Will of John Grainge of Little Horwood, yeoman, 1633 (proved 1634)

National Archives, PROB 11/166/520

In the name of God Amen the seaven and twentith day of March in the yeare of the Raigne of our most gratious Sov(er)aigne Lord Charles by the grace of God king of England, Scotland, Fraunce, and Ireland, Defender of the fayth &c the Ninth Annoq(ue) D(omi)ni 1633 I John Grange of Little Harwood in the Countye of Bucks yeoman being weake of bodie but of p(er)fect memorye thanks be to God Yet knowinge that nothinge is more uncertaine then the time of death and nothinge more certaine then death itselfe and therefore for the avoyding of unquietnes in extremitie of sicknesse when it shall please God to visitt me therewith I doe constitute ordaine and make this my last Will and testament in writeing in manner and forme followinge That is to say First I Com(m)end my soul into the hands of Almighty God my Maker and Creator trusting assuredly by the meritts and passion of Jesus Christ my blessed Redeemer to have free remission and pardon for all my sinnes and my body I com(m)end to the earth from where it was taken to be orderly and decentlie buried at the discretion of my executor hereafter named And as touching my temporall goods w(hi)ch it hath pleased God to bestow uppon me

The will goes on to list legacies to his children. To William Grange his oldest son, four acres of land ‘in the Common feilds of Mursley’: 3½ acres of arable, ½ acre of meadow ‘together with one halfe yard land common thereunto belonging’. To his second son Robert his capital messuage known as Agnells Fee in Little Harwood and all lands belonging to it, except 3 acres of arable land sold to Mr John Harris of Little Harwood clerk, all lately purchased of Robert Willett of Little Harwood gent. together with the ‘rectorie or parsonage appropriate’ of Little Harwood and ‘the advowson of the vicaridg and church’ all recently purchased by him from Edmund West of ‘Wharseworth’, Bucks [Marsworth?]. Additionally, Robert was left all his father’s enclosed land in Mursley. His eldest daughter Jane Grange was left £500. His youngest daughter Elizabeth’s legacy comprised  land including his inn in Little Brickhill known as The Talbott then occupied by Francis Pigeon or his assigns. She was also left all his other lands, tenements and hereditaments in Little Brickhill and all his land in Hollendon [Hollingdon] in the parish of Soulbury and £200. The daughters Jane and Elizabeth were to share the chest of linen from his bedchamber and to be ‘sufficiently maintained with meat & drink, washing and lodging fitting and in every respect answerable for people of their education in the best manner in the house of my Executor’, at his expense. A further shared legacy to be divided equally between his kinsman Anthony Gibbes and kinswoman Elizabeth Gibbes included a silver bowl, three gilt spoons and eight silver spoons. Isabel Grace, his sister was left twenty shillings a year for the rest of her natural life ‘to be bestowed and layd out in apparrell uppon her’ with his kinsman Richard Grace of Granborough to receive ten shillings. He left 20s to his kinsman John Grange of Islington yeoman.  The Vicar of Little Horwood would receive twenty shillings for preaching his funeral sermon. William his son is required, in return for the land in Mursley, to release to Robert and Elizabeth any claim to the real estate left to them. Three pounds is bequeathed to be divided between the poor of Little Horwood and Mursley.  The executor is to discharge William of any debt due from the testator. The residue of the estate is left to Robert who is appointed executor.

In witnes whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale the day and yeare first written. The m(ar)ke of John Grange.  Sealed Published and delivered in the presence of John Harris scr(iptor) [signature] Richard Hobbes [signature] the marke of Mary Everett al(ia)s Baker

Proved at London at the PCC before Dr Thomas Eden on 20 November 1634 by the oath of Robert Grange, natural and legitimate son and executor.


Although he called himself a yeoman, John Grange was clearly a very rich man by local standards, like his son Robert Grainge (will proved 1649). He was the second largest taxpayer in Little Horwood. His reasons for largely disinheriting his eldest son William are not clear; William was living at Edlesborough when his will was proved in 1653 (TNA, PROB 11/229/306), and perhaps acquired property there by marriage. On the holding called Aynells Fee, see the VCH entry. The will of his daughter Jane is given below; there are several references to Little Horwood.

Will of Jane Grange of Great Brickhill, spinster, 1643/4 (proved 1645)

National Archives, PROB 11/194/387

In the name of God Amen ye seaventeenth day of January in the nynteenth yeare of the raigne of our most gratious Soveraign Lord Charles by the grace of god of England Scotland France and Ireland King Defender of the faith etc Anno(que) D(o)mi(n)i 1643 I Jane Grange of Great Brickhill in the County of Buck Spinster sicke in bodie but in sound and p(er)fect minde & memorie (praise and thankes be given to God therfore) calling to my remembrance the eternall Decree of almightie god against man for sinne, that it is appointed for all to dye but the tyme when, and the place where, are of all things least knowne unto man Being therefor desirous to be in a readiness to goe the waye of all flesh when it shall please God of his mercie to call for mee doe make this my last will & testam(en)t in writeing in manner and forme following But w(i)th all I doe first annihilate and annull all former wills whatsoever w(hi)ch I hereby pronounce to be void and to noe effect, but reject ym as of noe force or validitie ; w(hi)ch done I com(m)end & bequeath my soule into the hands of almightie God my Creator who gave it me hopeing and confidently beleeving that in & through the merrits of Jesus Christ and his bitter death & passion for my sinnes I shalbe everlastingly saved And for my body I desire that it may be interred in the Church of Great Brickhill in such decent and comely manner & place there as my executor shall think fitt & convenient; And Touching my worldly goods and that estate w(hi)ch God of his mercy hath bin pleased to bless me w(i)thall First I give and bequeath unto the poore of the Towne of Little Horwood in the Countie of Bucks foure pounds of good and lawfull money of England Item I give and bequeath unto ye poore of the Towne of Mursley the like sum(m)e of iiij li And alsoe I give & bequeath unto the poore of the Towne of Great Brickhill aforesaid ye like sum(m)e of iiij li to be distributed unto them respectively upon the day of my buriall by the direction of my executor Item I give and bequeath unto my good frend Mr Francis Charlett parson of Brickhill aforesaid (or in his absence or not well being to doe the office for me) xxs to any sufficient divine to preach & instruct the people that shall accompany me to my buriall Item I give unto Mary Hawkins forty shillings It(em) I give unto my kinsman Richard Grace vi li xiij s & iiij d  Item I give and bequeath unto John Grange the like sum of vi li xiij s & iiij d And alsoe unto the children of my Uncle Heylie the like sum(m)e of six poundes thirteene shillings and foure pence  Item I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth Meade daughter of Richard Meade gent late deceased one payre of my new flaxen sheetes and one other payre of \my/ Flaxen sheetes one dozen of diap(er) napkins a Table Cloth and a silver Tankard of the value of fyve poundes It(em) I give & bequeath unto John Grange the sonne of Robert Grange my bedsted bed and all things thereunto belonging at Little Horwood aforesayd It(em) I give unto my kinswoman Elizabeth Burt ten pounds It(em) I give unto my Cosen Elizabeth Meredale all my houshould stuff at and in Great Brickhill aforesaid Item I give and bequeath unto my brother William Grange and my loveing sister Elizabeth the wife of Thomas Meridale all that my pasture ground scituate lyeing and being in Soulbury in the said County of Bucks com(m)only called or knowne by the name of Waldrake & a Cottage or tenement thereupon now built & standing w(i)th their appurtenances: To have & to hould the same to them their heires & asssignes forever; And my will is that the same be equally devided betweene them within one moneth next after my decease And each party to enter & take possession of the part falling to him or her And further to avoid all controv(er)sie or difference that may fall out about the same soe farr as in mee lyeth to p(re)vent; My will is that upon such equall division thereof lotts be cast for decision of their part But if it shall soe fall out (w(hi)ch God forbid) and I hope shall not be that either of them shall refuse to devide and cast lotts (as aforesaid) then my will is that it shalbe lawfull for th’other p(ar)tie not refuseing to appoint three sufficient honest men to devide and cast lotts upon the same in manner & to purpose aforsayd w(hi)ch done the partie not refuseing shall im(m)ediatly enter & take possession of his or her p(ar)te soe sett out devided & allotted It(em) I give moreover unto Jno Meridale and Elizabeth Meredale the somme and daughter of Thomas Meridale aforesaid tenn pounds to be equally devided amongst them As alsoe in special consid(er)ac(i)on o the great paines she hath taken w(i)th me and the tender care shee hath had ov(er) me in my long sicknes It(em) I give moreov(er) unto my loving sister Elizabeth wife of Thomas Meridale of Brickhill aforesaid Twenty pounds of good and lawfull money of England And whereas there is oweing unto me by my brother in lawe Thomas Meridale xx li for which I have his bond of cxx li & of w(hi)ch he hath paid me fortie poundes I doe actually forgive him the same ; though all soe standeth w(i)th me at the makeing of this my will that I cannot deliver him his Bonde in nor Cancell  the same; yet I charge my executer hereafter to be named to deliver him up his bond w(i)thout any suit delay or troubles All the rest of my goods Chattles houshould stuff & debts, my debts being payed & my funerall expences being discharged I give and bequeath unto my said brother William Grange whome I make my sole executor of this my last will and doe charge him to paye all my legacies w(i)thin sixe moneths after my decease And this my last will and Testament I ratifie & confirme under my hand & seale the day & year first above written

the mark of Jane Grange Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of Francis Charlet the marke of Theophilus Warner the mark of Margaret Stanley

Memorandum That the word ten in ye Margent of the will was written before the sealing and subscribing hereof by the w(i)thin named Jane Grange Testatrix Ita Test(atur) Fran(cis) Charlett

[Probate at London before William Clarke LLD surrogate of Nathaniel Brent LLD master or warden of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 27 November 1645 on the oath of William Grange, brother and executor]

Copyright 17 October, 2023