Generation 14 – John Maye of Charterhouse, Somerset (1540 – 1590)

47 Generations of Family History
Generation Fourteen
John Maye
John of Charterhouse, Somerset
Gentleman
(abt 1540 – after 1590)

Facts
Name: John Maye
Birth: abt 1540
Place of Birth: Charterhouse, Somerset, England
Parents:
Father: Robert ‘of Charterhouse Hidon Upon Mendip’ MAYE
Mother: Dorothy MALET

Spouse: Martha Baskerfield
Marriage: 8th May 1581
Place of Marriage: St Peter’s, Westcheap, London, England

Children: They had 5 known child.
i. Frances Maye
ii. John “Esquire of Charterhouse” Maye
iii. Dorothie Maye
iv. Christopher Maye
v. Robert Maye

Spouse: Katherine
Marriage abt 1585
Place of Marriage: Unknown

Spouse: Anne Fleetwood
Marriage: abt 1590
Place of Marriage: Unknown

Death: after 1590
Place of Death: Possibly; Charterhouse, Somerset, England.
Cause of Death: Unknown
Burial: Unknown
Place of Burial: Possibly; Charterhouse, Somerset, England.

Heraldry: Sable, a Chevron or between three roses argent, a chief of the second.

Maye / Mayo Coat of Arms. Coat of Arms: Sable, a Chevron or between three roses argent, a chief of the second

Maye / Mayo Coat of Arms.
Coat of Arms: Sable, a Chevron or between three roses argent, a chief of the second

Relationship to me: 13th great-grandfather

Short Biography

John ‘of Charterhouse’ MAYE is the son of Robert ‘of Charterhouse Hidon Upon Mendip’ MAYE and Dorothy MALET [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8, 9]. He was born abt 1540 in Charterhouse, Somerset, England [4]. Both of John’s parents were from wealthy English family’s, through his mother Dorothy he descends from the Malet’s of Enmore Castle and she may even have been born there. Through his paternal line his family were Lords of the Manor of Charterhouse, Somerset a grant bestowed upon the family shortly after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1541, John would have only been a small child during this time.
In 1540, around the time of John’s birth, Henry VIII was King of England; John would eventually live through four reigning monarchs and one of the bloodiest periods in English history.

The Maye family was an English Protestant family and loyal to the King of England and his decision to establish a state religion with himself at its head. We know this to be the case because the grant of the Manor would not have happened otherwise, but life was not as straight forward as that, Henry was a Catholic at heart and the Act of Supremacy did not happen until 1558 during the reign of Elizabeth I. Between 1536 and 1558 England was divided and no matter which side you were on, it was often the wrong side.
I have no idea how the family survived the reign of Mary I, she was a Catholic Queen of England and attempted to restore her country to Rome, she burned about 300 people at the stake and English protestants during this period lived under a dark cloud and so too did the Catholics during the reign of Elizabeth I.
The Tudor period is an interesting time in history but a very difficult one to fully understand what everyday life was like, do you stand tall and honor your beliefs or do you remain quite about it, I think I know what I would do, but if I was born in the 1500’s would I still think that way. Probably not, the damnation of my soul would have been more important than my earthly body. The Tudors didn’t care too much about a person’s body either; the period is often regarded as one of the most violent.
The chief instrument in keeping everybody in place was violence and nobody was exempt, men, woman or children in the 16th century you were 5x more likely of dying from violence then you are today, the system of violence during this period was complicated but it was all to do with status. In 1523 a recorded case of violence involved the Viscount of kells a man of very important status who was one day driving along the king’s highway when a common peasant got in his way, so the Viscount got out of his carriage and gave him a beating with his cane, as a result the man died. Even in those days you couldn’t just go around murdering people and so the viscount was brought in front of the House of Lords under a charge of murder. Was that a problem, sadly it was not. He told the King “It was not my fault, I was merely retaliating… the common filthy peasant got in my way”. The King was shocked and I quote “A frightful front, it was very, very grateful provocation and downright insolence”, so the King pardoned him.
Violence wasn’t just restricted to the gentry; it was woven into society and was an important way of upholding hierarchies, a master could beat his servant and this was acceptable, however a servant could not hit his master as this would have been shocking. Everybody knew their place and everybody stayed there.
Violence was even endorsed, especially in regards to Woman, they were the property of men, they could not complain about abuse and if they did they received no help from the state and their husbands were usually just encouraged to beat her more or forced them to wear a scolds bridal.

Image of a Scolds Bridal being used. Source; mylearning.org

Image of a Scolds Bridal being used. Source; mylearning.org

A scold’s bridle, sometimes called a brank’s bridle or simply branks, was an instrument of punishment used primarily on women, as a form of torture and public humiliation. The device was an iron muzzle in an iron framework that enclosed the head. A bridle-bit (or curb-plate), about 2 inches long and 1 inch broad, projected into the mouth and pressed down on top of the tongue. The curb-plate was frequently studded with spikes, so that if the offender moved her tongue, it inflicted pain and made speaking impossible. Wives who were seen as witches, shrews and scolds, were forced to wear the branks, locked onto their head.
Source: Wikipedia

I have no idea if my family was as violent as the rest of the country, and I don’t like to paint an image of them like that, there are no contemporary accounts of what this family was like. The Maye family did however own lead and Iron mines and during the 16th century children were used to work in these unimaginable places. Mining was a thriving industry during the Tudor period as Iron was a popular metal for armoury, weapons and horse riding material and Lead and Tin was particular important to produce pewter, which was used in many household utensils, including cutlery and ornamental objects. Pewter was commonly produced with 85-99% tin, and a small percentage of other metals, including antimony, bismuth, copper or lead. Unfortunately, Tudors were unfamiliar with the health risks associated with lead, and pewter containing lead was frequently used in everyday items.
The family would have accumulated huge wealth from these mines and sadly at the expense of lives, many of which would have been children.

The family was also involved with the Chancery Court which handled civil disputes for all of England and Wales, so the family were very involved with peace keeping and also with status, HM Prison Shepton Mallet was founded (alongside others) by John Maye’s eldest son; John “Esquire of Charterhouse” Maye. The town of Shepton Mallett was founded by a distant ancestor William Malet (1175 – 1215) who was one of the guarantors of Magna Carta.

John Maye married very late in life, he was about 41 years old and his marriage is recorded in the parish of St Peter’s, Westcheap, London to a daughter of a wealthy London alderman Martha Baskerfield, daughter of Humphrey.
John probably owned or rented property in London and was very likely involved in politics and perhaps even religious affairs. The parish church of St Peter’s, Westcheap no longer survives, it was burnt down during the great fire of London and even his marriage entry bears the scars of this world-famous incident.

Marriage of John Maye and Martha Baskerville - 8 May 1581, St Peter's, Westcheap, London. Source Citation: London Metropolitan Archives, St Peter Westcheap, Composite register: baptisms 1538 - 1597, marriages 1538 - 1597, burials 1538 - 1598, P69/PET4/A/001/MS06502.

Marriage of John Maye and Martha Baskerville – 8 May 1581, St Peter’s, Westcheap, London.
Source Citation: London Metropolitan Archives, St Peter Westcheap, Composite register: baptisms 1538 – 1597, marriages 1538 – 1597, burials 1538 – 1598, P69/PET4/A/001/MS06502.

John and Martha had five known children, his wife died sometime around 1584, and John is recorded as having married two more times after this date, his second wife Katherine and his third Anne Fleetwood. These marriages are all recorded in the Maye of Charterhouse Pedigree 1591 in Somerset, England [ 7]. Minterne Pedigree – Visitations of Dorset 1623 in Dorset, England (Page 71 of the Visitation of Dorsetshire 1623, showing the Minterne pedigree) [4]. May Pedigree 1623 in Somerset, England (Visitations of Somerset – 1623) [6]. Minterne Pedigree – Visitations of Surrey in Surrey, England (Page 164 of the Visitation of Surrey 1623, showing the Minterne pedigree) [3].

John Maye, Gentleman of Charterhouse, Somerset died sometime after 1590. He lived during a period of violence and religious upheaval. He was wealthy and earned a living from the Iron and Lead mines of Somerset, often on the backs of children.
He frequented Tudor London and would have spent time in Enmore Castle, ancestral home of his mother’s. He was Protestant, married well but like all Tudors would have lived a very difficult life and faced many adversities.

Antique print of Enmore Castle, This building was erected about c. 1750 on land originally owned by the Malet family. The castle name is clearly a latter one relating to the C18 house, which was built in a castellated style. The medieval precursor house of the Malet's does seem to have been a sizeable house with reasonable evidence it was moated and a suggestion it had a gatehouse and it may well have had battlements and other architectural features reflecting the knightly status of the Malet family. How much this could be described as 'fortified' is a matter of debate and opinion. Called 'possible' by David Cathcart King who usually used that term for sites he had considerable doubts about.

Antique print of Enmore Castle, This building was erected about c. 1750 on land originally owned by the Malet family. The castle name is clearly a latter one relating to the C18 house, which was built in a castellated style. The medieval precursor house of the Malet’s does seem to have been a sizeable house with reasonable evidence it was moated and a suggestion it had a gatehouse and it may well have had battlements and other architectural features reflecting the knightly status of the Malet family. How much this could be described as ‘fortified’ is a matter of debate and opinion. Called ‘possible’ by David Cathcart King who usually used that term for sites he had considerable doubts about.

Marriages and Children

Anne FLEETWOOD[6]. She was born Abt. 1570 in Buckinghamshire, England. May Pedigree –
1623 Visitations of Somerset 1623 in Somerset, England (1623 Visitations of Somerset) [6].

John ‘of Charterhouse’ MAYE Gent and Anne FLEETWOOD. They were married Aft. 1590 in
England. They had no children.

Katherine [11]. She was born Abt. 1565 in England. May Pedigree – 1623 Visitations of
Somerset 1623 in Somerset, England (1623 Visitations of Somerset) [11].

John ‘of Charterhouse’ MAYE Gent and Katherine. They were married Aft. 1585 in England.
They had no children.

Martha BASKERFIELD is the daughter of Humphrey BASKERFIELD[12, 1, 2, 13, 5, 6]. She was
born Abt. 1561 in St Peter’s, West Cheap, London, England. Baptism Nov 1561 in Saint Peter
Westcheap, London, England [12]. May Pedigree – 1623 Visitations of Somerset 1623 in
Somerset, England (1623 Visitations of Somerset) [6].

John ‘of Charterhouse’ MAYE Gent and Martha BASKERFIELD. They were married on 08
May 1581 in St Peter’s, West Cheap, London, England [1, 2, 5, 8]. They had 5 children.

  • i. Frances MAYE [14, 3, 4, 15, 16]. She married John ‘of Batcombe’ MINTERNE. They
    were married Bef. 1557 in Batcombe, Dorset, England [17]. She was born Abt.
    1581 in Charterhouse, Somerset, England [4]. Minterne Pedigree – Visitations
    of Surrey 1623 in Surrey, England (Minterne Pedigreerecorded in the Surrey
    Archaeological Collections – Volume 10, 1891) [14]. Minterne Pedigree –
    Visitations of Dorset 1623 in Dorset, England (Page 71 of the Visitation of
    Dorsetshire 1623, showing the Minterne pedigree) [4]. She died Aft. 1631 in
    Batcombe, Dorset, England. The Last Will and Testament of John Minterne
    on 06 Jul 1631 in Batcombe, Dorset, England (Item I give and bequeath unto
    Frauncis my wife twenty pound[es] in gold, and two of my best feather
    bedd[es] furnished w[i]th two bedstead[es] to be Chosen by her ^ owne selfe
    w[i]th all her trunckes and Chest[es] and lynnen in her owne bedchamber) [15].
    Mayo Coat of Arms was Sable, a chevron or between three rofes argent, a
    chief of the fecond [18].
  • ii. John “Esquire of Charterhouse” MAYE [6]. He was born Abt. 1581 in
    Charterhouse, Somerset, England. May Pedigree – 1623 Visitations of
    Somerset 1623 in Somerset, England (1623 Visitations of Somerset) [6].
  • iii. Dorothie MAYE [6]. She was born Abt. 1582 in Charterhouse, Somerset,
    England. May Pedigree – 1623 Visitations of Somerset 1623 in Somerset,
    England (1623 Visitations of Somerset) [6].
  • iv. Christopher MAYE [6]. He was born Abt. 1583 in Charterhouse, Somerset,
    England. May Pedigree 1623 in Somerset, England (Visitations of Somerset –
    1623) [6].
  • v. Robert MAYE [6]. He was born Abt. 1584 in Charterhouse, Somerset,
    England. May Pedigree – 1623 Visitations of Somerset 1623 in Somerset,
    England (1623 Visitations of Somerset) [6].

Sources

[1] Ancestry.com, England, Select Marriages, 1538â\u20ac\u201c1973 (Ancestry.com Operations,
Inc.).

[2] Ancestry.com, London, England, Extracted Parish Records (Online publication – Provo, UT,
USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.Original data – Electronic databases created from
various publications of parish and probate records.Original data: Electronic databases created
from various publications of parish and).

[3] Thomas Benolte, Robert Cooke and Samuel Thompson, The Visitations of Surrey made and
taken in the years 1530 / 1572 and 1623, Mynterne Pedigree – page 164. see image for more
details.

[4] Henry St. George and Sampson Lennard, The visitation of the county of Dorset, taken in the
year 1623 (The Harleian Society), Minterne Pedigree – page 71. see image for more
information.

[5] Ancestry.com, London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 (Ancestry.com
Operations, Inc.), London Metropolitan Archives, St Peter Westcheap, Composite register:
baptisms 1538 – 1597, marriages 1538 – 1597, burials 1538 – 1598,
P69/PET4/A/001/MS06502.

[6] Frederick Thomas Colby, The Visitation of the County of Somerset in the year 1623 (The
Harleian Society), May Family Pedigree, Page 73. See Image for more details.

[7] edited by Frederic William Weaver., The visitations of the county of Somerset, in the years
1531 and 1573, together with additional pedigrees, chiefly from the visitation of 1591 (Printed
for the editor by W. Pollard in Exeter), Maye of Charterhouse Hidon Upon Mendip – page 49.
see image for more details.

[8] Geo. J. Armytage, F.S.A, Allegations for Marriage Licences issued by the faculty office of the
Archbishop of Caterbury at London (The Harleian Society), Page 102 / 8 May 1581 – Marriage
License. 8 May 1581 – John Maye, Gent., & Martha Baskerfield, Widow, of St Peter’s,
Westcheap; General License.

[9] Ancestry Family Trees (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com. Original data:
Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.), Ancestry Family Tree.
http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/AMTCitationRedir.aspx?tid=4632607&pid=30201.

[10] Charles Herbert Mayo, A genealogical account of the Mayo and Elton families of the counties
of Wilts and Hereford (Chiswick Press), Page 4 – The Origin and Local Distribution.
Charterhoufe, Somerfet, bearing ” Sable, a chevron or between three rofes argent, a chief of
the fecond.

[11] Frederick Thomas Colby, The Visitation of the County of Somerset in the year 1623 (The
Harleian Society), May Family Pedigree, Page 73.

[12] Ancestry.com, England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 (Ancestry.com Operations,
Inc.).

[13] Geo. J. Armytage, Allegation for marriage licences issied by the Bishop of London, 1520 to
1828, Page 102 / 8 May 1581 – Marriage License. 8 May 1581 – John Maye, Gent., & Martha
Baskerfield, Widow, of St Peter’s, Westcheap; General License.

[14] J J HOWARD, Surrey Archaeological Collections – Volume 10, 1891 – The Visitation of Surrey
(Archaeology Data Service), Minterne Pedigree – The Visitation of Surrey. see image for more
details.

[15] Ancestry.com, England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858
(Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), The last Will and testament of John Mynterne of Batcombe.
Item I give and bequeath unto Frauncis my wife twenty pound[es] in gold, and two of my best
feather bedd[es] furnished w[i]th two bedstead[es] to be Chosen by her ^ owne selfe w[i]th all
her trunckes and Chest[es] and lynnen in her owne bedchamber or elswhere in my house.

[16] Ancestry Family Trees (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com. Original data:
Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.), Ancestry Family Tree.
http://trees.ancestry.com/pt/AMTCitationRedir.aspx?tid=4632607&pid=30192.
[17] Joseph Foster (editor), Alumni Oxonienses 1500-1714, Mintorne, John. Mintorne, John – of
Dorset, pleb. Lincoln Coll., matric. entry under date 1575, aged 18; “Mro. Tatam tut. gram.,”
student of Middle Temple 1578, as son and heir of John, of Batcombe, Dorset, gent.; brother of
Henry 1582. See Foster’s Inns of Court Reg.

[18] Charles Herbert Mayo, A genealogical account of the Mayo and Elton families of the counties
of Wilts and Hereford (Chiswick Press), Page 4 – The Origin and Local Distribution. Sable, a
chevron or between three rofes argent, a chief of the fecond.

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3 thoughts on “Generation 14 – John Maye of Charterhouse, Somerset (1540 – 1590)

  1. And we think things are bad now! Yikes—that instrument of torture is horriible. I hope your family wasn’t like that then, but you are right. We never know what we would have been like if born in different times.

    • Tudor times are certainly far removed from our understanding of what life is about. I don’t like to think the Maye family were tyrants and there is certainly no record of it. But violence was sadly a part of their lives, whether they wanted it or not. As my tree moves further into the past, things get even darker.

      • Well, you are up to 14 out of 49, right? By the time you get to 49, you must be in the real Dark Ages. I look forward to seeing how much darker it all gets.

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