1641 Mathew Cradock


I MATHEW CRADOCK of London Merchant being in perfect memory and bodily health thanks be given to God therefore do hereby make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following (that is to say) first I bequeath my soul into the hands of Almighty God trusting by the merits of the death and passion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ only to obtain remission and pardon of all my sins; my body when it shall please God to separate it from my soul I recommend to the earth in assured confidence of a glorious resurrection at the great and dreadful day of Judgement.  As for my outward estate wherewith God of his goodness has endowed me I have ever accounted myself but a steward thereof and therefore humbly entreat the Almighty to enable me so to demean myself in the disposing thereof as that I may though his mercy in the merits of Christ be always prepared to give a comfortable account of my stewardship; I do hereby order in the first place that all such debts as are any manner of way by me justly due and owing to any person whatsoever be truly and fully satisfied and paid; and whereas by account made up lately with the widow of Stephen Bennister late of London clothworker deceased there appears by the said Bennister’s book by the acquitances for monies paid in his life time and to his widow since his death that there is at this present due to the said widow a swell for cloth bought of her late husband of his own clothes and also of John Butler, Thomas Webb, Edward Webb and Thomas Davis there making in all the sum of two hundred seventy and five pounds and one shilling; I do hereby order that suffieicent discharge from the said widow and the several clothiers aforenamed who have lately preferred their bills against the widow and myself in the Court of Requests the said sum of two hundred seventy five pounds and one shilling be paid; and furthermore after a full and general release sealed signed and as her deed delivered by the said widow to the use of my executors or administrators I do order fifty pounds more to be paid and given to the said widow Bennister; also whereas Henry Colthurst son of Thomas Colthurst deceased pretends moneys to be due to him and his mother from me wherein as yet I could never be satisfied of the truth and justness thereof I desire Mr Pennoyer who is best acquainted with all and every amount that any way concerns the said Colthurst and me, that he would examine and perfect the same accounts and if ought be in my hands justly due to the said Henry Colthurst or his mother or both that it be fully satisfied with consideration for the time it has been in my hands until it shall be paid and satisfied.  The debts I owe to all and every person whatsoever justly and truly to be proved being first paid and satisfied the remainder of my estate I give and bequeath as follows: First I give to the poor of the parish of Saint Peters the poor in Broad Street London where I served my apprenticeship forty pounds.  ITEM; to the poor of the Parish of Saint Swithins where I now dwell one hundred pounds the said several sums to be employed in the said several parishes as a stock for the use of the poor the benefit whereof I will to be distributed once every year to the poor of the said several parishes at the discretion of the inhabitants of every parish at a meeting in the several vestries or the greater number then present; this to be taken out of the third part of my estate which by the custom of the City of London is at my disposing, one third part of my whole nett or clear estate (my debts being first paid and satisfied) I give and bequeath according to the laudable and ancient custom of the City of London to my dear virtuous and loving wife REBECCA CRADOCKE; one other third part of my said estate according to the ancient custom of the City of London I do give to my daughter DAMARIS and to such other child or children as it shall please God hereafter to give me by my said dear and loving wife Rebecca; moreover I do give and bequeath to my said dear and loving wife all my household stuff and plate at my house in London where I dwell and at a house I hold at Rumford in Essex also the lease of my dwelling house in London only (out of my plate and household stuff aforesaid I do give to my said daughter Damaris to the value of fifty pounds in such particulars as my said wife shall order and appoint the same).  Moreover, I do give unto my loving wife aforesaid to be by her enjoyed during her natural life the one half of all the estate I now have or shall have in New England in America at the time of my decease and after the decease of my wife aforesaid I do give and bequeath the moiety of my movables and immovables hereby intended to be enjoyed by my wife during her natural life unto my brother SAMUEL CRADOCKE and to his heirs male and for the other moiety of my estate in New England aforesaid I do hereby give and bequeath the same to my daughter Damaris and the issue of her body to be lawfully begotten and for want of such issue to my said brother Samuel and his heirs male aforesaid; and my will is that when my wife shall marry, that in such case her then intended husband before their marriage shall become bound to my said brother and his heirs in two thousand pounds of lawful money of England not to sell away or alienate any part of the money of my lands hereby intended and bequeathed to my wife and consequently to him during her natural life and that he shall leave at the time of her decease in personal estate there for my brother and his heirs to enjoy after the decease of my said wife at least for the full value of five hundred pounds sterling in movable goods and whosoever shall marry with my said daughter Damaris I do hereby will and order that before marriage he likewise shall enter into the like bond with the covenants and conditions. In case my said daughter depart this life without issue and for such of the parties aforementioned both or either of them hereby enjoined to seal the said several bonds which shall refuse or neglect to do the same and to deliver the said bond or bonds to my said brother or his heirs then being in legal and lawful manner I do hereby declare that immediately from and after such marriage respectively the moiety of the estate hereby intended to the party so marrying and not giving bond as aforesaid shall be and I do hereby bequeath the same to my said brother Samuel and to his heirs.  Anything before mentioned to the contrary notwithstanding.  Moreover I do give to Samuel Cradock and to my sister his wife five hundred pounds and to every one of the children of my said brother I do give one hundred pounds.  Moreover to his son SAMUEL now student in Emanuel College in Cambridge I do give for his maintenance for three years forty pounds per annum and to his son MATHEW for his better preferment whereby to place him with an able merchant two hundred pounds and I do give twenty pounds yearly to my said brother Samuel towards the maintenance of my brother and sister SAWYER and to my sister DOROTHY SAWYER if she live after the decease of her husband I do give two hundred pounds.  ITEM; to DOROTHY SAWYER daughter to my said sister Sawyer I give for her better preferment in case she will be advised by my wife in her marriage two hundred pounds. To the rest of my sister Sawyer’s children I do give to every of them fifty pounds.  Also to my cousin HANNAH JORDEN now dwelling with me I do give one hundred pounds. To my maidservants five pounds to every of them.  I do give to Thomas Hodiline and Edward Lewes to either of them for every of their one eighth part of the profit of my Island trade until such time as the accounts for all shipped out shall be perfected; and to the end they shall do their best endeavours to effect the perfecting and clearing thereof the sum of six hundred pounds to each of them if they declare themselves to accept of this my offer within three months after publishing of this my will and testament or else to have their several equal one eight part of the clear profit by the trade aforesaid from the time I promised the same until the accounts for the same shall be perfected which is to be done by their help and endeavours.  ITEM; I do desire and entreat Mr William Cokayne to assist my wife aforesaid whom I make sole executrix of this my last will and testament to get in my estate to see my debts paid and my will performed.  Given as my act last will and testament this ninth day of November one thousand six hundred and forty – Mathew Cradock – witnesses hereunto Edward Buds, William Akvey, Richard Hovell 

Proved 4th June 1641 by Rebecca Cradocke relict and executrix


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