|In the 1674 Hearth Tax for Rushden, no people with the surname of “Mee” were recorded, nor citations in baptisms, marriages or burials until Francis Mee and Ann Mott, both given as of the parish, were married in St. Mary’s, Rushden on November 16, 1721. Francis and Ann had the following children (baptised in Rushden): Elizabeth (bpt. February 3, 1724, but buried there on June 18, 1726), Thomas (bpt. December 23, 1725, but buried as their son there on December 27, 1725), Elizabeth (bpt. March 26, 1727), Samuel and Ann (bpt. January 1, 1732). Samuel Mee, son of Francis and Ann, was buried in Rushden on January 7, 1732. Ann Mee (nee Mott) “wife of Francis” was buried in Rushden on January 27, 1732, presumably as a negative consequence of giving birth to twins.
Francis Mee married secondly Ann Stanion of Higham Ferrers, in Higham Ferrers on July 16, 1732, he given as being “of Rushden”. This Francis and Ann had the following issue (baptized in Rushden): Samuel (bpt. September 27, 1733), Thomas (bpt. May 24, 1736), and Mary (bpt. September 15, 1740). In the 1748 Poll Book for Higham Ferrers, Francis Mee was recorded, based on his property in Rushden, and he voted for William Hanbury. In the Window Tax for Rushden of 1750, Francis Mee was recorded with a property containing 14 windows, for which he was assessed 9 shillings one of the highest assessments made in the area. Where was this property in Rushden?
On December 21, 1750 Thomas Mee a customary tenant of the Manor of Rushden did, out of the manorial court, “by the rod, surrender into the hands of the Lord of the said Manor by the hands and acceptance of John Fisher and Joseph Loydall two like customary tenants of the said Manor: all those messuages or tenements with the barns, stables orchard and & closes of pasture to the same adjoining being Bondhold lying in the north end of Rushden aforesaid, and also all that Little Close of pasture lying in the northend of Rushden aforesaid and also all those three acres of arable land lying dispersedly in the fields of Rushden aforesaid with the commons profits and appurtenances to the said premises belonging and all other the lands tenements and hereditaments of the said Thomas Mee held of the said Manor and the reversion and reversions remainder and remainders thereof to the use and behoofe of John Waller of St Neots in the county of Huntingdon gentleman his heirs and assignes for ever according to the customs of the said Manor, had a land and property transfer recorded at the Manor Court of Rushden”. Who was this Thomas Mee father, son, brother of Francis Mee?
The Will of Francis Mee, Yeoman of Higham Ferrers, was made on March 17, 1766, and proved on October 22, 1767. He would appear to have been the Frances Mee buried in Higham Ferrers on April 12, 1767. He left the house that he "now lives in" with land and meadows, and two little tenements in Wimmington, and also land and meadow in Rushden, then occupied by William French, Younger, to his wife (unnamed). After her death the house was to go to his son, Samuel Mee. His son, Thomas Mee, was left land in Rushden and Wimmington. His daughter, Mary Mee, was to be left £100 as long as she did not marry William Dickins, son of Susanna Dickens. If she did, she was only to get one shilling. His wife was left all household goods and furniture "to give to children as she see proper". The residue of his estate was to be divided equally between his sons and executors: Samuel and Thomas Mee. John Wright, Hannah Wright and John Tusher were witnesses to the Will.
It would appear that Francis’s widow was the Ann Mee, widow of Higham Ferrers, who made a Will on June 5, 1771, that was proved on October 9, 1771. She would appear to have been the Anne Mee, widow, buried in Higham Ferrers on June 26, 1771. Anyway, the Anne Mee who made the Will in 1771, named her daughter, Mary Eccles (wife of Thomas Eccles) as sole executor of the Will, and received the residue of the estate after Samuel Mee, her son, and Anne Robinson, her daughter, had each received one shilling. R. Tweltree, Eliz. Wagstaffe and Mary Wright were witnesses to the Will.
The son, Samuel Mee, appears to have been the Samuel Mee, Farmer of Higham Ferrers, who made a Will on April 8, 1793 and had it proved on June 1, 1796. He was buried in Higham Ferrers on May 28, 1796. He left all his real estate, both copyhold and freehold, including one close of pasture in Rushden, a copyhold messuage/tenement in the "North End of Rushden", two or three freehold tenements in Wimington, and a freehold messuage or tenement in the south end of Higham Ferrers called the Bell Inn, to his wife, Elizabeth. Other bequests were to his children: Thomas Mee (£100), Joseph Mee (£100), Samuel Mee (£50), Elizabeth, wife of Simon Allen (£10), Ann, wife of Alexander Partenall! (£70), Francis Mee (£50) and Mary Mee (£100). The rest of his personal estate and effects were left in trust to his executrix (his wife) to provide for their sons, John and Daniel Mee until they reached 21 years, and to maintain her "should she need it". After the younger sons had reached 21 years and his wife's death, the estate was to be divided equally between John and Daniel Mee. If the landlord permitted it, his wife and two sons were to live in the house "I am now in". His wife, Elizabeth Mee, son, Thomas Mee, and Robert Scarborough of Higham Ferrers, friend, were executors of the Will, and witnesses were Luke Richards, Mary Key and Rt. Tweltree. In the Churchyard of Higham Ferrers there is apparently a monumental inscription that says
In memory of
Who departed this life
Elizabeth Mee, widow, died on July 2, 1807, according to Baptist Chapel records, and was buried in Higham Ferrers on July 3, 1807. She had been a Member of the Old Baptist Church in Rushden since May 27, 1766.
Samuel Mee, husbandman, married Elizabeth Abbott, spinster of Higham Ferrers, by banns, in St. Mary’s, Rushden on December 4, 1758. It is presumably their eldest son, Samuel, who was baptized on January 31, 1763 in Higham Ferrers, given as the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Mee. The chronological order of birth of their other children is unclear, and their baptisms have not been located. Was this because the family joined the Baptist church? Anyway, they seem to have had the following other children: Thomas, Joseph, Francis, Elizabeth, Ann, and Mary, as well as two sons, John and Daniel, who were born after 1772.
The son, Thomas Mee, may have been the Thos. Mee who married Rebecca Stevens in Rushden on 20-9-1791. It is suspected that the son, Joseph Mee, was the Joseph Mee (1775?-1853) Linen Draper of Market Street, Wellingborough, who in the 1851 Census was given as born in Higham Ferrers, and who, according to family oral tradition was born in Higham Ferrers on November 3, 1775, and who was married in Higham Ferrers, by licence, on May 13, 1802, although in the parochial register he was given as being of Wellingborough at the time. He was one of the early movers of the Calvinist Baptist Chapel (Zoar Chapel in Zoar Yard) in Wellingborough that was built in 1808. The daughter, Elizabeth, appears to have been the Elizabeth Mee, spinster of Higham Ferrers, who married Simon Allen, Blacksmith and Farmer of Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire in Higham Ferrers, by banns, on April 18, 1785. The daughter, Ann, appears to have been the Ann Mee, who married Alexander Patenal/Pertenal of Higham Ferrers in Yelden, Bedfordshire on August 25, 1791, but they then had issue in Higham Ferrers. The son, Francis Mee, appears to have been the Clock and Watch Maker of Higham Ferrers, who married Ann Wright, spinster of Higham Ferrers, by licence in Higham Ferrers on August 19, 1794. An Elizabeth Mee, daughter of Francis and Ann Mee, was buried in Higham Ferrers on December 9, 1801. In 1813 a Francis Mee was one of the Baptist Congregation of Rushden who submitted a petition to Parliament. On April 13, 1817 four of the children of Francis Mee, Watchmaker, and his wife, Mary, were baptized in Higham Ferrers Anglican church, namely: Frances, Daniel, Sophia and Sarah. Francis Mee of Higham Ferrers was buried in the Rushden Old Baptist Church in 1844. Mary Mee, the daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Mee, was buried in Higham Ferrers on January 26, 1802. Samuel and Elizabeth may also have had a son, David Mee.
Of the two younger sons, Daniel Mee, appears to have been the Daniel Mee, butcher of Higham Ferrers, whose Will Administration was proved on 14-10-1807, with his brother, John Mee, administering Daniel's goods, valued at under £400. The son, John Mee, became a farmer and victualler of Higham Ferrers, and, as a bachelor of the parish, had married Frances Richards, spinster of the parish, by licence, in Higham Ferrers on July 21, 1801. He was probably the John Mee, occupier of property in Rushden, owned by Earl FitzWilliam in the Land Tax Assessment of 1801 for Rushden. John was landlord of the Green Dragon Inn in 1802. John Mee died on May 27, 1829, and was buried in Higham Ferrers, aged 55, on June 1, 1829. Frances Hewitt Mee, Thomas Burnaby of Burton Latimer and Isaac Robinson, Gentleman of Wellingborough, were required on July 18, 1829 to make an Inventory of his estate and goods by October 31, 1829 in order to administer his Will Administration by July 31, 1830. In the 1830 Pigots Directory for Higham Ferrers it gives Frances Mee in the High Street, as Maltster & Wine & Spirit Merchant at the Green Dragon Inn and Posting House.
John and Francis Hewitt had the following issue (baptized in Higham Ferrers, with John always given as a Victualler): Charlotte (c1814-post-1840) (bpt.March 23, 1814), John (c1818-1840) (bpt. July 13, 1819) and Sophia (c1821-post-1840) (bpt. August 21, 1821) (who married William Turnell of Irchester in Higham Ferrers on April 19, 1832, by licence). The Wills of John Mee, Farmer and Victualler of Higham Ferrers, and also of Frances Hewitt Mee, widow of Higham Ferrers, were both proved on November 28, 1840. John Mee, aged 22, who died on October 15, 1840, was buried in Higham Ferrers on October 18, 1840, and Frances Hewitt Mee, aged 62, was buried in Higham Ferrers on December 5, 1839. In his Will, John Mee, bequeathed to William Turnell of Brixworth, farmer, and Sophia (John’s sister) his wife, and their heirs "all and every my Messuages Cottages, lands Tenements, hereditaments, and real estate situate & being in Higham Ferrers, and in Rushden".
The other son of Francis and Ann Mee, Thomas Mee (c.1733-1770), was left land in Rushden, and appears to have been the Thomas Mee, bachelor of Rushden, who married Ann Reeve, spinster of Higham Ferrers, in Higham Ferrers on October 30, 1758, by licence. They had the following children (all baptised in Rushden): Francis (bpt. 15-1-1762); Elizabeth (bpt. 24-3-1765), John (bpt. 9-6-1768) and Martha (bpt. 20-6-1769). Elizabeth Reeve Mee was buried in Rushden on March 23, 1768. Thomas Mee was a Grocer in Rushden, but he appears to have died unexpectedly in 1770, and was buried in Rushden on November 12, 1770. An Inventory was taken on November 16, 1770 by Samuel Mee, Thomas Eccles and Robert Tweltree for the goods of Thomas Mee, grocer, late of Rushden. His Administration received probate on January 2, 1771; it being granted to 'Ann Mee of Rushden, County of Northampton, widow, Samuel Mee of Higham Ferrers, Co. Northampton, and John March of Irchester, Yeoman'. An Anna Mee, wife of Thomas Mee, was buried in Higham Ferrers on July 19, 1784, but an Ann Mee married Joseph Smith in Rushden on 3-11-1777.
From whence did Francis Mee (d.1767) hail? To have married first in 1721, he should have been born before 1705. There were people called Francis Mee in Doddington towards the beginning of the 18th century. In the 17th Century, a Francis Mee, Baker of Wellingborough, married Alice Page of Wellingborough on March 28, 1641. They had issue in Wellingborough over the 1642 to 1654 period at least. He died on July 17, 1659. His son, Thomas Mee (b.1642) had an eldest son, Francis Mee (b. 12-4-1663 in Wellingborough); who became a baker and married an Elizabeth? who died in Wellingborough in 1689, and then secondly an Elizabeth Browne, whom he married in Wellingborough in 1708. The sibling of Thomas Mee (b.1642), James Mee (b. 4-9-1674 in Wellingborough) married Ann Woolstone in Harrold, Bedfordshire on 23-11-1695. A third sibling, Francis Mee (1646-1699), Baker of Wellingborough, had a son, Francis Mee (b. 3-6-1673) in Wellingborough) who married Judith Atkins in Wellingborough in 1703. She died in Harrold, Bedfordshire on 21-7-1749. Accordingly, Francis Mee (pre-1705-1767) of Rushden may have come from these families in Wellingborough, which also had the names Joseph and Samuel running through them.
October 21, 2011