|Abstract of the will of Thomas Cooke of West Mersea 16 December 1758. National Archives PROB 11/843/42
by Elaine Barker July 2021.
Thomas Cooke, Gentleman, appoints his Cozen Thomas Haws the son of John and Mary Hawes his sole executor.
He bequeaths a Messuage, Tenement and Farm called Bakers in West Mersea [Note 1] in the occupation of James Thompson and
Henry Alliston. The land belonging to it is in his own occupation and contains 26 acres. There is also a Cottage in the
occupation of John Reynolds and a Tenement occupied by Widow Fletcher, all left to his nephew, Thomas Cooke. He also
leaves him Waldegraves including 80 acres and the Tenement with the Appurtenances in West Mersea aforesaid now Let for
He bequeaths Thomas Hawes, his executor, more West Mersea property together with salt and freshwater marshes which were
in the occupation of William Wakelyn, along with other tenements occupied by William Cheek, Thomas Sandford, John Baron
and the widow Balls. He leaves Thomas all the household furniture from the house where he, the testator, lives and my
half of the Stock upon Copt Hall Farm in Wigborow. Also all the stock upon all his farms on West Mersea. He bequeaths
a Sloop or vessel called the Neptune of the Burthen of Seventy Tonns which I have lately made an absolute Bill of Sale
of to Rowland Nicholson of Wivenhoe only to protect him from being prest.
He asks his executor to give a lifetime annuity of Ten pounds to his sister's son, Thomas Mazengarb, who is Dumb. [His sister is Elizabeth Mazengarb née Cooke who married Isaac Mazengarb of Copt Hall]. He gives Elizabeth £100.
He leaves his executor's sister, Mary Hawes £200. He leaves to his Cozen, John Spurden of East Mersea Hall £25
and to John's brother, Thomas Spurden £50. He gives £100 to be equally divided between William Haws's three daughters,
to John Hawes, brother of his executor, £200 and to my Cozen Abraham Mazengarb the Sum of Two hundred pounds.
He leaves a lifetime annuity of £6 to his housekeeper, Mrs Scarlet and gives her the choice of living in Thomas Sandford's or John Baron's tenements, rent-free and clear of all rent and taxes.
Mary Hawes, sister of his executor, is bequeathed two tenements in W Mersea in the occupations of William Overall and the Widow Clarke.
The will is signed on 16th December 1758. Proved on 3rd January 1759
The Will is available from the National Archives discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D3377559
1. Bakers Farm was later Pratts Farm and then Garden Farm. Most of the farmland has been developed, but the house is still there, just down East Road from Queens Corner.