The will of Thomas Terry (1584-1653) (husband of Maria Becon)

Thomas was the husband of Maria BECON, a 9 x great aunt of mine.

In this will Thomas refers several times to relations being the ‘naturall sister’, etc. ‘Natural’ is often used to mean illegitimate, but really it means biological. Often the only reason to refer to e.g. a son as natural was when he was illegitimate and so not also a legal son. Here I believe there is no suggestion that these relations are connected by illegitimate links, rather it is to distinguish his blood relations from those by marriage (who at this time were often simply referred to as ‘sister’, ‘brother’ etc. without the qualification of in-law or similar).

[Page numbers are included and line breaks as in the document to make referring to or from images of the will easier]

[p.1]
In the name of God Amen
Thomas Terry thelder of Braburne in the County of Kent yeoman beinge
weake in body and consideringe the frayle estate of man which is cut downe as the
grasse doe make and ordeyne this my last Will and Testament in manner and
forme followinge, And first I bequeath my soule unto God haveinge through the
Death of his sonne Jesus Christ to have my sinnes pardoned, and my body to the
earth from whence it came to be Decently buried and my funerall expences paid
with this probate of this my Will, and then for my temporall estate I
bequeath as followeth Imprimis I give unto my sonne Thomas five
shillinges Item I give unto my sonne Basill or Barzillai Five shillinges Item
I give unto my sonne John Five shillings Item I give unto my Daughter
Katherine Five shillinges Item I give unto my daughter Jane Five shillings
And more I give unto my Daughter Jane the sume of Forty shillinges by
the yeare and quarterly to be paid by equall portions to bee issueinge and
goeinge out of all that Sixteene acres of land of mine (be it more or lesse)
lyinge in Brabourne and usually called the Cow pasture, to receive the same
yearely dureinge her naturall life, And further I give unto her my said
daughter Jane for her life tyme that Annuity of Twenty shillings by the
yeare (after my Sister Strowds death) issueinge out of the said lands called the
Cow pasture which was formerly given unto my naturall sister Elizabeth
Strowd by the last Will and Testament of my naturall father William Terry
deceased, Item my Will is that my Welbeloved wife Dorothy shall yearely
receive and take as part of her Joynture the sume of Forty shillinges by
the yeare out of the said Sixteene acres called the Cow pasture Item
I give unto my ^ {said} sonne Basill or Barzillai the aforesaid Sixteene acres of land
(be it more or lesse) called the Cow pasture he payinge the aforesaid sumes
given out from the same which beinge kindly performed I give the said
[p.2]
premisses unto him the said Basill or Barzillai and to his heires for ever Item I
give unto my naturall daughter Katherine the sume of Forty shillinges
by the yeare in Currant money to be levied issueinge and goeinge fourth of
all that Messuage or Tenement of myne in Brabourne aforesaid and in
Stowting(?) Cant Lyminge Eight acres thereof (be it more or lesse) alwayes
exceptinge the Cow pasture and potten feelds to be paid her yearely dureing
her naturall life at the fowre usuall quarter dayes in the yeare of
Christmas day, our lady day, Midsomer day and Michaellmasday by equall portions Item I give unto my grandchild Thomas the sonne of my
daughter Katherine Five pownds in Currant money to be paid him out
of all that ^ {my} Messuage Tenement and lands of myne in Brabourne and
Stowtinge (except the Cow pasture and potten feeld at his age of one
and twenty yeares, Item I give more out of my said messuage and lands
in Brabourne (except the ^ {Cow} pasture and potten feelds) the some of Forty
shillinges to be paid unto my other two grandchildren of my daughter
Katherine beinge James and Edward at their severall ages of one and
twenty yeares Item my Will is that my Welbloved wife Dorothy shall
yearely and quarterly receive accordinge to her Joynture dureinge her
naturall life out of the said messuage and lands in Brabourne and Stowting
(except the Cow pasture and patten feilds) the some of Eight pownds by the
yeare accordinge to the quarter dayes by equall portcons, at Christmas day
our Lday Day Midsomer day and Michaellmas Day, Item I give unto my sonne
John and to his heires for ever (if he take not to wife Kathern Beckett)
all that my said Messuage and lands belongeinge to the same in Brabourne
aforesaid and Stowtinge (exceptinge the Cow pasture and except potting
or Tyle lodge feelds formerly given and now againe confirmed by this
my Will) which land premisses conteyne Eight acres (more or lesse)
but if my said John shall take to wife her the said Katherin Beckett
then I give unto him my said John Forty shillinges and noe more, and
I give all the said Messuage and lands of mine in Brabourne and
Stowtinge (except before excepted) unto any sonne Thomas and Barzillai
equally betwixt them and to their heires forever Item I give unto my
welbeloved wife Dorothy one Bedstedle with bedd boulster Coverlett blankett
and all of her furniture as it stande nowe in Smeex [Smeeth] parrish (beinge
formerly her owne before she became my Wife) Item I give more unto
my said wife the value of Tenn powndes in householdstuffe accordinge as
it shall be apprized in the Inventory which shee shall best accept off And
my Will is that my said wife shall have her dwellinge in my said house at
Brabourne where I now live, and to have the Hall or kitchin freely to her
selfe dureinge her life tyme with such other roome as she shall Chuse for
her owne dwellinge and free passage to the same and about the house
for washinge dryinge of Lyninge and other necessaryes Item my Will is
that all such debts which of right I owe unto my man shalbee truely paid
out of my goods and estate and then I give further as followeth Item
I give unto my sonne John Tenn pownds worth of house hold stuffe
as it shall bee apprized in the Inventory (if he take not to wife Katherin
Beckett) And all other my householdstuffe which is not disposed of by this
my Will I give unto these three of my Children Thomas Katherin and
Jane to be equally devided betwixt them Item I give unto my sonne
Thomas and my Daughter Jane all that Sixeteene pownds and odd
money (accordinge as ane writtinge sheweth) which is due unto me from
my naturall sister Martha Terry beinge due for householdstuffe, and I
give them likewise all such use and interrest which shall arrise and
growe payable thereon from my fathers death untill the same shalbee
[p.3]
paid And all the remanieinge part of my goods Cattle and Chattles unbequeathed
I give unto my said wife Dorothy And my Will is that if any of my said sonnes or
daughters shall refusse the fullfillinge of this my Will and Testament, that is, of
any of my sonnes shall refusse to pay such somes of money given out of the
lands bequeathed them, or if they or any of them or of my daughters shall not
bee satisfied with such legacies and portions herein given that then those and
entry of them shall have either or each of them twelve pence, and soe utterly
to loose all benefitt whatsoever elce of this my Will and their part or partes
to bee devided amongst the other here with contented, And my said Wife
Dorothy I doe hereby make full sole and whole Executrix of this my last will
and Testament And my sonnes Thomas Terry and Basill or Barzilai Terry I
make overseers of this my Will, And further whereas heretofore I did give and
grannt by deed unto my sonne Thomas those two feelds called pottings or
Tyle lodge feelds in Brabourne aforesaid Conteyninge Eight acres of land (more
or lesse) now for further sure makeinge and full security thereof I will
as followeth Imprimis I give unto my said sonne Thomas and to his heires
far ever All that North feeld of those two feelds called pottins or Tyle lodge
feelds in Brabourne aforesaid as it is bounded from the other and conteyninge
Fowre? acres (more or lesse) Item I give unto my sonne Thomas and to his wife
Elizabeth all that South feeld of those two feelds called pottins or Tyle lodge
feelds conteyninge fowre acres (more of lesse) to have hold and use the same
duringe their naturall lives and then after their and each of their decease
I give the said Southfeild unto my Granchild Thomas the sonne of him my
said naturall sonne Thomas and to his heires forever And this is the
last Will and Testament of me the said Thomas Terry thelder made and
written this sixt day of June conteyninge three sheets of paper beinge in
the yeare of or Lord Christ one Thousand six hundred Fifty and three
Thomas Terry by his seale and marke, Sealed signed published and declared
to be the last Will and Testament of him the said Thomas Terry in the
presence of us Witnesses William Britten Cr The marke of Anne Rigden
wife unto Nicholas Rigden Elizabeth Everden her marke /
This will was proved att Westminster the Thirtieth day of
September in the yeare of or Lord God one thousand Six hundred Fifty three
before the Judges for probate of Wills and grantinge of Administracons accordinge
to an Act of Parlyment entituled an Act for probate of Wills and grantinge
of Administracone by the oath of Dorothy Terry the Relict and sole Executrix
named in the said Will To whome was comitted Administracon of all and
singuler the goods Chattles and debts of the said Deceased she beinge by Comission
legally swarne faithfully to Administer the same, Exr./

Thomas Terry’s will was proved during the interregnum when there were no Bishops or Archdeacons, and all wills had to be proved centrally in London. There was no Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC) either, as that was the Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury, but the wills proved in London at that time are deposited with the PCC wills at the National Archives.

TNA ref: PROB 11/230/717 (more details about source on Thomas’s page)


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