The will of Dame Alice Godolphin, 1631

(formerly Alice Glanville, née Skirrett)

Alice is my 12 x great grandmother

In the name of God Amen. I Dame
Alice Godolphine of Tavistocke in the Countie of Devon Widdow being aged and weake
of body but of perfect memory thankes be given to Allmightie God Doe hereby revoke and make
void all wills whatsoever by mee heretofore made, and doe make and ordaine this my last will &
Testament in manner and forme following First I give and bequeath my Soule to Allmightie God
my maker and Creator having assured confidence that by the death and passion, and through the merittes
of Jesus Christ my Redeemer my sinnes shall all be forgiven mee, and that I shall enjoy the Crowne of
everlastinge life, and inherite the fullnes of glory in the kingdome of heaven My body I willingly
render againe unto the earth out of wch it was taken, the wch I desire may receive Christian and decent
buriall in the Chancell of the Church of Tavistocke by John Glanvill my first husband late one of the
Justices of the late Queenes Matie. Queen: Elizabeth of famous memory of her highnes Court of
Comon pleas at Westminster And touching my worldly goods and chattells, debts and Credittes I give
and bequeath the same in manner and forme following First I give and bequeath thereof to the poore of
the Towne and parish of Tavistocke the som[m]e of twentie pounds the wch my meaning is shalbe bestowed
on fortie such poore people there as shalbe thought good to my Executor hereafter named and appointed
Item I give unto Mr Edward Eliott Vicar of Tavistocke the some of tenne pounds Item I give & bequeath
unto my second sonne John Glanvill of Broadhinton in the Countie of Wiltes Esqr my best bason & Eure
that is p[ar]cell guilt, one nest of guilt goblettes fiftie bullockes one hundred of Ewe sheepe, one hundred of
weather sheepe, sixe of the best horses nagges or mares I shall have at the tyme of my death, and the one
halfe of all lynnen Item I give unto my third sonne Thomas Glanvill of Soartridge Gent all the estate
and lease I shall have to come in the tenement or grounds called Middle, at the tyme of my death, and also
the some of two hundred pounds in money wch lease and money my intent is shalbe imployed and bestowed
for his benefitt in such sort as shall stand with the good likeing of his brothers and the survivor of them
and by theire direccon and not otherwise Item I give unto my daugher in lawe the lady Glanvill my best
gold chaine and border at her eleccon It[em] I give unto my daughter in lawe Mris Wenifride Glanvill my
second best chaine and border at her eleccon It[em] I give unto my daughter in lawe Diones Pollwhile my other
chaine and border and one of my better gownes Item I give ^ {un}to my daughter Jhone Hele the some of one
hundred markes to buy a chaine and border wthall Itm I give unto my two sonnes in law Thomas Pollwheile Esqr and Sampson Hele Esqr to each of them five markes to bestowe in a ring to weare
in memory of mee Item I give unto my grandchild John Glanvill the sonne of my said sonne John
Glanvill Esqr all that my Tenement in Willmstoy wch I tooke of Mr John Cake deceased for all
the terme that shalbe to come therein after my decease Item I give unto my servant John Elford [1] five
markes, and to his wife one scarlett petticoate And touching all other my goods and Chattells debtes
and Credittes whatsoever not hereby formerly given devised and bequeathed I give, devise & bequeath
the same unto my eldest sonne Sr Francis Glanvill knight whom I make my sole Executor of this
my will and testament And doe require him to see my debtes and legacies well and truly paid done
and performed In witnes whereof I have hereunto putt my hand and seale the Seaventh day of
Aprill One thousand sixe hundred thirtie one [7 April 1631] Ales Godolphin Sealed signed and published
by the said Dame Alice Godolphine as her last will and testament in the presence of Jo. Glanvill
Jane Glanvill John Elford ./ Dewnes Glanvill
Probatum fuit Testamentum suprascriptum Apud London
Coram venerabili viro Domino Henrico Marten Milite legum doctore Curie Prerogative
Cantuariensis Magistro Custode sive Commissario l[egi]time constituto Ultimo die mensis Aprilis Anno
domini Millesimo sexcentesimo tricesimo secundo [30 April 1632] Juramento domini Francisci Glanvill Militis
filii dicte defuncte et Executoris in huiusmodi Testamento nominat Cui Comissa fuit adminstratio
omnium et singulorum bonorum jurium et Creditorum dicte defuncte de bene et fidel[ite]r Administrando
eadem Ad sancta Dei Evangelia Coram Johanne Polwhele Clico Vigore Commissionis in ea
parte al[ia]s Emanat Jurat ./. Ex[aminatur] /s

My translation of the Probate statement:

[The above written will was proved at London
before the worshipful Sir Henry Marten Knight Doctor of Laws, Master, Keeper
or Commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury lawfully constituted The last day of the month of April in the Year
of Our Lord One thousand six hundred and thirty two by the Oath of Sir Francis Glanvill Knight
son of the said deceased and Executor named in this Will To whom was committed administration
of all and singular the goods, rights and credits of the said deceased well and faithfully to Adminster
the same He being sworn on God’s Holy Gospels before John Polwhele Cleric by force of a commission in this
regard issued elsewhere [or at another time] ]


John Glanville: probably neither of the living Johns mentioned in the will, as they did not live nearby, unless they were visiting their mother / grandmother as she seemed close to death. Possibly more likely is Alice’s husband’s great nephew with the name, who was also Alice’s nephew (since her sister Mary had married her husband’s nephew). He was born and grew up in Launceston, if still there close enough that he may have been a witness.

Jane Glanvill: probably her granddaughter, daughter of her son Francis. She married about 10 months after the will was written, but was still a Glanville at the time.

John Elford: presumably her servant.

Dewnes Glanvill: probably another granddaughter, also a daughter of her son Francis. She married in 1635 so was still a Glanville at the time the will was written.


[1] The description of John Elford as being Alice’s servant should not be taken to mean he was a domestic servant. People with all sorts of occupations might be described as a servant at this time if they worked for another. His being named with Alice in at least one Chancery Court case, where he was described as a ‘gent’ may suggest he managed her estates / property.

TNA ref: PROB 11/161/497

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