|Joan Foakes of West Mersey 1638 Essex Record Office document D/ABW 55/249
Transcribed: Trevor Hearn 18th December 2019
There is a translation to modern English further down the page
1 In the name of god Amen. The fowerteenth/ day January in the fowerteenth yeare of the Rayne of o[ur]
2 Soveraine Lord Charles of England Scotland france & Ireland Kinge defend[our] of the faith, Anno do[mi]ni
3 1638 I Joan Foakes of Westmersey in the County of Essex widow beinge sicke in body but of sound and
4 perfect memory doe ordaine and make this my last will & testament in forme & manner as hereafter
5 followeth. First & principally I bequeath my soule into the handes of almighty god my creator & maker
6 & my body to be buried at the will and appoyntment of my Exec[utors] & Feofyes [ Note 1 ] in trust hereafter mentioned
7 It[em] I give & bequeath to my sonne William Foakes of Bricklinsey the fetherbed I constantly lye upon w[i]th a
8 payre of canvis sheets a pillow & a pillowbeare [ Note 2 ] two blankets on[e] coverlid two bolsters w[i]th the bedsted where-
9 on the bed lyeth, also my biggest brasse pott. It[em] I give to Mary the daughtor of William Foakes my blacke
10 bullocke of two yeares old or fowerty shillings of mony. It[em] I give to the poore of the parish of Westmersey the
11 sume of tenn shillinges to be/ payd to the minister & churchwardens by them to be distributed w[i]thin six monthes
12 after my decease. It[em] I give to Robert Wilkinson my sonne in law the some of fowerty shillings to be payd
13 w[i]thin three monthes after my decease. It[em] I give to my daughter Elizabeth Wilkinsonn the sume of five shillings
14 to be payd immediatly after my death. It[em] I give unto my grandchild John Wilkinsonn the sonne of Robert
15 Wilkinsonn by Elizabeth his wife the sume of twenty poundes when he shall attaine to the age of <....> one
16 and twenty yeares to be payd by my Execut[or]s herein mentioned, & the use of the said mony is to be for
17 & towards his maintance & education. Also I give to the said John Wilkinsonn my grandchild, one
18 postead bedstead my <..> best fetherbed w[i]th the two/ bolsters on[e] pillow two blanckets on[e] coveringe & on[e] payre
19 of sheetes , also I give unto the said John Wilkinson on[e] joyned cubboard t[hat] standeth in the parlor & on[e]
20 longe table and forme [ Note 3 ] 4/ in the Hall. All w[hi]ch thinges I will my daughter Elizabeth have the use of, to wit of/ all the said moveable goods
21 duringe the terme of her naturall life, if my Exec[utors] shall thinke fit & immediatly after her decease to
22 the said John, when he shall attaine to the age of twenty & on[e] yeares but if the said Johnshall depart this life
23 before he attaine to the age of twenty one yeares then my will is my Exec[utors] shall have the disposure of
24 said twenty poundes duringe the naturall life of my daughter Elizabeth & after her decease <.. ..> the said
25 twenty poundes to be divided betwixt Robert Wilkinsonn & William Wilkinsonn the children of my
26 daughter Elizabeth. It[em] I give & bequeath unto my grandchildren Robert Wilkinsonn & William Wilkinsonn
27 twenty shillings apeece when they shall attaine unto the age of twenty & on[e] yeares. It[em] I give & bequeath
28 the yearly profits th[a]t shall proceede out of the tenement & land thereto belongenge, w[hi]ch I bought of old
29 Richard Foakes lyinge in Westmersey & now in the occupation of William Richardsonn called Dornally
30 pottfeilds & Goslings acres or by what name or names soever to my Executors, by them to be disposed
31 of for the benifit of my daughter Elizabeth & her children accordinge to there discretion as they shall thinke
32 fittinge <....> as longe as it shall please god to continue the naturall life of my daughter Elizabeth, and after
33 the <...> decease of my said daughter Elizabeth I give & bequeath the said afore cited Teniment and lands
34 to my grandchyldren Robert Wilkinsonn & William Wilkinsonn equally to be divided & if the on[e] dye, the
35 other to be his Heyre. It[em] all the rest of my moveables goodes cattles & chattles I give & bequeath to my Executor[s]
36 hereafter nominated to be by them or the major part of them for the benifitt & better livelihood of my
37 daughter Elizabeth Wilkinsonn & her three sonnes Robert William & John to be disposed of as they shall think
38 fittinge. It[em] my will is th[a]t the remainder of my estate not disposed of in my daughter Elizabeths lives time
39 be (after her decease) be divided amongst her three sonnes as my Exec[utors] shall thinke fittinge all needfull
40 expences and charges by my Exec[utors] disbursed being first dischared and payd. And further I appoynt
41 William Foakes my sonne Mr Israell Edwardes clearke Mr John Woolhouse Clearc [ Note 4 ] & Thimble <...>
42 Westbrowne my Executors and feofyes in trust to this my last will and testament to see my debts payd, my
43 will proved and all thinges therein contained really performed as my sure trust and confidence & my will
44 & desire is th[a]t if any of my fower Exec]utors dye the other three survivinge w[i]th the consent of my daughter
45 Elizabeth all choose an other/ In witness whereof I the said Joan Foakes have hereunto set my hand and seale the day
46 and yeare above written.
47 Signed sealed & d[elivere]d
48 in the p[re]sence of us Joan Foakes
49 Robertt Mann
50 Robertt Eliner
51 his mark
52 Mare Debren
53 hir mark
Note 1 Feoffee: The person to whom a freehold estate in land is conveyed by a feoffment. (Source: OED)
Note 2 pillowbeare: pillow case
Note 3 "form" is a trestle for a table (Source: The Local Historian's Glossary of Words and Terms by Joy Bristow)
Note 4 clerk = a scholar or clergyman
Translated to modern English: Trevor Hearn 18th December 2019
In the name of God, amen. 14th January 1638.
I, Joan Foakes, widow, of West Mersea, Essex, being sick in body but of sound mind, make this, my last will and testament, as follows. Firstly, I bequeath my soul into the hands of Almighty God and my body to be buried at the will of my Executors.
Item: I give and bequeath to my son, William Foakes of Brightlingsea, my feather bed; a pair of cloth sheets; a pillow and pillowcase; two blankets; one bed cover; two bolsters; the bedstead; and my largest brass pot.
Item: I give to Mary, the daughter of William Foakes, my two year-old black bullock or forty shillings cash.
Item: I give to the poor of the parish of West Mersea the sum of ten shillings, to be paid to the minister and the churchwardens for distribution by them within six months of my death.
Item: I give to my son-in-law, Robert Wilkinson, the sum of forty shillings, to be paid within three months after my death.
Item: I give to my daughter, Elizabeth Wilkinson, the sum of five shillings to be paid immediately after my death.
Item: I give to my grandchild, John, the son of Robert and Elizabeth Wilkinson, the sum of twenty pounds, to be paid by my Executors until he reaches the age of 21, such money to be used for his maintenance and education. I also give to the said John Wilkinson one posted bedstead; my best feather bed with the two bolsters; one pillow; two blankets; one bed cover; and one pair of sheets. I also give to the said John Wilkinson, one joined cupboard that stands in the parlour and one trestle table in the hall. My daughter Elizabeth is to have use of all these items during her lifetime and, after her death, then John shall have use of them, if my Executors think fit, when he reaches the age of 21. However, if he dies before the age of 21 it is my will that my Executors shall have discretion of settlement over the twenty pounds during the lifetime of my daughter Elizabeth and after her death such amount is to be divided equally between Robert and William Wilkinson, the children of my daughter Elizabeth.
Item: I give and bequeath to my grandchildren, Robert Wilkinson and William Wilkinson, twenty shillings each when they reach the age of 21.
Item: I give and bequeath the profits from the land and buildings lying in West Mersea known as Dornallys, Pottfields and Goslings Acre (or any other name by which the property is known) which I purchased from Richard Foakes Senior, and which is currently occupied by William Richardson, to my Executors to be disposed of by them for the benefit of my daughter Elizabeth and her children. This bequest shall remain for the lifetime of my said daughter Elizabeth and, after her death, I give and bequeath the property and lands mentioned above equally to my grandchildren, Robert and William Wilkinson. Upon the death of either grandchild, the other shall inherit the deceased's share.
Item: I give and bequeath the rest of my property and goods to my Executors named hereafter to be disposed of as the majority of them think fit for the benefit of my daughter Elizabeth and her three sons, William, Robert and John.
Item: the remainder of my estate that is not disposed of during the lifetime of my daughter Elizabeth is to be equally divided between her three sons after her death at the discretion of my Executors, having first discharged all outstanding debts and payments.
I appoint my son, William Foakes; Mr Israel Edwards, clerk; Mr John Woolhouse, clergyman; and Thimble Westbrown to be Executors of this, my last will and testament, to ensure my debts are discharged, my will is proved, and my intentions are performed according to my wishes. Upon the death of any of the four Executors, the survivors shall, with the consent of my daughter Elizabeth, appoint another in his place.
In witness whereof I, Joan Foakes, have signed and sealed this document on the date above written.
Signed, sealed and delivered in our presence: The mark of Joan Foakes
The mark of Robert Eliner
The mark of Mary Debren