|Abstract||Will (nuncupative) of Richard Stratford seaman of West Mersea 18 March 1583 transcribed from National Archives PROB 11/65/181
Transcription and Translation by Jools Hoyle October 2021
A translation to Modern English is further down the page
Will of Richard Stratford
Date of will: 18th March 1583.
Date of death uncertain, but between 18th March 1583 and 25th March 1583, the probate date.
Place of death: Blakeney in Norfolk.
Richard had lost the power of speech and was asked by a John Bushe if it was his intention that all his possessions should go to his wife, Rose Stratforde (named in the probate clause). Richard indicated his agreement by raising his hand.
Transcription of Will
T[estamenti] Richardi Stratforde
1. In the name of god amen. The xviijth daye of Marche
2. And in the fyve and twentithe yeare of the raigne of oure sovraigne Ladye Elizabethe by the
3. grace of god, queene of Englande Fraunce and Irelande defendo[ur] of the faithe etc Richard
4. Stratforde of Westmersey in the countie of Essex Seaman beinge at Blackney [Note 1] in thee
5. Countie of Norff[olk] and there visited withe extremitie of sicknes and beinge also speacheles was
6. asked (the daie abovesaide) by one John Bushe as followethe vidz [Note 2] )- Goodman Stratford
7. is it youre will and meaninge that youre wyffe shall have all youre good[es], yf it be,
8. Lyfte upp youre hande, And then the saide Richard Stratforde didde lyfte uppe his
9. hande two tymes.
1. Vicesimo quinto die mensis Martii Anno Domini Millesimo
2. quingentesimo octogesimo tertio, emanavit commissio Rose Stratforde relicte dicti defuncti, Ad administrand[um]
3. bona iura et credita euisdem defuncte iuxta tenorum testamenti nuncupativi suprascripti de bene etc
4. Ad sancta Dei Ev[a]ngelia iurate.
Note 1 This is Blakeney, in Norfolk. Until about the 18th century, when a combination of natural silting up and embankment construction work by landowners caused the previously wide river Glaven to become un-navigable, the Glaven Ports of Blakeney, Cley and Wiveton were extremely important and busy centres of maritime trade. I cannot find any record of the ship Richard was working on when he became ill, but it may well have been a fishing boat. One of the principal commodities traded here was salt fish, cod and ling in particular being sent down to London and other local towns. Other trade was conducted as far north as Iceland and south down to the continent, including Portugal, so Richard may have been taken far afield in the course of his work.
Note 2 This is an abbreviation for the Latin word "videlicit", which may be interpreted as "to wit" "namely" or similar, in the same way that we might use "viz" these days
Translation to Modern English
1. In the name of God, Amen, on the 18th day of March
2. and in the twenty fifth year of the reign of our sovereign Lady Elizabeth, by the
3. grace of God Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith etc, Richard
4. Stratforde of West Mersea in the county of Essex, seaman, being at Blakeney in the
5. county of Norfolk and being very ill and unable to speak, was
6. asked (on the date given above) by one John Bushe, as follows: "Goodman Stratford,
7. is it your will and meaning that your wife shall have all of your possessions? If it is,
8. lift up your hand." And then the said Richard Stratforde lifted his
9. hand twice.
1. On the twenty fifth day of the month of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand
2. five hundred and eighty-three, a commission was granted to Rose Stratforde, widow of the said deceased, to well etc [Note 1] administer
3. the goods, rights and credits of the same deceased according to the content of the above-written nuncupative testament
4. sworn on God's holy gospel
Note 1 etc suggests that the full wording would have been along the lines of "to well and faithfully administer (the will)"