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.
- Bacon, Nicholas, yeoman of Mistley, 1729
- Balls, John, farmer of West Bergholt, 1809
- Balls, John, farmer of West Bergholt, 1811
- Bearman, Stephen, farmer of Wix, 1795
- Budds, Abraham, farmer and shopkeeper of Beaumont-cum-Moze, 1825
- Budds, William, yeoman of Great Oakley, 1785
- Bull, Ralph, farmer of Wix, 1778
- Burton, John, miller of White Colne, 1689
- Burton, John, grocer of Wakes Colne, 1723
- Burton, Samuel grocer of Wakes Colne, 1708
- Burton, Samuel, of Wakes Colne, 1748
Bacon, Nicholas, yeoman, of Mistley. 1729
To my daughter Sarah Bacon: £100 when 21. If she dies under 21, the money to be divided between my sons Nicholas Bacon and Robert Bacon when they reach 21.
To my two daughters-in-law Elizabeth Cousins and Mary Cousins: £10 each.
To my brother William Bacon: my wearing apparel
Rest and residue to be sold by executor, and money raised to be divided between my sons Nicholas and Robert when they reach 21
Executors: my said son Nicholas Bacon and my brother Edward Frost of Weeley, Essex. He marks
Witnesses: Dav. Mustard, John Sharman, H? Cottmar
Written 27 Dec 1728, proved 17 April 1729.
In Latin: 12th October 1731, mentions Marie Frost widow, Robert Bacon and Sarah Bacon. Unclear – perhaps Nicholas Bacon jnr had died and so Edward’s widow became the executor?
ERO ref: D/ABW 88/1/44
Balls, John, farmer of West Bergholt. 1809
To my son Ambrose Balls: copyhold barn and lands in West Bergholt
To my son-in-law George Pigg: all copyhold property in West Bergholt, now in his occupation (being part of the property bequeathed to Ambrose) for his natural life.
After his death, to my daughter (his wife) Elizabeth, for her natural life.
After her death, to my grandson John Pigg (a son of George and Elizabeth Pigg)
To my son John Balls: my tenement and farm where I now live in West Bergholt, freehold and copyhold.
My wife Elizabeth to be allowed the use of the bedroom rent-free.
The property to be charged with annuities: £15 for my wife; £20 for my grandson John Green, son of John Green of Fordham Hall, farmer; £10 for my granddaughter Susanna Pigg, daughter of George Pigg, when she’s 21
To my wife: all the furniture in the bedroom Horses to be sold, proceeds to be divided between my children then living
To my son Thomas Balls of Great Horkesley, wheelwright: £100
To my son John: muck [transcriber’s note: yes, really, a pile of muck!]
Rest and residue to my son Ambrose Balls
Executors: said son-in-law John Green, son John Balls
Witnesses: Thomas Thorp, Thomas Thorp jnr, William Mason
Written: 17 Feb 1802, proved 24 May 1809. He died in West Bergholt on 9 April 1809
ERO ref: D/ABW 118/1/25
Balls, John, farmer of West Bergholt. 1811
To my son John Balls: tenement and farm in West Bergholt, freehold and copyhold (devised to me by the will of my late father, John Balls, written 1802), but charged with payments as per my father’s will: annuity of £10 to my brother Richard Balls. My executor to run the farm until my son John comes of age.
My friends and executors Robert Bradbrook of West Bergholt, farmer, and Nathaniel Polley of Lexden, farmer (also to be guardians of my children in their minority), to sell all of my copyhold in West Bergholt, Lexden and Fordham, and all my cattle, corn and implements of husbandry.
The money to be paid to: my wife Elizabeth (if she remains a widow) and to my six children when they reach 21: Sarah, Mary, Susanna, Elizabeth, Ann, Richard
To my wife Elizabeth: all household goods and furniture for life, while a widow. On her death or remarriage, to be sold and the money arising to be divided between my six children.
He marks. Witnesses: Jos. Fisher, W. Mason, Thos. Hurrell
Written: 25 Aug 1810, proved 13 Feb 1811. He died 27 Aug 1810
ERO ref: D/ABW 119/1/4
Bearman, Stephen, farmer, of Wix, 1795
This is the last Will and Testament of me, Stephen Bearman of Wix in the County of Essex farmer, made in the time of my Health and Strength of Memory.
First I do hereby give and devise unto my daughter Ann Gilbert Wade, the Wife of William Wade of Tendring in the County aforesaid Wheelwright, all those my three several cottages or Tenements situate, lying and being in Wix aforesaid and now in the several tenures of John Peck, Cornelius Angier and Susannah Birch singlewoman. To hold the same with their and every of their rights, commons, members and appurtenances unto my said Daughter Ann Gilbert Wade and her assigns for and during the term of her natural life.
And from and immediately after her decease, then I give and devise all and every the same cottages or tenements and premises with their appurtenances unto all and every the children of my said Daughter that shall be living at her decease, equally, and their respective heirs as tenants in common and not as join tenants.
Also I do hereby give and devise unto my loving wife Mary all that cottage or tenement (now unoccupied) with the appurtenances thereunto belonging, situate and being in the Parish of Wix aforesaid, for and during the term of her natural life, provided she shall so long continue my widow. And from and immediately after her decease or marriage, which shall first happen, I do give and devise the said last mentioned cottage or tenement with the appurtenances unto my said daughter (provided my said wife shall be then dead or married again).
Then I give and devise all and singular the said last mentioned cottage or tenement and premises with the appurtenances unto all and every the children of my said daughter [condition as above].
And it is my will and mind and I do order and direct my executors hereinafter named as soon as conveniently may be after my decease, to make sale of all and every my implements in farming, household goods, stock within doors and without, goods and chattels whatsoever, which I shall be possessed of at the time of my decease. And the moneys therefrom arising together with the monies I shall die possessed of at my decease (after payment of all and every my just debts, funeral expenses, the charges of proving this my will and other incident expences, together with the legacys herein after bequeathed, I do hereby order and direct my executors to place out at interest on Government or good land security and alter and change the said security and securitys as often as they shall think proper.
And from and out of the interest, dividends and proceed thereof, I give and bequeath unto my said loving wife Mary the sum of three shillings weekly and every week, to be paid her by my executors hereinafter names, during the term of her natural life, provided she shall so long continue my widow, but not otherwise. And the remaining part of the interest, dividends and proceed of my said moneys, together with the said sum of three shillings per week from and immediately after the death or marriage of my said wife, which shall first happen, I will shall be paid by my said executor unto my said daughter Ann Gilbert Wade during the term of her natural life, exclusive of her said Husband, and whose receipt alone, notwithstanding her Coverture, shall be a good and sufficient discharge to my said executors for time to time for the same.
And from and immediately after her decease, then I give and bequeath all and every my aforesaid monies, securitys for money and personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever, equally to be divided amongst all and every the children of my said daughter Ann Gilbert Wade, which shall be living at her decease, and the issue of such of them as shall be then dead, leaving issue, such issue to be intitled only to such part therein as his, her or their father or mother would have been intitled to if living.
And lastly I nominate, constitute and appoint my friends Mr. John Vesey of Tendring aforesaid and Mr. Joseph Harris of Wix aforesaid, executors of this my will, to whom I give and bequeath the sum of five guineas a piece (over and above there reasonable expences) for their trouble in the execution of this my will. And hereby revoking all former wills by me at any time heretofore made, I do declare this to be and contain my last will and testament.
He marked. Witnesses: Charlotte Perkins, Wm Perkins, Thos. Hitchcock
Written: 23rd April 1795 Died at Wix 26th August 1795 Proved 10th October 1795. Goods, chattels and credits under the sum of £600.
ERO ref: D/ACW 36/4/23
Budds, Abraham, farmer and shopkeeper of Beaumont-cum-Moze, 1825
To wife Judith Budds, 6 shillings a week for life, to come from copyhold in Beaumont-cum-Moze, and any part of the household furniture for her own use, to the value of £10. Also Judith Budds to live at my house called “The Meeting House” for her natural life, rentfree.
To son Abraham Budds: all my real estate – copyhold lands, houses, shops, tenements in Beaumont-cum-Moze. Subject to weekly 6 shilling payment to Judith Budds (as above), and for an annuity for my daughter Mary, wife of Thomas Kedge of Beaumont-cum-Moze, for the first ten years after my decease, to start a year after my death.
To my daughter Judith Cowey, wife of John Cowey of Great Oakley: £90
To my daughters Susan Budds and Rhoda Budds: £120 each. The legacies to be paid from estate bequeathed to son Abraham, five years after my death, or sooner if convenient. Interest to accumulate at 5% per year.
To my son Abraham, all my stock, household furniture (except as above), and all my rest and residue.
Executors: John Dennis gent, and Samuel Dennis his son, my son Abraham Budds.
Dated: 4th April 1818. Witnesses, all of Thorpe-le-Soken: L. J. Upcher, Mary Bentfield, Jno. Bentfield Testator died at Beaumont-cum-Moze 24th September 1824.
Proved: 18th March 1815.
Budds, William, yeoman of Great Oakley, 1785
My customary messuage where I now dwell to be sold by my execs for £30, to any of my children who choose to purchase it (daughter Elizabeth, wife of Edmund Bird, to have first refusal). The purchaser to allow my wife Mary to live there for her natural life.
If none choose to buy it, it is to be sold and the proceeds divided equally between my children: sons William Budds and Abraham Budds, daughters Mary (wife of Thomas Bloss) and Elizabeth (wife of Edmund Bird).
After debts and funeral expenses, and after my wife’s death, remainder of household goods and effects to be divided between my said children. All money left over to be divided equally between my said children.
Executors: my nephew Richard Flatt of Beamond, farmer, and my son Abraham Budds
William Budds x
Dated: 15th August 1780 Witnesses: Edward Harwood, Joseph Long, Edwd. Keeble.
Proved: 11th July 1785. William Budds died at Great Oakley at the end of March 1783.
ERO ref: D/ACW 35/2/23
Bull, Ralph, farmer, of Wix, 1778
This is the last Will and Testament of me Ralph Bull of Wix in the County of Essex Farmer being of Sound Mind and understanding (Praised be God for the same) made in manner following (that is to say)
First I Give and Bequeath unto my Natural Daughter Mary Bull Cutter whom I do hereby own to have Begotten on the Body of Mary Cutter my Housekeeper The sum of Twenty shillings a month to be paid her my said Daughter Mary Bull Cutter Monthly and every Month for and during her Natural Life by my son Ralph Bull his Executors Administrators or Assigns.
I Give and Bequeath unto Mary Cutter my Housekeeper Mother of the said Mary Bull Cutter the sum of £100 lawful Money of Great Britain to be paid her the said Mary Cutter by my Executor hereafter Named out of my Effects within Six Months after my Decease.
And after all my Just Debts Funeral Charges and probate of this my Last Will and Testament are all paid Then all the rest residue and Remainder of my Estates and Effects both Real and personal that I shall Die possessed of I Give and Bequeath and Devise unto my Son Ralph Bull from and Immediately after my Decease.
And lastly I do Nominate Constitute and appoint my said son Ralph Bull my son Executor to this my Last Will and Testament revoking all other Wills by me at any Time heretofore made I do Declare this my Last. In Witness whereof I the said Ralph Bull have to this my Last Will and Testament Set my Hand and Seal this 27th March 1778. Ralph Bull x
Witnesses: William Spencer, Edward Harwood, Edwd. Keeble
The within mentioned Ralph Bull died in the parish of Weeks in on the 18th Febry last.
Proved: 9th Jul 1779.
ERO ref: D/ACW 34/2/15
Burton, John, miller, of White Colne, 1689
In the name of God Amen the nine & twentieth day of June in the yeare of our Lord God 1689 I John Burton of White Colne in the County of Essex miller, sicke of body but of good & pefect Memory God be praised doe make & ordaine this my last will & teastament in manner & forme following: That is to say first I commend my soule into the hands of God my maker hopeinge assuredly through the onley merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour to be made petaker of life evelonglasting: & I commende my body to the earth whereof it is made to be decently buried by my undernamed executrix:
Item I give & bequeath All my Coustamary lands & tenements holden of the mannor of Colne Wake called by the name of Rolfs land or by any other name or names whatsoever unto Sarah my well beloved wife for & dureing the tearme of ten yeares next ensuing after my deceasing my said wife shall so long live: & after the end & expiration of the said ten years or other soner determination I give said lands & tenements unto my brother Samuell Burton & his heires for ever:
Item I give & bequeath unto my brother Samuell Burton the summe of five shillings of lawfull mony of England to be paid within six monthes next after my decease:
Item I give & bequeath unto my kinseman Thomas Dearsly the summe of one shilling to be paid within one moneth the next after my decease:
Item I give & bequeath unto my kinsewoman Alice Tompson the summe of one shilling to be paid within one moneth next after my decease:
Item all the rest of my goods & chattels whatsoever not before bequeathed: I give & bequeath unto Sarah my wife towards the paying of my debts & Legacies & funeral expences whome I doe appointe sole executrix of this my last will & testament:
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seale the day & yeare first above written:
Signed Sealled published & declared by the said John Burton x to be his last will & teastament in the presence of us whose names are hereunder named & was attested & subscribed by us in the presence of the said testator: Witnesses: John Keable senr., John Sallowes?, Solomon Carter x, Elnathan Middleton x
Proved: 16 Dec 89.
ERO Ref: D/ACW 21/46
Burton, John, grocer, of Wakes Colne, 1723
I give to my elder son Samuel Burton, my messuage etc called The Oak in Chappell als. Poulebright, co. Essex, now in the tenure of John Bacon, also my messuage etc. in Much Tey co. Essex now in the occupation of Avery Sanders held of the manor of Tey Magna by copy of Court Roll.
To my youngest son John Burton all my messuage etc in Chappell als. Poulebright etc. in the occupation of John Talloday held of the manors of Cressinghall and Barons cum Flories; also my messuage etc. wherein I now dwell; also my messuage etc. in Mount Bures co. Essex now in the occupation of John Miller; also my messuage in Kirby co. Essex held of the manor of Kirby; also my messuage etc. freehold & copyhold in White Colne and Colne Wake, now in the tenure of George Bryant held of the manor of Berwickhall; also my messuage etc. in the parish of Braxted near Tiptrey Heath on condition he pay the following legacies:
To my eldest daughter Mary, wife of James Keable 50 li.
To my daughter Sara, wife of Thomas Newcomb 30 li. To my daughter Grace, wife of Samuel Newcomb 50 li.
To my youngest daughter Rebecca Burton 100 li at 21 years.
Exors: My son John Burton & my son-in-law James Keable.
Signed: John Keable. Witnesses: G. Lagden, Eliz. Kendall, J. Grimston.
Codicil dated 18 November 1723: I give to my son-in-law James Keable, one of my executors 20 li.
Witnesses: Richard Bridge, Thomas Keable, J. Grimston. Signed: John Keable.
ERO reference: D/DCM F1/207. Extracts from Stowe MSS. 780, 781 (British Museum)
Burton, Samuel, grocer, of Wakes Colne, 1708
In the Name of God Amen I Samuel Burton of Colne Wake in the County of Essex Grocer being sick & weak of Body but of Sound & disposing mind & memory thanks be given to Almighty God, do make & ordain this my Last Will & Testamt. in manner & form following Inpris I commend my Soul into the hands of the Almighty God who gave it hoping through the merits of my blessed Saviour Jesus Christ to inherit everlasting Life And as touching that temporal Estate which God hath blessed me with I dispose of the same as follows
Item I give and devise unto my Son John Burton & his heirs for ever the house where I now dwell situate in Colne Wake aforesaid with the Outhouses yards gardens & appurtenances to the same belonging Item I give & devise my mesuag farm & all my Lands situate & being in White Colne & Colne Wake in the sd County with the outhouses, yards, gardens & apptennces to the same belonging, unto my said son John Burton during the Term of his natural life, and after his decease unto my Grandson Samuel Burton the son of the said John Burton & the heirs of the sd Samuel for ever
Item I give & bequeath unto my said son John Burton & my daughter Anne Polley & my daughter Mary Kendall all & singular ready money Plate Stock Shopgoods rent & Arrears of Rent which shal be due at the time of decease, book debts and Credits goods Chattells & personal estate whatsoever (my Just debts funeral expences & probate of this my Will first payd & discharged) equally to be divided between them part & part alike, to be payd by my Executor hereafter named & to be by him equally as aforesaid to be divided between them within one year after my decease.
Item Whereas my son in law Ralph Polley will be indebted for rent (besides what is already payd) One hundred & seven pounds, at the rate of fifteen pounds p year, at Michas. next My will is that my sd son-in-law shall be abated thirty pounds upon his Account for Rent, provided he shal fairly Account at fifteen pounds p And for my farm he lives in, & pay the residue without Charge or trouble either in Law or Equity. And whereas my son in law John Kendall hath lived in my house at Colchester (wch. said house I have selled? after my decease to the use of my daughter Mary Kendall & the heirs of her Body as by the deed thereof more at large may appear) without paying rent for the same, my will is that the sd John Kendall shal not be accountable for any rent of the sd house, but I do hereby give & remit the same to him, it being never my intention that he should pay any rent;
Item my Will further is that my said son in law John Kendall shal solely occupy possess & enjoy the house above mentioned where I now dwell situate in Colne Wake, during the Term of three months next after my decease, without paying any rent for the same.
And I do nominate ordain & appoint my said son in law John Kendall of Colchester Scholemaster Sole Executor of this my Will In witness where I have to this my Last Will & Testmt sett my hand & seal the Twenty second day of August in the fifth year of the Reign of Queen Anne over England &c Anno Dom 1706.
Signed: Samuell Burton Signed sealed published & declared to be the Last Will & Testament of the Testator in presence of us & by us witnesses in his presence: Joseph Newcomb, Charles King, the mark of Elizabeth Leppingwell.
Will proved 14 April 1708.
ERO ref: D/ACW 23/219
Burton, Samuel, of Wakes Colne, 1748
IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN. The 3rd October 1729 I Samuel Burton of Colne Wake in the County of Essex being weak in body but of perfect mind and memory Thanks be to God for the same. Calling unto mind the Mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die: Do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament: That is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty God my Creatour, trusting in the merits of Jesus Christ for Salvation is my only saviour and Redeemer. And for my body I recommend it to the Earth from whence it was formed, to be buried in a Christianlike and Decent manner at the Discretion of my Executrix hereafter named. And as touching such worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life: I give and devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form:
Imprimis: I give to be sold by Hannah my herein named Executrix: All that my Messuage or Tennement & Farme and Lands both Freehold and Copyhold with the appurtenances commonly called or known by the name of the Oake or otherwise, situate lying and being in Chappell als. Poulebright in the said County of Essex and now in the Tenure and occupation of John Bacon his assign or assignes: For the payment of my Debts and funeral charges and the defraying of all fines and court fees of other copyhold Estates belonging unto me hereafter named: And also another parcel of Copyhold Lands called Podfields containing by Estimation Foreteen Acres more or less in the Tenure or occupation of the said John Bacon and held on the Mannor of Bacons come Flories to be sold by the said Hannah my Executrix. And what overplus money remains besides defraying of Debts and Charges I give and bequeath unto the said Hannah my loving wife to dispose of it as she shall think fitt.
Item: I give and bequeath unto Hannah my loving wife All that my Messuage or Tennements and Lands with the appurtenances situate lying and being in Tey Magna in the said County of Essex and now in the occupation of Avery Sanders and holden on the Mannor of Tey Magna by Copy of Court Roll: during the term of her natural life.
Item: I give and bequeath unto Hannah, my loving wife: All that my messuage or Tennement situate lying and being in Colne Wake and now in the occupation of John Burton my Brother commonly called the Shopp with the yards Gardens and appurtenances thereunto belonging: During the Term of her natural life: And after the decease of Hannah my wife I give and bequeath unto John Burton my Brother the House wherein he now dwells situate in Colne Wake and called the shop, during his natural life and after his Decease to the next Heirs herein after named.
Item: I give and bequeath unto Hannah my loving wife: All that my messuage & farme and Lands and Tennements situate lying and being in Kirby in the said County of Essex or in some other parish or parishes near thereunto, Holden of the Mannor of Kirby during the term of her natural life.
Item: I give and bequeath unto Hannah my loving wife: All that my messuage & farme and Lands and Tennements as well Freehold as Copyhold situate lying and being in White Colne and Colne Wake aforesd in the said County of Essex, and now in the occupation of George Bryant and holden on the Mannor of Berwick Hall or any other Mannor: During the term of her natural life. And after the Decease of Hannah my wife I give and bequeath the forementioned Estates (that is to say) The Estate where Avery Sanders dwell and my messuage in Colne Wake in the occupation of John Burton my Brother: And also my farme at Kirby and my farme in White Colne and Colne Wakein the occupation of George Bryant: To Samuel son of John Burton and to his Heirs lawfully begotten of his body, and for want of such lawfull Issue To John Keable son of James Keable and his heirs:
And for want of such lawfull issue as aforesd of the said John Keable: To Thomas Newcomb son of Thomas Newcomb and his heirs: And for want of such lawfull issue of the aforesd of the aid Thomas Newcomb: To Samuel Newcomb son of Samuel Newcomb and his heirs: And for want of lawful issue from the said Samuel Newcomb: To Isaac Nicholls son of Isaac Nicholls and his Heirs for ever.
Item: I give and devise and bequeath unto Hannah my loving wife: All my stock of Household goodes whatsoever and plate: Both Outward stock and Inward stock: And Linnen & Woollen and all other goodes and chattels to me belonging. And I do constitute make and ordain Hannah Burton my loving wife sole Executrix of this my last Will and Testament: and do hereby revoke Disalowe and Disannull and every other former Testament, Wills Bequests and Executors by me in any ways before this time named, willed and bequeathed. Ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written. Signed: Samuel Burton
Witnesses: John Hatch, John Archdeacon, Isaac Potter.
On 21st February 1748 (English Style) issued forth a Commission to Joseph Nunn the principal Creditor of Samuel Burton of late of Colne Wake in the County of Essex deceased, to administer the Goods Chattels and Credits of the said Deceased with his last Will and Testament annexed, and according to the Tenor and Effect thereof (Hannah Burton widow the Relict of the said Deced. the sole Exx. and residuary Legatee named in the said Will dying before she had taken upon herself the Probate and Execution thereof, and John Burton the ? lawful and only Brother and next of Kin and also a Devisee named in the said last Will and Testament of the said Deced. first was renounceing the Letters of Administration of the Goods Chattels and Credits o the said Deced. with the said Will annexed as in and by a Proxy under his Hands and Seal, and the Act of Court thereupon had and done, now remaining in the Registry of this Court, Reference being thereunto had may more fully and at large appear) he being first sworn duly to administer. (following paragraph crossed out) Joseph Nunn, the chief creditor to the within named Samuel Burton the testator, and Administrator with this will annexed, was sworn, this 14th February 1748/9 before me. Ph: Morant surrogate.
ERO ref: D/ACW 30/2/3