As mentioned in the Hicks account, some key documents relating to the families of William Hicks and his wife Agnes Blight are those pertaining to the nuncupative will of George Drew of Lanivet, made in April 1679, and a subsequent court case of the same year. George bequeathed most of his property to Agnes Hicks, daughter of William Hicks of Lanivet, and made Agnes the executor of his will.[1] An inventory of George’s goods was taken by John Blight, George Nettell and John Robins, the last of whom evidently married Agnes Hicks about 1680. The statements in the court case indicate that George Drew and Agnes Hicks had been betrothed and would have married each other if George had lived. Among the five individuals giving evidence, two are especially relevant to the origin of Agnes Blight:


1          Agnes Hicks, wife of William Hicks of Lanivet, yeoman, aged 70. Mother of Agnes Hicks, the executor, who asked her to give evidence.[2]

2          John Blight of St Issey, gentleman, born there, aged 49. Asked to provide evidence by the executor who “is his sisters daughter”.[3]


Agnes Blight, wife of William Hicks, appears to be Agnes, baptised in 1619, daughter of Gilbert and Elizabeth (Udy alias Roe) (Harris) Blight of St Issey, who were recorded in the heraldic visitation of Cornwall in 1620.[4] This would mean the age of Agnes in the court records of 1679 would be inaccurate but it is clear that in many such cases the ages are only very approximate and are often rounded figures. John Blight is called a gentleman in the court papers and is stated to be of St Issey and born there which would fit with the baptism of John, son of Gilbert Blight, in 1627. The only Blight baptism entries in the St Issey parish registers for the relevant period are for children of Gilbert.


The marriage of Andrew Fenton and Agnes Blight at Blisland on 26 July 1644[5] may be an earlier marriage of Gilbert’s daughter Agnes Blight. The parish registers of St Issey record the baptism of “Agnus the Daughter of Mrs Venton” in 1645,[6] suggesting a connection with that parish. One of the parties in the 1707 administration record of John Robins of Lanivet is a Gilbert Fenton, whose surname is spelt Venton in the listing of parties but Fenton in his signature.[7] No baptism has been found for him, perhaps due to the gaps in the Lanivet parish registers in the middle of the seventeenth century, but his name suggests that he might have been a son of Andrew Fenton and Agnes, if Agnes was the daughter of Gilbert Blight. Both Gilbert Fenton and John Robins were parties in the administration of the estate of Thomas Parnell of Lanivet in 1701, along with Thomas’s widow Elizabeth.[8] Thomas Parnell and Elizabeth Watts had been married at Lanivet in 1699.[9] Elizabeth may have been the widow of David Watts of Lanivet as Thomas Parnell and other members of the Parnell family appear as witnesses in a 1698 case relating to the will of David Watts (who left all his property to his wife Elizabeth).[10] Gilbert Fenton was a witness to the will of David Watts.[11]


However, the 1664 hearth tax returns for Lanivet cast some doubt on the idea that Andrew Fenton’s wife was the same person as the wife of William Hicks. Hearths were reported as formerly being those of Andrew Fenton but “now Agnes Fenton”.[12] It seems likely that these are the Andrew Fenton and Agnes Blight married in 1644, but by 1664 it would be expected that William Hicks was already married to Agnes as their daughter was betrothed to George Drew before the latter’s death in 1679. The Lanivet parish registers also record the burial of Agnes Fenton, widow, in 1688.[13] These records do not eliminate the possibility that the same Agnes was the wife of both Andrew Fenton and William Hicks, as the Agnes Fenton in the hearth tax returns could be the one baptised at St Issey in 1645 and the Agnes Fenton buried in 1688 could be the Agnes, wife of Thomas Fenton, whose son Henry was baptised at Lanivet in the 1630s.[14] Nevertheless, further evidence would be desirable on this point. One possible explanation is that the Agnes Blight who married Andrew Fenton was the widow of Richard Blight. Vivian’s additions state that this Agnes was buried at Bodmin in 1681,[15] but it is clear from the will of the Agnes buried in 1681 that she was not Richard’s wife or widow.[16]


Extensive ancestry may be traced for Gilbert Blight but I have not yet conducted detailed research on his forebears in the primary sources.


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GILBERT BLIGHT of St Issey, Cornwall, gentleman, son of John and Agnes (Arscott) Blight,[17] was baptised on 27 October 1583 at Bodmin[18] and buried on 26 February 1663/64 at St Issey.[19] He married on 21 July 1617 at Bodmin, ELIZABETH (UDY alias ROE) HARRIS,[20] widow of William Harris[21] and daughter of Degory Udy alias Roe.[22] Elizabeth was buried on 19 January 1649/50 at St Issey.[23]


Children of Gilbert and Elizabeth (Udy alias Roe) (Harris) Blight:

                i               AGNES BLIGHT, bap 11 Apr 1619, St Issey;[24] m WILLIAM HICKS[25] (see here).

                ii              THOMAS BLIGHT, bap 27 Jan 1621/22, St Issey,[26] bur 10 Jul 1650, St Issey.[27]

                iii             GILBERT BLIGHT, bap 13 Jan 1624/25, St Issey,[28] bur 5 Dec 1652, St Issey.[29]

                iv             JOHN BLIGHT of St Issey, gentleman, b St Issey,[30] bap 15 Jul 1627, St Issey,[31] bur 1 Dec 1683, St Issey;[32] m 27 Jan 1663/64, St Issey, ANN TRENOWETH.[33]

                v              ALICE BLIGHT, bap 7 Dec 1628, St Issey,[34] bur 27 May 1677, St Issey.[35]

[1] Kresen Kernow, AP/D/775.

[2] Kresen Kernow, AP/D/775.

[3] Kresen Kernow, AP/D/775.

[4] J.L. Vivian, The Visitations of Cornwall (Exeter, 1887), 36.

[5] Blisland parish registers.

[6] St Issey parish registers. See also the will of Andrew Fenton the elder, probably the father of the Andrew who married Agnes Blight: Kresen Kernow, AP/F/224.

[7] Kresen Kernow, AP/R/1670. Gilbert Fenton, along with Stephen Best, also took the inventory of the goods of John Robins.

[8] Kresen Kernow, AP/P/2091.

[9] Lanivet parish registers.

[10] Kresen Kernow, AP/W/1580.

[11] Kresen Kernow, AP/W/1580. In the will of William Tubb of Lanivet, written in 1698 and proved in 1703, Gilbert Fenton was a witness and John Robins was one of the men who took the inventory of William’s estate: Kresen Kernow, AP/T/1726.

[12] Hearth tax abstracts (online at

[13] Lanivet parish registers.

[14] Lanivet bishop’s transcripts.

[15] J.L. Vivian, The Visitations of Cornwall (Exeter, 1887), 37.

[16] Kresen Kernow, AP/B/1967.

[17] J.L. Vivian, The Visitations of Cornwall (Exeter, 1887), 36.

[18] Bodmin parish registers.

[19] St Issey parish registers.

[20] Bodmin parish registers.

[21] National Archives, C 2/JasI/M8/33.

[22] In J.L. Vivian, The Visitations of Cornwall (Exeter, 1887), 36, her father is called “Digorie Roe”. In the St Issey parish register entry for her marriage to William Harris in 1606, she is called “Elizabeth Udye”. The two surnames seem to have been used as alternatives. At Luxulyan in 1611/12, William son of “John Udye Als Row” was baptised, and at St Issey itself, “John Eudy alias Rowe” was married in 1714.

[23] St Issey parish registers.

[24] St Issey parish registers.

[25] Kresen Kernow, AP/D/775.

[26] St Issey parish registers.

[27] St Issey parish registers.

[28] St Issey parish registers.

[29] St Issey parish registers.

[30] Kresen Kernow, AP/D/775.

[31] St Issey parish registers.

[32] St Issey parish registers.

[33] St Issey parish registers; St Issey bishop’s transcripts.

[34] St Issey parish registers; abstracts of St Issey parish registers by Reginald M. Glencross.

[35] St Issey parish registers.