The will of Francis Colman, gentleman of Tiverton
Proved 4 September 1650
© Crown Copyright
National Archives Catalogue Reference PROB 11/213,
Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Pembroke Quire Register Numbers: 110-156
Francis COLMAN, a gentleman of Tiverton, married Bridget CRUWYS, the daughter of Lewis CRUWYS of Cruwys Morchard and Sarah TREFFRY of Fowey in Cornwall, in about 1620. Bridget was baptised on 17th July 1598 in Cruwys Morchard. No record of Francis's baptism has been found. Francis and Bridget had ten children: Rebecca, Roger, Sarah, Mary, William, Margaret, Humphrey, Francis, Lewis and Bridget. Roger, the eldest son, was baptised on 16th February 1622/3 in Cruwys Morchard. Sarah and Mary were also baptised in Cruwys Morchard. The younger children were all baptised in Tiverton. No baptism has yet been found for the eldest daughter, Rebecca. The third son, Humphrey, died at the age of six and was buried on 18th May 1636 in Cruwys Morchard. The second eldest daughter Sarah married Robert HACCH or HATCH, one of the executors named in the will, on 10th December 1646 in Halberton. Francis COLMAN's will was proved on 4th September 1650 during the Commonwealth Period, just eight months after the execution of Charles I. Francis was probably a staunch Parliamentarian like his "beloved friend" Henry CRUWYS, who was his wife's brother. Henry and Bridget were first cousins of the firebrand puritan preacher Hugh PETER or PETERS, who, as Oliver CROMWELL'S army chaplain, played a prominent part in the campaigns of the New Model Army in 1645 and 1646, rallying the troops with his eloquent preaching. On the restoration of the monarchy PETERS was beheaded for regicide on 16th October 1660 in London.
In the name of God Amen The Three and twentith [sic] Daie of May in the yeare of our Lord God according to the Computac[i]on of the Church of England One thowsand six hundred and fiftie I Frauncis Colman of Tiverton in the Countie of Devon gentl[eman] consideringe the frailtie of humane nature and the uncertayne certaintie of the hower of Death And knowinge it to bee the dutie of a Christian man to sett his howse in order before hee dye Doe make and ordayne this my last will and Testament hereby revokinge all former and other will[es] and Testament[es] whatsoever First I commend my Soule into the handes of Almightie God And my bodie to bee buryed in the parish Church of Tiverton aforesaid in hope of a glorious resurrection through the meritorious Death and passion of my Lord and Savyour Jesus Christ blessed for ever And touchinge my land[es] Tenement[es] and other my reall and personall Estate whereof it hath pleased God to make mee the unworthy Steward My will and meaninge is to dispose of them as followeth (vizt:) I give and bequeath unto the poore people of the Towne and parish of Tiverton aforesaid Fyve poundes to bee distributed amongest them by my beloved wife and Executor hereafter named within one moneth next after my decease. Item I give and bequeath unto Bridgett my beloved wife Tenn pound[es] of lawfull money of England yearely and every yeare by quarterly payment[es] to bee paid for such and soe longe tyme and untill my Sonnes Frauncis and Lewis shall bee placed abroad as Apprentices for and toward[es] the maynetenaunce of my fower younger Children untill such tyme as their legacies hereafter in and by this my will given them shall bee due and become payable And that after my sonnes shall bee bound forth as Apprentices, My Will is, The said yearely paym[en]t of Tenn pound[es] shall cease. Item I give and bequeath unto William Colman my second Sonne Two hundred poundes of currant English money To bee paid him within one yeare after my decease And the summe of Twentie markes To bee paid unto him by quarterly payment[es] by Roger Colman my eldest Sonne or such other as shall bee my heire for and toward[es] his mayntenaunce before his legacie shall become due to bee paid by the true intent and meaninge of this my will. Alsoe I doe give and bequeath unto each of my Two youngest Sonnes Frauncis and Lewes Colman Two hundred pound[es] a peece of like English money That is to saie One hundred poundes of each of their porc[i]ons my will is shall bee bestowed in placeinge them forth Apprentices when they or either of them shall become fitt to bee placed forth as Apprentices And the other one hundred pound[es] a peece at their ages of Two and twentie yeares, to bee by them ymployed in their Trade if my Overseers hereafter named or the Survyvours or Survyvour of them shall soe thinke fitt and their Master or Mistris shall thereunto consent or otherwise within one monethe next after they the said Frauncis and Lewes shall have severally served out their Apprenticeshipp. Item I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Sarah nowe the wife of Robert Hacch Gentleman Fyve poundes of lawfull English money To bee paid her within Sixe monethes next after my decease Item I doe give and bequeath unto Margarett my Second Daughter Fyve hundred pound[es] of like English money To bee paid to her within one yeare after my decease if shee shall bee then of the age of one and twentie yeares, otherwise at her age of one and Twentie yeares or Daie of marriage first happeninge Soe as shee the said Margarett shall marry with the consent and good likeinge of my said wife and Sonne Roger or anie Two of my Rulers and Overseers hereafter to bee named. Item I doe give and bequeath unto Bridgett my youngest Daughter Fyve hundred poundes of like money To bee paid her at her age of one and twentie yeares or daie of marriage first happeninge Soe as my said Daughter Bridgett shall bee married with the good likinge of my said wife or Sonne or anie Two of my said Rulers or Overseers. Alsoe I doe give and bequeath unto Sarah Hacch my grandchilde Fiftie poundes of lawfull money of England To bee paid at her age of Fifteene yeares unto my Sonne in lawe Robert Hacch if hee bee then lyvinge which my will is shall bee by him ymployed by and with the consent of the rest of my said Rulers or Overseers, Or if my said Sonne in lawe shall bee then dead Then to the Survyvour or Survyvours of my said Overseers for the use of my said Grandchilde To bee by them ymployed for the best benefitt of my said Grandchilde And to bee paid her at her age of one and twentie yeares or Daie of marriage first happeninge And to the end intent and purpose that my legacies before herein given unto my said
Grandchildren maie bee the better raised and paid, and my Debt[es] discharged I doe by this my will give devise and bequeath to my beloved Friend[es] Henry Crewes Esquire my Brother in lawe the said Robert Hacch James Cade my Nephewe and James Osmond Gentleman and to the Survyvours and Survyvour of them and to their heires for ever All those my Manno[u]rs or reputed Manno[u]rs of Upawtrey1 Rawstow2 and Clewehayes3 in the Countie of Devon with all their right[es] members and appurtinaunces And all land[es] Tenement[es] rent[es] reversions Services and hereditament[es] whatsoever to the same belonginge or reputed or taken as partes parcell[es] or members of them or either of them uppon trust and confidence onlie which I doe repose in them the said Henry Crewes Robert Hacch James Cade and James Osmond and their heires that they shall out of and with the profitt[es] yssues and revenues of the said Manno[u]rs and premisses and by demisinge and leasinge the same or anie parte thereof for such termes Estates and by and under such rent[es] and Condic[i]ons as to them shall seeme meete or otherwise by absolute sale of the same Manno[u]rs and premisses and the Fee thereof or of some parte thereof as to them shall seeme meete, Provided alwaies and notwithstandinge the aforesaid Devise and bequest of the said Manno[u]rs and premisses unto the said Henry Crewes Robert Hacch James Cade and James Osmond as aforesaid My will intent and meaninge is That if my said Sonne Roger Colman his heires or assignes Doe and shall within one yeare after my decease give good securitie such as my said Trustees or the Survyvours or Survyvour of them shall approve of for the true answereinge and payment of the said porc[i]ons and legacies given to my said Children at such tymes as the same shall become due to bee paid Then I doe hereby will and devise That my said Sonne Roger and his heires shall have the whole benefitt and profitt of the said Manno[u]rs and premisses And then my said Trustees shall assure the said Manno[u]rs and premisses unto my said Sonne Roger and his heires for ever Alsoe I doe give and bequeath unto my said Sonne Roger All that my Manno[u]r of Peadhill4 and all other my Manno[u]rs Messuages Mill[es] land[es] Tenement[es], rent[es] reversions Services and hereditament[es] whereof or wherein I have anie Estate of Inheritaunce except my Manno[u]r of Owlacombe al[ia]s Overlacombe in Upawtrey in the Countie of Devon which my will is shall discend accordinge to the lawes of England To have and to holde the said Manno[u]rs lands and p[re]misses (Except before excepted) unto my said sonne Roger and the heires males of his bodie yssuinge And for default of such yssue Then to William my said second Sonne and the heires males of his bodie yssuinge And for default of such yssue To the said Frauncis my Third Sonne and the heires male of his bodie yssuinge And for default of such yssue To the said Lewes my fourth Sonne and the heires males of his bodie yssuinge And for default of such yssue Then to the said Roger my eldest Sonne and his heires for ever Alsoe I doe give unto my kinswoman Margarett Venman widdowe Twentie shillinges to bestowe in a Ringe or otherwise as shee pleaseth. Item I doe give to John Reeve if hee shall contynue my Servaunt and bee dwellinge with mee at the tyme of my death Three poundes. Item I give unto Christian Williams if shee alsoe serve mee at the tyme of my Death Tenn shillings. Item I give unto every other of my Servaunt[es] which shall serve mee at the tyme of my Death Fyve shillinges a peece. Item I give unto my said wife all my quick and lyvinge stuffe and Cattell of what kinde soever And alsoe all my Corne and grayne hay and grasse in howse barne or field at the tyme of my Death All the rest of my good[es] Chattell[es] Debt[es] plate howshouldstuffe and ymplement[es] of howshould not herein formerly given and bequeathed I doe give devise and bequeath unto my said sonne Roger with this neverthelesse that my said beloved wife shall have the use of the said good[es] plate and howshouldstuffe duringe her life shee first givinge sufficient security within Three monethes next after my decease to my said Sonne Roger, such as my said Sonne and Overseers or the more parte of them shall thinke meete to leave the same good[es] plate and howshouldstuffe to my said Sonne at the time of her death in soe good plight and Condic[i]on as shee shall receave the same (the necessary useinge and wearinge of them Excepted) And I doe make nomynate ordayne and appointe my said Sonne Roger to bee the full and whole Executor of this my last will and Testament And lastly I doe further intreate my said Friend[es] Henry Crewes Robert Hacch James Cade and James Osmond to bee Overseers of this my last will and Testament intreatinge them to use their best indeavours and assistaunce to see this my will performed accordinge to my true intent and meaninge herein expressed And for their paynes takinge herein I give to each of them the said Henry Crewes Robert Hacch James Cade and James Osmond Twentie shillinges a peece to bee bestowed in a Ringe which I desire them to accept of. In Witnesse whereof I the said Frauncis Colman have sett my hand to each sheete of this will conteyninge Two sheetes of paper And to the last leafe thereof have sett my hand and Seale the daie and yeare first above written. Frauncis Colman Memorandum that the Three and twentith Daie of May One thowsand six hundred fiftie The abovenamed Frauncis Colman Gentleman Did publish this to bee his last will and Testament, And did seale and subscribe the same In the presence of us: By mee John Dynham Jo: Memfye Richard Dalye
Probatum fuit Testamentum suprascriptum apud London coram dilecto Subdito nostro Domino Nathaniele Brent Milite Legum Doctore Curiæ nostræ Prærogativæ Cantuar[iensis] Mag[ist]ro sive Custode l[egi]time constitut[o] Quarto die Mensis Septembris Anno Domini Mill[es]imo sexcentesimo quinquagesimo Juramento Rogeri Colman filii dicti Defunct[i] et Executoris in hui[us]mo[d]i Testamento nominat[i] Cui Com[m]issa fuit administratio omniu[m] et singuloru[m] bonoru[m] Juriu[m] et creditoru[m] dicti Defunct[i] De bene et fideliter administrand[o] ead[em] Ad sancta Dei Evangelia (vigore Com[m]issionis) Jurat[o].
The above-written will 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 Fourth day of the Month of September, in the year of our Lord, One thousand six hundred and fifty By the oath of Roger Colman, the son of the Deceased and the executor named in this will To whom was committed the administration of all and singular of the goods, rights and credits of the said Deceased, for well and faithfully to administer the same, having been sworn on the Holy Gospels of God (by force of a Commission). Examined
2 No present-day equivalent has been found for this manor. There is a Domesday manor called Rawridge in Upottery. Variant spellings include Rouerige, Rourige and Roveruge.
3 Possibly Charleshayes, a medieval farmhouse north-east of Upottery. The farmhouse was at one time known as Chavesleshegh because of its association with the family of Ralph Chavel who was living here in 1270. The Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps (115 and 116) also show a farm called Chapelwhayes, north of Upottery, Cleave just north of Upottery and Cleverhayes, just to the north east of Honiton.
4 Peadhill is an ancient manor in the parish of Tiverton which is listed in the Domesday Book.
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 Elizabeth Glover Howard for her invaluable advice and assistance.