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Wadham, Nicholas

Male Abt 1532 - 1609


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    All    |    PDF

  • Born  Abt 1532  Of Merrifield, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Buried  20 Oct 1609  Ilminster, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I03605  My Genealogy
    Last Modified  19 Jun 2015 

    Father  Wadham, John,   b. Abt 1500, Of Merrifield, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   bur. 3 Mar 1578, Ilminster, Somerset, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Tregarthen, Joan,   b. Abt 1498, Of Cornwall, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   bur. 30 Sep 1583, Branscombe, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  Abt 1532  England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F01088  Group Sheet

    Family  Petre, Dorothy,   b. Abt 1534, Of Writtie, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 May 1618, Edge, Devon, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  03 Sep 1555  St Botolph's, Aldergate, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F01191  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • Will of Nicholas Wadham of Merifield, Somerset 13 November 1609 PROB 11/114

      Died without issue. his 3 sisters were his heirs

      Ilminster, Somerset.
      Effigies of Nicholas Wadham of Merefield, Esquire, founder of Wadham College, Oxford, died 1609, in armor, and his wife Dorothy, [daughter of Sir William Petre], 1618, aged 84, with inscription, two scrolls, achievement, and four shields. On an altar tomb in the north transept (the Wadham Chapel).
      This brass, probably engraved by Gerard Johnson at his Southwark workshop, is set in a slab of black marble on an altar tomb, which is itself elaborately decorated and has two panels of black marble inscribed with Latin verses.
      On the brass, the semi-profile effigy of Nicholas Wadham, in armor, represents him as standing on a circular plinth and turned to the viewer's right to face the semiprofile effigy of his wife Dorothy who stands on another circular platform. Over each is a mouth scroll, that over Nicholas, in black letter, inscribed, "Death is unto me Advantage," and that over Dorothy, “I will not dye but lyve & declare ye works of ye lorde".

      Here lyeth Interred the body of
      Nicholas Wadham, whiles he lyved
      of Merefeild in ye County of Somer=
      sett Esquier, ffownder of Wadham
      Colledge in Oxforde, who Depted
      this lyfe ye xx day of Octob' 1609

      Since the couple had no
      children, the inherited property went to Nicholas's nephews, Sir John Strangways and Sir William Wyndham. Nicholas Wadham's three sisters are all commemorated on brasses: Joan on that
      of her first husband, Sir Giles Strangeways at Melbury Sampson, Dorset; Margaret, wife of Nicholas Martin, at Piddletown, Dorset (q.v.); and, Florence, the wife of John Wyndham (d. 1572), at St. Decumen's Church, Somerset (q.v.).21

      Text: Wadham, Nic., of Merryfield (Merefield), Somersetsh., Founder of Wadham Coll., Oxford. 20 Oct 1609 , aet. 77. (MSS.; Neve's Mon. 21; Engl. Worth. 753; Pointer's Oxf. 104, 105, 180.) Book: T Collection: The Harleian Society. Obituary Prior To 1800 (As Far As Relates To England, Scotland, and Ireland), Compiled By Sir William Musgrave, 6th Bart., of Hayton Castle, Co. Cumberland, and Entitled By Him "A General Nomenclator and Obituary, With Referrence To The Books Where The Persons Are Mentioned, and Where Some Account of Their Character Is To Be Found." Volume 49.

      Nicholas Wadham (1531/1532 - 1609) was the benefactor of Wadham College, Oxford .
      Wadham was probably born at Merrifield, near Ilton , Somerset. He was the only son of John Wadham and his wife, Joan, daughter of John Tregarthin and widow of John Kellaway. A biography written before 1637 notes Wadham as attending Corpus Christi College, Oxford as a commoner, but not taking a degree. He may have lodged with civil lawyer John Kennall , later canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, Wadham was briefly at court, vitam Aulicam aliquantisper ingressus est. A 'Nicholas Wadham of Brimpton, Somerset', was admitted to the Inner Temple on March 9, 1553 on the pledge of Richard Baker, who was married to Catherine Tyrell, a stepdaughter of Sir William Petre , principal secretary to King Henry VIII , it is likely that the record refers to the same Nicholas Wadham. Nicholas Wadham married Petre's eldest daughter, Dorothy , at St Botolph, Aldersgate on September 3, 1555. Wadham and Dorothy lived with his parents until his father's death in 1578, when his mother moved in to the dower house at Edge.
      Wadham was appointed to the commission of the peace and other minor commissions in Somerset, appearing as executor and overseer in the wills of other Somerset gentlemen. Two personal letters of his exist, one from Sir Amias Paulet, Ambassador to Paris, advising that Wadham was unlikely ‘to be envious of our French news’, thanking him for his efforts in the leasing of Paulet's park, the other to John Talbot of Grafton, who had married Dorothy's sister Katherine, regarding Wadham's work in negotiating a lease. Wadham was known for his hospitality and he maintained a fine household at Merrifield. Following his father's example, his will allowed for a full heraldic funeral, and alms to be distributed throughout county. In 1608 the privy council ordered a stay of proceedings against both Wadhams on a charge of recusancy .John Carpenter, the incumbent of Branscombe, dedicated his Contemplations, for the Institution of Children in the Christian Religion (1601) to him, noting his "gentle affability with all persons" and his generosity.
      On October 20, 1609, aged seventy-seven, Wadham died at Merrifield and was buried in the family chapel at St Mary's Church, Ilminster on November 21. Thomas Moore described him as "an ancient schismatic", referring to his attendance at Church of England services, and claimed Wadham as ‘dying a Catholic’. As Wadham was childless, his inheritance was due to pass to the children of his three sisters, one of whom was Sir John Wyndham 1558-1645)>, and he determined to use his wealth to perpetuate his name, and in 1606 he founded an almshouse for eight poor people at Ilton. Wadham had also been saving money to found a college in Oxford, but nothing was written down and Wadham's instructions on his deathbed were contradictory, despite this, Dorothy ably attended to his wishes.