Suffolk wills – B

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 Suffolk Record Office (ERO), the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC), or the Norfolk Record Office (NRO).

Note: these are all PCC wills. There are several Branston wills at SRO, including the following for testators giving East Bergholt as their abode: 1509 Christian, 1526 Richard, 1571 William, clothier, 1585 Rose, widow, 1601 Christopher, 1632 Edmund, 1638 Stephen, 1689 Mary Brandson.

Richard could’ve been John the elder’s father or uncle. Christopher and William could’ve been John the elder’s sons. Rose could’ve been William’s wife. Edmund could’ve been the supervisor of John Branston’s 1611 will. Stephen could’ve been the son of John (1611 will) or one of the Stephens mentioned in Thomas Branston’s 1638/41 will.

Branston, John the elder of East Bergholt, 1558

To be buried in the church at East Bergholt

Sons Thomas and John

Wife Katherine

Names various pieces of property

The poor of East Bergholt

Daughters Agnes, Margaret and Emme, under 21

Sons Robert, Simon, Richard and Christopher, under 27

Son William

Robert Keche and Christine his wife, their children: Thomas, Rauf, Anne, Martha and Joyce, under 22

William Beckett and Catherine his wife, their children: William, Thomas Henry and Awsteyn (Austin), under 22

Godson John Branston

Grandchildren (unnamed) of son Thomas

Grandchildren Charles Branston and Susan, son and daughter of son William

Brother Thomas, and brother Thomas Branston the elder [presumably the same man, rather than Thomas the elder and younger]

Debts (“obligations”) owed him by Thomas Turner and Gerard Shylberyes, both of Colchester; William Beckett

Executors: brother Thomas Branston the elder, son Thomas Branston

No witnesses.

Written 10 Nov 1556

Note at end of will saying the will was read in the testator’s house before his body was removed, and that it was seen to be in his own handwriting. Witnesses: Stephyn Cardynall, Robert Wyles, William Branston, Phillipp Symond, John Branston, Richard Branston, Simon Branston. Gives his date of death as 24 Feb 1557/8

Probate 14 May 1558


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Bramston [Branston], John, clothmaker of East Bergholt, 1582

Wife Judith

The houses where Thomas Barbor, George Gooffe and “old Baker” live

Son John Bramston

Sisters Catherine, Margaret, Emme

The poor of East Bergholt

Daughters Catherine and Judith: both unmarried and under 20

Dr Chapman, Mr Dr Allyen of Arrerton Creke, Mr Welche, Mr Dowe, Mr Morsse the preacher, Mr Alcock, George Farrar, Edward Ryche

Debts due to bonds: testator and his brother Thomas, and Thomas’ son John are bound to Mr Henry Reignald of Belstead for money or goods of the testator’s deceased brother Richard Bramston

Executor: wife Judith

Witnesses: Richard Dowe minister, Christopher Borrowe, Edward Riche, John Bramston the younger

Written 10 January 1581/2, probate 17 May 1582

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Branston, Katherine of East Bergholt, 1559

The poor of East Bergholt

Daughters Agnes, Margaret and Emme, all under 18 and unmarried

Sons Thomas, John, Robert, Richard and Christopher

Robert Keche and his wife Christian

William Beckett and his wife Katheryn

Goddaughter Katheryn Bransted

Executors: sons Thomas and John

Witnesses: Thomas Barker, Richard Branston, John Ellis “and others”

Written 6 Feb 1558/9, probate 24 Apr 1559

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Branston, Richard, clothier of East Bergholt, 1567

Wife Katherine, currently pregnant

Son Thomas, under 21

Eden Branston, daughter of Thomas Branston

Mary Branston, daughter of John Branston


Thomas Dawson

Christopher Dawson, “my brother”

Sisters Katherine, Annes [Agnes], Margaret, Emme

Brethren [this means brothers-in-law as well]: Thomas Branston, John Branston, Richard Cardinall, Robert Dawson, Adam Cardinall, Christopher Lewes, Richard Weston

The poor of East Bergholt

Executors: brothers John Branston and Thomas Branston

Witnesses: Stephin Cardinall, John Ramsey minister, Thomas Baker

Written 1566 (year only, not full date), probate 11 July 1567


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Branston, Thomas, yeoman of East Bergholt, 1586

Wife Julian

Witnesses: Richard Prycke, Christopher Borrow, Edmund Newton


Written 30 April 1586, probate 5 May 1586

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Branston, Thomas, clothier of Flowton, 1641

Wife Mary

Eldest son John Branston

Son Thomas Branston

Property in Kirby and Walton, Essex, and elsewhere. Land bought from Christopher Aldham

Sister Judith Clearke wife of Joseph Clearke of East Bergholt, and their children: John Clearke, Judith Clearke, Nahomy Clearke [Naomi?]

Grandchildren: Wililam Maxcie, Thomas Briminge

Brother-in-law Mr Robert Alefounder and my sister his wife. Cousin Robert Alefounder, my said brother’s son [ie nephew]

Cousin Elizabeth Trenham, wife of John Trenham of East Bergholt

£15 to build a workhouse for the poor in East Bergholt, and another legacy for the poor of East Bergholt

Steven Branston, son of John Branston

Steven Branston, son of Edmund Branston

Rose wife of William Braberton of East Bergholt, and her children, under 21 [unnamed]

Richard Alefounder the elder of East Bergholt, and his children Richard and Susan

Brother-in-law John Alefounder of Dedham

Sisters: Briminge, Sherman, Fenn, Alderman

Ministers: Mr Jones, Mr Long and Mr Fisher all of East Bergholt; Mr Witton of Mistley; Mr Newcome of Dedham; Mr Ruse of Bentley

Sons-in-law: William Maxie, Briminge, William Boggas

Executor: son John

Witnesses: Robert Doue, Anthony Dade, Ro. Alefounder, William Maxey

Written 3 Sep 1638, probate 29 July 1641


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