Malachi Blake
The painting has been repaired and cleaned by House of Talbot. Malachi Blake was Robert Blake's second cousin three times removed. The great-great grandfather of both Robert and Malachi was Humphrey Blake of Over Stowey [d 1556]. The Reverend Malachi Blake of Blandford Forum, baptised 16th August 1687, buried 21st February 1760. Malchi Blake was a Congregational Minister, who witnessed and wrote about the Great Fire of Blandford in 1731. In about 1692, congregational services were being held in Langhornes Barn, which stood on the site of the present United Reform church. In about 1711, the barn was demolished and a chapel built; and in 1716, Malachi Blake came to Blandford to be its congregational minister. In 1731 the fire destroyed the chapel; its value was put at £160. After the fire a fund was set up for the relief of the inhabitants of Blandford. In connection with the distribution of the funds, two purses were laid before Mr. Blake, containing the sum apportioned to the rebuilding of the parish church and the Meeting House respectively. "There Malachi", said Mr. Doddington (of Eastbury), then Bailiff of Blandford, "you may take which you please." "The church is the larger piece of building, and requires the greater sum", replied Mr. Blake. "I therefore take the less." "Ah, that is what I expected from you", said his friend.
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