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Will of Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale, d. 1632/3, grandmother of Maj. Edward Dale of Lancaster Co., VA

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Will of Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale, d. 1632/3, grandmother of Maj. Edward Dale of Lancaster Co., VA

Posted: 3 Nov 2012 7:48AM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 3 Nov 2012 4:41PM GMT
Surnames: Dale, Elliott, Rudyard
The following quote is from the will of Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale of London, grandmother of Maj. Edward Dale of Lancaster Co., VA, proved Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 8 Feb 1632/3:

“I give and bequeath unto James Rudarde and Mary his wife the full some of five hundred pounds of currant money of England in full payment and satisfaccon of all claymes, somes of money part and portion which they or either of them shall or may clayme to part or out of the estate of Richard Dale my late deceased sonne either by the customs of London or otherwise.”

If you render this clause into modern language, this is how it reads:

“I give and bequeath unto James Rudyard and Mary his wife the full sum of five hundred pounds of current money of England in full payment and satisfaction of all claims, sums of money part and portion which they or either of them shall or may claim to part or out of the estate of Richard Dale my late deceased son either by the Common Law of London or otherwise.” [Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale used the words "or otherwise" because the Common Law was not exactly the same everywhere in England. There were regional variations.]

Mary Rudyard (Rudarde) was the daughter of Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale. This clause is a waiver of any rights Mary and her husband might have under Common Law against the estate of Mary's deceased brother Richard Dale. Evidently Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale was the administrator of Richard Dale's estate, and she incorporated this waiver into her own will. Not all of her children received money from Richard Dale's estate in this fashion.

Why did Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale incorporate a waiver of Common Law rights against the estate of Richard Dale into her own will? She probably told Mary that if Mary would wait for her share of Richard Dale's estate, Mary would receive more money than if Mary took her portion immediately. There is evidence which suggests that Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale engaged in investments of her own following the death of her husband William Dale, grocer of London.

William and Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale had two sons, Robert and Richard. Richard d.s.p. and is not shown in the two Herald's Visitations of the family. Robert was their only surviving son.

From the various sources we can construct this pedigree for Maj. Edward Dale of Lancaster Co., VA, d. 2 Feb 1695/6:

1. Robert Dale, claimed descent from 14th century knight Sir Tedrick Dale (claim unproved); m. unknown

2. Robert Dale of Wencle in Prestbury, Cheshire; m. Katherine Legh (Legh of Baguley), possibly of Adlington, Cheshire

3. William Dale, grocer of London, arms confirmed 1613, d. 1614; m. Elizabeth Elliott, daughter of Thomas Elliott, esq., of Surrey

4. Robert Dale of Brigstock, Northamptonshire (Brigstock is an ancient market town); m. unknown

5. Maj. Edward Dale (probably a younger son), armiger (employed the arms of William Dale the grocer); m. (1) unknown (2) Diana Skipwith

Maj. Edward Dale could claim descent from two medieval knights: Sir William Baguley, whose daughter Ellin m. Sir John Legh. Both knights were ancestors of Maj. Edward Dale's great-grandmother, Katherine (Legh) Dale. At least, that's how it appears: William Dale's brother Roger Dale, a lawyer, identified his mother as "Legh of Baguley," which places her as a descendant of the Legh family stemming from John and Ellin (Baguley) Legh. It's important to note that Roger Dale obtained a different grant of arms than those of his brother William. Katherine (Legh) Dale's specific parentage is unknown at present, but because of Adlington's proximity to Prestbury, she may have belonged to the rather large Legh of Baguley family at Adlington.

Maj. Edward Dale was the sort of man colonial governor Sir William Berkeley relied upon: committed to the status quo, from a relatively affluent background, and well educated. Capt. Thomas Carter, the son-in-law Maj. Edward Dale clearly favored, is thought to have been of a London merchant family, and it would be no surprise if that were eventually shown to be the truth. This is a tale that bridges Tudor and Stuart England and the New World. It's always of historical interest when a prominent colonist can be connected with his family across the Atlantic.

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