William Braunch

Abingdon, Vale of White Horse District, Oxfordshire, England
Death 7 Feb 1601 (aged 76–77)
Abingdon, Vale of White Horse District, Oxfordshire, England
Burial Abingdon, Vale of White Horse District, Oxfordshire, England
Memorial ID 124302617 View Source

William was the son of Richard Branch and Elizabeth Beauforest.He married first on August 2 1553 Elizabeth Walthan daughter of John Walthan as recorded in St. Helen's registers, by whom he does not appear to have had issue but of whose burial about 1555/6, no trace has been found.

William married secondly, about 1556 to Katherine Jennings, daughter of Thomas Jennings, a prominent burgess of Abingdon and his wife, Alice Bright, daughter of Richard Bright and Isabel of Cuham, (just across the river from Abingdon), and by her had eleven children: 1)Thomas Branch 1557-1603 he married Margaret Coxwell 2)Elizabeth Branch was born about 1558. She died about 1566. 3)Mary Branch 1561- 4)Richard Branch I was born on 16 Sep 1560 in Abingdon, Berkshire, England. He died about 1602 in Abingdon, Berkshire, England. 5)Ann Branch born in 1562 she married Fowler 6)Eleanor Branch was born on 20 Oct 1564. 7)Lionel Branch was born 18 Aug 1566 in Abingdon, Berkshire England. He died abt. 1605 in London England. 8)Martha Branch was married on 8 July 1596 at Saint Martin's in London England she married Valentia Sparkes who was born in 1566. 9)Barbara Branch was born on 10 Jul 1569 in Abingdon, Berkshire, England. 10)William Branch was born in 1578/9 in Abingdon, Berkshire, England. William graduated 1 New College at Oxford on 13 Oct 1598 in Oxford, England. 11)Katherine Branch was born on 21 Aug 1582 in Abingdon, Berkshire, England.

William Gent Braunch was a woolen draper by trade and lived and practiced his trade in a house and shop on Littlebery Lane (now Bury Street). He was educated at the medieval grammar school in Stert Street. He served four times as Mayor of the town; in 1563-64, 1571-72, 1582-83, and from May to September of 1588 to complete the term of William Kysbie who died in office. He also served as a member of Parliament elected in 1593. William later became Governor of Christ's Hospital, started by the Branch family three generations earlier as the Fraternity of Holy Cross ( not a hospital in the medical sense but a hospitium, a place for giving of help to the poor and needy).

William Branch owned the Bull Inn in Littlebury Lane, Abingdon. He had inherited it from his brother, Thomas. His will was proved in Prerogative Court of Canterbury on April 24, 1602.
William's wife Katherine died in 1597 and was buried in Saint Helen's Church on August 25. William survived her some four and half years, dying, full of years and honor, Feb. 1601/2. He was buried in St. Helen's Church. His family paid two shillings for the tolling of the knell with the great Belle at his funeral and six shillings and eight pence for his grave.

Abingdon has info on the Branch family on its website. and

Thanks to FAG member Kat #47496397 for providing some of the material used in this biography.

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