When this pedigree started, it was murder!
Murder! Suspense! Intrigue! Babb! This story has it all.
If it wasn’t for the sensational nature of his unprovoked attack, we likely wouldn’t know anything about this branch of the Somerset Babbs. The line is currently known as Somerset Pedigree (Pitminster-Trull 1607) 02. As such it was formerly known by Ian Babb’s organizational system as Somerset Pedigree 02. While it is assumed that the line connects to the Dragons of Somerset, which originate in this same small town, no link has been established to prove the connection.
This story was so poignant in the mind of Sir Simonds D’Ewes (pictured on the first page below) that he wrote it into his autobiography. Simonds was a boy of just 11 when this murder happened. He went to the execution and wrote about it in his memoir. He lived to the age of 48 yet somehow this event carried such weight for him that he chose to include it in the memoir.
He recounts the story with vivid detail as follows. I’ll let you read it in his own words. We pick up the story on Page 57 (Page 3 of the file below) in the first full paragraph. Pay special attention to the footnotes on page 59!
This story continues and is augmented by a series of court records where the family fought to regain custody of Richard’s estate after the brutal murder. The stories were first transcribed by my predecessor in England, Ian Henry Babb. However, his handwriting was exceedingly small and difficult to decipher at times. In particular his lower case “d” often looked like a “y”.
In accordance with Genealogical standards, he faithfully transcribed the document complete with the multitude of misspellings that are inherent to a document of this age. If you have any idea in your head about the poetic prose of a Shakespearean character, this will end that thought entirely. It isn’t how the common man spoke at all.
After Ian’s version, I’ve included a digital read out that I took from his version below. I am providing both versions as I’m not always able to decipher his writing. While reading these documents is never simple, it is best to read the document out loud, looking for how the word used might sound. This will get you most of the way there.
Additionally, here is the 2023 Typed transcript of the court documents which used Ian’s copy as its source. It should be noted that some fidelity is likely lost with each subsequent transcription. While we believe it to be accurate, the original will need to be recovered and compared to ensure we have the most accurate representation possible.
Finally, I’m including a report for Richard’s family tree. In Ian’s time Richard’s father’s name was unknown. It has since been verified as Richard (bef 1566-bef 1616). However, that is as far back as we are able to go at this time. I’ve highlighted Richard “The Ripper”, but as he apparently had no children, he has just two lines on this report.