Will of Jane Grasham, spinster, 1671

National Archives, PROB 11/337/86

In the name of God Amen the Seaventeenth day of September Anno Domini One Thousand six hundred Seaventie one, and in the Three and Twentieth yeare of the Reigne of our Soveraigne Lord Charles the Second by  the Grace of God of England Scotland France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith I Jane Grasham of Winslowe in the Countie of Bucks spinster being sike and weake in Bodie but of good and perfect minde and memorie all praise be given unto Almightie God and being mindefull of the frayle and uncertaine condition of this Transitorie life doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament in manner following that is to say,  First and principallie I commend my Soule into the hands of Almightie God my Creatour and of Jesus Christ my onlie Saviour and Redeemer by whose mercy and meritts I beleive and doe assuredly hope to obtaine free pardon and remission of all my sinnes and offences and \to/ inheritt among the Elect the joyes and fruition of eternall life, my Bodie I committ to the Earth whence it was extracted to be decentlie buried in Christian buriall at the discretion of my Executors herein after named in sure and certain expectation of a joyfull resurection at the last day   In respect of my worldlie Estate which God of his exceeding bountie hath endowed mee with I order and dispose of the same in manner and forme following  In primis I give and bequeath unto my brother Richard Grasham and his heires and Assignes for ever all that my Copiehold Messuage Cottage or Tenement with the Orchards Gardens Yards backsides and other the premises with the Appurtenances thereunto belonging now in my possession lying and being in Winslowe aforesaid together alsoe with my severall peeces or parcells of Land meadowe or pasture lying and being in Shipton Feilds within the aforesaid County of Bucks containing together by estimation Three  Acres or thereabouts be the same little more or lesse according to a Surrender of Copiehold by mee made to that purpose  Item I give and bequeath unto my kinswoeman Elizabeth Grasham daughter of my said brother Richard One holland Child bedd sheete and two paire of holland pillowebeares  Item I give and bequeath unto my Brother Thomas Grasham of Soleburie Carpenter the Summe of Five pounds and one stock of Bees  Item I give and bequeath unto my kinswoeman Anne Grasham daughter of my said brother Thomas all that my Timber and boards which now lyeth in Major Deveralls yard towards the building of her a House  Item I give and bequeath unto my kinswoeman Mary Grasham one other of the daughters of my said brother Thomas one Coverlidd and a payre of a sheetes  Item I give and bequeath unto my kinswoeman Rebeccah Grasham one other of the daughters of my said brother Thomas one Stock of Bees  Item I give and bequeath unto my kinsfolkes Joseph Grasham and Martha Grasham two of the children of my brother Isaiah Grasham deceased the summe of Fiftie shillings a peece Item I give and bequeath unto my Godaughter Alice Ellingham one stock of bees Item I give and bequeath unto Katherine daughter of John Hugson my Neighbour one stock of Bees Item I give and bequeath unto my Brother William Grasham the summe of Twelve pence when and soe soone as he hath made just and true payment unto my Executors of all such moneys which he stand indebted to mee as being Executor of the last Will and Testament of my Father deceased of which Legacie he hath paid mee noe part  The rest and Residue of all and singular my Estate readie money Goods and chattells whatsoever my debts legacies and funeral Expences being thereon first defaulked paid and discharged I give and bequeath unto my said brother Richard Grasham and my said brother John Grasham of Rumford Cooper equallie to be devided between them, whome I make ioynt Executor of this my last Will and Testament  And I doe hereby annihilate renounce and make void all former Wills by mee made declaring this present Testament to be my true and last Will In witnesse whereof to this my last Will and Testament contayned in fower sheetes of paper whereof this is one I have fixed my seale and to every of the said sheetes of paper have subscribed my marke the day and yeare first in the first sheete written the marke of Jane Grasham.  Sealed subscribed published and declared by the Testator Jane Grasham  As and for her last Will and Testament in the presence of Thomas Busby the marke of William Whiting Stanislaus Bowes Scr(ipsit?).

[Probate granted at Exeter Hall in the Strand on 23 September 1671 to Richard and John Grasham, executors.]


Jane Grasham was the daughter of Thomas Grassom or Grassum of Swanbourne, whose will made in 1666 (National Archives, PROB 11/319/183) bequeathed her "all that land which I bought of William Leno" unless his son William paid her £30 within 6 months of Thomas' death, in which case William should have the land. She was also left "fifteene pounds more my cowes and all my moveable goods excepting my working apparrell", and the use of her father's house and land for one year. This must have been "Maudlins Farm", later known as "Ivy Farm", Smithfield End, which passed from the Deverells to the Gresham family in the 17th Century (K. Reading, Swanbourne, p.23). Thomas also transferred to her before his death a cottage in Winslow and 3 acres in Shipton (see 1666 court), i.e. the property which she bequeathed to her brother Richard. Thomas left 20s each to the poor of Swanbourne and the poor of Winslow. He was probably the "Thomas Grashop" who held land in Winslow in 1647.

Stanislaus Bowes was vestry clerk of St Giles in the Fields in London in 1666, suggesting that Jane made her will in London and presumably died there. Here reference to "the elect" sounds Calvinistic, and perhaps she was one of the Particular Baptists associated with Benjamin Keach who met in Winslow around this time. William Gyles of Winslow was reported as teaching a group of Baptists at Swanbourne in 1669.

William Grassum the brother married Margaret Hodgkins of Winslow and appears in the case Bowden v Hodgkins & Grassum in 1664. He had numerous children baptised at Swanbourne, and was buried there on 5 March 1698.

Major Deverall: Major Thomas Deverell, whose house is now Home Farm, Swanbourne (K. Reading, Swanbourne, p.23). He was an officer in the Parliamentarian army.

Rumford: i.e. Romford, Essex

Copyright 27 April, 2018