ID MARG_231

TitleWill of Robart Birde [Byrde] of East Mersea 1590/91
AbstractWill of Robart Birde [Byrde] ship master of East Mersea, 1590/91, transcribed from National Archives PROB 11/77/208

Abstract, Transcription and Modern English translation by Trevor Hearn August 2021

Abstract
Date of death: unknown
Date of Probate: 12 March 1590/91

Married to Anne with two daughters, Margaret (the eldest) and Elizabeth. He makes a bequest of £20 to each daughter together with personal possessions and household items, the cash bequest to be made within 10 days of reaching the age of 21 or day of marriage, whichever occurs first. The other property bequeathed is to be delivered to each daughter promptly after the decease of his wife Anne. The surviving daughter is receive the other's share should either of them die before the relevant date of inheritance. A request is made for each daughter to remain living with their mother or for the latter to provide suitable lodgings, clothing and food to each daughter. Anne is to inherit all other goods and money unbequeathed following payment of all debts and funeral expenses. Anne is appointed sole executrix of the will. Prior to probate being granted Anne is bound over for the sum of 100 marks to Thomas Jolley of East Mersea as surety for the legacies to be paid to Robert's daughters and to cover the costs of their upbringing until the age of 21 or their day of marriage. In the event that Anne remarries, she is to cause her new husband to be bound to Thomas Jolley in the sum of 100 marks to cover the aforementioned costs. All legacies to Anne become void in the event of her failing to perform these conditions within 3 months of Robert's death, such legacies being transferred to Margaret and Elizabeth who would also be appointed executrices. The surety bonds shall be held by Thomas Jolley and, if he should die, delivered to Margaret and Elizabeth. The will is signed by Robert Bird on 18th January 1590/91 and witnessed by Thomas Hoddilow and John Bland. Probate is granted in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 12th March 1590/91.

Transcription
Page 1 [in the margin: T Rob[ar]ti Byrde]

In the name of god Amen The eightenthe
daie of Januarie Anno Domini one thousand fyve hundred nintie in the thre
and thirteth yeare of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Ladie Queene Elizabeth
I Robart Birde of Eastmersie in the Countie of Essex Shipp master and
Dioces of London being sick in bodie but of whole and perfect remembraunce
thanck[es] be unto god for it renounsinge all former willes by me heretofore made
or declared in writinge or otherwise Doe now ordaine and make this my last will
and Testament in fourme followinge, First I bequeath my Soule and bodie

[ Page 2 ]

into t[he]handes of the Almighty Christ Jhesus my Saviour assuringe my selfe of the
remission of my Sinnes and a joyfull resurrection to life everlastinge onlie bye
his merrytes death and passion Item I give unto my eldest Daughter Margarett
twentie poundes of laufull monie of England my great Bible a Fetherbedd a
traunsum [Note 1] twoe sheetes twoe blanckett[es] and a coverlett the monie to be paide and
delivered unto her reqiuringe the same within Tenn Daies after her full age of
one and twentie yeares or daie of marriage which of them shall fyrst happen to
come. Item I give unto Elizabeth Bird my youngest Daughter other Twentie
poundes of lyke monie my Booke of Latimers Sermons one Fetherbedd one
Traunsham twoe sheetes two blanckett[es] and one Coverlett the monie to be payde
and delivered unto her reqiuringe the same within Tenn Daies after her full
age of one and twentie yeares or Daie of marriage which of them fyrst shall
happen to come The other legacies given to my two Daughters I will they
shalbe delivered p[ro]ntelie after theire mothers decease, And yf either of my two
Daughters shall happen to die before theire saide severall ages or Daies of
marriage then I will the parte and porcion of her soe deceased shalbe and
remaine unto my other Daughter her survivinge And my will is that my said
twoe Daughters shall continew and dwell with theire mother or at her appoint-
ment she findinge them meate Drinck clothes Lodginge and all other thinges \to them/
necessarie and belonginge for the onlie use of theire porcions and stockes before
given to them All the rest of my goodes chattall[es] reddye monie and moveables
before unbequeathed my leagacies beinge performed my Dettes beinge paide
and my Funerall charges aunswered I give them to my wife whome I make
sole executrix of this my will provided allwaies and my will and meaninge
ys that my saide wyfe doe and shall before the probate of this my will stand
bounde to Thomas Jollie thelder of Eastmersie in the some of one hundred mark[es]
for the true paiment and performaunce of all the Legacies and sommes of monie
before given by this my will to my saide twoe Daughters accordinge to the purport
effect and true meaninge of this my will and allso for the bringinge upp of my
saide children findinge them all thinges necessarie as before is expressed untill
theire severall ages or Daies of marriage as aforesaide and allso that she the
saide Anne my wyfe doe and shall before the Daie of marriage procure
and cause the man whome she mindeth to marrie withall to putt in bounde to
the saide Thomas Jolley or his executor and to stand bounde in the Lyke some of one
hundred markes for the true paiment of the Legacies by this my will given to my
children and for the bringinge upp of the same my children untill theire ages or
daies of marriage as is above mencioned accordinge to the true meaninge of this
my will And yf my saide wyfe Doe and shall refuse to stand bounde in one
forme of Lawe unto the saide Thomas Jolley in the saide some of one hundred
mark[es] with such condicion thereunto to be endorsed as is above expressed or yf
she the saide Anne my wife doe not prove my saide will within one quarter
of a yeare next after my decease then all Legacies before given unto her by this
my will shalbe wholie voide and then I give all the Legacies given to her to my
saide twoe Daughters whome I then make executric[es] of this my last will and
testament to see the same dulie performed / Item my will is that the said bondes
above mencioned to be entred and made shall remaine in the handes of the sayd
Thomas Jolley duringe his lyfe and at his death to be delivered into the handes of
my saide Daughters yf they thincke yt good / In witnes whereof I the saide
Robart Birde have hereunto sett my hande the daie and yeare above written
in the presence of us whose names are underwritten Robart Birdes marke
witness to this will Thomas hoddilow and John Blande

[ Page 3 ]

Probatum fuit Testamentum suprascriptum Apud London coram
venerabili viro mag[ist]ro Will[ia]mo Lewin Legum Doctore ad exercendum officium
mag[ist]ri Custodis sive Com[m]issarii Curie prerogative Cant L[egi]time deputat[o] Duodecimo
die mensis martii Anno Domini mill[es]imo quingent[i] nonagesimo Juramento Thome
Iles notarii publici proc[ur]a[to]ris Anne Bird rel[i]c[t]e et executric[es] in h[uius]mo[d]i testamento
nominate Cui E[t]c De bene E[t]c Jurat

Note 1 Transom: a bolster; or part of a bedstead answering the same purpose. Obsolete. (Source: Oxford English Dictionary)

Modern English translation of the will
In the name of God, Amen. 18th January 1590/91 (33rd year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I).

I, Robert Bird, ship master of East Mersea in Essex, being sick in body but of sound mind, do make this my last will and testament, renouncing all former wills, as follows:

Firstly, I bequeath my soul and body into the hands of the Almighty, Jesus Christ, in anticipation of the remission of my sins and everlasting life.

I give to my eldest daughter Margaret £20, my great bible, a feather bed, a bolster, two sheets, two blankets and a coverlet. The money is to be paid as she requires within 10 days of her attaining the age of 21 or on her wedding day, whichever occurs first.

I give to my daughter Elizabeth £20, my book of Latimer's Sermons, a featherbed, a bolster, two sheets, two blankets and a coverlet. The money is to be paid as she requires within 10 days of her attaining the age of 21 or on her wedding day, whichever occurs first.

The property legacies given to my two daughters are to be delivered to them promptly after the decease of my wife Anne. If either of my daughters should die before attaining the age of 21, or before their wedding day, then the share of the property of the deceased shall be delivered to the surviving daughter. My will is that my daughters shall continue to live with my wife or, at her appointment, to provide lodgings, clothing, drink, food and all necessities solely for their use as provided in this will.

I bequeath to my wife Anne all of the residual property, goods and cash following payment of my debts and funeral expenses and appoint her the sole executrix of this will. Prior to the grant of probate being obtained, my wife Anne is to be bound to Thomas Jolley of East Mersea in the sum of one hundred marks as surety for the payment and performance of the legacies contained in this will to my two daughters and also for their upbringing and necessities until they attain the age of 21 or until their wedding day, whichever occurs first. Should Anne wish to re-marry then, prior to her wedding day, she should procure that the man she is to marry should stand bound to the said Thomas Jolley or his executor in the sum of one hundred marks in surety for the payment of the legacies to my two daughters and for their upbringing until they reach the age of 21 or until their wedding day, whichever shall occur first.

If my wife Anne refuses to stand bound to Thomas Jolley as aforesaid within 3 months of my decease, then all legacies due to her shall be void and shall be transferred to my two daughters whom I then make my executrices. My will is that such bonds to be entered into as mentioned above shall remain in the hands of Thomas Jolley during his life. Upon his death such bonds shall be delivered to my two daughters if they regard it appropriate.

In witness whereof I, Robert Bird, have signed this will on the date and year above written in the presence of Thomas Hoddilow and John Bland.

The above-written will was proved at London before the venerable Master William Lewin, Doctor of Law at the office of the Master, Keeper or Commissary of the lawfully appointed Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 12th March 1590/91 by the oath of Thomas Iles notary public proctor of Anne Bird, widow and executrice in this named will to whom [administration] etc well [and faithfully] etc was sworn.

SourceMersea Museum
IDMARG_231