ID: MARG_233

TitleWill of Charles Baker of West Mersea 1742
AbstractWill of Charles Baker, oyster dredger, of West Mersea dated 8 May 1742, transcribed from National Archives document PROB 11/720/367

Abstract and transcription by Trevor Hearn August 2021


Charles Baker, oyster dredger, of West Mersea, Essex

Date of death: unknown
Date of Probate: 13 September 1742

Charles Baker bequeaths to his son Hugh the part freehold/part copyhold land and property at Little and Great Horkesley which Charles had inherited from Hugh's mother and which is currently occupied under tenancy by the widow Sarah Jocelyn. Charles also bequeaths to Hugh and his heirs the land and property purchased from John Kempton in West Mersea (beholden to West Mersea manor) currently occupied by Charles, once Hugh reaches the age of 21, together with the oyster layings beholden to Bourchiers Hall in Tollesbury. Should Hugh die under age and without issue then the property and oyster layings are bequeathed to Francis Baker, son of Charles, and his heirs. Should Francis die under age and without issue then the property and oyster layings are to be divided equally between the children and their heirs of William Wakelyn, brother-in-law of Charles, after allowing Charles' sister Elizabeth May the benefit of the oyster layings during her lifetime.

Various household items of Charles, together with his smack and stock of oysters, are to be sold at the best price together with other unbequeathed personal estate and effects and the proceeds invested in land securities by the executors with the consent of Mr Joseph Duffield, a Colchester merchant, as trustee for Hugh and Francis Baker until they respectively reach the age of 21. Such interest earned shall be applied towards the maintenance and education of both sons. £500 of the capital sum is to be paid to Francis at 21 and the remainder to Hugh. Should either die, the share of the deceased goes to the survivor, or divided equally between the children of William Wakelyn if both die before the money is due.

Various personal effects are bequeathed to each son, Hugh and Francis. The residual estate is bequeathed to Hugh, or Francis if the former is deceased. If both die under age of 21 and without issue, then such residual estate is divided equally between the children of William Wakelyn.

William Wakelyn is appointed executor together with Jonathan Bennett of East Mersea. Joseph Duffield is appointed trustee and supervisor, being paid 10 guineas as a fee. The will is signed, selaed and delivered by Charles Baker on 8th May 1742 and signed by the witnesses John Waters, W Mayhew and William Mayhew (clerk to W Mayhew). The will is proved in London on 13th September 1742, administration being granted to William Wakelyn.

Transcription of the will

[Page 1]

1   In the Name of God Amen.
2   I Charles Baker of Westmersea in the County of Essex Oyster dredger
3   considering the uncertainty of Life and the necessity of settling my
4   affairs while I am of a sound mind Memory and understanding
5   Do for preventing any Dispute about my intention make my last
6   Will and Testament in manner and Form following First with
7   submission to Almighty God my Creator I resign my soul hoping
8   through Jesus Christ perfect Remission of my sins and as to my
9   Real and personall Estate I make the Following Disposition that
10   is to say I Give Devise and bequeath unto my son Hugh
11   Baker and his heirs forever all that my Messuage Tenement
12   and Farm with the lands Hereditaments and appurtenances thereto
13   belonging part Freehold and part Copyhold which come by his
14   Mother scituate lying and being in Little Horkesley and great
15   Horkesly or some or one of them in the said County of Essex
16   to which Sarah Joscelyn Widow is my Tenant To hold to him
17   my said son Hugh Baker and his Heirs forever Item I Give

[Page 2]

1   Devise and bequeath unto my said son Hugh Baker and to
2   his Heirs forever at his age of Twenty One Years all that
3   Messuage or Tenement with the Yard Garden and Appurtenances
5   thereunto belonging scituate lying and being in Westmersea aforesaid
6   which I purchased of John Kempton and is holden of Westmersea
7   Mannor and surrendered to the use of my Will and now in my own
8   Occupation and also all that Oyster lying holden of the Mannor
9   of Bouchiers Hall in Tolesbury also surrendered to the use of my
10   Will To hold to my said son Hugh Baker and his Heirs forever
11   provided nevertheless and my mind and Will is that in case my said
12   son Hugh Baker shall die under age and without issue then my
13   mind and Will is and I Do in such case hereby devise the aforesaid
14   Messuage in my own Occupation and the Oyster laying unto my son
15   Francis Baker and his Heirs forever but in case my said son
16   Francis Baker should dye under age and without issue then I
17   Devise the aforesaid Messuage in my Own Occupation and also the
18   aforesaid Oyster laying to be equally divided Between the Children
19   of my Brother William Wakelyn and their Heirs forever they
20   permitting my sister Elizabeth May to enjoy the Oyster lying during
21   her life it being my intention to give her that so long Item I
22   Give and bequeath order direct and appoint that all my Household
23   Goods smack stook [Note 1] of Oysters and all my Goods and
24   Chattels (except the linnen and plate hereafter mentioned) shall
25   immediately after my Decease be appraised and sold in the best
26   manner and for the most money that can be gott for the same
27   and the money ariseing by such sale I will shall together with all
28   other my personall Estate and Effects not herein specifically devised
29   be placed out at interest upon Land security by my Executors
30   herein after named with the approbation and consent of Mr Joseph
31   Duffield of Colchester Merchant and in his name as a trustee for
32   the benefit and advantage of my said sons Hugh Baker and
33   Francis Baker untill they shall respectively attain \their ages of twenty one Years and the interest and produce thereof untill they respectively attain/ that age I will
34   shall be laid out in their respective Maintenance and Education
35   and then I Give the principall sum of Five hundred pounds to
36   the said Francis Baker my son and the Remainder of the principall
37   money my son Hugh Baker and in case of either of their
38   Deaths under the age of Twenty One Years then I Give the
39   share of the Dying person to the survivor and if both dye under
40   age and without issue I bequeath the Whole Equally to be divided
41   between my said Brother Waklyns Children then living Item I
42   Give all the Household Linnen and other Linnen and all my
43   plate to wit One silver Tankard A silver Coffee pott two silver
44   salts one silver pint Mug One silver Milk pott One silver
45   Cup my silver Watch two Silver snuff Boxes and about twenty
46   silver spoons large and Tea spoons one silver punch Ladle one
47   silver waiter [Note 2] and all other my plate and Rings except what I
48   hereafter give to my son Francis unto my son Hugh Baker
49   Item I Give to my said son Francis Baker one silver snuff box
50   marked SW and two Rings in it All the rest and Residue of
51   my Estate both real and personall not hereinbefore disposed of
52   whatsoever and wheresoever I Give to my said Son Hugh
53   Baker and in case of his death before to Francis and if both dye

[Page 3]

1   under Age and without issue to my said Brother William
2   Wakelyns Children equall between them And Lastly I do nominate
3   my said Brother William Wakelyn of Westmersea aforesaid
4   and Jonathan Bennett of Eastmersea Executors and the said
5   Joseph Duffield Trustee as aforesaid and the supervisor of this
6   my Will and I Give the said Mr Joseph Duffield Ten Guineas to
7   see it honestly performed for my said Childrens benefit and Advantage
8   so revoking all former Wills by me heretofore made I declare
9   this to be and contain my last In Witness Whereof I the said
10   Charles Baker have hereunto this my last Will contained in One
11   sheet of paper set my hand and seal the Eighth day of May
12   One Thousand seven hundred and Forty two. [signature of Charles Baker] signed
13   sealed published and declared by the said Testator Charles Baker
14   as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us and
15   by us attested in his presence [signatures of John Waters, W Mayhew, Wm Mayhew
16   Clerk to Mr Mayhew]

17   This Will was proved at London before the Worshipfull
18   Robert Chapman Doctor of Laws surrogate of the Right Worshipfull
19   John Bettesworth Doctor of Laws Master Keeper or Commissary
20   of the prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted the
21   thirteenth day of September in the year of our Lord One Thousand
22   Seven hundred forty two by the Oath of William Wakelyn One
23   of the Executors named in the said Will to whom Administration
24   was Granted of all and singular the said Goods Chattels and
25   Credits of the said deceased being first sworn only to Administer
26   the same (Power reserved of making the like grant to Jonathan
27   Bennett the Other Executor named in the said Will when he
28   shall apply for the same.

Note 1 Stook = a pile or mass (Source: Oxford English Dictionary)
Note 2 Waiter = a salver or small tray (Source: Oxford English Dictionary)

SourceMersea Museum