ID MARG_118_011

TitleWill of Rychard Whyter of West Mersea 1528
AbstractWill of Richard Whyter of West Mersea 25 June 1528 transcribed from Essex Record Office document D/ABW 39/12

Transcribed by Sue Howlett, July 2015 / Trevor Hearn 4 June 2021
There is a translation to Modern English further down the page

1   In the name of god amen the xxvti daye of June In the yere of o[ur] lorde god 1528 / I Rychard whyt[er] of west merse in
2   In the cownty of essex & of the dyoses of london yeman beyng hole of mynde & In p[er]fyt Remembranse thankys
3   be to god make my testament & last wyll In forme followyng fyrst I com[m]ende my sowle to god & to o[ur]
4   Lady & to all the saynt[es] of hevyn my body to be buryed In the churche of west mersye aforesayed It[em
5   I be queth to the high awlt[er] for tythes untrewly payed vjs viijd to powles parden [Note 1] xijd also to the graye
6   fryers of coelchest[er] /xs/ It[em] to the crosse frers In coellchest[er] xs It[em] to the fryars of malden /xs / It[em] to the fryars
7   of chelmysforde xs / & every of the sayed places of fryars to synge masse & dyrge w[i]t[h] as many fryars as th[?]
8   maye the same day of my buryall for my sowle & all cryssten sowles to the sum of every of them a
9   trentall [Note 2] a peace. It[em] I gyve to the reperacyons of myche horkyslaye churche xs It[em] to lytle horkyslaye
10   pry[?]se [Note 3] vijli sterlynge It[em] I gyve to the same churche of west mersy a vestment a cope & albes decon &
11   subdeacon of blacke p[re]se vijli It[em] I gyve to bye a crosse w[i]t[h] a staffe of copp[er] & gylte & a crosse clothe prys
12   iiijli It[em] I gyve to the colyge of hygham ferys [Note 4] xxs to pray for my sowle & all cryssten sowles It[em] I gyv
13   to the Repracyons of fyngerygo churche xs , also I gyve to S[ir] [Note 5] Robart towneley curat of west marsy
14   vjli xiijs iiijd to synge for me & my fryndes In the churche of west marsy aforesayed the spase of one
15   twelvemonyth also I bequeth to S[ir] Robart townley aforesayed xxxiijs iiijd to be bestowyd aft[er]
16   hys dyscressyon In waye of Restytucyon he knowyth best for my dyscharge afore god & sallvacyon
17   of my sowle It[em] I wyll thar be delyveryd In dole at the daye of my buryeng & my monyth day
18   every man woman & chylde th[a]t cumyth thare to have a jd a p[ie]ce w[i]t[h] meate & drynke suff[icient]
19   for them to praye for my sowle & all cryssten sowles It[em] to every of my god chylderen xijd It[em] to ja[?]
20   whytar my s[er]vant / xls / It[em] to every of my s[er]vant[es] I gyve xxd It[em] to every of my wyfes chylderen
21   vjs viijd I gyve my tenement lyynge In horkyslaye callyd flambardes w[i]t[h] the medew to mayntayn
22   an obyt w[i]t[j] ij taper[es] brennynge afore the sacrament In the churche of west marsy for ever & also I gyve
23   xxs to the makyng of ij Images of tymber to holde the same lyt[es] before the hygh awlter aforesayd
24   I gyve to Jone my wife xxx kyne & a bull x skore ewes vj Ram[es] vj horses & my oxen a cart &
25   a plowe w[i]t[h] all the harnys thar to be longyng w[i]t[h] all my howseholde w[i]t[h] plate / also I gyve to the sayd
26   Jone my wife my corne growyng uppon my grownde in the feldes be longyng unto my howse
27   wher In I now dwell & all my corne at northlande growynge In est m[er]sy & all the barly In
28   barefelde growyng In westmerse It[em] I gyve to Robart [Ive?] vjs viijd It[em] I gyve to mayntayne
29   a lyght before o[ur] lady In the chawnsell a fore sayed a cowe pryce xvs It[em] I gyve to fraunsis my
30   dawter all my landes & my tenement[es] & Reverson[es] of all my land[es] wherso ever thay be w[i]t[h] the
31   halfe mell standyng & lying In fynggerygo & all my landes lyyng In dylylande al[st?]ford
32   myche horkyslaye lytle horkyslaye wormyngforde boxted west marsy & est marsy to have
33   & to holde to hyr & to hyr ayer[es] of her body Lawfully be gotten when she comyth to the age of xviij
34   yer[es] or at lawfull age of maryage for ever & In the mene whyle I will th[a]t myne executor[es]
35   have the profyt[es] of the sayed land[es] & tenement[es] & halfe mell to paye my dett[es] & to be stowe
36   uppon ssuffycyent repracyon[es] of the same land[es] & for her fyndynge & to be stow In hyghwayes
37   & dedes of charyte as thaye thynke best for my sowle [ ............... ]
38   wyll dyscharge thar consyense be fore god. And yf yt chawnse the sayed frawnsys to dye
39   w[i]t[h] owte ayers of her body Lawfully begotten then I wyll the sayed londs & tenements
40   to Remayne holy to the next of the blud of whytars for ever yf that they of hyr kynne &
41   of myne & if all them of the same blud of whytars do dye I will yt to be solde of myne
42   execut[ors] or the execut[ors] of them & ye mony ther of cumyng to be bestowyd In ded[es] of cheryte
43   for my sowle & all crysten sowles also I wyll th[a]t Thomas flyngant bayly of cochest[er] hartely
44   desyre hym th[a]t he wyll have the custody of my dawter frawnsys orderyng her as he wyll do
45   [ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
46   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ]
47   callyd boodys lyyng In wormyngforde for tarme of her lyfe makyng no stryp [.....]
48   It[em] I wyll th[a]t John webbe shall have hys land[es] lyyng In est mersy yf so be he do paye to
49   myne execut[ors] iijli yf he do not I put yt to the dyscressyon of myne execut[ors] the whole bargyn
50   also I Instantly requyre all my feffor[es] to delyver or cawse to be delyveryd a lawfull state &
51   surrender of all my land[es] fre & coppye unto the hand[es] of myne execut[ors] accordyng to thys
52   my last wyll whom I make & ordayne to be myne execut[ors] Thomas flyngant bayly
53   of cochest[er] Robart copar of nayland clothyar Thomas lane of london waxchaundeler [ Note 6 ] &
54   every one of them to have for thar labor xls to se thys my p[re]sent wyll p[er]formyd thes
55   wytnes S[ir] Robart townley curat of west marsy Steven benyt Rychard smyth John hale
56   Robart Ive nycolas Jeffery John fortune w[i]t[h] other wrytten the daye & yere a bove
57   Declaryd

Note 1 Probably Pardon Churchyard of St Paul's Cathedral, London, which contained two 15th century Chantry chapels (Saving the Souls of Medieval London: Perpetual Chantries of St Pauls by Dr Marie-Helene Rousseau p.73)
Note 2 'A TRENTAL was an office of thirty masses, three of a sort, which were said for the dead, to deliver their souls from torment'
quod.lib.umich.edu/c/cme/AJD3529.0001.001/1:4.11?rgn=div2;view=fulltext (124/06/2021)
Note 3 [Little Horkesley] priory was suppressed by Wolsey in accordance with his licences from the king and pope; the actual dissolution being carried out by his agent, John Alen, on 11 February, 1525
www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/essex/vol2/pp137-138 (14/06/2021)
Note 4 College of Higham Ferrers, founded by Archbishop Henry Chichele, granted the Manor of West Mersea in 1422
Note 5 'Sir' used as term of respect for a priest
Note 6 The Wax Chandlers Company is one of the City of London livery companies. The business of a Wax Chandler was the preparation, making and sale of beeswax and beeswax products, important in supplying candles before the Reformation. Reformation. www.waxchandlers.org.uk (14/06/2021)


Modern English Translation by Trevor Hearn (17th June 2021)

Page 1

In the name of God, Amen. 25th June 1528. I, Richard Whyter of West Mersea
in the county of Essex and of the diocese of London, yeoman [Note 1], being of sound mind thanks
be to God, make my last will and testament as follows: First, I commend my soul to God and to our
Lady and to all the saints of heaven, and my body is to be buried in the church of West Mersea. Item:
I bequeath 6s.8d to the high altar [Note 2] for any unpaid tithes [Note 3], 12d to St. Paul's Pardon [ Note 4], and 10s to the
Greyfriars of Colchester. Item: I bequeath 10s to the Crossed Friars in Colchester, 10s to the Friars of Maldon, and
10s to the Friars of Chelmsford. In each of the said locations, as many Friars as are present on
the day of my burial are to sing masses and dirges [ Note 5] for my soul and for all Christian souls, for a total of one
trental [Note 6] each. Item: I give 10s for repairs to Great Horkesley Church, and £7 to Little Horkesley
Priory. Item: I give to the Church of West Mersea £7 for a vestment, a cope and albs [Note 7] for the deacon
and sub-deacon in black cloth. Item: I give £4 to purchase a cross with a staff of copper and gilt, and a cloth cross.
Item: I give 20s to Higham Ferrers College for prayers to be said for my soul and for all Christian souls. Item: I give
10s for the repairs of Fingringhoe Church. I also give £6.13s.4d to Sir [Note 8] Robert Townley, Curate of West Mersea
Church to sing for me and my friends in the Church of West Mersea for a 12 month period.
Also, I bequeath 33s.4d to the aforesaid Sir Robert Townley to be used at his discretion as he knows best for
my discharge before God and the salvation of my soul. Item: I desire that on the day of my burial and on the same
date each year thereafter, there may be distributed 1d each to every man, woman and child that attends there,
and with sufficent meat and drink for each of them, to pray for my soul and for all Christian souls. Item: I give 12d
to each of my godchildren. Item: I give 40s to my servant Ja[mes?] Whytar. Item: I give 20d to each of my servants. Item:
I give 6s.8d to each of my wife's children. I give my tenement in Horkesley called "Flambards" together with the meadow to maintain
an obit [Note 9] with tapers [Note 10] before the sacrament in West Mersea Church for ever and I also give
20s for making 2 timber receptacles for holding such lights in front of the high alter.
I give to my wife Joan 30 kyne [Note 11] and a bull, 200 ewes, 6 rams, 6 horses, my ox and cart, a plough,
and the harnesses belonging to them,
and all my household items and crockery. I also give to my wife Joan
the corn growing in the fields belonging to my house in which I currently reside
and all my corn growing at Northland in East Mersea and all the barley growing in
Barfield in West Mersea. I give 6s.8d to Robert Ive. Item: I give a cow worth 15s
to maintain a light before our Lady in the chancel aforesaid. Item: I give to Frances my
daughter all my lands and tenements with reversions of all my lands wherever they may be, with the
half-share of the mill in Fingringhoe and all my lands in Donyland, Alresford,
Great Horkesley, Little Horkesley, Wormingford, Boxted, West Mersea and East Mersea to have
and to hold to her and her true heirs when she attains the age of 18
years, or at the date of her marriage, for ever. In the meantime I desire that my executors
utilise the profits of the aforesaid lands and the half-share in the mill to pay my debts and to pay
for repairs and maintenance of the same lands and for upkeep of the roads
and for deeds of charity as they may think fit for salvation of my soul [.............]
... will dishcarge their consents before God. If Frances should die
without true heirs then I desire that the said lands and tenements
remain wholly with the next in kin of the Whytars family for ever. If there are no living kin of Frances
or myself in the Whytar family, I desire it to be sold by my
or their executors and the proceeds to be distributed in deeds of charity
for my soul and for all Christian souls. Also I heartily desire that Thomas Flyngant, bailiff of Colchester

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will have custody of my daughter Frances, ordering her to obey him
[...............................................................................................................
................................................................................................................]
called Boodys in Wormingford for her lifetime.
Item: I desire that John Webb have ownership of his lands in East Mersea upon payment of £3
to my executors and, upon failure to do so, the sale to be left to the discretion of my executors.
Also, I instruct all my feoffees [Note 12] to deliver, or cause to be delivered, a legal transfer
and surrender of all my lands, both freehold and copyhold, to my executors according to this,
my last will. I hereby appoint as my executors Thomas Flyngant, bailiff,
of Colchester; Robert Copar, clothier, of Nayland; and Thomas Lane, wax chandler [Note 13], of London
and each of them are to receive 40s for their services in seeing this, my will, duly performed.
Witnesses: Sir Robert Townley, curate of West Mersea Church, Steven Bennett, Richard Smith, John Hale,
Robert Ive, Nicholas Jeffery, John Fortune and others. Written the date and year as above.
Acknowledged.

Note 1 A yeoman was a freehold landowner who cultivated his own land; also loosely meant a small or medium farmer (Source: The Local Historian's Glossary of Words and Terms by Joy Bristow)
Note 2 the "high altar" was the main altar in the church, raised on a platform to be visible by all the faithfull, and symbolised Christ (Source: www.newadvent.org/cathen/07346b.htm) (17 Jun 2021)
Note 3 A tithe was an obligation on the parishioners to maintain the church and parish priest (Source: The Local Historian's Glossary of Words and Terms by Joy Bristow)
Note 4 Probably Pardon Churchyard of St Paul's Cathedral, London, which contained two 15th century Chantry chapels (Saving the Souls of Medieval London: Perpetual Chantries of St Pauls by Dr Marie-Helene Rousseau p.73)
Note 5 A dirge is a lament for the dead, especially forming part of the funeral rites (Source: www.thefreedictionary.com/dirge) (17 Jun 2021)
Note 6 A trental is a Roman Catholic office for the dead comprising 30 masses for 30 consecutive days (Source: The Local Historian's Glossary of Words and Terms by Joy Bristow)
Note 7 An alb is a liturgical vestment worn by Roman Catholic priests consisting of a long, white garment to the ankes tied at the waist with a cincture (belt of rope as worn by those of a monastic habit) (Source: Oxford Dictionaries, Bing Translator);
Note 8 In this instance, "Sir" is used as a term of respect for the priest
Note 9 An obit was a service of remembrance for a dead person, usually kept annually but sometimes monthly (Source: The Local Historian's Glossary of Words and Terms by Joy Bristow)
Note 10 Tapers: rush or string dipped in wax, used in churches as part of ritual (Source: ibid)
Note 11 kyne are cows, usually the milking cows in a herd (Source: ibid)
Note 12 Feoffee: a person to whom a gran of freehold land is made (Source: Oxford Dictionary, Bing translator)
Note 13 The Wax Chandlers Company is one of the City of London livery companies. The business of a Wax Chandler was the preparation, making and sale of beeswax and beeswax products, important in supplying candles before the Reformation. Reformation. www.waxchandlers.org.uk (17 Jun 2021)

SourceMersea Museum
IDMARG_118_011