The Will of Susann Cruse of Winkleigh
Proved 10 May 1648
© Crown Copyright
National Archives Catalogue Reference PROB 11/204,
Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Essex Quire Numbers 53-107
Susan CRUSE was the second wife of Thomas CRUSE or CRUWYS, a gentleman of Winkleigh. Thomas, the son of John CRUSE, was baptised in 1595 in Winkleigh. His first wife was Mary or Maria SNOW of West Anstey. A marriage licence was granted to 'Thomas CRUSE of Wembworthy' and 'Mary SNOW of Westancye' on 12th September 1632. The marriage appears to have taken place on 24th September 1632 in the nearby parish of Meshaw. The Winkleigh registers show that 'Maria uxor Thomi CRUSE' (Maria wife of Thomas CRUSE) was buried on 17th March 1642/3. No record has so far been found of Thomas's marriage to Susan but they could not have been married for more than a few years as 'Susanna uxor Thomi CRUSE' (Susanna the wife of Thomas CRUSE) was buried on 23rd March 1647/8 in Winkleigh After Susan's death Thomas subsequently married Mary WOOD née LETHEREN. Mary CRUSE was buried on 3rd June 1654 in Winkleigh. She left a will which has also been transcribed for GENUKI. Thomas outlived all three of his wives. The Winkleigh registers show that 'Thomas CRUSE Gent' was buried on 17th April 1667.
T[estamentu]m Susannæ Cruse
In the name of God Amen whereas I Susann Cruse the wife of Thomas Cruse of Winckley in the Countie of Devon havinge and before my marriage with the said Thomas reserved to myselfe not onlie the use and occupac[i]on of diverse good[es] and Chattles for and duringe my life, but have alsoe good power and authoritie to dispose and bequeath the same and by certaine Instrument in writinge under the hand and seale of my said husband it doth and maie appeare, I doe therefore for the disposeinge of my said good[es] beinge sick of bodie but good and perfect remembraunce thankes bee to God for the same, I make and ordayne this to bee my last will and Testament Revoakinge hereby all former will[es], and bequeath what soever Imprimis I give and bequeath my Soule unto Almightie God And my bodie to Christian buryall in sure and certaine hope of the resurrection thereof unto eternall life And for my worldlie good[es] I give and bequeath in manner and forme followinge: First I give and bequeath to the poore of the parish of Winckley the yearelie summe of fortie shillinges, To bee paid out of my Tenement in Winckly [sic] called Wood Robert[es] duringe soe manie yeares as I have to come and unexpired in the same, And to bee distributed in every yeare on St Johns Daie in Christmas1 by Henry Clarke or his assignes to such poore as the [sic] thinke have most neede thereof. Item I doe give and bequeath the said Tenement of Wood Robert[es] and all my Estate therein unto the said Henry Clarke of Winckly [sic] and his assignes the yearelie payinge the foresaid summe of Fortie shillinges and all other payment[es] and rent[es] com[m]inge out of the same. Item I doe give to my severall Godchildren these severall summes vi[delice]t: 2 To Robert Pecke Fortie shillinges, To Barnard Bowcher Fortie shillinges. Tibbutt Bowchur [sic] Fortie shillinges And to Johanne Bowden Fortie shillinges. To Elizabethe Davye Fortie shillinges, To Susann Hammont Fortie shillinges, To Anthony Burne Fortie shillinges, To John Luxton Fortie shillinges, To John Luxton the sonne of Hanaball Luxton Fortie shillinges And to all the rest of my Godchildren Twelve pence a peece. Item I give to Rowland Clarke Fortie shillinges, To Hugh Bremellcome Fortie shillinges To my servaunt Johane Priston Fortie shillinges, To Robert Squire Tenne shillinges, To Walter Squire Tenne shillinges, To Robert Shelston Tenne shillinges, To Thoamsine [sic] Priston of Bowe sixe poundes. To John Shilston [sic] fortie shillinges, To Richard Roame Tenne shillinges and to his wife Tenne shillinges And to his Sonne Humfrey Roame Twentie shillinges and one Ewe sheepe And to his Daughter Jane Twentie shillinges. Item I give to Edmond Stapledon Fortie shillinges, To Jane Stapledon Fortie shilling[es] To Thomasine Pycke wife of George Pycke Fortie shillinges, To Arthur Vyckery Fortie shillinges, To Elizabeth Luxton Fyve shillinges, To Marie Luxton five shillinges, To Samuell Luxton Fyve shillinges Children of George Luxton To Marie Wood Five shillinges, To Elizabeth Wood five shillinges, To Rachell Wood Fyve shillinges, To Margery Wood Five shillinges Children of John Wood deceased, To Agnes Hole the younger Three shillinges fower pence To Mr Bartholomewe Gidleys wife Two silver spoones, To Margery Luxton Two silver spoones, To Grace Moore two silver spoones, To Mary Heawood two silver spoones, To Marie the wife of Thomas Jefferie one silver spoone To Katherine Penicott one Ewe sheepe, To Sarah the wife of Henry Weynell one Coulte and one heifer, To John Hammont of Broadwood Kelly six silver spoones and one great pann, To Henry Clarke two beddsteed[es] standinge one in the little Chamber at Wood Terrell and the other in the howse beforth the Entrie behinde the Doore, and the Board in the Milkehowse and all the Wooden vessell at Wood terrell. Item I give to Henry Clarke all my panns Except one great pann And all my Platters and podgers3 and fower Crock[es] and fyve Cowes called by the names of Toney4, Lilly, Bury, Speedwell and younge Toney and three heyfers and the Rye in spere ap[er]roe5 and the oates in the Gratten6. Item I give more to John Hammont one Tableboard standinge in the hall to wood[es] terrell, one longe Couffer7 fower beddstedd[es] the Forme and shelves in the hall, All the rest of my good[es] and Chattell[es] whatsoever not formerlie given or bequeathed, I doe give and bequeath unto my deare and lovinge husband Thomas Cruse whome I doe hereby make and ordaine to bee my whole and sole Executor of this my last will and Testament Desireinge him to performe the same, And I desire George Luxton and Thomas Moore to bee Overseers of this my last will and Testament and to see it performed accordinglie And for their paines taken therein I give you Tenne shillinges a peece to bee paid by my Executor. In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale yeven8 the one and twentith [sic] Daie of February Anno Domini One thowsand sixe hundred fortie seaven. This Legacie is to bee paid within one yeare to them or their parent[es]. I give to the poore of the parishe soe manie as take dole9 fower pence a peece. The signe of Susann Cruse. Sealed signed and published in the presence of us Thomas Moore George Luxton Henry Wynell.
Probatum fuit Testamentum suprascriptum apud London coram dilecto Subdito nostro Domino Nathaniele Brent Milite Legum D[o]c[t]ore Curiæ nostræ Prærogativæ Cantuar[iensis] Mag[ist]ro sive Custode l[egi]time constitut[o] Decimo die Mensis Maii Anno Domini Mill[es]imo sexcentesimo Quadragesimo octavo Juramento Thomæ Cruse Mariti dict[æ] Defunct[æ] et Executoris in huiusmodi Testamento nominat[i] Cui com[m]issa fuit administratio omniu[m] et singulorum bonoru[m] Juriu[m] et creditoru[m] dict[æ] Defunct[æ] De bene et fideliter administrand[o] eadem Ad sancta Dei Evangelia vigore Comissionis in ea parte al[ia]s emanat[ur] Jurat. Ex[aminatu]r.
This will above-written was proved at London before our beloved Subject Sir Nathaniel Brent Knight Doctor of Laws Master or Keeper of our Prerogative Court of Canterbury, lawfully constituted on the Tenth day of the month of May in the year of our Lord, One thousand six hundred and forty eight By the oath of Thomas Cruse the husband of the said deceased and the executor named in this will. To whom administration was granted of all and singular of the goods, rights and credits of the said deceased, for well and faithfully administering the same, having been sworn on the Holy Gospel of God, by force of Commission in that part otherwise issued. Examined.
1 27th December. St John the Evangelist (the Divine) has two different days in his memory: 6th May and 27th December, hence the distinction made in the will.
2 Namely or clearly.
3 Possibly an abbreviated form of pottinger or poddenger, a local word for a pudding pot.
4 Possibly an abbreviation of Antoinette or alternatively a corruption of the word tawny. Tawny cows with a reddish-brown colour were traditionally good milkers.
5 Spere ap[er]roe is possibly a place name or the name of a field. There is a large space after the word 'ap[er]roe' with a dot in the middle which suggests that the clerk had problems reading the will and was intending to go back later and fill in the space.
6 A stubble-field, stubble. Also, the after-grass growing in the stubble.
7 Probably coffer. A strong chest or box in which valuables or money were stored.
9 An allowance paid by the overseers to orphans, the aged, the sick and the unemployed. In wills of this period it is more usual to see bequests to 'the poor who take no dole' so perhaps the overseers in Winkleigh were not very generous with their payments!
Acknowledgements: I would like to thank the members of the Latin-L Rootsweb mailing list for transcribing and translating the Latin section of the above will and for helping with the transcription of the will itself. I would also like to thank the members of the Old English mailing list, and in particular Eve McLaughlin, for providing some of the explanations which are included in the endnotes.