In the name of God Amen, the seven and twentieth day of July AD 1591 in the three and thirtieth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lady Elizabeth by the grace of God Queen of England France and Ireland Defender of the Faith etc, I Dame Marie LEVESON widow late wife to Sir Richard LEVESON of Lilishall in the County of Salop Knight deceased being sick and weak in body but of perfect memory thanks be to Almighty God, do make and declare my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say First I bequeath my soul to Almighty God my Heavenly Father trusting by the merits of the bitter passion of his blessed Son Jesus Christ my Saviour to have everlasting salvation and my body to be buried in the parish church of Trentham in the County of Stafford at such time and with such funerals as to my executors shall seem meet and convenient. ITEM; I give unto my son Sir Walter LEVESON Knight all such several and particular things as be named and mentioned in one Schedule annexed and connexed to this my present testament under my hand and seal mentioning particular things given to him the said Sir Walter. ITEM; I give and bequeath to Richard LEVESON Esquire my son’s son such other several and particular things as be named and mentioned in one other Schedule likewise annexed and mentioning things given to the said Richard Leveson. ITEM; I give unto Margaret the wife of the said Richard Leveson one carpet of needlework wrought with my own hands being the best I have and one wrought cutchin of needlework having my arms on it and one suit of damask that is to say one long table cloth to contain in length six yards and in breadth two yards and one towel and one dozen of napkins to contain in length nineteen yards to be taken and cut out of a piece of fine damask as yet not cut out. ITEM; I give and bequeath to my sister Mistress Margaret ENGLEFIELD one pair silver ewers for wine plain. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto my brother Thomas FITTON one silver tankard parcel gilt with a cover parcel gilt and to Frances FITTON my said brother’s daughter and my goddaughter four marks to be bestowed on a jewel in remembrance of me. ITEM; I give to Edward FITTON Esquire son and heir of Sir Edward FITTON my nephew one standing cup of silver called a [matt] double gilt having a [ponnce] upon the same and cover double gilt in token of my good will to him and the House of Galsworthy. ITEM; I give and bequeath to Francis ENGLEFIELD Esquire forty pounds parcel of three score pounds which is already in the hands of the said Francis owing to me which said sum of forty pounds I will and request the said Francis to bestow in one basin and ewer of silver to be made with some memorial of me to remain in token of my good will to him and his house. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto my nephew William MEYRE the sum of twenty marks of good and lawful money of England already in his own hands as debt owing unto me at this present to be bestowed upon some piece of silver plate of the same value and therein to be engraved my name to remain in token of my good will to him and his house of Meyre. ITEM; I give and bequeath to my nephew Edward EGERTON Esquire one fair standing cup of silver double gilt with a cover double gilt the same which I bought of his father Sir Rauffe EGERTON Knight to remain in token of my good will to him and Pynehill House. ITEM; I g bequeath to my niece Margaret EGERTON the sum of forty pounds of good current money towards her preferment to be paid within one year next after my decease. ITEM; my will is that my executors within one year next after my decease shall deliver unto the church wardens of the parish of Trentham aforesaid for the time being four of my best kine to be kept and renewed from time to time by the church wardens of Trentham parish aforesaid and the whole profits of them and of their increase and of the increase of such as shall be renewed in their places from time to time to be employed upon reparations of one glass window of new erected and made there by me in the East End of the said parish church of Trentham having my arms set therein, for better execution whereof I will that the said church wardens for the time being shall yearly to the curate and parishioners there from time to time make account upon the feast day of All Saints of the said stock of kine and the increase thereof and thereupon the stock with the remain to be delivered over yearly like as the parish goods unto such church wardens as shall succeed forever to be kept and employed as is aforesaid; and it is also my will and further desire that if the said church wardens or any of them shall not or do not according to the true intent and meaning of this my last will keep maintain renew and employ the said stock and every part thereof or shall refuse forebear or neglect to make their true and honest account yearly according as I have before limited that then such person and persons as then shall be my executor or executors administrator or administrators and every honest parishioner of the said parish of Trentham and every friend of mine has power and authority to convene and call the said church wardens and others offending in the premises before the Bishop of the Diocese of Coventry and Lichfield for the time being or into any other judicial court or place to whom it may appertain by law or equity to punish correct or reform the same and to sue and prosecute every such party as so shall offend until the restitution recompense or reformation be had, and to the intent the said churchwardens may not be ignorant of my intent and will I require my executors after my decease within one quarter of the year then next following to deliver to the curate and churchwardens of the said parish then being a true copy of this clause containing the guise and delivery of the said four kine to be registered in the register book of the said parish there to remain with the parishioners forever, and to be read to the curate and church wardens yearly at the said account upon the feast day of All Saints. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto all and every of my friends and servants whose names are contained in any Schedule to this my testament annexed the same several particular gifts and legacies as be specified and severally appointed signified noted or declared to be given them and every of them severally, and will that my executor make delivery and payment of them and every of them to the said person and persons and to every of them in convenient time after my decease so truly and effectually as though the same had been contained and mentioned at large in the body and contents of this my present last will and testament. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto the poor people and householders of the town of Stafford the town of Newcastle under Lyne the town of Stone and the parish of Trentham all which towns be in the county of Staffs aforesaid the sum of forty pounds of good current money of England that is to say to the poor of the town of Stafford ten pounds, to the poor of the town of Newcastle ten pounds, to the poor of the town of Stone ten pounds, to the poor of the parish of Trentham ten pounds to be distributed by the discretions of the curate and church wardens of the said several parishes in the which towns are being with the oversight of Roger Reynolds person of Stoke upon Trent my chaplain if the said Roger be then living. ITEM; I will and require that blacks be given by my executors to all my friends and servants whose names are contained in a Schedule mentioned and annexed to this my last will and testament wherein is any mention of their names of such to whom I will blacks to be given, and black [frise] gowns to thirteen poor women of the parish of Trentham to be appointed by my executors to attend upon my corpse to the Church the day of my funeral when God shall appoint the time. ITEM; I will that my executors provide a monument for me according to a draft in paper left unto them to be graven in brass and planted in Trentham church near the place where I was wont to kneel in time of divine prayers which will be about the charges of twenty marks. ITEM; when my debts be paid my funerals defrayed and the legacies in this my last will and testament and in the inventories and Schedule annexed and connexed mentioned truly and effectually delivered and discharged according to my mind and true meaning in all respects then I will give and bequeath unto George CURSON Esquire my son in law and to Marie his wife my daughter all the rest and residue of my goods and chattels plate jewels and others of what kind or condition so ever the same or any of them be or shall be to their only use forever hoping nevertheless requiring and charging my said son Curson and my daughter that they will give and bestow to my goddaughter Marie CURSON their daughter some reasonable and convenient portion of my good will and love to her to be paid at the time of her marriage, the certainty of which portion I wholly refer unto my said son and daughter, Lastly I ordain constitute and make my brother FITTON sole executor of this my last will and testament and I give him my best horse or gelding at his choice nevertheless desiring him that he will authorise my said son George Curson by letter of attorney from him to administer my goods chattels debts and legacies in all points saving for and touching one statute bond of four thousand pounds acknowledged unto me by my son Curson’s father which statute bond and defeasance thereof I have delivered into the hands of my said brother Francis willing hoping and trusting that the same may stand and remain for performance of such things as are specified in the defeasance thereof, for which purpose I have committed the same to my said brother Francis. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal and have published the same to be my last will and testament [xxx] the day and year first above written.
A Schedule mentioning particular things given to Sir Walter Leveson, Knight, as follows:
Inprimis I give to him all such silver plate as was left to me by his father Sir Richard Leveson, Knight, late my husband deceased viz. two silver cups for beer with covers parcel gilt, one silver salt double gilt with a cover double gilt having the goat’s head thereupon, six silver spoons whereof one is double gilt, all the rest in my son’s own possession delivered with my own hand at the Christening of his son Richard Leveson namely, one nest of goblets parcel gilt. ITEM; I give to him all the wainscot fixed upon the walls or windows of my house at Trentham and in the chambers and all glass in glass windows throughout the whole house. ITEM; I give to him all the bedsteads in my house chambers at Trentham except one felt bedstead which stands in a chamber there called my Lord Treasurer’s Chamber. ITEM; I give more to him my said son the furniture in my hall viz. one long standing table with the frame in the upper end of my hall, one square table with the frame, four forms for them both, two cupboards, two side tables along the hall, three forms for the same, one joined chair, one throne chair, two curtains of saye over the compass windows, two iron rods for the same. ITEM; I give more to him my said son the furniture in my gallery, viz. one table standing upon a frame, four forms for the same covered with turkey work, two joined chairs with the seats covered with turkey work, six joined stools whereof two are covered with turkey work, except the drawing table and carved cupboards there. ITEM; I further give to my said son the moiety or one half of all such implements, utensils and furniture of household and household stuff now being and remaining in the several houses and rooms of offices at Trentham hereafter following, viz. in the buttery, kitchen, larder, brewhouse, bakery, [pantry] in my house and day house and every of them which I did use to employ and occupy those said several rooms and offices except the pewter vessel and napery. The said implements utensils and furniture to be parted divided and delivered upon the sixth day next after the day of my burial by Roger Reynolds, clerk, parson of Stoke, my chaplain, whom I have appointed and constituted and chosen as a person indifferent to part and divide the said implements between my said son Sir Walter Leveson and his son Richard Leveson to whom I give the other moiety or one half of the said implements utensils and furniture. ITEM; I give to my said son one basin and ewer of silver of the value of twenty pounds to be made and delivered to him by my executor.
A Schedule mentioning things given to Richard Leveson Esquire
Inprimis one team of six working oxen the best I have, ten of my best milk kine towards his dairy, one iron-bound wain the best I have with all the furniture thereto belonging as yokes, chains, hooks and such like. ITEM; I give more to him the said Richard Leveson two dozen of broad dishes, two dozen of little dishes and two dozen of saucers, two pewter plates for pies, twelve broad dishes of pewter being unturned vessel. ITEM; I give more to the said Richard Leveson seven feather beds the best I have, seven mattresses the best I have, seven bolsters the best, eight pillows, fourteen blankets of the best and seven coverlets, three coverings of tapestry whereof the best to be none, one white [cadowes], three curtains for a bed of red and yellow silk with valance to the same, three curtains of blue and yellow mockade. ITEM; I give more to him the said Richard Leveson one cupboard of joined work, one chair covered with turkey work, one chair of joined work, two joined stools covered with blue cloth embroidered with lace, one window cloth of blue [firmyed] with blue frill, one carpet for the cupboard of blue cloth. ITEM; I give more to the said Richard Leveson one pair of sheets of Holland of three breadths, two pair of fine sheets of two breadths and half new made, seven pairs of flaxen sheets of two breadths of the best, six pairs of the finest pillow [beares] and my fair great cypress chest. ITEM; I further give to the said Richard Leveson the moiety or one half of all such implements, utensils and furniture of household and household stuff after following, viz. in the buttery, kitchen, larders, brewhouse, bakehouse, milk house, and day houses and every of them which I did use to employ and occupy in those said several rooms and offices except the pewter vessel and napery, the said implements, utensils and furniture to be parted, divided and delivered upon the sixth day next after the day of my burial by Roger Reynolds clerk parson of Stoke my chaplain whom I have appointed constituted and chosen as a person indifferent to part and divide the said implements between the said Richard Leveson and my son Sir Walter Leveson Knight to whom I have given the other moiety or one half of the said implements, utensils and furniture.
A Schedule of Legacies given and bequeathed to certain of my friends and servants
Inprimis I give and bequeath to my son Sir Walter Leveson Knight one gold ring of the value of forty shillings. ITEM; I give to Richard Leveson one like ring. ITEM; I give to Richard Leveson’s wife one like ring. ITEM; I give to my sister Englefield one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my brother Thomas FITTON one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to Thomas his wife one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my brother Francis one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my brother George one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my nephew Sir Edward Fitton one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my niece Margaret Egerton one like ring. ITEM I give to my Lady Fitton one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my niece Frances Egerton one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my niece Anne ARBLAST one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my godson Rauffe Egerton one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to Roger Reynolds parson of Stoke one like gold ring. ITEM; to my cousin Margaret MAINWARING one gold ring of the like value of forty shillings. ITEM; to my cousin Elizabeth HOLCROFT one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my servant Thomas Story one gold ring of the value of twenty shillings. ITEM; I give to Anne Storie one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to John Lovatt one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my servant John Maddox one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my servant old Whithurst one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my servant William Higgan one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my servant Richard Dody one like ring. ITEM; I give to my servant John Taylor one like ring. ITEM; I give to my servant Francis Nibbes one like gold ring. ITEM; I give to my servant Godfrey Persall one like ring. ITEM; I give to my servant Stephen Taylor one like ring. ITEM; I give to Anne Vize my servant woman twenty pounds. ITEM; I give to Joyce Barrelowe five pounds. ITEM; I give to Katherine Collins forty shillings. ITEM; I give to Elizabeth Hiley one heifer. ITEM; I give to Anne Webb one cow in her possession. ITEM; I give to Isabel Plemley one cow. ITEM; I give to John Ray three pounds six shillings and eight pence. ITEM; I give to Richard Gardener one cow. ITEM; I give to Thomas Maddox my cook six pounds thirteen shillings and four pence. ITEM; I give to John Whithurst the younger ten pounds. ITEM; I give to John Martyn five pounds. ITEM; I give to Edward Albrighton five pounds. ITEM; I give to John Kenrick five pounds. ITEM; I give to Roger Peatt twenty-six shillings and eight pence. ITEM; I give to Roger Townsend twenty-six shillings and eight pence. ITEM; I give to Thomas Hunt twenty-six shillings and eight pence. ITEM; I give to John Adderley twenty six shillings and eight pence. ITEM; I give to Buxtons for charity sake twenty six shillings and eight pence. ITEM; I give to Henry the kitchen boy forty shillings. ITEM; I give to Thomas Green the money received of him for his tenement six pounds thirteen shillings and four pence. ITEM; I give to Margaret Asbrigge my late servant four pounds. ITEM; my request is that my son Curson and my daughter do keep my fool Thomas [cheike] during his life for my sake – Mary Leveson – signed sealed and published by the said Dame Marie Leveson on the seven and twentieth day of July 1591 in the three and thirtieth year of the Queen Majesty’s reign abovesaid in the presence of us whose names be underwritten Francis Englefield, George Curson, Frai Moore, John Lowe, John Rich Bossom, John Whithurst, Anne Fabian, Margaret Englefield, Mary Curson, Anne Wize, Alice Cartlich, Mary Ridley
The names of such persons to whom I Dame Mary Leveson do will blacks be given after my decease as mourners for me that is to say mourning blacks to be given to: Sir Walter Leveson, Knight my son, Sir Edward Fitton, Knight my nephew, Francis Fitton Esquire my brother, Richard Leveson Esquire my grandchild, George Curson Esquire my son in law, Francis Englefield Esquire my son in law, my nephew Edward Egerton Esquire, my nephew Thomas Fitton Esquire, my brother Edward Fitton Esquire son of Sir Edward Fitton , Knight, George Fitton Gentleman, my brother Raphe Egerton gent, Thomas Story gent, Francis Moore gent, Roger Reynolds clerk my chaplain a mourning gown.
Mourning gowns be given to Mistress Englefield my sister, Mistress Curson my daughter, Mistress Anne Fitton wife of my brother Thomas Fitton, Mistress Egerton my niece, Mistress Frances Egerton my niece, Anne Vize my woman, Anne Storie. Mourning coats be given to all my men servants – Mary Leveson
Proved 29th July 1591