In the name of God Amen, the fifteenth day of April in the year of our Lord God  a thousand five hundred three score and sixteen and in the eighteenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth etc., I Thomas LEVESON of Hawling [Halling] in the County of Kent Esquire being at this present sick in body and ye5 in perfect remembrance God be thanked therefore, do ordain and make my testament and last will in manner and form following. First I yield my soul into the hands of Almighty God trusting assuredly by the merits and death of his dear son my only saviour and redeemer Jesus Christ after this life to inherit the life everlasting. My body I yield to the earth from whence it came in the church of Cuckeston [Cookstone] in Kent to be buried as near unto my late wife as conveniently may be if it please God there to call me to his mercy or if elsewhere then in such convenient place and in such order as to my executors and overseers shall be thought most meet and convenient. ITEM; I will there shall be bestowed amongst the poor people which shall be at my burial ten pounds or more at the discretion of my executors and overseers and amongst the poor people inhabiting within the several parishes of Cookstone and Halling at convenient time when my executors and overseers shall think meet and convenient within one year after my decease in every of the said parishes three pounds six shillings and eight pence, and I will there be bestowed in blacks against my burial or funerals the sum of fifty pounds to be bestowed in coats and gowns amongst my children, coats amongst my servants and in coats or gowns amongst such other of my friends as my executors and supervisors shall think meet and convenient, and I will and bequeath unto my younger son William LEVESON and unto my nine daughters to every of them two hundred pounds apiece over and besides the legacies of twenty pounds severally devised to four of my children by the last will and testament of dionyse LEVESON my mother deceased and if my goods and chattels will not extend thereunto my debts and other legacies paid then I will that my loving friends Arthur Dawbney of London, merchant tailor; Henry Plankeney, merchant of the Staple; and John Glascock of Roswell within the County of Essex shall have and take the issues revenues and profits of all my manor lands tenements and hereditaments with their appurtenances within the Counties of Essex, Kent, Staffordshire and London or elsewhere within the realm of England whereof I or any other to my e do stand seized in free simple at this present until such time as three shall or may have received of the there issues and profits thereof all my charges reprises deducted and allowed so much as shall suffixes ro make up the full sum of two thousand pounds I will shall be bestowed amongst my younger children in manner and form following, that is to say to William my youngest son two hundred pounds and to every of my daughters now living being mine in number two hundred pounds apiece to be delivered to them and every of them as follows, that is to say, to my son William when he shall have accomplished the age of twenty-four years and to my said daughters to every of them at their several full ages of one and twenty years or at their several marriages or at such one of them as shall first happen if so much money shall then be received of the issues and profits of the lands and tenements aforesaid or otherwise or else so soon after as the same may be received, in payment of which said several legacies my meaning is that the eldest of my said children shall first be paid provided always and my meaning is that if it fortune my said son William or my said daughters or any of them depart this life before marriage or before they shall severally have accomplished the age of one and twenty years then that his her and their part and portion and legacy so dying before their several times appointed for the receipt of the same shall be equally divided amongst the rest of my younger children then living in such manner and form to them severally to be delivered as is aforesaid, and the said four score pounds I will shall be paid and delivered to such of my said children as should have the same in such order as by the last will and testament of the said Dionyse is appointed, provided always and my will and meaning is that if my heir at any time after he shall have accomplished the age of two and twenty years shall and will take upon him the charge and payment of the before mentioned two thousand and four score pounds to my said younger children or so much thereof as then shall be unpaid in such manner and form as is before mentioned and shall and will yield make and deliver unto my said loving friends or the survivor or survivors of them or to the executors or administrators of the survivors of them such good and convenient assurance by bonds or otherwise or due form of law to be executed and made to my said loving friends the survivor or survivors of them the executors or administrators of the survivors of them shall be thought meet and convenient as well for the true answering, praying and discharging of the said several legacies given to my said younger children and of every of them or of as much of them and every of them as them shall remain unsatisfied or paid according to the intent and meaning of this my present testament and last will as also for the discharging of the said four score pounds given by my said mother to four of my said children and for the better acquitting and discharging of my said loving friends and every of them and of the executors and administrators of every of them against my said children and fo the better acquitting and discharging of my said loving friends and every of them and of the executors and administrators of every of them against my said children and every of them for the same then my will and meaning is that from thenceforth my said heir shall have and enjoy to him and to his heirs for ever all and singular my manors lands tenements and hereditaments before limited and appointed to my said loving friends, the great house in Lime Street and the four tenements thereunto adjoining with their appurtenances only excepted, which said great house with their appurtenances to go therewith the said four tenements thereunto adjoining except such parcels of the said great house as now [be] in the occupation of me the said Thomas Leveson after such time as my said children shall be satisfied of their said legacies I will unto William Leveson my younger son and his heirs for ever, and if my heir do not take upon him the charge and payment of the said several legacies before meant and devised to my younger children in manner and form aforesaid together with the payments of the said four score pounds then my will is that after so much money levied of the issues and profits of the premises as before is meant and devised to be bestowed amongst my younger children all issues or charges and reprises deducted that my son William shall have my great tenement with the appurtenances in Lime Street together with my said four tenements thereunto adjoining except such parcels of the said great tenement as are before excepted to him and his heirs forever. ITEM; I will that all such my tenants as now be my servants or heretofore have been my servants shall have such lands and tenements as they hold of mine for such yearly rent as they now pay for the same and under the covenants and agreements as they are charged unto until such time as my heir shall have accomplished the age of two and twenty years keeping the same in good repair and paying and performing the rents, customs, services and covenants due for the same and using them solely towards my heir as becomes tenants to do. ITEM; I give to every of my servants dwelling with me in my house or wearing my livery of my gift at the time of my death that is to say to every manservant forty shillings apiece and to every woman servant twenty shillings apiece and in consideration that my son John LEVESON shall perform and suffer to be performed this my last will and testament in all points according to the intent and meaning of these presents and also pay my debts and discharge my funerals I give unto my said son all other my goods chattels and debts whatsoever which said John Leveson my son I ordain and make the only executor of this my testament and last will and I ordain and make my loving brother in law John GRESHAM and William LEVESON my brother my overseers of the same and do give to every of them for their pains over and besides all their ordinance charges that they shall be at about this my will to them allowed ten pounds apiece whose advice and direction my will is my said heir shall use trusting they will as faithfully advise him as they would receive advice in any case of theirs and I revoke all former wills by me made and if it happen me to depart this life my son and heir John Leveson being within age then I will that my overseers above named shall take the charge of the execution of this my will and testament for my said son until he come to the age of one and twenty years and they then to deliver all things into his hands and to make account of all that they shall have dealt with all and upon their account and delivery of all things to my said son to be from thenceforth discharged not doubting but they will deal as faithfully for me and him therein as they would be dealt with all themselves in the like cause; and in witness that this is my whole last will and testament I have hereunto subscribed and put my seal in the presence of Edmond Calthropp Thomas Catlock resid Henry Plankney William Leveson and Joseph Man the day and year aforesaid.
Proved by John Leveson 30th October 1576