Thursday, January 9, 2020

Will of John Merrill of Whestead, Suffolk, England proved 11 Dec 1600

Old wills are fascinating to read. Here is one from the year 1600. It was probated in Suffolk, England. Queen Elizabeth is at the bitter end of her reign, her 40th year. Here she is called Soverign Lady Elizabeth. Children are usually named in order of their birth, but not always. Often the males are listed first, followed by female children. In this will the grandchildren are also given bequeaths as are a couple of male servants.

Note: The will of John Merrill:

In the name of god Amen the second day of December in the thrie and ffourtith yeare of the Raigne of our Sovragne Ladie Elizabeth ... I John Merrill the elder of whersteade in the Countie of Suff: Yeoman being sicke in bodie and yet of pfect memorie ... for the satisfaccon of my mind and the quiet of my wife and children & a remembraunce of some other ... doe hereby make and declare my last will & testement in manner & fforme as hereafter ensueth ... Item I give and bequeath to Prudence my wife in pte of recompence of hir dower my parlor and larther [larder?] howse pcell of my dwelling howses wth the bedding and furniture in the same and the pasture and stover somer and winter for a Cowe upon my lands in little Belsted and whested aforesaid ... to have and to hold to hir the said Prudence for terme of her natural life keeping her sole and unmarried. Itm I give and bequeath to hir the said Prudence in further recompence of her dower one anuitie or yerlie rent of five pounds of lawfull englishe mony to be going out of all my lands and Tennemts in little Belsted wherested and Sprowtownne to have and to hold ... for terme of hir life at two termes in the yeares usuall that is to say at the ffeast of the innocent of the blessed virgin Saint Marie and Saint michaell thearchaungell ... and yf yt shall happen the said yeerlie Rent to be behind unpayed in pte or in all ... then ... yt shalbe lawful to and for the said prudence into the said lands and Tennements or any pcell thereof to enter and Distraine ... until the said Prudence of the said yeerlie rent wth the arrearages thereof shalbe fullie satisfied and paid.

Itm I will geve & bequeath to John my sonne the moytie of my dwelling howses & the moytie of all my launds Tennemts and hereditamts as well free and bond scituate and lying and being in whersted little Belsted and Sprowton aforesaid ...

Itm I will give and bequeath to Michaell my Sonne thother moytie of my said dwelling howses and ... lands ...

Itm I will and bequeath to Nathaniell merrell my Sonne ffourtie pounds of lawful English money to be paid to him in fforme ffollowinge vizt wthin one yeere next after my decease xiiili vis viiid and wthin two yeeres next after my decease other thirteene pounds six shillings and eight pence in full paymt of the said ffourtie pounds.

Itm I will and bequeath to Thomas my Sonn thirty pounds ...

Itm I will and bequeath to the said Thomas my lease and terme of yeres of land in the messuage called Ampsons in wherstede ...

Itm I will and bequeath to Marie Merrill daughter to the said Nathaniell tenne pounds to be paid to hir at hir age of eighteene Yeeres.

Itm I will and bequeath to Martha merrell one other of the daughters of the said Nathaniell other tenne pounds to be paid ... at hir age of eighteene Yeeres.

Itm I will and bequeath to John Merrell Sonne to the said Nathaniell tenne pounds to be paid to him at his age of one and twentie yeeres And yff any of the said children of the said Nathaniell shall Dept this life before such time as he or she is to receive the said porcon ... then I will that the ... porcon of him or hir so Deceasing shalbe Distributed to and among the survivors of them.

Itm I will and bequeath to Thoms merrell Sonne of Thoms my Sonne tenne pounds to be paid to him at his age of one and twentie yeeres.

Itm I will and bequeath to Anne Merrell daughter to the said Thoms my Sonne other tenne pounds ... at ... age of eightene yeeres, And yff eyther of those two children shall depte this life before he or shee shall receive the said porcons ... then I will that the ... porcon of him or hir so deceasing shall remain to the svivour of them.

Itm I will and bequeath to Willm Smyth my svaunt twentie shillings & to Thomas Smyth his brother tenne shillings. 

Itm I will and bequeath to Edward Kettle of ffreston Clerke xxs; Itm I will and bequeath to eytch of my said sonnes Nathaniall and Thoms all such goods of mine as they have in their sevall custodies And I remytte and forgive eyther of them all such Debts as they or eyther of them doth owe unto me All the Residue of my debts goods and Cattals whatsov my Debts paid my legacies pformed and my funrall expences discharged I will and bequeath to my said Sonnes John and Michaell, whome I ordaine name and costitute my Executors of this my last will & Testament, And I appoint my loving friend Christopher Wright supravisor of the same Testament ...

Itm I will & bequeath to the said Thomas my Sonne my brasse pott sometime sharpes and a hundredth of bourd ... I ... have hereunto put my hand and Seale in the psence of Raulffe Scrivner and Christopher Wright michaell Raynold and John Raynold. By me John merrell. Proved 11 Dec 1600.

No comments:

Thomas Carter: Immigrant to New England 1610-1676

photo by Johannes Plenio Researching Thomas Carter, who settled in Salisbury, can be very confusing. There were three contemporary ...