Essex wills – N

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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 relevant archive. The wills are either from the Essex Record Office (ERO), the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC), or the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA).


Newcomb, Robert Squirrel, draper of St Osyth, 1843

  • I give the sum of Fifty Pounds sterling to the New Wesleyan Chapel, Harwich in the County of Essex. I give Fifty Pounds to the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society.
  • I give to my affectionate Brother William, all my Freehold Property in the Parish of Tendering in the County of Essex, consisting of Five Cottages, a Blacksmith’s Shop, and Building attached thereto – subject to a Mortgage of £240 held by Mr Brookes of Weeley And a Note of hand £75 held by John Bird of Tendering in the said County of Essex.
  • I give to my affectionate Brother James all my Freehold and Copyhold Estate in the Parish of St Osyth in the County of Essex, and with him to pay my beloved Mother Hannah Newcomb, out of the above Estate the sum of Twenty Pounds a year for the term of her natural life. I also give to my Brother James all my Property employed in the Business now carried on by the Firm of Robert Squirrel & James Newcomb in the Parish of St Osyth in the County of Essex.
  • I give to my beloved Sister Margery Cushion the sum of Twelve Pounds per annum for the term of her natural life, to be paid Quaterly by my Brother James Newcomb.
  • I give all my Books to be equally divided among my Brothers and Sisters.
  • I give to my affectionate Brother Joseph Newcomb the sum of Fifty Pounds as my Executor to be paid to him by my Brother James. I wish my Funeral expenses to be paid by my Brother James Newcomb.

Executors: brothers Joseph, James and William

Witnesses: W. Booth, Jas Dunnett.

Written 10 March 1843, probate 30 Jun 1843.

ERO ref: D/ABW 136/1/51

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Newcomb, Thomas, blacksmith of Tendring, 1762

  • First my intention is, and I do hereby Give and Bequeath to my two Grand Daughters Sarah Allen and Rebekah Allen, Daughters of my Daughter Sarah Gill, £50 each of them by my Executors as they shall severally and respectively attain their full age of 21 . And in case either of my Grand-Daughters above named shall die before She attains her full age of 21, that then the Share of her so Dying shall be paid to the surviving sister. Also in Case both them should die before they attain their full age that then the £100 shall be Divided equally among all those of my Daughter Gills children as shall at that time be living.
  • Item: I give and bequeath to my Grandson Thomas Newcomb £10 to be paid him by my Executors within one year next after my decease towards putting him Apprentice. But if not put Apprentice then to be paid him when he shall attain his full age of 21. And in case he shall die before that time, then the said £10 shall be equally divided among all those of my Son Thomas Newcomb’s Children as shall at that time be living.
  • Item: I Give and Bequeath to my Daughter Sarah Gill and my Daughter-in-law Sarah Thompson each, the sum of one Shilling of Lawful money to be paid them by my Executors when demanded.
  • Also all my wearing apparel I Give and Bequeath to my son William for his particular use.
  • Item: I Order and Direct that all my Goods and Chattels shall be all sold immediately after my decease and the Monies from thence arising and all other my monies and personal Estate whatsoever and wheresoever (after my Just Debts and Legacies above mentioned are all fully paid and discharged) shall be divided equally among or between my sons Samuel Newcomb and William Newcomb share and share alike.
  • Item: I Give and Bequeath to my Son William Newcomb all the rents Issues profits and Income of all that my Messuage or Tenement Shop with their and every of their Appurtenances now in my own Occupation in Tendring aforesaid and during all the term of his Natural Life. But my Mind and Will is, and I do hereby impower my Executors to Lett the same Tenement and Receive the Rents of the said premises in Behalf and favour of my said son William and pay the same Rent to him at such times and in such manner as they shall Judge most convenient for him for his Real Good.
  • And further my will is that after the death of my said son William Newcomb I Order and Direct that all the abovesaid Tenement Shop and their appurtenances to the same belonging shall be Sold by my Executors for the best price they can get, and the monies from thence ariseing I Give and dispose as follows (that is) I give to my Son Samuel Newcomb £20, to my Grand Daughter Mary Littlewood £20, and to my Grandson Thomas Newcomb £20, all the Remainder of the said sale of the House shall be divided equally between Sarah Newcomb Joseph Newcomb and Rebekah Newcomb (Children of my Son Thomas Deceased) share and share alike to be paid to them within one month next after my Executors receive the same.
  • And lastly I constitute nominate and appoint my Friend Francis Wilson of Tendring aforesaid and my Friend Thomas Simpson of Beaumont in the County abovesaid to be joint Executors.

Witnesses: Daniel Chiles, Isabella Chiles, Joseph Newcomb.

Written: 18th Oct 1759, proved 11th December 1762


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Nichols, William of Wix, shopkeeper, 1821

  • I give and bequeath unto my Son George Nichols the sum of one Shilling
  • I give and bequeath unto my Cousin John Nichols of East Bergholt in the County of Suffolk Victualler and to Mr Thomas Scrivener of Manningtree in the said County of Essex Shopkeeper (whom I hereby appoint Executors of this my Will) £5 each
  • And subject to the payment of the aforesaid Legacies I give and bequeath All and singular my Household Goods and Furniture of Household plate Linen and China, Stock in Trade ready money, Securities for Money, and all and every other my personal Estate and Effects whatsoever and wheresoever and of what Nature kind or Quality soever whereof
    or wherein for any person or persons In trust for me am is or are or shall or may at the time of my decease be possessed of interested in or intitled to, unto and to be divided between my two Daughters Elizabeth and Mary in equal Parts Shares and proportions.

Witnesses: Wm S Chapman Att at Law Manningtree, Jno Ham

Written 21 May 1813, proved 14 May 1821. William Nichols died 1 Feb 1821 in Wix.

ERO Ref: D/ACW 40/4/14

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Nicholson, William of Kirby, butcher, 1753

  • To daughter Elizabeth Nicholson: £150. When of age or on her marriage, to be paid by my wife (my executrix).
  • To daughters Elizabeth Nicholson and Martha Banes: lands, tenements and messuages in Kirby & my part of a tenement in Thorpe – a public house or inn called the Maid’s Head. To be equally divided between them.
  • To my wife Martha the above properties for her natural life

Witnesses: Thos. Nicholson, Chas. Manyon, Eliz. Mootam x

Written: 12th November 1753, proved 28th May 1754

ERO ref: D/APsW 1/138

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Nunn, Daniel, baker of Colchester St Mary’s, 1724

  • Wife Prudence, executor and only beneficiary

Written 10 April 1721, probate 14 Nov 1724

Witnesses: Henry Thurston [or Durston?], Ann Everitt, Jo. Newton


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Nunn, Edmund of Rivenhall, yeoman, 1759

  • To my wife Ann Nunn £160 to be paid as mentioned below. Until the sum is to be paid, she is to receive an annuity of £8 to be paid out of my personal estate.
  • Rest and residue of my personal estate (ready money, securities, stocks of my farm etc) to be equally divided between my sons and daughters: Ann Nunn, Margaret Newton Nunn, Joseph Nunn, Jeffery Nunn, Susanna Nunn, Jane Nunn.
  • My execs to continue the business of my farm for the benefit of my children until the youngest is 21. At that point, the rest and residue of my personal estate to be appraised and after payment of abovementioned £160, to be divided between my children then living.
  • If my wife remarries or chooses not to carry on the business of the farm until my youngest child’s majority, her yearly payment of £8 will cease, and the payment of £160 to be made to her within three months.
  • If any of my daughters marry before the youngest daughter reaches her majority, the daughter marrying will receive £35 (the amount to be taken out of her later share).
  • Execs: my son Joseph Nunn, my wife Ann Nunn (my son Jeffery Nunn to become joint exec if Ann remarries or decides not to carry on the business of the farm).

Witnesses: John French, Benj. Beart

Written: 7th June 1759, proved: 21st July 1759

ERO ref: D/ABW 99/3/54

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Nunn, Francis of Pebmarsh, yeoman, 1740

  • To my wife Mary Plum for her natural life: malting office, lands and buildings in Bures St. Mary’s, Suffolk (now in several tenures of Thomas Nunn, Hinds (widow) and Wass); tenement etc. recently rebuilt (late of John Dosly?) in Halstead, Essex (now in several tenures of Edward Cooper and Thomas Miller). After her death, to be sold by my executor Joseph Nunn, and the proceeds to be divided between my children (at the rate of £5 per son, £3 per daughter – children are not named except Henry, below).
  • Also to my wife Mary Plum: £20
  • To my son Henry Nunn: £10 over and above the portion given to the rest of my children, if I have not given it to him before my decease.
  • Executor and executrix to sell my cottage called Perches Garden in Halstead, now in occupation of John Godfrey and Frances Ellis (widow). To be paid as in same proportion as above to sons and daughters (after payment of legacies of £10 and £20 as above).
  • The legacies to my children (except Henry’s £10) to be put out at interest for the maintenance of my children until they reach 21.

Execs: wife Rose Plum, brother Joseph Nunn.

Witnesses: Geo. Brooke, Samuel Will, H. Godfrey.

Written: 6th February 1739/40, proved: 4th April 1740.

ERO ref: D/AMW 15/1/3

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Nunn, John, of Fingringhoe, 1654

  • Son John Nunn of Langenhoe
  • Granddaughter Martha Nunn, “my son’s daughter”
  • Daughter Elizabeth Inyfeere, wife of Griffin Inyfeere of Wivenhoe
  • Eldest daughter Grace Nunn
  • Daughter Mary Nunn
  • Wife Joane Nunn, executrix

Witnesses: Jonathan Tydson, John Whiting

Written 2 March 1654, probate 1654


Transcriber’s note: Griffin and Elizabeth were married at Abberton in 1649, and both were of Wivenhoe at the time. Griffin Inneffier was buried in Wivenhoe on 14 Jan 1668/69.

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Nun [Nunn], John, joiner of Dedham, 1657

  • Wife Joane, executrix
  • Elizabeth Nun and Sarah Nun, two youngest daughters by Joane my now wife, under 21
  • Two elder daughters: Mary wife of John Bangham, and Anne wife of Abraham Oram
  • Grandson John Bangham
  • Brother Robert Nun

Witnesses: Thomas Halston? (faded), John Knapp

Written 5 Feb 1656/7, probate 29 Jun 1657


Transcriber’s notes: Anne and Abraham married at Dedham in 1648. The testator was buried in Dedham on 10 Feb 1656/57.

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Nunn, Joseph of Bures Hamlet, 1758

  • All messuages etc in Bures Hamlet, where Thomas Webber and James Frost jnr now dwell to my nephew Joseph Nunn of Mistley Hall.
  • Executors to sell my farmhouse, freehold and copyhold lands etc in Chappell/Poulebright, now in the occupation of Thomas Brand, and all other my real estate not otherwise
    bequeath, farming stock, implements etc.
  • To Sarah Nunn, widow of my brother Philip Nunn: £100
  • To my brother Henry Nunn: £100
  • To Margaret Newton Nunn, daughter of my nephew Edmund Nunn: £20
  • To my cousin Susan Ward, daughter of James Ward: £5
  • Whereas I have heretofore given all my nephews and nieces £40 each to advance them in the world, except Rachel Smith who received £10, I therefore bequeath her a further sum of £30.
  • Executives to retain £60 from the sale to pay to my brother Robert Nunn in instalments. If he dies before all the instalments have been paid, then the remainder is to go into the residue of the estate.

Executives: my nephew Joseph Nunn of Mistley and my cousin George Turner of Pebmarsh, receiving £50 for their trouble.

Residue: to all such children living at the time of my death of my brothers: Edmund, Francis, Philip, Henry and Robert and my sister Rose Moore, and to Mary Nunn and Rose Nunn, daughters of my late nephew Philip Nunn, and to the children of Mr. Robert Ray by his former wife (the daughter of my said brother Robert Nunn).

Written: 17th March 1758. Proved: 17th May 1758


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Nunn, Joseph of Mistley, gentleman, 1782

  • To son Joseph Nunn: £500. “The reason why I do not given him an equal share with the rest of my sons is because his grandfather Henry Gardiner deceased hath amply provided for him and hath given the rest of my children nothing.”
  • To daughter Mary, wife of Samuel Risbee: £800
  • To daughter Elizabeth, wife of John Rogers of Manningtree: £800
  • To daughter Ann Nunn: £1,000
  • To son Henry Nunn: all copyhold messuage farm lands in Dovercourt, in occupation of William Chaser. £1,000.
  • To son Robert Nunn: copyhold messuage farm lands bought from Mr. Warren, containing 30 acres in Little Bentley, in his own occupation.
  • To son Thomas Nunn: all my freehold lands bought from Mr. Wass, containg 28 acres in Little Bentley, now in the occupation of my son Robert Nunn. Also all my tenements or cottages in the road between Manningtree and Mistley, now in the occupation of John Clarke, Robert Rose jnr and Benjamin Manning.
  • To son John Nunn: all messuage and farm with lands, hereditaments and copyhold in Wrabness and Wix, bought from John Warner, now in the occupation of Susan Richardson, widow (but charged with a payment of £500 to my son William Nunn).
  • To son William Nunn: messuage and farm in Little Clacton, free- and copyhold, now in the occupation of John Westbroome. All messuage tenements in Mistley bought from Ottway Jennings, now in the occupation of John Abbott jnr and Joseph Ely.
  • To cousin Joseph Nunn, Captain in the Navy: 10 guineas.
  • Rest and residue to be divided between my children.

Executors: sons Henry, Thomas and William Nunn.

Written: 20 Sep 1777.

Codicil: Son John has died since the 1777 will. The farmlands in Wix and Wrabness bequeathed to him are no longer in the occupation of Susan Richardson, but of son Thomas Nunn. This property now to be sold. From the sale of this property, £700 to go to son William. Rest and residue to be divided among my children.

Died at Mistley 6th April 1782. Proved: 26th April 1782

ERO ref: D/ABW 108/1/35

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Nun [Nunn], Joshua, clerk of the parish of Ramsden Bellhouse, 1708

  • Samuel Lemon, butcher of Ramsden Bellhouse, an apprentice
  • The poor of Ramsden Bellhouse
  • Esther Wood
  • Mr Thomas Harvey, Rector of Downham, executor, and to be guardian of son Thomas
  • son Thomas: rest and residue
  • property in Layham, Suffolk

Witnesses: Mary Lynch, Thomas Wood, William Cole

Written 22 March 1704/5, probate 30 April 1708


Transcriber’s notes: Joshua Nunn was admitted to Queen’s College, Cambridge, in 1669, and was ordained at Norwich in 1675. He married Mary Rowles in Suffolk in 1688. He was rector of Ramsden Bellhouse 1686-1700, and of Mistley, 1693-1708. His son, Thomas Nunn, left a will (1713, Stratford, Suffolk), mentioning his Rowles cousins.

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Nunn, Robert, baker of Great Clacton, 1641

  • Property in Dovercourt and St Osyth
  • Wife Martha
  • Son John, to be apprenticed

Witnesses: Jos. Long, vicar of Great Clacton; John Anger

Written 1 March 1640/1, probate 16 Jun 1641 (at Feering?)


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Nunn, Thomas senior, yeoman of Great Oakley, 1716

  • Wife Christian
  • Son Thomas
  • Grandsons Thomas Nunn and Joseph Nunn
  • Granddaughter Sarah Nunn
  • Granddaughter Sarah Whitacre and “the other four children of my son-in-law William Whitacre”
  • Son Joseph Nunn
  • Son-in-law Richard Baker
  • Robert Nunn son of Joseph Nunn
  • Christian Nunn, daughter of my said son Joseph

Executors: son Thomas, son-in-law William Whitacre

Witnesses: John King, Jonathan Goffe, Jo. Wood

Written 4 Sep 1716, probate 13 Oct 1716


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Nunn, Thomas, butcher of Wivenhoe, 1742

  • Granddaughter Sarah Arthy
  • Daughter-in-law Hannah Nunn, widow
  • Nieces Hannah Nunn and Mary Nunn
  • Niece Anne Nunn
  • Aunt Sarah Whitley
  • Kinswoman Elizabeth Chapman, widow, and her daughter Elizabeth Chapman
  • Kinsman George Clark, and Mary Clark his sister
  • Sarah Blower, Martha Blower, Elizabeth Blower: children of Newton Blower
  • Nieces Elizabeth Nunn and Susan Nunn

Executors: son-in-law Thomas Arthy, and friend Samuel Roberts of Wivenhoe, butcher

Written 5 March 1741/2, probate 13 March 1741/2


Notes: It’s possible (as of writing in December 2021) that the testator was something to do with the Hadleigh Nunns. There was a Joshua Nunn in Hadleigh who was potentially old enough to be the testator’s father or grandfather, and the name Thomas is also connected with the Hadleigh Nunns. The testator’s daughter married a son of William Arthy of Groton – William was a bondsman when Thomas Nunn of Hadleigh (an uncle of the testator?) married Mary Gentry in Great Oakley in 1726, and William Arthy had a son called Nunn Arthy. I think William’s wife was originally a Nunn, a daughter of either Joshua or Thomas Nunn, born in Hadleigh. The Wades have an ancestor, Thomas Nunn of Ramsey and Great Oakley (his daughter Sarah became Sarah Whittaker on her marriage) and I think he’s connected with the Hadleigh Nunns too.

The testators wife, Mrs Sarah Nunn, was buried in Wivenhoe in January 1741/2. Their son Joshua (Hannah’s husband) died in 1741. Thomas and Sarah’s son Thomas died in 1721, and their daughter Mary in 1726/7. Their daughter Sarah married Thomas Arthy at St Mary’s-at-the-Walls in Colchester in 1738.

Newton Blower: he married a widow, Sarah Hull in 1732. He was single. They then had children: Sarah (1735), Martha (1738), Elizabeth (1740) in Wivenhoe, and a son, Newton, in Brightlingsea in 1745. Father and son were both buried in Brightlingsea in 1746.

Martha Blower married Isaac Downs, a blacksmith from Colchester, in 1758. William Whitley’s 1722 will names his son-in-law Jeremiah Downes. Jeremiah married Sarah Hull at Alresford in 1733 (the marriage was recorded in Wivenhoe’s register – Alresford’s for that period is lost). His previous wife, Susannah, died in Wivenhoe in 1722, and was presumably William Whitley’s daughter Susanna (William lists his five children’s names, but without giving their surnames, so it’s not clear whether his daughters were married at the time).

There is another Thomas Nunn to add to this mix – see his will (1784) just below.

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Nunn, Thomas, farmer of Wivenhoe, 1784

  • Wife Frances: property in Pebmarsh occupied by John Briant
  • Son Thomas: copyhold farm held of Great Bromley manor, purchased from Edward Blowers, occupied by Steward Hines, copyhold farm held of Great Bromley manor called Mayhouse, Moyses & Edens
  • Mayhouse Farm to be chargeable for £12 a year to Frances, for her life
  • Wife: all plate, household furniture, linen, and £5 for mourning. After her decease to son Thomas
  • Rest and residue to son Thomas

Executor: son Thomas

Witnesses: Mary Bayles x, WB Atkinson, Thomas Bayles

Written 14 Dec 1773, probate 10 April 1784


Transcriber’s notes: A marriage licence, dated 1 October 1745, says that Thomas Nunn, a 30-year-old bachelor who lived in Alresford, planned to marry Eleanor Hull, a 28-year-old spinster from Wivenhoe (Eleanor might a daughter of Sarah, mentioned above, who married Newton Blower as a widow. The two women must’ve been related somehow as it looks like the Nunns and Hulls were linked in the area). The marriage was to take place in Alresford. Although marriages from that parish have survived from 1743, their marriage isn’t record in the register. However, three children of Thomas and Eleanor were baptised in Alresford: Thomas in 1746, and several daughters called Eleanor.

Thomas’ wife died in 1759, so in 1760, he married Frances Bryant from Earls Colne – she appears to be the daughter of George and Frances Bryant, born in White Colne in 1724. George Bryant and Frances Brand were married in Pebmarsh in 1722. George died in 1752, and his ERO will mentions his wife Frances, his daughter Frances and Mary, and his son John, as well as property in Great Tey, but not property in Pebmarsh.

The executor’s son Thomas (and presumably, his only surviving) child, appears to have married Mary Wilkin in Frating on 13th August 1772 – their first child, Mary, was baptised in Alresford in December that same year.

The testator died in 1784, and was buried in Alresford on 13th March 1784. The question is, though, how does he fit in with all these other Nunns? He must do somehow, but it will be a challenge if the information is in the lost Alresford registers.

ERO holds a bundle of papers relating to property in Pebmarsh, including the 1786 will of Frances Nunn of Wivenhoe. This is presumably the testator’s widow, but I can’t find the will – is it a PCC will or an ERO will? Both draw a blank, and it doesn’t appear to be in the LMA either.

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