Saunders Family

John Saunders and his two wives: 1634. A brass rubbing.

Three generations of this family starting with Generation One down to Generation Four where Jane Saunders marries George Man have been recorded. Those in bold are direct ancestors of Jane Saunders.

Richard Saunders* was born about 1555, married Dorothy Symonds on 12 October 1579 at St Mary the Virgin, Hambleden, Buckinghamshire. He was buried on 23 March 1613/4 at St Mary, Hambleden. Dorothy was born about 1560 and was buried on 30 December 1589 at St Mary.

The children of Richard and Dorothy are of Generation One and are:

  1. URSALA SAUNDERS, baptized on 10 December 1581 at St. Mary the Virgin, Hambleden;
  2. JOHN SAUNDERS, (1583 – 1634);
  3. THOMAS SAUNDERS, baptized on 3 January 1584/5 at St Mary, Hambleden;
  4. SARAH SAUNDERS, baptized on 2 July 1587 at St Mary and married WILLIAM PARY on 3 Jun 1605 at St Mary; and
  5. EDMUND SAUNDERS, baptized on 23 April 1589 at St Mary.

Generation Two

John Saunders was baptized on 2 June 1583 at St Mary the Virgin, Hambelden, Buckinghamshire, married Susanna D’Oyley on 14 February 1602/3 at St Mary, Hambleden. He was buried on 30 August 1634 at St Mary. Susanna Doyley was baptized on 25 March 1584; her burial has not been found. [ Some sources, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, claim that the brass plate showing John Saunders and his two wives show: (1) Cicely, widow of William Blocksom and (2) Frances, widow of Francis Springoll, 1634. This may indicate that Susanna was John’s third wife]. The children of John and Susanna are of Generation Three and are:

  1. ROBERT SAUNDERS (1605/6 – 1636);
  2. EDMOND SAUNDERS, baptized on 29 January 1608/9 at St Mary the Virgin, Hambleden, Buckinghamshire;
  3. MARY SAUNDERS, baptized on 25 November 1610 at St Mary, Hambleden.♦
  4. ANN SAUNDERS, baptized on 4 December 1614 at St Mary, Hambelden; and
  5. DOROTHY SAUNDERS*, baptized 1 January 1624/5.

♦ There was another slightly older Mary Saunders (baptised 11 Jul 1595 at Hambleden) who was the cousin of this Mary’s father John. The older Mary’s father was John Saunders (not shown above). This John (to be absolutely clear) was the brother of Richard Saunders (1555 – 1613/14). The older Mary married Susanna D’Oyley’s brother Timothy D’Oyley on 4th February 1610 at St Mary’s Hambleden. The Saunders’ family estate of Parmoor past to Timothy D’Oyley via his wife Mary.

*The gap in time between the records of Ann and Dorothy’s baptisms was of some concern. But, whereas for the first four baptisms the record reads either “s. of . .” or “d. of John”, Dorothy’s reads “d. of John and Susanna”. So that seemed to resolve that concern. However, when the brass rubbing shown on this page was found, it indicated that John had two wives. Though confirming records have not been found, it would seem reasonable to account for the gap in baptisms with the conclusion that Susanna (Doyley) Saunders died and John remarried another Susanna sometime later and Dorothy was a daughter of the second marriage.

John Saunders and his two Wives
John Saunders and his two wives. A photograph taken by Ed Man.

Generation Three

Robert Saunders was baptized on 9 March 1605/6 at St Mary the Virgin, Hambleden, Buckinghamshire, married about 1623 to an Amy Unknown (first name obtained from baptismal records of children). He was buried on 2 May 1679 at St Mary, Hambleden. Amy was buried on 10 April 1671 at St Mary.

The children of Robert and Amy are of Generation FOUR and are:

  1. REBECCA SAUNDERS, baptized on 16 May 1625 at St Mary, Hambleden;
  2. JOHN SAUNDERS, baptized on 21 May 1626 at St Mary and buried on 24 August 1636 at St Mary;
  3. MARY SAUNDERS, baptized on 14 Jun 1628 at St Mary and buried on 22 March 1638/9 at St Mary;
  4. SUSANNA SAUNDERS, baptized on 18 October 1629 at St Mary, Hambleden, and probably married John Smith on 8 January 1653 at St Mary the Virgin, Haddenham, Buckinghamshire;
  5. FRANCES SAUNDERS, baptized on 27 February 1630/1 at St Mary, Hambleden, and probably married Francis Eles on 7 February 1653 at the parish church of Upton, Buckinghamshire;
  6. ROBERT SAUNDERS, baptized on 3 Dec 1632 at St Mary, Hambleden, and probably married Elizabeth Southey on 20 October 1661 at the parish church of Bray, Berkshire;
  7. JANE SAUNDERS, (1634 – 1664). She married George Man.
  8. ANN SAUNDERS, baptized on 19 April 1636 at St Mary, Hambleden, and probably married William Heaster on 20 January 1668/9 at Holy Trinity, Cookham, Berkshire;
  9. EDMUND SAUNDERS, baptized 6 February 1638/9 at St Mary, Hambleden; and
  10. ELIZABETH SAUNDERS, baptized on 16 May 1641 at St Mary, Hambleden.

Above is a brass rubbing of John Saunders and his two wives that is in the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Hambleden, Buckinghamshire. His granddaughter, Jane Saunders, married George Man on 24 September 1654 at St Mary. The rubbing is the earliest known recorded image of a family ancestor.The notes below are by Ed Man.


The family lived at the Manor of Parmoor (left), Hambleden, Buckinghamshire which came into possession of it in the sixteenth century. In 1603 Richard Sanders [2] conveyed it to Timothy Doyley [3] and heirs. Timothy Doyley is said to have married Mary the daughter and sole heir of John Sanders of Hambleden about this time. [4] (Bayley, ‘Account of House of D’Oyly’ p. 68.) Later claims to this manor made by John Saunders [5] were finally settled in 1631 in favour of Timothy Doyley. Robert, [6] son and heir of John Saunders, was associated with his father in this claim. (Calendar of Feet of Fines, Bucks, Trinity 13 James I Feet of Fines, Bucks, Michaelmas 22 James I.Ibid., Michaelmas 7 Charles I.).

Timothy Doyley belonged to a younger branch of the Doyley family, owners of Yewden Manor. His father, Robert Doyley, [7] owned property in Hambleden at his death. (Will proved 1617, P.C.C. 16 Meade) Records of Bucks, viii, 363.). In 1637 Timothy leased Parmoor Manor for forty years to his son and heir-apparent Robert, who was buried at Hambleden in 1669, three years after his father’s death. (Will proved 1666, P.C.C. 175 Mico) (Bayley, op.cit., 68-70.)

Parmoor remained in Robert Doyley’s family, passing from father to son in the direct line until the death, unmarried, of his great-grandson John Doyley. John was receiver-general of light duties, and dying intestate in Seething Lane, London, in 1800, was buried in the Doyley vault in Hambleden Church. He survived all the sons of his uncle Robert Doyley, on whom his father Thomas Doyley has settled the estate in remainder with further remainder to his own daughters. (Bayley, op.cit., 71,72 &; Gentleman’s Magazine, lxx, 1116.)

[1] I extracted the following from The Victoria History of the Counties of England, Buckinghamshire, Desborough Hundred, Hambleden, page 50; Edward Man, 30 August 2001.
[2] Richard Sanders is my [Ed Man’s] paternal 10th great-grandfather.
[3] Timothy is the older brother of Susanna Doyley who married John Sanders, son of Richard and became my paternal 9th great-grandparents.
[4] According to the parish register of St Mary the Virgin, Hambleden, they were married on 4 February 1610/1. I have found the baptismal record for Timothy in the parish register of St Mary the Virgin, Hambleden, but not for Mary. Apparently John Sanders was a brother of Richard Sanders and Mary was his sole child.
[5] This is not the John Sanders mentioned above but rather my 9th great-grandfather, the son of Richard Sanders who married Timothy’s sister Susanna.
[6] Robert Sanders is my paternal 8th great-grandfather.
[7] Robert Doyley is my paternal 10th great-grandfather.

The claim that the Jane Saunders of this Saunders family married ‘our’ George Man is based solely on the following deductive reasoning. In the parish of Hambleden at the time that Jane married George there was only one Jane Saunders who was born at Hambleden of marriageable age and that Jane was the granddaughter of John Saunders and Susannah D’Oyley. George could have married a Jane Saunders who had been born in some other nearby parish and had subsequently moved to Hambleden, but a search of all such close-by parish records has failed to turn up a suitable Jane Saunders and we are left with just this one Jane The only detraction to this argument is that George Man is described as a ‘labourer’ on the marriage record. For a discussion as to why this may not entirely overturn our argument please see the end of George’s page.

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