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Help and advice for Gloucestershire: The Stratfords

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The Stratfords
By Gerald H. Stratford.

Chapter 7. Interesting Letters, Will, Notes and Bills.


Document found in the papers of John Stratford of Swindon, Cheltenham.
Mary Stratford was born August ye 12th and buried September ye 3rd 1695.
Elizabeth Stratford was born November the 15th 1696
Mary Stratford was born December the 24th 1698
John Stratford was born January the 3rd 1700
Frances Stratford was born March the 13th 1702
Thomas Stratford was born September the 4th 1706
Richard Stratford was born August the 17th 1708.

Document found amongst the papers of John Stratford of Milham Post.
Navy Office Crutchet Fryers.
October 2nd 1765
Merlin Sloop, Richard Stratford No 21.
Entered April 7th 1763 ab
Dyed November 28th 1763.
Wages £5. 19s paid December 17th 1764 to his mother, Susannah, Extrux.
Letter found in the documents of John Stratford of Milham Post.
London April 2nd 1752.
Honourable Sir.
I have now the pleasure to acquaint you that both your sons are recovered of smallpox, and must beg you to acquaint my Brother of it, with my love to him, and I should have wrote to him but thought it might be a surprise as he had not had it, my wife joins me with wishing you the compliments of the day, and Duty to my mother, and love to Sister and all friends. I hope to have the pleasure of hearing from you soon.
I am Sir, Dutiful Son.
Richard Stratford.

Letter found in documents of John Stratford of Milham Post.
London October 15th 1752.
Honourable Sir.
I this day received a second agreeable Letter from my Brother which gave me a great satisfaction in hearing that you had some hopes of Recovering. I heartily congratulate you on it, it is also a Great pleasure to me to think I bear a share in your thoughts and that you are so kind to order my brother to acquaint me of your health which favour I hope you will continue to me. Jany sends some things to her mother so could not miss such an opportunity of Writing to you. My wife joins me in Duty to my Mother and you and I to Sister and Mr. Beal and Sister, when you see them and Returns my Brother a Great many thanks for writing.
I am Sir.
Your Dutiful Son,
Richard Stratford.

Receipt found in the papers of John Stratford of Milham Post.
February 13th 1765. then received of my Master John Stratford, the sum of Six pounds for one Year's wages due Michaelmas last. Received in full by me John Alder.

Letter found in the papers of John Stratford of Milham Post.
Dear Brother.
My father has been with me this week on purpose to talk with me concerning the great affair you have now in hand, not doubting that she deserves the character you give her, we doe advise you to proceed on your courtship and if you succeed I wish you all the happiness that a married state can afford you. My wife joyns with me in Love to your Self and Family. I am your Loving Brother.
John Stratford.
Swindon January 21st 1743.

Letter found in the documents of john Stratford of Milham post.
Dear Cousen.
According to what I promised and you might expect, Ii now acquante you of one thing fitt for you to know relating to the Sea Officer for ye son John. I believe you are willing to putt him to the most considerable of the Marine way, which if you will doe it will require one hundred and fifty pounds or there abouts this being the Leading Amount. Twas necessary you should know it before I can make any further proceeding thereon, and according as you shall Direct me I shall gow on, and as occasion offers from time to time shall write you of what occurs upon that business, assuring you I shall upon all opportunities express my willingness when you and your families my service to and all my good concern. Wishing all of you health and prosperpitie wich is the needful' at present from.
My Dear Cousen.
Truly effectionate kindred and servant
Henry
15th January 1684.
There is a note inserted in the margin reading thus.
I suppose you have heard from Mr Christopher Guise, I gave your command to him.

Letter found in the documents of John Stratford of Milham Post.
London 25th December 1755.
Honourable Madam.
My Pappa ordered me in his name to beg your Acceptance of a Sugar Loaf, which he sent this day by Marie, with the Compliments of the Season to my Uncle and you to whomever all joyn in Love and Dutty. I beg you will excuse this scrall, and if you will favour me with an answer shall Esteem in Honour conferred on. Madam, Your Obliged Servant
and Duttyfull Nevew
Richard Stratford
Pray make the Comp't of this
Family to our Friends at
Cheltenham and Stoak.

A Document found amongst the papers of John Stratford of Milham Post and Swindon.
I John Stratford of Milham Post in the County of Gloucester, Gent, make and publish this my Codicil to my last Will and Testament, in Manner following, to wit, whereas in and by Last Will, I have given to my Daughter Frances Stratford, the sum of four hundred pounds, now, I do hereby order and declare that my Will is that the said sum of four hundred pounds shall not be paid unto my said daughter Frances in case she shall Marry with any man with out the consent and approbation of my son John Stratford, by writing for that purpose under his hand and Seal and in case of my said daughter shall think fit to Marry without my said sons consent then instead of the said Legacy of four hundred pounds, I give unto my daughter Frances the interest of the said sum only during her life to be paid her at equal quarterly payments after the halve of four pounds and ten shillings for one hundred pounds by the year by my said son John Stratford to whom I give the said principal sum, and it is my desire that this present Codicil be annexed to and part of my Last Will and testament to all intents and purposes in witness whereof I have here unto put my hand and seal the sixth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and forty seven.
Signed Sealed and Published by the said
John Stratford the Testator as a Codicil.
To be amended to his Will in the presence of us Jul Applegarth, S'M Heaveny W'M
Simon

The following Document was found amongst the papers of John Stratford of Swindon and Milham Post.
An Agreement made the 18th day of June 1693, between George Stratford of Sudeley in the County of Gloucester, Gentleman of the one part and John Stratford, Son and Heir Apparent of ye said George Stratford of the other part.

The said George Stratford in consideration of the Sum of six hundred and seventy and five pounds to be payed in manner following. Doth cordial and give to convey all his rights, Title and jurisdiction in all his messuages, land and tenancy lying in Barton upon Heath, in the County of Warwick, and also one moiety of Milham Post and the ground there adjoining, lying in Hailes, in the said County of Gloucester, as the said are divided. To hold the same for ye said John Stratford, his heir, as after, for ever free from Encumbrances, made by him the said George Stratford.

In consideration where of the said John Stratford doth agree to pay in silver unto ye said George Stratford the sum of five hundred and seventy five pounds at the Sealing of the said Conveyance, and one hundred pounds to Thomas Stratford the younger son of the said George Stratford in the finish of the expiration of his Apprenticeship. The Conveyance to be Sealed on or before the thirtieth Day of August now next ensuing and to be paid in such manner as the Council of ye said John Stratford shall usually wish. It is also agreed that the said John Stratford shall receive the rent, Martinmas and Michaelmas.
Sealed and Delivered in the presence of.
James Chynne George Stratford.
R. Freeman John Stratford,

A Transcript of the Will of Eleanor Sankey, the widow of Sankey, and also the widow of Robert Lawrence of Sevenhampton, the daughter of John Stratford of Farmcote. The Will was made in 1605, and proved in 1606.

In the name of God Amen. I Eleanor Sankey, of Sevenhampton in the County of Gloucester, widow, being sick in body, but of good and perfect memory, praise be to God, do ordain, and make my last Will and Testament in manner and form following. First, I bequeath and commend my Soul unto Almighty God, my Creator, and to Jesus Christ, his only son, my redeemer and saviour, by whose Merits a aspiration, trust and believe only to be saved. Also I bequeath my body which is but earth, to be buried in the Chancel of the Parish Church of Sevenhampton. Item. I give unto the poor people of the Parish of Sevenhampton, forty shillings to be distributed at the discretion of my Executor, here after named. Item. I give and bequeath unto my son William Lawrence fifty pounds of lawful money, and also all such plate and other household stuff as are in his custody. Item, i give to William, his wife my goblet of silver gilt. Item. I give unto my God daughter Margaret Lawrence, my son William, his daughter ten pounds of lawful money. Item. I give unto my son William, his other children thirteen pounds of lawful money to be equally divided among them. Item. I give unto Robert Lawrence, my son fifty pounds of lawful money. Item. I give to my son in law, Carter, a gold ring, of the value of ten shillings. Item. To my daughter Carter, ten pounds of lawful money. Item. I give to my God son Giles Carter, one piece of gold called Portegne. Item. To my God daughter Eleanor Rogers, my silver Gilt Turgine with Cover. Item. To every of my daughter Rogers children, one piece of silver of ten shillings. Item. I give to my God Son Anthony Lawrence son, to my son Anthony ten pounds of lawful money and my half dozen Apostle Spoons. item to every other of my son Anthony, his children one piece of gold of ten shillings, and also to his son Francis Lawrence my silver and gilt spoons. Item. I give to my daughter Eleanor Rogers forty shillings. Item. I give unto Robert Reynolds and his wife two sheep, and my God Son Thomas Reynolds two sheep. Item. I give to Alice Copyn, my servant five pounds of lawful money. Item. I give to my brother Anthony Stratford the moytee or half the money which he owes me for rent. Item. I give unto my brother John Stratford my gold set ring with a white stone. All the remainder of my goods and chattel's unbequeathed, my funeral discharges, my debts and legacies paid I do bequeath and give to Anthony Lawrence my son who I ordain and make sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament, hoping that this Will according to my true intent and meaning, for this my Last Will, truly instantly to be performed. In virtue where of the said Eleanor Sankey, have made this my Last Will and and Testament taken this second day of January in the Year of our Lord, one thousand six hundred and five. And, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord James, by the Grace of God of England, France and Ireland. King Defended of the Faith etc, the Third of Scotland, the nine and thirteenth set my hands and seal in the presence of the persons under written
Eleanor Sankey, her mark
By me, William Lawrence, Robert Lawrence.

The Will of William Stratford of Farmcote, proved October 1685.
In the name of God, Amen. I William Stratford of Farmcott in ye County of Gloucester Esquire, being at present in good health and of a sound and perfect memory pray be to God. Doe make and ordain this my last Will and Testament revoking all other former Wills and Testaments what so ever. Firstly I bequeath my Soul to God that gave here of further resurrection to life and salvation by the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ my only saviour, my body to be buried decently in Farmcotte Church and to lye near my former wife. Item My funeral charges and debts which I doe justly owe being first satisfied. I give and bequeath to my eldest son William Stratford the sum of five pounds. Item. I give and bequeath to my son Tracy Stratford the sum of three hundred pounds to be set out with interest within one month after my decease by my executors and the interest to be paid to my son Tracy Stratford afore said until my Executors or my kinsman David Warren jointly or formally shall find out of some fair and advantagory opportunity to lay out the afore said sum of three hundred pounds for the purchasing of an Annuity for him. And doe hereby authorize and empower them, when and at such times as afore said to take up the said money and dispose it for the Annuity and cause it to be settled upon the afore said Tracy Stratford for use and disposal of him, the said Tracy Stratford for and during the rest of his natural life. Item. I bequeath to my son Tracy Stratford afore said the bed and the furniture and the press in that chamber he now in. Item I give and bequeath to my kinsman David warren the sum of five pounds Item. I give and bequeath to my servant John Cotterill the sum of three pounds ( this is crossed out ). Item. I give and bequeath to my servant Charles White the sum of three pounds, Item. I give and bequeath to Robert Smith, the son of Richard Smith, the sum of three pounds to bind an apprentice.

Item. I give and bequeath to Judith Moulder the sum of Three pounds (crossed out). Item. I give and bequeath to Mary Smith my servant, the daughter of Richard Smith the sum of two pounds. Item. I give and bequeath to my servant Will Brooks the sum of two pounds (crossed out). Item. I give and bequeath all my household goods to my eldest son William Stratford excepting what I bequeath before to my son Tracy ( John his third son was already dead )

Lastly I make and ordain my son George Stratford my sole and entire Executor of this my Last Will and testament and give and bequeath unto him the remainder of my goods and Chattel's not formerly bequeathed. Dated this fourth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and seventy nine. Item. I give and bequeath to my servant Henry Stokes the sum, of two pounds. Item. I give and bequeath to my servant John Hyatt the sum of two pounds. Item. I give and bequeath to my servant Ellinor Cooke the sum of two pounds.
William Stratford.
Signed and sealed in the presence of us.
Christina Hayden
Judith R. Moulder.
Charles White.
John Ovells.
John S. Dodswell.

 

 
Manor Farm, Temple Guiting

 

 

 

 
Manor House, Upper Swell

 

The Will of Antony Stratford.
In the name of God Amen. The 10th of October 1685. I Antony Stratford of Temple Guyting and Upper Swell, the son of George Stratford of Farmcoat, in the County of Gloucester Esquire, being of perfect mind and memory, thanks be to God for the same.

 

Doe make this my Last Will and Testament in manner and form following. Firstly and principally I commend my Soul into the hands of Almighty God my Maker, hoping through the only merits of Jesus Christ my lone Saviour to be made partakers of Life Ever lasting, and as for my body I commend to the earth whereof it was made, to be buried by an Hearty Orthodox Minister of the Church of England to whom I give twenty shillings, with the Common Prayer, and with a Sermon in the Town where I last lived and dyed and the charges of my Executors here after named, not doubting in the least but at the General Resurrection I shall receive against the same by the mighty power of God. and, for my worldly Estates wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life. Firstly I give to my nephew Tracy Stratford ten pounds. I give to my niece Sussanah Bedde, daughter to my sister Booth, five pounds. I give to Mr. Dennis Huntingdon Parson of Preston, five pounds, to be divided equally amongst the four brothers as a testimony of my love to buy them rings or books. I give to the poor of Winchcombe twenty shillings, to the poor of Temple Guyting twenty shillings, and to the poor of Lower Guyting twenty shillings. I give all my books to my Godson Antony Stratford the eldest son of George Stratford of Temple Guyting. I give to my daughter in law, Margaret Oldisfield her mothers picture in a golden ring. I give all my wearing apparel to be disposed of as my Executors shall think fit .Lastly, I the said Antony Stratford do constitute and order my cousin, George Stratford of Temple Guyting to be my only Executor of this my Last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I have set my hand and Seal.
Revoking all other Wills.
Antony Stratford.
Subscribed and sealed in the presence of
J.C. John Comysir. X Ann Commins her Mark.

Document amongst Probate Record of Gloucester.
Whereas George Stratford late of Temple Guyting in the County of Gloucester, Gentleman, deceased, dyed intestate and a widower and also very considerably indebted unto diverse persons and preserving his name behind him to pay off and satisfy his debts. I Elizabeth Stratford of Temple Guyting aforsaid widow, who was mother of the said George Stratford do now therefore by these present utterly renounce taking administration to the personal Estate of the said George Stratford and doe lease it for other persons to do if they please. Witnessed my Hand and Seal this fourteenth day of October Anno Dom 1704.
Elizabeth Stratford.
Witnessed hereunto, Robert Hayward. Oliver Read, William Baylis, Robert Brooks.

A Bill of Complaint at the Court of Chancery.
24th October 1718.
The Answer of Sir Francis Fortescue, Baronette, one of the defendants to the Bill of Complaint, reciting that Anne Gwuillum and Joanna were Sisters, etc.

Court of Chancery 21st of February 1685.
To the Right Honourable George Lord Jeffreys, Baron of Wane, Lord High Chancellor of England.

Humbly complaining, showeth unto your Orator, William Stratford of Farmcote in the County of Gloucester esquire, for and on behalf of Walter Stratford son of the said Orator, he the said Walter being an infant and under the age of twenty years, viz of the age of thirteen or there about's. that on the Marriage of our Orator with Anne Overbury, daughter of Walter Overbury of Barton on the Heath, in the County of Warwick, Esquire, diverse lands, tenements and hereditments in the said County of Gloucester of the yearly rent of five hundred pounds, or there about's were so settled, that after your Orator hath all the said lands, and property are to come unto the said Walter Stratford, the heir male of the body, with the remainder to George Stratford, brother to your said Orator. But, now say it ye, it may please your Lordship that one Katherine Overbury of Barton on the Heath, in the County of Warwick, widow of Nicholas Overbury esquire, the eldest son of the said Walter Overbury, who pretends to have a son by the said Nicholas Overbury, well believing the same to be tenor, and designing to make some advantage to herself by your Orators said son, or out of the said Orator, did, in about May in the year one thousand six hundred and eighty four, send one John Cowley, to your Orators said house at Farmcote to force your Orators said son, from your Orators said house, unto the said Katherine Overbury, and accordingly the said Cowley in the absence of your said Orator, by some means or other carried away the said Walter Overbury to the said Katherine Overbury, and, or to some other place where she deserted and abandoned your said Orator, in a friendly manner, sent to the said Katherine Overbury and desired to know whether in whose custody had the said Walter Stratford is or left, and when she left him, and whether he be living or not, and to have him returned to your Orator, or he shall appoint ye the said Katherine Overbury, by conjunction with the said John Cowley and George Stratford the said confederate, did conceal and detain the said Walter Overbury from your said Orator, contrary to all Justice and Equity, To the end therefore, that the said confederacy may know and perfect answers, make to all and singular the Matters, and the afore said trial, the said Walter Stratford brought unto thy Honourable Court to be disproved of, after the Court shall divert, after your Orator may have further life, and shall be agreeable to Equity.

May it please your Lordship to grant unto your Orator, and make most gracious writ or writs, to be diverted to them, the said Katherine Overbury, John Cowley, and George Stratford, then by remainder, then at a certain day and a certain time to be limited equally, to be, and appear before your Lordship, in by, making High and Honourable Court of Chancery, set forth the time of all and singular, and further to grant and abide further, be agreeable to a Justice and Equity Deed.
Paul Farewell.

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Data transcribed by Colin Hinson from:
A document written by
Gerald H. Stratford in 1988.
Reproduced here by permission
© Gerald H. Stratford.