|The Will of the Reverend Francis Onge of Peldon National Archives PROB 11/323/175
January 19th 1666/7
Transcribed by Elaine Barker March 2021
In the name of God Amen Francise Onge
I Francis Onge of Peldon in the County of Essex Rector being weake in
body but sound in mind doe make and ordaine this my last will and
Testament in forme and manner as followeth Imprimis I give and
bequeath my soule to God that gave it me and my body to the Earth to be
decently buried according to the discretion of my Executo[ur] Item I give and
bequeath to my wife Bridgett All that was her personall Estate before
I married her if shee shall be satisfied as touching a bond That she
had of me upon a Covenant of Marriage And delivered it in to my
Executo[ur] upon demaund Item I give and bequeath to my sonne John All
my Estate And the other alsoe if my wife be not satisfied / And I make my
sonne John sole Executo[ur] of this my last will and Testament. And it is
my will and Testament that my sonne John doe take care for his
brother Jeremy And the Cock and skiffe [Note 1] whiche he hath be well impro=
ved for him./ Francis Onge,/ Signed sealed and Published and
Delivered in the presence of Roger Turbridge, william Abell
Note 1 In 17th century law British ships-of-war carried three smaller boats, the boat, the cock-boat and the skiff. From which come the boatswain, the cockswain and the skiffswain.
The Reverend Onge: biography
The Reverend Francis Onge was born in Suffolk, it is believed his father was John Onge of Hartest. Francis married twice, Susan, with whom he probably had five children and Bridgett.
In the winter of 1630 he set sail on board The Lyon which was taking supplies out to the Massachusetts Bay Colony of Puritans who had settled there earlier in the year and were now starving having not had a long enough growing season to produce their own food. Francis, his wife, Susan, and his cousin's widow, Frances Onge and her family were among only about 20 passengers on board.
We know his eldest son, Francis, was born in New England, but the family clearly came back to England within months of arriving. Francis Senior went on to study at Cambridge.
We find Francis and his wife Susan baptising a daughter in 1633, Susan, in East Hanningfield. Son John was born in 1635 and a daughter Marie in 1638 both in the parish of Great Parndon, Essex where their father was to serve as curate.
In 1638, Francis was ordained and in 1644 became incumbent of St Mary the Virgin, Peldon where
he replaced Rev John Cornelius who had been removed by Parliament because of his Catholic
leanings. The story of these two incumbents, both of whom held the incumbency twice between
1640 and 1667, is told in The Sequestration of The Reverend John Cornelius, Peldon's Rector,
During the Civil War in 1643 PH01_SEQ .
Onge's two sons, Francis and John were both admitted to Colchester Royal Grammar School on 23rd
August 1644, where Francis was described as having been born in New England. They both went on to gain degrees at Corpus Christi, Cambridge.
John however, married Susanna Abell in 1662 at Fordham Heath, Colchester, and, while living in Little Wigborough they baptised their sons John in March 1663/4 and Abell in 1667.
It is likely Francis's other children had died by the time of his death - we know his eldest son Francis, who had gone on to be a lawyer at Grays Inn predeceased his father, having died in Westminster in 1657 at only 25.
Of the witnesses to Onge's will Roger Turbridge was Little Wigborough's rector and William Abell was most likely the brother of Onge's daughter-in-law.
Onge was replaced at St Mary's, Peldon, by the Reverend Jonathan Saunders who was instituted to Peldon on 1st June 1667.
Sequestration of the Rector of Peldon