Nicholas Anstey (HP 2)

See ‘Anstey: A Complete History From the Norman Invasion to World War One‘ for much more on the Hampreston Ansteys. In addition to biographies of various Anstey individuals who make up this sub-branch, the book contains a plethora of Anstey research and statistics, including an analysis of how the Hampreston Ansteys fit into the pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anesti, the 12th century originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname.

HP 2. Nicholas Anstey: He was born in c1595 to father Thomas Anstey (HP 1), probably in Witchampton, inheriting a substantial estate from his father when he died in 1612. He married Dorothy Dugdale (daughter of Thomas Dugdale, Rector of Tarrant Hinton) in Hampreston in 1620; like his father, he married into a very well-to-do family (her father Thomas Dugdale was Rector of nearby Tarrant Hinton). They spent their early married life in both Tarrant Hinton and Hampreston, having some of their five sons and two daughters baptised in each parish. They were:

  • Thomas Anstey (HP 3 – bap 1622 Tarrant Hinton);
  • Dorcas Anstey (bap 1625 Hampreston, married Mr “Bramble” and was a widow in 1672 – she had three ‘Bramble’ children in 1672, William, Rebecca and Mary – see below);
  • Samuel Anstey (HP 4 – bap 1626 Tarrant Hinton);
  • John Anstey (HP 5 – bap 1628 Tarrant Hinton);
  • Daniel Anstey (HP 6 – bap 1630 Tarrant Hinton);
  • Nicholas Anstey (bap 1632 Tarrant Hinton (some sources say 1642), he was perhaps alive in 1662 (see below) and probably deceased by 1668. He was certainly deceased by 1672 and likely never married or had children); and
  • Maria [Mary] Anstey (bap 1635 Tarrant Hinton, unmarried in 1672 and died in Hampreston in 1677 – there is an inscription on a slab next to her father’s in Hampreston Church, see below, stating ““[h]ere lieth the body of Mary Anstey, buried May? the thirteenth 1677“)

He became a Churchwarden in Hampreston, appearing there in the 1641 Protestation Returns. In 1662 either Nicholas or his son Nicholas, together with Samuel (HP 4) are mentioned in a legal case entitled “Cole v Anstey”, subject “money matters, Hampshire”

By the end of his long and seemingly very prosperous life, he described himself as “Nicholas Anstey of Hampreston in the County of Dorset, Gent”. His sizeable estate of copious quantities of land, tenements, messuages and appurtenants in Hampreston confirms this claim, as does the fact that in 1676 he was buried inside Hampreston Church. A large floor slab in the centre of the church, which can still be seen today, commemorates the spot where he lies, reading “here lieth the body of Nicholas Anstey, buried November the second 1676

He wrote his will in 1672, probate was in 1677. The will begins “I Nicholas Ansty of Hampreston in the County of Dorset, gent, being at this time in health and sound and perfect mind” – he then bequeathes:

  • my soul into the hands of Almighty God my creator“;
  • my body to the earth from where it came“;
  • to the reparations of the Church of Hampreston, five shillings“;
  • to the poor of the parish of Hampreston twenty shillings“;
  • to Thomas Ansty [HP 7] my grandchild, son of my eldest son Thomas Ansty [HP 3] clerk deceased…all of my lands, tenements and messuages in Hampreston..rents“;
  • [other] messuages, lands and tenements to my sonne Samuel Ansty [HP 4] and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and for want of such issue..then I do hereby give [said lands etc] unto John Ansty [HP 5] another of my sonnes and the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten and for want of such issuethen I do hereby give [said lands etc] unto Daniel Ansty [HP 6], youngest son of me the said Nicholas Ansty“;
  • for the want of such issue [per above] I do bequeath [unto]…the heires females of the said Thomas Ansty [HP 7] my grandchild, the said Samuel, John and Daniel Ansty my sonnes and of Dorcas Bramble? widow and Mary Ansty my daughtersthe sum of six hundred pounds to such heirs equally divided
  • unto my sonne Samuel Ansty the sum of five pounds which he hath already in his hands, and to his wife I give ten shillings. I give and bequeath unto their two daughters twenty shillings
  • unto my said son John Ansty the sum of twenty shillings and to his wife ten shillings and to their five children now living the sum of forty shillings“;
  • unto my son Daniel Ansty our feather bed, feather pillow, brass potts…
  • the said somme of thirty pounds to Rebecca and Mary Bramble my grandchildren
  • unto William Bramble my grandchild forty shillings“;
  • unto my said grandchild Thomas Ansty my silver case and a silver spoon
  • appoint my said sonne John Ansty and Daniel Dugdale of Wareham in the County of Dorsett gent to be overseers of this my last will and testament

Anybody who can add anything to this account, or finds any mistakes on this page, please contact us at research@theansteystory.com.

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