Sixteenth Century Wills. Borthwick Institute, York Diocesan Archives.
1536 THOMAS COCKERELL. Pious preamble: to Almighty God, Lady S. Mary &c. To be buried in S Nicholas kyrke yard. Bequest to High altar. To son Mychaell one iron bount wayne and one yoke of oxen that bereth the wayne. (Vol 11A, No 208)
1537 WILLIAM THOMPSON. Almight God, S. Mary and All Sanctes. To be buried in S. Nicholas churche yearde. To our ladie lyghte one violett jaket. To lyghte of S. John Baptist one dublet of worsted. *To Mother Church of Yorke and unto Rypon and to four Orders of Frieres....
(Vol 11A, No 225)
*Note: see under Thomas Person below. 1538.
1538 EDMUNDE WHYTBIE. Preface as above. Burial S Nicholas Church. Bequests: one altar light to Our Ladie in the Parish Church and to S. John. Priest Umfray Spaunton.* (Vol 11A, No 289)
1538 THOMAS PERSON. Preface as above. Burial in Parish Church. To my lord prior for my berriall and for absolution my best oxe and to every chanon 12d. To the lghtes of our Ladie in the parish churche my best dublet and an oder dublet to the lightes of Sancte John. Also to the hye altar. To the hye wayes vis. viiid. Umfray Spaunton my curate to pray for me xs. To the Sacristane to cause the great belles to be rong vis. viiid. Priest to sing for my soule and for my Benefactors for apace of one year.
Bequest also to four mother churches: Yorke, Rypon, Beverley and Southwell and to four Orders of Friars. (Vol 11A, No 290)
* Four mediaeval collegiate churches of secular canons. mother church of Yorke, Rypon, Beverley and Southwell. Franciscans (Grey F), Dominicans (Black F), Carmelites (White), Augustinians (Austin F).
1540 ROBERT PICKERDE, Merchant. Burial Parish church. Bequests to priests, clerks and “to every scholar that can say seven psalms and litanie ijd”. To the purchasing of the clock and bells with the late monasterie of Gisburne ... and to the purchasing of the organ and other things within the Lady Quere. Also a bequest to the Churchwardens of Lastingham. To William Feldewe Curate of Gisburne a pare of hose clothe. &c. (Vol 11B, No 451)
1542 AGNES STERNE, widow, Gisborne. preface: Alighty God, Lady S. Mary, Company of Heaven. Burial S Nicholas Churchyard. Mention of her ghostlie father Sir William Feldew (to pray for her soul). Bequest to the Sacrament of the Altare. (Vol 11B, No 599)
1542 JOHN JOWSIE, Commondale, yeoman. Preface similar to No 599. Burial at S Nicholas Cgurch of Gisburn. Bequest for prayers at Blessed Sacrament of the Altare. To be buried before the Glorious Trinity.Bequest to the Light of Our Ladie. (Vol 11B, No 647)
1547 JOHN JOWCEY. “Celestial Company & Our Blessed Ladie S Mary. Bequests: Light of Our Ladie and to the finding of a priest. Mass for my soul for one year. To S John’s Altar a towell. (Vol 13A, No 365))
1547 EDWARD KENDALL, usual pious preface. Buried S Nicholas Ch yarde. Bequest Blessed Sacrament of Altar xiid. tobe prayed for ... Unto the image?* of oure Ladie and the lighte of a goode Kendall jacket. (Wm Feldew Curate)
1547 ALAN RICHARDSON. Priest and clerke beinge at masse and dirige the day of my Buriall xxs.
*NOTE: Thomas Askakby of Yarm (1408) made a bequest of 2s to the “image of S Mary at Gysburgh”. But this may have been at the Priory.
Will of THOMAS SPENCER. Letter from John B McKee, 9 Downland Close, Woodingdean, Brighton, Sussex BN2 6DN, to Miss G Dixon, 15/3/1982
I have located the Will of Thomas Spencer: it was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 4th October, 1759. It is quite a long document, and I could supply a photocopy of it for £4.00 if you are interested. Otherwise, fees and expenses (for finding the Will, and for providing the following details from it) come to £6.00, which means that, on balance, you owe me just £3.00, please (or £6.00 if you want the photocopy).
P.C.C. Will of Thomas Spencer of St Mary, Bothaw, City of London. Merchant. (P.R.O ref: PRO B11/850).
He left the bulk of his Estate to his sister, Esther Spencer, spinster: he left her all his possessions in the Manor of Weston in Holderness, Yorkshire, including Court Leet, Court baron, farms, etc. Also, £8,000.
He wishes his friends, James Norman, and John Cornwall, of London, merchants, and George Clifford his co-partner in trade – to be the Executors of his Will, but they declined in favour of the Testator’s sister, Esther when the time came.
His other property, situated in the County of York, and in the counties of Durham, Essex, Kent, and ‘elsewhere’ he left in trust to his three named Executors to who £100 would be paid each, the arrangement being that his brother Richard Spencer & his heirs would enjoy these Estates.
To his niece, Dorothy Askew (late Boulby) now wife of Henry Askew, Batchelor in Physick - £5,000.
Brother-in-Law, John Jefferson - £3,000.
Brother-in-Law, Adam Boulby Father of his niece, Dorothy Askew) - £200.
Uncle, Ralph Ward, Esq. - £200.
Cousin, William Gansell, Esq. - £200.
Cousins, Ralph, Thomas, and Rebecca Ward - £200 each.
Cousin, George Jackson - £200. And to his brother, Ralph Jackson, and three sisters, Esther, Hannah, and Dorothy - £100 each.
Cousin, Francis Fox - £500, and to his brother John Fox, and his sister, Mary Saunders - £100 each. (Mary Saunders: see Deed of 1789—WDB)
Cousin, William Manley, and his sister Rebecca - £100 each.
--- Cooper, spinster, residing in my house with my family/with my sister Esther Spencer - £1,000. (Forename obliterated by a blot).
Christian Poppe, my book-keeper (if in my service at the time of my decease) - £100.
To each clerk over 12 months in his service at the time of death - £50.
To the Poor of the Parish of Guisborough, Yorks., “where I was born” - £50
To Edward Dans, formerly of Riga, merchant, but now of Shottesbrook, Berks. One annuity of £50.
Will dated 7th October, 1758.
(Also he left all his Estates at Hornchurch, Essex, to his named Executors – the three named above).
I think the above includes all the salient details, but you would be welcome to a photocopy if you wish to study the Will further.
Will of DAME HELEYN GILSON of Gysburn 1451
Surtees Soc. Vol 30, p 149 and Graves’ History p 426.
“In the name of oure Lord God Almighti, Amen. The xxviij day in the moth of June in the yere of ourLorde Mcccclj I Dame Heleyn Gilson of Gysburn in Cleveland, some tyme wife of William Gilson of Gysburn aforesaid, hole in witt and mynde – my bodie to be buried in the Conventuale kirke of Gysburn under the marbil stone ordeinede and arraid for my husband and me. Also I will unto my cors presant my stepe lede. Also to the lightes in the parish kirke iiijs. iiijd. Also to the priest of Holmeswath Chapel iiijs. iiijd. Also to St Nicol of Ripon, yf he go to Seinte James, xs. Also to Cristaine Esby my brodre daughter ij kie, ij beddes, j bras ott, j ketill and ij silver spones. Also to William Grome wife j coverlet j par blankettes and par sheetes. Also j posnet to Anne, the daughter of the saide William. And the residue I will to Thomas Laysyngby the son of my daughter.”
Will of WILLIAM WARD 1632
IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS giving thanks to God the Father through Him I WILLIAM WARD of Guisborough in the County of Yorke Clerke being I praise God the Lord sound in understanding and memory although by divers Canons of Guisborough from the gracious hands of my merciful Father put in mind to for my approaching dissolution have thought it convenient to put my house in order before my departure and so accordingly make here my last Will and Testament in manner and form following:
First I bequeath my soul into the merciful hands of my Heavenly Father who hath esteemed it by the Blood of Christ and sealed it unto Salvation by His witness of faith through His Holy Spirit and I bequeath my body to such Christian burial as the Lord provideth and my friends discretion shall determine desiring to lie as near as may be to my former wife and children buried in the Choir of Guisborough Church
And concerning my worldly estate – First I and testify unto the world that I have already my three sons John Ward Stephen Ward and Richard Ward and also my two daughters Margaret and Elinor Ward as far as I was able and thought for them respectively unto my estate ability yet notwithstanding for the better advancement of the two younger of my sons and of my two daughters above named (my eldest son John Ward above named going away with land to a good value) I do hereby give unto my said two younger sons Stephen Ward and Richard Ward all my books (excepting such as I shall hereunder give away and by name) to be equally divided between these two And my will is that my son Stephen shall sell his part of the said books he shall first offer them to his said brother Richard and shall not sell them to any other if his said brother will give him as much for them as any other will truly give in fair and good payment And I do give by these presents unto my two daughters Margaret Ward and Elinor Ward above named all these of plate following – first a basin of gilt, two double salts with their covers gilt, two silver bowls white, three gilt bowls, a gilt spoon, a great spoon of horn and several Apostle spoons Ten silver spoons These I give to my two said daughters Margaret and Elinor to be equally divided and if either of hem do die without issue within one year next after my death Then I give them to the survivor Also I give unto my eldest son John Ward Sir Walter Raleigh’s History of he World and Peter’s Gallations with Also I give unto Stephen Ward my second son my silver syringe and Hackluyt’s Voyages and Hopton’s ? Mathematics Also I give unto Richard Ward my third son my Book of Martyrs Also I give unto my said loving wife the one moiety and the full and first ? half part of that fourth part of Skelton tythes which I have by lease to her and her heirs for ever. And the other moiety half part of the said tythes I give unto my son William Ward and the heirs of his body lawfully begotten for ever and if he shall die without lawful issue then I give the same and all the remainder of years after such his death all the estate tythes tenant right or other right which I have or ought to have therein and all pertaining deeds thereunto belonging to my daughter Elinor Ward and her heirs for ever Also I give unto my loving sister Long two books Surgeri and Surgeons Mate Also I give unto my son in law Jonathan White a hoop ring of gold which my wife gave unto me the being xxi
Also I give to my sons-in-law Arthur and James White to each of them five pounds of lawful English money Also I give to my son-in-law Ralph White five pounds of lawful English money Also I give to my youngest son William Ward a double salt cellar with a cover of silver white and guilded Also I give unto him my biggest silver bowl that hath a ‘C’ mark crack? ( ) which is most commonly used in my house Also I give unto him my great gold ring which hath for signet two (two W’s, two double U’s) provided that if my said son shall die before he come to lawful years then the said salt cellar with the cover and the said silver bowl shall be and remain unto my eldest son John Ward because it was his Grandfather’s And also I give unto my loving wife Ann Ward my silver porringer and those four spoons which I have marked beside the ordinary marks with an ‘A’ upon the upper side of the spoon shaft next unto shell ( )? Also I give unto my worthy friend Richard Winn Esq Davidsons Britannica in English Also I give unto my loving brother Mr Willy Long Gerard’s Herbal And I make and constitute the said Richard Winn Esq and my said brother Long Supervisors of this my Will Also I make and ordain my said brother Mr Willy Long Tutor and Guardian both to my son Willy Ward and also if I die before she come to lawful years to my daughter Ellinor Also I give to the poor of Gisborough parish £10 and to avoid the abuse too usual in such cases My will is that if it should please the Lord to afford my wife competent ? warning she shall give or send the said money to the poor of this Parish whilst I shall remain yet alive on my death bed that I may depart in peace accompanied by the prayers of the poor and if that cannot be then I will that the said £10 shall be bestowed not at the Church when I shall be buried (where commonly clamour? shamelessness? and intrusion prevails and not want nor necessity but at two several ? days by Mr Morris and the Churchwardens by the directions of my supervisors. Also I give to my son Willy Ward a Bible to be chosen by his Mother. Also I give to Mr Morris 10/- hoping and praying he will bestow at my burial a funeral sermon. Also give to my man Ralph Hogg 10/- and all the rest of my goods my debts paid my will performed? any regards paid and discharged and my body decently? buried I give unto my dearly beloved wife Ann Ward whom I make and ordain full and sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament.
In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal the sixth day of May in the eight year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King Charles by the grace of God of England and Scotland France and Ireland Defender of the Faith 1632
Sealed and signed in the presence of
Will of HENRY LISLE 1667
Proved at York (Cleveland Deanery) on the 8th day of May 1668
Church Briefs reveal that he was a wealthy trader and that he had lost more than £4000 through "fire and shipwracke". His name is inscribed on a silver chalice in the Parish Church where he was a Churchwarden.