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1549 Will... in English?

Discussion in 'Wills and probate' started by jorghes, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    I was hoping that someone might be able to help me with this.

    "This" is two wills from 1549, which I think are written in English and I'm fairly sure are shown one after the other in the records from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills on Ancestry.

    I'm not sure if they're both for the same person, but the person I think they're related to is my 12x great grandfather, John/Johannes Daborn/e, who died in approximately 1549 in Guildford, Surrey. (The family had come to Surrey via London and later ended up in Wisbech, Cambridge; Liverpool and finally Australia) There is a possibility that this particular Johannes Daborne could have been Mayor of Guildford before he died.

    This information came to me via a pedigree done of my family which is kept with the research notes of one of my distant cousins who did a fair bit of research on this branch of my family long before I started (and is held at my local genealogical society - and reminds me I need to go back in and have another look).

    Anyway, I was hoping that I might be able to get more information off this will, but I am struggling to read it.

    Any help is most gratefully received.

    The Will can be found by searching "Daborne" in the right record collection on Ancestry for better copies.

    EDIT: I've deleted the wills as we don't have permission to use them; please provide links to images, not the images themselves (unless you own the copyright or have permission from the owner). Thanks, Peter
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2018
  2. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    The first will is in English and the second one is in Latin and looks to be a repeat of the first. Note that the first starts In the name of God Amen, whilst the second starts In dei nomine Amen, and the first mentions 'John Daborne' and the second 'Johannes Daborne' so it's surely the same person. As you have found, the content is extremely hard to read. You really need someone who is used to deciphering such old documents (not me - though I have wrestled with a few old documents in my time!). As well as the difficulty deciphering the words, obviously the language is very archaic - the first few lines are just the date, including '...in the third year of the reign of... Lord Edward...' etc. I've downloaded it from Ancestry and will have a look and post again if I can get any useful information.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  3. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    The second item is a sentence relating to the will rather than a 2nd will. This indicates some kind of dispute over the will, or the proving of it, and the sentence is the court ruling on this.

    PROB 11 shows that this will was proved PCC.

    TNA have a guide to reading old handwriting, though it takes time to adjust to reading it, and to old spellings and the use of contraction marks. Possibly your best bet is to see what you can decipher and then come back for help with small sections at a time. Transcribing a whole will of this length would take a while.
  4. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Having now had a quick skim through this will at Ancestry, I think you will find it worth the struggle as there seem to be a fair few names it. I didn't spot a wife (it was only a quick skim) but he names a number of sons and daughters some of whom are still under 21.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    Thank you both for your thoughts and ideas. I will focus on attempting to decipher the first as opposed to attempting to get someone to translate the very difficult Latin of the second!

    I don't have the name of his wife either - I don't think anyone has ever managed to find it so far, but his children would be beneficial, as I only know two of them... my 11x great grandfather, another John Daborne and a brother called Henry (as they were the only two included on the pedigree I mentioned earlier).

    Ironically I shouldn't find this as difficult as I spent a bit of time this year teaching one of my classes about the history of English and this type would be on the border between Middle and what is referred as Early Modern English - some of the script almost looks like it has some of the letters from Old English.
  6. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I don't remember noticing a Henry, though there was a son John. Also 3 other sons Robert, Thomas & George, and daughters Alice, Maude, Audrey, Katherine & Joan, those last two with different surnames so I would guess already married.

    But I did only skim through the will quickly, so there may be other children I missed, and the spelling of their names may vary from what I've given here.
  7. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    I can see the names of four sons: Thomas, Robert, George and John (like Pauline I can't see a Henry but may have missed it) and two unmarried daughters Maude and Audrey Daborn(e). These six are described as 'my said youngest children'. There are also bequests to two (presumably married) daughters Katherine Osborn and Johan Alyn. He also asks for his body to be buried in the church of Saint Mary in Guildford.

    The will is dated August 1549: '(?) day of August in the year of our Lord a thousand and fyve hundred fourty and nyne and in the third year of the reign of ...Lord Edward the sixth by the grace of God, king of England France and Ireland …and … head of the Church of England.' Bit of a mouthful, and some words I can't make out, but it all fits.

    Hope you enjoy deciphering it!
  8. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    25th, I think - xxv
    I don't think it is John in the list of younger children - the fourth one in the list looks to me like Alice.
  9. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    Yes, I think you're right, and Alice is mentioned further up - missed that one! So John is presumably older than these six.
  10. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Yes, it looks like John was married and already a father - about half way down the first page it says "Thomas Daborne my godsone the sonne of John Daborne my sonne".
  11. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Just another thought - how sure are you that your John died about 1549? The reason I ask is that there was another John Daborne of Guildford whose will was proved 23 Mar 1558/9, and he does mention sons John and Henry (and quite a few other children). This 1558 John was a clothier, the 1549 one was a dyer.
  12. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    Both of you ladies are brilliant! Thank you so much, I will be puzzling over this for a while it seems.

    The current "idea" is that the father died in 1549 and the son, the second John Daborne, died in about 1558/9. I don't have a lot of children for either of them, nor a lot of records that I have discovered so far, so this part of the tree is fairly murky. The name spelling changes don't help.
    I created this part of my tree with the information from the pedigree, which I have a photocopy of home (I didn't take a digital shot of it, which was a shame, so I have to go back in and take a photo of it next time). That tree basically gives the information as I have given - though it doesn't go into too much detail about more children, for the top couple of branches it only gives the bar minimum of information. Though it does state that one of the John/Johannes Daborne's possibly was Mayor of Guildford at one point, although I haven't found any evidence of that as of yet.

    It of course could be wrong, as a lot of those sort of documents are. You can follow quite a number of the family members through the wills - by the time the family are in London (and then Wisbech), the name has changed to "Dawborne" then to "Dawbarn", which is where it stays.

    **There is a chance that the 1558 John Daborne is the one that I think is the 1549 one, and that there is another John Daborne (son of, son of etc) which has to be added in to suit the timeline. I.e. currently I have the 1549 John Daborne as my 12x great grandfather, but he could in fact be my 13x instead, and I'd have to add another John into the tree and bump the other two up one - then the son "Henry" would line up.
  13. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    .... I just went to my old friend Google to look for a link to a document I once saw for "Johannes Daborne, Mayor of Guildford", to see what I could locate, and what returned suggested that that particular John Daborne was born around 1500 and died in 1548. It states that his wife's name was Elizabeth and his daughter, Maud, married Richard Morris. I have Maud and Richard Morris, but attached to the younger John Daborne rather than the elder - but his (the younger) current age range I have for 1520-1558. So perhaps I have Maud in the wrong spot. It would match the 1549 will, which has a Maude as a daughter - although the current birth year I have for Maude is 1547, which would have made her two when her father died.

    I'd say there are some discrepancies somewhere... I need to find that pedigree copy and have another look!
  14. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    Also trawling the records found a death of a Elizabeth Daborne (presumably John's wife) from 1545 in Guildford, which could be why a wife is never mentioned in the will.
  15. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    And now I've found a transcription of the will itself...

    As follows:

    The 1549 will of John Daborne, Dyer

    In the name of god amen. The XXX daie of August in the yere of our lorde a thousande five
    hundreth fourtie and nyne, and in the thirde yere of the reigne of our soveraigne Lorde Edwarde
    the sixte, by the grace of god, kinge of England, Ffranmce and Ireland, defender of the faith,
    and in erth, supreme hed of the churche of Englande and Ireland. I John Daborne, thelder, of
    Guldford in the countie of Surrey, Dyer, ordaine, make and declare this to be my very true and
    last will and testamint in the maner and forme folowing. Ffirst knowe ye that I being sick of
    body and of good hold and purfice memorie, thanks be unto god, do bequethe my soule unto
    Almightie god, my maker and redemer, and to his murcifull governnce my body to be buried in the
    Churche of Sainct Marie in Guldford aforesaid.

    Item I bequeth to the mother churche of Winchester $____.

    Item I bequeth to the poore mans boxe of my pishe, $_____ , for the relief of the povertie.

    Item I give and bequethe to Thomas Daborn my sonne,twenty pounds and my thirde gowne.

    Item I bequethe to Robert Daborne my sonne,twenty pounds stirling and my secounde gowne, my
    secounde fetherbed, a bolster, apaireof shetes, apayre of blankts and a coverlet.

    Item I bequethe to George, my sonne, twenty pounds.

    Item I bequethe to Alin my daughter, thirtie pounds

    Item I bequethe to the same Alin, my _____ best gowne _____ with velvet, my third fitherbed, a
    bolter, apayre of shetes, apayre of blankts and a covirlit.

    Item I bequithe to Maude, my daughter, twentie pounds.

    Item I bequethe to Andrye Daborne, my daughter, twentie pounds.

    Item I bequethe to John Daborne my sonne, my best sylvir cupp and my best silver saltseller.

    Item I bequithe to the saide John, one bedsted and my best fetherbed, a bolster with apayre of
    sust and blankts, apaire of shits, acoverlit, the best that wat at the tyme and daye of making
    of this, my will.

    Item I bequethe to the said John, my best gowne. Item I bequethe to John Griffyne my Bermin,
    twentie shillings.

    Item I bequithe to Thomas Daborne my godsonne, the sonne of John Daborne my sonne, fourtie

    Item I give and bequithe to Johane Melishe and to Elizabeth Maryland oone dosen of silver spones
    between them to be devided.

    Item I bequethe to Robert Melishe the sonne of Johane Melishe, my godson, twenty shillings.

    Item I bequethe to every other of my godchildren not named ___$___ apece.

    Item I bequethe to Alin and Maude my daughters, a dosen of silver spones, the best, over and
    above there equall porcions of all my goods not bequeathed.

    Item I bequith to Katherin Osborne, my daughter, two silver spones over and above her equall
    porcion of my goods not bequeathed.

    Item I bequeth to John Osborne my godsonne, twenty shillings.

    Item I bequethe to Johane Alyn my daughter, my thirde best goblit of silver, and she to have
    that as in the name of her hole parte or porcion of all my goods and catalls. And from her, the
    same goblit to remayne to her eldest sonne.

    Also I will that if it shall happen any of my saide yonger children, that is to saie Thomas,
    Robert, George, Alin, Maude or Andrey Daborne to departe from this world before they shall
    accomplishe the age of XX1 yeres, or els to be maried, that then I will the hole legacie or
    bequeaths to hym, her or them so __________ shall remayne hooly to the other of them my saide X1
    yonger children above named, equally and be even porcions emongest them, to be devided by myne
    executors and overseers.

    Item I will that John Mongar, John Pvishe, thelder, and John Stoston, capper, with my executors
    and overseers, shall after my decease, in as shorte tyme as may be, so my legacies or bequeaths
    whiche I have given and bequethed to my saide sixe yonger children, to be put into good and safe
    keeping, and under good and sufficient (surtie)? by writing, to be well and faithfully paide to
    my saide yonger children orto ________ of them in maner and forme above saide. And also I will
    that the saide John Mongar, John Pryshe, John Stosten, with my executors and overseers, shall
    elect, _______ , and chose by them, ______ , or by the most in number of them, wone or two good
    honest and (descrete)? psone or psones, to govern, kepe, and bring up after an honest and godlye
    the forenamed George Daborne and Andery Daborne, untill they shall accomplyse theire severall
    ages of XX1 yeres or to be maryed as is abovesaide. And the saide pte or pties that shall so
    take upon hym or them, the keping of my saide children, or one of them, upon sufficient
    (suertye)? ______ as is above said, shall have thoccupying of ther saide legacie or bequest of
    twentie pounds for every of them, unto suche tyme as the ptes above apoynted shall thinke good
    to remove the said children and to put them unto (___mices)? for them and after suche (remove)?
    of the said two children had I will that my saide legacies unto them bequethed shalbe put forth
    by the ______ above named with my executors and overseers unto the most vantage that they can to
    the saide childrens use, and profyt to be paide unto them when they shall accomplyshe their
    severall ages of XX1 yeres or to be maried as is abovesaide. All the residue of my goodes and
    catall, whatever they be, my debts paide and my legacies fulfilled. I give, will and bequethe to
    Gearge Daborne and Andrie Daborne my children equally to be parted, sepated & divided by my
    executours and overseers according to the true meanying herof, and furthermore, be it knowen
    universallie that this is my (disposicion)? and last will as conserning all and singuler, my
    lands and tenements that I have in the countie of Surry in maner and forme folowing.

    That is to saye, ffirst I give, will and bequethe unto John Daborne my sonne, my new house in
    the castil strete, and acroste lying next to the vicarege of Shalford, on the northe side, with
    all and singuler thappurtennts and one acre and (arodinele)? of lande lying in Shalford folde,
    to have and to hold to the saide John, to his hieres and assignes forever, paymit to the lordes
    of the fee be services due and acustomed.

    Also, I will and bequeathe to Robert Daborne, my sonne, all that my olde house whiche I bought
    of William Kussell gentilman, with the Dyehouse therto belonging, and all yimplements and
    necessaries therin conteyned with thappurtennce, to have and to holde the saide house and the
    Dyhouse with thappertennce and the vessells and ymplements therin conteyned, to the saide
    Robert, to his heires and assignes forever, paying to the lordes of the fee by services thereof
    due and acustomed.

    Item I give and bequithe to George Daborne my sonne, all that my house with garden thereunto
    adioyning, sett, lying and being in the pishe of the Holy Trinitie in Guldford, wherin one
    Maxmay nowe inhabiteth, right agenst the saide churche of the Trinitie, and one house lying in
    Stok Lane next Galdeforde and foure acres of lande lying at the marke of Merowe with all and
    singler there appurtennence, to have and to hold the saide two houses and the saide foure acres
    of land with thappurtennence to the saide George, to his heyres and assignes forever, paymnt to
    the hedd lordes of the fee by rentes and services therof due and accustomed. And if it happen
    the saide George to dye before that he shall accomplishe the age of XX1 yeres and to be of
    (discrecion)? to make a will or testament for the conveyans of the saide houses and lands by me
    unto hym given for the remayndr after his deceas, that then I will he so dying within age or
    under yeres of disc recon, that the said houses and lands with thappurtennces shall remayne to
    Andrye Daborne my daughter, and the heires of her body laufully begotten, and for lack of heires
    of her bodie lawfully begotten, that then I will the saide houses and landes with all and
    singuler ther appurtenance, to remayne to the next heire of John Daborne my eldest sonne, and to
    his heires forever.

    Item I will that he that shall have the custodie or keeping of my said sonne George Daborne,
    shall also have the goverence of his said landes and tenements, to the intent to set hym to
    scole to rede & to wryte competently, and also I will that after the saide George shalbe bounde
    _______ ______ then the said landes and tenements to be at the keping of my executours and them
    and then to kepe of upon accompte to thuse of the said George or if he dye, to the use of Andrey
    Daborne as is above said, executours shall kepe and maynteyn the saide houses and landes and all
    (rexacions)?, and therof to make accompte at the great Lawdaie before Mr Mayor for the tyme
    being, in every yere. Also I utterlie refuse and sett aside for nothing, all testaments and
    former willes by me at my tyme made, and this only to be taken for my hole, full and last
    testament, and in that contayned, my very last will.

    Item, I ordeyne and make John Stoston, capper, and James Hilles, of Guldford, to be my overseers
    to, so this my _______ , will to be truly pformd, and that my children may have no wrongs done
    unto them, nor any them, and they to have for ther labor and paynes, fourtie shillings apece to,
    so this my will fulfilled. Writen by John Amere, pson, and redd and declared in the presens of
    John Darkinge, man, & John Monger, John Pinshesen, John Scoughton, James Hill and John Austen,
  16. Heather

    Heather LostCousins Member

    That would be Edward the sixth who reigned from 28th January 1547 to 6th July 1553, he was the son of Henry the 8th and Jane Seymour. It will no doubt take some time to decipher all this but you should be able to get lots of information from it, good luck.
  17. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Thanks for posting all this additional information. There are a few issues which occur to me and which I will hopefully have time to comment on later, and you are probably already aware that there are some errors in the will transcription.

    Two quick comments for now on the names of two of the daughters in the will, since names are one of the most informative bits of a will for genealogy purposes:

    1. While it is often almost impossible to distinguish between a “u” and an “n” in old handwriting, Audrey (in its various spellings) struck me more likely than Andrey.

    2. I am as certain as I can be that it is Alice rather than Alin. (See the end France in the preamble for comparison.)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Another comment on the will transcription is that the modified "p"s have been transcribed as ordinary "p"s. I think mostly in this will the modification is a line through the stem of the "p" which represents "par", "per" or "por".

    So the surname transcribed "Pryshe" would be Parryshe, and "psones" would be persones etc. Often, for clarification, these are transcribed with square brackets - P[ar]ryshe and p[er]sones.

    There are other modifications of the letter "p" representing "pre" and "pro", and also other modified letters and contractions to watch out for in old wills.

    Edit: Although given as P[ar]ryshe at the top of the 2nd page, elsewhere in the will this surname seems to be P[ar]vyshe (or similar).
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
  19. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    The John Daborne whose will was proved 1558 was also married to an Elizabeth who was still alive when his will was written. Also named are Harry Chyttye alias Bocher and Robert Chyttye alias Bocher "my wifes bretheren".

    John names 14 children in the will - John, Thomas, Peter, Henry, Robert, William, Nicholas, William, Frances (or Francis?), Elizabeth, Constans, Julian, Johane & Katheryn. (And it seems there really were two Williams as he later refers to them as "my eldest sonne of that name" and "my youngest sonne of that name".)

    The number of children mentioned here makes me wonder if he might have been born earlier than 1520? And the potential for confusion between the different generations seems quite high!
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
  20. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    Congratulations on finding the transcription and thanks for posting it. It certainly makes your task a lot easier, but as Pauline says you need to be aware of errors, especially relating to names. I'd also picked up on the Audrey and Alice issues and agree with Pauline's comments on these.

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