Will of John Godfrey 1659

"My will is that she my said Wife and sonn John shall peaceably and lovingly live together and enjoy the house wherein I now live"

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Will of John Godfrey 1659' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Will of John Godfrey 1659' page
This Will is written in beautifully clear handwriting, so it is an excellent one for you to try out your skills in reading script from the Cromwellian period. Remember that a long 's' looks like the modern letter 'f,' and that a capital 'C' looks like three quarters of a circle with a cross on it. There is a good example in the first line of the last paragraph, where it reads "This Will and Codicil etc"

Transcription:  The Will of John Godfrey 1658.

In the name of God Amen I John Godfrey the Elder of Orwell in the Countie of Cambridge yeoman being sound in mind and of perfect memorie but weake in body and considering the uncertaintie of this ffrayle life Doo make this my last Will and testament in manner and forme following In primis I bequeath my soule into the hands of Almightie God hoping to be saved only upon the account of my deare Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ my bodie to be buried at the discretion of my Executour hereafter mentioned Item my will is that all my children doo carrie and behave themselves as Dutifull and obedient children to theire loving Mother Joane Godfrey my loving Wife whome with my eldest sonne John Godfrey I joyne ??? my Sole Executors of this my last Will Item my will is that she my said Wife and sonn John shall peaceably and lovingly live together and enjoy the said house wherein I now live with all my copyhold Land excepting the land given to my sonne Clement lying and being in the parish of Orwell aforesaid with all my Goods and Chattells they jointly paying the Legacies here aftermentioned Item I give to my ??? and sonne Clement Godfrey a cottage with the croft adjoining thereto with two acres of coppiehold land belonging to it lying and being in Orwell aforesaid ?to William Barton Item I give unto my said sonne Clement all my free land in Orwell according to common Estimation three acres Item I give to him Twentie pounds to be paid within Two yeares after my decease to be paid by my wife and son John Joyntly Item I give him the browne Colt and this is in full of his portion Item I give to my daughter Mary Twentie pounds within one yeare after my decease to be aid by my said Executors I give to her the Table with Eight joint Stooles which was bought by mee with the monie given by my ???? Mother Item I give her the bedd and bedding belonging belonging to it which she lies in which is in full of her Childs portion Item I give to my daughter Mathew Tenn pounds which is her portion Item I give to my daughter ? Jibell Twenty pounds which is her portion Item I give to my daughter Elizabeth Twenty pounds which is her portion my will is that my daughters Jibell and Elizabeth shall be paid their portions when they are one and Twentie yeares of age Item I give to my daughters Joane and June which are my youngest to each of them Twentie pounds to be paid att the age of one and twentie yeares Item I give to the poore of Orwell Tenn shillings g to the discretion of my Executors all the rest of my goods and Chattels I give unto my deare Wife and to my oldest sonn John Godfrey whome I make joint and sole Executors of this my last will and Testament In Confirmation of the premises I have putt my hand and seale This Two and Twentieth day of March in the yeare of our Lord one thousand six hundred Fifty and Eight the word excphing the Land given to my sonne Clement were interlined before the sealing hereof John Godfrey his marke in the presence of Willoughby West William Calcott his mark

 

This Witnesseth that the meaning of this my Will is that my Wife and son John shall hold the house and grounde within mentioned together during the naturall life of my Wife and that my sonn John shall have them after her decease to him and his heires for ever and that my sonn Clement shall have the house and grounds hereby bequeathed to him To him and his heires for ever and that my Wife and my sonn John shall ???? and provide necessaries for my Fower youngest Daughters ????? severall portions shall become due and payable And in Testamonie thereof I have hereunto sett my hand this Twentie ???? of March One thousand six hundred fiftie nine And my will further is That my sonne Clement shall have my Lease and Grounds I hold of Richard Adams as the Grounds are new sowne and the Corne growing thereon during my whole Terme John Godfrey his Marke soe witnesseth Ambrose Benning Thomas Caldecott his marke

Commentary.

You will notice that one of the sons of John Godfrey is Clement Godfrey. There is mention of a Clement Godfrey in the Hare Map of Wimpole Parish, which was prepared in 1638. Clement was a substantial landholder at that time, with 83.9 acres to his name, held in 104 different parcels of land. This could be the son of the Testator, but it is more probable that the Wimpole Clement Godfrey was the father, or other close relation, of the Testator having regard to the dates and the probable ages of the Clements concerned.

 

 

 

 

 

This page was added by Sue Miller on 17/05/2020.

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