|Abstract||Edward and Ann Marke: St Stephen's Church,
In St Stephen's Church, Great Wigborough there is a slab set in the nave floor engraved with the inscription
HERE LYETH BURIED THE
BODIE OF ANN MARKE THE
WIFE OF EDWARD MARKE
DECEASED THE FOURTH
DAY OF MARCH IN THE
YEARE OF OUR LORD 1621
I immediately recognised the name 'Edward Marke' for that is the name of a charity in Langenhoe set up following Edward Marke's death in 1623. Now, his land is still managed by the Edward Marke Trust (a registered charity) and is used as allotments and, in accordance with his will, all profits go to support villagers. Below is the part of his will where not only does he give the land, called Cockles Croft, that is now used for the allotments, but also he leaves gifts of money to the poor in seven parishes.
Inprimis[first] I doe give and devise all that my tenement and three Accres of land Called
Cockles Croft with thapurtenances [rights and duties] scittuate & being in langenhoe aforesaid to the poore
people of langenhoe abovesaid for ever Item I doe give unto the said poor people of
Langenhoe ten shilling[es] to be distributed amongst them within on [one] monthe next after my
deceasse in the discrecc[i]on of my executor[es] Item I doe give and bequeath unto the pore people
of the p[ar]ishe of Fingringhoe ten shilling[es] to be distributted amongst them within one month
next after my deceasse in the discrecc[i]on of my executors Item I doe give and bequeath
unto the poore people of Laier delahay ten shilling[es] and to the pore people of Wigborow
ten shilling[es] & to the pore people of Peldon ten shilling[es] & to the pore of of Aberton fyve
shilling[es] & to the pore people of Dedham twenty shilling[es] to be distributed amongst them
and every of them within one monthe next after my deceasse by my executor[es] [Essex Records Office ABW 45/110]
In his will he makes personal bequests to John, Jeffrey, William, Tobias and Robert Potter referring to them as his 'brothers' which, in this case, is most likely to mean brothers-in-law. It is likely therefore that his late wife Ann, who died two years before her husband, was also a Potter.
It is possible Edward was Ann's second husband for he also makes bequests to his son-in-law and daughter-in-law, Henry and Mary Bullock. At this
time son-in-law and daughter-in-law were terms often used to mean step-son and step-daughter. The connection with the Bullock family would make sense of Ann being buried in Wigborough Church, the family church of the Bullocks since the early 1500s up until Sir Edward Bullock bought a new 'family seat', Faulkbourne Hall, in 1637.
I then turned to the will of Ann's father, John Potter of Peldon, whose will is dated 1621. In it, he makes bequests to all his sons, the same names as in Edward Marke's will, John, Jeffrey, William, Tobias and Robert Potter. He makes a bequest to his son-in-law, Edward, but no mention is made of his daughter, Ann, which would imply she had already died - both father and daughter died in 1621.
Edward Marke's will described him as being a yeoman of Langenhoe but his place of burial has not been found.
Parish Church of St Stephen, Great Wigborough