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Help and advice for Clayhanger: Will of Thomas Stone 1660

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Will of Thomas Stone, Husbandman of Clayhanger, Devon

Proved 17 Jul 1660

© Crown Copyright

PROB 11/299, Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Nabbs Quire Numbers: 106 - 160

Transcribed by John C. Stone II

In the name of God Amen The
Eighteenth day of January in the yeare of our Lord God One thousand six hundred Fifty ~
and eight I Thomas Stone of Clayhanger in the County of Deavon Husbandman being ~
sicke of body but of perfect memorie praised bee God revoakeing all former wills by mee made ~
[5]to bee void and of now effect Doe make this my last Will and Testament in manner and ~
Forme Following First I bequeath my soule into the handes of god my maker [and ?]
                                                                                                                                   And

And Redeemer and my body to bee buried in the Churchyard of Clayhanger Impr[imis] ~
I give to two weomen To shroud mee foure shillings a peece and to two others to Fetch the ~
Beere and carry it home againe Six pence a peece Item I give to everyone of the Ringers
of my knill? foure pence a peice according to the Custome of the parish and in good will I give
[5]more to them eighteene pence apeice Item I give for makeing of my grave foure pence according
to the Custome of the Parish and more to the same partie two shillings Item I give to two ~
Weomen that shall bring home the cloathes used about my buriall and wash them three shillings
and foure pence a peice Item I give to two weomen that doe most attend mee in my sickness
twenty shillings a peice and to a boy to attend mee in their absence tenne? shillings Item I give
[10]foure poundes six shillings and eight pence to bee distributed giveing every poore person that ~
shalbee at my funerall foure pence and if any part of the aforesaid sume of Foure poundes ~
six shillings and eight pence shall not then bee Distributed I give the Remainder of such ~
sum[m]e to the poore of Clayhanger that shall come to the Charnell? table there to bee distributed
by my Executrix or his assignes within one moneth next after my decease Item I give to ~
[15]eight persons that shall carry me to Church thirteene shillings and foure pence Item I give [the?]
[to] Elizabeth Bonner the wife of Thomas Bonner and to Robert Thomazyn and Adam?
Nutcombe twenty shillings a peice Item I give for a Coffin tenne shillings Item I give Mary ~
Southell the wife of Richard Southell two poundes tenne shillings if she bee liveing at my
Decease Item I give Elizabeth Younge Daughter of Nicholas Younge of N?utcombe two pounds
[20]tenne shillings Item I give to the Church of Clayhanger forty shillings to bee distributed by
Mrs Christian Nutcombe in some Ornament as she shall thincke Fitt Item I give Robert
Sinkinge? and Dorothy P?otter if they bee liveing at [the time?] of my decease two shillings six ~
pence a peece Item I give [to] the Minister that shall preach at my my funerall tenne ~
shillings Item I give to Robert L?azcombe thelder liveing in the garden my cloake and
[25]to Henry Chapman if hee shall at my Decease bee liveing at Nutcombe one paire of my
best hose And lastly I give all my cloathes except beforemenc[i]oned to bee Distributed by Mrs ~
Christian Nutcombe to the poore of Clayhanger And I doe alsoe appointe and ordaine ~
Mrs Christian Nutcombe onely to bee my Executrix of this my last Will and Testament And of
all the residue of my goods and Chattells not given and bequeathed And I doe intreate
[30]Richard Nutcombe of Nutcombe gent to bee my Ruler and overseer in trust to see this ~
my last Will and Testament truely performed In wittnesse Whereof I have hereunto sett
my hand and Seale in the p[re]sence of those hereunder written Thomas Stone his marke
Richard Nutcombe John Lecoro? Hugh Hill?./

This Will was proved att London The seaventeenth day of July in the ~
Yeare of our Lord God one thousand six hundred and sixty [...
...] lawfully authorized By the oath of Christian ~
Nutcombe the sole Executrix named in the said Will To whome Administrac[i]on of all ~
and singuler the goods chattells and debts of the said Deceased was graunted She being First ~
Sworne by Com[m]ission well and truely to Administer /

Transcriber's Notes
[The probate paragraph being in English, I have transcribed (almost) all of it. It contains the probate date (17 Jul 1660, about a year and a half after the will was written on 18 Jan 1658/59) and the name of the sworn executrix, Christian Nutcombe. About the last third of the second line and about the first half of the third line of the probate paragraph were crossed out by the register book copyist, using a continuous series of loops through the words. I have represented the deleted text with square brackets and ellipses. Four lines of what I take to be replacement text appear in the right margin opposite the crossed-out words, but so faint as to be difficult to read. I have not attempted to transcribe either the deleted text or the replacement text due to reduced readability and lack of relevance to the information in the will itself.]
[Line numbers at left in italics and square brackets were in neither the original will nor the register book copy from which this transcription was made. They were added during transcription for the reader's convenience.]
[~ represents a similar mark used by the writer to fill out the end of a line, to preclude anyone adding letters or words to the end of the line. Assumed these marks in original will, copied with text.]
[The blank line within the body of the will indicates where the page break occurred in the register book copy from which this will was transcribed. (This will follows the convention of supplying the first word of a following page below the text of the previous page and in or near the right margin of that page. However, in this will the last two words of the first page are crossed out by drawing loops through them. The first word so deleted was clearly 'and', and the second appears to have been a beginning on 'redeemer'. I have represented these deleted words with square brackets around 'and' and a question mark. Since both these words appear at the beginning of the following page, it seems the copyist thought better of his initial attempt.) The second blank line divides the probate paragraph from the will proper.]
[The 'Beere' to which the testator refers in Line 3 of the second page would presumably be spelled 'bier' today.]
[The references to "Ringers of my knill (presumably an alternate spelling of 'knell')" in Lines 3 and 4 of the second page, and still more to the poor coming to "the Charnell table" (I am not absolutely sure of the spelling of 'Charnell') in Line 13 are not understandable to me without more familiarity with burial customs in this part of Devon.]
[Why there is a conflict of gender in the phrase 'Executrix or his assignes' on Line 14 of the second page I do not know, but the words are comparatively clear. Perhaps this mismatch was introduced by the register book copyist in error.]
[In the right margin of the second page of this will, extending over some of the text between Lines 7 and 16, there is a curious dark blot, shaped like a huge reverse letter 'C', or like the ink-covered edge of a right hand. Despite this blot--and because the interior of the 'C' is mostly not blotted--most of the text is still readable. The unfortunate exception is the given name at the right end of Line 16. I have transcribed it 'Adam', but that is a guess based somewhat on my imagination. The name is mostly unreadable, and could be any of several names of four or five letters.]
[Within the lower curve of the reverse-C-shaped blot mentioned above, in the right margin opposite Line 15, a word is written that is most likely 'the'. (It appears more like 'ths', but that makes no sense.) I have inserted 'the' at the end of Line 15, in square brackets to indicate its location in the margin. A two-letter word at the beginning of Line 16 appears to have been either crossed out or blotted. It appears that the copyist attempted to substitute the word 'the' for the blotted-out word by inserting 'the' after the end of the previous line. However, the only word that makes sense in the context is 'to', which word I have supplied, in square brackets to indicate its anomalous status. Perhaps this--and the C-shaped blot--were the end of a long day of copying, or the result of too much good strong English ale?]
[On Line 19 of the second page I have transcribed Nicholas Younge's domicile as 'Nutcombe', despite the unreadable blot with which the placename begins. I based my choice on the rest of that name, readable as 'utcombe' and the repeated use of that placename in this will. Due to this copyist's peculiar capitals, I had originally completed this transcription using the placename 'Entcombe', then searched for it on the Internet. The only similar name was 'Encombe', but in Dorset, not Devon. Then I looked at a local map around Clayhanger, and found 'Nutcombe' north of the village. Longhand lower-case 'n' could equally well be 'u', but it takes a lively imagination to make that capital letter into an 'N'. However, 'N' it must be.]
[To begin Line 22 of the second page, the surname of Robert is in doubt, this time not as to the capital that begins it (clearly 'S'), but as to the relative order and identification of the other letters. Later in the same line, Dorothy's surname is also in doubt, in her case only as to the capital letter which begins it. Later still in the same line, two or three words have been overwritten by the copyist in what appears an attempt at correction; the last of them is clearly 'of', but I have supplied the two words preceding according to my notion of the sense of the passage, rather than my confident identification of the letters comprising the words. Therefore I have placed those two words in square brackets with a question mark, to denote their anomalous status.]
[In Line 23 of the second page I have placed the word 'to' in square brackets because it appears the copyist either blotted it, or attempted to delete it, in the register copy book. Later in the same line, I transcribed the word 'Minister' because it fits the passage, despite the fact that the capital that begins that word is exactly the same 'N', stroke for stroke, as the capital that begins 'Nutcombe' two lines above. 'Ninister' is, so far as I am aware, no English word. Near the end of this same line, the duplication of the word 'my' is present in the register book copy, whether as a faithful representation of the original will or an error by the register book copyist, I have no means to determine.]
[The surname of the second witness on the final line of the body of the will is quite likely to be other than as I have transcribed it. The only letter of which I am reasonably certain is the second (first lower-case) letter, an 'e'. The copyist, besides the uncertainty of his capitals, has 'pinched' that particular name so that even the lower-case portion is not easily decipherable. The capital 'N' that begins Richard Nutcombe's surname in this same line, by contrast, is totally different from--and much more like our modern 'N' than--any of the other capital 'N's in this will.]