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Transcript

of

Will of Robert Legge of Grete Totton

Devon & Cornwall Notes and Queries vol. IX, (January 1916 to January 1917), p. 202-3.

by

Edward Windeatt

Prepared by Michael Steer

The Legge family is an English aristocratic family headed by the Earl of Dartmouth. Robert Legge’s connection to this particular family is an unknown. However, he was obviously a generous man of substance and likely the Mayor Totnes. His will mentions a handsome bequest with which to purchase a tenor bell for the church. The extract, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

The Legge family is an English aristocratic family headed by the Earl of Dartmouth. Robert Legge’s connection to this particular family is an unknown. However, he was obviously a generous man of substance and likely the Mayor Totnes. His will mentions a handsome bequest with which to purchase a tenor bell for the church. The extract, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

Note 169. Legge, Robert, of Grete Totton, Devon. - A friend recently supplied me with an extract from the will of Robert Legge, of Grete Totton as follows : -

I bequeath my soul to Almighty God and my body to holy grave to be buried in the church erth of our blessed lady's pisshe church of the saide grete Totton.

It : I bequeath to the Prior and vicary of the said church for tithes and offerynges forgotten vid. viiid.

It : I bequeath xxli. of lawful money of England to bye a grete bell the which shalbe a tenor to the other mi bells and hit shalbe called our Lady bell well soundyng and chosen by the discrecion of myn overseers, the which shall toll to the pdon aveys that is to say atte vith howre in the mornyng at xii howre at Midday and at vi howre in the eventyde."

The testator states he was born at Colbroke, Devon.

The will was proved 1508.

A Robert Legg was Mayor of Totnes 1503 and again 1504, possibly the maker of the will.

It would appear that the new bell was duly bought. In 1442 it appears from a document among the Corporation Muniments there were only four bells and they were consecrated "on the Monday after the Feast of Transubstantiation of St. Thomas the Martyr, 1442 ." Leland, the historian, who visited Totnes in the reign of King Henry VIII., mentions in his Itinerary these bells and writes of them as "the greatest bells in all these quarters." In the Inventory of Church Goods, 7 Edward VI., 1553, in the Record Office is the entry, "Tottenes v bells in the towre there."

                      Edward Windeatt.

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From p. 254:

208. ROBERT LEGGE, OF GRETE TOTTON, DEVON (IX., p. 202, par. 169). - In the Early Chancery Proceedings, Bundle 136, No. 51, is the following entry: -

"Wm. Gyles, M.A., serving priest, keeping a Grammar School, and a Song School in Totnes, and:
Agnes, executrix and late the wife of Robt. Legge, feofee to uses.
Presentation to the Chapel of St. Edmund the King, Totnes, under the will of Sir Piers Eggecomb, Knt."
Agnes Legge is evidently the widow of Robert Legge, who gave the money for the bell. In the law note the Feast of Transubstantiation of St. Thomas should read " Translation of St. Thomas."
The Chapel of St. Edmund the King was the Chapel of St. Edmund King and Martyr, and St. Edward the Confessor, and was on Totnes old bridge.

                      Edward Windeatt./p>