BLIKE (BLEAK, BLECK), Richard (by 1517-57), of New Radnor.
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Family and Education
b. by 1517. m. (1) Catharine (d. by 1544), da. of Lewis Dunn of Badland, 1da., (2) Eleanor, da. of James Vaughan of Hergest, Herefs., 1s. 3da.3
Servant of Bishop Rowland Lee by 1538; escheator, Rad. 1541-2, 1546-7; sheriff 1543-4; j.p.q. 1543-d.; commr. relief 1550.4
Richard Blike’s parentage has not been established, as the family pedigree ends at the opening of the Tudor period, but the family is a well-known one, the Blikes of Astley in Shropshire. By the late 1530s Blike was in the service of Bishop Lee, president of the council in the marches. Thus in August 1538 Lee instructed Blike to deliver Thomas Vaughan of Clyro to London, sending him separately from his brother, Roger, who was to be escorted there by another of Lee’s servants; the whole operation required 13 men and horses, and Blike and his colleague were reimbursed to the sum of £6 13s.4d. His service with Lee prepared Blike to play a leading role in Radnorshire after the Union: he was the first escheator there, was pricked sheriff in 1543, having been nominated in the two previous years, and was one of the quorum of the commission of the peace.5
Between 1538 and 1544 the validity of Blike’s marriage to Catharine Dunn and the legitimacy of their daughter Dorothy were publicly challenged when Peter Dunn of Berkshire went to Chancery to contest his right to lands and tenements in the town of Radnor which Catharine, now dead, had brought with her to the union. Contending that the properties should have descended to him as her first cousin and next heir, a claim which Blike denied by pointing to his marriage and its offspring Dorothy, Dunn went on to argue that the Blikes had not been man and wife because Catharine had a previous husband, Edmund Vaughan, living at the time. To this Blike replied that Catharine and Edmund Vaughan had been married when they were nine but had later been divorced as their union had never been consummated. It is not known how the case ended, but in Blike’s genealogy Catharine appears as his wife.6
Blike was also in Chancery twice over matters arising out of his shrievalty. The plaintiff in the first case, one Ieuan ap Morgan of Llansantffraid, was the reluctant executor of a priest, Dafydd Myllin ap Rhys, and consequently a debtor, with the court of first fruits demanding £15: when Blike distrained his goods, ap Morgan demanded the return of some household stuff. The second complainant was John Curwen, a serjeant-at-arms, who with another (now dead) had been granted 40 marks to be levied from the goods and chattels of the attainted Rhys ap Meredydd. It fell to Blike to produce the money but he refused to do so; whether he had not levied it or had kept it for himself does not appear, for only the bill of complaint survives and, as usual, no judgment is to be found.7
In September 1547 Blike was a member of the commission to report to the government on an altar in the parish church of New Radnor depicting scenes from the life of Thomas Becket, and he probably also carried the report to London. He was elected to the Parliament which met in November, and so presumably he delivered the report after journeying up to attend it. A kinsman through the Vaughans of many of the leading families in Radnorshire, he was doubtless able to procure his own return for the shire, as later for New Radnor Boroughs. Nothing is known of his role in the Commons and in his second Parliament he was not among those listed as opposing a government bill.8
Blike made his will on 15 July 1557, asking to be buried at the parish church of New Radnor. To his wife and children he left varying amounts of livestock, and to his brother-in-law, Charles Vaughan of Hergest, and to his cousin, John Blike of Astley, Shropshire, a horse each. The will was proved on 4 Oct. 1557.9
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: P. S. Edwards
- 1. Hatfield 207.
- 2. C219/24/247.
- 3. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Worcs. (Harl. Soc. xxvii), 79; Vis. Salop (Harl. Soc. xxviii), 57-58; PCC 36 Wrastley; C1/1424/50.
- 4. LP Hen. VIII, xiii; C193/12/1; NLW ms Wales 26/7 (last membrane); SP11/5/6; 46/1/33, 162/7; CPR, 1553, p. 364.
- 5. LP Hen. VIII, xiii.
- 6. C1/1424/50.
- 7. C1/1109/87, 1135/7.
- 8. SP46/1/33, 162/7.
- 9. PCC 36 Wrastley.