1658 Dame Lettice Offaly


in the name of God Amen; I LETTICE BARONESS OF OFFALIE, widow, late wife of Sir ROBERT DIGBIE of Coleshill, Knight do make and ordain this my last will and Testament in manner and form following. First; I bequeath my soul to God that gave it me and my body to the Earth from whence it was taken desiring that it may be laid in decent manner in the grave with my late dear husband with Christian burial and without pomp or solemnity, and I would have six poor widows of the parish is of Coleshill or Sholedy in morning coats and white cloaks to attend my hearse. Item; I give and bequeath all my manors, castles, lands, tenements and hereditaments within the nation of Ireland to my dear grandchild KILDARE LORD DIGBY according to a deed of entail which I made thereof at the marriage of my late dear son ROBERT LORD DIGBY to the lady daughter to the Earl of Cork and to the heirs males of his body and for default of such issue to my second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh son according as the honour is entailed which said deed of entail I do ratify and confirm by my last will and Testament. Item; I do give and bequeath unto ROBERT DIGBY son of my said grandchild Kildare Lord Digby all those my Manor or Lordship [  ] or otherwise called Castle Roy and all and every my lands tenements and hereditaments with their every of their appurtenances to the said manor their unto belonging or in any ways appertaining, situate, lying and being in the Kings and Queens County or of either of them in Ireland; and it is my will that my said grandchild KILDARE LORD DIGBY shall let set take and receive the profits of all and every the said manors Lordship land tenements or hereditaments and dispose of the same until such time as the said Robert Digby his son shall attain unto the age of one and twenty years. Also I do give and bequeath unto my grandchild Kildare Lord Digby my diamond ring; I do also give and bequeath unto my loving grandchild MARIE wife unto the said Lord Digby my tablet with two pictures which tablet I desire may remain as an heirloom to my said grandchild’s house. Item; I give the rents of my purchased lands in Sheldon commonly called Throgmorton’s lands to my son ESSEX DIGBY until it shall please my son Kildare Lord Digby to pay unto him two hundred pounds that is to say fifty pounds for himself and fifty pounds to be employed for the best benefit of ROBERT DIGBY his eldest son and one hundred pounds more for the preferment of his younger children which being performed my will is that the said lands shall return to my dear [son] Kildare Lord Digby. Item; I do will and bequeath twenty pounds more than is formerly mentioned unto Robert Digby eldest son unto my said son Essex Digby as an addition unto what I have formerly given. I do give and bequeath ten pounds unto KATHERINE DIGBY daughter of my said son Essex Digby as an addition to what I have given to her and it is my mind and will that my said grandchild Kildare Lord Digby shall manage and dispose of the said twenty and ten pounds respectively for the good of my said last mentioned grandchildren Robert and Katherine Digby towards their maintenance. Item; I give unto my son GEORGE my great gold ring with a death’s head to put him in mind of a better world requesting my dear [son] Kildare Lord Digby to continue the same care that I have had of him during his life. Item; I give and bequeath to my grandchild KATHERINE DIGBY daughter to my son Robert Lord Digby so much plate and jewels as amount to the full value of one hundred pounds and one hundred pounds more in moneys which should have been more if I had not laid out so much for the payment of her father’s debts. I do will give and bequeath unto the Lady Ranalaugh and unto my daughter MABEL each of them a morning ring and unto her son JOHN FITZGERALD and her daughter LETTICE FRANKLIN each of them a morning ring the rings to be of the value of 5 pounds with a death’s head and a spark of diamond in each of them which I desire them to wear for my sake as a remembrance of my love. Item; I give unto my daughter in law the Lady ELIZABETH DIGBY wife of my son Robert Lord Digby my gold bodkin with a Ruby on the top of it as a small token of my love desiring her to wear it for my sake and when she looks thereon remember her dead Lord and show kindness to his living branches. Item; I desire the Countess of Cork to accept my seal ring with an emerald upon it wherein his engraved my Lord of Cork [  ] and my sons to put her Ladyship in mind of [   ] of those two noble families humbly desiring her Ladyship to take my late son’s daughter Katherine into her noble care, her portion of one thousand pounds left by her grandfather in her noble Lord’s hands which I trust he will improve as in honour grow sure he ought for the benefit of his poor niece. Item; I will and bequeath unto my two daughters in law my son SIMON DIGBY’s widow and my son Essex Digby’s wife and to my two grandsons in law WILLIAM DILKES of Maytoke Castle Esquire and [   ] RICHARD FRANKLIN each of them a morning ring to wear for a remembrance of my love and to my son Essex Digby my wedding ring for a remembrance of his father and me. Item; I give and bequeath to my old servants Robert Boyd, Henry Knowles, Elizabeth Towers thirty pounds to be distributed amongst them being sorry I am not able to recompense them in a larger manner and to my goddaughter Offaly Lord ten pounds and all my wearing apparel linen and clothes and I do desire my said grandchild Kildare Lord Digby to make an addition unto her for her pains and care of me awarding as he shall think fit. And I do likewise recommend by servant Joseph to the care of my said grandchild Kildare Lord Digby to do for him as he shall think fitting; and to the rest of the servants of the house at the time of my death ten pounds to be distributed amongst them as my executors shall think fit. Item; I give and bequeath to the church at Coleshill my gilt bowl and cover for communion cup and to the poor of that parish twenty pounds and to the poor of the parish of Grisdon five pounds to be distributed by the Minister and churchwardens and overseers of the poor at the time being. All the rest of my goods and chattels of what sort so ever I give and bequeath (my said debts and legacies being fully paid and discharged) unto my said dear grandchild Kildare Lord Digby whom I hereby make and ordain my sole executor in this my last will and Testament as witness my hand and seal the third day of March in the year of our Lord God according to the English account one thousand six hundred fifty-sixLettice Offaly – witnesses hereunto William Rawlins, Henry Knowles, Kildare Tarlton


Proved 16th February sixteen fifty-eight by Kildare Lord Digby als. Kildare Digby Esq


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