The story of Andrew Montagu Isaacson Durnford gets quite complicated. So to try to keep it in perspective, the stories are individual for each of his three families. Family number one comes from his first wife Barbara Ann Blake.
The Blake family origins are in Ireland, they belong to one of the Tribes of Galway.
They intermarried between other members of the 14 tribes, and names of the families will be represented by other merchants including the names French and Lynch .
|The Blake home in Galway|
They were merchants with extensive interests particularly in the West Indies, where they settled in the mid 1600's and began growing sugar, and other crops.
(for any descendants, the Blake papers are worth a read, huge and difficult to follow as everyone was named the same person, but such history about the settling of the Irish into the West Indies, including taking Irish girls as slaves, an untold part of history. The Irish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves. )
There are quite a few lines that settled there, but it is the descendants of
Patrick Blake and Mary Ann Bodkin that feature here. Mary's family were also members of the Tribes of Galway.
The Bodkins of Galway, and the Earls of Desmond and Kildare, were descended from the common ancestor, Maurice Fitzgerald, Lord of Windsor. Maurice was one of the first invaders of Ireland, under Strongbow.
Her father was one of the rebels at St Kitts, who lost his lands
The King restored the lands to Patrick. 1698 Col. Codrington made another grant to Capt. Thauvet of a plantation formerly belonging to one Andrew Bodkin in the English part of St. Christophers, Bodkin having forfeited the same by being in arms and actual rebellion against his late Majesty, but Martial Law only being at that time in force in the Leeward Islands Bodkin was not prosecuted nor declar'd a rebel in due from, so that about 12 or 18 months ago upon a suit brought by one Blake who marryed Bodkin's daughter and claim'd the said Plantation as his heir a verdict or judgment was obtain'd at St. Christophers against Capt. Thauvet and Blake put into possession.
Colonel Codrington then Govr. of the Leeward Islands, granted Capt. Thauvet another plantation in the English part of St. Christophers, which last plantation had then become forfeited by the rebellion of the proprietor Andrew Bodkin of which one Blake, who married the daughter of the rebel Bodkin has since dispossessed Capt. Thauvet.
Patrick Blake born 1676 died 1744, Mary Ann was born 1682 and died 1720.
They owned extensive estates at St Christopher in St Kitts.
|A painting of the estate by Agostino Brunias used by the Government as a greeting card.|
The Barbados Museum greeting card caption specifies that this "watercolour painting" is "attributed to Agostino Brunias, c. 1795." The source of the painting is not given (other than specifying it was held in a private collection in Trinidad), but neither it nor a print of it is today (2010) located in the Museum. This painting or another like it was sold at auction in 1998 (Lot 43, Sale 6015) by Christie’s of London; Augustin [sic] Brunias is identified as the painter on Christie’s website. The caption/title on the painting’s bottom margin, not shown on the greeting card issued by the Barbados Museum, reads: “A North View of the Buildings on the Sandy Point Estate of Sir Patrick Blake Baronet in the Island of Saint Christopher. With a view of the north parts of Brimstone Hill, Charle’s Fort, Figtree Fort, the town of Sandy Mount, and the Adjacent County.”
Persons familiar with Brunias are skeptical that he did the painting (they prefer not to be acknowledged because they have not viewed the original painting). For biographical notes on Brunias, see image reference NW0009. Virginia Library and University
Apart from two large (635 x 1695mm. and 527 x 1264mm.) panoramic watercolours of Sir Patrick Blake's Sandy Point Estate in the Island of Saint Christopher (St. Kitts) which have been convincingly given to Brunias on the grounds of style and his known connections with Blake (his engraving of 1780
Two of their children were Martin Blake and Andrew Blake.
Andrew born 1706 died 1760 married Marcella French. Her family were also from Ireland and another of the Tribes of Galway
This family is descended from Sir Maximilian Ffrench, the first of the name, whose descendants accompanied their kinsman, William the Conqueror, into England. Their original place of settlement in Ireland, together with many other English and Anglo-Norman adventurers, was County Wexford; From there, over time, they gradually spread throughout the other parts of Ireland.
They had a home in New Norfolk Street London (Now Dunraven St, next Park Lane)
This street was laid out in the 1750's. Originally called Norfolk Street, it was sometimes known as New Norfolk Street in the nineteenth century and was renamed Dunraven Street by the London County Council in 1939 after the fourth Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, a former resident of the street, who had been a member of the L.C.C. The principal developer here was Edmund Rush, mason, who was a major builder on the estate during the 1750's and 1760's.
By 1761 all the houses in Norfolk Street had been completed and occupied. Those on the west side, overlooking the Park and having short gardens extending to Park Lane, were generally grander than those on the east side, and quickly attracted rich and/or fashionable residents. Several of these houses survive, though all have been very greatly altered, and as many are now numbered wholly or partly in Park Lane they are described in Chapter XV. Those on the site of the modern Avenfield House had four main storeys (the fourth storeys perhaps later additions) with central entrances, prominent stringcourses and neat cornices, of the kind for which an exemplar had been provided in Isaac Ware's A Complete Body of Architecture, first published in 1756.
Andrew died in 1760 at Thornton. He left some of his estates in St Christopher to his sister in law, Sarah Trant, daughter of Dominick Trant, but they may have originally belonged to her father, as Andrew was executor and beneficiary of his brother Martin's will. Martin died 1743 in London.
He also dis-inherited his eldest son Sir Patrick Blake, he only left him 1shilling, because he wouldn't listen to his father's advice about some Irish knaves.
They had 6 children
- Sir Patrick Blake b 1742 m Annabella Bunbury
- Christopher Blake b 1744 p Harriet Parry p Margaret Gostoe(?)
- Edward Blake b 1745- 1763
- Mary Ann Blake b 1745 1812 m Thomas Bromley 2nd Baron Montfort
- Arthur Blake b 1745 1808 m Anna Susannah Garland
- Barbara Francis Blake b abt 1750 m Thomas Hodges Esq
2. Christopher Blake
Christopher Blake had with Harriet Parry, two sons.
Henry Patrick Blake born May 1773 and baptised at St Marylebone died 1775 St Sepulchre.
Christopher Mark Antony Blake born 8 April 1772 baptised at St Mary's St Marylebone Road.
Harriot Parry died in 1788 and was buried 28th Jue 1788 at St Margaret Lothbury, in the Parish of St Andrew, Holborn.
Christopher Blake lived at Lakebheath, then Langham Hall Couny Suffolk. He was a part owner of the brigandeen 'st Jago" and submitted to the Council in St Kits, affidavits regarding smuggled brandy.
He died 19th January 1780 at St Mary's Langham, his will was dated 5th October 1779.
Christopher Blake Esq one of the brothers of Sir Patrick Blake. During the last 5 years this gentleman suffered the most excruciating pain for the gout and a complications of the infirmities. In the month of August last he was on a visit at the late Lord Lyttletons at Hagley but finding himself much indisposed he judged it to be a symptom of death and set out immediately for Suffolk that he might end out his days in his brothers house. From that time he has been gradually decaying sensible of his fate never uttering a complaint except with and then tat it was shorter work; for in his lingering condition he said there was two much plague in dying. Mr Blake was for some years the life of Newmarket but his career was short. He died at the age of 36 esteemed for his many good qualities by all who knew him; beloved by his friends and now sincerely regretted by his family and relations.
WILLHis will submitted February 1780 by Arthur Blake Esq, power reserved to Robert Pigott. I appoint my good friend Robert Piggott of Northalerton Lodge county Huntingdon Esq - my brother Arthur Blake Esq my executors - my brother Sir Patrick Blake, Bart. supervisor.
To Ann Parry of Piccadilly, spinster - 300 All residue of my personal estate in trust for children Mary Antony Barry, my natural son by Ann Barry at 21. If he die then to my brother Sir Patrick Blake, Bart in trust for George Blake a boy of 9 now at a boarding school at Walsham in the Willows, co Suffolk, to the 2 natural daughters of Margaret Shae, a mulatta.
Witnessed Martin Blake his son and heir by Mary Ann his late wife desceased, and now set, about 17, recites that Andrew Bodkin, formerly of St Christophers Gent, late father of Mary Ann and who died 1689, had a plantation in the English quarter of the island and Mary Ann was his only..
This will was presented at St Kitts, in relation to his properties there, and with a notable query as far as past records relating to the Blake's.
George Blake aged 9, born in 1771, he is the son of Christopher.
He leaves part of his estate to the two natural daughters of Margaret Shae, Mullatto.
Ann Parry is Hariot, possibly Hariott Ann, and Mark Antony Barry is his son Christopher Mark Anthony Blake.
He owned some racehorses, one called Giboutski (bred 1767) won a 200 guineas as a two year old at Newmarket. Another was a brown, named Piper which won a 500 guinea match at Newmarket.
3. Edward Blake was born 1745 and died in Cornwall in 1763, apparently unmarried.
4. Mary Ann Blake
Mary Ann Blake born 1745 married Thomas Bromley 2nd Baron Montfort, who was a British Politician. He was the only son of Henry Bromley 1st Baron Montfort and Franes Wyndham, the daughter of Thoma Wyndham and sister and heiress of Sir Francis Wyndham 4th Baronet, of Trent.
Thomas served two terms in Parliament, once for Cambridge, then he entered the House of ords when he succeeded his father. They married at Marylebone in 1772. He died in October 1799, aged 66, and their son Henry succeeded him.
5. Arthur Blake
Captain Arthur Blake
Joshua Reynolds became the first president of the Royal Academy during the year this painting was made. His dignified, formal portraits were highly sought after. This commanding painting, replete with symbolic military trappings, appropriately conveys Captain Blake’s position in society.
Arthur Blake born about 1745 youngest son of Andrew Blake of St Kitts by Marcella French of Ireland.
7.5.1763 Capt 86th regt from Lt 17th regt.
21.1.1768 Capt Lt 3rd dragoons
6.12.1774 Arthur Blake Esq formerly of Conduit St but late of Quevilly Normandy, fugitive, surrendered to Kings Bench Prison / 11.2.1775 at St Geo Martyr Southwark (the parish of Kings Bench)
11.2. 1775 He married Anne Susannah Garland.
6.9. 1779 Arthur Garland Blake bapt St Marylebone, son
1.9.1782 Edward Parker Blake bapt
Arthur Blake Esq nr Opera House Haymarket
1779 Arthur Blake gent Charlinch Somerset
1781 Arthur Blake Esq Boddington Surrey
11.1.1783 Capt Arthur Blake from half pay of 100th regt to Capt in Major Symes corps of foot 28.1.1783 exchanges
12.2.1789 Arthur Blake of Langham offered to stand for Sudbury
27.5.1790 bandeleer taken from Bastille by person who arrested De Launay presented to Leverian museum by Arthur Blake
21.11.1792 contributed to France fund of Socy for Const Info
1.6.1793 Leeward Is to Falmouth 40 days passenger & servant (Back to West Indies)
24.1.1794 proposed Socy for Const Info member by John Horne Tooke 2nded John Augustus Bonney
2.5.1794 steward at SCI dinner
14.6.1794 ordered to Privy Council
23.6.1794 letter to Morning Chronicle from Devonshire St, Portland Place
16.10.1794 on witness list treason trials
4.2.1795 steward of Friends of Freedom dinner
2.4.1795 subscr 10gns to state trials defence fund
14.4.1796 portrait of Capt Arthur Blake by Sir Joshua Reynolds for sale
23.5.1796 offered to stand for Sudbury again
28.6.1796 steward for Tooke's Westminster campaign dinner
5.10.1796 steward of Friends of Freedom dinner
18.3.1797 steward of Friends of Parliamentary Reform dinner
27.6.1798 W Barber Collingwood's Chambers Grays inn ad for creditors of Arthur Blake
28.1.1802 Arthur Blake's neat house in Mortimer St purchased
6.12.1806 lately at his lodgings in Bath aged 61 Arthur Blake died
He seems to have been separated from his wife, called her "poor unfortunate" in his will!
1808 will of Arthur Blake of Pemblain, Glamorgan
His wife died at Redgrave, Croydon in 1812
The two sons worked overseas in India.
Adm. pens. (age 17) at CAIUS, 1796. S. and h. of Arthur, of Langham, Suffolk. School, Charterhouse. Scholar, 1796-8. Entered the E.I.C. Service. Assistant in the Public Department at Colombo, 1799; to the Collector at Guntoor, 1800; under the Collector at Chicacole, 1802. Registrar to the Judge of the Zillar of Guntoor, 1803; to the Judge of the Provincial Court, Northern Division, 1806. Assistant Judge at Masulipatam, and Collector of Rajahmundry, 1812. Died Nov. 30, 1812, at Rajahmundry. (Venn, II. 130; Madras Civil Servants; G. Mag., 1813, I.)
1815 will of Arthur Garland Blake (Madras civil servant from 1798)
Edward Parker Blake Esq worked as a Civil Servant in Fort St George 1796
1803 Assistant under the Commercial resident at Maddepollam
He died in 1860 in Suffolk and was unmarried.
At the Archives and associated with his will regarding the lands at St Kitts.: (100 years later)
Draft release of plantation on St Christopher, Sir P Blake (jr) bt and Dame M.C. Blake his wife, to trustees to the use of Sir P Blake and his heirs forever
6 Frances Barbara Blake
Frances married Thomas Hodges, who was the son and heir of Captain John Hodges. They married in St James Palace London in 1769. His family may have had lands in St Kits.
Life in the colony was never short of a laugh or maybe a bit of drama!
Take the contents of the will of Christopher Blake a planter, and one of the relatives no doubt. In 1719, being weak and feeble he writes his will, ..."God afflicted my eldest son Patrick Blake with lunacy or madness, three doctors are working with him, and if he returns to his perfect sense he will inherit my estate, otherwise son Thomas Blake is to take it; Patience Blake my reputed wife by her many scandals and wicked practices detestable to God and man and not fit to be mentioned has given reputed proofs of her evil courses and fied inclination contained therein, has not only forfeited the love and esteem I bore to her but likewise the esteem of all good men also any right to claim dower from my estate after her elopement from me and living so notoriously for many years ...5
Poor lady, he probably was not much better! Imagine leaving a life in Ireland and then facing the challenges that would have come about in St Kitts.