Continued from Walter Kep English History Page
The East Midland Keeps
During the fifth generation,
John and Alice had two sons. The youngest, William Keep, was born about 1380 in Bozeat. William was the Vicar of Grendon Northamptonshire, a nearby village from 1408 to 1439. St Mary's Church, Grendon, still has the remains of two rounded arches, which formed part of the original 12th century building. William was closely associated to William Wulston the Lord of the Manor of neighbouring Wollaston, and the Manor Roll dated 26 December 1426 show that William Keep presided over the session of the Manor Court in Wulston’s absence:
The Register of William Wulston View with court of William Kepe and other feoffees of the Manor of William Wulston held on the day next before the Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostile in the fifth year of the reign of King Henry the Sixth (26 December 1426) – Extracts from the text: “Thomas Joynor alleges that John Toyton is unlawfully keeping a shield, valued at 3s, which he has taken from John, a servant of William Wulston, and which he has been promised to Tomas Joynor. John Toyton denies that he has been keeping the shield and the court decided to investigate further. Richard Mace and Robert Adecok hold the combined tithingmen and ale-tasters. Simon Goldsmyth of London, Elizabeth Art, and Thomas Puddle did not attend court and were each fined 4d. (Simon Goldsmyth owed suit because he was heir to land that had belonged to William Reynoldyn) Martilda Ingland, William Mace, John Smyth, Reginald Smyth, Simon Judde, Thomas Joynor, Reginald Art, Robert Adecok, Thomas Deyne, Peter Syward and John Pakke are each find 12d for breaking the assize of beer. John Puddle, Simon Rudde, William Mace and Reginald Art are fined 2d and 3d for leaving manure, hay and seed on the road. Reginald Smyth is fined 4d for not repairing his house and croft-hedges: he has also enclosed some of John Taillor’s garden. William Lytilbury’s house is described as ruinous he is bound over to repair it before the next court or forfeit 3s 4d. John Gyles has a serious argument with William Goldsmyth which has lead to blows and the drawing of blood. They were each fined 2d for making an affray and breaking the peace. William Smyth and. Robert Galp are fined 4d for trespass.
The name Wollaston is derived from the Saxon "Wulfaf's Town" after a Saxon chief Wulflaf. Remains of a large Romano British vineyard,
35 hectares, have been found in the village, together with the discovery of a Saxon iron helmet in a warrior’s grave dating from around
700 AD. The oldest visible part of the village is
By the eighth generation, William Keep and his wife Katherine
moved from Bozeat to Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. The town is situated on a hill adjacent to rich ironstone beds and close to
the junction of the Rivers Ise and Nene or “Nen” as it is locally pronounced. The town dates from the sixth century, and is mentioned
in the Domesday Book under the name of Wendelburie. The name is formed from elements which translate, roughly, as "the town of the
people of Waendel", or Waendel-ingas-burgh, and not as many believe from the five wells that are found around the town; Red Well,
Hemming Well, Stanwell, Lady's Well, and Whyte Well. The name Wendel is possibly from a Germanic name meaning "a Wend", a Slavic people
living between the
By the eleventh generation,
Nicholas Keep, son of Richard, born in 1577 at Higham Ferrers, married Grace Poley on 10 June 1602 at Higham Ferrers, and they moved to Broughton, Northamptonshire, where Grace was buried on 1 July 1637. Broughton dates back to the Anglo-Saxon times, if not earlier, and the suffix "ton" means a settlement originating in the Dark Ages. The village is referred to as "Burtone" in the Domesday Book belonging to the Countess Judith, William the Conqueror’s niece, and was inhabited by three freemen, four villains and five smallholders.
Thomas Kepe of Ecton, Northamptonshire was a husbandman, i.e. a farmer. He died in 1593 and in his will he left five shillings to each of his children; John, Francis, Augustine, Elizabeth, and Lucy when they became 18 years old. His wife Anne (nee Corye) died in 1621, and her will provides an interesting insight into the family:
son Augustine of Walgrave £1, and to Thomas his sob 2/6d and to Sarah his daughter 2/6d within 1 year after my decease to son John
of Floore 10/=, and to his wife 1/= within 6 months after my decease to son Francis of London 1/=, & to his wife 6d, about a month
after my decease, to Anne Henheman of Northampton 1 ewe sheep 4 weeks after my decease to son Edward Perkins of Broughton Northants
6d to daughter Elizabeth Perkins his wife 6d within 5 months after my decease Residue to son Nathantell Sutton who I make Executor Wits
Stanwick pronounced with a silent “w”, has been a settlement since the beginning of the Iron Age (5BC). In the 10th century it was known as "Stan Wigga", and in the Domesday Survey of 1086 it is referred to as "Stanwige" or "Stanwica". Later it was mentioned in the 1137 Anglo Saxon Chronicle as "Stanwigga". The name means stone dwellings, stone farm, or stone village. Ecton has been a settlement for over four-thousand years with its history dating back to the Neolithic and Beaker periods. Archaeological finds include a spearhead, dating from the Middle Bronze Age period; an Iron Age cobbled track down by the river; and over fifty kilns from the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The village appears in the Domesday Book 1086: -
In "Hamfordshoe" Hundred Ralph holds of Henry in Ecton 4 hides. There is land for 8 ploughs. In demesne [are] 1½ hides of this land, and there are 2 ploughs, and 4 slaves; and 8 villans and 9 bordars and 12 sokemen, with 8 bordars, have 6 ploughs. There are 2 mills rendering 14s and 32 acres of meadow. It was worth £3; now 100s. Bondi held it.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the American Founding Fathers, can trace his ancestry back to the village.
His family lived for over 300 years in Ecton with many generations engaged as the village blacksmiths, and would have been there at
the same time as the Keeps. In William and
to son John a pair of plough chains, a pair of cart gears, a cart body… & a stike of rye wife Isabell to be Executor”.
The will was proved 26 January 1621 and amounted to £23 16s 0d. To put this into a modern day context a pound in the Elizabethan era
is equivalent to about $400.00 today. It also shows the family’s migration from Ecton to Walgrave, Flore, and Broughton in Northamptonshire,
Nicholas and Grace Keep cited above had four children. Including
a John baptised on 27 December 1612 at Higham Ferrers. Again I have no further details about John, who is now a third candidate, for
In the name of God, Amen I John Keepe of Raunds in the countie of Northton, bricklayer, being visited
in bodie, but od good & pfect memory, God be blessed, doe make & ordaine this my last will and testament in manner & forme
following. First, I give unto the Lord my soule, who first gave it, in full assurance that I shall rise againe at the last daye, see
my saviour Jezus Christ with these eyes and enjoy that happiness which the Lord hath laied up for all his saints. And my bodie I commit
to the ground decently to be interred att the discretion of my Executor. Impimis, I give & bequeath unto my brother Thomas Keepe
and to his children twelve pence apiece. Item I give and bequeath unto my sister Fusabell Keepe the some of fortie shillings to be
paid her within six months after my discease. Item I give and bequeath unto my brother in law
From what we have so far established from our DNA testing,