The will of William Burr (1585/6-1628/9)

William Burr is a half 11 x great uncle of mine. William probably died shortly before his 43rd birthday, at the home of a sister and brother-in-law. William appears to have had no children, at least none who survived him, nor to have left a widow, so almost all bequests are to siblings, nephews and nieces, and the will is therefore very useful in confirming the relationships between the Marden Burrs. It is particularly useful where my ancestor Jane is concerned as no record of her baptism has been found. If he had married and had children there seems to be no record of them in Marden; maybe he had lived in a neighbouring village before returning after being widowed to live closer to or with his family. We cannot tell from his will whether he had lived with his sister Mary for long or only after becoming ill when he needed someone around to care for him. I suspect he would not have lived alone, but may have boarded elsewhere. He may well have continued to live with his parents until they had both died, some 15 years before his own death. If his siblings were not all married by then they married soon after, Henry probably around 1615 like Mary, judging by the date of baptism of his children. Line breaks and page numbers as in register copy of the will. [] indicate something I have added - whether letters in a word abbreviated in the document or a comment or link to a footnote. {} indicates text is inserted above the line. Spelling as far as possible as in the register copy; names of those not on the tree (and so not linked) are in bold, not in register copy but to make them easy to spot here.
In the name of God Amen the 11th Day of January Anno Dni 1628 I William Burr of the parishe of Marden in the Countie of ^ {Kent} Broadweaver[1] beinge of whole mynde and in good and perfect remem= -brance laud and prayse be given to god doe make & ordaine this my last will and testamt in manner and forme followinge Vizt First I commend my soule to allmightie God my Maker And Redeemer and my bodie to be buried in the p[ar]ishe Church Churchyard of Marden aforesaid First I give unto the poore people of the fore said parishe of Marden xs to be paid by my Exe= =cutor where most neede is at the day of my buriall. Itm I will and bequeath unto my sister Rachell the wife of John Thecher xxs to be paid her wthin one whole yeare next and ymediatly after my decease by my Executor. Itm I give unto John Thecher the sonne of John The= -cher xxs to be paid him wthin one yeare next after my decease by my Executor. Itm I give unto Henry Thecher the sonne of the forenamed John Thecher xxs to be paid him wthin one yeare next after my decease by my executor Itm I give unto Susan Thecher the daughter of the said John Thecher iiiils to be paid her wthin one yeare next after my decease by my executor. Itm I give unto Rachell Thecher the daughter of John Thecher aforesaid xls & one Joyned Chest[2] stand in my bedchamber in the house of Thomas Blush where I now dwellth wch said Chest to be delivered unto her pr[e]sently after the day of my buriall and my minde is that my Executor shall alow unto the said Rachell Thecher for the use of the said fortie shillinges two shillinges a yere untill she shall come unto the age of twentie yeres or at her day of marriage wch shall happen first or else the said fortie shillinges to be paid wthin one yere after my decease as my Executor shall thinke best Itm I give unto Elizabeth Thecher the daughter of the said John Thecher xls to be paid her wthin one yere next after my decease by my executor or else to alow her two shillinges a yere untill she shall come to the age of twentie yeares or at her day of marriage wch shall happen first for the use of the said fortie shillinges as my executor shall thinke best, and my minde is that yf any of these aforenamed shall die before the tymes of [p.2] payment be expired that then his or her porcon shalbe equally devided amonge these that shalbe then liveinge Itm I give unto William Burr, the daughter {sonne} of Edward Burr iiiils & one chest standinge at the foote of my bed to be delyvered him pr[e]sently after the day of my buriall & the iiiils(?) to be paid him wthin one yere next after my decease by my Executor: Itm I give unto Jane Burr the daughter of Edward Burr [3] ^ {&} one bed whereon I lie one bolster & two blankets & one kiveringe to be delivered her pr[e]sently after the day of my buriall and iiiili: to be paid her wthin one yere next after my decease by my Executor, and if eyther the said William Burr or the said Jane Burr shall happen to die before the time is(?) expired then ther his or her parte shalbe paid to him or her that shall then liveing Itm I give unto Mary Blush the daughter of Thomas Blush xxs to be payd her eyther wthin one yere next after my decease or else xiid: a yere untill she shall come to the age of twenty yeres or at her day of marriage wch shalbe first for the use of the said twenty shillinges wch my Executor shall thinke best. Item I give unto Sara Blush the daugh= ter of Thomas Blush xxs: to be paid her eyther wthin one yere next after my decease or else xiid: a yere untill she shall Com to the age of twenty yeres or at her day of marriage wch shall com first for her use of the sayd xxs as my executor shall thinke best. Itm I give unto my brother in law Thomas Blush all my wearinge app[ar]ell both lynnen & woollen, and my Mare one saddle to be delivered him pr[e]sently after my decease by my Executor. Itm I give unto my Sister Mary Blush the wife of Thomas Blush vs to be paid wthin one yere next after my decease by my Executor Itm I give to Jacob Summer iu [ju[nior]?] vs to be paid wthin one yere next after my decease by my Executor Itm I give to Ellen Burr the daughter of Henry Burr iiiili to be paid wthin one yere next after my decease by my Executor. Itm I give to Elizabeth Burr Attained Burr & Margaret Burr the daughters [sic - Attained was a son!][4] of Henry Burr xxs a peece to be paid wthin one yere next after my decease by my Executor Itm my ^ {will} & minde is that Jasp[er] Danne shall have xs: for makeinge of my Coffen to be paid at my buriall by my Executor Itm my will & minde is that my Executor shall bestow for a sermon & my byriall xls: whereof vis viiid shalbe for the sermon Itm I give to John Thecher Jun [a nephew] Jacob Summers Ju, James Borne & John Jaret xiid: a peece for carryeinge of me to my grave to be paid by my Executor All the the residue of my goods unbequethed I give unto my Executor. And of this my present testament I make & ordaine Henry Burr of Marden aforesayd my whole Executor : In witnesse whereof I have sett to my hand & seale the day and yeare first abovesaid The marke of William Burr Read and sealed in the pr[e]sence of George May the marke of John Smeed the marke of James Browne Ju.
[p.3] [Probate statement to be added Shows that Henry Burr was executor]

Footnotes

[1] - a broadweaver was presumably a weaver of broad cloth. the Weald (the name given to that part of Kent and Sussex in which Marden was situated) had long association with weaving. Zell (Early Modern Kent, 2000) shows that by the late C16th different types of cloth with different centres in Kent, and links broadcloth, as well as kersyes, with the Weald. [2] - i.e. a chest made by a skilled joiner, a quality piece of furniture, not a basic piece. [3] - it looks like something was missed here, probably the four pounds referred to below, judging by the format of bequests to others. [4] - then as now, most wills, apart from holographic ones, were probably not the words of the testator / testatrix, but rather of the scribe to whom the testator had explained his wishes. Thus it seems to me likely that the scribe wrongly assumed the unusual name 'Attained' to be that of a girl and so described the 3 together as 'daughters' rather than 'children', not that William himself was confused and thought a nephew was a niece!
The will was proved in the Archdeaconry Court of Canterbury and is viewable on microfilm at the CCA or KHLC. This is a transcript of the register copy, CCA ref: PRC/17/67/82b (more details about source will be on William’s page) The original will also survives (CCA ref: PRC/16/192 B/3); I have not checked the copy against this. The Canterbury Probate Records Database includes an entry for an inventory of a William Burr of Marden dated 1530. Given that inventories were generally produced very shortly after a death, I think this must be for William's nephew, son of Edward, who was buried in Marden in 1529/30, rather than for this William.

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