KEKEWICH, George (1530-82), of Catchfrench, Cornw.
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Family and Education
b. 17 Nov. 1530, o.s. of John Kekewich of Catchfrench and Margaretting, Essex by Thomasin, da. and coh. of Thomas Bradfield of Margaretting, wid. of William Daniell of London. m. by 1556, Catherine, da. of Edward Courtenay of Landrake, Cornw., 5s. 5da. suc. fa. 31 Oct. 1541.1
J.p. Cornw. 1569-d.; commr. musters 1572; sheriff 1575-6.2
George Kekewich’s grandfather had settled in Cornwall from Shropshire in the early years of the 16th century, and married the heiress of the Talcarnes of Catchfrench in the parish of St. Germans. His son, George’s father, married a widow and coheir in Essex, where he made his principal home. John Kekewich bequeathed to George £200 and some plate, and nearly four years after his death Sir John Smith of Cressing Temple, Essex, acquired George’s wardship. George Kekewich obtained livery of his inheritance not long after coming of age, and on entering into possession of his Cornish lands he was faced with a demand for the payment of nine years’ arrears of rent for some duchy of Cornwall property in Catchfrench. He denied liability but after the duchy officials had referred the matter to the court of wards he was obliged to pay. It was perhaps in this connexion that he sought election to Parliament in March 1553. His return for Saltash, a borough some ten miles from Catchfrench, was presumably the work of Richard Buller, his wife’s stepfather and a powerful figure in the borough; it may also have been assisted by his friendship with the sheriff, Reginald Mohun. This was to be Kekewich’s only taste of Parliament; the remainder of his life he devoted to local affairs, the management of his estates and the rebuilding of the family home.3
Kekewich was in ‘some grief of body’ when on 20 July 1581 he made his will. He provided for his wife and children, entrusting the governance of his younger sons to Richard Edgecombe† and several other local gentlemen. He ended his will with an exhortation to his children:
Let each one of you be content with your portion, and beware of contention; you elder defraud not the younger, you younger be not overcrank, neither give cause of offence; but in meekness possess your portions and give God the thanks, who hath so blessed me, your father, and enabled me to bestow them on you.
He lived for another 11 months, dying on 26 June 1582.4
Ref Volumes: 1509-1558
Author: J. J. Goring
- 1. Date of birth given at fa.’s i.p.m., C142/71/183. Vis. Cornw. ed. Vivian, 252; CPR, 1553, p. 382; Morant, Essex, ii. 53.
- 2. CPR, 1569-72, p. 223; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 451.
- 3. R. Carew, Survey Cornw. (1769), 109; PCC 34 Alenger; LP Hen. VIII, xx; Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiii), 175; CPR, 1553, p. 382; Duchy Cornw. RO, 128, m. 41; 129, m. 44v; Paroch. Hist. Cornw. ii. 54, iv. 177; PCC 21 Stevenson; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 451; APC, viii. 374; x. 426; xiii. 49-50.
- 4. PCC 43 Tirwhite; C142/198/13.