Will of Benjamin Dudley senior, draper, 1739 (proved 1742)

Herts RO 179 AW2

In the name of God Amen I Benjamin Dudley the Elder of Winslow in the County of Bucks Draper being weake in body but in perfect mind and memory praised be Almighty God therefore and considering the certainty of death and the uncertaine time thereof do this ninth day of August in the year of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred and Thirty Nine make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner following (that is to say) First and Principally I Commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave itt and my Body I committ to the Earth to be decently buried att the disscretion of my Executor hereinafter named And as for such Worldly Goods and Estate as itt hath or shall please God to Bless me with I Give and Dispose thereof as followeth. First I give devise \and bequeath/ unto William Dudley my son all that my Messuage or Tenement in Winslow aforesaid wherein I now dwell with all the Outhouse's Barn's stables' Yard's Backside's and Appurtenance's whatsoever thereunto belonging to or in any wise  appertaining to hold to him the said William Dudley his Executor's Administrator' and Assigne's for all such Term of Year's as I have therein to come and Unexpired Subject Nevertheless to the Payment of the Mortgage money now Due and Oweing on the same Also I Give devise and Bequeath unto Mary: Dudley my Grandaughter one Guinea - to be paid unto her by my Executor herein after named within one month next after my Death Also I Give Devise and Bequeath unto the said William Dudley my Son all the rest of my Good's and Chattell's and Personall Estate wheresoever and whatsoever He paying all the rest of my Just Debt's  and the Legacy herein before mentioned to be given to my Grandaughter And I do hereby make constitute and appoint the said William Dudley my son full and sole executor of this my last Will and Testament And lastly I do hereby Revoke and make Void all former Wills' by me before made and do declare this to be my last Will and Testament and none other In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seale the Day and Year first above written

Benj:a Dudley
Senr [signature]

Sign'd Sealed Published and Declared
by the said Benjamin Dudley the Testator
in the Presence of us who have here-
unto Subscribed our names as Witnesses
in the Presence of the Testator and each
other- the Words and bequeath being

The mark of                 William Goodman [signature]
Susan Daniell              W Franklin [signature]

5th of June 1742 William Dudley
the only executor of this Will was sworn
before John Cole Archdeacon of St. Alban's
and Surrogate during the Episcopal

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The will:

Will of Benjamin Dudley


Benjamin Dudley was buried on 23 Mary 1742. He lived in one of the Church Houses, on the site of the St Laurence Room, and served as constable and overseer of the poor. He first appears in Winslow records in the 1690s, the first representative of a surname which became common in the town. He began the draper's business which his descendants continued until the early 19th century. Although the will only mentions one son he and his wife Elizabeth (d.1713, daughter of John Waddup of Evenley) had a larger family, presumably provided for before he died if they were still alive:

Benjamin senior was apparently the brother of Joseph Dudley of Shenley who in 1747 transferred his property to his nephew William Dudley in order to pay off his debts, including £50 to Peter Goldsworth. The document (Centre for Bucks Studies, D-BAS/22/361/50) was drawn up by Nicholas Merwin.

Copyright 17 April, 2022