In Dei nomine Amen, the 12th day of the month of May in the year of our Lord God a thousand five hundred thirty and seven (1537) and the 29th year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King Henry VIII, I Thomas BODLEY vicar of Southwold in Essex of the Diocese of London, lauded Be God, being of good mind and perfect memory, make my testament and last will following; first I bequeath my soul to Almighty God which redeemed with his precious blood, and to our blessed Lady, and to all the holy company of heaven, my body to be buried within the parish church of Saint (Botolphs) at Billingsgate in London where I was born, and in the chapel where my father and mother lie. ITEM; I will the day of my sepulchre 20 shillings for two trentals to be said at convenient time for my soul and all Christian souls. ITEM; I bequeath to the said church 6 pounds 13 shillings and 4 pence to be applied to some necessary things after the discretion of my executors, and at my burial after my (chasting) I will such torches tapers and other funeral expenses to be had and provided for as shall be found honestly as it requires. ITEM; I will the brotherhood of the pope to accompany my body to be buried, they to have for their labours and to make me a brother among them 13 shillings and 4 pence. ITEM; I will five trentals of masses to be celebrated for my soul and all Christian souls as shortly after my decease as can be convenient. ITEM; I bequeath to every Godchild 12 pence apiece. ITEM; I bequeath to Katheryn Croft forty shillings, a pair of amber beads (gouded) with silver, a slender ring hope (fashion) and two pairs of sheets. ITEM; I bequeath to Thomas Bryte 6 shillings 8 pence. ITEM; to the five orders of friars in London in the honour of the five principal wounds of Christ 5 shillings to every place. ITEM; I bequeath to 40 poor householders in the parish of Southwold 12 pence apiece. ITEM; I will during the space of a year every Friday five parish men to have each of them a penny apiece in the honour of the five wounds to pray for my soul and all Christian souls. ITEM; I will five priests to say five masses of the five wounds a dirige at my parish church, they to have 12 pence apiece, and all other priests that shall be there within my month’s mind or at the same to have 8 pence apiece, the clerk and child to be recompensed according to the discretion of my executors. ITEM; I will my executors to pay all my debts that can be demanded of right and sufficient (xxx) and supposing them to be little or none. ITEM; I bequeath to my (keeper) in London my bed in my chamber in London as it stands saving the upper covering, a cupboard and two forms, and 10 shillings to be paid to her as she shall need or require it. ITEM; I bequeath to my woman at my benefice 5 shillings and my night gown (furred) with fox and a pair of sheets. ITEM; I bequeath to the wench 5 shillings. ITEM; to my (xxx) John for half a year’s livery 4 shillings and for his wages that (xxx) 11 pence, also I bequeath him 2 shillings. ITEM; I bequeath to the old (worth) of (Powles) 3 shillings and 4 pence. ITEM; I bequeath to the parish church of Southwold my copys that have been there (xxx) the church wardens for the time being to entitle in their book them to be of my gift to the land and praising of Almighty God to pray for my soul and all Christian souls. ITEM; I will for 12 prisoners to be (released) in the honour of God in hope of relief and comfort of my soul, the value and sum as it shall be seen to my said executors. ITEM; I will my three kine to be farmed and the yearly farm to be given to poor people yearly to pray for my soul and all Christians. ITEM; I bequeath to every prison in London and Spital Houses and in the suburbs of the same 3 shillings and 8 pence apiece. ITEM; I bequeath to my Godson Francis BODLEY my dwelling house and all other houses tenements possessions what hold so ever they be of being and lying within the parish or any part of the same called Southwold or Brandwood after manner and form of the lordshipping of the same yearly by the space of 20 years a rental of masses to be kept at Saint Botolphs in London aforesaid and also 10 shillings to be distributed among poor people there for my soul and all christian souls. ITEM; I bequeath to the said Francis Bodley two salts, a standing piece of silver and gilt, a standing (maser) and ten marks of money, also a complete bed and of all manner of household stuff part of the best of everything. The (enstodye) and ordering of the premises to remain and to be in the hands and order of my brother Master Doctor Ellys BODLEY, my executor, till he be of the age of 20 years or near, and if case should happen as God forbid that the said Francis should depart this present life never coming to the age of the same I will my executor to distribute the same to the next of the kindred portion and portion alike according to the discretions of my executor. ITEM; I bequeath to Alys BODLEY, Katheryn BODLEY and Gresell BODLEY, my brother William Bodley’s children to each of them 10 pounds apiece, each of them to be other’s executor, and to the said Gresell also I bequeath a salt and six spoons of silver. ITEM; I bequeath to my brother Master Doctor Ellys Bodley and to my brother William Bodley, Grocer and to my sisters my Lady (Aston), my sister GRESHAM, my sister BODLEY and to my brother Master Aston, Knight, Master William Gresham to them and either of them a ring of gold value 30 shillings apiece. ITEM; I bequeath to my brother Doctor Ellys Bodley my bag with silver and gilt rings, a velvet girdle and a leather girdle with buckles of silver and gilt and another better girdle garnished with silver, and my bed in my parlour chamber as it stands, four pairs of sheets, a pomade basin with a ewer of pewter, the (xxx) of my (both), my best black gown, a dozen of cushions, two table cloths of diaper, two towels of diaper, a dozen of napkins of diaper, two plain table cloths and two plain towels. The rest of all my goods and chattels whatsoever they be, I will my executor to distribute and give them in deeds of mercy and charity as shall serve to him most convenient for the wealth of my soul and all christian souls as he will answer afore God at the dreadful day of Judgement and I ordain and make of this my last will and testament my brother Master Doctor Ellys Bodley, parson of Saint Stephens in Walbrook in London my sole executor, and my overseers of the same I ordain and make my brother Master William Bodley Grocer. In witness whereof and in presence I have subscribed this present testament and last will with my own and those being present – Sir John Martin, Priest; Sir John Dalton, Priest; Andrew Hubbard, layman; with divers others.
Proved 26th June 1537.