In the name of God Amen, the fifth day of August in the year of our Lord 1678, I WILLIAM EDRIDGE of Aspiden in the County of Hertford yeoman being of sound and perfect mind and memory praise be God therefore, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following; First I commend my soul into the hands of God that gave it trusting to have salvation by the alone merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour and Redeemer; my body I desire may be decently buried in the Churchyard of Laiston near the place where my father and some of my kindred lie buried; and touching that estate which God has blessed me with all here I give and dispose of the same as follows: Inprimis I give unto the poor people of Aspiden Street twenty shillings and to the poor people of Buntingford Street thirty shillings to be distributed by the respective overseers of the poor of the several parishes of Aspiden and Layston in bread on the day of my funeral. ITEM; I give unto my son WILLIAM one featherbed one bolster two pillows one rug with curtains and valance as they are now standing and remaining in the chamber over the parlour; also four of my best books such as he shall think fit to make choice of. ITEM; I give unto him my said son William the sum of two hundred pounds to be paid unto him in manner following that is to say one hundred pounds thereof within one year next after my decease and the other hundred pounds thereof within two years next after my decease; and if my said son William shall happen to die before the time that both or either of the said sums shall become due and payable by this my will, he my said son leaving behind him a child or children of his body lawfully begotten, then my mind and will is that the said sum of two hundred pounds or so much thereof as shall be unpaid unto him my said son at the time of his death shall be paid unto such child or equally divided between such children as he shall so leave behind him at the several and respective age or ages of one and twenty years and in the interim interest for the same after the rate of four pounds and ten shillings per cent. ITEM; I give unto my loving wife JUDITH the sum of one hundred pounds to be paid unto her within one year next after my decease; and I do hereby charge my son THOMAS duly to pay unto my said wife the sum of four pounds per annum during the term of her natural life which upon a settlement heretofore made by me upon my said son he has enetered into bond unto my son JOHN from time to time to satisfy and pay. ITEM; I do hereby charge my son John to satisfy and pay unto my said wife one annuity or yearly rent of twelve pounds according to the true intent and of a certain indenture and deed made by me and sealed before my intermarriage with the said Judith unto JOHN WINCH and WILLIAM MATTINGLY dated on or about the sixth day of August which was in the year of our Lord 1650 and whereas I have left to descend unto my said son John a messuage in Layston aforesaid now in the occupation of John Northupp free from a certain annuity with which formerly I had charged the same I do hereby charge and command my said son John that he add yearly unto the said annuity of twelve pounds per annum and so settled upon my wife as aforesaid the sum of forty shillings per annum and that he duly pay the same unto her during the term of her natural life at the same time and by such like equal payments as the said annuity of twelve pounds is yearly to be paid pursuant to the aforesaid indenture. ITEM; I give unto my said wife all my plate requesting her (as she shall see cause) to dispose of some part thereof to such of my children as shall be most dutiful unto her and best deserve the same, provided always and I hereby declare my mind and will to be that if my said wife shall refuse upon request to her made to sign seal and as her act and deed to deliver unto my said sons and their heirs respectively a lawful and sufficient release or lawful and sufficient release of all such Dower and Thirds as she may or can claim unto or out of all or any my lands or tenements at the common law she having the said annuity of twelve pounds settled in lieu thereof that then all such legacies as are hereby given unto my said wife shall be void and I will the same to be equally divided amongst my said three sons John Thomas and William; nevertheless my will is that my said wife shall not be obliged to release such right of Dower or Thirds unto my said son John and his heirs unless at the same time when he my said son John shall make request thereof unto my said wife as aforesaid he shall give unto her such security for the due payment of the said forty shillings per annum by me desired to be added to the said twelve pounds per annum for her life as aforesaid as my Overseers hereafter named or the survivor of them shall approve of and think sufficient anything in this my will contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto my said son Thomas and his heirs forever all that annuity or rent charge of eight pounds per annum which I lately purchased in Royston in the County of Cambridge of and from one Edward Dallow gent, he my said son Thomas paying unto my said wife out of the same during the term of her natural life the full sum of four pounds by the year at two of the most usual feasts or seasons in the year that is to say the feast of St Michael The Archangel and The Annunciation of the Blessed Lady Mary the Virgin by even and equal portions the first payment thereof to begin the first of the said feasts that shall happen next after my decease; and if the said yearly sum of four pounds so given to my said wife as aforesaid shall happen to be unpaid in part or in all by the space of twenty days next after any of the said feasts the same being lawfully demanded then I give the said annuity of eight pounds per annum unto my said wife to hold to her and her assigns for the term of her natural life the remainder to my son Thomas and his heirs. ITEM; I give unto my said son Thomas the sum of one hundred and fifty pounds of lawful money of England to be paid unto him within one year and two months next after my decease. ITEM; I give unto my son-in-law RICHARD CUTHBERT and DOROTHY his wife twenty shillings a piece to buy them rings. ITEM; I give unto my son-in-law GEORGE CUTHBERT twenty shillings to buy a ring. ITEM; whereas my son-in-law Richard Cuthbert by a note under his hand bearing date the thirtieth day of October 1674 stands indebted unto me in the sum of twenty pounds I do give and bequeath the said note and money due upon the same unto my said daughter Dorothy his said wife to be equally divided between her and her children. ITEM; I give unto all the children of my said sons John and Thomas that shall be living at the time of my decease forty shillings a piece. ITEM; I give unto SARAH wife of my said son John and unto SARAH wife of my said son Thomas twenty shillings a piece to buy them rings. ITEM; I do hereby declare my mind and will to be that whatsoever sum or sums of money now are or hereafter shall be by me lent out at interest although the securities thereupon taken be made to me and my heirs and are or shall be forfeited yet I hereby charge my heirs at law to recover the same upon payment of the money and interest and do hereby declare such moneys to be part of my personal estate and to be assets in my executors hands and liable to perform this my will. ITEM; I further give unto my said loving wife all the goods and furniture now standing remaining and being in the parlour of messuage wherein I inhabit (one square box whereof I usually keep the key excepted). ITEM; I give unto my said son John all my goods and household stuff not before in this my will given and bequeathed only I will that my said wife if she pleases take thereof her own use of what she best likes to the value of forty or fifty shillings. All the rest of my personal estate bills bonds mortgages goods and chattels whatsoever not hereby expressly given and bequeathed my debts being paid and funeral expenses discharged I give and bequeath unto my said son John who I nominate and appoint sole executor of this my last will and testament. ITEM; I make and ordain my two loving friends John Duckfield of Aspiden aforesaid, Clerke and John Gill of [Dasrell] gent overseers of this my will desiring them to assist and advise my said executor in the due performance of this my will – and I do give unto them twenty shillings a piece as a remembrance of my love. ITEM; I further give unto the said Mr Duckfield the sum of twenty shillings to buy him a ring; and whereas I have formerly promised my said son John to have to descend unto him amongst other things one messuage with the appurtenances situated in Buntingford now in the occupation of George Bullen and whereas I am desirous to leave unto Judith my said wife the same messuage for a habitation for her life if she shall think fit to make use thereof I do therefore declare that I have given unto my said son in satisfaction thereof and of my promise so made unto him as aforesaid and which he has so accepted the sum of sixteen pounds by him of my moneys lately received of and from Richard Stagg of Royston aforesaid yeoman and do give unto my said wife the messuage aforesaid with the appurtenances to have and to hold for term of her natural life in case she herself think fit therein to inhabit but not otherwise; and if any difference shall at any time after my decease happen to arise between my said children touching any matter relating to this my will I hereby strictly charge and command them as they ever expect a blessing upon that estate I shall leave unto them that they refer all and every such difference unto my said overseers and that they stand to and abide such end and determination as they shall make therein. ITEM; I give (notwithstanding anything hereinbefore expressed) unto my said wife all my brass pewter and linen (excepting one pair of sheets with pillow cases which I give unto my said son William. In witness whereof (revoking all former and other wills at any time heretofore by me made) I have to this my will contained in four sheets of paper subscribed my name to every sheet and affixed my seal the day and year first herein written – William Edridge – signed and sealed, published and declared by the said William Edridge to be his very last will and testament in the presence of Jo. Gill; Thomas Baldwin; Tho. Coulson; John Reed
Proved 17th November 1680 by John Edridge, son and executor
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