Essex wills – W

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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).


Wade, Samuel William Cardinal, mariner of Wivenhoe, 1848

First, I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth my dearly beloved wife all my Household furniture Linnen China and plate. Also I give and bequeath unto my aforesaid dearly beloved wife all my part of that fishing smack known and called by the name of the Prosperous together with my part of all the sails and all other things whatsoever thereunto belonging And also I give and bequeath unto my aforesaid dearly beloved wife all the rest, residue and Remainder of Estate both personal and real whatsoever and wheresoever and of what kind or nature soever the same may be.

Lastly, I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my aforesaid deadly beloved wife Executrix and Samuel Catt of Wivenhoe aforesaid Blacksmith Executor of this my last will and testament

Witnesses: Thomas J Howard, William Jolliff, Edmund Catt

Written: 4 Oct 1847. Date of death: 17 Jan 1848. Proved: 12 Oct 1848

ERO ref: D/ACW 44/6/25

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Wade, William Cardinal, wheelwright of Tendring, 1796 

  • I give to my three Children William Gilbert Wade, Ann Elizabeth Cardinal Wade and Harriet Bearman Wade and any other my child or children to be hereafter born all my plate to be Equally divided amongst them Share and Share alike
  • Item I order and direct that all those my messuages and premises situate at Haseley in the said County of Essex Also all those my five messuages or Tenements and premises situate on a certain Green called Parsons Green in the said parish of Tendring with their and Every of their appurtenances and also all that messuage or dwelling house wherein I now live with the Shops Premises and Appurtenances thereunto belonging, may be sold and disposed of by my Executors hereinafter mentioned immediately after my decease for the most money that can be obtained for the same respectively either by public auction or private sale as to them my said Executors shall seem meet
  • I also desire that all my household furniture Linen China Stock and Utensils in Trade and all other my Effects whatsoever and wheresoever (except the plate bequeathed as aforesaid) may be likewise sold and disposed of
  • And out of monies arising by sale of my said several messuages Tenement, household furniture and Effects I order that all my Just debts funeral charges and the Expenses of proving this my will may be paid and discharged and after payment and Satisfaction thereof I desire that the surplus? may be placed out in Government or other good Security in the manner of my said Executors and the Interest and annual produce to be received by them and paid to my loving wife Ann Wade until the youngest of my said Children shall have attained its age of 21 to Enable her to Educate Cloath and bring up my said Children during their minority
  • And on the arrival of my said youngest child at the said age of 21 I devise that the
    principal money so to be placed out as aforesaid, may be Equally divided between such of my said Children as shall be then living share and share alike.
  • And my will further is that my Brother Thomas Wade may have the refusal of my Stock in Trade at a fair valuation in case he shall think proper to purchase the same, and give good Security to my said Executors for the payment of the purchase money within a reasonable time.
  • And Lastly I do hereby nominate said constitute and appoint my two friends Thomas Lewis Stone of Fingringhoe in the said County Farmer and John Finer of Tendring aforesaid Farmer Executors and do request of them to take upon themselves the burthen of the Execution thereof. I hereby giving and bequeathing unto them my said Executors the sum of Five Guineas each for their trouble.

Witnesses: John Ambrose junr Mistley Esq, Elizth Stone, Sarah Whittaker WadeWritten: 18 Mar 1796.

Codicil: 27 Mar 1796.

I give and bequeath unto my dear Mother Elizabeth Wade £10.

And where I have in my said will hereunto annexed nominated and appointed my two friends Thomas Lewis Stone of Fingringhoe and John Finer of Tendring Farmer Executors now instead of the said John Finer and in his place I do hereby nominate and appoint my friend Joseph Harris of Wix in the said County of Essex Shopkeeper with the said Thomas Lewis Stone Executors of my said will and codicil giving them the said Thomas Lewis Stone Executors and Joseph Harris the sum of five guineas each for their trouble and vesting them with the same powers as are contained in my said will and

Witnesses: John Ambrose junr, William Wood

Died at Tendring on or about 18 May 1796. Proved: 04 Jul 1796.

ERO ref: D/ABW 113/2/39

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Wade, William Gilbert, wheelwright, late of Abberton, now residing at Colchester, 1827

  • To be buried in Fingringhoe
  • To nephew Thomas Lewis Stone: freehold tenements in Wix occupied by Benjamin Hunt and Bridget Angier; copyhold tenement in Wix occupied by John Bird
  • To niece Susannah Stone copyhold in Little Clacton occupied by William Starling and others.
  • To nephew Frederick Hicks: £200 when 21. Executors can advance up to half of this before Frederick reaches 21 in order to apprentice him or otherwise advance him in the world. Such advances made in the lifetime of Frederick’s mother (Ann, the testator’s sister – surname not given in the will) to be made with her consent. If Frederick dies before he reaches the age of 21, the remainder of the £200 to the testator’s sister, Susannah Stone.
  • Rest and residue to Isaac Brett the younger of Inworth, Essex, gardener (the testator’s

Executors: the said Isaac Brett and the testator’s brother-in-law Thomas Lewis Stone

Witnesses: Edward Knipps, Elizabeth Fisher, Fred. Brown.

Written: 23rd March 1827, proved: 20th December 1827

ERO. Registered copy.

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Whiting, Mary, widow of Tendring, 1780

  • To niece Mary Mash, wife of John Mash of Tendring: my undivided moiety of freehold called Ilsents in Tendring, in occupation of the said John Mash, and all the rest of my real estate, for her natural life. Sums of money owning to be charged on my real estate.
  • After Mary Mash’s death, to her children: John, Mary, James and Charles. If none survive and if no lawful issue, to my sister Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Sallows
  • Ready money, securities for money, household goods, wearing apparel, linen etc to my niece Susanna Baxter, daughter of my sister Susanna Rawlinson, late wife of Giles Rawlinson of Thorpe-le-Soken, deceased.

Executor: John Mash of Tendring.

Witnesses: James Cousins, Joseph Newcomb, Daniel Chiles

Written: 15th March 1780. Died at Tendring, 30th March 1780. Proved: 22nd April 1780

ERO ref: D/ABW 107/1/44

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Whiting, Mary, spinster of St Botolph’s, Colchester, 1783

  • To cousin Robert Sach of Bradwell-juxta-Coggeshall, farmer: £20 for the sole benefit of his sister, Mary, wife of Ezra Livermore. If she dies before the £20 is spent, the remainder to be divided among her children.
  • To Mr. William Smith of Wivenhoe, Customs Officer: £5 for the benefit of his mother-in-law, Sarah Smith, widow (my cousin)
  • To my said cousin Mary Livermore and my cousin Elizabeth, wife of William Munsey
    of Wivenhoe, coal-meter, my wearing apparel and linen.
  • £1 1 shilling to whoever is minister of Red Lion Walk protestant dissenters in Colchester, at the time of my death
  • Rest and residue (apart from that which is on a sheet of paper pinned to my will to be otherwise disposed of [has not survived with will]) to my cousins Edward Sach of Coggeshall, farmer & John Lambert of Braintree, farmer, in trust for my cousins Elizabeth wife of William Munsey. Anything left over after her death to be divided between her children.

Executors: the said Edward Sach and John Lambert

Witnesses: Peter Daniell, Willm. Francis

Written: 22nd September 1777, proved: 16th January 1783

ERO ref: D/ACW 34/6/10

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Whitley, Mary, widow of Wivenhoe, 1728

  • Widow of William Whitley, late of Wivenhoe
  • Sons Ambrose Cock and Michael Cock
  • Son Abraham Whitley, under 14
  • Copyhold held of the Manor of Fingringhoe
  • Son John Whitley
  • Daughter Elizabeth Cock
  • Granddaughter Elizabeth Cock
  • Owned silver spoons marked “MM”
  • Sister Hopkins
  • Two kinswoman Joanna and Mary Munt
  • John Lee, Rector of Alresford

Executors: Son Ambrose Cooke, John Lee

Witnesses: Robert Durrell, Jno Tayler, John Potter

Written 22 Feb 1722/3, probate 1 Oct 1728


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Whitley, William, mariner and fisherman of Wivenhoe, 1722

  • Wife Mary: all household goods which were hers before their marriage, executor
  • Sons John and Abraham Whitley, both under 21
  • sons-in-law [stepsons?], Michael Cock and Ambrose Cock
  • son-in-law Jeremiah Downes
  • Son William Whitley
  • His five children: Susannah, William, Mary, John, Abraham

Witnesses: John Chandler, Elizabeth Peck, John Potter

Written 25 Nov 1721, probate 3 Feb 1721/2


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Winch, Catherine of Wix, widow of Samuel Winch, 1774

  • To son Samuel Winch: copyhold in Fingringhoe called variously Welmans Belsers and
  • But if Samuel dies under 21, to go to nephew John Cardinall of Tendring.
  • Rest and residue to son Samuel.

Executors: brother Clarkson Cardinall, gent, and son Samuel Winch

Witnesses: Joseph Harris, John Read, Mary Bird x

Written: 24th March 1774, proved: 2nd May 1774

ERO ref: D/ACW 33/4/17

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Wright, George, farmer of West Bergholt, 1831

  • To son George Wright of Lexden, carpenter, £20
  • To George’s daughter Susanna Wright, who now resides with me, £10 (to put her out as an apprentice or for her advancement)
  • To my niece Susan Green who now resides with me, £20
  • Suitable mourning for Susanna Wright and Susan Green
  • Household furniture, live and dead farming stock, money, securities and other personal estate to be divided between my two sons, William Dennis Wright and John Wright
  • Also to William Dennis Wright and John Wright, my copyhold called “Little Priors”, on the road from West Bergholt heath to the church. In occupation of my tenants: Lyne Adkin, Mary Gridley, George Risbee and John Gibling
  • All rest and residue to William Dennis Wright and John Wright (they to be the executors)

Written: 1st July 1828. Died: West Bergholt, 17th August 1831.

Proved: 3rd September 1831

ERO ref: D/ABW 129/1/62

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