Matterwell or bust

Elizabeth A. S. Babb had a theory that was unprovable in her time. She noticed a potential connection in her 31-year old document titled Babb Families Come to America.

Cover Photo: By Doyle of London – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Before I begin, know that if you struggle to understand this with all the people of similar names you are not alone! I’m having great trouble myself and my initial prognosis may not be the final one. A snippet follows that was written by Elizabeth herself:

From Stepney to Devon

by Elizabeth A. S. Babb

An intriguing, but hard to read, entry exists in the Stepney
Burial Register for 7 August 1625. It appears to record the death of the
lone son by plague), of Materwell(?) Babb of Shadwell.

A similar name is found in the will of Robert Babb, husbandman, of Luton, in Bishopsteignton, Devon, at the time of his death (23 Sept 1591). Robert
left “to John Babbe my son my best brasse [brass] pan and my braseen [brass] crocke [pot] that came from Lendridge [Lindridge Manor]”‘, and my wife Peterwell [possibly Peternell] shall have the use of said pan during her natural life. Also, to Joana [She will also come up again in a future post] his daughter, 20s.

John Babb of Lentridge (will 22 Jan 1583) of Bishops Teignton.
Devon, yeoman, gives to Robert Babb, his brother, his best gown (no mention of any pans – although William Babb. will 15 Mar 1581, of Bishopsteignton, bequeathed similar pans). John Babb of Lentridge [Lindridge] also bequeathed to his servant, Peterwell Browse, and to Joan Wltchalse, his daughter.” (Remember her name for my next post!)

The “lone son” of Materwell [possibly Maternell] Babb (i.e. John?), died In Shadwell, 7 Aug 1625. Thomas of Limehouse (died 1620) lived east of Shadwell, and William to the west: at the end of William’s life, his leases and house seem to be squarely in what became the parish of St. Paul’s Shadwell in 1670. By 1709, another John Babb of Shadwell, son of a later William Babb, completed his apprenticeship begun 7 July 1709 as a Blacksmith to John Taylor. The address given is 11 Shadwell (the eastern end of Ratcliffe Hwy, right near St. Paul’s). This younger John Babb was granted the status of freeman and a citizen of London with papers signed by Henry Babb [We don’t know who Henry Babb is at this time].

Let’s begin to unpack all that info and try to provide some context.

Lindridge House

Lindridge House was a large 17th-century mansion (with 20th-century alterations), one of the finest in the southwest[1] situated about 1 mile south of Ideford in the parish of Bishopsteignton, Devon, about 4 1/2 miles NE of Newton Abbot. It was destroyed by fire on 25 April 1963 and its ruins were finally demolished in the early 1990s, upon which was built a housing development.

At the time of the two Will’s mentioned above, Lindridge had reverted to the crown in 1572 after the death of its owner.[6] It sat in this state for 42 years until 1614, when it was purchased for £2,900 by the lawyer Richard Martin (1570–1618) who served as Barnstaple’s Member of Parliament (MP).

The gardens have been restored and are Grade II listed in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.[2]

Lindridge Main House
Artist Unknown

Get the Original Record

First, let’s discuss the Materwell connection. I found the original record, which wasn’t able to be easily reproduced in Elizabeth’s time. After reviewing it myself I wasn’t able to provide any additional insight on it. Take a look for the Blue dot in this record and see for yourself.

The Brass Pots

As Lindrige was essentially in receivership by the English Crown, it appears that its assets were sold off at some point prior to the will. The pots being from a Manor were undoubtedly prize possessions.

My work continues! I’m discovering just how little I know about the Babbs of London. As the saying goes, the more you learn, the more you realize how much there is more to know!

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