In the name of God Amen; this present fifteenth of August 1638 [15/8/1638] (and fourteenth year of the reign of our sovereign Lord Charles by the grace of God King of England Scotland France and Ireland defender of the faith etc; I MARTIN LEDDER citizen and draper of London being at this point in perfect mind and memory though somewhat weak in my body laud and praise be given to almighty God for it yet seriously pondering with myself the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour of its approach do therefore make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following; that is to say first and principally I commend my soul into the hands of almighty God my creator saviour and sanctifier hoping and assuredly believing that I shall be eternally saved by the alone merits of Jesus Christ and my body I commit to the earth from whence it came willing it should be buried in such place and in such decent manner as my executrix hereafter named shall think fit there to rest in assured hope of a glorious resurrection at the last day; and as touching the disposal of such temporal estate as it has pleased the almighty God to lend me to dispose of I do give and dispose of the same as follows: first I will and do desire that all such debts as I shall truly owe unto any person or persons at the time of my decease shall be justly and truly paid and satisfied according as they are or shall grow due or within as short time after as conveniently may be and my debts and funeral charges being paid or defaulted I will and my mind is that all the rest of my good chattels ready money debts and other personal estate whatsoever shall be divided into three equal parts according to the ancient and laudable custom of the City of London; one third part whereof I give and bequeath unto SIBBELL my dearly beloved wife to her own proper use and appertaining to her by the said custom, one other third part thereof I give and bequeath to an amongst all my children that shall be living at the time of my decease or shall be born within convenient time after my decease (if any be); and the other third part which is in my own power to dispose of I reserve to myself which I devise and dispose of in manner and form following viz. I give out of that which the Lord in mercy has left me unto Henry Newton minister and preacher of God’s word in the parish where I live (if he be there living and parson of the said parish at the time of my decease) the sum of three pounds to be paid him within four months after my decease. ITEM; I give to the poor of the town of Robertsbridge where I was born the sum of three pounds to be distributed within six months after my decease unto such poor as my brother RICHARD LEDDER shall think fit to receive it. The rest and residue of all my goods chattels plate ready money apparel household stuff and all other personal estate whatsoever I will give and bequeath unto my foresaid dear and loving wife Sibbell to her own proper use and I ordain and make my said wife the full and sole executrix of this my last will and testament not doubting but as she has [by in] so she will be careful for the goods of her children and will see what I have herein bequeathed carefully effected according as I have ordered; and I hereby utterly revoke disannul and make void all former wills legacies bequests and executors heretofore made willed named or appointed and do will and ordain these presents and everything therein contained to be my last will and testament and none other nor otherwise. In witness whereof to this my present last will and testament contained in two sheets of paper to the lower end of which my name is subscribed I have caused my seal also to be affixed the day and year above written – Martin Ledder – sealed published declared and delivered by the said Martin ledder as and for his last will and testament in the presence of Mathewe Sheppard Jerome Baxter William Goddard
I do also entreat my brothers in law ROBERT WINCH and EDMOND SLEIGH to be overseers of this my will and assistants in what they can unto my executrix – Martin Ledder
Proved 15th November 1638 by Sibell Ledder (relict and executrix)
Comments or questions are welcome.