Portbury Hundred


Collated by Mary Mason.

Early Wills

14th 15th  and 16th Century.




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.


1402 Mar 1st


Margaret Lyonns, wife of Thomas Lyonns of Asshton. My body to holy burial in the place where my husband do think best. To the four orders of Friars Mendicant of Bristol, viz, Preachers, Augustinians, Carmelites and Minors 26s-8d. to be equally divided among them to celebrate for my soul and the souls of all the faithfully deceased.To the fabric of the church of Asshton 20s. To the chapel of the Blessed Mary there 6s-8d. To Alice Cosyn an annual rent of 20s to be received on the tenement which Tomas Norton holds of me in High St. Bristol, for the term of her life. I will that all the lands, tenements, rents, and services which I hold and have come down to me by hereditary right from my purchase in Bristol aforesaid be equally shared and divided between Isabella the wife of Walter Rodnay, knight, and Elizabeth the wife of Thomas Wodeville, my daughters, after the death of Thomas my husband. And if the said Isabella die without heir I will all the lands and tenements which Edmund Blanket late my husband left in his will to me and my daghter Isabella and to her heirs be sold and disposed for the bebefit of Walter Rodenay and the said Isabella or of their executors for my soul and the souls of the said Edmund and Isabella and of all the faithfully deceased.

I make my executors the said Walter and Isabella by those present signed with my seal the day and year abovesaid.


Proved November 18th 1402.                         



1448 Nov 28th

Rychard Newton, Knight.

Rychard Newton, knight make my testament in the forme yat foloweth. Fyrst y beseche God of his mercy to take my sowle to his grace and put it in the way of people that shal ben saved and by that wey to the blys that he bought me unto. Also I wol yat my body to be buryed in ye chirch of oure lady of Yatton in Somersetshire. And also that ther ben ordeyned m masses to be song for me the day of my death or ells also soone as it can be don after for my sowle, and all the sowles that ye am bound to do for. And all chrystan sowles. Also ye wol yat ther been ordeyned a pryste to say for me Seynt Gregoryes Trentall in the said chirch of Yatton by a whole yere which prest ey wol be a man of goode conversacion and goode rule. And that in also goodly haste as he can be gete after my decesse, Also that in also goodly haste as he can be gete after my decesse. Also ye wol that ye pore men the day of my sepulture be had and clothed in blak or in white to hold torches about myn herce in worship of God. And in recompense that ye have don the vii deadly sinnes. And v marcs to be yeve in pore maydens maryage in recompense that ye have don in synnes of flesshe. And x marcs to the poorest people of the paryssh of Yatton and Walton in recompense of that ye have not ffulfylled the vii werkes of mercy. Also to the buying of the ornaments necessarye of the chirch of Yatton xis in recompense of my tythes and offryngs fforyeten. Also to the making of my chapel in the chirch of Walton v marcs. Also ye bequeth Henry Perrot xii. And to John Coke xis. Also to the making of the stypyll of the chirch of St. Andrews in Holborn ye byqueath xis. Also ye wol that Emmet my wyf whom ye make sole myn executryce of this present testement, distribute as much goode for the soules of John and Henry as came to myn handes after her decese, except such somes as hath been distribute her before for the same cause which she knowith as wel as ye. And that be don ye py hir for all the love that ever was between hir and me. And in goddess by halfe charge hir as she wol answer afore God and to bere bondon thereof ye wol that all my landes in England that ben in my ffeffes hondes to my use estate be made to my wyf terme of hir lyff without any enpechment of wast the remainder thereof to my sone and to his heires he paying the one half of the charge of the said John and Harry’s goodes that restyth indistrybute. And if my said son disagree hereto then I wol yat ye said lands rest styll in my said ffeffes handes. And that my wife make sale of so much of the lands as the said half charge drawyth to. So yet my ffeffes maken a state to such as it is sold unto. Also where ye take x marcs in Gloucestershire of dyvers persons by the hondes of Grene ye wol that it be restored a yenyf the persons ben a lyve. And if they be deade that it be disposed for their sowles and mine. Also ye wol yat in each village and town as ye am carried home that there be derten of almes given for me to the pore peddler and blynd people by the discrecion of myn executrices.


Proved Feb 3rd 1448.




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.



1511 Apr 26th

Sir Edmund Gorges, Knight.


Sir Edmund Gorges knight, Lord of Wraxall in Somersetshire. My body to be buried in the chauncell within the parisshe churche of All Seynts in Wraxall forsaid. To the high aulter of the same churche for forgotten tythings and offerings by me necligently doon 20s. To the same cathedral churche of Welles towards the reparacion of the same yerely in every quarter tempory as it is there used £3-6s-8d. Over this to the same churche of Wraxall a gowne of crymsyn velvet to make a peyre of vestments for the high aulter. To the same churche also in recompense of myn offerings beholden to divers places for me in my sekeness a chalice to the valeur of £5 to be occupied for all halowen. I will that there be song and said for my soule and all cristen soules a trentall of masses the day of my burying and the daye of my months mynde. Futhermore that every ordre of the 4 orders of freers at Bristoll syng and say also for my soule and all cristen soules a trentall of masses every ordre to have for their labor 13s-4d and a quarter of beyffe. To Yatton churche, clyvdons churche, Kyngeston, Walton, Weston, Porteshede, Clopton, Portbury, Estone, Lye, and Ashtons churche to every of theym 3s-4d. To Barowgurney churche 3s-4d and to the covent of the same 3s-4d. To the chapell of Burton 6s-8d. To Backwells churche 3s-4d. To Chelvys church 3s-4d. To the chapell of Naylsee 6s-8d. To Tykynham church 6s-8d. To my son William Goorges the maner of Birdecombe with all appurtenances lying in Wraxall, Naylsee, Tyknham and Porteshed. To my son William Gorges the hole house and the mogge house with all the appurtenances in the parisshe of Tykynham to hold the said maner of Birdecombe and the hole house and mogge house to him and his heyres in fee for ever. And if soo be that he dye without heyres then the said maner and the hole house and mogge house to remayne to the right heyres of me the said Sir Edmund Gorges. To my son John Gorges an annuytie of £6-13s-4d to be paid by my son Edward and of my wife Jane late the wife of Sir Morgan Kydwelly. I.e. £3-6s-8d. of the revenues and rents of my son Edward’s lands and £3-6s-8d of the revenues and rents of the lands of my wiffes jointer during his lif naturall yerely to be paid. To my son Edward Gorges a gowne of tawny velvet and a gowne of blake velvet, a doblett of cloth of gold a gowne of fine blake with a hode, a jacket of blake velvet garded with clothof golde. To my son William Gorges a gowne of blake velvet lined with sarsenett a jakett of velvet without slevys, a gowne lined with sarsenett a jacket of velvet without slevys, a gowne of tawny chamlett, a gowne of tawny cloth firred with blake bogee, a motley cotte. To Sir Theobald Piers vicary of Portebury to pray for me 40s. To my Lady Jane my wif all such goods which came by hir owt of Dorsetshire on this condition. In primus, to pay my son Jhon Goregs yerely during his lif £3-6s-8d of the revenues of hir jointer, to make my tombe at hir costes and charge drawing to the value of 20 mrk; she to pay for the chalice which ys bequethen to Alhalowen in recompense of myn offerings beholden for me, and to give to my son Thomas Newton and to my doughter Margarett a certeyn of all maner of stuff of householde to helpe them to begynne their householde, and also to pay my son William Gorgs yerely 40s during his liff to fynde a preest syngyng in Wraxhale for my soule and all cristen soules the space of 4 yeres fully to be completed and also paye fully and holly all my detts. And she this dooyng to have all hir forsaid goods etc.

Residue to Edward Gorgs my son and heyre whom I make my executor to dispose it for the welth of my soule and all cristen soules as it besemyth hym best to doo. And Thomas Jubbes lerneman supervosor and oversear having for his labor 40s.

Testibus Thomas Gyllyngham rectore de Wraxhale and Theobaldo Piers of Portebury.


Proved at Lambeth April 3rd 1512.




John Grant, of Yatton. My body to be buried in the church of Yatton. To the same church 20d. To the high alter 20d. To the chapel of St. James in the same parish 20d. To our moder church od Wells 8d. To the church of Wraxold 3s-4d. To th church of Chelvy 3s-4d. To the church of Naylsey 3s-4d. To the church of Brockley 3s-4d. To the church of Kene 3s-4d. To the church of Kyngeston 3s-4d. To the church of Congresbury a paire of vestments. To my wife Alice a certeyn grounde called Nobull-land, with two tenements belonging therto, which I hold of master Arture Kemes Esq. by endenture fir certeyn yeres as therin appears, which I will shall ronne to the use of my wife during her life, and after her decease to remain to John Walle hir son, to him and to his assignees. The residue to my wife Alice, my executrix.

Witnesses; Sir William Midwynter, curate of the parishe aforesaid, John Wale and John Erle.


Proved at St. Paul’s, Mar 2nd 1524.




24 Aug 1598

Matthew Williams alias Gwynn of Tickenham, Somerset, gent. To each of my cousins, daughters of Elizabeth Dyer, 10s and to my cousins John Ashe and John Halse, my two best suits of apparel. My cousin David Williams, Joyner. Katherine Gwynn, my sister’s daughter, 40 s and to every one of my sister’s sons 10s. I wholly assign over  an d give to my cousin Elizabeth Dyer, all my right, title etc, in all my tenures, lands etc in West Gower, Glamorganshire, which were given by or from uncle Owen Glynn, father of the said Elizabeth, to her and her heirs for ever. I am wholly satisfied for all accounts and reckonings betwixt me and my cousin Francis Dyer and Elizabeth his wife. Residue to my cousin Owen Ashe, executor.

Witness William Davell, Clerk.


Proved 4 April 1599 by Owen Ashe.