|Abstract||Will of Thomas Converse of West Mersea dated 13 November 1640 transcribed from National Archives PROB 11/196/233
Transcription, abstract etc by Trevor Hearn October 2021
Date of will: 13th November 1640
Date of death: unknown
Date of Probate: 3rd June 1641
Thomas Converse desires to be buried in the chancel of West Mersea church. He bequeaths £5 to the poor of the parish of East Mersea and £5 to the poor of West Mersea, such amounts to be paid within one year of his decease by his executor at his discretion.
£10 to John Wollhouse [Woolhouse], vicar of West Mersea.
£20 to the four children of John Converse, uncle of Thomas, in equal proportions; £5 to be paid to the eldest child, Mary, within 12 months after Thomas's decease, and the other amounts when the remaining children each reach the age of 21.
£30 to John Harris of East Mersea payable within 18 months after the decease of Thomas.
£10 each to Faith Harris of West Mersea and Edward Harris of East Mersea payable within 2 years of the decease of Thomas.
40 shillings to John Bickley senior.
20 shillings to each of the godchildren of Thomas when they each attain the age of 21 [no names mentioned].
40 shillings to Thomas Foakes of West Mersea payable within 6 months of the decease of Thomas.
50 shillings each to John Jefferson and Bridget Hall payable within 6 months of the decease of Thomas.
40 shillings in equal shares to William Anger [Ainger] and Bridget Jefferson when they each attain the age of 21.
£5 to Thomas Harris junior of East Mersea when he attains the age of 21.
20 shillings to Thomas Broadgate of East Mersea payable within 1 year of the decease of Thomas.
£14 to the 3 daughters of Uncle Essex; £5 to be paid to the eldest daughter, Mary, within 1 year of the decease of Thomas and the remainder to be paid in equal amounts to other 2 daughters [unnamed] when they reach the age of 21.
£10 to the four children of Ralph Far [Farr] of Fingringhoe (lately deceased) in equal shares; those children of age to received the money within 6 months of the decease of Thomas and the others when they each attain the age of 21.
Residual real and personal estate:
Bequeathed in equal shares to the four sisters of Thomas: Mary, wife of John Smith; Anne Flingant, widow; Elizabeth, wife of Joseph Mosse [Moss]; and Frances Converse, spinster.
Copyhold property in Great Bentley bequeathed to his sister, Elizabeth, wife of Joseph Mosse [Moss], the value of which reduces Elizabeth's share of the residual property by a like amount.
Disputes of the will by any of the sisters of Thomas, or their husbands, to be resolved by Thomas Harris of East Mersea and Richard Essex of East Mersea. Non-acceptance of the resolution by such sister disputing the will shall lead to forfeiture of their share of the legacy, save for the sum of 40 shillings, and the residue to be divided equally among the 3 remaining sisters.
John Smith and Joseph Mosse [Moss] are appointed executors.
Signed and sealed by Thomas Converse on 13th November 1640 in the presence of witnesses Thomas Harris and Ann Harris.
Transcription of the will
1 In the name of God Amen I
2 Thomas Converse of Westmersey in the County of Essex being weake in bodie
3 but of sound and perfect memorie doe make and ordaine this my last will & testam[en]t
4 in forme and manner as followeth Inprimis I bequeath my soule into the hand[es]
5 of my lord my Creator and maker being fully assured of salvac[i]on through Jesus
6 Christ my Redeemer and my bodie to be buried in Westmersey Chancell nere to my
7 predecessors Alsoe I give and bequeath fyve pounds to the poore of the parrish of
8 Eastmersey, and fyve pounds to the poore of Westmersey to be paied by my executor
9 w[i]thin one yeare after my decease and to be disposed of at the descrec[i]on of my executors
10 It[em] I give to John Wollhouse Viccar of Westmersey ten pound[es] w[i]thin one yeare and
11 a half after my decease to be paied It[em] I give to my Uncle John Converse his foure
12 Children twenty pound[es] to be equally devided amongst them To Mary the eldest
13 five pound[es] to be payed w[i]thin one twelve moneth after my decease and the other
14 three to receave their severall legacies when they shall attaine to the age of twenty
15 and one yeares It[em] I give to John Harris of Eastmersey thirtie pound[es] w[i]thin a
16 yeare and a half after my decease to be payed by my ex[ecut]or It[em] I give to
17 Faith Harris of Westmersey tenn pound[es] and to Edward Harris of Eastmersey
18 tenn pound[es] \to be paied/ w[i]thin 2 yeares after my decease It[em] I give to John
19 Bickley the elder fortie shilling[es] It[em] I give every one of my godchildren twenty
20 shilling[es] a peece to be paied when they shall attain \to/ the age of twenty and one
21 yeares It[em] I give to Thomas Foakes of Westmersey fortie shillings to be paied
22 w[i]thin half a yeare after my decease, It[em] I give to John Jefferson Fyftie shilling[es]
23 and to Bridget Hall Fyftie shillings both to be paied w[i]thin half a yeare after my
1 Decease Item I give William Anger and Bridget Jeferson Fortie
2 shilling[es] to be equally devided and to be paied to them as they shall attaine to the
3 age of Twenty and one yeares It[em] I give to Thomas Harris the younger of Eastmersey
4 Fyve pound[es] to be paied when he attayneth to the age of twenty and one yeares It[em] I
5 give to Thomas Broadgate of Eastmersey Twenty shilling[es] to be paied
6 w[i]thin one yeare after my decease It[em] I give to my Uncle Essex three daughter's
7 fourteene pound[es] to be equally devided To Mary the oldest five pound[es] to be paied
8 w[i]thin one twelvemonth after my decease; and the other two to be payed upon they
9 attaine to the age of twenty and one yeares It[em] I give to the foure children
10 of Ra[l]ph Far of Fingringhow lately deceased tenn pound[es] to be equally devided
11 amongst those that are of age to receave their severall legacies within one half
12 yeare after my decease and the rest of them when they shall attaine to the age of
13 Twenty and one yeares It[em] I give all the rest of my reall and p[er]sonall estate unto
14 my foure sisters Mary, the wife of John Smith Anne Flingant widdow Elizabeth the
15 Wife of Joseph Mosse and Frances Converse Spinster to be equally devided
16 amongst them And whereas I have certaine coppiehould land[es] lyeing in Bently magna
17 w[hi]ch for want of being surrendred to the use of my last will and Testament will
18 fall by course of lawe to my sister Elizabeth the wife of Joseph Mosse therefore
19 my will is that her part of any moveable good[es] be soemuch the lesse according to
20 the value and worth of the lands It[em] my will is that if any of my sisters or
21 their husband[es] shall molest or trouble the rest of my sisters or any one of them
22 about any part or porc[i]on of the legacies given to them or any of them and sue
23 for any part of my land[es] (the coppiehold land in Bently excepted) as the
24 next heires then my will is that Thomas Harris of Eastmersey and Richard
25 Essex of the same doe order and determine the said differences And if the p[ar]ty
26 or parties refuse to stand to their two orders and determinac[i]ons Then my will is
27 that the legacie or legacies given to that sister or sisters that shall not stand to
28 their order shalbe voyd as not att all given And my will is that the said sister
29 or sisters soe offending and molesting the other shall have but forty shilling[es]
30 And the rest of my reall and personall estate to the rest of my sisters It[em] I
31 appoint John Smith and Joseph Mosse my executors of this my last will & testament
32 to see my body interred and my legacies paied and performed Signed and sealed by
33 me Thomas Converse the thirteenth of November 1640 [signature]
34 Witnessed by us Tho: Harris Anne Harris her marke ...
35 Probatum fuit Testamentu[m] sup[ra]scriptum apud London coram
36 mag[ist]ro Carolo Tooken legu[m] d[o]c[t]ore Surrogato ven[erabi]lis viri D[o]m[ini] Henrici
37 Barton mi[li[t[i]s legum etiam doctoris Curie Prerogative Cantuarien[sis] Magistri
38 Custodis sive Com[m]issarii legitime constituti Tertio die mensis Junii Anno D[o]mini
39 mill[es]imo sexc[en]t[es]imo quadragesimo primo Juramentis Joh[ann]is Smith et Josephi Mosse
40 executor[um] in testa[men]to no[m]i[n]at[is] Quibus com[m]issa fuit ad[ministra]c[i]o om[nium] et singulor[um] bonor[um] jur[ium]
41 et Creditor[um] d[i]c[t]i defuncti de bene et fidel[ite]r administrando eadem Ad s[an]c[t]a Dei
42 Evangelia Jurat ex[aminatu]r
English Translation of Probate Clause
The above-written will was proved at London before Master Charles Tooken, Doctor of Laws, surrogate, lawfully constituted, of the worshipful man
Sir Henry Barton, knight, also Doctor of Laws, Master, Keeper or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on the third day of June 1641 AD
by the oaths of John Smith and Joseph Moss, the executors named in the will, to whom administration of all and singular the goods, rights and
credits of the said deceased were given, well and faithfully to administer the same, they having sworn on the holy gospels of God. It is examined.