THE WILL OF THOMAS WOODVILLE
(Source: History and Antiquities of Northampton)
To the worship of God of our Lady and of all the company of Heaven, this is the will of me Thomas Widevill of Grafton in the county of Northampton Squire as it sheweth more plainly beneath by parcels made at Grafton. Abovesaid the 12th day of the month of October the year of the reign of King Henry the Sixth after the conquest the thirteenth.
In the first, I will that my feoffees of my lands make no estate of them to no manner Aman unto the time that my debts been paid, my will and my testament fully performed, and [this] done, I will that my said feoffees of my lands make a lawful estate to my brother Richard Widevill and to the heirs males of his body lawfully begotten in and of my manor and all other my lands and tenements rents reversions and services with all their appurtenances whatsoever they be in Grafton beside Aldrynnton with the hundred of Cleyle in the said county of Northampton. And if the said Richard my brother die without issue male of his body lawfully begotten then I will that all the said manor lands and tenements rents reversions and services with all other their appurtenances whatsoever they be in Grafton abovesaid together with the said hundred of Cleyle reverting wholly to my right heirs. Also I will that my said feoffees make a lawful estate to my right heirs in and of all my lands and tenements as well of my purchases of fee simple rents reversions and services with all other their apurtenances whatsoever they be in Westpury in Hertwell in the said county of Norhampton in Hulcote in the county of Bedford in Burton milles in the county of Buckingham to holden to them and to the right heirs of their bodies lawfully begotten for evermore in party of recompensation of the said manor of Grafton with the appurtenances. And if my said right heirs die without heirs of their bodies lawfully begotten then I will that all the said lands and tenements of my purchase and fee simple with rents reversions and services with all other their appurtenances whatsoever they be revert to the right heirs of John Wideville my father. Also I will that after my debts be paid my will and my testament fully performed that then my said feoffees make a lawful estate to my right heirs and to the heirs of their bodies lawfully begotten in and of all my manors lands and tenements rents reversions and services with all other their appurtenances whatsoever they be in the towns and in the fields of Northampton, Horton, Easton, Hulcote, Thurneby, Asshen, Roade, Hertewell, and Quinton or in any other place the which be undevised with in the said county of Northampton. And if my said right heirs die without issue of their bodies lawfully begotten then I will that the said lands and tenements rents reversions and services with all other their appurtenances wholly revert to the right heirs of my said father John Wideville. Also I will that my said feoffees keep the manor of Stoke Brewerne and Aldryngton and all other lands and tenements meadows leases and pastures rents reversions and services with the avowsons of the church of the said Stoke and Aldryngton, and all other appurtenances in the said Stoke, Aldryngton, and Shittehanger in the county of Northampton still in their hands unto the time that they have reserved thereof 200 marks [133 6s 8d] and paid it to my executors to perform with my will or else until the time that they pretenden title to inherit the said maner of Stoke with the appurtenances tail as it is abovesaid have paid to my said executors the said 200 marks and this payment of this 200 marks in the form of abovesaid had and an annuity of an 100 shilling, be my said feoffees to be granted to the father and the mother of Master John Aylewurd now parson of the church of the said Stoke in case that the said parson die leaving his said father and his mother or one of them, may be made secure to him yearly to be taken of the said manor of Stoke with the appurtenances to them or to one of them longest living to the term of their lives at the terms specified in a deed thereof to them to be made by said feoffees, all this truly and effectually performed then I will that my said feofees make estate to them that pretend to have the inheritance of the said manor be tail according thereto. Also it is my will that my said feofees make estate to the abbot of Saint James beyond Northampton to the convent of the same place and to their successors, in the Hermitage of Grafton, Schawe Woode, and in the manor of Avescote and all other lands and tenements rents reversions and services in Evescote, Patteshull, Derlescote, and Escote, with all their appurtenances wheresoever and whatsoever they be in the county of Northampton and in Fighelden in the county of Wiltshire or oughtwhere else to the term of fifty winter after the date of the deed by my said feoffees there of to them made, and if the same lands may be enpropered to them in the meantime forevermore for to find with five poor men and a keeper for them and for to do other certain observances in the said abbey to the worship of God and for the health of the souls of me the said Thomas Widevill my wives Elizabeth and Ales my father my mother my grandsire Thomas Lyons, Margaret his wife, and all other my friends and all Christian dewryng the said term of fifty winter and forevermore if the said Hermitage wood and manor with the appurtenances may be enpropered to the said abbot and his successors and my said feoffees. Also I will that my said feoffees and my executors purchase as much land as they may have for 200 marks and give it to my said right heirs of their bodies lawfully begotten in full recompensation of the said manor in Grafton aforesaid, and if my said right heirs die without heirs of their bodies lawfully begotten then I will that the said lands by my feoffees and executors with my goods so purchased revert to the right heirs of my father John Widevill. Also I will that my said feofees grant to John Beck my old servant a place and six acres of land with the appurtenances in Grafton abovesaid, in the which he is possessed now and an annuity of one mark be give by deed to be taken to him term of his life of my said manor and all my lands in Grafton at usual terms in the said deed contented with a clause of distress for default of payment. Also I will that my said feoffees grant to Robert Packer my servant a place and six acres of land with the appurtenances in Grafton above said and an annuity of 20 shillings by year by deed to be taken to him term of his life of my manor [and] my lands in Grafton above said at usual terms in the said deed contented with a clause of distress for default of payment. Also I will that my said feofees grant to John of the Botery my servant a place and all the lands and tenements with their appurtenances the which I purchased of John Warwick squire in Westpury to him term of his life yielding thereof yearly a rose flower to my said feofees at the feast of midsummer term of his life and bearing all other charges to the said place and land belonging during the said term. Also I will that my said feofees grant to my niece Elizabeth Holwell an annuity of six marks to be taken to her term of her life of my manor in Hertwell with the appurtenances called Morwelles manor and of all other my lands and tenements in the said town with the appurtenances where so ever they be with a clause of distress for default of payment. Also I will that my said feofees grant to Margaret Broke my servant an annuity of twenty shillings to be taken to her term of her life of my maner and all my lands and tenements in Roode with the appurtenances where so ever they be with a clause of distress for default of payment. In the witness of the which thing to this part of my will tripartite indentured my seal I have put to. Given the day and the year and the place above said. Also I will that my executors shall receive and have to perform my will all manner of rents and pfytes coming of my lands tenements reversions and services the which my feofees shall hold in their hands until my said will be fully performed. Also I will that my said feofees grant to William Butler my servant all my lands and tenements with the appurtenances in Horton by deed to be taken to him term of his life. Also I will that my said feofees grant to Thomas Barbour my servant estate in all my lands and tenements with the appurtenances in Quynton to term of his life. Also I will that my said feoffees grant to William Manning my servant all the lands and tenements that I have in Estneston and Hulcote beside Towcester in the county of Northampton to term of his life.
THE WILL OF RICHARD WOODVILLE, ESQUIRE
(Source: Register of Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury. Translated from the Latin by Hannah Kilpatrick)
In the name of God, Amen. Vigil of Saint Andrew the Apostle [Nov. 30], year of the Lord 1441, I, Richard Woodville the elder, compose my testament as follows. Firstly, I bequeath my soul to God and my body to be buried in the church of Maidstone. Also I give and bequeath all my movable property to Joan my wife that she, together with my other executors named below, may honestly arrange for my burial and for the payment of all my servants’ wages and of all my other debts. And in order that these and other payments may be faithfully made in full I wish, ordain, and decree that my manor of Shalford in county Bedford be sold, by the said Joan my wife and my other executors, as advantageously as possible, such that all other expenses and payments may be met in full from the resulting money. And as for the remainder of my assets, after all debts have been paid and every other will and order of mine expressed by myself to my executors has been faithfully and wholly carried out, I wish, ordain, and decree that the whole be settled upon my wife Joan in perpetuity. And I name her my principal executor, and Sir Richard my son, William Haute, lord Robert Abbot of Graciis, and Richard Barbour of Maidstone, to carry out this my will. And I ask Sir Richard my son, and firmly instruct him, that he be faithful to Joan my wife, his mother, and that he protect her and aid her throughout all her life, as he wishes to come before God with my blessing. Given on the day and year abovementioned, witnessed by William Manning, John Warburton, John Lange, and others, etc.
THE WILL OF ANTHONY, EARL RIVERS
(Source: PROB 11/8. Transcribed by Simon Neal)
In the name of our Lord amen I Antony Widevile etc In hole mynd and Fressh memory in the Castell of Shwyshoton the xxiij day of Juyn and the vigill of seint John Baptyst the yere of our lord ml cccclxxxiij make my testament and last will in the fo[ur]me folowyng Furst I bequeith my soule unto the grete m[er]cy of J[esus] Crist and to his dere moder our Lady seint Mary and to the glorious company of Hevyn And my hert to be had to our Lady of Pewe beside seint Stephyns College at Westmynster there to be buried by thadvyse of the deane and his brethern And If I dy be yend trent than to be buried be fore our Lady of Pewe aforseid Also I will that all such Land as was my Lord my faders Remayne Holy to his right heyres w[i]t[h] my cupp of gold of Colombyne which was Lefte me by bequest to that entent it shuld remayne to the right heires of my seid Lord my Faders and such londes as were the Lady Scalis my fyrst wyfe be unto my brother Syr Edward and to his heyris male For faut of such heyres male unto the right heyres of my seid lord my fadre / This is my will and entent therin to take effecte as ferre as consciens and Law will / And that to be sene and determyned by ij doctours of London and ij of Oxford and of Cambrigge / or docto[ur]s at the lest w[i]t[h] ij of the chefe Juges and ij of theldest s[er]vauntes of the Lawe And if they fynde that this myn entent may not with conscience and Lawe and any part therof that it be guydid after their demyng And if they think that my seid brother may have it all / or for fawt of hym ony of my seid Lord my fadre heires he that shalhave the lond to pay or he have possession vc marcas that to be employed for the soules of my Last wyfe Lady Scalys and Thom[a]s hyr brother and the soules of all the scales blode in helping and refresshing hospitalles and other dedes charitable / And if all the Land may not be so had than to pay but aft[er] the Rate of such lond as I may bequeith. Also I will that all my goodes goo to the paying of my dettes And all my fee simpill Lond that is to sey the maner of Tyrington Hall In Middylton with the Hundreth of Frebrigge / the man[er] of Wolv[er]ton w[i]t[h] thadvowson in the Counte of Norfolke the Maner of Rokey in Barway in the Counte of Hertford to be sold to the same entent and for to make an hospitall at Rowchestyr for xiij pou[er] folkes and other dedes of Charite as to pay prisoners fees and small dettes to visett the prisones of London and help to bury the dede w[i]t[h] other werkes of mercy And as for my dettes I knowlege I owe to the bisshop of Worcester lxli which I will he be truly paid Also I knowlege that I owe a somme of mony to Loumer Mercer of London as it wele apperith both by his billes and by my boke in my closett at London which I wyll be content after consciens Also I knowlege that I owe abowght xlli to Coles Mayce goldsmyth as Butsyde of London and Griffith my servaunt can tell which Coles I wilbe truly content Also I knowlege that I owe to the Mayor of Lynne and to divers creditours in Norfolk And to Abrey Drap[er] of Norwich s[er]teyn sommes of money as apperith by warauntes signid by my hand to Fynch[a]m myn receyvo[ur] which shuld pay theym of my Lyvelode and fees in Norfolk and Suffolk growing from Mychelmas Last passid which warantes I wilbe paid in any wyse Also I Remember there was a preest claymid to be executor to a boucheer of London callid Lamye As Andrew Dymmok knowith and that I shuld owe the same bocheer money which I will in any wyse be paid And that ther be a preest founde a yere at our Lady of Pewe to pray for the sowle of the seid brocherer and all cristen soules And an other for the sowles of Syr Henry Lowes And a preest to be fow[n]de to syng at the Chapell of the Redes in Grenewich to pray for my soule and all [Christ]en sowlys And that my wyfe have all such plate as was the same Henry Lowes And other of my plate to the valiwe of asmuche thing as I hadd of his Also that she have all such plate as was geven hyr at our mariage and the sparver of white sylke w[i]t[h] iiij peyre of shetes ij payre of fustians a federbed j chambring of gresylde And except that stuffe all other stuffe of howsehold in the mote and at my place in the Vyntree to be to my seid lord my faders heyres advising theym on goddes behalve that thabbot of Seint Jamys beside Northampton And the Nonnes beside Caunturbury be allwey dewley answerd of their Claymes And Syr John Gilford to content it as it apperith by the evidences that Richard Haute hath Also I will that Seint Mary of York have my grete gilt basons And such a somme of money as myn executours shall think goode to p[r]ay for my soule Also I owe to Syr Thomas Vaugh[a]n cc marc wherof I have paid xxti marc here in the north And he hath to plegge my balys in Colombyne with v perles Also I will that all my household serv[a]ntes in the Chekyr Roll have trewly ther wages for Mydsom[er] quarter And every one a blak gowne And as I Remembyr I owe Willi[a]m Butler xxs which I will he be paid And as for myn evidences Andrewe Dymmok knowyth them And canne shewe how all my lond standith And if Willi[a]m Aubrey which was coferer to the kyng which now is whan he was prince Thomas Wytman the seid Andrew Dymmok Butsyde and John Gryffyth know any moo dettes that I shuld owe I require them for to shew it And I will myn executours in any wyse to pay to whom it be owyng And I desire on goddes behalve that no man int[er]rupt my seid executours in fulfilling this my will as they will answere at the dredefull day of Dome geving to my seid executours power by this my seid will to take a Rekenyng and Levy all such sommes of money as is owyng me of my lyvelod fees annuitees or otherwyse And they to employe such goodes as shall come to their handes after this will and moost conscient for the wele of my soule And I will that all myn Aray for my body and my horse harnes be sold And with the money therof be bought shyrtes and smokkes to pouer folkes And my gowne of Tawney cloth of gold I geve to the priour of Royston / my trapper of blakk cloth of gold I geve to our Lady of Walsingham Also I desire and charge on goddes behalve and upon payne of damnac[i]on that my feeffes make none Astate nor Relese Ne my tenauntes make no recov[er]e but acording to theffect of this my Last will Also I will that all such lond as I purchasid by the meane of Syr Jamys Molaynes preest Remayn still w[i]t[h] the Man[er] of Grafton toward the fynding of the preest of thavuntage Also the londes that I purchased beside the mote to Remayne to my lord my faders heyres / Also I will that my Lady Willoughby late the wyfe of Syr Gerveis Clyfton be co[m]mond w[i]t[h] all by myne executours towching such stuff as syr Ewan p[ar]son of Wolverton and other my serv[a]ntes had awey from hyr place and she to be delt w[i]t[h] therin and Answerid acording to goode right and conscience And I will in no wyse that the Nonnes of Blakborough be hurt in such Londes of theires as Lieth w[i]t[h]in the Roche Fenne of Myddylton which I late closid Also I will that Syr Jamys Molaynes and Emson late Attorney of the Duchie of Lancastre be co[m]mond w[i]t[h] And that it be sene if so be that I have occupied bradon w[i]t[h]out good Right that myn executours se the contentacion and Refo[ur]myng therof acording to right and conscience And I will that thadvowson of the parissh church of Bewdeley Remayne the Patronacion therof to the right heires of my lord my fadre Theym to present to the benefice whan it shall fawle voyde an able preest to pray for the sowles of my seid Lord my fadre my Lady my modre my brother S[ir] John me and all Cristen sowles Also I wull that Wyttyngton College of London have a somme of money to pray for my soule and myn executours see that such tythes as I owt to have made be Answerid in the moost behofefull wyse for my sowle Also I will that Tybold my barbo[ur] have v mark And I will my s[er]v[a]nt Jamys [blank] have xls Also I make myn executours the Bisshop of Lincoln Chaunceler of Englond the bisshopp of Worcestyr / Husy the Chefe Juge of the Kinges benche / Bryan the chefe Juge of the Comyn place Willi[a]m Tunstall Robert Poynz Richard Hawte Willi[a]m Catesby Andrew Dymmok and Thom[a]s Thorysby To which all And at the Lest to thre of them I geve full auctorite and power And prey them at the Reverence of J[esus] to see this my will may be fulfillid Over this I besech humbly my Lord of Gloucestyr in the Worshipp of Cristes passhion and and for the meryte and wele of his sowle to Comfort help and assist as sup[er]visors for very trust of this testament that myn executours may w[i]t[h] his pleasur fulfill this my Last will which I have made the day aboveseid In wittenes Syr Thomas Gower Knyght Willi[a]m Tunstall Doctor Lovell Syr John Esingwold vicar of Shyryshton Syr Willi[a]m Teysedale Thomas Wawer preestes and Richard Lepton gentylman / My will is now to be buried before An Image of our blissid Lady Mary w[i]t[h] my Lord Richard In Pomfrete And J[esus] have mercy of my soule etc
THE WILL OF RICHARD, THIRD EARL RIVERS
(Source: PROB 11/8. Transcribed/translated by Simon Neal)
In dei nomine amen the xx day of February the yere of our Lord god ml cccclxxxx I Richard Wydevile Erle of Ryvers being in hole mynd Lovid be all myghty god make and ordeigne this my present testament in the man[er] and forme here folowyng First I bequeith my soule to allmighty god and to his blessid moder seint Mary and to all the holy company of heven my body to be buried at seint Jamys Abbey at North[a]mpton in a place made redy therfor It[e]m I bequeith to Syr John p[ar]son of Lee the lesse fetherbed that was there and ij kene of Rede colour Also I will that such hogges that been there quick and dede be sold by the oversight of the Mayor of London and Hugh Pemberton Shreve of London to thentent that the money receyved for them be bestowed abowte the reparacion of our Lady chapell in the seid p[ar]isch church of Lee It[e]m I bequeith to the parissh church of Grafton all such catell as I have at Grafton that is to sey ij oxon v kene ij bolokes to thentent that they shall yerely kepe an obite for my soule that is to sey dirige and Masse of requiem w[i]t[h] the curatt iiij preestes and iiij clerkes w[i]t[h] an heerse and iiij tapers every preest takyng for his wagis vd and every clerk iijd And the residewe that shall comyn of them ov[er] shall goo yerely to the reparacion of the same church of Grafton moost necessary It[e]m I bequeith to the p[ar]issh church of Wylmyngton viij kene that been there to thentent that they shall yerely kepe for my soule an obite dirige and masse of requiem w[i]t[h] the curatt and iiij preestes and iiij clerkes every preest taking for his wages vd and every Clerk iijd And the residew of the seid Catall to goo to the reparacion of the same church moost necessary It[e]m I bequeith to the Roode church a bay mare and ij foolys Also I will that all the evidences concernyng a ward callid Elisabeth Gripon be deliverd to Martyn Hawte and his felowes Fearis for and upon this condicion that the seid Elisabeth wilbe rewlyd after them Item I forgeve all such money as it […] me so that they medill not w[i]t[h] the howse in stony stratford in the which Thomas Edy died this I bought and paid for Also I will that my Lord Thomas Markes Dors[et] be myn exe[cutor] And I will and graunt to hym all such Londes and tenementes as I may geve whersoev[er] they be The residew of all my goodes moveable and unmoveable not bequist I bequeith to the seid Lord Thomas Markes Dors[et] Willi[a]m H[…]wod of Preston and John Pekk if Kyngthorpe whom I make and ordeign myn executours they to execute my seid will in the man[er] and forme above rehersid after an Inventory made of the seid goodes Also I beseche my seid Lord Markes that ther may be as muche underwode sold in the wodys of Grafton as shall by a bell to be teno[ur] at Grafton to the bellys there nowe for a remembrance of the last of the blode Also I beseche the seid Lord that all such grauntes made by my lettyrs patent to theis or to any of them that is to sey Willi[a]m Goddeley Thomas Maynard John Addington John Ware and John Walley for terme of lyfe or for terme of yeres may be confermid and admittyd by hym they to pray for my soule Also I beseche the seid Lord Markes that he will soe to the av[a]ntage of Grafton and conf[ir]me the evidences of the old enheritaunce that I have of it be thought of conscience that thabbot of Seint Jamys shuld have any thing therof I wold that my lord Markes and myn executours wold relese of Shaw Woode the which they have yerely whan it is sold Also I beseche my seid Lord Markes to be goode Lord to thaforseyd Willi[a]m Hartwell in his office of Sausy for he had never non avauntage by me but ever Labo[ur] and payne
Translation of the Probate
The before-written will was proved before the archbishop at Lamehith on the 23rd day of the month of March in the year of the lord 1491 by the oath of William Hertwell, the executor named in this will, who refused to take up the charge of the execution of the same upon himself then and there, and it was approved, etc. And the administration of all and singular the goods and debts of the said deceased was committed to the very powerful master lord Thomas, marquess of Dorset, the executor, named in the said will, in the person of Master John Reed, notary public, the proctor, etc, sworn, etc, well, etc, and concerning a full inventory, etc, before the feast of Holy Trinity next, etc, and also concerning a plain and true account, etc.
THE WILL OF ELIZABETH, QUEEN TO EDWARD IV
(Source: PROB 11/9. Transcribed by Simon Neal)
In dei Nomine Amen the xth daie of Aprill the yere of oure lord gode mlcccclxxxxij I Elsabeth by the grace of god Quene of Englond late wif to the most victoriouse prince of blessed memorie Edward the fourth being of hole mynde seyng the worlde so transitorie and no creature certayne whanne they shall departe frome hence havyng Almyghty gode fressh in mynde in whome is all mercy and grace bequeith my sowle in to his handes beseching him of the same mercy to accept it graciously and oure blessed Lady quene of comforte and all the holy company of hevyn to be good meanes for me It[e]m I bequeith my body to be buried w[i]t[h] the bodie of my Lord at Windessore according to the will of my saide Lorde and myne without pompes entreing or costlie expensis donne there a bought It[e]m where I have no wordely goodes to do the quenes grace my derest doughter a pleaser with nether to reward any of my children according to my hart and mynde I besech almyghty gode to blisse here grace with all her noble issue and w[i]t[h] as good hart and mynde as is to me posible I geve her grace my blesing and all the forsaide my children It[e]m I will that suche smale stufe and goodes that I have be disposed treuly in the contentac[i]on of my dettes and for the helth of my sowle as farr as they will extende It[e]m yf any of my bloode wilbie any of my saide stufe or goodes to me p[er]teyning I will that they have the prefermente be fore any other And of this my present testament I make and ordeyne myne executores that is to sey John Ingilby priour of the Chartour House of Shene William Sutton and Thomas Brente docto[ur]s and I besech my said derest doughter the quenes grace and my Sone Thomas Marques Dorsett to putto there good willes and help for the p[er]forma[n]s of this my testamente In witnesse wherof to this my present testament I have sett my seale these witnesses John Abbot of the Monast[er]y of Sainte Saviour of Bermondesley and Benedictus Cun Doctor of Fysyk Yeven the day and yere abovesaid