Will of Joan Middleton of West Mersea 1557 ERO D/ABW 25/151

The Will of Joan Middleton 1557 Essex Record Office document D/ABW 25/151

Transcription by Elaine Barker May 2020
There is a translation to Modern English further down the page

Copia pro Registro [Register Copy]         Primo Julij a[nno domini] 1557
          solut' p[er] scriptura de novo v = paid for being [newly] written 5 s

1.   In the name of god A men the thirde daye fo may yn yeeres of the Raynes of phylipp And marye
2.   by the grace of god of Ingnland France naples Jerusalem and Irelend Kynge and Quene defenders
3.   of the Feythe prince of spane and Cicylle Arche duke of austreye duke of millayne burgonye and
4.   brabante Erlys of haspurge flaunders and Tyroll and yn the yere of our lorde god 1557 I Johne meddiltun
5.   of westemarsy yn the Countye of Essex weedow beynge sycke yn body but of good and hole mynde
6.   and memorie gefing thankes to god therfor wonlly And do make ordayne and declare this
7   my p[re]sent laste will and testament yn manner and forme folowyng first and before All thyng[es]
8.   I do Cum[m]end yelde and gyve upp my soule yn to the mercyfull handes of All myghty god my Redem[er]
9.   and lorde and my bodye to be burid yn the churche yarde of westemarsy Afore sayde and I will and
10.   ad mitt unto my sun wilyam meddeltun All my landes lying yn the paris of westemersy to him
11.   and to his Aeres of his body laufully be gotten and if the sayd wilyam do dy w[ith] out Esue
12.   of his body laufully be gotten then I will and ad mitt unto stephan meddeltun my second sun All
13.   thothes landes lying yn the paris Afore sayde to him and to his laufull Ayeres for Ever so that I will
14.   that the sayde stephan shall paye out of thothes landes unto his brothers vj pouendes of good and laufull
15.   mone of Ingland to be payed w[ith] yn to yeeres after that the sayde stephan shall so yn joye thosses
16.   landes that is to say hee shall pay unto Richird thre pouendes and unto thomas Meddeltun other thre
17.   ponendes and the on of them to be the otheris Ayeres yn that be Queste and to this I have delyverd A
18   surrender A cordyng to the Custum of the manner unto the landes of john wade standdg
19.   In stede of the lordes bayly yn the presence of Robert foxe and Richerd smethe being bothe tenentes
20.   Allso I will that my sun wilyam shall have on bullok and on of the beste beest allso I will
21.   that hee shall have the lonnge tabill yn the hall w[ith] the lonng forme allso I will that my sun wylyam shall
22.   have the Quarnes as thaye stand w[ith] the brase as it standethe yn the furnase allso I will unto stephan my
23.   my sun to have to best Allso I will that Richird my sun to have other to best allso I will that thomas my
24.   sun shall have other to best allso I will that the sayd thomas tohave Afetherbed of myne and all that loning
25.   there to Allso I will that the sayde thomas shall have xl s[hillings] of mony allso I will that stephan my sun to have other
26.   otherlonng forme yn the hall w[ith] A tabill that is yn the myllehouse allso I will that my fower sunes shall have all
27.   my shepe and lames to be parted by tweene them parte and parte leke allso I will that thay to have All my
28.   Corne to be soulde to/ the moste profit and the mone to be parted A moung them parte and parte leke
29.   Allso I will that the bequeste that my husband made to the be houst of gibbis childrin and Rose
30.   booran [?] I will that it shall be parformed w[ith] out Ene delaye or clause that is yn my husbandes
31.   will allso I will that the other thre to have wone cofer of lynnyn as it stand and to be parted parte
32.   and parte leeke allso I will that my children shall have the Reste of all my moveabills or on moveabills
33.   whare so ever thay be to be parted In defferrently part and parte leke and the lonngger lyver of my
34.   sunnes to inioye the others partes yf thay thre leggeses if one of them so dy w[ith] yn age and the
35.   deedes partes to be parted A moung the lyver allso I will that all my godchilldren shall haue eche [?] [page damaged]
36.   of them wone newe grote A pease allso I will that Richird bewalles shall have the one hallfe of that
37.   hee hathe of myne and he to paye for the other halfe and that the price to be indifferent
38.   Allso I will that Richerd Smethe shall have iij yeeres daye yn the?/ paying xxx s[hillings] so to paye x s[hillings]
39.   yeerely tyll till that xxxx s[hillings] be payd allso I will that m children enyoie theese leggesies at ther
40.   Age of xxj yeeres allso I will that thare be ij busells of corne to be baked and to be destrebuted
41.   At my beriell amonge the power Allso I will that viij powere men shall have gretes Apeese
42.   to Carre me to the churche // furrther more I will that my brother nycalas meddelltion shall
43.   be Joyned my Executor w[ith] wilyham my sune and thay to see my will welle and trully
44.   parformed and to se my body brouthe in to the earthe and all thinges deschergen allso
45.   I will that my Executores shall p[r]efayre my dettes whare soever thaye be
46.   and thus I ende in the name of god
47.   And theese [be - torn] the witnesses
48.   Robert foxe the elder
49.   Rycherd smethe

50.   John wallis John wade


Translation into modern English

Register Copy             1st July 1557
      paid for being newly written 5 shillings
In the name of God Amen, the third of May in the year of the reign of Philip and Mary
by the grace of God of England, France, Naples, Jerusalem and Ireland, King and Queen, Defenders
of the Faith, Prince of Spain and Sicily, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Milan, Burgundy and
Brabant, earl of Hapsburg, Flanders and Tyrol and in the year of our Lord God 1557, I, Joan Middleton
of West Mersea in the County of Essex, widow, being sick in body but of good and sound mind
and memory, thanks be to God, do make ordain and declare this
my last will and testament in manner and form following. First and before everything else
I commend, yield and give up my soul into the merciful hands of Almighty God, my Redeemer
and Lord, and my body to be buried in the churchyard of West Mersea before mentioned. I will and
transfer to my son, William Middleton, all my lands lying in the parish of West Mersea to him
and his lawfully begotten heirs. If William should die without lawfully begotten issue
then I will and transfer to Stephen Middleton, my second son, all
those lands lying in the parish to him and his lawful heirs for ever. In which case, I will
that Stephen shall pay out of those lands to his brothers 6 pounds of good and lawful
English money, to be paid within two years of him having those
lands, that is to say, he shall pay Richard three pounds and Thomas Middleton the other
three pounds and each one of them shall be the other's heir in this bequest. To this end I have delivered a
surrender according to the custom of the Manor into the hands of John Wade
representing the Lord's bailiff, in the presence of Robert Fox and Richard Smith, both tenants.
Also, I will that my son William shall have one bullock and one of the best beasts [cattle], also I will
that he shall have the long table in the hall with the long form and
the querns as they stand with the brass in the furnace. Also I will that Stephen my
son has two beasts, that Richard, my son, has two beasts and that Thomas, my
son, shall have another two beasts
Also I will that Thomas has my featherbed and all that belongs to it and
40 shillings of money. I will that Stephen, my son, shall have the other
long form in the hall with a table that is in the millhouse. Also I will that my four sons shall have all
my sheep and lambs to be divided equally between them. Also I will that they have
all my corn to be sold for the best profit, and the money to be equally divided between them.
Also I will that the bequest my husband made to the Gibbs' children and Rose
Booran [?] should be made without any delay or clause in my husband's
will. Also I will the other three to have one coffer of linen to be equally divided.
Also I will that my children shall have the rest of all my possessions, fixtures and fittings
where so ever they be, to be equally divided and the sons who live longest
to enjoy their brother's legacy if he dies before coming of age
and the share of the deceased to be divided among those still living. Also I will that each of my godchildren shall have
one new groat also I will that Richard Bewalles shall have one half of what
he has of mine and he is to pay for the other half at a reasonable price.
Also I will that Richard Smith shall have 3 years' delay in paying 30 shillings, therefore paying 10 shillings
yearly until the 30 shillings is paid off. Also I will that my children enjoy these legacies at the
age of 21 years. Also I will that 2 bushels of corn be baked and distributed
at my burial among the poor. Also I will that 8 poor men shall have each have gretes [?] [most likely 'grits', meaning coarse oatmeal, or more expensively, one groat each]
for carrying me to the church. Furthermore I will that my brother Nicholas Middleton shall
be appointed my executor with William my son, and they see my will well and truly
acted upon and see my body consigned to the earth and all things paid for. Also
I will that my executors shall receive my debts wheresoever they be
and thus I end in the name of God
before these witnesses
Robert Fox the Elder
Richard Smith
John Wallis John Wade

See also
William Myddleton Inventory West Mersea 1555 D/ABW 25/125

1 July 1557
ID: MARG_126_011
Source: Mersea Museum