|Blake of Ford coat of arms|
[Sable, a chevron between three garbs or]
The Blake family originated near Andover, Hampshire, but made their fortune in London as woollen drapers. Catherine's paternal grandfather, Francis Blake of Highgate, Middlesex (d. 1693) was an administrator - registrar of fines in the common pleas, and served on the Middlesex militia commission from 1647 to 1660. His first wife, Katherine Browne, came from a family whose chief seat was Croft in Lincolnshire, but also held land in Northumberland: the manor of Oulchester, and houses in Berwick. Their second son Francis, Catherine's father, would become the most prominent member of the family. Using the Northumberland connections of his mother's family, 23-year-old Francis secured in 1662 a very advantageous marriage to an heiress of that county, Elizabeth Carr of Ford Castle. The Ford estate, which included several valuable collieries, had been the subject of much litigation. By 1673, with the aid of loans from his father and elder brother, Francis Blake was able to buy out the other coheirs. He was added to the Northumberland commission of the peace in 1675, knighted in 1689, and began serving as M.P. in that year, up until 1702.
Sir Francis had lost his only son and heir in 1684, so Catherine and her six sisters became his co-heirs. Neither the 1862 Blake pedigree by H. Kent Staple Causton, nor the 1922 Blake of Ford Castle pedigree in History of Northumberland Volume 11, provide baptism dates for Catherine or any of her sisters. Neither can I locate their baptisms in Ancestry, Find My Past or Family Search online databases. Considering that Catherine married her first husband in 1705, she was one of the younger, if not the youngest, daughters of Sir Francis Blake. Catherine's first husband, Sir Richard Kennedy, was an Irish baronet, and the circumstances of how he came to marry in London a Northumberland co-heiress are not clear. He was killed in a duel in 1710, leaving her a widow about the age of 30, with a young daughter.
|Ford Castle, Northumberland|
|Mount Kennedy House, co. Wicklow|
CATHERINE BLAKE, b. c.1680-5 [her mother was born in 1640], d. 22 January 1731/2, bur. unknown, [youngest?] dau. and co-heiress of Sir Francis Blake of Ford Castle, Northumberland & Elizabeth Carr; m. 1) 4 January 1704/5 St Anne Soho, London, Sir RICHARD KENNEDY, 4th Baronet of Mount Kennedy, b. 1685; d. April 1710, son and heir of Sir Robert Kennedy, 3rd Baronet of Mount Kennedy & Frances Howard, and had issue; m. 2) by 1716, Lord FREDERICK HENRY HOWARD, b. 23 September 1684 Weybridge, Surrey, bap. 7 October 1684 St James Church, Weybridge; d. 16 March 1727 Ireland, bur. unknown, youngest (posthumous) son of Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk & Jane Bickerton. No issue[*1]
Issue of Catherine Blake & Sir Richard Kennedy, 4th Baronet:
1) ELIZABETH KENNEDY, b. c.1605/6 [given the date of her parents' marriage and of her own marriage], d. by February 1750, will dat. 9 July 1747, will pr. 9 February 1749/50; m. 12 December 1719 London[*2], Sir WILLIAM DUDLEY, 3rd Baronet of Clapton, b. 2 March 1696; d. 15 June 1764 York, Yorkshire, son and heir of Sir Matthew Dudley, 2nd Baronet of Clapton & Lady Mary O'Brien (descended from Edward III), and had issue, three sons (O'Brien, William & John Dudley) and one daughter (Elizabeth Dudley), who all died young.
Through her mother, Catherine Blake has three lines of descent from Edward III, one of which is as follows.
Edward III had a 2nd surviving son
1) Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence (1338-1368) m. 1) Lady Elizabeth de Burgh (1332-1363, descended from Edward I), and had
2) Lady Philippa Plantagenet of Clarence (1355-1377) m. Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March (1352-1381), and had
|Lady Elizabeth (née Mortimer) Percy|
- see Generation 3
4) Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland (1394-1455) m. Lady Eleanor Neville (1403-1472, descended from Edward III), and had
5) Henry Percy, 3rd Earl of Northumberland (1421-1461) m. Eleanor Poynings (1428-1484, descended from Edward I), and had
6) Lady Margaret Percy (b. c.1447) m. Sir William Gascoigne of Gawthorpe Hall (c.1450-1487, descended from Edward III), and had
7) Margaret Gascoigne (b. c.1470) m. Ralph, 3rd Lord Ogle (1468-1513, descended from Edward I), and had
8) Dorothy Ogle (c.1498-bef.1570) m. 1) Sir Thomas Forster of Adderstone (d. 1527), and had
9) Margaret Forster (b. c.1516) m. 1) William Heron, Heir of Ford Castle (d. c.1533, descended from Edward I), and had
10) Elizabeth Heron (1532-1554) m. Thomas Carr of Ford Castle (d. 1558), and had
11) William Carr of Ford Castle (1551-1589) m. Ursula Brandling, and had
12) Thomas Carr of Ford Castle (1577-1641) m. Isabel Selby (d. c.1608), and had
13) William Carr of Ford Castle (1605-1644) m. Susan Hodgson (d. aft.1686), and had
14) Elizabeth Carr (1640-by 1713) m. Sir Francis Blake of Ford Castle (1638-1718, descended from Edward I), and had
15) Catherine Blake (c.1680/5-1732), Lady Kennedy, wife of Lord Frederick Henry Howard
[*1] It's noteworthy that none of the three adult sons of the 6th Duke of Norfolk by his mistress-turned-duchess Jane Bickerton left issue. It's possible there was pressure put on them by the other members of the Howard family to insure they would not found a branch of male Howards who could possibly inherit the dukedom of Norfolk. Lord Frederick Howard, by his will, allowed Glossop House in Derbyshire to be inherited by the son of his sister Lady Philippa Standish, while Holmes Hall in Rotherham, Yorkshire, and other properties which the 6th Duke of Norfolk had left to his sons by Jane Bickerton, Lord Frederick designated to Francis Howard, 1st Earl of Effingham, with whom he had served in the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards.
[*2] The dates for Elizabeth Kennedy and her husband Sir William Dudley, 3rd Baronet, are all taken from the Dudley article in Complete Baronetage Volume 3 (1900). I cannot confirm any of these dates with baptism, marriage, or burial records in databases of the three major online genealogy outlets (Ancestry, Find My Past, Family Search), nor can I find any of their four children in online databases. If anyone has ideas on further avenues to pursue to obtain these vital dates from parish registers, whether in England or Ireland, please let me know.