Essex wills – A

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Some wills have been transcribed in full, whereas others are a paraphrased transcription. If they are paraphrased, they contain the names of all those mentioned in the will, with the gist of what they were (or were not!) bequeathed, but to find the full details, such as the names of property, requests as to how they were to be buried etc., please contact the archive that holds the will to retrieve a copy, or visit in order to consult it.

Alefounder, Robert, clothier of Dedham, 1630


Son John Alefounder

Son Robert Alefounder: property in Kirby, Essex, and Walton, Essex, occupied by John Cole. Land bought from John Purdy, Anthony Sherlock, Richard Caldy. Land in Walton occupied by Thomas Waldenor. Property in Dedham bought from Mary Bentley, Hanna Neavard and Susan Salmon. Property in Dedham occupied by Robert Freeman the elder, and land bought from William Wilkinson, occupied by Thomas Wilson. Land in Beaumont, Essex, occupied by Widow Ewers. Land in Thorpe, Essex, occupied by Stephen Coker

Daughters Sarah Browning [Braming in other wills], Rachell Sherman, Anne Fenne, Susan Alderman

Daughter Browning’s ten children, under 18

Son Robert’s children, under 18, except his son Robert

Daughter Sherman’s children: Robert, testator’s godson, and her other three children

Grandchildren John Wilkinson and Anne Wilkinson, under 18

Daughter Fenne’s three children

Stephen Howe £20 as long as “he seal a general release of all demands whatsoever unto my executors”

Daughter-in-law Susan Salmon: £10 to be paid at times that Mr Rogers sees fit

My wife’s daughters Mary Bently, Hanna Payte, Susan Salmon – their children, under 18

Sisters Eme White, Awdrie Moore, Mary Howard

My sister Groome’s children

Kinsmen Richard Alefounder and George White

The poor of East Bergholt (money to be distributed by Mr Dr Jones), and Dedham (to be distributed by executors), and “poor Christians” (by Mr Rogers)

Mr Rogers to give testator’s children “good counsel”

Thomas Darbie

Brother John Upcher and his wife


Brother Thomas Woodgate and his wife

Thomas Branston of East Bergholt, sons Thomas Glover, Richard Browninge, Ezekiel Sherman, Henry Fenne, John Wilkinson: £3 each for a ring

Sister Cole 30 shillings

Daughter-in-law the widow Alefounder

Rest and residue to be divided among his six children

Executors: sons Robert and John

Supervisor: his “loving friends” Mr John Rogers, George Cole the elder, William Cole

Witnesses: Andrew Bacon, Edmund Sherman, Edward Cardinall

Written 16 March 1629/30, probate 6 May 1630


Transcriber’s notes: See the will of his son, Robert Alefounder of East Bergholt, 1639.

His sister, Eme White, is presumably the Eme Alefounder who married George Wite in Newton nr Sudbury in 1572.

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Allen, Thomas, gentleman, of Great Oakley, 1777

To my sister Sarah, wife of Ralph Bull of Beaumont, Essex: freehold messuage or tenement farm and lands in Tolsen Knights otherwise Tolsen Bushes, Essex, in the occupation of Charles Richardson.

To my brother-in-law Ralph Bull: the term of lease remaining on the farm where I now dwell called Great Oakley Hall, with all the stock, crop, corn, utensils etc. And all my household goods, furniture, plate, jewels, rings, ready money, rest and residue etc.

Executor: the said Ralph Bull

Witnesses: John Keable, B Didier, D J Didier.

Written: 3 Oct 1775, proved 19 Nov 1777.

ERO ref: D/ACW 33/7/19

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Allston/Alston, Joseph, wheelwright, of West Bergholt. 1839

To Thomas Hayward, my son-in-law: messuage cottage with yard in West Bergholt, sometime in his occupation

To Mary Johnson, widow, my daughter: recently built messuage or tenement in West Bergholt, late in the occupation of my son-in-law Thomas Johnson, deceased, now in the occupation of Isaac Drane, for her life. After her death, to her three children: Sarah Lilley (late Johnson), Thomas Johnson, Henry Johnson

To my said three grandchildren: my two cottages (formerly a workshop) in the occupations of Ann Sheldrick, widow, and John Lilley, and all my other real estate not otherwise disposed of.

To Mary Johnson, my daughter: all household goods and furniture Rest and residue to be converted into money and divided up: one fourth to my daughter Mary Johnson, three fourths to be divided between my said grandchildren as they reach 21 (or to be received earlier if required to put them out as apprentices) Executors: my nephew Richard Allston of West Bergholt, brick maker, and my friend James Dennis of Colchester, shopkeeper.

Witnesses: Peter Ingram, Sarah Dennis x, Daniel Stock

Written: 21 April 1831, proved 8 May 1839. He died in West Bergholt on 22 March 1839.

Transcriber’s note: He signs “Alston”, but his surname is spelt throughout as “Allston”.

ERO ref: D/ABW 134/1/42

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Allston/Alston, Richard senior, brickmaker, of West Bergholt. 1830

To my wife Mary: all household goods and furniture, and my messuage and dwelling house with one acre of land in West Bergholt, for life

After her death, the £30 now owed to me by my son Richard Alston to be divided equally between himself and my sons Lawson and Joseph.

And the said dwelling house, land, household goods and furniture to be divided equally between my sons Lawson and Richard.

My son Joseph not to receive more than £10 as he has already been provided for.

Executors: my sons Richard and Lawson

Witnesses: Will. Grimwood, Phebe Instance, Rich. Neville.

Written: 10 June 1815, proved 28 Aug 1830. He died in West Bergholt on 12 April 1830.

ERO ref: D/ABW 128/2/58

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Allston, Richard, brickmaker, of West Bergholt. 1855

To my wife Elizabeth: £150

£30 each to my niece Mary Allston, my nephews Joseph Allston and John Allston, and my niece Sarah Brown (wife of Henry Brown)

£40 each to my nephews Richard Allston and Henry Allston £16 each to my great-nephews Thomas Allston and Lawson Allston £9 each to my great-nieces Mary Neverd and Ann Allston

To said nephew Joseph Allston: my freehold brick-kiln, land, tenement etc in Mile End, Colchester, now in his occupation

To my said nephew John Allston: my freehold brick-kiln, land, cottages etc in Great Horkesley, now in his occupation

To my brother Lawson Allston: my freehold messuages in West Bergholt, now in the occupation of myself, Widow Barrell and James Sebborn Copyhold in Great Horkesley or elsewhere to be sold, the proceeds to be divided between my said four nephews: Joseph, John, Richard and Henry Allston

All household goods and furniture etc to my brother Lawson Allston

Executors: my friend Robert Bradbrook of Cooks Hall, West Bergholt, and my said brother Lawson Allston of same, baker

Witnesses: Sarah Clarke, Fredk H Newell (solicitor, Colchester)

Written 14 Nov 1854, proved 26 Jan 1855. He died in West Bergholt on 30 December 1854

ERO ref: D/ABW 141/2/7

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Allston, Robert, husbandman, of West Bergholt. 1758

To my wife Mary, my land and cottage for her natural life

After her death to my daughter Elizabeth Allton (she to pay my daughter Hannah Allston £5)

To my wife Mary all my movables, goods, chattels, etc.

Executrix: wife Mary. He marks

Witnesses: Richard Boys, James Brett, Wm Clark x

Written: 28 Nov 1758, proved 9 Dec 1758

ERO ref: D/ABW 99/2/75

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