Will of Mary Cruse, Wife of Winkleigh, Devon

Proved 11 July 1655

© Crown Copyright

National Archives Catalogue Reference PROB 11/244,
Records of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Aylett Quire Numbers: 51 - 106

Transcribed by Debbie Kennett

Mary or Maria WOOD née LETHEREN was the third wife of Thomas CRUSE or CRUWYS, a gentleman of Winkleigh. Maria LETHEREN married Johannes (John) WOOD on 6th August 1627 in Winkleigh. John WOOD was one of three constables in Winkleigh in 1641 who signed the oath of protestation. He died in 1646 or 1647. Thomas CRUSE, the son of John CRUSE, was baptised in 1595 in Winkleigh. His first wife was Mary or Maria SNOW of West Anstey. A marriage licence was granted to 'Thomas CRUSE of Wembworthy' and 'Mary SNOW of Westancye' on 12th September 1632. The marriage appears to have taken place on 24th September 1632 in the nearby parish of Meshaw. The Winkleigh registers show that 'Maria uxor Thomi CRUSE' (Maria wife of Thomas CRUSE) was buried on 17th March 1642/3. Thomas's second wife was called Susan. No record has so far been found of their marriage. Susan was buried on 23rd March 1647/8 in Winkleigh. She left a will which has also been transcribed for GENUKI. No record has been found of the marriage of Thomas CRUSE and Mary WOOD née LETHEREN. The marriage probably occurred in the early years of the Commonwealth Period when there were many gaps in the registers. Mary CRUSE was buried on 3rd June 1654 in Winkleigh. Thomas outlived all three of his wives. The Winkleigh registers show that 'Thomas CRUSE Gent' was buried on 17th April 1667.

In the name of God Amen. The third day of March in the yeare of our Lord God according to the computac[i]on of the Churche of England one thousand sixe hundred fiftie five I Mary Cruse the wife of Thomas Cruse of the parishe of Winkleigh within the Countye of Devon haveinge and before my marriage with the said Thomas Cruse reserved unto my selfe not only the use and occupation of divers good[es] and chattells for and duringe my life But alsoe have power and authoritye to bequeath the same as by a certaine Deede indented under the hand and seale of my said husband doth and may appeare doe therefore for the disposinge of the said goods being in good health and perfect memorie (praised be God) doe make and ordaine this to be my last Will and Testament revoakinge hereby all former Wills whatsoever And first I do give and bequeath my Soule unto Christ Jesus my Redeemer with whom I hope to live for evermore And my Bodie to Christian Buryall As for my worldie good[es] I give and bequeath as followeth Item I give and bequeath unto Mary Heard my daughter twoe silver spoones and to Mary Heard my grandchild one of my best kyne1 Item I give unto William Heard my grandchilde one Ewe sheepe Item I give unto Rachell Wood my daughter one highe chaire and the mault hutche2 within the chamber over the milkehouse to that manor Item I give unto Elizabeth Wood my daughter twoe silver spoones and to Rachell Wood my daughter twoe silver spoones And to Margery Wood my daughter twoe of the best silver spoones Item I give and bequeath unto John Cruse my sonne in Lawe a yewe sheepe And to Rebecca Cruse a yewe sheepe Item I give unto all my servants which doe serve in my service at my death twelve pence a peece All the rest of my goodes and chattels and cattles which are in my dispose I doe give and Bequeath unto my Daughter Margery Wood whom I make and ordaine to be my full whole and Sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament and to see my debtes and Legacies truely discharged Lastlye I doe depute and authorize Thomas Cruse my husband John Holms my kinsman and William Heard my Sonne in Lawe to be my Supervisors of this my Last Will and Testament Provided alwaies that if my said Executrix shall not performe this my Last Will and Testament according to the true intent and meaninge thereof That then I doe ordaine and my will is that my Supervisors shall make sale of my said goodes and chattells & cattles and pay all such debtes and Legacies afore specified accordinge to the true intent and meaninge thereof and to render and yield the Overplus unto my said Executrix allowinge themselves all lawfull costs and charges and I doe ordain twoe shillings and six pence to eache of my Supervisors In witness whereof I have hereunto sett my hande and seale the day and yeare first above written Signe of Mary Cruse Sealed Signed & Delivered in the presence of Thomas Cruse William Heard

The eleaventh day of July in the yeare of our Lord God one thousand Sixe hundred fiftie and five Administration issued forth to Thomas Cruse John Holms and William Heard aforesaid and curators lawfullie assigned unto Margery Wood a minor and Sole Executrix, named in the last Will and Testament of Mary Cruse late of Winkleigh in the Countie of Devon deceased to administer the goodes chattels and Debtes of the said deceased accordinge to the tenor and effect of the said deceaseds will and duringe the minoritye and to the Age of the said Margery Wood the Executrix They beinge first sworne by Com[m]ission truely & faithfullie to administer

1 kine. An archaic word for cattle.
2 Malt hutch. A cupboard or large wooden box in which to store the processed malt ready for the next brewing. It was kept upstairs, despite the aroma, to avoid the chill and damp likely downstairs. If built in the standard way, the kitchen and milk house and, possibly a brew house, would be at one side of the house, downstairs, with chambers (bedrooms or storerooms) above them. Malt is made from barley grains which are spread out on a cloth, encouraged to sprout by sprinkling with water, dried and roasted in a kiln to burn off the sprouts and then ground into a coarse powder. The powder is used for various purposes, amongst which is the production of beer.

Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Elizabeth Glover Howard for her invaluable advice and assistance. I would also like to thank Eve McLaughlin and Audrey Lee from the Old English mailing list for providing the definition of a malt hutch.