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Henrie Mort of Eccles: additional thoughts & comments


Thomas Mort, the third son and a possible twin with Ralph, has proved to be somewhat elusive at the moment. There are two possible christening dates that we know of, 9th February 1753 or 25 March 1577. If the first date is correct this was more than 2 weeks earlier than his twin brother. If they were indeed twins it is possible that Thomas was sickly and not expected to live. We know that he did indeed survive and outlived his brother Ralph, he was left his ‘Workday suit’ in Ralph’s will.


If Henrie was born around 1546 he arrived just as Henry VIII was coming to the end of his reign. Succeeded by Edward VI, Henry’s son by his third wife Jane Seymour, in 1547 life was turbulent. Edward Seymour, the new king’s uncle, was appointed Lord Protector of the Realm. One of his first actions was to start fighting in Scotland. After some early success his fortunes soon declined. France declared war on England. At home there was religious upheaval, rising inflation (so there’s nothing new there) and radical changes to land enclosure laws. The population vented their anger by rioting and in rebellions such as the one led by Robert Kett in July 1549. By November 1549 Somerset had been removed as Lord Protector in a coup led by John Dudley, Earl of Warwick, later Earl of Northumberland. The suppression of Catholicism begun under Henry VIII continued, overseen by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer. Edward died, aged just 15 in 1552 and was succeeded by Lady Jane Grey who was put on the throne by her father the Earl of Northumberland. She was a distant cousin of Edward’s. She reigned for just nine days from 10th to 19th July 1553 before being deposed by Mary I, the eldest daughter of Henry VIII. Mary was a Catholic and her marriage to Philip II of Spain, himself a devout Catholic, inflamed religious tensions. Mary wasted no time in undoing the Protestant legislation put in place by her father and half-brother, returning England to the papal fold. Protestant ‘heretics’ were burned to death. These included Bishops Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and Archbishop Thomas Cranmer for whom she had a special hatred as he had overseen the annulment of her mother’s marriage to Henry VIII. Ten months after a disastrous war with France in 1557/8 when Calais, the last toe hold of England’s once mighty empire in France was recaptured, Mary died and the long reign of Elizabeth I started.


There is a contingent of Morts in WALES which we don’t know much about. When did they start there? The earliest date I can find in the IGI is in the 1700’s but that doesn’t mean that there were no Morts there before that. The numbers found in the census gradually increase from 1851 onwards. It is a much smaller branch than that in Lancashire and it is possible that someone from this area went to Wales but we don’t know. I also know that there were Morts in Scotland - only a few but the censuses that I have access to are only for England and Wales. The Scottish censuses are on a separate website so if anyone has a subscription to it, & look up would be appreciated.


The IGI is a snapshot and cannot be relied upon to give a true representation of the extent of a family name. Some counties gave a lot of information others very little.

Origin of the name MORT from the www.genealogyweb.com/index.htm website. This site is selling the information so these are just snippets. The site is an American one. We don’t know how accurate this information is or otherwise:


"The Mort family name originated in Essex , located in England. This was documented and authenticated by our historians using the utmost reliable resources, which accompany each Family History Scroll. The Mort family traces their ancestral roots back to Norman origin, with a more indepth account available on the Mort Family Scroll. The origin of Mort is only a fragment of the research completed for this family name. The research continues on to show; how the family branched and where they migrated to, variations in spelling, the names of family held castles and estates, notables both ancient and modern of the family, and numberous other historical facts in relation to this family name."

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