In the name of God Amen; the twentieth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred fifty and two; I JOHN CROUCH of Heathfield in the County of Sussex the Younger being sick of body but of good and perfect remembrance praised be God therefore do make and declare this to be my present testament and last will in manner and form following (that is to say) first and principally I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God my Maker assuredly believing that my soul shall be saved in and through the merits of Jesus Christ my alone saviour; and I do commit my body to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my executor hereafter named. Inprimis I give unto the poor of the parish of Heathfield aforesaid twenty shillings to be paid unto them by my executor on the day of my burial. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto MARY CROUCH now the wife of JOHN CLARKE of Warbleton the sum of five pounds. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto GRACE CROUCH now wife of THOMAS PARSON of Heathfield aforesaid the sum of ten pounds; and to Mary Holbeame and to Anne Holbeame her daughter the sum of five pounds apiece. ITEM; I give unto URSULA CROUCH the wife of JOSIAS DANNE of Warbleton the sum of five pounds. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto SUSAN CROUCH now wife of WILLIAM WILLINGSHURST of Bread the like sum of five pounds. ITEM; I give unto Anne Turner my maidservant twenty shillings; and unto John Holland my manservant ten shillings of lawful English money; all which legacies and bequests before mentioned by me hereby bequeathed my mind and will is shall be paid unto them and every of them out of the rents and profits of my lands and tenements (after the payment of my debts and discharge of my funeral expenses) yearly equally and proportionably to everyone alike and even payment as it may or can be raised until they and every of them shall be severally and respectively paid. ITEM; my will is that Thomas Twells my tenant of the mill shall have hold use and enjoy the field against the mill pond called the Wick and the two fields called the Taylors beyond the mill for and during all the tgerm unexpired of his lease that he has of my mill paying therefore yearly unto my executor of this my will the rent of three pounds half yearly by equal portions (that is to say) at Michaelmas and our Lady Day the first payment to be made at the first of the said feasts that shall happen (after half a year expired) next aftder my decease; and that it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Thomas Twells to enter upon the said lands and every year thereof immediately after my decease and to hold and enjoy the same accordingly; and I do give and bequeath unto him the said Thomas Twells all the rent that shall accrue for the mill which he holds by lease from the day of my decease during the whole term of his lease paying a peppercorn yearly to my executors if demanded. ITEM; as touching all my lands tenements and hereditaments whatsoever this is the last will and testament of me the said John Crouch (that is to say) I do hereby give and bequeath the messuage or tenement wherein I now dwell together with all the lands thereunto belonging and every oart and parcel thereof with their appurtenances and also all that my water corn mill and all the land covered with water thereunto belonging with their appurtenances; and also all other the lands tenements and hereditaments whatsoever of me the said John Crouch set lying and being in the said parish of Heathfield or elsewhere in the said county of Sussex unto THOMAS CROUCH the son of WILLIAM CROUCH of Heathfield aforesaid and to his heirs and assigns forever when he shall accomplish the full age of one and twenty years provided nevertheless and my meaning is that my executor hereafter named shall have take and receive (after my decease) all the rents issues and profits of my said lands tenements water corn mill and other my hereditaments and shall pay or cause to be paid unto JOHN CROUCH my father his annujty of sixteen pounds by the year during his natural life at such days and times as the same annuity is made payable unto him; and shall also pay or cause to be paid unto the said Thomas Crouch ten shillings yearly until his full age of one and twenty years; and I do hereby nominate and appoint Thomas Crouch of Heathfield aforesaid my loving kinsman to be the sole executor of this my testament and last will giving unto him all the residue of my goods chattels plate and household stuff whatsoever not before herein and hereby bequeathed by me, he paying my debts and legacies and discharging my funeral expenses; and I do hereby also nominate and request George Tourthope of Wadhurst gent and JOHN PUTLAND my uncle to be the overseers of this my testament and last will desiring them to take care of the due execution hereof so much as in them lies without prejudice to themselves; and I do give unto my uncle five shillings as a token of my love. In witness whereof I the said John Crouch have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year first above written utterly hereby revoking and annihilating all former and other wills whatsoever heretofore by me made; and willing that this alone shall stand and be my last will and testament – John Crouch – sealed signed published and declared to be the last will and testament of the said John Crouch in the presence of us William Burges, Thomas Marshall
Proved 29th September 1652 by Thomas Crouch executor
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