In the name of God Amen I Samuel Borton of the Parish of Saint Mary Magdalen Innkeeper near the city of Oxford being in health of body and of sound and disposing mind and memory do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in writing in manner and form following that is to say first and principally I bequeath my soul unto the hands of Almighty God my Heavenly Father assuredly hoping through the merits of Death and Passion of my only Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ to receive remission and forgiveness of my sins and transgressions My wretched body in hopes of a joyfull[sic] resurrection I commit to the Earth from when it came decently to be buried at the discretion of any Executrix herein after named and as touching the distribution of that worldly estate which it hath pleased almighty God to bless me with after my debts and funeral charges defrayed I dispose thereof as followeth Imprimis I give and bequeath unto my son Samuel Borton my house called the Dolphin Inn in the parish of St. Mary Magdalen with the Brewhouse wash house Stables yards and gardens with the Coach house belonging to it and my son Samuel Borton to pay to my Daughter Fanney the sum of Thirty pounds within one year and a half after he is possessed of his Estate ITEM I give to my son Richard Borton my house in St. Peter in the East and the garding[sic] belonging to it now in the possession of Mr Taylor Cabinet Maker ITEM I give to my son William Borton my house in St. Peter in the East next to the Eagle and Child now in the possession of Mr. Dry and the two rooms over Mr. Dry’s shop now in the possession of Mt Smith the Shoemaker ITEM I give to my daughter Lydia my house in St. Mary Magdalen Parish and the garding belonging to it now in the possession of Mr Chitto and likewise the next tenement with the garding belonging to it and the two acres in St Giles Fields called the Dolphin Acres ITEM I give to my Daughter Margaret Borton my house in St Peter in the East next to the Angel Inn now in the possession of Mr King the mason and the house and yard and Garding joining to it in the possession of Mr Mace the Taylor ITEM I give to my daughter Fanny my house in St Peter in the East next door to Mr Watson’s now in the possession of Mr Baggs the Taylor and the house in the yard with the out House opposite to it both which Mr Bissell rented of me and my son Samuel Borton shall pay to the Beedsman Twenty pounds a year for the Dolphin Inn and when it is to be renewed to the city (illegible): my daughter Lydia her heirs or assigns shall pay their share answerable to the income of her two houses and the two acres in St. Giles Fields and Mr Holdship his heirs or assigns to pay their share according to my father’s will for the house that Mr Robinson lives in which was my sister Mary’s past and the things hereafter mentioned to be left as Standards in the Dolphin Inn (?) and hooks the fixed grates the mantel shelves (?) cupboards and the rest of my children, Richard Margaret William and Fanny to pay their share when my houses in St. Peter in the East are to be renewed(?) and the yearly quit rent according to the income of what I have left each of them ITEM I give to my three daughters twenty pounds a piece and if I have not ready money enough by me to pay them it shall be allowed them out of any goods and chattels when the twenty pounds is paid each of my Daughters Lydia Margaret and Fanny and then what remains in money all the rest of my goods and chattels shall be equally divided amongst all my children and I make all my children joint executors and executrixes of this my last will and testament In (?) whereof I have set my hand and seal the Eighteenth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty eight Samuel Borton in the presence of us who have signed the same in his presence when he sealed and signed it Thephs Wharton James Slater
Transcript of Richard Borton’s will 1714.
In the name of God Amen I Richd Borton of the Parish of Holywell all is (?) St. Cross’s near the City of Oxon yeoman being in health of body and sound and disproving mind and memory do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in writing in manner and form following (that is to say) first and principally I bequeath my soul unto the Hands of almighty God my Heavenly father assuredly hoping thro’ the merits Death and Passion of my only Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Xt to receive remission and forgiveness of all my sins and and transgressions My retched[sic] body in hope of a joyful resurrection I commit to the Earth from whence it came decently to be buried at the direction of my Executors herein after named and as touching the distribution of that worldly estate which it hath pleased Almighty God to bless me after my debts and funeral charges are defray’d (illegible) as followeth ITEM I give and bequeath unto my dear and loving wife Mary all my Freehold, Copyhold and Leasehold Estate that I shall die (seized?) wheresoever ye same (illegible) during her life ITEM I give and bequeath to my son Richd Borton my House and Brewhouse Barnes[sic] and Stables and Eleven acres of land in Cowley Parish I bought of Mr Loveday and my Son Richard shall pay my Daughter Ann twenty pounds and my Daughter Elizabeth twenty pounds within the year that he shall be possessed of his estate ITEM I give my son Samuel the Dolphin Inn and the two tenements on the north side and two acres in Saint Giles field called the Dolphin Acres ITEM I give my Daughter Mary the House next Mr Phipps house and my son Samuel shall pay my Daughter Mary twenty pounds within a year after he hath the Inn and my son Samuel shall pay the Beedsman and when they renew to the city Mary on her heirs or assigns shall pay according to that income ITEM I give to my Daughter Ann my house in St. Clement’s with the forest(?) money belonging to it ITEM I give my Daughter Elizabeth my House and Barn and Smiths shop and Garden over against my Brewhouse ITEM I give my daughter Martha my six acres of land in Headington Field with the Cottages Commons belonging to them and a clove(?) at Cowley now called the Hop Yard on (illegible) and if my son Richard will not surrender the six acres and the house as I have directed ye he shall pay my daughter Ann seven score pounds more than I have directed before and my Daughter Martha fourscore pounds if he doth not (illegible) to her. I leave my Ash house which now stands where the dog kennell[sic] formerly stood to my wife to be disposed of either in the payment of debts or otherwise as she shall think convenient and if it shall please God if any one of my children die before they come to possession of what I leave herein by my will allotted to (them?) then shall they share or (illegible) or Estates belonging or by my will so given and bequeathed to him or her so dying be divided equally to the rest of them that shall be the survivors. And my loving wife shall enjoy all my Estate so bequeathed unto her during the term of her life if she lives a widow but if she marry then each and every one of my children shall enter upon and take possession of what I have herein by my will bequeathed unto them so soon as she shall marry and if my stock that I leave behind me do not prove sufficient to pay and discharge what debts I owe at the time of my Death and my Funeral charges then shall every one of my children bear a proportionable charge according to what I have hereby given to them of the payment and the discharge of the same and so the intent that this may be known to be my last will and testament revoking hereby all former wills whatsoever by me made I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Seventeenth day of December in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and fourteen Richard Borton signed sealed and attested to be the last will and testament of the above named Richd Borton in the presence of us who have signed the same in his presence when he sealed and signed it Mary Gardner, Tom (illegible), Tho. Cave
Having discovered that my 6 x great-grandfather Samuel Borton owned The Dolphin Inn (which stood on St. Giles, Oxford), I was pleased today to discover his and his father’s wills. Samuel was born in 1706 and died in Oxford in 1769, leaving behind a fair few houses and bits of lands to be divided up amongst his children.
The image below shows his original will:
I was pleased to read the following which confirmed my previous research:
“I bequeath unto my son Samuel Borton my house called ye Dolphin Inn in the parish of St. Mary Magdalen with ye Brewhouse, Washhouse, Stables and Gardings with Coach House belonging to it.”
I was surprised at how many properties he owned in the city including a house in “St. Peters ye East next to ye Eagle and Child”; another house in St. Mary Magdalen which he bequeathed (along with two acres in St. Giles’ fields called Dolphin Acres) to my 5 x great-grandmother Lydia Stevens. He also owned a house next to the Angel Inn on the High Street (pictured below in 1820).
When I examined the will of his father Richard, who died in Oxford in 1714, I found that the same properties were listed in his will and that he had himself owned the Dolphin Inn. The first page of his registered will can found below:
But what I was particularly thrilled to see was an example of Samuel’s handwriting in the form of his signature.
I remember how delighted I was when I discovered my 6 x great-grandfather Samuel Borton who ran the Dolphin Inn, Oxford, sometime during the 18th century. I felt a connection with him and, perhaps more importantly to the site of the inn he ran.
Then I discovered his father, Richard, who died (possibly in Holywell, Oxford where Samuel was born) in December 1714 when Samuel was just 8 years old. Imagining this man as a relative, as one might think of one’s grandparents or great-grandparents (if one was lucky enough to know them), I had to remind myself recently, that Richard Borton was just one of 512 people alive at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries from whom I’m directly descended.
To think of it another way. Imagine that in the year 2315, my direct descendent is born, then there are 511 people – including, of course, my wife – alive today who will also play a direct part in that person’s birth.
After my last post about my 6 x great-grandfather, Samuel Borton’s residence, I wanted to see if I could find out the name of the inn he owned, which, I now knew stood at the southern end of St. Giles. In a book of old Oxford photographs, which I bought a few years back, I found the following image:
It shows St. John’s college and a building next door called the Dolphin building, which at the time of this photograph c1870 was part of the college. The text beneath the photograph stated that it had once been an inn, and digging a little deeper, I discovered that it had indeed been the Dolphin Inn.
This then is a photograph of my 6 x great-grandfather’s inn before it was demolished.
The engraving below, is that of the same inn, made in 1779, probably at the time when my ancestor was resident.
Following on from my last post on Samuel Borton’s residence, I’ve found evidence confirming where he lived. The following image shows his name in the survey:
I took the photo below whilst standing in my bus queue this evening. It shows the row of buildings which, I believe, stand on the site of those buildings once occupied by Messrs Morrel, Fidler and my ancestor, Borton.
Looking at a plan from the 1772 survey – which I’d photocopied several years ago – I discovered that this is indeed the site of my ancestors dwelling.
The following is a close up of the top left hand corner.
The name in the ‘box’ next to Balliol College is Mr. Morrell, which when we look at the list at the top of the page is the first name after Balliol College. His property would have stood approximately where the orange-brown neo-classical building stands now. Four yards to the left would have been Mr Fidler’s property and occupying the land next to that would have been my ancestor’s property, which I believe was an inn.
I have recently written about John Gwynn’s survey of Oxford (1772) in relation to my family tree research (see Lydia Stevens 1734-1822) and have discovered another ancestor in the same survey. Lydia’s father, Samuel Borton was, at the time of her birth, an innkeeper in Mary Magdalen Parish. Lydia married John Stevens in the church of St. Mary Magdalen in 1764, and I wondered therefore whether Samuel Borton would be listed in Gwynn’s survey? Sure enough, in Magdalen parish, close to Balliol College, a Mr. Borton is listed as the owner of a property measuring 15 yards wide.
I need to get a copy of H.E. Salter’s Survey of Oxford in 1772 with Maps and Plans to work out where exactly this is (the above extract is from Google books). However, it might be that as we have [Here Broad St.] and given that the length of Balliol College is given as 140 yards (128 metres), that Mr. Borton’s property is on the north side Broad Street. But then Balliol College, west end would seem to be that part of the college shown in yellow below. In which case Mr. Borton’s property would actually be nearer St. Giles.
Having looked up Broad Street in Google Earth, I decided to use the measuring tool to see if that would help. The yellow lines are both approximately 140 yards long.
Superimposing the 1750 map above onto Google Earth, we get the following:
A closer look:
During a quick research session in the library this lunchtime, I tried to discover the birth date of my 6 x great-grandfather, Samuel Borton. Having trawled through the indexes for St. Martin’s parish, St. Mary Magdalen, St. Peter le Bailey and St. Mary the Virgin, I turned to that for Holywell parish. In there I discovered a Samuel Borton born in 1706. His father was listed as Richard and in the time I had, I discovered two siblings called Ann (b.1693) and Mary (b.1703).
From the index it’s hard to say for sure that this Richard Borton is the father of my Samuel Borton, but the name isn’t common and, in line with what I described yesterday, another piece of evidence could be gleaned from the names of Samuel’s own children.
His first son was called Samuel (1737 – ); his second son, surely named after his grandfather – Richard, born in 1739.