Essex wills – C

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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.

Cardynall, Charles of Great Bromley, gentleman, 1624

  • To William Cardynall, my eldest son: £20? bond which was due him as a debt from Mr. John Hassall, and set over to me as a debt due.
  • To Robert Cardynall, my son: my farm called Breameshall for him and his lawful heirs. The reversion and remainder in Little Bromley, and by my conscience and state expected, I have answered the same after my wife’s decease.
  • To James Cardynall, my son: All my land and tenements in Dedham, freehold and copyhold, and a tenement in Great Bromley called Ashemans, for him and his lawful heirs. If he dies without issue, the houses and lands that were my wife’s father’s, I give to my wife’s heirs. If dies without issue, the property in Dedham to be divided between Robert Cardynall and my wife’s heirs.
  • To Anne, my daughter: copyhold land and tenements in Wix, called Little Borowes, and my free land adjoining it called Sowters and Fortlette, and my pightle at Fowar Weye Leet [Four Way Leet] in Wix.
  • To Johan Goache, my daughter: £20
  • To Mary Layer, my daughter: £5
  • And to each of my other daughters, a piece of gold worth £22.
  • To Bridget, my wife, executrix: all my goods, chattels, plate and household stuff.

Witnesses: Daniell Church, David Payne, John Cooper

Written: 17th January 1623/4, proved: 7th February 1623/4

ERO ref: D/ACW 9/143

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Cardinall, Charles, dyer of Colchester St. James, 1682

  • To son Charles Cardinall: All houses and land, freehold and copyhold in Bradwell-next-the-Sea. If Charles dies under 21, said property to be sold by my friends John Mason, John
    Tatem and Peter Gage. The money to be divided between the children of my
    Brothers Cardinall and my Sister Clarkson.
  • To wife Sarah Cardinall: (For her and her heirs forever) My house where I now dwell, and my house which I lately purchased from John Shurly, now in occupation of John Picke. My houses and land in Powstead [Polstead?] which I lately purchased of Mr. Canham, for Sarah’s natural life, then to my son Charles. If he dies without issue, to revert to Sarah’s heirs.
  • Rest and residue to be divided between my said wife and son.

Executrix: wife Sarah Cardinall

Witnesses: John Mason, John Tatem, Peter Gage

Written: 25th March 1682, proved: 3rd June 1682

ERO ref: D/ACW 20/12

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Cardinall, Charles, dyer of Colchester St. James, 1700

  • Full power and authority to my uncle Robert Mason of Dedham, gentleman, and my cousin James Clarkson of Tendring, gentleman (executors) – to sell all of my lands and tenements, freehold and copyhold, in Colchester and Thorrington?, Essex and Polstead, Suffolk. The money arising to be distributed as follows:
  • My cousin John Cardinall of Tendring £50
  • My cousin James Cardinall of Tendring £50
  • My aunt Dorothy Mason, spinster of Dedham £40
  • My aunt Mary Pake of Dedham £20
  • My aunt Elizabeth Harvey £10
  • My manservant John Tassell £10
  • My cousins Nathaniel Webb and Samuel Webb £10 each
  • My aunt Dorothy Clarkson, widow £10
  • My maid Mary Philips £5
  • Rest and residue to be divided between my said uncle Robert Mason and my said cousin
    James Clarkson.

He signs. Witnesses: Peter Gage, Peter Gage jnr, Daniel Wodward, Ambross Rust, John Wyatt? Written: 2nd September 1700. Proved: 18th September 1700

“Cardinall” is spelt “Cardynell” throughout.

ERO ref: D/ACW 22/238

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Cardinall, Charles of Beaumont-cum-Moze, yeoman, 1746

  • Youngest son James Cardinall: House or Tenement with all the appurtenances lying and being in the parish of Thorpe in the Soken in the County aforesaid, and now in the occupation of John Wood, to Him and His heirs forever, and my Executors shall employ all the profits from thence arising towards the maintenance, clothing and schooling of him till such a time as he shall arrive at the age of 21 years.
  • Two Daughters, that is Judith and Elizabeth Cardinall all that House or Tenement lying and being in Beaumont aforesaid, and now in the occupation of John Hasen, that is to have share and share alike, to them and their Heirs forever, with this Condition that my Mother shall have her Dwelling in the South End of it during the Term of her natural Life without paying any Rents for the same, and the profits that shall or may arise from the same till such time as my Daughters each of them shall arrive at the age of 21 years shall be employ’d towards the maintenance Clothing and schooling of those my two Daughters equally.
  • Eldest son Charles Cardinall the sum of £10 of Lawfull money to be paid him at the age of 21 years.
  • Youngest son James Cardinall the sum of £5 of Lawfull money to be paid him at the age of 21 years.
  • My Farm should be held by my Executors, during all the term of my Lease, and all the profits that shall or may arise from the same to be equally parted among my four Children that is share and share alike. My two Houses which I have bequeathed to my son and Daughter should be valued by some Competent Judge, and there value to be counted as ready money, together with all my present ready money, with all the Interest or profits that shall arise before they come to the age of 21 years with all my Goods, Chattels, Bonds, Mortgages or whatsoever or wheresoever to me belonging should be equally paid to my four Children that is share and share alike as they shall come to the age of 21 years, and if any of them Die before they shall arrive at the age of 21 years, then my will is that their share or shares should be equally divided among those of my Children who shall survive.

Executors: cousin John Sparling, cousin John Gilbert, son Charles Cardinall

Witnesses: Daniel Chiles, Jeremiah Harris, John Gilbert x

WrittenL 4th July 1746, proved: 2nd August 1746 (John Sparling), 21st October 1746 (John Gilbert)

ERO ref: D/ACW 29/6/25

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Cardinal, Charles, yeoman of Moze, 1747

  • Daughter Mary, all that my part of the farm in Tendring, now in the Tenure and Occupation of John Buckingham or his Assigns with all and singular the appurtenances to the same Belonging unto my Daughter Mary aforesaid and her heirs forever, and in Case my Daughter aforesaid Depart this life without Issue of her Body lawfully Begotten, Then I give the aforesaid part of the Estate in Tendring aforesaid unto my loving Wife Isabel, for the Term of her natural life, with all the profits and rents arising of the same, and after the decease of my Wife Isabell aforesaid unto my sister Mary the wife of Thomas Whiting of Brightlingsea in the County of Essex, and her heirs forever.
  • Also all the Rest of my Goods and Effects whatsoever I give and Bequeath unto my Loving Wife Isabel aforesaid to her will and disposal
  • And I do hereby nominate and appoint my Loving Wife Isabel and my sister Mary Whiting aforesaid, Executrixes to this my last Will and Testament Desiring that my daughter Mary aforesaid may be Brought up and nourished with all the necessaries of life, and in good Christian Education, free from all Charges or any Demand from her for the same.

Witnesses: Joseph Redgriff x, Esther Redgriff x, Francis Smyth

Written: 17th March 1746/7, proved: 18th April 1747

ERO ref: D/ABW 95/3/23

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Cardinall, Isabel of Tendring, widow, 1772

  • Son Henry Cousens the sum of one shilling to be paid him three months after my decease.
  • Dauughter Mary Marsh wife of John Marsh of Tendring aforesaid one shilling to be paid her three months after my decease.
  • Daughter Elizabeth wife of John Garwood of Frating one shilling to be paid to her three months of my after my decease.
  • All the Rest Residue and Remainder of my Estate and Estates both Real and personal whatsoever and wheresoever to me in anywise belonging or that I shall be possessed off and in any manner have a right to dispose of at the time of my decease situate in the parishes of Debenham, Winston and Thenting in the County of Suffolk and in Tendring in the County of Essex or in any other parish County or place whatsoever I Give Devise and Bequeath the same and every part thereof with their and every of their Appurtenances to my son James Cousens of Tendring aforesaid Farmer (executor) To Hold the same both Real and personal to him my said son James Cousens and to his Heirs and Assigns forever he paying thereout all my Just Debts and funeral Expenses.

Witnesses: John Wast, John Thompson junr, Jno Ambrose.

Date: 14 Dec 1771, proved: 21 Sep 1772

ERO ref: D/ABW 104/2/72

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Cardinall, James of Langham, 1664

  • My daughter and her three children, 5 shillings each (having bestowed money on her at her marriage).
  • My son James the £100 I lent him.
  • Money owed me by George Read to be divided between my sons Charles and William.
  • My youngest son Thomas: £300 and one copyhold cottage in Dedham.
  • All the rest, residue and all of my lands and tenements and goods and chattels to my eldest son, John, my executor.

Written: 13th January 1663/4, proved: 8th June 1664

PCC will

Transcriber’s note: Mr. James Cardynall, gent., buried in Langham 4th February 1663/4

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Cardinal, James, farmer of Tolleshunt D’Arcy, 1826

  • To sister Ann Cardinal in Witham: two cottages in D’Arcy (one occupied by Fule? Hughes and Jacob Hall, the other occupied by John Claydon) and three pieces of land (the land called “Rainbow Maggots”), for her natural life. After her death, to go to my wife Elizabeth
  • To aforesaid wife Elizabeth Cardinal: cottage in D’Arcy occupied by Thomas Cooper,
    wheelwright; the lease of the farm where I now reside; all crops, stock and implements; all ready money and securities; all rest and residue.
  • Executors: wife Elizabeth Cardinal and John Argent of D’Arcy, farmer.

    Written: 28th April 1825, proved 4th April 1826

Witnesses: Saml Nash, Josh Day (sol Maldon), Geo Hearn jnr (his clerk)

Note: 17th February 1852. Left unadministered by the executors. Admon to Henry Argent, the nephew. Elizabeth survived her co-executor and died intestate.

PCC will

Transcriber’s note: James Cardinal buried in Tolleshunt D’Arcy aged 72 on 16th January 1826. Elizabeth Cardinal buried in same aged 89 on 11th November 1842.

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Cardinall / Cardnall, John of Manningtree, 1529

  • To be buried in Mystlegh [Mistley] church by my wife.
  • To the “lyie Awter” [low altar] of the said church, 6s 8d for unpaid tithes. To the Rodlonght [?] of the said church, 40s. I will have disposed the day of my burying 5 marks. To the “hie Autar” [high altar] of Washbroke 3s 4d. To the repairing of the highway between Tamite? Field and Wardelith? Carmlegh 5 marks. I give of any thing may be spared of my goods my will fulfilled that said thing may be bestowed in the way between Marvyns and my ground lying in Belsted otherwise called Washbroke at the mind of my executors.
  • Alis [Alice] my daughter all my house and my land in Much Belsted, otherwise Washbroke, in Capdoke [Copdock] and Mavenham, all the property in fee simple.
  • I beseech, require and pray all my feoffees that be “seossyd and seased” [seisen?] in all my houses and lands for rehe_shed to give a state within shall be required by my executors to the performing of this my will.
  • Rest and residue to my executors, John Broke and Alis his wife.

Witnesses: Richard Gyldenwat, John Pucke

Written: 2nd March 1528/9

ERO ref: D/ACR 2/216

Transcriber’s notes: John Broke’s wife Alice may be the same Alice mentioned as the testator’s daughter.

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Cardinall, Sarah of Colchester, widow, 1689

  • To son Charles Cardynall: houses & lands, copyhold and freehold. If he dies under 21 without issue, to her brother Robert Mason of Dedham, clothier.
  • To brother Robert Mason: £10
  • To sister Elizabeth Mason of Dedham, spinster: £10
  • To sister Hannah Mason of Dedham, spinster: £10
  • To sister Dorothy Mason of Dedham, spinster: £10
  • To her two kinsmen Samuel Webb and Nathaniel Webb of Dedham: £5 each
  • To the children of her brother John Peacock: £10 to be divided between them
  • To her servant John Tarsell: £10
  • Personal estate: to son Charles. If he dies under 21 without issue, to be divided between her five sisters: Mary wife of Samuel Webb, Martha wife of John Peacock, Elizabeth Mason, Hannah Mason, Dorothy Mason.

Executor: her brother Robert Mason

Witnesses: Francis Wheeler senior & junior, John Crosse, Edward Cooke x

Written: 27th June 1689, proved: 18th July 1689


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Cardinall, Sarah, widow of Tolleshunt D’Arcy, 1767

  • To my daughter Ann Cardinall “and the child I am now big with or in child of” – all personal estate, to be equally divided between them when they reach 21. If one dies before reaching 21, all my personal estate to go to the survivor.
  • If both die before 21: One moiety of my personal estate to the children of my late husband by his former wife: James, Mary and Martha Cardinall, to be divided between them. The other moiety to be divided between my siblings, my two brothers: Thomas & William Curtis, and my two sisters: Ann Man and Elizabeth Binks.
  • My two executors, my good friends John Page of Mayland, yeoman, and John Maskell of
    Tolleshunt D’Arcy, butcher, also to be guardians of my children. They to convert my personal estate to money and invest in securities for the maintenance, education and bringing up of my children.

Written: 28th February 1767, proved: 24th March 1767

Witnesses: Joseph Sewell, John Maskell jnr

ERO ref: D/ACW 32/3/7

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Cardinall, Susan of Layer-de-la-Haye, widow, 1666

  • Being very ancient and crased? in body
  • Eldest son Thomas Cardinall: 5 shillings
  • “One other of my sons” William Cardinall: 5 shillings
  • Grandson Thomas Pilgrim: Various specified furniture and household goods, that trunk of mine, and its contents, in custody of Mr. Moore, £30 (part of the £60 owed me by Mr. Moore)
  • Grandson Samuel Pilgrim: The trunk and its contents which is in the custody of Mr. Hammond, when Samuel is 21; A silver spoon; The other £30 remaining from that owed by Mr. Moore, when 21
  • Grandchild Susan Pilgrim: £40 when 21; the great chest and its contents, in my possession, when 21; Rest and residue

Executor: the said Thomas Pilgrim. Supervisors: my friends Roger Bridge of Layer-de-la-Haye, yeoman, and Thomas Bridge his son (5 shillings each)

Witnesses: Margaret Bridge x, William Bridge x

Written: 28th June 1659, proved: 26th October 1666

Transcriber’s notes: I think it’s very possible that the testator is the widow of William Cardinall of Hadleigh and Gray’s Inn, who was buried in Hadleigh in 1618. See his will.

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Carrington, William of Tollesbury, butcher 1778

  • To son John Carrington: property in Tollesbury now in my own occupation, my wife Ann to live there rent-free for her natural life.
  • To wife Ann: all household goods & furniture and a payment of £100
  • To daughter Susanna Ardlie: property in Tollesbury in occupation of Thomas Chipperfield and Nathaniel Crosby, and a payment of £180
  • To daughter Elizabeth Carrington: property in Tollesbury in occupation of James Spencer, and a payment of £190 when she reaches 21
  • To son John Carrington: garden ground purchased from William Randall
  • To daughter Ann Sage, wife of Edward Sage: £100. Not to receive any more than this because she has received £200 since her marriage to Edward
  • To be divided between sons Thomas and John Carrington (his executors): my lease of Old Hall marshes, grazing stock and other personal estate.

Witnesses: Sarah Silvester, Thomas Nunn, Jacob Rice

Written: 21st May 1777. He died in Tollesbury on 24th August 1778. Proved: 21st September 1778.

ERO ref: D/ABW 106/2/64

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Chaplin, Mary, spinster of Colchester, 1832

  • To be buried with her late sister and for an iron palisade fence to go round it. A flat stone to be laid over her parents’ grave.
  • Executor: John Clay to hold Mary’s property in East Street, Colchester. From his death, to her godson, John’s son John Clay. All household furniture, linen etc to be sold.
  • To my 2nd cousin, Charity Silvester of Feering, spinster, and to Mary, wife of William Edwards of Frating, butcher, all my wearing apparel.


  • £50 to John Clay (executor) to give to Colchester Hospital, and £19 for his personal use. £20 to John Clay for the upkeep of her grave.
  • To my friends: Miss Mary Lugar, daughter of Revd Marshall Lugar deceased, £50.
  • To my friend: Mrs Ann Clay, wife of Edward Clay Esq of Greenstead Park, £10
  • To Miss Maria, daughter of the said Edward Clay, £10.
  • To Sophia Bishop, wife of Francis Bishop, coachmaker of Colchester, £10
  • To Miss Bethia Dunnage who resides with me, £19
  • To Harriet Cowell wife of Gregory, £19
  • To the said Charity Silvester, £300
  • To my 2nd cousin the said William Edwards of Frating, £200
  • To my 2nd cousin William Gardiner, £200
  • To the two daughters of John Gardiner, deceased, £50 each.
  • To my 1st cousins Sarah, Thomas, William and John Lake, £200 each (the four children of Thomas Lake, late of Frating, farmer, deceased)
  • To my 1st cousins Susannah Gardiner, Mary Ann Reynolds, Daniel, Stephen and Robert Gardiner £300 each, children of John Gardiner late of Great Bromley, farmer.
  • Rest and residue to be divided between my 1st cousins.

Written: 29th Jan 1831. Proved: 8th Feb 1832


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Clarke, Clemente, of Bocking, 1562

  • Wife Margaret: all moveable goods, and to be executrix. To receive and pay his debts. For her life: Farms called “Barrats”, “Hewes”, tenemants “Abraham”, “Lausetts”, “Gills”, croft of land “Hobes”, house in London that Mr Shacilton lives in
  • Son Andrew: farm “Marchis”, tenement, lease of farm where Thomas Osborne the elder lives, reversion of piece of land after the death of my sister Maye, as long as he pays the Dacklis children Frances and Roger £9 a year
  • Son John Clerke: house in London where Reache lives, and lands in Henyngham [Hedingham?], and farm in Paswicke that Littlebery holds.
  • Son Clement Clarke: house in Bocking where Robert Smythe lives, meadow in Wentford, “Gages” farm in Stisted
  • Son William Clarke: “Brooks” farm in Stisted. House with meadow that Coney holds with a forge, and farm in Stisted occupied by Genere
  • Money to the poor of Bocking
  • Sister Mary
  • Frances Sachsby, under 20, unmarried
  • Robert Baynham, under 21
  • Tenant Richard Abraham and his wife
  • Brothers John Lightfoot and William Lightfoot
  • Cousin Thomas Clarke the younger
  • Sister Hatton
  • William Abraham, Jone Kinge, Agnes

Witnesses: Richard Hues of Bocking, Thomas Osborne the elder, Richard Abraham esq, Robert Smyth of Bocking, John Gage of Stisted

Written 4 Jan 1561/2, probate 20 March 1561/2


Transcriber’s notes: the first husband of Margaret Lightfoot (who later married John Cole, then Edward Derehaugh). He mentions Robert Baynam, who is presumably on Margaret’s mother’s side (who according to Humfrey Lightfoot’s will were Beynhams).

The testator’s son mentions a kinsman, William Maye of Stisted – perhaps a son or other relative of the testator’s “sister Maye” mentioned in this will.

The testator was buried at Bocking on 29 January 1561/2.

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Clarke, Clement, gentleman of Stisted, 1584

  • Poor of Stisted 40 shillings to be distributed by “my kinsman and loving neighbour” William Maye of Stisted
  • Wife Elizabeth: for life all property ensured her by an indenture from before their marriage
  • Son John Clarke
  • Lands in Bocking and Sible Hedingham
  • Brothers William Clarke and Andrew Clarke
  • Brother Robert Cole, and sisters Jane and Anne
  • Nephews, sons of brother Andrew: Anthony the eldest, John the second, [unnamed] third
  • Brother John Clarke, deceased [sounds as if he left a will]
  • “Trusty and loving friend” Mr Robert Derehaugh of Gray’s Inn
  • Property: house in St Mary Wolchurche Howe, London, [Woolchurch Haw – destroyed in the Great Fire and not rebuilt], house and land in Castle Hedingham and Curpis [?], tenement in Bocking and meadow occupied by John Wentworth esq.
  • Money to all male and female servants
  • John Gage “my prower” and his wife [prover? Something to do with clothmaking?]
  • Godchildren [unnamed]
  • Executors to have rest and residue: his wife and son
  • Supervisor: Mr Thomas Hunt of Witham

Witnesses: Thomas Wysman, William Maye, Thomas Hunt

Written 1583 [year only given], probate 26 Jun 1584


Transcriber’s notes: the testator was buried at Stisted on 18 Jan 1583/4. He was the son of Clement Clarke (see will above) and Margaret Lightfoot. His mother went on to marry John Cole, then Edward Derehaugh.

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Clarkson, James, of Tendring, gentleman, 1725

Will and transcriptions of other related documents, involving the Clarkson, Wale, Salter, Cardinall and De Vere families, and Tendring residents

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Cole, John the elder, of Ardleigh, 1517/8

  • To be buried in Ardleigh church
  • Son John Cole of Dedham: my house called Huntes of the Wode (Wood?)
  • Son Wat Cole: the house that he dwells in, without paying any more money to do so, and Tordwell Field if he will buy it
  • Young John Cole my son: to have his house called Walles and two crofts belonging to it, and Ramecroft and Hykyll Field with a parcel of grove, paying John Cole of Dedham his brother 40sh
  • Daughter Christian: 40sh and a cow

Executor: son John Cole of Dedham, to have rest and residue

Witnesses: John Baldwyn, vicar of Ardleigh; Harry Perpoynte; John Pache. With others.

Written 8 Feb 1517/8. No probate date


Transcriber’s notes: The testator’s son, John Cole of Dedham, could well be the John Cole of Dedham who died in 1534, who was married first to Margaret Harre (see her will below), and secondly to Joan Gurdon. After his death, Joan married William Cardinall of Great Bromley. I have my suspicions that John Cole of Dedham was the father of another John Cole – the man who bought the manor of Markshall in Markshall and married Margaret Lightfoot/Clarke/Cole/Derehaugh.

The testator appears to be one of the witnesses to the 1511 will of Thomas Cole of Ardleigh. ERO holds the 1528 will of Walter Cole of Ardleigh, perhaps the testator’s son.

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Cole / Coole, John, clothier of Dedham, 1534

  • To be buried in the church at Dedham
  • Wife Johan (who was pregnant at the time the will was written) £100, plus £20 when she gives up the right to the lands and tenements between testator’s house and the highway
  • Son John £100 when 21
  • Daughter Margaret under 21
  • All lands and tenements to executors, to bring up John, and the unborn child if a son. To John when 21 and the unborn child if a son. If both die without heirs, to daughter Margaret, and the unborn child if a daughter.
  • If they all die, the lands and tenements to “the next of my blood” – daughter Alice, wife of John Havynes, and daughter Johane, wife of Robert Wyles
  • Daughter Margaret £100 on her marriage. If she dies unmarried, the £100 to be divided between the children of Johan. £100 to the unborn child – when 21 if a son, or on their marriage if a daughter
  • John Havynes had £20 on marrying Alice. Extra money to him to make up to 100 marks
  • Robert Wyles had £20 on marrying testator’s daughter. Extra money to him to make up to 100 marks.
  • John Cole and Rauf – the house called Northens for life, and 20 nobles each. After their deaths to be incorporated with testator’s other lands and tenements.
  • Wife to have half of household stuff. Other half to executors, to be divided among John and the unborn child if a son, when 21.
  • Wife to have corn and malt, and half of the cattle, the other half as per the household stuff
  • Richard Cole, John Cole and Margaret Cole, children of Walter Cole, 20 shillings each
  • Margaret Cole, daughter of John Cole, 20sh
  • £50 to be divided among the poor

Executor: John Gurdon of Dedham

Witnesses: John Soffan, John Havynes, Robert Gurdon

Written 31 Aug 1534, probate 6 OCt 1534


Transcriber’s notes: Johane, the testator’s wife, married William Cardinall of Great Bromley in 1535, the year after her first husband’s death. Joan was born Joan Gurdon, daughter of John Gurdon. Court of Requests documents at the National Archives, dated between 1544 and 1545: “Thomas Veysye v John Cole, and John Gurden, his guardian: a messuage in the manor of Dedham Campsey.” John Gurden is presumably the executor of John Cole’s will, and is likely to have been either Joan’s brother or father.

See above for the will of John Cole of Ardleigh, who may well be the father of John Cole of Dedham. See below for the will of John Cole of Markshall, who may well be the testator’s son, and also see below for the will of Margaret, wife of John Cole. After her death, the testator married Joan Gurdon.

The testator only names one of his properties, Northens, in this will.

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Cole, John, gentleman of Markshall, 1568

  • “Sick of body”
  • To be buried in Markshall church
  • Wife Margaret: all lands and tenements for life, and after her death, to his son William. If William dies without heirs, to son Robert
  • Son William £50 for his education
  • Rest and residue to wife Margaret, executrix

Signs “John Coole”

Witnesses: William Cardynall, Robert Veysey, John Betune

Written 26 Sep 1567, probate 15 May 1568


Transcriber’s notes: John Cole was the second husband of Margaret Lightfoot – her first was Clement Clarke (died 1562), and her third was Edward Derehaugh. William Cole is Margaret’s “son-in-law” (ie stepson) in her will, so Margaret was presumably not John’s first wife. Two daughters of John and Margaret, Jane and Anne, appear in other wills, but they are not mentioned in this will. Jane would marry Ambrose Gilberd (brother of the famous Colchester-born doctor and scientist, William Gilberd) in Markshall in 1588. Anne married a man name Plaile.

It appears that John was an armiger, as William Gilberd’s memorial features several coats of arms – some of them are impaled, and work has suggested that these represent his siblings who married armigerous spouses. One such is impaled with the arms of Cole – three black scorpions with a chevron, and the 1634 Essex Visitation shows these arms for the family of James Cole of “Walden” [Saffron Walden], “younger brother of the house of…. in Suffolk”. It shows James’ wife Anne, daughter of William Gardner of Essex. Then their son John of “Walden”, who married Lydia Golding of Thaxted. This shows only their son Thomas, who was still living in 1634, whose first wife was Catherine Mordaunt, and whose second wife was Dinah Moore. The testator must fit into this tree somehow. Perhaps he was James’ brother? There is a registered will at ERO for James Coll of Saffron Walden, dated 1569.

That two of the witnesses were William Cardynall and Robert Veysey is very interesting, given that John’s widow went on to marry Edward Derehaugh. Edward’s first wife was Julian Cardinall, whose father and brother were both called William Cardinall. Julian’s sister Joan married Robert Vesey. Robert was buried at Markshall in 1575.

Morant’s History of Essex vol 2 p 167 says that John Cole bought the manor of Markshall in 1562, and that he died on 26 Sep 1567. His son William then inherited the manor, and on 8 Oct 1581 sold it to Edward Derehaugh. It was then sold in 1605 by Edward and Julian’s son William to Robert Honeywood. I would imagine that John had conveyed the manor to William before he wrote the will, seeing as his will states that all his property in Markshall is to be Margaret’s until her death, and she didn’t die until 1604. Both William and Robert were alive in 1601 when Margaret wrote her will.

Note that Joan Gurdon, who married William Cardinall and was the mother of William and Joan, was first married to clothier John Cole of Dedham, who died in 1534.

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Cole, Margaret, wife of John Cole of Dedham, clothmaker, 1525

  • She was the executrix of the will of her mother, Isabelle Harre, deceased – and Isabell was the executrix of Margaret’s father’s will, Robert Harre, deceased.
  • Lands and tenements in Langham and Dedham that had belonged to her father.
  • House in Dedham called Harres sold to husband John Cole, as long as he pays testator’s son John Judy 25 marks, and John Judy pays the testator’s daughter Isabell Warner 4 marks, and to each of Isabell’s children 20 shillings when they’re 20 years old. John Judy to pay William Dunton and his brother Thomas Dunton certain sums when they reach 20. John Judy to keep 10 marks of the 25 marks.
  • Son-in-law Raffe Warner
  • Acre of meadow in Langham called Saunders and the house or tenement called William Sterlynges to Raffe (sold to Raffe). Raffe to pay John Judy 10 marks. Frostes Grove to John Judy.
  • Raffe Warner to have Changhell in East Bergholt, Suffolk.
  • Testator’s father left all his lands and tenements to his wife Isabell for life, in his will dated 20 May 1504. The will left the said property, after Isabell’s death, to “certain persons and their heirs”, but if they died without issue, the property was to be sold. As they had all died without issue, Joan sold all the property, as per her father’s wishes.

Executor: John Judy

Witnesses: Sir Michael Hame parish priest of Dedham, William Clerke, Robert Kradoke, John Thorn, John Pykaryng, John Copyn, John Bakeler, and others.

Written 10 July 1515


Transcriber’s notes: After the death of Margaret, it seems that John married Joan Gurdon. And after John’s death, Joan married William Cardinall. I have not yet been able to trace the wills of Robert and Isabell Harre.

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Cole, Thomas, of Dedham, 1511

  • To be buried in Dedham churchyard.
  • Wife [unnamed]: four cows, a score of sheep, all my bedding and household stuff except for:
  • Eldest son Thomas to have my best broadloom, a pair of shuttles, and a pair of “sleyes” (shears?), and a “tren dill” (a trundle or truckle bed, or something connected with the loom?)
  • Son William: my other broadloom, a pair of shuttles, a pair of “sleyes” and a “trendill”
  • Wife: 40sh
  • Son Thomas: 40sh when 20

Executor: wife

Witnesses: John Cole the elder of Ardleigh, Robert Stephyn of Dedham, and Harry Perponnde

Written 20 Sep 1511. No probate date.


Transcriber’s notes: as John Cole the elder of Ardleigh witnessed this will, it’s possible that the two men were related – perhaps brothers, or perhaps cousins.

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Collman [Colman], Thomas, yeoman of Hadleigh, 1642

  • Wife Anna, executor. Presumably the couple had no children as he makes provisions in case his wife is pregnant when he dies but mentions no children living
  • Copyhold in Kersey
  • Brothers: John Collman, William Collman, Robert Collman, Arthur Collman, Francis Collman
  • Sister Elizabeth Collman
  • Sister Woodgate, and her six children

Witnesses: Jo. Beaumont, John Gosnold, John Potter

Written 28 June 1641

Codicil written 18 May 1642 (clarifying points made in the will), probate 18 May 1642


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Constable, John of Little Bromley, yeoman, 1701

  • Son John Constable of Langham 20 shillings
  • Son Daniel Constable of Little Horkesley 20 shillings
  • Son Hugh Constable of Mount Bures 20 shillings
  • Son Benjamin Constable £30
  • Daughter Elizabeth Constable £20
  • Daughter Hannah Constable: Two houses and a piece of meadow land in Stratford, Suffolk and £20 when she reaches 18
  • Corn, cattle, household and all other my chattels to pay debts and legacies,
    providing (another?) £20 for Hannah when she is 18.
  • If more money is raised than is necessary to cover the legacies, the surplus is to
    be divided between Benjamin, Elizabeth and Hannah. If not enough is raised,
    then Benjamin, Elizabeth and Hannah are to cover the shortfall from their own

Executors: Benjamin and Hannah

Witneses: Saml Carter, John Scarpe jnr, Thomas Mimes

1 May 1701: Benjamin renounces executorship in favour of his brother John.

Written 27 April 1701, proved 2 May 1701

ERO ref: D/ACW 22/270

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Constable, John of Wix, yeoman, 1720

  • Daughter Margaret Steward, wife of John Steward: £5
  • Grandchildren: Margaret Spencer, Sarah Spencer, Susan Spencer, Anne
    Spencer, William Spencer: £10 each as they each reach 21
  • Daughter Anne Faires, widow of Edward Faires: £40
  • Grandson Ralph Bull: £10 when 21
  • Grandson John Constable: £100 when 21
  • Granddaughter Margaret Constable, daughter of my son Matthew
    Constable: £50 when 21
  • Grandchildren: Edward Clarke and Mary Clarke: £10 each when 21
  • Son Matthew Constable: tithes for land and premises in Wix, and to pay
    £6 a year to my daughter Mary Clarke.
  • Rest and residue (including £20 due on mortgage of copyhold estate of Jacob
    Tompson in Wix, and £20 due on mortgage on freehold estate of Benjamin
    Thope [Thorpe?] in Ramsey) to son Matthew Constable, executor.

Written: 12 November 1719, proved: 4 February 1719/20

ERO ref: D/ACW 25/125

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Coo, Edward, of Belchamp Walter, 1624

  • To be buried in Gestingthorpe chancel near his parents.
  • Wife Jane
  • Son Abner, under 15. “Our son, the light of our eyes” – hopes he will go to university.
  • Mentioned: books and musical instruments. A ring with his arms on it.
  • Daughters Jane and Deborah, both under 23 (to inherit when 23)
  • Father-in-law Mr George Chauncie of Ilford, Essex
  • Brother Mr Henry Chauncye of London, gent
  • Brother Roger Coo, deceased, owed testator money: Charles Coo or his mother to pay half of it to Laurence Coo “my brother’s son” (Roger’s son, presumably) for his apprenticeship
  • Mr Smithies, vicar of Walter Belchamp
  • Goodman Scott, Smithies’ neighbour

Executors: brothers-in-law Mr George Chauncie jnr and Mr Charles Cahuncie, cousin Mr Henry Miller son of John Miller, gent.

Written 14 Feb 1620/1.


  • If all three of his children die before receiving their legacies, he left £20 [each?] to all the children of his brother Roger, and £20 [each?] to the four children of his brother Thomas: Bendlowes his son, and his three daughters Katherine, Martha and Penelope.

Witnesses: John Scott, John Newman

Written 14 July 1623 or 25 Sep 1623 (written on one date, sealed on another?)

Testator’s notes: referring to the Coo family in the Essex Visitation, Edward was of Pattiswick, the son of Thomas Coo and his wife Catherine, daughter of Roger Wincoll of Waldingfield, Suffolk. The visitation mentions his brothers John and Robert, who had no issue, and his other brothers Roger – who married a Clopton of Liston, Essex, and Thomas, who married a Wentworth. That Thomas had a son called Bendlowes Coo matches him up with a marriage that took place in Walter Belchamp on 26 December 1591. The will of William Bendlowes, 1584, mentions that his daughter Elizabeth had several children by the name of Wentworth, including Alice, who was under 21 – and the Wentworth Visitation mentions a Henry Wentworth who married the daughter of Bendlowes. So Bendlowes Coo was named after his great-grandfather.

My interest in the Coo family was piqued by the fact that, according to the Coo visitation, Edward’s father Thomas had a sister called Edith – and that she married Adam Cardinall of East Bergholt. Henry Wentworth’s first cousin Mary Wentworth married William Cardinall (c1535-1598), so as usual the families all interconnect.

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