1573 - 1615/6
In the name of God Amen the 20th daye of January anno domini, 1615, I Samuel Sherman of Ardley, Co. Essex, yeoman sick in body but in good and perfecte remembrance thanks I give to God for the same, doe make and ordaine this my testament containing my last will in manner and form following:
First and principallie, I give & bequeath my soule into the handes of god almithtie my maker & to Jesus Christe, my most mercifull redeemer hoping assuredly to have pardon & remission of all my sins through his death & bludshedding & to enjoye a joyfull resurrection. And my body to be buried where it pleases God to call.
And touching that earthly substance wch it hath pleased god to bestowe on me, I doe will & devise in manner followinge, that is to say:
I doe give & devise unto Philipp my well beloved wife all my landes, tenements, houses, edifices, buildings, yardes orchards, gardens wth the appurtenances whatsoever, both free copy or customary sette, lying & being within the parishe of Dedham, in the countie of Essex, or elsewhere, to have & to holde to her the said Philipp & her assigns for & during her natural life, for such endes & purposes as are here after expressed in this my will.
Item: I give & devise to Henry, my sonne all that my copieholde or customary messuage called Hardinges in Dedham afforesaide wth the houses & barnes, yards, orchards, & gardens where Thomas Cole now dwelleth, together wth twoe acres of lande belonging & neere adjoining unto the same mesuages lying on the northe side thereof & twoe fieldes, parcel of the sayde tenement, Hardings, one of them lying next the heath caled Dedham Heath containing by estimation foure acres and the other lying betwene the last recited fields & a close or fielde called Poppes field containing likewise by estimation foure acres more or lesse to have & to hold the saide messuage, landes & buildings & other the premisses wth their appurtenances with the parcells of lande above devised to the sayde Henry, my sonne, to the sayde Henry & his heirs for ever from & after the decease of the said Philipp, my wife.
I give and bequeath unto Phillipp, my sonne, and to Samuel my sonne after the decease of my sayde wife, all that messuage or dwelling house wch was sometyme John Wrenches where I late dwelt in Dedham afforesaide wth all the houses, edifices & buildings, yardes & gardens, barnes, & outhouses wth their appurts to have and to hold to them the sayde Phillipp & Samuel, their heyres & assigns, for ever.
I doe further give unto the sayde Samuel, my sonne, all that orchard lying at the easte end of the barn there wth one close called Poppes field containing by estimation four acres parcell of the lande late John Wrenches & one Close called Bushie field, parcell of the tenement Hardings lying adjoyning to the nether end of the sayde Popes fielde and seven roodes of meadow lying and being in a place in Dedham called coxepittes to have & to hold to him the sayde Samuel and his heyres for ever after the decease of said Philipp my wife.
I give & devise unto my sonne Phillipp, five closes of lande lying together nere the sayde messuage as they are in the tenure & occupation of one Lionel Cheute or his assigns, contayning by estimation eight acres more or less, parcell likewise of the sayde landes late John Wrenches to have & to hold to him & his heyres for ever, after the decease of the sayde Philipp, my wife. Provided always that if it happen eyther of my sonnes Samuel & Phillipp to depart this life before he shall accomplishe the age of XXII years and wth oute issue of his body lawfully begotten, then I will that the sayde Henry, my sonne shall have & hold to him & his heyres for ever, after the decease of the sayde Philipp my wife those landes, tenements & hereditaments wch were late the sayde John Wrenches together wth the close called Popes fields & also the sayde acre & three roods of meadolying in Coxepittd aforesayde. And then I give & demise [devise] to the survivor of the sayde Samuel & Phillip my sonnes & his heyres for ever all those lands, tenements & hereditaments wth theyre appurtces before mentioned caled Hardinges, provided likewise that it happen the sayde Henry my sonne to depart this life before he shall accomplish his age of XXII yeres and wth oute issue of his body lawfully to be begotten then I give and bequeathe all those landes, tenements & hereditaments called Hardinges aforesayde unto the sayde Samuel, my sonne & his heyres for ever as he should have had the same if he had survived his brother Phillip. And then I will also that the sayde Phillip, my sonne shall have all those landes, tenements & hereditaments to him & his heyres wch were some time John Wrenches afforesaide, as the sayde Henry should have had & enjoyed the same if the said Samuel or Phillip had departed this life & the sayde Henry had survived.
I will & bequeath to Mary & Martha, my daughters to eyther of them the sum of X £4, of lawful English moneye, when they shall accomplish their ages of XXI yeres.
And I will & bequeath further unto the sayde Philipp my wife, all those my goodes & cattalls, householde stuffe moveable & unmoveable, corn, cattell, money, plate & leases whatsoever the better to enable her (wth the profit of the sayde landes & tenements beforementioned) to paye my debtes my legaceys & to bring up my sayde children in good & decent manner. But if it should happen the sayde Philipp my wife to depart this life before all the sayde children shall accomplishe the full age of XXII yeres, that then I will my other executor mentioned in this will shall enter uppon all suche landes, tenements & hereditaments as those children should have & enjoye (by virtue of this my will) whiche at the tyme of the decease of the sayde Philipp, my wife have not accomplished theyre sayde ages of XXII yeres. And my sayde other executor to hold & enjoye the same & take the issues & profits of them & every of them until they, my children shall severally come to their sayde ages of XXII years for the better perforamce of this will & bringing up of so many of my sayde children, as shall be then under the sayde age of XXII yeres.
And of this my presente last will & testament I make and ordeyne the sayde Philipp my wife & John Uppeheire of Dedham, my brother in lawe, my executors, whome I desire to see this my will performed in all thinges as I have reposed my trust in them.
I give to the poor of Ardley XVs.
Item: To Mr John Rogers, of Dedham XXs to be payde & delivered to them by my executors wth in convenient time after my decease.
Im witness whereof hereunto I have sett my hande & seale & do publishe this for my last will & testament, revoking all former wills whatsoever in the presence of us-- Rob't Warde, Henry Sharman, John Ward, Ezekiel Sherman, George Hudson.
I do allso appoynte my wellbeloved friend, Nathaniel Hecksor, of Ardley, yeoman, overseer of this my will and testamente.
(signed) Samuel Sherman ( ) his mark
Dated January 20, 1615: Proved, March 2, 1615. Arch. Colchester 1585-1614, Cooke 31 [County Of Essex, England].(SG p177; DPS p19).
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