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Datum Apud Dodebroke die Dominica proxima post Festuin Sancti Barnabe Apostoli, Anno regni Regis Ricardi Secundi a Conquestu Anglie terciodecimo.


English Translation Of Deed.

Know Ye Present and to Come that I, Roger King, have given, granted and by this my present charter Confirmed to John Sormonnd all that Triangle my tenement which I held situate in the Borough of Dodbrook at Redpit next the well of St. Thomas the Martyr.

To Have and to Hold all the aforesaid tenement, with all its appurtenances and easements, to the aforesaid John Sormonnd, his heirs and assigns, from the chief lords of that fee at a rent and services thence formerly owing and by right accustomed.

I, therefore, the aforesaid Roger and my heirs all the aforesaid tenement with all its appurtenances to the aforesaid John Sormonnd, his heirs and assigns against all claimants will warrant, acquit and defend forever.

In Testimony Whereof, I have appended my seal to these presents, these being the witnesses: John Lombe, then provost of the Borough of Dodebrook, Walter Tone, Robert Combe, John Bowryng, Robert Parkyn and others.

Dated at Dodbrook on the Lord's Day next after the feast of St. Barnabas the Apostle in the Thirteenth year of the reign of the Second King Richard after the Conquest of England.


As there were no Parish Registers in England prior to 1538 an unbroken descent from this Roger King of A. D. 1389 cannot of course be directly traced and proved, but there is little doubt from the family name and locality in which he lived that the Roger King (Rogerus Kynge) was one of the lineal ancestors of James King, who was born at Ugborough in 1647 a°d wno thereafter became the founder of the King Family of Suffield, Connecticut.

Parish Registers of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials were first required to be kept in England in 1538 (by a statute of King Henry VIII) and no records of that character were kept before that time. The Parish Registers of Baptisms and Marriages at Ugborough were both opened in 1538 and the Register of Burials was opened in 1542, but for the first few years, as was the case elsewhere in England, the entries were scanty and irregular. Ten or twelve years after their opening the Registers begin to show more completeness. The entries in all three of the Ugborough Registers (Baptisms, Marriages and Burials) were written in Latin. These furnish the only available and definite record of family descent of the inhabitants of the parish. It must be observed, however, that it is not the births and deaths that are recorded, but only the baptisms and burials, which is quite a (liferent thing, as many children born in the parish might not be baptized therein and deaths without the parish found no record there, while marriages of male residents with female non-residents would naturally occur at the residence of the bride. It must not be thought, therefore, that the Parish Register record of a family ,-s even generally complete for the fact is that in most parishes it very frequently happened that no record was made of many family baptisms (and in the early days of the reformation (1550 et seq.) baptisms were frequently not made by the regular parish priest) and none even of some marriages and burials where the service was not performed at the Church. These Parish Registers are, however, perfectly reliable of course as to the entries actually made and from these other facts can often with great certainty be inferred and even omissions supplied.

From the Ugborough Parish Registers it appears that certainly as early as 1548 a family named King (Kynge) was living there for entries of the marriages of females of that name appear in the Marriage Register and marriages were ordinarily celebrated in the parish where the bride resided. The following entry from the Ugborough Parish Marriage Register shows one of these marriages:

"1548—Johannes Hayman et Maria Kynge nupti erant 27 die Augusti." (A. D. 1548—John Hayman and Maria King were married 27th day of August.)

The gradual evolution of the orthography of the name, as we have before remarked, has been at first Kyng or Kynge; then about 1575 it changes to Kinge and finally about 1660 it becomes King. This is well illustrated by the title pages of the successive editions of the English Bible. The first English Bible ever printed, A. D. 1535, bears on its title page "Set forth with the Kynges moost gracious licence;" the next edition, A. D. 1579, has "Printer to the Kinge's Maiestie"; an edition of 1661 has "His Maiestie the King."

Persons of the surname King have been the possessors of very considerable landed estates in Ugborough and adjoining parishes.

In December, 1893, the Rev. W. E. Windle, Vicar of Ugborough, sent to Miss Emma C. King of Xenia, Ohio, at her request, the record of certain baptisms, marriages and burials in the King family, taken from the Parish Register entries made between the years 1575 and 1675. He also in the same letter said: "I am afraid I cannot send you a description of the King Coat of Arms. * * * There is a fine old mansion and Estate called Fowelscombe in this parish which had been in Chancery for many years, but has recently passed into the hands of a representative of the King family." In September, 1903, Rev. W. E. Windle in a letter to Mr. Cameron H. King, the compiler of these records, wrote: "Fowelscombe lies in this (Ugborough) parish about a mile southeast of the Church. Its present owner is Rev. J. Voden Walters, Cherhill Rectory, Calne, Wilts., whose wife was a member of the King family. Your name, King, is a very old name in this parish."

The writer of those letters was in error relative to the ownership of Fowelscombe, but his statement led to inquiries which have resulted in proving relationship between its owners and the King family of Suffield.

Rev. J. Voden Walters is not and never has been its owner. It is the property of his wife, Ellen Caroline King, the eldest daughter of the late Richard King, Esq., its last previous owner and occupant.

In September, 1904, Mr. Harvey J. King, of Troy, N. Y., wrote to Rev. J. Voden Walters and after stating that he was a descendant of James King, who was born at Ugborough, in 1647, asking him kindly to favor the writer with information relative to the connection of the King family at Ugborough with Fowelscombe. Mr. Walters very courteously answered that inquiry at considerable length and then added:

"If you were to write to Arthur King, Esq., Warnford, Bishops Waltham, Hants (he is son of the late Captain King, a brother of my wife's father), he would be able to give you a good deal of interesting detail out of a M. S. book he has, written by an admiring friend of the family more than ioo years ago, descriptive of the house and its surroundings at that time. You are, of course, a member of the same family. That is evident. I will send your letter on to Mr. Arthur King.

Believe me yours very sincerely,


Mr. Arthur King promptly responded to the letter forwarded to him by Mr. Walters, giving much interesting information relative to the family, and kindly offered, if requested to do so, to send to its writer the manuscript above referred to, which subsequently he did.

It covers over ioo pages and contains a history of Fowelscombe and its owners from the early part of the sixteenth century. Bound in the same cover with the ancient manuscript, and supplementing it, the history is continued down to the year 1888 by Captain John King, the younger brother of Richard King, the father of Mrs. Walters. Fowelscombe is an entailed estate and on the decease of its owner descends to his eldest son, or if he leaves no son, or the descendent of a son, then to his eldest daughter. Richard King had no son and upon his decease his eldest daughter, Ellen Caroline, became its owner, to the exclusion of three younger sisters.

So far as is pertinent to the present record, the following brief statement is all that we deem necessary to add on the subject.

Fowelscombe, in the parish of Ugborough, is an estate of considerable extent which is now, and for a long period of time, has been the property of the King family of that parish. The grand old Manor house, which is of imposing architecture and covers a large area, is very ancient. The date of its erection is not known, but in the history of Fowelscombe Manor, above referred to, which was written in 1808 by James White, Jr., of Plymouth, Devonshire, and dedicated to Richard King, Esq., the

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