Edward is a 5 x great grandfather of mine
About the will
His will is a rare example (in my experience) of one made by someone in good health sometime before their death. Or at least, a rare example of a will made at such a time being proved – others may have made them but then made a new will on their deathbed. At a time when so many people died young or in middle age, and at a time of large families, those named could quickly become out-of-date.
The line / paragraph breaks /emphasised names of those benefitting are mine to aid reading.
In the Name of God Amen. I Edward Springfill of Lenham in the County of Kent Yeoman being in good health of Body and of Sound and perfect mind memory and Understanding (Praised be Almighty God for the same) but being much advanced in Years and considering the uncertain Continuance of this Mortal Life and the many Hazards and Dangers we frail being are daily [obnoxious?] and liable to and being willing and desirous to settle my Worldly Affairs whilst I have Strength and Capacity so to do Do make publish and declare this my last will and Testament in manner and form following (that is to say)
First and Principally of all I commend my Soul into the Hands of Almighty God who gave it me in all humble Hope and with a firm Assurance of it’s future Happiness as in the Disposal of a being infinitely good and my Body I commit to the earth (when it shall please God to take my life) to be decently Interred at the Discretion of my Executors hereinafter named And as to such Worldly Estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me I give and dispose of the same in manner and form following (that is to say)
I give and bequeath unto my loving Wife Elizabeth and her Assigns for and during the Term of her Natural Life One Annunity Yearly Rent Charges of Sum of Sixteen Pounds of good and lawful Money of Great Britain clear and free of and from all and all manner of Taxes Charnges Deductions and Abatements whatsoever the said Annuity Yearly Rent Charge or Sum of Sixteen Pounds to be issuing and payable out of all that my Messuages or Tenement and Farm with the Land and Appurtenances thereunto belonging situate lying and being in the parish of Borden in the said County of Kent and now in the Tenure or Occupation of William Taylor his Assigns or Undertenants to be paid and payable unto my said loving wife Elizabeth and her assigns for ever during the Time of her natural life by equal half yearly payments The first payment thereof to begin and be made at the end of six months next after my Decease and so continue payable unto my said loving Wife Elizabeth and her assigns for and during the Term of her Natural life as aforesaid by equal half yearly Payments of Eight Pounds each And my will and meaning so and I do hereby direct that in case the said Annuity Yearly Rent Charge or Sum of Sixteen Pounds or any part thereof shall be behind or unpaid in part or in all longer than by the space of Twenty one days next over or after any or either of the said days of Payment thereof whereon as aforesaid the same is herein before directed to be paid That then and so often it shall and may be lawful to and for my said Wife Elizabeth and her Assigns from time to time and at any time or times when and so often as the same or any part thereof shall be in Arrears to enter into and upon the said Messuage or Tenement and Farm Land Hereditaments and Premisses hereinbefore charged with the Payment of the said Annuity Yearly Rent Charge or Sum of Sixteen Pounds and to distrain for so much of the said Annuity Yearly Rent Charge or Sum of Sixteen Pounds as shall be then in Arrear and the Distress and Distresses then and there found to take lead drive carry away Impound Detain Keep sell and dispose of according to Law until the said Annuity Yearly Rent Charge or Sum of Sixteen Pounds or any part thereof and all Arrears thereof or of any part thereof together also with the Costs and Charges of such Distress and Distresses shall be fully paid and satisfied
I Give and Devise All those my two Messuages or Tenements with the Backsides Gardens and Appurtuances thereunto belonging situate lying and being in the parish of Lenham in the said County of Kent and now in the Tenure or occupation of John Hunt and [blank space was left] Turner unto my Daughter Elizabeth the Wife of Richard Hunt of Lenham aforesaid carpenter for and during the Term of her natural life and from and immediately after her Decease then I Give and Devise the said two Messuages or Tenements Backsides Gardens Lands and Premisses unto my two Grandsons Richard Hunt and William Hunt and their Heirs and Assigns for ever equally to be parted and divided between them share and share alike to Take as Tenants in Common and not as Joint Tenants
I give and bequeath unto my said two Grandsons Richard Hunt and William Hunt and unto my two Grandaughters Sarah Hunt and Mary Hunt the sum of One hundred and Fifty Pounds each of good and lawful money of Great Britain to be paid unto them and each of them severally by my Executors hereinafter named when and so soon as they shall severally and respectively attain their several respective ages of Twenty one years
I Give and Devise All that my said Messuage or Tenement and Farm with the Land and Appurtenances thereunto belonging situate lying and being in the said parish of Borden in the said County of Kent and now in the Tenure or Occupation of the said William Taylor his Assigns or Undertenants And also All the rest residue and remainder of my Messuages Land Tenements and Real Estate whatsoever and wheresoever situate lying and being in the said County of Kent or elsewhere in the Kingdom of Great Britain (Charged and Chargeably Nevertheless as aforesaid) unto my Grandson Edward Springfill Hunt his heirs and Assigns for ever And all the Rest Residue and Remainder of my Personal Estates and Effects whatsoever and wheresoever and of what Nature Kind Sort or Quality Soever the same shall be from and after Payment of all my just Debts Funeral Expences the several Legacies by me hereinbefore Given and bequeathed the Charges of Proving this my last Will and Testament and other incident Charges and Expences I Give Devise and bequeath unto my said Grandson Edward Springfill Hunt his Executors Administrators and Assigns forever to be paid and delivered unto him by my said Executors hereinafter named when and so soon as he shall have attained his full Age of Twenty one Years I hereby Will and Direct that my Executors hereinafter named or the Survivor of them or the Executors or Administrators of such Survivor shall not be answerable or Accountable for any Sum of Sums of Money whatsoever other than such Sum or Sums of Money which he or they shall respectively and actually receive by virtue of this my Will or with or for any Loss which shall happen of my said Personal Estate or any part thereof or of the Dividends Interest Proceeds and Profits of any Money to be by them or either of them put and placed out at Interest in pursuance of this my Will or of any part of such Money or of any of them or of any part thereof so as such Loss happen without his or their wilful Default or Negligence nor shall one of them (?) be answerable or accountable for the other of them or for the Acts Deeds Receipts or Defaults of the other of them but each of them for himself and his own Acts Deeds Receipts or Defaults only and I do hereby further Will and Direct that it shall and may be lawful to and for my said Executors and their Executors or Administrators in the first place by and out of my Personal Estate or the Dividends Interest Proceed and Profit thereof or of any part thereof to Deduct Retain and Reimburse themselves for all and every such Sum and Sums of Money Loss Costs Charges Damages and Expences which they or either of them shall sustain Expend Bestow be put unto or obliged to pay for or on Account or by Reason or Means of this my Will or the Trusts hereby in them repoved or the Management and Execution thereof respectively or any other thing in any wise relating thereunto
I hereby make name Institute and Appoint my good Friends The Reverend Pierpoint Cromp of Frinstead in the said County of Kent Clerk and John Norrington of Doddington in the County aforesaid Wheeler Executors of this my said last Will and Testament and Guardians of the Person and Fortune of my said Grandson Edward Springfill Hunt until he shall have attained his full Age of Twenty one Years
I hereby Revoke Disannul and make void all former and other Will and Wills and other Testamentary Dispositions by me at any time heretofore made and do declare this only to be my last Will and Testament In Witness I the said Edward Springfill the Testator have to this my last Will and Testament contained in four Sheets of Paper to be the first Second and third sheets subscribed my name and to the fourth and last sheet thereof sett and affixed my Hand and Seal this Sixteenth day of March in the Sixteenth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith et. And in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and seventy Six – Edward Springfill
Signed sealed published and declared by the said Edward Springfill the Testator to be his last last Will and Testament in the presence of us the Witnesses hereunder written who have at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other hereunto Subscribed our names as Witnesses to the due Execution of this his said last Will and Testament
J Hinde W Lyng F Sandys