With the exception of An and Frances, Thomas and Mary’s other 6 children (only 3 of whom were sons),
it is believed but not proven (principally due to Parish Registers having ‘disappeared’) that they were
born in either East or West Lexham (Norfolk). What is certain however, is that Thomas and Mary’s son,
John, married Priscilla Clayton, daughter of the armigerous John Clayton, at Wells-next-the-Sea, on
26 Nov 1690 (the event being recorded in both the Wells and North Creake Marriage Registers).
John Powditch (?-1717) m. Priscilla Clayton in 1690 at
Wells-next-the-Sea. They had 3 children.
Of John and Priscilla’s own 3 children (2 boys and 1 girl), Thomas Powdidge married (Alice
?Nelson), John remained single, and died a bachelor aged 28 years old, whilst Mary died at the
early age of 3 years old.
Thomas Powdidge (1691-1747) m. Alice [?Nelson].
They had 8 children, including;
Roger Powdiche m. Elizabeth Chase in 1771 at South
Creake, and who in turn, had 1 child;
Thomas Powdick m. Mary Savery in 1800 at Syderstone, Norfolk.
However, there are no known issue from the latter's marriage
Although Thomas Powdich/Powdidge’s Will demonstrates his astuteness in life - as had the Wills of
both his father and grandfather’s before him - that he died at the age of 56 meant that his widow,
Alice, was left to make some very difficult decisions, especially regarding the family’s landed estate.
Unfortunately however, and by virtue of her sons having moved from the family home before their father
had died, and of their then following different ‘occupations’, the continuance of Creake Abbey Farm
being in the same family’s occupation, with specific members renewing the “Colledge Lease” every
time it became available, was all too much for the aging Alice, as the several codicils to her Will testify.
Due to both a fire and a terrible illness which caused the death of all of its inhabitants in the 1400s,
both of which led to its eventual demise, Creake Abbey and its substantial lands were - during the early
1500s - acquired by Lady Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. She in turn endowed the land on Christ’s
College, Cambridge - rededicated thus in 1505 - which, in turn, leased out the land and its buildings
on a regular basis.
Exactly when Thomas Powdich first acquired the lease of Creake Abbey Farm and its lands is currently
not known, although it is recorded within many records of North Creake that he most certainly had been
resident in the area sometime before 1674, for in December of that year, he appeared within the
Churchwardens’ Accounts book as being a ‘Surveyor’ at North Creake, whilst a little while afterwards,
he was chosen by the ‘Town’, to be a Churchwarden.
That the Powdich family were at North Creake and lived at Creake Abbey Farm is reflected in the
documents which exist from their pre-1674 to approximately 1771 dates, most of them now held either
in the N.R.O. within Archives at Christ’s College , Cambridge, or in private hands, some (but not all) that
I’ve been privileged over the years to access and transcribe.
Years ago, I remember writing to Col.Richardson (a previous owner of Creake Abbey Farm)
regarding an old ‘family tradition’, that if the old oak tree in front of the house was cut down in one night
by a Powditch, that the house and lands would come back into Powditch ownership. As I said to him,
the latter sounds like a mixture of an old folk tale mixed in with a sort of family tale; as he said in his
reply to me, “What oak tree”!
© John C Algar 2004