More on Thomas Bliss of Hartford, Connecticut

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Gail Peterson

Sep 18, 2021, 8:28:27 PMSep 18
Okay, I have given my Warren research a much-needed break and have moved on to my next headache, the Blisses; specifically, Thomas Bliss who ultimately settled in Hartford, Connecticut about 1638.

This is the lineage I have thus far. Of the genealogical historians on this site I ask to please feel free, as always, to comment on and/or correct my findings. Also, what additional primary source documentation should I try to obtain to further verify this lineage?

1. William Blisse Sr (aka Blysse) was born abt 1530 in Daventry, Northamptonshire, England (Possibly a son of Richard and grandson of Richard-but no records yet found to substantiate this). Married first abt 1553 a woman who remains unknown to history and had at least three sons; George Sr b 1555, Nicholas b 1557, and William Jr b 1558.

William Sr married secondly 20 Sep 1561 at Holy Cross, Daventry, Elizabeth (LNU). This union produced John b 1562 (See #2), Joyce Joan and Agnes born abt 1564, and Anne b 1573. William Sr was a blacksmith and all of his sons took up that trade working as smiths in and around Daventry.

Hoppin, Charles Arthur. The Bliss book…, Hartford, Conn. 1913. Pp 132-134

Northamptonshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1532-1812, Daventry>Parish Registers>1560-1630 (marriage to Elizabeth)

Probate Registry, Peterborough.) Archdeaconry Court of Northampton. Liber 4, folio 230 (will abstract)

2. John Blisse, the fourth son of William above was born in Preston Capes, Daventry, Northamptonshire, but like his siblings, no record of a baptism has been located. He married first Agnes Ould of Trusley, Derbyshire on 27 Jan 1587 at Stowe Nine Churches, Northamptonshire. They had seven children: Thomas b 1589 (see #3), George b 1591, Agnes b 1593, Joan b 1595, Constance b 1597, Elizabeth b 1599, and Agnes b 1612. Agnes Ould died in 1614.

John then married Alice Smith (Smythe) on 1 Aug 1614 at Preston Capes and had two additional children; John b 1615 and Anne b 1616.

John died Sept 1617 and was buried at St. Peter's Church, Preston Capes, Daventry. He left a will that reads in part: reads in part:

"And for my temporal goods, I do dispose of them as followeth - first I do bequeath unto every one of my children, viz. Thomas, George, Agnes, Joane, Constance, Elizabeth and John, six pence a peece, and the rest of all my goods and cattell [chattels] my debts being paid and my funeral expenses discharged, I do give wholly unto Alice my wife."

Hoppin, Charles Arthur. The Bliss book…, Hartford, Conn. 1913. Pp 145-149

Register of St. Peter's Church, Preston Capes, Burial Records

Northamptonshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1532-1812, Preston Capes>Parish Registers>1614-1812 (marriage to Alice Smith)

Register of Stowe Nine Churches Marriages, pg 55 (marriage to Agnes Old)

Northamptonshire Record Office – 273. p 218 "Burials"
3. Thomas Bliss Sr, the first-born son of John was baptized 25 Apr 1589 at St Michael, Stowe Nine Churches, Northamptonshire. Unlike his siblings, he did not remain in the Preston Capes area, but instead removed sometime before 1616 to Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England. He also did not follow in the smithing trade as is evidenced by the inventory of his estate which did not include any materials for blacksmithing, but contained weaving and farm implements. It was in Gloucester that he married first Margaret Snowe, a daughter of John Snowe Sr and Elizabeth, and had three children: Anne b 1617, Thomas Jr b 1618, and Sarah b 1619 who died the following year. Margaret Snowe died June 1621 and was buried at St Nicholas Church in Gloucester.

Thomas then married Margaret Hulins, daughter of John Hulins Sr and Elizabeth, on 18 Oct 1621 at St Nicholas, Gloucester, Gloucestershire. From this union were born Nathaniel b 1622, Samuel b 1624, Mary b 1626 (Salem witch accused), Lawrence b 1628, Sarah b 1638, Hannah 1639, twins Elizabeth and Hester b 1640, and possibly a second son named John b 1640.

Thomas, his wife, Margaret and his surviving children from both marriages emigrated to New England around 1635 and were living in Hartford, Connecticut by 1638 as his house was already constructed by the time that he was noted as being one of the proprietors “by courtesie of the town” in 1639/40.

Colonial and Revolutionary Lineages of America, vol. 21, pages 590 - 593, (New York: The American Historical Company, Inc., 1961), 590-591.

Gloucestershire Archives; Gloucester, Gloucestershire; Gloucestershire Church of England Parish Registers; Reference Number: P154/9 IN 1/1 (marriage to Margaret Snow)

The American Genealogist, Oct 1976, Vol 52, No 4, pp 193-197. By Myrtle Stevens Hyde

Hoppin, Charles Arthur. The Bliss book…, Hartford, Conn. 1913. Pp 149-151


Will Johnson

Sep 19, 2021, 6:33:25 PMSep 19
You mention Daventry and Bliss
You should get a copy of whatever this item is

Gail Peterson

Sep 20, 2021, 7:57:48 AMSep 20
Thank you so much for digging up this link. If I am able to obtain a copy, it may help resolve many of the questions we Bliss descendants still battle with.


Sep 22, 2021, 12:30:45 AMSep 22
This is a theory I have cobbled together on the ancestry of Thomas Bliss of Hartford. I would be interested in your feedback.

My theory is that Thomas Bliss of Hartford was the son of William Bliss of Brookthorpe/Brockthorpe, Gloucestershire. William was likely related to the Painswick Blisses.

William Bliss had a brother, Richard Bliss, who was mentioned as such in William’s will.

Due to the lack of complete parish registers for Brookthorpe/Brockthorpe, we can only cobble together a theory. The church records begin in 1569 and end in 1578, but they are not in good shape. Then, they start up again in 1617, jump to 1620, past the dates we need.

The first Bliss record in Brookthorpe/Brockthorpe, Gloucestershire is William Bliss, who was a witness to the will of Robert Wood of Brookthorpe, Gloucestershire, on February 28, 1581. Proved 07 February 1582/3, Prerogative Court of Canterbury. PROB 11/65/85.

The next record for William Bliss is five shillings in the subsidy tax of 1584 in Brookthorpe/Brockthorpe, Gloucestershire. Was this William the father, grandfather, or uncle of Thomas Bliss?

From his last will and testament, we know that William Bliss was married to Margaret (last name unknown) and had three children. They resided in Brookthorpe/Brockthorpe, Gloucestershire (according to William’s will), but also were associated with Harescombe, Gloucestershire, where he held a lease on some property. If William was the man who witnessed the will of the prominent Robert Wood in 1582, he might have been born about 1555 or so. Margaret was born maybe about 1565.

There were two records of Blisses in nearby Harescombe and Haresfield:
Harescombe: Edward, son of John Blysse, baptized 29 Sept. 1575
Harsfield: John Blisse bapt. 22 Aug 1582

William Bliss and His Wife, Margaret
Children of William and Margaret Bliss, listed in his last will and testament:

i. Thomas, born about 1589. Married (1) Margaret Snowe; (2) Margaret Hulings, daughter of John and Margaret Hulings. They immigrated first to Massachusetts and then to Connecticut. Is the eldest son.

ii. Richard. Named as second son in his father’s will. Possibly the Richard Bliss who resided at St. John the Baptist, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England, who married there in January 1620, Elinor Rutter. Children baptized at St John the Baptist: (1) Richard, Oct 1621; (2) Thomas, Feb 1624; (3) Mary, 10 Jun 1628; (4) William, 25 Nov 1632. Elinor, “wife of Richard Blysse,” was buried May 16, 1640; this implies he was still alive. Richard might have married a second time, to Alice, and had a son, John baptized 22 May 1642, at St. John the Baptist. No further records of Richard Bliss have been located by me.

iii. Margaret. Mentioned in her father’s will. Could possibly be the eldest child, due to the fact that she proved her father’s will.

Death of William Bliss
William Bliss wrote his last will and testament 25 April 1602.

He mentioned his wife, Margaret; brother Richard Blysse; son, Thomas; second son, Richard; daughter, Margaret; cousin, Thomas Roberts.

Thomas and Richard are under the age of 21. Daughter Margaret is unmarried.

... I William Blysse of the parish of Brockthrop within the county in the city of Gloucester being of perfect mind and very good remembrance laude and praise be unto almighty god do make and ordain this my present testament and last will in manner and form following, That is to say, first and principally, I bequeath my soul to almighty god my savior and redeemer through whom and by the morte? ... and my body to be buried in Christian sepulture and buried in such place as to myne executrix shall be thought most mete? and convenient. Also, I do bequeath unto the poor of the parish of Brockthropp five shillings eight pence. Item I do bequeath to Margaret my wife the whole use, possession and term of years of one lease and tenement with a house thereupon situate lying and being within the parish of Harscombe within the county of the city aforesaid with all the lands, leasowes? pastures and feeding whatsoever with the appurtenances to the same belonging or in any wise appertaining which I bought of my brother Richard Blysse with term of years yet to come and unexpired, if she so long live and do keep herself a widow sole chaste and unmarried. And if the said Margaret shall happen to decease or marry at any time hereafter during the said term of years as in the indenture of the lease mentioned Then my will and mind is that Thomas my son shall immediately enter within one year then next following the decease or marriage of Margaret my wife quietly and peaceably have, hold and enjoy the said premises with all and singular their appurtenances during the said term. And if it shall happen the said Thomas to decease before he enter into the said premises then my will and very mind that Richard my second son is to have and enjoy the use of the said lease with all and singular their appurtenances during the said term of years then to come and unexpired. And if it fortune that both my said sons depart out of this mortal life before they shall enter into or upon the said lease with the appurtenances Then my will and mind is that Margaret my daughter shall in like manner and form enter in upon the said lease with their appurtenances in manner and form as aforesaid provided always with this condition to be ? to my said legacy that if the said Margaret my wife shall at any time hereafter intend or go about to give grant bargain sell assign or set over do any act or act thing or thing without the assent or consent and agreement of my overseers whereby the estate and term of years of the said indenture of lease to her given should be ? hindrance or made frustrate or void that then this estate and interest in and of the said lease and all other the premises with the appurtenances shall cease to ? intent and ? in the law my said bequest thereof above to her made and bequeathed of and in the same any wise notwithstanding. And also my will and mind further is that if either of my said sons according to the former gift having the use and possession of the foresaid lease shall by lawful marriage have issue male that then it shall to him to give and dispose the said lease at his own will and pleasure. Item I give to Margaret my daughter twenty pounds in money to be paid and delivered her at the day of her marriage if she shall be ruled by her friend namely my cousin Thomas Roberts who is in the mean time to employ her portion for her ? use. Also I give and bequeath to Margaret my daughter one bed one pair of sheets a pair of blankets a coverlet a bolster six pieces of pewter a brass pot a kettle two ewes and two lambs. Item my will is that if my said daughter shall decease before her marriage or marry without the consent aforesaid, that then her said legacy and portion of said goods and cattle shall be and remain to the use of my said two sons Thomas and Richard equally to be divided and pted between them or him then living. Item I do give and bequeath all the residue of my goods and cattels unbequeathed aswell moveable or unmoveable to Margaret my wife and my said two sons Thomas and Richard equally to be divided and parted into equal portions between them. And if it shall happen either of my said sons to decease before he comes to the age of twenty and one years, That then my will and mind is that all his part and portion of goods and cattel shall remain wholly to the other then living if both my said sons to decease before their full age, Then my will is that both their part and portions of goods and cattels shall remain to Margaret my daughter. Also I do make and ordain Margaret my wife Executrix of this my last will and testament praying and desiring to see this my present last will and testament to be duly and honestly performed executed to this my will and true meaning therein. Also I do make and ordain my cousin Thomas Roberts Richard Henrys and Richard Gill the younger of this my present last will. In witness hereof have I put to my hand and seal in the presents of the persons undernamed the day and year first above written.
Test Richard Lawes? Sigm William T Bliss
Thomas Roberts
Thomas Massey

The will and inventory were presented to the consistory court of the Bishop of Gloucester on July 5, 1603, by Thomas Roberts and Margaret Bliss, William’s daughter, one daughter of the decedent (una filiaria).

Did this imply that Margaret Bliss the wife was dead?

As eldest son, why didn’t Thomas Bliss present the inventory and will? Was he not old enough, or was he unable to attend the filing in person?

There are no further records in Brookthorpe/Brockthorpe of the Blisses. The parish registers are missing for many years.

Thomas Bliss of Hartford
We next find Thomas Bliss in Harescombe, Gloucestershire, which is about 1.5 miles from Brookthorpe/Brockthorpe. Recall that William Bliss (theorized father of Thomas), held a lease at Harescombe, which could explain his presence there. It appears from the Return of Men and Armour for Gloucestershire in 1608 that Thomas Bliss became an apprentice to a smith in Harescombe. Thus, this Thomas Bliss was at least age 16 in 1608, which means he was born before 1592.

My misgiving is that this Thomas Bliss was an apprentice to a smith, whereas Thomas Bliss of Hartford was probably a weaver. The inventory of his estate in 1650 included a loom.

Thomas Blisse apprentice to George Downe smith. 1. ca.
The figure (1.) sheweth the age of that man to bee about Twenty.
The L’res (ca.) sheweth the man to bee of a lower stature fitt to serve with a Calyver.

Another record of interest could possibly be of John Hulings, who was to become the father-in-law of Thomas Bliss. John Hulings, age about 40 to 50, was listed for the city of Gloucester. This matches with his estimated date of birth of about 1564.
John Hulings Caryer. 2. m. (someone who transported goods), the East Ward of the City of Gloucester.
The City of Gloucester (The East Ward)
John Hulings carrier. A40. middle stature.

Thomas Bliss and His First Wife, Margaret Snowe
My theory is that Thomas Bliss moved to the city of Gloucester, about six miles from Harescombe. His brother, Richard, also lived there. Did Thomas leave Harescombe because the lease was up?

Gloucester was rather a large place and we find there were 11 churches there: All Saints, Holy Trinity, St. Aldate, St. Catherine, St. John the Baptist (later St. John Northgate), St. Mary de Crypt, St. Mary de Grace, St. Mary de Lode, St. Michael, St. Nicholas, St. Owen.

Thomas Bliss married Margaret Snowe at St. John the Baptist, Gloucester, on the 24 April 1616.

"Thomas Blisse and Margaret Snowe were Maried the xiiijth day of Aprill 1616" Reference Number: P154/9 IN 1/1

Children of Thomas and Margaret Snowe Bliss:

i. (possibly) Toby Blisse (no parents given, so he could also be an adult), who was buried 27 Oct 1617, Gloucester, St Nicholas.

ii. Thomas, baptized 23 January 1617/18, St. John the Baptist, Gloucester. Immigrated to New England with his father and stepmother. He married Elizabeth Birchard 30 Oct 1644, at Lyme, New London, CT; died 15 Apr 1688, Norwich, New London Co, CT.

"Thomas Blisse the sonne of Thomas Blisse was Baptized the xxiijth day of Januarie 1617" Reference Number: P154/9 IN 1/1.

iii. Sarah, baptized April 23, 1620, St. Nicholas, Gloucester
"Sarah the daughter of Thomas Blisse was baptized Apr: 23:" (Listed under year 1620)
Reference Number: P154/15 IN 1/1

iv. (possibly) Ann, born about 1621 (no baptism record found); married April 29, 1642, Robert Chapman, at Saybrook, CT; died 20 Nov 1685, Saybrook, CT. (I do not know if this Ann is a daughter of Thomas Bliss of Hartford; the marriage record says "Blithe", not Bliss.)

Margaret Snowe Bliss, wife of Thomas, was buried at St. Nicholas, Gloucester Reference Number: P154/15 IN 1/1

"Margret the wife of Thomas Blisse was buryed June the 4th" (listed under year 1621)

Thomas Bliss and His Wife, Margaret Hulins
Thomas Bliss married Margaret Hulins, daughter of John and Margaret Hulins, on 18 October 1621, at St. Nicholas church, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England.

St. Nicholas, Gloucester, under the year 1621:

"Thomas Blisse and Margret Hulings weere married October the 18th"
Reference Number: P154/15 IN 1/1

Children of Thomas and Margaret Hulins Bliss:

i. Nathaniel, baptized 28 December 1622, Rodborough, Gloucestershire; immigrated to New England with his parents. He married Catherine Chapin, daughter of Samuel and Cecily Penny Chapin.

"Nathaniell the sonne of Thomas Bliss was baptized the eight and twentieth daye of December"
Reference Number: GDR/V1/198

I am not sure if the two Bliss records at St. Mary de Crypt in Gloucester city are those of Thomas Bliss of Hartford. He did have a son, Samuel, who died 23 March 1720, Springfield, aged "96" [prob, 86]. This would mean that he was born in 1634 or 1635, not in 1637/38, as the baptism record shows. He married there, 10 Nov. 1665, Mary Leonard.

“William, son of Thomas Blysse,” baptized 25 April 1628, St. Mary de Crypt, Gloucester

"Samuel sonne of Thomas Blisse Bap: febr. 4", St. Mary de Crypt, Gloucester under the year 1637[/38] Reference Number: GDR/V1/111

There was a William Blys in the City of Gloucester contemporary with Thomas and Richard Bliss.
Willm. Blys Father's Name: Willm. Blys
Christening: 24 Mar 1613, Saint Mary de Crypt, Gloucester, Gloucester, England

Name: Hamnet Blisse Father's Name: Willm. Blisse
Christening: 30 May 1617, Saint Mary de Crypt, Gloucester, Gloucester, England
Death Date: 28 Jan 1622

Death of Margaret Bliss, widow of William Bliss of Brookthorpe/Brockthorpe
I theorize that Margaret Bliss, widow of William and father of Thomas, was the widow Blisse buried at St. Nicholas, city of Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England, on 6 April 1626.

“April the sixth Widdow Blisse was buried.”

Gail Peterson

Sep 24, 2021, 8:32:21 AMSep 24
I have been giving this theory much thought and am left thinking you may be on the correct trail. If we presume William Blisse, blacksmith of Brookthorpe, Gloucestershire to be the father of Thomas Bliss Sr the weaver who married Margarets Snowe and Hulins both of Gloucestershire it would go far to explain how/why Thomas Sr who settled in Hartford was living in Gloucestershire which is some 55 miles from Daventry, the parish from which John Blisse (the more popular theorized father) lived.

However, I disagree with your record trail on the following point: While there was a Thomas Blisse who was apprenticed to George Downe the blacksmith, he is probably NOT the Thomas Blisse who settled in Hartford. I found a very interesting listing in the Calendar of Gloucester Apprenticeship Registers, 1595-1646, Pg 88 which states:
24 Aug (1637)
"Blisse Nathaniel son of Thomas, weaver, of Gloucester
Blisse, Thomas, his father & Margaret 7 years weaver 5s

This entry very possibly represents the apprenticeship of Nathaniel, the son of Thomas Bliss Sr and Margaret Hulins, who was born abt 1622 which would have made him 15 years-old in 1637. Since this apprenticeship was under his own father there would not have been any adverse monetary consequences when Thomas Sr decided to emigrate with his entire family to America the following year. This record also verifies the fact that Thomas Sr was a weaver, as is evidenced by his estate inventory taken in Hartford in 1650.


Elizabeth A

Sep 24, 2021, 2:10:21 PMSep 24
On Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 6:33:25 PM UTC-4, wrote:
In addition to that chancery pleadings (C2) record, there is a corresponding chancery rolls (C78) record:


Sep 24, 2021, 3:41:59 PMSep 24
Another document that might be informative (but probably not):

C 1/1238/52
Short title: Jonson v Blisse.
Plaintiffs: Richard JONSON, gentleman, and Anne his wife, late the wife of John Mauntell, attainted, and sister of Thomas, late Lord Dacre of the South.
Defendants: Thomas BLISSE, mercer, and William DEVYTT, butcher, both of Daventry.
Subject: Waste of wood in Norton by Daventry, late of Walter Mauntell, knight, deceased, father of the said John. Northampton



Sep 24, 2021, 3:43:10 PMSep 24
Oops, missed the date.

Date: 1544-1551

Gail Peterson

Sep 24, 2021, 4:28:22 PMSep 24
I've been trying to obtain a copy of that--even emailed Boyce Keay, the Remote Enquiries Duty Officer to no avail. Apparently the site to order the record is severely backed up and there is no means of getting around it. My Key suggested I could visit Kew and obtain a copy without charge, but I reminded him that the airfare from America would would be cost-prohibitive... Does anyone know of someone going to Kew in the near future??


Sep 26, 2021, 3:42:17 AMSep 26
Thank you for your comments on my theory. I think that the Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire Blisses are two separate families. I appreciate the information about the apprenticeship for Nathaniel. The search continues.

Elizabeth A

Sep 28, 2021, 4:27:52 PMSep 28
I'm not sure whether you meant the C2 record Will Johnson found, or the C78 record I found, but regarding the latter:

The original images can be found courtesy of the Anglo-American Legal Tradition (AALT) project here:

And I have attempted a transcription, with admittedly no spelling standardizations (everything as originally spelled), and a few question marks near questionable readings, which I would appreciate input on. It's a little messy, but a decent start:

Where[as] Rob[er]te Blisse Complaynante exhibited hys byll of Complaynte unto thys honorable
courte of chaunverye againste John Symes and Rob[er]te Budd and others defendaunt declaringe
by hys sayd byll of complaynte That Whereas one henrye Blisse sometyme of Daventry
in the Countye of Northampton mercer decessed amongeste other thinges was laufullye seased
in hys demeane as of fee of and in three messuages or tenements with thappurtennacs in deventre
aforesayd then beinge in the severall holdinges or occupacions of Rob[er]te Budd Richarde Smythe and
Pyerce Andrewes and that he so beinge thereof seased had issue John Blisse and Thomas
Blisse and the same henrye Blisse at Daventrey aforesayd in the sayd Countye Northampton of
suche an estate thereof died seased And that after hys decesse the sayd three messuages or ten'ts
with thappurtenaunces discended and came as of righte they oughte to discend and come unto
the sayd John Blisse as sonne and heyre unto the sayd henrye blisse and that the sayd
John Blisse after the decesse of the sayd henrye Blisse hys father entered into the sayd three
messuages or ten'ts with thappurtennces and was thereof seased accordingelye and that he so beinge
thereof seased at Daventrey aforesayd lykewyse thereof without yssue of hys bodye died seased
And that after hys decesse the same p[re]misses descended and came as of righte they oughte to
discend and come unto the sayd Thomas Blisse as brother and next heyre to the sayd John
Blisse and that by reason thereof the sayd Thomas Blisse after the decesse of the sayd John
Blisse entered into the sayd three messuages or ten'ts with thappurtenances and was thereof laufully
seased in hys demeane as of fee and so beinge thereof seased at Daventrey aforesayd lykewyse
without issue of hys bodye thereof died seased And that after hys decesse the sayd messuages or
ten'ts with thappurtenances by the order of the comon lawe of thys Realme dyd discend and
of righte oughte to discend to the sayd Complaynante as Cosigne and nexte heyre unto the
sayd Thomas Blisse that ys to saye sonne and heyre to Richard Blisse the younger eldeste
sonne to Richard Blisse the elder brother to the sayd henrye Blysse father of the sayd John
Blisse and Thomas Blisse and further shewed that divers evidents charters and writings
cont'ninge the premisses and of righte app'teyninge to the sayd complaynante were casually[?]
comen[?] unto the handes and custodye of the sayd defendaunts And that by havinge[?]
thereof the sayd defendants unlaufullye dyd keepe the sayde compleynante from the possess'
of the p[re]misses and thereof have confined[?] and conveyd[?] divers secrete estates unto div[er]s
p[er]sonns unto the sayd complaynante unknowne to the intente to disheryte the sayd
complaynante and hys heyres of the p[re]misses contrarye to all righte equitye and
good conscyence and althoughe that the sayd complaynante hathe gentlye required
the same John Rob[er]te Richard and Payrs the defendaunts aswell to suffer the sayd
complaynante quietlye to enioye the p[re]misses as of righte he oughte to doe And
also to delyver to the sayd complaynante the sayde deedes evidences and charters as of
righte they oughte to do that the sayd defendaunt had had alwayes denyed so to doe contrary
to all righte equitye and good conscyence Wherefore the sayd Complaynante prayed p[ro]cesse
of subpena agaunste the sayd defendaunts to aunswere the sayd byll of complaunte which
beinge granted and the defendaunte therewith served they the sayd defendaunt made
theire apparaunce and yoyntlye and sev[er]allye aunswered the sayd byll and shewe
by the same theire sayd answere videl[ic]et the sayd John Symes one of the sayd defendants
that one Thomas Blisse late of Daventrey in the sayd Countye of Northampton
mercer decessed was seased of all and singuler the sayd messuages and ten't with
thappurten'nc's in the sayd byll of Complaynte specified in hys demeane as of fee as in
the sayd bill ys alleged And further shewed that the sayd Thomas Blisse so beinge
seased by hys last wyll and testamente dated the second daye of Julye in the yeare
of our lord god 1557 and in the third and fourthe yeare of the raigne of kinge Philipp
and Quene Marie did wyll and devise that Agnes then wyf of the sayd Thomas
Blisse should have the distrybucon of all hys landes and goodes and that the sayd
Thomas blisse so being seased of the sayd messuags and other the p[re]misses as Daventry
aforesayd thereof died seased without issue of hys bodye after whose death by vertue of the
sayd will the sayd Agnes entred into all the p[re]misses and conveyd the same p[re]misses to
the sayd John one of the sayd defendaunts and hys heyres and that by vertue thereof the
sayd John Symes into the p[re]misses did enter and weas thereof seased in hys demeane as
of ffee and further shewed that if the sayd Thomas had not devised the p[re]misses as aforesaid
then all the sayd p[re]misses oughte to have descended by order of the comon lawe of thys
realme to one John Blisse late of hille in the p[ar]ishe of lemington in the countye of
warwicke as Cosen and righte heyre to the sayd Thomas that is to saye sonne and
heyre of one Thomas Blisse some tyme of the sayd parishe of lemington nexte[?] eldest
brother to henrie Blisse sometyme of Daventrey father of the sayd Thomas Blisse of
Daventrey aforesayd decessed and that the sayd John Blisse after the death of the sayd
Thomas Blisse late of Daventrey aforesayd by hys deede sufficiente in the lawe readie to be
shewed to thys honorable Courte bearing date the eightenthe daye of October in the
fourthe and fyfte yeare of the raigne of kinge philippe and Quene marye did give
graunte and confirme unto the sayd John Symes all hys righte tytle and intereste of
and in the sayd messuages or tenements with thappurtenances to the sayd John Symes his
heyres and assignes forever as by the same deede more at large dothe appeare And the sayd
John Blisse for hyme and hyse heyres the sayd messuages or ten'ts and all and singuler the
p[re]misses with thappurtenncs to the sayd John Simes hys heyres and assignes in manner and
forme aforeasayd againste hyme and hys heyres did warrante for ever and that by reson
thereof the sayd John Symes one of the sayd defendaunt has as he thinkethe a good
and p[er]fecte estate in ffeesimple of and in the p[re]misses and thereby deteyned the evidence
conc[er]ninge the same and traversed[?] the reste of the contente of the sayd byll of complaint
And the sayd Rob[er]te Budd the other defendaunte for aunswere sayed that he had not
nor claymed to have any righte title estate or intereste of the p[re]misses or of in or to any
parte or parcell therof other then to houlde by sufferaunce of the sayd John Symes
by force of a lease at will made to hyme of one of the sayd messuages by the sayd
John Symes and likewyse traversed[?] the reste of the contents of the sayd bill of
co[m]plante whereunto the complaynte replied and the defendauntes reyoyned as by
the sayd bill aunswere replicacon and reioinder remaininge of record in thys honorable
Courte more at large maye appere and so the sayd parties discended to a full and perfecte
issue and wytnesses were examyned on both sides and publicacon was thereof had
and graunted accordinglie and a daye appointed for the hearinge of the same matt[er]
at whiche daye for asmuche as the sayd plaintif[?] hathe not attended neither by himself
nor by hys counsell for the hearinge hereof as the sayd defendaunts and theire
Counsell for theire partes have donne albeyt the sayd plaintif caused processe ad
audiend' indicum[?] to be served uppon the defendaunt for that purpose It ys therefore
thys p[re]sente terme of Ester that ys to saye the third daye of maye in the twentithe
yeare of the raigne of our soveraigne ladye Elizabeth by the grace of god Quene
of England ffraunce and Ireland defender of the faithe &c By the righte honorable
Sir Nicholas Carew Knighte Lord Keper of the greate seale of England and the courte
of Chauncerye ordered adjudged and decreed that the sayd defendaunts and ev[er]e of them
of and from the bill and replicacon of the sayd plantif and the matters therein
conteyned be from hence clerelye and absolutelye dismissed And the plaintif referred
to take hys remedie ellswhere at hys pleasure


Sep 28, 2021, 6:25:12 PMSep 28
Just to summarize this 1578 case, plaintiff's pedigree (numbers are claimed inheritance order):

Richard Blisse (elder brother)
...Richard Blisse the younger
......Robert Blisse, son and heir, plaintiff (4)
Henry Blisse of Daventry, mercer (younger brother) (1)
...John Blisse of Daventry (2)
...Thomas Blisse of Daventry (3)

defendant's pedigree gives two different theories of land passage, claiming first that Agnes transferred the land to one of the defendants, and stating secondly that had she not, the plaintiff wouldn't have been the right heir:

Thomas Blisse of Leamington Hastings ('next elder' brother)
...John Blisse of Hill, in Leamington (alternate 2)
Henry Blisse (younger brother)
...Thomas Blisse of Daventry, mercer, will 2 July 1557, (1) widow Agnes (2)

Assuming both are accurate as far as they go, the dispute hinges on two questions. First did Agnes (rightfully) alienate the land, and second which of the elder brothers was the eldest brother. It was dismissed on technical grounds, without prejudice against refiling.

Another relevant case involving these people:
C 3/19/74
Short title: Blisse v Blisse.
Plaintiffs: Agnes Blisse widow.
Defendants: Henry Blisse and Richard Alleyne.
Subject: personal estate of the deceased Thomas Blisse of , Northamptonshire.

This is probably worth a look, as one of the defendants would seem to be Henry Bliss, linen draper, d. 1587, not definitively placed in the Bliss pedigree but like WIlliam speculated to have been son of Richard the younger.

Regarding the defendant's pedigree, I note that John Blysse [of Hill] took an inventory on a 1581 estate (Litchfield, George Perkyns of Hyll, Leamington Hastings) and was co-recipient of a lease in 1585 (Warwickshire Rec Off CR 1319/6), while a PCC Canterbury will extract (Soame 33, John Cleaver, 1618) names Henry Blisse of Hill in Lemington Hastyngs, Warwickshire, as executor, and leaves legacies to Henry's children James, John and Mary.

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