|Will of George Upcher of West Mersea 17 Sept 1517 transcribed from ERO D/ACR 2/59/1
Transcription by Sue Howlett & Sophie Weaver February 2022
Testament and Last Will of George Upcher of West Mersea. Burial to take place in the churchyard
20 pence to the High Altar of West Mersea church, for any forgotten tithes;
10 shillings to a priest to celebrate 30 masses in West Mersea church for the welfare of his soul;
2 shillings to a priest to celebrate 4 masses of the Five Wounds of Christ at the Cross (Crutched) Friars in Colchester;
20 shillings to gild the Crucifix and Rood Loft (in West Mersea church);
6 pence (to be spent on masses and prayers) at Paul's Pardon outside St Paul's Cathedral;
40 shillings to be spent for the well-being of his soul on the day of his burial and later anniversaries.
To his sons Stephen and John £6 13s 4d to be divided betwen them (if one dies, the other to inherit);
The said children to inherit half the household goods, to be equally divided between them when their mother formally requests her half share;
A yoke (pair) of oxen bequeathed to Stephen (the elder brother?)
All remaining goods are bequeathed to testator's wife, who is appointed executrix.
Thomas Gyblon (temporary keeper of the yoke of oxen)
2nd Executor: John Clarke; Supervisor of will: Robert Smyth
Witnesses: William Hurt (priest); Robert Webbe and others.
NB A modern translation follows the transcription below:
Transcription [Page 1]
Test[amentu]m Georgij Upcher de Mersey (the testament of George Upcher of Mersea)
1. In dei no[m]i[n]e Amen. the yer[e] of our[e] lorde god Ml Vc xvij I
2. George Upcher of full mynde & good remembrance
3. make my testament and laste will aft[er] this man[er] First
4. I bequeth my sowle to almyghti god our \blissid/ lady [Note 1] and
5. all the holy company of hevyn my body to be bu
6. ryed in the churchyarde of petyr & paule in westm[er]sey
7. It[e]m I bequeth to the hie Awt[er] (High Altar) for tithes forgoten xxd
8. It[e]m to a seculer prest to celibrate a trintall [Note 2] of masses
9. for my soule in the church aforsaide xs Item to a seculer
10. prest to saye iiij masses of the v wound[es] at scala cely [Note 3]
11. at the Crosfryers iis Item to the gildyng of the Cru
12. cifyx & the Rode lofte xxs It[e]m to Poullis Pardon [Note 4] vjd
13. It[e]m to be spent for the helth of my sowle at my buriell
14. the vij daye monyth day & myn Anniv[er]sary xls It[e]m
15. to Stephyn & John my Childern vj li xiijs iiijd to be
16. divided by twix them and the one to be the others heir[e]
17. Item to the saide Childern half my howsold [goods] to be
18. equally departyed (divided) at the day of the first askyng
19. in the church of my wiff It[e]m to Stephyn my
20. sone a yoke of oxen which be in the hand[es] of
21. Thomas Gyblon The resideue of my good[es]
22. not bequeth y (I) will that my wiff 23. my wiff> shall have the which wiff y make
24. myn executrice & John Clarke executor
25. and Rob erd Smyth to be sup[er]visor and thei
26. to have for ther labur ev[er]y one of them vjs
27. viiijd Thes beryng witnes sir [Note 5] willia[m] hurt
28. Roberd Webbe w[i]t[h] other yevyn (given) at Westm[er]sey
29. the xvij day of the monyth of Septembr[e]
Modern English Translation
In 1517, George Upcher made his last will and testament as follows:
I leave my soul to God, the Virgin Mary and to the saints in heaven, and my body to be buried in the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul at West Mersea.
I leave to the High Altar for forgotten tithes, 20 pence.
I leave to a priest who is not in any monastic order, 10 shillings to celebrate 30 Masses of the Five Wounds (of Christ) at the altar of Scala Cely (the Ladder of Heaven) at the Cross (or Crutched) Friars (in Colchester).
I leave to the gilding of the Crucifix and the Rood Loft (in West Mersea Church), 20 shillings.
I leave to Paul's Pardon (a churchyard outside St Paul's Cathedral in London), 6 pence.
I leave 40 shillings to be spent for the well-being of my soul, on the day of my burial and on the anniversaries of a week, a month and a year after my death.
I leave to my sons Stephen and John, £6 13s 4d to be divided between them. If one dies the other is to be his heir.
I leave to my said children half my household goods to be equally divided, when my wife requests this in the church.
I leave my son Stpehen a yoke (ie two) of oxen, currently in the possession of Thomas Gyblon.
The remainder of my unbequeathed goods I leave to my wife, whom I make my executrix, ad John Clarke to be executor. The will to be supervised by Robert Smyth. Each of these is to receive 6s 8d for their labour.
Witnesses: William Hurt (priest); Robert Webbe, with others. Dated at West Mersea on 17 September (1517).
Note 1 the Virgin Mary
Note 2 30 Requiem masses
Note 3 Altar dedicated to the Scala Cely (ladder to heaven) at the Crutched Friars church in Colchester
Note 4 A churchyard outside St Paul's Cathedral in London where pilgrims might be granted a period of pardon from Purgatory
Note 5 sir = courtesy title for a priest