1545 - 1610
In the name of God, Amen, the one and twentieth day of August in the yeare of our Lord God one thousand six hundred and tenne, I Henry Shereman the elder of Dedham in the County of Essex, Clothier, being in good remembrance (the Lord be praysed) do make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament in manner and form as followeth: first I give and bequeath my soule unto Almighty God who infused it into my mortal and corrupt body and hath washed and purged it from all the defilements of sinne originall and actual with the whole punishment therefore due unto me in and by the precious Blood of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and my body to be buried at the discretion of myne Executor.
Item: I give and bequeath unto Susan my wife all that my house wherein I now dwell and the land with the Oadhouse and all the appurttenances thereunto now belonging holding of the Manner of Dedham Hall by estimate 20 acres more or less which I had the surrender of my father, I give them to her during her natural life, and my will and meaning is that my wife shall keep the said houses in good lawful and sufficient reparacons as convenietly as she my during all her said terme and that she make no strippe nor waste upon the pmises and that she leave at the end of her terme in the dwellinghouse the pannes and leads and in the Oadhouse the leads to them and to eyther of them fastened and belonging and yff my sd wife shall not keep the sd houses in repacons as aforesd and shall make strippe and waste upon the sd houses and lands at any tyme above and beyond the valewe of 20s, then my will and meaning is that my son Henry Shearman shall enter upon said houses and lands within two monethes after such default made and then from thenceforth shall pay during her life to the sd Susan yearly the full summe of £16 of lawful money of England at four several times and quarters of the year the accompt for the year and every quarter thereof being made for the first day of the sd Henry Shearman his entrance into and uppon the prmses as aforesd anf that by even and equal porcons the whole sum being divided into 4 parts. Provided that at the full end of every quarter also the sd Henry (or his assigns) shall bring the sd money as aforesd to the then dwelling house of the sd Susan and for everie default thereof whensoever it shall happen to bee shall forfeite to the sd Susan 20s.
Item: After my wifes decease I give and bequeath all the aforesaid houses and lands with their appurtenances with my two taynters unto my son Henry Shearman and his heires forever.
Item: I give and bequeath unto Henry Shearman my sonne the joyned bedstead and the bed on it as it now standeth in the guest chamber and the cupboards in the same chamber and the long table in the Hall with six joyned stooles, to have them after my wife's decease and until then my will and mind is that my wife shall have the use and occupancy of them and after to leave them in ye house to my sonne Henry as aforesd bequeathed and to his heirs.
Item: I give to Susan my wife six of the best of my silver spoones and to Henry my son six other silver spoones of the best next to them before to my wife bequeathed.
Item: I give and bequeath to Susan my wife the summe of three score pounds in lawful English money.
Item: I give more to Susan my wife my tapestrie coverlett, my best silver salt, 8 of my best milch kine, the bedstead in the parlor on which I used to lye with the beds on it and all things thereunto belonging with the cupboard in the same parlour and 2 chest in the same place, the one a Danske chest the other a joyned chest with a little cofer 2 needlewrought cushions in the hall and one silver cup.
Item: I give and bequeath to my sd wife fower seames of rye that is to say 2 seames presently after my death to be delivered and 2 seames more within fower monethes after both by myne Executor.
Item: My will and meaning is that my wife shall have perceive and take everie yeare during her life six loads of wood in and upon the lands at this time to me belonging and in my occupacon-- Provided that she taketh indifferently upon one part as upon another to whomsoever bequeathed and as the wood shall be of most fitt growth for that purpose with ingresse and egresse into all and every parcel of sd lands to fell and carrie the sd six loads of wood as afore bequeathed: also I give unto Susan my wife halfe my hoggs with the halfe of all my household stuffe whatsoever before unbequeathed as halfe of the linnen and draperie, halfe of the brasse pewter and dayrie vessells brewing vessels and other things fitt and needful for house keeping. All the residue of household stuffe and cattells not bequeathed my mynde and will is shalbe equally divided among all my children.
Item: I give and bequeath unto Nathaniel Shearman my sonne the house wherein now William King now dwelleth with the lands thereto belonging called Scotts by estimation 5 acres more or less with the appurtenances to him and his heirs forever upon condicon that he shall pay unto my son Daniel Shearman or his heires the sum of £10 of lawful English money within 2 yeares after my decease.
Item: I give unto Nathaniel Shearman my sonne my broad loome which is now in the occupation of John Orvis of Lawford with the furniture thereto belonging.
Item: I give and bequeath unto John Shearman and Ezekiel Shearman my sonnes all those my lands which were late Doctor Shearman's called the Heckells and Goldings Acres to bee equally divided betwixt them by myne Executors, to them and to their heires forever.
Item: I give and bequeath unto John Shearman my sonne one field called Waylands by estimate seaven acres more or lesse to him and his heires forever.
Item: I give and bequeath unto Ezekiel Shearman my sonne 3 acres of meadow lying in broad Meddowe holding of the Mannor of Dedham Hall and 3 roods of meddowe holding in the Mannors of Over Hall and Neather Hall in Dedham to him and his heires forever.
Item: I give and bequeath unto Edmund Shearman my sonne all my lands holding of Faytes and Wades called by the name of Garlicke feild and Ardley lands and Boremans acre or any other name to him and his heires forever. Provided that my further mynde and will is concerning all and the severall lands to my sonnes John, Ezekiel, and Edmund aforesd bequeathed that if theis my three sonnes John, Ezekiel, and Edmund or anie of them shall lett sett over or sell their lands to them given as aforesd that then they and every one of them shall lett sett over and sell their lands to them given as aforesd to Henry Shearman my sonne if he will at a reasonable rate and price as shall be thought by two men chosen by my cousin Edmund Galloway. But and Yff they or any of them shall otherwise than according to this my meaning will lett sett over or sell the lands aforesd, then my full will and mind is that they and everie one of them making default contrary to my will in this case shall pay unto my sonne Henry Shearman #5 of lawful English money everie one so offending #5 for himself as a legasie to the sd Henry by me given out of those lands. And the sd legacies by them and everie of them to be paid as aforesd within one weeke after the letting setting over or selling the sd lands contrary to this my will.
Item: My mind and will is that my 3 sonnes John Shearman, Ezekiel Shearman, and Edmund Shearman shall enter upon and enjoy their lands given them as aforesd pntly after my decease.
Item: My mind and will is that my 8 acres of land in the Hall field shall be sold within 2 years after my decease to the best advantage and the money received of the same and disposed as followeth.
Item: I first give therof unto Henry Fenne son of Simon Fenne £5 of lawful English money. All the residue of the money which shall remaine of the sale of that land I give equally to be divided amongest my childrens children to be paid within 4 months after the sale of the sd land. And the sd legacies so given unto the sd children to be paid unto their parents in lawful English money the sd parents laying in security to my Executor for their discharge.
Item: I give and bequeath unto Mr. Rogers Preacher of Dedham the summe of £8 of lawful English money to be paid him by myne Exectutor within 4 years after my decease, that is to say 40 shillings a year for 4 years.
Item: I give and bequeath to the increasing of the pores stocke of the towne of Dedham 40 shillings of lawful English money to be paid by my Executor.
Item: I give and bequeath unto Henry Shearman my sonne my woods lying in Ardley that I bought of William Baldwin to him and his heires forever. Condiconally that my sd son Henry Shearman pay or cause to be paid unto my sonne Daniel Shearman or to his heires ye sum of £12 of lawful English money within 6 months after my decease, and also 20s of like lawful English money to be paid by my son Henry Shearman to Phebe Fenne my daughter within 6 months after my decease.
Item: I give and bequeath unto Daniel Shearman my sonne the sum of £20 of lawful English money to be paid by myne Executor within 6 months after my decease to him and to his heirs, the sd £20 as also the above bequeathed £12 to be paid him upon condition that he shall discharge my Executor of the sum of 5 and 20 pounds which he received to use of me and my son in law Symon Fenne deceased for which we stand bound to Mr. Boads as also that he discharge myne Executor of other £20 for which I stand bound with him.
Item: I give unto my daughters in law to each of them 10s to be paid by my Executor.
Item: I give unto Anna Pettfeild of William Pettfeild 40s of lawful English money to be paid by my Executor whithin one year after my decease.
Item: My will and mind is that my Executor shall pay unto Anne Shearman my Brother Doctor Shearman's daughter £5 of lawful English money which was the gift of her Grandfather and in discharge thereof at her full age of two anf twenty years, it was once before paid unto her father's hands yet fearing that she should be voyd of it for want of provision of his part I will that it be paid as aforesaid.
Item: I give unto Mr Dowse of Stratford 10s; to Mr. Richard Ravens Parson of Wattfeild Xs; to Mr Sage Curate of Dedham XXs; to Calvin Humphrey son of Mr Humphrey Scholemayster of Dedham Xs; and to Gilbert Hills my brother in law Xs; all the sd five legacies to be paid within six months after my decease.
Item: I give unto my brother Lawrence of Estrorpe my best cloake. [no record of a brother named Lawrence]
Item: I give upon James Hasset the elder of Dedham 6s. 8d. within 3 months after my decease.
Item: My will and meaning is that my two sons Henry and Samuel Shearman shall sell my 8 acres of land in the Hallfeild to the best advantage of my Children's children as afore bequeated within 2 years after my decease, and my meaning is that the mayne profit which shall arise of the sd land during the sd 2 years shall be paid by them to my sd son Daniel and his heires.
Item: My will and meaning is that the residue of all my goods unbequeathed; my debts and legacies being paid and my funeral charges being answerede both corne cattells and money and all other things whatsoever shalbe equally divided betwixt my children.
Item: My will and meaning is that George Cole the elder William Cole, Edmund Shearman and John Pye shall indifferently divide my goods unbequeathed betwixt my children.
Item: I do ordaine and make Susan my wife my sole Executrix to see this my last Will and Testament performed, and I give unto her that part of the lease of the Rayes. Revoking all other wills formerly by me made, and further I appoint my cousen Edmund Galloway Clerke the supervisor of this my will requiring his helpe in any controversie that any wais by occasion if this my last will and testament may arise betwixt my children or anie of them, and for his paynes I will that he shall have 20s. of lawful English maoney to be paid by myne Execitrix within one year after my decease. In wittnes whereof to these two sheets of paper contayning my last will I have sett my hande and seale the day and yeare above written.
In the presence of John Pye and Henry Young and Thomas Guyan...
Probatum fuit apud Colchester etc Thomas Edwards, Octavo die mensis Sept. 1610, per Geo. Cole Susan rel decd def et Ex duodecimo die Sept 1610 apud Chelmsford- ad Hen. Shearman filius. Consistory Register, 34 Hamer [County Of Essex, England]. (SG p170; DPS p14).
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