Note: The Capell Family of Stowe Nine Churches Northamptonshire and Robert Capell born 1704
The name Stowe has been used throughout this document as shorthand for the numerous names used for the parish and manor. Apart from the addition, or omission, of the final "e" and the use of Stowe "with" Nine Churches for the whole parish there are different names for the two nuclei of population. Great Stowe, or Church Stowe, was clustered around the parish church and is to the north of Little Stowe, or Upper Stowe. The Capells are always referred to as "of Little Stowe".
The Robert Capell who was baptised at Stowe in 1704 was my five times great grandfather. He died sometime after his second wife Ann Hayward who was buried at Weedon Bec in 1779 but the date of his death and burial cannot be proved. It was not in Stowe which he had left for Weedon by 1777.
In addition to the Stowe parish registers of births, marriages and deaths there is much detailed information in the contemporary records on Robert's activities as a land-owning yeoman, grazier and parish officer in Stowe and the neighbouring villages. There are also several documents relating to the early Capells, including Robert's land holdings, held in the London Metropolitan Archives.
Robert Capell's Line[See the family tree below]
The Capell line can be traced back to the 15th century in Brington parish with an unbroken line of descent to the present day. The Stowe registers date from 1558 but they are incomplete, for example there are no marriage records surviving from 1638 to 1691 and no burial records from 1659 to 1712. The first reference to a Capell in Stowe is the marriage of John Capell to Margerie Elliott in 1586.
Their only surviving son, Robert Capell (bapt.1590), married Alice Kenning (Alys Kynninge bapt 1594) of Brington in about 1612. We know of this marriage only through the will of Alice's father Henry. Robert and Alice had 13 children, all baptised at Stowe, of whom the second child and eldest boy John (bapt.1614) married Joan (surname unknown).
John Capell and Joan had at least 4 children of whom Robert (bapt.1658) married Elizabeth Mathew of Byfield.
Robert Capell and Elizabeth Matthew had at least 6 children of whom John (1681-1755) was Robert's father by his second wife Ann Warren of Old.
John Capell and Ann Warren were married in 1703 at the lovely old Templar church of St Sepulchre Northampton, and Robert was baptised at Stowe on August 9th 1704. Robert also married twice and he had 17 children. His first surviving son, Robert (bapt 1730), became one of the first patients in the Northampton infirmary which opened in 1743 (OS) and his twelfth child, George (bapt.1745) by the second marriage, was my four times great grandfather.
The "other" Capells of Stowe[See the family tree below]
Equally prominent in 18th century Stowe, with John Capell and his son Robert, were their relatives Richard Capell and his son Richard.
Robert Capell and Alice Kenning's youngest son, Richard was born in 1638 after his father's death. In Robert's will (1638) he is referred to as "the infant in my wife's belly". Richard married Alice (surname unknown) and their first child, also Richard, was baptised in 1676.
Richard Capell, yeoman, 1676-1746 married twice and Richard Capell 1710-1783, also a yeoman, was the eldest child. It was this Richard who served so many times as a parish officer at Stowe with his kinsman Robert Capell. Richard was very literate and he marked at least one of the parish books as his own. He married Elizabeth Wright of Everdon and their gravestones now stand beside the path in Stowe churchyard. Richard died on May 3rd 1783, aged 72 and Elizabeth died on August 8th 1811 aged 83.
Their daughters Elizabeth and Mary Capell, inherited �900 each from their father in 1783. On 23-11-1786 Elizabeth married a tanner, William Drayson of Towcester. William died in 1810 leaving a 4 page will showing that he had properties and land in several places including Towcester, Stowe, Hillmorton (Warks) and Coventry. His sons inherited the properties and his daughter Elizabeth inherited �5,000. William also made provision for her education, maintenance and clothing. His wife Elizabeth died in 1823 also leaving a will which included �1,000 to her daughter. The two sons, William and Thomas inherited the lands on condition that they too gave their sister Elizabeth �1,000 each within 6 months of their mother's death.
Even in the 1790's the Drayson's were prosperous � Elizabeth wore a powdered wig and she paid the new "hair-powder" tax in 1796.They had seven children, all born in Towcester, of whom the three named above survived to adulthood: Richard bur: 25-10-1787 Thomasbur: 18-08-1788 Sarahbur: 18-08-1788 Richard bap: 20-01-1790 bur: 28-03-1790 William bap: 20-05-1791 Thomasbap: 16-12-1793 d. 09-07-1872 Pattishall House; bur: 15-07-1872Elizabeth Sindrybap: 02-04-1797 d. 25-01-1877 Pattishall House
A grave at St Lawrence's church, Towcester, (see below) commemorates Elizabeth and William Drayson and their children Elizabeth Sindry and Thomas. Thomas was a "gentleman" of independent means. The third surviving sibling, William, who died in 1840 is not mentioned. However, the list of Towcester Poor Rate payers of 1826 has William Drayson junior as owner of a house and buildings, tanyard and garden and home close with a rateable value of �43-15-0d. On these his rates payable were �2-3-9d. He was also occupying other premises with tanyard and a yard, rateable value �21-10-0d and Little Pulpit Lays, rateable value �10-10-0d, the property of Richard Hurd and Thomas Cooper respectively. On these his rates were �1-12-0d.
"Thomas Drayso[n] of Pattishall Hou[se] was called from his earthly ....... to immortality in Christian ho[pe] July 9th 1872 age 78 / To the memory of Will: Drayson who departed this life March 4th 1810 aged 47 years. / To the memory of Eliz[abe]th Drayson (wife of Will[ia]m Drayson) who died 16th Oct[o]b[e]r 1823 aged 64 years / Beneath this tomb rest also the earthly remains of Elizabeth Sindry Drayson of Pattishall House with whom she resided in affection more than three score years and ten. She died 25th Jan[uar]y 1877 aged 81 years. In their deaths they were not divided."
Mary Capell, the second daughter of Richard and Elizabeth, remained a spinster and lived at Pattishall House until her death in 1845.Her niece Elizabeth Sindry Drayson lived there with her and she was the sole beneficiary of Mary's will.[See below] It is possible that Mary Capell (daughter of George Capell of Brington 1745-93) was working for her kinswoman at Pattishall when she became pregnant by Valentine Dix in 1805. In the bastardy papers she was described as �Mary Capell of Pattishall� although her home parish was Brington.
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