeworth in 1665.

A Henry Cleevely was assaulted on 9 March 1622/3 by Robert Dowdeswell of Charlton Kings, who at the next court on 1 April 1623 found himself fined 12d for an affray (12). It could have been and probably was Henry son of John, who would have been 20 in that year; it might have been Henry Cleevely of Prestbury, whoever he was.

/8/ THOMAS - second son of Henry and Katherin, baptised 1578.

If John the eldest son carried on his father's trade as a weaver, and William the youngest son took over all his father's land (as according to the custom he must have done), then there was no place in Charlton for the middle son Thomas.  Did he move to Prestbury and become the father of that Henry Cleevely of Prestbury mentioned in John's will?

I feel that this Thomas cannot be the man who married in Charlton and brought up a family here (see /17/ in Part II).

/9/ WILLIAM - youngest son of Henry, and only child of his second wife Sibill

  • William baptised 15 May 1588, buried 15 January 1669/70

  • wife Jane Alexander alias Mauncell, married 29 September 1608, buried 14 January 1663/4

  • son WILLIAM, baptised 1 January 1611/12 buried 8 Nov 1667

PAGE 36 

  • daughter Edith, baptised 28 August 1614, married John Howlder 4 February 1638/9 (aged 24)

  • daughter Elizabeth, baptised 7 September 1617, buried 23 Oct 1635

  • son ROBERT, baptised 10 December 1620, dead by 1669

  • daughter Deborah, baptised 14 September 1623

  • daughter Jane, baptised 30 July 1626, married Walter Alexander alias Mansell July 1662

  • son William baptised 20 March 1627/8

  • son John, baptised 2 May 1629, buried 28 August 1629

  • son HENRY, baptised 21 February 1630/1, buried 16 March 1667/8; married Mary, buried 7 July 1689

On 22 April 1608, Henry and Sibill surrendered the Reginoldes messuage to use of their son William as Henry's youngest son and customary heir, and paid 33s 4d in lieu of heriot. William then surrendered a moiety to their use for life (13).  All this was to pave the way for the marriage of William Cleevely junior to Jane Alexander alias Mauncell, a member of another established Charlton family.

William's father died in 1614 and so when the 1617 survey of the manor of Cheltenham was drawn up, William Cleevely was base tenant of the whole of a messuage in Charlton, consisting of a house, barn, garden, backside, le Homestead (2 acres); closes of pasture called Bacons Combe and Reynolds Grove (together 8 acres) the same presumably as the 1564 Reynoldesmeade; pasture at Wynyards Bushes and a selion arable (together 2 acres).  This gave him a total of 14 acres (3 more than the Reynolds held in 1564).  The house was known as Churchend Meese and was somewhere in Hollow Lane (now Horsefair Street).  We know from other references that William Cleevely or Clylie's house stood on the north side of one built by Roger Holder about 1625, and that William shared a boundary with Richard Rooke - viewers were appointed in 1631 to fix the exact line between Cleevely's homestead and Rooke's close called Veysons (14). That puts William's house on the west side of Hollow Lane; and as it was known as Church­end Meese, it was an ancient tenement, not a new house.  This identifies it, in all probability, with the timber-framed and thatched cottage opposite The Grange occupied in the 1920s by Mrs. Summers and pulled down about 1929.

(Street plan and photograph)

  • From tithe map 1848

  • Churchend Meese

  • The cottage was tithe free by 1848


William Cleevely also inherited his father's land held under Ashley.  We don't know where this was, but clearly it was more than the 5 acre tenement Henry Cleevely had held in 1557.  When Charlton tenants taxed themselves to pay for the new Act in 1625, William paid 5s 10d for his Cheltenham tenement, but 7s 6d for his Ashley one.

In 1631, William Cleevely acted as churchwarden of St. Mary's, with Robert Mansell.  William outlived all his sons and for this reason it seems better to deal with them and their children before discussing the provisions of his will.

/10/ WILLIAM - eldest son of William and Jane

  • baptised 1 January 1611/12, buried 8 November 1667

  • wife Margaret Holder, married 28 April 1627, buried 28 January 1637/8

  • daughter Jane, baptised 26 February 1629/30 married -- Broade

  • daughter Margery, baptised 2 September 1632, married John Maisie (son William mentioned in father's will)

  • son JAMES, baptised 24 August 1634

For their eldest son WILLIAM (who under the new act would have been the heir, had he been born after 1625 instead of in 1612), William and Jane arranged a marriage with Margaret Holder, an heiress.

Back in 1557, Nicholas Holder of Cudnall had been one of the largest land­holders in Charlton.  He had l00 acres under Cheltenham and 5 under Ashley.  By 1564 he had divided this so that he cultivated 65 acres himself and another member of the clan, John Holder senior, cultivated the other 40 as his sub­tenant.  Together they were allowed to inclose 93/4 acres and 6 acres, including a close in Cudnall called Nine Lands.

This Holder tenement did not include the 10 acres previously Raynould Cleevely's, which by 1564 were held by a different John Holder.

By 1617, Roger Holder was in possession of the main house, Cudnalls Meese, and also 3 messuages in Bafford. He had 3 daughters by his wife Joane, buried 7 April 1603; the girls were Margaret, Yedith (baptised 1 March 1600/1) and Joane (baptised 7 April 1603, the day of her mother's funeral). Roger married again, but had no children by his second wife Margaret. So to provide fairly for his eldest daughter, Roger on 29 July 1625 surrendered to use of William Hugill a messuage with garden, and backside (1 acre), a close called 'les Nine Landes' (11 acres), 2 butts of meadow adjoining land of Walter Martin (the miller), 'le Litle Hill' (1/4 acre), an acre on 'le Bancke' in Cuddenhillfeild, an acre of arable and a parcel of meadow called a Sladd adjoining it in Mill furlong (somewhere near the present Beaufort Arms).  All these had been parts of his tenement in 1617.  This share was to pay 6s heriot, 17d in lieu of work services and 4d common fine (17d and 4d being the full amount under these heads payable on the old messuage, so it looks as though the eldest daughter's share was to include the Cudnall home).  By surrendering in this way, Roger gave himself the power to divide his property; otherwise, the customary heir would have inherited the whole, and in 1625 this would have been Joan the youngest daughter.  The surrender was in anticipation of Margaret's marriage to William Cleevely, which took place on 28 April 1627. In consideration of the forthcoming wedding, William Hugill the trustee and his wife on 28 March 1627 surrendered to use of William and his intended wife Margaret and their heirs a messuage with garden and yard (! acre) and land formerly parcel of a messuage of Roger Holder called Cuddenhills Meese (15).


It was this William known as William Cleevely the younger who acted with his father as overseer of his uncle John's will in 1649-50.

If we have rightly identified the Men and Armour list, John was a weaver, and so was his nephew William, according to his own will dated 26 October 1667 (G.R.O. 1668/244).  To his sons William and James, the testator left 12d. apiece and to his daughter Jane Broade 20s.; but it was to his daughter Margery Maisie that his thoughts turned when he was disposing of his goods. Each of Margery's children, Margery, Jane, and Ann, were to receive some of the household gear ­ Margerie two dishes of pewter, Jane one great brass kettle, Ann two dishes of pewter and a brass candlestick.  The residue of the testator's goods were left to his son-in-law John Maisie as sole executor, the sons being stripped of furniture altogether - presumably they had already been set up in life.  This will was proved on 20 April 1668.

It would seem that the Maisies were not well off and that was why William Cleevely wanted to help his three granddaughters.  John Maisey was buried on 11 May 1693, leaving his youngest daughter Ann in such need that the parish gave her 5s.; she continued to be a burden on the parish for years, clothes being made for her regularly and her spinning wheel having to be repaired for her in 1727.  With this help she just managed to keep her head above water (16).

/11/ WILLIAM - the son mentioned in his father's will, does not appear again. JAMES had the messuage in Cudnall inherited from the Holders; a surrender during his father's lifetime would have ensured that it came to him instead of William, and there was still a feeling that the younger son had a special claim. We have no record of this, for the Cheltenham court books for 1660-1691 are lost. In the 1671-2 hearth-tax, James Cleevely was among those householders discharged from paying any tax and he paid no parish lewn in 1696.  By then he would have been 62.

There is a problem about James Cleevely at present unresolved.  The only James baptised in Charlton is this son of William and Margaret in 1634, and the only James Cleevely buried in Charlton was not buried till 1 October 1734.  This makes him l00, an improbable age.  A James born in 1634 could have married during the 1650s when the registers are imperfect or before a parish registrar rather than in church and could have had a son James who was not baptised and whose birth was not recorded in the register.  But then one would expect the older James and his wife to be buried here.  The James who lived in Cudnall at the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century has to be either James born 1634 or a son James or possibly a nephew born elsewhere, for he held part of the land which had been Margaret Holder's portion, and in particular the close called Nine Lands.

A James Cleevely married Sarah, one of the two surviving daughters of Robert Green.  In 1685 Robert settled his house and garden on his daughter Mary and heirs of her body, or in default on his daughter Sarah.  Mary married Cole Hall on 26 September 1687 and they had a son Robert baptised on 21 September 1690. Mary was buried on 4 October 1725 and her son claimed the Green property in due course (17). So Sarah Green did not in fact inherit anything from her father. She must have married James Cleevely after 1685 but not in Charlton or any parish included in the marriage index.

James' dwelling had only one fire, but it was large enough for him to take an official lodger.  From c.1696 James and Sarah were paid £1.5s.0d. a year by the parish for housing a certain Thomas Rucke, probably a cobbler by trade since the parish gave him 5s worth of leather. (Rucke may have been a distant relation through the Holders).  Payments for Rucke continued till his death; he was buried on 3 August 1701 (16).


About the turn of the century, James and Sarah began to dispose of their property.  They do not appear to have had any children to leave it to.  First, on 16 October 1699, they surrendered the close at Nine Lands (part of the Holder tenement since 1557) to Daniel Ellis of Cudnall (18).  Then on 16 April 1709 they surrendered all their Cheltenham manor copyhold to use of themselves for their lives, heirs of their bodies, or James' heirs.  On this surrender they paid 5s. ½d (less than the full 6s heriot paid in 1627 because they had sold Nine Lands).  On 21 October in the same year they surrendered to use of John Hall a dwellinghouse and garden, with land of Henry Cleevely on the west and the highway east.  This time the heriot was only ls. 10d., so James and Sarah were not parting with their ancient messuage, only an extra house built on their land elsewhere (19) James was still able to present at Cheltenham manor court as a tenant in 1725 (20). Actually, John Hall predeceased James and Sarah, and on 15 October 1729 Thomas his son and heir was claiming the dwellinghouse surrendered to his father in 1709 and paying the ls 10d heriot (21).

Sarah wife of James Cleevely was buried on 24 April 1730.  So on 29 April 1732, James now a widower, in consideration of £10 down and 25s to be paid to him on 24 December and 24 March during his life, surrendered to use of Thomas Halling all his customary messuages and lands in Charlton Kings, Thomas pro­mising to repair the premises and deduct cost from James' allowance if the latter were not able to do the work himself (22).  There would be timber available for repairs.  As things turned out, the half yearly payments did not have to be paid for long.  James Cleevely was buried on 1 October 1734.  This means that there are no descendants, so far as we can tell, from William Cleevely the weaver, eldest son of William and Jane.

/12/ HENRY - youngest son of William and Jane

  • baptised 21 Feb 1630/1, buried 16 March 1667/8

  • wife Mary Ashmeade married 1653, buried 7 July 1689

  • daughter Deborah, born 30 Sept 1654, buried 4 April 1673 daughter Mary, born 9 Feb 1655/6

  • son William, birth not recorded (probably c.1657-8); in Gloucester 1669

  • son Henry, birth not recorded (probably c.1659-60), youngest son who inherits

On 25 April 1653, William Cleevely the elder /8/ limited a jointure for his wife Jane for her life and then granted the same property to two trustees for his own life and 6 years after, for his own benefit.  Finally he surrendered his messuage called the Churchend Meese and lands to use of Henry Cleevely his youngest son and Henry's wife Mary and their heirs.  This suggests that in 1653 Henry the son had just married, (23), so he must be the Henry who married Mary Ashmeade at Cheltenham in that year.

Trouble struck the Cleevely family in 1667-9.  The 4 sons of William Cleevely senior all died within those two years; and William the elder was himself buried on 15 January 1669/70, having outlived them all.  Describing himself as a yeoman, he made his will on 25 August 1669.  In it he refers to his brother­in-law Richard Mansell; his sons-in-law John Holder and Walter Alexander alias Mansell who were to be overseers; no less than three daughters-in-law named Mary and widowed, one living in Charlton Kings, one in Gloucester, and one in Churcham.  The Gloucester widow will be Mary, widow of Henry, whose son William is said by his grandfather to be living in the City of Gloucester (we may guess as an apprentice or even perhaps a schoolboy).


From some source not disclosed, William had acquired an interest in a house in Churcham, at his disposal for a term of 6 years.  It consisted of house, close, garden, and backside.  The house was divided, part already in occupa­tion of a Mary Cleevely widow "living at Churcham in the said Messuage" - she was to have one sufficient load of wood yearly during the 6 years out of the part of the premises not in her possession.  Mary Cleevely widow, of Charlton, was to have the 6 years interest in the part of the house occupied by her sister-in-law. Mary Cleevely of Gloucester was to receive 40s a year out of it.  Her son William Cleevely of Gloucester was going to inherit at the end of the term (this must already have been settled on him).

So various pieces of furniture were to be left in the house as "standards" for his eventual use - the table-board in the hall, the frame, forms and benches, the cistern, oast, malt-mill, horse racks, manger, beast racks, and stalls. But the testator's son Henry had left debts, and £10"if it may be raysed" was to be paid to the creditor Robert Brassenton.

The executrix was to be the testator's granddaughter Deborah "that liveth with me"; she was to have £10 for herself and all the residue of his goods and chattels.

There is no reference in the will to William's Charlton tenement because that had been settled by the surrender of 1653. The testator was buried on 15 January 1669/70 and the will proved in 1670 (G.R.O. 1670/217).  Mary Cleevely of Charlton widow, mentioned in the will, must be the Mary Cleevely excused Hearth Tax on her one hearth in the following year.

/13/ HENRY - husbandman

  • probably born c.1659-60, inherited 1670, buried 15 March 1732/3

  • wife Sussanah Goodrich, married 23 January 1685/6

  • daughter Jane, buried 9 April 1686

  • son WILLIAM, baptised 8 December 1686

  • daughter Mary baptised 24 May 1689

  • daughter Edith, baptised 6 April 1694, married -- Edwards

  • daughter Sarah, baptised 27 November 1698, married at Nether Swell 1729 John Arkell

  • daughter Susannah, baptised 4 December 1706, married at Rendcomb 1728 Robert Ratcliff

Susannah Goodrich's people came from Ham and were among the better-most Charlton folk.

Henry had inherited his grandfather's Ashley manor land as well as his Cheltenham manor tenement.  So we find him (with William Robins) receiving an out-of-court surrender in 1712 (24), and he was a member of the homage at courts in May 1718 and June 1722.  He gradually sold it all, one transaction taking place on 26 January 1732/3 when for £10 Henry and Susannah surrendered to use of Samuel Cooper (of Charlton House) and his nephew and heir Samuel Sloper, 2 ridges of arable on Cudnall Bank north of the highway (25).

He kept his Cheltenham manor lands intact, except for the exchange of a selion with John Prinn of Forden House in 1709 (26).  However, when he was about 70, Henry decided to give up husbandry.  So on 15 December 1732, he and his wife surrendered to use of John Prinn the greater part of the land which had always belonged to the ancient Reynolds tenement, Churchend Meese. For £80 they


surrendered Bacon-comb with a grove or wood in Charlton, a selions in Gon or Gong furlong in Naunton, and the land in Charlton Lower field (27).  That left them with the old house, the garden, orchard, and the adjoining close of I½ acres.  They surrendered this residue on 5 March 1732/3 to use of themselves and their heirs, paying a heriot of 4s 6d (28).  It was land enough to justify Henry in still calling himself a husbandman.

Henry had made his will on 5 November 1732, just before the sale and settlement.  It is very simple; two shillings and six pence to each of his children "if they will accept of it" and everything else to his wife (G.R.O. 1733/128).  His inventory shows that he owned no stock or implements of husbandry when he died.  Presumably he had sold them or given them to his children.

The inventory of his goods as taken on 18 April 1733, their total value being only £9.16s.0s.

							£	 s	d
Imprimis his Purse and Wearing Apparell			1	 1	0 
In the Lower Roome I Table Board & frame
1 other table & frame
3 joint stooles, five chairs & coffer			-	 6	0 
A Bed & Bedstead & Bolster a little Pillow & Healing	1	 2	6
3 pr of sheets, 5 Pillow Bears & some odd lining	-	18	0
A Warming pan & a Spinning Wheele			-	 2	0
In the Buttery, a Brass pan, 2 kettles, a mettle pot a 
small Brass pott, 2 skilletts 2 cowles
3 half hogsheads, 2 Barrells, 3 Cowles			2	16	0 
A Brewing fatt and a parcel of ---and other Vessells
In the Chamber an ordinary Bed & Bedstead a Chest a 
Coverlid Bolster & two Pillowes a pair of Scales	1	15	6
A parcell of Wood					1	10	0 
In the Backside & Outhouse a parcell Wood a ladder and
 some other lumber unnamed				1	 5	0
							£9	16	0

The house was quite big but still an old fashioned hall-house, with the best bed in the main room.  At the back was a buttery for brewing with a good deal of equipment, so highly valued in relation to the total as to suggest brewing on a large scale.  The wood, both inside and outside the house, may have been firewood, the ladder an ordinary household ladder for fruit-picking, and the lumber old furniture - but the value of these items is high enough to make one wonder whether Henry did any carpentry as a side-line.  There was just one chamber, probably downstairs, and in it "an ordinary bed and bedstead" ­ that is, one without a tester.  This would have been son William's room but he doesn't seem to have lived at home any longer - there were only 3 pairs of sheets in the house and the scales were kept in the chamber. Henry and Susannah made their bed comfortable on cold nights with their warming-pan.


On Henry's death, Susannah claimed and was admitted. Then on 26 October 1734, in consideration of £l00, a very good price, she surrendered to use of Ann Gardner widow and her brother William Robins and their heirs "all that messuage or tenement wherein Henry Russell now dwells, commonly known by the name of Church End Messuage" with the garden, orchard, and close (29).  This explains where Susannah got the money she was able to leave in her will of 16 May 1740 (G.R.O. 1742/42).  Her brother Richard Goodrich was to be executor, with discretion to act "as he shall think most convenient and proper" in case "Misfortune or Death" should remove any of her legatees.  To her son William and her daughter Sarah Arkell she left £10 apiece, to her grand-daughter Edith Edwards £5, and the residue to her daughter Susanna Ratcliffe.  The will was proved on 25 March 1742.  Susannah Cleevely was not buried here and it seems likely that she ended her days with daughter Susanna at Rendcomb.

/14/ WILLIAM - son of Henry and Susannah, perhaps a carpenter and builder

  • baptised 8 December 1686, buried 10 September 1739

  • wife Anne Underwood, married 3 October 1709

  • daughter Mary, baptised 30 August 1710, perhaps Mary sp. buried 26 March 1768

  • daughter Anne, baptised 23 February 1711/12 buried 7 June 1717

  • daughter Elizabeth, baptised 2 Oct 1713, buried 25 Oct 1738

  • son WILLIAM, baptised 4 November 1715

  • daughter Anne, baptised 25 Oct 1717, buried sp. 29 July 1734

  • daughter Rebecca, baptised 4 August 1719, married William Evans 10 Nov 1740

  • son JOHN, baptised 18 April 1721

  • daughter Susannah, baptised 28 August 1724, buried 14 Sept 1727

  • daughter Judeth, baptised 20 May 1726

  • daughter Susannah, baptised 20 June 1728

William (baptised 8 December 1686) may be the William Cleevely who did building repairs for the parish in the 1720s (16) and supplied the parish poor with coffins.  In August 1723 William did several days work on the Church House, supplying a door, ironwork, lock, and nails.  The following year when his family was smitten with sickness, the parish allowed him 5s.  He made a coffin for Hannah Ponfrey in 1736 at a cost of 6s.  Then in 1739 we have another entry for work done at the Church House - William Cleevely 9½ days 11s. 1d., his son 9½ days at 7d a day 5s 4½d., William's son 3 days more 1s 9d and then another 2 days 1s 2d, and William himself 3 days 3s 6d.  His younger son John would have been 18 in 1739 and very well able to be father's assistant.  William the elder son had probably left Charlton.

/15/ JOHN - son of William and Anne (of Woodruffe?)

  • baptised 18 April 1721, buried 6 November 1787

  • wife Mary, probably Mary Jackson, married 1748, buried 17 April 178C

  • daughter Mary, baptised 24 August 1762

There were two John Cleevelys in Charlton in the 18th century, one baptised in 1711 and the other in 1721, and as both married Marys it is difficult to distinguish them.  To the parish, one of them (possibly John, son of William) was known as John Cleevely of Woodruff, for he lived in a house on Church Walk that stood exactly where Lyefield Road East now cuts across it (30) John Cleevely, Woodruff, had a daughter, Mary baptised 24 August 1762.  Her mother Mary Cleevely of 'Woolroof' was being helped by the parish with money to buy fuel every year from 1773 to 1778, and in April 1779 received 5s. "her Husband being ill" (31).  She may be the Mary Cleevely buried on 17 April 1780


and her husband the John Cleevely buried 6 November 1787.  They had no son.  So it seems that the line from Henry Cleevely /6/ of 1557 and 1564 came to an end (at least in Charlton) with the death of John /5/ son of William and Anne.  This means that to find the ancestors of the modern Cleevelys and Cleveleys we have to go back to the 16th century again, to trace the descendants of a JOHN, born about 1560, buried in 1629.  The trail will be taken up in Part 2 (Bulletin 12) and Part 3 (Bulletin 13).

  1. G.R.O. D 855 M 68

  2. Bulletin CKLHS I pp 8-11

  3.  D 855 M 7

  4. Bulletin CKLHS 10 p.49; (G.R.O. D 855 M10 f 15v)

  5. ibid. 4 p.13 and 6 p.28

  6.  D 855 M 11 ff 37v-38v

  7. ibid. pp 180,210,214,218

  8.  D 855 M 7 f 49

  9. Bulletin CKLHS 4 p.9

  10. G.R.O. D 855 M 7 f.83

  11.  D 855 M 8 f 50v

  12.  D 855 M 9 p.236

  13.  D 855 M 8 f.13

  14.  D 855 M 9 part 2 p.139; M 10 f.50

  15.  D 855 M 9 part 2 pp 132-3, 271

  16. P 76a CH 1/1

  17.  D 855 M 14 p.210

  18.  D 855 M 13 pp 22-3

  19.  D 855 M 13 pp 158,168

  20.  D 855 M 14 p 215

  21. ibid. p.296

  22. ibid. p.329

  23.  D 855 M 11 ff 112-112v

  24.  D 109/, Ashley manor original surrenders 113

  25. Ashley manor original surrenders C 143

  26.  D 855 M 13 pp 151-2

  27.  D 855 M 14 p.334

  28. ibid. p.326

  29. ibid. p.357

  30. Bulletin CKLHS 7 pp 38-40

  31. P 76 CH 112

Author - M. Paget, 1984

Charlton Kings Local History Society


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