ID: MARG_234

TitleWill of John Wellam of Copped Hall 1661
AbstractThe Will of John Wellam [Wellum] yeoman of Copped Hall, Little Wigborough, 18 February 1661 transcribed from Essex Record Office D/ACW 17/233.

Abstract and Transcription by Elaine Barker September 2021

John Wellam, yeoman, of Copped Hall [Coppid Hall, Copt Hall] Little Wigborough makes his will on 18th February 1661. He leaves all his property within the Manor of Boxted Hall to his wife Dorothy. She is the daughter of Thomas Plumer of Copped Hall and John makes her his sole executrix. Unusually he is in perfect health but it is clear something has impressed upon him the certainty of death and the 'uncertainty of the hour thereof'. [See Note 1]

In the name of God Amen I John Wellam of
Coppid Hall in Little Wigborough in the County of Essex
yeoman being well in health and of sound minde
and of perfect memory (the Lord be praysed for it,)
But considering the certeinty of death and the uncerteinty
of the houre thereof [Note 1] doe make and ordayne this my last
will and testam[en]t in manner and forme following That
is to say first I recommend my sowle into the hands of
Allmighty God my Creator and of Jesus Christ my only
Saviour and Redeemer, my body to the earth from whence
it came to be buryed in Christian buryall at the Discretion
of my Executrix[e] hereafter named And as for and
concerning my temporall estate and worldly goods I
dispose thereof as followeth Item I give and bequeath
unto my deare and loveing wife dorothy the
daughter of Thomas Plumer att Coppid Hall afores[ai]d
and to her heires and assignes forever All those
my lands and tenem[en]ts Custom[ar]y lyeing[e]
and being[e] within the Mannor of Boxsted Hall in
in the said County of Essex and which I have surren=
=dered to the uses intents and purposes menc[i]oned
expressed and declared in and by my last will and
Testam[en]t in writing[e] And I doe hereby make
constitute and ordayne the said dorothey my
said loveing[e] wife sole Executrix[e]of this my last will
and Testam[en]t In wittniss whereof to this my last will
and Testam[en]t I have hereunto sett my hand and seale
the 18 day of Febr[uary] In the yeare of
our Lord God one thousand six hundred sixtye and[e]
Signed sealed and published
the day and yeare above
written in the p[re]sence of

the marke of
John Wellum
the marke of
Philip Castbut [?]
Henry dawson
his marke

Note 1: I first presumed the political situation in England at the time led Wellam to contemplate the certainty of his death and the uncertainty of exactly when - this will was written two months before the coronation of Charles II. Wellam would have lived through the Civil War and beheading of Charles I over a decade before. It seems however that Wellam may have been spooked by a storm on 17th February which caused several deaths and was reported in the diaries of Samuel Pepys and the vicar of Earls Colne, Ralph Josselin. This happened the night before he wrote his will

Having agreed with Sir Wm. Pen and my wife to meet them at the Opera, and finding by my walking in the streets, which were every where full of brick-battes and tyles flung down by the extraordinary wind the last night (such as hath not been in memory before, unless at the death of the late Protector, that it was dangerous to go out of doors; and hearing how several persons had been killed to-day by the fall of things in the streets, and that the pageant in Fleetstreet is most of it blown down, and hath broke down part of several houses, among others Dick Brigden's; and that one Lady Sanderson [thought to be Lady Saltonstall see below], a person of quality in Covent Garden was killed by the fall of the house, in her bed, last night; I sent my boy home to forbid them to go forth. But he bringing me word that they are gone, I went thither and there saw 'The Law Against Lovers' Samuel Pepys' Diary [17th February] in the night it rained the wind rose and was ...violent beyond measure. ov[e]rturning a windmill at Colchester, wherein a youth kild, divers barnes, stables, outhouses, trees, rending divers dwellings; few escapd, my losse much, but not like some others; God sanctifie all to us; throwing down stackes of chimneys, part of houses; the Lady Saltonstall kild in her bed, her house falling. Whitehall twice on fire that day, some orchards almost ruind. ... trees blown down within priory wall. Timber trees rent up in high standing wood;. the winde was generall in England and Holland sea coast, but not in Scotland. The Diary of Ralph Josselin

Published18 February 1661
SourceMersea Museum