Mar 17, 2017

2nd Gen Other Oakley Leighs

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2nd Generation of Other Oakley Leighs
6th Generations of Leighs

126. OAKLEY LEIGH (the infamous) (chr 18 Mar 1716 - 25 Dec 1788 Lampeter) of Brongest.
Father:  64. OAKLEY LEIGH
md (1) Judith UNKNOWN (abt 1703 - 12 Jul 1780 Lampeter)
md (2) Mary JENKINS (? - aft 18 Dec 1788) "widow of Clellan" by license dated 15 Oct 1781 (NLW SD/17/389)

This man is one of our most puzzling relatives for his mix of both good and bad character. He was the "competent, literate" steward of Peterwell estate near Lampeter, Cards. and agent to the tyrannical lord of the manor Sir Herbert Lloyd. Apparently OAKLEY participated in Lloyd's notorious schemes, but he was also churchwarden several times, Guardian of the Poor for several decades, and Port Reeve (mayor) of Lampeter five times. He also remained estate agent for John Adams, who inherited Peterwell after Sir Herbert's death and who enjoyed a much better reputation.

OAKLEY's two marriages were childless, but he had at least fourteen illegitimate children by numerous women, some unknown and some lower socially than he was. Obviously this ancestor practiced sexual harassment on a large scale. Only one child is listed in the Bishop's Transcripts (lost years 1745-99), but LEIGH family historian Gene Hetherington found five more in parish records, and eleven of his children received legacies in his will dated 18 Dec 1788, where all bear the LEIGH name and are called his "natural" children (Film no.105253). At least, this responsibility shown for his children casts a better light upon him. Besides OAKLEY's concern for his children, his will shows him favorably in his charity to the poor. Conventionally most wills started with a donation to the local poor, usually 15-30 shillings, or sometimes wheat or flour to be made into bread distributed on a feast day like Christmas or Easter, and occasionally both, for a period of several years. OAKLEY's will makes his estate "subject ... forever to one annuity or Yearly Rent Charge of Two Pounds to be paid and payable out of the said premises to the Poor of the parish of Lampeter aforesaid or to the Overseers of the poor." He himself had been an Overseer of the Poor for several decades and knew the grinding pain of the poverty stricken. For more on this repugnant but complex and intriguing man, later called the "infamous Oakley Leigh," see his biography.

128. John LEIGH the elder (abt 1740 - 28 Mar 1808 Lampeter), "gent''
md (1) Margaret ROBERTS (abt 1740 - 10 Oct 1803 Lampeter)
md (2) Mary MORGAN (? - aft 1788) on 23 Nov 1804 in Lampeter
Called "my eldest natural son" John was the primary heir of OAKLEY and inherited the house and lands of a farm called Baily Gwastew in Llansawel parish in Carmarthenshire as well as OAKLEY's own home in the tenement of Brongest. If childless, John the elder was to pass the estate to his brothers (or step brothers?) WATKIN, GEORGE, and John  the younger. This occurred, as shown in John's will dated 20 March 1808, proved 2 June. This property had been part of Maesyfelin estate, but was sold after the ruination of the estate (NLW Gwernyfed, Rentals 1750-64). It represents our last connection with BRIDGETT LEIGH and Sir FRANCIS LLOYD, and some of OAKLEY's descendants still live in the same area.
129. Thomas LEIGH (chr 19 Mar 1741 Lampeter - ?)
At his christening listed in the Bishop's Transcripts as "reputed son of Oakley Leigh and Mary a maid servant of James Rees of this town," he may have died young. He was not in the infamous OAKLEY's will and likely did not use the LEIGH name.
130. Chelton LEIGH (abt 1743 - 12 Dec 1794 Lampeter),
md Sarah ?GRIFFITH (est 1760 - poss 1822)
He was an inn holder and must have received his inheritance, as he was left "one Guinea" in the will of Oakley. His name apparently came from the SHELDON family, since "Chelton" would be the Welsh pronunciation of Sheldon. Von Leigh found that he served the city as Port Reeve or mayor three times, and in 1780 was churchwarden. His own will dated 28 Oct 1786 (codicil on 9 Feb 1789) shows his mother (unnamed) still alive and in need of one shilling a week and yearly "Six Load of turf and fifteen Shillings towards paying a rent for an House." He gave to his wife Sarah his lease of a house or farm called Tir Blaennant in Pencarreg parish, and to his cousin-in-law William David his "Naggs Head lease" (Film no.105253). His widow Sarah may be the Sarah Lee of Pencarreg whose brother John Griffith of Drellwyn in Llanwnnen parish settled her estate after a bond dated 18 November 1822, as found by Von Leigh, who also found this mother's name. Jane Thomas outlived her son and was buried in Lampeter on 18 Nov 1800 at age 77.
131. Elizabeth LEIGH (bef 1767 - poss 1814 Pencarreg)
This daughter was the eldest girl, as her legacy of twenty pounds could be given without waiting through her minority. She is possibly the Elizabeth Leigh who lived at Maes yr Lanarth and was buried at Pencarreg parish church on 23 March 1814 (Film no.105200). Said to be 75 years old, she would have been born in 1739 (when OAKLEY was twenty-three). This date is too late for the other Elizabeth (dau of OAKLEY LEIGH (the father) of Millfield, chr 20 Feb 1714) whose adult life is unknown.
132. David ?LEIGH (chr 15 January 1766 Lampeter - ?)
133. Jemima ?LEIGH (chr 15 January 1766 Lampeter - ?)
Found by Von Leigh these twins were not in OAKLEY's will and may not have used the LEIGH name. They perhaps died young or their mother moved away. Their baptism was referred to by Parry Jones in his My Own Folk, p. 126.
Mother(s) UNKNOWN
136. John LEIGH the younger (abt 1773 - 3 Feb 1802 Llansawel
OAKLEY's will paid particular attention to this John, specifying that the elder John keep him in school for two years and also give him an allowance of "one pound and Five Shillings a year" until he reached twenty-one. But in fourteen years this apparent favorite was frozen in the mountains near Lampeter while crossing Llancrwys mountain to visit his mother in Cellan during mid-winter. He was buried in Llansawel parish.
137. Oakley LEIGH (chr 1774 Lampeter - aft 1788)
138. Brigard/Bridget LEIGH (chr 28 Sept 1778 Lampeter - ?)
This mother was found by Gene Hetherington. Bridget's baptism was referred to by Parry Jones (p.126), and her marriage was listed in Film no.104503 (item 4).
Mother(s) UNKNOWN
139. Anne LEIGH (aft 1767 - aft 1788)
140. Charlotte LEIGH (aft 1767 - abt 1792)
Besides the usual legacy of twenty pounds, Charlotte received a feather bed, two blankets, and a rug.

141. Thomas LEIGH (aft 1767 - poss Sep 1839)
The last eight children were all minors whose legacies of twenty pounds each were to be paid "when they respectively attain their age and ages of Twenty One Years." Their birth dates, if not otherwise known, were estimated from this minority status. Thomas's possible death date was found in St Catherine's records, vol.27, p.31 by Gene Hetherington.
Sources: Lampeter Bishop's Transcripts (Films no.104503, 105148) and original parish records; wills of OAKLEY LEIGH (NLW SD/1721/61 W), OAKLEY LEIGH (Film no.105253), Chelton LEIGH (Film no.105253), John LEIGH (NLW SD/1808/90 W); marriage license (NLW SD/17/389); NLW Gwernyfed Millfield Rent Roll 1750 (a) pp.2-3; NLW Gwernyfed Rent Roll of Millfield Estate for Mr Montgomery ... 15 June 1750 pp. 2-3); Parry Jones, My Own Folk; George Eyre Evans, Lampeter (1905).

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