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Edward Wilkes

Prerogative Court of Canterbury will made: 17th March 1646/7
Probate Date: 18th August 1647
Proved by Matthew Wilkes, son of the testator
National Archive Catalogue reference: PROB 11/201

The original document is in the custody of the National Archives


In the name of God Amen The Seaventeenth day of March one thousand sixe hundred fortie sixe being the Twenty and second yeare of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles by the grace of God King of England Scotland France and Ireland defender of the faith &c I Edward Wilkes of Laighton Bussard in the County of Bedford gentleman being at this tyme weake in bodie but of sounde and perfect mynde and memory (thankes bee given to Allmighty God) Now calling to mynde the imutable decree of Allmighty God that every man shall dye but the tyme when and the place where lest knowen unto men being therefore desyrous by the helpe of God to bee in readines to goe the way of all flesh when soever it shall please God of his mercy to call mee doe now manifestly declare this my last will and testament in manner and forme following First and principally I Comend my soule into the hand of Allmighty God trusting to bee saved by the only mercie of his Sonne Christ Jesus my Redeemer stedfastly beleiveing that through the meritts of his bitter death and passion and the shedding of his most pretious blood for the sinnes of Mankinde I shall bee made pertaker of his glorious Kingdome amongst the number of the Electe, And my bodie decently to bee buried in the Chancell of the Church of Laighton near the bodie of my father and Mother at the discretion of my Executor herafter mentioned And for such worldly goodes as it hath pleased Allmighty God to blesse mee with in his bounteous goodnes I doe thus bequeath order and dispose of as in manner and forme following Inprymis I give and bequeth unto my Children Mathew Marke Luke and Thomas Wilkes Martha Cary and John Dissny to each of them a byble of Godes most holy words with the Lordes prayer beeleife Tenn Comandements and the fiftie eight chapter of Isaya nuly to bee printed and sett in the beginning of each booke and the booke to bee clasped with silver Claspes and the valew of each booke about thirty shillings Ittem I give and bequeath unto my sonne Marke Wilkes five poundes of lawfull English money And to his wife Anne my Sedar chest Ittem I give and bequeath unto my sonne Luke Wilkes fifteene poundes of Currant English money to bee p[ai]d him yerly for tenn yeares by my Executor if he the s[ai]d Luke doe soe long live Ittem I give and bequeath unto my sonne Thomas Wilkes and his heire forever all my house in Newport Pagnell now in the occupation of John Norman Also I give unto my sonne Tho[mas] and his heires forever all my house in the occupation of George Foster being in Laighton and called by the name of the Eagle and Child Also I give unto him four poundes of English money to bee paid him yerly for tenn yeares by my Executor if he the sayd Thomas doe so long live Ittem I give and bequeath unto my lo[ving] sonne in lawe Mr. Walter Cary Fifty shillings to buy him a ringe and to his wife my loving daughter Martha Cary my silver Tankard Ittem I give unto my Lo[ving] daughter in lawe Mrs. Francis Wilkes my silver graven boale Ittem I give and bequeath unto my loving sonne in lawe Mr. Tho[mas] Dissny fiftie shillings to buy him a ringe and to his wife my Lo[ving] daughter Joane Disny one peece of gold of three pound starling Ittem I give unto my grandchild Mary Dissny my house in Laighton w[hi]ch is now a building and was lately in the use of Thomas Foster a butcher to have the benefitt thereof after eight yeares from Lady day next ensueing to her and her heires forever Ittem I give unto my deare and loving wiffe Joane Wilkes all my houshold stuff Rings and Jewells except what afore given to my daughters also half my fyre wood in the yarde with lopp of wood out of my Closses for her use during her life to bee allowed her by my Executor as also that he deliver her yerly during her life eight bushell of good sweete wheate and eight bushell of good sweete mault And that he pay her in Currant English money within four months after my decease one hundred poundes Also that he pay her yerly during her life thirty pounds of Currant English money and binde over to her to her content some parcell of lands for his trew performance Ittem I give unto my loving sister Mrs. Mary Bate five poundes Ittem I give unto my loving bro[ther] Mr. Rob[er]t Wallis Fiftie shillings as also to my Lo[ving] sister his wife Fifty shillings to buy them Rings Ittem I give unto Rob[er]t Wallis and Hester ther Children to each Fifty shillings Ittem I give unto my servant mayde Twenty shillings Ittem I give to John Honner Jeffery Cooke and Robert Bolsworth to each tenn shillings Ittem I give unto Ellen Mrs. Turnays mayd Tenn shillings And to Judeth Turny Tenn shillings Ittem whereas John Sedgwick of London Brewer deceased gave by his will to the poore of Laighton Twenty poundes and his widow my daughter Martha Sedgwick gave twentie pound more both which somes wear to bee l[ai]d out by mee for the use of such poore as I should thinke meet to dispose the benefitt of which two somes being fortie shillings a yeare they have receaved at my handes to the twenty fifth of March one thousand sixe hundred forty sixe My will and pleasure is that the poore people which now are or hereafter shall bee in Almeshouses built by mee shall Rec[ieve] to the uses hereafter mentioned five pound thirteene shillings four pence forever out of two Cloases lying in the beck end of Laighton now in the occupation of Steven Marten and Henery Chandler whereof fortie shillings a yeare is in liew of the forty poundes in my handes as exprest beefore the guift of John Sedgwick and his wydow the other three poundes thirteene shillings fower pence is my owne guift And whereas the two Cloases are now let for sixe pound thirteene shillings four pence a yeare my will is that Tenn shillings thereof be given to a abl[e] Minister who is Master of arts for the preaching a sermon on the day my bodye is laid in the ground taking his Text out of the on hundred and twelf Phalme And Tenn shillings more to bee spent on a dinner on my faith fees the same day at what place in the Towne they shall choose thear meetings to bee my will being that the five pounds thirteene shillings four pence first menc[i]oned for the poore in my Almshouse bee l[ai]d out in warme gownes and capps and they to accompany my bodie in them to the ground My will being that if the number of poore in my Almshouse doe herafter increase that they exceede not the number of sixteene And those to bee of Aged people and not otherwise Item my will is that what is before exprest to bee observed on the day of my buriall bee observed that day successively each yeare forever To which purpose I desyre the Minister of Layton the Sonday foregoeing that day come twelf month my body was l[ai]d in the ground to acquaint the people of the day the sermon is to bee preached And I likewise desyre my faith fees that again is that tyme they provide the Cloathing for the poore people they receiving the Rents and makeing disbursements according to this my will Item my will is that if hereafter the Rentes of the two cloases increase the benefitt bee to the poore in ther Clothing Ittem my will is that if the number of the poore be herafter more then now is soe that the five poundes shixteene shillings four pence will not cloath them all that then the on half of them that yeare Receave the benefitt in Clothing and the other nomber of them the yeare following and so forever Ittem my will is that whatt wood is upon the two cloases given by mee as aforesayd my Executor may sell and take to his owne use soe he doe it within a twelf month after the date hereof Ittem my will is that thease following bee my faith fees in trust to the uses aforesd Mathew Wilkes Mark Wilkes Thomas Wilkes (Ed[ward] Leach) Mr. John Foster Richard Leach Ed[ward] Leach Tho[mas] Herbert and Tho[mas] Merideth and as theas shall dy my will is so many more bee putt in ther places being honest men Ittem my will is that those poore people which now are in my Almshouse or hereafter shall bee soe long as health and strength will suffer them doe constantly repayre to church on Sondayes as also on other dayes when sermons are preached wherin if fayle it shall bee lawfull for my faith fees to take parte of my guift from him or her and give it to those that better deserve Now if any man shall take from the uses afores[ai]d and imploy to his owne use or otherwise then by me given lett the justice of Allmighty God fall on him till hee restore it againe unto it right use Ittem my will is that all the guifts and legacies bequeathed by mee shall bee paid by my Executor hereafter mentioned once within eighteene months after my body is layd in the ground except the hundred poundes to bee p[ai]d my wife as aforementioned Ittem my will is that all those to whome I have given legacies shall give my Executor upon payment a lawfull discharge Item my will is that within three months after my body is l[ai]d in the ground my Executor herafter named shall take downe my table in the Church and in the first leafe thereof sett downe all legacies given by mee and my frinds to the Church and Towne \Item my will is thatt my Coffin be made of Cedar wood/ Ittem all the rest of my goodes and estate Chattells Debts redy money lesses and all whatsoever and wheresoever (my debts discharged unto all men that in conscience I owe my funerall Expences likewise paid for) I give and bequeath unto my Lo[ving] Sonne Mathew Wilkes whome I hearby make appoint and ordayne sole Executor of this my last will and Testament And I doe hereby revoke and make voide all former wills grants wills legacies and bequests other than what is thear expressed And that this my last will and testament conteyneth three sheets of paper I testifie and doe declare under my hand wrighting to each sheete of paper under my hand and seale the day and yeare first above written Edw[ard] Wilkes

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