The will and inventory of Francis Champernoun (d. 1632)

Unlike with most wills on this website I do not know how I am related to Francis Champernoun. However, I believe that Nathaniel Champernoun, his executor and residual, and it would appear main, beneficiary, is my 10 x great grandfather. Francis may have been his father or brother, or possibly a little more distant, could be uncle or cousin.

This will was proved in the Archdeaconry Court of Totnes, and no doubt like the other wills proved in that court and the others of Exeter Diocese was destroyed in the bombing of Exeter in 1942. A few survived as abstracts or transriptions, particularly those of the wealthier or prestigous. The inventory of Francis’ goods clearly shows he was not wealthy, but his will was probably transcribed due to his sharing a surname with the well-to-do Champernouns of Modbury and Dartington. (I suspect there is a distant link to the Modbury Champernouns, but we will be lucky if documents survive to prove or disprove this). We have Miss Olive Moger to thank for the transcription of the will and inventory that follow.

Will

In the name of god amen, the seaventeeneth daye
of March in the yeare of our lord god accordinge to
the Church of England one thousand sixe hundred
thirty and one, I Francis Champernon of Stokingham
in the County of Devon husbandman, sicke and weake
of bodye butt perfecte of minde, thankes be unto
Allmightye god doe ordayne and make this to be my
last will and testament, First I commend my sole unto the
handes of Allmightye god and my bodye to be buried in the
Churche of Stokingham. Item I gyve unto Jhoane Hyne one
sheep Item I gyve and bequieth unto Tamsin Fovle
Fortye shillinges to be payed unto her one whole yeare
next after the decease of the foresaid Francis Champernon
if shee Tamsin Foule doe soe longe life Item I gyve
unto Jhoane Champernon my wife one plater and one podger
Item I gyve and bequieth unto Nathaniell Champernon all
my goodes not gyven nor bequeathed moveable or unmoveable
and him I doe make to be my full whole and sole executor,
and I doe utterlie revocke all other wills and testaments
from the beginninge of the world untill this daye.

Sigm de Faunc Champnowne

Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of us

teste me Edward Prale junior ?
Sigm Henriei Stone
Sigm de Tristram Crobirde ?
Sigm de Nicholas Hawkings

Probatum fuit huius testatum XIX die Aprilis Anno
Dm 1632 coram Mro Josepho Martyn in artibus mro offic Venelis
viri Edwardi Cotton Clici in artibus etiam mri Archin Totton
&c Jur.

[2 copies]

Translation [by Miss Moger]

This will was proved 19 Apr. 1632 before Master Joseph
Martyn M.A. officer of Venerable Edward Cotton, clerk, M.A.
Archdeacon of Totnes etc. Sworn.

Inventory

A true Inventorye of all the goods and chattells of
Francis Champernon deceeased, prised by Edward Prall
and John Choldiche the Eighteeneth daye of Aprill 1632.

£l

s.

d.

Inprimis fyve yewes and lambes one
hoge and one yewe without lambe

1

14

0

Item one Cowe

3

0

0

Item three brasen Crockes and three
brasen pannes and towe old
caulderonnes

3

10

0

Item Eighteene podgers and platers
and sixe sausers

0

18

0

Item three Candell stickes and a
fryinge panne

0

3

4

Item one brandice one pare of poott-
hookes a crocke and a griddell

0

1

8

Item one quart a tinninge bottell
and one salter

0

1

8

Item one tabell board a forme and
towe hanginge boardes and the
shilles and the hodderones

0

10

0

Item one Feather bed a feather
bolster a bed stead one pare
of blancetts one coverlett
and one sheete

2

0

0

Item one spitt and the tymber
vessell towe bucketes one
barrell and towe old cofferes

0

6

0

Item one clominge crocke

0

1

0

Item one board cloth and towe pilties

0

3

0

Item one stoole and towe chares

0

1

0

Item all his waringe parrell

2

0

0

Item one mathoc a baskett and a panger

0

0

8

Some totall

14

10

0

Extm. fuit hmoi Invenm XIXo die Aprilis Anno Dm 1632
per Nathanielem Champernowne Execut &c pro pleno &c.

[Two copies with slight differences of spelling]

Endorsement. 19o die Aprilis 1632.
D. Woodley.

T. Frauncisci Champernowne nuper de Stokenam
def probatum fuit coram Mro Josepho Martyn Offic
&c. Jurat &c.

[translation by Miss Moger:]
Will of Francis Champernowne late of Stokenham
deceased was proved before Master Joseph Martyn officer
etc. Sworn etc.

(Archd. of Totnes. (Woodleigh Deanery))

Source

This full transcript including inventory is in vol. 4 of Miss Moger’s will abstracts / transcriptions, p.953-957; the volumes are held at the DHC.

Notes

Comparing the bequests in the will with the inventory suggest that Nathaniel was the main beneficiary. However, we do not know what debts Francis may have had when he died, and there will also have been expenses to come out of the estate – Francis’ funeral /burial costs and those of Nathaniel himself as executor. The will being a simple one, Nathaniel expenses may have been little more than a trip to Totnes, about 15 miles from Stokenham, to prove the will and the charge for proving. I guess those who drew up the inventory will also have been paid for their work.


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