Will of John Jeffrey West Mersea 1557 D/ABW 21/59

Will of John Jeffrey 1557 Essex Record Office D/ABW 21/59

Transcribed by Jools Hoyle 5th October 2019
There is a translation to modern English further down the page

1.   In the name of god Amen The Last Daye of Maye in the thrid and fourthe yeres of the Reygnes of philip and Mary by the grace of god of England Spayne/ fraunce
2.   Jherusalem and yrland kynge and quene. Defendo[ur]rs of the faithe Archdukes of Austria Dukes of Myllan Burgundy
3.   and Braband Counties of Haspurge, Flaunders and Tiroll and in the yere of o[ur] lord god Ml Vc Lvijti [1557]. I John Jeffrey of westm[er]sey in the Countie of Essex
4.   Maryner beyinge sycke in body and of good and hole mynde and memory gevinge thankes to god therefore do ordeyne make and declare this
5.   my present Last will and testament in mann[er] and fourme followynge Firste and before all thynges I do com[m]end yeld and geve up
6.   my soull into the m[er]cyfull handes of allmightie god my Redem[er]. And also my body to be buryed in the Churchyard of westm[er]sey aforesaid
7.   Also I will and admitte unto Rose my wif that she shall have hur frebenche. [ Note 1 ] Also I geve to John my son[n]e my Land called Maydye [ Note 2 ] martelis
8.   to hym and to the heires of his body Laufully begotten. And yf the said John do dy w[i]t[h]out heries of his body Laufully begotten That than I will
9.   yt shall Remayne unto the reste of my children parte and parte like And yf my doughters dy w[i]t[h]out heires of there bodyes Laufully
10.   begotten That than I will yt shall Remayne to Rose my wif To have and to hold to hur[ heires?] and assign[es?] for ev[er]/ And also I will that yf my son[n]e John do fayle [ie die] w[i]t[h]in age or w[i]t[h]out
11.   heires of his body laufully begotten That than I will that Rose my wif shall have my Landes called madge Ma[r]kles untill tyme that myne eldest
12.   Doughter Joan/ shall come to hi[r] age of iti yeres And yf myne eldest Doughter fayle That than I will that my wife shall have the like [.......?] in my seconde
13.   doughter Rose/ Also I will that Joane my doughter shall have my house that I dwell in wi[th] thapp[ur]ten[au]nc[e]s thereunto bilongynge to hur and to hur heires
14.   of hur body Laufully begotten And yf the said Joane do dy w[i]t[h]owt heires of her body That than hur parte to be parted amonge the lyvers [ie survivors]
15.   parte and parte lyke Also I will that John my son[n]e shall paye to Rose my doughter owte of his Landes vj £ xiij s iiij d and he to paye yt w[i]t[h]in fuoer?[4]
16.   yeres after that he shall inyoie [enjoy] his landes And yf that he do dy before that yt be payde I will that his bequeste shall paye hur Also I will
17.   that my wife shall have all my shepe and all my beaste So that she do delyv[er] to eyther of my children xxti shepe a peace at the age
18.   of xxjti yeres and also to eyther of them ij[?] beaste a pece at the age of xxjti yeres Also I geve to ether of my children a fetherbed w[ith] a
19.   boulster and a cov[er]lett and a yonned [joined] bed the best to Rose, the seconde to John the third to Joane and they to have them aft[er] the decease of my
20.   wif. Also I will that my wif shall paye to eyther of my doughters at the age of xxjti yeres xls [40s] a peace of good and Laufull money
21.   of England Also I will that my wif shall have Cokes duryynge my yeres And she to paye all charges as I shold have done Also I
22.   will that my wif shall have all the Reste of my moveables or unmoveables that ar unbequethed what soev[er] they be so that she ke[a]pe my
23.   children as my truste is and mynde bothe. And I will that she shall have the gov[er]nance of them till they shall enyoie [enjoy] there [....?] yous [?]
24.   Also I will that these my debtes paide my body buryed and all thyng[es] discharged accordyngley to my will To this I have delyv[er]ed
25.   a Surrendo[ur] acordynge to the custome of the Mannor Makynge my wif my Executrice and John my son[n]e to be the other Executo[r]
26.   and John Durrell of Fyngryngho to be Sup[er]viso[ur] and he to have for his paynes vj s viij d In the prensece of Richard Tye Richard
27.   Byard and John wade


Translation by Jools Hoyle 13 January 2020

1.   In the name of God, Amen, on the last day of May in the third and fourth years respectively of the reigns of Philip and Mary, by the grace of God, King and Queen of England, Spain, France
2.   Jerusalem and Ireland; Defenders of the Faith; Archdukes of Austria, Dukes of Milan, Burgundy
3.   and Brabant; Counts of Hapsburg, Flanders and Tyrol and in the year of our Lord God 1557, I John Jeffrey of West Mersea in the county of Essex,
4.   Mariner, being sick in body and of sound mind and memory, giving thanks to God for this, ordain, make and declare this
5.   my last will and testament in the following way: First, before all things, I commend and yield
6.   my soul into the merciful hands of almighty God my redeemer and also my body, to be buried in the churchyard at the aforementioned West Mersea.
7.   Also I will and accept that Rose, my wife, shall have her free bench [ Note 1 ]. Also, I give to John, my son, my land called Maid Martells [ Note 2 ]
8.   to him and to his lawful heirs. If the said John should die without legitimate issue then I will
9.   it shall pass to the rest of my children in equal shares. If my daughters should die without legitimate issue
10.   then I will that it should go to Rose, my wife to have and to hold to ..../ And I also will that if my son John should die before reaching full age or without
11.   legitimate issue, that Rose, my wife, should have my land called Maid Martells until such time as my eldest
12.   daughter Joan shall reach the age of 21 years. If my eldest daughter should die, then I will that my wife shall have the like [...... ?] in my second
13.   daughter, Rose. Also, I will that Joan my daughter shall have the house that I live in, with all its appurtenances for her and her legitimate heirs
14.   and if the said Joan should die without legitimate issue then her share is to be shared between the survivors
15.   in equal parts. Also, I will that my son John shall pay to Rose, my daughter, from his land, £6. 13s 4d and he is to pay it within four
16.   years of having the benefit of the land. If he should die before the money is paid, I will that she should be paid from his estate. Also, I will
17.   that my wife shall have all my sheep and all my cattle, so that she can deliver a sheep apiece to each of my children at the age
18.   of 21 years and also to each of them at age 21, 2 head of cattle. Also, I give to each of my children a feather mattress with a
19.   bolster and a coverlet and a wooden bed; the best to Rose, the second best to John and the third to Joan, they are to have them after the death of my
20.   wife. Also, I will that my wife shall pay to each of my daughters at the age of 21 years, 40s each of good and lawful English money
21.   Also, I will that my wife shall have Cokes as I have done during my life, and she shall pay all charges as I should have done. Also I
22.   will that my wife shall have all the remainder of my goods and chattels as yet unbequeathed whatsoever they may be so that she may care for my
23.   children as I would wish. And I will that she should take care of them until they shall (come of age)
24.   Also, I will that my debts paid, my body buried and all things discharged according to my wishes, I have delivered this will
25.   according to the custom of the Manor, making my wife my executrix and John, my son, the other executor
26.   and John Durrell of Fingringhoe to be supervisor; he is to receive 6s 8d for his trouble. In the presence of Richard Tye, Richard
27.   Byard and John Wade


Note 1 free bench - the right of a widow to inherit her husband's property for her life.
Note 2 The Essex Place Names database records the name of Maid Martells in West Mersea in 1558, this might well be the land in question.

31 May 1557
ID: MARG_112_011
Source: Mersea Museum