Will of Michael Barnard 1640

"I bequeath my soule to god my maker hoping to be saved by and through the merit of Christ Jesus my saviour and redeemer "

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Will of Michael Barnard 1640' page

 

Commentary

Michael Barnard was a victualler and probably lived in the house now known as 'Barnards' in Town Green Road (see photo.) Several other wills of the Barnard family are also available on this website.

He starts the will in the usual form, declaring that he is sound of mind (to avoid arguments on this point after his death) and then bequeathing his soul to God through 'Christ Jesus my saviour and redeemer.'  We can be sure from his use of this phrase that he was a Protestant, since a Roman Catholic would have left his soul into the hands of Holy Mary, or all the Saints, or something of the kind. The Testator must have been comfortably off, for he makes a substantial gift of '£20 to my son Robert Barnard.'  His house has an upstairs and a downstairs ('my bed in the chamber under the soller') [solar], while we know from a later inventory of Richard Barnard (1693) that it has a number of other rooms, and must have been substantially the same size as it is today. There are more details of the house and the inventory here.

Photo:Barnards today

Barnards today

The handwriting is a little difficult to the modern eye.  The letter C in this old hand is little more than a short downstroke like the downstroke of the modern letter 'r,' while the letter H has an extravagant tail under the line but little in the way of a loop above the line.  The name 'Michael' occurs twice in the will, and gives the opportunity to study these letter forms.

Elizabeth, the Testator's wife, could not write at all, and signed the will as witness by making a cross.  It may be significant that King Charles comes in for a special mention in the Will. It is dated 1640, just before the start of the Civil Wars, and perhaps the locals were beginning to take sides. Of course, it may be that the person writing the Will was stating his own views instead of those of Michael Barnard!

There is an extensive Barnard family tree at http://www.geni.com/list/index?focus_id=6000000007386189740. It is worth noting that there was also a Barnard who was the Vicar at Orwell. He was probably a Trinity man, and when he died in 1643 he was not replaced by Dr. Cheney Rowe, the Rector. This gave rise to complaints against Rowe, which are documented in 'The Cambridgeshire Committee for Scandalous Ministers 1644-45' published by the Cambridge Records Society Vol 24. A William Barnard, son of the deceased Vicar, testified to the Committee. William was born in 1617 in Orwell and he went on to Trinity  in 1634. His relationship to the other Barnards in Orwell is not clear.

Photo:The cellar steps at Barnards. A victualler would have kept his goods cool in the cellar.

The cellar steps at Barnards. A victualler would have kept his goods cool in the cellar.

 

Transcript of the Will of Michael Barnard 1640

In the name of god amen I Michael Barnard of Orwell in the County of Cambridge victualler being sicke in body but of perfect mind and memory praise be to god doo make this my last will and Testament first I give and bequeath my soule to god my maker hoping to be saved by and through the merit of Christ Jesus my saviour and redeemer and my bodie to be buried in Christian burial for my worldly goods I dispose as followeth first I give and bequeath unto my sonne Robert Barnard twenty pounds of lawful money of England to be paid him within the space of fower years after my decease and also all my wering apparel Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Barnard my bed now standing in the chamber under the soller wherein I doe now lye together bedding thereunto belonging and also the pressecubbord in ye same chamber to be given her when she shall attain to the age of twenty and one years Item I give unto my daughter Ann Barnard Five shillings to be paid her upon her upon she doe come the age of twenty and one years Item all the rest of my goods I give and bequeath to Elizabeth my wife my debts being paid whom I doe make and ordayne Executrix of this my last will and Testament In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale this laste (?) daie of Maie in the fifteenth yere of the Rayne of our Soverayne Lord Charles by the grace of god King of England Scotland France and Ireland defender of the faith etc 1640

 

                                                                        The mark  X  of the said Michael Barnard

 

Witness John Wickes(?)

And Elizabeth Barnard

her X mark

 

 

Executurem(?) 13th Juin Ano Dm 1640

 

This page was added by Sue Miller on 28/09/2012.

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