Will of Joan Thornback of West Mersey 1636

Transcribed by Trevor Hearn 8th January 2020
Probably ERP D/ABW 54/24

There is a translation to modern English further down the page


1   In the name of god Amen. I Joan Thornbacke of
2   westmersey beinge weake in body, but of good & perfect
3   memory (god be praysed) doe make and ordaine this my
4   last will and testament, in forme & manner as followeth
5   Impr[imis] I bequeath my soule into the handes of almighty god
6   my Creator and redeener, & my body to be buried as
7   my Exec[utor] shall thinke fitt.
8   It[em] I give to George Thornbacke my brother three
9   Cowes, on[e] fleckt bullocke, a blacke maer, a dozen of
10   great pewter, on[e] great cubboard, on[e] joyned Hutch [ Note 1 ] w[i]th
11   a springe locke, on[e] joyned bedstead in the chamber, w[i]th the
12   featherbed bolster, three fether pillowes, a payer of sheetes
13   two blankets, and a coverlide [ Note 2 ]. a great boarded chayre
14   & a little chayre, provided alwayes that he pay out of the<.> same
15   <....> the legacyes I have in this my will bequeathed to any
16   person or persons.
17   It[em] I give to the said George Thornbacke on[e] parcell of ground
18   called Nichols by estimation a rood [ Note 3 ] more or lesse lyinge in
19   westmersey.
20   It[em] I give to my brother Thomas Noakes on[e] Fleckt bullocke &
21   a yeare old calfe, also the just sume of fowerty shillings of
22   good & lawfull mony of England to be payd by my Executor
23   to him when he shall attaine to the age of twenty yeares.
24   It[em] I give <..> <....> to Richard Mott of Dengy twelve pence and
25   to Mary his wife twelve pence.
26   It[em] I give to Richard Mott his sonne the sume of twenty shillings
27   to be payd when he shall attaine to the age of eighteene yeares
28   It[em] I give to Mary Mott his daughter twenty shillings to be payd
29   when she shall attaine to the age of eighteene yeares to be
30   payd by my Exec[utor], & if ether of these two last partyes dye
31   before t[h]ey attaine to the age of eighteene, then the survivor
32   to have the others part
33   It[em] I give to my mother Elizabeth Noakes on[e] <.> Horsecolt [ Note 4 ]
34   & all my wearinge apparell to be distributed accordinge as
35   my mother shall thinke fittinge.
36   It[em] I give all the rest of my/ goods cattles & chattles to my brother
37   George Thornebacke, who I doe appoynt my Executor.
38   In true witnesse whereof that this is my last will & testament
39   I related all the above written particulars before the witnesses
40   here named John Woolhouse Clearke & Thomas Noakes Farmer

Page 2

41   the twenty sixt day of September 1636 and set hereunto my
42   hand & seale the seaven & twentyth

43   Signed & sealed in the                 her m[ar]ke
44   p[re]sence of us                 Joan X Thornbacke
45   John Woolhouse Clearke
46   his m[ar]ke
47   Thomas T Noakes

Note 1 hutch = large wooden box with a lid, for storage (Source: The Local Historian's Glossary of Words and Terms by Joy Bristow)
Note 2 coverlide = coverlet: a cover for a bed (Source: The Local Historian's Glossary of Words and Terms by Joy Bristow)
Note 3 rood = one quarter of an acre (Source: The Local Historian's Glossary of Words and Terms by Joy Bristow)
Note 4 horse-colt = a young (male) horse (Source: Oxford English Dictionary)

Translation to Modern English by Trevor Hearn


In the name of God, Amen. I, Joan Thornback of West Mersea, being sick in body but of sound mind (thanks be to God), do hereby make my last will and testament as follows:

Firstly, I bequeath my soul into the hands of Almighty God, my Creator and Reedemer, and my body is to be buried as my Executor shall think fit.

I give to my brother-in-law, George Thornback, three cows, one flecked bullock, a black mare, a dozen pieces of large pewter items, one large cupboard, one joined storage box with a spring lock, one joined bedstead in the bedroom with the featherbed bolster, three feather pillows, a pair of sheets, two blankets and a bed cover, a large wooden chair and a small chair, with the proviso that he must pay out of the aforementioned items the legacies bequeathed to any person or persons as determined in this will.

I give to the aforesaid George Thornback a parcel of land in West Mersea of approximately one quarter of an acre in size and currently known as Nicols.

I give to my brother, Thomas Noakes, one flecked bullock and a year-old calf together with the sum of forty shillings which is to be paid to him when he has reached the age of twenty years, by my Executor.

I give to Richard Mott of Dengie and to his wife Mary the sum of twelve pence each. I give to their son and daughter, also known as Richard and Mary Mott, the sum of twenty shillings each, to be paid when they respectively reach the age of eighteen years. If either of them die before they attain the age of eighteen, then the survivor is to inherit the deceased's share.

I give to my mother, Elizabeth Noakes, one colt, and all my clothes which are to be distributed as she shall think fit.

I give the rest of my goods and chattels to my brother-in-law, George Thornback, whom I hereby appoint as my Executor.

I confirm that I have dictated this, my last will and testament, in the presence of my witnesses, John Woolhouse, Vicar, and Thomas Noakes, farmer, on the 26th September 1636 and have signed and sealed the same on the 27th.

Signed and Sealed in our presence:

John Woolhouse, Vicar                 The mark of Joan Thornback

the mark of Thomas Noakes

26 September 1636
ID: MARG_108_011
Source: Mersea Museum