/ Will of John Smith of West Mersea 1660

ID: MARG_176_011
TitleWill of John Smith of West Mersea 1660
AbstractWill of John Smith Fisherman of West Mersea 27 Apr 1660 transcribed from National Archives document PROB 11/298/321

TranscriberJools Hoyle 21 February 2021 Checked by SH
There is a translation to Modern English further down the page

1.   In the name of God Amen:
2.   I John Smith of Westmarsey in the County of Essex Fisherman Being sick
3.   in body but perfict in memorie thanks be to God for it, doe ordaine and make
4.   this my last will and Testament as followeth, First I bequeath my Soule to
5.   God my Creator, and to Jesus Christ my Redeemer in hope of a Joyfull [resurracc[i]on/resueracion??][Note 1]
6.   and as for the worlie goodes which God of his Mercy hath sent me I give and bequeath
7.   as followeth, Imprimis I give and bequeath unto my loving wife Mary All those
8.   my Customary houses and landes with their Appurtenaunces ling and beeing
9.   in Westmarsey aforesaid Called by the name of Balshams mandews and Thornes [ Note 2]
10.   and One Crofte of land called the litle madeow by what other name or namesoever
11.   Called during the terme of her naturall life and after hur desase to my brother william
12.   Smith and to his heaires And further my will and mening is, that my brother william
13.   or his heaires shall pay or cause to be paid unto my Suster Ann Smyth the sum[m]e of Tenn
14.   poundes within One yeare after that my saide brother William or his heaires shall Injoy the
15.   said landes before minc[i]oned And further if my brother William or his heaires shall
16.   refuse to pay the Tenn poundes beforgiven that then my mind is that my Suste Ann
17.   Smyth shall Inioy all those landes beforenamed paying to my brother William aforesaide
18.   the sume of Tenn poundes too yeares after she shall Inioy the landes aforesaid; Item.
19.   I give unto my brother William Smyth Twelve pence to be paid six moneths after my
20.   desase if he shall demand itt, Item I give unto my lowing wife Marie all that greate
21.   Boate Called the Millimas[?] [Note 3] all tackling Rigings[?] driges or whatsoever else
22.   belongen to hur Alsoe one smale boate with driges anckour or whatsoever els belongene
23.   to hur Also I give unto my lowing wife all that my layinge and stock of oysters ling in
24.   Sacollt [Salcott] flet with all the profict[es] therunto belongen Also all the rest of my moviables
25.   goodes debtes whatsoever I give unto my loving wife Marie whom I make my sole Exectrixe
26.   payinge my debt[es] and legeses and bringen My body desantly to the grownd In witnesse
27.   wheareof I have heareunto sett to my hand and seall the sixt day of October in the
28.   yeare of our lord God One Thousand six hundred Fifty seven // John Smith his
29.   marke //Signed sealled and delivred in the presents of: William Rocken, Henry Persen -
30.   his marke, John Jorden his marke. //

31.   This will was proved at London, the Twenty Seventh day of Aprill
32.   in the year of our lord, One Thousand six Hundred and sixty Before the Judge for
33.   Probate of Wills and granting Administracoun lawfully authorized By the
34.   Oath of Mary Smith the Relict and sole Executrix named in the said will to
35.   whom Administracon was granted Of all and singular the goodes Chattells and
36.   debtes of the said deceased she being first sworne by Comition truly to Adm[ini]ster
37.   the same.

Note 1 the actual spelling of this word is unclear
Note 2 Neither of these place names appears in any local database, nor in the Essex Place Name project database
Note 3 boat names often had a meaning, but no meaning can be found for this one, (also, the first letter seems to have too many down strokes)


Translation to Modern English by Jools Hoyle 22 February 2021

1.   In the name of God Amen:
2.   I John Smith of West Mersea in the county of Essex, fisherman, being sick
3.   in body but sound of mind, thanks be to God, make
4.   this, my last will and testament as follows. First, I bequeath my soul to
5.   God, my creator, and to Jesus Christ, my redeemer in the hope of a joyful resurrection.
6.   And as for the worldly goods which God in his mercy has given me, I give and bequeath them
7.   as follows: Firstly, I leave to my loving wife Mary all of
8.   my houses and lands, with all the rights and duties attached to them, situated
9.   in West Mersea, called Balshams Meadows [?] and Thornes
10.   and one crofte of land called the little meadow (or whatever other name it might be
11.   called) during her lifetime, and after her death they should pass to my brother William
12.   Smith and to his heirs. And further, it is my will and intention that my brother William
13.   or his heirs shall pay or arrange to be paid to my sister Ann Smyth the sum of ten
14.   pounds within one year after my brother William or his heirs gain possession of the
15.   said lands mentioned before. And further, if my brother William or his heirs shall
16.   refuse to pay the ten pounds mentioned previously, then It is my wish that my sister Ann
17.   Smyth shall take possession of all those lands mentioned before, paying to my said brother William
18.   the sum of ten pounds two years after she takes possession of those lands. Item:
19.   I give unto my brother William Smyth twelvepence (1 shilling) to be paid six months after my
20.   death if he requests it. Item: I give to my loving wife Marie all that great
21.   boat called The Millimas, all her gear and ship's equipment, rigging, dredges and anything else that
22.   belongs to her. Also, one small boat with dredges, anchor and anything else that belongs to
23.   her. Also I give to my loving wife all my oyster layings [Note 1] and stock of oysters lying in
24.   Salcott [Note 2] fleet with all profits relating to them. Also, the rest of my moveable
25.   goods and debts whatsoever I give to my loving wife Marie, whom I make my sole executrix,
26.   paying my debts and legacies and arranging a decent burial for my body. In witness
27.   of this I have signed and sealed this document on the sixth day of October in the
28.   year of our lord God one thousand six hundred and fifty seven (1657). John Smith - (his
29.   mark [Note 3].) Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of: William Rocken, Henry Persen -
30.   (his mark), John Jorden (his mark).
 
31.   This will was proved at London on the 27th April
32.   in the year of our lord 1660 before the Judge for
33.   Probate of Wills and Grants of Administration lawfully authorised by the
34.   oath of Mary Smith, the widow and sole Executrix named in the said will to
35.   whom Administration was granted of all the goods and chattells
36.   and debts of the deceased, she first having sworn an undertaking to faithfully Administer
37.   the will.

Note 1 Oyster layings are areas of sea-bed owned or rented, and prepared with cultch (shingle or old shells) for the oysters to breed on
Note 2 Many local wills bequeath oyster layings in Salcott creek
Note 3 i.e. he made a mark rather than a signature because he was illiterate.

Published27 Apr 1660
SourceMersea Museum
IDMARG_176_011