These wills are from a variety of sources – some from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, and others from county record offices. Most of the wills have been transcribed to include all the names mentioned, but not necessarily all of the details of what each person received, so please see the originals for complete details.
- Panton, Eleanor, widow of John Panton, deceased, 1619
- Panton, John, of Westminster, Middlesex, 1619
- Pawe, Andrew, of Norwich, 1511
- Paynell, Henry, gentleman of Belaugh, Norfolk, 1572
- Paynell, Robert, gentleman of Belaugh, Norfolk, 1557
Panton, Eleanor, widow of John Panton, deceased, 1619
Several times in her will and in her codicil, Eleanor pleads that the wardship of her daughters will be given to the executors she names in her will. At the time, wardship was decided by the Court of Wards and Liveries. Minors with large inheritances and marriage portions were easily exploited by this system as the wardship and “marriage” could be bought. It would mean someone enjoying the vulnerable minor’s wealth and quite possibly diminishing it. Eleanor’s insistence on her choice of wardship shows how strongly parents felt about the system, and how anxious they were for the future of their children.
Executors, desiring them to have the wardship of her daughters Alatha Panton and Eleanor Panton: John Williams DD, Dean of Salisbury; Thomas Cooke, gent “my old and true friend”; John Warburton, gent, servant to my cousin Mr Justice Warburton
Sister Alice Bath to bring the girls up. £100 and the testator’s bed in the house in Westminster.
Executors to buy two diamond rings, or £100 each: one for “my most honourable lord, the Earl of Arundel” and the other for his wife the countess: “humbly desiring them to accept of them as a testimony of my love and thankfulness for all their honourable favours”
Overseers: Earl of Arundel, “Mr Sergeant Crewe, the King’s Sergeant-at-Law”.
“And do most humbly beseach my said honourable lord to be a means that the wardship of my said children my be granted to my said executors.”
Witnesses: Richard Prythergh, Robert Lloyd, Francis Kempe
Written 24 Nov 1619
Her “hearty desire” that the wardship of her daughters shouldn’t be granted to her brother Sir George Booth, knight, nor to Sir Thomas Panton, knight, “nor to none other of my husband’s friends.”
- Cousin Dorothy Bunnington £20
- Sibill wife of Anthony North £6 13sh 4d
- Thomas Merrill £5
- Servant Richard Bassnett £10
- Elizabeth Groves £5
- Sarah Langfeilde [Longfield?] £5
- £20 to be divided among Lord Arundel’s servants
- Executor John Warburton £100, and 40s each to the other executors
- Dean of St Paul’s: a gold ring worth 40sh.
Witnesses: Robert Baldwin, Thomas Merrill
Written 26 Nov 1619, probate 4 Dec 1619
Transcriber’s notes: Eleanor Panton was the “cousin” of Robert Bouth (mentioned in his will), and the sister of Sir George Booth of Cheshire. John and Eleanor were both buried in Westminster Abbey, but no memorials remain for them there.
“Mr Sergeant Crewe” is presumably Sir Ranulph Crewe. His wife, Julian Clippesby, was Robert Bouth’s niece. Robert was the steward of Gilbert Talbot and Mary (née Cavendish, daughter of that famous woman from the Tudor period, Bess of Hardwick), Earl and Countess of Salisbury, and Julian was in the Salisbury’s household where she met Crewe. The Earl of Arundel’s wife was Alathea Talbot, the daughter of the Earl of Salisbury. It seems that one of the Panton’s daughters was named after her, and given the conventions of the time, was probably their daughter’s godmother.
Thomas Coke/Cooke, one of Eleanor’s executors, is perhaps the same man who witnessed her husband’s will, also worked for the Salisburys, and I wonder if he was one of Crewe’s relatives – Julian’s mother, Lettice, had a sister Winifred, who was the mother of Sir Edward Cooke/Coke (1552-1634), attorney general.
Panton, John, of Westminster, Middlesex, 1619
- Wife Eleanor Panton [Ellenor in the will], sole executor
- Three daughters: Anne, Alathea and Ellenor, all under 18
- A lot of land is mentioned in this will, which he divides among his daughters. Had bought land from Sir Thomas Middleton, knight; Hugh Panton, gent; William Middleton esqr. He bought land in Denbighshire by letters patent of the king.
Witnesses: Richard Baker, Thomas Coke, Thomas Merrill
Written 27 May 1618, probate 27 March 1618/9.
Transcriber’s notes: husband of Eleanor, above.
Pawe, Andrew, of Norwich, 1511
- To be buried at St Peter’s, Norwich, “by the sepulture of Katherin my late wife and I will a space be spared for Margaret now my wife to lie by me.”
- Money to various churches, religious houses, anchorites, prisoners.
- Wife Margaret: house that I dwell in for life, and after her death to my son William. Property in Norwich including lands that were once Swaynes. All sheep and cattle.
- Son William: all lands in Estanton and Rockland when 17. House in Norfolk in St Faith’s parish that were once Adam Fysshes, when 17. An annuity [looks like £8, but unclear], until 17.
- All plate and movable goods divided between Margaret and William, except daughter Margaret to have the standing cup that was my father’s.
Executors: wife Margaret, and Henry at Mere, Citizen and Alderman of Norwich, and Robert Lewys, priest.
Written 13 Oct 1510, probate 19 Feb 1510/11
Transcriber’s notes: Andrew Pawe’s daughter Margaret married William Knightley of Norwich. The Knightley visitation only mentions one wife, Anne Hare, but it seems that some William’s children were by Margaret, and others by Anne. His daughter Audrey, who married Thomas Gawdey (see his will), appears to have been Margaret’s daughter, as the Gawdey papers talk about the settlement, and Audrey’s uncle William Pawe assured certain lands to her that he had inherited from his father. Margaret (see her will) then married Philip Hill of Norwich (see his will). Philip’s nephew Simon Hill of East Bergholt (see his will – William’s daughters Lettice and Audrey administered his will, with their respective husbands William Cardinall and Thomas Gawdey) married another daughter of William Knightley, Elizabeth.
Paynell, Henry, gentleman of Belaugh, Norfolk, 1572
- All my daughters: Mary, Elizabeth, Brydgette and Frances £100 when 21. If they all die under age, £400 to son and heir, in land.
- All goods chattels and leases (except for the first four years) to wife Thomasine, then to son Martyne.
- Parsonage of Tunsteade mentioned
- Son Henry: after death of Thomasine, all lands and tenements in Essex
- Son Robert: all lands in Belaugh, Hoveton St John, Hoveton St Peter, and towns adjoining, and leases in said towns.
Executors wife, R. Barrye, Miles C, John…, Edmund Riches
Probate 5 Dec 1572
Transcriber’s notes: Henry was buried on 18 July 1572 at Belaugh, Norfolk. Thomasine is only named in the probate, rather than in the body of the will, where she’s referred to only as “my wife”. It appears that his daughter Bridget went on to marry Anthony Mannock of Stoke-by-Nayland/Little Oakley. After Henry’s death, Thomasine married Charles Hopton. See the will of Arthur Hopton, Thomasine and Charles’ son. Henry’s first wife Winifred died in 1564, and Henry and Thomasine’s first child, Frances, was born in 1566. It’s possible that Bridget was Winifred’s daughter, bearing in mind that her name comes before Frances’ in Henry’s will and the order of names often reflects the age order of children, but it’s hard to say without the record of Bridget’s baptism surviving to prove it. Arthur Hopton describes Bridget Paynell as his “sister Mannock” and her children as his nieces, but she might have been his stepsister rather than his half-sister.
Paynell, Robert, gentleman of Belaugh, Norfolk, 1557
- To be buried in Belaugh church.
- To all his sisters [unnamed] 20 shillings each
- John Dowghtie 20 shillings
- Thomas Ryddell 6sh 8d, and to Agar?/Mar? Garrett his sister the same
- All his godchildren [unnamed] 12d each
- Wife Margaret: all goods and chattels, to be executor
- Katheryn Corbett 20 shillings
Witnesses: Sir John Robynsonne, clarke; Hugh Puttocke; William Somes
Written 31 Oct 1557, probate 18 Dec 1557
Transcriber’s note: John Dowtie of Hoveton St John married Cicilia Paynel, daughter of Robert Paynell, at Belaugh in 1551. It’s possible that the testator was leaving his son-in-law a legacy in his will.