FOX OF CHACOMBE
Ronald A. Hill traced the descent of Margery Colwill, wife of John Sheer, from Ann Fox who married John Clifton at Sandford, Devon, in 1613, and who was buried at Week St Mary, Cornwall, in 1626. The present account covers the patrilineal ancestry of Ann Fox.
PARENTAGE OF ANN FOX
A search for Ann’s parentage located a pedigree of the Fox family of Chacombe in Baker’s History of the County of Northampton. John and Mary (Ford) Fox are shown as having a daughter Anne, baptised in 1590/91, who married “John Clifton, of Mary Wike, co. Cornw.”, a clear reference to the couple married at Sandford. Baker stated that the pedigree was compiled from visitations, title deeds and the parish register of Chacombe. His specific source for the Clifton link was not clear, but further research confirmed that it is correct.
After the death of John Fox, Mary married, on 5 May 1597 at St Thomas the Apostle, London, William Aysh. William’s will, written in 1615 when he was residing at Stockleigh Priorton in the chapelry of Sandford, Devon, mentions among others his wife Mary; son-in-law (stepson) Richard Foxe; “daughter” Anna Foxe; and John Foxe, brother of Richard. Richard is mentioned in connection with Chacombe, confirming that William’s wife was the Mary who had previously been married to John Fox of Chacombe. William and Mary are mentioned in the 1623 visitation of Somerset, where Mary is described as a daughter of “Ford of Devon”. Mary lived until the 1640s and her will refers to “Marie Clifton my grandchilde who liveth with mee”, providing corroboration for her daughter Ann having married John Clifton.
A further connection between the Aysh and Clifton families is that William Aysh’s sister Catherine married Thomas Clifton of Lyons Inn, uncle of the John Clifton who married Ann Fox.
CHILDREN OF MICHAEL FOX
Baker’s pedigree gives the generation before John Fox, showing John’s father Michael Fox of London and Chacombe as marrying first Mary, daughter of Richard Eddes of London, and second Clemence, daughter of John Hawtyn of Epwell, Oxfordshire, with the second wife being John’s mother. John and his older brother Richard are named in their father’s will. Two key sources for the other children of Michael Fox are a monumental inscription at Chacombe to Michael and his wives and children, and the 1564 visitation of Northamptonshire.
The monumental inscription was apparently put up during Michael’s lifetime as it leaves his date of death incomplete. Michael’s sons are listed as Richard, Anthony and John, and his daughters as Anne, Alice, Joan and Alice. The 1564 visitation lists a daughter Amise by Michael’s first wife, with Richard, John, Alice and Joan as his children by his second wife.
The will of Richard Eddes, father of Michael’s first wife, names the daughter of Mary (Eddes) Fox as Agnes, and the first of Michael’s daughters listed on the monumental inscription is Anne, which was often used interchangeably with Agnes at the time. The name of Amise given in the visitation therefore seems to be an error.
Anthony is listed on the inscription but not in the visitation or in Michael’s will, so may have died in his father’s lifetime. A remaining point of uncertainty is whether there were two surviving daughters called Alice. Only one is listed in the visitation so, again, the other recorded on the inscription may have died young. On the other hand, it was not unknown at the time for two surviving siblings to have the same forename, and Baker queries whether the second Alice married Thomas Ball at Chacombe on 9 August 1585. The visitation lists the Alice who married Gabriel Colston before Joan who married Thomas Skynner, which gives the impression that Alice (Fox) Colston was older than Joan (Fox) Skynner and was therefore the first Alice listed on the inscription, although that need not necessarily have been the case.
CHILDREN OF WILLIAM FOX
Baker does not carry the Fox line earlier than Michael. However, Michael seems to have been a son of William Fox of Barford St Michael, Oxfordshire, a few miles from Chacombe. William’s will, written and proved in 1502, names his wife Agnes and “Kat[her]ine and Michell hir Childern” and assigns to Agnes “the gyding of the same two childryn”. After this, William names John Bustard and Elizabeth Bustard, and then mentions his son Alexander, daughter Alice, son Richard, and daughter Anne.
A monumental inscription shows that William had been married to Joan who died in 1495. It seems therefore that Katherine and Michael were William’s children by Agnes and that his previous wife was the mother of Alexander, Richard, Alice and Anne. Elizabeth, wife of John Bustard, is confirmed to also be a daughter of William by a visitation pedigree.
This sequence of events would imply a birthdate around 1500 for Michael, which fits well with what is known of the chronology of the Michael Fox who later lived at Chacombe. Furthermore, the 1548 will of John Fox of Barford, grandson of William, mentions an indenture with parties “William Sheldon of Weston in the Countie of Warr[ick] Esquier Mighell Foxe of the Citie of london Groser William Foxe of Swell in the countie of Gloucester my brother and Richard Crofts of Sutton in the said Countie of Gloucester my brother in Lawe”. It is known that Michael Fox of Chacombe was a citizen and grocer of London, so this is strong evidence of his connection to the Barford St Michael family. In 1543, Chacombe priory was granted to Michael Fox, of London, grocer. It may be noted that in 1544, property in Barford which had been previously held by Chacombe priory was granted to John Fox.
The 1522 will of John Hawten, whose daughter later married Michael Fox, states that “Agnes Fox shall have my baye horse sadell and bridell that I bought of hir”, which indicates that the families were already acquainted at that time.
PARENTAGE OF WILLIAM FOX
The 1502 will of William Fox of Barford St Michael mentions “all my lands in Dadyngton in Barton att Elbury and in other plac[e]s”. It also requests “an Obite be kept and doon in Dadyngton… for my soule my fader and mader soules and alle cristin soules”. A lease of 1467 relating to property in Ilbury in the parish of Deddington mentions Richard Fox, his wife Julian and their son William. Given his connection with Deddington and Ilbury, it seems likely that this son William was the man who died in 1502.
I welcome comments on this page. My e-mail address is on my home page.
1 RICHARD FOX married JULIAN.
Child of Richard and Julian Fox:
2 i WILLIAM FOX (d 1502); m(1) JOAN; m(2) AGNES.
2 WILLIAM FOX of Barford St Michael, Oxfordshire, gentleman, died in 1502 and was buried at Barford St Michael. He married first, JOAN, who died on 26 May 1495 and was buried at Barford St Michael. William married second, ca 1497, AGNES.
Children of William and Joan Fox:
iii ALEXANDER FOX.
iv ALICE FOX.
v ANN FOX.
Children of William and Agnes Fox:
vi KATHERINE FOX.
3 vii MICHAEL FOX (ca 1500-1568/69); m(1) MARY EDDES; m(2) CLEMENCE HAWTEN.
3 MICHAEL FOX of London, citizen and grocer, and of Chacombe, Northamptonshire, was born about 1500, died on 29 January 1568/69, and was buried on 31 January 1568/69 at Chacombe. He married first, MARY EDDES, daughter of Richard Eddes. Michael married second, CLEMENCE HAWTEN, daughter of John Hawten.
Child of Michael and Mary (Eddes) Fox:
Children of Michael and Clemence (Hawten) Fox:
iv ANTHONY FOX.
4 v JOHN FOX (d 1592/93); m MARY FORD.
vi JOAN FOX; m THOMAS SKYNNER.
vii ALICE FOX.
4 JOHN FOX of Chacombe, gentleman, died on 9 January 1592/93 and was buried on 11 January 1592/93 at Chacombe. He married on 30 December 1577 at Chacombe, MARY FORD. Mary was buried on 30 January 1646/47 at Barton on the Heath.
Children of John and Mary (Ford) Fox:
ii ALICE FOX, bap 4 Sep 1580, Chacombe.
iii JOHN FOX, b 7 Sep 1581, bap 10 Sep 1581, Chacombe.
 Ronald A. Hill, “The Remarkable Will of Anna Smith”, The Genealogist, 24(2010):3-28.
 National Archives, PROB 11/127/209.
 National Archives, PROB 11/201/686.
 Will of James Aysh (National Archives, PROB 11/125/305); will of Catherine Clifton (National Archives, PROB 11/150/151); Frederic William Weaver, ed., The Visitations of the County of Somerset (Exeter, 1885), 2; Ronald A. Hill, “The Remarkable Will of Anna Smith”, The Genealogist, 24(2010):3-28.
 National Archives, PROB 11/51/286.
 George Baker, The History and Antiquities of the County of Northampton, 2 vols. (London, 1822-41), 1:596; John Bridges, The History and Antiquities of Northamptonshire, ed. Peter Whalley, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1791), 1:157; image posted by Rex Harris at www.flickr.com/photos/sheepdog_rex/15101062031. I have not seen Franklin Hudson, The Brasses of Northamptonshire (London, 1853), which may give further information.
 National Archives, PROB 11/31/135.
 George Baker, The History and Antiquities of the County of Northampton, 2 vols. (London, 1822-41), 1:590. Baker also shows Richard Fox (d 1599) as having a daughter called Alice who was buried at Chacombe on 26 Nov 1568.
 National Archives, PROB 11/13/255.
 National Archives, PROB 11/20/369.
 National Archives, PROB 11/13/255.
 Oxfordshire History Centre, Dash VIII/ii/3.
 Oxfordshire History Centre, Dash VIII/ii/3.
 Will dated 31 May 1502, proved 7 Jul 1502 (National Archives, PROB 11/13/255); Notes of an Excursion to Shipton-Under-Wychwood, Swinbrook, Asthall, and Burford (Banbury, 1870), 33; image posted by “jmc4 - Church Explorer” at www.flickr.com/photos/52219527@N00/2452678396. William requests in his will to be buried at Barford St Michael and his monumental inscription also indicates that he was buried there although it was apparently put up in his lifetime as his date of death was not completed.
 William’s 1502 will names his wife Agnes (National Archives, PROB 11/13/255). As his previous wife died in 1495, and William and Agnes appear to have had two children by 1502, their marriage probably took place around 1497.
 His father William’s first wife died in 1495 and William himself died in 1502. Michael is named second out of the two children of Agnes mentioned in William’s will.
 Will of Richard Eddes (National Archives, PROB 11/31/135); The English Reports, vol. 72, King’s Bench Division, vol. 1 (Edinburgh and London, 1907), 859; William Henry Turner, ed., The Visitations of the County of Oxford (London 1871), 157.
 Reginald M. Glencross, Administrations in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1559-1571 (Exeter, 1912), 57; List and Index of Court Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, part 1 (repr. New York, 1963), 275; William Henry Turner, ed., The Visitations of the County of Oxford (London 1871), 157.
 The descendants of Gabriel and Alice (Fox) Colston include the prime ministers Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool, and Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich. For Liverpool, see Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, 2nd series, 5(1894):8-12, 61. For Goderich, see the table here in addition to G.E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage, new ed., ed. Vicary Gibbs et al., 14 vols in 15 (London, 1910-59; Stroud, 1998), 7:177-78; G.E. Cokayne, Complete Baronetage, 5 vols (Exeter, 1900-06), 1:130; and Joseph Jackson Howard and George John Armytage, eds, The Visitation of London in the Year 1568 (London, 1869), 74.
 Walter C. Metcalfe, The Visitations of Northamptonshire (London, 1887), 21; Joseph Jackson Howard and George John Armytage, eds, The Visitation of London in the Year 1568 (London, 1869), 32, 74. After Gabriel’s death, Alice may have been the Alice Colstone who married Thomas Bendish on 16 Feb 1590/91 at St Peter le Poer, London, and who was buried on 26 Jul 1591 at Steeple Bumpstead: St Peter le Poer, London, parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com); Philip Morant, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex, 2 vols. (London, 1768), 2:350-51.
 George Baker, The History and Antiquities of the County of Northampton, 2 vols. (London, 1822-41), 1:590; will dated 9 Jan 1592/93, proved 8 Feb 1592/93 (National Archives, PROB 11/81/139). The will mentions John’s “brother in lawe Mathew Knighte”, whose exact connection is unclear.
 Chacombe parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com). George Baker, The History and Antiquities of the County of Northampton, 2 vols. (London, 1822-41), 1:590-591, states that Richard died in 1663, but also gives another Richard Fox (his first cousin once removed) a burial date of 21 May 1663, and it is not clear whether there is some confusion between them.
 Barford parish registers (online at www.findmypast.co.uk); George Baker, The History and Antiquities of the County of Northampton, 2 vols. (London, 1822-41), 1:590; John Fetherston, ed., The Visitation of the County of Warwick in the Year 1619 (London, 1877), 275.
 Chacombe parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com). In George Baker, The History and Antiquities of the County of Northampton, 2 vols. (London, 1822-41), 1:590, she is said to have married Walwin.
 William Dugdale, The Antiquities of Warwickshire, 2nd ed., ed. William Thomas, 2 vols (London, 1730), 1:592; Barton on the Heath parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com); will dated 3 Apr 1651, proved 28 Sep 1653 (National Archives, PROB 11/232/250).