Will of Joan Melhuish, of Northam, Devon

Written 1705, proved 1708

From Olive Moger abstract in Devon Record Office

Transcribed by David Carter 2017

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Johan Melhuish of Northam, widow.
Weak in body, etc.
Will dated 7th Jan 1705
Proved 20 June 1708, by 6 executors.

To the poor of the parish of Northam wherein I now dwell £10.
To 20 poor widows of Northam 5s a piece.
To the poor of Barnstaple £5, of Westdowne £5, of Bideford £5.
To my nephew John French gent £100 when he pays the £100 which he owes me upon bond & the £100 which he owes me on mortgage.
To my cousins Susanna Christmas widow, Elizabeth Kelly, & Mary Harvey daughter of Mr Richard Harvey £20 a piece.
To my two cousins William & Alexander Rayner sons of Mr William Rayner by his deed, wife Honor £10 each.
To my son-in-law Samuel Shebbear clerk and his wife Elizabeth, & my son-in-law Mr John Crocker & his wife Gertrude £5 a piece.
To my son-in-law Thomas Hacche gent one guinea.
To my exx. £50 for the use of my daughter-in-law Margaret wife of said Thomas Hacch and their children, but he is now to intermeddle therewith.
To my son-in-law Mr John Benson & his wife Grace, & my daughter-in-law Mrs Anne Browning £5 a piece.
To my grandson George Shebbear £10.
To my grand-daughter Frances Melhuish & my grandson Roger Melhuish £4 a piece.
To my grand-daughter Sarah Crocker £3.
To my grand-children John, Samuel, Thomas, Mary, Jane & Elizabeth Shebbear £3 a piece.
To my grand-children Thomas, Katherine, John & Peter Benson £3 a piece.
To my cousin Richard Melhuish apothecary, & his children Joan, Richard, Cecilia & Dorcas Melhuish £3 a piece.
To my cousin Robert Melhuish merchant, £10 when he pays the £100 due to me by his note.
To my cousin Mildred Marsh £3 to her sole & separate use.
To my cousin Mary Melhuish of Exeter £3.
To my kinsman Nicholas Dennis merchant £10.
To my cousin Robert Shortridge clerk £10.
To my brother-in-law Doctor Barbor £10 & to sister Barbor & their children a gold ring a piece.
To my sister-in-law My Lady Berry a gold ring & a large piece of Spanish silver which is in my closet.
To my cousin Henry Downe gent & his wife & children, gold rings.
To my cousin Elizabeth Brooking widow, my brother-in-law Richard Melhuish of Tawstock gent & his wife Joan Melhuish & their daughter Mary Melhuish, my sister-in-law Anna Melhuish, my sister-in-law Mrs Barbara Venn widow & her daughter Mary Venn, Elizabeth Venn & Frances Venn, my brother-in-law Mr Nicholas Wood & his wife Frances, my cousin Anne wife of cousin John French, my cousin Margery French relict of cousin Thomas French & their children, my cousins Abel French & Mary French, my sister-in-law Mrs Mary French widow, my cousin Richard Saltren & his children now living by Agnes his wife, cousin Philip Shortridge & his wife, my cousins Loveday Shortridge, Mary Shortridge, & Hugh Shortridge of Exeter, William Paige esq & his son, cousin Peter Spour& his wife, my cousin Anne Carpenter widow, my cousin William Rayner senr, my cousin Henry Stevens, my cousin William Bleeth (Blythe) gent, my cousin William Kelly gent, my son-in-law Mr Christopher Browning, & Mr Samuel Shebbear of Abbotsham & his wife; all gold rings of 20s value.
To my cousin Henry Downe my large silver bowl with gilded heads to remain in the house at Burrough for the use of that family.
To my cousin Anne Godd of Bristol, widow 40 shillings.
To my two cousins Henry & Thomas French sons of my nephew Thomas French gent lately deceased, £50 to be paid to their use until they are 21 to the trustees of the will of the said Thomas French viz Richard Saltren of Linkinhorne gent & William Riddle of South Petherwin clerk.
To Mr Thomas Earle, vicar of Northam, a gold ring.
To my son-in-law Roger Melhuish gent & his wife Frances all the household goods which I have in use about the house in Watertowne except some which I gave to my cousin Dorothy French.
To my servants Grace Saige widow, Grace Saige the younger, Humphrey Crockrum & his wife, William Crocker & William Kingdone.
To my cousin Philip Dennis all the right I have in a house in Barnstaple (which I hold my his life & is now in possession of Mr William Greenslade) for the rent of which I receive £7.10s a year from Mr Arscott & Mr Budgell.
To various other servants named, To my cousin Margaret wife of Philip Blackmore 10s
To the poor living in the Almshouses formerly given to the poor of Northam by Mr Leigh £14 as stock.
Residue to my 6 nieces, Mary wife of Henry Stevens gent, Agnes wife of Richard Saltren gent, Dorothy French spinster, Joan French spinster, Cecilia wife of Richard Melhuish of Barnstaple apothecary, & Lucy wife of William Bleeth gent, whom I make my executors.
Overseer: my brother-in-law Richard Melhuish of Tawstock gent, to whom £10.
Dated 7th January 1705.
Witnesses: Christopher Hall, Charles Yeo, Richard Heese.

Commission to Masters Francis Pyne & Daniel Hyde to administer oaths, & oaths taken 4th June 1706 by Lucy Bleeth & Agnes Saltren before Francis Pyne & by Mary Stevens, Dorothy French (now wife of Peter Docton, merchant), Joan French & Cecilia Melhuish before Daniel Hyde 29 May 1706.

The deceased Mrs Melhuish at the time of her death had money upon an estate in Cornwall by mortgage & also several bonds due to her from persons living in Cornwall.

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Parish register entries referring to the people mentioned in this will:

Northam - Parish Marriage
1672/73 Jan 03 – Thomas Melhuish esq, to Mris Johane Dennis of Barnstaple, dau of John BERRY esq of Burrough.

Northam - Parish Burials
1704 Aug 19 – Mr Thomas Melhuish, Gent of Wattertowne, died 15th Aug, in the evening by nine of the clock
1706 Mar 28 – Mrs Joan Melhuish, widow

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