In the name of God Amen; the thirteenth day of September AD one thousand six hundred eighty two and in the four and thirtieth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord Charles the Second by the grace of God King of England Scotland France and Ireland Defender of the Faith etc., I ELIZABETH REGNIER of the Parish of St Gabriel Fenchurch Street London, widow, being in reasonable good health of body and of perfect mind and memory, praised be God therefore, considering the frailty and uncertainty of this present life, do therefore make and ordain this my present testament containing therein my last will in manner and form following, that is to say: first and principally I recommend my soul unto Almighty God our maker and creator hoping and steadfastly believing through his grace and the alone merits of Jesus Christ my blessed Saviour and Redeemer to receive full and free pardon and forgiveness of all my sins and life everlasting. My body I commit to the earth to be buried in such decent and Christian manner as to my Executor hereafter named shall seem meet, the charge of my funeral not exceeding one hundred pounds besides the mourning apparel, and I will that all such debts and duties as I shall truly owe unto any person or persons at the time of my decease shall be truly paid by my Executor within as short time after my decease as may be conveniently. And as touching that worldly means and estate both real and personal which it has pleased Almighty God of his mercy and goodness to bestow upon me, my debts by me owing and my funeral charges out of my personal estate being first paid or deducted, I do give devise bequeath and dispose as follows: First I give and devise unto my loving Son in Law Captain WILLIAM ABROOKE and my Daughter SUSANNAH his Wife and their heirs and assigns forever all that my messuage or tenement with the yards gardens orchards edifices and appurtenances thereof[i] situate lying and being in Hogsdon al. Hoxton in the Parish of St Leonard Shoreditch in the County of Middx and all those my lands and pasture grounds with their appurtenances situate lying and being in Hogsdon alias Hoxton aforesaid or the fields or territories thereof which messuage or tenement lands and premises were after the decease of my Husband HENRY REGNIER late of Hogsdon aforesaid, Merchant seized and taken into the hands of his Majesty that now is for that my Husband was an Alien born, and his said Majesty after he was invested in the same did by his Letters Patents grant and convey the said messuage and lands with the appurtenances unto me and my heirs and assigns forever; and my will and mind is that the said William Abrooke and Susannah his Wife their heirs or assigns in respect of the said messuage and lands so to them devised shall pay unto my Daughter ELIZABETH CODDINGTON the Wife of JAMES CODDINGTON Esq the yearly sum or amount of ten pounds of lawful money of England for and during the term of the natural life of her the said Elizabeth Coddington at the four Feast days hereunder mentioned in every year, that is to say, at Feasts of the Nativity of Our Lord God, the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Nativity of St John Baptist and St Michaell the Archangel by even and equal portions; and for the better enabling the said Elizabeth Coddington to receive the said annuity I do hereby give and bequeath the said yearly sum or annuity of ten pounds unto my said Daughter Elizabeth Coddington for and during her natural life to be issuing arising and coming forth of the said messuage and lands above hereby devised. ITEM; I give and bequeath unto my Grandchildren NATHANIEL CODDINGTON, HENRY CODDINGTON and JAMES CODDINGTON their Father’s plate which is in my hands for security of money which I lent him; but if my Son James Coddington shall be desirous to receive the said plate and shall pay unto my Executor forty pounds for the same, then the said plate shall be delivered to my said son James Coddington and the said forty pounds shall be paid and distributed to and amongst my said three Grandchildren Nathaniel Henry and James Coddington equally at their several attaining the age of one and twenty years. ITEM; I give unto my Grandchild WILLIAM ABROOKE the sum of one hundred pounds of lawful money of England to be paid unto him at his attaining the age of one and twenty years together with interest for the same from the time of my death until my said Grandchild shall attain the said age after the rate of five pounds per cent per annum. ITEM; I give to the said William Abrooke my Grandchild my silver college pot and cover, a bed with a suite of diaper and a pair of sheets; and my desire and charge is that he be dutiful to his parents which I hope he will be. ITEM; I give to my Grandchild THOMAS ABROOKE the sum of one hundred pounds of lawful money of England to be paid unto him at his attaining the age of one and twenty years together with interest for the same from the time of my decease until the said Thomas Abrooke shall attain the same age after the rate of five pounds per cent per annum. ITEM; I give to the said Thomas Abrooke a suite of diaper, a pair of sheets, a great silver tankard, a [match] and a diamond ring and one turkey-work couch, two turkey carpets and six turkey-work chairs. ITEM; I give to my Grandchild ELIZABETH ABROOKE the sum of fifty pounds of lawful money of England to be paid her at her attaining the age of one and twenty years with interest for the same from my death after the rate aforesaid. ITEM; I give to the said Elizabeth Abrooke a necklace of pearls with a locket of diamonds, a pair of silver candlesticks and a suite of damask, an ebony cabinet and a dressing box of olive wood. ITEM; I give to my Grandchild JOHN ABROOKE the sum of fifty pounds of lawful money of England to be paid him at his attaining the age of one and twenty years together with interest for the same from my decease after the rate aforesaid. ITEM; I give to the said John Abrooke a pair of sheets, one suite of table linen and a small silver tankard. ITEM; I give to my Grandchild HENRY ABROOKE the sum of fifty pounds of lawful money of England to be paid unto him at his attaining the age of one and twenty years together with interest for the same from my decease after the rate aforesaid. ITEM; I give to the said Henry Abrooke one large silver salt, a pair of brass andirons, one diaper tablecloth and a dozen of diaper napkins. ITEM; I give to my Grandchild ROBERT ABROOKE the sum of fifty pounds of lawful money of England to be paid unto him at his attaining the age of one and twenty years together with interest for the same from my decease after the rate aforesaid. ITEM; I do give to the said Robert Abrooke one silver sugar dish and a spoon and a clock, one small turkey salt of silver, a pair of brass andirons, a diaper tablecloth and a dozen of diaper napkins. ITEM; I give all my pewter to my said Grandchildren Henry and Robert Abrooke to be equally divided between them. ITEM; I give to my Grandchild SUSANNA ABROOKE the sum of fifty pounds of lawful money of England to be paid unto her at her attaining the age of one and twenty years together with interest for the same from my decease after the rate aforesaid. ITEM; I give to the said Susanna Abrooke a breast jewel of diamonds with two drops, a silver plate, an ebony looking glass, a pair of silver snuffers and a silver snuff dish, a gold chain and white curtains and valance for a bed. ITEM; I give to my Daughter Elizabeth Coddington the interest that shall arise by the loan of two hundred and fifty pounds, the said interest being to be received by her for so long time as she shall live and after the decease of the said Elizabeth I give the principal sum of two hundred and fifty pounds out of which the said interest is to arise unto the children of my said Daughter Elizabeth to be equally divided between them at their severally attaining the age of one and twenty years. ITEM; I give unto my Grandchild Nathaniel Coddington the sum of one hundred pounds of lawful money of England to be paid unto him at his attaining the age of one and twenty years together with interest for the same from my decease after the rate of three pounds per cent per annum. ITEM; I give to the said Nathaniel Coddington a feather bed, a bolster, two pillows and two blankets, a suit of diaper, a pair of sheets and a large enamelled ring and a silver candle cup. ITEM; I give to my Grandchild Henry Coddington the sum of fifty pounds of lawful money of England to be paid unto him at his attaining the age of one and twenty years together with interest for the same from my decease after the said rate of five pounds per cent per annum. ITEM; I give to the said Henry Coddington a plain hoop ring, a silver hand candlestick, a pair of sheets, a diaper tablecloth and a dozen of diaper napkins. ITEM; I give to my Grandchild James Coddington the sum of fifty pounds of lawful money of England to be paid unto him at his attaining the age of one and twenty years together with interest for the same from my decease after the said rate of five pounds per cent per annum. ITEM; I give to the said James Coddington an enamelled ring, six silver spoons, a pair of brass andirons, a diaper tablecloth and a dozen of diaper napkins. ITEM; I give to my Grandchild HESTER ROUSE the sum of one hundred pounds of lawful money of England to be paid unto her at her attaining the age of one and twenty years and I give the interest of the said one hundred pounds in the meantime unto my Cousin Mrs ANNE WRIGHT; and in case my said Grandchild Hester Rouse shall happen to depart this life before her attaining the age of one and twenty years then I give fifty pounds part of the said one hundred pounds unto the Children of my said Cousin Mrs Anne Wright to be equally divided between them at their several attaining the age of one and twenty years; and the other fifty pounds shall accrue and come to the Children of my Daughter Elizabeth Coddington equally. ITEM; I give to the Children of my Cousin Mrs Anne Wright the sum of ten pounds if my Grandchild Hester Rouse shall live to attain the age of one and twenty years. And I declare my will and mind to be that my Executor shall have power to pay the interest that shall arise by the money by me bequeathed to my Daughter Coddington’s Children to my said Daughter Elizabeth Coddington for the use of her Children if he, my said Executor shall think fit, and that my Daughter Coddington’s receipt for the same shall be to my Executor a good discharge for the said interest money against the Children of my said Daughter Coddington. ITEM; I give to my said Daughter Elizabeth Coddington and her Children the sum of fifteen pounds to buy them mourning to be worn at my funeral. ITEM; I give to my Son in Law WILLIAM ROUSE and his Daughter Hester Rouse the sum of ten pounds to buy them mourning to be worn at my funeral. ITEM; I do appoint [the sum of one hundred pounds to be defrayed upon my funeral charge. ITEM; I further give to the] under-named fifty shillings apiece to buy either of them a ring. The rest and residue of all and singular my goods, chattels, household stuff, ready money, plate, debts and other things not before in these presents given and bequeathed, I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Susanna Abrooke and I do make, ordain and appoint my said Son in Law William Abrooke the full and only Executor of this my present testament and last will, and I do nominate and appoint my much respected friends Mr ROBERT BURTON and Mr HENRY WAAD, Merchants Overseers of this my will entreating them to be aiding and assisting to my said Executor by their best advice and counsel in the execution of this my will; and my will and mind is that if my said Son in Law James Coddington and his said Wife or either of them or any other person or persons shall oppose this my last will and testament and shall not accept what is herein bequeathed to them, but shall raise trouble to my Executor, then my said Son James Coddington and his wife and their Children and such other persons and their children shall be actually deprived of the legacy or legacies by me herein bequeathed to them. And I do hereby utterly revoke, renounce and annihilate all former wills and bequests by me heretofore made and given and do publish and declare this my present testament containing six sheets of paper to be my very last will and none other nor otherwise. In witness whereof to the first five sheets of these presents I the said Elizabeth Regnier have set my hand and seal dated the day and year first above written – Elizabeth Regnier – Signed sealed published declared and delivered by the said Elizabeth Regnier the Testatrix as and for her last will and testament in the presence of John Alsop scr., Robert Harman, Dot Mason, Jno Pooly
Proved 15th January 1684/5 by William Abrooke, Executor
Marginal note in Latin 4th March 1691/2 Thomas Abrooke was granted administration following the death of William Abrooke.
[i] The property north of Star Close at the beginning of the 16th century consisted of a messuage with garden, pasture, and orchard. The Register of Augustine Steward, preserved at the British Museum, (fn. 22) contains transcripts of deeds relating to this property as far back as 1501. (fn. 23)
On 13th November in that year, John Burnet and Thomas Pulton released to Katherine Page “a certain messuage and divers buildings with garden, orchard, and close containing three acres and half a rood “extending on the west from the tenement of John Strete to the close of the nuns of Holywell called “le Starre Close,” for 234 feet 6 inches, and on the east for 284 feet 6 inches. (fn. 24) On 12th May, 1521, Katherine sold the property to John Williams. On 22nd January, 1532–3, Williams disposed of it to Nicholas Serle, from whom it passed to Lawrence Serle, (fn. 25) who died in 1569,leaving his daughter, Lucy Campion, his sole heir. (fn. 26) The property is described as a messuage, toft, barn, garden and orchard which “of old were three roods of land and known by the name of three roods of land,” held of the prebendary of Hoxton, and three acres, containing by estimation two acres, formerly belonging to Katherine Page, and held of the Queen as of the manor or priory of Holywell. (fn. 27) On 20th October, 1576, Lucy Campion leased the premises to John Curwyn, citizen and musician of London, for21 years, and on 20th February following sold them to Augustine Steward, (fn. 28) whom she married a few months later. Among the records of this property contained in the Steward Register is a particularly interesting one of a survey made in 1588 (Plate 2). (fn. 29)
Steward died on 5th May, 1597, leaving a son, Augustine, aged 12, who, in 1628, sold the property to William Wall. (fn. 30) On the latter’s death (25th June, 1639) he was found in seisin of a messuage, with a toft, garden and orchard, as well as of “all those closes or parcels of land containing two acres,” all said to have been lately purchased of Augustine Steward. (fn. 31) Hisson Joseph died on 1st August, 1643 (fn. 32) , and the property passed to William Wall the younger, who on 23rd April, 1658, disposed of it to William Moy. It was said to comprise a close or piece of ground, a stable standing at the west end of the close and adjoining the messuage, a barn erected on the other part of the close adjoining south on the garden wall, and a small tenement and garden near Ratcliff Row. On 2nd June, 1659, Moy sold the property, with 200,000 burnt bricks and 160,000 unburnt bricks then on the premises, to Richard Slater, (fn. 33) who, a few weeks later, transferred it to Charles Farewell. (fn. 34) In 1667–8 the premises were purchased (fn. 35) on behalf of Henry Regnier (or Reginer) “an alien born.” After the latter’s death, the premises were forfeited to the Crown, (fn. 36) but the King restored them to the widow Elizabeth. (fn. 37) By will, dated 30th September, 1682, (fn. 38) she left all her property in Hoxton to her daughter Susanna and the latter’s husband, Captain Wm. Abrooke.
On 31st October, 1700, William Berman, of Hoxton Square, “minister of the Gospell,” made his will (fn. 39) in which he directed his executors to purchase some estate or estates in houses or lands, and to utilise the proceeds according to directions given to them. Such was the origin of the William Berman’s Trust. (fn. 40) The will was proved on 11th October, 1703, and on 21st July, 1704, the executors purchased from Margaret Smith and Samuel Bagwell the Regnier premises. (fn. 41) The eastern portion of the property still belongs to the Berman Trust, and extends from Windsor Place to No. 55, Kingsland Road.
With the assistance of the map of 1588 (Plate 2) it is possible to determine with some exactness the boundaries of the property. The measurement of 281 feet along the east frontage precisely corresponds with that of the present property of the Berman Trust. The western frontage is a little more complicated. According to the map, the orchard (49½ feet wide) did not extend to the road, and this is confirmed by the fact that the northern boundary of the western half of the Berman Trust estate, when purchased by the London County Council, at a point about 73 feet from Hoxton Street, turned southward for a distance of 49½ feet, entering Hoxton Street at a point 50 feet north of the Jews’ Burial Ground. The 231 feet frontage to Hoxton Street, therefore, just included the site of the present school keeper’s house.
The greater part of the frontage was taken up with the garden, which had the house on its north and the barn on the south. On 25th March, 1707, the Berman Trust leased the garden (120 feet by 84 feet) for use as a Jews’ Burial Ground. With this exception the whole of the western part of the premises is now in the possession of the London County Council, and is used for the purposes of the Hoxton Central and Hoxton House Elementary and Special schools.
Horwood’s map of 1799 shows the eastern frontage of the estate occupied by buildings. The south-eastern angle contained The Castle public-house, “formerly called The Basing House,” (fn. 42) from which apparently Basing Place and Basing Square, as yet not formed, afterwards derived their names. The alms houses belonging to Berman’s Trust at present in Basing Square were formerly situated nearer Hoxton Street. (fn. 43) At some time after 1784 the whole of the western half of the estate (except theburial ground) was united to properties on the south and north belonging to Sir Jonathan Miles, and used with them to form the Hoxton House Lunatic Asylum. (fn. 44)
The plan of 1588 (Plate 2) shows that the frontage to Hoxton Street for some little distance north of the Steward property was occupied by ahouse (or houses) of Mrs. Heron, and that the main portion of the propertyto the north was in the hands of a “Mr. Whitt.” The site of the house(or houses) was in the early part of the 18th century occupied by (i) (fn. 45) thesite of “an old house” of 24¼ ft. frontage and 70¼ ft. depth, abutting “on an alley leading to the almes houses (fn. 46) south” and on three tenements of Mr.Hunt north, and (ii) the three houses (fn. 47) of Hunt, bounded north and east by “Lamas’s houses and lands.”
22 Egerton MS., 2599.
23 Its history before 1501, except for Katherine Page’s allusion to the warranty of Thomas”Halwaye,” has not been traced, but there can be little doubt that the “mese, a garden, iij rodesand iij acres of londe” in Hoxton left by Richard Hert some time in the third quarter of the 15thcentury (see Early Chancery Proceedings, 54/20) was the same.
24 According to Steward, only 230 feet 9 inches and 281 feet 3 inches respectively.
25 On 10th March, 1537–8, Dame “Sibell Newdegatt,” prioress of Holywell, leased to Laurence Serle” one of ye men usshers of the chamber of the Kyng,” a strip, 12 feet wide, along the north boundary of Star Close, for the purpose of setting up a pale between the latter close and Laurence’s close, called Page’s Close (Augmentation Office, Conventual Leases, Midd. 28.).
26 Inq. P. Mortem, Series II., Chancery, 152/90.
27 Ibid., 158/4.
28 Augustine Steward, son of Simon of Lakenheath, born 27th August, 1542. Lucy survived her second marriage a very short while, and Steward married again in 1580, his second wife being Anne, daughter of Thos. Argoll, and widow of Clement Sisley (Flyleaf of Register).
29 The explanation reads: “This mapp of my house in Hoxton made by Mr. Troswell the30th of March, 1588, sheweth yt the lengh of the close on eche side from diche to diche, countinge in garden, barne, and house, is 27 pole. And the est end is 13 pole demi & 2 foot and the westend is 13 pole demi & 8 foot. Summa, 2 acres, 1 rode 13 pole. The orchard is in lengthe 27 pole and 6 foote, and in bredth at ye west end 3 pole, and at thest end 3 pole 7 foote, and in the midest4 pole 5 foote, demi. Summa 2 rodes 26 pole. The whole lenghe of ye orchard and close on the est side is 281 fote 3 inches. On ye west part from Mr. Hearns house toward ye Starr Close is 230 fote 9 inches.”
30 Feet of Fines, Midd., 4 Chas. I., Mich.
31 Inq. P. M., Chancery, 2nd Series, 604/116.
32 Inq., P.M., Chancery, 2nd Series, 623/46.
33 Close Roll, 4035.
34 Ibid., 4033.
35 Final concord between William Abrooke and Henry Waad quer: and Chas. Farewell deforc.: (Feet of Fines, Midd., 19–20, Chas. II., Hil).
36 Close Roll, 4318.
37 Patent Roll, 23 Chas. II., 3132.
38 P.C.C., 9 Cann (proved 15th January, 1684–5).
39 P.C.C., 163, Degg.
40 For the benefit of poor ministers and other charitable purposes. Present scheme approved by Charity Commissioners, 2nd May, 1871.
41 Recital in deed of 1st September, 1777, between William Field and Edwd. Ellicott and John Bradney (Middx. Reg. Memls., 1778, VI., 551).
42 See indenture of lease, dated 25th July, 1781, between Wm. Field, Edw. Elliott and John Bradney and Isaac Piggott (Middx. Reg. Memls., 1782, II., 417).
43 At the western end of the site of the orchard, where the boundary turned south.
44 Jonathan Miles purchased the southern property in 1756 (see p. 135) and the northern in the following year (see p. 54), though, if reliance can be placed in the statement made by Sir Jonathan in 1815, that his family had been there “above a hundred years,” it must have been in occupation much earlier. This is exceedingly doubtful. On the death of the elder Jonathan in 1772 he left his “two houses inhabited by me situate in Hoxton town” to his son Jonathan, subject to an interest of the latter’s mother, Margaret Preston. He refers to the “business” carried on in the two houses as “taking care of the persons and maintenance of boarders” (P.C.C., 24 Stevens). Under his son, afterwards Sir Jonathan, the “business” grew, and in 1815 there were 484 patients in the establishment, the conduct of which was in many respects adversely criticised before the Committee on the State of Madhouses.
45 Indenture dated 2nd March, 1715–16, between Nath. Benbridge and John Jurin and Benj. Cooper (Midd. Reg. Memls., 1718, VI., 11–12).
46 The original Berman’s Almshouses
From: ‘Historical introduction: Hoxton, between Kingsland Road and Hoxton Street’, Survey of London: volume 8: Shoreditch (1922), pp. 47-72. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=98226 Date accessed: 04 April 2013.
Comments or questions are welcome.