The Will of George Westcott yeoman of North Molton
28th February 1593
© Crown Copyright
National Archives Catalogue Reference PROB 11/82,
Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Neville Quire Numbers 48-96
Transcribed by Richard Pulley and Debbie Kennett
with assistance from Elizabeth Glover Howard
In the name of god amen. The first daye of July in the one and thirtieth year of the Reigne of our most gratious Sovereigne Lady Elizabeth1 by the grace of god of England France and Ireland and Kinge defender of the faith etc And in the year of our Lord god one thousand ffive hundred eighty nyne I George Westcott of North Molton in the County of Devon, yeoman being of wholle mind and in good and perfecte rememberance Lawde and praise be unto almighty god, make and ordayne this, my present testament concerning [?] herein my Last will in manner and forme following - that is to saye ffirst I commend my Soule unto Almighty god my maker and Redemer And my Bodye to be buryed in the Church or Churcheyard of North Molton or ells where it shall please god.
Item: I give towards the Reparations of the Church of North Molton aforesaid twelve pence.
Item: I give and bequeath to and amongst the poore people inhabiting within the saide parishe of North Molton Tenne shillings to be distributed shortly after my decease by the discreation of my overseers and Executors hereafternamed.
Item: I give towards the reparations of the Church of Swymbridge twelve pence. And to and amongst the poor people of the same parishe of Swymbridge aforesaide ffive shillings to be Lykewise distributed shortly after my decease by the discreation of my overseers and Executors aforesaid.
Item: I give unto every of my godchildren six pence.
Item: I give unto John Westcott my sonne (if he suffer my sonne Christofer Westcott to enjoye all that my Lands in Chimleighe2 in the County of Devon quietly) all my pannes and potts of brasse all my pewter vessels all my timber vessels all my Beddes, bedsteddes coverletts Blanketts Pillowes broches3 one barre of yew table borde and all other my household stuff whatsoever whiche shalbe at my death or departure situate lying and being at East Stowforde4 within the same parishe of Swymbridge in the same Comity of Devon together with all my ploughe stuff at East Stowforde aforesaide.
Item: I give unto Sibley my wife two kyen5 and tenne yewes not of the worst nor of the best but to the discreation of my overseers and halfe the Corne in the house grown uppon my Testament6 at fflitton and halfe the corne in the grounde upon my bargayne and Tenement at fflitton7 there being at my deathe or departing: and the Table borde standing in the hall at fflitton aforesaid.
Item: my Will is that the said Sibley my wife shall have the sole custody and occupation onely during her naturall lyfe of my second best brasse pott, my second best panns of brass, my second best bell, my best coverlett a payre of my best blankets, a payre of my best sheetes, a bolster a pillowe, one panne of brasse more conteyning six gallons commonly called and known by the name of the milk panne and one skillet which are nowe situate and being at fflitton aforesaid.
Item: I give and bequeathe unto Jaqueat Westcott my daughter the full and whole some of fforty two pounds six shillings eighte pence of good and Lawfull money of England to be paid in manner and forme following: that is to saye, At or within one yeare next after my decease twenty pounds and at or within five yeares next after my Decease the Some of twenty two pounds six shillings eighte pence in full satisfaction of the foresaid forty two pounds six shillings eight pence
Item: I give and bequeathe unto Joane Westcott my daughter Thirty three pounds of good and Lawfull money of England to be paid in manner following: that is to saye, At or within five years next after my decease sixteen pounds, And at or within thend [the end] of three years next after my decease the Some of Seventene pounds of Lyke Lawful money of England in full payment and satisfaction of the saide thirty three pounds. But if the said Jaquett or Joane my daughters shall happen to dye or departe this present lyfe before suche time my saide Legacies are Limited and appointed to be paide unto them. That then I give and bequeathe her parte and portion so deceasing to the survivor of them. And to my Sonne Christofer Westcott equally to be divided amongst them. Provided notwithstanding that if my Executors hereafter named doe not or shall not be able to putt in good sureties unto my saide daughters Jaquett and Joane for the payments of my Legacies unto them by me given and bequeathed in manner and forme before specified and declared. That then my will is and so I do ordayne it that my goods and chattells shalbe praised within fourtene dayes after my decease. And theire partes and portions so given and bequeathed presently to be delivered unto them or at suche convenient time and times and to suche person or persons to theire uses as by my overseers hereafter named shalbe nominated and appointed. And that before my Executors shall enter into th[e]administration of this my Will. And for the better disposing of all suche my Landes and tenements whatsoever in Chymley als8 Chumleighe within the County of Devon I doe declare my Last will and testament in manner and forme following that is to saye, I do Devise give and bequeathe unto Christofer Westcott my sonne all these my Messuages Landes, houses orchards gardens meadows hereditaments rents reversions and services whatsoever. With th[e]appurtenances situate lying and being within the Mannor and boroughe of Chymley als Chumleighe aforesaid - nowe or late in the tenure incumbrance and occupation of Robert Webber als Turner, Henry Yonge and Elizabeth Westcott theire or either of theire assignee or assignes. And all other my Landes and tenements in Chymley als Chumleighe aforesaid To have and to hold all and singular the said messuages Landes tenements and all other the premisses with th[e]appurtenances unto the said Christofer Westcott his heires and assignes for ever more.
Item: I give unto Margaret Westcott the daughter of John Westcott my sonne one yewe and a Lambe.
Item: I make and ordayne my Welbeloved friends John Amerie and John Davye my overseers to see this my Last will and testament truly performed. And I give unto every of them for their paynes ffive shillings. The Residue of all my goodes Chattells money plates household stuff and all other utensils my debts paid my ffuneral expenses performed and then my Legacies conteyned in this my present testament fulfilled I give and bequeath unto my saide sonne Christofer Westcott whome I make and ordayne my full and wholle executor of this my present will and testament. And I utterly revoke and annul all and every other former testament will Legacy bequeathed Executed and overseen by me in any wise before this time made named willed and bequeathed. Those bearing wittnesse John Amerye Giles Hawridge Michaell Passmore Phillipp Glasse and Thomas Brighte . . . others.
In Probatum fuit Testamentum suprascriptum apnd London Coram ... ffebruary ... Christofer Westcott [etc in Latin] [Proved in London on the last day of February 1592 by the oath of Christopher Westcott son of the deceased.]
1 Elizabeth I came to the throne on 17th November 1558.
3 Pieces of fabric with a brocade-like pattern.
4 According to W G Hoskins in his book 'Devon' (Phillimore, 2003) Stowford was a part-medieval house in the parish of Swimbridge, and was formerly a "mansion". There is a building called Stowford House in East Stowford which might well be the building to which Hoskins refers. East Stowford was reputed to be the birthplace of St Urith, who was martyred at Chittlehampton in the eighth century.
5 Kine. An archaic word for cows or cattle. sic.
6 Should be Tenement.
7 Perhaps Flitton Barton (Flitton Oak), about 2 miles north-west of North Molton.