In the name of God Amen; I Sir John LOWTHER of Lowther in the County of Westmoreland, Baronet, being now in perfect health and memory, praised be God therefore, yet often of late troubled with fits of the stone, and well considering of the uncertainty of this life and being in the seventieth year of my age, and being desirous before I be disturbed with sickness or other infirmity to dispose and settle my temporal estate which God Almighty has bestowed upon me so far above my deserts, so as my beloved wife may be satisfied, my debts paid, my children provided for, my estate so settled upon my name and blood so long as it shall please God to permit, and having revoked all former wills by me made, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following: and first I commend my soul unto Almighty God my Maker, hoping through the merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour to have full remission of all my sins; and my body to be buried in the Parish Church of Lowther so as the time place and other circumstances will conveniently permit the same without any pomp or vanity; and whereas I have lately married my grandson John LOWTHER with Katherine THYME, daughter to Sir Henry Frederick THYME and niece to Secretary Coventry I do hereby ratify and confirm the settlement of my estate and all things therein contained upon his said marriage bearing date the second day of December last past in such manner as therein is declared. ITEM; I do hereby further ratify and confirm the estate made upon my own marriage with Dame Elizabeth my now wife, as likewise the estate and settlement made by me unto Richard LOWTHER my second son of the Manor and Lordship of (Mauldesmeaburne) with the Grange of Ransgill, and I further give unto him and the heirs males of his body the Grange of Asby with the stock thereupon, and one thousand pounds in money in full satisfaction of his child’s part or claim out of my estate real or personal. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto my two young sons William and Robert and their heirs all those my annuities, rent charges, mortgages and monies due and payable unto me of in and out of all my lands tenements and hereditaments in Newby being a a rent charge of two and twenty pounds per annum or thereabouts, and all that rent charge of sixteen pounds per annum out of the lands of Robert Foster of Foulsby with mortgage of all his estate there and all the moneys due thereupon, and likewise all that rent charge of forty pounds per annum issuing and going out of certain lands in Newnham granted by Mr Westropp, and all that the rectory and parsonage of Marton for ninety and nine years if the three lives for which the same is granted unto me or belong to me in trust for me either in law or equity and which are situate and being in Cleveland in the County of York, to have and to hold the said annuities or rent charges and premises to them the said William and Robert their heirs and assigns forever, and I do further give to each of them the sum of one thousand pounds apiece in full satisfaction of any other filial or child’s part of my personal estate to be paid to them when they shall respectively attain their full ages of twenty and one years or take any calling or profession upon them that the same may be useful for them to that end by the appointment and at the discretion of my executors or the majority number of them, and in the interim the said annuities tithes and rent charges to go for their maintenances. ITEM; I give unto my daughter Margaret the sum of two thousand and five hundred pounds to be paid unto her the one half at the age of eighteen years or marriage and the other half within one year after so always she marries with the consent of her mother or brother Ralph if either of them be then living in full satisfaction of her filial or child’s part of my personal estate. ITEM; I give unto my beloved wife Dame Elizabeth Lowther the sum of one thousand pounds which she is pleased and willing to accept of in full of any thirds or other claim or demand of in or unto any part of my personal estate, the better to avoid all questions and differences that might arise or happen thereupon, which said sum I give unto her with all the jewels I gave her at our marriage to be at her disposal. ITEM; I give unto her the capital messuage and demesne, lands and mill at Cleyburne during her widowhood and so long as she shall please to live within the County of Westmoreland, and after her decease marriage or removal then I give the same unto my grandson John Lowther and the heirs males of his body, the remainder to the heirs males of my body. ITEM; I give unto her the bed she has wrought with the furniture thereof, and liberty to take one hundred pounds worth of goods at Lowther as they shall be indifferently appraised at paying my executors for the same, hoping she will not forget those pledges of our love and such other of mine as may best deserve her kindness. ITEM; I give and devise all the Manor of Thwayte in Cumberland and all the money due thereupon or upon redemption thereof, and all that the mortgage and rent charge issuing out of all those the lands tenements and hereditaments in Thornaby in Cleveland, and all that rent charge of one hundred and twenty pounds per annum issuing and going out of the Manor and demesne lands of Preston upon Tease, and all other my lands, tenements, rents and hereditaments not otherwise by me settled unto my said wife, my brother Sir William Lowther, my son-in-law Sir John Lowther and unto my cousin Christopher Teasedale for the term of one and twenty years to commence from the time of my decease in trust nevertheless, that they and the survivors of them shall out of the rents, issues and profits of the premises satisfy and pay all my just and true debts and legacies where my personal estate shall fall short to pay or make good the same (as I hope it will not) and after payment and performance only (xxx) will I give all the said mortgages lands and hereditaments so devised for years unto my grandson John Lowther and the heirs males of his body with the remainder to the heirs males of my body. ITEM; I give unto my four married daughters the sums following (viz.) unto my daughter WANDESFORD the sum of five hundred pounds; unto my daughter Brilby and daughter Tratter to each of them three hundred pounds apiece and unto my daughter Penyman, to whom I had formerly given most, two hundred pounds, to be disposed of by them respectively to such of their children as they shall think fit and appoint, and if any of them happen to die, the same to be paid to such other of their children and in such manner as they shall respectively limit and appoint. ITEM; I give unto my son-in-law and nephew Sir John Lowther and to his wife fifty pounds to be bestowed in some plate as a token of my love and remembrance of them, and to my brother Sir William Lowther the like sum of fifty pounds, and to my sister Kirkby and her son Richard my nephew the like sum of fifty pounds betwixt them. ITEM; I give unto my cousin Christopher Lowther’s widow twenty pounds to help her children over and besides the debt her husband owed me, and I give unto her daughter Elizabeth our cousin and maidservant the sum of forty pounds towards her preferment in marriage so she marries with consent of her mother and my wife. ITEM; I give unto William Atkinson my clock(cross) has served me long and faithfully the sum of ten pounds per annum during his life to be paid at Whitsuntide and Martinmas yearly, and the sum of five pounds per annum unto George Maunsey during his life to be paid in like manner. ITEM; I give unto my cousin Teasedale and his wife to each of them ten pounds apiece. ITEM; I give unto Robert Simpson, Christopher and William Simpson, John Ion, John Knatt and Thomas Noble to every one of them five pounds apiece, and to every other of my bailiffs I give forty shillings apiece. ITEM; I give to every servant at my death one year’s wages and to be continued on until the next half year if they have a desire as formerly. ITEM; I give unto my grandson John Lowther and my son Richard one hundred pounds to be bestowed in some monument to be set up in the church at Lowther as they shall think fit for a remembrance of my father and myself. ITEM; I give unto William (Smithith) parson at Lowther, Richard Wilkinson of Lowther, Robert Wilkinson of Qualmore and Richard Hudson of Hachetrapp and their heirs ten pounds per annum to be issuing and going out of all those lands tenements and hereditaments in Molkinthorpe to be paid at the feasts of Pentecost and St Martin the Bishop in Winter or within forty days after such feast as shall first happen after my decease with power for nonpayment to distrain in trust to be disposed of for binding out apprentices or to be bestowed in wool, flax or hemp to see the poor on work or in part to repair highways or such other charitable works as they with the advice consent and approbation of the heirs and owners of the house of Lowther shall approve of under their hands in which the owners of the house of Lowther to be always one if they please. And if any of the said trustees die then the other survivors to make a new nomination of others to grant and keep the same still in being until some other provision be made. ITEM; I give to Mr Smith our Parson at Lowther five pounds, and to his son John, my godson, ten pounds towards his preferment, and ten pounds to such of my cousin Sandford’s children as he or she shall appoint. ITEM; I give to all my tenants that pay any old or customary rent one half year’s rent of their respective tenements or estate next after my decease, and to all my tenants that shall pay any rack rent I give or rebate them one shilling in the pound for one year next after my decease in remembrance of my love, and whereas my grandson William LOWTHER is yet provided fo and formerly omitted, I give and bequeath unto him and the heirs males of his body all that annuity or rent charge of one hundred pounds per annum issuing and going out of certain lands and tenements situate and being in the Bishopric of Durham which I purchased from Mr Fulthropp with the like and (as) full power to distrain for nonpayment thereof as I myself might have done with remainder to the heirs males of my body. Executors of this my last will and testament I make and ordain my beloved wife Dame Elizabeth Lowther, my grandson John Lowther, my nephew and son-in-law Sir John Lowther, my brother Sir William Lowther, my son-in-law John Brilby Esquire, my cousin Daniel Fleming Esq., and my cousin Christopher Teasedell, gent, in trust nevertheless to see my will and testament performed according to the directions and limitations herein mentioned, and my will is that my grandson John Lowther shall and may have all the stock of goods, crop, household stuff and husbandry gear at Lowther or let with any part of the demesne there. And as to all other my goods and chattels both real and personal as all my leases, mortgages, trusts, uses and all monies due thereupon, either in law or equity, I give and bequeath unto my said executors in trust nevertheless that they my said executors or the survivors of them shall and may bestow all the premises, stock and the monies due thereupon or by reason of my personal estate after my debts and legacies discharged upon some purchases of lands such as my grandson shall like, approve of or direct during his life to be settled upon him with the like limitations, uses and remainders as the Manor or Lordship of Lowther was and is settled upon him at his marriage; and if he shall die before the same shall be so bestowed in land, and be so settled, then the remainder or what is not so bestowed in land to be like manner bestowed in land and to be settled upon the heir of the family to whom the estate of the Manor of Lowther is limited to go in remainder, the purchases to be by the advice and appointment of such person to whom it is limited. It being my will mind and intention that all the benefit of my personal estate shall be so bestowed in land to be annexed to the heirs males of the family and so to go in remainder and reversion and succession to the heirs males as the rest of the estate is limited upon the marriage of my said grandson and not otherwise since I could not find any convenient purchase in my time to dispose thereof as I intended to have done, but the yearly interest and profit to be paid to my said grandson or to whom the same is after limited as aforesaid until other settlement be made. Supervisors of this my last will and testament I make and ordain Sir George Fletcher, my nephew and my son Richard Lowther, my kind friends Mr Serjeant Turner and Sir John Otway, and Mr George (Pevier) who or as many of them as my said executors shall have occasion to trouble, I desir May be aiding and assisting to see my will performed and to mediate and compose any difference that may arise if any be, as I hope there will not; and to every of my said supervisors as likewise to my said executors I give ten pounds apiece to be bestowed in plate as a remembrance of me. ITEM; I will and my mind is that if any of my legatees are not satisfied therewith, but shall endeavour to question alter or disannul this my will that then the legacy or bequest and all to them or any of them given or limited shall be void and shall have no benefit by this my will. And in testimony hereof I have put my hand and seal the first day of April in the seven and twentieth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord Charles the Second by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith etc., AD 1675 – John Lowther – signed sealed and published as my last will and testament in the presence of us: Elizabeth Lowther, Ralph Lowther, George Peryer, Timothy Newman, Joseph Beane, Richard Cloudsdaile, John Wilkinson. This will was published and allowed of the thirteenth day of October one thousand six hundred seventy five by me, John Lowther.
Proved 20th February 1675 (1676)