Will of Thomas Bishop, woollen draper, 1691/2

National Archives, PROB 11/411/146

In the Name of God Amen the seaventeenth day of February in the Fourth yeare of the raigne of our Soveraigne Lord and Lady King William and Queen Mary over England &c Annoq(ue) Domi(ni) one Thousand six hundred ninety one I Thomas Bishopp of Winslowe in the County of Bucks Wollendrap(er) being sicke of body yet of perfect mind and memory praysed be Almighty God therefore and considering the uncertainty of this transitory life doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament in manner and forme following (that is to say) First I com(m)end my soule to the mercy and protection of Almighty God hopeing through the merits death and passion of Jesus Christ my Saviour to obtaine full pardon and remission of all my sinns and to inherit everlasting life and as for such temporall estate as it hath pleased Almighty God to bestow upon me I give and dispose thereof as followeth Impr(im)is I give will devise and bequeath unto Elizabeth Hewes Alice Hewes Rebeccah Hewes Jane Hewes and Hester Hewes Daughters of Henry Hewes of Winslowe aforesaid Ironmonger the full sum(m)e of twenty pounds apeice to be paid by my Executrix hereinafter named within twelve months next after my decease, and my will is that the acquitance or receipt acquitances or receipts of the said Henry Hewes for the said Legacies or any of them shall be a sufficient discharge to my said Executrix for the same against the said respective Legatees and in case any or either of the said Legatees shall dye or departe this life before her or their legacy or legacyes shall become due and payable my will is, that the Legacy or Legacies of such Legatee or Legatees soe dyeing shall be equally devided amongst such of the said Legatees as shall survive  Item I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth Stallion sole Daughter of Daniell Stallion late of the parish of Little Missendon in the County of Bucks Yeoman dec(ease)d the full sum(m)e of Fourty pounds to be paid by my said Executrix within twelve months next after my decease  Item I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth Watts Daughter of William Watts of Stonnye Stratford in the said County of Bucks Ironmonger the full sum(m)e of Fifty pounds to be paid by my said Executrix within twelve months next after my decease  Item I give and bequeath unto John Bishopp of Tring in the County of Hertf(ord) Leathersell(er)  the full sum(m)e of Thirty pounds to be paid by my said Executrix within twelve months next after my decease Item I give and bequeath  unto the poore inhabitants of the parish of Winslowe aforesaid the full sum(m)e of Thirty pounds to be paid by my said Executrix within twelve months next after my decease to the Churchwardens of the parish of Winslowe aforesaid for the time being to be by them placed out at interest for the greatest advantage that may be had and gotten for the same untill such time as the same may conveniently be laid out on a purchase of some Lands for the use behoofe \and benefitt/ of the said poore Inhabitants and my will is that the interest p(ro)duct increase and rent of the said Thirty pounds untill some Lands shall be purchased therewith and of such Lands soe purchased after such purchase shall be made shall be distributed (according to the discretion of the Minister and Churchwardens of the Parish and parish Church of Winslowe aforesaid for the time being amongst the said poore inhabitants yearely forever  Item haveing made a Surrender to the use of my will I doe hereby give will devise and bequeath unto Elizabeth my loveing wife all and every my barnes outhouses buildings yards gardens Lands Tenements and Hereditaments whatsoever held of the Manno(r) of Winslowe cum Membris To have and to hold to her the said Elizabeth my wife and her Assignes for and Dureing the terme of her naturall life and from and after her decease then I give and devise the same barnes outhouses buildings yards gardens Lands, Tenements and Hereitaments to the heires of the body of the said Elizabeth my wife lawfully begotten or to be begotten and to the heires and assignes of such heires of her body forever and for default of such heires then my will meaning and desire is that the said barnes outhouses buildings yards gardens Lands, Tenements and Hereditaments may continue in the name and blood of me the said Thomas Bishop soe long as it shall please God and I doe hereby accordingly devise and bequeath the same (after my wifes decease without issue of her body) to the use and behoofe of the right heires male of me the said Thomas Bishop forever  Item I give devise and bequeath all and every my p(er)sonall estate goods and chattles whatsoever and wheresoever unto the said Elizabeth my wife (my debts legacyes and funerall expenses being first paid discharged) whom I make full land sole Executrix of this my last will and testament and I doe revoke all former wills by me made and doe declare this to be my last will and testament  In witnesse whereof I the said Thomas Bishopp have hereunto set my hand and seale the day and yeare first above writen 

Tho(mas) Bishop

signed sealed published and Declared by the Testator in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names in the presence of the said Testator and the word (Heires \and Wittnesses/  betweene the sixth and seaventh lower lines and the words (the right heires male of) betweene the Fourth and fifth lower lines being first interlined in the presence of Hester Holland her marke Henry Hughes N(icho)l(as) Merwin

[Probate at London 3 Sep 1692 to Elizabeth Bishop, widow and sole executrix.]


Inventory of Thomas Bishop

National Archives, PROB 4/8317

[Much of the document is too faded to read]

[A true and perfect inventory of the]
[goods] and [chattels of Thomas Bishop]
late of Winslowe in [the county of Bucks]
woollen Drap(er) dec(ease)d taken and
appraised ye [..] Day of [ - - - ]
by W(illia)m Watts Tho(mas) Foster[?]
[ - - - ] Fuller [ - - - ]

£
s
d
Imprimis his wearing apparrell & [money?] In [his purse?]
?
?
?
Item one bedstead [ - - - ] & vallens [ - - - - - ] bed quilt & blankets
?
?
?
[Item] three Chairs three [ - - - - - - ]
?
?
?
[Item] a looking Glass [ - - - - - - - ]
?
?
?
[ - - - - - - - - - - ]
Item [ - - - - - - ]
[ - - - - - - - - - - ]
[ - - - - - - - - - - ]
[ - - - ] chest two stooles [ - - - - - - - ]
[ - - - - - - - - - - ]
Item one [ - - - - - - - - - - ]
[Item] 1 bed & furniture Andyrons & fireshovell tongs and bellows & c
4
5
0
In the Garrett
Item one bedsteed flockbed coverled and blanketts three chests a still and other Lumber
2
6
8
Item ten pair of sheets & pillowbeers six table cloathes a Dozen of napkins and other wearing Linnen
10
5
0
In the hall
Item one Table three stooles five chaires one fire jack fire shovell tongs back & [ - - - - ]
2
6
8
In the kitchen
Item one furnace five kettles three potts two skilletts 15 pewter dishes two dozen of plates one cheese plate two besoms one cullender one candlestick one pewter[?] platter[?] one tankard one salt one case of knives one press cupboard & [ - - - - - ]
9
7
0
Item 9 barrells brewing vessells & Lumber
2
0
0[?]
In the stable
Item one mare Bridle & sadle & Lumber
5
2
6
In ye yard
Item one hovell & wood upon it one Ladder one arbor & c
1
6
8
[In the barn?]
Item wheate thresht & in the straw & other mateeriell
7
5
?
In the warehouse
Item Norwich stuffes fulled Linsey searge
shalloone broad cloath narrow cloath Thread
pap(er) curtaine fringes Tobacco Leafe
[ - - - - - - ] Lace Tafeta ribbons
silkes and other odd things
237
17
6?
In the shop

Item Searge Linsey Cotens[?] Flannells
dimety callicoes Turkey and English
Tapestrey[?] camletts callimi[nco?] black
[ - - - - - - - - - ]
sheped Linnen skinns whalebone buttons
sewing & slicking silk, silk Gall[oons]
& edgings cotton & ferrets ribbons Gimps
& silk lace fillatings Tapes wastcoates
Linnings Frocks hose Tobacco pi[pes]
Boddice and Stomach(er)s Osubrigs
bedlicks & Bodyes blew Linnens Lock[rom]
Diap(er) scotch cloths shirting hollands
fine hollands finishing [?linens and]
other odd things

400
11
3
Item debts sperate and desperate
?
?
?
 
---------------------
[ - - - - - - ] sum(ma) tot(alis)
1619
16
6

See the inventory of Matthew Bishop for explanations of most of the technical terms.

camlett: a fine cloth of wool, silk or angora (Bucks Probate Inventories).

calamanco: a woollen stuff of Flanders checked on one side (OED).

ferret = farret: a stout tape usually of cotton (Bucks Probate Inventories).


Sentence in the case of Thomas Bishop, 1701

National Archives, PROB 11/462/12

[summarised from Latin] Sir Richard Raines’ judgment, having heard all the circumstances of the testamentary business of the will of Thomas Bishop late of Winslow, Bucks, deceased, having while he lived and at the time of his death goods, rights or credits in various dioceses or peculiar jurisdictions sufficient to require jurisdiction in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, which before us in a judgment between Elizabeth Bishop widow and executrix named in the will of the deceased plaintiff and Mary Groom (wife of Daniel Groom), supposed cousin (consobrina pretensa) of the deceased, defendant, remaining undecided, the parties appeared before us through their proctors claiming justice.  Postponing our final sentence or decree, we proceeded in the following way.  We find the allegation of Elizabeth Bishop and the will recorded in the register of this court.  We hold the allegation and will to have been sufficiently proved.  Nothing effectual has been proved on the part of Mary Groom which would quash or in any way impair the intention of Elizabeth Bishop.  Therefore we judge that Thomas Bishop while he lived being sound of mind and in whole and perfect memory made his will in writings bearing the date 17 Feb 1691 and properly appointed Elizabeth Bishop his widow executrix, and we confirm and ratify the will, and we pronounce Mary Groom liable for the expenses of Elizabeth Bishop.

This definitive sentence was published on Friday 28 March 1701 by Sir Richard Raines, commissary of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, in the Inn of the College of the Lords Advocate of Arches at London at the petition of Mr Samuel Boheme, notary public, original proctor of Elizabeth Bishop, and in the presence of Mr Mark Sayer, notary public, original proctor of Mary Groom.


Notes

Thomas Bishop, b.1660, was the son of Mathew Bishop, d.1689, and briefly carried on his father's business. He served as churchwarden in 1691. He was buried on 6 March 1691/2. His wife Elizabeth may have been the daughter of John Seaton (d.1708), and married the lawyer Nicholas Merwin on 4 Sep 1692, the day after the probate of Thomas' will. Details of some of Thomas' property are given in the 1692 court rolls when he made a surrender to will on the same day that his will was drawn up.

The five Hughes sisters also benefited under the will of their grandfather Peter Hughes (1687).

The dispute about the will lasted 10 years, and went to the Court of Arches or Doctors' Commons, which would have taken appeals from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Presumably Mary Groom challenged the will, and then Elizabeth Bishop appealed. Mary must have objected to Thomas making generous bequests (£250 in all) to so many apparently unrelated people and nothing to his cousin. There was another dispute which went to the Court of Exchequer (see below). The wording "may continue in the name and blood of me the said Thomas Bishop" probably also encouraged other Bishops to litigate.

The money which was left to buy land for an annual distribution to the poor was used to buy 1 acre 1 rood 35 perches which are now the Poor's Piece allotment, according to Clear 1894, 101. However, the 1706 manor court records the purchase of 1 acre of land called Robbinsons Close between Shipton and Granborough under Thomas Bishop's will.

Another dispute about the will and Thomas' property took place in 1692 before the will was proved, and was taken to the Court of Exchequer. Although much of the documentation concerns the validity of Thomas' will (which must have been upheld), the real issue seems to have been Thomas' land, which was disputed between his widow Elizabeth and John Bishop, presumably Thomas' uncle or cousin. Read the documents below. They give some interesting details about the witnesses, who were examined at The Angel. Nicholas Merwin arrived in Winslow about a year earlier. Hester Holland must have been a servant, who was the nearest person on hand to witness Thomas' will.


Elizabeth Bishop v Thomas Bishop, 1692

National Archives, E134/4WandM/Mich41

[f.1, Latin]
Bucks.
[summary] King William and Queen Mary give to John Burnham gent, William Robinson gent, William Wyatt gent and William Gyles gent full power and authority for two or more of them to examine witnesses from the part of Elizabeth Bishop widow the plaintiff and the part of John Bishop the defendant, and send a report to the Barons of the Exchequer within 3 weeks of next Michaelmas.  Let the parties have a space of 14 days.  Dated 15 June.
[verso, Latin]  The defendant before the examination of any witnesses should pay the plaintiff 9s 4d for the half fee of a writ.
[signed] Jo: Burnham
W. Robinson

[f.2, English]
The plaintiff’s part.  Interrogatories to be administred to wittnesses to be produced sworne and examined on the parte and behalfe of Elizabeth Bishopp widdowe relict of Thomas Bishopp deceased, complainant against John Bishopp defendant.

Imprimis doe you knowe the partyes complainant and defendant or either of them.  And how long have you knowne them or either of them.  Did you knowe the said Thomas Bishopp deceased.  And how long did you knowe him.  Declare.

Item.  Did you examien the parchment writeing now shewne unto you att the tyme of this your examination with the court rolls of the mannor of Winslowe cum Membris.  Doth the said Parchment writeing Agree with the said Court Rolls or not.  And what is the tenor or purport thereof.  Declare.

Item.  Doe you knowe that the said Thomas Bishopp made his Last Will.  Is the Parchment writeing now produced unto you at the tyme of this your examinacion in these words followeing.  in the name of God Amen.  The Seaventeenth day of February in the Fourth yeare of the raigne of [text of will given in full]  Were you present when the said Thomas Bishopp signed sealed published and declared the same to be his Last Will.  And is the name Tho: Bishopp subscribed thereunto proper handwriteing of the said Thomas Bishopp.  Was the said Thomas Bishopp of a sound minde and understanding when he signed sealed published and declared the same Will.  Did you subscribe your name or marke as a Wittnesse to the same Will.  And which is the name or marke subscribed by you.  Did you soe subscribe your name or marke in the presence of the said Thomas Bisshopp.  Declare your Knowledge and beleife concerneing this Interrogatory.

Item.  Doe you knowe or have you heard that the Complainant or her Agent before she exhibited her Bill against the Defendant offered the Defentant that if he would by consent att the Complainants Charges become defendant to the Complainants Bill for proveing [ - - - ] the Complainant would show the defendant [ - - - - ] of the Court Rolls concerneing the premisses in Question.  And [ - - - ] the Defendant have the [ - - - - - ] to the said Thomas Bishopps will examined upon Oath or soe the [ - - - - - - ] any charges.  Declare what you knowe or have heard concerning the same.

[signed]
Jo: Burnham
W. Robinson

[f.3, English]
Deposicons of Witnesses taken upon Oath at the house of  Thomas Godwin being the Signe of the Angell in Winslow in the County of Bucks on Wednesday the third day of August in the Fourth yeare of the Reigne of o(u)r Sovereigne Lord & Lady William & Mary now King & Queene of England &c Annoq(ue) D(omin)ni 1692. by virtue of their Ma(jes)ties Com(m)ission issuing out of their Court of Exchequer Chamber at Westm(inste)r directed unto John Burnham William Robinson William Wyatt William Giles gent or any two or more of them for the Examination of Witnesses in a Cause there depending betweene Elizabeth Bishopp Widow Pl(ainti)ff & John Bishopp Defendant before us John Burnham William Robinson two of the said Comissioners as followeth

Nicholas Merwin of Winslow in the County of Bucks gen(tleman) aged twenty Foure years or thereabouts sworn & exa(m)i(n)ed deposeth as followeth

1 To the first Interr(ogator)y  this Depon(en)t sayeth that he doth know the Compl(ainan)t & Def(endan)t & hath knowne the Compl(ainan)t for the space of Twelve Months & upwards & hath knowne the Def(endan)t by the space of Four Months & upwards & that he did knowe Thomas Bishopp in the Interr(ogator)y  named for the space of Twelve Months & upwards before his Death

2 To the second Interrogatory this Depon(en)t say(e)th that on or about the sixteenth day of June last past he with James Hayes Esq(uir)e Deputy Steward of the Manno(r) of Winslow cum Membris did carefully examine the Parchm(en)t writeing now as showed unto him at the time of \this/ his said Examin(atio)n with the Court Roll of the said Manno(r) & that the same Parchm(en)t writeing is a true Coppy of the said Court Roll the Content whereof is in these words following (viz)

[translated from Latin]
Manor of Winslow with members, court of view of frankpledge with court baron of Nicholas Goodwin gentleman held there on 22 April 1690.  James Hayes esq deputy steward there.  At this court it was presented and found by the homage that since the last court Matthew Bishopp one of the customary tenants of this manor had died seised of ten acres of customary land in the field of Winslow and of a close of meadow containing one acre called Kings Close and of  a barn, a garden and a Penetral’ in Winslow and that Thomas Bishopp was his son and nearest heir.  And now to this court came the said Thomas and sought to be admitted to the premisses aforesaid.  To him the lord through his steward gave seisin thereof, to hold by rod to himself and his heirs at the lord’s will according to the custom of the manor by rent of [blank] a year, heriot and other services previously due and rightly accustomed.  And he paid the lord as a fine 22s and was admitted tenant and did fealty.  Examined by James Hayes deputy steward there.

5 To the Third Interrogatory this Depon(en)t sayeth that he doth very well know that Thomas Bishopp in the Interr(ogator)y menc(i)oned did make his will for that he this Depon(en)t by the order & direcc(i)on of the said Thomas Bishopp did drawe & ingrosse the same That the Parchm(en)t writeing now p(ro)duced unto him at the time of this Exa(m)i(n)acon in the Interr(ogator)y expresly menc(i)oned & sett downe is the last Will of the said Thomas Bishopp that this Depon(en)t knowes or overheard of that he this Depon(en)t together with Henry Hughes & Hester Holland were P(re)sent when the said Thomas signed sealed published & declared the same to be his Will That the name Tho(ma)s Bishopp subscribed thereunto is the p(rop)er handwriteing of the said Thomas Bishopp for that this Depon(en)t sawe him the said Thomas Bishopp subscribe the same  That the said Thomas Bishopp was of sound mind & understanding
when he signed sealed published & declared the same Will And that he this Depon(en)t read oven the said Parchm(en)t writeing in the Interrogatory menc(i)oned unto the said Thomas Bishopp who did not only then approve of the same to be his Will but the said Thomas Bishopp did alsoe in the P(re)sence of this Depon(en)t & the said Henry Hughes and Hester Holland p(er)use & app(ro)ve of the same That he this Depon(en)t did subscribe his name as a Witnesse to the same Will That the name N Merwin was subscribed by him this Depon(en)t in the p(re)sence of the said Thomas Bishopp the Testator & that the said Henry Hughes subscribed his name & the said Hester Holland subscribed her marke in the p(re)sence of the said Testator

To the fourth Interrogatory this Depon(en)t sayeth that he as agent to the Compl(ainan)t in the Compl(ainan)ts p(re)sence did say to the Def(endan)t that shee the said Compl(ainan)t would p(ro)ve her husbands Will by a Bill in Equity And that if he the said Def(endan)t would friendly Consent to be made Def(endan)t thereto he the said Def(endan)t should see all the Compl(ainan)ts Coppyes of the Court Rolls concerning the Premisses in question & lett him
the said Def(endan)t heare the Witnesses to the said Thomas Bishopps Will exa(min)ed upon oath or see those Depositions afterwards without the Def(endan)t being at any manner  of Charges or Words to that or the like effect and this depon(en)t farther sayeth that at the time when he delivered the said s(ub) p(e)na  to this Def(endan)t for the Def(endan)ts app(eara)nce in their Ma(jes)ties Court of Excheq(ue)r at the Compl(ainan)ts suite in this Cause he this Depon(en)t did againe say to the said Def(endan)t that if he the said Def(endan)t would be amicable & friendly in this Cause the Compl(ainan)t would beare all the Charge & he should see all the Copies of Court Roll & heare the witnesses exa(m)i(n)ed as aforesaid which would
[signed] Jo(hn) Burnham
W Robinson

[f.4, English]

be the Compl(ainan)ts Charges or to the like effect  But the said Def(endan)t replyed that she the Compl(ainan)t might have choosed to put herself to any Charges & seeming angry said he should take advice upon the matter & that the Compl(ainan)t might have p(ro)ved her said Husbands Will without him the \said/ Def(endan)t or words to that or the like effect & further sayeth not

Henry Hughes of Winslowe in the County of Bucks Ironmonger aged fifty years & upwards swoorn & exa(m)ined deposeth as followeth

To the first Interrogatory this Depo(ne)nt saith that he knows the p(ar)tyes Compl(ainan)t & Def(endan)t & hath knowne them for the space of twenty years & upwards And that he did know Thomas Bishopp dec(ease)d Interrogated of for the space of Twenty years & upwards

3  To the third Interrogatory this Depo(ne)nt sayeth that he doth know that Thomas Bishopp Interrogated of did make his last Will That the Parch(me)nt writeing now p(ro)duced unto this Depo(ne)nt at the time of his exa(min)aicon is the Last Will of the said Thomas Bishopp that this Depo(ne)nt knowes of that this Depo(ne)nt was p(re)sent when the said Thomas Bishopp signed sealed published and declared the said Parch(me)nt writeing to be his the said Thomas Bishopps Will (that the name Tho(mas) Bishopp subscribed thereunto is the p(ro)per handwriteing of the said Thomas Bishopp for that he this Depo(ne)nt sawe the said Thomas Bishopp subscribe the same That the said Thomas Bishopp was of a sound mind & understanding when he signed sealed published & declared the same Will And that the said Thomas Bishopp the Testator did Carefully p(er)use the same Parchm(en)t writeing in this Depo(ne)nts p(re)sence That he this Depo(ne)nt did subscribe his name as a Witnesse to the same Will That the name Henry Hughs was subscribed by him this Depo(ne)nt in the p(re)sence of the said Thomas Bishopp the Testator

4   To the fourth Interrogatory this Depo(ne)nt sayth that at the last Court Leet & Court Baron held for the Manno(r) of Winslowe Cu(m) Membris betweene
Easter & Whitsuntide last He did heare Mr Merwin as Agent for the Compl(ainan)t in the Compl(ainan)ts p(re)sence Offer the Def(endan)t That if the Def(endan)t John Bishopp would consent to be made Def(endan)t to a Bill in Equity at the Compl(ainan)ts suite for p(ro)veing her late husbands Will he should see all her Copies of Court Roll concerning the p(re)misses in question & heare the Witnesses to the Will exa(m)ined or see their Deposicons without charge to him or to that or the like effect and this Depo(ne)nt further sayth that he did understand from the said Def(endan)t by his discourse that he the said Def(endan)t did appeare at the said Court Leet & Court Baron with an intent to p(re)vent the pl(aintiff) from cutting of any Intayle that was
upon the p(re)misses in Question & further cannot depose

Hester Holland of Winslowe in the County of Bucks spinster aged one & twenty years & upwards being sworne & exa(m)ined deposeth as
followeth

1  To the first Interrogatory this Depo(ne)nt saith that she doth know the p(ar)tyes Compl(ainan)t & Def(endan)t & hath knowne the Compl(ainan)t for the space of three yeares or thereabouts & the Def(endan)t for the space of six months or thereabouts and did knowe the Compl(ainan)ts late Husband for the space of three years or thereabouts

3  To the third Interr(ogator)ie this Depo(ne)nt saith that she doth know that the said Thomas Bishopp in the Interr(ogator)ie named did make his Will and that the Parchm(en)t writeing now showed unto her at the time of her exa(min)aicon is the Last Will of the said Thomas Bishopp that this Dep(o)nent ever heard of and that this Dep(o)nent was p(re)sent when the said Thomas Bishopp signed sealed published & declared the same to be his Last Will and that the name Tho(ma)s Bishopp subscribed thereunto is the p(ro)per handwriting of the said
[signed]
Jo: Burnham
W. Robinson

[f.4v, English]
Thomas Bishopp and this Depon(en)t further sayth that the said Thomas Bishopp was of a sound mind & understanding when he signed sealed published & declared the same Will and that this depon(en)t did subscribe her marke as a Witnesse to the same Will in the p(re)sence of the said Thomas Bishopp and farther cannot depose.
[signed]
Jo: Burnham
W. Robinson


Notes

Interrogatories: questions to be put to the witnesses.

Penetral’: normally an inner recess, but here it seems to be some sort of garden building.

Intayle: This must refer to the provision in the will that the property "may continue in the name and blood" of Thomas Bishop.