the finnimore files
The Family of Fynmore

The British Museum
From the author
14 Oct, 1886

9905 c 34





Family of Fynmore















The following account of the Fynmore family, now printed for the first time, may be regarded as tolerably complete, at least for the period which it covers, though as much cannot be said of some of the families mentioned in the appendix.

To have given equally full accounts of them all would have required much time, and it seemed best not to delay longer the issue of the information which has been collected respecting the Fynmores, Fynamores, Finnimores, Fenemores and Filmores. Pedigrees of Filmer, Fillmore, and Phillimore, have already appeared in type. It is true that they are somewhat brief, but to have printed accounts of them here, as detailed as that of Fynmore, would have greatly increased the size of this work, which already much exceeds the limits originally intended.

The arrangement of the pedigrees which has been followed, is based upon that prescribed by the New England Register, but with the important addition of Key Charts, with cross references. This combination, too seldom adopted, possesses the advantage that the fullest detail can be given in the narrative, while the relative position of any single member of the family can be immediately ascertained by a glance at the key chart.

It may be well to observe that the large Roman numerals indicate the number of each generation, and the Arabic figures the seniority of the children. The junior lines are distinguished by the addition of a letter of the alphabet to the Roman numerals. Thus, William Fynmore, of Jamaica, is simply VI., his brother James VI. 14, who becomes the "stock father "of a new line, is then described as VI. b, while the latter's son, Thomas, is VII. b. Elder branches, which died out in two or three generations at most, are usually described in a subsidiary manner under their respective ancestors. Those who are treated as heads of families or branches have their names and notation printed in heavy type; all other descendants of the Fynmores are given in italics. As far as possible a similar method has been pursued with the other families mentioned in these pages.

My thanks are due to many who have willingly assisted my inquiries. Amongst them must be specially named – Mr. R. J. Fynmore, of Sandgate, who placed his collections at my disposal, and rendered much valuable assistance in the progress of the work - Col. Money-Kyrle, who very kindly gave me full access to his muniments - the Rev. E. I. Gregory, M.A., who extracted all the Finnimore entries in the Halberton Registers-and Mr. T. Wharton Jones, F.R.S., for information relating to the Filmores.

The reader is also indebted to Mr. R. P. Phillimore, for the etchings of Whetham House, and Hinksey Church, and to Miss Cordelia M. Phillimore, for the plate of arms.

W.P.W. Phillimore

124, Chancery Lane, London,
June, 1886.


Preface ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... v
Notes on the origin of Fynmore, and the allied surnames... ... ... ... ... … 1
Pedigree of Fynmore of North Hinksey... ... ... ... ... ... ... … 19
„ „ of the Royal Marines... ... ... ... ... ... ...
Monumental Inscriptions ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 24
Extracts from Parish Registers, etc ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 29
The Armorial hearings used by the various families... ... ... ... ... ... … 31


The Fynamores of Whetham and their evidences... ... ... ... ... ... … 35
Notes from Berkshire, Fynamore, Finmore, etc.... ... ... ... ... ... … 46
,, ,, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, Fenemore, etc ... ... ... ... … 48
,, ,, Gloucestershire, Fynamore, and Phillimore .... ... ... ... ... 49
„ „ Devonshire, Finnimore, and Fillmore, etc. ... ... ... ... … 51
„ „ Shropshire, Fennymere of Fennymere...... ...... ... ... ... ... … 64
Miscellanea, Northamptonshire, Ireland, Italy, the United States, etc.... ... ... ... … 66
List of Wills and Administrations, in P.C.C. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 69
Index of Names... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... … 71
List of Subscribers... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...


Map to face Title..
Key Chart of Fynmore to face ... ... ... ... ... ... ... … 5
Hinksey Church ,, ,, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 26
Arms ,, ,, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... … 31
Whetham House ,, ,, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 35

The Family of Fynmore

THE patronymic borne by the family whose history is attempted in these pages, belongs to a group of surnames, of which the principal examples existing at the present time are Fynmore, Finnimore, Phillimore, Fillmore, and Filmer, and which is remarkable for numerous variations in spelling, by which their real origin has been much obscured. In proof of the statement that these names are interchangeable, it is only necessary to give here a few instances.

The Fynmores of North HinKsey trace their descent from William Fynmore, who was mayor of Reading in 1577 and 1586. Archdeacon Fynmore, a member of this family, was also styled Finmore, though he always signed Fynmore in the Chapter Books at Chester, and to show how unsettled the orthography of the name was, even at a late date, we may mention that the tablets opposite one another in the chancel at North Hinksey, erected in 1677 and 1687, and both commemorating persons of position and education, have respectively Fynmore and Finmore, while the burial of Archdeacon Fynmore's widow, in 1707, was registered as Finnemore.

Henry Filmer, churchwarden of Windsor, who was burnt there about 1543 for heresy, is variously described in the earlier editions of Foxe's Book of Martyrs as Finmore, Finnemore and Filmer.

The F'ilmers of East Sutton, Kent, also appear to derive their name from Finnimore, or some similar form; for Nicholl's Baronetage, 174l, states on the authority of the then Sir Edmund Filmer, that "this family formerly wrote their name Finmere, Fylmere, Filmour, and Filmor, temp. Edward III:, but of late Filmer, and were seated at Otterinden in Kent, at a place called Finmore." The statement that there is a place called Finmore at Otterinden or Otterden, is, however, an error, nor is there at present any evidence to show that they were settled in Kent at so early a period as the fourteenth century.

At Nether Avon, Wiltshire, where there is said to be still a clan of Phillimores in humble position, Phineas Philamore alias Fennymore in 1731 was party to a conveyance, which he, however, signed as Phillomoar; while he is entered in the parish register as Phillamore, which was the spelling commonly followed there in the seventeenth century. The will of Philip Philmore, of North Stoke, Oxon, was proved by his widow in 1636 who then styled herself and her late husband Phinmore alias Philmore; but his daughter in 1660 took out administration 'de bonis non’ to her father as Philmer.

At Cam, in Gloucestershire, a John Fynamore appears as a tenant of the Manor from 1515 to 1530. His son seems to be the William Fynimore who attested the will of John Trotman in 1577, and made his own will as William Phinimore.

The will of Harry Fylymore, of Wickwar, who appointed as one of his overseers William Fyllymore, of Cam, dated 1546 and proved at Gloucester in 1562, is endorsed as the will of "Henry Fynymore, late of Wickwar.”

Throughout the Cam registers the forms Phinimore and Phillimore1 are used interchangeably until the year 1680, when Phinimore appears for the last time, and Phillimore becomes the accepted spelling, although even at the present day persons unacquainted with the name will often the first time of hearing it write Finimore or Finamore. On the same page of the Cam register we find in 1663 Danyell Phillimore, then churchwarden described also as Daniel Phinimore. In this register the spelling of the name appears to have changed with the different vicars of the parish. Daniel Phinnimore, of the adjacent parish of Coaley , and ancestor of the Phillimores of Slymbridge, in his will, dated 1678 refers to his son Daniel Phillimore, whilst his widow, Joan Phinnimore, in her will in 1685 adheres to the older form throughout. This is perhaps the latest instance of its use in Gloucestershire.

Numerous as are the forms of spelling in which this family of surnames occur, they may be all classified in a few distinct divisions. The principal one depends on the termination of the first syllable, according as it ends in n or l, as Finnimore or Phillimore. A second division arises from the suppression of the middle vowel, converting the name into a dissyllable, such as Fynmore or Filmore. Further, the last syllable -more sometimes becomes -mer, as in Filmer, and sometimes –mere and -mare. Then, the i of the first syllable becomes e, as in Fenimore ; but this alteration seems confined to the n class, unless the surnames Belemore and Belmer belong to the group. Lastly, the initial F in one small group becomes V ; and in another changes into P or B. In this way are derived Venmore, Pilmore, Billimore, etc.2 By the change of F into Ph, and of i into y, the doubling of n and l, and other minor alterations, the number of varieties is greatly enlarged.

The following list of more than one hundred of this family of surnames serves not only to show their great variety, but to illustrate the difficulties attending an enquiry into the history of a surname of so changeable a form. The number attached to each name indicates the times of its occurrence in the Registers of Births for 1877-81.

i. Fynnimore, Fenmore,
Fynnymore, Finmore, 3
Fenemore, 36 Fynymour, Finnmore,
Fenimore, 2 Finemer, Fynmore, 2
Fenimoore, Finemere, Phinmore,
Fennamore, Fynemere, Phynnmore,
Fennemore, 15 Phinemore, Finmoore,
Fennimore, Phinnemore, Finnmoore.
Fenymore, Phinimore,
Fenneymore, 1 Phinnimore, vii.
Fennymore, 5 Phynimore, Venmore, 4
Fennymor, Phynnimore. Binmore, 18
Fennemer, Benmore, 4
Fennemere, iii Pinmoore.
Fennymare, Venemore, 7 viii.
Phenemore, Venimore, 7 Filmore, 8
Phenimore, Vennemore, 1 Filmour,
Phennemere. Vennimore. Fillmoore,
ii iv. Philmore, 10
Fillamor, Phillmore, 2
Finamore, 6 Fillamore, Filmer, 105
Finamour, Fillimore, Fillmer,
Finnamore, 12 Filyemore, Fylmer,
Finemor, Fyllimore, Fylmere,
Finemore, 10 Fylymore, Philmer,
Finnemore, 50 Philamore, Felmer, 1
Finneymore, 2 Phillamore,
Finnemor, Philemore, 1 ix
Finimore, 3 Phillemore,
Finnimore, 31 Philimore, 1 Pilmore, 3
Finnymore, Phillimore, 58 Pillnlore, 4
Fynamore, Philemoor, Pilmoor, 7
Fynamour, Phillemoor, Pilmour, 1
Fynamoure, Philimoor, Pilmoore, 1
Finemour, Phillomoar, Pilmor,
Fynemore, Phillimar, Pilmer, 8
Fynnemore, Philomer.
Fynemour, v x
Fynymore, Pillimore, Belmer, 1
Fynamore, Billamore, Belmore, 1
Fynamour, Billimore, 3 Bellmore, 1
Fynamur, Belemore, 3
Fynnamoore, vi. Bellamore, 2
Fynnamore, Finmare,
Fynnemore, Fynmer,
Fynnemoore, Fynmere,

Most of the names in this list are medieval forms which have been long obsolete, and not- a few of the rest are extremely rare, and probably becoming extinct, as the tendency seems to be for the lesser varieties to approximate to or adopt the spelling used by the most important family of the division to which they belong. Thus, all the members of group viii. tend to use the spelling Filmer, and those of group iv. the form Phillimore, which probably accounts for the greater frequency of these names. Proof of the identity of Venimore,Venmore, Belemore, Pelmore, and Pinmore, with Finimore has yet to be adduced: However, Fenemore and Venemore both exist in Oxfordshire. Of the former spelling, many instances occur in the early Fynamore charters. But notwithstanding the great variety shown in the preceding list, the aggregate number of individuals bearing anyof these names is very small.

A careful examination of the Registrar-General's quarterly indexes of Births for the years 1877-81 has supplied some interesting statistics about these names.. The number of births in England and Wales during these five years was 4,425,490, while the total number belonging to this group, even including the doubtful instances already mentioned, was only 447. Presuming that the same proportion of births exists in this group as with other names, we may estimate the number living in 1881 to be 2623 out of a population of 25,968,286. These figures give the following estimate for the five most numerous of the names:-

births 1877-81 number living in 1881
Filmer 105 615
Phillimore 58 340 3
F'innemore 50 293
Fenemore 36 211
Finnimore 31 181

On the other hand there are probably not less than 356,915 living Smiths. Some of the forms it will be noticed, are very rare. The names Fynmore, Pilmore, etc., are probably each represented by less than a score of individuals, though perhaps a five years' search is not sufficient to render this certain, for several names, as Vennimore and Billamore undoubtedly still exist, though not in the indexes. For each occurrence of these scarcer names, there might be mustered an army of Smiths, some eighteen or twenty thousand strong.

Of the instances of these names in the indexes of Births, 371 have the initial F or Ph, 19 that of V, 24 have P, and 33 have B. In 241 cases the first vowel is e, and in 9l either i or y, whilst, despite the general tendency to contraction, 256 instances have three syllables, as against 191 in which the middle vowel is suppressed.

It may therefore be assumed that these names possess a common origin. That origin, in all probability, is the Oxfordshire village of Finmere, which certainly gave its name to a family who resided there in the thirteenth century.4 This supposition is strengthened by a review of the geographical distribution of these surnames, as the reader will see by referring to the accompanying outline map. To the present day, a considerable number reside in Oxfordshire, where the spelling Fenemore is principally adopted. The name extends south and south-west through the counties of Berks, Wilts, Hants, Gloucester and Devon. The principal family, the Fynamores of Whetham, Wilts, undoubtedly came from Finmere, and it is especially worthy of notice that almost every place during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, where the principal settlements of the name existed, was intimately associated with the manufacture of cloth. Thus, Calne, East Hendred, Reading, Cam, and Tiverton, were all centres of the "clothing" industry. There was, doubtless, a good deal of intercourse between these places, and we are thus led to the inference that the various Fynmores, Fynamores, etc., may have sprung from a common stock.The Fenimores or Finymores who lived in Shropshire in the 17th century, also were evidently engaged in the cloth trade, so that they too may have came from Berkshire or Wiltshire, and not from the early Shropshire Fennymere. But all this, of course, is mere surmise.

The Fynmores of Reading and Hincksey were not improbably of the same stock as the Fynamores of Calne, for, though at present, no documentary evidence in support of this theory is forthcoming it must be remembered that both families used the same armorial bearings. The earliest known ancestor of this family was a certain William Fynmore or Finnemore, who was settled in Reading evidently about the middle of the sixteenth century, and with him, therefore, we commence the pedigree.

The accompanying chart will show at a glance the relative positions occupied by the different members of the family, while the system of reference adopted renders it easy to identify the various individuals mentioned in the text:-

(The text then continues with what is a genealogical chart beginning with William Fynmore, of Reading, churchwarden of St. Lawrence, Reading, in 1565-6, and Mayor of that town in 1577 and 1586. This will be added later – pf)

1. It is difficult to explain the substitution of Ph for F. It can hardly be from any supposed connection with the Christian name Philip, as the use of Ph was long anterior to the change of Phinimore into Phillimore. Probably it is merely a literary fancy. cf. Phillingham and Fillingham, Philpot and Filpot, Phear and Fear, etc.

2. cf. Furnell alias Purnell, Philbrick and Pilbrick, etc.

3. Considerably more than 100 of these are probably resident in Gloucestershire, or are of Gloucestershire descent. There are 56 now living of the Kensington branch enumerated in Foster's Baronetage. Sometimes a name is accidentally increased in number. A few years ago the Guardians at Kensington named a child Phillimore from its having been found in Phillimore Gardens. This may some day cause as much trouble to genealogists, as Crabbe's Sir Richard Monday, of Monday Place.

4. The name Finmere, in its ancient form Fenemer, may be thought to be connected with marshy land, but this derivation scarcely accords with the nature of the locality. Fin is a prefix found in very many place names. Abroad we have Finland, and in this country we find Finsbury, Finborough, Finden, Finingham, etc., and in Oxfordshire, Finmere and Finstock, besides many places with the prefix Fen. The prefix Fin is probably of tribal origin. The Finnish tribes, who are said to be of Mongolian descent, were spread widely over some parts of Europe. The royal genealogies, which are traced buck to Woden, number amongst the ancestors of Cerdic, the hero or demi god Fin. Beowulf's Lay tells us how Hengest, the child of the Jutes, pined in Friesland through the winter, till king Finn gave to him "Hunlafing, a war flame, and best of axes."

Finmere, and other places with a similar affix, may have received their distinctive appellation from being originally peopled by persons of' a Finnish origin, or by those who reverenced Finn, "the god to whom the Frisians prayed." Or it may be due to the personal name of some early settler. It may be mentioned that Finn still survives amongst our English surnames.