Daniel Shaw

Daniel Shaw was baptized on 28 Feb 1681 on St Thomas, Dudley the eldest son of Oliver Shaw and Alice Jellians. He left a will dated 11 Oct 1739 that describes him as a Mercer of Dudley and names his surviving children as Daniel (bap Nov 1708), James (bap 27 Aug 1710), Frances (bap 15 Jul 1712) and Read (b c1717). This allows us to identify him as the father of James Shaw, attorney and early mine entrepreneur, of Dudley and determine the ancestral lineage of Mary Shaw, wife of Rev Thomas Shaw-Hellier.

Daniel Shaw married Mary Read on 17 Sep 1705 in Chaddesley Corbett. Mary Read’s father Adam was a Barber Surgeon in Dudley and Daniel’s youngest son, named in the 1739 will was Read Shaw, a physician. Daniel Shaw (snr) with his brother Oliver (1684-1750) held a number of burgages in the centre of Dudley and were involved in the trade and administration in the town at a number of levels in the early decades of the 18th century. Daniel had two other brothers Gilbert and Samuel whose two wills survive of 1759 and 1736 respectively.

Daniel’s will bequeaths a list of about nine properties in Dudley to his young son Read Shaw, along with some fine furniture and his books on “Surgery and Physick”. He also mentions instruments bequeathed to Read, the former property of the latter’s named maternal grandfather Adam Read.

Daniel only briefly mentions his eldest son, also Daniel, who we can suppose had already taken on the headship of the Mercer trade. The will bequeaths him a “Tobacco Engine and Cross”. There is a document in Dudley Archives dated 1730 that talks of Daniel (jnr) gaining ‘admittance’ to land of his late mother, wife of Daniel Shaw. This not only tells us that Mary died some time before 1730 but she was a wealthy woman in her own right, presumably as an inheritance from her father Adam.

Daniel Shaw Senior’s will also lists property bequeathed to James Shaw in Peacocks Field, Rushy Croft and Colepit Leasow to the South East of Dudley. Unfortunately they do not tie in with later transactions. James Shaw’s land holdings seem to have been particularly complex. It would have been nice for the land trail to positively identify James Shaw here. But in face of all the evidence there can be little doubt that there is only one James Shaw, attorney and land owner. The marriage settlement of James Shaw and Sarah Bendy of 1734 does not seem to have survived but references to it and its consequences can be found in the Dudley archives. The Bendy’s were a family of Oxford educated lawyers and the connexion seems to hold well together.

It is therefore no coincidence either that James Shaw, with his experience as an Attorney is nominated as Sole Executor of the will and charged with sorting out all legal and financial matters devolving from Daniel’s Estate. By 1749 James was an active non university educated lawyer in Dudley and had a close friendship and carried out much work for both Lord Ward and Samuel Hellier.

The only daughter mentioned in the will is Frances, who was married to Joseph Smith on 6 Aug 1739 in St Thomas Dudley, just two months prior to the writing of the will

An interesting document Shaw v Shaw C 11/1542/44 dated 1737 appears before Chancery and is held at the National Archives. This would appear to be a dispute between the two brothers Daniel v James (yet to be viewed). This may help explain some of the reasons and omissions of bequests in the various wills.

Probate on Daniel Seniors’s will was granted to James Shaw on 11 Aug 1749 suggesting Daniel lived to the age of 68.

Selected Sources

  • Parish Registers of St Thomas Dudley.
  • Will of Daniel Shaw, Mercer of Dudley, Probate 11 Aug 1749, Worcester Record Office
  • Will of Gilbert Shaw, Saddler of Birmingham,  Probate 1 Feb 1760, National Archives
  • Will of Samuel Shaw, Gentleman of Dudley, Probate 21 Feb 1737, National Archives
  • Dudley Archives DE/1/6/26 Admittance 14 Apr 1730  Of Daniel Shaw, son and heir of Mary Shaw, late wife of Daniel Shaw, to a meadow called Great Hyats meadow and to Mill meadow; a close of pasture land called le Guarne and 2 other closes of pasture land called le Cow leasowes, in the Manor of Rowley Regis. Rent: 2s 2d and herriot Endorsed: ‘Box 14 Bdle 2’