In the name of God Amen. The sixteenth day of April in the nine and twentieth year of the reign of our most [dreade] Sovereign Lady Elizabeth by the grace of God of England France and Ireland Queen Defender of the Faith etc. I JOHN RIVES of Dammarie Court within the Parish of Blandford Forum in the County of Dorset Esquire calling to mind the instability of man’s life and  minding to bestow set in order and dispose myself towards almighty God and my goods and chattels towards the world; whereas by his bountiful grace and goodness I received the same by these presents make pronounce and declare this my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say: First I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God beseeching him of his infinite mercy for the merits and passion of his dear son Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour to receive the same into the everlasting fellowship of his blessed spirits whensoever it shall please his eternity to deprive my wretched body from this transitory life and my body to be buried at the discretion of my executor and overseers. Inprimo I give bequeath and assign to ELIZABETH RIVES my well-beloved wife the rectory and parsonage of Litton in the County of Dorset with all and singular the profits and commodities to the same belonging for and during the term of forty years if the said Elizabeth so long happen to live for and in the name and full recompense of her jointure the yielding such rents and performing the covenants and conditions specified and contained in lease thereof made by one Carleton sometimes parson of the said parsonage of Litton and confirmed by the patron and ordinary for the time being as in and by the said lease it may more evidently appear; More I give and bequeath to my said wife six quarters of wheat and twelve quarters of malt with all my household stuff and plate now being at Litton excepting one dozen of silver spoons the making her choice; More I give and bequeath to my said wife six of my best pine and six of my best oxen and she to choose them; More I give and bequeath to my said wife one hundred and forty [wathers] being at Litton if there be not so many there my will and meaning is that my son JOHN RIVES shall make up the number; More I give and bequeath my said wife my riding gelding my sorrel gelding one black trotting nag with all other my horse beasts going at Litton in a ground there called Looke. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto every one of my sons viz: GEORGE, CHARLES, HENRYE, JAMES, WILLIAM, VALENTINE and THOMAS one hundred pounds of lawful money of England. ITEM; I give and bequeath to my daughter LUCY two hundred pounds of lawful money of England; all which sums of money my will and meaning is shall be paid out of my lease of Heathfelton which I have made over of [ ] unto my brother BARTHOLEMEW MAN with others and also out of my stocks of Dammarie my lease of Dulishe and my [granidge] of Plushe and my will and meaning is that if my son John Rives do not within three months next after my decease put in sufficient land with sufficient sureties unto my overseers viz: Roger Hill, Richard Swaine, John Pitt senior, my brothers Bartholemew Man and Edward Man to pay unto my son George Ryves and Henrye Ryves to every of them their legacy of one hundred pounds within twelve months next after my decease and to pay all the rest of my legacies within four years next after my decease and in the meantime he my said son John Rives to be at the charges to find my said children then my will and meaning is that they my said overseers shall sell the said lease of Heathfelton, my stocks at Damary, my lease of Dulishe and my grannidge at Plushe for the payment of all my legacies and the overplus to remain to my son John Ryves and farther my will and meaning is that the said legacies before given to my said sons shall be by the order and appointment of my executor and overseers employed for the most benefit and behoof of my said sons until such time as they shall attain to the full age of one and twenty years and my daughter Lucy her portion to be likewise employed by them until she shall attain to the full age of sixteen years; Provided always that if any of my sons do die before they accomplish the age of one and twenty years that then his or theirs portion so dying shall be equally divided amongst those of my sons which shall be then living John Ryves only excepted; and if it fortune my daughter Luce to die before she accomplish the age of sixteen years then my will and meaning is that her portion shall remain to my son John Ryves. ITEM; I give and bequeath to every of my servants both men and maids (John Barnard and Ellys Churchhill only excepted) one quarters wages to be paid them at the next quarter day after my decease over and above their wages then due. ITEM; I do request my Cousins Roger Hyll, Richard Swayne, John Pitte Senior and my brothers Bartholemew Man and Edward Man to be my overseers, and that they will do what in them lyeth to see this my last will and testament to be duly performed according to my true meaning. All the rest of my goods whatsoever not bequeathed I give and bequeath to my son John Ryves whom I make and ordain my whole executor and he to see all my debts and legacies paid and this my last will and testament to be performed according to my true intent and meaning. In witness that this is my last will and testament I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year before written in the presence of those whose names are here underwritten. John Ryves – William Hill, Ellis Churchill, Robert [Rewe], John Barnard
Proved 18th May 1587 by John Ryves, executor
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