Becon pedigree submitted to the College of Arms

This pedigree drawn up by Theodore Becon, apparently in support of an application to the College of Arms, is useful in supplying information about his mother’s side of the family, and also where his father was from and his father’s name.

Thomas Becon of Bretenham in the countie of Norff gent:
married ____ the daughter of ____ and had yssue Thomas

Thomas Becon one of the prebendaries of Christes
Churche in the cittie of Canterburye sonne and heire to Thomas maried Elizabeth
daughter of William Godfrey of Winchester in Hampshire marchant and by her
had yssue Theodore Becon his eldest sonne Basell Becon second
sonne Rachell maried to William Besweke of Horsmanden in
the countie of Kent Esquire

Theodore Becon of the cittie of Canterburye Esquire Doctor of
Phisicke eldest sonne and heire to Thomas maried Dorcas the [?]
daughter of Charles Smythe of ____ neare newe castell
in the countie of ____ Esquire and by her hathe yssue [?]
Anthonye Becon his eldest sonne Elizabeth Becon and
Sibbeld Becon both unmaried

Found by the research of Mr. H. Beken Thomas amongst the Harleian manuscripts in the British Museum (among ‘loose and independent Arms and Pedigrees fastened to a printed book’, MS 1196, item no. 189b), published in Notes and Queries, vol. CCXXVII, p. 403 in item by D. S. Bailey ‘Thomas Becon: Some additional biographical notes’.

Bailey considered this pedigree to be in support of a claim of entitlement to bear arms by Theodore Becon, submitted on his behalf by his brother-in-law William Beswicke to William Camden, Clarenceux King of Arms.

Bailey found it curious that Theodore did not know his paternal grandmother’s name, nor that of her father, nor the place of residence of his father-in-law. He suggests he may have been choosing to conceal them. I find a lack of such knowledge more believeable. Watching ‘Who do you think you are?’ it is clear that people often know little about their grandparents, especially when they are the parents of a parent a person did not know well. Theodore was only aged about 12 when his father died and his surviving siblings were younger. It seems entirely possible little would have been said about his grandparents. His father being an ‘older Dad’ it is unlikely he would have known his grandmother, and the distance between Norfolk where the family lived and Kent where he grew up would have restricted any contact with other relatives who might have spoken about them.


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