The Will of William Barnes of Bosbury, 1615

Summary:  Transcription of the probate copy of the Will of William Barnes of Bosbury dated 26th May 1615 listing as the main beneficiaries his brothers Anthony and Edward, his mother Ann and his sisters Katherine, Mary and Jane. The probate copy is held at The National Archives, Kew reference 11/127.

© Crown Copyright

    In the name of God Amen I, William Barnes, the unprofitable and sinful servant of God in body inclined to sickness but, in the faculties and powers of my soul, perfect and my remembrance not decayed God be praised and magnified for the same and knowing that none have lives pattents of survivance from above as also descending into a serious consideration of the brevity and shortness of this life that besides the easy dissolution of the harmony of the elementary qualities, many accidentally do ?stene come to a final period of their lives, Nam tota hoc vita volut processio quodam et comitatus ad sepulerum quotidie morimus inimicamquis mortem sum foremus, do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following, First I willingly and with a free heart render and give again into the hands of my Lord God and Creator my soul and spirit which of his mere gracious goodness and unspeakable bounty, he freely gave me when he first fashioned me in my mother’s womb assuredly trusting and undoubtedly believing that, of his incomprehensible mercy through the precious blood and merits of his dearly beloved son Jesus Christ my alone saviour and Redeemer, he will receive my soul into his sacred protection and place it in glory amongst the selected angels in heaven. Next I pray and desire that my body might be buried (as it may be) in the cathedral church of Hereford or Worcester unto which church, where I am to be buried, I do give 20s. over and besides there due and right for burial there.

Item I give and bequeath unto 24 poor men that shall be mourners at my burial 24 black frize gowns and 12d. apiece in money. Item I give unto the poor of the parish of Bosbury where I was born, ten pounds to be divided equally by way of dole. Item I give to the poor of the parish of Whitbourne also equally to be divided amongst them at the discretion of the person and churchwardens there for the time being. Item I give unto my natural and wellbeloved mother, Ann Barnes, forty pounds with a featherbed and bolster. Item I give and bequeath unto my sister Katherine twenty pounds with a featherbed and bolster and to other of her children 40s. Item I give unto my honourable good Lord and Master the Lord Bishop of Hereford, unto whom I am which bound, ten pounds in gold and to my northie gad Mlis. ten pounds in gold. Item I give unto my good friend Mr Robert Bennett ten pounds, to Mr Leonard Bennett of Colwall 20 nobles and to his wife my little silver bottle. To Mr William Bennett 40s., to Mr. Edward Bennett 40s., to Mr. Wingfield 20s. and my best riding coat. To John Barten 20s. And to Wm. of the chamber, 20s. and to all the servants that take wages of his 10s. apiece. Item I give unto Mr. Thomas Alcock of Hereford 20 nobles. And to my godson William Clarke 40s. and to my godson William Thackham 40s. To my kind friend Mr. James Lawrence £5. To the poor of the parish of Allhallows in Hereford £5. Item I give to the college of Hereford £20 to buy them a bond and to the college of Worcester £20 for the like purpose.

Item I give unto my sister Mary Barnes a new tustaffeta gown, and to my mother a gown of pure cloth garded with velvet, and to my sister Ann a gown of silk grogoram [grogram]. Item I give unto my brother Robert Barnes and his wife twenty nobles, to my brother Chance and his wife twenty nobles, to my brother Edward’s wife £5, to the good wife Field £3 in Worcester, to the poor of Worcester £10 at the discretion of my executor. Item I give unto my cousin Greene twenty nobles and as many gowns and cloaks as my executor shall think meet, yet not under the number of ten. Item I do herby give, assign and bequeath into my natural brother, Anthony Barnes, whom I hereby make my sole and only executor of this my last will and testament, all that my interest, title and term of years yet enduring in one lease or deed of writing of and concerning the Manor of Overwick, alias Goldenwick, [now Upper Wick] within the County of Worcester, for the which I paid to Edward Hall of Henwick, Esquire, one thousand one hundred pounds, upon condition that the said Anthony Barnes, my said brother shall justly perform, fulfil and accomplish all the legacies and bequests in this my said will specified. Item I give unto him my six oxen. Item I do give unto him my chain of gold and all my bedding, plate, pewter, brass and all other things whatsoever I shall die prized of (except before excepted) hoping he will see me honestly buried in the Cathedral Church of Worcester with some monument upon my grave. I give and bequeath unto him my house in Bystreet but I require my said executor that one Thomas Mason of Hereford my ?hant it at his hands paying unto him for the same £32 for so I bargained with the said Mason and acknowledged assign before the judge but received not money nor sealed the conveyance having no time. Roger Pritchard of Hereford oweth me £20 as by bond appeareth both which sums I give unto my said executor. I owe James Lovell ten pounds. I require my executor to pay him twelve pounds. There be in my late house at Hereford 7 beds of mine, one long chest full of woollen and linen with three pieces of plate and fifteen spoons, another wooden chest full of pewter and brass, and a third full of small brass and a great brass pan, which I wish my executor to look after, and eleven acres of freeland near Hereford which I give unto my said executor. Item I do give unto John Bennett of Hereford £10 who married my kinswoman, albeit there is no pennie [not one penny] named in my wife’s nomination. Item I give unto my sister Jane ££20 and forty shillings a piece to her children besides a feather bed, bolster, two pair[s] of coarse yarn sheets, a brass pot and a pan. Thus being taken ?tardie by the powerful hand of God, I have but briefly set down things hoping my executor will in a more abundant manner dispose hereof knowing that I have left him a very good estate.

So God receive my soul into whose merciful hands I commend my self. This my will is all written with my own hand not able scarce to hold a pen. In witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and seal this present 26th day of May 1615
William Barnes

Witnesses hereunto Leonard Bennett, Robert Bennett, Thomas Forster. Item I give unto my good friend Mr. John Chinn of Hereford £5 praying him to pay the money to my sister Page as it was agreed and to James Lovell I give my lease of the Kings Acre and all my wearing apparel in my chamber at Whitbourne saving my ?livery which I give to Thomas Foster. William Barnes, Robert Bennett the Bailies ?mare is in my chamber at Hereford.

If any question or doubt shall be made hereafter touching the conveyances of my wife’s houses and land conveyed unto me before marriage, I refer my self unto the feoffment and unto Mr. Hoskins who drew the said feoffment and I trust as he shall answer before God he will acknowledge a truth it being interlined with his own hand who is a councillor at law and use Mr. Pye a councillor who perused the deed of feoffment in my trunk at Whitbourne. You shall find in a black box the deeds that concern that matter.

Probate granted 2 May 1616

Transcribed by Barry Sharples, 2013

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