In the name of God Amen. The sixteenth day of August in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord James by the grace of God King of England France and Ireland defender of the faith etc the twentieth and of Scotland the five and fiftieth AD 1622 I RICHARD LAWRENCE of Stepleton in the county of Dorset gent being of perfect sense and understanding (thanks be given to Almighty God) considering the weak and frail estate of this present life subject unto death every moment and yet uncertain of the time of the good visitation and being now desirous to settle in peace that parcel of worldly wealth which the Lord has in mercy bestowed upon me that I may better attend the time when Almighty God shall call me to depart out of this world revoking all former wills do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following and therein calling to mind my manifold sins and transgressions committed against the majesty of Almighty God the Lord and giver of life. I do first commend my poor distressed soul unto His infinite mercy in Jesus Christ His only Son my Lord and Saviour constantly believing by His only merits death and passion to be made partaker of everlasting life in the world to come with His Saints and Holy Angels. And my body I will to be buried in Christian burial according to the discretion of my executors and overseers herein nominated attending the resurrection of the dead. ITEM; I give to the poor people of the town of Dorchester in the county of Dorset the sum of forty shillings; and to the poor of Stoborrough the sum of forty shillings; and to the poor of the parish of Tinham within the Isle of Purbeck twenty shillings; and to the poor of Swannidge [Swanage] within the said Isle of Purbeck the sum of forty shillings and to the poor of the parish of Stepleton where I now dwell twenty shillings. ITEM; I give and bequeath to my son CHARLES LAWRENCE the sum of four hundred pounds current English money as a legacy to be paid unto him the said Charles by my executor of this my last will and testament hereafter named within one year next following after my decease. ITEM; whereas for the breeding of my son Richard Lawrence I did heretofore place him an apprentice with John Parkyns of Dorchester merchant and for the better satisfaction of the said John Parkyns touching my said son Richard Lawrence and his service I did enter into bond unto the said John Parkyns in the sum of five hundred pounds or some suchlike great sum which said bond yet remains in the hands of John Parkyns and may be [perilous] to my estate in time to come upon condition therefore that my said son Richard Lawrence do and shall take up the said bond from the said John Parkyns and the same being cancelled and discharged shall deliver over unto me in my lifetime or unto my executor herein nominated or to his assigns within six months next after my decease or otherwise if my said son Richard Lawrence do and shall procure a good and sufficient release in the law to be made thereof by the said John Parkyns his executors or administrators unto me in my lifetime or unto my said executor herein nominated within six months next after my decease I do give and bequeath unto my said son Richard Lawrence the sum of three hundred pounds of current English money as a legacy to be paid unto him the said Richard Lawrence by my said executor of this my last will and testament upon and under the condition aforesaid within one whole year next after my decease. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto my son ANGELL LAWRENCE the sum of three hundred pounds current English money as a legacy to be paid unto him the said Angell by the executor of this my last will and testament hereafter named within one whole year next after my decease. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto my daughter Honnor Lawrence the sum of three hundred pounds current English money as a legacy to be paid unto her the said Honnor by my executor of this my last will and testament hereafter mentioned within one whole year next after my decease. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto Ann Berten alias Jordan my maid servant now living with me the sum of ten pounds if she shall continue in my service until the time of my death. Also I give and bequeath unto John Sally my man servant now living with me the sum of five pounds if he shall continue in my service until the time of my death which said legacies before mentioned to be given unto the said Ann Berten alias Jordan and John Sally shall be paid unto them by my executor of this my last will and testament hereafter named within six months next after my decease. Provided always that if any my said sons and daughters before named do or shall by any means whatsoever contradict this my last will and testament or shall refuse to accept of the legacies here unto them severally and respectively given and bequeathed or shall lawfully disturb my son and heir in the quiet and peaceable enjoying of all or any my lands or tenements that thenceforth the legacy hereby given to him her or them that shall so contradict this my last will and testament or disturb my said heir shall be utterly void. All the residue of my goods and chattels moveable and unmoveable whatsoever not before given and bequeathed (my debts and legacies being paid and my funeral expenses discharged) I give and bequeath unto my son GEORGE LAWRENCE who I do make my whole and sole executor of this my last will and testament and I do make and ordain my loving friends John Butler gent and my cousin Mr LAWRENCE ADYN of Dorchester to be overseers of this my last will and testament desiring them to be aiding unto mine executor in the execution thereof and to each of them I give a gold ring of the price of thirty shillings. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year first above written. Signed sealed and acknowledged by the said – Richard Lawrence – to be his last will and testament the sixteenth day of August AD 1622 in the presence of Richard Ryves Humphry Jolliffe Robert Rives John Foyle Renaldo Knapton
Proved 24th April 1626 by George Lawrence son and executor
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