ID: MARG_263

TitleWill of Agnes Stranglond of West Mersea 1518
AbstractWill of Agnes Stranglond of West Mersea 1518 transcribed from ERO D/ACR 2/77/1

Transcribed and translated Feb 2022 by Jill Waters and Jools Hoyle


A short will dated 1518, date of death uncertain.

Agnes states that she wishes to be buried in West Mersea churchyard.

She requests that a secular priest be found to say 5 masses for her at Scala Celi.

She leaves her house and garden to her daughter Alice, along with all of her other possessions, and the sale proceeds of a piece of land known as Hawse Acre, that has been sold, directing that Alice deal with all financial matters outstanding at her death, including the funeral and celebration of memorial services 7 days and one month after Agnes death. Alice is named executrix, and is directed to pay any residue from the sale of the land to John Bryan


Test[a]m[entu]m Agnet[es] Stranglond de mersey

1.   In the name of god Amen the yer[e] of our[e] lord ml vc
2.   & xviij (1518) I Agnes Stranglond of full mynde &
3.   good reme[m]brance make my testame[n]t and laste
4.   will after this man[er] First I bequeth my soule
5.   to almyghti god my body to be buried in the
6.   churchyard of petyr & paule in westme[r]sey Item
7.   y will that a seculer [Note 1] prest shall celibrate <>
8.   for me at scala cely [Note 2] v (5) masses Item y bequeth
9.   the howse that y dwelin w[i]t[h] the gardyn[e] to Alis my
10.   Dought[er] Item I bequeth to the saide Alis all my
11.   good[es] both moveable & unmoveable not bequeth
12.   Item y will the said Alis shall receve all my
13.   dett[es] & pay all my dett[es] It[e]m y will that the
14.   saide Alis receve the mony of an Acre of land
15.   solde by me called hawse Acre todo [Note 3] at my
16.   fun[er]all vijth day & monyth day the Residue of
17.   the mony of the saide acre not bestowed I be
18.   queth to John Bryan by the delyv[er]ance of
19.   Alis my dought[er] whome y orden[e] myn[e] execu
20.   trix Thes berying witnes s[ir] [Note 4] willia[m] hurte
21.   s[ir] willia[m] wheyne water geffrey [Note 5]

Translation to Modern English

Testament of Agnes Stranglond of West Mersea

1.   In the name of God, Amen, the year of our lord 1518
2.   I, Agnes Stranglond of full mind and
3.   good memory, make my testament and last
4.   will in this manner. First, I bequeath my soul
5.   to Almighty God; my body to be buried in the
6.   church yard of (St) Peter and Paul in West Mersea. Also,
7.   I will that a secular priest [Note 1] shall celebrate
8.   5 masses for me at Scala Cely [Note 2] ("stairway to heaven") altar at Cross (or crutched) Friars, Colchester. Item: I bequeath
9.   the house that I live in, with the garden, to Alice my
10.   daughter. Also, I bequeath to the said Alice all my unbequeathed
11.   goods, both movable and unmovable.
12.   Item: I will the said Alice shall receive the money owed to me
13.   and pay all my debts. Item: I will that the
14.   said Alice receive the money from an acre of land
15.   sold by me called Hawes Acre to provide for my
16.   funeral, and my 7th day and one month memorial services. The residue of
17.   the unspent money from the sale of the said acre I be-
18.   queath to John Bryan to be delivered by
19.   Alice, my daughter, whom I ordain my execu-
20.   trix. These bearing witness: Father William Hurte,
21.   Father William Wheyne and Walter Jeffery

Note 1 possibly a traveling priest, or one not attached to a particular church or friary
Note 2 Scala Cely: stairway/ladder to heaven: A Scala Celi pardon could only be obtained by the recipient once dead, and so they relied upon their executors to see that this was done. By paying for one mass to be celebrated at an altar dedicated to Scala Celi, an individual believed that their soul would be released speedily from purgatory. In Colchester, the Crutched Friars were authorised to celebrate such masses. It is interesting to see that, despite one mass being considered sufficient to expedite the release from purgatory, many people paid for more, sometimes as many as thirty. The original Scala Coeli altar is at Santa Maria Scala Coeli (Saint Mary of the Stairway to Heaven), a Roman Catholic Church located in the grounds of the Tre Fontane Abbey on the outskirts of Rome.
Note 3 i.e., to pay for the funeral, and the 7th day and one month memorial services etc
Note 4 "sir" was a courtesy title for priests
Note 5 probably Walter Jeffery

SourceMersea Museum