In message <SNT113-DS9672EB6CD3475CE15ECCAB0BC0(a)phx.gbl>, Keith Kneller
The Will records that it was proved by Thomas Edwards junior of
Saros on 12th December 1811.Admon was granted to Sophia Kneller widow and
sole executrix. Thomas Grove of Ferne in Donhead St Andrew, a friend and
neighbour of John was appointed joint guardian with Sophia for the two
children of the said marriage. His good friends and business colleagues
Charles Bowles recorder of Shaftesbury, Lord Grosvenor's land agent and
local historian, and W D Jervis of the 2nd Life Guards whose son later
married John's daughter Sophia witnessed a codicil on 29th June 1811.The
original Will was witnessed by William Doidge Twinold of London and two of
John's servants William Connork and Jim I Young on 4th April 1811.
The Will refers specifically to a certain Indenture bearing the date
of 9th May 1791 and made previous to his marriage with Sophia his present
wife. Where would that be normally lodged?
Two documents exist in the National Archives held at the Wiltshire
and Swindon record office. There is a quitclaim from John's son from the
marriage to Thomas Grove in 1814 and an annuity purchased from the proceeds
of the Will for John's widow Sophia.
I would welcome some further advice.
My interest was attracted by the mention of Charles Bowles, whose wife
Jane (nee Shipley) was my 4xgreat aunt, though that is irrelevant to
As both Tim and Andrew have already said, the marriage settlement was a
private document and there is nowhere that it will routinely have been
registered or deposited. It will have been kept by the family or their
trustees or lawyers. If the original still survives, it will be by lucky
chance, and finding it will involve a mixture of luck and detective
work. There is a slightly better chance of finding an abstract or
summary of it.
Almost certainly, the settlement included land, so it will have been
part of the legal title to the land concerned. If any part of the land
concerned was sold while the settlement was still relevant to the title,
it is likely that a copy or abstract of the settlement was prepared and
kept with the deeds of the land concerned. And some of the details of
the settlement may have been recited in the preamble to later deeds. At
that period, it will have been relevant to the title for at least 60
years after its date. So what you have to do is to guess what land
belonging to either the Kneller or Hayne families might have been
included in it, and see if there are any 19th century deed packets to be
found for it.
The first step is to try the online catalogues. A2A and in your case the
separate catalogue on the website of Wiltshire & Swindon Archives are
the obvious starting points.
But you will also have to visit Wiltshire and Swindon Archives, because
many of their catalogues exist only on paper and are not on either
website. You may have more success finding relevant catalogues by using
their place name indices (eg Donhead St Mary) rather than surnames, as
they may be more up to date. This worked well for me in Wiltshire
looking for material about a Malmesbury family, albeit 20 years ago now,
but it involved a long and speculative search.
In particular, if the Knellers owned rather than merely leased Donhead
Hall in Donhead St Mary, you should see if the deeds of that estate can
be found. If the parish is covered by the Victoria County History there
may be a clue as to their whereabouts in its footnotes.
An A2A search using the keywords "kneller donhead" reveals that in 1816
Godfrey John Kneller of Donhead Hall, Wiltshire, sold houses in Great
Queen Street, Covent Garden, that are now part of the site of
Freemasons' Hall. If those houses were part of the settlement, the 5
June 1816 release mentioned on A2A is likely to recite at least its
parties and some of its terms, and it may mean that there is a chance
that a memorial of the settlement was registered in the Middlesex Deeds
Registry (I am not certain whether a marriage settlement would have
been) - its records are in the London Metropolitan Archives.
Chris Pitt Lewis