Francis and Walter

Francis and Walter –  1551 to 1636

Francis Married Edith Chaldecott

B 1553

D 1636


Although Francis was not one of our direct ancestors he nevertheless the son of someone who was, I thought therefore that I would include him in the my account, due to the fact that he seems to have had quite a an eventful life mixed with some notoriety,

After the death of his mother Francis was in, 1559 placed under the guardianship of a Thomas Noake of Semley. This was a village in Wiltshire where his uncle owned a great deal of land, I don’t know who Thomas Noake was but it could have been a friend of his uncle, William.  for his education. Nothing else, seems to

have been recorded after this, until he was about twenty six years old,  when has I discovered in a document, in the Berkshire Records Office,  he signed  leasing agreement for lands in Somerset.                                                                                                                                                

 These appear to have been a part of his late fathers estate, there is nothing startling about this, but what is rather surprising is that it is stated that he was of Compton Berkshire, so it would appear that he also had inherited some property from his mother. It is not surprising however that he would want to return to that part it could have been that he was at boarding school there.


Berkshire at that time, especially around the Reading and Windsor area, was “ the place to be”, and quite few of the noted Dorset families were represented in that area, this appears to be due to the fact that, most of them would have been engaged in one way or the other, with court affairs, it was also very good hunting country, Thomas Noake may have only been his legal guardian and merely looked after his interests until he became of age.


I haven’t found it recorded anywhere when he did return to Dorset.  It could have been when he was aged around thirty five he married his third cousin Edith the daughter of George  Chaldecott of  Quarleston  and Kimmeridge .


This marriage appears to have been a rather shrewd move on either his behalf, due to the fact that she was her fathers co’ heir whereas Francis did not inherit or own a great deal of property or estate.  It was also around this time that Edith’s father died, so he would gain control of all of the Kimmeridge Quarlstone and Wareham property and land.


Francis and Edith had three sons and six daughters, whether or not they were all Walters or not, is not known, probably some of them weren’t, due to the fact than when he married her she was a widow, Edith died at the age of seventy five in 1636.


Francis appears to have a fairly active life, and was well immersed in county matters he, was at one time Sheriff of Dorset, and probably due to this there would be a wealth of recorded events effecting him within the archives of the County Records Office. One such event, which concerned his dabbling in county matters, occurred in the year 1626.


A parliamentary election was called, the majority of the Dorchester voters appeared to be, supporting the puritan by the name of John Browne of Frampton, who had been living in the town, against Sir George Moreton. When the freeholders gathered at Poundbury they agreed on Sir Thomas Freke,  as the second candidate,  But Sir John Strangways, the most powerful of the county magnates, had his own candidate,


A comparative outsider, John Moreton: The Sheriff, (Francis Chaldecote,) was in his pocket. He required voters to take an oath that they had been present at the beginning of the election formalities who could not swear to this. When the count was taken there were still not enough votes for Moreton, so Chaldecott moved the election down to the George Inn, shutting out most of the freeholders and continuing to take votes for Moreton until he had a majority. The Commons overturned the election. And another was held later on , under fairer terms and under greater scrutiny but however Moreton won.


There is another event in the life of Francis which  is worth relating this almost a rerun of an earlier escapade which involved an ancestor of his William in 1371, which I have about written about earlier in this account.


Extract from State Papers Charles I  dated 1633


The Lords of the admiralty were informed by the states ambassador, that the Salmon of Amsterdam, master, John Arreson was cast ashore in November last in the Isle of

Purbeck, where Francis Chaldecott and his son  William, near whos lands this misfortune did happen. And diverse others, seized upon  a great part of this ship and her lading.


  A commission having issued to the persons addressed. Francis Chaldecott, William

Chaldecott,  Phillip Petin, John Petin, Charles Weeks, Nicholas Petin,  Nicholas –

Heywood,  for refusing to deliver the goods, unless they have moiety thereof. Which the lords conceive as being unreasonable, and demanded that the persons addressed, are not only to

execute the commission,  but also bind over Francis Chaldecott, and others who  refuse

reasonable recompense, to appear before the lords next March.


Later in the state papers there appears  a statement to the effect that the this matter was amicably settled  to the satisfaction of all those concerned. 


The most amazing thing about this incident is at that time  Francis was 83 years old  and yet in the epitaph  transcribed below  it is claimed that in his later years, he was too frail and infirm to attend church. There is a memorial to Francis and Edith erected by  their family in Steeple church I have used modern  spelling, and used a little licence  it reads:


In this chancel under a marble stone doe lye the bodies of Francis Chaldecott esq and Edith his wife  his younger daughter and coheir William Chaldecott of Quarleston in Dorset. esq  who were liberal  constant house keepers,  bountiful relievers of the poor, careful breeders of their children  in piety and virtue : diligent and devout comers to the church though it would be painful to them in their later times  by means of age and other infirmities :53 years and upward they lovingly lived a chaste wedlock,  and had issue of 15 children : whereof 3 sons and seven daughters  came to a mature age and were most of them in the lifetime of their parents  of their parents  matched into ancient families of worship most of them having fair issues: Thus having seen their children to the third generation meekly died  in the fear of God: he on Thursday the 19 may  1636  she on Thursday  23 august 1638:



In compiling a family history , as much as one tries one cannot cover anything, other than a scant outline of their life.  A great deal  is not covered  of al those troubled times, for example in both Francis and his son Williams wills, they  bequeathed their arms, armour and munitions to their heirs, so therefore they must have had some sort of military connection , I  would probably think they were Yeomen at Arms.


With that we leave Francis and continue with our direct line of antecedence.

Below is a photograph of the memorial in Steeple church, I would like to have made the image a little bigger, but this would have made it difficult to download on a web page, as it is at the moment it could still take a while



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