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Summary of Charitable Bequests under the Will of THOMAS AXE (1635-1691)

as set out in the South Porch of Ottery St Mary Church

Transcribed by Lora Besler




Formerly of Orchard, in the County of Somerset

Mr. AXE by his Will, dated 20th July 1691, directed the Profits of Premises at Blandford to be applied as follows, viz:

9/12ths - To the PARISH CLERK of Ottery St Mary

3/12ths - To some Man or Woman of exemplary Life   some Skill in Physick   Surgery, who should industriously endeavor to help all the Poor of Ottery gratis in cases of SICKNESS and ACCIDENT till better advice could be had.

Testator's Kindred to be preferred for the Office - The Clerk's Wife next - The Minister's Wife next - The Vicar's Wife before any other, if they should be very fit, or as fit as Mrs. Alford, the late Vicar's Wife. MR. AXE also directed All the Profits of his Houses in Southwark to be divided into 12 parts, and applied as follows, viz:

1/12th - To the Person before described to buy DRUGS and PLASTERS

1/12th - To the VICAR of Ottery St. Mary

1/12th - To the MINISTER


1/12th - To the PARISH CLERK.

3/12th - As a Fund to encourage Steadiness, Sobriety   Industry, whereout should be paid:

£3 on the MARRIAGE DAY of any young Man or Woman marrying after the Age of 21 years, who had lived in one Service in the Parish of Ottery for 7 Years, and had received no Alms of the Parish within 5 Years of such Marriage. £1 a Year to such Couple, or the Survivor for 3 Years on proof that in each of those Years they had bona fide increased the Stock £3. - And £5 at the end of 5 Years next after such Marriage on proof that they had really gotten and had of clear Stock £15, not having been chargeable to the Parish since their Marriage.

2/12th - To be distributed yearly about St. Thomas' Day amongst ELDERLY and SOBER HOUSEKEEPERS who had lived well and not received Alms of the Parish within 5 Years, 'none to have less than 20s.' the less they need it the better they will be able to give an Alms to such as are in want.

2/12th - As a fund whereout TO LEND to such poor men to supply their Stock as had not had Alms of the Parish for 5 years, but were industrious and sober.

Preference amongst the three last objects of Testator's Bounty to be given fst. To his Kin: next. To those born in the Parish of Ottery St. Mary: next. To Those employed in Husbandry: next. To those employed in Linen and Woollen Manufacture: next. To Artificers and Handicraftsmen: To Shopkeepers.

Brian Randell, 2 Jul 2012