Sunday, March 25, 2007

Could Thomas Bucke Read and Wright?

In his will, Thomas Bucke asked that his children, Thomas and Dorothy, “be brought upp to learning, Read and Wright” but could Thomas himself “read and wright” -- spelling apparently being a different subject!

Thomas Bucke almost certainly did not write his will in his own hand. He was very ill and may have dictated his will from his deathbed. Even so, the will closes with “with my hand and Seale”. Two of the witnesses, Gregory Rue and Henry Russ apparently signed their names; the third witness, Elizabeth W. Frie, made her mark. (I’ve not seen the original will of Thomas Bucke. The original was said to be in very poor condition with several sections completely unreadable. )

The very first item listed in the inventory of Thomas Bucke’s estate was “One Byble”. The presence of the Bible is a significant indication that Thomas, or perhaps his wife, was literate. No other books were included in the inventory but most households did not have books. The inventory also includes four “bills” and one “account” of others. From these bits and pieces, I conclude that Thomas Bucke could “read and wright”.

Unfortunately, despite the instructions of his father, Thomas Buck II apparently was illiterate. His will of May 19, 1729 shows “Thomas Buck, his mark”.

Monday, March 19, 2007


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Friday, March 16, 2007

The Furniture of Thomas Buck I

After his death in 1659, the estate of Thomas Buck was inventoried and that list has survived. The furniture of Thomas Buck is referred to (actually only mentioned) in the book “The Furniture of our Forefathers” by Esther Singleton, published in 1916 by Doubleday, Page and Company.

Of sufficient interest to be included in the book were
- 4 lined back chairs
- 3 wainscot chairs
- 1 hide couch
- 1 wainscot couch
- 1 frame table
- 2 joint stools
- 1 little stool.

Not mentioned in the book but interesting furnishings include
- one looking glass
- one carpet

A looking glass was said to be somewhat unusual and expensive, even in England, before about 1660.

A carpet was not a floor covering; it was a rough cloth for covering a table or cupboard.

The estate of Thomas Buck also included two beds: one was described as a feather bed with bolster and two pillows; the other as a flock bed with bolster. Various bed linen and sheets were included. Some of the bed linen was described as being for a child’s bed.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Associates of Thomas Buck I

In the few records that exist, the following names are somehow associated with Thomas Buck I.

In 1635, William Neesun is listed on the passenger list of the ship George just before Thomas Buck; George Smith is listed just after Thomas Buck.

In the court case of 1658, Robert Goffe is described as the indentured servant of Thomas Buck. Alexander Sanderson testified on behalf of Robert Goffe. Edward Pierce, John Cooper, Henry Walton and Henry Towson testified on behalf of Thomas Buck.

In the will of Thomas Buck, 1659, Richard Smith and Nicholas Bond were listed as overseers of the estate and guardian of his children, Thomas and Dorothy Buck. The bills of Thomas Packman, Randolph Rhoades, George Falkner and Mr. Pansdale are included in the inventory of the estate of Thomas Buck. Gregory Rue, Henry Russ and Elizabeth W. Frie were witnesses to the will.

After his death, the court ordered payments to Jeffrey Moore and Edward Wade from the estate of Thomas Buck for their appraisal of his estate. John Overstreet was paid for treatments to the wife of Thomas Buck.