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

  • Wife
  • 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
  • Servants
  • 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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Arthy, John, baker of Wivenhoe, 1765

  • Wife Mary: property in Wivenhoe
  • Son Elliot Arthy, under 22, to be apprenticed
  • Executors: Mr John Arthy of Isleham, Cambridgeshire, and Mr John King of Colchester
  • Father William Arthy

Witnesses: Robert Fuller, Robert Whiting, Henry Case

Written 7 Oct 1763, probate 30 Sep 1765


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Arthy, Thomas, gentleman of Heybridge, 1791

  • Wife Dorcas
  • property in Boxford, Layer-de-la-Haye, Heybridge, and a bakery in Wivenhoe
  • Sons Joseph Arthy and Thomas Arthy
  • Thomas Arthy son of William Arthy of Manningtree, baker
  • Cousin William Arthy of Heybridge, maltster (son of cousin Joseph Arthy)
  • Niece Dorcas Parker
  • Brothers William Arthy and Joshua Arthy
  • Nephew Thomas Hurd
  • John, Elizabeth and Martha Pissey, children of John Pissey of Vange, farmer
  • Elizabeth and Susanna Arthy, daughter of my cousin William Arthy, late of Hockley
  • Thomas and William Parker, sons of cousin William Parker of Type Street, London, carman
  • Joseph Arthy who now lives with William Harvey of Peldon, farmer
  • Rev Nicholas Corsellis, rector of Wivenhoe: money for the poor of the parish
  • money for the poor of Peldon and Heybridge

Executors: said cousin William Arthy, Robert Bernard of Heybridge, miller

Witnesses: Jno and Mary Bartholomew, John Downs?

Written 11 Nov 1790, died in Heybridge 30 Oct 1791, probate 19 Nov 1791


Transcriber’s notes: Testator buried in Heybridge on 4 Nov 1791. His wife Dorcas died on 16 Jan 1792, and was buried in Heybridge on 22 Jan 1792.

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