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.
Edwards, Richard, yeoman of Manningtree, 1640
“To be buried in Manningtree chapel yard which I gave to the chapel.” A gravestone to be laid over him.
Mr Witham Clarke parson of Mistley 20 nobles [perhaps “clerk parson” – Thomas Witham, stepfather of Matthew Hopkins, The Witchfinder General, was vicar of Mistley until the late 1640s.]
“As a feeling member of my distressed brethren”: £10 to be divided among the poor of Manningtree, Mistley and Lawford
Wife Priscilla: building and land in Manningtree occupied by John Smith and Marmaduke Hat*, 2 beds and bedsteads, and all other furniture, linen, utensils etc necessary to furnish her house. £10 to be paid after testator’s death, plus £40 a year for life to be paid by executor.
Messuage, lands and tenements in Kirby and Thorpe, Essex to Francis Edwards, son of my brother Thomas Edwards
Messuage lands and tenements in Freston, Suffolk “and after his death to the said Francis Edwards” (this is a bit confused – the following is in the margin beside it: “John Edwards and to his heirs forever. Item. I give and bequeath unto my brother” – but without a mark to show where it sits within the main part of the will)
Thomas Edwards son of my brother Thomas £20 when 21
John, another son of my brother Thomas, £5 to be paid within three years of my decease
John Edwards son of my brother John Edwards £100 to be paid a year after my decease
William Edwards son of my brother John £50 when 21 “which I gave in satisfaction for a £20 legacy given him by his father.” [implies the testator’s brother John has died, and that the testator was one of his executors.]
Margaret daughter of my brother John £30 within a year of my decease or on her day of marriage
John and Richard Ponder, sons of John Ponder, £10 each when 21.
Richard Edwards son of my brother John all my messuages, lands and tenements in Manningtree, Mistley, Lawford and Ardleigh, and all other real estate not otherwise bequeathed. To be executor.
Witnesses: William Arwaker, John Robinson
Written 13 Sep 1639, probate 31 Jan 1639/40