The Speke family of Hazelbury existed from about 1600 to 1682 with the death of Sir George Speke, Baronet. With his death the baronacy became dormant. An excellent history of the Manor of Hazelbury, and the families who lived there is "A History of the Manor of Hazelbury" written by G.J. Kidston pub. Methuen, London 1936

The first member of this branch, Hugh Speke (1567- 1625) was the son from a second marriage of Sir George Speke of White Lackington Somerset.

This article and family tree gives more information about the family. As can be seen, it was originally written for the Speak Family Association of America's Bulletin in 1995. This was part of the research which was directed to try and establish the origins of Captain Thomas Speke of Virginia in the early 1600's

The blacksheep of the family was the John Speke of Bristol and Bath, brother to Capt. Thomas Speke of Virginia who appears in his father's Will and also in the Virginia Records e.g.

1675 Page 103 1670 Mr. John Speke of Bristoll invoice of goods sent by the "Delight" of Bristoll. Signed your loving brother John Speke

1675 Page 103 1669 Mr. Thomas Gerrard debtor to Mr. John Speke by goods sent to his brother Mr Thomas Speke.

1675 page 103a 1668 John Speke of the City of Bathe in the County of Somersett, Gent have made my beloved and freind Wm. Presly of Northumberland in Virginia; merchant, my attorney to receive John Watts of Virginia, merchant as also every preson whatsoever, debts, rents and sums of money."

His father's Will makes it plain that John was inept in business and often in debt as a result..... "I give and bequeath to my executors the sume of one hundred pounds... to pay and discharge the debts of my son John Speke as far as this somme will go... and shall pay him five pounds and no more.. for that he has incurred by his bad husbandry"

John's brother Capt. Thomas Speke of Virginia in his Will of 1659 bequethed 200 acres of land in Virginia to his wayard brother John, if John would go and settle in Virginia. But John was buried at Box, Wiltshire in 1669 and the land was never claimed and passed to Thomas' son Thomas. A deed was produced in Virginia in 1691 showing that a Hugh Speke of Bath had sold the land to Henry Totterdale, a well known trader of Bristol. There is good evidence to believe that this Hugh Speke was the son of John Speke, baptised in Bath Abbey in 1667 "son of John and Olive Speke".

According to the Old Sarum Marriage Licence Allegations, John Speke (bachelor age 30) was to marry Olive EYRE of Little Chalfield (spinster age 26) shortly after the 3rd of April 1666. Another link between the EYRE and SPEKE families was the marriage of Frances SPEKE, sister to Thomas and John Speke to John EYRE, who was the the heir to the Little Chalfield manor, adjacent to Hazelbury. It is probable that Olive was a sister of John Eyre.

As well as determining the origins of Captain Thomas Speke, of Virginia, America it has now been established without doubt that Captain Speke's son Thomas and the Thomas Speak of St. Mary's County, Maryland are not the same person.. For a rigorous analysis of this finding please see this article .