Will of Thomas Rowninge 1625

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Thomas Rowninge was a weaver by trade.  He had a lot of stock which he lists in the Will, being linning (linen) and wolline (woollen cloth) as well as his looms. These items go between his sons Robert and Thomas. Apart from a small legacy to his granddaughter, he gives all the rest of his belongings to his Wife. He obviously contemplates that his sons will carry on his trade, and will support their mother.

In the usual way he starts the Will by stating that he is sick in body but sound of mind (a statement to prevent queries arising after his death) and then by giving his soul to God and his body to the earth. He makes no mention of resurrection or similar matters, so it is possible that he was not strongly religious, although it is possible that this was the view of the person writing the will, and not that of the Testator.

Thomas could not write, and he signed the Will by making his mark.  The person who wrote the Will for him was probably Nicholas Johnson, one of the witnesses.  Note the distinctive way in which the letter 'H' is written, both in the Will and in Nicholas' signature, with a small loop at the top and a long swirling tail.  He also has the habit of running together the letters 'T' and 'H,' so that the combined letters look rather like the letter 'Thorn,' this being an old letter of the alphabet which is still used in Iceland, but no longer in England.  It looks rather like a wicket with the middle stump missing.  Good examples of the 'TH' can be seen in the word 'that' in the Will on both the 9th and 10th lines.

We also have the probate copy of this will, so it has been possible to read some of the more difficult words by reference to this copy (not reproduced here.)


Transcript of the Will of Thomas Rowninge weaver 1625

In the name of God Amen the fift day of February in the yere of the raiyne of our soverign Lord James by the grace of God King of England France and Ireland defender of the faith of the twentieth and of Scotland ye sixth I Thomas Rowningeof Orwell in the countie of Cambridge weaver being sicke in body but whole in minde I praise god for it do make this my last will and testament as followeth First I commend my soule in the hands of Allmyghtie god that gave it me and my bodie to the earth when it shall please god to take me out of this present life and of my goods First I give and bequeath unto Thomas my sonne a flag (?) of eightene of limming and anor of two and twenty of limming and one of fower and twenty yeard (?) of limming and one of thirty of limming  and one of fower and thirty of yeard (?) limming and one of eight and thirty of limming and one of forty of limming and one of five and forty at ele (ell?) of limming and one of two and thirty of wolline and one of twentie of wolline and a newreede (?) to it at my sonne Roberts charge Item I give and bequeath unto Robert my sonne my two lomes (looms) and all things belonging to them and all my thinges  that is not given with all the furniture belong to the shope(?) Item I give and bequeath unto Joane Rowning my sonne Thomas daughter 6s 8d to be paid unto her within two years of my decease Item all the rest of my goodes unbequeathed and given unto Joane my wife whom I make my sole executrix to se my debtes payed my legacies discharged and my funerall performed In witness whereof I have set to my hand


Thomas Rowninge his mark


This being witnessed Nicholas Johnson

John Barton his mark.


This page was added by Martin Grigor on 05/11/2012.

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