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Christopher Reynolds of Isle of Wight, VA

The Reynolds of East Bergholt, Suffolk, England
by Susan E. Clement
© 1992 Reynolds Family Association

Some researchers have gone one step further than Col. Stephen F. Tillman, and have identified the father of Christopher Reynolds of Kent Co. (1530) as Robert Reynolds of East Bergholt, Suffolk. Based on documents found by this writer as well as by RFA member Earle K. Smith of Horringer, Suffolk, Eng., this claim can be laid to rest. Much appreciation goes to Earle who has offered his research assistance to RFA.

Robert Reignold of Estberhold, son of Robert Reignold, was assessed 5s. in the Subsidy Return of 1524. Robert, the elder, was also of Estberholt in 1524 and was assessed L15. Robert the father is almost certainly the Robert Reynolds who was buried in the chancel of Bergholt church in 1524, who, by his will, desired his son George, also assessed in the Subsidy, to glaze "all the wyndows in the nethir storye of the north side of the cherche at East Bergholt att my coste and charge."

Robert Reignold, the younger, purchased the manor of Illarius als. New Hall in East Bergholt in 1542. He also owned the manors of Stratford, Great Wenham, Capel, Butley, Holton and Brantham. He died in 1548 when his will was proved: "Robert Reignolde, Esquier. Of East Bergholt." He directed that his wife Mary have the manor of Hyllaryes otherwise called New Hall. His son Robert was to have his manor of Spencers. The will was pronounced null and void in 1550, and another will was proved, perhaps because son Robert had died.

Robert married four times. His first wife was the daughter of Sir Thomas Brewse of Little Wenham, sister of Sir John Brewse. They had one son, George, who probably died young, since there is no further mention of him.

The second wife was the daughter of Edward Mackwilliam of Stambourn Hall, co. Essex. They had two sons, Robert and Edward. Robert probably married Joan, daughter of John Nun of Tostock. He died before 1558, perhaps before 1548, and his widow married second John Beriffe of Colchester, Essex. Edward, who was called sonne & heyre" in the Visitation of 1561, may have married Rose Rosse in 1573. His children were Henry, Robert, Christopher, Francis and Anne, and at least four daughters.

Robert married third --- Spilman, probably of Norborough, co. Norfolk. Their children were Henry of East Bergholt and Belstead, Philip and Katherine. Henry died in 1587 and his will (dated 9 Aug 1585, with a codicil dated 22 Sep 1587, proved 13 Oct 1587) names many of his family members. Henry married three times: first wife unknown; second in 1563 Anne (Rous) Goldingham, widow of christopher Goldingham and daughter of Sir William Rous, who died 1573/4; third marriage to Elizabeth Withypoll, daughter of Edmund Withypoll of Ipswich, Suffolk. Henry had only one son by his third wife, Henry who was under age 21 when his father wrote his will in 1585. Philip was living in 1585 when his brother made his will. Katherine married first ---Warner of Dedham, co. Essex, and second Martin Browne. Katherine had died before her brother wrote his will in 1585.

Robert's fourth wife was Mary (Anne) Waller, daughter of William Waller of Ipswich and Ramsholt, Suffolk. Their children were William, Humphrey, John and Mary. William married Barbara Wentworth, daughter of Roger Wentworth. The lived in Shotley, Suffolk, and had one son, William. Mary married John Welman. John was probably living in Belstead in 1568, according to the Subsidy returns.

The will of Henry Reignoldes of Little Belsteade, Suffolk, Esq. names his wife Elizabeth; his late wife Ann and her former husband Christopher Goldingham; his father Robert buried in the church of East Bergholt; his first wife buried in the church of Much Ocle (Oakley); son Henry (under 21); cousin Francis in Norfolk; Francis's son Thomas; William Goldingham; Henry, son of his brother Edward; and Robert, Christopher and Francis his brothers; Henry Goldingham; Jonas Goldingham; niece Anne Reignoldes and her brothers and sisters of the whole blood; Children of his late sister Browne dcd.; Niece Anne Reignoldes as one of the daughters of brother Edward; Rose and Mary Browne, and William Warner their brother, and Thomas Warner their brother, and Francis Browne; his cousin Sherman of Colchester; brother Philip; brothers William, Henry and Jonas Goldingham and their sister Hansarde Aldeham; children of cousin Francis Reignolde; cousin Richard Kempe; brother Edward Withipoll, Peter Withipoll and Benjamin Withipoll; brother Wolverstone; nephew Veasie of Burstall; sister Frances Withipoll; John Warner of Ipswich; William Goldingham to be Executor. Codicil bequest to niece Rose Browne and her sister Mary the wife of Heriche of Chelmsford.

The above documents clearly show that Robert Reignold of East Bergholt did not have any son named Christopher, and the Christopher born 1530 could also not have been his brother as the father, Robert, was buried in 1524. The only Christopher in this family is Robert's grandson, son of his son Edward, who was born no earlier than 1561, and after 1573 if this was his parents true marriage date, though was born by 1585 when his uncle Henry wrote his will. These dates make him too old to be the Christopher in VA in 1622. Neither of the Christophers proposed by Col. Tillman can be considered of this family.

Obviously the given names in this family are similar to many of those of the American colonist families. This coincidence bears further checking, particularly as Boxford, Suffolk is one of the proposed birthplaces of Robert Reynolds who was in Boston about 1632. There have also been numerous statements of the near kinship of the Reynoldses with the Sherman family of Dedham, Essex. Henry's will seems to indicate some familial relationship with the Shermans, but no further information has been found to date.

[Ref: John Corder, The Visitation of Suffolk 1561, London 1981; Henry F. Waters, Genealogical Gleanings in England, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1969, Reprint Ed.; Walter C. Metcalf, The Visitations of Essex, London, 1878.]

Illarius als. New Hall in East Bergholt in 1542. He also owned the manors of Stratford, Great Wenham, Capel, Butley, Holton and Brantham. He died in 1548 when his will was proved: "Robert Reignolde, Esquier. Of East Bergholt." He directed that his wife Mary have the manor of Hyllaryes otherwise called New Hall. His son Robert was to have his manor of Spencers. The will was pronounced null and void in 1550, and another will was proved, perhaps because son Robert had died.

Robert married four times. His first wife was the daughter of Sir Thomas Brewse of Little Wenham, sister of Sir John Brewse. They had one son, George, who probably died young, since there is no further mention of him.

The second wife was the daughter of Edward Mackwilliam of Stambourn Hall, co. Essex. They had two sons, Robert and Edward. Robert probably married Joan, daughter of John Nun of Tostock. He died before 1558, perhaps before 1548, and his widow married second John Beriffe of Colchester, Essex. Edward, who was called sonne & heyre" in the Visitation of 1561, may have married Rose Rosse in 1573. His children were Henry, Robert, Christopher, Francis and Anne, and at least four daughters.

Robert married third --- Spilman, probably of Norborough, co. Norfolk. Their children were Henry of East Bergholt and Belstead, Philip and Katherine. Henry died in 1587 and his will (dated 9 Aug 1585, with a codicil dated 22 Sep 1587, proved 13 Oct 1587) names many of his family members. Henry married three times: first wife unknown; second in 1563 Anne (Rous) Goldingham, widow of christopher Goldingham and daughter of Sir William Rous, who died 1573/4; third marriage to Elizabeth Withypoll, daughter of Edmund Withypoll of Ipswich, Suffolk. Henry had only one son by his third wife, Henry who was under age 21 when his father wrote his will in 1585. Philip was living in 1585 when his brother made his will. Katherine married first ---Warner of Dedham, co. Essex, and second Martin Browne. Katherine had died before her brother wrote his will in 1585.

Robert's fourth wife was Mary (Anne) Waller, daughter of William Waller of Ipswich and Ramsholt, Suffolk. Their children were William, Humphrey, John and Mary. William married Barbara Wentworth, daughter of Roger Wentworth. The lived in Shotley, Suffolk, and had one son, William. Mary married John Welman. John was probably living in Belstead in 1568, according to the Subsidy returns.

The will of Henry Reignoldes of Little Belsteade, Suffolk, Esq. names his wife Elizabeth; his late wife Ann and her former husband Christopher Goldingham; his father Robert buried in the church of East Bergholt; his first wife buried in the church of Much Ocle (Oakley); son Henry (under 21); cousin Francis in Norfolk; Francis's son Thomas; William Goldingham; Henry, son of his brother Edward; and Robert, Christopher and Francis his brothers; Henry Goldingham; Jonas Goldingham; niece Anne Reignoldes and her brothers and sisters of the whole blood; Children of his late sister Browne dcd.; Niece Anne Reignoldes as one of the daughters of brother Edward; Rose and Mary Browne, and William Warner their brother, and Thomas Warner their brother, and Francis Browne; his cousin Sherman of Colchester; brother Philip; brothers William, Henry and Jonas Goldingham and their sister Hansarde Aldeham; children of cousin Francis Reignolde; cousin Richard Kempe; brother Edward Withipoll, Peter Withipoll and Benjamin Withipoll; brother Wolverstone; nephew Veasie of Burstall; sister Frances Withipoll; John Warner of Ipswich; William Goldingham to be Executor. Codicil bequest to niece Rose Browne and her sister Mary the wife of Heriche of Chelmsford.

The above documents clearly show that Robert Reignold of East Bergholt did not have any son named Christopher, and the Christopher born 1530 could also not have been his brother as the father, Robert, was buried in 1524. The only Christopher in this family is Robert's grandson, son of his son Edward, who was born no earlier than 1561, and after 1573 if this was his parents true marriage date, though was born by 1585 when his uncle Henry wrote his will. These dates make him too old to be the Christopher in VA in 1622. Neither of the Christophers proposed by Col. Tillman can be considered of this family.

Obviously the given names in this family are similar to many of those of the American colonist families. This coincidence bears further checking, particularly as Boxford, Suffolk is one of the proposed birthplaces of Robert Reynolds who was in Boston about 1632. There have also been numerous statements of the near kinship of the Reynoldses with the Sherman family of Dedham, Essex. Henry's will seems to indicate some familial relationship with the Shermans, but no further information has been found to date.

[Ref: John Corder, The Visitation of Suffolk 1561, London 1981; Henry F. Waters, Genealogical Gleanings in England, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1969, Reprint Ed.; Walter C. Metcalf, The Visitations of Essex, London, 1878. See also various issues of Reynolds Recollections and the RFA Centennial Collection.]


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