William "took land of the soil and waste of the Lord, in Sowerby, to hold according to the custom of the manor." (8th Henry VII) We know that William was a nobleman because of his taking land, a thing prohibited to the commoner. In 1504 he transferred land to his son John. Land transfers in 1526 and 1550 name Gilbert as a son of John. Gilbert is another fascinating individual. A part of the coalition that brought down the government of King Charles, who was beheaded in a botched public ceremony, he refused to pay the stipend of the minister or curate of the chapel. His dispute with the Church was born with the actions of King Henry VIII, and continued during the Cromwellian revolution that ultimately ended in 1560 with the re-establishment of the Kingdom with James II on the throne. Gilbert was one of the so-called "Ranters", who, with the overthrow of King Charles I, swore that no man would be their king, but God, and demanded the right to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience and to be guided by the Holy Ghost. So deep was their mistrust of government that they even refused to appoint any man minister. Out of this tradition came the Quakers of American history. You can see a consistency of action coming out of the Fairbanks/Beaumont family, that would continue to this day.
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