Last Wills and Testaments

Will of Henry Blechingden of Staple Inn, Holborn, 1583

In the name of God Amen. Henry Blechingden of Staple Inn in Holborn in the County of Middlesex gentleman lying sycke in his bed in his Chamber at Staple Inn aforesaid and being in good and perfect minde and memorie uppon motion made unto him by [mention?] of his ffreinds [resorting?] unto him whiles he laye sicke to make a will & dispose his gooddes, did say and declare that he hadd two brothers unto whome he meant to leave all his goods that he hadd and would therefore make no will because the goodes which he hadd were but small, the which wordes or the like in effect the sayde Henry did pronounce utter and declare dyvers and sundrye tymes whiles he laye sycke in the precense of dyvers credible persons and contynued of that mynde until his death.

The probate, in Latin, to the Will refers to Henry’s natural and legitimate brothers Reginaldo et Roberto Blechingden.

Will of Thomas Turnaye of Saltwood, Kent, 1592

In the name of God Amen in the yere of our Lorde 1592 the 13th daie of September and in the 34th yere of the raigne of our Soveraigne Ladye Queene Elizabeth As for as muche as nothinge is more certeyn than death and nothinge more uncerteyn than the hower of death therefore I Thomas Turnaye of Saltwood in the countie of Kent gentleman being sicke of bodye but in verie good and parfect remembraunce (thancks be unto God) therefore do make and ordaine this my last will and testamente in manner and forme following. Firste I do comende my Soule unto the handes of my lorde & savyour Jesus Christ hoping to be saved thorough his moste pretious bludd whereby I take holde by an assured and livelye faithe, the lorde macking the effect And my bodye to be buryed in the churche of Saltwood aforesaide.

Touchinge the disposition of my goods I will and bequethe to everye of my dawters heirs Exors, …. that is to said Amye, Marye, Katherine and Elisabeth one hundred pounds apeac of currant monye of Englande to be paide unto evrye of them at theire severall dayes of marryage or their severall ages of xviij yeres which ever of them shall first happen. And if it fortune any of my said dawters to dye before their marriages or before they shall accomplishe their severall ages of xviij yeres then I will that her or their porcon or porcons of one hundred pound apece shall survyve of the Fower above named provided alwayes that if any of my (dawters?) happen to be of the ages of xviij yeres at the tyme of my decease then she or they to ….. for her or their monye.

Six monthes after my decease there be a true and parfet Inventorie made of all my goods to the very value to be paied by my verie good frend my brother Robart Moile, my Cousen Thomas Boyes, Robert Waller and Willm. Smithe. And so muche of my goods to be souled by my Executor withe the advise and consent of the pricers before named within Six weekes after the apprisement as shallbe worth fower hundred pounds which is the whole porcon given by me unto my said fower dawters. And suche of my dawters as shalbe then of the age of xviij yeres and unmarryed to have their monye within thre monethes to be ymployed to their best use with the consent of my Exor and prisers. And the residue of my dawters that shall not at the time of my decease be of the age of xviijth yeres and unmarryed I revoke? that their porcons shall likewise be employed to their beste use by the consent of my Executors and overseers and to take such bondes either by Statute, Recognisances or otherwise and ordering to their overseers so that my said children maye enjoye their porcons at the tyme appointed.

Item I will unto Alice my wif my manor of Brockwell and all my Landes in kente duringe her naturall life and unto the feaste of Sainte Michaell the Archangell next after her decease commytting no waste and keping the house duly repaired paying also to my dawter in lawe Elisabeth Edolf late wife of my sonne John Turney deceased duringe her naturall lif out of my said manor of Brockhill Thirtene pounds sixe shillings viijd yerly by even porcons of the fower usuall tearmes of the yere That is to saie at the feaste of Sainte Michaell the archangell; the Nativitie of our lorde God; the Annunciacon of our ladye and of the nativitie of Sainte John the baptiste, by even porcons or within xiiij daies next after any of the said feasts, The firste paymente to beginne at the feaste or the feastes aforesaid whiche shall firste happen next after my decease. And for non payment it shall be lawfull for the saide Elisabeth or her assignes to enter & distraine and the distresse so determined until she be fullie satisfied of her Annuitie with the Arrearage if any be.

And after the decease of my saide wif I will that my saide dawter in lawe shall enjoye the saide Annuity during her naturall lif whiche Anuitie I did promise to make at what tyme my saide sonne should marrye withe my said daughter (and as I thinke did not make …..) (page damaged) But yf I did make … (?) it and Then my will is that this Annuitye shall cease For my will is that she shall have Twenty marcks by the yere during her lif naturall lif out of my lands and no more.

Item I will that my wyfe shall paie unto my sonne Thomas Turneye Ten pounds by the yere during her life. And also unto Robert Turneye tenne pounds by the yere during her naturall lif at two termes of the yere (that is to saie) at the feastes of Saint Michaell The archangell & the annunciacon of the blessed virgyn Marye by even porcons. Also my Will is that Alice my wyf shall live untill Thomas Tourneye the sonne of John Tourneye do accomplyshe his age of Twentye yeres that my saide wyf shall then likewise paye unto unto hym ten pounds by the yere during her naturall lif at the like termes of the yere as is before apointed to my two Sonnes. And that it shall be lawfull for either of my sonnes and my sonnes issues If their saide Annuityes of ten pounds by the yere or any of them or (any) part thereof shalbe unpaide by the space of xiiij dayes nexte after any of the said feastes of payment as is lymeted by this my will to enter and distraine upon any part of my Lands befoe given to Alice my wif by the terme of her naturall lif and the same to detayne untill they shalbe satisfyed the said Annuitye together with the arrearages if any be according to this my will.

Also my will and meaninge is that if my dawter in lawe Elisabeth Edolf [?] do survive my saide wyf Then I will that her saide Annuitie of xiijl vjs viijd by the yere shall go out of my manor of Brockhill to be allowed by those to whome I do meane by this my present will to lymytt the inheritance thereof And that it shalbe lawfull for her and her assignes to distrayne upon any part of the foresd. manor of Brockhill during her naturall life according to the [..?] lymitacon thereof. Provided alwaies that if she can rightly challenge any Joynture or Annuitie by any former assurance by me made heretofore Then this graunte of xiijl vjs viijd by the yere to be voide any thige above mentioned to the contrarye notwithstanding.

Item I do will and bequeath unto [……..?] Robart Moyle my baye gelding whiche I do usuallie ride. And unto my cosen Thomas Boys my [….?] gelding in consideracon of their paynes besides their ordinarye charges whiche they are to be at above this my wearing appraell[?] I will unto Willm Smyth in consideracon of his paynes Thre pounds vjs viijd. Item I will unto Robart Miller in consideracon of his paynes my Lease of Kenardington whiche I purchased of my Cosen George [….?]

This is the laste Will and testament of me the said Thomas Turney made the daie and yere abovesaide concerning the order and disposicon of all my lands, Tenement and yard standing … what soever lying in the parishes of Saltwood, Hethe, Lymmynge, Postling and Newington or els where within the countie of kente. First I will that Thomas Tourney my sonne and Thomas Turney the sonne of my sonne John Tourney shall have after the decease of Alice my wyf in [……?] All that my Manor of Brokhill with all the landes Tenements and hereditaments thereto belonging with the appurtenncs together with all my other lands severally lying and beinge within the said parishes of Saltwood, Lymminge, Postling and Newington by me purchased or otherwise by what…. or how soever with their appurtenncs to them and to their heyres males forever. Provided alwayes that if it fortunes the said Thomas Turneye my Sonne to dye without heyres male of his body lawfullie begotten Then I will his part beinge the moitie of all before geven shall remaine unto Robert Turney my sonne and to his herers males for ever And if it fortune the saide Robart to dye without heires male of his bodie lawfullie begotten Then I will that parte to remaine also unto the said Thomas Turney the sonne of John Turneye and to his heyres male for ever.

And if it fortune shall befall the said Thomas the sonne of John Turneye to decease without heyres male of his bodie Lawfullie begotten Then I will that his part beinge the other moietye of the saide Manor of Brockhill and all other landes, Tenements and hereditaments with the appurtenncs before geven in […..?] to remaine unto the saide Thomas Turneye my Sonne and to his heires male forever And if it fortune the saide Thomas my Sonne to dye without heyre male of his bodie lawfullie begotten Then I will it to remayne to Robart my Sonne and to his heires male for ever.

Item I will unto Robart my Sonne after the decease of Alice my Wyf All that my part of the meddowes lying within the liberty of hethe [Hythe] aforesaid with all and singuler their appurtenncs to hym and to his heyers male for ever And if it shall fortune the saide Robart to dye without heyres male of his bodye lawfullie begotten Then I will all that his part shall remaine unto Thomas my sonne and to his heirs male forever.

And if it fortune the saide Thomas my Sonne to dye without heyre male of his bodie lawfullie begotten Then I will it to remayne to Thomas Sonne of John Turneye and to his heires male for ever. Provided likewise that if both my Sonnes and my Sonnes sonne do all three die without heyres [male] of their bodies lawfullie begotten Then I will all my Landes Tenements and hereditaments before menconed to remaine amongst all my dawters and theire heires and …?] forever.

Item I do make and ordaine Alice my wif my Executrixe of this my last will and testamente And my brother Robart Moile and my Cosen Thomas Boys my Overseers In Wytnes whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and Seale the day and yere above wrytten in the prsence of Willm Talboys, John Walles, Thomas Turneye.

Will of Alice Tournay of Saltwood, Kent, 1596

In the name of God Amen the twentieth day of September in the yeare of our Lord God one thousand five hundred and ninty and sixe I Alice Tournay of Saltwood in the County of Kent Widow being sicke in bodye but well in minde do make this my last will and testament in manner and forme followinge.  First I comende my soule into the handes of Christ my redeemer by whose merits only I hope to be saved and the buriall of my bodye in a seemely and christian sorte to be performed I wholly refer to the discretion of mine executors. 

Inprimis I give to the poore of Saltwood to be distributed at the discretion of the Churchwardens of the parish twentye shillings.  Item I give to the poore of Hithe  to be distributed at the discretion of the Churchwardens of the town twentye shillings.

Item I give to my daughter Bennet Warde my chaine of goulde and unto her sonne John Warde the three pounds that Mr. Lawrence Baker doth owe me if my executors get it for him without coste in the lawe.  Item I give unto her daughter Alice Warde a pair of finer sheetes, lying in the leaste of the three linen chests and which standeth next to the doore in the owter chamber, a tablecloth and a dosen of napkines.  Item I give to my daughter Amy Bedingfild my damaske gowne.  Item I give to my daughter Anne Thwaites all my frenche goods and sixe of my smallest Silver Spoones and my Silk grograine gowne and my blacke satten kirtle and a liskin of velvet. Item I give to her daughter Alice Thwaites a christening Sheete and a pair of other sheetes, a tablecloth and a dozen of napkins.  Item I give to my daughter Jane Gibbes my trencher, silver and guilte salte, my taffatye gowne and my seconde best taffety kirtle & my silke grograine petticote; And unto her daughter Alice Gibbes a paier of the finer sheets lying in the foresaid cheste, a christeninge hankerchiffe, a rushencloth and a pair of fine pillowcotes. Item I give to my daughter Alice Baker my halfe dosen of spoones called Maidenhead Spoones and my best gowne before not bequethed, and my best trustaffaty kirtle and my trustaffaty liskin & my garded stamell cloth petticotes. 

Item I give to my cosen Christopher Honywood his wife my ….. damaske petticote. Item I give to my brother Rainold Blechenden his wife my best velvet bonngrace & my best heande & partlet unto it. Item I give to my brother Robert Blechenden his wife my taffatye aperne & my best band & partlet next. Item I give to my three unmarried doughters Mary, Catherine & Elizabeth an hundred pounds apeece if they continewe unmarried untill the time of my decease over and above the hundred pounds a peece given them by theire father in consideration of all duties that they may challenge or claime to be due unto them for their use, interest & profit of the hundred pounds apeece given them by their father and the said sonnes by me geven to be paid unto them at their severall ages of one & twenty yeares or at their severall dayes of marriage which of them shall first happen after my decease so as none of them of the age of one and twenty yeares within one quarter of a yeare after my decease or mariedBut if any of them be of the age of one & twenty yeares before my decease or come to the said age of one & twenty yeares or be maried before the end of a quarter of a yeare after my decease then she or they to have their parte at the end of a quarter of a yeare after my decease.

My will is that my executrs shall paye unto each of my unmaried daughters thirty shillings a quarter untill the said hundred poundes apeece by me given shalbe due unto them, which quarterly paiment shall cease to each one so soone as her said some of an hundred pounds shalbe paid or they agreed with for it

And my will is yt if any of my said unmaried doughters fortune to dye being under the age of one & twenty yeares & before marriage, that the survivours or survivor of them shall have her or their parte so deceased. Provided and alwaies remebred [remembered] that I have used these words if they continue unmaried untill the time of my decease, because that I do purpose yt if any of my said unmaried doughters fortune to marrye in my life time either to make p[re]sent payment or ells other assuraunces for that some or somes of money that I doe meane to bestowe upon them.

Wherefore my will is that if any of them fortune to marrye in my lifetime yt she or they that shall be married in my lifetime shall have no parte nor parcell of money due unto her or them by vertue of this my will, but her or their parte to remaine wholly to my executors any thinge before to the contrary not wth standinge. Provided also yt if any of my three unmarried doughters shall bestowe them selves in marriage contrary to the likinge of my brother Rainold Blechenden & the same signified in writine under the hande of them or the survivor of them, then she or they that shall so bestowe themselves contrary to the likinge of my aforesaid brother shall lose the benefits of my foresaid bequethes, And then her or their parte to go to them or her that shall not bestowe them selves contrary to the likinge of my foresaid brother.

Item I do give unto my said three unmaried doughters all my wearing linnen that I do usually weare upon my bodye & all my Worke and towe and my linnen yarne that is ready to be made into clothe and three peeces of canvas that is cut oute & Beying wrought for cushens and the corell? that I have pvided to worke the said cushens with all to be equally devided betwene them, and also all my newe unwrought linnen. Item I give to my doughters Mary Tournay and Catherine Tournay my tablet or inell & my roller & garyanet, my doughter Mary to choose whether of them she will have. Item I give to my doughter Mary my velvet kirtle & my painted cheste that standeth in the greate Chamber. Item I give to my doughter Catherine my fugard satten kirtle and one other cheste that standeth in the same Chamber. Item I give to my doughter Elizabeth Tournay my trunke that did stand in Thomas Tournay’s chamber. Item my will is that if Thomas Tournay, the sonne of my sonne John Tournay, live untill my two grandchildren Alice Tournay and Anne Tournay she severally come to the age of one and twenty yeares or shall at yt time have any issue of his bodye livinge then my executors shall paye unto my said grandchildren Alice Tournay and Anne Tournay fiftye pounds apeece at their severall ages of one & twenty yeares

And my will it yt if one of them fortune to dye before yt she shall accomplishe the age of one & twenty yeares, whereby nothing is due unto her by this my will, yet if the survivor of them & her said brother together with her live untill the said survivor shall accomplishe her age of one and twenty yeares or any issue of her said brother shall then be living, Then my executor shall paye unto her that surviveth the whole hundred poundes at her age of one and twenty yeares

But my will is that if the said Thomas Tournay dye without issue of his bodye before that any of my said two grannde children Alice Tournay and Anne Tournay shall come to the foresaid age of one and twenty yeares, Then neither of them shall have any thinge by this my Will, remebring alwayes that my Will is that the said Thomas Tournay dye without issue of his bodye before that both his said Sisters come to the age of one and twenty yeares, she that shall be under the said age at the time of his decease shall not have any thinge by this my Will, but the parte to go wholly to my executors.

And also remebringe that if the elder of my said grandechildren Alice Tournay and Anne Tournay live untill she come to the age of one and twenty yeares and the younger of them and her said brother together with her dye without issue of the bodye of the said brother, before that the said younger come to the age of one and twenty yeares, Then my will is that the said elder shall have only fiftye poundes by this my Will without gaining of any thinge by survivorship whatesoever is before said to the contrary notwithstandinge. Item I do charge my executors to bring up in good and seemely sorte my two grandechildren Alice Tournay and Anne Tournay untill their severall ages of one and Twenty yeares or dayes of marriage Whiche of them shall first happen. And for further accomplishment of this my intente I desire the annuitye or rent charge of thirty pounds a yeare granted unto mee by Mr. Winkefield of Reinham out of all his lands to my two sonnes Thomas Tourney and Robert Tournay and to their heires with this intente and meaninge that they performe this my Will. Item I will unto eche of my grandechildren Alice Collins and Anne Collins a payer of the finer sheetes lienge in the foresaid cheste and a dozen of napkines.

Item I do give unto Jane Shotewater fiftye and three shillinges and fower pence. Item I do give unto Margaret Twiman if she be my servant at the time of my decease an old gowne & an old petticote & an olde dubble wastcote & ten shillinges & one of my best ewes.

Item I do give to my brother Rainold Blechenden fower pounds. Item I do give unto my sonne Thomas Tournay the seale Ringe that was his fathers as he did usually weare. Item I give to my sonne Robert Tournay a thirty shillinge pece of goulde that I have.

Item I do make my brother Rainold Blechenden and my brother Robert Blechenden overseers of this my Will. Item I do make my two sonnes Thomas Tournay and Robert Tournay executors of this my Will, And I do give unto them two the rest of my goods to be equally devided betwene them. In Witness whereof I have here unto sett my hand & seale in the prsence of:

St. Herenden; William Kittam his marke; William Smithe

Probatum fuit: 27th May 1598

Will of Frances Blechynden, of Monkton, Kent, 1611

In the name of God Amen, the XXIII Daie of December, in the year of our Lord god 1611 I, Frances Blechynden being weak in body but strong in mynde do freelie with willing heart render unto the hands of my Lord God and creator my soule and spirit which hee of his fatherlie goodness have unto mee and most assuredlie trusting for his infinite mercies sett forth in the precious blode of his Deerlie beloved sonne Jesus Christ my only saviour and Redeemer he will receive my soule unto His glory and place ytin the company of his angells and blessed saints, And my bodie unto the earth to be buried in the church of Monkton so nere unto the bodie of Nicholas Robinson my deer husband as may be. 

Item, I give and bequeath unto Henry Robinson my sonne one painted chest bound about with yron with all the lynen or whatsoever is in the said chest and one other trunke in that chamber bound about with yronn all the pewter that is in yt or whatsoever is with said chest to be kept by my executors for him until he come to the age of XXIII yeares except my executors shall think yt convenynt in their descretion before that age to deliver those two chests with all the lynnen and pewter with other things unto his hands.  I do give unto him one loyed chest which was his father’s and all such furnature as is and now doth usually stand or lye in the parlor at the aforesaid age.  I do give unto my said sonn all the beddes and bedding with the furnature wch are in my house at Monkton at ye age above said to be delivered unto him or before at the descretion of my executors except one bedd, bolster, courtains and canopie  wh a coverlet and blanket wch I give unto my sonne John Blechynden when he shale come fitt by my executors to go unto anye of the two universities, Cambridge or Oxford to study.  Item, I do give unto my said sonne Henry Robinson all my brasse I have in my house at Monkton to bee delivered at the age aforesaid except a great brass pott two brass panns a great kettle and a limback. I will to my foure children Frances, John, William and Millicent to be equally divided between them. 

Item, I do give  unto Henry Robinson my sonne all the furnature  belonging to them with the trimmings vessels tinnes and tubes wt all y vessels in the sellar there with the furnaces and malt present.  The milk vessels and koolers and crock and chornes whatsoever at Monkton.  

Item, I do give unto Henry Robinson my sonne one silver and gilt salt with half a dozen of apostle spoones and a little silver and gilt salt with fore other silver spoones six silver bowles for bere and three barales for wyne and one stone cruze rounded and footed with silver that was his father’s to be delivered at the age aforesaid or before at my executors good discretion.  

Item, I do give unto my sonne Henry Robinson one CL (600) pounds of money that he shall pay to either of his sisters Frances or Millicent 3 hundred pounds apeece at there age of XXII yeres and my meaning and minde is that this 600 pounds shal be employed pntlie after my decease by my executors and put out to the best use for the mayntainance and bringing of them upp. 

Item, I do give unto my four children I had by my said husband John Blechinden all the linen and pewter that is marked with either these letters J and B or J and F and B to be equally divided betwixt them.  Item, I will give unto my son John Blechinden one plain silver salt.  

All the residue bequeathed I do give unto my daughter Frances except one silver peece which I had given to me by my grandmother Blechinden which I forgive unto my daughter Ann Tocke. I do give unto my daughter Ann Tocke the stuffe called cripp that lyeth in the great chest.  And also I do give unto her one case of joined boxes with one pair of sheets that lyeth in the boxe.  Also I do give unto my said daughter Ann one brazen chaffer wch was my mother’s.  

Item I do give unto my daughter Frances Blechynden all my childed lynnen the goulde fringe and goulde laced which lyeth in the boxes as also the green silk courtains wth the vall and to yt belonging.  I do give unto my said daughter Frances three wrought pillowbeers and one wrought cloath. I give unto my daughter Frances one white chest at Monkton wth all the lynnen and jewels that are in the same except one border the most of wch I give unto my daughter Millicent Blechynden.  Item, I do give unto my daughter Frances Blechinden one tusted taffeta gowne, a silk Cypres mantle, a sattin upper bodice, a velvet kirtle and a damaske peticote. I doe five all my wearing lynnen betwixt my two daughters Frances and Millicent except my Frezadoe gown. 

Item, I doe give unto my sonne William Blechinden 50 pounds I lent Clark Morton to help him lune to be an apprentice when my Executors shall fynd him fitt.

Item, I do give unto my servant Thomas Holland VL s (40 s) to be paid him att our Lady daie or before.  

Item, I do give unto the poore of the parrish of Monkton XX s. 

Item, I give unto my cozen Ann Wright V pounds to be paid to her within three monthes after my departure out of this life. 

Item, I doe give unto my men XX s a peece and each of them a black cloake for their paynes to help carry my bodye to ye church. 

Item I give unto Thomas [?] and Thomas Holland to each of them a black cloake for their paynes for ye helping to carry my bodie to the earth.   

Item, I do instate and ordaine my brother Humphrey Blechynden and my brother John Wright to be my Executors of this my last will and testament and I do give unto them all my goods not bequeathed for to discharge all several rates and charges concerning the probate of this my last will. 

In witness whereof I have sett my hand the daie and years above written, one thousand six hundred and eleven. 

Frances Blechynden

Probated Feb 1611 (i.e. 1612).  

Will of Dr Thomas Blechynden, Dr of Divinity, of Ruffyns Hill, Aldington, Kent 1649

In the most Holy name of God, Amen, on the twentieth day of March in the year of our Lord’s great and wonderful patience and merciful forebearance to sinful man, 1649, I Thomas Blechynden of Ruffin’s Hill in the parish of Aldington in the county of Kent Dr. Of Divinity, being of perfect health in body clear understanding and undecayed memory I most humbly thank my good and gracious God do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following. First on my bended knees and with heart lifted up to heaven from whence cometh my hopes and where dwelleth my hope, I commend my poor and penitent soule unto the hands of my merciful redeemer and only Saviour Jesus Christ humbly beseeching him to take posession of it as his own purchased with his most precious blood to clothe it with himself to fill it with his spirit and to present it finally before the presence of his Father with everlasting joy.   Then seriously considering my frail and mortal condition and ye number of my evil days I bequeath my body to be buried decently, privately and with as little cost and charge as possible may be at the upper end of the little chancel of Aldington Church at my most dear deceased father’s feet there to sleep with my ancestors in a bed of dust with hopes to awaken into everlasting life at the glorious appearance of my blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.   And as concerning these temporal things which in the midst of these unnatural wars and years of degeneration God hath in his great goodness hitherto reserved for the support of my poor family, First I give unto the poor people Ancient inhabitants of Aldington forty shillings to be distributed at the descretion of my executer hereinafter mentioned.

Item, I give unto my eldest daughter Ann Blechynden besides the three hundred pounds to be raised out of the rents of the court lodge of Aldington and the lands thereunto belonging, my two Hebrew Bibles and fifty pounds in money so far as it can be raised out of my estate. 

Item, I give unto my second daughter Mary Blechynden besides the three hundred pounds I have formerly given her and besides the twenty pounds given to her by the most noble lady, the Lady Scott, my great French Bible and five pounds to be paid unto her at her day of marriage or age twenty years which shall first happen.

Item, I give unto my third daughter Margaret Blechynden besides the three hundred pounds I have formerly given her, my Dutch Bible and five pounds to be paid her at her day of marriage or age twenty years which shall happen first. 

Item, I give unto my youngest daughter Dorothy Blechynden besides the three hundred pounds I have formerly given her my English Bible with the Vienna notes and five pounds in money to be paid her at her day of marriage or age twenty years which shall first happen. 

Item I give my youngest son Theopolis Blechynden the full benefit of my forty acres of woodland lying and being in the parish of Aldington aforesaid until the full summe of three hundred and fifty pounds can be realised for him. 

Item I give unto Margaret Blechynden my most dearly beloved wife one hundred pounds and desire her to accept it as a token of our mutual love and affection unto each other.

 Item, I give unto my eldest son Thomas Blechynden my Greek Bible and all my paper and books and as concerning my lands I give power unto my dear wife with the advice and by the direction of my dear friend Sir Norton Knatchbull Knight and Baronett and my ever loving brother John Blechynden of Exton in the County of Rutland gentleman to raise the forespecified somes out of them before my eldest son Thomas Blechynden comes to the age of one and twenty years all owing in the meantime such competent maintenance as may breed him a scholar and fit for a position.

Item, I give unto my most dere wife in addition to her joynture and by way of satisfaction for her three hundred pounds I give unto her feoffes in interest my peeces of pasture called Smeth lands or Fennelase the term of her life without impeachment of waste and after her decease my eldest son Thomas Blechynden and his right heirs forever to whom I give all my other lands in the county of Kent together with my woodlands and mansion house of Ruffin’s Hill commanding him to suffer his dere mother to dwell in it during her life if she so please.  And not that what I have given may have the blessing of God upon it I humbly recommend my family unto his divine providence in my prayers beseeching him to enrich them with all his spiritual grace here and with inheritance of eternal glory in the kingdom of heaven desiring likewise my wife, under God, to take all our children into her religious care and commanding her to render all homage unto God and all my children, duty and obedience unto their dere loving mother whom with my eldest son Thomas Blechynden I constitute joint executers of this my last will and testament making it my last request unto Sir Norton Knatchbull Kt. Baronett unto whom as a very poor remembrance I give my  psalter in five languages and my Turkish alcorn and to my kind brother John Blechynden to whom I give Dr. Fulke upon the Rhemich and statement that they will pledge to advise and assist my executers in what with concerning they may and the god of widows and orphans repay it unto their bosoms that this is my last will and testament I testify unto all whom it may concern under my hand and seal in the day and year above written  in the former page Thomas Blechynden in the presense of Robert Lott and Nicholas Crowther.

Probate 23 Feb 1663

Will of Thomas Blechenden of Woodnesborough, Kent, 1661

In the name of God Amen Thomas Blechenden of Winsborough  in the County of Kent Esq being in good health of body and of sound and perfect mind and memory praised be to God […] do make and declare this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following  that is to say first and principally and before all earthly things […] my Soul into the hands of Almighty God my Creator hoping and assuredly believing by and through the pretious [?] death and [?] of my only Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to inherit eternal life with the rest of god’s elect.  And my body I remit to the ground from whence it came to be decently interred at the discretion of my Executors hereafter named. 

And as touching such worldly Estate which God in his mercy has been pleased to bestow upon me in this life I do give and dispose of the same in manner and form following that is to say. Imprimus I give and bequeath unto my sonne John Blechynden during the term of his natural life the sum of three score pounds of lawful money of England.  And which I will shall be paid unto him at the four most usual  feasts or Terms [?] in  the year that is to say the feast of the birth of our Lord God, the annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the  Nativity of St John the Baptist, and St Michael the Archangel by […]  and equal portions. The first payment to begin at the first said feast day which shall happen next after my demise […] legacy of […] pounds.  And so by me bequeathed is to be as an […] to him the said John Blechynden over and beside what is already settled upon him.  

Item my will and meaning is that in case Jane [Anne?] whose wife to the said John Blechynden shall survive him the said John that she shall have and receive the sum of twenty pounds  […] the term of her natural life to be paid her quarterly as aforesaid.  Item I give and bequeath unto my son Thomas Blechynden the sum of thirty pounds […] during the term of his natural life to be paid unto him quarterly as aforesaid. 

Item I give and bequeath unto my grandchild Elizabeth Blechynden the sum of three hundred  pounds so soon as it may be raised. Item I give and bequeath unto my grandchildren John Blechynden, Edward Blechynden, and Anne Blechynden to be equally divided between them in  three parts and part  alike for there […] of my half-part share  and interest in the lease of the Rectory of Winsborough.  And my Will and meaning is that all the before mentioned yearly  payments and sum of three hundred pounds so given and bequeathed as aforesaid shall arise and be paid out of my half-part share and interest in the said lease.  And further my Will and meaning is And […] hereby expect and declare the same that if my Executor in his discretion shall so consided it most necessary […] by sale or other disposal of my share half-part and interest in the said Lease to satisfy the so […] payments above mentioned and to raise the portions most particularly expressed for my said three grandchildren that then my Executor shall and may dispose of the same accordingly by sale or otherwise.   Item I give to my grandchild Thomas Blechynden the sum of five shillings.  Item I give and bequeath to the poor of the Parish of Winsborough he sum of five pounds which I will shall be paid within […] months next after my decease.

Item I give and bequeath to my […] loving nephew John Mennis Knt the sum of ten pounds to buy him a ring in remembrance of me And I do hereby constitute, ordain and appoint the said Sir John Mennis to be full and sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament not doubting of his faithful service of the same amending to my true intent and meaning herein discharged.  And I do hereby upon […] disallow all previous [?] Wills and Testaments […] made And do nominate  and ordain this to be my last Will  and Testament.  ….I the said Testator Thomas Blechenden …my last will and testament tendering in these sheets of paper and … sheets subscribed my   name  and to the last fixed  on the …set my seal this third day of April Anno Domini 1661 and in the thirteenth ? Year of the reign of our  Sovereign Lord Charles the Second by the grace of God King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland defender of the faith. I Thomas Blechynden signed sealed published declared and delivered by the said Thomas Blechynden for and as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us John Cason and [?]

Will of John Blechynden, late of Woodnesborough, 1672

I John Blechynden late of Woodnesborough in ye County of Kent the younger gent, being in good and perfect health and memorie thanks be to Almightie God, doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following.  I do give and bequeath my Soule into the hands of Almightie God my Creator that made, And as for my wordly estate which it has pleased God to bestowe upon mee, my debts and funeral charges being discharged, I doe give and bestowe in manner and forme following, To my brother Thomas Blechynden and my brother Edward Blechynden’s children all of them each alike to be divided amongst them all my monyee as is due to mee and likewise the Pay which shall become due unto mee from His Majestie for my Services:  Item I doe give unto my sister Elizabeth Blechynden fortie shillings of lawful money of England to buy her a ring, whome I doe make my Executrix of this my last Will and Testament: In witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and seale this twenty nynth day of July one thousand six hundred and seventy two: John Blechynden junior.  Sealed and declared on Board His Majestie’s Shipp Bonaventure in the presence of John Cotton Chirurgian of the said Shipp; Will. Bartlett living at Rookham in Kent.

Probate 17 Jan 1672/3

Will of Margaret Blechynden (nee Aldersey), 1682 (and republished 1683)

See post here for more on this last will and testament.

In the name of God Amen, I Margaret Blechynden of the Parish of St Paul Covent Garden in the County of Middlesex widow doe make this my last Will and Testament in writening in manner following, Imprimis I bequeath my soule to God and my body to the Earth to be decently buried according to the Litturgy of the Church of England.

Item I give to my two sons Thomas and Theophilet to each of them five broad pieces of Gold and to the rest of my children five pounds a piece in silver which said legacies are by me intended to be in lieu of the legacy of five pounds a piece given to them by the will of their father although I am well satisfied that I have made up to my daughters much more of their portions then ever came to my hands. Yet in considerasoid that my son Thomas was not so careful as he ought to have beene in receiving and accounting the rent of the Courtlage, To supply his default there in I am willing and doe appoint that two hundred pounds of the money which my Sister Venables disposeth of for me  shall be divided into three parts, one part whereof I give unto my daughter Margarett, one other moiety thereof to  my daughter Dorothy, and the other third part thereof to be amongst my daughter Mary’s children to be disposed of by my Executer and my Nephew Thomas Lee or the survivor of them by such proportions and at such times and in such manner as they shall thinke fitt.  And I give to my daughter no part of the said two hundred pounds she having at one time had the Sum of One hundred pounds of me besides other advantages. 

Item  I give to my Lord Halifax the Medall of King Charles the first in gold and the small ring tied to it. 

Item I give to my Sister Venables my biggest Diamond Ring which was my mothers. 

Item I give to my son Theophilat’s wife my large pearl ring. 

Item I give to my Nephew Samuel Eyre my small Diamond ring and my pair of Golds called a double Spur: royal and I give to my said Nephew’s wife my small sapphire ring with two small diamonds.

Item I give to my Lady Thynne my ring of Three Diamonds and two deaths heads which her mother gave to me and my french enamelled ring given to me by my Lady Savile having her haires in it.  

Item I give to Mrs Margaret Jones of Chester my two pairs of Golds wrapt about a black ribbon.  

Item I give my wedding ring and seaven other small rings, and all my Golds (herein before undisposed of) to my three daughters now unmarried and my son Theophilat the same to be divided by my Executor and my said children to choose their several shares as they are in age the elder to be preferred in the choice. 

Item I give to my sone Theophilat one half of the other fifty pounds which my Sister Venables disposeth of for me, and the other half of the said fifty pounds I do appoint to be disposed of by my Executor and my said Nephew Lee to and amongst the children of my son Thomas by such proportions at such times and in such manner as they or the Survivor of them shall think fitt.  

Item I give to my daughter Anne one of my Silver Porringers and spoons and to Mr J wight the other of them and to Mrs Tate formerly Mrs Guyn my silver Tankards and to her daughter my silver cordial cup and the spoons to it.

And all the rest and residue of my Estate and debts and byaryed and funeralls being discharged I do appoint to be lay’d out by my Executor in building of a house for Six poore Widdows and in purchasing of lands of Inheritance for their support and the repairing of the house forever and the manner of ordering there of I leave to My Executor And I do hereby make my said Nephew Samuel Eyre Sole Executor to be buried privately and in the next convenient place.  In witness whereof I have here unto sett my hand and seale this third day of February Anno Domini 1682.     Margaret Blechynden. Sealed and published by the said Margaret Blechynden for her last Will and Testament in the presence of Richard Fowske, Thomas Smith,  Elizabeth Fowske.

This will I did formerly Execute written in another piece of paper as if brased (?) date and is amongst my other papers and least it should be lost do again publish the same this Sixth day of July 1683 and sett my hand and seale in Testimony  thereof Margaret Blechynden.  In the presence of Margit Langford, Mare (Marie?) Downes, Ben. Wyrke.    

Dr Thomas White, Bishop of Peterborough, 1628-1698

See post here for more on Dr Thomas White.

In the name of God, Amen! I, Thomas White, D.D., late Bishop of Peterborough, have reflected often upon the occurrences of my former life, and often looked forward to the end of it, whither I am hasting through several infirmities of body which now afflict me, and the burden of almost sixty-two years of age; but being of sound understanding and memory, do make and constitute this my last Will and Testament, in manner and form following.

First, I now commend my soul into the hands of God, giving most humble thanks unto him not only for the manifold mercies which he hath vouchsafed me in order to the comfortable passage of my life but especially for that infinite love he hath shown to the world in sending his only Sonne Christ Jesus to be the Redeemer of mankind; and particularly that I, being born in a Xtian Country, was early admitted into the holy Catholic Church of Christ, and have enjoyed the privileges and benefits thereof through the whole course of my life, and more especially that by the divine grace and favour I was instituted and brought up in that religion which is profest and establisht in the Church of England which after due inquiry and examination I esteem the best constitution and safest way to heaven which is in the world (O that my deluded countrymen would think soe too), being free from the dangerous corruptions of Popery and the many imperfections which other parts of the reformation are subject to in which I have alwaies lived and wherein by God’s grace I resolve to dye.

I doe moreover beg of God my heavenly father a full and perfect pardon for all my sins being conscious to myself of manifold neglects and great violations of my duty for thy sonne of our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake forgive me all that is past and grant that all the defilements I have contracted through the lusts of the flesh, the vanities of the world, and the temptations of the devil, may be purged and done away and the remainder of my life may be wholly devoted to thy service and glory that I may be presented unto thee without spot and blameless at the last day. 

Having commended my soul unto the mercy and grace of God I doe appoint my body to be buryed in the churchyard of the parish wherein I shall die, without any funeral pomp, sermon, or expenses above ten pounds and without any monument or inscription, saving this upon a little stone, if it may be allowed. The body of Thomas White, DD: late Bishopp of Peterburgh, deprived of that Bishopprick for not taking the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy established one thousand six hundred eighty nine is buryed here in hope of a happy resurrection.  

Item I give and bequeath to the poor of the parish where I shall dye and be buryed the sum of ten pounds to the Rector, Vicar or Incumbent of the said parish within one month after my Buryall and to be distributed to twenty poor families or persons by equall portions.  In the choice  of which families or persons my will is that the Incumbent shall bestow this Charity only to such families where the husband and wife standing in need and every particular person widdower widow or virgin of forty years old shall first repeat the Lords prayer, the Apostles Creed and the Ten Commandments distinctly and exactly before him and the Churchwardens or Overseers of the poor.  And if any person viz the husband or wife in a family which are to be referred for one or any single person offering themselves to tryall herein shall miss or change one word in the repetition my will then is that the Incumbent shall pass them by and seek other persons poor and aged till he finds such as can make the aforesaid repetition distinctly and exactly and give my said legacy to twenty of them.

Item I give and bequeath to the poor of the parish of Aldington in Kent where I was bourne the sum of two hundred and forty pounds. 

Item I give and bequeath to the poor of the parish of Newark in Nottinghamshire the sum of two hundred and forty pounds. 

Item I give and bequeath to the poor of the parish of Bottesford in Leicestershire the sum of two hundred and forty pounds.

Item I give and bequeath to the poor of the parish of Peterborough in Northamptonshire the sum of two hundred and forty pounds. 

Item I give and bequeath to the poor of the parish of Castor in Northamptonshire the sum of two hundred and forty pounds which said sums of money  of two hundred and forty pounds given by me to the poor of each of the five parishes above said my will is shall be layd out within one year after my decease either in land or upon sufficient security till land can be purchased by my Executor with the advice and consent of the Overseers of this my last Will and Testament ten pounds of which I doe allot the poor of each parish yearly forever and the surplusage, whatever it is, to the Rector, Vicar or Incumbent of the said parishes respectively as a reward for his pains and fidelity in the distribution of the said ten pounds to the poor of the said parish which distribution I doe appoint shall be made out every year in the presence of the Churchwardens or Overseers of the poor of the respective parishes by the Rector, Vicar or Incumbent in the Church porch of the several parishes respectively on the fourteenth day of December in the same manner and with the same restrictions and limitations which I have before ordered the ten pounds shall be distributed which I have given to the poor of the parish where I shall dye and be buryed viz it shall be distributed to twenty poor families or persons by equall shares reckoning husband and wife for one person who shall before the receipt thereof exactly and distinctly repeat the Lord’s prayer the Apostles Creed and the Ten Commandments without missing or changing one word therein and if a man and his wife appear for a share in the said Charity it shall not be a sufficient qualification for them that one of them make the exact repetition aforesaid but they shall both make it or have no share at all in it.  And I doe moreover make it my request to the parishioners of these five parishes aforesaid that whatever persons shall be relieved by this my Charity above mentioned may be continued still in the poor Roll and receive the same allowance from the parish which they did before because I give the said sums purely and solely for the use and comfort of the poor and not to lessen the charge or abate the burden of the richer and abler inhabitants.   

And I do desire withal it may be observed that I do design this gift not only as a Corporal but as Spiritual alms to doe good unto the souls as well as the bodies of the poor, having with sorrow of heart taken notice of the inconceivable ignorance which prevails amongst the poorest sort of people that they are (at least very many of them) Xtians only in name, but know not why they are soe nor what it is they are to believe or practise or pray for or to answer the demand of the Xtian profession.  To encourage them, therefore, to learne the fundamentalls of Xtian religion, I have bequeathed this Charity which I desire the respective Rectors, Vicars and Incumbents to distribute with a good conscience according to these my directions that the end which I propose by these restitutions may be obtained. I do moreover require that noe person shall receive this Charity twice till all the poor of the respective parishes have received it once who and can and shall make the repetition aforesaid that thereby the advantage may spread as far as is possible within these bounds.  

My further will is that this part of my last will and testament be transcribed by every of the five the parishes above mentioned, and be locked up in the parish chest and that yearly on the last Sunday in November, after morning service, the rector, vicar, or incumbent do read this part of it to the poor and the inhabitants of the respective parishes in the Church Porch.

Item I give and bequeath unto the poor among the clergy who are deprived for not taking the Oathes appointed to be taken before the first or second of February Anno Domini One Thousand Six Hundred Eighty Nine the sum of two hundred pounds the distribution whereof I commit to my Reverend and dear Brother Francis Turner late Lord Bishop of Ely and appoint my Executor to pay the said two hundred pounds to him within three months after my decease.  

Item I give and bequeath unto my cousin Mr Thomas Blechynden the sum of fifty pounds which money I appoint my Executor to pay to his creditors for his use within one month after he shall give in a list of them and can compound the several debts at four shillings per pound bona fide soe that if he shall refuse either to give in a further list or the debts shall not be faithfully and without fraud compounded at ten shillings per pound I give him nothing. 

Item I give to my cousin Theophylact Blechynden the sum of thirty shillings. 

Item I give and bequeath to my cousins Mrs Ann Blechynden, Mrs Mary Dilkes, Mrs Margaret Blechynden, Mrs Dorothy Blechynden ten pounds to be equally divided between them viz to each of them fifty shillings. 

Item I give and bequeath to my cousin Mr Richard Blechynden thirty pounds. 

Item I give and bequeath unto my worthy friend Dr Walter Needham tenn pounds Corp Rob Marris of Newark tenn pounds to Mr William Whatton of Belvoire tenn pounds. 

Item I give and bequeath to my cousin Mr James White living near Sir [    ] Oxenden at Deane in Kent five pounds. 

Item I give to my cousin Mrs Mary Rousewell wife of Mr Rousewell now or late Minister of Rislip near Uxbridge in Buckinghamshire tenn pounds. I give and bequeath to my old good friend Major John Pownell of Borton in Wye in Kent twenty pounds. 

Item I give and bequeath to my Godsonne Mr Richard Blechynden the sonne of Thomas Blechynden aforesaid the sum of thirty pounds towards the discharge of the expense of the degree of Bachelor of Laws when he shall take it at Oxford.  

Item I give and bequeath to Gratian Blechynden (the son of Thomas Blechynden of Symnells of Aldington lately deceased) the sum of ten pounds provided he be bound forth an apprentice and his brother John Blechynden doe pay the arrears of his rent for Giggers Green which as Michmas next amount to above ninety pounds and discharge the arrears of Cophurst in his father’s hands when he dyed or therefore I give him nothing.

Item I give and bequeath to Mrs Lucy Brockman of Canterbury my watch clock and Alarme which I formerly received from her. 

Item I give and bequeath all that parcel of land called Giggers Green being sixty acres ….or life now in the onnparon of Mr John Blechynden of Aldington in the County of Kent to John Blechynden the sonne of Thomas Blechynden of Fenchurch Street in London and to his heirs forever being that parcel of land which I purchased of the said Mr Thomas Blechynden about twelve years since.  Item I leave the farme of Cophurst and all the land belonging thereunto to my heir at common law being as I think the Grandsonne of my Uncle Mr Paul White.  

Item I doe constitute and appoint Mr George Baxter my faithful servant to be Executer alone of this my last Will and Testament.   And all my goods and chattels and personal estate that is not already disposed and not hereafter be bequeathed I give and bequeath to him.  I doe earnestly desire my two worthy friends William Thursby of the Middle Temple Esq and Edward Jennings of Lincoln Inn Fields Esq to oversee the disposeall of the Charitys I have bestowed and to assist my Executor in settling them safely and according to the directions of this my last will and I appoint my executor to give to each of them ten pounds. 

I give and bequeath to Dr Wm Sancroft late Archbishop of Canterbury, to Dr Rob Frampton late Bishop of Gloucester, to Dr William Lloyd late Bishop of Norwich, to Dr Francis Turner late Bishop of Ely, to Dr Thomas Ken late Bishop of Bath and Wells and to each of them a ring of 20 shillings price which I desire them and each of them to accept as a memorial of their fellow sufferers service and friendship.  I give and bequeath to Dr Zachary Cradock and Mr John Newborough both of Eaton, to Dr William Sherlock of the Temple, to Dr William Cane of Windsor, to Dr John Scott of St Peters poor, to Dr Rob. Grove of St Andrew Undershaft, to Dr Henry Dove of St Bridgett London. To Sir Thomas Pinfold Chancellor or Peterborough, to Dr Henry Watkinkon Chancellor of York, To Dr Samuel Crobrow late Archdeacon of Nottingham, to Mrs Owham of Westminster and Mrs Lucy Brockman above mentioned and to each of them a ring to the value of fifteen shillings. 

Item I doe appoint all my papers with sermons, prayers, collections of what kind soever exceptings writings of [Venus and Adonis?] forthwith to be burnt they lying in the lower drawer of my cabinet and in my cedar desk and some in other parts of my cabinet.  

I give and bequeath to the Major, Aldermen and Vicar of the towne of Newarke upon Trent for the time being  All my printed books to be a library at least a good beginning of a library for the use of them and the inhabitants of that towne and the gentleman and clergy of the adjacent countrey provided that the said Major and Aldermen of Newarke shall upon their charge cause the books to be conveyed to Newarke and within one month afterwards build shelves and cases for them in the upper End of the Church of Newarke behind the Quire and make an Apartment or Room there to separate the place where they stand from the other parts of the Church with a lock and key thereto which key I require shall be kept by the Vicar of the Towne for the time being [lott?] first giving security of a thousand pounds to the said Major and Aldermen never to embezel the said Bookes now to take out or lend any one booke out of the library either to his own house or others.

And I doe appoint that when the Accounts of the Towne shall be made up every year the whole library shall be called over every year in the presence of the Major and Aldermen and if any one book be wanting the Vicar shall lay down the price of it presently or have the key taken from him and his bond be sued for reparation and that the key be forthwith putt in [..] the Custody of the Schoolmaster for the time being who shall be under the same Obligation with those aforementioned of the Vicar. And that by the charge and care of him that keeps the key the room shall be swept once every month and the bookes shall be all bright and rub’d once every quarter of a year.  But if the Major and Aldermen of Newarke shall not give security to my Executor for the performance of these conditions such as shall be satisfactory to Mr Will’m Thursby and Mr Edward Jennings within one month after they hear of this bequest I then leave them all the advantage of my Executor.

This I declare to be my last Will and Testament revoking all other wills formerly made this being written in five sheets of paper and each sheet signed and subscribed with my owne hand and sealed with my Coate of Arms this day of [NO DATE] in the year of our Lord according to the Anonni in England One Thousand Six Hundred and Ninety [NO YEAR]. 

Signed sealed and declared in the presence of [NO WITNESSES].

Note that the will is undated but the opening paragraph refers to being almost 62 years of age which would suggest it was written about 1690. There are some illegible changes in the margins and text, as shown above, struck out. There are no named witnesses. Probate was 1698.