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Francis CHERRY

Francis CHERRY

Male 1665 - 1713  (48 years)

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  • Name Francis CHERRY 
    Birth 1665  Shottesbrooke, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Death 23 Sept 1713  Shottesbrooke, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Francis Cherry

      Born: 1665 probably at Shottesbrooke, Berkshire
      Leading Non-Juror
      Died: 23rd September 1713 at Shottesbrooke, Berkshire

      Francis was the son of the squire of Shottesbrooke in Berkshire, William Cherry, and his wife, Anne. He would not acknowledge King William and Queen Mary, and when he found that William was following him pretty closely in stag-hunting, he suddenly leapt his horse down a steep and dangerous bank into the Thames, hoping that 'the usurper' would follow him and break his neck; but the King turned away. Again, Cherry would not acknowledge Queen Anne as his sovereign and so, the first day she drove to the hunt after she became Queen, he kept away from her. Anne asked Peachey, her 'bottle-man,' if that were not Mr. Cherry in the distance and, when he replied that it was, she said, “Aye, he will not come to me now; I know the reason. But go you and carry him a couple of bottles of red wine and white from me, and tell him that I esteem him one of the honestest gentlemen in my dominions.” True to his principles, Cherry bade Peachey express his humble respects and best thanks to 'his mistress'.

      Upon his father's death, Francis inherited debts amounting to £30,000. He once passed a few days in Reading Gaol but, like a true gentleman, spent £100 in entertaining the gentry who visited him there. A man of learning and critical ability himself, Cherry encouraged these gifts in others more than he expressed them himself. Discovering the talents of Thomas Hearne, the son of the parish clerk of White Waltham, near his own beautiful home at Shottesbrooke Park, Cherry put the boy to school, took him to live in his own house, helped him in his studies and supplied him with money until he had taken his M.A. degree. This historical antiquary became the Wormius of the Dunciad. To Hearne he was always “my best friend and patron”. At Shottesbrooke, which was the meeting place of the non-jurors, he often welcomed Bishop Ken; Dodwell who settled at Smewyn's Manor, a house near his own; Nelson was his constant guest; while Leslie, he concealed for a time in disguise (he sometimes, it is said, even “wore regimentals”) and then sent him to Rome to convert the exiled King. James assured Leslie of his unalterable attachment to his own faith and sent Cherry a ring in token of his regard. At Cherry's house, first Gilbert and then Brokesby held prayers twice daily. At the same time, Cherry lived on friendly terms with White Kennet, afterwards Bishop of Peterborough, to whom he had given the living of Shottesbrooke, the church lying just across his garden. Truly, if there were Squire Westerns in those days, there were also Squire Allworthys in real life. Cherry was a fine specimen of the class which thrives nowhere so well as in England.

      At Shottesbrooke, he died, “the idol of Berkshire,” and in that churchyard lies his grave, bearing, in obedience to his wishes, no name, only the date of his death and the words: Hic iacet peccatorum maximus (Here lies the Greatest of Sinners).
    • According to Burkes genealogical and heraldic dictionary of the landed gentry Volume 1:

      The family of Cherry, formerly of Shottesbrooke, or more properly, as of old, Cherrie, of which there are several branches remaining, is of Norman origin, being, it is said, descended on the male side from the " De Cheries," seigneurs de Branvel, Villamara, Beauval, and Villencourt, &c., in Normandy, and on the female, from the Bretons, both families recognised in all the earlier "Recherches," or Visitations, as of the noblesse of Normandy.

      A branch of the Cheries at an early period embraced the Huguenot doctrine, and in consequence of the religions persecutions carried on against that party, migrated and settled in England, where they afterwards became possessed of considerable estates. The estates and manors of Shottesbrooke, White Waltham, Smewins, Winsors, and Bray, in Berkshire, formed part of their possession: at the latter place a school was founded by one of this family, and endowed with lands for the education of twenty poor boys.

      Of this family was FRANCIS CHERRY, celebrated by Hearne, the antiquary, (whose father was a domestic servant to the Cherrys, and who was himself brought up and educated at their expense,) as "the most accomplished gentleman of his day:" a fine portrait of him hangs in the picture gallery of the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

      His father, William, was killed by the horses running away with his chariot, and overturning it at the moment when he had projected his head, whereby it was at once severed from the body. He allowed his son Francis 2500£ a-year during his own lifetime, an immense sum in those days.

      "Francis," says a contemporary writer, "married soon after he was twenty, and his house, which at the Revolution made up seventy beds for officers and soldiers quartered upon him, was the hotel devoted to learning, to friendship, and to distress." Mr. Cherry concealed many celebrated Royalists at Shottesbrooke, and at White Waltham (another of his houses), the very learned Charles Leslie, whom he sent (without success) to convert the Pretender.

      This FRANCIS CHERRY m. Elizabeth, eldest dau. and co-heiress of John Finch, Esq. of Frere Court, co. Berks, and was buried at Shottesbrooke, with this remarkable inscription only on his tomb, directed by himself: "Hicjaoet peccatorum maximus."
    • From "Reliquiae Hearnianae The Remains of Thomas Hearne Vol 1":

      Within the parish of White Waltham is a mannor called Feens, near to the mannor house, where was once a chapell of ease. This mannor lately belonged to John Finch, Esq. who dying without heirs male, it came to five daughters, one of which is married to the said Mr. Francis Cherry.
    • From "Reliquiae Hearnianae The Remains of Thomas Hearne Vol 1":

      24 September 1713
      Yesterday morning, at eight a clock, died my best friend and patron, Francis Cherry, esq. at his house at Shottesbrooke, in Berks, being about 48 years of age. His distemper was an ulcer in the kidneys, and he was taken extremely ill the Saturday immediately before.

      This person (who was formerly gentleman-commoner of Edmund hall in Oxford) was eminent for piety, virtue, and learning. Soon after the revolution in 1688, he became intimately acquainted with the famous Mr. Henry Dodwell, with whom he afterwards studied several years, and by that conversation improved himself in learning to such a degree as to be well versed in most of the ancient Greek and Latin authors, as well human as divine. He assisted Mr. Dodwell in many of his writings, and particularly in that elaborate and immortal work De Cychs Veterum, which the author hath gratefully dedicated to Mr. Cherry. He was so conscientiously religious as not to be drawn from his duty by any secular interests whatsoever. For which reason he was an equal sufferer with Mr.Dodwell, and continued firm in his loyalty to the last. During his prosperity he performed many signal instances of charity; yet with the greatest prudence and discretion, and with exemplary modesty, endea-
      vouring, by all means possible, to conceal his name. But tho' he desired that his name upon that account might not be made use of, yet this must be remembred of him, that 'tis to this gentleman's liberality that the writer of these matters owes his education, he having maintained him for some time, not only at school and in his own house, but for several years in, the univer-
      sity, even 'till such time as he took the degree of master in arts, all at his own proper expense. During his adverse fortune (for a great many troubles fell upon him some years before he died) he still persisted in the exercise of piety and virtue, and was not at all ruffled or discomposed, but appeared chearfull, and behaved himself with admirable courage, patience, and
      humility, not speaking the least ill word of any, even the most implacable enemy, he being indeed always noted for his singular good nature and extraordinary sweetness of temper.

      He was buried in Shottesbrooke church-yard, Friday night, Sept. 25. (see footnote 1)

      footnote 1:
      So I learn from a letter I had from a friend, which says, "He was buryed privately last Friday night in the corner, an obscure place in the church-yard, next the vestry ; he desireing so in his hfe time."

      Hearne wrote thus of his friend Mr. Cheiry, in a letter (which however he never sent) to sir Philip Sydenham, Novemb 1713 :
      "Since my last, I have lost the very best friend I had in the world, Mr. Fiancis Cheriy, of Shottesbrooke, at whose expences I was educated both at schoole and in the univeisity, and I was likewise for some time instructed by himself(and by Mr.Dodwell) in his own house. He died of an ulcer m the kidneys, attended with a coma or lethargick distemper, in the 48th year of his age, on Sept.23d last. He had ordered his funeral, in a letter to his good lady, written some time before, without date. He desired to be buried privately, that none should be invited to his funeial; to be carried to his grave by four of the poorest of her tenants, assigning them a gratuity; to have no atchievements, escutcheons, or pall; to be buried in the church-yard of Shottesbiooke, near the vault (which is in the church)where his father lyeth, (by word of mouth, as near as could be to that part of the chancel where Mr Dodwell lyeth, which fell out to be the same place). All which was performed on the 25th of the same month, at 10 clock in the evening. He farther ordered to have a brick work of two or three foot in height raised over him, and a plain black marble laid upon it, without any arms, name, or other inscription, but this which followeth:

      ANNO - DOM - MDCC . . .

      The year to be inserted. Thus this excellent gentleman, who was one of the most learned, modest, humble, and virtuous persons that I had ever the honour to be acquainted with."

    Person ID I41180  Johnson & Hanson
    Last Modified 19 Sep 2009 

    Father William CHERRY,   b. 1626, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 02 Apr 1705, Bray, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 79 years) 
    Mother Anne WHITFIELD,   b. 1630, Canterbury, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 25 Aug 1703, England Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 73 years) 
    Family ID F14638  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth FINCH 
    Family ID F14682  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 19 Sep 2009 

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    Francis Cherry
    Francis Cherry
    Thomas Hearne
    Thomas Hearne