Clare Coleborne of Dudley

Clare Coleborne married Richard Jones of Dudley in about 1520. They were a wealthy burgher family in Dudley and she died and left a will probate date 19 Oct 1568 in which she names her three daughters and their respective husbands. She is thus demonstrably the common ancestor of both James Shaw and Sarah Bendy who marry on 22 Oct 1734 in Pattingham.

It is mentioned in Dugdale’s Visitation that Clare’s father was Cornelius Coleborne. It is clear from her will that she only has just the three surviving married daughters and confirms Dugdale’s account that her sons were already dead and childless. She lists the three in the following order. Her daughter Eleanor married on 25 Nov 1552 to Edward Gravenor of the Hollyes Enville. Her second daughter Katherine married on 17 Oct 1545 to Richard Shaw of Dudley and her youngest daughter Elizabeth married (probably) on 22 Oct 1559 to Richard Bendy of Kingswinford.

Her granddaughter Eleanor Gravenor went on to marry Francis Woodhouse of Wombourne and is the progenitor of the subsequent Woodhouse lines associated with the Wodehouse in Wombourne.

Her grandson Richard Shaw was the progenitor of the more wealthy branches of the Shaw family, burghers of Dudley.

Her grandson William Bendy was the progenitor of the Bendys of Shut End and a string of lawyers – most notable the parliamentarian William Bendy who served on the Committee of Stafford in the 1640’s.

Clare names two living sisters Margery and Sybil.

All three sons-in-law are made joint executors in an effort to create a clear balance on the inheritance. Importantly at the end of her will she states “I will ordain and allow the partition of my lands made by me late husband Richard Jones to stand remain and abide in as full powers and strength as though it had been done by me the fore named Clare Jones”. The will of her husband does not appear to have survived. Further details of the Jones family of Dudley are apparently recorded in Harleian MS 6128 in the British Library, which has unpublished and unseen details of the 1583 visitation.

She was buried in St Thomas Dudley on 25 May 1568.


  • Parish Registers of St Thomas Dudley (BMSGH Transcript)
  • Will of Clare Jones, Dudley 19 Oct 1568, Worcester Record Office.
  • Visitation of Staffordshire, 1583 and 1663