In the name of God Amen, the 27th day of the month of November the year of our Lord God (1528) thousand five hundred 28th and the 20th year of the reign of King Henry the eighth, I William BUTLER, Knight, Citizen and Alderman of London being off whole mind and in good and perfect remembrance, laud and praising be to God, make and ordain this my present testament and last will in manner and form ensuing, that is to say: First and principally, I bequeath and recommend my soul unto Almighty God my creator and redeemer to his glorious mother our Lady Saint Mary and to all the holy Company of heaven, and my body to be buried within the collegiate church of Saint Thomas Avon where Elizabeth my late wife lies buried. ITEM; I bequeath unto the high altar of the parish church of Saint Mildred in the Poultry of London where I am parishioner for my tithes and offerings forgotten or negligently withheld, if any such be, in discharge of my soul 20 shillings. ITEM; I bequeath to like intent unto the high altar of Our Lady of Bow in London where sometime I was a parishioner 20 shillings. ITEM; I bequeath unto the high altar of Our Lady of Colechurch in London where I was late a parishioner to like intent 20 shillings. ITEM; I will that first and principally above all things as speedily and as conveniently my be done all and singular my debts which I owe of right or conscience be fully satisfied contented and paid. ITEM; I bequeath towards the support and maintenance of the place of Greyfriars in London 20 shillings. I bequeath to the warden and covent of the same place, to pray for my soul as a brother of their chapter house 20 shillings. ITEM; I bequeath to every of the houses of the black friars wheresoever and Augustine friars of London to pray for my soul 20 shillings. ITEM; I bequeath to either of the 2 houses of observance of Greenwich and Richmond to pray for my soul 20 shillings, Sum 40 pounds. ITEM; I bequeath toward the relief and comfort of the poor prisoners of Newgate 30 shillings to be bestowed in bread and other victuals by the discretion of my executors. ITEM; I bequeath unto the prisoners of the prisons of Ludgate and the Fleet, that is to say, to either of the said prisons 13 shillings 4 pence, Sum 26 shillings and 8 pence, to be delivered amongst them in like manner and form as is above rehearsed. ITEM; I bequeath unto the poor prisoners of the Kings Bench and Marshalsea, that is to say, to the prisoners of either of the same 2 houses 30 shillings, Sum 60 shillings, to be distributed amongst them in like manner. ITEM; I bequeath unto the poor sick people being within the place of Our Lady of Bethlehem of London to be bestowed amongst them in likewise 20 shillings. ITEM; I bequeath to every of the 6 (lasen houses) ensuing, that is to say, the house beyond Mile End, the (lake) beyond Southwark, Kingsbridge, Saint Giles, the house at Highgate and the house of Kingsland 20 shillings, Sum 6 pounds, to and amongst the poor people of the said 6 houses by the discretion of my executors at sundry times to be distributed. ITEM; I bequeath to the altar of Allhallows in the Wall of London to pray for my soul 10 shillings. ITEM; I bequeath to the (anresse) without Bishopsgate 6 shillings and 4 pence. ITEM; I will that my executors shall provide and ordain as much linen cloth as shall amount to the sum of 60 shillings and the same shall do to be made into sheets and shirts and other necessaries for the relief and comfort of the poor people at Saint Bartholemews Spital. ITEM; I bequeath for three trentals to be sung for my soul in three several churches immediately after my decease, that is to say, Saint Thomas at Avon, Our Lady of Colechurch and Saint Mildred in the Poultry 33 shillings. ITEM; I will that my executors will within a month next after my decease distribute to and amongst poor households and dwellers within my ward of Chepe by their discretions in ready money (5 pounds). ITEM; I bequeath to the marriages of 20 poor maidens of London 20 pounds, that is to say, to every of them 20 shillings of the which maidens I will that 6 shall be of them that dwell in the said ward in Chepe and the 14 maidens residue I will shall be of such parishes and wards in London as shall seem best to my executors by their good discretions. ITEM; I bequeath to the said parish church of Saint Mildred in the Poultry two candlelight’s of silver part gilt (weight) together [24 16 ounces] there to [serve] to honour of God and Blessed Lady and Saint Mildred. ITEM; I will that one of the brothers being a pupil of Saint Thomas of Avon shall daily and weekly say mass for my soul, the souls of Joan, Elizabeth and Elizabeth late my wives, the souls of my father and mother and all Christian souls at the altar in the new chapel by my tomb in Master Shaw’s Chapel or at Saint Thomas altar, at or nigh the hour of 8 of the clock, and so to continue by the space of three whole years, and the said priest to say before the first [lavatory] in every of his said masses for the souls aforesaid ‘de profundis etc…’ with the collect [upenstowed] and this mass to be kept by a whole week by one of the said brethren, and so to continue one brother after another weekly unto the full accomplishment of the said three years, and I bequeath to the same brother for every week 20 pence. ITEM; I will that my executors weekly every Sunday by the space of 3 years (xxx) and immediately ensuing after my decease deal and distribute unto 6 poor honest persons 7 pence in money whereof the first year I will shall be distributed and dealt in the said parish of Saint Mildred, the second year in the parish of Bydenham in the County of Bedford, and the third and last year in the foresaid parish of Colechurch, Sum 4 pounds 11 shillings. ITEM; I will that yearly during the space of 7 years next after my decease my executors shall distribute and deal to and amongst the poor dwellers within the ward of Chepe and especially in the parish of Saint Mildred 6 loads of coals accounting 20 3 quarters to the load whereof 3 loads I will shall be dealt yearly against the Feast of Allhallows, and the other 3 loads yearly against the Feast of Christmas. Sum by estimation 20 pounds. ITEM; I will that one of the monks of the Abbey of Warden before abovesaid shall daily and weekly say mass for my soul and other the souls aforesaid at the altar in the said Abbey nigh unto the burying place of my father and mother by the space of two years complete next after my decease, and I will that the same priest afore the first lavatory at entry of the said masses shall say the psalm of de profundis etc with the collect accustomed for my soul and other the souls aforesaid, and I bequeath to the said monk so doing for his wages and salary every week to be paid every Saturday upon the altar 20 pence, also I will that one of the novices of the said place weekly by course shall help and sire the said pupil at mass during the said 2 years, and I bequeath to the said novice for his Labour weekly 4 pence, Sum 10 pounds 8 shillings. ITEM; I bequeath to the Abbot of the same monastery for (the) good and toward mind to be had in that behalf 13 shillings and 4 pence which Abbot I desire to assign and command a monk of the same place to pay weekly as well to the said monk so saying mass his 20 pence as also to the said novice his 4 pence in manner and form abovesaid, and I charge and command my executors that within half a year next after my decease they deliver unto the said Abbot money for the same intent taking of him sufficient (bond) by writing (sealed) for the sure performance of the said masses. ITEM; I bequeath to the house of the grey friars of Bedford to pray for my soul and to sing a solemn dirige and mass of requiem for my soul and other the souls aforesaid and for all Christian souls 20 shillings. ITEM; I will that my executors within a year after my decease distribute and deal to and amongst the poor dwellers within the aforesaid parish of Bydenham specially to such persons as have most charge of children and most need by their discretions with the advice of such discrete persons of the same parish as my said executors shall call unto them 6 pounds 13 shillings and 4 pence. ITEM; I bequeath to the chapel at the (Bridge) of Bydenham an ornament that shall be thought most expedient for the same chapel to the value of (xxx). ITEM; I bequeath unto the ornamentation of the chapel and altar where my chantry past shall sing within the same parish church of Bydenham as shall be thought bes5 and most expedient by the discretion of my executors 6 pounds 13 shillings and 4 pence. ITEM; I bequeath toward the repairing and support of Bydenham Bridge 10 pounds. And I will that my executors (call) unto them good counsel with the advice of 6 of the most substantial men of that town to see and ordain that the said 10 pounds be bestowed in the best manner for the maintaining of the long bridge, and this to be done within the space of 4 years next after my decease. ITEM; I bequeath to every of my servants as well mankind as womankind being in service with me at the time of my decease 40 shillings without fraud or covenant. ITEM; I will that my (hearse xxx and other lxxx) and the manner of my burial be ordered after the manner fashion and proportion of the hearse (xxx) and (xxx) of Sir James Yarforde Knight and Alderman late deceased. The residue of the order manner and charges of my funerals and burial I remit and refer to the good discretions of my executors and overseers, and (they) therein do I hold and approve all for my full will in that behalf (xxx) I will that my dinner shall be kept at (Grocers) Hall. ITEM; I will that my executors keep an obite for my soul and other the souls aforesaid yearly upon the day that it shall happen me to die if that day be thought convenient or within 8 days before or after the same day yearly during the term of 7 years within the said parish church of Saint Mildred a placebo and dirige (overnight) and mass of requiem on the morrow following (xxx) by rite, and which the warden and other of the (xxx) of the grocers be yearly desired to come to the same, and I will that every of the said obits my executors shall pay and deliver to the wardens of the said company 20 shillings to the intent that they shall provide some convenient drinking for the said company at Grocers Hall by the good discretions of the said wardens, Sum in 7 years 7 pounds, and I will that my executors shall deliver yearly at the said obit to priests and clerks being at my said obite was burning at my hearse and for convenient repast to be ordered against the (xxx) mass be done for my kinfolks and friends calling to them some of Colechurch parish and for alms to be given to poor folks of the parish of Saint Mildred at the said obit by the discretion of my said executors (53 shillings and 4 pence), Sum in 7 years 18 pounds 8 shillings and 4 pence. ITEM; I bequeath to Nicholas LEVESON and my cousin his wife either of them a black gown, praying them to be good (comisiters) and (lovers) to my executors and children. ITEM; I bequeath to Johan the late wife of my brother Edward BUTLER a black gown to pray for my soul. ITEM; I bequeath to Elizabeth her daughter (18 pounds) to her to be delivered at her marriage or lawful age. ITEM; I bequeath to every of the other two daughters of the said Johane, that is to say Helen and Alice, (10 pounds) unto them to be delivered in like manner, and I will that if any of the same 3 daughters decease before her marriage or lawful age I will that then the survivor or survivors of them shall have the said bequest and part of her so decreasing. ITEM; I will that all my wool now being in Calais or at my decease shall happen there to be shall be kept to the most increase and advantage that can be and to be sold as the rents grow and for such part and portion of my said wool as may be reasonably (tarried) and no hindrance or breach of this my testament and last will I will shall be tarried and respited unto the time that the same wool be grown to their full value and profits. ITEM; I bequeath to John Clerk, Draper, and to his wife either of them a black gown and 5 marks between them both. ITEM; I will that all my debts to me of right belonging be called in as speedy time as may be after my decease, and all such debtors as in conscience my executors shall think not able to pay their debts at one time I will that they by the discretions of my executors shall have days limited unto them for payment so that they find sufficient sureties to perform their payments at the days to them appointed. ITEM; I bequeath to Dame Agnes my wife for her reasonable part and full portion to her belonging of all my goods chattels and debts after the custom of the City of London one thousand six hundred three score and six pounds thirteen shillings and four pence sterling, also I will that the same Dame Agnes shall have and hold to her for term of her life the place with the appurtenances wherein I now dwell and truly pay the yearly rent due and going out of and for the same, and also keep and sustain the same in and by all things in good and competent reparations and I will that it shall be lawful to my executors to have the lawful occupation of all the said place with the appurtenances for the stowage of my goods and chattels within the same and for the safeguard of the same by the space of 4 months next after my decease my said wife nevertheless to have her necessary and convenient dwelling in the same by all the same time, and I will that my executors once every quarter of the year during the time and years that she shall so hold the said place with the appurtenances shall lawfully enter into the same in good and peaceable manner and every house of the same to survey and oversee, and of such defaults of reparation needful and necessary to be amended as they then and there shall happen to find to give knowledge and warning to the said Dame Agnes that the same defaults within a quarter of a year then next ensuing be amended, and if the said Dame Agnes within a quarter of a year after such said warning to her so given do not amend the said faults or if the payment of the yearly rents of the said place within 28 days after it be lawfully asked or if she fortune to marry and take another husband or if she hold her not content with the said bequest of 3,666 pounds thirteen shillings and four pence and refuse to take the same for her said reasonable portion and will stand to her adventure in that behalf and claim her portion by the same custom I will that then as well my said bequest to her made of the said 3,666 pounds 13s 4d as also my said gift grant and legacy to her before made of the said place with the appurtenances shall be utterly void and of none effect, and that then, that is to say, in any of the said my (cases) and also after the decease of the said Dame Agnes if she enjoy my said place with the appurtenances during her life according to the effect of my said bequest and legacy thereof to her afore made I will then and bequeath my said place with the appurtenances and all the estate and term of years which I shall have then to come of and in the said place with the appurtenances unto William BUTLER my son to have and to hold to the same William my son and to the heirs of his body lawfully begotten unto the full end and plain accomplishment of the said term of years which I shall have to come of and in the same, and if it happen the said William Butler my son without heir of his body lawfully begotten to decease or such his heirs to decease before the said term of years which I now have to come of and in the said place with the appurtenances be fully expired and ended I will and bequeath then the said place with the appurtenances and all the term of years which I shall have then to come of and in the same unto [blank]. ITEM; I bequeath to William Brothers a black gown and a gold ring in value of 40 shillings. ITEM; to his wife a black gown. ITEM; I will that my executors yearly during the space of 5 years to begin within the years next after my decease buy or cause to be bought 100 (ells) of good Normandy canvas after 40 shillings the 100 and the same to doo make in shirts and (smocks) and the same so made to distribute and give unto poor honest dwellers as well within my said ward of Chepe as within the said town of Bydenham or in some other places after the discretion of my said executors at two terms of the year that is to say at the feasts of Christmas and Easter yearly during the said term of 5 years complete, Sum 10 pounds. ITEM; I will that my executors shall distribute and dispose unto the prisons of Newgate, the Marshalsea and the King’s Bench by the space of 2 years after my decease certain alms in the form following, that is to say, in every of the said 2 years at the feast of All Hallows Christmas Easter and the Ascension of Our Lord or two days before every of the said feasts to every prison a side of an ox to be cut in pieces and every poor person being prisoner within any of the said prisons to have piece of beef and a penny in wheaten bread, Sum in flesh by estimation 8 pounds, Sum in bread by estimation 8 pounds. ITEM; I will that my executors distribute and dispose to and amongst the sick persons at Our Lady of Bethlehem by the space of 2 years next after my decease either year at every of the said 4 feasts a quarter of beef to be soaked in (xxx) and sodden and delivered to every of the said sick persons a piece of beef and a penny in wheaten bread, Sum in beef 26 shillings and 8 pence, Sum in bread by estimation 14 shillings, and I will that my executors shall cause a good honest parson to see the said alms truly to be divided and (dealt) in manner aforesaid, and the same man to have for his Labour going to the said prisoners about the premises at every home for visiting Newgate 6 pence, for the Marshalsea 8 pence, for the King’s Bench 8 pence, and for Bethlehem 4 pence, Sum 12 shillings. ITEM; I will there be given to the house of the (minors) of Minories without Aldgate of London yearly during the space of 5 years next after my decease after the feast of Purification of Our Lady towards the refreshing of the convent there a bottle of good white (herynge) and 2 (rades) of good red (heringe), Sum by estimation 5 pounds. ITEM; I bequeath in like manner to the poor house of crossed friars in London like (herynge) for like 5 years, Sum by estimation 5 pounds. ITEM; I will that every parson preaching at Poole’s Cross every Sunday which sermon is Good Friday, Monday, Christmas, Ash Wednesday at Saint Mary spital in Easter Week shall have at every time 4 pence during the term of 7 years next after my decease to pray for my soul my wives souls and the souls of my father and mother and all Christian souls, Sum by estimation 6 pounds. ITEM; I will that immediately after my decease there be delivered by my executors unto every Alderman of the City of London 20 shillings and that it may please to assign in their several wards an honest parson to distribute and dispose the same money to and amongst the poor householders within their several wards and this to be done instead of alms used to be giving to common beggars, Sum 24 pounds. ITEM; I will that my executors quarterly deliver and pay unto John BUTLER my son 5 marks in money towards his living which is after the rate of 20 marks by year and so continue every quarter of the year during his natural life, that is to say, at the feasts of the Nativity of our Lord, the Annunciation of our Lady, the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Michael the Archangel, the first quarter of payment thereof to begin at the first of the said 4 feasts that shall next follow after my decease. ITEM; I bequeath to Andrew Francis a ring or 40 shillings and a black gown. ITEM; I will that all such hangings as be now hanged about my said House and place which I dwell in and all such bedsteads, standards, chests, presses, portals and all other necessaries there fastened ands also all manner glass windows and lattices thereunto belonging shall in no wise be removed nor taken away but (xxx) to remain and abide still within the said house (with) implements and (keystones) pertaining and belonging to the same house, and I will that if my executors misuse and discord themselves contrary to this my present testament and true meaning of the same in any part thereof that then my overseers hereafter named from thenceforth to join with my my said executors and with them to minister duly and truly as though I had named them executors in deed in performance of the my testament. ITEM; I bequeath to Margaret my brother Richard’s daughter 10 marks to her to be delivered within 2 years after my decease. The residue of all and singular my goods debts and chattels merchandises ready money plate and jewels whatsoever they be after my debts paid my funeral charges borne and paid and this my present testament fulfilled I will shall be divided into 4 equal parts whereof two equal parts I bequeath unto my fore said son William Butler to his own proper use, and one whole part of the said 4 parts I give and bequeath unto my son in law John FAYRY and Mary my daughter his wife, and another and last whole part of the said 4 parts I will shall be distributed dealt and disposed by my said executors by the oversight and counsel of my overseers in charitable deeds and works of pity and charity for the health and comfort of my soul as shall be thought best by their good discretions, and of this my present testament and last will I make and ordain the said William Butler my son and my said son in law John Fayrey my executors, and their overseers of the same I make and ordain my trusty friends Nicholas Leveson and Nicholas Rutland and I bequeath to either of them for his labour and sustenance and good counsel herein to be had 6 pounds 13 shillings and 4 pence, Sum 13 pounds 6 shillings and 8 pence. These being witnesses: Sir John Brugge Knight and Alderman of London, Giles Brugge, and Nicholas Rutland before named, written the day and year first above specified.
This is the last will of me William Buttler Knight Citizen and Alderman of the City of London made the 26th day of November in the year of our Lord 1528 and in the 20th year of the reign of King Henry VIII as touching and concerning all my lands and tenements rents reversions and (fines) as hereafter follow, that is to say, first I will that William Buttler my son have all those my messuages lands and tenements rents reversions and fines meadows seedings and pastures woods underwoods with all and singular their appurtenances set lying and being (casurell) in the town parish and fields of Bydenham in the County of Bedford as also within the fields of the town of Bedford in the County of Bedford or elsewhere within the County of Bedford, to have and to hold all the said messuages lands and tenements rents reversions and fines meadows seedings and pastures woods underwoods with all and singular their appurtenances to the same William Buttler my son and to the heirs of his body lawfully begotten and their heirs forever, and if the same William Buttler my son decease without heirs of his body lawfully begotten then I will that all those my said messuages lands and tenements rents reversions and fines meadows seedings and pastures with all and singular their appurtenances shall remain wholly to John Farry my son in law and Mary my daughter his wife to have and to hold all the same messuages lands and tenements and all other the premises with their appurtenances to the same John Fayre and Mary and to the heirs of their two bodies lawfully begotten and to their heirs forever, and also I will that the said William Butler my son have as well that my messuage or tenement with the appurtenances set lying and being in (Paternoster) Row wherein Thomas Croppe now dwells in the parish of Saint (Michael the Great) near West Chepe of London, and also all that my alley called (Lege) Alley in the parish of Saint Katherine the Little in London to have and to hold all that my said messuage or tenement with the appurtenances set lying and being in Paternoster Row as is aforesaid and also all that my said alley called Legge Alley with all and singular lands and tenements rents and fines and their appurtenances to the foresaid William Buttler my son and to the heirs of his body lawfully begotten and to their heirs for evermore, and if the said William Buttler my son decease without heirs of his body lawfully begotten then I will that all my said messuage or tenement in Paternoster Row with the appurtenances and all that my said alley with all and singular lands and tenements rents reversions and fines with their appurtenances in the said parish of Saint Kathryn shall remain to the foresaid John Fayre my son in law and Mary my daughter his wife to have and to hold all the same messuage or tenement in Paternoster Row with the appurtenances and all that my said alley with all and singular lands and tenements rents reversions and fines with their appurtenances in the said parish of Saint Kathryn to the same John Fayre and Mary his wife and to the heirs of their two bodies lawfully begotten and to their heirs forevermore. In witness whereof to this my present last will I have put my seal the day and year above written – (Latin) William Wyatt notary public, Henry Cocks curate of Saint Mildred in Poultry London, Edward Lightfoot (xxx) George Gold
Proved 20th February 1533