Babb: Est 1456/circa 1272-1307

The day before yesterday I wasn’t able to locate the Excel file I am using to process the various Court Records. It’s a collection of records from 3 different repositories. The file was nowhere to be found and I’ve had to recreate it from scratch. #1StarNotRecommended

Oldest Record in Devon: 1456

While recreating the index for the National Archives records, I came across a record that was significantly older than the others I’ve dealt with up to this time and it now stands as the oldest record in our tree, at this time.

There are a number of counties in England that I’ve not given this treatment to, so I’m not prepared to say it is unequivocally the first record. But I’m far enough in Devon to say with certainty that it’s the oldest one in the county of Devon.

I’ll work to obtain a copy of the original, but the abstract for the document tells a story that is quite intriguing. Here is a copy of the Abstract from England’s National Archives:

Sent by: Not a recognisance of debt but a misfiled letter from the Chief Justice…Chancery: Certificates of Statute Merchant and Statute Staple. (dated). 1456 by John and Philip Coplestone, gentlemen of Colbrook in Devon into the property of Ivo and Gervase Babbe. Dated Westminster 23 Oct.1456.Held by:The National Archives, Kew – Chancery, the Wardrobe, Royal Household, Exchequer and various commissionsDate:Dates unknownReference:C 241/240/2Subjects:Debt | Trade and commerce

It is a letter which was misfiled from the Chief Justice of the Chancery Court in Westminster dated 23 Oct 1456. A case had come before him concerning the forcible entry on 3 May 1456 by John and Philip Coplestone, gentlemen of Colebrook in Devon into the property of Ivo & Gervase Babbe.

The details of the letter are not contained in the abstract, so we will need to obtain the letter to find out what he said.

Meanwhile this rewinds the clock 19 years from our previous earliest record in Devon which was previously held in Exeter. Nothing more is known about the couple, and they don’t appear in any other records. It isn’t terribly far from Exeter and could be easily reached by river.

I’ll slipstream the updated Migration Maps into my previous articles so as to keep one version of the truth. It looks as though the Chancery Proceedings records still exist, but in this timeframe, we will need the letter to decipher which Justice wrote it. From there we can find the original…hopefully.

Oldest Record in England: 1272-1307

The title of the oldest Record in England seems to go to one Simon Babbe in Waltham Holy Cross (Now a part of West London).

Simon carried out a series of “Ancient” deeds dating between 1272-1307 from his location here in Waltham Holy Cross. One of the records mentions that he is the heir of Stephen Babbe who appears to be the earliest Babb(e) on record in England.

Here are the details of Simon’s five records as detailed in England’s National Archives:

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