Suffolk wills – G

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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 archive that holds the will to retrieve a copy, or visit in order to consult it.

Gardiner, Thomas, clothier of Glemsford, 1591

  • The poor of Glemsford: 40sh
  • Wife Agnes
  • Daughter Alice Cutler, wife of Robert Cutler
  • Mary Cutler, Elizabeth Cutler and Samuel Cutler, £50 each when 21
  • Edward Howe £60, his sons Edward Howe and Robert Howe £10 each
  • Edward Gardiner £50 to pay William Gardiner £3 a year, and 40sh a year to Elizabeth wife of Thomas Phillipson
  • Nephew Thomas Gardiner, son of my elder brother £20
  • Son of John Gardiner the younger: Thomas £40, and John £10
  • Anne Gardiner £10
  • Children of William Gardiner: Alice and Edward, £10 each
  • Richard Gardiner £5
  • Alice wife of Henry Rowninge £5
  • Elizabeth wife of Robert Slasby £5
  • Young Thomas Phillipson: 5 marks, being lame
  • Robert Kirton the younger
  • Servants Kinborowe Isacks 40sh, Elizabeth Belgrave 20h
  • Marie Gardiner and Martha Gardiner 40sh each
  • Thomas Kerse 2 angels
  • Richard Kermton 4 angels

Executor: Son-in-law Robert Cutler: stock and unbequested possessions

Supervisors: friends William Bigges, clerk; Ambrose Bigges; Mr Robert Eseerby [Esteby?], 40sh each for a ring

Witnesses: Robert Stansby, George Howe

Written 10 Aug 1590, probate 16 Sep 1591

Transcriber’s note: the testator was buried in Glemsford on 26 July 1591. His daughter Alice married Robert Cutler. They both left wills, which can be seen under Suffolk wills – C.

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Garrard, Walter, baker of Hadleigh, 1659

  • Son Joseph Garrard, under 24
  • Wife Mary
  • Son Daniel Garrard, under 21
  • Daughter Anne wife of John Nunn of Hadleigh, baker
  • Son John Garrard
  • Daughter Mary wife of Arthur Colman

Executors: son John, and son-in-law Arthur Colman

Witnesses: William Colman, William Lodge, Arthur Gaell

Written 16 Nov 1658, probate 8 Jun 1659


Transcriber’s notes: The testator was buried in Hadleigh on 11 Jan 1658/9. He married his first wife, Dinah Cadd, in 1624, and his second, Mary Hitch, in 1642.

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Gosnold, Edmund of Coddenham, 1560

  • Sir James Glover, vicar of Coddenham
  • Money to maintenance
  • The deceased Richard Yonge owed money to the town of Coddenham, which debts the testator took on
  • Mentions Coddenham, Crowfield and Gosbeck
  • Wife Grace. Her late husband, John Kingsman, left a will
  • Son-in-law Christopher Ungle
  • Son-in-law Thomas Kindlemarsh, his wife Anne
  • Farm at Leyston and Feverton bought from Mr Robert Browne of Leiston esq
  • Godsons, all under 21: Edmund Ungle, Edmund Kyndlemarsh son of Richard, Edmund Kyndlemarsh son of Thomas, Edmund Dameron, Edmund Pottes
  • Goddaughter Gosnolde: unmarried
  • Servant William Whiteloke, and “my boy” Thomas Toftes: unmarried
  • Children of my daugther Margaret Kindlemarsh
  • Children of my daugther Anne Kindlemarsh
  • Children of my daughter Elizabeth Dameron
  • Son-in-law Richard Kindlemarsh
  • Assement of household things by Christopher Ungle, George Goldinge, Jeffrey Tyllett
  • My daughters Margaret, Anne, Jone and Elizabeth
  • Cattle and corn etc to be appraised by George Goldinge, John Linge, Christopher Ungle, Thomas Kindlemarsh
  • My nephew Robert Gosnold
  • Bulles wife, William Moore, John Lewes

Supervisor: George Golding

Witnesses: Marmaduke Dew, Steven Tillytt, Henry Yonges and others

Written 31 March 1559. Probate 8 Oct 1560 by Christopher Ungle and Robert Gosnolde


Testator’s notes: a son of John Gosnold, who died in 1512, and brother of Robert Gosnold, who died in 1573.

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Gosnold, John of Otley, 1512

  • To be buried in Otley churchyard
  • Pays tithes to Otley, Swilland, and Helmingham
  • Money to various friars in Ipswich to pray for his and his friends’ souls
  • 20 marks for the steeple at Otley, and four torches for the church
  • Money to repair churches at Burgh, Suffolk, and Thorpe, Essex
  • Son Robert Gosnold to have the tenement I dwell in, and land purchased from William Clood, and several other tenements in Otley, Helmingham and Framsden. Robert to pay executors £40
  • Robert to have my tenement called Cloods, and the tenement Shirlebris
  • Son Edmund Gosnold: tenement called Pakkerdes purchased from Thomas Edgere and the executors of Margaret Gardener widow, and Birspyns, and land and tenements in Clopton, and my part of Dorehawoods in Moneden. And lands purchased from William Fosdike. And tenement called Boyoys, and land purchased from the executors of Symon Shilby, and lands purchased from William Walle – paying to Johane, William Walle’s sister yearly 13sh 3d. And a close called Asshynegs
  • If Robert or Edmund try to interfere with the will, the lands bequeathed to them to be sold by my executors
  • Margaret Gosnold daughter of Edmund Gosnold: 5 marks on her marriage. If she dies before, the money to Edmund
  • Katherine Gosnold daugther of Robert Gosnold: 5 marks on her marriage. If she dies before, the money to Robert
  • Son William Gosnold shall sing for my soul at Cambridge for three years, and to have 9 marks a year for doing so
  • John Clood 20sh
  • Every godchild 12d each to pray for my soul
  • Executors to sell tenement called Slowis bought from William Barfoote, and all lands and tenements in Homyngeston, Burgh and Swilland

Executors: rest and residue to son Robert, to Thomas Baldry of Ipswich and Robert Gardener of Gretyngham the elder

Witnesses: Lionel Talmage esq, William Basse priest, Jeffrey Hille of Bocking Ash, John Armiger senior, John Mors

Written 26 Jan 1511/2, probate 17 Feb 1511/2


Transcriber’s notes: the father of Robert Gosnold who died in about 1573, and grandfather of John Gosnold who died 1554, and Robert who died in 1559. According to the 1561 Suffolk Visitation, his daughter Margaret married William Cardinall of “Wenham”. His daughter Alice married Thomas Merrell of Whepstead, Thomas Webbe of Dedham, and thirdly to John Beriffe of “Bridgelay” (Brightlingsea) where a brass to her memory can be seen in the old church.

Note that he mentions Margaret Gardener in his will – his sister Katherine had, according to the 1561 Suffolk Visitation, married William Gardyner of Otley, and might presumably be a relative of Margaret’s.

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Gosnold, John, of Shryblond [Shrubland, Barham], 1554

  • Executors to have goods and chattles
  • Holds to farm of the Duke of Norfolk [Thomas Howard] the site of the late Abbey of Sibton
  • Servants Thomas Galles, Henry Cressner, Edward Rolleston, John Ap Williams, John Culpepper, Thomas Fastolf
  • Wife Katherine
  • Brothers Robert Gosnolde, John Eyer, John Blannerhayset
  • Father Robert Gosnolde
  • Uncle Edmund Gosnolde
  • William Stevenson
  • Nieces [unnamed], the daughters of Robert Gosnolde: money “to their better preferment in marriage”
  • Wife Katherine: jointure of lands in Framsden, Otley, Clopton and nearby towns
  • Moiety of the manor of Layborne to brother Robert Gosnold
  • Father holds to farm the manor of Burghasshe, Suffolk
  • Lands in Pettaugh and Winston, in tenure of Richard Wythe of Framsden

Executors: John Eyer, John Blenerhayset, Robert Gosnold my brother

Supervisor: Robert Gosnold my father

Witnesses: Robert Gosnold, John Rous, George Golding, Robert Marks, William Gaseley

Memorandum: rest and residue to brother Robert Gosnold, to be divided among his children. Witnesses: William Stevenson, Henry Cresener, Robert Galle

Written 28 Aug 1554, probate 7 Nov 1554


Transcriber’s notes: the testator was the grandson of John Gosnold, who died in 1512, the son of Robert Gosnold, who died in 1573, and the brother of Robert Gosnold the younger, who died in 1559. John’s wife was Katherine Blennerhasset, daughter of Sir Thomas Blennerhasset. After John’s death, Katherine married Anthony Wingfield, son of Sir Anthony Wingfield, a servant of Henry VIII.

The testator held various important posts, and his career is detailed at the History of Parliament.

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Gosnold, Robert the younger, of Otley, 1559

  • To be buried in Otley churchyard beside my wife’s grave
  • Son John Gosnold: land called Chamberlaines sometimes Alfrayes chantry, for 20 years, with £50-worth of cattle. After 20 years, to my son Anthony Gosnold and his male heirs.
  • To son Anthony Gosnold: the remainder of the said land in occupation of Thomas Pellys of Clopton with a tenement called Ardleys in Grundisburgh occupied by Robert Gildersleve, and his male heirs
  • Son Robert Gosnold: my manor called Cardon Hall in Wytlesham, and his male heirs
  • my daughters: Anne, Alice, Dorothy, Katherine, Mary, Agnes, Cycely and Judith: £50 each when 24 or married. My gift of £30, plus my father-in-law Robert Vesey’s gift of £20
  • To executors: my farm called Charefield Close for 10 years for the bringing up of my children. Remainder of lease to he who owns the house I now dwell in
  • Son Robert Gosnold: two double gilt bowls, my counterpoint of blue and yellow of Brydges satin embroidered, two pairs of my best sheets, and two little stools for gentlewoman of red scarlet embroidered with black velvet, and a bed he has at London.
  • Son Anthony Gosnold: my best salt, two pairs of sheets next the best, and four pairs of meaner sheets, a long table cloth of damask work, a cloth of the same, a long towel of the same, and a dozen napkins, two brass pots and two pans
  • Contents of certain rooms to remain as-is, and to belong to whoever owns the house, according to an indenture dated 1 Feb 1557/8.
  • Son John: silver salt next the best, and all stuff in chamber next the parlour, and 6 silver spoons
  • Son William: a little white silver bowl
  • daughter Anne: a chased piece of silver
  • daughter Dorothy: 6 silver spoons goose-necked
  • son Edward: 6 silver spoons
  • daughter Agnes: 8 old silver spoons
  • daughter Katherine: gilt jug with a cover
  • All these household goods to be given when 24 or married, whichever happens first
  • Servant Elizabeth Morse: several pieces of household goods
  • To Anne, Dorothy, Katherine, Mary, Agnes, Cecily and Judith: my wife’s linen which is locked in a little coffer
  • Servant Joane Stowford: several pieces of household goods
  • Rest and residue of household goods, not in the abovementioned indenture, to be divided among my children: Anthony, John, William, Edward, Anne, Dorothy, Katherine, Mary, Agnes, Cecily and Judith
  • Son William: £200 to be paid out of the manor of Leyborne
  • Son Edward: £100 as per the will of my father Robert Gosnold
  • Son Anthony to pay my son Edward £100 when 21
  • Robert Wythe 26sh
  • Robert Bond 26sh 8d
  • Thomas Dryver 20sh
  • Thomas Stamperd 20sh
  • Thomas Chantnes 20sh

Executors: sons Robert and Anthony

Witnesses: Lyonell Morse senior, William Armigerd, Robert Tovell

Written 26 Jan 1558/9, probate 27 Apr 1559


Transcriber’s notes: Robert Gosnold married Mary, the daughter of Robert Vesey of Hadleigh, who died only a few months after the testator. Their children are also mentioned in Robert Vesey’s will. It appears that Mary died before her husband passed away. Early Otley parish registers have not survived.

He was “Robert the younger” because his father, Robert Gosnold of Otley, was still alive, and died in the 1570s. His older brother John Gosnold (who was born by 1507) died before Robert the younger in abt 1554. It appears from the 1561 Suffolk Visitation that his aunt Margaret Gosnold married William Cardinall of Great Wenham (and might therefore be the mother of William Cardinall of Great Bromley). His aunt Alice Gosnold married three times: to Thomas Merrell, secondly Thomas Webb, and finally to John Beriffe of Brightlingsea. Alice died in 1536, and a brass commemorating her can be seen in All Saints’ church, Brightlingsea.

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Gosnold, Robert senior, of Otley, 1574

[His coat of arms has been drawn in the margin]
  • To be buried in Otley church
  • Wife Anne to have all household goods that were hers at our marriage, and “all the ready money which she hath of her own gathering”, all her jewels with a pot of silver and 13 silver apostle spoons, on condition she doesn’t trouble my executors. To be paid £100 which I am bount to by an indenture dated 10 Oct 1547
  • Every godchild of mine at my funeral 12d, and 3d to everyone who will take dole
  • Grandson Robert Gosnold: a bason with a ewer of silver, and gilt standing cup which I bought from him with a silver bowl with a cover. After his death, to his eldest son. And all residue of my household stuff. And my capital messuage in Otley, and all lands and tenements called Lorkins Bakers, Walles, Medows, Erles in Swilland and Brodemeadowe and tenement called Clodds with lands called Shribbs occupied by Thomas Pettawe.
  • By deed has assured to wife Anne in a jointure my manor of Nether Hall in Otley, and other lands and tenements with yearly value of £20 10sh 8d: all said property to grandson Robert and his male heirs
  • Grandson Anthony: tenement called Prattes, and to his male heirs, and lands and tenements called the Fall, sometimes Robert Chandelers, now in Anthony’s occupation. And the £40 he owes me. And £20
  • Robert Gosnold, John Gosnold, Richard Gosnold, Edmund Gosnold, Elizabeth Gosnold and Dorothy Gosnold, the children of my grandson Robert Gosnold, £20 when 21 or married
  • Grandson John Gosnold: a bill of £40 which I have of his
  • Grandson Edward Gosnold: £20 on his marriage
  • Daughters Christian Ryvett and Johan Bromley £10 each
  • Wife Anne to have the new lodging for life
  • John Gosnold and Richard Gosnold (both under 24), sons of my grandson Robert Gosnold: all lands and tenements in Ashfield, Grettingham, and elsewhere in Suffolk, in tenures of John Tuttell and Henry Raydon
  • Granddaughters Cecily Gosnold and Judith Gosnold: £7 10sh to fulfil the request of my son John Gosnold deceased made in his will, and £5 each
  • Grandsons John Gosnold and William Gosnold: £20 they each owe me
  • Robert Rivett and his two unmarried sisters: £5 each
  • Elizabeth Bakon and Elizabeth Frent: £4 each
  • Servant Edward Gosse: £4
  • Bartholomew Gosnold son of Anthony Gosnold: £20
  • Robert Gosnold son of John Gosnold: £20
  • Servant William Jolly: 26sh 8d
  • Grandson Robert Gosnold to pay Edward Gosnold his brother £100 when he’s 24, to perform the will of my son Robert Gosnold deceased
  • The said Edward is admitted tenant to certain lands in Grundisburgh, which lands, called Chamberlaines, were wholly given to Anthony Gosnold by the will of my said son Robert Gosnold. Edward to surrender the said lands to his brother Anthony.

Executors: grandsons Robert Gosnold and Anthony Gosnold

Supervisor: Sir Robert Wingfield, knight. Forgives him the £6 he owes him

Witnesses: Richard Ruben, Edward Gosse

Written 20 Oct 1572, probate 4 Feb 1573/4

Transcriber’s notes: the son of John, who died in 1512, and brother of Edmund, who died in about 1560. His sons John and Robert junior died in the 1550s. His grandson Robert married Ursula Naunton. It’s interesting to see Sir Robert Wingfield named as supervisor – his brother Anthony married Katherine Blennerhasset, widow of Robert’s son John.


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Grithe, Thomas, of East Bergholt, 1542

  • To be buried in the church at East Bergholt. 100 marks for the making of the steeple
  • The making of Brantham Mill Lane £10
  • Money to the poor of: East Bergholt, Thorpe, Clacton, Weeley, Dedham, Stratford, Holton, Higham, Wenham, Capel, Brantham, Lawford, and Manningtree
  • Wife Elizabeth to have all lands and tenements in East Bergholt for life. After her death:
  • To daughter Anne: the house I dwell in with the two fields behind it with the woodhouse and the lands called Cleycotte, and a piece of land called Leyes for life. And after her death, to the heirs of her body. If she has none, to be divided between my other two daughters, on condition that Ann be “ordered and ruled in marriage by the counsel of her mother, John Bransten, and Stephyn Woodgate
  • Daughter Eden Smythe: after wife Elizabeth’s death, to have the tenement occupied by Anthony Browne, and tenement occupied by Goslyn, a meadow called Fordley, and further pieces of land. For life, and after her death to John Smythe her husband, and their heirs. If no heirs, to be divided between my other two daughters.
  • Daughter Joane Copland: tenement bought from William Lokke, and the tenement that Ofeld lives in called Quarhams, and lands and meadows in the Satle Waley for life, and after her death to her husband Richard Copland and their heirs. If no heirs, to be divided between my other two daughters.
  • Immediately after my decease: to daughter Joan: all my house in ? where John Borflette has my farm for life. After her death, as above. To daughter Eden Smythe: tenement with a tan house occupied by Richard Pye of Thorpe, a tenement in Clacton occupied by Wenow. After her death, to my godson Thomas Smythe and his heirs. No heirs: to the children of John and Eden Smyth. No heirs: to be divided between my other two daughters. On condition Eden and Thomas pay 6sh 8d for upkeep of nearby highway. To daughter Anne: house in Thorpe that Smyth of Borwhams? and Blind Smyth have in farm, and tenement in Weeley which Greve has in farm. After her death, as above.
  • Tenement in Wrabness to be let for 10 years, and afterwards sold. Half the money to Richard Brond, son of John Brond. The other half to be divided amnog the two daughters of John Cristmas, who he had by the daughter of Nicholas Gryth
  • Anne Gryth, widow: 20sh out of the farm in Wrabness
  • Philip Symon: £6 13sh 4d

Executor: wife Elizabeth, rest and residue

Witnesses: William Reddoth, John Smyth of Heigham, Richard Copland, John Branston, Stephyn Woodgate.

Written 20 Feb 1541/2, probate 16 Mar 1541/2 by Elizabeth

7 Nov 1566: William Smyth, relative of the testator, swore to administer, Elizabeth not having done so in her lifetime.


Transcriber’s notes: the testator’s daughter Anne married Stephen Cardinall of East Bergholt, the son of another Stephen Cardinall, and younger brother of William Cardinall of Great Wenham (d abt 1551).

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