Edward Gravenor of the Hollies, died 1654

Edward Gravenor was a great grandson of Clare Colbourne of Dudley. When he died in 1654 his branch of the Gravenor family owned and lived in the Hollies in Enville in Staffordshire. His will is particularly fascinating as he died, aged 62, with no direct descendants. His long will details numerous cousins and relations.

His main nominated heir was Edward Dyson, his nephew by his older sister Jane Dyson (formerly Fownes). All seven of Edward Dyson’s brothers and sisters are listed. The will also mentions the descendants of Francis Woodhouse of the Wodehouse in Wombourne. Francis was married to Edward’s father’s sister, Eleanor. Finally there are details of the Jurden family of Dunsley and the descendants and relations of Edward’s mother’s brother –  Humphrey Jurden.

The majority of these beneficiaries would appear to  have been from closely knit family units supportive of the Parliamentary cause – often with direct monetary connection to the City of London (especially the Jurden and Dickens families). Henry Dyson, Edward’s brother-in-law, would appear to have been chairman of the Parliamentary Committee at Worcester.

The eventual heir, Edward Dyson’s only son, named Gravenor Dyson, was born in 1644. His name was presumably in honour of his great Uncle, and he was set ultimately to inherit the Hollies in Enville by the will. Edward Dyson, himself, died in 1659. The children of Henry Dyson, Edward Gravenor’s brother-in-law, are listed as follows:

  • Edward Dyson, heir to Edward Gravenor and married to Mary Bache of Over Penn
    • Mary Bache was a cousin to Nicholas Bache of the Wodehouse Wombourne.
  • Henry Dyson, second son eventual heir to some Dyson property
  • John Dyson, third son
  • Jane married to John Dodson
  • Tabitha married to William Apperley
  • Abigail married to Thomas Middlemore
  • Rebecca (will PCC 1659) died unmarried
  • Hester married to William Middlemore, her brother-in-law

Edward Gravenor’s first cousins, children of Francis Woodhouse are as follows.

  • Elizabeth married to Thomas Bradley of the Wood in Sedgley
  • John Woodhouse, the heir, married to Mary Huntbach, sister-in-law to William Dugdale
  • Walter Woodhouse (d 1634) and his daughter Elizabeth
  • Jane Woodhouse married to John Dickens and their eldest son Tomyns Dickens (bap 1622)
  • Francis Woodhouse (youngest son)

Only Tomyns Dickens is mentioned in Edward’s will and he is appointed an overseer alongside another cousin Edward Jurden. Edward Gravenor’s uncle was Thomas Tomyns (d 1631). He was married to Elizabeth Gravenor, his father’s sister, and was thus uncle to both Jane Dickens and Edward Gravenor. This, one presumes, is the source of the repeated name Tomyns Dickens.

Edward had other Uncles on his mother’s side notably Humphrey Jurden. Humphrey’s children  are recited in Humphrey’s own will of 1640

  • Elizabeth Jurden married to  William Pynson of Wolverhampton, a lawyer.
  • Edward Jurden married to Margaret Wightwick, daughter of the Parliament supporting Alexander Wightwick (barrister acquaintance of William Bendy)
  • Abigail Jurden married to John Symcox (Treasurer of the Committee at Stafford)
  • Sarah Jurden married to Christoper Chambers alias Ireland
  • Mary Jurden married to Nicholas Holmer

Edward Gravenor’s mother Jane would appear to have had two other brothers apart from Humphrey (Thomas and Edward) both living in London, being Citizens and Skinners.

Although Edward Gravenor’s death marked the end of the Gravenor line at the Hollies, the Visitations show how these Gravenors are related to other branches, that for instance crop up in the genealogy of John Astley.


Sources and Notes

  • Will of Edward Gravenor, PCC, Probate 28 Jun 1654
  • Visitation of Staffordshire, William Dugdale, 1663
  • Will of Henry Dyson, PCC Probate 28 Jun 1654 (Brother in law).
    • Edward Dyson, the eldest son was the major beneficiary of this will too – Probate granted on the same date as brother-in-law. Henry apparently predeceased Edward Gravenor by a month or so.
  • Will of John Gravenor, PCC , Probate 1 Jun 1622 (Father)
  • Will of Humphrey Jurden, PCC 31 May 1641 (Uncle)
  • Will of John Gravenor, Merchant Taylor of London, PCC, Probate 14 Dec 1624 (Brother)
    • This will mentions Henry Dyson (junior) born about 1622 and fails to mention Edward. This perhaps suggests Edward is the son of Thomas Fownes, his sister’s first husband?



Last updated on 6 August 2023 by JJ Morgan