Francis Dumbrell Eighth Great Back to Page Map
Lucy Patching Grandparents Home Page

No baptism has been yet found for Francis Dumbrell, but his relationship to his father, Richard, is not in doubt because of his marriage record and the details included in those for Portslade Manor. He probably grew up in Wivelsfield, marrying Elizabeth Nutley, a local girl, in the church at the beginning of April 1626. The following year they had a son, Richard, whose future has not been traced. It seems likely that they were intending to live in one of the Dumbrell properties at Portslade since they were admitted to copyhold property there jointly with Francis's father and mother in November 1627. However, Elizabeth sadly died soon after, as she was buried at Wivelsfield on May 6th 1629.

Two years later, Francis married again, to Lucy Patching of Horsham. She came from a family with property in the town, the youngest daughter of Thomas Patching, and it gives an indication of the standing of the Dumbrells at the time that Francis was able to marry into a family which appears to have been reasonably well off. For example, when Lucy's brother, Thomas died in 1670, he left £100 to each of Lucy's older children and £50 to the youngest, no small amount at that time. In addition, he left a number of properties and legacies totalling about £1,400 to other distant relatives. Francis and Lucy were married by licence, the event being noted in the records of both Lewes and Horsham, on September 14th 1631. They had nine children altogether:

Elizabeth christened Jan 1633 in Wivelsfield
Lucy 16 November 1634 in Portslade ( Patching family link above )
Abraham 25 November 1636 in Portslade
John & Margaret 15 Mar 1638 in Portslade
William c. 1642
Phylllis c. 1645
Frances c. 1648
Thomas c. 1650

The order of birth of the last four children and their birth year are to some extent conjecture, based as they are on the provisions of Lucy's will and the customary rights of succession. No parish records remain for Portslade between 1640 and 1665 because they were destroyed by fire when lightning struck the rectory at Hangleton, the neighbouring village, between 4am and 6am on May 31 1666.

In 1631, Francis was admitted to the Dumbrells' copyhold property in Portslade, in partnership with his father, and Lucy was jointly admitted to the same holdings on August 7th 1633. These were a messuage and virgate of land called Skinners, eight acres known as Bassetts, and a toft with a garden called Caffins at Aldrington. Richard also had a more substantial holding of 40 acres in the parish. Francis and Lucy almost certainly brought up their young family at Portslade, Francis being appointed churchwarden there between 1634 and 1636, but relinquished all their properties to a local landowner, Abraham Edwards, on August 29th 1650 for reasons unknown. At that time the yearly rent was 43 shillings and threepence. The following year, Francis purchased seventeen acres called 'Pollard's Inholmes' in the parish of Ditchling from John Coleman. This lay not more than two miles south of Antye, and it could be that Francis wanted to be nearer to the rest of his family after the death of his father, Richard.

However, Francis himself was to die not long after this, in about 1658, leaving the property, as would be expected, to his youngest son, Thomas, who was only about eight at the time. Lucy, exercising her 'right of widow's bench' was left with six of her children.

Lucy herself was certainly not poor. On her father's death in 1610, she had inherited the properties of 'Rise House' and 'Barnes' in Horsham. Lucy was also named in her mother's will of 1623. In 1670, her brother Thomas left her £50 in his will. He also bequeathed a further £100 to each of her surviving older children, Elizabeth, Lucy, Abraham, William, Phyllis and Frances, but only £50 to the youngest son Thomas, possibly because he was a minor at the time. In addition to the above property, Lucy was copyholder to a messuage and farthingate of land at Tower Hill, on the southern boundary of Horsham and lying in the manor of Tarring and Marlepost. She also owned an adjoining cottage and one acre of land, 'Slaughters', left to her by her brother Thomas in the same will of 1670. He had acquired this for £74/4s/0d in 1663. Lucy was still occupying 'Slaughters' just before her death.

Extracts courtesy of Graham Johnson, see link on summary page.

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