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The origins of the family are not known, but it is significant that Richard Last and his wife Elizabeth had seven children born at Debenham (1615-32), including William (their eldest son) in February 1619-20. Richard and Elizabeth both died at Debenham in September 1661, Elizabeth "wife of Richard" was buried on the 8th, followed by Richard himself on the 10th. Debenham and Mickfield are a few miles apart.

[LAST601] Richard Last married Elizabeth. They had seven children at Debenham between 1615-32, including:

[LAST611] William (baptised at Debenham (February 1620), see later.

Richard and Elizabeth both died at Debenham in September 1661.

[LAST611] William Last married (at Mickfield, 21st April 1642) [GOSL612] Martha Gosling (born 1615, see GOSLING). They had at least one child:

[LAST621] William (1656), see later.

The family (apparently) latterly lived at Debenham, where William Last was recorded in the 1674 Hearth Tax return. William died at Debenham (June 1676), followed by Martha "widow" (November 1687).

[LAST621] William Last (born 1656), of Kenton, married (at Stonham Parva, 24th June 1679) [WINK622] Marie Winke, "of Stonham Parva".

Marie was born in the period when many Suffolk churches were closed (for some for twenty years) so her baptism details are lacking. It may be significant that a William Wink of Bedingfield had a son William baptised at Kenton (6th May 1645), which is where the first child of William Last and Marie was baptised (1680). Also, a William Winke married (at Brundish, 23rd April 1679 IGI, entry in register not checked) Anne Goslinge.

William and Marie had at least nine children:

Mary (baptised at Kenton, 13th April 1680);

[LAST631] William (baptised at Bedingfield, 2nd February 1681-82), see later;

Martha (baptised at Bedingfield, 1st April 1684);

Elizabeth (baptised at Earl Stonham, 26th April 1686);

James (born c.1688), married Ann;

Sarah (baptised at Framsden, 13th December 1691);

Robert (baptised at Framsden, 10th May 1694), lived 2 weeks;

Ann (born c.1696);

Rachel (baptised at Otley, 19th April 1698), married (at Framsden, 28th April 1719) George Ducks.

The family finished up at Framsden, where William died (buried there 2nd September 1719). By his will William (who was a yeoman) left property at Framsden and Otley to his wife Mary for her lifetime, after which it would be shared between eldest son William (Framsden property) and youngest son James (Otley property). There were bequests to his daughters Martha, Elizabeth, Sarah, Ann and Rachel; and even four grandchildren Mary, Elizabeth, Richard and Ann (with the surname Hamond) received money ranging upwards from £5 to £40. Mary died at Framsden (January 1733).

[LAST631] William Last junior (born 1682), a yeoman, married (at Debach, 8th May 1704) [WARF632] Margaret Warfare (born 1684), both of Otley. (The registers at Otley before 1734 have not survived so it is not possible to establish who were Margaret's parents. However Matthew Warfar the elder, yeoman, died at Otley (December 1682), and by his will left all his property to his wife Catherine. Judging by the dates, it is possible that Margaret was the daughter of William Warfar [Warfare] either senior or junior, but this is mere conjecture.)

After their marriage William & Margaret went to live at Wenhaston,.

  Wenhaston Church
(22 September 2016)

Some time between 1741 and 1744 they moved to Darsham, and about five years later to Bruisyard.

They were certainly at Darsham in 1748, when William was then Churchwarden, as recorded on a cast (or wrought) iron plaque near to the south door, which records:



C : W

                 William (1748)
               (5 October 2002)

Altogether William & Margaret had eight children born and baptised at Wenhaston as follows:

William (baptised 1st May 1706), died young;

Mary (baptised 17th May 1710), married Ezra Edwards;

Elizabeth (baptised 31st January 1711-12), died at Darsham (October 1747, and buried was there). Her headstone, now completely unreadable, at one time included the following words:

In Memory of ELIZABETH Daughter of WILLIAM & MARGARET October 17... Aged 33

This daughter Elizabeth never married, but she had an illegitimate child, Anne (c.1730). In 1749 Anne, by then around 18 years of age, was picked up by the authorities ten miles away in Snape, clearly unable to support herself, and was returned to Bruisyard so that she would not be a charge on the parish of Snape. Afterwards she seems to have lived with her grandparents, William and Margaret (formerly Warfare), where they could keep an eye on her. After William died (1758) it appears that the responsibility for Anne fell to William's son Robert (by then married to Mary Holmes and still living at Bruisyard). But then this Anne in turn had an illegitimate child, baptised Anne at Bruisyard (July 1761). After the ensuing investigation, a certain John Mobbs of Bruisyard had to pay £100 to Robert Last towards the childís upkeep. Anne will be mentioned again later;

Ann (baptised 24th March 1713-14), died age 1 month;

[LAST641] William (baptised 21st August 1715), see later;

Robert (baptised 19th February 1717-18), married Mary Holmes;

James (baptised 31st October 1723), married Anne Wilson;

Margaret (baptised 13th April 1726), died at Darsham (January 1744-45, and buried there 23rd January 1744-45, her headstone, now completely unreadable, at one time included the following words:

Margaret daughter of William Last and Margaret his wife January 19 1744 Aged 18

William died (age 76) at Bruisyard (29th January 1758), but was buried at Darsham (2nd April 1758) ...



Darsham Church
(5 October 2002)

... where his headstone reads:

In Memory of WILLIAM LAST who departed this Life January the 29th 1758 Aged 76 Years

William had made his will ten years earlier, by which Margaret received an annuity, his property being shared between his sons William (Framsden property) and Robert (Otley property). His son James received £350, and his son-in-law Ezra Edwards (Mary's husband) £1. 1s.

Margaret Last died (age 83) at Bruisyard (29th July 1767) and was buried at Darsham (1st August 1767), where her headstone reads:

In Memory of MARGARET the wife of WILLIAM LAST who Departed this life July 29th 1767 Aged 83 Years


Two (of the five adjacent) Last headstones
(5 October 2002)


In her will Margaret made bequests to the three sons: Robert (£20), James (£20) and William (£5).

[LAST641] William Last (born 1715) of Wenhaston married (at Wrentham, 12th October 1741) [WODS642] Margaret Woods (born 1722, see WOODS), of Weston. It was most unusual for a marriage to take place at a church far away from where both bride and groom lived, and in this case no explanation is offered. The family straightaway settled down at Blythburgh, where they had their first three children:

William (baptised there 11th December 1743), died at Darsham (15th October 1747, buried there 18th October 1747). William died (age 3) at Darsham (as described earlier, his aunt Elizabeth died age 33 at Darsham on the 17th, and was buried there on the 19th). As Elizabeth and William died 2 days apart, there could have been a common cause such as food poisoning, but nothing is recorded. They were buried in adjacent graves, whose headstones are today completely unreadable, but it is recorded that at one time the following words could be discerned on William's headstone:

William son of William and Margaret Last October 15 1747 Aged 3

Margaret (baptised there 15th September 1745), married William Peak;

Mary (baptised there 11th January 1746-47), married Roger Beaumont.

  Blythburgh Church
(19 September 2016)

John Woods (widower, father of the Margaret who was married to William Last) died at Westleton (June 1748). By the terms of his will, Margaret received £10. This may be thought a considerable sum in those days, but it should be noted that John left £100 to his "friend" Mrs Mary Buckingham. There had possibly been friction in the Woods household when Margaret had said she was going to marry William Last back in 1741, and that may have been why they lived at Blythburgh. Significantly or otherwise, William and Margaret went to live in Westleton shortly after John Woods' death and certainly before the end of 1748.

William and Margaret then had (at least) three children at Westleton:

Elizabeth (baptised there 30th December 1748), died (age 16) at Weston (16th March 1765, buried there 18th March 1765);

Amy (baptised there 27th June 1755), married William Cullum;

James (baptised there 2nd June 1757), married

(23rd December 1987). At Lima airport in Peru while we were waiting to take off in a Faucett Airlines DC8 when an engineer came on board holding a screw driver, which didnít inspire confidence.

Also, around this period William and Margaret could have had two further children. The two children baptised in 1757 will be noted, at different churches, which is suspicious, especially so as Otley is where Margaret's "good friend" [Margaret's own words] Samuel Mortimer lived. The suspicion here is that the William baptised in 1757 could have been born much earlier, say 1751-53, and not baptised at the time. Also there is no evidence that they had a daughter Sarah (1759), and this is only inferred from her marriage being at Wissett:

William (baptised at Otley, 16th January 1757 IGI), married Mary Galling;

Sarah (born c.1759), married Henry Collins.

William and Margaret next showed up at distant Weston, where they had three further children:

[LAST652] Charlotte (baptised there 26th November 1761), married (at Wissett, 13th October 1787) [PARK651] Samuel Parker (born 1755, see PARKER);

John (baptised there 21st May 1763), married Jemima Fisher;

Elizabeth (baptised there 5th January 1766), married 1. William Lunnis (died September 1795); then 2. John Woods.

Whilst at Weston, their sixteen year old daughter Elizabeth died, the only one of the family to have a headstone at Weston. This headstone (now unreadable) once read: "Elizabeth daughter of Wm & Margaret Last March 16 1765 Age 16". This is clear evidence that the family had moved from Westleton to Weston.

  Weston Church
(26 September 2016)

William died at Weston (buried there 5th November 1770). In fact, surprisingly, all three brothers died that year: Robert at Bruisyard (16th April), James at Saxmundham (8th May), and finally William at Weston (about 1st November). The latter's date of death is estimated, as all that is known is that he was buried at Weston on the 5th. William died intestate, which is also curious as both his brothers who had predeceased him by a few months had made wills. (Incidentally, Robert's will refers to the children of his brother William receiving bequests in the event that Robert's sole child (still a minor) should die before receiving her due money at either her majority or marriage; though in the event she did live to inherit.) It is clear that Margaret was granted administration of her husband William's affairs, the under-age children's shares were being handed out by her as each one reached the legal age.

Margaret died at Weston (buried there 27th July 1775). In her will she refers to the estate of her late husband having been partly disposed of, with the residue still to be paid to the children who were still minors (not actually mentioned by name). Her own estate she left to her three youngest children, Charlotte, John and Elizabeth, towards their maintenance, clothing, education and bringing up in the care of her "good friend" Samuel Mortimer, farmer of Otley, which is a remarkable 24 miles from Weston. (Their daughter Sarah was not mentioned, if indeed she was her daughter, perhaps because she had already received her share at the age of 14, which was then the legal age for girls.) Their daughter Amy married a year later (1778) at Otley, so perhaps for a while the family had moved in with Samuel Mortimer.

The sequence of the subsequent marriages of James and his younger sisters is of particular interest, as the three churches concerned seem to follow a pattern:

1781. James married Eve Mayhew (at Barsham, 12th February 1781), and they probably took care of his younger sisters Sarah, Charlotte and Elizabeth. James' second child was baptised at Wissett (April 1783), which is where Sarah married shortly afterwards. James' family then returned to Barsham;

1783. Sarah married Henry Collins (at Wissett, 10th June 1783). They remained at Wissett for a further seven years or so, and it is likely they now took care of Sarah's younger sisters Charlotte and Elizabeth;

1787. Charlotte married Samuel Parker (at Wissett, 13th October 1787). They afterwards lived at Westleton, and it is likely that Charlotte now took care of her younger sister Elizabeth;

1789. Elizabeth married William Lunnis (at Westleton, 10th July 1789). They lived for a while at Blythburgh.