Will of Elizabeth Prentyse of West Mersea 1589 ERO D/ABW 29/146

Mersea Wills: Elizabeth Prentyse Essex Record Office. Document reference: D/ABW 29/146
Transcriber: Trevor Hearn 23rd November 2019
There is a translation to modern English further down the page.

Page 1

Registrat[u]s
          Prentise
1   In the name of god Amen the two and twenty daye of November Anno d[o]m[ini]
2   1589 And in the Two and Thyrtye yere of the reigne of o[ur] sovereigne lady
3   Elizabeth by the grace of god Quene of England Fraunce and Ireland
4   defendo[ur] of the fayth etc I Elizabeth Prentyse of westmersey in
5   the County of Essex wydowe being syck in body but of whole sownde
6   and p[er]fect remembraunce (thankes be unto god for yt) renowncyng and
7   revokyng all former Wylles and Codycylls heretofore by me made or
8   declared in wryting or otherwise doe now ordayne and make this my
9   p[rese]nt last wyll and Testament in forme following that is to saye
10   Fyrst and pryncypally I co[m]mend my sowle unto th[e] almighty god my
11   Creator to Jesus Christ his only sonne my sole Savyour and
12   Redemer and to the holy ghost my Comfortor three p[er]sonns and
13   one god and my body to be buryed decently where god shall appoynt /.
14   Item I geve and devyse unto my sonne Stephen Prentyse all that
15   my Mesuage or Ten[emen]t w[i]th all the app[ur]tenaunces called the grene howse
16   scytuate and being in the Towne of Colchester in the said County of
17   Essex To have and to hold all the sayd Ten[emen]t w[i]th th[e] app[ur]tenannces
18   unto the sayd Stephen Prentyse and to the heires of his body
19   lawfully begotten upon this Condyc[i]on notw[i]thstanding following
20   and not otherwyse that is to saye that if the sayd Stephen
21   Prentyse his heires executors or assignees or any of them doe or shall
22   at any tyme after my decease trowble, vexe, sewe, empleade, or in

23   Tho[mas] Tailer           Elizabeth X Prentyse
24                     hir m[ar]ke

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1   any Wyse or sort molest Elizabeth Prentyse and Mary Prentyse
2   my dawghters whom I have hereafter named and constytuted Executors
3   of this my Wyll or either of them or the heires or executo[rs] of either
4   of them for any manner of matter debt, duty, demaunde cause
5   or thing whatsoever That then and from thenceforth my former
6   gyft and devyse made unto the sayd Stephen Prentyse of the
7   aforesayd Ten[emen]t w[i]th th[e] app[ur]tenannces abovemenc[i]oned shall
8   be wholy voyde frustrate and of none effect to all entents
9   and purposes And then I geve and devyse All the sayd Ten[amen]t
10   w[i]th th[e] app[ur]tenannces called the grene howse or by whatsoever other
11   name the same be called or knowen by unto the sayd Elizabeth
12   Prentyse Mary Prentyse and Unyca Smyth my dawghter To have
13   and to hold to the sayd Elizabeth Prentyse Mary Prentyse and
14   Unyca Smyth their heires and assignees absolutelie for ever
15   Item I gyve unto Unyca Smyth the dawghter of Wyllyam Smyth and
16   my said dawghter Unyca the some of Forty powndes of lawfull mony
17   of England To be payd unto the sayd Unyca Smyth the yonger at
18   hir age of one and twenty yeres or hir daye of maryadge w[hi]ch of them
19   first shall happen to come. Item I gyve unto the sayd Unyca Smyth
20   the wyfe of the sayd Willyam Smyth Forty powndes of lawfull mony
21   of England to be paid unto hir in forme following that is to say
22   Tenn powndes thereof w[i]thin one yere next after my decease

23   Tho[mas] Tailer           Elizabeth X Prentyse
24                     hir m[ar]ke

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1   And other Tenn powndes thereof w[i]thin two yeres next after my
2   decease, and other Tenn powndes thereof w[i]thin three yeres next
3   after my decease And other Ten powndes thereof resydew w[i]thin
4   fower yeres next after my decease. Item I gyve unto the
5   sayd Unyca Smyth my dawghter and wyfe of the sayd
6   Willyam Smyth the bedsted w[hi]ch now standeth in the guestes
7   chamber w[i]th the fetherbed lying now upon yt one bolster one
8   payer of shetes a payer of blankytt[es] and one wollen Coverlett
9   and the frame table standing in the p[ar]lo[ur] my best gowne and
10   my Baye mare To be delyvered unto hir p[rese]ntly after my decease
11   Item where heretofore I have obtayned lycense out of the Co[u]rt of the
12   mannor of Reveshall in Estmersey to demyse and lease All that my
13   Copyhold Tenement w[i]th th[e] app[ur]tenannces called dynett[es] or by
14   whatsoever other name or names the same is called or knowen by
15   siytuate lying and being in Estmersey in the sayd County of Essex
16   w[i]th all the landes meadowes pastures feadinges m[er]shes and
17   co[m]modyties thereunto belonging together w[i]th the Feeding of
18   Twenty and fower shepe upon a certen marsh called Toomans
19   Marsh or by whatsoever other name or names the same is called
20   or knowen by for the terme of Twenty and one yeres next ensuing
21   after the date of the sayd Co[u]rt to such p[er]son and p[er]sons as I
22   thought meete. By force of which lycense in forme aforesayd
 
23   Tho[mas] Tailer           Elizabeth X Prentyse
24               hir m[ar]ke

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1   or to the lyke effect obteyned and in consideracon as well of the long
2   and good servyce that Frauncys Hubberd my servaunt hath done unto
3   me as also of the great charges that the said Franncys Hubberd
4   hath bestowed in and upon the said Copyhold Ten[emen]t and landes I the
5   said Elyzabeth Prentyse doe by this my p[rese]nt wyll devyse and
6   graunt All the sayd Copyhold Ten[emen]t w[i]th all the sayd landes meadowes
7   m[ar]shes pastures feadinges and com[m]odyties therunto belonging w[i]th
8   their app[ur]tenannces together w[i]th the feading of the sayd tie iiij
9   shepe upon the sayd marshe unto the sayd Franncys Hubberd
10   my servannt To have and to hold All and singler the same
11   premisses w[i]th their app[ur]tenannces unto the sayd Franncys Hubberd
12   his executors and assignees from the daye of my decease for and
13   during such and so many yeres as then shal be to come of the terme of
14   yeres in the sayd lycense specefyed and recyted and for so long
15   tyme after the expyrac[i]on of the sayd terme of yeres in the
16   sayd lycense mencyoned (yf the Custome of the sayd manno[ur] wyll
17   yt p[er]mytt and suffer) as the sayd landes and Ten[emen]t[es] w[i]th
18   th[e] app[ur]tenannces may by the said Custome w[i]thout any forfayture
19   or other p[re]judyce be demysed and letten. yelding and and paying
20   therefore yerely to such p[er]son and p[er]sons and their heires and assignees
21   as I shall devyse and geve the same premisses unto the sum[m]e
22   of Five powndes of lawfull mony of England allwaies in the
 
23   Tho[mas] Tailer           Prentyse
24                 hir m[ar]ke

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1   Feast of St mychaell the Archaungell during the sayd terme or w[i]thin
2   Forty dayes then next following The fyrst payment thereof
3   to begynn at the feast of St mychaell the Archanngell
4   Twelve monthes next after my decease And my Wyll is that
5   the sayd Franncys his executo[urs] and assignees at his and their
6   owne cost[es] shall during the sayd terme kepe and mayntayne the sayd
7   Ten[emen]t and other the premisses in rep[er]ac[i]ons and fencyng farmorlyke
8   taking suffycient tymber and woodd upon the same premisses for the
9   mayntenaunce of the same premisses w[i]thout doing or makyng any
10   Wylfull Estrepement [Note 1] or waste and to take no woodd but to be
11   spent only upon the premisses And that the sayd Franncys shall also
12   yerely paye the lordes rent and taske [ Note 2] going out of the premisses
13   Item I gyve and devyse as well the Reversyon of the sayd
14   Copyhold Ten[emen]t w[i]th th[e] app[ur]tenannc[es] called dynett[es] and of all
15   other the premisses aforesayd to the sayd Franncys Hubberd
16   as aforesayd demysed as also the sayd yerely [.] [.] [.]
17   powndes above reserved unto Mary Prentyse my dawghter To
18   have and to hold All the same premisses w[i]th their app[ur]tenannces
19   and the sayd yerely rent of Five powndes unto the sayd Mary
20   Prentyse my dawghter hir heires and assignees for ever, upon
21   this Condycon notw[i]thstanding following and not otherwyse that
22   is to saye that she the sayd Mary Prentyse shall w[i]thin one month
 
23             Elizabeth X Prentyse
24   ho[mas] Tailer
25             hir marke

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1   next after my decease by good lawfull and p[er]fect Assuraunce in the lawe
2   assuer, Release and Convey unto Elizabeth Prentyse my dawghter and
3   hir heires All hir right tytle interest demawnde of in and to all
4   that Tenement Marsh and landes both free and Copy w[i]th th[e] app[ur]tenances
5   called Ward[es] or by whatsoever name or names the same bene called or
6   knowen by lying in Estmersey aforesayd and of and in a certen Waye now
7   therunto used over a p[ar]cell of land called shopfielde to and from the
8   Quenes high waye there And yf she the sayd Mary Prentyse doe
9   not make the sayd assuraunce and conveyannce w[i]thin the tyme before
10   lymytted Then I gyve as well the Reversyon of the sayd Ten[amen]t
11   w[i]th th[e] app[ur]tenannces called dynett[es] as the Rent abovemenc[i]oned
12   to be reserved unto Elizabeth Prentyse my dawghter To have and
13   to hold to the sayd Elizabeth Prentyse hir heyres and assignees for
14   ever. Item I gyve unto my good frend m[r] Waldegrave the Quenes
15   Steward one quarter of a waye [Note 3] of my best cheese and one fyrkyn of
16   my best butter to be delyvered unto him the mydsomer next after
17   my decease. It[e]m I gyve unto my brother in lawe Frend of
18   Maldon one leade of my best Cheese to be delyvered unto him the
19   mydsomer next after my decease. Item I gyve unto my Cosen
20   Ralfe Tymeott Five powndes to be payd in forme following
21   that is to say Forty shillinges thereof p[ro]ntly after my decease
23   and th[e] other three powndes w[i]thin two yeres next after my decease
 
24             Elizabeth X Prentyse
25   Tho[mas] Tailer           ir marke

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1   Item I geve unto Robert Dorman my servaunt twenty shillinges to be
2   payd unto hym w[i]thin one yere next after my decease. Item I gyve
3   unto my brother Danyell one Cowe and forty shyllynges of lawfull
4   mony of England to be payd and delyv[er]ed unto hym p[ro]ntly
5   after my decease. Item I gyve unto every one of my brother
6   Danyell his children Syxe shillinges and eight pence to be
7   payd unto them at their sev[er]all dayes of maryadge or ages of
8   jtie yeres w[hi]ch of them fyrst shall happen to come Item I
9   gyve unto ev[er]y one of the chyldren of Frauncys Benson my
10   systers sonne Tenn shillinges to be payd unto them at their
11   sev[er]all ages 2tie1 yeres or dayes of maryadge w[hi]ch of them fyrst
12   shall happen to come. Item I gyve unto Elizabeth Hunter my
13   godawghter at hir age of Twenty yeres Tenn shillinges and
14   to Franncys Bellfyld my godsonn tenn shillinges to be payd
15   unto hym at his age of 2tie1 yeres. Item I gyve unto Thomas
16   Kelsoe my servannt 40s to be payd him im[m]edyatlie after my decease
17   It[e]m I wyll that that sum[m]e of Syxe powndes which Edward
18   Woodcock should paye unto me at mydsomer next shalbe taken and
19   receyved by Franncys Hubberd my servannt to be by him employed
20   upon the repayring of the Ten[emen]t aforesayd called dynett[es] w[i]thin
21   two yeres after my decease And that my Executo[rs] hereafter
22   named shall w[i]thin the sayd two yeres delyver unto the sayd
 
23             Elizabeth X Prentyse
 
24   Tho[mas] Tailer           hir marke

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1   Franncys Hubberd other Syxe powndes more to be by hym
2   at his dyscrec[i]on bestowed and employed upon the sayd howses and
3   landes called dynett[es]. All the rest of my goodes Chattells, lease
4   farme, ready mony, Jewells, plate and howsehold stuffe before
5   unbequethed my debtes being payd the legacyes in this
6   my will satisfyed and my funerall charges answered I gyve
7   and bequeath unto Elizabeth Prentyse and Mary Prentyse my
8   dawghters the whichsayd Elizabeth Prentyse and Mary Prentyse
9   I doe ordayne and make Executors of this my p[rese]nt last wyll and
10   Testament to see the same fully and faithfully p[er]formed as
11   my trust and hope is they carefully will accomplysh according to my
12   trew meanyng. And for the better mayntenannce of systerly
13   love betwene my sayd two dawghters and avoyding of all causes of
14   contention after my death my will is And I streightly charge my
15   sayd dawghters Elizabeth Prentyse and Mary Prentyse as they
16   will answere the contrary before th[e] allmighty that they the sayd
17   Elizabeth and Mary doe enter either to other into two severall
18   obligacons before the probate of this my wyll/ for the better p[er]formannce and execucon of this my
  wyll
19   in such sum[m]es of mony and w[i]th such Condycons as to Abraham Fookes
20   and Franncys Hubberd my servannt shalbe sett downe and by them
21   named. In Wytnes whereof to every shete of this my will conteyning
22   in the whole w[i]th this shete eight shetes of paper every of the same shetes
23   conteyning (this latter shete only excepted) two and twenty lynes a pece I the
24   sayd Elizabeth Prentyse have sett my usuall m[ar]ke and to this last
25   shete sett my seale the daye and yere first above wrytten
26   Theis being Wytnesses           Elizabeth X Prentyse
27   Abraham Fokes          
28   arther wyllson Joseph Frost           hyr marke

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1   Probatum fuit hoc testa[men]tum
2   apud Kelvedon die ven[e]ris sext/ die
3   mens[i]s Februarij Anno d[o]m[ini]
4   1589 iuxta &c Coram m[agistro] Tho[mas]
5   Tailer LL bac' Comiss[ary] &c p[er] m[agist]r[um]
6   Jacobu[m] Thwait[es] no[ta]r[iu]m publicum
7   p[ro][....] [.....] executr[...] in eode[m]
8   estat no[mi]nat es [.......] [?]
9   [..] [..] in p[ro][...] [..] [?] [?] [?]
10   iuratus &c salvo &c? et S[u]m[m]a
11   eodem die erat lat[um] p[ro] validitate
12   [......] [....] p[ro] [...] p[ro] [?] & ad
13   p[er]petuam rei memoriam [?]

Note 1. Estrepement: "Wasting" of lands, esp. 'Any spoil or waste made by tenant for life, upon any lands or woods, to the prejudice of him in reversion; also, making land barren by continual ploughing' (Wharton).
Note 2. Taske: A fixed payment to a king, lord, or feudal superior; an impost, tax; tribute. (OED)
Note 3. A standard of dry-goods weight. (OED)


Translation to modern English by Trevor Hearn 26th November 2019


In the name of God, Amen.

22nd November 1589

I, Elizabeth Prentyse, of West Mersea in the County of Essex, widow, being sick in body but of sound mind, hereby revoke all former wills and codicils made by me in writing or otherwise, and make this my last will and testament.

Firstly, I commend my soul to God Almighty and my body to be buried wheresoever He appoints.

I give my house and land known as The Green House, together with the land attached thereto, to my son, Stephen Prentyse, or his legal heirs, upon the following condition: that the said Stephen Prentyse, or his legal heirs, successors or assignees, do not at any time after my death, trouble, vex, sue or molest Elizabeth Prentyse and Mary Prentyse, my daughters, whom I have hereafter named the executors of my will, (or their respective heirs or executors), in respect of any matter, debt, duty, demand or cause whatsoever. If this condition is broken then this bequest to my said son, Stephen Prentyse, is null and void and I then give my house and land known as The Green House, together with the land attached thereto, to my daughters, Elizabeth Prentyse, Mary Prentyse and Unyca Smith, or their heirs and assignees.

I give to my granddaughter Unyca Smith, the daughter of William Smith and my daughter Unyca Smith, the sum of £40, to be paid when she attains the age of 21 or on her marriage date, whichever comes first.

I give to my daughter, Unyca Smith, the wife of William Smith, £40 to be paid in four annual installments of £10 each, commencing within one year of my death.

I give to my daughter, Unyca Smith, the wife of William Smith, the bedstead currently in the guest bedroom together with the mattress, one bolster, one pair of sheets, a pair of blankets and one woollen coverlet; the frame table standing in the parlour; my best dress; and my bay mare, to be delivered to her promptly after my death.

With regards my lease of the house known as Dynettes in East Mersea, Essex together with all the land, meadows, pastures and marshes belonging to it, including the right to graze 24 sheep upon the marsh called Toomans, I obtained a license from the court of the manor of Reeveshall to sublet the house and lands to whomsoever I thought fit for a term of 21 years. In consideration of the good service received from my servant, Francis Hubberd, I give and bequeath the residue of the term of 21 years under the license to the said Francis Hubberd. At the expiration of such term, providing the custom of the manor of Reeveshall permits it, the said house and lands shall be sublet and the income thereform shall be paid to such person or persons, (or their heirs and assignees), as I shall name. I give the sum of
£5 to be paid on 29th September during the term of the lease, commencing on the 29th September after 12 months following my death. My will is that Francis Hubberd, or his executors and assignees, be responsible at his or their own costs for the upkeep and maintenance of the property in good repair for the term of the lease, and that timber and wood from the estate of Dynettes may be used in such maintenance provided it is not wasted and used only for such maintenance. Francis Hubberd shall also pay the rent and tax due to the Lord of the Manor from the estate.


I give and bequeath the reversion of the said lease of the land and estate known as Dynettes to Francis Hubberd and the payment of the £5 as described above to my daughter, Mary Prentyse, (or her heirs or assignees) for ever, upon the following condition: that the said Mary Prentyse, within one month of my death, by making the relevant assurance in the register, release and convey to my daughter, Elizabeth Prentyse, all the rights, title and interest in the land and estate, both freehold and leasehold, known as Wardes, (or by whatever other name the estate is known), in East Mersea, and a parcel of land called Shopfield adjacent to the road. If Mary Prentyse makes the assurance and conveyance within the time limit specified, I also give the reversion of the rent reserved to my daughter, Elizabeth Prentyse (or her heirs and assignees for ever), as described above, pertaining to the leasehold of the land and estate known as Dynettes, to Mary Prentyse.

I give to my good friend, Mr Waldegrave, the Queen's steward, 56lb of my best cheese and one firkin of my best butter to be delivered to him on 21st June next after my death.

I give to my brother-in-law, Frend of Maldon, one container of my best cheese to be delivered to him on 21st June next after my death.

I give to my cousin, Ralph Tymeott, £5, to be paid in installments of 40 shillings promptly after my death, and then the remaining £3 within two years after my death.

I give to Robert Dorman, my servant, 20 shillings, to be paid within one year after my death.

I give to my brother, Daniel, one cow and 40 shillings to be paid and delivered to him promptly after my death.

I give to each of the children of my brother Daniel, the sum of 6 shillings and 8 pence to be paid to each of them on reaching their respective age of majority or age of 21 years, whichever comes first.

I give to each of the children of Francis Benson, my sister's son, the sum of 10 shillings, to be paid on the date of their respective ages of 21 or the date of their respective marriage, whichever happens first.

I give to my goddaughter, Elizabeth Hunter, on the date of her 20th birthday, and to my godson, Francis Bellfield, on the date of his 21st birthday, each the sum of ten shillings.

I give to my servant, Thomas Kelsoe, 40 shillings to be paid to him immediately after my death.

I desire that the sum of £6 due to be paid to me by Edward Woodcock on the 21st June next, should be paid to my servant, Francis Hubberd, to be used by him for repairs to my property called Dynettes within 2 years after my death. Also, within 2 years after my death, my executors named herein shall pay the said Francis Hubberd, a further £6 to be retained and used by him for the estate called Dynettes.

After my debts have been paid, the legacies contained herein have been satisfied and my funeral debts have been discharged, I bequeath the rest of my goods, chattels, money, jewels, plate and household items to my daughters Elizabeth Prentyse and Mary Prentyse whom I make and ordain executors of this, my last will and testament, and to fully and faithfully perform their obligations according to my wishes. In order to avoid any contentious issues and to maintain harmony between my daughters, prior to the grant of probate of my will, I charge my two daughters, Elizabeth Prentyse and Mary Prentyse, to enter into joint and several obligations for an amount to be determined, and in accordance with such conditions, as laid down by Abraham Fookes and my servant, Francis Hubberd.

In witness to each page of my will, containing a total of 9 sheets with each sheet, save for this last one, having 22 lines of text, I have made my usual mark and, to this last sheet, have affixed my seal.

Dated the day and year first above written.

Witnesses:                 The mark of: Elizabeth Prentyse

Abraham Fookes
Arthur Wilson
Joseph Frost

This will was proved at Kelvedon on Friday 6th February 1589 by and before Master Thomas Tailer LLB and through Jacob Thwaites, Notary Public, and administration was grnated to the executors named in the same will.

22 November 1589
ID: MARG_117_011
Source: Mersea Museum