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Excerpts from the Diaries of the Chafes
or Chafys of Chafe-Combe, 
Exeter and Sherborne
By Rev. W.K.W. Chafy, Sherborne and Rous Lench - 1910


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The following are excerpts of the notes and diaries of Rev. W.K.W. Chafy of Sherborne and Rous Lench written in 1910, Rouse Lench Court, Michaelmas.  The diaries cover Chafes of Chafecombe and Devonshire, Chaffes of Devonshire and Chafys of Sherborne.  This edited text covers some of the Chafes of Chafecombe and Devonshire.

Chapter 1.

1. The Chafes as seated in Chafecombe in Somerset for three hundred and fifty years, from the advent of their first known ancestor Hugh, the confidential attendant of the Norman Princess Emma, till the reign of Edward III, when the elder line ended in daughters, and the nearly landless cadets wandered elsewhere to seek a new home where they could, and who seemed to have settled for a century of depressed fortunes at Bridgewater.

2. The Chafes or Chaffes of Devonshire, where in the time of Elizabeth they are found at Exeter, having exchanged the sword of Knightly service for the "doublett" and "cassocke" of Civic Life., prosperous and wealthy, and grown into a branch of their own, which they wished to be known as a second one by differencing their arms with a crescent (and possibly a canton) yet cherishing the memory of their descent from "the very ancient family of Chafecombe Somerset" till they in turn ended in daughters in the reign of Queen Anne. 

            The name "Chafy" is obviously idential under many variations, such as Chafe, Chafee, Chafy, Chafye, Chafey, Chafie, Chaff, Chaffe, Chaffee, Chaffy, Chaffey, Chaffie, and possibly others, and seems to have always maintained under whatever spelling, a dis-syllabic rponunciation with the a sounded long as in the verb "to chafe" both in England America, in which latter county it was introduced in or about 1637, and where the spelling "Chafy" and Chaffee was. at first alternative, though it soon settled down to the latter which form became thenceforwad, and is now chiefly prevalent.


            The following is the entry concerning Chafecombe in the Gjeld Inquest for Somerset, or to use the better known name the "Exon Domesday" in the custody of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter, and inquest anterior to, and independent of, the Great Domesday Survey which was not commenced until two years later. Between the Conquest and the compilation of Domesday book i.e. 1066 - 1085. - King William levied a tax more than once, commonly called the "Danegeld" to buy off the Danes. One of the Chroniclers says that after Christmas 1083 he levied a tax of six shillings on every hide of land.  This was the Gheld Inquest, and the sole fragment of it remaining is the collectors return for the five South Western counties, viz. Wilts, Dorset, Somerset Devon and Cornwall which was completed by Easter 1084. fol 136 B.(i) Eyton. Domesday Studies.

            Here follows extract of Domesday Book which may be englished thus..  Land of the Bishop of Coutaces in Somerset Shire. The Bishop has one Manor which is called Chaffe Combe, which two Thanes held equally in the day when King Edward was alive and dead (he died Jan 5th 1066) And it yields Tax for three hides and a half (note) The metrology of Domsday is not uniform. The area of the hide is varied. In Somerset it was 2484 acres. Eyton. Domesday Studies.. End of Note) which three ploughs can plough. Red Ralph holds this to the Bishop. Ralph has three hides, and half a virgate 'Eyton says the areal measure of the virgate is uncertain. In the Exon Domesday it seems to mean a quarter of a hide. Round asserts that a virgate consisted of 60 acres) of this in hand, and one plough, the villan (farm labourer), one virgate and a half, and one Plough. Ralph has two villans there and six borderers (cottagers) and eight animals and twenty four boars and sixty five ewes and eight quadrants (a quadrant is a furlong) of wood in length, and the same in breadth,, and it is worth 40/- a year, and when the Bishop received it it was worth the same. To this Manor are added two other Manors, which two Thanes held equally the day when King Edward was alive and dead, and they yielded Tax for one hide and three virgates. Two Ploughs can plough these. Ralph holds these now of the Bishop, and has there three villans who, have two ploughs, and are worth 20/- a year, and when the Bishop received it it was worth the same. These four manors Ralph holds of the Bishop for one Manor.

            The exhaustive nature of the inventory is shown by the enumeration of the live stock of the manors, which excited the indignation and disgust of the people.

            The Anglo Saxon Chronicler observes that there was, not an "ox, nor a cow, nor a swine" left that was not "set down in writing (Anglo Saxon Chronicle 1083 Bodleon Library) The entry about Chafecombe in the Great Domesday book is as follows:

Terra ep'i Constantiensis
Ide ep's ten Caffcombe and Radulf de eo. Duo Taini
tenuer' T.R.E. and geldb. p., 111 hid' and dim. Trae,
111 car' etc. etc. which in English may be

Land of the Bishop of Coutances.
The same Bishop held Chaffecombe and Ralph of him.
Two Thanes help it in the time of King Edward and
it was assessed for 3 hides.

            The land is three carucates (a baffling measure, perhaps 120 acres) One is in hand,and two villans and six cottagers have one plough. There is a wood of eight quadrants long and the same in breadth. It is worth 40/-. To this manor is added one hide and three virgates of land. Two Thanes held it in the times of King Edward for the manors. The land is two carucates. Three villans hold these, value 20/-. (Round is positive that a caruca meant a plough team of eight oxen. Feudel England P.P. 35. 36. Thus in William the Conqueror's time Chafecombe was held by Geoffrey de Mooubray Moubrai, the Norman Bishop of Coutances, William chief justiciary (and one of the compilers of Domesday book) who in 1066 held 77 manors of the Crown, containing 359 hides, and Red Ralph held under him at Chafecombe. The Bishop died in 1093, and was succeeded by his nephew Robert de Moubrai Earl of Northumberland (Eyton Domesday Studies)

            Collinson derives the name from "caf" equals winding, and "combe" valley. Mr. Worthy calls it "caef cumbe" equals light or breezy valley (Vivian Devinshire Wills p.316. In a book called the Norman people the anonymous author derives Cafe or Chaff from the French Chauve (bald) and puts Henry, Nicholasm, Robert, and Ranulf le Chauve or Calvus, in Normandy 1180 - 1105 (Mag. Rot. Scac. p.184) The Manor house was contiguous to the church as was usual in early times, but the former has long vanished and the latter rebuilt. In answer to two enquiries to successive rectors in 1867 and 1887 the following replies were given..

Feb 12th 1867. There are no memorials of the family of Chafe in the Church. In the aisle on the north side there were two vaults covered with stone slabs but the inscriptions which were in old English could not be read when the church was rebuilt. It took great pains to make them out but was unsuccessful. There appears to have been a residence near the church, at least there seems to be the remains of what might have been a moat-here the daffodils grow in profusion.

Charles Penny.
Jan.1st 1887 There exists in a hilly grass field nr the Church, a trench, which is said to mark the site of the manor house.

That the seigneurial family was seated at Chafcombe at an early period is shown by the remains of the moat and the trandition of the manor house, and is confirmed by the hint of ancient generations inscribed on a large monument in Devonshire to a Thomas Chafe who died in 1648 where he is described as "ex perantiqua Chaforum femilia de Chafe Combe (combe) in comitatu Somerset: oriundi"  The qualification of a "Thegn" or Thane is notoriously difficult to establish.  The possession of five hides is the interpretation of some (Round Feudel England p 68). Another view is that a Saxon who held 500 acres of land, and had a church on his estate with a bell tower could claim the rank as a Thane.

The registers begin in 1678
The burial register shews the burial of Thomas Chafye in 1681.  The name never occurs again. It may be mentioned that in the Parish of Down St. Mary near Exeter is a locality called Chaffcomb"..

Origin of the Family.

            Hugo de Chafecombe (1002)
            The Rev. Henry Barbour in a letter to the writer about his book on the British Surnames (Nov. 3rd 1891) asserts the Chafys were of Norman extraction; and another antiquary assured him that their English founder was Hugo, steward of Emma of Normandy, in whose train he came to England in 1002 when he wedded Ethelred II, and that he then became established at Chafcombe in Somerset, remaining undisturbed throughout the conflict of dynasties, Saxon Danish and Norman, owing to his allegiance to each, under his royal mistress who, after Elhelred the saxon's death, became the wife of Knut the Dane, and was mother of the semi saxon Norman King, Edward the Confessor.

            Emma was the daughter of Richard I of Normandy (Duke of Normandy) who was called "The fearless" (commricharded dohter Yumma (Aglfgiua) A.S.Chr. Cott. Domit. A.VIII "ea fuerat filia richardi, comitis Normanniae fillii Willelmi" Will Malms 11 165. and her mother was Emma daughter of Hugh the Great, duke of the French.  Richard stood well in favour with Hugh and during his reign the Duchies of Normandy and France were in close alliance, and he had a chief hand in giving the Kingdom to Hugh Capet, son of Hugh the Great.  Richard died (probably) in 996.  Emma's beauty and accomplishments were renowned and Ethelred hoped to secure an effectual barrier against his enemies by espousing her.

            Out of complement to her new country she took a new name, Agelfgifu, and as his "morning gift" the King gave her certain lands and towns, amongst which was Exeter, the chief City of the West.  Her marriage marks one of the main stages in the events which led to the Norman Conquest, and by reason of it the Normans and other French speaking people began now for the first time to settle in England and hold English offices.

            She was an important person in English history, being the wife of two Kings, and mother of two Kings.  But the union proved a disastrous failure.  Ethelred's weak and vacillating nature was well expressed by his soubriquet of "Unready".

            There was no love on either side.  It was a political alliance and a political mistake.  He was unfaithful to her, and careless of the respect that her position demanded and whilst she, on her side, does not seem to have loved him, or her children of him.  Accordingly she did not scruple to encourage the Danes, who were burning to avenge Ethelred's cruel massacre of their countrymen on St. Brice's day Nov. 13 1002. and lost no time in sending her confidential attendant Hugh - the French Ceorl" the "Norman Earl" according to others - to Exeter's chief commander with her own instructions, so that when Swegen led his Danes in a determined raid the next year Hugh allowed the garrison to capitulate, either from negligence or treason, and the Danes entered the city, sacked and pillaged it, threw down the wall from the eastern to the western gate, and returned to their ships laden with spoil.

            Perhaps it is this service which accounted for the settlement of Hugh at Chafecombe, whence he and his attendants were never dislodged under the contending rulers who followed.  Ethelred died in 1016, and Knut sent over to Normandy whither Emma and her English children had fled, offering her his land which she accepted July 1017, leaving her children behind in the northern Court, so that once more she became lady of the English, whilst the children grew up Norman and Norman habits and sympathies, as Edward shewed when he ascended the English thrown, amongst other things building his famous new Abbey at Westminster in the Norman style.  She died in 1052 (or 1054) and her bones rest in the Cathedral church at Winchester, to which a Sanctuary or Manor was offered by her and of which edifice the well in the court yard still exists. 

            A building of Tudor date, now converted to a hotel, continues the ancient name of "God Begot" occupying the site of her foundation. When William the Conqueror 18 to 20 years after his accession ordered the Domesday survey to be made (for exchequer purposes) 1084 to 1086, Hugh's grandson Ralph was found in possession of Chafecombe.  In the Exomn Domesday book the adjective "Rufus" is interlineated above his name.  Possibly his mother, or grandmother, may have been English and given him red hair.

Radulphus Rufus de Chafecombe
Red Ralph de Chafecombe 1066

            At the Norman Conquest when William gave Chafecombe to the Bishop of Coutances, the later allowed "Read" Ralph, Fitz-Reginald Fitz Hugh to continue the tenancy, although under the newly devised feudal system the tenant was practically the owner.  1000 (Year) Ralph was succeeded by his son Robert Fitz-Ralph who held lands worth 20. in capite of Henry I., by the service of one Knight's fee.  The name Hugh, Reginald, Ralph, Robert etc. sufficiently attest to the Norman extraction of the family.  According to the black book of the Exchequer, Roberts son Ranulph, Fitz-Robert was seised of the manor lands of and the town of Chafecombe, and of the perpetual advowson and right of presentation to the church, in the time of Stephen holding in capite of the King 1135.  1154. Ranulf had to sons, Robert Fitz-Ranulf and Ranulf Fitz Ranulf (1).  Robert Fitzranulf, who succeeded his father in the reign of Henry II, and left his heir and only daughter, Agnes, who thus became Lady of Chafecombe in her own right.

            Agnes de Chafecombe 1200.

            Agnes de Chafcombe was seised of the manor of Chafecombe, Lillesdon and Wendestie, and the advowsons of Chafecombe and Wendestie, and presented to the churches of Chafecombe and Wendestie in the time of Henry III.  She married (1) Oliver Avenel, who held Chafecombe (in the right of his wife) of the Abbot of Forde by the service of 1.3.4 yearly under King John.

            Her children were also daughters (1) Emma., who succeeded to one half the manor and advowson of Chafecombe etc. and held one hide in Chafecombe of the Abbot of Forde at the annual rent of 20/-. She married Jordan de Insula (des L'Insole) by whom she had a son and heir Walter de Insula, who was 14 at his grandmother's death.  (2) Marjorie, who succeeded to the other half of the manor and advowson of Chafecombe etc. and was twice married.. (1) to Warren de Noveton who died without issue: (2) to Philip de Cantilupe, by whom she had a son, Bladeric de Cantilupe.

            Litigation was not uncommon in those early days, and the law reports has acquired an undreamed of posthumous value of genealogyst as is seen in the example following, of a trial about the advowson of Chafecombe, which took place in 1275, and is translated from the abbreviated Latin original: Here follows, not copied by me F.G.C
Agnes married (2) John de Aure, one of the Kings Justices itinerant living in 1263, by whom she had a son and two daughters:- John de Aure, died in his mother's lifetime. Margart..Elizabeth, died unmarried.  Margaret inherited the manor and advowson of Wendestie and married de-Acton, by whom she had two sons, John de Acton, who died in his mother's lifetime, and Odo de Acton who became heir to his brother john, and claimed the right of presentation to Wendestie against Roger de Moeles, guardian of Idonea in 1295.

            Ranulphus de Chafecombe. 
            Ranulf de Chafecombe. 2 Ranulf Fitz-Ranulf, younger brother of Robert, and Uncle of Agnes, kept up the male line, and to him his father gave a carucate of land as a younger son's portion, in the time of Henry II.  1281 he had a son Robert, who interpleaded in the law suit quoted, and was plaintiff in a plea of law in 1281, in or about which year he did.  His son was Thomas Chafe de Chafecombe..

            Thomas Chafe de Chafecombe.
            This Thomas de Chafecombe was the first to assume the Surname, and was seised of a hide of land etc. at Chafecombe "in inheritance of his father" Robert Fitz Ranulf:..He married Matilda daughter of Andrew de Bosco (Bois, anglice Boys, Boyce (Wood) of Cnolle, co. Somerset, to whom Margaret daughter of Matilda de Chafecombe, gave a virgate of land at Chafecombe, by fine in 1246-1282.  He died about 1283.  His widow recovered the custody of his son and heir Thomas as against a cleric called William de Saint esprit in 1284.
The son and heir of Thomas de Chafecombe, who was underage in 1285 and was seised of this father's lands in Chafecombe and elsewhere, married Christina, daughter of Robert de Mandeville, a younger branch of Mandevilles (Earls of Essex) and they sold conjointly divers lands of her inheritance in Kingston Mandeville co. Somerset.  About 1311 they had two sons, Thomas and Andrew.  The ender son Thomas Chafe de Chafecombe, who was under age in 1316, held lands and tenements at Chafecombe of the Earl of Gloucester and Hereford by military services.  He died before 1363, and having no son his possession passed to his three daughters, Johnna, Agnes and Elizabeth, and thus once more the estate, or what was left of it drifted away to females.  

            Andrew de Chafecombe 1327-1376.
            Their Uncle, Andrew de Chafecombe was seised (attained possession) of lands in Chafecombe and a Kynewardeston ... in 1327 and was living at Bridgewater in 1376.  He alone remained to perpetuate the name; and quitting the cradle of his race, became as Prince says of Thomas Risdon who was also a younger brother, "the hammerman of his fortune" carrying with him little besides the memory of his ancient home and lineage.

            Their Extinction at Chafecombe and settlement at Bridgewater.
            1376 .. Bridgewater in Somerset now became the habitation of the Chafes for the next hundred years or more, during which time they sank into obscurity, and having no longer lands to hold and maintain by military tenure, they turned their energies into other channels, and when they emerged from their long depression it was as wealthy merchants of Exeter in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 
Thomas de Chafecombe 1406.
  Andrew was succeeded by his son Thomas the last who was called de Chafecombe.  He was seised of six messuages (dwellings, houses, grounds) six gardens etc. by the gift of his father 6. Richard 11. at Bridgewater, and was living there in 1406.  The name of his wife as of many of his descendants is not known. 

            His son John Chafe succeeded him (1413) and inherited divers messuages and lands at Bridgewater, holding also lands at Wyntewyche, Co. Devon, where was sued in 1413 for depasturing cattle in 1413.  He was living in Bridgewater in 1415

            John Chaffie.. 1415-1438.. John Chaffie is given in the pedigree as his son and was seised of lands etc. at Bridgewater and elsewhere.  He served as a man at Arms at Agincourt, in 1415, and was living at Bridgewater in 1438, when he was plaintiff in a plea of debt.

            1489..John Chaffie.. After him comes John Chafie of Ilminster and Bridgewater who was sued by one William Scarlett for forcibly ejecting him out of two messuages etc. at Bridgewater 1489.  In 1499 a John Chafie of Ilminster witnessed the will of Joan Warre, relict of Richard Warre, conjointly with John Taylor, Vicar of Ilminster.

            Among the field and place names of Norton-? in the parish of Ilminster is "Chaffy's orchard". 

            Richard Chafy of Sherborne died in 1523.  A Richard Chafy is given to him as a son who has lands and tenements in Somerset and Dorset, and in the latter County of Sherborne, where he paid the subsidy in 1522 and died in the following year.  He is the first Chafy known to own property in Dorset.  His sons are said to be..

            (1) John Chafy of Sherborne, the alleged eldest son, and the alleged ancestor of the writer.  He married Johanna (surname unknown) who was buried at Stoke Under Hamdon 22nd July 1558.

            (2) William Chaffe of Wellington (Wellington registers begin in 1683.  Those of West Buckland, which was annexed to Wellington in 1552) the ascertained ancestor of the Devonshire branch, who charged their arms with a crescent, shewing they considered themselves a second house.  He married Johe or Johanne (surname unknown) who was buried at Wellington.

            (3) Richard Chaffie of Holwell and Stoke Under Hamdon. 

            Armorial Bearings.

            A Coat of Arms, whose origin and first adoption are unascertainable, was assumed from the time by various Chafes of Chafe combe, but upon what authority is unknown, for although it is mentioned in the collection of the College of Arms it was has never been formally assigned to anyone.  It is azure, five fusiles in fesse, a canton argent.  Crest a demi Lion rampent, azure, bezante holding lozenge, or between its paws (or in the shield at West Hall, Folk, Sherborne, as described by Rev. C.H. Mayo, July 3rd. 1874)

            (1) The first individual known to have borne it is Robert Chaffe Mayor of Exeter in 1568 and 1575, its ascription to him being found in an Alphabet of arms of Devon and Cornwall families, and said to have been written about 1689. 

            (2) The next instance of its use known to the writer is on a carved panel which formed part of a mantlepiece in a house at Exeter, demolished in 1875, where the arms of humphrie Curson's impaling those of his wife, richard Chafe, hers being charged with a mark of cadenoy, the crecent.  The marriage took place Feb. 2nd 1611, so that this panel could not have been made earlier.

            (3) The next is on a mural tablet in the Acland aisle in the Church of Bishop's Tawton, co. Devon, where the arms of Mrs. Curson's sister Elizabeth Chafe, also charged with a crescent, are impaled with those of Mr. John Mulys of Halmeston, who died Sept. 12th 1633, after which date the tablet seems to have been erected.

            (4) The fourth instance occurs on a monument with a recumbent effigy in the church of St. Giles-in-the-Wood, Winscot nr.Torrington,Co.Devon, where they are a principal achievement with helmet and crest, and on either side impaled with those of Margery Burgoyne and Tristram Risdon.  The monument was erected to the memory of "Thomas Chafe of Doddescott" a brother of Mrs.Curson and Mrs. Mulys, who died in 1648, and left directions for its erection, a memorial of his sister Mrs.Tristram Risdon to be included in it.  They were all children of Thomas Chafe, Notary Public of Exeter, who died in 1604, and of Dorothy (Shorto) his wife. 

            (5) The fourth instance occurs at a monument with a recumbent effigy in the church of St. Giles-in-the-Wood, Winscot, nr.Torrington,Co.Devon, where they are a principal achievement with helmet and crest, and on either side are impaled with those of Margery Burgoyne and Tristram Risdon.  The monument was erected to the memory of "Thomas Chafe of Doddescott" a brother of Mrs. Curson and Mrs.Mulys, who died in 1648, and left directions for its erection, a memorial of his sister Mrs. Tristram Risdon to be included in it.  They were all children of Thomas Chafe, Notary Public of Exeter, who died in 1604, and of Dorothy (Shorto) his wife.

            (6) In the North isle of the church at Folke there is a white marble tablet where they impale, and also carry on an escuthcheon of pretence on the same coat, the arms of Moleyns.  In this instance the crescent does not appear....Thomas Chafe of West Hall (in the right of his wife) M.P. for Bridport 1685-7.

He was the son of Thomas Chafe of Sherbourne, M.P. for Totnes 1660 and of Cathererine (Malet) his wife, which Thomas was the only surviving son of John Chaffe.

John Chaffe of Exter and Ann_(Maye, or Mayo) his, wife, the elder brother of Thomas Chaffe of Doddscourt, of Mrs. Mulys, Mrs. Bigilstone, Mrs.Risdon and Mrs.Curson.  He died in 1701. A Hatchment hangs near.

            (7) In America the same arms have been found on a seal attached to a legal document i.e. fesse lozengy, and a Canton (no tinctures).  The used was a Thomas Chaffee born in Devon but of a certainty not of the Exeter family, nor of the Holwell, Co.Dorset, a freeman of Hingham, Massachusetts, 1637.  He lived to a great age, being upwards of 90 when he died.  His will is dated July 25th 1680. (Mr. Bleddyn Powell, Philadelphia.Dec.5th.1901)  The will is printed in full by W.H. Chaffee of New York, in his Chaffee Genealogy 1909)

            These arms also exist on a deed of David Chaffee of Roboboth Mass: about 1700, who was the grandson of Thomas Chaffee (in a letter of W.H.Chaffee of New York to W.K.W.C. Oct. 1st 1909)  Mr. Worthy thought the arms might have been founded on those of the well known Devonshire family of Avenel which are, Argent, five fusils in fesse sable. (Nov18th 1893)  Agnes de Chafecombe, the heiress of Chafecombe in the time of King John, married Oliver Avenel as her first husband.

            Another Coat somewhat resembling the above was borne by the Sherbourne line., though how it first came into existence, or who first bore it, is unknown. It is "Gules, a gryphon segreant, or; on a chief ermine, three fusils sable. The earliest evidences of its use known to the writer are the impressions in wax in some earlier letters writtren by the Rev. John Chaffy of Sherbourne, who was born 1719 , Vicar of Broad Chalke, co.Wilts etc. and his mortuary stone at Broad Chalke. A silver seal in the writer's possession belonging to the John's next brother James Chafy Esq. of the Sherbourne and Dorchester, is engraved with the same arms, differenced by a crescent for the second son. Papworth, Edmundson and Burke quote this coat and assign it to Chasey, Somersetshire, but no such family is known. Obviously the old fashioned "long s and f" have been confused,, and Chasey put for Chafey..

            The Rev.William Chafy of Sherbourne and Canterbury, the youngest brother memoralised the Earl Marshall to confirm these arms to him stating that "the armorial ensigns hitherto used by his family had not been duly recorded, and being unwilling to continue the use of them without lawful authority, he requested the form of a warrant for granting and assigning the same, with such variations as might be necessary, to be borne by him and his Descendants"

            Accordingly on Nov. 9th 1822, these Arms were duly granted with some slight variations without which process the Heralds never grant any Coat, however undoubted the descent of the Grantee from the first user. They are blazoned as follows
            Per pale, gules, and azure, a gryphon segreat
            argent. On a chief engrailed ermine, three lozenges of the
            second. Crest, upon a mount vert, between two branches of
            palm, a peacock in pride, all proper.
            Motto Fide et Fiducia.

            The phraseology of the petitioner, speaking of the arms petitioned for as therefore having been borne by his family, seems to point to their having been used by one or more anterior generations. The only other persons likely to have used them in his own generations, and who at any rate did so, were his two childless brothers John and James.

            It is to be observed that although they are attributed to Somerset, Chafys, they are claimed and borne by the Chafys of Sherborne, seeming to shew that the latter felt they had some right to them.  The coat affinities to the Chafecombe one.  The fusiles remain, though the lozenges, and they are sable as on the Avenel shield whilst a gryphon segreat, or, on a field 

            The tinctures and gryphon may be fortuitous and not influenced by the Saxon charge, but if so it is at least curious, and the sable lozenges still more so unless the Chafecombe origin is meant to be hinted at But the mystery is their origin  Commenting on the grant Mr.Worthy sometime principal assistant to the Somerset Herald in Ordinary, says in his Devonshire Wills...
It is satisfactorily marks the descent of the Chafys from Hugo.  Then of Chafcombe, and his (W.K.W.C's) connection with the Saxon Earldom of Devon, the badge of which was a Gryphon them, and down to the third century after the conquest
Mr. Worthy says in his History of the Suburbs of Exeter ..
It is certainly from the seals still in existence that the Earls of Devon from the time of Baldwin de Redvers the second Earl down to William de Verbon the sixth Earl, possessed and used a seal which bore the devise of a griffin trampling upon a small animal like a dog; and the arms therefore which were in after years attributed to these Earls were therefore founded upon the seal, and have since been emblazoned "gules, a griffin segreat or." .. It should be noted how close is the resemblance to the arms of Chafin of Wiltshire (Warminster) as close as that between the names Chafin and Chafie. 
Chafin bore gules a Talbot, or.  A chief ermine; and Chafie or Chafy gules a gryphon, or, on a ermine, three lozenges sable.

            Chafes of Devonshire.
            William Chaffe of Welling 1523/4.
            William Chaffe, the undoubted ancestor and founder of the Devonshire Branch Exeter branch, was seised of lands in Sherborne and Holwell, co. Dorset, and co.Wellington co.Somerset on which he paid subsidies 14 & 15 Henry VIII.  He lived in Wellington and his wife's name was Jone or Johanna.  They had two children who are identifiable, if there were others they are unknown, 1. Robert born..... Nicolas born .....  His widow Jone Chaffe made her will, she being then a widow, August 22 1552 buried in the churchyard at Wellington.  Proved at Taunton July 4th 1559 etc.etc.

            Robert Chaffe of Exeter.
            1557 1566. 8. Robert Chaffe who seems the eldest born of William and Jone Chaffe states in his will dated Dec.8th 1573 that he was born at Wellington where his parents lived and died, but he settled at Exeter where he acquired property in various parts of the City.  He was Steward there 1557, Sheriff 1566, Mayor 1568, Churchwarden of St. Petrocks 1568 and 1569, governor of the "Societe of Merchant Adventurers of the Cite of Exeter, trafficing the realm of Fraunce and dominions of the French King, incorporated by Queen Elizabeth June 17th. 1560 in 1571, and mayor again in 1576.

            He is the first Chafe of Chafy know to have borne arms. The children of his eldest son charged these with a crescent, seeming to show that they know there to be an elder line somewhere else.  They prospered and intermarried with Devonshire families, Risdon, Moels, Mulys or Mules,  Martyn, Burgoyne etc.. grew into a separate and Devonshire Branch, and two of them sat in Parliament, one for Devonshire and the other for a Dorset borough.  Robert Chaffe married Elizabeth Bigglestone and their children were Thomas..., baptized .... married Dorothy Shorte (of whom directly) died .... Buried at St. Olaves Oct. 28.1604.

            Richard, died May 12. 1596. Robert, William, George, Elizabeth Pascall...married Lawrence Elsdon (alias Rauffe) In his will describes himself as one of the Aldermen of the Citie of Exeter. dwelling in the Parish of St. Petrocks of the Citie. 
            Richard Chaffee had a son named Richard defendant in a chancer suite in 1622 on the complaitn of John Chaffe of Buckfastleigh.  Robert Chaffe married Elizabeth ? and had three sons, Robert, Thomas and Edmund
            Will.  Also to James Chaffe, the son of my brother Nicholas Chaffe dead.  This seems to be James Chaffe of West Buckland.  Some confusion surrounded the place of his sepulchre.

            The Cathedral burial register does not begin until Mar.13th 1593.  As recently as 1874 (1784) ...the interment was alleged to be in the cathedral and the vergers minute book contained the following: 
            Robert Chaffe 1573 Grave stone..Here lyeth the body of Robert Chafe Esq. who was twice Mayor died ye (obliterated) Decr. Anno Domini 1575.

            But the burial registers of St. Petrock have the entry 1580.  July 26th Mr. Robert Chaffe was buried.  His second Mayorality was not until 1576.  

            His widow survived him 12 years, dying 1592.  Her will now missing, proved the same year.  The marriage registers of St. Petrocks have the following..August the 1st. August Ann.Dom 1596 Thomas Martyn and Eleanor Chaffe (Elynor) were maryed"..

            Chaffes of West Buckland and Buckfastleigh
            Nicolas Chaffe the second son of William and Jone Chafe of Wellington seems to have lived in West Buckland.  His wife's name was "Wilmott Wilmott" surname unknown.
The children of Nicolas and Wilmot Chaffe were...
James Chaffe born...baptized...married Dyonice at West Buckland 21st May 1595.  Went as a soldier to Ireland and died 1598 s.p.
Peter Chaffe born..? baptized..? married..? he settled at Buckfastleigh and held lands there conjointly with his brother Peter in 1660.

            William's issue was.
            John Chaffe of Buckfastleigh, married Margart Sawdy of Buckfastleigh, who sued Richard Chaffe in a plea of land 1622 and 1653.  John's children were..
            William Chaffe of West Buckland who filled a bill in Chancery touching lands called "Beather" there in 1675.
            Henry Chafe of Taunton St.M.Magdalene, on whom is father settled lands etc. in W.Buckland
            Nicholas and Wilmott Chaffe's son William who settled at Buckfastleigh may be the progenitor of those bearing the name there now.

            Chaffes in Ireland
            Some Chaffes went to Ireland, as has been seen, Nicolas Chaffe's eldest son James went there as a soldier, probably about 1595.  In 1903 a Robert Chaffe was made dean of Ardfert (Patent Rolls of Chancery in Ireland).  In 1649 a William Chaffe is named among 49 officers in Ireland.  In 1668 a Robert Chaffe received a grant of land in that country.

            Chaffes in America
            The large clan of Chaffees in America trace their descent from a Thomas Chafe who was born somewhere in Devonshire but "of a certain tythe was not of the Exeter family, nor of Holwell, co. Dorset"  He seems to have emigrated about 1637, and carried the old arms with him.  May he not have been of the Buckfastleigh family who had as much right to the arms as the Exeter Chafes.  The next generation starts with Robert and Elizabeth Chaffe's eldest son Thomas Chaffe.

            Thomas Chaffe of Exeter
            Thomas Chaffe describes in his will as a Notary Public".  A civic document exists at Exeter dated Oct.19 1584, being the Articles of Association of the chief men of Exeter to raise a volunteer corps. for the Queen.  It is signed by and bears the seals of 169 persons.  Thomas Chaffe's being the 81st.  He married Dorthy Shorte of the Parish of St.Petrock.  Three sons and four daughters were born of the marriage.  William born...John born...Thomas b 1585 or 6.. Elizabeth.. Dorthy....O.Pascha b..... Richard......
            St Olave's was closed for public worship in about 1600 when the registers seem to have gone to St.Mary Arches and they do not begin at ...

            Thomas Chafe of Duddescottes Widow
            His wife survived him several years and was buried with him Marc. 30th 1655, but her husband's "hopeful godson and young nephew" and executor, of whose love he was not "different" did not concern himself to "inscript" the dates of her death and burial, age etc. on the monument, the space being left blank to this day.
Young Thomas (he was 38 at the time) had been married nearly seven years when his Uncle died, and the latter left his nephews wife, Mrs.Catheren Chafe, 22/- to be laid out on the purchase of a death's head ring.

            Elizabeth (Chafe) Mrs.Mules
            Thomas and Dorothy Chafe's eldest daughter Elizabeth was baptized at St.Olaves Exeter (Register missing) and married there Dec.3.1604. as his second wife, John Mules of Helmston in the parish of Bishop's Tawton co.Devon, who represented a younger branch of the ancient family of Moles, or Mules, or Ernsborough, Devon, one of whom having married the heiress of Acland of Helmeston, acquired that seat in her right, and after six descents it descended upon John Mules who married Elizabeth Chafe (Mr.Pyke Nott Apr.20th 1874) and who died in 1633.  Their sole issue was a daughter, Dorothie, for whose birth Mrs. Mules seems to have returned to her old home in Exeter, for the child was baptized at StlOlaves,Exeter,5th Oct. 1606 and there buried Oct.10.following.  A mural tablet erected to his memory shewing the arms of Mules with two quarterings impaled with (apparently) two wives, their arms being diviede per fesse;those of the Mules and the Chafe coats of arms are differenced by a crescent, shewing that each was a second house.  The shield is unequally, and therefore improperly divided.  The shields on the dexter side shew Mules, those on the sinister side Mules impaling Pollard? and Acland (second house - impaling Holdsworthy).  It is not know when she died or where she was buried, but as she is the only one of four sisters is not mentioned in her brother Thomas's will dated 24th Sep. 1648, she was probably dead before that year.    

            Dorothy (Chafe) Mrs. Bigilstone
            Thomas and Dorothy Chaffe's second daughter, Dorothy, was married to Robert Bigilstone, Gent. evidently a cousin.  Four children.. Philip, John, Thomas and Dorothy Bigilstone are mentioned in her brother Thomas' will quoted above.  Nothing further is known of her or of them.

            Pacha (Chafe) Mrs. Risdon
            Thomas and Dorothy Chaffe's 3rd daughter Pascha, Pasca, Pascall, Pascowe, or Pascoe (probably named after her father's sister Pascall who married Lawrence Elsdon) was baptized at St.Olaves Exeter, where she married Tristram Risdon of Winscott St.Giles in the Wood, the County Historian, 2nd Dec.1608.  here follos photos of Thomas Chafe's tomb etc.

            Tristram took no degree at Oxford.  The survey of Devon he wrote at Winscott, completed 1630 but not printed till 1714, though several M.S. copies were made and found their way into the possetion of several families in the County.  They had eight children..
            Giles, baptize. St.Giles in the wood 28th Oct.  1609
            Jane      "                                     1610
            Johan     "                                 Nov.1612
            Margaret  "                                     1613
            John      "                                Apr. 1615
            Tristram  "                                Nov. 1616
            William and Tristram                      Sept. 1622

            Tristram Risdon died ...

            Richord (Chafe) Mrs.Curson
            Richord, Richaurd or Richaward, Thomas and Dorothy Chaffe's youngest daughter was baptized (no doubt at St.Olaves Exeter, and married Feb 2. 1611 at Pinhoe Mr.Exeter, to Humphrie Curston, gent. a merchant of London, Parish Register Pinhoe)
They lived at South St. Exeter, in a Panneled house on the right hand of the entrance to the College of the Vicars Choral, demolished 1875 by the dean and Chapter to whom it belonged.  Over one of the mantlepieces was carved the arms of the Curzon impaling Chafe, the later being charged with the mark of Cadency as in the case of her sister Mrs.Mules. 


            Thomas Chafe M.P. of Exeter and Sherborne
            The next generation gives Thomas Chafe as the eldest son of John Chafe of Exeter, and the "hopeful godson and young nephew" of Thomas Chafe of Doddescott.  The date and place of his birth are unknown, but as his father's will mentions his "fower children" in the order of Thomas, Dorothie, Katherine and John and as Dorothie was baptized at St.Olaves 1611 (Oct 19) Katherine in 1612, and John 1613, perhaps Thomas was the eldest.  In Chaester's London Marriage Licenses his age is given as 30 on Dec .28. 1641, which would throw his birth back to 1610.  He was admitted to the Middle Temple, London June 25.1631 as "Son and Heir of John Chafe late of Exeter, Gentleman, deceased...and had Chambers 

            Nov. 7th 1631 he gave bond as administrator and executer of his brother John Chafe at Kenton, co.Devon who died intestate.  He married Katherin, daughter of Sir Thomas Malet of St. Audries and Poyntington, both of Somerset, the latter being near Sherborne, where he died.
The license for his marriage with Katherine Malet at St.Clement Danes or St. Andrew's Holborn, is dated Dec. 28th 1641, his age being given as 30, and hers as 18. 


            The intercourse between the two families was evidently close, and no doubt Thomas Chafe settled at Sherborne in order to be near his wife's family, although he stood for a Devonshire Constituency.  In his will he describes himself as "Thomas Chafe of Sherborne in the County of Dorset Esquire"
During the supremacy of the Commonwealth in Sherborne he acted as their agent during the sequestration of the State for Sir John Digby (cr. Earl of Bristol Sepp 15.1622) which was done in 1648 on the ground that he was a malignant, banishing him and his son Lord Dogby,.. 
Lord Bristol in consequence retired to Paris where he died in 1653 and was buried, an exile, in the common burial place of the Huguenots.
            Sir John Acland made Thomas Chafe an overseer of his will Dec.1st 1646.  In 1651 he was made administrator of the effects of Lady Acland, and one the guardians of Sir John Scland who died in 1665 during his minority.  A couple of family parchments in the writers possession and dated Oct. 7. 1653 and Nov. 21 1655 respectively shew that he was then the "Bayliffe of the Liberty of Sherborne, which proves the he was then acting for the Roundhead interests, but probably with reluctance. and when he stood for Parliament in 1660 the House consisted almost wholly of Royalists.
            Thomas Chafe was a Governor of the school in 1659 (The School of Sherborne, dating back to 705 when St.Ealdhelm first Bishops of Sherborne established it, and after the seizure of the Monastery by Henry VIII, 18th Mar 1539, refounded by Edward VI. 13. May 1550, who created a Corporation of Governors, who were to be 20 in number and resident in Sherborne) .. and sent his son there.  It has been disputed whether it was Thomas Chafe or Thos. Chafin who was elected for Tontes.
The similarity of the name has often troubled genealogists, but the two families seem to be absolutely distinct, and the M.P. for Tontes has been described to be a Chafe, not Chafin.  A contemporary broadside return of the members of the Convention Parliament of 1660 gives "Chafe" as the official Return. 


            John Chafe of Kenton Co.Devon
            His next and only brother, who is described as of Kenton Co.Devon was John Chafe.  He died intestate and administration of his effects was granted 7th Nov. 1631 to his brother Thomas Chafe.  Nothing more is known of him.  There were 3 sisters, Dorothie, Cateren and Anne, but nothing is know of them beyond their baptisms, unless the following marriage entry in the marriage registers of St.Olave's refers to Dorothie "1620 Mr.Emanuel Sutton to Dorothie Chafe were married the 23rd day of July"

            The registers of St.Mary's Arches contain the following baptisms. 1615 Oct.13 Bap Joan daughter of Mr. Richard Chafe

            1647 Aug.9  Mr. Robert Chafe
            1648 Nov.2. Mrs.John Chaffe widow
            1661 Jan.28 Mr.Richard Chaffe
            1666 Aug.10.Mrs Alice Chaffe
            1667 Mar.29.Mr.John Chaffe
            1670 May.11 Richard Chafe
            Perhaps other parishes also shew the same

            Thomas Chafe of Folke
            Thomas Chafe of Folke, the son and heir of Thomas Chafe of Sherborne was bap. at Poyntington Oct. 30. 1642, educated at the School of Sherborne, entered Wadham College, Oxford, Mar. 18th 1857/58 and married at Folke Ap. 13 1662 (before she was 20). Susanna, daughter and sole heir of Edward Moleyns of West Hall, Folke, when his daughter settled his "lands in tayle" upon him...
About the middle of 1st the century his family ended in an heiress who married Thomas Chafe Esq. who dying also without maile issue, his co-heiress or their representatives sold it to the Rev. John King of Glanvill's Wooten about 1741...
The family had property at E.Eype, Nr. Bridport, which may account for Thomas Chafe being returned M.P. for Bridport 1685/7, but the election was petitioned against.  That parliament was a strong supporter of the Stuarts, and if he sided with it might account for his non election to the succeeding parliament.  He had six children.

            Susanna Bap. at Folke Nov. 22 1664.
            Katherine born 24th May and bap. at Folke June 10.1667
            Moleyne born Dec. 21st 1668 and bap. Folke Jan 19. 1669?
            Maletza born 23rd July and bap 30th. same month, and buried 19th Nov all in 1671 at Folke
            Malletta bap. Nov. 4th 1672 and buried Oct. 9th 1690 at Folke.
            Mary Bap. 7th Apr. 1674 at Folke.
            Moleyne died Oct. 27th in 1695/6

            He made his will June 19 1701, "being but weake in body" here follows will.. and inter alia, both he and his daughter Susanna, and her husband Charles Kent left bequests to the poor of Pulham, near Dorchester, which are the only know instances where the Chafes of Folke and their relations are mentioned in connection with this parish.
            All traces of the legacies are lost, as are the earlier registers of Pulham, the existing ones not beginning earlier the 1734.  In them however, are found 94 entries of the name Chaffey and Chafie, from 1736 to 1902.  Whatever, if any, blood relationship existed between the Chafes of Folke and the Chafies and Chaffeys of Pulham it seems hopeless to discover. especially as the Pulham families are now in quite humble circumstances (West Hall was sold 40 years after his death)
            It is coincidental that the names of Mitchell and Corban, into which the writers ancestors married, are also found at Pulham.  There are about 400 entries of Mitchell, concerning whom and the Corbans Traditions and shadows of former better positions still survive.

            Moleyns Chafe.
            Moleyns Chafe, the only son and the last male of his family, was born at West Hall 1668.  He matriculated at Oxford, and entered at Queens College at the age of 16. May 22 1685, and was admitted to the Middle Temple London in 1686.  He died, unmarried at Plymouth, administration of his effects being granted to his father Feb. 4. 1695/6.

            Extinction of the Chafes at Exeter..
            With the death without issue, of Moleyns Chafe, the line became extinct, and his 3 sisters, Susanna, Katherine and Mary were their father's sole representatives and co-heiresses. 


            There were other of the same name living at Folke simultaneously with the Chafes living at West Hall, but in humble circumstances.  What if any, relationship existed between the families is unknown. Thomas Chafe (Chafe in baptismal register) and Anna Hall were married  May 10th 1680, and their children were..

            John baptized Jan 31. 1682
            Thomas   "    Mar. 9. 1684
            Catherine     Oct.11. 1687
            John Chaffe married Elizabeth..?

            John and Elizabeth has 2 sons, John and Thomas, and a daughter Elizabeth who married John Grainger, 6th Aug. 1700  His will as proved June 23. 1704. John Chaffe (the son) has a son and 2 daughters Elizabeth and Joan..

            Chafys of Dorset
            The third ascertained division of Chafes or Chafys emerges into vision as the second one died out.  It is stated by the pedigree to be the eldest line.  It may be so, Evidently it is not the second one.  Whether or not it is the first, or third, or other one appears more a matter of probability or conjuncture than of proof.  The dim period intervening between the departure of the last remaining male Chafes from Chafecombe, and the reappearance of Chafes at Exeter claiming descent from them, yields certain names which profess to link them up, and affords the only known corroboration of the old family tradition of the origin of Wellington and Exeter Chafes.  Meanwhile the same alleged descents profess to link them up and affords to link up the Chaffys of Sherborne with Chafecombe.  It they are accurate in the one case it seems likely that they are accurate in the other.  The writer can neither affirm or deny their verity of his own knowledge.  In connecting a family with a distant past one is confronted with very conceivable difficulty.  The name being spelt phonetically before reading and writing were common, and rendered sometimes in one language and sometimes another, sometimes with a additional initial or final letter or syllable, and sometimes without, becomes tortured almost out of recognition.  Casual mentions of it, may convey different meanings to different minds, and different individuals with the same name are apt to get confused.

            Richard Chafy of Sherborne.
            1504 to 1523.. The pedigree asserts that the John Chafe de Chafecombe who settled at Bridgewater has a great grandson, Richard Chafy, who was seised of lands and tenements in Somerset and Dorset, paying the subsidied in 1522 and 1523 on his property at Sherborne where he died in 1523.  To him are attributed 3 sons.  John Chafy of Sherborne, Richard Chaffie of Holwell and William of Chaffe of Wellington.

            John Chafy of Sherborne.
            1523 to 1558 John Chafy married Johanna (surname unknown) paid the subsidies on the lands at Sherborne and at Holwell.Co.Som. 14,15.37, Henry VIII and was buried with his wife at Stoke Under Hamdon 1558.  He has according to the pedigree a son Thomas Chafye of Sherborne.

            Thomas Chafye of Sherborne. 1545 to 1571
            Thomas Chafye married Agnes (surname unknown) and paid the subsidies on his lands at Sherborne and Holwell, 36 and 37, Henry VIII, and 8 and 13 Elizabeth, and to him assigned a son, Richard Chafye of Wake St. Sherborne.
            Richard Chafye of Sherborne.. 1594 to 1621.  Richard Chafye married Margaret (surname unknown) who was a widow in 1628.  He paid the subsidies on his land, 36 Elizabeth and 18 James 1st., and purchased lands at Woodbridge, nr. Holwell for his two younger sons.  He is said to have has a son Robert Chaffe of Sherborne.
            Robert Chaffe of Sherborne 1632.  Robert Chavie married Elizabeth daughter and heir of William Hambridge of East Coker. Co.Somerset and niece and heir of Jos. Compton of Yeovil, and they are given in the pedigree 


John Chafie, of Stanley Living con't

            This John Chafie the elder of Stanley's Living Sherborne, is the earliest ancestor of the writer about whom there is no doubt. But here difficulties begin. The writer questions the sonship of John to Robert.  Subsidy Rolls alone are cited, and these require a corroboration from other sources. The pedigree may be accurate, and if so, John's tenure of Stanleys Living "and of " the Greate House where he lived" is perhaps explained,, but it has not yet been show when they came into his possession or occupancy, or why he had them. On the one the hand the hundred Rolls of Sherborne make no mention of Chafes or Chafys .. however spelt..  resident there or in the neighbourhood during the reigns of Henry VI, Edward LV. Richard III or the Tudors.  Yet on the other hand,, the subsidies Rolls identify a Richard Chafye as of Wake St. Sherborne, in 1594, which indicates residence and specific abode.

            The following sporadic notes may be inserted here.. but they shed only unconnected lights.  The earliest entries of the name in the "Sherborne Registers give 1632 Dec. 16th. Robertus Chafie, filius Richardii Baptised 1633 Oct. 8th. Johanna Chafie Filia Johannis Baptized.

            The registers of Bishops Caundle, have the name of Hugh, Hugo and Walter 1590 and 1669.

            The records of the privy Signet have an entry that in Nov. 1634 a pardon was granted "at the humble suit of Morris Aubert Esq. their Majesties Chief surgeon, unto John Chaffy, Gentleman, James Chaffy and Nicholas Pettibond, of a fine of 300, imposed on them at the last assizes for the Court of Somerset for an assault and battery by them committed upon one John Chaffy"

            Rev.Thomas Chafie 1646 to 1660
            A Rev. Thomas Chafie was "Parson of Nutshelling" (Hodie Nursling) in Hampshire 1646 to 1660 when an entry occurs in the parish registers.  "1660 Mr. Thomas Chafie Minister deceased Jan. 28th" .. He is said to have been a nominee of Cromwells which is not at all improbable. Mr. Major was then the owner of Hursley and Richard Cromwell married one of his daughters and lived at Hursley Park, and in Mr. Major's accounts are entries of payments to his "Cousin Mr. Chafie from Dorsetshire" for serving the church at Hursley.- Whether the cousin was the Thomas Chafie in question is not known, though it seems probable, nor does the writer know where he comes into the pedigree. The parson of "Nutshelling" wrote a tract called the "Seventh day sabbath" in 1653 (a copy penes 9W.K.W.C.) which he dedicated to "Worshipful Major of Humley Esq" and which was published by admirers 40 years later, and another in 1659 called Sunday Sabbath".

            It is necessary to premise that the Chafys or Chaffs spelt their name at random until the latter part of the 18th century when it became crystalised into "Chafy". The same individuals even varied their spelling at different times in their lives,, thus, John of Stanley's living is entered in the Sherborne Register as Chafie on his marriage in 1648, but in the deed of gift of his property in 1704 he is spelt Chaffy. His son Walter is entered in the Sherborne baptismal register in 1653 as Chaffe, and later on as Chafe, whilst, in 1723 and 1732 he signed Chaffey. 

            Walter's eldest son John at first adopted Chafie, as is seen in the Longburton registers in 1713 and onwards, and in his signature to his marriage settlement in 1719; but in 1731 in the Purse Caundle registers. he altered it to Chafy, which form he thenceforward maintained, and have been maintained by his descendants to this day.

            Walter's second son /Walter kept to his father's "Chaffey" as did the second Walter's son John in 1750, but in 1757 John selected Chafie and thus onwards until his death in 1797.  He left issue only a daughter, Mary., who married her father's first cousin the Rev. Wm. Chafy great grandfather of the writer, and all variations were ultimately absorbed in "Chafy"

            John Chafie the elder of Stanley's Living, Sherborne.
            1620 John Chafie the elder of Stanley's Living, Sherborne, is said in Dr. Chafy's notes to have been born in 1620. Of the early Chafy ancestors nothing is known (next to nothing) They mostly begin with a baptismal or marriage entry, contribute their signature to a deed, and evaporate in an epitaph, a lack of fullness which characterizes the while of these memoirs till the middle of the 18th century, when the atmosphere enlarges, and records become more readable. 

            According to the family title deeds John Chafy lived in the Great House, whatever and wherever it may have been, and they also shew that Stanley's Living was an estate of 100 acres held by lease under Lord Digby, the lord of the Manor, on which the Greate House may have stood, but it has not yet been proved how he came into possession of whatever property he had.

            1648, the earliest public entry about him which is known, in his marriage.  According to the Sherborn registers, he married a Dorthie Mitchell at the Abbey church, Mar. 25. 1648.  We know where Thomas Chafe "Byliffe of the Liberry of Sherborne" came from and can understand his motive in settling in Sherborne, but if John also came to Sherborne from elsewhere, as he may have done, where did he come from, and why did he come?.. His marriage at Sherborne when he was a young man, his living there till his death, and his being possessed of Sherborne property suggests inhertance....

            There is no known evidence that there was any John Chafie or Chaffy anywhere about this period at Sherborne in possession of a "Greate House" or land or of "10 hearths" except the "John Chafie of Stanley's Living"

            The Greate House and 10 hearths therefore seem to be identical, and John Chafie or Chaffy of private family records, and the John of independent researches, one and the same.

            Mr. Philippe says.. "I can prove who John Chafy was, also his father, grandfather and great grandfather.  The lands which John held in Sherborne are the same lands as had been in the possession of his ancestors for three generations.  The pedigree shews how he deducted him from Richard Chafy who had property at Sherborne in the time of Henry VII but the descendants seems to require stronger support before they can be considered satisfactory.

            That there were Chafy's living in or near Sherborne contemporaneously with John, and that they are of means (men of means) is shewn by the probate court of the Dean of Saru, where the estate of Richard Chaffy of Lillinton who did intestate 1640 was proved at 231. 9.0. an exceptionally large sum for that court (Mr.Bower Marsh July 12. 1912) ..

            These are John and Dorothie Chafie's children, so far as the skethy entries in the registers, and the uncertain spelling, enable one to determine..
            1. Dorohie Chafie  bap.26. Dec. 1649 Buried 10. Nov 1665. aged 15
            2. Walter Chaffe    "  28. Dec. 1653   "    29 June 1738   "   85
            3. William Chaffe   "  22. Jly. 1655   "    3. Nov  1665   "   9
            4. John Chaffe      "  not entered     buried same day
            5. Mary             "   4.Sepp. 1657   "    16.Feb. 1658 . "   5 months
            6. Elizabeth        "  13.Sep.  1659   "    16.May. 1668   "   8
            7. Hannah           "   7 Apr.  1660.  "     9.Feb. 1669   
            8. Mary             "  22 Jan   1660   "    16.May. 1665   "   3

            John Chafie had a troubled life and a lonely old age.  With the exemption of his eldest son Walter all his children died young, probably swept off by the plague which destroyed 100,000 persons in six months, and we find him reduced to having one "Mr.Smith to cheer his silent home"..

            With him we come into contact with the earliest proven ancestor of the writer, and seem to hear his voice in his venerable age speaking through the dust of law across the gulf of more than 200 years.  He lived through the "dismal days" of civil war and "regicide".  The Republications laid hands on the manorial property of Sherborne and banished the owner who had garrisoned the castle for the king, and many no doubt turned puritan perforce, thought the town remained strongly Royalist.

            Even before Charles had raised the Standard at Nottingham in 1642, the Marquis of Herford was busy in the West recruiting for him, and an engagement between him and the Earl of Bedford took place at Sherborne, in Westbury and Horncastles.  From 1645 to 1650 a period of vie years, soldiers were garrisoned in the school ..  He left his property, the Greate House, garden and appurtenances to his son Walter (1704) Disposition date)  finally, at the advanced age of 88, having lived in the reign of James I. Charles I. the Commonwealth Charles II and William III and Mary and Anne he lay down peacefully in the grave beside his wife and children, and those of his kindred whose dust had accumulated within the ancient abbey Feb. 18. 1708.  Nothing whatever is known of John Chafie's wife Dorthie beyond what has been quoted above, except that she was buried at Sherborne June 17, 1695  Mitchell was a well known Somerset name.

            Walter Chafe or Chaffey the Elder.. of Stanley's Living sherborne 1653/1738.
            Walter Chafe or Chaffey was John's eldest son.  He was baptized at Sherborne Dec 28, 1653, the name being spelt Chafe and Chaffe in the registers.  He inherited property from his father at Sherborne and acquired some more from his wife's family, the Scott's some of which the Scott's bought in 1648 and 1652, and some of which property generally is still in the writer's possession.  Walter married Ann Scott, whose family is said to come from Child, Okeford, but where and when the marriage took place is not know.  Dr. Chaf&s note book gives 1680 as the date.

            These are their children..
            John baprized at Sherborne Jan. 28 1686 (gt.gt.grandfather of the writer) Walter bap. Feb. 29. 1687.
            Ann Bap. at Sherborne Nov. 21 1689
            Dortohy Bap. at Sherborne Dec. 2. 1691
            Elizabeth. bap. at Sherborne Feb. 27 1694
            Mary bap. at S. May 25. 1698
            Mary married William Newnham of Sherborne, but when or where or who he was or what became of him and his wife is unknown.
            Mrs.Walter chaffey died in 1708 and was buried at Sherborne on Feb. 25th
            June 20, 1710, two years after John Chafies death, William, Lord Digby, gave a new lease .. 9 years of Stanleys Living to Walter Chaffey.  A deed dated Sept 14. 1723, when Walter was 70 shews his tremulous signature "Sealed and delivered in the presence of us "first stamped with treble stamps
                        Walter Chaffey
                        John Butt.

            Dec.6. 1732 Walter made an assignment of Stanley's Living in trust to Thomas Lambert abd Isaac Toogood for his second son Walter for his own life, and those of his son Walter and his daughter Mary Wife of William Newnham, 5 to the devisees elder brother John, 30 to his sister Mary Newnham etc..

            Capt. William Gallp of Candel Marsh, as has been said, married Elizabeth Hawles or Holles, or Hollis (living in 1714) whose 2nd daughter Ursula Gallop married 1694 Capt. John Corbyn or Corben, who was born in 1661 and acquired an estate at Locketts,, called Locketts, at Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset in 1683. The Rev. John Chafie married Elizabeth the younger daughter of Mrs. Corben (nee Gallop), and who was, born Mar. 15. 1698. The Corbens, Corbins and Corbyns and probably one or more of the prolific Gallop family were then living at Sherborne. The elder daughter Ursula born in Apr. 1696 married the Rev. Rev. Edward Cozens, son of Richard Cozens of Castle Cary. Somerset, who matriculated at Queens College, Oxford Mar. 23. 1707-8 aged 18. etc...
The place and date of the Rev. John Chafie's marriage with Elizabeth is not known, it was not at Sherborne. Through this match a small estate at Hazelbury` Bryan came into the family.
A Thomas Kiddle and Elizabeth Chaffy, widow were married at Holwell Dorset 22 May 1655. A royal descent f1ows through the Gallops and Corbens. Myriads of descents from Edward I can be shew. The Rev. Marwood Wilcox writing to W.K.W.C. Aug. 29th 1896 said... 
"I have the full record of 29 different lineal descents of Mrs. Chafy (and your children from King Edward III, namely 16, through the Hon G. Shirley, 13 through his wife (M.Sturt) I should be glad to compile you a R. D. Pedigree in full for a fee of two, guineas. The offer was not accepted.

            Here follows the descent of the Rev Wm.K.W. Chafy D.D. the writer referred to in this work...

            To Lillington the Rev. John Chafie took his bride and here there three eldest children John, Elizabeth, Mary, were born. Their family was as follow

John Bap. at Lillington Feb. 18 1719
Elizabeth Bap. Jan 17 1721
Mary       " Mar. 31 1723
Martha     " Sherborne Aug. 23 1726
James      " June 27 1728 buried at Sherborne Dec. 9 1729
James      " Dec. 20 1730
Ursula     " Mar. 28 1735
William    " Purse Caundle July 25. 1746.

At Sherborne he had many relations. His father Walter Chaffey was still alive, and in possession of Stanleys Living, and of the Scott property.  Thomas Chafe who in 1641 married Katherine Malet daughter of Sir Thomas Malet of Poyntington and who had been Bayliffe of the Liberty of Sherborne in 1653 and onwards, was his only surviving son Thomas Chafe who married, Susannah Moleyns , the heiress of West Hall, Folke in 1662. died in 1701 leaving no son and his grand-daughters sold the estate 1741.


            Dec. 2. 1730 Mr. Chafy's second (surviving) son James was born. Dec. 24. 1730 (these dates seem wrong but are as printed) Lillington registers, he was at Mr. Highmores death, on the presentation of the Marquess of Hertford, instituted Recor of Purse Caundle 4 miles from Sherborne, where he made his home until his death. Though as the registers shew that he was still rector of Lillington in 1732 and onwards to 1754, he no doubt continued to hold that benefice as well tills his death 1757.

            Chafy adopted as spelling. 
            On the frontispiece of an old register at Purse Caundle is the following "John Chafie A.M. Rector of Caundle from Dec. 25. 1731 (?)

            The first entry of burial the same year 1731? is signed "John Chafy, Rector, possibly therefore it was at this date he began to alter his spelling. It may have been about now that his own and his wife's portraits were painted, as Mrs. Chafy is represented at apparently about 35. Ha physionognomy confirms the character given her by her husbands sonnet before she married her epitaph written by her eldest son.  That his portrait is a likeness is clear from the remarkable way in which his features have reappeared in every subsequent generation - the aquiline nose and the set of the eyes in particular.
Their youngest daughter Ursula married John Parsons of Dorchester and had a son James and a daughter Elizabeth who married Thos. Pride of Poole, both of whom died in 1824 or 1825. She died May 23. 1802 and was buried in the churchyard at Fordington, St. George,, Dorchester with her husband. June 1738 the Rev. John Chafy's father Walter Chafe or Chaffey died and was buried at Sherborne June 29 1738. Oct. 29 1738 his eldest son John matriculated at Kings College, Cambridge. Michaelmas 173 9 he embarked upon a farm,, taking Taylor's farm at Purse Caudle 164 acres, belonging to Lord Brooke for 99 years at a fine of 600, annual rent 2.14. 4. and heriot 3.10.0. Oct 30. his eldest son ms elected a fellow, of Kings College, Cam.
The year 1775 ended on Dec 31st and had no Jan. Feb. or March which were counted into the year 1752.
Jan 25. 1752 his eldest son was presented by Kings College, Cambridge to the living of Broad Chalk Wilts, and in August he married Ann Gisborne of Derby, his marriage of course terminating his Fellowship.
Dec. 4th 1753 Mr. Chafy's daughter was married at Purse Caundle to Mr. Richard Littlejohn of Taunton, and their daughter Ann (Nancy) married in 1783 a r1sing barrister who afterwards became a judge Sir Jas.Burrough)
Mar. 7. 1755 he made his will, appointing his wife sole executrix., not proved until 1774.

Nov. 9 1757 Mr. Chafy died in his 72nd year and was buried in the Chancel of Purse Caundle on the 15th. His eldest son, the Rev. John Chafy, vicar of Broad Chalk., was instituted Mar. 7th 1758, holding both livings till his death


            The Rev. John Chafy A.M Vicar of Broad Chalk etc.
            1719. The eldest son of the Rev, John Chafy. and Elizabeth (Corben) was born at Lillington, and there bapt. Feb 18 1719. He was educated at Eton, and proceeded thence to Kings College, Cambridge where he was admitted a scholar 29 Oct. 1738. Oct. 30 1741 was admitted a Fellow, Jan 25. 1752 the College presented to him the Living of Broad Chalk, Wilts. In August the same year he married Ann, daughter and co heiress of Thomas Gisborne Esq. of Horwick House, Derby, and was a very accomplished lady with a fortune of 10,000. She had an estate at Hilton. Co, Derby. She was 6 years older than himself.. being 3 9 and he 33., when they married
A sermon preached by Feb. 11 1757 a copy found by Mr. W.H. Chaffee of New York in the library of the Athenaeum, Massachusetts, caused the opening of correspondence with the writer. Billy his youngest brother, Mar. 26 17 66 his wife died age 53 1eaving no issue and was buried at Chalk, her epitaph being writ ten by her husband.
He was but 47 at her death and his niece Ann Littlejohn Nancy) daughter of his sister Martha who had married Richard Littlejohn of Taunton, came to keep house for him.

            1777 From the Rev. John Chafy, vicar of Broad Chalk. and Prebendary of Sarum to his younger brother William Minor Cannon of Canterbury. The above letter (the little god daughter referred to was Mary, born at Stallbridge Rectory, Dorset Feb. 20 1776 (afterwards Lady Henniker) is sealed with arms see plate page 68 (large seal)
The impression corresponds exactly to a silver seal attached to a curious old silver watch hand by Miss Martha Chafy to the writer, he understanding her to say that it belonged to her father, who was the third surviving son of his parents, but the crescent of cadency on the seal indicates a second son, and in all cases the field is gules only, and not gules and.az. red as granted to Miss Martha Chafy's father, and the Chief is not engrailed. Miss Martha Chafy gave the writer at the same time another silver watch which he understood was that of her Uncle James Chafy of the son of his parents (second son)

            Here follows John Johnson's will..
            The executors of Miss Martha, "Chafy are my brother, James Chafy, together. with my friend Dr. John Jacob, and my friend. Jqs. Borrough Esq. (admitted to Inner Temple 1768 , elevated the Bench 1816, and became adviser, trustee and friend of the family to the end)."

            He was collated to the Prebendal Stall of Stratford in Salisbury Cathedral Sp. 14. 1780. He died Fed. 8 1782 age. 63 and was buried with his wife...


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April 20, 2020