Thomas Wagstaff’s Will
· 23 April 2013 · 0 Comments
Ref ABP/W 1789/10 Will of Thomas Wagstaff, Potton, Carpenter, written 23 May 1788, proved 21st April 1789
I Thomas WAGSTAFF, the elder of Potton in the county of Bedford, Carpenter, being weak in Body but thanks to Almighty God of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding Do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following(that is to say), First I give and Devise unto my daughter Elizabeth, the wife of Thomas BAINES, of Potton aforesaid, Carpenter. ALL that my Customary or Copyhold cottage or tenement with the appurtenances situate lying and being in Potton aforesaid and now in the tenure or occupation of John APTHORP holden of the Manor of Potton Much manured[a manor within the parish of Potton]and surrendered by me to the use of this my last will and testament. To Hold the same premises to her my said daughter Elizabeth BAINES and to her heirs and assigns for ever.
I also give and devise unto my other daughter Susanna the wife of John BAINES of Potton aforesaid Wheelwright All that my other customary or copyhold cottage or tenement with the appurtenances belonging to and used with the same situate and being in Potton aforesaid and now in the tenure or occupation of him the said John BAINES also holden of the manor of Potton Much Manured and which I have likewise surrendered to the use of this my last will and testament To HOLD the same premises to her my said daughter Susanna BAINES and to her heirs and assigns for ever. I Also give and devise unto my other daughter Mary the wife of John BELLMAN of Potton aforesaid Worsted Weaver All that my other customary or copyhold cottage or tenement with the appurtenances situate lying and being in Potton aforesaid as the same were late in the tenure or occupation of John BURGIS and now of …..[blank]….also holden of the manor of Potton Much Manured and surrendered by me to the use of this my last will and testament To Hold the same premises unto her my said daughter Mary BELLMAN and to her heirs and assigns for ever. And I do hereby order and direct that the fences belonging to the said cottage or tenement shall stand and remain as they now do and go along with the said premises. And I do hereby also give and devise unto my two sons William WAGSTAFF and Jarman WAGSTAFF All that my other customary or copyhold messuage cottage or tenement commonly called or know by the name or sign of the Fox and Crown Together with the Dovehouse Barns Stables and Outhouses Edifices and Buildings whatsoever yard garden close or pightle of pasture ground and all and singular other the hereditaments and appurtenances whatsoever thereto belonging or appertaining as the same are lying and being in Potton aforesaid and now in my own occupation holden of the Manor of Potton Much Manured and also duly surrendered by me to the use of this my last will and testament And also all that my freehold allotment or piece of inclosed arable land containing by stature measure three acres with the privileges and appurtenances belonging and appertaining to the same lying and being in Windmill Field in Potton aforesaid and now also in my own occupation. And also all other my lands tenements hereditaments and real estate whatsoever and wheresoever not otherwise by me herein before given and disposed of To Hold the said last mentioned messuage cottage or tenement land hereditaments and real estate whatsoever with their and every of their appurtenances unto my said sons William WAGSTAFF and Jarman WAGSTAFF their heirs and assigns for ever as tenants in common and not as joint tenants. I give and bequeath unto my son Thomas WAGSTAFF the sum of five pounds of lawful money of Great Britain to be paid and payable unto him by my Executors hereinafter named by and out of my monies and personal estate hereinafter by me given and bequeathed to them at the end of twelve calendar months next after my decease. I also give and bequeath unto them my said sons William WAGSTAFF and Jarman WAGSTAFF All and singular my household goods chattels and furniture stock in trade cattle stock in the farming business crops of corn and grain And all and every my monies securities for monies debts due and owing unto me And all other my personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever and of what nature or kind soever. To Hold the same and every part thereof unto them my said sons William WAGSTAFF and Jarman WAGSTAFF and to their executors Administrators and Assigns to and for their and each of their respective uses and benefits, They my said sons William and Jarman paying there out all such debts as I shall previously owe at the time of my decease, the above mentioned legacy of five pounds to my said son Thomas WAGSTAFF, the expenses of the probate of this my will and all my funeral charges and other expenses which I do hereby subject and make chargeable with the payment thereof accordingly. And I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint them my said sons William WAGSTAFF and Jarman WAGSTAFF joint Executors and residuary Legatees of this my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all former and other wills by me at any time heretofore made and do publish and declare this only to be my last will and testament In testimony whereof I have to this my last will and testament contained in two sheets of paper to the first sheet have set my hand and to this last my hand and seal this twenty third day of May in the year of our Lord Christ One thousand seven hundred and eighty eight.
Signed Thomas WAGSTAFF.
Witnessed John KEELING William GATWARD, C HINSON.
April 21st 1789 This will was proved on the oaths of William WAGSTAFF and Jarman WAGSTAFF joint Executors who were sworn duly to execute the same and that the personal estate of the Testator did not amount to the sum of £300 Sworn before me Thomas GREGORY Surrogate.
As you read this will you will see immediately that we have a problem. No where in the will is there a mention of a son named John. Wills out of necessity needed to be very thoroughly worded(as indeed this one is). The writing is taken to the very edge of the document so no other information can be added later. Even if John WAGSTAFF, had not been given a legacy, it was normal practice to mention all members of the family leaving them a token sum(sometimes a shilling). This was to ensure that there would be no doubt as to the intentions of the testator, should the will be contested. Very often the person receiving the shilling had already had money or property given to them.