The Will of William Bridges of Bosbury, 1619
 
Summary:  Transcription of a copy of the will of William Bridges of Upleadon, in Bosbury parish, dated 30th May 1619 listing as beneficiaries his wife Margaret and children Jane, William, John, James, Elizabeth, Thomas, Margaret and Richard (Mary was deleted). The copy will is held at the Hereford Archive and Records Centre reference A81/II/6. There are clean diagonal cuts across the will. Note: he and his family are recorded on a memorial in Bosbury Church (see Church Memorials page).

    In the name of God, Amen, the Thirtieth day of May in the year of Our Lord God one thousand six hundred and nineteen, I, William Bridges of the parish of Bosbury in the County of Hereford, gentleman, being of good and perfect memory thanks be given unto Almighty God therefore, do constitute, ordain and make this my last will and testament in manner and form following; that is to say First I bequeath my soul unto Almighty God my maker and redeemer and my body to be buried in Bosbury’s churchyard near to the chapel there called Moreton’s Chapel, and my will is that my grave shall be covered with a broad stone a foot and a half above ground; then after my funeral is discharged my will is that all my goods and chattels shall be disposed and distributed as by this my will is expressed and declared. First I give unto the churchwardens of the parish of Bosbury for the time being the sum of twenty shillings to be used and employed as a stock for and towards the relief of the poor of the said parish of Bosbury forever.

Item I give and bequeath unto Mary Bridge mine eldest daughter the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds to be paid unto her immediately after my decease. Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Jane Bridge the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds to be paid unto her immediately after my decease.

Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Elizabeth Bridge, the sum of one hundred pounds to be paid unto her within one year after my decease.

Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Margaret Bridge, the sum of one hundred pounds to be paid unto her within two years after my decease.

Item I give and bequeath unto my son, John Bridge, the sum of one hundred pounds to be paid unto him within one quarter of a year after my decease.

Item I give and bequeath unto my son, James Bridge, the sum of one hundred pounds to be paid unto him within one year after my decease.

Item I give and bequeath unto my son, Thomas Bridge, the sum of one hundred pounds to be paid unto him within two years after my decease.

Item I give and bequeath unto my son Richard Bridge the sum of one hundred and twenty pounds to be paid within three years after my decease.

Item I do devise unto Margaret Bridge, my wife, for and in recompence place and [in]stead of her dowry one annuity or yearly rent of sixteen pounds of good and lawful money of England to be issuing and going out of my free lands and tenements lying in Upleadon in the said parish of Bosbury called or known by the several name or names of the messuage called Showles, alias Showmells, the messuage called Orchards and the messuage called Woodydends, and out of all the lands tenements and hereditaments whatsoever to the said several messuages and every of them belonging or in any wise appurtaining, to have, hold, receive, prove, take and enjoy the said yearly rent of sixteen pounds unto my said wife, Margaret Bridge, and her assigns for and during the term of her natural life payable at two feast days or terms in the year that is to say, the feast day of St Michael the Archangel [29 September] and the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary [25 March] by equal and even portions. And if it happen the said yearly rent of sixteen pounds to be behind and unpaid in part or in all by the space of one month next after any of the said days in which the same ought to be paid and it being lawfully demanded at the now dwelling house of me, the said William Bridge, that then it shall and may be lawful to and for my said wife [to go] into the said premises or into any part thereof to enter and distrain, and the distress or distresses there so had and taken, to lead, drive, take, carry away and detain until that she my said wife her executors or assigns be of the same and of the arrearages thereof if any shall be fully satisfied and paid.

Item my will is that my said wife shall have the chamber over the parlour in my now dwelling house to her own only use for and during so long time as she shall continue sole and unmarried if and be inhabiting and dwelling in the said house, and my will is further that she shall have during that time free liberty to come and enjoy the use of the fire, and the benefit of the oven for her necessary use in my said dwelling house. And further that it shall and may be lawful to and for my said wife to have full power during the time of her widowhood and abode at my said dwelling house to sow, to and for her own proper use and behoof, yearly, half a bushel of hemp seed or half a bushel of linseed in any place or places of my said lands where she herself shall appoint and the increase thereof arising to take to her own proper use and behoof [= benefit or advantage].

Item I give and bequeath unto my said wife the bed and furniture thereunto belonging being in the chamber over the parlour.

Item my will is that she shall have the bedstead in the said chamber but during the time or her widowhood.

Item I give and bequeath unto my son, William Bridge, all the residue of my household stuff; utensils and implements of household, and all my waynes and tack of team and implements of husbandry, my armour, mustmill and maltmill, and four oxen and four kine.

Item my will is that such of my said sons & daughters that shall be under the age of eighteen years at the time of my decease shall be maintained by my said son William Bridge at school with convenient and necessary meat, drink and apparel until they shall accomplish their ages of eighteen years respectively.

Item my will is that if any of my said children shall happen to die before the time they should receive the legacies unto them bequeathed according as is hereby appointed that part or portion of his her or them so dying shall be equally divided amongst the rest of my children then living, every one or them to be paid his part at such time as his, her or their other legacies is by this my will declared to be paid.

Item my will is further that if any overplus shall arise out of all my goods and chattels after my funerals and legacies hereby bequeathed, discharged then the said overplus to be equally divided amongst my said children.

Item I give and bequeath unto my nephew Anthony Barkeley ten pounds to be paid unto him within one quarter of a year after my decease.

Item I give and bequeath unto my nephew and godson William Wood five shillings and to my nephew and godson, William Burkeley, five shillings and to all the residue of my godchildren twelve pence apiece.

Item I give to every poor householder dwelling in the parish of Bosbury a peck [two gallons = 9 litres] of muncorn apiece to be paid unto them within one month after my decease.

Item I give to such that shall help to carry my corpse to be buried six pence apiece, and to him that shall preach at my burial six shillings and eight pence, and to such poor persons as shall ring at my burial a noble [gold coin worth 6s 8d] to be divided amongst them, and my will is that two penny dole be given to the poor people that shall be at my burial to be distributed upon the day of my burial. Item my will is that if it shall happen that my goods and chattels shall not be sufficient to discharge the said legacies hereby given and bequeathed, which I do think and hope that it will, then my will is that so much thereof as shall be wanting and not enough to do and perform the same, shall be raised out of the issues and profits of all and singular my messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments whatsoever set lying and being in the said parish of Bosbury and County of Hereford, for and towards the full and perfect making up of the said legacies bequeathed as aforesaid.

Item for the further disposition of all and singular my messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments before mentioned and expressed, and of the moiety or one half of a certain messuage or tenement called Marryotts, and of the moiety or one half of all lands, tenements and hereditaments to the said messuage or tenement called Marryotts belonging or apportioning now or late in the tenure or occupation of one Thomas Stephens or his assigns, and to the use and purpose that the same shall continue and be in my name and blood for so long time as it shall please Almighty God; therefore my will is and I do hereby devise and bequeath all and singular my messuages, houses, edifices, buildings, gardens, orchards, meadows, leasowes, pastures, feedings,* lands, tenements and hereditaments whatsoever set lying and being in the said parish of Bosbury and County of Hereford unto the said William Bridge, mine [= my] eldest son, and to the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten, and for default of such issue unto John Bridge my son and to the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten, and for default of such issue unto James Bridge my son and to the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten, and for default of such issue to Thomas Bridge my son and to the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten, and for default of such issue to Richard Bridge and to the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten, and for default of such issue to the right heirs of me the said William Bridge for ever.

And of this my last will and testament, I do constitute, ordain, name and appoint my said son, William Bridge, my sole executor my loving brother in law, John Vaughan Esquire, and my loving cousin, Thomas Lawrence Esquire, overseers of the same, and unto my said overseers for their pains therein I do give unto them 5s. apiece. In witness whereof I have hereunto put mine [my] hand the day and year first above written.

Signed [Q shaped mark] testator

[No date of granting probate given]

* feeding is an obsolete term for grazing or pasture land

Transcribed by Celia Kellett, 2013
See also Will of William Brydges the elder


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