|Will of Elizabeth Sethyck of East Mersea 1557 transcribed from Essex Record Office document D/ABW 33/329
Transcriber Trevor Hearn 4th October 2019
There is a translation to Modern English further down the page
1 In the name of god Amen In the yere of our lord god A[nno] m ccccc lvij the xvij day of
2 Decembre I elizabeth sethwycke wedow in the p[ar]yse of est merse beying sycke in body but
3 holle of mynd do make & ordayne my last Wyll & testame[n]t in thyse maner folowyng fyrst
4 I bequeth my soull to allmyghty god & my body to be beryed in the churchyard of est merse
5 It[e]m I geve to phylype my daughter my best flockbed [ Note 1 ] Wyth all that longeth therto the mydle
6 brasse pott a kettell ij platters of pewter ij porygers [ Note 2 ] of pewter a pewter dyshe a saller [ Note 3 ] a ca[n]dylstike
7 A cubberd a payer of shetts a pylluber [ Note 4 ] a lokerom [ Note 5 ] table clothe the last beryng shett [ Note 6 ] the blacke chest
8 A Bound gowne att xx yere of age or att the Daye of maryng yf she mary before the age
9 And thomas asshely of sent osse to have the custody of all thes thyngs tyll the sayd phylyp come
10 of age puttyng in suertyes to the executors for the dyscharge ther of It[e]m I geve to grace
11 sethyck my husbands doughter the old kowe a flocke bed th[at] Was hyr fathers a coveryng th[at] Was
12 hyr fathers A payer of shetts a lokerom pylluber a lokerum shette th[at] Was hyr fathers a pewte
13 platter & a kettell th[at] Was hyr fathers All thes thyngs I geve hyr for the shere th[at] Was geven hyr
14 of hyr granmother to the helpe of hyr bryngyng up and to be placed att the dyscrecyon of myn[e]
15 executors to save as mouche to hyr behouth [ Note 7 ] as can be & she to have/ th[at] att xx yere of age or att
16 the day of mar/yeg yf she mary befor the sayd age It[e]m I geve to old Jone samon a lyttell brass
17 pott & a shette It[e]m I geve also to yong Jone samon a possnett [ Note 8 ] & a sheett It[e]m I geve to
18 old Joone coper Wedowe A cowe & xxs of currant mony to kepe & bryng up annys samon
19 my doughter untyll lawfull age And yf any of my two doughters phylyp or annys
20 dye before they come to lawfull age the one to be the others ayer I geve allso to
21 Annys my doughter all my goods & movables unbequethed Whom I do make Wyth
22 thomas collson myne executors to take up my detts & to paye my detts And the sayd
23 thomas to be cou[n]table to my doughter annys att xx yere of age or att the daye of maryeg
24 yf she mary before the sayd age And he to have for hys paynes xs And Joh[n]n alyn[?] of
25 mychWydborowe my sup[er]vyser to se my Wyll p[er]formed & he to have the prophetts of one coW
26 untyll my doughter cum of age lawfull In Wyttnes to thys my last Wyll rychard
27 pollard Wyllya[m] lorence Wyllyam coper Wyllyam long Wyth other mo[re?]
28 solut' .ijs vjd
Note 1 flock bed = bed stuffed with wool or bits of cloth
Note 2 probably means "porringer" which is defined by OED as: "A small bowl or basin, typically with a handle, used for soup, stews, or similar dishes".
Note 3 probably means "salle" i.e. a salt container (often of silver)
Note 4 possibly a "pilliver" (in old English this was "pylewar") being defined in OED as: "A pillow, a cushion. In later use also: a pillowcase" or "pillow-bere" meaning pillowcase (OED)
Note 5 lockram - defined in OED as: "A type of linen fabric of various grades used for clothing and household items; an item made from this."
Note 6 bearing sheet: a sheet used to carry a child to church for baptism
Note 7 "behoof" (OED) meaning "use, benefit or advantage".
Note 8 "posnet", defined in OED as: ""A small metal pot or vessel for boiling, having a handle and three feet."
Translation to Modern English by Trevor Hearn
In the name of God, amen. 17th December 1557 AD.
I, Elizabeth Sethyck, widow, of East Mersea, being sick in body but of sound mind,
do make and ordain my last will and testament as follows. First, I bequeath my soul
to Almighty God, my body to be buried in the churchyard of East Mersea church.
I give to my daughter, Phillipa, my best flock bed [ Note 1 ] and its accoutrements; the
middle-size brass pot; a kettle; 2 pewter plates; 2 pewter bowls; a pewter dish; a salt
cellar; a candlestick; a cupboard; a pair of sheets; a pillowcase; a lockram [ Note 2 ] tablecloth;
the last bearing sheet [ Note 3 ]; the black chest; a gown with tie, once she has attained 20 years
of age or, on her wedding day if such is before that age. Thomas Ashley of St. Osyth
is to have custody of all these items until Phillipa comes of age, giving the executors a
guarantee until this obligation is discharged.
I give to Grace Sethyck, my husband's daughter, the old cow; her father's flock bed; a
blanket belonging to her father; a pair of sheets; a lockram pillowcase; a lockram sheet
that was her fathers; a pewter plate; and her father's kettle. I give these things to her being
her share of her grandmother's inheritance, to assist in her growing up. My executors are to
have discretion as to these items and to save as much as possible to her advantage. She is
to have these items at 20 years of age, or the day of her wedding if earlier.
I give to the elder Joan Cooper, widow, a cow and 20 shillings to keep and raise my daughter,
Annie Salmon, until lawful age. If either of my daughters, Phillipa or Annie, die before they
reach lawful age the one will inherit from the other. I also give to my daughter, Annie,
all my unbequeathed goods and chattels. Thomas Collson is appointed my executor and shall
settle my debts and be accountable to my daughter Annie when she attains 20 years of age,
or on her wedding day if earlier. I give Thomas Collson 10 shillings in payment for his duties.
John Allen of Great Wigborough is appointed my supervisor to ensure my will is performed
and is to receive the profits of one cow until my daughter attains legal age.
In witness to this, my last will: Richard Pollard, William Lawrence, William Cooper, William
Long and others.
Sum paid: 2s.6d
Note 1 flock bed = bed stuffed with wool or bits of cloth
Note 2 lockram - defined in OED as: "A type of linen fabric of various grades used for clothing and household items; an item made from this."
Note 3 bearing sheet: a sheet used to carry a child to church for baptismbearing sheet: a sheet used to carry a child to church for baptism