The will of George Shell (1670 – 1748)

George Shell is a 9 x great uncle of mine

In the Name of God Amen. I George Shell of
Woodhorn in the County of Northumberland Yeoman being
infirm in Body but of Sound Mind & Memory praised be
God for the same, do make this my last Will & Testament in
Manner & Form following viz. I recommend my Soule into
the hands of Almighty God my Creator trusting to his Mercy for its
Blessed Immortality; and my Body I commit to the Grave
to be decently interrd at the Discretion of my Executor hereafter
to be mentioned, hoping for its joyful Resurrection thro the Merits
of Jesus Christ my Saviour – 2dly. – As to my worldly Goods which
God has blessed me with, I give & bequeath them in the following
Manner via. I give and bequeath to my loving wife Margaret Shell
the Summ of four Pounds legal English Money during her Life
time yearly & every year by quarterly Payments to be made to
her by my Heir & Executor hereafter mentioned, which said
Summ I appoint be raised from the yearly Profets arising
and becoming due from the Rents of my real Estate, Moiety or third
Part of the Freehold Estate intermixd with my Nephew Ralph Shell’s
Estate lying and being in Woodhorn aforesaid. Also, I give and
bequeath to my said wife Margaret Shell my dwelling House for the
Term of her Natural Life and also my Household Goods and
Furniture to be entirely at her Disposal and do moreover order
and Appointt that my Executor hereafter mentioned shall lead [1]
her my said wife Margaret Shell Six Fothers [2] of Coals, and a
proportionable quantity of sticks [3] yearly and Every Year during the
Terme of her Life. – Also I give and bequeath to my Sister
Katherine Shell
[4] of Newbiggin Widow the yearly Summ of twenty
Shillings during the Term of her Life, to be paid unto her by
quarterly Payments by my said Heir and Executor hereafter mentioned.
Also I give and bequeath unto my Nephew Ralph Shell of
Woodhorn Yeoman all my real Estate or that Moiety of Freehold
Lands intermixd with his own Freehold Estate being the third part
of the whole, Situate, lying and being in the Township of Woodhorn
aforesaid together with the Houses and Appurtenances thereunto be-
-longing but which he is not to enjoy or take Possession of Untill
after the Decease of my loving wife abovementioned and Subject
Nevertheless to the Conditions & Payments abovementioned. –
Moreover, for the better Security of the abovesaid Payments and
Conditions, I declare it to be my Will and Pleasure & Accordingly do
hereby order, Appoint and ordain, that the said Ralph Shell shall
not dispose of or set to sale my said Moiety or third part of the
Freehold Estate upon any Account or to any Person or Persons
whatever during the Life time of my said wife Margaret Shell
unless sufficient security be given her either by him who sets it
to sale or by the Purchaser or Purchasers thereof for her Annuity
above mentioned, and for the security of the performance of the other
articles aforesaid relating to the Bequests viz House, Household Goods
Coals and Sticks led as above specified ; And in Case he the said Ralph
Shell do set the said Premises to Sale without her leave and Consent
that then the said Sale shall be void and Null in Law; (And in
Such a Case I do hereby declare that she is hereby empowred to dis-
-anul and make void the Sale thereof & to take Possession

[p.2]
of the said Freehold and to enjoy it absolutely during her
Life time. – And further, it is & I hereby I declare it my
Will and do accordingly order and appoint that after my Said
wife’s Decease, my said House and Freehold Estate shall descend
to and be possessd by my Nephew Ralph Shell and by his Heirs
lawfully begotten, after his Decease, or in Case of failure of
his Heirs then to descend to & be enjoyed by John Shell of
Dennick
or Denwick in the County of Northumberland yeoman
and Carrier and to his Heirs forever. – Also I nominate
and appoint my said Nephew Ralph Shell to be my Sole Heir
and Executor & do order and enjoyn him to pay my Debts & to
defray my Funeral Charges as well as to perform all the
abovementioned Conditions if Annuity paying leading coals
& Sticks for my abovesaid wife Margaret Shell to pay the
Legacy above specify’d and to keep my House watertight and in
good Repair during the Lifetime of my said wife Margaret
Shell. – Lastly I declare this to be my last Will and
Testament to be punctually observ’d and put in Execution by
my said Nephew Ralph Shell in all its parts & Particulars
Annulling and Making void all other Wills and Testaments
by me made before the Date of these Presents.

Signed, Sealed, published
and declared by the Testator as
his last Will and Testament
in the Presence of us vizW. SimcoeRobert Potts
George Wood
his + Mark
Witness my hand and Seal
this Sixteenth Day of
August in the Year of
our Lord 1748George Shell[4] Irtr at Line the 27th. insert {read}
Katherine Saint
instead of Katherine Shell
inserted by Mistake.-

[1] Lead – clearly a meaning of the verb ‘lead’ I was not familier with, given in the OED as ‘To carry or convey, usually in a cart or other vehicle. Now northern dialect: To cart (coal, corn, stones, turf, etc.).’ The ‘now’ may not mean now, 2019, but now 1902, this entry having been first published then and the webpage notes not fully updated since; I do not know if this usage is still found in the North of England. (OED entry, meaning 1b)

[2] Fothers – [see bros will]

[3] Sticks – I think that his must mean wood to be used as kindling, not a way I have heard kindling described, but these days theer is little need to refer to kindling, and it is a meaning given in the OED (meaning 1b)

[4] – see note within transcript

Transcription of the original will by me, Teresa Goatham, from image on FamilySearch


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.