ID MARG_221

TitleWill of Thomas Spurden of East Mersea Hall written 4 August 1786
AbstractThe Will of Thomas Spurden of East Mersea Hall written 4th August 1786 and proved 23rd February 1791, transcribed from National Archives PROB 11/1202/93

Abstract and Transcription by Elaine Barker August 2021

Abstract
Thomas Spurden of East Mersea Hall requests he be buried alongside his mother, Mary Spurden, in West Mersea Parish Church and leaves his executors £70 to erect a tomb with an inscribed marble stone. He also wishes to have pall bearers and a funeral sermon by either the vicar of West Mersea, the Revd Brockwell or the rector of Peldon the Revd Mountain for which all legatees are to have mourning suits provided.

He makes many monetary bequests to his Uncles Thomas, John and Edward May, his brothers-in-law James and William Spurden, his sister Rose Harris, his Aunt Wincoll, Mrs Ennew, Aunt Lydia Harvey, his servant Dinia Wright, cousin Mary May.he leaves charitable donations to a school in Romford, money for bread and meat to the parishes of East and West Mersea, Great Oakley and Purleigh and money and suits of mourning for his workmen and servants (attendance of the funeral a condition).

The lease of East Mersea Hall is initially left to his cousin Thomas May but in a later change to the will this Lease on East Mersea Hall is given to his cousin John Spurden for his son Thomas (a minor) who has already been bequeathed property in Great Oakley. His executors are John Spurden, Thomas May and William Haward.

In later additions in the form of six codicils, he cuts out of the will his godson Isaac Haward and his father, William Haward,who was also executor but then reinstates them. He adds bequests to a cousin Phillis Kelham of Chelmsford and his housekeeper Sarah Goodwin. He also doubles his charitable donations.

His many codicils and crossings out to the will require witnesses to swear the will's authenticity. Edward May swears that the document was one found in a bureau in the kitchen and living area of East Mersea Hall and that the crossings out, corrections and additions were not added later.

The other two witnesses, Robert Richardson Newell and Robert Wright, close associates of the testator, confirm the handwriting in all the corrections is that of Thomas Spurden.

Transcription of Will
In the Name of God Amen
the fourth day of August one thousand seven
hundred and Eighty six I Thomas Spurden of East
Mersea Hall in the County of Essex being of perfect
mind and memory thanks be given unto God
therefore calling into mind the mortality of my body
and knowing it is appointed unto all Men once to
die do make and ordain this my last Will and
Testament that is to say principally and first of all
I give and recommend my Soul into the hands of
almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend
to the Earth to be buried in decent Christian Burial
n the parish Church of West Mersea by the side of
my Mother Mary Spurden and to have a Tomb
Stone a good Marble Slab with an Inscription thereon
for which I allow my Executors hereunder named the
Sum of Seventy pounds of lawful money of Great
Britain for Erecting the same /Also I give and
bequeath to my Godson Isaac Haward of West Mersea
the Sum of two hundred \pounds/ of lawful money of England
to be paid to him at the Age of seventeen years\
also I give to my Uncle Tho[ma]s May the Sum of
twenty pounds and my Uncle John May the Sum
of ten pounds and my uncle Edw[ard] May five pounds
/my Cousin John May and his Brother \Tho[ma]s May

I Tho[ma]s Spurden have placed out my Cousin John Mays Legacy

twenty pounds /each\ but none to my Cousin Edward

wholly not to have a Shilling this 23rd day of March 1789

May all of lawfull money of England also to my
Brothers in Law James and W[illia]m Spurden the Sum of
forty Pounds each and to my Sister Rose Harriss
thirty Pounds also to my Aunt Wincoll thirty
pounds and likewise to Mrs Ennew of West Mersea

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widow of Shadrick Ennew the Sum of ten Pounds
and to my Aunt Lydia Harvey the Sum of thirty
pounds \This I have altered as appears below to the addition I have made/ (Also to my Maid Servant
Dinia Wright according to my
promise the Sum of Fifty pounds
) Also I Give and
Bequeath the Sum of Fifty Poundes to \the/ Charity School
of Rumford in Essex likewise five pounds per year
for three Years to be gave in Bread or Meat
to the two parishes of the Island amounting
in the whole to thirty pounds also to all
my Workmen and servants a Suit of Mourning
and forty Shillings each if they appear and attend
the Funeral and wear their Cloaths decent then
the forty Shillings to be paid each at the Years
End but if they sell their Cloaths then their
shall be no money for them I also give to
my Cousin Mary May the Sum of ten pounds
also to the Poor of the Parish of Great Oakley
ten pounds likewise to the poor of the parish of
purleigh ten pounds to be given away in bread
and Meat \This also I have altered as appears below./
I likewise desire my Cousin Tho[ma]s May
shall have the Lease of East Hall and One
hundred pounds gave unto the bargain of its
valuation
also my real Estate at Great Oakley
now occupied by Robert Salter I Give to my Cousin
John Spurden of West Mersea for his Son Tho[ma]s
Spurden and then after paying all Legacys and
charges &c[etera] then the said John Spurden to leave
the remainder only to pay to my Executors under named
W[illia]m Howard Gent[leman] the Sum of twenty pounds and
I do appoint the aforesaid John Spurden Tho[ma]s May
and W[illia]m Haward Sen[io]r my Executors of this my last
Will and Testament In Witness thereof I have set
my hand and Seal this sixteenth day of June 1787
Tho[ma]s Spurden
also my desire is to have pall Bearers and
a Funerall Sermon preached by M[aste]r Brockwell [Note 1]or M[aste]r
Mountain [Note 2] and to have all the Legatees to attend
as I would have Mourning Cloathes provided for them

April 27th 1788

I Thomas Spurden do make this /my\
addition to this Testament in manner following
[illegible] the Fifty pounds I had bequeathed to my \Maid/ Servant
Dinia Wright now to return back to my personal
[estate?] and not for her to have One shilling but to
pay to Samuel Blewett of West Mersea the Sum of
[illegible] pounds in lieu of Dinia Wrights And I do make
reparation as I think now that my Cousin

[Page 3]

Tho[ma]s May is well provided for by his late Uncle
Tho[ma]s May that instead of the Lease of the East
Hall and the hundred pounds as gave as above
I now give him twenty pounds and also to add
twenty pounds more to my Executor M[aste]r W[illia]m Haward
as above and then the Lease of East Hall to go to
my Cousin John Spurden for his Son Th[oma]s Spurden
if he be of Age to take it and likes the Business
or the said John Spurden to carry the Business on for
him till he is able. In Witness whereof I have set
my hand and Seal to the last mentioned date
Tho[ma]s Spurden _ M[i]ss Phillis Kelham of Chilmsford
my first Cousin I had forgot but my desire is that
she shall have twenty pounds which I desire should
be paid by my Executors as above.

I Thomas Spurden have this
4th day of November 1789 Rased and disanuld the
Legacy I left to my Godson Isaac Haward and the
said Isaac Haward nor his Father shall have none
of my property whatever as Witness my hand in
this small space and compass Tho[ma]s Spurden

Dec[embe]r 17th 1789

I Thomas Spurden do desire that my houskeeper
Sally otherwise Sarah Goodwin shall have One
hundred pounds paid to her out of my personal Estate
by my Executors as named aforesaid as Witness my
hand \illegible/ Now altered as under Thomas Spurden

Jan[uar]y 4th 1790

I Thomas Spurden have this Day altered
the above Legacy and Instead of the above
hundred pounds to the aforesaid Sarah Goodwin
I now do desire she should have only a Suit of
Mourning and Forty Shillings to be Paid to her
at the Expiration of twelve Months the same as
I have left to the rest of my Workmen as Witness
my hand to the last date Thomas Spurden

July 2[n]d 1790

I Thomas Spurden have this Day altered my
Godsons Isaac Hawards Legacy and now I do give
One hundred \and/ Fifty pounds as at first mentioned of
lawfull money of England to be paid to him by my
Executors and Also that W[illia]m Haward Sen[io]r may be

[Page 4]

one of my Executors as aforesaid Witness my hand
to the last date Thomas Spurden

I also desire that all my Charity Legacys
may be doubled in their value Viz Romford Great
Oakley East and West Mersea and Purleigh and also
my Cousins Phillis Kelham formerly Wakelin \Witness/ my hand
to this last date Tho[ma]s Spurden _

Appeared Personally Edward May
of Great Wigborough in the County of Essex Farmer
Robert Richardson Newell of Colchester in the same
County /of\ Apothecary and Robert Wright of the same
place Brandy Merchant and being severally sworn on
the holy Evangelists to depose the truth made oath
as follows and first the said Edward May for himself
saith that he this Deponent together with M[aste]r
John Spurden who is one of the Executors named
in the Last Will and Testament with six Codicils
hereunto annexed of Thomas Spurden late of East
Mersea Hall in the County of Essex deceased on the
fifth Instant being the day after the said deceaseds
death met at the said deceaseds late dwelling
house at East Mersea aforesaid and on Searching
for the said deceaseds Will found the Paper Writings
hereunto annexed purporting to be and contain
the last Will and Testament with six Codicils of
the said deceased in a Bureau in a little room
or parlor adjoining the said deceaseds Kitchen or
keeping room that on this Deponents opening and
perusing the said paper Writings be observed the
obliteration now appearing in the seventh line of
the said Will being a Legacy left to Isaac Haward
to be then so made and done as therein now
appears and also the obliteration of the Words /by\
["]my Cousin John May and his Brother" in the
eighth line of the said Will and the Word 'each'
now appearing in the ninth line of the said Will
and also the Interlineation now appearing between
[illegible] eighth and ninth lines and also the Interlineation
between the ninth and the tenth lines of the said Will
as the same respectively now appear And this Deponent
also observed the Interlineation as now appearing
between the tenth and eleventh and the fifteenth and
[six?]teenth lines of the said Will And also the Interlineation
of the word Goodwin \as/ now appearing in the first
line of the third Codicil and likewise the several
Interlineations as now appearing in the first line of
the fifth Codicil and also the Interlineation as now
appearing between the first and second lines of the

[Page 5]

the said fifth Codicil and he this Deponent lastly
saith that the said Will and Codicils are in all
respects to the best of his belief in the same plight
and condition as they were then in when he so first
found and read the same over as aforesaid And
the said Robert Richardson Newell and Robert Wright
say that they knew and were well acquainted with
the said deceased for several years before and to time
of his death and also with his manner and character
of handwriting and Subscription having often seen
him write and subscribe and having now viewed
and perused the Paper Writings hereunto annexed
purporting to be and contain the last Will and
Testament with six Codicils of the said deceased and
particularly the several Interlineations herein before
recited and now appearing in the said Will and Codicils
and also the names "Tho[ma]s" Spurden appearing to be
four times subscribed that is to say as well to the
said Will as to the first second and sixth Codicil and
also the names "Thomas Spurden appearing to be
three times Subscribed that is to say to the third
fourth and fifth Codicils they these Deponents the said
Robert Richardson Newell and Robert Wright do depose
that they verily and in their consciences believe the
whole series and contents of the said Will and
Codicils and the several Interlineations therein
and the several Subscriptions thereto to be all of the
proper handwriting and Subscription of the said Thomas
Spurden deceased Edw[ar]d May - R R Newell - Rob[er]t Wright
The seventeenth day of February One thousand Seven
Hundred and ninety One the said Edward May Robert
Richardson Newell and Robert Wright were duly
sworn to the truth of this Affidavit / Joseph Brockwell
Commissioner

This Will was proved at London \with six Codicils/ on the
twenty third day of February in the year of Our
Lord One thousand seven hundred and ninety One
before the Right Honerable Sir William Wynne
Knight Doctor of Laws and Master Keeper or Commissary
of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted
by the Oaths of John Spurden and William Haward
the Elder the Executors named in the said Will to
whom administration was granted of all and singuler
the Goods Chattels and Credits of the deceased having
been first sworn by Commission duly co administ[er]ed

Note 1: Joseph Brockwell was vicar of West Mersea 1748 - 1797
Note 2: Jehosaphat Mountain was rector of Peldon 1782 - 1817

SourceMersea Museum
IDMARG_221