The will of John Grigsby (d. 1600)

John Grigsby is an 11 x gt grandfather of mine.

The following is my transcription of the register copy of the will, ref. PRC17/51/432, which can be seen on microfilm at the or in the Canterbury Cathedral Archives. The original will also survives, ref. PRC16/266 G/4; I have used this for a line which is obliterated in the register copy. It is as you would expect much harder to read than the register copy; I plan in time to try to read through it and to check in case any mistakes were introduced when the register copy was made – other then the sheet / sheep error noted below. (With thanks to Ann Ross for obtaining the copies which I have used).

Square brackets [] indicate something I have added – whether letters in a word abbreviated in the document or a comment or link to a footnote. For other comments regarding my transcribing see below the will.

In the name of God amen the nineteenth of
Aprill in anno dmi. one thousand sixe hundreth I John Grigsbie of maden [Marden]
in the Countie of Kent husbandman beinge sicke in bodie but of good & per-
fect remembrance thankes be geven unto allmightie God therefore doe make
this, my last will & Testament in manner and forme following Firste I
bequeathe my soule into the handes of almightie God trustinge through
the pretious bloodshedinge of Jesus Christe all my sinnes are freelie pardo-
ned and forgeven me and my bodie to be buried wheresoever it shall please
God to appointe Item I geve to the poore people of Marden two shillings
of good Englishe money to be geven unto them at the time of my burial Ite[m].
I geve unto my foure sonnes Thomas John Guy and Edwarde Grigsbie
to either of them one milche Cowe in manner & forme followinge
viz to Thomas one red Cowe; to John one whte Cowe; to Guy one
blacke goare Cowe w[i]th a white starre in her forehead, to Edward a blacke
goare Cowe to be pr[e]sentlie delivered unto either of them after my decease.
Ite[m] I geve unto the Children of Richard my sonne one branded heifer w[i]th
a Calfe w[hi]ch I will shall remaine in the Custodie of Richarde any some
towardes the bringinge up of his Children & the value of this cowe to
be divided amongst them after the decease of the sayd Richard my sonne Item
I give unto Thomas my sonne one bord bedstedle one fetherbed one flocke bolster
one blacke cov[e]rlit and one pillowe to be Deliv[e]red unto him incontinentlye after
my decease Item I give unto John my sonne one borded bedstedle one flockbed
one flocke bolster one blanket one cov[e]rlit and one pillowe to be delivered
incontinentlye after my decease Item I give unto Guye my sonne one bord
bedstedle one flockbed one flocke bolster one cov[e]rlit and one bad [bed?!] hanginge ov[e]r
yt and one blanket and one pillowe to be deliv[e]red unto him incontinentlye
after my decease Item I give unto Richard my sonne one bord bedsteedle [end of p.1]
one flockebed one flocke bolster one cov[e]ringe and one pillowe standinge in the p[ar]lor
next the dore to be deliv[e]red unto him alsoe incontinentlye after my decease Item I
give to Edward one bord bedstedle w[i]th a flockebed the best cov[e]rlit [coverlit possibly crossed out or some blot on the page?*] and one pillowe to
be deliv[e]red unto him incontinentlye after my decease Item I give to my sonne Edw[a]rd
my mare incontinentlye after my decease Item I give unto Edward [‘my’ assumed – obliterated] sonne one
acre and 2 quarter of wheate growinge neere my dwellinge house Item I give
unto my sonne John one acre and a quarter of wheate growinge on Lambes land
[** the following line obliterated in Register copy, transcribed from photocopy of original]
Item I give unto my Executors iii acres of Okx  [meaning oaks or oats?] to be devidid between them
I give unto Edward my sonne my carte and courbe and harrowe w[i]th all the wheles
w[i]th all the impleme[n]ts belonginge to carryage and courtinge Item I give and
bequeath unto my fyve sonnes aforesayd ii younge bullocks viii sheet [sic – clearly ‘sheet’ not ‘sheep’ in the Register copy, but the original that says ‘sheep’] and iii lambes
ii hoggs all the brasse and pewter and the iron vessells tubb barrells and all other
woodden vessells to be equallie divided betwene them presentlye after my
decease Item I give unto my sonne Edwarde my great cheste and one cup-
bord in the hall to be deliv[e]red unto him after my decease imediatlye Item I give
unto Guye my sonne one cupbord standinge in the parlor and one chest in the
chamber where I lye to be deliv[e]red unto him imedeatlie after my decease
Item I give unto my sonne John two chests Item I give unto my sonne
Rychard [3rd spelling of Richard!] one chest in the p[ar]lor standinge nowe at the syde of the bed Item
I give unto Thomas my sonne a chest in the p[ar]lor at the foote of the
bed Item I give unto my four[e] sonnes Thomas John Guye and Edw[a]rd
Grigsbye all my lynne[n] to be equallie divided betwene them Provided
alsoe that yf my sonne Guye shall happen to decease before he be mar=
ried then my will and mind is that all such legacies as are bequeathed
unto him by this my last wyll shalbe equallie divided betwene my four[e]
sonnes above named All the residue of my moveables goods and chattells
unbequeathed I give and bequeathe unto my two sonnes John and Edw[a]rd
whome I make executors of this my last will and testame[n]te In wit
nes whereof I the sayd John Grigsbye the testator have sette my Hand
these beinge presente witnesses The marke of John Grigsbie the testator
Willm Turke John Harrys his marke witnesses
Probatu fuit … xxi May anno Dmi 1600

Apart from a couple of instances where my comments make the line to long to fit the lines above correspond with those in the will.

I have tried to keep spellings and capitals as in the will, but whether a letter is a capital is not always clear to me. Letters inserted in square brackets are where there is an indication that the word is abbreviated, often but not always by a letter being superscript. Some letters are superscript where nothing appears to be missing e.g. manner in line 5 – maybe due to a final ‘e’ or other letter that we wouldn’t expect to have been omitted.

* I would have thought coverlit was deliberately crossed out – except that that doesn’t make sense with the words ‘best’ before and ‘and’ after left?

** One line looks like it was completely crossed out, but a couple of smaller ‘crossings out’ are after the end of the line or in between so this may be some sort of accidental damage

There is no obvious mention of draught animals. I’ve never known how oxen differed from other cattle; reading about it it seems they are ordinary cattle, known as oxen once trained as draught animals. Mostly male animals were used but milk cows could be trained; maybe this is what John used.

(I don’t yet know what ‘goare’ cows were – maybe this implies a draught animal)


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