Will of John Elford or Elforde, Gentleman of Sheepstor
Proved 31 October 1583
© Crown Copyright
PROB 11/66/87, Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury
In the name of god amen. The Tenthe daye of Januarye in the yeare of oure Lorde god one thousaunde fyve hundred eightie twoe And in the fyve and twentith yeare of the raigne of oure soueraigne Ladye Elizabethe etc. I John Elford th'elder of Shippistor in the Countie of Devon gentleman beinge sicke of bodye, but whole of minde and perfecte of remembrance (Lawde and praise be to almightie god) make and ordeyne this my testament conteyninge herein my full and last will in manner and fourme followinge. ffirste I commende my soule vnto th'almightie god my maker Redemer and Savioure, And my bodye to be interred and buried in the soule Ile of the Churche of Sheppistor commonlye called Elfordes Yeelde a litle before my p[rese]nt tyme, that I didd vse to sett in. Imprimis [First] I giue and bequeathe to the poore people of the saide parrishe ffourtie shillinges to be paide and distributed by my executrixe hereafter named or her assignee yearelye, as followeth Videlicet [viz=that is to say], The ffrydaye nexte before Easter daye commonlye called Goodfrydaye three shillinges fowre pence duringe the space of twelve yeres in full paymente of the saide ffourtie shillinges. Item I give and bequeathe to ye poore of the p[a]rishe of Mevye Tenne shillinges. Item to the poore of the parrishe of Walkhampton Tenne shillinges to be distributed presentlye after my deceasse accordinge to the discression of my executrixe. Item I give and bequeathe to every of my godchildren twelve pence . Item I gyve and bequeathe to my Cosin Nicholas Watts ffourtie shillinges. Item I give & bequeath to my brother in Lawe William Stockeman a heiffer, And to my sister his wife sixe ewes Item I give and bequeathe to my brother Thomas Elford one of my best coultes. Item I give to my brother Hughe my other best colte. Item I give and bequeathe to my sonne John One hundred poundes of good and Lawfull money of England to be paide to suche of my ouerseers as shalbe hereafter in this my present will appointed to th'use of the saide John my sonne within one half yeare next after my deceasse. Item I giue and bequeathe to William my third sonne One hundred poundes of good Lawfull money of England Likewise to be paide to my saide Ouerseers to th'use of my saide sonne William within one half yeare next after my deceasse, And my meaninge will and intente is, that if either of my saide twoe sonnes happen to dye before he shall accomplishe the age of sixteene yeares, then th'other to haue his portion here given and Lymyted. And if theye bothe happen so to dye, Then my eldeste sonne Walter to haue theire portions and to be thare executor. Item I give & bequeathe to Walter Elford myne eldest Sonne my best silver salt my best siluer cuppe, a dosin of my best silver spoones and my greatest brasen pott or crock to be delyvered to the saide Walter when he shall haue accomplished th'age of one and twentie yeares, In the meane tyme my will is my executrixe to haue th'use and occupation of the same, But if she marrie, then to putt in band to my Ouerseers for the aunsweringe of it at the tyme apoynted. Item I give and bequeathe to my Vncle Thomas Elford and to my brother in Lawe Robert Moore twoe hundred poundes of good and Lawfull moneye of Englande to be paide to theme within three yeares nexte after my deceasse by my Executrix hereafter named, But yf shee marrye againe within the sayde twoe yeares, Then I will the same moneyes to be payde over to theme wthin one yeare next after my deceasse. Item my will is that my Mother Margerye Elford shall have and enioye duringe her lyffe her Chamber whiche she nowe hathe at Langstone wth other her necessaries there accordinge to the last will and testament of my ffather : And further my executrix hereafter named shall fynde and prouide for my saide Mother sufficient meate and drinck duringe her life, so she will take it at Langestone, or yf my Executrix give ou[r] howse there, then to allowe her reasonably and sufficientlye towardes her Dyett and fyndinge elsewhere (excepte other order be taken herein by my overseers. The Residue of all my goods and chattells not before given nor bequeathed devised nor willed, I give and bequeathe to Elizabeth my wife whome I make and ordeyne my sole executrix of this my Laste will and Testament, Reposinge in her myne onelye trust and confidence for the faythfull execution of the same accordinge to the true meaninge and intente of this my will before expressed. ffinallye I doe by this my present Testament constitute, and appointe as foresaide Vncle Thomas Elford, Roberte Moore, William Stockeman & Thomas Elford my brother to be my Overseers to this my will and Testament in everye thinge to be perfourmed, And my executrixe to please theme for theire paines In witnes whereof I the saide John Elford haue herevnto subscribed my name the daie and yeare firste specified. P[er] me Johan Elford. Witnesses at thee sigeninge and sealinge hereof Thomas Elford Thomas Snellinge Thomas Elford Junior Chr[ist]ofer Martin. /
Memorandum That the fyve and twentithe daye of Auguste Anno vicesimo quinto Elizabethe Regine nuc [in the 25th year of Queen Elizabeth] I the aforenamed John Elford Doe by this present Codicil annexed to my laste will and testament Doe for the furder [further] p[re]ferment and advancem[en]t of William my younger sonne give graunt will and deuise vnto the saide William, all my Messuages Landes and Tenementes in Shipsstor nowe in the tenure or occupacion of John Stutworthe for terme of his lyffe, To haue and to houlde the same premisses with th'appurtennaces vnto th'afforesaid William my sonne for and duringe the full ende and terme of ffowerscore and Tenne yeares yf the saide William so Longe happen to lyve. The saide terme to commence and beginne ymmediatly from and after the daie of my deathe. Yealdinge and payinge therfore yearelye to my heyres and assignes Tenne shillinges of lawfull monney of Englande at fower daies termes of thee yeare moste vsuall, And furder [further] to repaire the premisses. In witnes wherof I the saide John Elford haue herevnto sett my seale in the presence of those whose names are here vnder written, the daie and yeare abouesaide. Thomas Elford, Thomas Snellinge, Thomas Elford Junior, Christopher Martyn, Robert Moore.
Probatum fuit suprascriptum testamentum vnacum codicillo annexo apud London. coram venerabili viro mag[ist]ro Willimo Drury Legum Doctore curie prerogatiue Cantuarie[nsis] commissario etc. Ultimo die mensis Octobris Anno Domini mill[es]imo quingentesimo octogesimo tertio. Juramento Johannio Burroughe notarij publici procuratorio Elizabethe Relicte et executricio etc Cui commissa fuit administracio Bonorum etc De bene etc Jurat. /
Translation: The above-written will with codicil annexed was proved in London before the venerable Sir William Drury knight, Doctor of Law, in the prerogative court of Canterbury, commissioner, etc., on the last day of the month of October in the year of our Lord one thousand five hundred eighty-three, sworn before John Burroughe Notary Public by Elizabeth the relict and executrix, etc., to whom administration was granted of the goods, [rights and credits] etc., [sworn on the Holy Gospels to] well [and faithfully to administer the same].