Collated by Mary Mason.
1383 Jul 11th
Maurice Wyth, knight. My body to be buried in the church of St. Botolph without Aldersgate, London. To the repair of the same church £5. For my burial and to find chaplains to celebrate in the said church, officiating clerks, and all other things necessary for the burial at the discretion of my executors £45. To John my chaplain 40s. To Robert with my nephew 40s. to William Feror 40s. To Robert my cook 26s-8d. To Nicolas Baker 6s-8d. To William Pleystede 6s-8d. To Elizabeth my wife all my husbandry from the present date until the feast of St. Michael to come, now growing in Portbury and Portishead with all necessaries pertaining to my chamber, wardrobe, hall and also to buttery and kitchen. To my said wife all my silver vessels of the better sort to the value of £40. To Lawrence Seybrook a silver cup called ‘bolle’ with a cover. To John Serjeant another cup with a cover. To John de Bathe a third. To Joan Wyth my sister £5. To Katherine Banastre 13s-4d. To William Wyth my nephew, 40s. To Stephen Capell 26s-8d. To Elena Brounyng to her marriage 40s. To my poor tenants of Portbury 40s to pay their subsidies and other royal taxes to come. To my poor tenants of Covelee 20s for the same subsidy. To my tenants of Hurst 20s for the same. For a trentall of St. Gregory to be celebrated for my soul where my executors shall please £10. For thirty trentals to be celebrated within a month of my death £4-10s, that is 2s-6d for each trental. To my four executors £12, that is 60s each. The residue to be disposed in alms for my soul.
I make my executors, Lawrence Seybrooke, John Sergeant, John Bathe, and John vicar of the church of Portbury. And it is my last wish that my said wife hold herself contented with all bequeathed to her.
Proved August 6th 1383.
I John Bedill of the town of Portbury in Somerset, husbandman, on the 6th day of May A.D. 1457 make my will in this manner.
First I bequeath my body to be buried in the parish church of the Blessed Mary of Portbury aforesaid, in the North part of the said Church, before the altar of St. Anne there.
I bequeath to the said church to make a chalice 6s 8d.
I bequeath one cow to sustain a lamp in the said church.
To four lights burning in the said church before four altars, four bushels of barley.
To Joan Pille, one ox and one steer.
To John Scalparte, one steer and all my pigs.
To Alice Hullok, one half part of a cow and of a calf.
To Joan Hullok, the younger, one half part of a calf.
To Joan Pille, six bushels of barley.
I bequeath to the works of the Cathedral Church of St. Andrews of Wells, 3s 4d.
To the parish church of Porteshed, 20d.
The residue of my goods not bequeathed I give to John Herne and Thomas Herne aforesaid of Portbury aforesaid and I make them my executors.
In witness to this my will I have affixed my seal, those being witnesses; John Baker the elder, John Stanbrigge the elder and John the younger, John Hill the elder, Walter Warin, Thomas King and John Hillary, and others.
Proved 22 August 1457 and administrated, in the person of John Hayne, their proxy in this behalf.
1507 Aug 30th
John Langley of Portburye, to be buried in the chancel of the church of Portbury next to the “sarcophagus” of St. Helen. To the high beam of the same church 3 bushels of barley. To all the other beams of lights of the same church, viz, to each of them 2 bushels of barley. To the mother church of Wells 2d. I will that my wife have the reversion of certain lands in the lordship of Uske within the fee of Lebenethe after the death of my father if it shall happen during her life, as in a deed made between my father and my brother Thomas it more fully appears.
Residue: Katherine my wife whom I make my executrix to dispose for the helth of my soul.
Witnesses. Sir Theobald Pers, vicar there, William Germyn, Nicolas Bouchar, Agnes Rogers.
Proved December 11th 1507.
Dated 28 March 1541 (Wells Wills)
Jone Crome of Portbury to be buried in churchyard of Portbury:
Cathedral of Wellys 2d; church of Portbury a busel of wheat: Agnes Tucke a heffer, a pan and a forcet: my daughter Agnes Stephyns a mantyell: Alice Lock and Alys Crome my best kyrtell and my best sloppe.
Residue: John Tucker my son.
Witnesses: Wm: Russell & John Howell.
Summa Inventaril £13 16s 0d.
Edward Warr/Warryn of Portbury. To the parish church of Clapton, Edeth Wallis my daughter, sole executrix. Proved 26 May 1624.
1671 May 21 Thomas Wallis of Portbury, Somerset, Gent.
To be buried in my IIe of Portbury Church. Poor of Portbury 40s and of Clapton 30s. My brother James his wife and four children 20s each. My kinsman John Thring a silver bowl. My two sisters Mary Thring and Bridget Wallis, lands in Clapton, Felton, Weston, Wrington etc between them, also a chattel lease in Portbury, they to be Extrices.
Proved. 23 Feb 1674/5 by the Exors.
Dated 1741 Will of Mrs Elizabeth Higgins, proved 28th Nov.
Donated by Gail St. John-Moore.
In the name of God Amen, I Elizabeth Higgins of the Parish of fframpton Cotterell in the County of Gloucestershire being fit in body but Thanks be to God of sound and disposing Mind Memory and understanding do make publish and declare this my last Will and Testament in the manner following
That is to say I forgive Elizabeth Cox of Portbury in the County of Somersetshire – all moneys which she now owes me as well on Mortgage or otherwise.
Also I give to her four sons John Cox, Samuel Cox, Joseph Cox and James Cox ten pounds apiece.
Also I give to my Cousin Mary Jenkins if she shall be living at my death five pounds.
Also I give to Thomas Yells one of the sons of John Yells late of Portbury aforesaid, yeoman, deceased two guineas.
Also I give to the poor of the Parish of Portbury five pounds.
Also I give to Rachell Bennett now a Servant to my Kinsman Abraham Davis of fframpton Cotterell aforesaid fifteen pounds.
Also I give to John Lawrence of Winterbourn in the said County of Gloucester, feltmaker, twenty pounds. Also I give to the poor of fframpton Cotterell aforesaid five pounds. All of which Legacys will be paid by my Executors hereinafter named in twelve months next after my death.
Also I give to Joyce Dandoe now an Apprentice for Stephen Stout of fframpton Cotterell aforesaid, yeoman, five pounds to be paid her when she shall attain her age of one and twenty years. Also I give to my sister Rachell Dandoe my two Closes of meadow Ground lying in Portbury aforesaid near Castle Rook commonly called the ???? Acres for and during all the Rest and Residue of the Term or Terms as shall be thereon to come at my death.
Also I give to my said sister Rachel Dandoe all those my three Closes of Ground lying in fframpton Cotterell Acres aforesaid called by the Name or Names of Hongers(?) otherewise Honey (Eastons or Garstons?) which I lately purchased of Thomas Stokes of (Place name: indecipherable?) in the County of Gloucester, Gentleman. To hold for her and her assigns for and during the Term of her natural Life charged and chargeable nevertheless and I do hereby charge the same with the payment of one Annuity or yearly sum of five pounds clear of all Costs or other outgoings whatsoever to John Lawrence aforenamed during his life by quarterly payments and equal portions. The first payment to be made in the quarter of a year next after my death. And in case the said Annuity or Yearly sum of four pounds or any part thereof shall be behind and unpaid by the space of twenty days next after the same shall become due Then and in every such case as aoften as the same shall happen it shall be lawfull for the said John Lawrence to enter on the premises and distrain for the same as in case of rent arrears.
And after the decease of the said sister Rachell Dandoe I give devise and bequeath the said three closes of Ground call Hongers(?) Otherwise Honey (Eastons or Garstons) to my said kinsman Abraham Davis and his Heirs and Assigns for ever charged and chargeable nevertheless and I do hereby charge the same with the payment of the said Annuity or yearly sum of four pounds aforementioned by quarterly payments to be paid as aforesaid with power of Distress as aforesaid to the said John Lawrence during the Term of his natural Life and no longer.
Also I give to my said kinsman Abraham Davis all those my two Closes of meadow or pasture ground in fframpton Cotterell aforesaid one of which is called by the name of Colepit Leaze and the other by the name of Colletts Leaze both which I lately purchased of William Southwell Esquire to hold to the said Abraham Davis and his assigns for and during the Term of his natural life and after his death I give the same two Closes to Hannah Stout daughter of the said Stephen Stout and Grandaughter of the said Abraham Davis and to her Heirs and Assigns for ever.
Also I give to my sister Rachell Dandoe all that my Messuage or Tenement in Westerleigh in the said County of Gloucester called or known by the name of the White Lyon Inn with all and singular hereditaments and appurtenances there unto belonging. To hold to her and her assigns for and during all the rest residue and remainder of the Term or Terms as shall be thereon to come at my death.
Also I give her all such goods of mine as shall be in the said Messuage or Inn at the time of my death.
Also I give the use of the bed therein with the aforesaid pillows, blankets, sheets, rugg, curtains and all the appurtenances thereunto belonging, to my said kinsman Abraham Davis during his Life and after his decease I give the same to Rachell Bennett afore named her Executors Administrators and Assigns.
Also I give to the said Rachell Bennett my black Beaver Hatt.
Also I give to my sister Rachell Dandoe all such goods and utensills of household which she now hath of mine except the largest brass pan and Bible which brass pan and Bible I give her the use of during her lifetime.
After her decease I give the same to Hannah Stout afore named.
Also I give to the said Rachell Dandoe my best quilt petticoat and my silk cloak.
All the rest and residue of my Goods Chattells and personal estate whatsoever and wheresoever I give and devise to the said Abraham Davis and Stephen Stout and I do constitute and appoint them joint Executors of this my Will. In Witness whereof, this my last Will and Testament set my hand and seal this ninth day of September in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and forty one.
Witnesses hereto: William Legg, Thomas Stokes, Edward Stokes.