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|Offspring of Lionel Branch and Valentina Sparke (c1576-c1640)|
|Christopher W. Branch (1602-1681)||2 September 1602 London, Middlesex, England||20 June 1681 Henrico County, Virginia Colony|| Mary Frances Addie (c1601-1665)|
"Leonell Branch, of London, gent., and Valentia Sparke, of St. Martin,Ludgate, said city, spinster, daughter of (???) Sparke, late of saidcity, draper, deceased, gen. lic., 7 July, 1596."--LONDON MARRIAGELICENSES, 1521-1869, EDITED BY JOSEPH FORSTER, PAGE 174. Lionel Branch and Valentia Sparke Branch had issue apparently only onechild: CHRISTOPHER BRANCH of "Arrowhattocks" and "Kingsland" in Virginia.
Death of Lionel Branch Lionel Branch, according to Christopher Branch's Bill of Complaint in theChancery suit hereinafter cited, died in 1605, very shortly after thedeath of his brother Thomas Branch of Abingdon. The wording of this document, in passing, would certainly convey theimpression that, after the death of Thomas Branch, Lionel Branch returnedto Abingdon and entered into possession of the Bull Inn property,retaining it until his death; but this most certainly could not have beenthe case, since as has already been recorded, the validity of ThomasBranch's will had been approved in 1604 and the Bull Inn property securedto Robert Payne. And, strictly viewed, this Bill of Complaint states, after all, merelythat Lionel Branch acquired in 1602 not necessarily an actual but simplya lawful possession of the disputed property. There is, in any event, no record of Lionel Branch's death or burial atAbingdon, and nothing whatever to support the supposition that he everrevisited his birthplace after 1596. It is probable that he died in London in 1605. Page 71
LIONEL BRANCH, the third son of William Branch and Katherine JenningsBranch, from whom the Branches of Virginia descend, was baptised at St.Helen's, 18 August, 1566. It is useless to attempt to disguise the factthat, on reaching manhood, he proved himself, or, at least in the eyes ofhis immediate kindred, the black sheep of the family. His father's will attests as much. To Lionel, "my vnthrifty and disobedient son," is therein bequeathedmerely "my black gown"; albeit, even to the more obtuse it will beapparent upon consideration of William Branch's will that the testatorhad so far fallen into his dotage as to permit himself to surrender allhis earthly belongings in favor of the testator's oldest son. No overwhelming love, one speedily imagines, was lost between ThomasBranch of Abingdon and Lionel Branch, his brother. Thus when the formercame to make his will in 1603 he bequeathed nothing to Lionel Branch, andwilled the valuable Bull Inn property to his brother-in-law Robert Payne. There was at least a reasonable doubt if this property was not, accordingto the terms of Thomas Branch of London's will, entailed to the naturalmale heirs of Thomas Branch of Abingdon. And accordingly William Branch,the younger brother, still at Oxford, brought suit to upset the will, thecause being decided in favor of Robert Payne in the February of 1603-4.