Rev. Thomas Valentine, MA (c1677 - 1756)

Congregational Minister of the Gospel
at Epsom 1699 to 1755

A difficulty with this article has been the fact there were two cousins each named Thomas Valentine born within a year or so, both of whom became clergymen.

First one needs to distinguish the individual who did not become resident in Epsom -

Anglican Rev. Thomas Valentine, MA, in the Church of Ireland

This Thomas Valentine, appears to have been the son of Francis christened in Manchester Cathedral on 6 January 1676. Matriculation papers are reported to show that he entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1692, aged sixteen, recorded as 'the son of Francis Valentine, Merchant, of Lancashire'. Having been Sacrist in the diocese of Clonfert from 1707, he became Vicar of the union of Castleconor and Kilglass, called Frankfort, in 1711/1712. The ruined remains of a simple rectangular church, called 'Valentine's', still exist there including a bellcote on the west gable. It is possibly on the site of Cill Insi, an older ecclesiastical site which was still standing in 1666. A bell was found in the old Ballina Workhouse in 1934 and an inscription on the bell dated it to 1679. This bell came from this church, which suggests the church was rebuilt sometime around this date. In 1712 Thomas Valentine from Lancashire was appointed as Protestant vicar and remained in charge until his death there in 1765, aged 90. About eighteen years later a plaque to his memory was erected on the inner wall of the church written in Latin, describing Valentine as 'a perfect model of a parish minister' who showed great insight and charity in his bequests... 'Six hundred pounds for the support of the distressed widows of the clergy of the dioceses, and four hundred pounds for supporting a charity school and for apprenticing poor children'. The church was damaged during the 1798 rebellion and does not seem to have been used again. Valentine had been credited with rebuilding the church which became associated with his name from long service.

In The Victoria County History of Lancashire, 1911, it is recorded: -
"BENTCLIFFE was another mansion-house in Eccles, lying to the south-east of the church, on the border of Pendleton; it was for a long period the residence of the Valentine family, who died out in the 18th century. They were originally of Flixton. Richard Valentine died in July 1556, leaving a son Thomas, only three years of age. The capital messuage of Bentcliffe was held of the heir of William the Clerk in socage by rendering a pound of incense to the church of Eccles, this rent identifying it with the estate granted by William the Clerk to his brother John about 1250. Land in Barton was held of the heir of Agnes daughter of Gilbert de Barton by the rent of a gillyflower, and messuages, &c., in Little Houghton and Haslehurst in Worsley of the lord of Worsley, by a pair of white gloves or 1d. yearly.
Valentine of Bentcliffe Arms
The arms of the Valentine of Bentcliffe.
Argent a bend sable between six cinqfoils gules.

Thomas Valentine was succeeded by his son John and grandson John. The younger John's estate was sequestered by the Parliamentary authorities, because when he was high constable of the hundred of Salford in 1644, Prince Rupert, advancing into Lancashire, lodged at Bentcliffe, and ordered its owner to send out warrants for provisions for the prince's army; this he did, 'being in great fear and terror,' but nothing was actually secured for the troops. As soon as Prince Rupert had departed, the garrison at Manchester sent for John Valentine, and under threat of imprisonment and loss of his estates, he was ordered to bring in £20 in money and £10 worth of provisions; and this was performed. In spite of this ready compliance a Parliamentary Committee ordered sequestration, and he redeemed his estate in 1651 by the payment of £255 4s. 9d.

John died early in 1681, and his son Thomas was buried a week after his father. Richard Valentine, the son and heir, was born in 1675, and appointed sheriff of the county in 1713. He died two years later, and by his will (1714) left Bentcliffe to 'Thomas Valentine, clerk, formerly of Dublin College, his kinsman.' This Thomas is believed to have been the son of Francis Valentine of Manchester, younger brother of Richard's father. Thomas Valentine lived at Frankford in Kilglass, co. Sligo, and in 1766 (1763) devised the estate to Samuel#, eldest son of John Valentine of Boston in New England, by a member of which family the hall and 50 acres of land were sold about the year 1792 to a Mr. Partington"

Copy of Will and Testament the Revd Mr. Thos. Valentine of Ireland.

" In the name of [God] Amen. I Thomas Valentine Clk Vicar of Frankfort in the county of Sligoe & Kingdom of Ireland being weak in body but in sound & perfect mind and memory blessed be Almighty God for the same do make and publish this my last will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say First I Give and Devise to Samuel# Valentine the eldest son of John Valentine deceased late of Boston in New England my Second Cousin his heirs & assigns all that my Messuage and tenement Scituate lying and being in the Parrish of Eccles and county of Lancaster called Bencliffe Hall together with Riders Tenement Contiguous thereunto - To hold to him the said Samuel Valentine his heirs and assigns forever lyable and subject to three shillings pr week to be paid by him the said Samuel Valentine for the Mentenance of Martha Holt my Kinswoman for and during her natural life as also to five Pounds for defraying her funeral Expences and in case of failure of payment by the said Samuel I hereby Impower my Executors herein after to be mentioned to levy the same of the Premises aforesaid. Secondly I leave and bequeath to Samuel Valentine afores'd his Brother Thomas and their Sister Eliz'e Gouch the sum of six hundred pounds Sterl to be equally devided amongst them share and share alike that is to say two hundred pounds apiece. Thirdly I leave and bequeath to William Dawson Esquire of Lincoln's Inn and his Sister Elizabeth Broome of Didsbury the children of the late Mr. Wm. Dawson of Manchester my Kinsman the Sum of seven hundred pounds Sterl to be equally devided between them that is to say Three hundred & fifty pounds each. Fourthly I give & Bequeath the Sum of Six hundred pounds Sterl to Mr. Allen Vigor North Vigor and their Sister Abigail to be equally divided amongst them that is to say Two hundred pounds Each Fifthly I Give and Bequeath the Sum of Three hundred pounds to Mr. Thomas Crompton & his Sister Mary Partington both of the Parrish of Eccles aforesaid to be equally divided between them that is to Say one hundred and fifty pounds each. Sixthly I Give & Bequeath the Sum of Two Hundred pounds to Michael Holt of Eccles afores'd & his sister Anne to be thus divided between them that is to say one hundred and fifty pounds to the said Michael and fifty to Anne. Seventhly I Give and bequeath the Sum of Sixty pounds to be equally devided between the children of the late Thomas Holt, Brother to the said Michael. Eighthly I Give and bequeath the Sum of Eleven Hundred pounds English Ster w'ch I now have in the South sea fund I to my Nephew John Cockburn if it appears within six months after my Decease that he' is in the Land of the living andif he be dead my Will and desire is that five hundred & fifty pounds of the said Sum shall flow in equal proportions thro' the aboves'd families of the aboves'd Cromptons and Holts and as many others as are connected to me in the same relation with them and are necessitous. All w'ch aforesaid Legacies I order to be paid out of my English property as soon as they can be collected by Mr. Allen Vigor & William Broom aforesaid both of whom I do hereby Nominate and Appoint Executors of this part of my Property afores'd, and for their trouble in Executing the same I Give & Bequeath the Sum of two hundred pounds to Each and all the rest & Residue of my personal property that shall be in England at my Decease after my Debts and Legacy's are first paid I Give & Bequeath in equal proportions to Mr.Samuel Valentine, Wm. Dawson of Lincoln's Inn Esq'r, Allen Vigor and Wm. Broome thus far for the Disposition of so much of my property as shall be found in England at my Decease and w'ch will be found in the Hands of Mr. Wm. Broome of Didsbury afores'd in cash Bonds Mortgages &c. that belong and appertain to me and are my property.

Now for the Disposition of my property in Ireland I do hereby Order & direct that it be applied to the uses and purposes following that is to say first I do hereby Give & Bequeath the Sum of Six hundred pounds Sterl. for the Support and Maintenance of the distressed Widows of the Clergy of the dioceses of Hillala & Achowey. Secondly I Give and Bequeath the Sum of four hundred pound Sterl. towards the Institution of a Protestant charity school and for the puting out a few of the Protestant Apprentices to Trades w'ch school I order to be erected within the Union of ffranckfort and I do hereby nominate & appoint the Lord Bishop of Hillala and the Vicar of ffrankfort both for the time being to be Trustees of the above sum.Thirdly I Give and Bequeath to my Beloved Friend the Rev'd Alexander Clendining all and Singular my Library of Books together with the sum of two hundred pounds Sterl. my Gold headed Cane and three Silver Spoons to match three I formerly gave him, and as to the surplus rent arising arising out of the farm of Carrowgarry I leave this to Mr. Henry ffarrel Surgeon of Sligoe during his natural life. But in case Mr. Saml. Scochwood of Hillala Survives him I order that the said Surplus rent shall appertain and Belong to Rev'd Mr. Clandining during the term of said lease. Fourthly to my kind Friend and benefactress Mrs, Anne Brown of Fortland I give and Bequeath the sum of one hundred pounds Sterl. Fifthly I give and Bequeath to the poor of the Union of Frankfort the sum of Sixty pounds Ster. to be disposed of by the Rev'd Mr. Clandining as he shall think most proper. Sixthly I leave & Bequeath such a sum as to Mr. Clandining will seem sufficient to buy a decent cushing & Cloth for the Pulpit & also a proper coverlet for the communion Table. Seventhly I Give and Bequeath the sum of twenty pounds Ster. to Thomas Waldron, twenty pounds to Robert Dillon, twenty pounds to Mrs. Sarah Lynn, Ten pounds to ffrancis Moore, fifty pounds Ster. to the Widow Anne Atkinson relict of the late Thomas Atkinson of Cabragh. And I hereby nominate and appoint the Rev'd Alexander Clandining afores'd my sole Executor to this part of my above Will w'ch concerns my Irish property most of w'ch at this time is put out in the manner following that is Say Eleven hundred pounds in the hands of Annesley Gore Esq'r four hund'd pounds in the publick loan Three hundred pounds to Vaughan Jones Esq'r, Two hundred pounds to Robert Brown Esq'r, One hundred pounds to Mathew Ormsby Esq'r and fifty pounds to John Osborne all at five pr. Cent. I also leave the Rev'd Alexander Clandining aforesaid Executor the rest and Residue of my said Irish fortune after having first paid the sums appointed for charitable uses Legacy's funeral Expences and Debts revoking all former Wills by me made.

In witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and seal this tenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one Thousand Seven hundred and Sixty Three. Thomas Valentine, [l. s.]

Signed Sealed published & Declared by the above named Thomas Valentine to be his last Will and Testament in presence of us who have hereunto Subscribed our names as witnesses in the presence of the Testator and of each other. Jon'l Leech, Elias Bowray, Rich'd Arbuthnot."
The Rev. Thomas Valentine, the testator of the above Will, died at 4 of the clock on the morning of Nov. 6, 1763.

Next we can consider 'our man' -

Rev. Thomas Valentine, MA, Minister of the Dissenting Congregation in Epsom

A history of Epsom's United Reformed Chuch records: -
"During the Rev. Thomas Valentine's ministry (1699-1755), with Epsom still enjoying considerable prosperity, the Dissenting community numbered 300 hearers in 1715 and had been meeting in a converted farm building not far from our present site in Church Street. In 1720, a local lady, Elizabeth Faulkner, knowing of their desire to build a Meeting House, left a parcel of copyhold land for this purpose. The first known licence for this building on our present site is dated 1724. The copyhold had been converted to private ownership by 1750. This was not an easy time for Dissenters, still under major restrictions and not popular with the general public, not least because the success and decorum of the merchants were at variance with the general licentious attitudes of the early C18. But with the bursting of the South Sea Bubble in 1720, commercial businesses declined."
This Thomas had a sister Mary who became Mrs Crompton. If she was the child baptised at Manchester Cathedral, 18 April 1672, their father had been named John. Her presumed brother Thomas was born about 5 years later.

Mrs Elizabeth Fawkener (sic), mentioned earlier as Faulkner, was the widow of Everard Fawkener, citizen and grocer of London, who died 13 July1707 [Will proved 30 July 1707]. On 7 April 1719, she was licensed to let a newly erected messuage in Church Street [Lehmann 9B7], possibly to Thomas Valentine. On 4 June 1720 Elizabeth made a Will which was proved 1 July 1720 - PROB 11/575/65.

Transcribed Wills of the Fawkeners may be found in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register and The Bulkeley Family at : -

Memorial Inscriptions on the pavement in the chancel of St Martin's, Epsom, included:-
"MR. EVERARD FAWKNER Late Citizen and Grocer of London, who departed this life July the 13th 1707.
And also ELIZABETH FAWKNER his wife who departed this Life June 29th 1720."
Arrangements for the provision of land on which 'a Meeting place for religious worship' was to be erected are described by H L Lehmann in The residential Copyholds of Epsom, 9B11.

Marriage, the first

On 28 May 1723, Thomas Valentine married Mary Marsh in the Chapel of Somerset House Westminster. His spouse was one of the six daughters of the late Ralph Marsh of 'Brands', Wilsdon (Willesden) who had died in 1709 [Will 23 January 1708].

On 8 July in 8 Geo. I (1724), Mary Valentine made her Will. Unusual for a married women of the time, it was necessary in relation to real estate held in trust. She refers to her grandfather, Richard Hawes of Ockingham's estates but what actually descended to her eventually was a sixth share, with her surviving sisters, in Oxgate Farm, Wilsdon [Willesden], and property at Richmond, Surrey, from her uncle Richard Hawe(s), junior, brewer of Richmond, brother of her mother Alice Marsh, on his death in 1729. Mrs Mary Valentine survived only until 1733 when she died aged merely 37. She was interred with her fathers in the churchyard of St Mary's, Wilsdon [Willesden]. Their memorial inscriptions are recorded: -
"Altar Tomb - Ralph Marsh late of Brands in this Parish Died 17th April 1709 Aged 49. He married Alice daughter of Mr Richard Hawes of Oakington [Ockingham/ Wokingham] Coun: Berks by whom he had 7 daughters, who all survived him. Alice his 3rd daughter unmarried 18th Nov.1714. Mary wife of the Rev. Mr Vallentine, 2nd daughter of said Ralph Died 2nd April 1733 Aged 37."
The Will of Mrs Alice Marsh, widow of Kensington, was proved 18 April 1750 - PROB 11/778/310]

[For the Marsh's Manor of Brands see and the Hawes' Manor of Beaches, The grave of Sarah and Richard Hawes, junior, at Wokingham may be viewed at]
St Mary's Wilsdon
St Mary's Wilsdon

Upper Oxgate farm, Willesden was sold on behalf of Richard Hawe's nieces in 1734.

Marriage, the second

On 12 November 1735 Thomas Valentine entered a deed of Settlement in contemplation of his marriage to Hannah, daughter of late Mary Cutler of Epsom. Their wedding took place at St John the baptist, Old Malden, 24 November 1735.

The New England connection

In The Valentines in America, 1644-1874 by Thomas Weston Valentine, 1874, appears a letter from the Rev Mr Valenine of Epsom: -

"London Nov'r 10th 1753.

My Dear Nephew, - I cannot easily express the great pleasure I had at the arrival of your letter with the account of your person and family; though that had a great sorrow in the mention of the loss of your companion in life; which is a mournful event especially in so numerous a family where the tender care of a mother is as much wanted as the wisdom of a Father. 'Tis easy to say we must submit,but a hard lesson to learn in the School of Providence. I pray God give you all the patience to bear, and wisdom to improve such trying dispensations. Tho' I have not the satisfaction of seeing my relations in New England nor ever expect to be so happy on earth, yet I hope to meet them in heaven, with any alloy or end. In the mean time, I do not forget but give them a constant place in my addresses to the mercy seat; when I ask wisdom and Grace for my own Soul to lead us through the present valley of tears to that state, where all tears shall be wiped away. I wish I had power equal to do more according to the affections of my heart for my dear relations at a distance.

You desire an account of our family in Old England which by time and death are reduced in numbers. I have only one sister remaining, who has a son marry'd with children, and one daughter who lives with her mother and who is dutifull and servicable to her mother in the evening of life.

There are many nephews and nieces that are prudent and sober in their behavior; tho' not in the prosperity of the world. My Cozen Thomas Valentine is a worthy clergyman in Ireland who possesses the seat and estate of the family, that has been some hundred years in the same name. I have sent him the account of the family, not being willing the estate (tho' not large) should change its name.

This is the account I send you, but your family are more numerous, and prosperous in New England. I have nothing to add but the assurances of my esteem, and affection to all my dear relations which I would be glad to manifest in Religion and friendship to the utmost of my power.

I commend you to God's Protection, blessing and conduct, and am with affectionate respects to all my dear relations in New England, Dear Nephew, Your faithful friend and Affectionate Uncle,

Thomas Valentine

I will soon write to your Brother and Sister Gouch."
The postscript relates to Elizabeth Valentine, born in Boston 22 February 1703/4, who had married Joseph Gooch on 2 July 1724. She had two brothers, Thomas and Samuel. The above letter had probably been sent to the latter who was the eldest child (born Boston, Suffolk County, 28 December 1702) of John Valentine of Boston and a second cousin# of Rev. Thomas Valentine in Sligo, Ireland, as mentioned in his Will reproduced earlier. This indicates that the father of Samuel was John Valentine who had married Mary Lynde, 16 Apr 1702, in Boston, Suffolk Co., MA.

Consequently, Epsom's Rev Thomas Valentine's brother may be identified with John Valentine born 28 Dec 1670 at Bencliffe Hall, Eccles, Lancaster, England, who died on 1 Feb 1723/24 in Boston, Suffolk Co., MA., and was buried on 4 Feb in King's Chapel, Boston, MA. 'Immigrant' :-

According to
"He appears to have been appointed Notary Public June 3, 1698. - A document verified by him in 1706 shows him to be 'Notary and Tabellion Public for Massachusetts Bay.' A tabellion was an official scrivener or scribe, essentially the same as a notary. He was reappointed Notary Public Oct. 24, 1712 and Dec. 10, 1715. On April 16, 1718 he was appointed Justice of the Peace and in November of that year he is mentioned in Judge Samuel Sewall's diary as 'Our new Attorney General.' The Boston News-Letter in July 1720 stated that he took the required oaths as His Majesty's Advocate General for the Provinces of Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire and the Colony of Rhode Island, a position he held until his death in 1724. Another aspect of John's life is shown by his donation of £10 for the building of a gallery, a new pulpit and the 'adorning' of King's Chapel in 1718. This was one-thirtieth of the total cost of these things. No doubt he supported his church before and after this event also. Still another part of his life was political and apparently he was quite outspoken in town meetings, loyal to the government and, in the words of a Judge Washburn, 'an agreeable speaker.' However, to the townspeople as a whole he may have appeared haughty and not in tune with the growing dissatisfaction with crown rule.(Bonnie Hubbard)

On Saturday, 1 Feb 1724, John was found in the loft of his home. He had hung himself with his sash. According to Bonnie Hubbard, 'No clue has ever been found as to why John Valentine took his life... It appears to have been a sudden and irrevocable impulse. His will had been written about two years earlier and in it he leaves first his soul to God, his body to the earth, 'hoping through the merits of Christ Jesus, my blessed Lord and Saviour, to obtain the forgiveness of all my sins.' He then mentions the members of his immediate family as well as his sister Elizabeth and appoints his 'good friend and kinsman James Bowdoin' to be executor. He also provides for 'my honored mother' if she survives him. The estate was quite a large one, valued at about £4200 sterling. There was the equivalent of about $900 in cash in the house and a collection of household silver plate estimated to be worth £323 sterling. Three slaves and several houses in good parts of the town also indicate that he was very well-to-do. ... It is apparent also that he must have served well and honorably in the many offices to which he was appointed. He was buried at King's Chapel on February 4, 1724."
Whilst the father of Rev Thomas Valentine, his sister Mary & brother John (who migrated to New England), does appear to have been named John, it is questionable he was the man admitted a freeman of Boston, 12 May 1675. A likely candidate remains the John Valentine of Bentcliff who was baptised at Eccles on 25 April 1643.

The demise of Rev. Mr Thomas Valentine

On 3 December 1751 Thomas Valentine, Clerk of Epsom, made his Last Will and Testament before he died 29 March 1756. [Copy of Will, with codicil, proved 21 April 1756 - PROB 11/822/183 - deposited at Bourne Hall History Centre] In it he desired that 'my body be interred at Wilsden in the County of Middlesex in the grave with my late deceased wife in the same manner as her body was interred', but this wish was disregarded by his relict and Executrix, Mrs Hannah Valentine.

As shown by the following copy of the Memorial Inscription he was laid to rest in St Martin's churchyard.

The arms of the  Rev Thomas Valentine MA
The memorial inscription of Rev Thomas Valentine MA
The memorial inscription of Rev Thomas Valentine MA
Photo courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

The tombstone bears the Valentine Arms but not those generally associated with Bentcliffe, Eccles. Described as '(Sable), three swords, points downwards (Argent hilted or), one in pale, and two saltirewise. Crest - On a wreath (argent and sable), they are suggested to relate to the Valentines of Shaw Hall, Flixton, built by the family in 1305.

Mrs Hannah Valentine, relict

Mary Cutler, widow of Epsom, had lived at West Hill and, following her death, Hannah Cutler, daughter, was admitted to the copyhold messuage, 21 October 1729 [Lehmann 2B6]. On 22 May 1751 Hanna (sic) Valentine, the wife of the Rev. Thomas Valentine of Epsom, Minister of the Gospel, sold the messuage and piece of land, the right to which had been reserved to her at her marriage in a deed dated 12 November 1735.

In 1755, Tomlinson Busby held a messuage, washhouse, stables, and garden of about 1 acre, on the north side of Epsom High street [Lehmann 4B15]. These premises were acquired by Hannah Valentine, the widow of Thomas Valentine, minister of the Gospel. She in her Will [proved 11 October 1766 - PROB11/923/88] left the property to John Wheatley the elder of Epsom, carpenter.

Brian Bouchard October 2012

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