|Administrative / biographical background:
Robert Aldworth, the well-known merchant and landowner, and Mayor of Bristol in 1609, having no direct heir, bequeathed his considerable estate to Giles Elbridge, who had married his niece. Unfortunately the exact relationship between Giles and Thomas Elbridge of New England, head of the family, (see Genealogical Table B), is as yet unknown, but it is clear that the Aldworth wealth made the fortune of the Elbridge family, and at least two members of it were named Aldworth, after its benefactor.
Aldworth Elbridge's share of the Spring Plantation estate in Jamaica he devised to his two daughters Mary and Rebecca in equal shares. Mary sold her share to her uncle Robert, and Rebecca hers to her uncle John.
Robert Elbridge, younger brother of Aldworth, bequeathed his estates in Jamaica to his wife Mary for life, then to John and Thomas his brothers, and Mary and Rebecca his nieces, in equal proportions.
Therefore, by various means, a considerable estate eventually came into the hands of John Elbridge, who at his death left in addition personal wealth of something like £75,000. After legacies his residual estate was divided between Rebecca his niece and Thomas his nephew. Rebecca's share eventually came to Elizabeth Woolnough her daughter, and so to John Hugh Smyth. Thomas Elbridge and Ann his wife both died in 1743, leaving no heir. Letters of administration for Ann were taken out by Mrs. Ann Hort, her mother, who thus became entitled to one half of the residual estate of John Elbridge. She appears frequently in the Woolnough papers as a result, often as a co-heir of the Elbridge estates with John Hugh Smyth, as in the case of the land at Eastington, Glos. used for the Stroudwater Canal Development scheme, [AC/WO/14/24-28].