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 relevant archive. The wills are either from the Essex Record Office (ERO), the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC), or the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA).
- Maddock, Thomas of Harwich, 1587
- Maffen, Anne, widow of Manningtree, 1730
- Mannock, Anne, widow of Ardleigh, 1649
- Mannock, Thomas of Martens Hall, Ardleigh, 1637
- Mannock, William, gentleman of St Osyth, 1639
- Maynerd [Maynard], Alice, widow of Colchester St James, 1584
- Maynard, John, Alderman of Colchester, 1569
- Middleton [Midleton], Jane, 1610
- Middleton, Robert, gentleman of Colchester, 1610
- Mordante, Robert of Hempstead, 1572
- Motham, Esau, bachelor of Great Tey, 1592
- Motham, John senr, yeoman of Marks Tey, 1572
- Motham, John of Great Tey, 1582
- Munt, Nicholas, mariner of Harwich, 1803
Maddock, Thomas of Harwich, 1587
- Sick of body
- Money to the poor of Harwich
- Wife Mary: houses in Harwich: the house I dwell in, the house Bartholomew Wigmore lives in, the house John Gefferson lives in. For life. After her death:
- Son Thomas: the house I dwell in, on condition he pays his four sisters, my daughters: Mary, Margaret, Agnes and Ursula £5 each (Mary withing one year of my wife’s death, Margaret within two years, Agnes within three years, Ursula within four years)
- Youngest son John: after wife’s death, the house Bartholomew Wigmore lives in
- After wife’s death, the house occupied by John Jefferson and John Bush to be sold, the money divided between my four daughters
Executor: Wife Mary, rest and residue
Witnesses: Henry Gooddynge x, Samuel Porter. Scriptor: Samuel Moore
Transcriber’s notes: perhaps the son of Thomas Maddocke of Ipswich, who died in 1564 (see his will).
Maffen, Anne, of Manningtree, widow, 1730
- Grandson Daniel Fisher: money for his apprenticeship, plus some household goods (incl a plate with his father’s name on)
- Rest and residue to son Edward Fisher
Witnesses: Mary Hunt, Caleb Morris, W. Josselyne
Written 12 March 1725/6, probate 18 March 1729/30
Mannock, Anne, of Ardleigh, widow, 1649
- Now dwelling at Mertins Hall [presumably Martells Hall]
- Son Thomas Mannock
- Daughter Anne Alderton
- Daughter Anne Ram [perhaps a mistake in the will and this name should be Agnes, as per a baptism at Great Bromley in 1618, for Anne daughter of John and Agnes Ram, and also the baptism of Agnes, daughter of Thomas Mannocke, at Boreham in 1587.]
- Daughter Cicilly Allen
- Daughter Dennis Hart
- Grandchildren: son Thomas Mannock’s children: Thomas Mannock and Francis [Hood or Wood – presumably a daughter, Frances, who had married]
- Grandchildren: Anne Ram, Francis Ram, John Ram
Grandchildren: John Allen, Alice Allen, Thomas Allen, Mary Allen, Margere Allen
Mr Stephen Thurston and his daughter Hannah [no relationship stated]
Executor: grandson John Allen
Witnesses: Stephen Thurston, Israell Smith
Written 4 July 1642, probate 12 June 1649
Transcriber’s note: Anne is the widow of Thomas Mannock who died in August 1637. Anne was the daughter of Thomas Tendring and Cecilly Reynolds. Her aunt Margaret Tendring had married John Thurston of Frinton, and John’s 1573 will mentions a son, Steven. He could well be “Mr Stephen Thurston” in Anne Mannock’s will. There is a PCC will for Stephen Thurston of Ardleigh, proved 24 Aug 1670, who is perhaps a son of the Stephen Thurston in Anne’s will. Note that “Dyonis Hart of Liston, Essex”, appears in the 1651 PCC will of Dyonisius Mannocke of Norfolk, as her “kinswoman.” This would appear to be Anne Mannock’s daughter. A man called William Hart, a recusant, was buried at Liston in 1651 was perhaps Dennis/Dyonis’ husband.
Mannock, Thomas of Martens Hall, Ardleigh, 1637
- Son Thomas
- Son William
- Four daughters [unnamed, but see the will of Anne Mannock of Ardleigh]
Executors: cousin Cotten of Barfoult Hall, and wife Anne
Written 20 May 1636, probate 14 Oct 1637
Transcriber’s note: Thomas’ wife Anne had a sister, Priscilla Tendring, who in 1586 married Robert Cotton. Robert died in Fordham in 1629, but Priscilla died in West Bergholt – “Barfoult” – in 1633. Robert’s will mentioned his cousin John Cotton of West Bergholt, who might be Thomas’ executor, unless Priscilla was. Thomas was buried in the church at Stoke-by-Nayland on 14 August 1637 and the register said he was of “Ardley” and aged 105. This would have made him about the same aged as Anne’s father, who was born in about 1531, and 46 at the time of their marriage. While his advanced age seems rather extraordinary (and 105 could well be exaggerated), Sir Francis Mannock’s will written in 1632 refers to him as “old Thomas Mannock of Ardleigh”, so he was no spring chicken. His father was of age by at least 1540, when his grandfather George Mannock wrote his will. Martell’s Hall in Ardleigh was bought by William Mannock of Gifford’s Hall, Stoke-by-Nayland, in 1528 and it was passed down through the family. Thomas presumably was a tenant of one of his cousins.
Mannock, William, of St Osyth, gentleman, 1639
- To be buried in the parish church of St Osyth, as near to his late wife as possible
- Daughter Amy Mannock, under 18 and unmarried: £10, half his pewter and half his linen
- Daughter Mary: the other half of his pewter and linen and £5 (she is presumably of age)
- Eldest son Thomas: £5 and his woollen wearing apparrel (presumably of age)
- Youngest son Francis: £5 and two suits of stuff (presumably of age)
Executor: wife Joane
Witnesses: Reginal Molineux, Thomas Mannock
Written: 23 Nov 1638, probate 1 Feb 1638/9.
Transcriber’s note: I wonder if this William is the same man who, in 1625, married Elizabeth Pyrton (daughter of William Pyrton (1561-1600) and Dorothy Cockayne) in Elmstead. If so, Elizabeth wouldn’t have been his first wife as his children who were of age in 1639 would have been born before 1625. The Pyrtons were related to the Darcys so it wouldn’t be surprising to find relatives of the Pyrtons in St Osyth. It would be interesting to know if there are any memorials in the church at St Osyth for the Mannocks. Also note that Thomas Mannock of St Osyth appeared in the witchtrials – his pigs were allegedly killed by Margaret Landish, aka “Peg the witch” when Thomas’ wife refused her alms. It seems very likely that he was William Mannock’s son. As many of the Mannocks were recusant Catholics, it’s interesting that one of them would accuse someone of witchcraft, when witchcraft accusations often came from Puritans who were suspicious of anything that smack of Catholicism.
Maynerd [Maynard], Alice, widow of Colchester St James, 1584
- Has given most of her property “to the preferment of my two daughters in marriage.”
- Copyhold at Dawn Hill, part of Greenstead Manor, to be sold to pay for legacies, as well as to provide money for the poor of Colchester, and 20d per week for “my poor sister Elizabeth”
- Cousins Edward Maynard, Robert Maynard and Margery Briant, children of Robert Maynard, my late husband’s brother, deceased
- Gyllian Gerye daughter of Richard Maynard deceased
- William Maynard son of Nicholas Maynard deceased
- General preacher of Colchester
- Thomas Fremlyn, gent
- Richard Symnell, gent
- Samuel Goodyer, scholar at Cambridge
- Servants Edward Newman and Moyses Gates
- Grandson John Norton
- Daughter Johane and her children not left anything in the will: “I have not forgotten them, for I have lately delivered into their father’s hands £400” to be paid to the children as they reach 21
- Rest and residue, goods, chattels etc to son-in-law John Norton, gent, and Elizabeth my daughter his wife
Executor: son-in-law John Norton
Supervisors: son-in-law William Cardinall, gent, and friend Master John Pye
Witnesses: William Tomson, Richard Symnell, William Hewer, Thomas Brabye
Written 5 May 1584, probate 11 July 1584
Transcriber’s notes: Alice is commemorated with a brass at St James’ church, which gives her date of death as 8 June 1584. It doesn’t mention her age, or her parentage, or her children, however, it does mention that she was the widow of one of the town’s aldermen, John Maynard, who also has a memorial brass at the same church. See his will below.
John and Alice had two children, Johane and Elizabeth. Joane (Jane in the Suffolk Visitation) married William Cardinall of East Bergholt, the son of Stephen Cardinall and Ann Grith.
Maynard, John, alderman of St James’ Colchester, 1569
- Wife Alice, executrix. To inherit all his property for life
- Daughters Johane Maynard and Elizabeth Maynard, both unmarried. On the death of their mother, the property to be divided up between the daughters [includes mills and houses in and around Colchester]
- Niece Juliane Gerye wife of John Gerye of London, daughter of my brother Richard Maynard, deceased
- Nephews, sons of my brother Nicholas Maynard: eldest son Thomas, second son Henry, third son Nicholas, fourth son George, fifth son William
- Children of my brother Robert [unnmaed]
- The poor of Colchester
- Overseers of the will: “Friends in Christ” John Beast and Robert Middleton, aldermen of Colchester
Witnesses: Robert Northen, John Lucas, William Ram
Transcriber’s notes: John Maynard is commemorated with a brass in the church at St James’, Colchester. It gives his date of death as 6 May 1569, and says he was a clothier and alderman, but gives no other information such as his age, parentage, wife or children.
The will of his wife Alice is above. Their daughter Johane/Jane married William Cardinall of East Bergholt, son of Stephen Cardinall and Ann Grith.
Written 1 Nov 1565, probate 22 June 1569
Middleton [Midleton], Jane, 1610
- Executor of the last will and testatment of Ambrose Gilberd, gentleman, late my husband, deceased
- Husband Robert Midleton: to administer Ambrose’s will, and “that he will see my children virtuously brought up according to my desire and my speech had with him and according to my trust in him reposed.”
Witnesses: Edmund Whiting, Alice Carver?
Written 8 Feb 1609/10. No probate date
Transcriber’s notes: the daughter of John Cole and Margaret Lightfoot/Clarke/Cole/Derehaugh. Jane married Ambrose Gilberd (d1604) in 1588 and they had four children. She then married Robert Middleton. Robert and Ambrose were related by marriage: Robert’s sister Priscilla married Matthew Stephens, and their daughter Elizabeth married Ambrose’s brother George. So in other words, Robert’s niece Elizabeth Stephens was Ambrose’s sister-in-law.
Middleton, Robert, gentleman of Colchester, 1610
- Son Robert: all houses, lands etc, all leases, plate and household goods etc, and for him to perform the wills of Ambrose Gilberd and Jane his and my late wife, and to provide for Jane and Margaret her daughters, “as my trust is specially and only in him, and as he will answer it before the eternal God.”
- Grandson Robert, son of son Robert, under 18
- My daughter Middleton, wife of my son Robert
- Servant John Danett
- Poor of St James’ Colchester
- Mr Farrar
- Sir Thomas Lucas and his wife
- Each of my sisters [unnamed]
- Cousin William Mott, John Bird, George Gilberd, William Cosin, George Norfolk, Thomas Mott, Thomas Holmes, and William Smithson
- Jane Gilberd: her mother’s bracelets
- Margaret Gilberd: her mother’s diamond ring
- “Old friends” Robert Vigerous and Philip Stubbs
- Ambrose Gilberd, William Gilbert, and my brother Andrew Clerke: one of my wife’s rings each as a remembrance
- William Thurston, Jeremiah Thurston, Priscilla Hawkins, and Elizabeth Halls: each “a spoon with a tunne which were their grandfathers for a remembrance”
- Son Robert “a little old book called a medicine. And I do charge him to make use of it 42 years more as I have done if he live so long having in it several notes under my own hand.”
Executor: son Robert Middleton
Witnesses: Edmund Whiting, William Smitheson, William Tompson, John Dannett
Written 27 Aug 1610, probate 30 Nov 1610
Transcriber’s notes: husband of Jane Middleton (see above). It is either he, or his father, who is named in the will of John Maynard (see above). Robert Middleton married Widow Thurston on 30 Oct 1581 at St Nicholas’ Colchester. Matching up the names of William and Jeremiah Thurston, Priscilla Hawkins and Elizabeth Halls with names in the will of Richard Thurston of Colchester (died 1581) it would seem that Robert was married to Elizabeth Thurston, Richard’s widow. I’m not sure if his son Robert was Elizabeth’s son or if Robert had been married to another woman prior to that.
Note that he mentions George Gilberd, who’d married his niece, Elizabeth Stephens. George Norfolk had married another of his nieces, and the Motts were his cousins – his sister Priscilla mentions Motts in her will.
He left his late wife’s rings to Ambrose and William Gilberd/Gilbert, and “my brother” Andrew Clerke – Ambrose and William were Jane’s two sons by her first husband, Ambrose Gilbert, and Andrew Clerke was Jane’s half-brother, from her mother’s first marriage.
Note that Edmund Whiting witnessed Robert’s will and also his wife’s. And also note that “Mr Middleton”, presumably Robert, was left a piece of plate by Dr William Gilberd, personal physician to Elizabeth I, and brother of Ambrose senior and George.
Mordante, Robert of Hempstead, 1572
- To be buried in the church at Hempstead
- John Coote: money, and John Mordante, “to be good to him.”
- Money for: Barbara Dixon, Elizabeth Harmer, Barbara Wilkin, Barbara Crotchewothe.
- Wife: Barbara
- John the elder, under 24
- “John Mordante Philip eldest son” [does this mean John is Philip’s eldest son? Or vice versa?]
- Robert Mordante of Westbury, Henry Mordante, Edmund Mordante (not clear – his sons?)
Written: 15 Jan 1569/70, probate 25 May 1572
Transcriber’s note: The 1612 Essex Visitation for Crochrode says that Thomas Crochrode of Toppesfield’s wife was Ann, the daughter of Robert Mordant of Hempstead. They had a daughter, Barbara, who was baptised in 1562, and is presumably the Barbara “Crotchewothe” in the will. It would appear that Barbara was named after her grandmother, and that perhaps Barbara Dixon, Barbara Wilkin and Elizabeth Harmer were Robert’s granddaughters too. The will is worded confusingly in places so relationships aren’t clear.
Motham, Esau of Great Tey, bachelor, 1592
- Esau made a condition in his will that his land would only be inherited by nephews called Esau.
- Brothers: Matthew, William, Thomas
- Mother: Agnes Chisshull, wife of Lawrence Chisshull, his executors
- Brother-in-law: John Aylott, executor
- Sisters: Agnes Brabbeton, Merjery Berrife, Mary Motham, Dorcas Smythe, Elizabeth Aylot.
- Abell Mootham, Anne Mootham [relationship not stated]
- Edward Big
- Rebecca Northan?
- Sister Woodforthe?
- Roger Brabbeton, Thomas Brabbeton jnr
- My uncles and their wives my aunts
Written 2 Dec 1592. No probate date. [Esau Mutham was buried at Great Tey on 15 Jan 1625/6 – same person?]
Motham, John senior of Marks Tey, yeoman, 1572
- To be buried in Marks Tey church
- Wife Catherine, executrix
- Son Joshua, under 24
- Son Edward
- Daughters Elizabeth and Jane, both under 21 and unmarried
- Kinsman Samuel Motham
- Brothers, deceased: John and Thomas, who both had children living
- Beneficiaries (no relation stated): Margaret Salter?, Jone Basticke, Henry Munt, John Hills
Supervisor: John Motham junior, supervisor
Written 30 Sep 1572, probate 17 Dec 1572
ERO, registered copy
Motham, John, of Great Tey, 1582
- “God in his goodness hath sent me many children.”
- Money to the church and the poor of Great Tey
- Son-in-law William Beryffe and his wife Margery: land in Aldham?, Essex
- Son Thomas: house in Fordham where Robert Cockerill lives
- Sons William, John, Samuel. Youngest sons: Matthew and Easaw [Esau]
- Daughters Agnis and Elizabeth
- 10 shillings to each child when 14
- Mistress Audely
- Servant: Margaret Lyllye (unmarried)
- Apprentices: Simon Greene and William Greene
- Wife Agnis
Executors: wife Agnis, son Samuel
Witnesses: Henry Damyon, clerk; John Hall, Erasmus Griggs, William Baker
Written 8 Oct 1581, probate 9 Feb 1581/2.
ERO, registered copy
Transcriber’s note: John was buried in Great Tey on 21 Dec 1581. His wife “Agnis” was Agnes Crachrode. The Essex Visitation for her family says that it was Anne, daughter of William Crachrode and Elizabeth Ray, who married John Motham of Marks Tey, but other evidence points to her name being Agnes rather than Anne.
Munt, Nicholas of Harwich, mariner, 1803
- Item. I do give and bequeath unto my well Beloved Wife Elizabeth Munt For the Time of her Natural Life, all the Mesuage or Tenement With the Appurtenances thereunto belonging, Situate in Harwich near the South End of the Chapel Yard, and now in the Occupation of Willm Parsons Tenant at Will.
- And at the Decease of my aforesaid well beloved wife Elizabeth Munt, to my Daughter Rachel Severen Munt and her heirs and Assigns. But if at my Decease there shall be a Child, or Children, by my aforesaid well beloved wife, then the above premises to be equally divided between them and my aforementioned daughter Rachel Severen Munt and if at my decease my Well beloved Wife shall be with Child that Child shall also have an Equal Share in the above mentioned Messuage or Tenement and its Appurtenances.
- Also I do give and Bequeath unto my well beloved Wife, Elizabeth Munt, all my Household Goods, Wearing Apparel, Linen, Books, China &c. or whatsoever doth belong to me now or may hereafter belong to me, at my Decease, to be Disposed of at Her Decease as she shall Judge meet & Necessary.
- Also I do appoint My Dear and well beloved Wife Elizabeth Munt Sole Executrix of this my Last Will and Testament.
Witnesses: Natt. Saunders, Saml Spracklin, Sarah Spracklin
Written 1 Nov 1782, probate 7 March 1803
ERO reference: D/P 116/1/26