Richard Shawe

Richard Shaw, yeoman of St Edmunds Dudley, left a will of 1616, held at the Worcester Record Office. This will shows that he is the father of Richard Shaw of Netherton, whose PCC will of 1657 is discussed on this site.

The will mentions his three sons Richard, Thomas and Oliver, who appear together on a number of other documents.

It would imply that Richard is the oldest of these sons. It mentions his Godson Richard Shaw, the son of his son Richard Shaw, who was probably bom in about 1604. He died childless in 1646. It also talks of his grandson John, who in a later will is described as a ‘natural’ son. It mentions two granddaughters Ann and Margery, who later went on to marry Arthur Dixon and Humphrey Colbourne respectively. Richard’s sons by a presumed second wife are not mentioned because they have not been born yet.

Other documents would hint that it is Thomas who was in fact the oldest son and again Richard mentions his Godson Richard, this time the son of his son Thomas Shaw. It implies that there are other children, each of which are to receive “two sheepe”

Oliver must be Richard’s youngest son and he receives £10 in the will.

The older sons Thomas and Richard (in that order) are appointed Trustees of the will, and Richard names his brother John Shaw and brother-in-law Edmund Tymmins as overseers of the will.

When we turn to the parish registers in Dudley we can bring up a number of likely baptisms and marriages.

There is a possible marriage of Richard Shaw and Joanne Harrison recorded 19 Aug 1571 at St Edmunds and also a son Richard baptized on 5 Jun 1582. One or both of these work well – but there are no recorded births for Thomas or Oliver and there is certainly a possibility that Richard is the favoured son rather than the oldest.

Son Thomas marries Mary Turner in 1598 and it looks likely that Richard marries first Margery Hamnett in 1601 and then Margery Cartwright in 1610. Oliver Shaw married Joanne Woodhouse of Wombourn on 25 Jul 1602 St Thomas, but he seems to be at a distance from the Dudley side of the Shaw family. Margery Hamnett would be the daughter of Richard Hamnett, Yeoman of New Park, Dudley and a close servant of Lord Dudley.

Richard probably had a daughter Mary who marries Thomas Daves on 1 May 1623, St Edmunds. Thomas Davis of Edgmont appears on one document alongside the three brothers. Mary is not mentioned in Richard’s will, even though she is unmarried at the time.

Richard mentions that he bought land from Christopher Chambers (alias Ireland). At least six documents in the Dudley archives show Christopher Chambers and/or his son Christopher Chambers selling and leasing land to nailers in Netherton. This appears to be another example of the accretion of ancient monastic and Dudley lands by the Shaw family scattered in Netherton, Northfield and Wombourne – all connected by their feudal roots, but translated to the newer wealth of such burgher families.

Richard was buried on 15 May 1616 in St Edmund’s Dudley. His wife Joanne was buried in the same church on 19 Oct 1607.


  • Parish Registers of St Edmunds and St Thomas Dudley (BMSGH Transcripts)
  • Will of Richard Shaw, 1616, Worcester Archives.
  • Will of John Shaw, 1628 (Brother), Worcester Archives
  • Will of Edward Shaw of Northfield, 1605 (Son), Worcester Archives