Will of Richard Barnard 1685

"my body I commend it to the Earth to be buryed in Christian and Decent manner not doubting of the raiseing of it again at the Generall Resurrextion by the Might and power of God"

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Will of Richard Barnard 1685' page

Commentary.

Here is a very typical Will of the period; Richard giving his soul to his maker, his body to be buried, and his house and belongings to his Wife Tomazin for her lifetime and then to his son Richard, he to pay his sister Elizabeth Adams a cash sum (possibly tenn pounds - it is hard to read.)  

The Testator could not write his own name, so made a mark and used a seal.  It looks as if, from the general layout and wording of the document, it was written by  a trained lawyer, or perhaps the bailiff of John Wootton.  John appears as witness in several wills of the period. He lived at Malton, and in another Will is described as "Gent," which is indicative of quite a high social status.

Photo:The Chicheley estate map of Orwell 1686. Barnards Homestall and Barnards Close are shown just below the mound on Lordship.

The Chicheley estate map of Orwell 1686. Barnards Homestall and Barnards Close are shown just below the mound on Lordship.

There is a property marked "Barnards" on the Chicheley Map of Orwell dated around 1686, and the same property is still called Barnards today. There is a lot more information on the house and its contents here.

Several other wills, presumably from the same family, are available on this site. There is an extensive Barnard family tree at http://www.geni.com/list/index?focus_id=6000000007386189740

It would appear that Richard lived on after making his Will for some time.  We have an Inventory taken in 1693, presumably relating to the property of this testator.

Photo:Barnards today

Barnards today

[There is in fact a mention of a Richard Barnard (married to Elizabeth Barron) in some Wimpole papers, where Thomas Barron of Wimpole, blacksmith, left his house to Richard and Elizabeth in 1691. In 1694, the house in question was sold on to the Earl of Radnor. See 'Wimpole: silent voices and deserted homes' produced by the Cambridge Archaeology Field Group. The list of Probates in the Canterbury Registry shows a Probate grant in respect of Richard Barnard dated 1694, which tallies well with the date of the house sale.]

Transcript of the Will of Richard Barnard 1685

In the name of God Amen!  This second day of March in the yeare of our Lord 1685.  I Richard Barnard Gent. of Orwell in the County of Cambridge husbandman, being in much payne and Miserye but in perfect Mind and Memorie, thanks be given to God theirfore, doo make and ordaine this my last will and Testament in manner and forme following, first and principally I give my soule into the hands of God who gave it mee, and my body I commend it to the Earth to be buryed in Christian and Decent manner not doubting of the raiseing of it again at the Generall Resurrextion by the Might and power of God, and as touching my worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give and bequeath as followeth,

Inprimis I give and bequeath my house and all my goods to Tomazin my wife during the terme of her naturall life, and after her decease my will is that my sonne Richard shall have and injoye it that is to say my house to him and his heires for ever he paying his sister Elizabeth the wife of William Adams the sum of ten pounds within on yeare after my wives decease and I doo make wife my sole Executrix of this my last will In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seale this second day of March Anno Dom 1685

                                               Richard       X      Barnard

                                                              His  Mark

Sealed and delivered with those

Words (that is to say my house)

Interlined in the presence of

John Wootton

John Howard juner.

Simon Gray

Notice the very distinctive signature of one of the witnesses, John Wootton.  His name appears as witness on many of the Orwell wills of this time, and clearly he was the person who arranged to have them written and completed.  He lived at Malton Farm, and was described as 'Gent,' which was a term of respect used for people of high social standing, or probably in this case having a university degree.  His gravestone is beside the Church door at Orwell, marked 'J W.'

This page was added by David Miller on 26/09/2012.

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