Saturday, April 4, 2009


Richard Oakley and Margaret Meyrick were my great-great-great-great-great- grandparents, being from the Stapleton and Bishop’s Castle districts of Shropshire respectively.
Richard was one of five sons born to Richard Oakley and Elizabeth Blakeway, and also had sisters Elizabeth and Mary. Two of his brothers died in infancy- Richard was born in 1731 and died in 1736, aged 4 ½ years, and Edward was born in 1739 and died three years later in 1842. His two brothers to survive into adulthood were Timothy, who was born in 1733, and Roger, whose birth in 1735 put him two years older than Richard.

Richard Oakley was baptised on March 24, 1737, taking the name of his eldest brother who had passed away the year before. His father, Richard the Elder, was a farmer whose holding, called ‘The Moat’, was quite a substantial farm in the parish of Stapleton, near the village of Pontesbury.
Richard was a young man of 26 when his father died in 1763. Richard the Elder’s will made bequests to all of his children and his wife Elizabeth. Richard Oakley married Margaret Meyrick on February 11, 1766, at Stapleton. He was about 29 years of age.
Margaret was the daughter of Thomas Meyrick from Bishops Castle, a market town in south Shropshire near the Welsh border. Her siblings were sisters Elizabeth, Susannah and Mary and brother Thomas, who was a surgeon and apothecary from Bishops Castle.
The Meyrick family were quite an interesting lot, so before I continue with Richard I will endeavour to cover a little of the history of the Meyrick family.


Margaret Meyrick Oakley, my 5-greats grandmother, was born c. 1740 in Shropshire. Her father was a land owning ‘gentleman’ from Bishop’s Castle, and her mother unknown as yet.
Margaret’s three sisters all married, while her only brother, Thomas the Younger, remained a bachelor. His will of 1779 reveals that he was the father of an illegitimate son, Richard Careless, who is described as ‘the illegitimate son which I had by Mary Careless of Shrewsbury’.
Thomas Meyrick made sure that his son was provided for, appointing his brother-in-law and friend Richard Oakley as the child’s guardian. The will stated:-
“ …to pay the Governor, agent or trustee of Wanless Hall School, county of York, sixteen pounds 4 shillings and 4 pence yearly until Richard Careless, my illegitimate son which I had by Mary Careless of Shrewsbury, spinster, and which child is now at school at Wanless Hall, shall arrive at the age of 15 years for his education at said school provided he continues there so long. As so as Richard Careless shall attain the age of 15 years I desire my said executor to place out Richard Careless to trade and pay and apply 200 pounds to put and place him out in an apprentice and to set him up in trade.
Also to give Richard Careless five pounds per year after he turns 15 until he turns 25, to be paid half-yearly.
I appoint Richard Oakley sole executor and guardian and trustee of my said natural son.”
The will was signed on November 20, 1779, and proved on 29 April, 1780. As well as making allowances for his son, Thomas also left bequests to the following people:
-My good friend Richard Oakley of The Moat in the parish of Stapleton, gentleman.
-my sister Elizabeth, wife of Humphrey Jones
-my sister Mary, the wife of John Stedman
-my sister Margaret, wife of aforesaid Richard Oakley
-my nephews and nieces as follows: Richard Oakley the Younger, Thomas Oakley, John Oakley, Timothy Oakley and Margaret Oakley.
Thomas Heighway, Richard Heighway, William Heighway.
Margaret Jaundrell, one of the daughters of my sister Elizabeth Jones.

Susannah Meyrick, sister of Margaret, married Samuel Heighway of Stoke St Milborough, at Stapleton on March 3, 1767. Witnesses to the event were Thomas Meyrick and Richard Oakley. Susannah bore her husband three sons before her death after only eight years of marriage. Thomas Heighway was born at Stapleton in 1768; Richard Heighway in 1770 and William Heighway in 1771. Their mother Susannah Meyrick Heighway died in 1775, and was buried in the church yard of St. John the Baptist, Stapleton.
Samuel Heighway remarried the following year. On September 22,1776, at Stapleton, he married Susannah Oakley, the daughter of John Oakley and Susannah Jeffrys of Stapleton. Samuel had five more children with his second wife:Susannah Anne b September 8, 1778; Samuel baptised April 16, 1781, St. Mary. Shrewsbury; John baptised February 24,1782, Leebotwood; Mary baptised May 19, 1785, Leebotwood; and Edward baptised January 28,1787, Leebotwood.
Samuel Heighway, farmer of Leebotwood, was buried on 21 February, 1804.

Margaret Meyrick's sister Mary married William Collins of Stoke Saint Milborough, Gentleman, on January 7, 1766.Witnesses to the marriage were Thomas and Susan Meyrick.However, when I downloaded the will of Mary's father Thomas meyrick, there was no mention of a William or Mary Collins.There was, however, mention of his daughter Mary STEDMAN and he left a bequest to John Stedman along with his other sons-in-law. I can't find a marriage of a John Stedman to either a Mary Collins or Mary Meyrick.
Margaret's sister Elizabeth Meyrick married Humphrey Jones. I cannot find their marriage nor any record of children born to them, although a daughter Margaret definitely existed. Thomas Meyrick the Younger, brother of Elizabeth Meyrick Jones,
left money in his 1779 will to " Margaret Jaundrell, one of the daughters of my sister Elizabeth Jones."
Further investigation shows that Margaret Jones of Pulverbach married Richard Jaundrell(or Jandrell)on October 4, 1776.They had one daughter, Ann Jaundrell, baptised July 1, 1777, Pulverbach. Margaret Jones Jaundrell died in 1787 and was buried on January 26, 1787, at Pulverbach.Their daughter Ann married Joseph MEIRL or MEIRE at Church Pulverbach on June 3, 1802.

Back to Richard Oakley and Margaret Meyrick....Their first child was born the year after their marriage, and was a daughter named Margaret. Five sons followed, and as far as can be determined Richard and Margaret were blessed (and lucky!) in that they lost no children before adulthood was reached.

The children of Richard Oakley and Margaret Meyrick were as follows:

Margaret Oakley baptised March 27, 1767, Stapleton.
Richard Oakley baptised October 22, 1768, Stapleton.
Thomas Oakley baptised January 29, 1770, stapleton.
John Oakley baptised January 20, 1771, Stapleton.
Timothy Oakley baptised June 29, 1773, Stapleton.
William Oakley baptised November 2, 1780, Stapleton.

Richard Oakley of The Moat, Stapleton, died on February 14, 1786. His wife Margaret Meyrick outlived him by many years, dying over thirty years after her husband on January 18, 1817.

Further details of the above children:
1.MARGARET OAKLEY. Baptised at Stapleton on March 27, 1767, Margaret was the first child born to newly weds Richard and Margaret Oakley.
At the age of twenty three, Margaret married Abraham Jaundrell . They were married at Church Pulverbatch on June 3, 1790.
Abraham was the son of Michael and Susannah Jaundrell, and was baptised at Church Pulverbatch on November 13, 1764.
From the early 15th Century until the early 1800s, the Jaundrell family were the principal freeholders in Church Pulverbatch. The family lived at the Lower House throughout this period. This was originally a farm house built of red brick on a stone plinth.
Abraham Jaundrell built Churton House in 1814-15. Located to the immediate south of the church, it is a refined piece of domestic regency design which is still being lived in today. It is a handsome 2 storey red brick property with a slate roof, and Abraham and his wife Margaret would have lived there in the latter part of their lives.
There were no living children born to the couple. When Margaret died a widow in 1835, she left all of her money and property to her Oakley relations.

2. RICHARD OAKLEY: baptised October 22, 1768. Married Jane Brazenor, the daughter of Robert Brazenor of Halston and of Upper Moat Stapleton on October 14, 1790. Issue: a) Richard: 1791-1827. Married Elizabeth Burlton, April 17, 1820. Children William 1823; thomas 1825; John and Elizabeth.
b) Robert: 1793-1794.
c) Thomas: 1796-1872. Married Mary Bromley.
d) Elizabeth:b 1794.

3. THOMAS OAKLEY: born 1770. married Elizabeth Broom of Church Stretton on August 8, 1799. Died January 11, 1844. No issue. His will left numerous bequests to nephews and nieces.

4. JOHN OAKLEY: born 1771. Of 'The Round House', Church Pulverbach.My ancestor who will be dealt with in a future blog.

5. TIMOTHY OAKLEY: Also my ancestor, to be discussed in further detail in future blog.

6. WILLIAM OAKLEY: baptised November 21, 1780. Died 1842.

1 comment:

  1. Have you visited the Stedman Cousins' website?

    Some of the cosuins have done extensive research into the Stedmans of Shropshire.